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Lets Play / Prepare To Try

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"Praise the Sun!"Pictured 
"This is Prepare To Try, in which we challenge one man who's never played Dark Souls before to finish the game before Dark Souls III comes out. Easy!"
—Season One introduction

Prepare To Try is a Let's Play series under IGN, hosted by Dan Krupa, Rory Powers, and Gavin Murphy. Initially released as a simple Let's Play of Dark Souls, where Rory was challenged to complete the game before the release of Dark Souls III, it eventually evolved into a full-on Let's Play series where the three would play Nintendo Hard games together and, in their own words, slowly lose their minds.

On December 22, 2018, the boys revealed that they were leaving IGN to pursue a new venture, releasing a 30 minute Grand Finale to commemorate the years they'd spent doing the series. On January 7, they revealed just what that new venture is: RKG, a crowd-funded channel featuring the three of them branching out and expanding their craft.

The games they've played include:

Prepare to Tropes

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: In Rory's second bout against Ornstein and Smough, Rory manages to defeat Ornstein and get Smough's health down to the point where all he needs is one more hit to end the whole fight. At this point, Rory decides the best course of action is to taunt Smough, prompting Gav and Dan to call him out for his reckless behavior. Rory dies moments after performing the taunt, thanks to Smough performing a One-Hit Kill move soon after.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Rory frequently finds himself charging into battles fearlessly, only to want to leave as soon as he steps in the room.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Dan and Gav get on Rory's case a lot, since Rory's prone to messing up throughout their various playthroughs, but at the end of the day, they're friends through thick and thin.
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  • And This Is for...: Rory, when faced with the Final Boss of Dark Souls, proclaimed that the killing blow "was for Solaire." When he played Dark Souls III, he admitted that, at the end of it all, the only one he really wanted to avenge was Anri.
  • Bathos: The games they play tend to be particularly dark in themes or in story, but the commentary and the many failures of the three hosts tend to devalue the horror aspects of the games and just make everything out to be a hilarious romp. This is best exemplified in the constant presence of Finchy, who fights gods and destroys Eldritch Abomination after Eldritch Abomination time and again...despite looking like the most Unlikely Hero you could imagine.
    Rory: He is not the savior we need!
  • Beard of Evil: Gav sports a massive beard, and while he's not evil he's the one most prone to egging Rory into doing stupid and dangerous things for entertainment's sake.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Dark Souls III was released on April 12, 2016. Rory was around 75% through the first Dark Souls on April 5, 2016, meaning he had to do the remaining 25% and beat some of the most difficult bosses in the game in pretty much a week, if they were gonna meet the deadline. After a week of a horrible Troubled Production plagued with Sanity Slippage, they managed to pull it off a day before III released.
  • Big YES: Whenever Rory defeats a particularly difficult boss, he and Gav and Dan are prone to busting out in unison a huge "YES!" This is best exemplified when Rory defeats Gwyn. It's hard to tell whether or not they're glad Rory beat the game or they're glad they can sleep.
  • Blade on a Stick: Rory's main weapon throughout all of the first Dark Souls playthrough is a simple halberd. Despite it being disliked by the viewerbase due to its lack of practical use throughout the late game, Rory manages to use it to his advantage and even defeats Gwyn with it.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rory's subject to a bunch of Epic Fails (largely due to his own screw-ups), and as such gets frequently chewed out by Dan and Gav—and even himself, if he messes up hard enough.
  • Book-Ends: The last episode of the first Prepare To Try series contains Rory, Gav, and Dan half-jokingly freaking out about possibly losing their jobs at IGN (thanks to the troubled production of the series), and advising viewers to support them and their endeavors with the hashtag #givetheboysjobs. The final episode of the series as a whole features them actually leaving IGN, having gotten jobs.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: The battle against Princes Lothric and Lorian in Dark Souls III drove the boys mad enough to try something utterly ridiculous: tape up napkins over the bosses' healthbars, so that they wouldn't have to worry about gauging how much health the bosses have left—and in turn have them focus on the bosses' movesets and how much Estus they've got left. They pull it off after a few more tries, and they can't even believe it themselves when it's all over.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: What is the one thing Rory is consistently good at in each Souls game? Parrying. The few times he manages to apply parrying work especially well in his favor (such as the infamous segment involving the Anor Londo archers), but otherwise it doesn't come into real play until Rory parries Gwyn.
