Dark Souls

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"I remember the first time I died. Facing down my foe was to be expected. Even inevitable. Resurrected, my soul awoke and my battles were fought harder. Death became my friend. I remember the first time I died. But dying gets easier; it's how you die that leaves your mark. Prepare to die..."
Dark Souls Hardcore Trailer

Dark Souls is the Spiritual Successor to Demon's Souls. The game is developed by From Software and is published by Namco-Bandai.

In ages long past, the world was unformed and colorless, and ruled by powerful stone dragons. Then came the fire that birthed life, and gave the world disparity: heat and cold, life and death, and light and dark. From the dark came the four lords; Nito, the First of the Dead, the Witch of Izalith and her daughters of chaos, Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight, and his faithful knights, and the easily forgotten Furtive Pygmy. They challenged and brought an end to the dragons, and ushered in a golden age called the Age of Fire. But now the flames are fading. The world suffers through endless nights, and mysterious brands called the Dark Sign are cursing humans. These brands turn the victim into an immortal undead, but dooms them to eventual madness as they lose their humanity. The undead are captured and locked away in an asylum in the north to await the eventual end of the world.

Players take the role of one of these undead as they break out of the Undead Asylum, and begin a quest to ring the twin Bells of Awakening, which are prophesized to reveal the fate and purpose of the undead.

Dark Souls is very similar to its predecessor, Demon's Souls, both mechanically and thematically. However, there are some significant changes that drastically change the pace and rhythm of the game. Gone is the hub world and level select, instead replaced with a huge nonlinear world, with branching paths and hidden passages. There are also factions to join. Players can enter covenants with each of the four lords mentioned above, as well as several other factions. These factions have an extremely varied amount of benefits, and can affect the story, what bosses you fight, and how you interact with other players online.

Dark Souls is unique from other RPGs, aside from its spiritual precursor, in a large number of ways. Dark Souls features real time combat, but is by no means a Hack and Slash. Combat is of a slower, weightier and methodical pace and the difficulty strongly encourages players to take on things one at a time and learning their attack tells and when it is safe to attack them. This goes double for bosses who can easily destroy players in only a few hits. Weapons are unique as well, with each weapon type having a completely different move set and many differentiate themselves from other weapons of the same category. Weapon types all feel extremely different from one another, and it is important to find a weapon that fits with your play style. Upgrading your weapons is a huge part of the gameplay, with ten different paths to follow such as simply making your weapon stronger, or turning it into a weapon that does a mix of lightning/fire/magic and physical damage.

Dark Souls also abandons classes for the most part, and is much more of a Stat Grinder style RPG. Character classes do exist, but they simply determine your Starter Equipment and what Stats you start with. Leveling in Dark Souls involves spending souls to increase a specific stat, such as Strength or Vitality (Health). Your build has less to do with which class you play and more to do with which stats you chose level up. Each time you level a stat, your Soul Level increases, which increases your armor defense, but the players you can play with online must be within a certain range of your own Soul Level.

The difficulty isn’t the only thing that is considered a throwback to the old 2D days of gaming. Dark Souls is very narrative light. There is a lot of story and lore if players care to look for it, but it is very unintrusive and requires players to go out of the way to look for it in the form of item descriptions, bits of NPC dialogue and being observant of your surroundings in a way that is very reminiscent of Metroid Prime.

Dark Souls also differentiates itself from other RPGs with its online component, and most of it has returned from Demon's Souls. When other players die while playing online, they leave behind blood stains which is used will replay the last ten seconds of their life, tipping players about potential hazards. Players can also leave behind messages to tip players about potential enemies, hazards, and treasure. Players in human form can summon two other players to help them take on boss fights. Players can also invade other players’ world and kill them. There are nine covenants and all of them offer unique variations on, some of them prioritizing other players of the same covenant when cooping, and others offering unique ways to invade other players such as the Darkmoon Blades who specifically invade players who have accumulated Sin either by killing lots of players or offending NPCs.

It is also hard. Oh so very and infamously hard. Dark Souls is quite possibly the most difficult and absolutely unforgiving game to ever come out in 2011. As the Tagline says, Prepare to Die. A lot.

Dark Souls was released on September 22, 2011 to rave reviews and high sales in Japan, significantly higher than its predecessor Demon's Souls. It was then released in North America and Europe on the 4th and 7th of October 2011 respectively for the Play Station 3 and Xbox 360. It will be coming to PC as Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition on August 24th 2012, released in Microsoft Marketplace and Steam as well as a limited retail release in Europe. The Prepare to Die edition will be available for the Play Station 3 and Xbox 360 in Winter 2012 as Downloadable Content.


Tropes used in Dark Souls include:


