The Big Fix

Among the numerous problems with Dark Souls II post-launch, the degrading integrity of its world was the most jarring. Already the game had an almost devil-may-care attitude with regards to item placement, with numerous hanging threads or plot holes further muddling the unambitious narrative. FromSoftware had clearly pinned their hopes on rectifying at least the […]

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 […]

A World Divided

From the first moment they materialize out of the fog in the original Dark Souls (DS1) opening cinematic, the archtrees have become somewhat iconic. Giant trees towering over all else certainly leaves an impression, and there is a certain mystique to their portrayal across the franchise. But this doesn’t mean that they are anything less […]

Defining God

What constitutes a god? Demon’s Souls presents a cornucopia of perspectives, all of which somehow tie back to the soul and magic. However, the most prominent God is heavily rooted in the Judeo-Christian conception. Not so with Dark Souls. There, divinity draws inspiration mainly from polytheistic mythologies. The “gods” — almost exclusively shorthand for the […]