The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by CakeThiefPro on Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:20 pm

    Yes Nito keeps to himself (possibly because he is the weakest lord as far as I can tell or because he is happy sitting in his coffin waiting for the eye of death event thing- he's really neglected in terms of Lore I feel). The Witch and Gwyn both made incredible cities until they were destroyed or abandoned.

    When I said you link the fire I meant all the humanity is drawn to that location and explodes at about the size of the walls, the world is affected because the humanity is drawn there not because the explosion kills them so what little innocents may be left are safe. You're helping the world by sacraficing yourself to let this happen much as Gwyn did, it's just a stall not a final solution (Unless the dark soul is finally completely destroyed but that's hard to judge).

    The abyss doesn't come from Manus it comes from the dark soul. Manus was the pygmy and found it first keeping the majority for himself but no one can keep all of the dark soul so it was spread throughout humanity in fragments. We know it spread all the way to Astora due to the ring of the evil eye so who knows where else it has spread and could be unleashed from? I think there is a difference between the abyss and the dark. The abyss destroys everything and comes from a Lord Soul whereas the Dark is meant to occur once ALL of the Lord Souls have run out of power. That is when the age of humans will occur as there will be no humanity to create undead and people will have but one life. This can't happen if the abyss consumes everything though as the serpents desire I think. The serpents live in the abyss and I doubt they want a world of humans anymore than they wanted a world of dragons or gods. Hell maybe the serpents have no desires, they just exist and want to end their boredom so they manipulate beings arrogant enough to think they are powerful and special into their own destruction (Gwyn, Possibly the Dark Lord if they push you off or eat you and who knows what they did during the war with the dragons).

    Sorry for such a long and somewhat mad post Sun


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Thymos on Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:34 pm

    I've thought this through once more, and I agree with some of you; I guess there is no direct bad person. On the other hand, I wouldn't say Gwyndolin is good either. I mean, what he is trying to do is to get an undead to kill his father, take his place so that the age of fire can be extended and in return, he can be in charge for longer. So basicly, he doesn't mind other people suffering so that he can maintain his power.

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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Thymos on Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:36 pm

    Also, I know Gwyndolin didn't tell you to do that directly, however, he made an illusion of Gwynevere who told you to go see Frampt, and you guys know the rest.
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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Acarnatia on Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:56 pm

    I think Linking the Fire cannot actually end the Darksign epidemic because the Darksign is a result of the Abyss, which, as it is the Flame of Disparity and thus the very nature of the Dark Souls universe is one of dualistic elements, there can only be two states of the world; colorless, grey shadow/twilight, or a differentiation between Light and Dark. As long as the Fire burns and the gods are powered, the Dark will always and must exist.
    As for why the gods are 'villains'-listen to the descriptions of the world outside by character dialogues. There are numerous references to a Spanish Inquisition-type religion, horrendous treatment of people even when they are alive, fanatical followers of the faith, a vast array of tools of war that existed well before there were undead. The Crestfallen Warrior guesses that Anastacia's tongue was cut out "so she'd never say some god's name in vain;" the female undead merchant comments how happy she is to live in a moss-ridden sewer behind iron bars and how "nothing good ever happened to me when I was alive, but now that I'm undead, I've never been happier!" Anastacia herself is so filled with self-disgust that she apparently thinks she deserved to have her tongue cut out.
    Even in the beginning, there is never any reason given as to why the Lords attacked the dragons besides that they wanted to take over the world. The exact phasing was, "With the strength of Lords, they challenged the dragons." There is nothing that suggests it was anything other than a hostile takeover.
    On the other hand, the state of New Londo and Oolacile leave only a few interpretations for how Kaathe views them: either they became as he wanted them to, and the entire world will end up this way if the Abyss takes over the world, Kaathe honestly didn't expect those places to turn into quite what they did, or they turned into something drastically different from the state he wanted. He does comment on how everyone before 'saw not the truth' and failed him. This can mean that the state of Oolacile and New Londo are the result of the Dark corrupted and misused, rather than its intrinsic nature, which may mean that its natural state is neutral or even benevolent. Considering the powers Kaathe grants and that the situation happened in both New Londo and in Oolacile, this seems unlikely and that the Dark really is malignant as well.
    There's a lot of evidence that suggests that the gods are tyrannical, irresponsible and deceitful, and there is a lot of evidence that the Dark is tied to malice, madness and death. Using the common Order-Chaos+Good-Evil alignment system, the evidence suggests that Linking the Fire supports a Lawful Evil world and becoming the Dark Lord creates a Chaotic Evil world. Either way, the humans, the people, the 99% loses. Miyazaki, the director did this exact same think in Demons Souls, Dark Souls predecessor.
    Spoiler:
    The King of the greatest nation of the world, Old King Allant of Boletaria, in it, awakened the Old One, a being that was nothingness incarnate which basically eats the universe itself, on purpose in order to kill the entire world. He thought it was euthanasia because the world they live in and most of the people in it are so horrendous that he considered it kinder and more ethical to kill them all than to let them live.

