Dark Souls has a cultural impact unlike any other game. While there are a million discussions online as to why the game is phenomenal, I wanted to instead take the time to return to Dark Souls and slowly pour over its pages to see what pieces helped create such a powerful experience. Dark Soul’s difficulty is perhaps its most widely known aspect, but with patience, perseverance, and some faith in humanity, we will overcome those struggles (and hopefully realize there is significantly more to this game than the challenge).
This thread will serve two functions: as a guide to provide assistance and as an opportunity for study. We will move slowly through Dark Souls, asking questions about its themes and messages. We will only look at the first Dark Souls game, as it is the most significant cultural landmark in the souls-like genre. We may or may not be exploring the Artorias Of The Abyss DLC.
To play along, you will need a copy of Dark Souls. The DLC is freely included in the Prepare to Die and Remastered versions of the game. I made this quick little chart to help you decide which version is available on your platform. With the release of the Remaster, Dark Souls has become widely accessible. It is still not available on Mac, but some folks have had success running the game through Boot Camp. Note: online play is limited to the platform and version, so please specify if you’re trying to find matchmaking in the thread or on the discord! I’ll personally be playing on the PC release of the Remaster.
|Version||PS3||PS4||PC||Xbox 360||Xbox One||Switch|
|DLC Sold Seperately|
|Dark Souls: Prepare to Die|
|Dark Souls: Remastered|
We will be exploring the world of Lordran one zone at a time, have discussions about that zone (being mindful of spoilers, of course). I’ll be including links to the appropriate sections of the thread as they come up. Currently, we will move to the next area every week, although the update frequency may change depending on thread activity.
Dark Souls Wiki - Wikidot
– The most robust of the dark souls wikipedia-style guides. The interface might feel old-school, but it’s less buggy and frustrating than wikia.
You Died: A Dark Souls Companion - Keza MacDonald & Jason Killingsworth
– You Died is a collection of essays and anecdotes about Dark Souls and its communities. The chapters are broken up by zones, and include wonderful page art for each of the areas in the game.
Bonfireside Chat - Gary Butterfield & Kole Ross
– This podcast is a big inspiration for the thread. Gary and Kole from Duckfeed.tv look at souls-like games with a zoomed-in approach, tackling one area of a game across multiple, hour+ episodes. Their critical look of Dark Souls also includes guests from the community, including our very own Danielle Riendeau & Austin Walker (although they’re appearances are for games later in the series).
Twin Humanities - CoffeeJezus & Paddy
– This is another popular Dark Souls podcast, but with a much more casual & unguided approach.
Let’s Play Dark Souls - Geop - 2012
– Geop’s playing blind and is being guided by Vicas. They have various guests throughout the series. This is probably the best execution of a comedic playthrough of Dark Souls. Watching him struggle might bring about a kind of sadism, but with his friends he’s able to overcome.
Let’s Sequence Break Dark Souls - Uryvichk
– Uryvichk showcases various ways of breaking Dark Souls. If you’re considering speedrunning the game, this video series can help provide a guide to understanding some of the tricks seen in various Dark Souls speedruns. These videos were posted alongside Zain’s Dark Souls LP thread on SomethingAwful.
Let’s Play Dark Souls - Vicas - 2015
– Vicas is probably most well-known for his playthrough of Mario 64 using his feet, but his Dark Souls thread on lp.zone trades the ridiculousness for confidence and informativeness. Unfortunately, it’s unfinished and likely abandoned, perhaps because of missed in-game events that he likely wanted to showcase.
Let’s Play Dark Souls Blind - Kay Plays - 2014
– Dark Souls had a strong sensation of blind playthroughs due to its identity as being a challenge. Kaye has one of the most enjoyable, un-guided, blind playthroughs. She has moments of struggle, but her attitude and perseverance creates a very relaxing environment. Not a common emotion for Lordran.
Let’s Play Dark Souls - EpicNameBro - 2015
– This is Marcus’ most recent Let’s Play Dark Souls. He’s got a better mic than previously and is less problematic than in his earlier videos. Marcus is very thorough and will touch on concept art and interviews throughout the playthrough, drawing on his experiences working with FromSoftware writing the Dark Souls 2 and Bloodborne guides.
Dark Souls Story: Prepare to Cry - VaatiVidya
– VaatiVidya explores lore and brings to light ideas or questions that might not be obvious for someone’s first playthrough of Dark Souls.