FromSoftware has managed to tap into the deepest and darkest desires of gamers across the world. They were once best known as the creators of the Armored Core and Tenchu series of games. This is all changed in 2009 when they released Demon's Souls for the PlayStation 3.
This was a game that mixed a beautiful world of dark fantasy with some of the most brutally challenging battles that most players would ever experience. Demon's Souls satisfied the desires of the gamers who wanted to experience a true challenge and feel the thrill of a hard-fought victory.
Demon's Souls would later be supplanted by Dark Souls, which wasn't restricted to being a PlayStation exclusive. Dark Souls expanded on the concepts created by Demon's Souls and brought millions of gamers into a dark and depressing world that was full of monsters that needed defeating.
Dark Souls is returning to consoles this Summer, in the form of a remastered title. We are here today to look at the story behind one of the most important games of our time. From the secret to beating the most annoying boss in the game, to the popular mod that inserted a famous memeas into the world of Lordran.
Here are the 15 Things Even Die-Hard Fans Don't Know About Dark Souls!
15 You Can Beat The Hardest Boss With Dung
The Dark Souls series has earned a reputation for being tough but fair. The bosses in each game seem to be unstoppable at first, but you simply need to learn how they fight and what their weaknesses are. You will likely accomplish this after being killed many times over.
The one Dark Souls boss that is just unfair is the Capra Demon. This is due to the fact that you fight him in a tiny arena which is guarded by two dog enemies that can stun-lock you, while the Capra Demon hits you with its giant sword.
You don't have to suffer the wrath of the Capra Demon, as you can easily kill it by throwing pieces of dung over the gap above the fog barrier to his domain. This will slowly kill the Capra Demon through poison damage and will grant you an easy victory.
14 The Unused Shiva Event
Using a point of Humanity in Dark Souls can allow you to return to life and kindle bonfires. This is especially useful, as kindling a bonfire gives you more uses of your Estus Flask, which is one of the few ways to heal damage. Returning to being alive also puts you at risk from being invaded by other players if you are playing Dark Souls while connected to the Internet.
There was once an event planned for Dark Souls that would involve you invading the world of one of the NPCs in the game. Shiva of the East was originally going to attack the main character if they found a Chaos Blade.
If Shiva killed your character, then you would be granted a special orb that would allow you to follow Shiva to his world and take revenge. You can still activate the invasion event by hacking the game.
13 The Seemingly Useless Pendant
When you create a new character in Dark Souls, you are given the option of choosing a starting gift. These are a selection of useful items that can be used to help a player at the start of the game. One of these items is the Pendant, which is described as having "no effect."
The director of Dark Souls mentioned that there was more to the Pendant than meets the eye, which inspired the Dark Souls community to tear the game apart in order to find out its true purpose.
It turns out that a prank was being played on the Dark Souls fans, as the director of the game later recanted his statement and confirmed that the Pendant didn't have any secret uses and truly lacked an effect.
12 The Lost Undead King
It's considered a point of pride among gamers to have defeated the hardest bosses in Dark Souls. A lot of Dark Souls players will proudly boast about beating the Bell Gargoyles or Dragon Slayer Ornstein & Executioner Smaugh while only using sub-par items and weapons.
There is one boss that most Dark Souls players have never defeated and that's because he was removed at a late point in development. A boss called Undead King Jar-Eel was once planned to be fought in the New Londo Ruins. Jar-Eel uses unique weapons and possesses the ability to steal soul levels.
It's unknown why Undead King Jar-Eel was removed from Dark Souls, as he is close to completion and was never restored as part of the DLC updates. You can add him back into the game by modding the PC version of Dark Souls, should you feel like challenging this forbidden boss.
11 Gwynevere's Beloved Assets
The Dark Souls games are inhabited by the some of the most wicked and accursed beings to ever grace a video game. It seems as if everyone you encounter is broken beyond repair and is just waiting for the end of the world to cleanse their consciousness from their shattered and weary body.
The exception to all of this is Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight. Gwynevere is a giant woman who quickly gained notoriety due to her revealing design in a game with almost no fanservice. Gwynevere is best known for her prominent gigantic bossoms that are probably bigger than the main character.
If you think that Gwynevere's design doesn't fit with the aesthetic of Dark Souls, then you're not alone. Hidetake Miyazaki (the director of Dark Souls) wanted a different design for Gwynevere, but the artist who designed her was so proud of his work that Miyazaki didn't have to heart to change her.
10 The Fighting Fantasy Inspiration
While FromSoftware is a development house that is based in Japan, it is clear that they have been inspired by a lot of western media. The Souls series is heavily based on the sword and sorcery worlds that wouldn't look out of place in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
One of the biggest inspirations for the Souls series comes from a surprising source. Hidetake Miyazaki has revealed that the Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks was a huge inspiration for the creation of Dark Souls.
The Fighting Fantasy series consisted of books that function as single-player RPGs, with the reader asked to turn to specific paragraphs in order to reflect their choices.
The vast majority of the Fighting Fantasy books took place in a world called Titan, which included many horrific monsters that resemble those that would later be manifested in the realm of Lordran.
9 The Regretful Battle Against Gwyn
Dark Souls concludes with a battle against Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. Gwyn wields a giant flaming sword and he will use it to brutally murder you over and over again. Gwyn is one of the hardest challenges in the game, which is fitting for a final boss.
The director of Dark Souls isn't actually that fond of the battle with Gwyn. This is due to the fact that there is a very easy way to defeat him. Once you learn all of Gwyn's attacks, then it becomes possible to parry most of his moves and leave him wide-open for a counter attack.
