The First Beginning

This post covers everything relevant to the opening hours of the original Dark Souls as far as the localization is concerned. It is based on a series of reddit posts from October 2018. Quotes include the official English script, my translation, and the official Japanese script in that order.


In the Age of Ancients, the world was unformed, shrouded by fog. A land of grey crags, archtrees, and everlasting dragons.

In the Old Age, the world was still undistinguished, shrouded in fog, and there were only ash-colored rocks, great trees, and unperishing archdragons.

古い時代
世界はまだ分かたれず、霧に覆われ
灰色の岩と大樹と、朽ちぬ古竜ばかりがあった

The world wasn’t unformed. It most certainly had form as described in the very next sentence. But it wasn’t distinguished. The dragons were rocks, the trees were rocks, the rocks were rocks. Everything was the same, a grey monotony of existence.


 But then there was Fire. And with Fire, came Disparity. Heat and cold, life and death, and of course…. Light and Dark.

But at some point, the first fire occurred, and Disparity was brought about with the fire. Heat and cold, life and death, and light and Dark.

だが、いつかはじめての火がおこり
火と共に差異がもたらされた
熱と冷たさと、生と死と、そして光と闇と

Then during that endless monotony fire occurred, which by nature created difference in what was once a universe of sameness. Existence is now characterized by states of being. Alive and dead, hot and cold, etc.


Then, from the Dark, They came, and found the Souls of Lords within the flame.

And then, some animals which were born from the Dark were captivated by fire and found the Souls of Kings.

そして、闇より生まれた幾匹かが
火に惹かれ、王のソウルを見出した

Ki denotes animals of some kind. The modern usage is typically smaller animals like cats or dogs, but it originally included larger beasts like horses and cows, too. The point is, They are considered less than people.

These creatures were attracted to flame. They were born where fire wasn’t, so naturally the beings had never seen it before and became enthralled with it on sight. The Japanese website version also mentions that They found the Lord Souls “near” the fire location-wise, so it wasn’t strictly “within” the flame.


Nito, the first of the dead, the Witch of Izalith, and her Daughters of Chaos, Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight, and his faithful knights, and the furtive pygmy, so easily forgotten.

With the strength of Lords, they challenged the dragons.

The first dead, Nito. The Witch of Izalith and the Daughters of Chaos. King of the Sun’s Light Gwyn and his knights. And the pygmy none know about.

They acquired the power of Kings and challenged the archdragons to battle.

最初の死者、ニト
イザリスの魔女と、混沌の娘たち
太陽の光の王グウィンと、彼の騎士たち
そして、誰も知らぬ小人

それらは王の力を得、古竜に戦いを挑んだ

Nito is the first in sequence of the so-called dead, period. It is not a question of what first means, but what “dead” means. 

The furtive pygmy is literally the “small person”. The Japanese website further describes the character as being “of the shadows” to indicate a figure shrouded in mystery or anonymity, which is likely why the English trailer added “furtive”.

The use of “They” furthers implies that all four of the aforementioned Lords participated, though only three are referenced hereafter:


Gwyn’s mighty bolts peeled apart their stone scales. The witches weaved great firestorms. Nito unleashed a miasma of death and disease.

And Seath the Scaleless betrayed his own, and the dragons were no more. Thus began the Age of Fire.

Gwyn’s lightning pierced rock scales, the witch’s flames became tempests, and a miasma of death was unleashed by Nito.

And then, due to the treachery of the scaleless white dragon Seath, the archdragons were finally defeated. It was the beginning of the Age of Fire.

グウィンの雷が、岩のウロコを貫き
魔女の炎は嵐となり
死の瘴気がニトによって解き放たれた

そして、ウロコのない白竜、シースの裏切りにより、遂に古竜は敗れた
火の時代のはじまりだ

No disease, so the localization likely just wanted to add the connotation miasma has for plague. It is just an aura of death itself though.

Basically, the whole finding the souls and subsequent dragon battles is the start to the current age.


But soon, the flames will fade, and only Dark will remain.

Even now, there are only embers, and man sees not light, but only endless nights. And amongst the living are seen, carriers of the accursed Darksign.

But, eventually fire goes out and only darkness remains.

Now, fire is just about to go out and doesn’t reach the world of man; only night continues on, and a cursed Dark Ring began to appear among man…

だが、やがて火は消え、暗闇だけが残る

今や、火はまさに消えかけ
人の世には届かず、夜ばかりが続き
人の中に、呪われたダークリングが現れはじめていた…

This statement is a general maxim seen throughout the script. Inevitably, fire fizzles out, leaving behind darkness. This imminent loss of light in human society is described as “night”. And what are these effects?

Well, a strange ring appears on your corpse. No mention of the “living” carrying this mark. You have to die before you can see if you won (lost?) the lottery. The original Japanese website, however, instead mentions a seal or sign of the dark, (闇の印) a “Darksign” if you will, which is what the English ultimately went with to avoid any innuendo.


