The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

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    The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Deathsitexxi on Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:35 pm

    Hello everyone!

    I’ve been reading these forums for a while now (3-4 months) and really enjoy the discussions and interesting arguments that each of you have put out there. I finally decided it was time to join in on the fun. So let me get right to it! If I talk about anything that has been addressed in a previous post I apologize but hope you enjoy reading.

    We all know that most of the characters in souls games use mysterious wording when they speak. Part of the fun is dissecting and trying to translate exactly what meaning they are to convey. That being said, one of my favorite lines of dialog from the game comes from Dusk of Oolacile.

    “From my home I was taken, and banish’d to a plane of distortion.

    It was there, that thou came to my rescue. “

    A lot of what I’ll talk about next should be considered speculation so take everything with a grain of salt and feel free to pick it apart =).

    It’s a known fact that time is distorted in Dark Souls, but I find it very interesting that Dusk specifically says “banish’d” and “plane of distortion”. The first time I heard this dialog I instantly thought of limbo. This leads me to believe that the time period you are in isn’t even your time period (Were you banished as well?), as a matter of fact; I don’t believe you’re even in a specific time period at all. Now I’m not saying time jumps around from area to area, but I think that the places you go are, in a way, frozen in time creating this “plane of distortion”. What time period are the areas frozen in, I don’t know.

    So what caused this distortion? Gwyn linking the fire? The birth of the Bed of Chaos? The death of the dragons? The splitting of the Dark Soul? What if the undead sign isn’t a sign of a disease or plague but displaced souls traveling throughout time? They would be unable to truly die because of this distortion/freezing of time. Now I’m going out on a limb here but what if because of this distortion…we are all the same chosen undead and only the time distortion makes us different. Which makes me ask “Who the crap is the player character!?” Below are a list of things that come to mind when I think about this.

    Explains why enemies respawn when you visit a bonfire. You are perpetuating something that resets the world around you. Maybe a hint at what started the displacement in the first place..but it does not explain bosses not respawning when visiting a bonfire…..

    When you pick up your “body” it’s just a green “distorted” cloud…souls stuck in time?.

    Die a second time and your first “body” disappears… time became too distorted?

    New game + is just a loop of time distortion you never win and you’ll never lose…does not explain new game+ with the Dark Lord ending because you don’t touch the bonfire…. But that would explain what the Age of Dark really is, time moving forward not resetting… the unknown… Darkness..

    Anywho guys, thanks for reading and this is really just a posting of my random thoughts so sorry if it’s not coherent. I’d love to hear what you guys can come up with and look forward to it. Thank you for your time!
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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by JohnnyHarpoon on Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:01 pm

    I like talk of time theories and time loops and stuff, and I'd definitely say Lordran is stuck somewhere in time.

    I was speaking to a friend recently, and we came to the conclusion that time doesn't really matter to the Undead in general. Like, clearly when you rest at a Bonfire, dead things respawn, so time is being skewed and such...but without even thinking about that...what is time with no death? Just by removing death from a human's existence, in a way, would also ruin their perception of time - there's no 'young' or 'old' anymore, you know? And in Lordran, where there's really no sunrise or sunset (it's constantly fake-sunny or just dark), what the hell do you have even to really tell time?

    It is, in and of itself, like being stuck in time.

    But so, yeah. I support your argument (though I wouldn't call it the "true meaning" of Dark Souls...I have a whole other theory for that twisted ).


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by menzinho on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:22 pm

    omg you are a genius... after 8 playthroughs i did not noticed that fact yet XD *maybe i was too distracted trying to figure the firstborn out...) you enlightened a hell of a thing to me good job!


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Serious_Much on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:30 pm

    This has always been clear, it even says on the white soapstone 'in lordran, the flow of time is distorted'. the npcs you see are from a different timeline than yours, and the whole reason the summoning and invading works is because of this time distortion.

    The bonfire thing is a bit of genius too, it's a great idea, i've never thought of it like that.. in a way, you could say the bonfires are the sole points of true timeflow, hence why when you sit down at one the flames rush around you, and your world becomes the same again.

    That's why in your world, you're the one and only chosen undead, but there are many as shown by the interconnecting worlds of other 'chosen undead' players.

    i don't think that ng plus is meant to be anything to do with time distortion, it's just the system which from puts it's pve in. But Lordran is definitely stuck in time, with interconnecting parallel worlds.


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Deathsitexxi on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:00 pm

    This could be a double post because my computer is acting like crap....Hey Johnny, I’ve read a few of your posts in the past and like the way you think! So first off, thanks for the read and respond! You also reminded me why I called it The “True” meaning of Darks Souls in the first place. Don’t you hate it when you’re writing something and half way through it you forget your final point and don’t even include it in your post…. Yeah moving on and warning this is more speculation! So, what it really got me thinking is “What does it mean to be considered a true God?” To me, the only thing you could do to be called a (this is pure opinion) true God is control time. If you control time you control life, death, any event of your choosing and basically you can change the rules how you see fit. Is that what the flame really is, time itself? Because if not I think most defiantly relates to it.