    I think there isn't a 'single big bad'-Miyazaki doesn't work that way. In both games, both humans and the 'other' race (demons in Demons, the divinities in Dark) are both the bastards.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by twilightwarwolf on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:33 pm

    thats very well thought out first of all so a +1 for that. Now i agree i dont feel like the curse can be destroyed by linking the flame and myself would believe that it would actually make it worse becuase if im not mistaken thats how this whole undead epidemic started with the flames. As for the gods villianousness i feel that maybe one or two are villianous but i mostly agree with that. Im a little stubborn on how i see Nito as a nuetral or slightly "good god" or "lord" if you will but as for the others i see how they can be evil. I also would like to ask a question. This may be obvious but the more i think on it the more i see how the flames really have only made things worse. my question is do you think so also? because for example the dragons. Arcanitia is right there was never in any lore that the dragons started anything but rather tried to finish what the lords started. And of course lost then we have gwyndolin and his SoV's and how they kill the "guilty" i find that more or less they really kill people who disrespect the gods which if they are evil or villianous then that would go with the idea of lawful evil and the if your not on board with us your dead idea. As for kaathe i have a really dumb theory that may even be a strech but id like to think kaathe is taking the taking the humanity because its causing all this evil and he just wants order sot speak to be restored because he says Gwyn resisted the course of nature and linked himself to the flames to keep them burning. So maybe the abyss that he may have made (as i have never heard of him having ownership of it) is just where all the humanity is but the kings he employed to protect it became corrupted and then when you kill them and he pops up he starts to make it back to what it was intended for which would explain why after you beat the kings you dont need the ring of artorias anymore. though by the means he gets the hum i feel like its for those who arent willing to give the hum up nicely and is considered evil becuase people dont realize why he's doing this or the circumstances around it but again this is all just a theory so take it with a grain of salt.

    btw Acranita i like how you brought an example from demon's souls to this made things clearer for me. Also id like to ask a side question on it. Is it really a bad thing he did? if his real intentions were as you posted them to be?


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Thymos on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:42 pm

    Acarnatia wrote:I think Linking the Fire cannot actually end the Darksign epidemic because the Darksign is a result of the Abyss, which, as it is the Flame of Disparity and thus the very nature of the Dark Souls universe is one of dualistic elements, there can only be two states of the world; colorless, grey shadow/twilight, or a differentiation between Light and Dark. As long as the Fire burns and the gods are powered, the Dark will always and must exist.
    As for why the gods are 'villains'-listen to the descriptions of the world outside by character dialogues. There are numerous references to a Spanish Inquisition-type religion, horrendous treatment of people even when they are alive, fanatical followers of the faith, a vast array of tools of war that existed well before there were undead. The Crestfallen Warrior guesses that Anastacia's tongue was cut out "so she'd never say some god's name in vain;" the female undead merchant comments how happy she is to live in a moss-ridden sewer behind iron bars and how "nothing good ever happened to me when I was alive, but now that I'm undead, I've never been happier!" Anastacia herself is so filled with self-disgust that she apparently thinks she deserved to have her tongue cut out.
    Even in the beginning, there is never any reason given as to why the Lords attacked the dragons besides that they wanted to take over the world. The exact phasing was, "With the strength of Lords, they challenged the dragons." There is nothing that suggests it was anything other than a hostile takeover.
    On the other hand, the state of New Londo and Oolacile leave only a few interpretations for how Kaathe views them: either they became as he wanted them to, and the entire world will end up this way if the Abyss takes over the world, Kaathe honestly didn't expect those places to turn into quite what they did, or they turned into something drastically different from the state he wanted. He does comment on how everyone before 'saw not the truth' and failed him. This can mean that the state of Oolacile and New Londo are the result of the Dark corrupted and misused, rather than its intrinsic nature, which may mean that its natural state is neutral or even benevolent. Considering the powers Kaathe grants and that the situation happened in both New Londo and in Oolacile, this seems unlikely and that the Dark really is malignant as well.
    There's a lot of evidence that suggests that the gods are tyrannical, irresponsible and deceitful, and there is a lot of evidence that the Dark is tied to malice, madness and death. Using the common Order-Chaos+Good-Evil alignment system, the evidence suggests that Linking the Fire supports a Lawful Evil world and becoming the Dark Lord creates a Chaotic Evil world. Either way, the humans, the people, the 99% loses. Miyazaki, the director did this exact same think in Demons Souls, Dark Souls predecessor.
    Spoiler:
    The King of the greatest nation of the world, Old King Allant of Boletaria, in it, awakened the Old One, a being that was nothingness incarnate which basically eats the universe itself, on purpose in order to kill the entire world. He thought it was euthanasia because the world they live in and most of the people in it are so horrendous that he considered it kinder and more ethical to kill them all than to let them live.

    I think there isn't a 'single big bad'-Miyazaki doesn't work that way. In both games, both humans and the 'other' race (demons in Demons, the divinities in Dark) are both the bastards.

    I see what you mean, and I completely agree with you. However, my point is that if someone can be considered villain, it must be Gwyndolin. He is the only god left, has all the power, and he tries to trick people into offering themselves so that he can remain powerful. The 'dark lord' ending is bad too, so one can argue by saying that Manus is also a villain, however, as true as that is, the abyss does not stop spreading even after his death, as the spread of the abyss is the course of nature.
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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by CakeThiefPro on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:30 pm

    Really nice analysis from Acarnatia, summed up the essence of the entire souls series really well.