A-F[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: It is extremely difficult to get to max level through normal play, and unnecessary as well. To put things in perspective, your starting level is between 1 and 6 depending on your chosen class, you gain a level each time you increase a stat by one point, and if you grind every stat to 99, your max level will be between 709 and 713. It's perfectly possible to finish the game without even reaching 100. Most finish it within the 80-99 range.
  • Action Prologue: The game's prologue, which involves Nito, the Witch of Izalith and Gwyn taking on the dragons.
  • Action Survivor: The player character is this compared to other action games. You aren't all that powerful compared to enemies, and you always need to be careful and on the defensive. Most of the other NPCs are this as well.
  • Actor Allusion: Many of the actors from Demon's Souls play characters very similar to their Dark Souls. Check out the Hey, It's That Voice! in the Trivia section for more detail.
  • Aerith and Bob: Laurentius of the Swamp, The Witch of Izalith, Oswald, Oscar.
  • Affably Evil: Patches.
  • After the End: If it isn't after the end, it's very close to it.
  • The Ageless: The Everlasting Dragons. The Gods. Undead who have a steady supply of humanity.
  • Altum Videtur: Vereor Nox, said by Rhea as a goodbye. It means Fearfully Respect the Night/Dark.
  • Exclusively Evil: Demons, naturally.
  • Always Night: The fate of Anor Londo should the player attack Gwynevere. Oddly enough, it actually becomes relatively safer after doing this.
  • An Adventurer Is You: It's pretty standard set of jobs. Many of them return from Demon's Souls.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The game's plot has you walking into one.
  • Ancient Keeper: Kaathe and Frampt. That said, their trustworthiness is suspect.
  • And I Must Scream: The eventual and inevitable fate of all those cursed with the Darksign and whoever links the Fire.
  • Animal Motifs: The Four Knights of Gwyn each had their own unique animal motif.
    • Abysswalker Astorias is associated with Wolves, with his Wolf Ring and Great Grey Wolf Sif guarding his grave.
    • Dragon Slayer Ornstein is associated with Lions, with his Leo Ring and Lion motif armor.
    • Hawkeye Ghough is associated with Hawks, with his Hawk Ring, title, and affinity for sniping and marksmanship.
    • Lord's Blade Ciarin is associated with Hornets, with her Hornet Ring and deadly affinity with daggers.
  • Animated Armor: The deadly Black Knights. Their bodies were burned to ash when Gwyn tried to link the fire. Possibly the Iron Golem as well.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Gravelord Nito sleeps in his giant coffin. Siegmeyer falls asleep in all sorts of odd places including a poisonous swamp. In his armor. While standing up.
  • Anyone Can Die: Just about any NPC could die, either at one another's hands or due to you killing them. This even applies to some merchants/trainers, so watch out! Most named merchants wander off and become hollow after purchasing everything they have.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted; unlike in Demon's Souls, heavy armor now has the advantage of Poise, meaning your actions (including healing) aren't as easily interrupted by damage.
  • Artificial Stupidity: This shows up from time to time, especially in areas with precarious footing like Blighttown. You'll be travelling along when you'll randomly gain souls from some enemy that accidentally fell off a ledge to it's death.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: This is the objective of the dragon apostles, who seek to become immortal and transcend life by attaining an ancient dragon's body. Given by what happens when the protagonist uses the appropriate items to do so, it would seem that transforming into a dragon does little more than change your appearance and give you some new abilities.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: Seath the Scaleless on a pile of dead dragons in the prologue.
    • Nito is a living mountain of corpses.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: An absurd amount of 50 foot creatures want you dead. These include: wolves, dragons, piles of corpses, gargoyles, giant armored boars, and BUTTERFLIES!
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: The giant evil hand in the PC edition trailer.
  • Attack the Tail: Several bosses drop unique weapons if you do enough damage to their tail. In the case of certain bosses, this makes the fight considerably easier. With other bosses, cutting off the tail is an achievement in and of itself.
  • Author Appeal: Director Miyazaki has stated he isn't a sadist, like many assume, and more of a masochist and that he made the game based on what he liked. The game is also Dark Fantasy and loaded with Berserk references, which he has admitted is an influence.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Stone armor set can be gained relatively early and provides excellent defense, but its sheer weight makes it very difficult to travel around in. Also Gwyn's sword can be this, considering it's only available in NG+ yet has relatively bad stats.
    • One of the biggest examples is the Dragon Great Sword, a huge person sized sword that appears to be made of flesh. Not only that but it has a special attack which causes a huge Razor Wind to tear along the ground, wrecking enemies. Unfortunately the stat requirements for it are insane, and by the time you have the stats to use it, there are other better weapons available because it also doesn't scale with stats.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning:The Dark Lord ending, in which the primordial serpents bow down and declare the chosen undead to be the Dark Lord.
  • Ax Crazy: Undead that have Hollowed. Lautrec. The Darkwraiths.
  • Back from the Dead: Those afflicted with the Darksign, repeatedly.
  • Badass: Both the main character and the player by the end of the game.
  • Badass Boast: Several NPCs have some type of Badass Boast should the player make them hostile.
  • Badass Bookworm: Mages in general. As far as NPCs go, Griggs and especially Big Hat Logan.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Wanderer's Coat and the Black Cleric Robe.
  • Badass Normal: Solaire of Astora. All of his items drops point out that none of his abilities came from magical equipment, but from pure training.
  • Badass Preacher: Clerics in general, especially Oswald of Carim.
  • Bald of Evil: Patches is as bald and cowardly as ever.
  • Barrier Maiden: Gwyn, by virtue being the fuel for the First Flame. Whether or not this is a good thing is a completely different matter.
    • At the end, you can potentially take his place.
  • Beauty to Beast: Quelaag and her sister, The Fair Lady.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Lady of the Darkling is fervently loyal to Gwyndolin because he accepted her as a follower despite her hideous appearance, providing her purpose in life. Eingyi is similarly devoted to Quelaag's sister because she sucked the deadly Blightpuss from his body, saving his life but becoming deathly sick in the process. Also, it's possible for Maiden Rhea to become friendly towards the player should the player save her from the Tomb of the Giants after her escorts all either hollowed or abandoned her.
  • Beef Gate: Several areas that are accessible early in the game such as New Londo Ruins, Tomb of the Giants and Demon Ruins are populated by powerful enemies or guarded by a tough boss, but a skilled low-level player can reap substantial rewards should they overcome the challenge.
  • Beneath the Earth: A large part of the game is spent underground exploring in some way or another. Whether it is exploring the ruins of New Londo and Lost Izalith, the horrors of the Tomb of the Giants, discovering the Great Hollow and the Ash Lake.
  • Berserk Button: Mortals trespassing on the Tomb of Gwyn is one for Gwyndolin and as far as he is concerned, punishable by death. Clerics are a Berserk Button for Patches.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The Bell Gargoyles and their tail axes.
  • Big Badass Wolf: Great Grey Wolf Sif somehow manages to be just as intimidating as the more gruesome monsters. He can even wield swords!
  • Bittersweet Ending: The To Link the Fire ending. Sure, you've pushed back the darkness, but the protagonist's ultimate reward for everything is to burn in the kiln until the cycle eventually repeats itself.
    • It is however not clear whether this ending can really be considered the "good ending." There are several hints that this outcome is one big Xanatos Gambit orchestrated by Gwyndolin and maybe Gwyn and Frampt, serving to retain their power by artificially prolonging the Age of Fire, but not helping humanity in general. It's the option that transitions more smoothly into the New Game+ (and NG++ and beyond), however...
    • The Dark Lord ending isn't completely positive despite how awesome the whole concept is. Most of the important characters (both divine and human) sacrificed a great deal to drive back the darkness and keep it at bay. It comes back if the player chooses to become the Dark Lord and the game doesn't offer any hint that humans will get used to it, though Undead certainly can.
  • Black Knight: A few of these are scattered throughout the game, even in the early areas. These guys are tough, often very swift and strong; they don't respawn, so the game basically uses them as minibosses. They're usually off the main path, so encountering them is optional, but there's a chance of them dropping something powerful and awesome if you do manage to destroy them.
    • A summonable phantom Black Iron Tarkus and a black phantom Kirk of Thorns also count. Tarkus is so powerful that he can practically solo the boss you can summon him against, while Kirk is the only black phantom who attacks you more than once in the game. As far as mooks go, the Darkwraith Knights in New Londo Ruins are a Magic Knight version of this.
    • Interestingly enough, Solaire of Astora could also count. He isn't gruff, dishonorable. In fact, he is one of the most friendly characters in the game. That said, his real identity and nature are some of the most hotly debated topics in the fandom.
  • Bladder of Steel: There is no pausing, so you'll need to park your character in a (relatively) safe location if you want to take a break without quitting entirely.
    • Not to mention that your world can be invaded by other players so long as you have online connectivity, so leaving your character idle means risking being invaded while you're not there to defend yourself. The only in-game situation where you're 100% safe is when resting at a bonfire.
  • Blatant Lies: Sure, Patches, you just get these urges to kick people down to pits and loot their bodies afterwards, it's not your fault.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: The game suffers from numerous translation and grammatical errors, mostly in the item descriptions. There are two worst offenders: the Tiny Being's Ring and the Pendant. Both are initial gifts you can choose. In the gift menu, the Ring claims to regenerate health (a massive boon to any character) when in reality it simply increases your character's maximum Hit Points by a small amount. The Pendant has the right description in the gift menu, but someone copied the Sunlight Medal description to the Pendant, leading both items to share the description of the Sunlight Medal.
    • It was published by Namco-Bandai, meaning they handled the English text translation. It doesn't help that they are known to out-source for independent translators from time to time either.
      • The notes for the 1.04/1.05 patch state that there was translation fixes for the English subtitles. All it fixed was the Engrish text that shows up when you light a bonfire, defeat a boss, become human, touch your blood-smear, et cetera.
      • And, ironically enough, the 1.04/1.05 brought with it more translation errors, though thankfully minor ones. Some of the loading screen's descriptions have become mixed up e.g. the "Homeward" miracle displays the description of the "force" miracle.
  • Blown Across the Room: Certain enemy attacks and several special attacks of various weapons, most notably the Dark Knight weapons.
  • Body Horror: The Egg-Burdened. The Darksign itself could count as an example. Also Chaos Witch Quelaag and her sister.
  • Booby Trap: Sometimes, there are big nasty boulders thrown down staircases, or pressure plates that trigger arrow storms.
    • Somewhat played with, as a savvy player can trick their enemies into a booby trap.
    • Sen's Fortress is like a convention center for these. Every hall has either giant swinging axes, arrow slits linked to pressure plates, or giant boulders snaking throughout maze-like corridors. There is even an elevator shaft with spikes at the top should you neglect to get off at your stop.
  • Boom! Headshot!: Shooting an enemy in the head with an arrow does extra damage and stuns enemies longer. The same can be done to you.
  • Boring but Practical: The combination of a spear and a shield is neither the fanciest or the most destructive of styles, but the long reach and the ability to block even when attacking is about as safe as you can get in this game.
  • Boss Battle: Dark Souls is host to a variety of bosses just itching to stick their foot up your ass.
    • Climax Boss: Ornstein and Smough, the most common vote for both the hardest and best boss fight. They're a two phase fight, have an awesome boss track and are the final boss before Disappointing Last Level kicks in.
    • Degraded Boss: The Taurus Demon, the Capra Demon, the Bell Gargoyles, Pinwheel and the Moonlight Butterfly can all be encountered as normal enemies later in the game.
    • Dual Boss: Belfry gargoyles. Smough and Ornstein. The latter duo also manage to be That One Boss in the game designed to kill you because they are also Sequential Boss.
    • Duel Boss: Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. Although you can summon Solaire of Astora to fight Gwyn alongside you if you meet him throughout the game and prevent him from going insane in his search of his "own sun" by killing the Chaos Bugs outside of Lost Izalith.
    • Flunky Boss: The Capra Demon and his two dogs. Also, Nito, First of the Dead.
    • Get Back Here Boss: Gwyndolin.
    • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first battle against Seath the Scaleless.
    • Mini Boss: Plenty show up as unique, nonrespawning enemies at various points in the game.
    • Mirror Boss: While not true bosses, the Black Phantom minibosses basically operate like preset, AI controlled Player Characters.
    • Boss in Mook Clothing: Black Knights when you first encounter them. Inverted with the Taurus Demon and Gargoyle Demon later in the game.
    • Puzzle Boss: Bed of Chaos.
    • Recurring Boss: The Asylum Demon.
      • The Black Phantom Kirk of Thorns will show up to harass you if you're human three times in the game.
    • Skippable Boss: Eight of the twenty-two bosses are completely optional. With Sequence Breaking that number goes up even higher.
    • Teleport Spam: Gwyndolin and Pinwheel.
    • "Wake-Up Call" Boss: The Capra Demon.
    • Warmup Boss: The Asylum Demon, though the first time you meet him he's a Hopeless Boss Fight and you need to run the hell away.
      • Breather Boss: He's actually very easy to kill the first time you meet him if you choose the Black Firebombs as a starting gift. You get a (heavy) bonus weapon if you defeat him instead of running away like the game expects you to.
    • Wolfpack Boss: The Four Kings
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Most enemies that are one time encounters (that is, they don't respawn after killing them once) are this, most notably the Black Knights and the Titanite Demons. Titanite Demons are especially notable as they're the only source of Demon Titanite, the only crafting materiel that can upgrade the various weapons made from boss souls.
  • Bottomless Pits: All over the place, and one of the most common reasons of death in the game.
  • Breakable Weapons: All equipment is subject to wear and tear, though it's easy enough to repair everything. Crystal equipment is especially bad since it can't be repaired and has very low durability in the first place. The only exception is the Dragon Tooth, a legendary hammer that used to be the tooth of one of the everlasting dragons. A few enemies use attacks with the nasty side effect of breaking your equipment.
  • Breath Weapon: Several enemies, such as the Gargoyles and Seath the Scaleless. And if you join the Path of the Dragon, you can have one too.
  • British Accents: The English voiceovers of the game has a variety of them.
  • Broken Bird: Pretty much every female character, save Sieglinde, whose tragedy occurs within the game.
  • Call Back: The game may have a different continuity from Demon's Souls, but it is littered with call backs to both Demon's Souls and the Kings Field series.
    • The "Armored Zombie" enemies's move set is almost identical to the dredgelings from Demon's Souls
    • The Black Knights are basically the red and blue eyed knights from Demon's Souls, except nastier.
    • The Sword of Moonlight, a regular Infinity+1 Sword from Kings Field and a veteran from Demon's Souls returns here.
    • The Asylum Demon is basically Vanguard from Demon's Souls.
    • You encounter a huge red dragon guarding a bridge with a tendency for roasting everything on it if you dare to cross, just like in Demon's Souls.
    • The Belfry Gargoyles are very similar to the Maneaters even down to the Duel Boss aspect and the arena surrounded by Bottomless Pits.
    • Blight Town is basically the Valley of Defilement. Right down to the blood spitting mosquitoes.
    • The viscous and fast moving dogs return from Demon's Souls as well.
    • The Skeletons basically have the same move set as the skeletons from Demon's Souls.
    • The snake men look very similar to the snake men in King's Field 4.
    • The Batwing Demons are a call back to the Gargoyles from the Tower of Latria, right down to them capturing you and carrying you through the air to a new location.
    • The Phalanx are a call back to the Hoplites that fought with Phalanx from Demon's Souls.
    • The yellow robes worn by Xanthous King Jeremiah, especially the headdress/crown, is one to the yellow robes of the Old Monk and the Monk's Head Collar from Demon's Souls. The descriptions of the robes also claim he was a "legendary exile", just as the Monk had been.
  • Call to Adventure: Having a dead body dumped into your prison cell and meeting the knight who dumped it as he lays dying. Kind of sets the mood.
  • Came Back Strong: Those branded with the Darksign spontaneously return to life, effectively making them immortal. However, they grow closer and closer to becoming a mindless zombie called a Hollow every time. The protagonist uses a magical essence often called "humanity" to reverse this process, making it more of a case of being Cursed with Awesome...
  • Came Back Wrong: ...though it is still only delaying the inevitable.
    • Of course, there's a reason it seems to take you so long to simply become a mindless hollow, and Kaathe clues you in to it later in the game.
  • Camera Lock On: Returns from Demon's Souls, finicky as ever, though the recent patch has helped somewhat.
  • Canon Welding: The scaleless dragon Seath makes an appearance, who was also one of two major deities in the King's Field series. Patches from Demon's Souls also puts in an appearance.
  • Cardboard Prison: Northern Asylum lets inmates keep their starting gear...for some reason. Though you do begin the game with just your clothing, the gift you picked, and a broken sword.
    • Makes sense if you think about it. The undead are more than likely just transported and thrown in as-is, their possessions just left alone. Once there, they either rot in their cells or fight off both each other or the Hollowed until they become Hollowed themselves. It explains the armed enemies found within the Asylum.
      • And the Asylum Demons certainly don't make it easy to get out. Even after getting better equipment than a broken sword they are a tough fight[1], and you even find one knight who apparently got trashed by the boss on the way.
    • The prison in the Duke's Archives is also incredibly easy to escape from, since you can keep your gear that's heavily upgraded by this point when you're redirected there and the guard with the key is just snoozing outside your cell waiting for you to stab it in the back.
  • Cataclysm Backstory: The First Flame is on the verge of dying. This is actually the second time this has happened. The first time happened about 1,000 years before the main events of the game, and caused the loss of the two most proactive Lords, Gwyn and Izalith, the complete downfall of the city of Izalith, unleashed demons onto the world and set in motion the events that caused the gods to abandon Anor Londo.
  • Cats Are Mean: The Great Felines.
  • Central Theme: Fire, death, and what beauty means in the Crapsack World of Dark Souls according to Director Miyazaki.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Like Demon's Souls, this is mostly averted, as all of the armor is now unisex. You're only going to see boob-curves if your character is wearing something flexible and form-fitting like leather armor (even then, it's still sensible).
    • The major exception to this is the "Hollow Warrior" armor set, which really doesn't cover that much at all. The pants/shoe component is just one shoe (and no pants!) and the chest armor covers just the shoulders and upper chest. It doesn't look that skimpy on a zombie, but on a healthy human female it's hilarious. Granted, it's supposed to look like crap.
  • Character Customization: You're given a choice of ten classes, eight "gifts" that can be added to your starting equipment, and have access to a powerful appearance editor with more options than you can shake a stick at (even though you're hollow most of the time, and even then, you're probably wearing a face obscuring headpiece)
  • Cherry Tapping: It is possible, although tedious, to defeat the tutorial area's Asylum Demon using only the sword hilt or your bare hands instead of running away as intended, though one can speed up the process by choosing the Black Firebomb as an initial gift. The game even rewards you with a weapon should you manage.
  • The Chessmaster: Gwyndolin. Completely outdone by the Pygmy, however, who set this entire chain of events into motion ages ago.
  • The Chosen Zero: The Chosen Undead, at least in the opinion of several in game characters, though they don't know he is The Chosen One at the time. Petrus initially tells you to go away, and literally pays you to leave him alone. Rhea and her companions call you scraggly and a waste of time. Quelana calls you a fool multiple times, but in a Tsundere way.
  • Chrome Champion: The effect of the Iron Flesh pyromancy.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Patches' betrayal spree continues from the previous game. Some dialogue implies that Shiva of the East was also originally to have this trait (and cut content confirms it), but it never goes anywhere.
  • Cliff Hanger: The Dark Lord ending is something of one.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Instead of just having Black and Blue Phantoms, the color will change depending on which covenant you are in during Online Play and which multiplayer item you use.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Demonic Foliage in Darkroot Forest have these as arms. The Pisaca in the Dukes Archives have this on their head, which they use to restrain you and deliver an extremely deadly attack.
  • Companion Cube: The Male Undead Merchant has a wooden basket named Yulia, which he constantly pets and talks to.
  • Competitive Balance: Each character class is given the chance to thrive in the world of Dark Souls.[2]
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: If your attacks hit a wall, they'll bounce right off. If your enemies' attacks hit a wall...they'll clip right through.
    • Inverted somewhat in that you are able to attack enemies through doors and walls at certain locations.
  • Constructed World: While there is a lot of elements from Medieval cultures, Dark Souls is a very separate fantasy world.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Dying returns you to the last bonfire you rested at and respawns all monsters that aren't bosses or minibosses. You'll also drop all of your souls and humanity where you died, and if you die before recollecting them, they vanish permanently.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: You won't get burned even when standing next to a glowing lava river... unless you try to jump over it because there's a shiny piece of loot on the other side.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Returns from Demon's Souls, as explained in the description.
  • Counter Attack: Parrying returns from Demon's Souls, but has been made a bit easier to execute. Certain enemies can also do this to you if you're not careful.
    • A well-timed normal hit after blocking an enemy attack may also cause additional damage.
  • Crapsack World: The world of Dark Souls is a pretty bleak place to live. For starters, the First Flame is on the cusp of dying. When this happens all fire will die and there is absolutely no telling what will happen to the world other than the gods losing their power and possibly going hollow. In addition to that, a curse called the Dark Sign has absolutely ravaged the humans of the world. This curse makes its victim undead, allowing them to return to life after death. However, as they die they lose some of their humanity, eventually becoming mindless, violent hollows. Many nations have collapsed because of this curse, including Lordran, the setting of the game. Undead that still have their senses are brutally mistreated, hunted and sacrificed to maintain the First Flame. Most of the gods are MIA, although it doesn’t seem like they would or could do anything even if they weren’t. It really seems as though the world is on the brink of ending. And that is just the start of it. This doesn’t cover the vast amount of deadly monsters, demons, terrible ways to die, the torturous fates of many characters, and the multi-millennia long conspiracy and battle to control the fate of the world.
    • This post on Tumblr illustrates the most personal aspects of the Crapsack World you personally encounter in game.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure: Averted. There is no weight limit on your inventory like in Demon's Souls, and the weight of your equipment allows for several degrees to mobility that fall between the extremes of "like a ninja" and "like a limply thrown brick." At less then 25%, you move at max speed and agility. At 25%-50%, you suffer a minor reduction in both. At 50-100%, the reductions are significantly increased, but you can still dodgeroll as long as you know what you're doing. At 100% and beyond...yeah.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Oh, yes. Most enemies have special attacks that will end your life in the most brutal of ways.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The nation of Thorolund including the Way of the White. The religion surrounding Velka might be this as well, given that they mention bishops by name.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Bearing the Darksign means your character is incapable of staying dead, through there are drawbacks. See Came Back Strong and Came Back Wrong above for details.
    • The actual "Cursed" status effect is pretty horrible (halving hp every time you die while cursed), but cursed beings and weapons are the only things that can hurt the otherwise invincible ghosts in the New Londo Ruins. There is no downside at all to using Transient Curses (which inflict a temporary and totally harmless curse on you) or "Cursed" weapons.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Most boss fights go down like this on the player's first one or two tries, before the player understands the bosses tells.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Quelaag and her sister, leaning very heavily towards the "monster" side of things. Priscilla counts as well.
  • Cute Mute: Anastacia of Astora.
  • Cute Witch: Witch Beatrice has an outfit that makes her exactly this; it even shows off a bit of female curves when most armors in the game don't. This makes discovering her fate all the more painful.
  • Darkest Hour: Literally, as the First Flame was dying, taking sunlight out with it. It was also the Darkest Hour for the world figuratively until you escape from your prison.
  • Deadly Dodging: Sometimes pops up in PvP. Some of the more evasive enemies can be tricked into environmental hazards like the Snake Men and the Armor Bore in Undead Parish.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Crestfallen Warrior.
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: Completely averted. You lose all your souls and humanity, and if you die while trying to get back to it you lose all the souls from your first death. As well as this when you die you go back to the last bonfire you rested at, all enemies respawn and you revert back to hollow form if you died as a human which may result in the need to waste more humanity.
  • Dead to Begin With: The player character starts off as an undead.
  • Decoy Leader: Gwynevere
  • Defector From Decadence: One of Gwyn's greatest knights, Sir Artorias, abandoned the gods and formed a covenant with Kaathe and the Darkwraiths.
  • Defrosting the Ice Queen: Rhea and Quelana, who both warm up to the player after certain events.
  • Determinator: The undead hero, and by extension the player controlling him or her.
  • Devour the Dragon: In the Ornstein and Smough boss fight, defeating one of them will cause the other to regain all their health and absorb the power of their fallen comrade. Smough gains lightning power while Ornstein becomes huge.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: By the end of the game you've killed almost every established Badass in the universe, including a couple who are pretty much gods.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Occasionally, the player may come across some breakable items that are just in the way. It's a lot easier to just smash the things to bits than go around them.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Par for the course being a FROM Software creation.

