Rhetorical Analysis over Bartholomew Trailer

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    Rhetorical Analysis over Bartholomew Trailer

    Post by Rudmed on Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:24 am



    According to some other forum goers...people would be interested in a rhetorical analysis of the trailer above. I wrote one as a paper for school (this is what Dark Souls does to you, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it). So enjoy? Critique? Bang your keyboard and yell profanity at hours of frustration?

    A Persuasive Challenge
    “Prepare to Die!” This is a challenge issued by a trailer of the popular game Dark Souls. Dark Souls is a challenging, depressing, yet at the same time eye-catching, medieval fantasy game that takes the player into an unforgiving world of loneliness. The Bartholomew Trailer gives evidence to this fact by showing images that are hopeless for the lone hero fighting for his life against insurmountable odds, and showing punishment for the smallest mistakes. The Bartholomew Trailer makes use of beautiful, yet dark, medieval fantasy world, challenges to the player’s skill, and positive reviews from famous critics to appeal to viewers to buy Dark Souls.

    The Bartholomew Trailer uses a stunning and depressing medieval fantasy world to draw in the viewer. The world From Software, the creators of Dark Souls, created has a well-developed atmosphere, and breathtaking attention detail. The amount of work put into the hopeless atmosphere and detail of the environment is of great importance as the viewer will have their first impression of the game after the trailer ends. If the viewer does not have a favorable first impression then they will not buy the game, which means no profit for the creators. First, the atmosphere of Dark Souls is depressing, hopeless, and grim as we see the protagonist challenge mythical monsters such as: axe wielding gargoyles, golems, giants, undead, and dragons. The odds are always against the hero and we watch as he is brutally beaten again and again while trying to face these monsters, all alone. The hero has no help while attempting to overcome these insurmountable odds, and no support to fall back to when he or she is defeated. The viewer sees early on one of the protagonists approaching a ledge and then later jumping off that same ledge. This sends a message that the hero would rather die! Then to continue his life facing the abysmal odds he has faced throughout his journey. If dying is better than going through what the hero is going through, what could be worse than death?

    The atmosphere in the Bartholomew Trailer is using pathos, or an appeal to the audience’s emotions. The developers want to empathize with the hero and aid him/her on her journey by taking control and making the experience less painful. I feel this has some power on the viewer, but is not the most effective appeal to the viewers. The reason being there is not a strong connection with that hero, nor is the hero an icon of a series, like Master Chief from the Halo series. However there is another message within the trailer, they are trying to excite the viewer in preparation about this game! The message they have at first is “Prepare to Die!” However, at the end of a chain of words they throw in the word “Live”. The creators are saying the viewers have not lived until they have played this game. This message is effective since the trailer targets young adult males, whose hobbies include video games. This message is less effective if the viewer has climbed Mt. Everest, in which case they have probably learned what it is like to live. The trailer is trying to compare the Dark Souls’ difficulty to the struggles of everyday life. The effectiveness of this message depends on the life experiences the viewer has had. The other way the message of “Prepare to Live” can be interpreted is the viewer has not played a game like Dark Souls. This statement is fairly safe to say as Dark Souls is a spiritual successor to a game called Demon Souls, and the viewer’s definition of a game like Dark Souls is most likely in agreement with that of the creators. The viewer has never played a game as brutally difficult as Dark Souls, or a game with the story of Dark Souls. This message is effective because it invites the viewer to an innovative experience of entertainment, or suffering, and the entire trailer is evidence as to why this game is different from all the rest.

    Now onto the world the developers of Dark Souls created. The trailer shows us a variety of places including, a dark forest, a flooded, ruined city from long ago, a snowy area among the mountain, and then to contrast the ruined city an elegant city with tall buildings and eye-catching architecture. The detail is just stunning. For example within in the trailer is a bridge with scorch marks, and smoldering corpses. The bricks on that bridge all seem to follow a pattern, but if the viewer examines the bridge for a moment they will be able to spot little discrepancies such as, a brick was placed horizontally instead of vertically, or how scorched a specific brick is. The detail is an appeal to viewer’s emotions and also at the same time logic. If the viewer likes the world From Software has created then logically they should purchase the game so they can immerse themselves in that world. The viewer should want to discover all that can be found in that world, and in order to do that they must purchase the game. This is quite effective because it uses the entire trailer as evidence as to why you should by the game.

