Dark Souls
Format: PS3/360
Release: Out Now

A little while back i wrote a piece called “The reasons why Demon’s Souls hates you”. (on retrospect i realized it should have been called the proof that demon’s souls hates you, but whatever). For some reason, possibly because Demon’s Souls was amazing, it proved to be a pretty popular article. So here we are, over a year later, and the cruel mistress known as Dark Souls has arrived. I say Arrived, it’s more like it kicked my front door in, tied me to a chair, beat me about the face and neck, then sexually assaulted me in the best possible way.

NB: I am currently only (only!!) 18 or so hours in game. So there’s probably about a million more dick moves in store for me which i will add later)

You have to fight this things brother. With a fucking Sword Handle

The Proof Dark Souls hates you #1: You don’t even get a weapon to fight the undead horde

Demon’s Souls had a difficult start. After a few enemy encounters, it chucked you into a boss fight you were woefully unprepared for in which every single person who played the game died first time. Hell, getting killed was the whole point of that fight.  Dark Souls takes a leaf out of Demon’s book. And then gets a chainsaw and takes the whole fucking tree. Not only is the very first enemy you encounter a giant fucking demon who can kill you in one hit, for maximum trolling, From Software decided your starting weapon should be…a fucking sword handle. Not even a stick, or a club, or a fucking rock. Taking on the Asylum Demon with a sword hilt, is the equivalent of taking on dirty toilet with your tongue as the only cleaning equipment.

The proof Dark Souls hates you #2: You are about as badass as the Chuckle Brothers

See that guy in that picture? That’s the Taurus Demon. The first Boss you’ll encounter that you can actually fight with actual weapons instead of a fucking Sword Hilt. The first few times you fight him, you’ll probably lose. Unless you’re a cowardly bastard and read up about it online. You will die, several times, in several humiliating and or embarrassing ways. Maybe you’ll charge head on to meet him and get shot int he back by the archers on top of the tower you just left. Maybe you’ll climb that tower, kill the archers, and peer down at poor old Taurus Demon thinking “a ha, a safe spot! come at me bro! Cant climb fucking ladders can you, dickhead!”, only for Taurus Demon to leap about 50 feet in the air and land on your head.
You will eventually overcome Taurus Demon, by fair means or foul (the foul being the cheap ass way of jumping off the tower and whomping him on the head over and over), and then, celebrating your first Boss fight success, you will stroll of thinking your’e a bad ass, that all the citizens of Undead Parish should bow down and start sucking your cock whenever you pass, and right about then, you’ll get set on fire by the Dragon you didn’t even see, and die, and somewhere in From Software’s offices, a level designer will chuckle softly to himself, close the lid on his laptop, turn off the lights, and go home to his beautiful Wife in his Mansion made of Diamonds, while you weep softly in a corner.

The proof that Dark Souls hates you #3: Start as you mean to go on

Most games follow a relatively straightforward design ethos. That is, you start slowly, and gradually build towards tougher enemies, bosses and levels. This has been true of most games since pretty much forever. You want to entice the player in with some easy yet enjoyable gameplay, then gradually increase the difficulty to keep the player challenged and engaged in your game. Dark souls laughs at your design ethos. It laughs at it, and kicks sand in it’s face. Then walks off with your girlfriend, and fucks her right there on the beach, giving her the unbridled pleasure you never could, while you sit there with an ice cream cone covered in sand.
Dark Souls starts tough, and gets tougher. From pitting you against a giant boss armed with only a broken handle in the opening 5 minutes, to your first battles with lowly Undead Warriors in the Undead Burg, everything will kill you in a couple of hits. And that’s if you actually take the easy route and go to Undead Burg, for some unfortunate bastards take the wrong way out of the starting area and end up in The Catacombs, facing off against Skeletal Warriors they have no hope of killing, or worse still, they wind up in New Londo Ruins, and end up facing enemies they cant even physically hit. There is no let up in Dark Souls. It’s a game that sets out it’s stall very early on and doesn’t change for a second. And that stall is labelled “Free punches in the dick. Get yours here”.

Proof that Dark Souls hates you #4: Blight Town

You may remember from the ‘reasons why demons souls hates you’ article that one of the reasons was ‘The Valley of Defilement’. A level in which the very act of being in the level was harmful to your characters health, and in which the camera would cause roughly 50% of all your deaths due to getting hidden behind scenery for a laugh while you tried desperately to protect yourself from the giant club wielding depraved monsters who would routinely use your arsehole as a makeshift condom for their oversized clubs.