    I still don't buy Gwyndolin as the villain however as he's probably more scared of the dark lord than anything hence his deceptions and his somewhat easy boss fight. Not to mention his the affects his strange childhood would have had on him, the loss of his father, abandonment in Anor Londo. As Acarnatia said there is no big villain, he's just trying to save himself and serve his own interests like almost every character in the game. I suppose you could make your own character the ultimate evil by killing every NPC, Boss and Optional Boss in the game?



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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Acarnatia on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:34 pm

    Yes.
    Spoiler:
    This is what Allant says when you enter into the clearing he is in in a moving mass of trees and branches that surround the Old One, which starts the final, anticlimatic final fight of the game.

    After Allant's demon, the False King, has been defeated, Allant entices the player:

    "How did you defeat my precious Demon? No human has an appetite for souls such as you. The rest is up to the Old One. If it is to be, then you shall be beckoned."

    Upon entering the Old One itself, Allant welcomes the player:

    "You have been chosen by the Old One. Shall thou seek everlasting Demon souls? Or obey that naive Monumental? Whatever your choice, you are our first visitor. May you be welcome here."

    Upon entering, Allant beings talking to the player and he is revealed to be a slow-moving mass of black flesh, somewhat resembling a Dark Souls basilisk. He is wielding the black Soulbrandt, one of the two legendary swords of the ancient founder-king of Boletaria, Demondbrandt and Soulbrandt. Demonbrandt, the white sword, grows stronger with the purer and more human the wielder's soul is, and Soulbrandt grows stronger as the wielder's souls is more and more evil and demonic.

    "Surely you have seen for yourself… the pain and suffering that fills this world! But fight poison with poison. God is merciful, and so, created the Old One. The Old One will feed upon our souls, and put an end to our tragic realm of existence!"

    If Allant wins the battle, he will inform the player:

    "I have had enough of this rotten world."

    As Allant dies, he warns the player:

    "You fool. Don't you understand? No one wishes to go on…"

    This is a video of what is in the spoiler.

    The Demons Souls world itself gives a lot of supporting evidence to Allant's viewpoint. Upon investigating, the castle and town itself was dealing in the trade of souls, (quite literally the very essence of a human) had a very corrupt government, an oppressive church at best, and so on. The Tower of Latria's very design suggests that at least some of it was a prison and torture chamber even before the demons arrived. The miners of Stonefang worshipped a demonic dragon at some point. The Valley of Defilement was an enormous valley where all of the disease-ridden, infected and dying that common society banished were tossed into. The entire bottom was basically a swamp where the waters were so putrid that they were poisonous just to stand in. Giant mosquitos, ticks and masses of wriggling worms and dirt dwelled in some areas. In the cave where Saint Astrea and her guardian, Garl Vinland dwell, the gushing bloodfalls and swamp below inflict plague, not just poison, (toxic that deals a little more damage) and is filled with savage little unborn fetuses that crawl around and tear even other inhabitants apart alive. And this is all after Saint Astrea came and actually improved the conditions there with her healing magic.
    Demons Souls also did a much better job at working with the lore regarding souls and the level up system. The game stated quite clearly repeatedly that the souls the player had torn apart and used to reinforce his or her own soul were the lives of people. The player was blatantly growing stronger by absorbing other beings through a process that was inherently demonic.
    Spoiler:
    The player was only able to level up by bringing souls to the Maiden in Black, the woman who bound the player to the Nexus when he or she dies in the beginning of the game and keeps him or her intact, instead of becoming another soul eaten by a demon. She alone is able to take souls and add their life force to the player's. She herself became a demon in order to stop the Old One and both the process she uses to intract souls into the player and the very fact that the player is basically eating souls are inherently evil.

    The force by which the Old One is devouring the world is the colorless, grey fog. For the most part, the demons can only go as far as the fog, which grows with the more demons and archdemons there are, as well as the demon's strength. (which grows with each soul it devours) The fog will slowly encroach over the whole Earth unless the Old One, the source of the Demons and colorless fog, is lulled back to sleep. Other details regarding the colorless fog, including the primeval demons which drop colorless souls which are used to upgrade unique weapons, and the feel of a slow, melancholic death. The world will end not with a bang, but with a whimper does not come as far as the grey fog; it is almost a death by a gentle remorse, gradually slipping into a lower and lower vitality until it falls into death akin to an exhausted person slowly slipping away into sleep.
    A colorless, or grey, world is also mentioned in Dark Souls-the Age of Ancients, when there was only 'grey crags, archtrees, and Everlasting Dragons.' The scenes in the opening video often bear fog very reminiscent of the colorless fog from Demons Souls.
    Then there are hints that, again in Dark Souls, all sides are incorrect and that every proposed option is actually bad for everyone except perhaps an elite ruling class or a psychotic villain. Even Oscar, a pious knight who came to Lordran to Link the Flame, is revealed in some of his unused text dialogues to have been originally planned to have decided that the gods needed to be usurped when confronted by Kaathe.
    Here's a video of all of his dialogue, including unused ones found in the game files. It is also widespread knowledge that Dark Souls was both originally planned to be named 'Dark Ring,' and that it had its story altered so that the game was finished by the publicized deadline. There are many references in other unused dialogues to a certain ring, the context of which suggests that it is the Covenant of Artorias and that that ring was going to have a larger role in the story. The unused dialogue includes lines where Oscar attacks you for siding with Kaathe and being and evil Darkwraith, and where he attacks you for siding with Frampt and being a "... slave of the gods," and does not include any dialogue where he works with the player on either side. That suggests that whichever serpent the player was going to side with, Oscar was going to join the other and eventually come to kill the Chosen Undead.
    Both the people of the Fire and the Dark lie to, manipulate and use the Chosen Undead for his or her own ends, and none of them are actually good for the world at large. I think that, just like in Demons Souls, it's a lose-lose ending in a crapsack world.
    Just on another note, I remember reading somewhere that Miyazaki once said in regards to Dark Souls that he wanted to portray humans as basically good. I do wonder what that means in regards to the Dark and the Abyss, and thus if the Dark is actually the very essence of Humanity, or only a force connected to it.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Thymos on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:52 pm

