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When creating a new character in Dark Souls, I am allowed to select a gift amongst:

  • Goddess's Blessing
  • Black Firebomb
  • Twin Humanities
  • Binoculars
  • Pendant
  • Master key
  • Tiny Being's Ring
  • Old Witch's Ring

Which item would you recommend me to choose for a first character knowing that I intend to enjoy the full game experience and plan to try to get all the trophies? I think that my criterion for selection would be in decreasing order of importance: is this item required for a trophy collection, is this item hard to get otherwise, is this item more useful than the others.

Side question, as the Master Key is part of the starting inventory of the Thief class, what happens when you select the Master Key as gift item?

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I was wondering the same thing. Thanks for putting up the question. –  deutschZuid Oct 20 '11 at 13:54
    
It should be mentioned that all the gifts are available in the game through other means, so it's not a choice your character will be stuck with forever. –  hammar Oct 22 '12 at 3:57
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7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

As of Patch 1.05 it is possible to buy the Master Key from Domhnall of Zena for 5000 souls, after you beat Blightown.

There are two items I would suggest:

  • Master Key: This will allow you to get into multiple places earlier. It is possible to get this, but not until much later into the game (by which point you may not find a use for it anymore).
  • Black Firebomb: This will allow you to easily kill the Asylum Demon the first time you see him in the Undead Asylum. Doing so will grant you the Great Demon Hammer..

The consumable items have no importance, and are a complete waste of a starting gift in my opinion, except for the fire bombs.

In response to your second question, starting as thief and choosing the master key would result in you having two master keys.

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Despite the master key not being available otherwise, I would advise players new to the Dark Souls/Demon's Souls games NOT to choose the master key. It allows you early access to areas far too difficult for the beginner player. Instead allow the game to allow you access these areas when the time is right. –  YellowMegaMan Oct 19 '11 at 23:28
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@YellowMegaMan That's a good point. I believe the first door it opens is to Havel the Rock, which is certainly not a fight intended for a beginner. slight spoilers However it does allow you to free Big Hat Logan as seen as you find him, removing the need to backtrack once you find the cage key. –  Wipqozn Oct 20 '11 at 10:53
    
I seem to recall that the door to Havel the Rock was locked from his tower and the key didn't work there. It definitely allows to you access Queelag's Domain from the very beginning though. Fireshrine > Old Londo > Valley of Drakes > Blighttown > Queelag. –  EvilAmarant7x Oct 28 '11 at 16:03
    
@EvilAmarant7x I opened the door to his tower with the master key, so I know it worked there. –  Wipqozn Oct 28 '11 at 17:14
    
It's worth having as a thief if you know why to take it, but since thiefs get one anyway i take the twin humanities. There is a fantastic Holy sword called Astora's Straight Sword in the Valley of Drakes that is guarded by a sleeping undead dragon, but you can get it as well as a shield and a soul item safely if you pick them up and then run as the dragon is awakening. It might take you two trips but the items are worth it. –  Ravekner Apr 15 '13 at 18:10
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I find that the Black Firebomb is a good choice for a first playthrough. It will allow you to kill the first boss in the game easily without fleeing, thus scoring you a powerful item. Having the strength to swing it is another matter.

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I would avoid the master key as it's almost game breaking, giving you access to areas and items way before you're suppose to have access to them. Other than that I would choose the pendant due to its mysticism.

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If you're a completionist, go for the Old Witch's Ring. It allows you to speak to Quelaag's Sister, so you will see game dialogue you will otherwise miss. The ring may have other effects too. It is possible to obtain this ring during the game, but only by trading away a rather useful item.

It doesn't look like any of the gift items are important for trophies/achievements. The only collection-related trophy is "Acquire all rare weapons", and none of the gifts are weapons.

See the list of trophies here. The list of achievements is the same.