Truth is, Dark Souls isn't fun 95% of the time. It's the other 5% that you play for. Things are so incredibly difficult that even the tiniest victories bring you close to tears of joy and relief.

  • Difficulty Spike: Aside from the danger of getting cursed in the Depths, Blighttown is noticeably more dangerous than the areas before it.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: The higher the attribute, the less you benefit from increasing it further. Going above 40 or so in a single attribute is generally a waste unless you have a specific plan in mind.
  • Dirty Coward: "Trusty" Patches, of course.
  • Disc One Nuke: There are several powerful weapons available early on in the game if you know the special conditions required for obtaining them, the Drake Sword is arguably the most famous because of its special power. Though the special power depletes the weapon's durability at a colossal rate, and the weapon loses effectiveness compared to weapons with stat scaling as the game progresses.
    • If a player starts with the Master Key and spends their souls to level up appropriately they can start Undead Burg with the Astora's Straight Sword, a weapon that does about 180 damage when using it at the lowest level possible (compared to the 80ish damage from the usual starting weapons) and the Dragon Crest Shield, which blocks 100% of physical damage, is really good against fire damage and has fairly high stability, especially for a starting shield. That is, if they don't mind doing a suicide run to steal treasure from an undead dragon that can one shot them. This is probably the better alternative to the Drake Sword because the damage from Astora's Straight Sword scales with your stats, and you're prepared to go into the Catacombs if need be.
    • Starting as a Pyromancer gives you access to the equivalent of a regenerating pile of firebombs to throw at enemies. It's a while before you can find and rescue the first pyromancy trainer, but just starting out you'll be able to waste small groups of zombies in one hit or seriously damage Black Knights at a distance (provided you keep dodging their counterattacks). And, of course, killing Black Knights often gets you powerful weapons and armor so one Disc One Nuke can lead to another and another.
    • The Black Knight Sword, especially post Patch 1.5 where the drop rate was significantly increased, meaning players will most likely get the weapon from one of the three early nonrespawning Black Knights. Though the stat requirements are comparatively high (20 Strength, 18 Dexterity), but easily attainable. The weapon has extremely high damage throughout the entirety of the first playthrough and New Game+, scales very well with stats and is extremely easy to fully upgrade (Easily possible to do so before ringing the Second Bell of Awakening). It also has a very good, versatile move set with both wide sweeping attacks for attacking multiple enemies and a nice vertical combo when fighting a single opponent/tight areas.
  • Damsel in Distress: The rescue Rhea arc after she gets betrayed in the Tomb of Giants. Anastasia after she is killed by Lautrec. Sieglinde and Dusk are trapped in Crystal Golems.
  • Door to Before: Quite a lot of them; even the initial area, the Undead Burg, is surprisingly intricate.
  • Doppelganger Attack: Pinwheel.
  • Do Not Drop Your Weapon: Get gnawed on by the Gaping Dragon? Get your throat slit by an undead thief? Get stomped on by a giant? You aren't dropping your sword and shield.
  • Downer Ending: Both of the endings can be considered this, since if you choose to link the fire, you're falling for Frampt and Gywn's Xanatos Gambit and you're only going to delay the inevitable while Gwyndolin gets to rule Lordran however he sees fit. If you choose to start the Age of Dark, humanity as a whole is most likely screwed. So really, it's just a matter of choosing whether to let the remaining humans live in slavery to the gods or leave them hanging in the dark.
  • Downloadable Content: The Prepare to Die Edition content on consoles.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: If you remove the ring, The Covenant of Artorias, while in the Abyss, you are horrifyingly dragged down into the darkness. The game even gives you a special message when you die; "You were consumed by the Abyss."
  • Dropped a Bridget On Him: Gwyndolin is a man who was raised as woman because his powers are related to the moon instead of the sun.
  • Dummied Out: A variety of items and quests were dummied out. However, a few armor sets like the Elite Cleric Set and the Mage Smith Armor can be obtained by modifying your save game.
  • The Dung Ages: Again, the setting is very similar to Demon's Souls. The Dung Ages aspect is most evident in the Depths and Blighttown.
  • Dungeon Bypass: There are a variety of ways to skip massive amounts of the game through the Master key gift and sequence breaking.
  • Dynamic Entry: Artorias in one of the PC version trailers.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The cast by and large is more messed up than they appear, even if they are nice people overall.
    • Just for example, Laurentius of the Swamp is one of the nicest characters in the game. Even then, his dialog implies he has probably never had anyone close to him aside from his pyromancy teacher, meaning the player is quite possibly his first real friend.
    • For another example, Griggs of Vinheim is another Nice Guy, but he is unambiguously a spy for the Dragon College indicating he has likely done some unscrupulous things in his past, and might be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Like its predecessor, Dark Souls is going to make you work your ass off to make it to the end. One of the game trailers puts it best.

PREPARE TO DIE. FIGHT. STRUGGLE. ENDURE. SUFFER. LIVE

    • Although what the players count as "happy" is up to debate, since both of the games endings have a nice helping of Fridge Horror to go with their silver linings. That being said, slogging through the storyline is needed to unlock the various New Game+ levels which are a whole new level of fun- as with Demon's Souls, the main story effectively just backstory.
  • Eaten Alive: Several enemies will do this to you; the mimics, the great felines, the man-eating shells and the Gaping Dragon.
  • The Eeyore: The Crestfallen Warrior is about as cheery as his counterpart in the previous game, even sharing the same joyless laugh. Eventually, he shakes off his melancholy after seeing what you've been able to accomplish, takes up his sword again, and promptly Hollows on the outskirts of New Londo. The Crestfallen Merchant is no cheerier.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Several stand between you and the Bells of Awakening.
  • Emote Animation: Aside from writing messages on the ground, the small list of gestures such as waving or bowing is by design the only way players can directly communicate with each other in-game.
  • Empty Shell: Undead that have hollowed. And Gwyn.
  • Encounter Bait: There is a thrown item that lures certain types of enemies wherever it lands. Very useful around environmental hazards like ledges and open flames!
  • Endless Corridor: Gwyndolin fights you in one.
  • Energy Economy: This is pretty much how souls work. You can use them up (energy) or sell them to other people, who also probably use them as energy for themselves.
  • Escape Rope: The Homeward miracle and the Homeward Bone items allow you to instantly warp to the last bonfire rested with all your belongings intact.
  • Ethereal Choir: If it isn't Ominous Latin Chanting or a One-Woman Wail, its this.
  • Everything Fades: Averted, areas stay littered with broken bits of scenery and enemies' ragdoll corpses. Only bosses and elites disintegrate.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Gwynevere, Princess Rhea of Thorolund and Dusk of Oolacile.
  • Evil Eye: The Red Eye Orb allows players to invade and kill others, while the Eyes of Death let players curse others' worlds and generate stronger versions of typical enemies. The Ring of the Evil Eye is also said to contain a demon of the name. It lets you heal by killing people.
  • Evil Only Has to Win Once: Actually, it's much more morally ambiguous, but even if you link the Fire, Kaathe only needs to wait for it to wither away again in order to usher in the Age of Dark.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Seath the Scaleless is a dragon credited with inventing sorcery. He's an insane wreck in the present after vainly trying to solve the mystery of the scales of immortality that every dragon but him possessed.
  • Experience Points: You acquire souls by killing enemies or consuming certain items, which can either be spent to level up or used as currency.
  • Expy: The Taurus Demon looks a lot like Zodd from Berserk. A lot of enemies, or at least their move set, return from Demon's Souls.
  • Faction Calculus: There are about nine covenants the player can swear themselves to the game. Here's a list.
  • Fallen Hero: The renowned knight, Sir Artorias, formed a covenant with the creatures of the abyss.
  • Famous Last Words: Given the nature of the game, and Anyone Can Die nature of the game, this shows up a lot.
    • "I would hate to harm you after death.. So, go now... And thank you..." Oscar, knight of Astora
    • "Heheh, not too shabby… I think you've done me a favour…" The Crestfallen Warrior
    • "What the… what did I do wrong…" Petrus of Thorolund
    • "Thou shalt regret this... Fear thine indelible wrongdoings..." Oswald of Carim
    • "Farewell, my rescuer…" Dusk of Oolacile
    • "But, why… What seeketh thee?" Crossbreed Priscilla.
    • "O Heretic, swathed in Dark… An eternal curse upon thee…" Dark Sun Gwyndolin
  • Fan Disservice: Try stripping off your clothes/armour whilst Hollow. Go on. I won't judge you.
    • Heck if you're a bit uncomfortable about scantily dressed dudes, male armor is a loincloth thong, where as female characters have briefs.
  • Fan Service: Try stripping off your clothes/armour while not in Hollow form. Or wearing Hollow armour.
  • Fantastic Racism: Although it isn't emphasised much in-game, in the backstory there is such a fear and hatred of Undead that they are hunted down and imprisoned. In some cases, this is presumably to stop them from harming people should they turn Hollow - however, Petrus (when initially spoken to) doesn't seem too keen on the player for being Undead and requests that the player keep their distance, and some of the game's cut content outright states that the Way of White admonishes the Undead.
  • Fat and Skinny: Smough and Ornstein.
  • Fat Bastard: Smough doesn't show much respect for his fallen comrade should you choose to defeat Ornstein first. Course, he wasn't that much better in the past (see I'm a Humanitarian below). Even Frampt knows that Smough is a bastard, going so far as to offer one soul if you try to feed him Smough's Soul.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Getting hit with a "curse" attack by a basilisk or other petrifying enemy. It turns your body to stone, killing you instantly, and where-ever you revive, you're stuck at half health until you get cured. Also, becoming hollow and linking the fire.
    • Firekeepers. They're forced to spend the rest of their life guarding a single, lonely bonfire and ensuring that it remains lit despite the fact that fire as a whole is slowly dying, and are explicitly forbidden from ever leaving their bonfire, and its heavily implied even conversing with others is frowned upon. If they ever protest their job, they get their tongue cut out so they can't complain anymore. If they so much as step one foot outside their bonfire's area, they get their legs chopped off. Oh, and many, many people want to kill them, as their souls are the only things capable of powering the precious Estus Flasks.
  • Field of Blades: The gravesite of Knight Artorias is a large, grassy field, the center of which is marked by his greatsword and a large number of gravestones and regular-sized swords sticking up from the ground. It's not explained who else is buried there, though it is probably the resting places of the Forest Hunter covenant members whose spirits guard the site.
    • The Gravelord Sword Dance and Gravelord Greatsword Dance miracles obtained from Gravelord Nito should you join the Gravelord Servant covenant can count as a combination of this and Storm of Blades.
  • Filk Song: By The Escapist's Gavin Dunne, "You Died".
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The Demon Ruins and Lost Izalith are definitely based around this. The areas are lava filled underground caverns swarming with demons and are home to the Bed of Chaos, the twisted fount of life that birthed demons and chaos into the world.
  • Flavor Text: Most weapons, keys, and other equipment have a lot of flavor text on them. Unique souls from bosses will often explain parts of the backstory you wouldn't understand otherwise. Hell, the only way to even attempt to piece the backstory together is to try and gather every piece of equipment, find a safe spot to park it, and start writing.
  • Fishing for Mooks: At times an essential tactic.
  • Follow the Leader: The developers of Dragon's Dogma have stated that Demon's Souls and Dark Souls was an influence on their game.
  • Forest Ranger: The Forest Hunters, particularly Pharis.
  • Forever War: It isn't outright warfare for the most part, but there has been a long conflict over whether the Age of Fire should end or continue, a conflict that has continued for at least a 1,000 years.
  • For Massive Damage: Parrying and backstabs return from Demon's Souls.
  • Four Is Death: The Four Lords and Gwyn's Four Great Knights.