    CakeThiefPro wrote:Really nice analysis from Acarnatia, summed up the essence of the entire souls series really well.

    I still don't buy Gwyndolin as the villain however as he's probably more scared of the dark lord than anything hence his deceptions and his somewhat easy boss fight. Not to mention his the affects his strange childhood would have had on him, the loss of his father, abandonment in Anor Londo. As Acarnatia said there is no big villain, he's just trying to save himself and serve his own interests like almost every character in the game. I suppose you could make your own character the ultimate evil by killing every NPC, Boss and Optional Boss in the game?


    He is definitely scared by the chosen undead, but that doesn't mean he isn't a villain. That is why he attempts to manipulate the situation so that it goes in his favour. I am not saying that one of the endings is better than the other, my point is that the gods can be killed, while the spread of the abyss is the course of nature thus cannot be stopped. Also, I agree that the player character might be considered bad in a way, however, if you don't link the fire nor become the dark lord, some other guy would. If not, the abyss would spread either way. So it doesn't really matter.
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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Acarnatia on Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:01 pm

    I'm also going to finally mention a train of thought that Dark Souls was the main inspiration for that I came to by my first completion of Dark Souls. (I chose to go with the Dark because based on what I read online at the time, I thought the Dark was the 'good' side)

    Souls are the very essence of life. Such is even stated on the item Humanity in Dark Souls. It was covered in depth in Demons Souls and was still in use in Dark Souls. Then there was Humanity, another essence entirely, and still apparently fundamental to being human. I had also heard time again 'heart and soul' in media, common speech, and even the titles of another game I was playing at around the same time-Pokemon Heartgold and Soulsilver. And there was something similar even in the colors associated with each-the soul was white or silver/silvery, and the soul was a more concrete, physical color-gold in pokemon, black in Dark Souls. By the very fact that the two were mentioned as different things, the heart and soul, both part of human spirituality and mental ability, are suggested to be different things. I began wondering about this as I played though Dark Souls and what each was.
    The soul was said to be what gave man clarity in Demons Souls-without it, he lost his mind, went mad, etc; he was merely a walking body devoid any reason or 'clarity.' In Dark Souls, Hollows were at least able (though the did not always necessarily do so) keep his or her clarity, and became deformed physically and emotionally-more of a physical, and by a viewpoint common in Western culture that the intellectual is higher or better than the physical and the the spiritual is higher than 'earthly/worldly' desire, there is a difference between the loss of one's soul and the loss of one's humanity. Without a soul, men and women lose his or her ability to accurately perceive the world and his or her reason. Without his or her soul, he or she becomes a physical zombie, undead and loses control of desire.
    As I thought about it, this even coincided with the colors-white/silver being spiritual and intellectual, akin to 'yang,' and gold/black being desire and emotion, 'yin.' Both are necessary in certain measure for healthy human, just like heat, water, air and so on. Both can so obsessed over that the person becomes blind and fanatical, which can cause problems all the way up to self-destruction and death, just like too much heat, water or air. (put too much air or water in a balloon and it bursts. Imagine what happens to human lungs)
    The items that mention Manus in the DLC mention his insane level of desire, of a goal to have something that was not willing to let go of even at the cost of his sanity, health and life, seemingly regarding the broken pendant.
    This is humanity, 'heart'-emotion, compassion, desire for things, be they physical or mental. The soul is the spiritual and the intellectual, the mind-clarity and will, the person him/herself. I think this extends into our own world regarding what a soul is and what humanity is. The will, the soul, and the heart/humanity, the compassion and desire.
    How this relates to the theme of this thread and why I am putting it here instead of in another new thread of its own is this; since the undead and Dark are those with humanity and without souls and the gods have souls and not humanity, I realized this; the Gods are heartless bastards and the Darkwraiths are soulless villains. A lot of the humans in the world apparently have little of either. (one soul, one humanity) Besides that, I just think there's some spiritual value in this train of thought of mine that I wanted to share.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Shkar on Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:32 am

    Both times (that we know of) that the Abyss has begun to surface, it has been stopped. New Londo was flooded, which sealed away the Abyss. The area where you fight Manus (the source of the Oolacian Abyss) is somewhere under where you fight Kalameet, which in the present has turned into a massive lake (water again).