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I suppose Black Firebomb is a type of weapon! But it's not the sort of weapon required for the trophy - these are swords, spears etc, and a sheild. –  YellowMegaMan Oct 20 '11 at 4:14
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@YelowMegaMan The Black Firebomb may not be required for the trophy. But using it to kill the asylum demon at the start of the game by not running away lets you get his mace on your first play through very easy. –  user39062 Dec 29 '12 at 17:01
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I went for the tiny beings ring. You die a lot in this game. Every time I survive and see that tiny bit of hp I thank myself for the decision.

As above, the Master's key can be more trouble than it's worth for new players because the game is disorientating enough without the shortcuts. But now that I am lvl 50 I wish I had it to save some time.

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I also choose the tiny beings ring. And it saved my ass more than one time ;-) –  Sylvain Defresne Dec 23 '11 at 0:25
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Contrary to what the other answers say, you should absolutely take the Master Key.

It's by far the best item. All the others can be acquired fairly early in the game.

It's true the master key unlocks some areas that you shouldn't be able to go, but that's not a big deal in my opinion, as overpowered enemies will quickly send you packing.

Why the master key is the best:

  • Use it immediately at the start of the game to get a Large Soul of an Undead Soldier from the Valley of The Drakes
  • Get Havel's ring very quickly if you've summoned phantoms to help you
  • Rescue Big Hat Logan much more easily
  • Access the Save Point in the Depths much more easily (the depths are hard)
  • No need to buy Master Key for 5000 souls later
  • Provides handy shortcuts to Queelaag (via Valley of the Drakes) and Darkroot Basin (via Havel)

The only other item that has any real value at all is the Old Witch's Ring, as that gets you sweet bonus dialogue.

Otherwise, I'd say choose "nothing." At least that way people looking up your profile in the book will know you are one bad dude.

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The access to shortcuts and bonfires makes the key priceless, but some points in your answer seem misleading. 1. The better item to mention in the Valley of Drakes is the Astoria straight sword. 2. After beating blightown 5000 souls for the key is chump change. This still allows you to easily rescue Big Hat Logan. –  Colin D Dec 10 '13 at 14:48
    
I agree with the above, except that the Straight Sword of Astora requires a significant amount of Faith to use. Only a relatively small percentage of classes will be able to use this weapon, whereas 1000 souls that early in the game is fairly significant. –  itcouldevenbeaboat Dec 10 '13 at 17:31
    
I believe the faith stat needed to wield it was 14, which starting out the game isn't that hard to get to. Especially if you pick up the soul you were talking about as well as the soul I mentioned earlier in my other comment. Astora's Straightsword and the dragoncrest shield are the two most op items to nab at the start of the game, regardless of class. Oh, and its worth an additional 2000 souls if you nab the soul item as well. So 3000 souls, plus a badass sword and shield. –  Ravekner Dec 10 '13 at 18:51
    
I've found that while these items are both good, putting in the stats to use either of them if that doesn't fit in with your character's build is not smart. For example, Astora's Straight Sword starts to get weak fast if you stop scaling Faith. The Dragon Crest shield is a bit heavy for lighter builds but is otherwise an indispensable item. –  itcouldevenbeaboat Dec 10 '13 at 19:39
    
Even without putting more points into faith after you are able to wield the sword, it is still very effective as a weapon right up until you make it into anor londo, it allows you to complete the catacombs up to the first boss quite early as well as allows you to explore through the ruins below with all the ghosts(which will net you a firekeeper soul, I shouldn't have to explain why being able to do these earlier on is a better idea for an experienced player. –  Ravekner Dec 11 '13 at 17:55
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Choose Thief class to get Master Key as a starter item and select Old Witch's Ring as a gift. Bam! Two cool items at once.

You will be able to get all other classes' starter gear otherwise throughout the game. All the other gear you'll find will be much better than any of those starter items by far.

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I like it except thief is so hard to use. –  itcouldevenbeaboat May 14 at 16:12
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