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Thread: The world of Dark Souls is not cyclic

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis

    The world of Dark Souls is not cyclic

    I feel like arguing, so here's an argument. Why the hell does everyone I encounter think the world of Dark Souls takes place in a perpetual cycle of Fire and Dark, when the game itself (via Solaire) offers an alternative explanation? Realities overlap, as Solaire tells us, meaning there are many adjacent, similar realities. Adjacent and similar, like Dark Souls three is to one; a theme continued from Demon's Souls.

    Do you think Gwyndolyn, alone of all the pantheon, survived dozens of cycles only to get nommed by a gross priest? Who only started chowing down recently. The intro shows him spilling out of his tomb. While Anor Londo, in the meantime, simultaneously fell into ruin and teleported from a high mountain range to the coast? I think Gwyndolyn, god of magic, transplanted his home from a dead world to one that still lived. Do you think that the difference in terminology, Undead versus Unkindled, means nothing in a series that shows such care and attention to detail throughout? In Dark Souls 3, a succession of Lords kept the Fire alive, with no intervening Darkness, long enough for the process to gain religious significance, but now we're left with a cannibal pope, a troupe whose members enjoy gazing into the abyss, the husk of a giant, an artisan and a child. The Bell of Awakening tolls, to summon kindling for the Fire, but those who would sustain the world instead go back to sleep.

    For that matter, why do people think Dark Souls 2 is an actual damn place, when this is contradicted by the elevator at the top of Earthern Peak? And when you start the game by committing suicide? Rather, it's a perverse From Software afterlife, a big cauldron into which the adjacent realities pour themselves and mix chaotically. That's right, From Software is so hardcore that when you die in the world of Dark Souls, your eternal reward is more Dark Souls. It has a woman who dared to link the Fire in her world, which in the Fromverse resulted in an afterlife of punishment. It has an item from Vinland, a lonely remnant from that one world we already know so well. It even has a certain dead Dragon Slayer. Drangleic has such prominence in Dark Souls 3 because it was once a part of your world, before you departed that world. As the intro says, the afterlife is a murky, forgotten land. Perhaps you've seen it, in dreams.

    If you choose Darkness, then from that point forward there will be only darkness, and the primordial serpents will revel as they devour what's left of the mortal world... unless, as in the secret ending of Dark Souls 3, you go into darkness with a companion.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 30th Jun 2020 at 00:23.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2020
    Location: Netherlands

    It has a woman who dared to link the Fire in her world, which in the Fromverse resulted in an afterlife of punishment.
    Wait, women are not allowed to link the fire in Dark Souls? Does that mean that all female player characters get an afterlife of punishment after beating the game? That poor girl from my Mage build playthrough.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Nachzehrer View Post
    Wait, women are not allowed to link the fire in Dark Souls? Does that mean that all female player characters get an afterlife of punishment after beating the game? That poor girl from my Mage build playthrough.
    I don't think that's a generality, but an injustice from her particular world. *looks up her name* The Lost Sinner, that's who she was. You learn from some item (I don't remember which) that her sin was... linking while female. Incidentally, she's also the best example to show that not every female From boss is a monster with bare boobs. Just, um, half of them.

    Edit: Okay, I went looking, and the textual evidence is ambiguous. (Remember, wiki articles are not textual evidence.) The best I could find was this, from Sweet Shalquoir:

    "The Lost Sinner lives deep within the Bastille.
    The fool. Trying to light the First Flame…"

    I was wrong. Light, not link. But I have little idea what did happen in her world. My best guess is that she lived in a world slowly succumbing to Dark, and tried to start a new age of Fire, a sin for some reason. If that's right, then it's even more evidence that Dark Souls worlds are not cyclic. Trying to relight the Fire, merely trying, is a sin.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 1st Jul 2020 at 06:23.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Well, it's strongly hinted that she was the Witch of Izalith whose failed ritual to recreate the First Flame with a Lord Soul unleashed demons and chaos in the world.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    I take the postgame equivalencies to mean that each world has the equivalent of the familiar Lord Souls. So the Lost Sinner is not the Witch of Izalith, but instead her world's equivalent. The Witch of Izalith died lighting the Flame of Chaos, not the First Flame, whose remnants Gwyn guards at the end of Dark Souls.

    So... maybe, in the world of Drangleic, the Lost Sinner tried to light the flame before its anointed time? So the sin isn't misplaced ambition, but attempting to usurp divine power by becoming the source of all fire? I could see that actually counting as a "sin"... but it would mean humans existed before Fire, and I thought Fire brought them into existence.

    Edit: I misspoke. Gwyn is the last remnant of the First Flame, at the end of Dark Souls. He fed himself to it, like you have the option of doing; however, being badass, that takes a long time to kill him. That's how a lightning god turns into a fire-themed final boss.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 1st Jul 2020 at 07:33.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    The Witch of Izalith tried to recreate the First Flame, but ended up creating the Flame of Chaos instead that consumed her and turned her into the Bed of Chaos.