    In Oolacile, the Abyss turned it's victims into deformed monstrosities, likely due to a stronger "dosage". In New Londo, it caused the darkwraiths to morph with their armor (IIRC) and caused the dead to rise as ghosts (Seriously, they're the only ghosts, when so many others were brutally killed?).

    Neither ending has you personally helping out anyone. In one, you theoretically burn until someone else goes to link the fire. In the other, everyone lives out the rest of the world as undead who fight over the scraps of civilization like it was for the darkwraiths. However, the Link the Fire ending has a greater potential for more good, since it gives people the ability to life and, as we see seems more important, die. The flame created disparity according to the intro, including life and death. As the flame fades, that border is blurred. Humanity sees "endless nights" is brought up in the intro, and we know the sun is an illusion in Anor Londo (Heck, Solaire came to "seek his sun" and stares up at it every chance he gets. As if he has never seen it before). We also know that the undead curse is recent, which coincides with the fading flame. I literally cannot think of any kind of logic that would say "try to kill the flame to end the curse!" as opposed to "Let's try to get it going again!"

    As for Gwyn "going against nature" by linking the flame, I have to admit, this really, really irks me. Every act a human has ever taken has been "against nature." Humans aren't naturally supposed to build houses, or craft weapons, or do anything besides eat and reproduce. It's our ability to go above and beyond what nature will give us to make our lives better that makes us human.

    As a bit of added evidence against the theory that the gods are trying to "trick" an undead into linking the flame, I just have to ask: Why? They were the heads of massive religions, which always have their die-hard fanatics who would have gladly done it. Heck, Solaire fits that category perfectly. And even if they didn't do it willingly, it should have been child's play to trick them before their civilization was torn down around their heads. After all, who's going to argue when God gives them a chance to "save the world."


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Ashran on Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:56 am

    Too much wisom, good analysis and well developed arguments in this thread.



    Im in my quest to read all the walls of text. May the Sun shine on my path.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Hue on Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:22 am

    Ashran wrote:Too much wisom, good analysis and well developed arguments in this thread.



    Im in my quest to read all the walls of text. May the Sun shine on my path.
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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Thymos on Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:25 am

    Shkar wrote:As a bit of added evidence against the theory that the gods are trying to "trick" an undead into linking the flame, I just have to ask: Why? They were the heads of massive religions, which always have their die-hard fanatics who would have gladly done it. Heck, Solaire fits that category perfectly. And even if they didn't do it willingly, it should have been child's play to trick them before their civilization was torn down around their heads. After all, who's going to argue when God gives them a chance to "save the world."
    Well, I am not sure why Gwyndolin is doing it, but he definitely is. However, in one other thread, it was mentioned that the reason why the chosen must be undead is because the flame would never die if that was the case. I mean, when someone links the flame, he/she keeps it lit for a while, but it eventually fades. However, if an undead with the darksign did it, it would never fade, as he would just 'respawn'. I personally believe this is Gwyndolin's plan and also why he needed this many tests. (The two bells, sens fortress, etc.) He had to make sure that the person actually had the darksign. We know of several other people who tried doing this, (for instance Iron Tarkus) yet they all failed because they did not have the darksign.
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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Acarnatia on Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:50 am

