Character Psychology

I have already discussed two of what I consider to be core pillars to my analysis, the philology and archaeology. As Game Director Hidetaka Miyazaki himself admits in an Edge interview, he uses both elements to “tell more with less” — to show, not tell. This minimalist approach to storytelling perversely shifts some importance from […]

Localization

It is fair to say that, when it comes to FromSoftware titles directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the game script is the lore hunter’s bible. Covering everything from descriptions to dialogue, it is the script from which we learn the deeper truths and form the basis from which we frame all other elements in the game. […]

Recontextualization

In one of his many excellent videos, illusory wall proposes a “design trick” that the developers at FromSoftware, or at least Game Director Hidetaka Miyazaki, employ for narrative and worldbuilding purposes, albeit rarely. While even he struggles to define it, the basic concept is that certain things, such as items, are actually something other than […]

Internal Naming

While we are almost always introduced to the name of each area we enter, the official names for allies and enemies alike are commonly only listed in external sources like official guides or art books. However, characters and areas both typically have their own labels within the actual game files, and these internal names can […]

Artistic License

Safe from their perch, the channelers harass us with soul arrows cast from their tridents, but take that sorcery catalyst for yourself and you are only lugging around an ordinary pole arm — such is the divide between gameplay versus lore. While developers try their best to make us forget during the experience, we are […]

New Game+

Put simply, I generally do not factor New Game+ (NG+) into my analyses. Not because it lacks any informational value, but because that value is, for the most part, superfluous. NG+ is a means for players to replay the game with a familiar yet fresh experience, and any changes made to that end are almost […]

Environmental Storytelling

You run the gauntlet of Sen’s Fortress, dodging shadowy traps — only to get knocked down into the tar pits below, by a scythe. Seeing that all-too-familiar white light flaring in the distance, you slowly wade your way over. Loot the corpse, and, lo and behold, you found the scythe. Dark Souls (DS1) is filled […]

Cut Content

I don’t blame anyone for knee-jerk skepticism with regards to cut content. It is by its very nature unused, never to be seen by design, and the reasons are commonly because they are relics of the development process. As Game Director Hidetaka Miyazaki relates in the Dark Souls: Design Works interview, Andre was originally planned […]