    From the description of Chaos Storm spell:

    http://darksouls.wikidot.com/chaos-storm

    The Witch of Izalith, in an ambitious attempt to copy the First Flame, created instead the Flame of Chaos, a twisted bed of life.
    From the description of her Lord Soul:

    http://darksouls.wikidot.com/lord-soul

    Soul of the Bed of Chaos and the mother of all demons. This Lord Soul was found at the dawn of the Age of Fire.

    The Witch of Izalith attempted to duplicate the First Flame from a soul, but instead created a distorted being of chaos and fire. Its power formed a bed of life which would become the source of all demons, and is more than enough to satiate the Lordvessel.
    Gwyn was the Sun God. It was his firstborn son, the God of War, who had the power of lightning,

    From the Sunlight Spear description:

    http://darksouls.wikidot.com/sunlight-spear

    Miracle born from the fading soul of Gwyn.

    Hurl sunlight spear.

    In the war that marked the dawn of the Age of Fire, Gwyn wielded these rays of sunlight, which remains fierce even as they fade.
    From the Great Lord Greatsword description:

    http://darksouls.wikidot.com/great-lord-greatsword

    Greatsword born from the soul of Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. As bearer of the ultimate soul, Gwyn wielded the bolts of the sun, but before linking the fire, divided that power amongst his children, and set off with only this great sword as his companion.
    From the Soul of Gwyn description:

    http://darksouls.wikidot.com/soul-of...lord-of-cinder

    Soul of Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight and Cinder, who linked the First Flame.
    Great Lightning Spear description:

    http://darksouls.wikidot.com/great-lightning-spear

    Hurl giant lightning spear.

    The weapon of the God of War, who inherited the sunlight of Lord Gwyn, but had respect only for arms, and nothing else.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Well, damn. I'm glad to see I still have so much to learn about these games. I thought all the attack miracles were lightning ones; I'm actually doing my first Faith build now...

    I see that Gwyn linked the first flame, but did not light it... it predated him. Hmm.

    Still, though. How did the Witch, by all indications an Intelligence/Pyromancy build, end up as a greatsword-wielding melee beast in the afterlife? That doesn't make sense. I still think the Old Sinner is her world's Witch equivalent, not the Witch herself. That is to say, in each world great souls satisfy roles that the Dark Souls cosmology requires for fire, magic, death and... light, I guess? Maybe knowledge? I'm not sure what the fifth would be (dominion?), or if a fifth is even needed, but the Dark Souls 3 Lords of Cinder map to these roles (in a highly corrupted fashion) too.

    Edit: To provide more details...

    Fire: Witch of Izalith, Yhorm
    Magic: Seath, Aldrich
    Death: Nito, Abyss Watchers
    Light/Knowledge: Four Kings (glowing bright in the Abyss, not the original bearers of their Lord Soul), Ludleth
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 1st Jul 2020 at 11:43.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    I forgot a crucial piece of evidence in support of my interpretation. How do you obtain the secret ending for Dark Souls 3? Not that marriage silliness, shush. By entering an adjacent reality, in Darkness, and finding a relic that will teach your Keeper something new.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yes, Gwyn, Nito, and the Witch each found a Lord Soul in the Flame, allowing them, and especially Gwyn, to become powerful beyond measure, while the Pygmy found a very unique soul, the Dark Soul, and hid and waited for the fire to fade.

    As for the Lost Sinner, it might be that it's not her original body, if you speculate a bit to what the Witch might look like after the cataclysm.
    Last edited by Starker; 2nd Jul 2020 at 03:29.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    ...the Pygmy found a very unique soul, the Dark Soul, and hid and waited for the fire to fade.
    Textual evidence? From what I remember, not a single thing was ever said about little pygmy after the intro.

    As for the Lost Sinner, it might be that it's not his original body, if you speculate a bit to what the Witch might look like after the cataclysm.
    Her body. Come on, she's suffered enough, don't misgender her too.

    Anyway, I don't remember mind transplants ever being a thing in Dark Souls. That's a Bloodborne theme.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    You have to take into account that my native language lacks gendered pronouns, so it's not easy for me to keep track of them.

    It's a matter of interpretation what gender the body itself is, but the Witch most likely ceased to be recognisably human after the event. Just look at how the Bed of Chaos fight ends and how the Lost Sinner fight begins.