This tactic quickly became well-known, which led to lots of players defeating Gwyn easily. The director has talked about how disappointed he was in making Gwyn so straight-forward, which might explain why the final bosses in Dark Souls II & III are so difficult.
8 The Berserk Armor
The Dark Souls series is heavily inspired by a lot of medieval fantasy stories, such as the Fighting Fantasy series. There is one clear inspiration for Dark Souls that originates from an anime/manga known as Berserk.
Berserk is a dark fantasy epic that has been running since 1989. It tells the story of Guts: a warrior who is seeking revenge against his old battle commander for sacrificing his comrades in a ritual that transformed him into a demon. Guts would eventually acquire the Berserker Armor, which grants the user increased strength at the cost of their health.
The design of the armor worn by Artorias the Abysswalker is clearly inspired by the Berserker Armor from Berserk. The player can even purchase the armor once Artorios is defeated and pretend that they have become Guts.
7 It's Possible To Kill The Asylum Demon With A Broken Sword Hilt
Dark Souls isn't the sort of game to give you a tutorial and kiss you goodbye on your way out of the door. This is because you are thrust into a boss battle against the Asylum Demon at the start of your Dark Souls journey.
You are ill-equipped to deal with such a creature at the start of the game, so you have to run from your first encounter and return later when you find some weapons and armor.
It's possible to defeat the Asylum Demon before finding a proper weapon, by either killing it with the hilt of a broken sword or using your fists. This will take you a long time, due to how little damage you will be dealing.
Defeating the Asylum Demon during your first encounter will earn you the Demon's Great Hammer.
6 Those Who Broke The Street Date Were Punished With Invaders
Video game publishers have to send the copies of a new game out early so that they can arrive in time to be sold in stores on the day of release. This has led to games being leaked early and copies being uploaded online. This can be devastating to games that can be pirated and can also lead to rampant spoilers about the game's content.
FromSoftware knew how to punish Japanese players who broke the street date of Dark Souls. They did this by invading the games of players who went online before the release date and sending in characters with maxed out stats to wreak havoc on them.
This meant that the people who played Dark Souls early couldn't play online for too long, as the invaders were practically impossible to kill.
5 You Can Beat Ornstein & Smough With A Rock Band Drum Kit
The fight against Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smaugh in Dark Souls is considered one of the trickiest boss battles in the series. This is due to the fact that you are fighting two powerful foes at the same time. Once you defeat one of them, the other will become even stronger.
The people of the Internet love a challenge, which means that Ornstein and Smaugh have been beaten by players under every restriction that you can imagine.
The most impressive of these happened in a video where a player had the controls for Dark Souls mapped to the drum kit that came with Rock Band. It has been proven that you can beat Ornstein and Smaugh using nothing but a set of drums and impeccable timing.
4 The Chaos Bed Battle Was Going To Be Totally Different
The latter half of Dark Souls involves the player hunting down the Lord Souls. These are mostly easy battles compared to the rest of the game, as the player has had the chance to acquire some powerful weapons and armor and useful items and spells.
Nito can easily be taken down by a flaming or holy sword, the Four Kings are just a regular boss battle, while Seath the Scaleless is easy to kite with arrows.
The final Lord Soul belongs to the Bed of Chaos, which is actually a puzzle boss, as you need to hit specific parts of the body while avoiding its attacks.
The Bed of Chaos was actually meant to be a standard boss fight at one point, due to the fact that an earlier version of the creature exists within the files of the game that has a mobile form that is meant to be attacked like a regular creature.
3 Maneater Mildred Was Originally A Joke Character Put In By A Developer
The online mode of Dark Souls can be very dissuading to many players. This is due to the fact that many of the players who actively invade worlds are amazing at the game and possess all of the best equipment. Chances are you will be destroyed in a fight against an invader because they are trained in the art of murdering new players.
There are a few NPC invaders in Dark Souls which exist to give you a taste of the online mode. One of the most memorable of these is Maneater Mildred, who is a scantily-clad lady wearing a sack on her head. Mildred fights with a giant weapon known as the Butcher Knife, which is slow but powerful.
The developers of Dark Souls have revealed that Maneater Mildred was originally a joke character created in order to test the mechanics of the game. The development team grew fond of the character and kept her in the final version of the game.
2 Three Of The Shields In The Game Were Designed By Fans
The Souls series (and Bloodborne) has a fiercely loyal fan community who have dissected every part of the lore in an effort to unveil the dark history of the setting of the games.
Dark Souls has also inspired a ton of fan art, thanks to the amazing character and monster designs that appear in the game and the beautiful locations that make up each world.
Namco Bandai gave three fans a chance to become a part of the world of Dark Souls when they hosted a competition to design three of the shields in the game.
This was part of a social media campaign in order to drum up interest in the game. The three shields were added to the game as part of one of the regular updates.
1 The Popular Mod That Thanked The Former President
The PC port of Dark Souls was notoriously shoddy upon release. You needed a computer that was as powerful as an Xbox 360 to run it, and even then it had numerous issues.
There weren't many options that could help you play the game on weaker computers, which led to a few popular unofficial mods being created that helped fix the game. FromSoftware learned their lesson from Dark Souls' issues and the PC ports of Dark Souls II & III were a lot better.
Dark Souls has a lot of popular mods, many of which are designed to help resolve the performance issues with the game. One of the most popular mods for the game is actually a joke one that became famous.
Every time you die in Dark Souls, you will a see a message flash up on the screen that says "You Died." There is a famous mod that replaces the text on this screen with "Thanks Obama," which was popular meme based on complaints about the (then) President of the United States of America.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Dark Souls? Sound off in the comments!