Even if we choose to play offline, Argo still summons a Spear of the Church for the boss battle, namely Halflight. This young man stands out, much like us, as neither a medial brought over from Anor Londo nor a Ringed City national. Instead, he proves to be Oolacilian. The term “half light” is an obvious reference to twilight the same as Princess Dusk, and his Antiquated Plain Garb likewise references her Antiquated set. The former’s description ties the attire to the “old country of sorcery”, such sorcery imbued in the small, golden ornaments decorating the cloth. Taken together, Halflight’s birth in Oolacile is undeniable. As to why the youth is so far from home, his attire’s description indicates that he was part of a “delegation” (使節団) sent to the Ringed City long ago and was the only one to remain behind. Given that he also became the last recorded Spear of the Church, we can be certain that this political mission came and left just before the Ringed City was completely sealed off from the outside world. This reveals as much about his homeland of golden sorcery as it does himself.
Plain clothes of an old country of sorcery. The golden ornaments are tinged with a little sorcery, but it wasn’t originally for battle.
It is said that when a certain delegation visited the Ring Capital long ago, the youth who alone remained became the last recorded Spear of the Church.
Dress applied with an old design. Detailed embroidery is added to the ivory-colored silk, and it is tinged with old magic power.
It is not apparel made with battle in mind to begin with. Defense efficacy can’t honestly be expected.
Oolacile’s origins provide it every reason to maintain diplomatic ties with the Ringed City, but this confirms that such ties persisted up through the emergence of undeath. In other words, it was only in the ensuing centuries after Gwyn’s firelinking that the gods fully massaged out the country’s Dark heritage from its collective memory. The preceding crackdown on surviving elements of the pygmies’ culture in the Old World would naturally bring a mission to discuss the matter with its longest-standing relation. But by this point, Oolacile had already largely shed itself of its founding legacy. Among the Ringed City ruins half-sunk in the abyssal swamp, we can find a white tree identical to those produced from Dusk’s sorcery staff, complete with the same mimicry-casting branches fallen to the ground beneath it. Either the Abyss brought over one of these trees, or another grew from a similar catalyst. If the latter, then the tree staff most likely belonged to one of the delegates, proving that Oolacilian sorcery made the transition from dark to light well before their visit. And in all likelihood, this delegate was Halflight.
The fact that a man so young took part in a diplomatic mission so crucial speaks to his status. Although not to the extent of Dusk’s princess attire, Halflight’s garb is obvious quality make, both varied in color and intricate in design. These are supposed to be the plain, everyday clothes worn by the average citizen, but the terminology also encompasses informal dress attire. Put simply, he is probably of noble blood, a scion who would be bestowed a share of the royalty’s white trees and know sorcery but not necessarily the secret arts those same royals safeguarded. In other words, his light magic would be worthless. Recall that standard Oolacilian sorcery wasn’t optimized for battle, making the tree catalyst attuned to those powers little more dead weight. That provides ample incentive for Halflight to simply abandon his staff in the city once he settled on becoming a Spear of Filianore.
Indeed, Halflight’s choice forced him into an entirely different world. Again, recall that Oolacile was a pacifist nation under the protection of Anor Londo, and this inexperience with combat is expressed in more than just their youths’ magic. Much like Dusk, Halflight’s only clothes were as optimized for battle as his sorceries, leaving him with only a few magic enchantments for protection. To make up for it, he wields a shield, but it is merely the basic medium shield used by low-rank knights of some generic country, including ourselves should we choose such a background. In the same vein, he resorts to covering his hands in violet wraps — ripped straight from his waist sash according to their Japanese description — in order to wield a blade; clearly, the privileged aristocrat isn’t accustomed to the blisters and calluses from training with a sword day after day. Just looking at the man, it is obvious that he has scraped together whatever limited resources he can find in this quarantined city to make himself adequate for battle, and only barely.
Violet-cloth arm wraps applied with gold-thread embroidery. It was originally used as a plain-clothes sash.
The improvisation for holding an unfamiliar sword has grown accustomed to battle over time.
That Oolacilian creativity has nonetheless shined through, especially with his choice of weapons. His sword is the Frayed Blade we derive from the soul of Midir, representing the dragon’s physical state. However, it is still an “elegant” blade since eaten away by the Dark as evidenced by the power unleashed with certain attacks, a black-stained katana which barely held together for this long thanks to its scabbard. In that case, it is possible for Halflight to claim such a sword from the Abyss consuming the city, or corrupt it himself for further power. He definitely visited the swamp, as he also wields the White Birch Bow. Aside from adding another connection between Oolacile and Oolan from Demon’s Souls, this short bow confirms the ex-pacifist’s efforts to make a weapon out of his homeland’s magical white trees, and the only one in the city lies in the swamp; he wouldn’t even be the last to concoct this idea — we find a corpse with the same bow not too far from that tree. He may still use standard arrows, but at least the sorcerer can weaponize the bow’s inherent magic so that the target never sees them coming.
Dragon weapon that symbolizes Midir the Dark-Eater.
Its once elegant blade is stained black and starting to come apart at the seams. If not for its scabbard, it would probably have quickly crumbled away.
Short bow made with a white-barked tree. It is tinged with light-manipulating sorcery.