    As for the pygmy, Darkstalker Kaathe talks a bit about what happened in the intro and it's strongly suggested that the Pygmy is your ancestor:

    http://darksouls.wikidot.com/darkstalker-kaathe

    The truth I shall share without sentiment.
    After the advent of fire, the ancient lords found the three souls.
    But your progenitor found a fourth, unique soul.
    The Dark Soul.
    Your ancestor claimed the Dark Soul and waited for Fire to subside.
    And soon, the flames did fade, and only Dark remained.
    Thus began the age of men, the Age of Dark.
    However…
    Lord Gwyn trembled at the Dark.
    Clinging to his Age of Fire, and in dire fear of humans,
    and the Dark Lord who would one day be born amongst them,
    Lord Gwyn resisted the course of nature.
    By sacrificing himself to link the fire, and commanding his children to shepherd the humans,
    Gwyn has blurred your past, to prevent the birth of the Dark Lord.
    I am the primordial serpent.
    I seek to right the wrongs of the past to discover our true Lord.
    But the other serpent, Frampt, lost his sense, and befriended Lord Gwyn.
    Undead warrior, we stand at the crossroad.
    Only I know the truth about your fate.
    You must destroy the fading Lord Gwyn, who has coddled Fire and resisted nature,
    and become the Fourth Lord, so that you may usher in the Age of Dark!
    Last edited by Starker; 2nd Jul 2020 at 03:43.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Kaathe is a liar, just like Frampt and Gwyndolyn. Here is the decisive line: "I am the primordial serpent." The. Look at the Darkness ending again.

    Both Kaathe and Frampt are attempting to usher in Darkness, just in different ways. Kaathe directly, Frampt via inferior kindling. The rest of the serpents are elsewhere in the world, trying in their own ways to usher in Darkness.

    You know what? Fuck it. Let's count the lies.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    The truth I shall share without sentiment. What the fuck does a primordial serpent know about human sentiment?
    After the advent of fire, the ancient lords found the three souls. No, they didn't. They started out with those souls. The Witch of Izalith did not find her own soul, she developed it over time, like every other hero.
    But your progenitor found a fourth, unique soul. My progenitor, you say? So the serpents have the family tree of every Undead in Lordran, in their tens of thousands?
    The Dark Soul. Look at the name of the fucking game. Dark Souls. Souls. Plural.
    Your ancestor claimed the Dark Soul and waited for Fire to subside. The world of Dark Souls is not cyclic.
    And soon, the flames did fade, and only Dark remained.
    Thus began the age of men, the Age of Dark. No such Age ever existed, you evil creature. But what else is there to do when you're sealed inside the Abyss, than come up with stories?
    However... Okay, no lie here.
    Lord Gwyn trembled at the Dark. Lord Gwyn mostly cared about dragons. Who you gonna believe, the Abyss asshole or the intro cinematic?
    By sacrificing himself to link the fire, and commanding his children to shepherd the humans, Yeah, who knows what the fuck happened inside Gwyn's family, this one's probably a dozen lies in one.
    Gwyn has blurred your past, to prevent the birth of the Dark Lord. Adding kindling to a fire blurs the past? What? The Dark Souls cosmology has alternate universes, but no time travel.
    I am the primordial serpent. I counted eight. EIGHT.
    I seek to right the wrongs of the past to discover our true Lord. You can only reach Kaathe by killing an innocent man.
    Undead warrior, we stand at the crossroad. There are no roads in the Abyss, and crossroads have four choices.
    Only I know the truth about your fate. What, nasty old Gwyn doesn't know? I thought he was blurring ma past.
    You must destroy the fading Lord Gwyn, who has coddled Fire and resisted nature, Resisted nature, says the creature who can eat literally any inanimate object. Betcha never expected to feel such hunger, you nasty old thing.
    and become the Fourth Lord, so that you may usher in the Age of Dark! I count four Lord Souls.

    Anyone want a fan theory? Here's a fan theory. The tragedy of New Londo resulted in the sealing of the Four Kings. Why did the Four Kings seal themselves inside? In order to contain one goddamn primordial serpent.

    Finally, from the Dark Ending: "Let Kaathe, and Frampt, serve Your Highness."

    I guess it's true what they say about Americans. We'll believe anything, as long as you say it with a British accent.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 2nd Jul 2020 at 04:54.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    You have to take into account that my native language lacks gendered pronouns, so it's not easy for me to keep track of them.
    Your command of English is superb! I could not distinguish it from that of a native speaker, and I thought the articles were a Freudian slip. What's your native language?

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Ah, sorry, I thought you were serious. I didn't realise you were taking the piss.

    My native language is Estonian.

    As for Kaathe, my take of it is that he is the truth-teller of the two serpents. However...

    A truth that's told with bad intent
    Beats all the lies you can invent

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    I know zilch about Estonian. However, unlike most Americans, I know where Estonia is!

    That's a viable interpretation. After all, it's the foundation of the dominant interpretation. But, see, y'all, this is why reading wikis too often is bad. Powerful texts support multiple interpretations. Wikis only support one interpretation.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Sorry (not sorry), I only subscribe to the definite canonical interpretation of Dark Souls:


  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Sorry (not sorry), I only subscribe to the definite canonical interpretation of Dark Souls:

    Had to stop halfway through due to DLC spoilers (never played it, looking forward to it), but until then I was roaring with laughter. Here's the big question, though. How do we incorporate these into the Dark Souls canon?


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