  • Determinator: All three of them, but props go especially to Rory, who's actually the one playing the games; the other two provide the commentary which keeps him going.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The whole point of the show is to demonstrate that even the most difficult games can be beaten with effort, patience, guidance, and The Power of Friendship. Though months where the gang suffers constant death after constant death, Sanity Slippage and multiple moments where they nearly give up out of frustration or fear of what lies ahead, Rory manages to beat Dark Souls and release the final episode of the first season literally a day before Dark Souls III comes out, to the point of everyone shouting out a Big YES in absolute joy.
    • The Grand Finale features the three Finchys each defeating a single boss before jumping off a nearby cliff, in honor of the many successes and failures the boys made throughout their journeys.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Gav doesn't like the idea of any harm coming to the Onion Knights, to the point where even the idea that one of them dying is enough for him to declare that he'll end the series. When Rory accidentally socks Siegward in the face during their Dark Souls III playthrough, Gav's just put in Stunned Silence.
  • Epic Fail: Rory is subject to these a lot throughout the series. So much so that to list them would be a challenge in and of itself. But this is one of the reasons why the series ended up so successful, anyway. One particular moment of shame for all three of them is during the last stretches of their boss fight with The Old Demon King, where Rory manages to whittle its health down to the point where one single hit would end the whole affair. The boss is special in that shortly after its health lowers down to 10%, it will release one final AOE attack before getting stuck in an animation wherein it can do little else but flail its arms weakly against the player—as such, the trio believe him to be not much of a threat. This gets Rory killed when the boss whacks him accidentally using the backswing of his weapon, taking out the few bits of health Finchy had, and completely undoing everyone's progress. Rory, Dan, and Gav all just devolve into laughter over their own stupidity.
  • Failure Montage: Essentially most of the episodes where they fight a boss.
  • Foreshadowing: You can see the surprise and amazement in Dan's face when Rory manages to predict a particular plot point in Dark Souls III.
    Rory: [about Anri, after discovering she has an affinity for prism stones] I'm gonna marry this girl!
    • Whenever Gav or Rory manage to guess a plot point, the video will usually zoom in on Dan giving a Jim Halpert face at the camera
  • Freak Out!: Rory easily gets flabbergasted in the face of particularly difficult boss fights or levels, especially in the face of spiders.
  • Freudian Trio: Rory is the Id; the games frequently catch him on a loop largely thanks to his own impatience, hubris, cowardice, or emotional state getting in the way of progress. Dan is the Superego, guiding Rory through the games as patiently as he can, providing advice and little bits of trivia to keep the journey interesting. Finally, Gav is the Ego, guiding Rory through the games along with Dan, but often providing humorous commentary for the sake of the video.
  • The Gadfly: Gav frequently eggs Rory into fighting enemies that would most likely Curb-Stomp him, solely For the Lulz.
  • Gonk: If the game allows for Character Customization, they opt to make their Player Character look as hideous as possible.
    Dan: [While Rory creates Finchy I] Are we playing the missing link?
  • Grand Finale: Released on December 22, 2018, the crew released a final video commemorating Prepare To Try before their departure from IGN, which features the three Finchys defeating a single boss before flinging themselves off cliff. After the boys reminisce on past victories and defeats, they turn out the lights and do a montage commemorating all the years they'd spent together doing the show.
  • Idiot Hero: Rory means well and often plays his characters to be as heroic as possible, even outright feeling bad whenever Cruelty Is the Only Option. That being said, he often gets so flustered with the difficulty of the games he plays he ends up making rash decisions that end up killing him time and again.
    • They characterize their personal Player Character, Finchy—all three of them—as this.
  • Irony: Rory manages to make it through some of the most frustrating sections in Dark Souls rather easily, despite having a harder time with the rest of it. He escapes the Basilisks in the Depths without getting Cursed once, and beats the infamous Anor Londo archers by parrying the one blocking his way through. Notably, the latter is so infamously hard that it's unanimously declared by virtually all players to be one of the worst sections of the game.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Rory's secondary weapon throughout the Dark Souls playthrough is an Uchigatana—it eventually becomes the weapon he beats the Final Boss of Dark Souls III with.