    And thanks for the props Menzinho! However, it is just my speculation and really hard to make concrete..
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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Shkar on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:23 pm

    Deathsitexxi wrote:This could be a double post because my computer is acting like crap....Hey Johnny, I’ve read a few of your posts in the past and like the way you think! So first off, thanks for the read and respond! You also reminded me why I called it The “True” meaning of Darks Souls in the first place. Don’t you hate it when you’re writing something and half way through it you forget your final point and don’t even include it in your post…. Yeah moving on and warning this is more speculation! So, what it really got me thinking is “What does it mean to be considered a true God?” To me, the only thing you could do to be called a (this is pure opinion) true God is control time. If you control time you control life, death, any event of your choosing and basically you can change the rules how you see fit. Is that what the flame really is, time itself? Because if not I think most defiantly relates to it.

    And thanks for the props Menzinho! However, it is just my speculation and really hard to make concrete..

    When it says time is distorted, ot most likely doesn't include forward and backward much. Instead, it seems probable that the "distortion" is in fact "sideways". Alternate timelines. Timelines where the only discernible difference is who the player character is.

    As for what's doing it, it seems to me as if it is the fire dying. All the timelines converge on that point. no matter what happens at this point, you are "sent back in time" to the start, as if time loops there. All the timeslines converge on the fire; It seems probable that it is what is drawing them there in the first place.


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Deathsitexxi on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:45 pm

    Shkar wrote:
    Deathsitexxi wrote:This could be a double post because my computer is acting like crap....Hey Johnny, I’ve read a few of your posts in the past and like the way you think! So first off, thanks for the read and respond! You also reminded me why I called it The “True” meaning of Darks Souls in the first place. Don’t you hate it when you’re writing something and half way through it you forget your final point and don’t even include it in your post…. Yeah moving on and warning this is more speculation! So, what it really got me thinking is “What does it mean to be considered a true God?” To me, the only thing you could do to be called a (this is pure opinion) true God is control time. If you control time you control life, death, any event of your choosing and basically you can change the rules how you see fit. Is that what the flame really is, time itself? Because if not I think most defiantly relates to it.

    And thanks for the props Menzinho! However, it is just my speculation and really hard to make concrete..

    When it says time is distorted, ot most likely doesn't include forward and backward much. Instead, it seems probable that the "distortion" is in fact "sideways". Alternate timelines. Timelines where the only discernible difference is who the player character is.

    As for what's doing it, it seems to me as if it is the fire dying. All the timelines converge on that point. no matter what happens at this point, you are "sent back in time" to the start, as if time loops there. All the timeslines converge on the fire; It seems probable that it is what is drawing them there in the first place.

    Hey Shkar. I’ve read a lot of your postings and they have helped me pass a lot of time in the real world when I’m unable to play. Thanks for the read and response.

    I agree with you when you say that the “distortion” is in fact “sideways”. Time had to move forward to get where it is at the point of the “freezeing” or whatever you want to call it. And from the little bit of the DLC that I’ve seen I’d have to say things look much different, more alive (not stagnate) if you will (won’t get into what I really think because I want to make this as spoiler free as possible). Anyhow, your comment got me thinking.. What is a point where time stops moving “forward” on its own and is fragmented into alternative timelines that move forward on their own/or are frozen in their own time loop? I’m obviously leaning towards Gwyn re-lighting the flame, but it’s interesting to note that some people believe the Dark Soul was fragmented and spread around as humanity (or maybe that’s a well known fact I can’t remember). If this is true, would the shattering of the Dark Soul be what changed the flow of time? Is that why it’s offered to bonfires to Kindle? Maybe this is why Gwyn tried to re-light the first flame in the first place, to reunify time. Thinking about it even more, to control time would be to control the sun… hmmm Again, a lot of speculation and not a lot of answers. Sorry if it sounds as if I’m talking out of my @$$ lol I’m just enjoying the discussion.

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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by JohnnyHarpoon on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:31 pm

    Deathsitexxi wrote:This could be a double post because my computer is acting like crap....Hey Johnny, I’ve read a few of your posts in the past and like the way you think! So first off, thanks for the read and respond! You also reminded me why I called it The “True” meaning of Darks Souls in the first place. Don’t you hate it when you’re writing something and half way through it you forget your final point and don’t even include it in your post…. Yeah moving on and warning this is more speculation! So, what it really got me thinking is “What does it mean to be considered a true God?” To me, the only thing you could do to be called a (this is pure opinion) true God is control time. If you control time you control life, death, any event of your choosing and basically you can change the rules how you see fit. Is that what the flame really is, time itself? Because if not I think most defiantly relates to it.

    And thanks for the props Menzinho! However, it is just my speculation and really hard to make concrete..

    I like the forward thinking here...

    To turn from Dark Souls talk to just pure physics talk, time itself, as we know it, only exists because of light. Time really just is our mind's interpretation of light particles. They fly by us at a consistent speed, and thus we interpret time consistently. However, if we were to increase our own speed, the more we would travel into the future (because less light would pass by you than those still traveling normally, and thus more time would pass for them than you).

    To be the Lord of Light would be to be the Lord of Time in a way, because all time is relative to the speed at which you travel in relation to light (aka time is relative).

    In this regard, the Flame going out is almost like the opposite of traveling into the future - instead of accelerating to the speed of light, light itself is weak and slowing down. This would distort time in other ways, as opposed to simply traveling into the future.

    Granted I am applying real life physics in a world with magic missiles, false suns, zombies, and a bunch of things...but this almost seems to me that 'Linking the Fire' might actually end the Undead Curse, albeit only temporarily and at your own sacrifice.