Yes, indeed, the Darksign brands the Undead. And in this land, the Undead are corralled and led to the north. Where they are locked away to await the end of the world… This is your fate.

Yes, indeed. The Dark Ring is the mark of a cursed Undead. And that is why, in this country, the Undead are all captured and sent north. Thrown in prison until the end of the world. It is the same for you.

そうさね
ダークリングは呪われた不死の証
だからこの国では
不死はすべて捕らえられ、北に送られ
世界の終わりまで、牢に入る
お前もそうなるんだよ

The narrator now clarifies that this mark causes undeath, so countries are throwing them out to waste away in a prison, which is what this “asylum” actually is. We would be like this too had our friendly neighborhood Astoran not thrown us a bone… with a key…


Key to the dungeon of the Undead Asylum to the North.

A mysterious knight, without saying a word, shoved a corpse down into the cell, and on its person was this key. Who was this knight? And what was his purpose? There may be no answer, but one must still forge ahead.

Key to the dungeon of the Northern Undead Institute.

The knight who dropped the corpse which possessed this key left without saying anything, half like an illusion. His intentions are unknown, but there is nowhere else to go.

北の不死院の地下牢の鍵

この鍵を持った死体を落とした騎士は
半ば幻のようで、何も言わずに去った
その意図は分からず、だが進む他はない

His actions are supposedly to be surreal from the player perspective. It is not that we must go on ahead. It is more like a whim. Not like there is anything else to do, right?


Key to the iron bars on the east side of the second floor of the North Undead Asylum.

The Undead Asylum is a giant Undead prison, segmented by countless iron bars.

Even if an Undead were to escape from a cell, passage to the outside world would not be gained easily.

Key to the iron bars that are on the east side of the second floor of the Northern Undead Institute.

The Undead Institute is a giant prison for Undead, and everywhere is blocked with iron bars.

For the sake of argument, even if a prisoner somehow got out of the prison, they probably couldn’t return to the world of man.

北の不死院の二階、東側にある鉄格子の鍵

不死院とは巨大な不死の牢獄であり
いたるところが鉄格子で塞がれている

仮に、囚人がなんとか牢を出たとしても
人の世界に戻ることはかなわないだろう

The description has nothing to do with getting into the outside world. The point is that the outside world itself doesn’t want us. There is no point in leaving the cell because there is nowhere to go, hence why the description’s speaker speaks hypothetically.

The implicit question here is, “Why are you trying so damn hard to keep going?” And, if our second encounter with Oscar is anything to go by, the answer is, “Because we can find a meaning if there is none.”


Key to the inner door of the Undead Asylum main hall. Big key belonging to a chosen Undead pilgrim.

But this chosen Undead knows not what this pilgrimage has in store.

Large Key of a chosen Undead pilgrim that opens the back door of the Northern Undead Institute’s main hall.

Chosen Undead, pilgrimage; what does it mean?

北の不死院の本堂の奥扉を開く
選ばれた不死の巡礼者の大鍵

選ばれた不死とは、巡礼とは
何を意味するのだろうか

Back as in it is at the innermost door from our perspective trying to go out. We are told about all this prophesy stuff without understanding the meaning, all the while inviting us to find out by taking on the journey. How convenient!


Only in the ancient legends it is stated that one day an undead shall be chosen to leave the undead asylum in pilgrimage to the land of the ancient lords. Lordran.

Yet according to an old legend, only a very rarely chosen Undead will leave the Undead Institute and be allowed pilgrimage to that land. It is the land of the old Kings. Lordran.

けれども、古い伝承によれば
ごく稀に選ばれた不死だけが
不死院を出て、かの地への巡礼を許される
それは古い王たちの地
ロードランだ

Here is a little problem with furui. It refers to things being temporally old. This can range from something being legitimately ancient to just being a minute out of the oven, very relative. This descriptor for the legend and Lords is the same as abandoning your “old” covenant, so it is not a very good indicator of how old the prophesy actually is. Speaking of old things, how about coming back here sometime?


Key to the iron bars on the west side of the second floor of the North Undead Asylum.

The Undead Asylum is a giant Undead prison, segmented by countless iron bars.

But even if a hero found a key in Lordran to liberate this prison, would he have the means, or the heart, to ever come back?

Key to the iron bars that are on the west side of the second floor of the Northern Undead Institute.

The Undead Institute is a giant prison for Undead, and everywhere is blocked with iron bars.

But there is a way to find this key in the land of Lordran and return to the Undead Institute, right?

北の不死院の二階、西側にある鉄格子の鍵

不死院とは巨大な不死の牢獄であり
いたるところが鉄格子で塞がれている

だが、ロードランの地でこの鍵を見つけ
不死院に戻る手段があるだろうか?

No indication that you are going back there to liberate anyone, scared or no. The speaker simply suggests that there is some way for you to come back and make use of this key. If only that giant bird which flew you away to this strange land made round trips…