Note: from here on in, we won’t notify you of every single common enemy or petty item you may encounter on your way. We will, however, point out anything notable and warn you of any surprises.
From Firelink Shrine’s bonfire, look for some ascending stairs just beyond a large dead tree. Follow these up until you encounter several undead warriors, including one on high ground who throws firebombs. Draw the warriors out one by one, then climb the steps and deal with the fire-thrower. Be careful of two other nearby warriors.
OPTIONAL: Before you climb the final flight of stairs that lead into the aqueduct, walk around to their right side and look down. You can carefully drop down here onto the bridge support platform below, and continue carefully around the columns to find a Ring of Sacrifice. When equipped you lose nothing upon death, but the ring breaks. Considering how difficult it can be to reach this ring, it may not be worth it for you. To return safely to the area below the stairs, start sprinting and tap the B mid-sprint to jump and clear the small gap.
Continue up the stairs and through the aqueduct to reach the Upper Undead Burg. Take out the nearby enemies and head for the fog door. Beware of an undead who will jump out of the room to your left. Proceed through the fog door.
Go up to the second floor and out the exit. Kill the trio of undead while minding the archer on the roof up ahead. Clear the area and enter the building on the left to find a bonfire. Light it up and consider spending one Humanity to kindle it. (Going forward, we recommend you do this at every bonfire you encounter if you have the Humanity to spare).
When you leave this room, all of the enemies you defeated will have respawned. Defeat who you must again, then go through the door that’s directly under where the archer was. Walk out to the balcony where you can find a very useful Wooden Shield. It is light and blocks 95% of damage, meaning it should be your primary shield for a while.
Exit this room and look to your left. You’ll notice two spearmen waiting for you across the way. Spearmen always move slowly and are very cautious, keeping their shields up most of the time. Try using Fireball to kill them from a distance. Smash the crates to the left of their initial position to uncover stairs leading down into a house. Kill the undead waiting for you behind some furniture, then take the exit nearest the stairs to find an Undead Merchant. He is extremely important now and throughout the game, so do not mistakenly strike him.
You’ll want to purchase the following now: Orange Guidance Soapstone, a Short Bow, and at least 30-40 wooden arrows. Also consider buying better armor and weapon(s) and the Bottomless Box. If you can’t afford things at the moment, you can stop by again on your way back through this area (we’ll point out when) or grind for souls by killing the enemies in this area then respawning them by resting at the bonfire. Reenter the house and leave out the other exit to find a path that eventually leads to a Crossbow.
Return to the bonfire. You need to cross the narrow bridge nearby to proceed, but the area is completely locked down by Firebomb-throwers. Sprint across the bridge and into the next room. There will be three enemies in here, so be ready for a close-quarters fight. If you’re having trouble, you can sprint back across the bridge, drawing the enemies out so that you can deal with them one by one.
Exit this room and enter the house on your right. Take out the enemy inside, then go up the short stairs into the next room, where you’ll find a chest full of 5 Black Firebombs. Leave the house and ascend the tall staircase. Beware the three enemies at the top.
The small wooden door ahead of you can be opened with the Master Key if you have it, or the Residence Key if you bought it from the Undead Merchant you encountered earlier. The treasure chest found behind the door holds 3 Gold Pine Resins – items useful for a later boss battle.
If you entered this house, leave the way you came in and climb the nearby tower. Defeat the archer at the top, then leave the tower and proceed to take out the enemies ahead of you. Fireball works great here. It should also be noted at this point that these undead who carry shields can be easily defeated by circling around them and backstabbing or kicking them (forward + RB) to knock away their shields then hacking away. Continue a few feet until you see stairs leading up to your left and stairs leading down to your right. You’ll want to head up, or….
OPTIONAL: The stairs that lead down to your right lead to a valuable Blue Tearstone Ring (boosts DEF while HP is low), but this treasure is guarded by a vicious Silver Knight. If you can draw him out into an open area (behind the house), you have a good chance at a backstab by circling to his left as you fight. Experienced players can also win the fight quite easily by parrying (LT). He may drop a Black Knight Sword (very powerful) and will drop a Titanite Chunk. If you don’t want to fight him at all, lure him into the house you just unlocked and escape out the back. This gives you time to grab the treasure the Knight was guarding and proceed through the level before he can catch up to you.
As you head up the stairs, look out for the undead at the top, who will kick a flaming barrel down the steps at you then proceed to attack. Climb the stairs to enter a tall tower. Upon entering, look for stairs to your left and continue the climb, or…
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