    Life sprung from the Flame, the Flame begins to go out and needs to be Kindled...once fire is weak and time grows more distorted, the Undead Curse begins to manifest itself, because, without proper time, people stop dying - it's a mess - until, finally, somebody Links the Flame, and their soul fuels it for another 1000 years, or maybe forever (given a Human never linked the Flame before, etc.), but either way, the Flame grows strong again and time ceases to be inconsistent.

    Everything we've got here is really tying together.


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Deathsitexxi on Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:19 pm

    JohnnyHarpoon wrote:
    Deathsitexxi wrote:This could be a double post because my computer is acting like crap....Hey Johnny, I’ve read a few of your posts in the past and like the way you think! So first off, thanks for the read and respond! You also reminded me why I called it The “True” meaning of Darks Souls in the first place. Don’t you hate it when you’re writing something and half way through it you forget your final point and don’t even include it in your post…. Yeah moving on and warning this is more speculation! So, what it really got me thinking is “What does it mean to be considered a true God?” To me, the only thing you could do to be called a (this is pure opinion) true God is control time. If you control time you control life, death, any event of your choosing and basically you can change the rules how you see fit. Is that what the flame really is, time itself? Because if not I think most defiantly relates to it.

    And thanks for the props Menzinho! However, it is just my speculation and really hard to make concrete..

    I like the forward thinking here...

    To turn from Dark Souls talk to just pure physics talk, time itself, as we know it, only exists because of light. Time really just is our mind's interpretation of light particles. They fly by us at a consistent speed, and thus we interpret time consistently. However, if we were to increase our own speed, the more we would travel into the future (because less light would pass by you than those still traveling normally, and thus more time would pass for them than you).

    To be the Lord of Light would be to be the Lord of Time in a way, because all time is relative to the speed at which you travel in relation to light (aka time is relative).

    In this regard, the Flame going out is almost like the opposite of traveling into the future - instead of accelerating to the speed of light, light itself is weak and slowing down. This would distort time in other ways, as opposed to simply traveling into the future.

    Granted I am applying real life physics in a world with magic missiles, false suns, zombies, and a bunch of things...but this almost seems to me that 'Linking the Fire' might actually end the Undead Curse, albeit only temporarily and at your own sacrifice.

    Life sprung from the Flame, the Flame begins to go out and needs to be Kindled...once fire is weak and time grows more distorted, the Undead Curse begins to manifest itself, because, without proper time, people stop dying - it's a mess - until, finally, somebody Links the Flame, and their soul fuels it for another 1000 years, or maybe forever (given a Human never linked the Flame before, etc.), but either way, the Flame grows strong again and time ceases to be inconsistent.

    Everything we've got here is really tying together.



    Wow, that was a very thought out and well written response
    and maybe we are looking at it too deeply… but damn if that doesn’t make some
    kind of sense. I’m sure we’re missing
    some details and we are maybe venturing into writing fan fiction, but like I
    said in response to Shkar. I’m really curious to know what exactly caused this
    time distortion.


    One theory I thought about while driving home was…. If the
    flame is time itself, and from it the lord souls came… aka the strong souls
    present themselves once the first flame (time) is truly established. Maybe..
    just maybe.. when the Witch of Izalith tried to dup the flame that’s where the
    time distortion originated. Even more so, maybe that is why Gwyn linked the
    fire in the first place, maybe what he did froze time and thus stopped the
    distortion from ripping time and space apart. Wow, am I writing fan fiction
    yet? Anywho, thanks again for the comments and I’d have to say it makes a lot of
    sense.
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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Shkar on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:22 pm

    I will freely admit that I do not know wnough about relativity to get into that debate too much. I know just enough about the subject that both the simplified and expanded explanations don't click with me. So, rather then contribute to the spread of misinformation and risk butchering the explanation, I won't try to touch the subject that Johnny brought up.


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by menzinho on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:57 pm

    ah man, don't degrade your ideas, they may be only speculation, but for speculation to become true (like Solaire or the PC being the firstborn <--- total lie btw), all you need is people to believe it and support it, and you already got one HIGH FIVE DUDE!


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Shkar on Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:05 am

    menzinho wrote:ah man, don't degrade your ideas, they may be only speculation, but for speculation to become true (like Solaire or the PC being the firstborn <--- total lie btw), all you need is people to believe it and support it, and you already got one HIGH FIVE DUDE!

    For the record, who were you referring too?


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by menzinho on Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:06 am

    see my first post on this topic


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Deathsitexxi on Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:04 am

    While I will agree that we can’t entirely substantiate what
    we are trying to prove due to the fact that it’s a hard subject to pin down on
    its own. I will say this is one of the main reasons Dark Souls keeps me
    playing. I love that we can speculate like this and go as deep as Johnny did
    and it make a ton of sense. I respect that you don’t agree or even if the idea
    doesn’t click with you and I wish there was a better way for me to explain it
    for it to make more sense (or persuade you to the dark side >=O). In either
    case Shkar you seem to be pretty passionate about the lore and you have a lot of
    it figured out for your Dark Souls experience. If you could add anything to
    disprove or prove what we are trying to say please let us hear it! I love the
    debate and don’t think any of this is misinformation as long as we say “Hey! We’re
    speculating here!”


    Menzinho! Thanks for the kind words and hope it gets the
    speculation juices flowing! If you got any ideas please share!
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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Shkar on Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:50 am

    Alright, here goes. Remember that I am very possibly wrong about the science parts I mention in the next paragraph.