G-L[edit | hide]

  • Gainax Ending: Given how out of the way and obtuse the lore in this game is, the Link the Fire ending was this to many people.
  • Gainaxing: Gwynevere and her tremendous Gag Boobs.
  • Gang Up on the Human: The Hollows somehow know not to attack each other, just you and any other Undead that still has his or her mind. (They sense the humanity?)
  • Gentle Giant: The giant blacksmith of Anor Londo is better at smithing than talking, but he's happy about the company and perhaps the nicest NPC in the game.
  • The Ghost: The Furtive Pygmy and Gwyn's Four Great Knights, excluding Ornstein.
    • It may just be cut down to the Pygmy and Ciarin since both Gough and Artorias are set to appear in the Updated Rerelease.
  • Girlish Pigtails: One of the female hairstyles. According to Miyazaki, a female graphic artist asked that they be included when she had to leave development due to illness.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Maneater Mildred and her huge meat cleaver.
  • Glasgow Grin/Cheshire Cat Grin: Alvina and the other Great Felines.
  • God-Emperor: Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight.
  • Godiva Hair: Chaos Witch Quelaag, and her sister, the Daughter of Chaos. (Not that they have any nipples to cover up...)
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Darkwraiths were considered to be such an enormous threat to Gwyn that in order to keep them from spreading out of New Londo, he had a flood unleashed upon the entire city, killing everyone in it, and sealing them away.
  • Golden Age: The Age of Fire according to the intro. The Age of Darkness/Man according to Kaathe.
  • Golem: The Iron Golem, animated by the bone of an everlasting dragon, and the Crystal Golem enemies created by Seath.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Those gifted with Lord Souls.
  • Gradual Regeneration: While a health regeneration ring is no longer available, one can still accomplish temporary regeneration through a Miracle.
    • Leeroy's Shield has this power.
  • Grave Clouds: Pretty much the entire world is like this.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: While it may seem that the sides are cut-and-dry, discovering Kaathe shows that Gwyn is not quite as pure as he seems and that Frampt hasn't exactly been truthful with the player - although, considering the perks of his Covenant and the fact that Lordran was once a much better place to live than it is now, it is unlikely that Kaathe is really as unfairly prosecuted as he claims. The true 'moral' decision seems to be between embracing or fighting the darkness rather than behaving a certain way.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The inhabitants of Blightown aren't choosy with their weapons; some of them will happily smack you with a decaying corpse.
  • Grim Reaper: Nito is effectively this. If you use the Gold-Hemmed Black Set and/or the Dark set and a scythe, you can rock the reaper look.
  • Guide Dang It: While the Covenant system is less vague than the Tendency system of Demon's Souls, the game leaves a great deal unexplained. Not all covenants give any immediately obvious benefits, some of them are very well hidden and one can even be permanently missed, requiring you to defeat a semi-hidden boss before a certain plot point which locks you out of it until New Game+.
  • Half Human Hybrids: Priscilla the half-dragon.
    • The Chaos Witch Quelaag and her sister the Daughter of Chaos are both half-hideous-lava-spider, half-gorgeous-naked-women. Not that they were born that way.
    • The Player can become a half-dragon hybrid should they rank up the Path of the Dragon covenant.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The game starts out implying that you're trying to find a cure for the Dark Sign before switching into the conflict over whether the Age of Fire should be prolonged or ended.
  • Hammerspace: Any weapons you equip or switch to appear out of thin air, no matter how massive they are.
  • Hand Wave: The game explains the ability to assist other players clear areas and bosses you've already beaten in your own game as time distortion and leaves it at that.
  • Healing Checkpoint: The bonfires.
  • Health Damage Asymmetry: Averted, most normal enemies go down in just a few hits, but so does the player.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Siegmeyer attempts to do this for you in Lost Izalith. That said, you can stick with him and prevent him from dying, leaving him grateful though a little embarrassed. The Link the Fire ending can be interpreted as this, regardless of whether it is done willingly or because of deception.
  • Hero of Another Story: Most of the NPCs are this to a degree, though Solaire and Siegmeyer are the most notable. They're largely going on their own personal adventures in Lordran at the same time as the Player Character, who bumps into them from time to time.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Averted with Shiva's bodyguard who is semi-invisible at least. Played straight with the painting guards.
  • Hint System: The Orange Guidance Soapstone allows you to leave messages for other players. Averted in that players can leave purposefully misleading or outright false messages, like writing "Jump down here!" in front of a Bottomless Pit.
    • Keys, once you find them, often have a description that gives you a hint on where they are meant to be used and what may lie beyond. One for the Undead Burg, for example, warns you of the dogs of the Capra Demon.
  • Hit and Run Tactics: Essential for most powerful enemies and bosses.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Thoroughly abused in Anor Londo where most players that remember enemy placement behind walls use long weapons to damage them from behind walls. Naturally, the enemy can do the same. Also the case with Havel The Rock if you try to kill him from behind the Darkroot Basin door. Beware one-hit kills.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: You can easily make Seath accidentally destroy the Primordial Crystal, the item that grants him his immortality. If the player is primarily a sorcerer or sorceress, it also falls under this as Seath is the creator of magic in this universe.
  • Hope Spot: The "Bartholomew" trailer has one close to the end. During the final part of the song snippet used in the trailer, the tagline pops up word by word. It then shows the PC getting roasted by a dragon while five other words quickly flash on the screen. Fight. Struggle. Endure. Suffer. LIVE.''
  • Improbable Species Compatibility: The only possible reason as to why Crossbreed Priscilla[3] could possibly exist.
  • Hulk Speak: The giant blacksmith in Anor Londo isn't very good at talking, but he does appear to be at least somewhat intelligent.
  • Human Sacrifice: The Way of the White and the other followers of Gwyn sacrifice undead to prolong the Age of Fire. The Darkwraiths kill humans to collect their humanity and prevent it from being used to preserve the Age of Fire. Linking the Fire makes one the ultimate sacrifice.
  • Humans Are Good: Miyazaki has said that he wanted to show that deep down, people are truly good. This is shown through how concerned a majority of the NPC's act towards the player. Even Lautrec, an selfish, murderous undead fervently loves the goddess of Fina and does everything he does out of his devotion to her.
  • Hybrid Monster: The Chimera of the Tomb.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: There's no limit on how much junk you carry around other than your patience for scrolling through long menus of worthless Hollow armor. (Your weight limit is for the stuff equipped on your body). If that gets tedious but you don't want to throw anything away permanently, you can also get a "bottomless box" to throw stuff into.
  • I Am Who?: Massive spoilers. There are two possible interpretations. In the course of the game, ringing the Twin Bells of Awakening will make Kingseeker Frampt appear, telling the player that he is looking for the successor of Gwyn, who would only appear if both bells have been rung. However, if you pledge allegiance to the Darkwraith Covenant, the Primordial Serpent Kaathe reveals that your ancestor was in fact the Furtive Pygmy and that you are the rightful successor to the Pygmy. The former is a lie. Gwyndolin is continuing his father's wishes to prevent the rise of the Dark Lord, but wants to use the Chosen Undead to replace Gwyn and rekindle the First Flame so he can rule the Third Age of Fire how he wants to. The latter is the truth, as one of Pygmy's descendants is foretold to become the Dark Lord and start the Age of Dark.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Undead Burg, Blighttown, Demon Ruins, Lost Izalith, The Abyss, Tomb of Giants, etc...
    • Basically, almost all of Lordran.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Executioner Smough used the ground bones of his victims as spice for his food, appalling the Four Knights (including his buddy Ornstein). The Butcher enemies are also mentioned in flavour text to be cannibals.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Oscar, Knight of Astora, who gives you the estus flask, the key to refight the Asylum Demon and his quest to ring the Bell of Awakening, though he was unaware there are two.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Super Ornstein has this as his most deadly attack. It's almost an instant kill. Artorias does this to a monster in the Updated Rerelease. It seems to be a specialty of the Great Knights of Gwyn.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Havel the Rock wields a huge tooth taken from one of the ancient dragons as a club.
  • Indy Escape: The giant cannonballs in Sen's Fortress.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: They're just chilling in odd spots around the world. Some make more sense than others.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: You can't climb anything. This is part of what makes the city so maze-like.
  • In the Hood: The Thief starting set. The Hollow Thief hood. The Gold Hemmed Robe hood. The Dark Set is a hood with a metal skull mask. Abysswalker Artorias's helmet which is basically a hood with a metal top.
  • Ironic Nickname: "Trusty" Patches
  • Item Crafting: Weapons and armor can be created and upgraded with the right materials and some help from a blacksmith NPC or a toolkit usable at bonfires.
  • It's All About Me: Lautrec. Patches.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: That is basically this game in a nutshell. Crushed, stabbed, burned, fallen, eaten, thrown, electrocuted and cursed to come back to life every time before suffering some other brutal death. Linking the fire basically means your ultimate reward for suffering through all of that is to burn for eternity in the Kiln of the First Flame until the cycle begins anew.
  • Jerkass: Lautrec, Patches, and while it isn't immediately evident, Petrus.
    • This is pretty much the entire point of the Darkwraith, Gravelord Servant, and Forest Hunter covenants, which are all about killing players.
  • Jerkass Gods: The story doesn't give you enough information to know of all gods are this, but the ones you meet in the game are.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The story and lore of the game, exacerbated by the use of Story Breadcrumbs.
  • Jumped At the Call: Considering your other option was staying at your prison cell until the end of time, it isn't any surprise.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Petrus. If you don't buy all of Rhea's miracles after rescuing her from the Tomb of the Giants, then Petrus will assassinate her.
  • Justified Tutorial: The Undead Asylum. It's basically you in a neglected, derelict prison scrounging around for any available weapons and gear.
  • Killed Off for Real: Lots of the NPCs you meet. Oddly enough, killing them personally causes this despite the who Dark Sign bring undead back to life indefinitely thing.
  • Kill It with Fire: What pyromancy is all about.
  • Kill the God: Pretty much every boss post Lordvessel.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Oscar and Solaire. Siegmeyer wants to be this, but it a bit too bumbling.
  • Knight Templar: Allfather Lloyd, the leader of Thorolund. He basically organized a religion based around hunting undead and sacrificing them to prolong the Age of Fire. The Darkwraiths would likely have been Knight Templar EvilCounterparts to the Way of White if they didn't go Drunk with Power and become Exclusively Evil.
  • Kudzu Plot: One of the most defining aspects of the game's story. There are so many aspects of the lore, characters, character motivations that are left up in the air including what effect the end of your journey has on the world.
  • The Lava Caves of New York: The Demon Ruins and Lost Izalith. They aren't that deep underground.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Darkmoon Covenant is all about this. You may kill a person or two that you find expendable, abandon a covenant to join a better one, invade and kill another player for humanity or kill Gwynevere and think nothing of it after that. However, the Darkmoons are here to remind you that no bad deed goes unpunished. At anypoint as a Human if you've sinned you are branded for a Darkmoon invasion by another player, and unlike a regular invasion, it will continue to happen even after you've killed the area boss. However it's avoidable if you absolve yourself by talking to Oswald at the top of the Undead Church and paying an amount of souls depending on your soul level and the amount of sins you committed before getting absolved. Unless of course you kill Gwynevere. Then you are permanently branded as a sinner until New Game+.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: The Demon Ruins and Lost Izalith. Chaos pyromancies leave lava on the ground.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Patches
  • Leap of Faith: Some hidden pieces of loot require this to reach them. One can buy items (Prism Stones) specifically meant to check how far down the bottom of a pit is.
    • This is also how your character escapes from The Painted World of Ariamis.
    • You enter the Abyss via one of these as well. Unless you don't have the Covenant of Artorias ring equipped, in which case you enter your death.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Siegmeyer in Lost Izalith.
  • Let's Play: EpicNameBro's LetsPlay, his first Let's Play that made him really popular really quickly.
  • Life Drain: The unique curved greatsword Server restores a small amount of your health with every hit. As does the Ring Of The Evil Eye with every kill. Inverted with the Chaos Blade that does damage to you for every successful strike.
  • Limp and Livid: One of the PC trailers shows Artorias doing this after he drops down onto a monster, impaling it with his sword.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Those statues of people you find around Basilisk nests? Yeah those were other players who got cursed by them. Smashing them is pretty fun though.
  • Living Relic: Dusk of Oolacile. The remaining gods you meet in the game.
  • Living Statue: The Titanite Demons. The Stone Guardians. The Demon Statues.
  • Locked Door: Lots and lots of them. Many give way to convenient shortcuts as the player progresses.
  • Loin Cloth: Your character underneath all the armor.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: The final boss battle.
  • Lovecraft Lite: With enough patience and skill, you too can kill Eldritch Abominations and gods.
  • Love Makes You Evil: The Lady of the Darkling depending on how you view the Secret Police.
  • Love Redeems: Eingyi was a nasty little joker, and is implied to be the reason why the swamp below Blighttown is poisonous. However, after meeting the Fair Lady and her saving his life at the expense of her own health, he happily resigned himself to serving the Ill Girl faithfully and carrying her eggs for her.
  • Luck-Based Mission: If you don't kill Ceaseless Discharge the cheap way it can become this; sometimes it spams relatively easily avoidable attacks with massive openings to do damage, and other times it uses extremely dangerous screen-nuking attacks with a short recovery over and over (although turning yourself into a tank can get around this).
    • Likewise for the Hellkite Dragon. If you choose to fight it directly in battle and not shooting it with a bow, your victory depends almost entirely on the how much the dragon wants to nuke the bridge with fire and in many cases cause instant death.