    The Bartholomew Trailer issues a challenge to the viewer’s skill in video games as well as dares the viewer to prove the creators wrong. This message stems from the countless hopeless situations and the message of “Prepare to Die!” The hopeless situations are a challenge to the player because it makes the player wonder if they can handle such a feat of overcoming the numerous powerful enemies that exist in the game. However this message is really driven home by the message, “Prepare to Die!” and the chain of words: endure, suffer, struggle, and live, after that message. This is the creators practically saying, “Are you able to beat this game without dying?” This is effective due to the fact they are targeting a male (or tomboyish) audience who may go through a fight or flight reaction. Since there is most likely no physical harm in buying this game and accepting the challenge, the audience is much more likely to accept this challenge. The developers are targeting the pride of the audience as video gamers or perhaps as men who are less likely to back down from such a challenge. Not to mention hormones play a major factor in how the target audience will react. Cultural and chemical factors make this message most effective and standout from all the other messages within the trailer.

    Finally, after the primary message of the trailer is out of the way there is the icing on the cake or what do the critics have to say about this game. The major critics such Imagine Games Network (IGN), Gamespot, and Gamesradar all have positive reviews and ratings of Dark Souls. The Bartholomew Trailer has the most critical and positive messages from these three critics. Gamespot called it, “Most Anticipated Game of E3 2011.” IGN held it up high by saying, “Best of E3 2011.” Finally, Gamesradar concluded with, “Most valuable game of E3 2011.” These statements are followed by reviews of the game after it was released by all the previously mentioned critics. All of them gave Dark Souls a nine out of ten. Gamesradar commented on the physical world of Dark Souls, It isn't all just castles; Dark Souls has some gorgeous natural areas as well.” (Grimm 1). IGN had this to say about Dark Souls difficulty, “The eventual aim is to make it out alive, but there are about 50-60 hours of creative cruelty between you and that goal.” (Keza 1). Finally to even it all out here is a comment about the atmosphere of Dark Souls by Gamespot, “Any game can deliver a few cheap scares. It takes a special one to terrify you. Dark Souls is such a game.” (VanOrd 1). All these messages are meant to appeal to the creditability of the game, and why the viewer should logically buy it. The game is obviously brilliant as these famous critics have called it amazing and held it high above their heads as a champion among games. If these critics say the game is good, and it appealed to viewer then the viewer should logically purchase it, so they may enjoy it in their own time. If the viewer is searching for a challenge, the critics say that this game meets that prerequisite and the viewer should then logically purchase it.

    The Bartholomew Trailer has a diverse amount of messages from “Prepare to Die!” to what critics say about the game. Most of the messages within the trailer relied on emotional appeals and logical appeals to prove their point and most of them were effective. The use of the atmosphere and the challenge within the trailer were very effective uses of emotional appeal to their target audience. Furthermore, the logical appeals based on how the game looks and what the critics had to say were also effective. The Bartholomew Trailer relied on emotional appeals and logical appeal using the: challenges presented, the environment and atmosphere of Dark Souls, and reviews important critics to maximize effectiveness of the trailer.


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    Re: Rhetorical Analysis over Bartholomew Trailer

    Post by WhatDoesThePendantDo? on Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:34 am

    Demon's Souls*

    But yeah, I pretty much agree with the majority of it. winking

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    Re: Rhetorical Analysis over Bartholomew Trailer

    Post by Artoriasflagg on Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:01 pm

    Nicely written, that is easily my favorite trailer for the game, even the DLC trailer couldn't live up to the feel of this one... Just out of curiosity, has anyone tried taking advice form the song? I want to see if bowing to Gwyn or the Four Kings causes anything to happen.... Besides being. Impaled during the animation I mean.


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    Re: Rhetorical Analysis over Bartholomew Trailer

    Post by Rudmed on Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:31 pm

    Thanks for the compilments guys...makes me feel better knowing I didn't use 3 hours of my life for something that only made sense to me.


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    Re: Rhetorical Analysis over Bartholomew Trailer

    Post by Dogwelder on Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:58 pm

    The Bartholomew trailer absolutely blew me away the first time I saw it - I ended up watching it over and over before my pre-ordered copy of the game finally arrived. Such an effective and amazing blend of music and imagery.


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    Re: Rhetorical Analysis over Bartholomew Trailer

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:07 pm

    Great write up!

    Also, Dogwelder? Lol....I LOVE the Dogwelder! I don't understand the science behind welding dogs to people but who the heck needs to?

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    Re: Rhetorical Analysis over Bartholomew Trailer

    Post by Dogwelder on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:21 pm

    skarekrow13 wrote:Great write up!

    Also, Dogwelder? Lol....I LOVE the Dogwelder! I don't understand the science behind welding dogs to people but who the heck needs to?

    It's more of an art than a science, my friend.


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    Re: Rhetorical Analysis over Bartholomew Trailer

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:25 pm

    I can buy that.


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