Well, another new area that may give returning players from the first Dark Souls game a horrible sense of deja vu (cathedral bell tower anyone?). Cross the narrow bridge from the Lost Bastille and enter the room filled with piles of bodies. Just inside the door to your right is a dwarf sitting on a table. You can talk to him several times to find out about the covenant of this bell tower and even join it if you talk to him enough.
This is where your first real player interaction is likely to begin. Players who are a member of the bell defense covenant can invade your world at any time until you reach the boss on the rooftop above. Depending on your luck and/ or skill you may want to burn a human effigy in a bonfire to block player invasion while you climb to the top. Purely your choice of course.
Time to scale that tower. The main enemies to watch out for (besides invading players) are dark versions (phantoms) of the bell keeper dwarf you met on the ground floor. These enemies wield shield penetrating axes, can swap to bows for ranged combat and also can throw bombs at you. You encounter the first one of these at the top of the first flight of stairs. The one thing you can take advantage of with these enemies is they are relatively slow, so outmaneuvering them is pretty easy to do. If you are a melee character, use hit and run tactics and don't bother with your shield as their axes will pretty much ignore it. Ranged characters can retreat down the stairs and pepper them with arrows or spells (unless they pull out a bow).
There should be a hole to drop through in the middle of the room (not the one at the top of the stairs) that drops you down down into a small room with a chest containing a Blue Tearstone Ring as well as a nearby corpse with a Skeptic's Spice on it. Return to the main area of the bottom room and climb up to the second flight of stairs. On this floor will be two more phantoms to battle (they can be lured individually). Once they are dealt with you should notice the mist door that is barred by a metal gate.
The switch to open this is on the floor above and can be reached by a nearby ladder. The problem? Four and perhaps 5 (invading player) phantoms are waiting for you up there. Unfortunately there is not a lot you can do to make this section easier. Equip your strongest spells, arrows or melee weapons and keep moving at all times. Some people think using the pillars as cover or as a bottleneck makes life easier. Or only sticking to one side of the area to only trigger three enemies instead of all four. Try out these tactics and see which one/s work for you. Afterwards you can pick up a few items from the chest up here: Radiant Life Gem and a Twilight Herb. A nearby corpse also contains a Skeptic's Spice to loot.
Once the room is clear, pull the switch and listen to the clank of metal below. The mist door is open and you now have access to the Belfry boss (small area before a boss, I know).
Boss: Belfry Gargoyles
Personal Death Count: 4
Double Strike: The most common attack used by the gargoyles, they swing their large spears in an arc towards your position twice (watch their arms for the tell). The attack usually stops when it hits so it may only look like they swing once. Roll backwards to avoid this as the size of the arc and the sloped terrain make dodging to the sides generally unsuccessful.
Floating Slash: The gargoyle will float straight up into the air and then dive towards your position. Deals serious damage if it connects but is easily avoided by rolling to the side if spotted.
Flying Backstab: Similar to the floating slash, except that they will fly over your head and try to attack from behind. Keep moving to avoid this (you don't need to roll), due to the need to constantly move in this boss fight you will probably avoid most of them without even noticing.
Flame Blast: This can be done in the air or on the ground, the gargoyle will rear back and then launch a curtain of flame towards you (to a set distance away). Roll backwards rapidly or if you are close roll past the gargoyle to avoid this. Can be quite damaging if it hits you directly.
Lightning Blast: The gargoyle will stick it's spear in the rooftop and channel lightning through it, that creates a damaging storm around it. Stay back or roll away to avoid taking damage.
See what I mean about deja vu yet? Well one of the first things you would be thinking is: how many do I have to kill this time? Well, the answer is five. Yeah, five. They join the fight at specific total health intervals (although good luck watching that total health bar at the bottom of the screen when three or more gargoyles are trying to carve your butt into luncheon meat). The health intervals are: 90%, 70% and 50%. Two will start the rumble to begin with and more will join when the total health drops below those points. It is possible to have at least four active at once (I'm unsure about five) by accidently spreading damage out too much. So one of the key things here is to focus your fire to take a single opponent down quickly. The thing that makes that difficult is they move relatively fast and can move into the path of attacks meant for other targets.
One of the biggest advantages you have against these enemies is their relatively small individual damage output (yes I know it doesn't seem like it when two hit you at once) but even on a squishy caster character they cannot deal over half a bar of damage to their health. This means that actually outlasting them is a viable tactic (as you can see from the video). Combined with the large area you can move, backing up and healing with flasks and life gems is quite easy. This allows ranged characters to actually recover between assaults and take a few more hits than is usual in a boss fight. Melee characters will have the advantage of taking even less damage, but usually have slower dodge and have to get in close to attack. They will have to try and target stragglers in the group. Those that are a little apart from the main cluster and be aggressive in taking weakened gargoyles out quickly.
Movement-wise, make sure you avoid the plinths of the gargoyles (as they can trap you in these areas and hammer you. Also keep an eye out for new gargoyles beginning to move so they don't just jump down and backstab you. This does happen (very often if you don't look out for it). Melee characters will have to ignore airborne gargoyles and/ or roll towards their next target instead. Keep them down to three enemies at once at most and you should be victorious with a little effort.
As you can see this is more of a general than specific strategy as with so many enemies on the field, it is impossible to predict the movement patterns.
After the fight you should be able to grab a Soul of a Proud Knight off a corpse on the rooftop nearby. Enter the tower across from where you entered and follow the stairs down until you fall down a gap. Next to this drop is a chest containing a Southern Ritual Band to pick up. Head out of the tower and head along the top of the wall to the bonfire at the end. The danger in this area is about to go up once more so be warned (especially if you don't have ranged capabilities). Next to the bonfire is a ladder. Look down first before attempting to climb down. Below you should be able to make out at least two dogs but there are around seven down there in total (five near the ladder and two on the steps). Also when you reach the bottom your first guaranteed NPC red phantom will appear. These act like AI controlled players and as such can be quite deadly in a bad situation (surrounded by a pack of dogs for instance). Melee characters may want to invest in a bow just for this situation if anything as it will allow you to thin out or kill all the dogs before completely descending the ladder. Mages will have to slide down a bit to lure the dogs nearer the ladder for their auto lock on to work properly.
Once you have gotten the dogs down to a manageable number (i.e: zero) slide all the way down the ladder and Vorgel the Sinner will appear to attack you. He uses a spear (making him melee) and you still have your quivver full of arrows or stock of spells and a ladder he can't climb, hmmmm….any ideas spring to mind? Use the ladder and your ranged attacks (or if you are just stubbornly melee focused, block his thrusts and attack him) until he falls. At the other end of the now clear lower area is a Bastille Key and slightly further on an Enchanted Falchion to add to your pack. That's all for this area, so head back to Majula from the nearby bonfire to continue on to Huntsman's Copse, our next destination.