M-R[edit | hide]

  • Magical Society: The Dragon College of Vinheim. Seath and his Channelers.
  • Magic and Powers
    • Black Magic: Sorcery spells
    • Playing with Fire: Pyromancy spells
    • White Magic: Miracle spells
    • Magic Is Mental: Sorcery at least. The player gets spell bonuses from catalysts when you increase you Intelligence.
    • Magic Wand: All three types of spells require the appropriate catalyst/talisman to cast.
    • Ritual Magic: In the sense that it's "Magic anyone can use", Pyromancy's effectiveness is unaffected by Intelligence or Faith scores. In the setting, most pyromancers come from a place called "the great Swamp" and it's seen as "uncivilized" magic.
    • Status Buff: Plenty. Some of them come from weapons, others come from rings and armor. Heal, cure, regeneration, ability up, reflect, and protect are all present as are many other unique buffs. Debuffs also show up, like slow and poison.
    • Vancian Magic: All your spells have a set number of uses before you need to recharge them at a bonfire, replacing the mana bar from Demon's Souls.
  • Magic Knight: Due to the classes being nothing more than starting status, hybrid builds are quite common. Some weapon upgrade paths even allow you to base weapon damage off intelligence or faith instead of strength and dexterity.
    • Pyromancy is practically made for this. It doesn't have any stat requirements, and damage increases simply by upgrading the Pyromancy Catalyst. There isn't a single build in the game that doesn't benefit from having some pyromancy available because it doesn't have a downside like increasing your soul level.
  • Magikarp Power: If you fully upgrade a useless hilt of a broken sword, it can be combined with a certain boss' soul to create a unique weapon.
    • In a subversion, you can upgrade any regular sword with that boss' soul and get a statistically worse version of the sword, but many players opt to do so because the degraded version of the sword has lower stat requirements and is one of the few weapons that will hit a ghost without you first being cursed.
    • Several weapons have relatively low base damage but gain signficant bonuses from player stats making them more useful at higher levels.
  • The Magocracy: The nation/citystate of Vinheim, which is run by the higher ups at the Dragon College.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Ornstein if you kill Smough first.
  • Mask of Power: Pinwheel has three of them. The player can obtain them as well and they are quite powerful.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Returns from Demon's Souls.
  • Medieval Stasis: At least 1,000 years have passed since the war against the dragons and people are still using swords and plate armor.
  • Mega Neko: Alvina and the Great Felines.
  • Meaningful Name: Firelink Shrine.
  • Memetic Outfit: The Elite Knight Set. It was featured heavily in advertisements, trailers, and official art for the game. In Fan Works it's effectively the official character design for the protagonist, perhaps because of the The Everyman look to the armor.
  • Metroidvania: While not a true example, the game's world structure is very similar to 3D Metroidvania titles like the original Soul Reaver. The game is a huge nonlinear map packed with also sorts of hidden areas and branching paths, and it is completely seamless and devoid of load screens (excluding death). As stated, it is not a true example because of the lack of permanent upgrades that open up new areas, instead replaced with finding keys to unlock new areas.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Praise the sun!
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: A variety of enemies are like this, most notably the Great Felines (they look like an unholy combination of a cat, a bear, and an alligator).
  • Monster Knight: The Capra Demon, a horrible demon that is also a dual wielding warrior.
  • Monster Modesty: The Capra Demon's pants.
    • In the Updated Rerelease, there are less transformed versions of the demonic foliage in Darkroot Forest that wield glaives and wear pants.
  • More Teeth Than the Osmond Family: Jesus. To make it worse? It's a fucking dragon and the gaping maw is it's fucking ribcage!
  • Ms. Fanservice: Gwynevere and her huge Gag Boobs. Quelaag is this if you can overlook the whole, evil lava spider for an ass thing she has going on.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Pinwheel.
  • Multiple Endings
    • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Link The Fire ending, wherein the player is sacrificed to the fire after the culmination of his trials until the whole damn thing eventually comes full circle again. Although this ending is like the good ending in Demon's Souls, in which it gives an excuse for the constant New Game+ cycle.
    • Start of Darkness: Literally and figuratively. The Dark Lord ending, wherein the player can decide not to light the final bonfire, engulfing the world in darkness once again. Although there is some debate over if this ending is truly evil.
  • Multi Platform: Published on both Play Station 3 and Xbox 360 by Namco-Bandai in North America and Europe, with a PC version in the works. (Self-published in Japan for Play Station 3 only.)
  • Murder, Inc.: Darkwraiths and the Forest Hunters.
  • Mythology Gag: Trailers show a person in fluted armor facing evils from the depths of God knows where.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Great Grey Wolf Sif, Gravelord Nito, Dragon Slayer Ornstein, and Executioner Smough.
  • New Game+: Dark Souls is designed for these; the developers have implemented secrets that they don't expect players to find until their second or third time playing through the game!
  • Nice Hat: Big Hat Logan's namesake. Pharis's hat is pretty stylish. The sorcerers of Vinheim have one as part of the uniforms.
  • Nintendo Hard: Did we mention that it's hard? It's harder than Demon's Souls! (But also more fair to the player.)
  • No Arc in Archery: Arrows fly perfectly straight until they him their max range and plummet to the ground.
  • No Fair Cheating: In order to dissuade players from breaking the street sell date and playing the game early, Black Phantoms wearing Smough's armor and with levels maxed in every stat were released into the game and will kill premature buyers on sight.
    • In Demon's Souls you could quit right before you died (By turning off the console) and you could reload the game without punishment. In Dark Souls, From Software made the game instantly autosave when you died.
    • Many of the Disc One Nuke weapons, such as the Drake Sword, do not scale in effectiveness with your stats as they grow. This means that they're strong when you first get them, but won't last you the entire game. You're going to have to work for those other cool weapons the hard way.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Love and sex are never mentioned in the series. The only marriage ever mentioned is off screen and neither character involved is personally encountered. It might just be that the world sucks so much no one can really bother thinking about such things, or that the Dark Sign is also Sterility Plague.
  • Non-Elemental: Several offensive miracles like Wrath of the Gods, Darkmoon Blade and the Gravelord Dance.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: Though it is a Spiritual Sequel, Dark Souls is this to Demon's Souls.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Priscilla. Being forced to kill her (well, assuming you've already invaded her optional world and hit her for no reason) is quite a Player Punch.
  • Notice This: Fallen bodies (either of your enemies, or other unfortunates who have passed on) with items to loot have a huge glowing soul-like aura above them. Treasure chests, by comparison, are practically camouflaged.
  • Not So Different: The Crestfallen Merchant believes the player and himself to be the same as the vile denizens of Sen's Fortress.
  • Ominous Fog: As in Demon's Souls, it serves as a gateway into boss battles and new areas.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: It isn't Latin, but there is lots of chanting in the music and it is ominous.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Endurance is arguably the most useful attribute since it both increases Stamina which is useful regardless of playstyle and allows you to carry heavier armor and weapons by increasing your maximum equipment carry weight.
  • One-Woman Wail: Several of the boss themes and the ending credits.
  • Orchestral Bombing: Used to great effect in the boss battles, especially Ornstein and Smough.
  • Orcus on His Throne: All of the bosses you fight will wait for you to show up for varying reasons, but Gravelord Nito, one of the Four Lords, and effectively the God of Death is perfectly content to sleep away his days in his coffin, observing death throughout Lordran.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They're powerful, monstrous, Exclusively Evil creatures born from the Bed of Chaos, the Witch of Izalith's failed attempt at recreating the First Flame.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Western-style dragons, but with stone scales instead of reptilian hide and two pairs of wings instead of the one. Then there's Seath, Wyverns, the Hellkite Dragon, the Gaping Dragon, et cetera. They are made even more different since Miyazaki has said that the everlasting dragons are "half living half element", something like a powerful spirit creating a bodily construct.
  • Our Gods Are Greater: They're basically Greek pantheon style super humans with magical powers and range in size from 10ft to 30ft. Some of them are exceptions to the humanoid form like Gravelord Nito.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: They were cursed by the flooding of New Londo.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: There are multiple types of giants. First are the Lords and gods like Gwyn and Izalith and demigods like Smough and Ornstein. Then there are the enormous stone giants who seem to be the manual labor of the gods as they are seen operating machinery, smithing and opening gates.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Undead are unmistakeably zombie-like, (at least the hollow ones are), but are so unusual that they fall solidly under Type O.
  • Outside Context Villain: Regardless of which side you chose, the central conflict of the game doesn't become apparent until halfway through the game, and it isn't all that apparent.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sieglinde, who has just lost her mother and is chasing after her dad who left their family looking for adventure. By the end of the game she loses her father as well.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: One of the male hairstyles.
  • Physical God: Gwyn, Nito, the Witch of Izalith mentioned in the intro. Those who ascended into Lordship at the behest of Gwyn. The other gods mentioned in lore. Possibly the Pygmy.
  • Pillar of Light: Appears when placing the Lordvessel at Firelink Altar. It removes the Brilliant Light that obstructs your way in several areas.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Princess Gwynevere's and Dusk of Oolacile's dresses. Dusk's dress is actually obtainable as an armor set in game.
  • Player Versus Player: There are a variety of ways to go toe to toe with other players, whether invading and killing them to steal their humanity, or hunting down aggressive players in the name of justice. It doesn't help that the PvP is relatively unbalanced and griefers have found equipment/spell glitches with which to use to annoy other online players. The 1.04 patch fixed/nerfed a majority of this, but ended up breaking the matchmaking and miracle resonance.
  • Pocket Dimension: The Painted World of Ariamas is literally a pocket dimension inside a painting.
  • Point of No Return: Completely and awesomely averted. All areas of the game can be revisited as many times as the player desires.
  • Power Crystal: The Primordial Crystal grants Seath the Scaleless true immortality, and the most powerful sorceries are crystalline.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Purging Stones which remove curses. With a bit of deduction you can figure out the terrible process in which they are made. [4] The process behind creating the "bite" rings is also similarly terrible.
  • Precursors: The game strongly implies that all humans, lords and gods were hollows before the coming of the First Flame and the life and souls that came with it.
  • Prepare to Die: Not only is the whole game based on the premise of dying repeatedly, this very trope is also used as a tagline for the game. Hell, even the official site has its URL named accordingly!
    • The tagline for the official strategy guide is, of course, "Prepare To Die Less."
    • The Updated Rerelease for the PC is the Prepare To Die Edition.
  • Pressure Plate: Show up as a way to activate elevators, and to trigger deadly booby traps that will kill you.
  • Properly Paranoid: Players will want to attack every chest they see...with good reason.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Unlike Demon's Souls, in which about half of the gear was either male or female only, all armor can be worn by either gender, making gender purely aesthetic.
  • Ragdoll Physics: Fully in effect and as wonky as ever; even large stone giants turn completely weightless after they die, sending them sliding around from the smallest touch. You'll also every so often see enemy corpses getting stuck on your character and wobbling around for a while as you move before falling off.
  • Rage Quit: Not a game for anyone with a short temper!
  • Ragnarok Proofing: Despite a full scale Zombie Apocalypse going on, most of the areas look surprisingly good. Undeadburg is fine, even if it's starting to get overtaken by vegetation. New Londo looks to be in good shape aside from the flooding. Lost Izalith look great and Anor Londo looks absolutely pristine.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: The game attempts to avoid this by providing most armours as a full-set, but the upgradable armour and greater variety of choices (compared to Demon's Souls), combined with the equipment weight limit that tempts players to avoid wearing too much heavy armour at once means it can be quite easy to end up looking like this.
  • Ravens and Crows: You are initially brought from the Undead Asylum to greater Lordran by a gigantic crow.
  • Reclining Reigner: Gwynevere. In her defense, it looks like a really comfy couch.
  • Red Shirt: Vince and Nico of Thorolund.
    • The player, to an extent.
    • And to a greater extent, the player phantoms that occasionally show others dying in other games.
  • Regional Riff: The dramatic swell that plays when you first enter Anor Londo. It later shows up as Ornstein and Smough's boss music.
  • Religion Is Magic: Grants healing powers, shockwaves, the ability to instantly teleport to the last bonfire you used and Bolts of Divine Retribution.
  • Religion of Evil: The Gravelord Servants. While the actual lore behind the Darkwraith Covenant presents their goals as ambiguous, the Gravelord Servants revolve around sending monsters to attack random people. Though to be fair, they are serving what amounts to Death in Lordran.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Man-Serpents who patrol Sen's Fortress and who act as prison guards in the Duke's Archives, and the the frog-like Basiliks in the Depths. Then there's Gwyndolin, who has a writhing mass of snakes in place of legs.
  • Rescue Arc: You save a good number of NPCs like Rhea from the Tomb of the Giants and Siegmeyer's quest is a series of rescuing him.
  • Reset Button: Visiting a bonfire (or dying and returning to one) heals you to full and fills up your Estus Flask, but also makes all the enemies (except bosses, minibosses and a few assorted Elite Mooks) reappear.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: You're going to have a very tough time in Dark Souls if you don't learn to how ration your spells and healing items between bonfires.
    • Also, spamming attacks in this game is ill-advised as each attack/roll you make will deplete your stamina meter. Failing to take this into account will make things difficult for the player. But at least the stamina regenerates rather quickly.
  • Respawning Enemies: The immediate area is repopulated with baddies whenever you use a bonfire.
  • Respawn Point: The bonfires serve as these in addition to granting you healing items and also allowing you to level up and use storage.
  • Resurrection Sickness: When you die, drop all your humanity and souls where you died and come back looking hollowed. Being hollowed means you can't summon assistance and can't kindle bonfires to increase how much estus you get from them.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Undead, at least until they Hollow.
  • Roundhouse Kick: The Trailer announcing the DLC shows a player doing a leg sweep version of this.
  • Running on All Fours: The Feral Skeletons. Basically giant, human skeletons that run on all fours.