  • Keet: While Rory may not be the best Souls player in the world, his positive attitude, self-awareness, and eagerness to learn more about each game and their lore easily wins most people over to him.
  • Legacy Character: Throughout all their playthroughs of the SoulsBorne games, they make their Player Character a hilariously grotesque Memetic Loser named Finchy.
  • Magic Feather: The rationale behind Rory's boss clothing (either Solaire's armour in sweater form, or a Yarnham Hunter's cap as appropriate to the game).
  • Memetic Loser: In-Universe, their Player Character Finchy is perpetually described as such. The trio constantly makes fun of him, his looks, and the tragic adventures he's had throughout his life—but they find his silly face and their headcanons for him so utterly hilarious they can't help but still be endeared to him.
  • The Power of Friendship: They all take potshots at each other and suffer greatly throughout each of their playthroughs, but it's largely thanks to their companionship and camaraderie that the gang is able to get through the games they play.
  • Parting Words Regret: In the Shadow of the Colossus playthrough, the trio constantly get aggravated at their Animal Companion, Agro, thanks to her pathfinding issues and generally unhelpful AI. Cue Agro falling to her supposed death by way of a Heroic Sacrifice Disney Death, at which point Rory and Gav cry out for her in absolute horror. Even worse, a slow-motion replay of her death plays a minute later, with clips of the gang slagging Agro off placed over it. Luckily, this is eventually subverted by way of Agro actually surviving the fall.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Gav's Welsh, guys. You'll know it because he makes reference to how awesome Wales is every five seconds. Even when he meets an ostensibly Welsh character in a game, he gets all giddy. When Domnhall of Zena greets them with "Aye, siwmae," which is an informal greeting in Welsh, you can see Gav's eyes suddenly light up.
  • Rage Breaking Point: There have been multiple occasions where the difficulty of each game aggravates Rory to the point where he just starts ranting like a stereotypical angry gamer. A notable occasion is before, during, and after his battle against Champion Gundyr; after dying constantly to both Gundyr and the multiple enemies before him, Rory manages to defeat him after apparently two and a half hours—only to get killed again by the Black Knights right outside the arena.
    Rory: This game! This game, sometimes! Just doesn't know when to cut you a break! Because it never cuts you a break!
    Rory: I'm gonna punch you in the teeth.
  • Running Gag: If the game allows them to name their Player Character, they'll name him Finchy and make him super Gonk.
    • Rory has a bad habit of striking NPCs accidentally. Once, this gets them in hot water with other NPCs, forcing them to spend the souls from a boss to undo their sin.
  • Sanity Slippage: The trio often comment upon how their constant deaths wear and tear on their wills to press on, and while it's all Played for Laughs, one can't help but feel sorry for them at times. One of the worst instances of this was when they traversed The Catacombs in Dark Souls.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Rory, in particularly frightening situations.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Several points throughout each of their playthroughs end up with them making pretty mundane yet humorous conversation. Gav calls this the "Banter Bus," wherein they literally just banter with one another as Rory focuses in on his latest challenge. While it actually works from time to time (Rory's concentration on the conversation actually helping him acclimate to the current challenge), sometimes it works too well (Rory ending up in a fit of laughter over something ridiculous Gav's said).
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The impetus of their Save Solaire playthrough of Dark Souls Remastered is making up for killing Solaire back in their first run.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: In-Universe. Rory has an affinity towards Prism Stones in Dark Souls III, which are essentially glowing marbles used to mark where you've been. But he likes them because they're shiny. This gets Played for Laughs when Dan ends up believing Rory popped the Soul of the Demon to buy Prism Stones—even when he didn't.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: They can't swear, since the episodes are hosted by IGN, but the gang can't help but swear since the various situations they get stuck in tend to tease out their dearest emotions. Rory even lampshades this at one point, stating that in real life he's not a swear-y person, but Dark Souls just brings it out of him.
  • The Smart Guy: Dan is Rory's guide and conscience throughout the playthroughs, advising him on where to go and what to do in sticky situations, even providing bits of lore now and again for the sake of making the journey more interesting.