    "Time" exists even without light; it's a simple representation of how things change. Even if there was no light, a rock suspended in the air would still fall over the course of a few seconds. Heck, light can be slowed down. Every discussion about relativity talks about time from the point of view of an individual; the "frame of reference". What they forget is that nature doesn't go off us, nature goes off the view of the universe as a whole. In that aspect, space is the equivalent of a movie and time is the bar you use to select what part to watch. "Freezing time" would be the equivalent of freezing height so that you wouldn't fall or climb up hills or etc; it just doesn't make sense.

    Now, the obvious part of this whole time debate is that we are dealing with "parallel" timelines. This implies some kind of multiverse theory, but the only alternate dimensions we ever hear about are the ones where someone else is the main character. That is literally the only difference. They still have to ring the bells, they still have to get the lordvessel, they still need to kill Gwyn. We aren't dealing with a normal multiverse theory where every possible alternative happens in some parallel universe. There isn't a world referenced where, say, The Witch never tried to remake the fire. Every parallel world is different SOLELY in who the main character is.

    Most of the actual game is unimportant. You can skip every boss before Sen's except for Quelaag and the Bell Gargoyles. You can become a darkwraith and abandon the fire or you can join the Way of White and link it. Even the bosses you have to kill are only important because there is no way around them. The only IMPORTANT part of the actual gameplay is when you kill Gwyn (because of the decision that immediately follows), and the only detail important enough to change between worlds is who the main character is.

    After you kill Gwyn, you (and you alone) immediately warp back in time. This isn't "Hard mode unlocked"; Your inventory, your skills, and your memory are all retained. You keep your armor, your stats don't deteriorate, and you remember your spells. You are warping back in time, as if time is looped. The only other media I know of that has covered a similar scenario is Groundhog Day, and if it follows that it means that there is some alternative ending (lorewise) that would break the time-loop.

    I think the fire is symbolic. It represents heat, life, light; basically, energy of any and all forms. It is the "soul" of the universe; the battery, so to speak. Magic is ALWAYS symbolic; Fey are weak against iron, vampires hate garlic, werewolves are weak to silver. It is possible that linking the flame isn't a physical "process", so much as it is a symbolic offering. You offer up your life, your "energy", in order to allow the universe to live on a while longer.


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by JohnnyHarpoon on Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:21 am

    Shkar wrote:Alright, here goes. Remember that I am very possibly wrong about the science parts I mention in the next paragraph.

    "Time" exists even without light; it's a simple representation of how things change. Even if there was no light, a rock suspended in the air would still fall over the course of a few seconds. Heck, light can be slowed down. Every discussion about relativity talks about time from the point of view of an individual; the "frame of reference". What they forget is that nature doesn't go off us, nature goes off the view of the universe as a whole. In that aspect, space is the equivalent of a movie and time is the bar you use to select what part to watch. "Freezing time" would be the equivalent of freezing height so that you wouldn't fall or climb up hills or etc; it just doesn't make sense.

    Now, the obvious part of this whole time debate is that we are dealing with "parallel" timelines. This implies some kind of multiverse theory, but the only alternate dimensions we ever hear about are the ones where someone else is the main character. That is literally the only difference. They still have to ring the bells, they still have to get the lordvessel, they still need to kill Gwyn. We aren't dealing with a normal multiverse theory where every possible alternative happens in some parallel universe. There isn't a world referenced where, say, The Witch never tried to remake the fire. Every parallel world is different SOLELY in who the main character is.

    Most of the actual game is unimportant. You can skip every boss before Sen's except for Quelaag and the Bell Gargoyles. You can become a darkwraith and abandon the fire or you can join the Way of White and link it. Even the bosses you have to kill are only important because there is no way around them. The only IMPORTANT part of the actual gameplay is when you kill Gwyn (because of the decision that immediately follows), and the only detail important enough to change between worlds is who the main character is.

    After you kill Gwyn, you (and you alone) immediately warp back in time. This isn't "Hard mode unlocked"; Your inventory, your skills, and your memory are all retained. You keep your armor, your stats don't deteriorate, and you remember your spells. You are warping back in time, as if time is looped. The only other media I know of that has covered a similar scenario is Groundhog Day, and if it follows that it means that there is some alternative ending (lorewise) that would break the time-loop.

    I think the fire is symbolic. It represents heat, life, light; basically, energy of any and all forms. It is the "soul" of the universe; the battery, so to speak. Magic is ALWAYS symbolic; Fey are weak against iron, vampires hate garlic, werewolves are weak to silver. It is possible that linking the flame isn't a physical "process", so much as it is a symbolic offering. You offer up your life, your "energy", in order to allow the universe to live on a while longer.

    I suppose you could argue that time exists in darkness, but one's perception of time, which is all that really counts, is entirely based upon light, and their relative speed in the universe.

    Time for a a physics lesson:
    First, you just kind of have to understand that, generally speaking, nothing travels faster than light...which is obvious, anyway. But also, the speed of light in a vacuum is a very important constant throughout all of physics, so 'slowing light down' is not quite so easily done as said.

    Anyway, I think it also important to understand how light works. If you're looking at me, light is striking me, and then the waves bounces off me and travels from me to your eye. If you see me blink, that means that more light particles have bounced off of me in the instant I blinked, and those new particles then went and and hit your eye. The only reason you see things is because light waves bounce off of them, and right into your eyeball.

    Now, to start incorporating time, a good example is looking at a distant object in the night sky (pretty much anything except a planet in our solar system, their moons, or the Sun).