S-Z[edit | hide]

  • Sacrificial Lamb: Oscar of Astora, the friendly NPC who rescues you from your cell and provides you with the Estus Flask.
    • You can also kill him, though this could be seen as a Mercy Kill -- he outright tells you he will go Hollow once he dies, and indeed will attack you if you return to the Undead Asylum later.
  • Sacrificial Lion: A good number of friendly, likable NPCs will suffer tragic deaths, usually by going Hollow, depending on the circumstance.
  • Sad Battle Music: Several of the boss themes, specifically Sif, the Moonlight Butterfly, Priscilla and the final boss.
  • Save Point: Averted, as Dark Souls auto-saves very frequently. The campfire serves more as a checkpoint; when you die you respawn there. And you will die. Often.
  • Save the Princess: To get the Lordvessel you gotta save the Princess.
  • Saving the World: The end goal of the game. That said, fans still aren't sure how to do it.
  • Scenery Gorn: Blighttown is a decrepit pit of decay and death; the upper part of it is a shantytown mostly made of poles and lashings, like a crazed treehouse project. The lower area is a nasty, poisonous swamp-cesspit in the bowels of the city. If you take the time to look around, though, you can even see the city high above the chasm you're in.
    • Don't forget New Londo Ruins after you've drained it, wet and slick everywhere with mountains of bodies just lying there.
  • Scenery Porn: Like Demon's Souls, the game features beautifully rendered dark fantasy areas with atmosphere to die for. Which is cool, because you'll be doing a lot of that.
    • There are many locations in the game that simply look gorgeous, such as the city of Anor Londo bathing in the evening sun or the massive underground Ash Lake, stretching as far as the eye can see.
    • The best part? Most of what you see isn't for show. Upon entering the Undead Burg, you may not realize that, yes, you can climb up that tower and make it to the top of that huge arching bridge and the ruins it connects to on either side. You can even see the arching bridge as far down as the Valley of Drakes, and conversely, you can see the bridge in the Valley of Drakes from the Darkroot Basin.
  • Schmuck Bait: The Great Hollow is home to many Crystal Lizards. However, they have the tendency to run off the designated platforms they spawn in and die by themselves. Knowing they are the Crystal Lizards with good loot inside them, players are usually tempted to jump down to grab the loot. Unfortunately, this is The Great Hollow, where any false step means death.
    • However it is also double-edged effect if you don't kill them before they kill themselves as the game has a set limit for how many times they will respawn if they kill themselves, if they pass that limit they will never spawn in that area again until the next playthrough, so make sure you can use a spell or have a ranged weapon.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Darkwraiths sealed within the flooded areas of the New Londo Ruins and the Four Kings sealed within the Abyss.
  • Secret Police: The Blade of the Darkmoon covenant.
  • Self Fanservice: Most of the Fan Art of Gwyndolin unmasked, who is explicitly stated as being hideous.
    • It's very likely that the "hideous" aspect of his appearance is his snakes-instead-of-legs, not necessarily his face.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Because some people don't think the game is hard enough. Aside from the standard ones listed on the page, Whip only runs (which the game admits flat out on the weapons description is a Joke Weapon almost useless against anything with armor) are common.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: The areas in Dark Souls are even more hazardous than in its predecessor, mostly due to the large amount of bottomless pits and the fact that normal enemies have gotten even more dangerous. On the other hand, area bosses are generally more manageable, with some exceptions.
  • Sequel Escalation: Of Demon's Souls. More Weapons, more armor, more areas, more bosses.
  • Sequence Breaking: Possible through a variety of ways, such as the bug that allows players to fall from any height and live.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: The most efficient way to defeat the Bounding Demons in Lost Izalith.
  • Shapeshifter Showdown: In player vs. player battles, you can use the "Chameleon" spell to disguise yourself as random clutter objects like jars and chests, but you also have to worry about your opponents using the same ability to sneak up on you.
  • She's a Man In Japan: Inverted. Lord Blade Ciarin is referred to as female (kanojo, meaning she or her) in the Japanese version. However, the English translation completely forewent using pronouns and just uses her name while referring to her, leaving her gender up to the player's own assumptions.
  • Shining City: Anor Londo was once this. Now it is the lost city.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The game probably found some inspiration in the manga Berserk:
    • There's an armor set out there which can make you look like Elminster.
    • One of the scripted black phantom invaders you'll encounter in the game is called Paladin Leeroy.
    • One of the recurring NPCs that can be summoned is named Witch Beatrice.
    • The onion-shaped armor from Catarina can be seen as one to the Onion Knight class from Final Fantasy III, although this one may be a bit of a stretch.
      • The Final Fantasy shout out is unintended. The onion armor is meant to be another Berserk reference, resembling the rounded armor worn by Bazuso.
    • The Silver Knights in Anor Londo use their bows to fire javelins, reminiscent of the swords fired by Archer.
    • Oswald may be a reference to the corrupt Pardoner from The Canterbury Tales, who, like Oswald, pardons people of their sins for a high price.
    • The Cheshire Cat seems quite comfy around some rowdy hunters, no?
    • A small, frail leader like Gwyndolin hiding behind an illusion of the giantess Princess Gwynevere? Where have I heard that one before...?
    • Upon dying, a person is at risk of completely losing their humanity and turning into a horrific creature called a Hollow.
    • After escaping the Undead Asylum, a large Raven takes you under its wing to the Raven's Nest.
    • Ornstein and his Lion motif might be a reference of the famous American composer Leo Ornstein.
    • Translated text from the Design Works artbook reveals a couple of Harry Potter references: the rotating stairs in the Duke's Archive were inspired by the moving staircases in Hogwarts and Sieglinde is apparently is supposed to resemble Hermione underneath that onion-shaped helmet.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Queen of Sunlight Gwynevere and the Darkmoon God Gwyndolin.
  • Sinister Minister: Oswald of Carim qualifies, in spite of being more morally ambiguous than anything else, although he does have an ominous air about him. Then there's Petrus, who turns out to be a murderous liar.
  • Sinister Scythe: There are two scythes available as weapons, as is a Reaper armor set if you dig that sort of thing. Crossbreed Priscilla uses one as her weapon and her soul can be used to make a third one.
  • Skull for a Head: The Capra Demon. The Darkwraith armor set gives the appearance of this.
  • Sleepyhead: Kingseeker Frampt occasionally lapses into a very deep sleep, which can be a bit irritating if you want to feed him items. Give him a good smack (but only one!) and he'll wake up.
    • Then there's Siegmeyer, who is often found asleep, sometimes standing up, and, on one occasion, while standing in the middle of a poison swamp.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: The credits theme "Nameless Song."
  • Spanner in the Works: The player can become this towards Gwyndolin.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The Wrath of the Gods miracle. Grant, the holy hunk of iron on a stick, has this as it's special ability.
  • Spikes of Doom: One of the more sadistic traps in Sen's Fortress involves an elevator that you ride up. If you stay on it too long, it continues going up right into a spiked ceiling. If you look closely, the elevator is caked with blood.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Knight Kirk, a notorious Darkwraith who can invade and attack you up to three times, wears the Armor of Thorns, which is appropriately covered in spikes. It has the effect of damaging whatever enemies the wearer rolls into.
  • Spiritual Successor: Done by the original developers of Demon's Souls, similar setting, even a very similar title. The game likely would be Demon's Souls 2 if Sony didn't own the IP.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: Notably averted. No elves. No dwarves. Definitely swords, magic and dragons though.
  • Stat Grinding: Dark Souls is effectively this type of RPG. You level individual stats based on which build type of build you want to play.
  • Status Buff: Nearly every single ring provides you with a bonus, from the obvious (increasing elemental resistance), to the awesome (changes rolling to cartwheels), to the tricky (deals extra damage with a pierce weapon when the enemy is in mid-attack animation/stagger from attacking your shield). Other status buffs include attack power increase granted by the Dragon Torso Stone's ability to roar and the Channeler's Trident dance.
  • Stealth Pun: Catarina's distinctive armor would make its wearer a Onion Knight.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Mostly, delivered to you through Flavor Text in items. The game actually has a lot of lore, but it's hidden.
  • Summon Magic: A particular covenant gives you the ability to summon black phantoms into three random players' realms. The phantoms will chase them down relentlessly and attack them without asking questions until they are destroyed by the invaded player. This gives benefit to the summoner via giving him half the souls of the slain player each time they are killed, as well as the satisfaction of giving another player a hard time just because. You hear it right, guys, Dark Souls has a freaking griefing mechanic! It can backfire if the invaded players find the sign you used to summon the phantoms, though.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Sufficiently deep water is instant death. Yeah you can cartwheel on lava, but deep enough water is instant death.
  • Taken for Granite: In the sewers and during both encounters with Seath, you're likely to find a bunch of statues that used to be people, courtesy of the nearby frog-like basilisks breathing gray gas. Given the fact that the number of statues changes frequently, it is highly likely that these statues are actually other players who got cursed. In a funny variation on the trope, though, people turned to stone also sprout a bunch of leaf-shaped rocky spikes from their bodies, as if they were growing granite crystals from the inside out.
  • Take Up My Sword: Oscar of Astora asks you to at the beginning of the game.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Time travel makes no sense and comes across as just a throwaway thing for gameplay purposes, until you start finding out about the specific summons and avenging the Fire Keeper. It's still pretty inconsistent.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Gwyndolin.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: Bartholomew and All Saints' Day by The Silent Comedy in various trailers. In the latter, the only sung lyrics increase in desperation as the trailer goes on.

"One day, will this be over?"