  • So Proud of You: The look in Dan's eyes whenever Rory beats a big boss says it well enough.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Since this series is released under IGN, each episode has to have its curse words bleeped out. That being said, it's pretty inconsistent throughout the whole series, since the games tend to bring out the sailor in everybody.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The trio are so popular among IGN fans that whenever IGN releases a video featuring a Souls game without any of the three, downvotes on the video are all but assured. They were so popular that IGN eventually let them have their own channel, and they got thousands of subs in a single day.
  • The Stoic: Downplayed in the case of Dan. He tends to not be very emotive throughout the playthroughs and doesn't try hiding how exasperated he can be, but he does allow for some genuine smiles here and there and is definitely proud of Rory whenever the guy overcomes a particularly difficult challenge.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: There are moments where Dan's patience with both Rory and Gav wears pretty thin, and he often lets loose with a Precision F-Strike, outright calling Rory an idiot, or just making exasperated expressions.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Often attempted, especially when the gang first play Dark Souls. Whenever Rory would find himself overwhelmed by a large number of enemies, he'd opt to run away—but the AI decides simply to follow Rory till he dies. This is especially the case in Blighttown, where Rory opts to run his way through more than 60% of the level, evading enemies and obstacles all the while—and of course, dying an inordinate amount of times.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Gav is the most devious of the three, with his propensity towards Toilet Humor and generally how he loves to just mess with Rory throughout the playthroughs.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Rory, much to the aggravation of Gav and Dan—and the laughter of the audience.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Gav started off the series as a pretty gruff guy, and was prone to displaying his annoyance in an especially antagonistic manner. People even called him "Grumpy Gav," as a result. In later episodes, he shows himself to be more laid-back and good-natured, with a bit of a rough edge to him.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Basically, their entire first playthrough of Dark Souls. A challenge made on a whim ended up driving them through a seventeen-episode road trip through some of the most difficult levels in gaming. This actually extended behind the scenes, as doing the let's play was apparently such a Troubled Production that they were seriously at risk of getting fired. Hence the hashtag in the final episode: #givetheboysjobs.
  • Unluckily Lucky: Rory tends to get himself in particularly terrifying situations, but has more often than not found a way to wiggle out of it. Such as falling down a hole in The Depths in Dark Souls and getting swarmed by Basilisks, only to somehow make it out relatively unscathed. Dan lampshades it as much when it's all over.
    Dan: Can I just say, honestly, you've done this bit amazingly well. Do you wanna know what happens if you get covered in smoke by the frogs?
    Rory: Yeah, I do.
    Dan: You get Cursed, which reduces your health by half.
    Rory: I-indefinitely?
    Dan: Until we do something ridiculously laborious to get it back!
  • Video Game Caring Potential: The trio grows affectionate towards Breakout Character Cloudcuckoolander Solaire, to the point where Rory can't bring himself to kill him when he goes Hollow in Lost Izalith. Throughout their Souls playthroughs, they make constant references to Solaire and frequently have their Player Character don at least one piece of Solaire's armor set. They even opted to have Rory wear an actual Solaire hoodie during boss fights; Dan and Krupa also join in the fun whenever they reach the final boss of a Souls game. In Dark Souls III, Rory and the gang grow especially attached to Anri, even opting to marry her—when they see her in the Usurpation of Fire ending, they're outright ecstatic. And we're not even getting into both Onion Knights, and Agro the horse.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The three of them started the series off on relatively aloof terms, with Gav and Dan accosting Rory for his mistakes at an extremely frequent rate. The three of them have largely mellowed out over the course of the series, both because they've become closer as friends and because Rory generally just gets better at playing.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: In particularly bad situations, the three of them may end up raging at each other, or at the very least ridiculing one another. Luckily, they all have thick enough skins to take the comments in stride.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Rory really hates spiders of any kind. Whenever he is confronted by one during Resident Evil, he goes on the offensive while freaking out all the while.
  • Why Won't You Die?: One notable encounter Rory has with Artorias involves Rory hammering away at his health until he gets him down to less than a bar's worth of HP. When Rory hits Artorias with what's assumed to be the killing blow, the boss survives with literal pixels worth of health left.
    Gav: (horrified) What!?
    Rory: How is he still alive!? This is some bullshit, Miyazaki!
    Dan: Compose yourself! Compose yourself!

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