    All of these things are lightyears and lightyears away from us. Now, a lightyear is actually a measure of distance - not time - as it is the distance that light (traveling faster than anything else in the Universe) can travel through space in one year.

    Now, given these things are lightyears away from us, we actually see them in the past - if we see a planet 3 million lightyears away from us, that essentially means that, 3 million years ago, light struck and was reflected off that planet...it traveled through space for 3 million years...until the lightwaves reach us, now. But, given it took these waves 3 million years to reach us, we are actually looking at the planet 3 million years ago!

    Now, who's reality is distorted? lol

    But anyway, my grand point is, essentially, if you could travel at the speed of light...the lightwaves around would be at a stand still - or rather, you would constantly be moving with the same particles of light, everywhere you go. Effectively, you would be frozen in time, as you would consistently see the universe in one singular instance of light.

    Instead, however, Dark Souls seems to have a twist. Instead of you being accelerated to the speed of light, it is almost as if the 'speed of light', that universal constant, is now slowing down, faltering, dying...and the very fabric of time now wavers.


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Shkar on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:40 am

    JohnnyHarpoon wrote:
    Shkar wrote:Alright, here goes. Remember that I am very possibly wrong about the science parts I mention in the next paragraph.

    "Time" exists even without light; it's a simple representation of how things change. Even if there was no light, a rock suspended in the air would still fall over the course of a few seconds. Heck, light can be slowed down. Every discussion about relativity talks about time from the point of view of an individual; the "frame of reference". What they forget is that nature doesn't go off us, nature goes off the view of the universe as a whole. In that aspect, space is the equivalent of a movie and time is the bar you use to select what part to watch. "Freezing time" would be the equivalent of freezing height so that you wouldn't fall or climb up hills or etc; it just doesn't make sense.

    Now, the obvious part of this whole time debate is that we are dealing with "parallel" timelines. This implies some kind of multiverse theory, but the only alternate dimensions we ever hear about are the ones where someone else is the main character. That is literally the only difference. They still have to ring the bells, they still have to get the lordvessel, they still need to kill Gwyn. We aren't dealing with a normal multiverse theory where every possible alternative happens in some parallel universe. There isn't a world referenced where, say, The Witch never tried to remake the fire. Every parallel world is different SOLELY in who the main character is.

    Most of the actual game is unimportant. You can skip every boss before Sen's except for Quelaag and the Bell Gargoyles. You can become a darkwraith and abandon the fire or you can join the Way of White and link it. Even the bosses you have to kill are only important because there is no way around them. The only IMPORTANT part of the actual gameplay is when you kill Gwyn (because of the decision that immediately follows), and the only detail important enough to change between worlds is who the main character is.

    After you kill Gwyn, you (and you alone) immediately warp back in time. This isn't "Hard mode unlocked"; Your inventory, your skills, and your memory are all retained. You keep your armor, your stats don't deteriorate, and you remember your spells. You are warping back in time, as if time is looped. The only other media I know of that has covered a similar scenario is Groundhog Day, and if it follows that it means that there is some alternative ending (lorewise) that would break the time-loop.

    I think the fire is symbolic. It represents heat, life, light; basically, energy of any and all forms. It is the "soul" of the universe; the battery, so to speak. Magic is ALWAYS symbolic; Fey are weak against iron, vampires hate garlic, werewolves are weak to silver. It is possible that linking the flame isn't a physical "process", so much as it is a symbolic offering. You offer up your life, your "energy", in order to allow the universe to live on a while longer.

    I suppose you could argue that time exists in darkness, but one's perception of time, which is all that really counts, is entirely based upon light, and their relative speed in the universe.

    Time for a a physics lesson:
    First, you just kind of have to understand that, generally speaking, nothing travels faster than light...which is obvious, anyway. But also, the speed of light in a vacuum is a very important constant throughout all of physics, so 'slowing light down' is not quite so easily done as said.

    Anyway, I think it also important to understand how light works. If you're looking at me, light is striking me, and then the waves bounces off me and travels from me to your eye. If you see me blink, that means that more light particles have bounced off of me in the instant I blinked, and those new particles then went and and hit your eye. The only reason you see things is because light waves bounce off of them, and right into your eyeball.

    Now, to start incorporating time, a good example is looking at a distant object in the night sky (pretty much anything except a planet in our solar system, their moons, or the Sun).

    All of these things are lightyears and lightyears away from us. Now, a lightyear is actually a measure of distance - not time - as it is the distance that light (traveling faster than anything else in the Universe) can travel through space in one year.

    Now, given these things are lightyears away from us, we actually see them in the past - if we see a planet 3 million lightyears away from us, that essentially means that, 3 million years ago, light struck and was reflected off that planet...it traveled through space for 3 million years...until the lightwaves reach us, now. But, given it took these waves 3 million years to reach us, we are actually looking at the planet 3 million years ago!

    Now, who's reality is distorted? lol

    But anyway, my grand point is, essentially, if you could travel at the speed of light...the lightwaves around would be at a stand still - or rather, you would constantly be moving with the same particles of light, everywhere you go. Effectively, you would be frozen in time, as you would consistently see the universe in one singular instance of light.

    Instead, however, Dark Souls seems to have a twist. Instead of you being accelerated to the speed of light, it is almost as if the 'speed of light', that universal constant, is now slowing down, faltering, dying...and the very fabric of time now wavers.

