DS3DD: Crystal Sage

The Title Card: This one’s a wizard with a capital “Wiz”: big floppy hat, flowing robes, magic staff. Specifically, this sorcerer (and several of his followers in the surrounding area) apes the style and teachings of DS1's Big Hat Logan...so the player is going to have to dodge a lot of white spell-shit before this one goes down.

Design Notes: To be blunt, this standard-model magic-user isn’t very original or creative, even if you discount the Big Hat Logan-copycat issue. I mean, here’s Elminster from AD&D 1st Edition:

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(Credit to Ethos RPG blog for image-scan)

And here’s the Crystal Sage:*

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Yeah, there are differences—70% more hat and cape, less variety of colors—but the idea is so old and worked over.

Challenge Level: The first phase of this fight was a breeze: a more dodge-roll-intensive version or whack-a-mole. It was the second phase—the attack of the clones—that gave me a lot of problems. I can handle one enemy casting soul spear—just be quick on the dodge-roll when you see it coming your way—but once I have to account for it from multiple vectors, it becomes harder: I can’t avoid what I don’t see coming. Eygon of Carim isn’t a great deal of help for this fight—he’s a bit too slow—but just having another target to draw fire and occasionally punish one of the clones was enough to get me past this irksome magic-user.

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Nitpick: Outside the lack of originality, I don’t have any major problem with this boss. I mean, the arena is small enough that it is usually just a short sprint to get to the sage every time it teleports, but not so cramped that there isn’t room to breathe.

Very Speculative Lore Notes: Lore-wise, there’s a bit more to this sage. The Big Hat Logan style this boss exhibits is pretty solid proof that Logan’s teaching have extended far past his time—how long that is up for debate, but DS3 does have a theme of the end-times running through it—and become distorted into an almost cultish devotion.

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The whole “crystal” bit of this boss’ nomenclature has a pretty solid precedent in Souls lore as a symbol of pure-magic-as-physical-power, as evinced by DS1's Seath the Scaleless, the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” of the DS1 dragons...except he never got asked at the final hour to help out—in fact he sold out his dragon brethren—and instead pursued raw magic as a substitute for his titular lack of scales. So, maybe that analogy falls apart. Perhaps he is instead the 97-pound weakling “Mac” from the infamous Charles Atlas ad:

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(Credit to Hogan’s Alley magazine for the image-scan)

*Apologies for the shitty formatting there. I keep trying to edit it so those words appear after the picture of Elminster and not on the side of, but it just reverts back to it every time.

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