Blight Town, in Dark Souls, is somehow worse. Half of the level is set on rickety wooden scaffolds from which a plunge to your death is always a viable option. The other half is set in a swamp which will poison you to death in seconds just by standing in it. If the endlessly respawning poisonous flies don’t poison you to death first that is. Then there’s the framerate, which dips to single digits if you point the camera in a specific direction. Generally that direction is ‘toward where most of the enemies are coming from’. It’s supposedly a ‘technical issue’, but personally, im guessing there’s a level designer somewhere in From software who’s getting a Christmas bonus this year for ‘most subtle trolling’ thanks to his ingenious idea to troll players by making a level even harder but without altering gameplay.

But the worst part of Blight Town? It’s not the framerate, and it’s not the swamps. It’s not even those little bastard dogs the size of a chinchilla who you look at and think youre gonna stomp all over them until they roast you to death with their fire breath, while you look on bemusedly like a dog who’s just been shown a card trick.
The worst part of Blight Town is your reward for killing the most difficult enemies in this area, is literally, a shit sandwich. For killing the fat club wielding bastards, you’re given an item called a Dung Pie. From are basically saying, ‘hey, congrats on beating blight town, HAVE SOME ACTUAL SHIT.’

Proof that Dark Souls hates you #5: Anor Londo

Blight Town is Shit. Literally, shit. Anor Londo however, makes it look like the easiest, most carefree gaming experience since Flower.
Whereas Blight Town is made out of rickety walkways and poisonous swamps, Anor Londo is just. fucking. brutal.
If you’re like me, youre a rapidly ageing geek with a fetish for Asian pornography. Just kidding. But if you’re really like me, you’ll start off in Anor Londo, admiring the beautiful vista you’re presented with upon arrival, like something out of that city full of gay elves in Lord of the Rings, and think to yourself “well this is a nice change from all the dank miserable hovels ive been exploring, how could such a pretty area be bad??”.
Then you’ll spot the first enemy. A giant steel warrior fully twice your size, and think, “a-ha, a mini boss, thank christ these guys dont re-spawn when i use a bonfire”.

And then you see 2 more of them in the room beside you. And 3 more ahead of you. And then you realize these tough as nails giants aren’t mini bosses, they are in fact the bread and butter enemies of Anor fucking Londo. And from there, it all goes downhill like Stephen Hawking with his brake line cut.

Those Black Knights you cowered in fear of in Undead Burg? Theres 4 of those just chilling out in a single room. Theres 2 even bigger Steel Giants hanging out on your way to the boss room. Black Knight Archers who can knock you off the tiny walkway that leads to the main palace. 2 Gargoyles chillaxing on the central bridge. And a boss fight that’s basically like fighting King Allant & The Flamelurker from Demons Souls at the same fucking time.
In years to come, phrases like ‘it’s not Rocket Science’ or ‘it’s not Brain Surgery’ will be replaced with ‘it’s not Anor Londo in NG+’.

Proof Dark Souls Hates you #6:
All the little things

At this stage i’m actually having trouble recalling all the times ive been trolled by Dark Souls.
But i’m gonna try and recall most of them here in a handy list format for you, so one day you might be able to avoid some of the more embarassing moments in Dark Souls:

  • No matter what level you are, chances are the walking penis shaped mushrooms will oneshot you. There is nothing more emasculating than having killed a giant 7 Headed Hydra, only to die several minutes later by being punched in the dick by a giant Mushroom.
  • In order to restock your health, you have to revive and restock every single enemy you killed/wounded in your area.
  • A large proportion of your deaths will be from being hugged to death by a walking bush.
  • Its completely possible that some point, you will have eggs laid in your head and wind up looking like this:
  • At some point, you WILL get cursed by a cutesy bug eyed frog, reducing you to 50% health until you lift the curse.
  • The entire level of Sen’s Fortress
  • Noone around to invade your game? NO PROBLEM! Dark Souls now invades itself for you with NPC invaders!!
  • A man wearing Stone Armour will beat you to death with a giant Dildo.
  • Tomb of the Giants is another troll level that simulates what its like to be a blind man playing Dark Souls.
As a sequel to Demons Souls, Dark Souls is pretty much everything youd come to expect from the masters of the videogame troll, From Software. Since my initial post, i’m now over 40 hours into Dark Souls, and this game is for me, one of the highlights of the generation. It’s an unforgiving, brutal game that will make you rage, make you frustrated, and make you weep for bloody joy when you finally overcome a Boss who at one point gave you a complete spanking without even breaking a sweat.  Once it gets under your skin, like an egg laid in your head by a giant worm thing, it’s impossible to get it out.