    That's an absolute statement of human nature which Miyazaki intentionally left vague-he directly said that the story is meant to question human nature, including whether it's kind, selfish, malignant, simplistic, complicated, and so on. Humans in the game range from the Oolacile citizens and darkwraiths being CHAOTIC EEEVILLLL, to Solaire and Laurentius, who are very pleasant, kindhearted people.
    I also never said anything about Gwyn 'resisting the course of nature.' That is a viewpoint on the situation that the game makes sure to give some evidence. (regardless over whether it's right or not) I view the forces of the Dark as just as 'unnatural' as the forces of Fire; they are both deviations from the basic state of the setting, which is grey/colorless, twilight/shadow. The very nature of the world before the Flame of Disparity and the very meaning of Disparity is 'difference.' Combine that with the description of the Age of Ancients, "In the Age of Ancients, the world was unformed, shrouded by fog. All there were were archtrees, grey crags, and Everlasting Dragons." This all pretty strongly implies that the world was homogenous, grey and singular until the Flame of Disparity, or 'Flame that is/causes Disparity.' (differentiation) Saying that Gwyn averted the course of nature can be reasonably viewed as true-if it is, though, so does the Dark, because the Dark is by its very nature another differentiation, another presence that existed only after the world became dualistic instead of singular.
    Also, I disagree about Linking the Fire improving things in any way. Linking the Fire keeps the Gods in power while the Dark and Abyss still exist and will always exist at least as long as the Fire does (because the very nature of the Fire and the Gods is dualistic and must have a counterpart) and this same situation will always keep repeating-cycles of warfare, an overzealous and oppressive mainstream religion, waves of hollows, and all of the people lost along the way. Ending the Fire and becoming the Dark Lord lets the Chosen Undead become the new ruler of the world (theoretically, at least) which puts him or her in the position to potentially improve society somewhat-if the effects of the Dark on humanity allow for it-for example, the humanity running wild not making everyone murderous maniacs. I note that the Darkwraiths, ghosts and bloated people were not killing each other so much afterwords. This may just be a gameplay mechanic-or the residents of the Dark, amidst the supposed madness, may actually be treating each other humanely-and, potentially, better than they did before. I doubt this; I'm just acknowledging that this is a possibility.
    There is also a lot of in-game material that points to the religion that the gods have founded and the society that they have spearheaded as tyrannical and detrimental to humans.The Crestfallen Warriors Dialogue, especially that regarding Anastacia, has parallels with the history of the Christian churches and Rome in Europe. (or at least what people think the history is) The Male Undead Merchant's dialogues also comment a little on how life was back in 'civilized' lands; even the most benign, sane undead are oppressed, similar in a fashion to any sort of so-branded heretic in Europe. The Female Undead Merchant's dialogues also mention how horrible life was before becoming undead and being locked in a sewer. Even her string of curses upon being attacked, while they do not speak for the gods, do not reflect well at best upon how 'benevolent' the gods are.Anastacia's dialogues show her to be quite pious-and self-loathing to such an extreme that seems to think she deserved to have her tongue cut out and feet cut off. Reah's dialogues obviously is a very pious woman-who, by a mission set down from the church who receives its orders from the gods, (suggested to be Lloyd) did indeed go straight off to pillage graves. One in four of them (although with only four, this statistic does not necessarily reflect the actual percentage of clerics as a whole who are like this; on the other hand, there's a reason he's in the game) abandoned the others and later assassinates Reah if he can. I think Reah also parallels Farnese from Berserk, who was high-ranking nobility and basically the leader of the Knight Templars. Farnese later leaves the Church altogether, follows Guts, a demon-slayer who she was originally sent by the Church to kill or imprison (who worships extremely powerful demons that portray themselves as angels) him, and begins training in healing and defensive witchcraft. There are a lot of references to Berserk in Dark Souls; the Manserpents, Capra Demon and basically the Avelyn all appeared in Berserk; Artorias shares a lot of similarities with Guts, including the basic shape of his armor, the connection to a wolf, a greatsword of enormous might, his spinning ariel jump attack; a (at the absolute least debatably) malignant divinity or pantheon that people think is good; and many others that I either missed or am just not going to take the time to put here.
    My basic point is that life under the rule of the gods sucks. This is difficult to prove because this takes place in special, remote Lordran, rather than the average world like Astora, Thorolund and so on, and because Miyazaki likes to be so subtle. I think the players are supposed think that the gods and Fire are good, only to discover that they're actually jerkass gods, if not an outright case of God is Evil.. At the absolute least, the gods have done such a poor and irresponsible job that in any other occupation the occupant would have been fired long ago.

    Neither ending even can end these cycles because neither addresses what is actually making this setting a crapsack world-people treating other people badly, be they god(ess), dragon, undead, human or beast. The entire conflict is born out of hostility and fear regarding the other. Imagine if both sides just stopped their bickering and got along.
    The end does not justify the means; utopia and morality is not achieved through magic and ceremony. Situations are what they are made by, and, thus, the only way to create a kind, benevolent and fair ending is to take actions that are kind and benevolent. The only time peace will ever come to the Fire and Dark is when they reconcile, not when one wins.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Thymos on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:10 pm