It is a footprint of an old country of sorcery that was consumed by the Abyss, which is known even in heroic tales of the Abysswalker.
Once again, the totality of evidence is revealing. As the Abyss spread into a swamp and his staff grew into a tree, Halflight saw the changing environment as an opportunity to improve his armaments. Even if it meant wielding heresy, he would make himself a warrior worthy of protecting Filianore’s sleep. This speaks to his devotion to the divine, whether the goddess specifically or the gods in general. The original Dark Souls (DS1) did establish Oolacile’s contributions to Anor Londo, especially in religious capacities. But that alone doesn’t explain why this young man alone chose to stay behind and defend her church with sword when needed. Factoring in his age, stereotypical male aggression may be to blame. A noble scion joins a foreign mission, presumably expected to gain both political and worldly experience abroad, where he finds himself witness to ground zero of a worldwide calamity. That he finds the urge to make battling this apocalypse his life’s purpose isn’t too surprising.
Halflight definitely had things worth fighting for. From his neck hangs a small stone tied with a string. This simple necklace stands out from his more ornate jewelry, suggesting that it was something that the youth particularly treasured. Moreover, it shares the same basic make as the Broken Pendant from DS1. In other words, Oolacile’s practice of sharing such pendants seems to have continued long after Manus was first put to rest — though the kind of string looks to have become much less primitive by Halflight’s time. This doesn’t clarify whether the young man had received it from family or just a sweetheart, but it does demonstrate that he had someone back home to care about. And did he want his loved ones to suffer the Age of Fire’s end, for a vile power he saw destroying its very originators? Of course not. Then there was only one answer: contribute his all to advancing the gods’ counterplan in whatever way he could.
And so, the young Halflight became a Spear of the Church, relying on the powers of his new covenant in place of sorcery. Yet, neither he nor the painting guardians summoned during the same boss battle manifest as a blue spirit like we do as covenant member. However, this may simply be a stylistic choice intended to clearly delineate between player and non-player bosses. Halflight, at least, seems to still survive our encounter. A corpse kneels before the sword on the altar in the chapel dedicated to the Silver Knights, hands clutched close to the chest and a peaceful smile plastered across the face. Evidently, this was someone who hoped to emulate Anor Londo’s esteemed warriors, with Shira showing that this secret location is known to Spears of the Church. And what do we find the corpse wearing except Halflight’s clothes, including his signature improvised arm wraps. This is him, and the fact that we can loot the body before facing the youth as a boss proves that, whether from old age or injury, he died long before we arrived and long after being summoned to our time-space.
Despite his loss to us, Halflight apparently lived a fulfilled life as the princess’ “knight”. Perhaps he would have earned the respect of the Silver Knights he looked up to. Or perhaps his pride would be dashed once they saw that he was wearing nothing below the belt. Indeed, concept art shows that Halflight was supposed to be wearing the loincloth added in the DLC. This loincloth differs from the one obtained in the base game. While the latter is a “privates-hider” (恥部隠し) primarily for deprived have-nots like potentially ourselves, the former is a formal fundoshi paired with footwear for outdoors. As its description acknowledges, the underwear is supposed to be hidden beneath the Antiquated Plain Garb’s length, exposing only the bare legs and strapped feet to others. But we don’t see Halflight wearing this during the boss battle, and we don’t loot the equipment from his corpse either. Instead, we find it in the Dreg Heap.
Patently shabby loincloth.
Thing for have-nots to just barely hide traces of their privates.
Combination of cloth underwear and outdoor footwear. The underwear part was originally not something to expose in public.
All sorts of things drift in at the farthest end.
On an island in Earthen Peak’s poison swamp lays a corpse with the loincloth in question. The person was apparently just killed by the swarm of poison horn bugs surrounding the body when we enter the area. And considering that this species prefers to crawl through the marsh where they filter out their poison, the man was in all likelihood wading through the pools himself beforehand. In that case, looting this oddly specific pair of lower garb and only that suggests a strip-down. The owner, for whatever reason, wanted to take a dip in the hazardous fluid, so he undressed until he wore just footwear for the walk and skivvies for the swim — unsurprisingly, this ended badly. This also implies that the bold explorer was another Oolacilian which, given the nature of the Dreg Heap, is possible. FromSoftware probably wanted to weave in more examples of people from different times ending up dragged into the drift along with their lands, and what better example than the citizen of a long-dead nation? The developers thus decided to have the loincloth looted there instead of with the rest of the set.
Still, this doesn’t explain why Halflight can’t be wearing the same equipment — an error in development, however, does. Close inspection of the game files reveals Halflight to technically be wearing the full set, only the leg equipment is disabled. By contrast, the head equipment is enabled when such an item doesn’t even exist. This leaves open the possibility of a mix-up where the coder accidentally “hid” the wrong piece of equipment. If so, then the reason why such a mistake was never discovered is obvious. By default, male “player” models wear white pants which blend in perfectly with the Antiquated Plain Garb. This makes it easy to overlook the fact that it isn’t part of the set proper, meaning that the developers simply never noticed; even if some spotted the bare feet, they might have thought it intentional without consulting the concept art. The end result is Halflight facing us in what amounts to undergarments. How fortunate that the nature, and brevity, of our encounter makes this so easy to miss.