As the video game industry continues to evolve, very few games have earned so infamous a reputation as the original Dark Souls game which was released in 2011. What it was infamous for was the intense difficulty through its punishing difficulty, and convoluted world/plot line. As someone who has invested far too many hours into Dark Souls III on Steam, I can attest to either point. However, it’s easy enough to say how many times I have died or which is the enemy I have died the most to among the many other elements of difficulty that make Dark Souls the cult “hardcore gamer” game. In retrospect, I think the most interesting thing about my first play through of Dark Souls III, I didn’t really care about the plot. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration either to say that I didn’t really know it existed then either. The convolution of the world isn’t mostly shown by the developers in the level design, color palette, or even boss/enemy design; most of the convolution in the Dark Souls series can be derived from both the story and the plot line.
Let me explain exactly what I mean by both story and plot line, an essential theme in all of the Souls games is that the world you live in, or the ideological paradigm headed by the Gods of the world, is dying. You, born of the dark, are to rise above your human caste and choose either to continue the God’s paradigm or start a new one, that of the humans. From that incredibly brief, overly simplified description of the plot, it would be easy to think this some incredibly basic archetype filled plot where choices and outcomes are clear. Hardly so, even though these are the few endings that can be arrived at by the player, the choices that lead them there are not so clear. This is where the story comes in, unfortunately for the player the story behind each NPC which invariably would lead to a different approach by the player is only made clear after the fact. Perhaps now it is a good time to repurpose our definition of convoluted, while in its essence it means a complicated story in this case it is not too hard to think of it meaning something twisted and folded. Both the story and plot overlap and twist into each other over and over again, until ultimately you the player start the games thematic cycle again in bringing your character into the next iteration of the same world.