    Acarnatia wrote:That's an absolute statement of human nature which Miyazaki intentionally left vague-he directly said that the story is meant to question human nature, including whether it's kind, selfish, malignant, simplistic, complicated, and so on. Humans in the game range from the Oolacile citizens and darkwraiths being CHAOTIC EEEVILLLL, to Solaire and Laurentius, who are very pleasant, kindhearted people.
    I also never said anything about Gwyn 'resisting the course of nature.' That is a viewpoint on the situation that the game makes sure to give some evidence. (regardless over whether it's right or not) I view the forces of the Dark as just as 'unnatural' as the forces of Fire; they are both deviations from the basic state of the setting, which is grey/colorless, twilight/shadow. The very nature of the world before the Flame of Disparity and the very meaning of Disparity is 'difference.' Combine that with the description of the Age of Ancients, "In the Age of Ancients, the world was unformed, shrouded by fog. All there were were archtrees, grey crags, and Everlasting Dragons." This all pretty strongly implies that the world was homogenous, grey and singular until the Flame of Disparity, or 'Flame that is/causes Disparity.' (differentiation) Saying that Gwyn averted the course of nature can be reasonably viewed as true-if it is, though, so does the Dark, because the Dark is by its very nature another differentiation, another presence that existed only after the world became dualistic instead of singular.
    Also, I disagree about Linking the Fire improving things in any way. Linking the Fire keeps the Gods in power while the Dark and Abyss still exist and will always exist at least as long as the Fire does (because the very nature of the Fire and the Gods is dualistic and must have a counterpart) and this same situation will always keep repeating-cycles of warfare, an overzealous and oppressive mainstream religion, waves of hollows, and all of the people lost along the way. Ending the Fire and becoming the Dark Lord lets the Chosen Undead become the new ruler of the world (theoretically, at least) which puts him or her in the position to potentially improve society somewhat-if the effects of the Dark on humanity allow for it-for example, the humanity running wild not making everyone murderous maniacs. I note that the Darkwraiths, ghosts and bloated people were not killing each other so much afterwords. This may just be a gameplay mechanic-or the residents of the Dark, amidst the supposed madness, may actually be treating each other humanely-and, potentially, better than they did before. I doubt this; I'm just acknowledging that this is a possibility.
    There is also a lot of in-game material that points to the religion that the gods have founded and the society that they have spearheaded as tyrannical and detrimental to humans.The Crestfallen Warriors Dialogue, especially that regarding Anastacia, has parallels with the history of the Christian churches and Rome in Europe. (or at least what people think the history is) The Male Undead Merchant's dialogues also comment a little on how life was back in 'civilized' lands; even the most benign, sane undead are oppressed, similar in a fashion to any sort of so-branded heretic in Europe. The Female Undead Merchant's dialogues also mention how horrible life was before becoming undead and being locked in a sewer. Even her string of curses upon being attacked, while they do not speak for the gods, do not reflect well at best upon how 'benevolent' the gods are.Anastacia's dialogues show her to be quite pious-and self-loathing to such an extreme that seems to think she deserved to have her tongue cut out and feet cut off. Reah's dialogues obviously is a very pious woman-who, by a mission set down from the church who receives its orders from the gods, (suggested to be Lloyd) did indeed go straight off to pillage graves. One in four of them (although with only four, this statistic does not necessarily reflect the actual percentage of clerics as a whole who are like this; on the other hand, there's a reason he's in the game) abandoned the others and later assassinates Reah if he can. I think Reah also parallels Farnese from Berserk, who was high-ranking nobility and basically the leader of the Knight Templars. Farnese later leaves the Church altogether, follows Guts, a demon-slayer who she was originally sent by the Church to kill or imprison (who worships extremely powerful demons that portray themselves as angels) him, and begins training in healing and defensive witchcraft. There are a lot of references to Berserk in Dark Souls; the Manserpents, Capra Demon and basically the Avelyn all appeared in Berserk; Artorias shares a lot of similarities with Guts, including the basic shape of his armor, the connection to a wolf, a greatsword of enormous might, his spinning ariel jump attack; a (at the absolute least debatably) malignant divinity or pantheon that people think is good; and many others that I either missed or am just not going to take the time to put here.
    My basic point is that life under the rule of the gods sucks. This is difficult to prove because this takes place in special, remote Lordran, rather than the average world like Astora, Thorolund and so on, and because Miyazaki likes to be so subtle. I think the players are supposed think that the gods and Fire are good, only to discover that they're actually jerkass gods, if not an outright case of God is Evil.. At the absolute least, the gods have done such a poor and irresponsible job that in any other occupation the occupant would have been fired long ago.

    Neither ending even can end these cycles because neither addresses what is actually making this setting a crapsack world-people treating other people badly, be they god(ess), dragon, undead, human or beast. The entire conflict is born out of hostility and fear regarding the other. Imagine if both sides just stopped their bickering and got along.
    The end does not justify the means; utopia and morality is not achieved through magic and ceremony. Situations are what they are made by, and, thus, the only way to create a kind, benevolent and fair ending is to take actions that are kind and benevolent. The only time peace will ever come to the Fire and Dark is when they reconcile, not when one wins.
    I agree, and to be honest, this kind of sounds similiar to the cold war. Either way, if the struggle between light and dark is going to end, Gwyndolin has to die, as he is one of the main people who wishes to prolong the age of fire, and is terrified of the dark. None of the endings are directly good, but they both eventually have the potential. If you become the dark lord you could make the balance between dark and light better, and if you choose the 'linking the fire' ending, I guess the abyss would start spreading until the point where it would be balanced. That is, if nobody linked the fire again.
    However, I think the best thing to do would be to kill Gwyndolin and let the nature do its job. Too bad that isn't an option.
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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Acarnatia on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:18 pm

    Those are still both just using magic to deal with a problem of government when the problem is what's in people's minds. The state of Fire or Dark isn't really the source of the problem-it's the conflict, fear and hostility each has towards the other. The only way to 'save' the world is to have everyone let all of that go and become 'good' people, which, considering both the setting and that is a story requires conflict to be interesting and that this is a series, is only going to happen in roleplaying and fanfiction.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Thymos on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:24 pm

    Acarnatia wrote:Those are still both just using magic to deal with a problem of government when the problem is what's in people's minds. The state of Fire or Dark isn't really the source of the problem-it's the conflict, fear and hostility each has towards the other. The only way to 'save' the world is to have everyone let all of that go and become 'good' people, which, considering both the setting and that is a story requires conflict to be interesting and that this is a series, is only going to happen in roleplaying and fanfiction.
    I guess.
    I still think Gwyndolin needs to die though. happy
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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Acarnatia on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:34 pm

    Thymos wrote:
    Acarnatia wrote:Those are still both just using magic to deal with a problem of government when the problem is what's in people's minds. The state of Fire or Dark isn't really the source of the problem-it's the conflict, fear and hostility each has towards the other. The only way to 'save' the world is to have everyone let all of that go and become 'good' people, which, considering both the setting and that is a story requires conflict to be interesting and that this is a series, is only going to happen in roleplaying and fanfiction.
    I guess.
    I still think Gwyndolin needs to die though. happy

