Souls games are not just a series, but a whole genre that is developing today without the participation of the progenitor. And Dark Souls has become a real gold standard of the industry, with which it is so convenient to compare everything in a row, which many game journalists are happy to use. The attention of players to the series is riveted today (especially against the background of the release of Sekiro), so it would seem that everything is known about it, but we found a few not the most obvious facts about Souls games. If you know something even less obvious – share in the comments!
1. Souls games have references to another From series – King’s Field
King’s Field is a series of role-playing games in a medieval setting that From released from 1994 to 2006. They were distinguished by gloom, complexity and intricate mazes – like the Souls series. There are familiar moments even in the plot of the very first part (which was never released outside of Japan) – the events of the game took place in the country of Verdite, located in a dense forest surrounded by gray fog. From loves fog.
By the fourth part in the series, the atmosphere of future Souls games was already very clearly read: a similar visual style, a similar story, enemies, and even some of their animations and sounds. To understand everything, just watch the introductory video of King’s Field IV.
Initially, Demon’s Souls was conceived precisely as the spiritual successor to King’s Field and its offshoot Shadow Tower, but in the end the developers decided to move towards something completely new. However, there are many references left (which is why some believe that Souls and King’s Field have a common universe) – for example, the most striking:
- King’s Field had an important positive character – the White Dragon Sith, who in Dark Souls “turned” into Naked Sith. Not at all positive.
- King’s Field also featured the one-eyed black dragon, Guyra, from which the Black Dragon Kalamita was largely written off in Dark Souls.
- The sword of moonlight first appeared in King’s Field – in the second part it was at the center of the plot. He later became a kind of From Software’s mascot and appeared in most of their games – from the slasher Otogi to the Armored Core series about battle mechs. However, in the lore it is most often entered neatly, and not just thrown as a reference – in the same Bloodborne, the Sword of Moonlight plays an important role in the plot.
2. One of the main sources of inspiration for the Souls series is the Berserk manga
The series has many sources of inspiration – from board games (like Dragon Pass) to European literature (Bloodborne, for example, was influenced not only by Lovecraft, but also by Dracula). But how could Miyazaki bypass anime and manga? Among the series that influenced him, he names Record of Lodoss War, Saint Seiya, JoJoʼs Bizarre Adventure, and especially Berserk. From Berserk, Miyazaki brought up both the plot twists and the visual style. Some borrowings turned out to be as literal as possible. Just watch any comparison, there are a lot of them on YouTube. Comparing Berserker and Souls games is a genre. Bloodborne, too.
3. Dark Souls was originally called differently
Shortly before the first presentation of the game at the Tokyo Game Show 2010, it was called Dark Race. The meaning of the name, according to Hidetaki Miyazaki, the creator of the series, was that the player was assigned the role of a representative of a cursed, “dark” race. The studio did not think that it might sound racist to some people. When they did think, the name was changed to Dark Lord, but such a trademark was already taken and From failed to redeem the rights to it. Then the name was changed again – now to Dark Ring, referring to the cursed mark that appears on undead in the Dark Souls series. Luckily, someone warned the studio that in England, dark ring is slang for anus. Apparently, the studio really wanted to avoid the word souls in the title, but in the end they had to stop at it.
4. From and Miyazaki have answers to every question about Souls lore, but you’ll never know them
There is nothing to argue, it is worth immediately citing a quote from Hidetaki Miyazaki himself:
“I have a perfect storyline for the entire series in my head, but I will not impose it on the players. I oblige them to accept only those plot elements that are in the game itself, on their basis they build their own interpretations. What is in my head is not the same as what is in the game. Everything is in the hands of the players. You will not hear from me any official statements about what the game is really about. “
Miyazaki also directly said that any theory based on the facts available in the game is canonical. And that doesn’t really go against the concept of parallel universes and skewed timelines that the game is promoting. Remember, officially, in his own world, it was Soler who lit the first flame after Gwin, not our Chosen Dead.
5. Dark Souls 3 is still not the end of the story
Before the release of the third part, the developers themselves constantly called the game the final chapter, which will put an end to the history of Lordran and the entire Souls-series. Later, the role of the final point went to the second DLC for the third part – The Ringed City, which really rethought and summed up a lot in the game’s lore. But after a while Hidetaka Miyazaki himself changed his point of view and called Dark Souls 3 simply a “turning point” for the game’s universe:
“For starters, Dark Souls 3 isn’t the last game in the series. However, I believe this is a turning point. Dark Souls has a unique world. Continuously releasing new games just for this reason is a bad idea. And this is probably a turning point for the studio itself, because Dark Souls 3 is the last project we started working on before I became president of From. “
At the same time, he said many times that he probably will not return personally to the development of Souls games (without him, by the way, Dark Souls 2 was made), but even here he can still change his decision.