    Slowing down light is actually fairly simple (comparatively). It isn't some theory that someone thought up and is dozens of years beyond our skills; they have actually gone and slowed down light to the speed of normal traffic. The speed of light is the maximum speed because it is massless (at rest). Since it is just pure energy, it doesn't have to take a crapload of energy to accelerate it.

    Now, light waves don't actually "bounce" off an object, like most people think. They are actually absorbed by the atoms they hit, which uses that energy to "boost" the energy level of its electrons. When the energy level drops back down, the energy is released as light.

    Now, I don't see how you could actually "lower the speed of light" in a vacuum too any discernible degree, but it wouldn't have the effects the flame dying has. Yes, our sense of time would be thrown off, but time would still be flowing at the same rate. People wouldn't stop dying, the sun wouldn't fade, time wouldn't loop.


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Siegfried. on Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:27 pm

    Shkar wrote:When it says time is distorted, ot most likely doesn't include forward and backward much. Instead, it seems probable that the "distortion" is in fact "sideways". Alternate timelines. Timelines where the only discernible difference is who the player character is.

    One interesting thing to note is that backwards/forwards time distortion could neatly explain the technological anachronisms. For instance, while it's common in games, it is historically inaccurate to depict a warrior with both plate armour and a shield -- plate armour obsoleted shields due to its protective qualities while at the same time freeing up both hands for a weapon. This allows one to absorb more damage while also fighting more quickly, with more strength and with more control. That said, many of the adversaries you fight in this game aren't human, so a shield may still be useful on that count, which is why the plate-armoured warriors of this setting may use them.

    It also explains why equipment like a 16th century zweihander and 11th century mail armour coexist, or why a rapier can meet a mace in a combat scenario.

    This could be intentional on FromSoftware's part due to their attention to detail concerning historical equipment. Many fantasy games go quite over the top with their depiction of arms and armour, but for the most part, FromSoftware remained very true to historical examples. Consider the basic longsword; most games inaccurately cast it as a basic one-handed sword, but FromSoftware accurately gave it enough hilt space for a second hand, as it was actually a primarily two-handed sword that was also useful when wielded in a single hand.

    Of course, the counterpoint to this is the oft-abused term "bastard sword", which is a term that rarely ever shows up in actual history. The only example I can think of is during the Renaissance, where it was referring to the "reverse" of a longsword -- a primarily one-handed sword also appropriate for two-handed use.

    Just some food for thought, anyway.
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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Baal-Avatar on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:29 pm

    I just read through all of this and wanted to say that I think this has been a great post. Very interesting!
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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Deathsitexxi on Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:05 pm

    Shkar wrote:
    JohnnyHarpoon wrote:
    Shkar wrote:Alright, here goes. Remember that I am very possibly wrong about the science parts I mention in the next paragraph.

    "Time" exists even without light; it's a simple representation of how things change. Even if there was no light, a rock suspended in the air would still fall over the course of a few seconds. Heck, light can be slowed down. Every discussion about relativity talks about time from the point of view of an individual; the "frame of reference". What they forget is that nature doesn't go off us, nature goes off the view of the universe as a whole. In that aspect, space is the equivalent of a movie and time is the bar you use to select what part to watch. "Freezing time" would be the equivalent of freezing height so that you wouldn't fall or climb up hills or etc; it just doesn't make sense.

    Now, the obvious part of this whole time debate is that we are dealing with "parallel" timelines. This implies some kind of multiverse theory, but the only alternate dimensions we ever hear about are the ones where someone else is the main character. That is literally the only difference. They still have to ring the bells, they still have to get the lordvessel, they still need to kill Gwyn. We aren't dealing with a normal multiverse theory where every possible alternative happens in some parallel universe. There isn't a world referenced where, say, The Witch never tried to remake the fire. Every parallel world is different SOLELY in who the main character is.

    Most of the actual game is unimportant. You can skip every boss before Sen's except for Quelaag and the Bell Gargoyles. You can become a darkwraith and abandon the fire or you can join the Way of White and link it. Even the bosses you have to kill are only important because there is no way around them. The only IMPORTANT part of the actual gameplay is when you kill Gwyn (because of the decision that immediately follows), and the only detail important enough to change between worlds is who the main character is.

    After you kill Gwyn, you (and you alone) immediately warp back in time. This isn't "Hard mode unlocked"; Your inventory, your skills, and your memory are all retained. You keep your armor, your stats don't deteriorate, and you remember your spells. You are warping back in time, as if time is looped. The only other media I know of that has covered a similar scenario is Groundhog Day, and if it follows that it means that there is some alternative ending (lorewise) that would break the time-loop.

    I think the fire is symbolic. It represents heat, life, light; basically, energy of any and all forms. It is the "soul" of the universe; the battery, so to speak. Magic is ALWAYS symbolic; Fey are weak against iron, vampires hate garlic, werewolves are weak to silver. It is possible that linking the flame isn't a physical "process", so much as it is a symbolic offering. You offer up your life, your "energy", in order to allow the universe to live on a while longer.

    I suppose you could argue that time exists in darkness, but one's perception of time, which is all that really counts, is entirely based upon light, and their relative speed in the universe.

    Time for a a physics lesson:
    First, you just kind of have to understand that, generally speaking, nothing travels faster than light...which is obvious, anyway. But also, the speed of light in a vacuum is a very important constant throughout all of physics, so 'slowing light down' is not quite so easily done as said.