  • Theme Naming: Gwyn, Gwynevere, Gwyndolin; the Daughters of Chaos whose names are known start with "Quel".
  • The Theocracy: The nation of Thorolund.
  • The Voiceless: Anastacia of Astora, the Fire Keeper of Firelink Shrine cannot speak because she had her tongue removed. She gets better if revived after Lautrec kills her, though she considers her restored ability to speak sinful.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Despite being a Crapsack World, this pops up from time to time. Standing atop the Undead Parish, having just rung the first Bell of Awakening provides players with an absolutely breath taking view of the world around them, where they can see all of where they've traveled, and some of what is to come. The cut scene that plays when players first arrive at Anor Londo also counts.
  • Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: If you free Big Hat Logan he gets access to The Duke's Archives, the library of the Mad Scientist and grandfather of sorcery dragon Seath the Scaleless. Logan will develop and sell powerful crystal versions of sorceries, and after the player has bought them all and killed Seath the Scaleless he gets completely lost in the knowledge and doesn't even recognize the player. After this, he'll disappear from his usual spot and show up nearly naked and completely insane in the room Seath is first fought in. Upon killing him, it's revealed he went so far as to try (and partially failed, thankfully) to replicate Seath's curse-inducing crystal breath.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When Ornstein or Smough absorb the other's soul (and powers) after they are slain by you.
    • In the fight against Gwyn you learn pretty fast that he's not going to give you time to heal.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: A spell called "Grave Lord" lets you challenge a random player to a battle by leaving a symbol in their world that spawns powerful, rampaging enemies. If they find it, they can invade your world and return the favor.
    • To be more specific, when using the Grave Lord's spell you place a marker that show up in three random people's worlds. While the sign persists phantoms much stronger than normal spawn and you steal half of the victim player's soul amount when they die. But if ANY or maybe even ALL of them find where you hid the sign and feel like having vengeance...
    • There is also an item in the game specifically meant for this, the Red Sign Soapstone. It has infinite uses and its only purpose is to leave a sign on the ground others can touch if they wish to challenge you.
  • Tin Tyrant: The Iron Golem pictured above. A relative of the Tower Knight, perhaps? Also, black knights and silver knights who appear as Elite Mooks in various levels.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Lautrec.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Rings of Sacrifice will save your souls and humanity if equipped at the time of death, but they break after use; a variant called the Rare Ring of Sacrifice also removes the curse ailment if you're cursed at the time of death. The Ring of Favor and Protection increases your health, stamina and carrying capacity, but there are only two (with one being very well hidden) in each game run and it cannot be removed once equipped or it's lost.
    • Crystal Weapons, they are exceptionally powerful and durable. However, you can't repair them once they are broken, so it's best to save them for backup.
    • The Divine Blessing. A potion that fully restores your HP and cures all status effects (except for curse, unfortunately). It's also quite hard to get and only available in a very limited number per playthrough, so better don't "waste" it...
    • Note that the game discourages this habit with regard to normal healing items. You only have one, your Estus Flask, and it always tops off whenever you reach a bonfire. Therefore, if your life is in danger, chug away!
  • Took a Shortcut: Pops up from time to time, primarily with Siegmeyer.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: New Londo and its Sealed Evil in a Can. Anor Londo and its Decoy Leader and Man Behind the Man.
  • Tragic Monster: Just about everything in the game.
    • The Hollows are all undead humans, just like the Player Character, whose minds cracked as a result of their condition. Some of the few lucid people you encounter will inevitably share the same fate.
    • The Witch of Izalith and her children became demons with various deformities as a result of their failed attempt to relight the First Flame.
    • The Pisaca in the Duke's Archives were all humans who had been subjected to Seath's experiments after his Channelers abducted them.
    • At the end of the game, you'll find that Gwyn himself is one, having gone mad from burning alive for the past 1000 years.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers have revealed a startling amount of bosses in them. Thankfully there are still many unseen bosses and only one end game boss is seen.
  • Trial and Error Gameplay: The whole game is basically learning how long you can go without dying to a hazardous area or a boss, and what mistakes to avoid whenever you do wind up as a smear on the wall.
  • Tsundere: Quelana, who is fond of calling the player a fool and Rhea of Thorolund who initially doesn't have the time of day for you. They both warm up to you as you progress through their quests though.
  • Turns Red: The Tearstone rings do this for you. One of them increases you defense, the other your attack.
  • Unblockable Attack: Many bosses and even normal enemies possess powerful grapple attacks that have to be dodged.
  • Undeath Always Ends: Theoretically, a human cursed with the Dark Sign lives forever, but people rarely live that long in Dark Souls. Ultimately it is inverted as no cure for the Dark Sign is found by the end of the game.
  • Unfortunate Names: If you experience Ceaseless Discharge for more than a twenty-four-hour period, consult your hollow physician.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Characters that use under 25% of their equip burden can do this almost endlessly. Characters between 25% and 50% can do a reasonable dodge that can get them out of a pinch, but can't chain it. Characters that use over 50% of their equip burden just flop on the ground when they try to dodge roll.
  • The Un-Reveal: The identity of first born, the location of the Pygmy, the Pendent's purpose, what happens after the First Flame dies.
  • Urban Segregation: Just compare the opulence of Anor Londo with the tight, cramped streets of the Undead Burg. Granted, the Undead Burg has been abandoned as a city for a long time but the different in luxury enjoyed by the gods compared to their subjects was extremely vast.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: Stealth isn't really all that great in the game.
  • Vader Breath: The Titanite Demons (in spite of the fact that they don't have faces).
  • Vagina Dentata: The Gaping Dragon is an entirely blatant example if there ever was one.
  • Vampiric Draining: The Dark Hand, which is really the awakened power of the Dark Soul, allows undead to steal the humanity from others in a sort of vampiric kiss.
  • Vendor Trash: The equivalent of it, anyway. Some enemies and fallen bodies have static soul items for you to snag, which, when used, grant you some souls to spend.
    • Once you get far enough into the game, you will unlock a way to dispose of all the trash-armor accumulating in your inventory. The souls you get are a pittance, but that's better than nothing.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can, of course, help other players in their games by allowing your phantom to be summoned.
    • You can ease the suffering of the Daughter of Chaos by offering her Humanity.
    • You can avenge a Firekeeper who had been murdered, and even restore her to life, provided you're willing to part with a Firekeeper Soul.
  • Video Game Characters:
    • Airborne Mook: The Mosquitoes in Blighttown, double as Goddamn Bats.
    • Blob Monster: The Slimes found in the Depths.
    • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Black Knights early on. Havel the Rock. The Titanite Demons, which the game seems to enjoy making you fight them in tight areas with little ability to maneuver.
    • Border Patrol: The Skeletons near Firelink Shrine when first encountered. They teach players pretty quickly that this is the wrongest path you could possibly take.
    • Chest Monster: The mimics. Opening one accidentally will cause them to do a massive attack that will most likely kill the player, and teach them to never open a chest without attacking it first.
    • Dracolich: The undead dragons and the bounding demons.
    • Dem Bones: The skeletons, giant skeletons and feral skeletons.
    • Elite Mook: Several, from the boulder throwing trolls to the Dark Knights.
    • Everything Trying to Kill You: Almost everything that isn't a fellow gamer in co-op mode will be trying to kill you (and succeeding a good deal of the time).
    • Fake Ultimate Mook: Ceaseless Discharge can be seen as this. It is the largest boss in the game and very intimidating, but is one of the easier bosses in the game.
      • Capra Demon also qualifies, when you first fight one it is in a small area aided by two extremely fast enemies so beginners would naturally find this difficult. However, fighting them alone is much less hassle but it is rare to happen as once they become a regular enemy they are placed tightly together so you will usually attract two or three at the same time.
    • The Goomba: The Hollow Warriors seen in the first section of Undead Burg. Their move set is almost identical to that of the Dreglings in Demon's Souls, and are the easiest enemies in the game to fight. That said, the still pose a threat, especially in groups.
    • Invincible Minor Minion: The Skeletons in the catacombs. You can defeat them, but they'll quickly revive and reassemble themselves as long as the necromancer hiding himself nearby is alive. Or kill them with a Divine weapon.
    • Invisible Monsters: Two of the Forest Hunter NPCs. Semi-invisible at least.
    • Invulnerable Civilians: Heavily averted, as all NPCs can be killed. Even worse, one accidental hit on one, be it a merchant, or a blacksmith, and that NPC is permanently hostile, and often leads to their death, which can be disasterous later on if you happen to kill a merchant. You can, however make all hostile, yet alive, NPCs non hostile by paying Oswald of Carim an obscene amount of souls. 500 souls times your Soul Level to be exact, resulting in (for example) people at level 50 needing to amass 25,000 souls just so the woman who sells moss doesn't try to kill you.
    • Killer Rabbit: The basilisks. Dear god the basilisks...
    • Mascot Mook: The Black Knights.
    • Metal Slime: The crystal lizards/geckos (making a return from Demon's Souls), which shine brightly but tend to turn invisible (and are thus un-attackable) when you run into them. Should you manage to catch one, you're likely to get some rare ores for weapon refinement.
    • Monster Knight: A few enemies qualify. The Capra Demons, the Balder Knights, and the Darkwraiths.
    • Mooks Ate My Equipment: The Gaping Dragon and his acid vomit AOE attack.
    • Night of the Living Mooks: Many of the enemies encountered are undead of some sort; Zombies, skeletons, ghosts. Then again, almost everyone you meet is undead.
    • Personal Space Invader: Several enemies have devastating grab attacks.
    • Pinata Enemy: The Forest Hunters and the Darkmoon Soldiers. They are quick, cheap, sources for souls. The single respawning Titanite Demon is this as well for the Upgrade Stone it drops.
    • Randomly Drops: Many enemies drop rare unique weapons like the Titanite Demons and the Channelers. A few drop rare armor like the Mimics.
    • Recurring Traveler: Solaire, Siegmeyer, and Sieglinde.
    • Reviving Enemy: The skeletons in the Catacombs.
    • Roaming Enemy: The various special NPC hollows, which appear under special circumstances, and are tragic to fight.
    • Rodents of Unusual Size: Giant evil rats!
    • Shield Bearing Mook: The Giants in Anor Londo. Completely invincible from the front. Other enemies have shields, but they aren't as difficult or invulnerable as these guys.
    • Smash Mook: The Infested Barbarians.
    • The Undead: Almost everyone you meet is undead, whether or not they look or act like it. This makes sense within the setting, as those who bear the Darksign stay warm and fleshy for a while before they turn into mindless ghouls.
    • The Unfought: The Furtive Pygmy, who never shows up or is even properly mentioned outside of the intro. Artorias for the original version of the game, but averted in the Updated Rerelease.
    • Undead Child: The baby skeletons in the Tomb of the Giants.
    • When Trees Attack: The Demonic Foliage that patrol Darkroot Garden.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: It is perfectly possible to kill any and every NPC (including the blacksmiths) that you come across, should you feel inclined to do so.
  • Video Game Items and Inventory and Weapon Tropes:
    • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Ornstein's Dragonslayer Spear, apparently. His Leo Ring states that it is rumored to have cleaved a boulder in two.
    • Always Check Behind the Chair: Useful items are often hidden inside or behind containers, furniture, and other such objects.
      • As a prominent example, you'll never find Ash Lake and the Path of the Dragon covenant unless you notice that a particular chest hidden by an illusion wall is actually in front of another illusion wall.
    • An Axe to Grind: There are numerous axes in the game, and a fully ascended elemental Greataxe is one of the, if not the most destructive weapon in the game. Gargoyles have axes for tails that can be cut off and used.
    • Annoying Arrows: Arrows aren't that big of deal in this game. Unless a Silver Knight is flinging them at you.
    • Antidote Effect: Natch.
    • Armor-Piercing Attack: Lightning weapons, as most armor and shields aren't particularly effective against it.
    • Arrows on Fire: Fire arrows, naturally.
    • Automatic Crossbows: Avelyn.
    • Bag of Holding: Present in the form of the Bottomless Box, a sort of portable bank that can only be used at bonfires.
    • BFS: The Dragon Greatsword, apparently this game's version of the Dragon Bone Smasher. This weapon appears to have more in common with Nightmare's Soul Edge, however. Any weapon in the Ultra Great Sword counts as do many weapons as in the Great Sword category.
    • Blade on a Stick: Some weapons class as this, such as the verying types of spears and halberds.
    • Blow Gun: The blowdart snipers in Blighttown.
    • Breakable Weapons: All weapons (and armor) degrade slowly with use. Certain enemy abilities cause durability damage on your items, and some weapons allow you to use a powerful special attack at the cost of rapidly degrading the weapon's condition. Fortunately everything can be repaired relatively easily aside from the frail and unrepairable Crystal items.
    • Broken Faceplate: The Balder Set. Good armor but it is clear it has seen better days.
    • Cosmic Keystone: The First Flame. The Lordvessel.
    • Day Old Legend: Natch.
    • Drop the Hammer: Many of the blunt weapons, the most ridiculous of these are Grant and Smough's Hammer.
    • Dual-Wielding: As in Demon's Souls, you can equip an off-hand weapon, sacrificing your ability to parry for extra attacks, unless that weapon is something like the Parry Dagger.
    • Exclusive Enemy Equipment: Unique weapons tend to be rare drops off enemies or forged from special souls, while their armor is usually found hidden in a chest somewhere.
    • Experience Booster: The Covetous Silver Serpent Ring and the Symbol of Avarice helm.
    • Flaming Sword: Quelaag's Fury Sword. Also wielded very effectively by Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. You can also gain it if you keep his soul and use it in a Weapon Ascension, though the crafted version isn't on fire.
    • Healing Potion: Your main method of recovering health is a substance known as Estus, which is stored in a jade flask that you can refill at bonfires. This completely replaces the healing items of Demon's Souls.
    • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Generally Averted. While there are a few helmets that let you show off your face, most of them are pretty obscuring. There is no option to cosmetically hide the helmet either.
    • Heroes Prefer Swords: Swords are the most numerous weapons in the game. In addition, four of the ten classes start with swords as their weapons.
    • Hot Chick with a Sword: If you wish, you can turn your character into one of these. Also, Quelaag. Kind of...
    • Iaijutsu Practitioner: The Iaito's strong attack.
    • Infinity-1 Sword: All the Disc One Nuke equipment and some of the Ascended weapons seem like Infinity+1 Sword material, but the often limited upgrade options compared to the generic equipment make them qualify for this. Certain magic spells have a high number of uses, but actually end up using most of them during one casting.
    • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Averted, all of the keys in the game are permanent and besides the Master Key only open specific doors.
    • Katanas Are Just Better: At least for Dexterity-focused characters, as their damage increases with higher Dex. They tend to be quick, too.
    • Level-Locked Loot: Dark Souls uses stats to determine the effectiveness of weapons. Any player can equip any weapon, but if the player character doesn't have the minimum stats to properly wield it that weapon's performance will be severely penalized.
    • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: No matter what class you're playing as, you need a shield. It is suicide to play without one, that's why even the "Deprived," who starts off naked, gets one. Dual Wield builds are a common form of Self-Imposed Challenge by advanced players, and players using a two handed weapon still tend to use a shield and switch stances when not attacking.
    • Lost Forever: The Darkwraith Covenant if you bring the Lordvessel to Kingseeker Frampt rather than Darkstalker Kaathe in The Abyss.
      • Every Covenant save one can be lost forever if the player gets a bit bloodthirsty.
      • The Ring of Favour and Protection if you remove it.
      • Anything offered by NPCs will be lost forever if you kill them before getting it.
      • The "tail" weapons if you kill the enemies without cutting off the tails first.
    • Master Swordsman: Gwyn and Abysswalker Artorias.
    • Oddly-Shaped Sword: The Darksword looks more rectangular than anything else, but the prize goes to Quelaag's Furysword, which looks like a ramp/wedge attached to a stick and covered in shells, bones, spikes and grey paint. Also, it glows red whenever you swing it.
    • One-Handed Zweihander: You can use a variety of heavy weapons with only one hand if you have a high enough Strength stat. Amusingly, the inverse is also possible, allowing the player to use a six-inch dagger or small shield with both hands.
    • Plot Coupon: The Twin Bells of Awakening. The Lordvessel. The Lord Souls.
    • Poisoned Weapon: Certain unique weapons can poison enemies, as can poison arrows and throwing knives. Blighttown has enemies using poisoned darts and poisoned giant wooden clubs!
    • Possession Implies Mastery: Nope. While you can use all weapons and armor you pick up, using them without the proper stats will make using the weapon less effective, leading to awkward attack animations and severely reduced damage. One-handed weapons even need to be used with both hands to wield even remotely effectively.
      • One place where this stumbles slightly is the use of the Painting Guardian Sword, which is explicitly stated to be a weapon and technique exclusive to that order.
    • Power Fist: The Dragonbone Fist, crafted from a fist weapon and the Iron Golem's core, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Razor Wind: The Drake Sword and the Dragon Greatsword. Both are unique from Demon's Souls Stormruler in that its special ability can be used anywhere. That said, the special ability takes a huge chunk out of the sword's durability.
    • Reduced Mana Cost: The Dusk Crown Ring, effectively, with it doubling the number of sorcery casts at the price of halving HP.
    • Reforged Blade: The True Greatsword of Astorias, forged from a broken sword!
    • Rolling Attack: Wearing pieces of the Thorn armor set will allow you to damage any enemies you touch while rolling.
    • Royal Rapier: Richard's Rapier, the rapier of a prince of a distant nation.
    • Scary Impractical Armor: A variety of armor is like this, Ornstein's and Smough's armor sets immediately come to mind.
    • Shock and Awe: There are a variety of enemies that use lightning as an ability such as the Titanite Demons and Dragon Slayer Ornstein. The player can forge lightning weapons which have additional lightning damage and are some of the best weapons in the game and can also obtain three miracles that lets him throw lightning bolts Zeus style.
    • Shockwave Stomp: The two-handed power attack of the Dragon King Greataxe is slow but damages all enemies around you with a shockwave at the cost of weapon durability.
    • Sinister Scimitar: Many of the curved swords and greatswords.
    • Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship: Mostly averted. The majority of thrusting weapons can only thrust, and most slashing weapons only slash. There are a few oddities like the estoc, a long, unsharpened sword meant for thrusting, having a slash attack.
    • Special Attack: There are a large variety of weapons with unique special attacks. These can range from devastating uppercuts with powerful knockbacks, the Drake Sword and Dragon Great Sword's Razor Wind attacks, special grabs in which you steal another's humanity and many others.
    • Spin Attack: The heavy attack of certain weapons. The Belfry Gargoyles in Anor Londo also have an aerial one.
    • Stab the Sky: The Stone Greatsword's special attack does this before casting a spell that slows enemy movement speed.
    • Stance System: Your attacks depend on whether you choose to wield your weapon with one or two hands.
    • Starter Equipment: Each of the game's ten classes has its own set, some of which include unique items that can't be acquired in any other way.
    • Sword Beam: The Moonlight Greatsword has this as its special attack, making it even more reminiscent to the Moonlight Sword seen in previous From Software games.
    • Sword Drag: The Black Knight Great Sword and Black Knight Great Ax do this as part of the build up for their strong attacks.
    • Sword Lines: Great Grey Wolf Sif when wielding the massive Greatsword of Astorias.
    • Sword Sparks: Hitting a wall causes this.
    • 24-Hour Armor: Of course.
    • Whip It Good: Two different whips are available weapons.
    • With This Herring: You find a proper weapon and shield within the tutorial dungeon but just starting out, you have nothing more than the broken hilt-shard to wield against zombies. Justified since you are in a dungeon.
      • The Deprived's "proper weapon and shield" are a wooden club and plank. He/she also doesn't start with any armor.
  • Video Game Settings:
    • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Depths look a lot like this, though some parts of them also resemble catacombs.
    • The Alcatraz: The Undead Aslyum, where civilization locks up people cursed with the Darksign, mostly out of fear.
    • Ascetic Aesthetic: The path that leads to the Kiln of the First Flame. It's unlike anything else seen in the game. The area is almost a White Void Room with a downward staircase floating in the void. Ghostly apparitions of the Black Knights walk across the staircase. It really builds of the dread of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
    • Beautiful Void: Lordran, excluding all of the unpleasant monsters and zombies.
    • Big Fancy Castle: Anor Londo is an entire city built like this.
    • Blackout Basement: The Tomb of the Giants is pitch-black. And filled with some of the toughest monsters in the game, of course.
    • Bleak Level: Kiln of the First Flame.
    • Bright Castle: Anor Londo is an absolutely stunning castle city, with beautiful gothic architecture.
    • Capital City: Anor Londo.
    • Cobweb Jungle: Quelaag's Domain. The entire area is almost entirely covered with cobwebs and filled with giant spider eggs.
    • Creepy Cathedral: The Undead Parish.
    • Dark Fantasy: Like Demon's Souls, the game itself fall into this genre of fantasy.
    • Down the Drain: The Depths are your classic sewer maze, complete with giant rats.
    • Down in the Dumps: Blighttown.
    • Dungeon Town: Most of the game. The Undead Burg, Undead Parish, and The Depths are all part of one large city. Several other areas are cities as well like New Londo and Anor Londo.
      • Lordran is in fact an entire dungeon country, as it's completely surrounded by a huge castle wall (visible from the Firelink Shrine).
    • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Sen's Fortress. The area is also incredibly malicious, filled with countless Booby Traps.
    • Hailfire Peaks: The Ash Lake is a mix of Palmtree Panic and Lost Woods. The Painted World of Ariamas is a mix of Slippy-Slidey Ice World and Big Fancy Castle. New Londo Ruins is a mix of Big Fancy Castle and Big Boo's Haunt.
    • Haunted Castle: New Londo Ruins.
    • Hub Level: Firelink Shrine is basically the center of the game world, houses most of the trainers should you find them and has quick access to many areas of the game once you unlock the shortcuts.
    • Lethal Lava Land: The Demon Ruins and the first half of Lost Izalith.
    • The Library of Babel: The Duke's Archives. Naturally Big Hat Logan loves hanging out here and reading the unbelievably vast collection of tomes.
    • The Lost Woods: Darkroot Garden and Darkroot Basin.
    • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Kiln of the First Flame
    • Noob Cave: Undead Burg.
    • One-Time Dungeon: Completely averted. All areas of the game can be revisited.
    • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The area next to the hidden bonfire in Darkroot Garden. Two Darkmoon soldiers in Dark Anor Londo are also a good grinding spot.
    • Secret Level: Several.
    • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Painted World of Ariamis and the Crystal Caves.
    • Shifting Sand Land: While the heat has mostly died out, the Kiln of the First Flame is a desert made of ash and cinder.
    • Swamps Are Evil: The swamp section of Blighttown, an obvious callback to Demon's Souls Valley of Defilement.
    • Underground Level: The Catacombs and the Tomb of the Giants.
    • World Tree: The Great Hollow. The level is just one long decent down the inside of an enormous tree. The Ash Lake shows that there are hundreds of these under the world.
    • Wutai: The "Far East" is like this, and we meet a few characters from there who are a Samurai and a Ninja, but we never get to go there personally.
  • Villain Team-Up: Ornstein and Smough certainly aren't big fans of each other, but they're more than happy to work together to kick your ass.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The Abyss.
  • Warp Whistle: Obtaining the Lordvessel allows players to warp between the major bonfires.
  • Was Once a Man: Quite a few enemies. Hollows, the Pisaca in the Duke's Archives, Quelaag and her sister, Ceaseless Discharge.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: You can kill the Hellkite Dragon that guards the bridge in Undead Burg by climbing a nearby tower and shooting its wings with arrows. Or rather, one arrow. The only difficulty in regards to that is the Black Knight that lies in wait on top of the tower.
    • Ceaseless Discharge in the Demon Ruins can be killed very easily by running back to the fog gate and waiting for the boss to throw its hand down and whacking it a few time. In truth, the boss began to fall into a bottomless pit and threw its hand down to catch itself.
    • Gywn, Lord of Cinder and Final Boss is cripplingly weak to parrying. He can be done in by 3 ripostes if you are build right.
  • Welcome to Corneria: NPCs have a set amount of dialog they're say, which changes as you advance through the game.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Gwyndolin, by virtue of his father being dead. We don't know enough about their lives together when he was alive, but the fact that he was raised as a girl suggests it wasn't that great.
  • What Could Have Been: Data mining the game files reveals some dummied-out character lines and "quests" from earlier builds, possibly including the original concept of what the Pendant was to be used for. There's a greater list on the game's trivia page.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When you attack Priscilla the half-dragon, she calls you out on such offensive dickery. This is also something of the standard response to you attacking non-offensive NPCs.