    This is a great example of exactly what I'm talking about. As long as the people in the world hold on to this and things like it, the cycle(s) will repeat itself/themselves. If you're aiming for a 'good' ending, let it go.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Thymos on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:38 pm

    Acarnatia wrote:
    Thymos wrote:
    Acarnatia wrote:Those are still both just using magic to deal with a problem of government when the problem is what's in people's minds. The state of Fire or Dark isn't really the source of the problem-it's the conflict, fear and hostility each has towards the other. The only way to 'save' the world is to have everyone let all of that go and become 'good' people, which, considering both the setting and that is a story requires conflict to be interesting and that this is a series, is only going to happen in roleplaying and fanfiction.
    I guess.
    I still think Gwyndolin needs to die though. happy

    This is a great example of exactly what I'm talking about. As long as the people in the world hold on to this and things like it, the cycle(s) will repeat itself/themselves. If you're aiming for a 'good' ending, let it go.
    How exactly do you think a good ending would be possible with him alive? He has all the power and control, and I am pretty sure he would do anything to keep it that way, and in order for that to happen, the age of fire must continue.
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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Acarnatia on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:49 pm

    Then by that same logic, almost EVERYONE in the entire setting must die to make a 'good ending'-which isn't a good ending, that's an apocalypse. I'm saying that to turn the world into a 'good' one, everyone will have to change and let go of whatever is driving him or her into being and doing such atrocious things and that includes every god, Primordial Serpent, dragon and so on. If the people just kill Gwyndolin and leave everyone else alive, they only would have killed Gwyndolin because they still bore that fear and hostility-and thus, they will always still bare it towards someone, and thus the cycle will continue. Everyone character is responsible for the nature of the world and determines whether it is a crapsack world or a utopia.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Thymos on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:56 pm

    I guess a good ending would be inevitable then.
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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by twilightwarwolf on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:58 pm

    if i may there is one fact that may or may not be true. Isnt gwyns uncle lloyd or whatever he is still alive? if so maybe the ending affects him and he , being the leader of the church, could or would make a difference depending on the choice you make.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Shkar on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:23 pm

    Acarnatia, I believe it was warwolf who had posted about the "resisting nature" bit, but I had just gotten tired of seeing it paraded about so much as a reason for Linking the Fire to be bad. Didn't mean for you to think I was putting words in your mouth.

    For the gods being tyrannical, I really don't think so as much. Yes, there is certainly some evidence to support that. However, the gods left, and despite what some people like to suggest, there is no evidence that they left to go to Carim or anywhere else. Notice that the only mention of the gods occurs in items you get in Anor Londo, the few mentions of Lloyd, and Lautrec's gear. Aside from that, the only reference is made to the lords by the few who came searching something. Since Anor Londo is left free of hollows, it only makes sense that they sealed it up and left before the undead curse truly broke out.

    Now imagine a world where gods literally walk the earth. Obviously, religion is hugely important in Dark Souls. We know that, whether the gods are tyrants or not, the people cling to their religion in the face of adversity, much like many people do in real life.

    Now imagine that the gods just leave, the sun starts to stop rising, and the dead start walking and trying to kill the living. You have grown up hearing stories of the "God of the Sun" and the "God of the Dead." What would your reaction be if this happened, assuming you didn't grow up with modern knowledge and values; if you were in their place.

    As for whoever said that the dark ending lets you create a better balance between the dark and light, that's only true in that both will cease to exist. The event that causes the dark ending is letting the flame sputter out; the flame that caused and maintains disparity. With it just burning low, not even out yet, the cycle of life and death has been shattered and the sun has stopped appearing (arguably). There's even evidence that the flame dieing is causing time itself to fray. This also means that an undead linking the flame would not begin to respond; with the flame active, that cycle will almost certainly be restored, ending the undead curse and leaving the player a normal human.

    Trust me, if we assume that the gods are tyrants, I can see why people would be able to take the stance that ending the fire is "good." But we have no clue that it will actually elmininate the gods power. And we also know that it will not eliminate the undead curse. Even assuming that the undead would be "free" of the gods and live peacefully with themselves, what then? There's no light, no life, no death. There's no reason to do anything at all. You would be damning people to live an eternal "life" of nothingness, in the best possible scenario.


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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

    Post by Cynic on Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:31 pm

    I don't know if anyone talks about this on here (I'm on limited bandwidth so I can't read all of the post on here) but fireLESS had a really good theory that caught my attention.

    Basically it's about the Flame is all kinds of bad. The setting of Dark Souls is essentially purgatory. The undead are forced to die over and over and over again because the bonfires bring them back. By linking the fires, you extend the torture of the souls of the undead, but by extinguishing the fire (no bonfire runs and taking the dark lord ending) you free the undead to finally rest. The Age of Humans begins and after that it's up to us.

    I really like that theory, which is what sparked my new found love for Dark Souls and all it's beautiful lore.

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    Re: The "Bad Guy" in Dark Souls

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