    Anyway, I think it also important to understand how light works. If you're looking at me, light is striking me, and then the waves bounces off me and travels from me to your eye. If you see me blink, that means that more light particles have bounced off of me in the instant I blinked, and those new particles then went and and hit your eye. The only reason you see things is because light waves bounce off of them, and right into your eyeball.

    Now, to start incorporating time, a good example is looking at a distant object in the night sky (pretty much anything except a planet in our solar system, their moons, or the Sun).

    All of these things are lightyears and lightyears away from us. Now, a lightyear is actually a measure of distance - not time - as it is the distance that light (traveling faster than anything else in the Universe) can travel through space in one year.

    Now, given these things are lightyears away from us, we actually see them in the past - if we see a planet 3 million lightyears away from us, that essentially means that, 3 million years ago, light struck and was reflected off that planet...it traveled through space for 3 million years...until the lightwaves reach us, now. But, given it took these waves 3 million years to reach us, we are actually looking at the planet 3 million years ago!

    Now, who's reality is distorted? lol

    But anyway, my grand point is, essentially, if you could travel at the speed of light...the lightwaves around would be at a stand still - or rather, you would constantly be moving with the same particles of light, everywhere you go. Effectively, you would be frozen in time, as you would consistently see the universe in one singular instance of light.

    Instead, however, Dark Souls seems to have a twist. Instead of you being accelerated to the speed of light, it is almost as if the 'speed of light', that universal constant, is now slowing down, faltering, dying...and the very fabric of time now wavers.

    Slowing down light is actually fairly simple (comparatively). It isn't some theory that someone thought up and is dozens of years beyond our skills; they have actually gone and slowed down light to the speed of normal traffic. The speed of light is the maximum speed because it is massless (at rest). Since it is just pure energy, it doesn't have to take a crapload of energy to accelerate it.

    Now, light waves don't actually "bounce" off an object, like most people think. They are actually absorbed by the atoms they hit, which uses that energy to "boost" the energy level of its electrons. When the energy level drops back down, the energy is released as light.

    Now, I don't see how you could actually "lower the speed of light" in a vacuum too any discernible degree, but it wouldn't have the effects the flame dying has. Yes, our sense of time would be thrown off, but time would still be flowing at the same rate. People wouldn't stop dying, the sun wouldn't fade, time wouldn't loop.

    I’ve gotta say that I can’t even jump into this conversation with you guys due to my lack of knowledge on the subject. I have a friend that loves this type of stuff and after reading both of your posts he wants to play Dark Souls now lol (been trying to talk him into it for almost a year now). The only thing I really wanted to add was something I thought of while playing this weekend that I have not given much thought to until we started talking about this. Maybe this is just a game mechanic similar to the other things we are talking about, but with all the detail in this game why is there no day or night cycle? In game it seems as if “Nature’s Clock” has stopped, whether or not the people’s time is moving forward or not. Anyways guys, thank you so much for making this post much more interesting then I was originally thinking it would be!
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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by Shkar on Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:21 pm

    Deathsitexxi wrote:

    I’ve gotta say that I can’t even jump into this conversation with you guys due to my lack of knowledge on the subject. I have a friend that loves this type of stuff and after reading both of your posts he wants to play Dark Souls now lol (been trying to talk him into it for almost a year now). The only thing I really wanted to add was something I thought of while playing this weekend that I have not given much thought to until we started talking about this. Maybe this is just a game mechanic similar to the other things we are talking about, but with all the detail in this game why is there no day or night cycle? In game it seems as if “Nature’s Clock” has stopped, whether or not the people’s time is moving forward or not. Anyways guys, thank you so much for making this post much more interesting then I was originally thinking it would be!

    I think that's a simple design aspect. It would be a huge undertaking to go through and make the game actually have the capability to do that, and we know for a fact they cut aspects due to time. If you notice, as you progress through the areas it does seem to get "later". It's near sunset when you get to Anor Londo.


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by JohnnyHarpoon on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:29 pm

    Shkar wrote:
    JohnnyHarpoon wrote:
    Shkar wrote:Alright, here goes. Remember that I am very possibly wrong about the science parts I mention in the next paragraph.

    "Time" exists even without light; it's a simple representation of how things change. Even if there was no light, a rock suspended in the air would still fall over the course of a few seconds. Heck, light can be slowed down. Every discussion about relativity talks about time from the point of view of an individual; the "frame of reference". What they forget is that nature doesn't go off us, nature goes off the view of the universe as a whole. In that aspect, space is the equivalent of a movie and time is the bar you use to select what part to watch. "Freezing time" would be the equivalent of freezing height so that you wouldn't fall or climb up hills or etc; it just doesn't make sense.

    Now, the obvious part of this whole time debate is that we are dealing with "parallel" timelines. This implies some kind of multiverse theory, but the only alternate dimensions we ever hear about are the ones where someone else is the main character. That is literally the only difference. They still have to ring the bells, they still have to get the lordvessel, they still need to kill Gwyn. We aren't dealing with a normal multiverse theory where every possible alternative happens in some parallel universe. There isn't a world referenced where, say, The Witch never tried to remake the fire. Every parallel world is different SOLELY in who the main character is.

    Most of the actual game is unimportant. You can skip every boss before Sen's except for Quelaag and the Bell Gargoyles. You can become a darkwraith and abandon the fire or you can join the Way of White and link it. Even the bosses you have to kill are only important because there is no way around them. The only IMPORTANT part of the actual gameplay is when you kill Gwyn (because of the decision that immediately follows), and the only detail important enough to change between worlds is who the main character is.