Why?

    • Particularly offensive in Priscilla's case, as she's completely non-aggressive unless attacked, even gives you directions to leave the area, and is in an area that's separate from the 'real' world to boot. You have to go out of your way to even meet her, let alone attack her, which makes the whole thing feel extra dickish. Naturally, FROM Software made sure there's an achievement/trophy for killing her, just so people will feel EXTRA bad about slaughtering her just for a miserable platinum/max achievement score.
    • After dealing enough damage to Sif, he'll start to limp, attack slower, and even stumble. Go ahead, try not to feel terrible about that.
    • Eingyi will call you a monster and attack you if you kill Quelaag's sister.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Priscilla the half-dragon and Quelaag's sister.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The premise is that your hero can never die, no matter what, he'll just keep coming back. The player feels his pain.
  • The Wild Hunt: The Forest Hunter covenant. A group of bandits lead by the Cheshire Cat, they indirectly guard Sir Artorias' grave with the rest of the forest. Joining up with them allows you to invade other players' worlds and loot their corpse.
  • Witch Hunt: The Undead in the Undead Asylum were victims of this, rounded up and imprisoned to await the end of the world. An item description also mentions a band of clerics who hunt Undead.
  • Wizarding School: The Dragon College of Vinheim. According to lore, the higher ups in the college effectively run the nation/city state, whatever it is.
  • Wretched Hive: What the Female Undead Merchant thinks of Lower Undead Burg. It is filled with thieves as she said indicating that this was true at one point in the past, but they've gone hollow since then.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Several characters speak like this, although it's more jarring when it comes from the mouth of the Giant Blacksmith (arguably intentional), as he combines it with Hulk Speak.
    • Solaire in particular does this, and some of his lines are so bizarre that they have taken on a life of their own.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: Letting your guard down or trying to rush forward because you're facing enemies you've easily beaten before is generally a terrible idea and will end up with you feeling like an idiot for dying to simple zombies or skeletons you could've easily beaten with some patience.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Your character starts the game in the Undead Asylum.
  • You Already Changed the Past: To add to the general weirdness of time travel in the game, you encounter Artorias in the PC version by time travel, meaning you likely were the person to kill him in the past.
  • You Fool!: Alvina calls you this if you attempt to kill her.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Like Demon's Souls, giving your character a custom hair colour is possible. Three of the preset hair colours are even Dark Blue (which seems to be common in Carim), Dark Purple (which is noted to be a colour of a near extinct race) and Silver.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Lautrec does this to Anastacia of Astora, the Firelink Shrine Firekeeper. Kingseeker Frampt says this of the remaining Lord Soul owners.
  • You No Take Candle: Snuggly/Sparkly the Crow speaks like this.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Done by you. The game is a bit vague on what souls actually are though.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Pretty much. Many nations including Lordran were absolutely devastated by the Darksign's appearance.



"Well, now you know... And I can die with hope in my heart."

  1. Successfully using the ledge just above it for a Dynamic Entry makes it a bit easier
  2. This is just in the beginning; during the game you can build your character to whatever playstyle you like best.
  3. half-dragon, half-giant/human/god/whatever
  4. see the Fridge page for details.