    After you kill Gwyn, you (and you alone) immediately warp back in time. This isn't "Hard mode unlocked"; Your inventory, your skills, and your memory are all retained. You keep your armor, your stats don't deteriorate, and you remember your spells. You are warping back in time, as if time is looped. The only other media I know of that has covered a similar scenario is Groundhog Day, and if it follows that it means that there is some alternative ending (lorewise) that would break the time-loop.

    I think the fire is symbolic. It represents heat, life, light; basically, energy of any and all forms. It is the "soul" of the universe; the battery, so to speak. Magic is ALWAYS symbolic; Fey are weak against iron, vampires hate garlic, werewolves are weak to silver. It is possible that linking the flame isn't a physical "process", so much as it is a symbolic offering. You offer up your life, your "energy", in order to allow the universe to live on a while longer.

    I suppose you could argue that time exists in darkness, but one's perception of time, which is all that really counts, is entirely based upon light, and their relative speed in the universe.

    Time for a a physics lesson:
    First, you just kind of have to understand that, generally speaking, nothing travels faster than light...which is obvious, anyway. But also, the speed of light in a vacuum is a very important constant throughout all of physics, so 'slowing light down' is not quite so easily done as said.

    Anyway, I think it also important to understand how light works. If you're looking at me, light is striking me, and then the waves bounces off me and travels from me to your eye. If you see me blink, that means that more light particles have bounced off of me in the instant I blinked, and those new particles then went and and hit your eye. The only reason you see things is because light waves bounce off of them, and right into your eyeball.

    Now, to start incorporating time, a good example is looking at a distant object in the night sky (pretty much anything except a planet in our solar system, their moons, or the Sun).

    All of these things are lightyears and lightyears away from us. Now, a lightyear is actually a measure of distance - not time - as it is the distance that light (traveling faster than anything else in the Universe) can travel through space in one year.

    Now, given these things are lightyears away from us, we actually see them in the past - if we see a planet 3 million lightyears away from us, that essentially means that, 3 million years ago, light struck and was reflected off that planet...it traveled through space for 3 million years...until the lightwaves reach us, now. But, given it took these waves 3 million years to reach us, we are actually looking at the planet 3 million years ago!

    Now, who's reality is distorted? lol

    But anyway, my grand point is, essentially, if you could travel at the speed of light...the lightwaves around would be at a stand still - or rather, you would constantly be moving with the same particles of light, everywhere you go. Effectively, you would be frozen in time, as you would consistently see the universe in one singular instance of light.

    Instead, however, Dark Souls seems to have a twist. Instead of you being accelerated to the speed of light, it is almost as if the 'speed of light', that universal constant, is now slowing down, faltering, dying...and the very fabric of time now wavers.

    Slowing down light is actually fairly simple (comparatively). It isn't some theory that someone thought up and is dozens of years beyond our skills; they have actually gone and slowed down light to the speed of normal traffic. The speed of light is the maximum speed because it is massless (at rest). Since it is just pure energy, it doesn't have to take a crapload of energy to accelerate it.

    Now, light waves don't actually "bounce" off an object, like most people think. They are actually absorbed by the atoms they hit, which uses that energy to "boost" the energy level of its electrons. When the energy level drops back down, the energy is released as light.

    Now, I don't see how you could actually "lower the speed of light" in a vacuum too any discernible degree, but it wouldn't have the effects the flame dying has. Yes, our sense of time would be thrown off, but time would still be flowing at the same rate. People wouldn't stop dying, the sun wouldn't fade, time wouldn't loop.

    I am very well aware that those things wouldn't happen if the Sun literally 'slowed down' or whatever, but I'm merely using the real-life theory that traveling at the same speed as light would essentially cause you to be stuck in time, in order to explain the imaginary effect of the Flame (or the Sun, or Sunlight, or light in general, or whatever) losing power, thus causing Lordran to become stuck in time.


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by JohnnyHarpoon on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:33 pm

    BaalDS wrote:I just read through all of this and wanted to say that I think this has been a great post. Very interesting!

    Woo


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    Re: The "True" meaning of Dark Souls? (possible Spoilers)

    Post by JohnnyHarpoon on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:35 pm

    Shkar wrote:
    Deathsitexxi wrote:

    I’ve gotta say that I can’t even jump into this conversation with you guys due to my lack of knowledge on the subject. I have a friend that loves this type of stuff and after reading both of your posts he wants to play Dark Souls now lol (been trying to talk him into it for almost a year now). The only thing I really wanted to add was something I thought of while playing this weekend that I have not given much thought to until we started talking about this. Maybe this is just a game mechanic similar to the other things we are talking about, but with all the detail in this game why is there no day or night cycle? In game it seems as if “Nature’s Clock” has stopped, whether or not the people’s time is moving forward or not. Anyways guys, thank you so much for making this post much more interesting then I was originally thinking it would be!

    I think that's a simple design aspect. It would be a huge undertaking to go through and make the game actually have the capability to do that, and we know for a fact they cut aspects due to time. If you notice, as you progress through the areas it does seem to get "later". It's near sunset when you get to Anor Londo.

    This is most likely, but I would definitely still pay attention to the seeming time of day in different places - even if it was a design decision, the subsequent decisions of what time it should be in each level were still made.

    Always found how it's actually daytime in Blighttown quite interesting.


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