Lore and the Proper Lord Soul Order

#1 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

Was thinking about the narrative of Dark Souls lately.

I know everyone has a different perspective on tackling the Lord Soul bosses in terms of difficulty. I'd like to hear if the community has a general picture about whether there exists a "correct" order to tackle the final few bosses from a lore standpoint. Like, who amongst the final Lord Soul bosses has the most importance in the lore? If Dark Souls were a movie, in what order would they lead up to Lord Gwyn?

Feel free, if you're interested, to include the DLC stuff. But I'm not sure I really care too much about that--unless, of course, someone here has a really good defense for it being integral to the Dark Souls lore. (Full Disclosure--I haven't played the DLC.)

#2 Posted by haffy (673 posts) -

I don't think there is meant to be a particular order to lord souls. Gwyn and his buddies found the Lord soul and defeated the ever lasting dragon to begin the age of fire. I can't think of a reason any of them should be more important than the other because the opening cut scene shows they all had different roles to play like Gwyn stripping the scales off with his lightening bolts and Nito created a death cloud or something. So without one they couldn't of finished the dragons off. So I think from a lore perspective it doesn't really matter which lord soul boss as long as Gwyn is last because he was the leader and used it to link the fires.


If Dark souls were a movie it would be like Kill Bill. It doesn't really matter the order she killed the assassins as long as Bill was last.

#3 Edited by Quantris (231 posts) -

@historyinrust: I guess just the same order as the intro for parallelism? At least I know my English teacher liked when I did stuff like that in essays.

#4 Posted by SunBroZak (1014 posts) -

Yeah, there isn't an order. I suppose you could look at the items that help (or are required) for the various areas, but even then, it's still left up to the player.

For example, the cursebite ring in New Londo Ruins helps greatly with the Seath the Scaleless fight. There's an elevator in the New Londo Ruins that takes you into the Darkroot Basin, towards the Sif fight, in which you'd get the ring required for the Abyss. So I would assume they intended for the player to tackle the Four Kings before Seath.

#5 Edited by golguin (3842 posts) -

Was thinking about the narrative of Dark Souls lately.

I know everyone has a different perspective on tackling the Lord Soul bosses in terms of difficulty. I'd like to hear if the community has a general picture about whether there exists a "correct" order to tackle the final few bosses from a lore standpoint. Like, who amongst the final Lord Soul bosses has the most importance in the lore? If Dark Souls were a movie, in what order would they lead up to Lord Gwyn?

Feel free, if you're interested, to include the DLC stuff. But I'm not sure I really care too much about that--unless, of course, someone here has a really good defense for it being integral to the Dark Souls lore. (Full Disclosure--I haven't played the DLC.)

The DLC is pretty integral to the Dark Souls lore. If you've never played it I'd recommend watching one of the Dark Souls lore videos. Here you go. Watch the video and you'll see why the DLC would be completed before a specific set of bosses.

#6 Posted by mosespippy (4031 posts) -

@sunbrozak: Using this theory you could also infer that you should do Bed of Chaos before Tomb of Giants. The Fire and Chaos embers used in the catacombs are in the Demon Ruins and the Sunlight Maggot is crucial in Tomb of Giants.

#7 Posted by SunBroZak (1014 posts) -

@sunbrozak: Using this theory you could also infer that you should do Bed of Chaos before Tomb of Giants. The Fire and Chaos embers used in the catacombs are in the Demon Ruins and the Sunlight Maggot is crucial in Tomb of Giants.

Continuing that logic, I wonder if they intend for you to do the Duke's Archives last. The Darkmoon Seance ring that allows the player access to the Gwyndolin boss is found in the Catacombs. If the player tackles that boss, the bonfire in Anor Londo is lost, making traversal to the Duke's Archives more difficult. Since they're pretty close together, I would assume the player would go fight Seath after killing Gwyndolin. Not to mention you get access to the dlc by getting the pendant in the archives, and in terms of difficulty, I'd say the dlc is much harder than any of the four lord soul fights.

And if you consider that you have the opportunity to place the Lordvessel by either speaking to Frampt at Firelink Shrine (a place I would assume most players go after meeting Gywnevere, since there's that whole deal with Lautrec that's right next to that), or Kaathe in the Abyss, it seems like New Londo is meant to be tackled first.

So, if I were to estimate the intended order, I'd say it's:

The Four Kings > The Bed of Chaos > Gravelord Nito > Seath the Scaleless

#8 Posted by JayEH (516 posts) -

Hmm I'd say Four Kings, Bed of Chaos, Nito, then Seath?

That just came out my ass though. I'd say the four kings first since they actually didn't find a lord soul, they were given it by Gywn.

I'd say bed of Chaos next just because she's unconventional. Then Nito since he looks like a bad ass. Lastly, Seath since he's immortal.

#9 Edited by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

@sunbrozak: @jayeh: I'm with you guys on placing Seath last. Knowing as little as I do about the lore, I sort of can only opine on the basis of presentation alone. Taking that introductory cutscene, Nito, the Witch of Izalith + Daughters of Chaos, and Gwyn seem to have somewhat equal roles in the war that ascends Gwyn to power. The cutscene implies--though not strongly--it isn't until Seath's betrays the dragons that the tides truly turn.

I think I could be argued out of that position, though.

@golguin: Thanks for this. Have been watching these intermittently throughout the work day in the office. Despite the speculative aspect of a lot of that information, it underlines how deliberately crafted the Dark Souls lore truly is.

#10 Posted by AMyggen (2532 posts) -

I love DS, but my problem with a lot of the lore is that there's such a fine line between lore based on evidence in the game, and downright fan fiction based on speculation. That's why I've never really invested much in the deeper lore.

Sorry for the OT.

#11 Edited by SunBroZak (1014 posts) -

@amyggen said:

I love DS, but my problem with a lot of the lore is that there's such a fine line between lore based on evidence in the game, and downright fan fiction based on speculation. That's why I've never really invested much in the deeper lore.

Sorry for the OT.

It does get a little crazy when people start subscribing to the theory that Solaire is the first born. (which I totally do, 'cause I'm a fanatic)

But some of the story that's written in stone is really good. The whole plot behind Artorias actually failing his mission, and your character being responsible for defeating Manus in the Abyss, is great. Or the story behind Ceasless Discharge. It's real depressing when you find out who that thing really was.

#12 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4584 posts) -

@amyggen said:

I love DS, but my problem with a lot of the lore is that there's such a fine line between lore based on evidence in the game, and downright fan fiction based on speculation. That's why I've never really invested much in the deeper lore.

Sorry for the OT.

You got any specific examples? I mean you're reaching pretty broad there.

To counter the broad point; nothing in Dark Souls exists "just because". When a studio like From decides to foster and cultivate a player base that makes connections and observes the world around them (game world, obviously), you (as in From) can't be an asshole and just throw shit in for the sake of "it looks cool" or "I just like that" and to their credit it doesn't seem like they do.

On a somewhat related note; when Ian on LOLS talked about how he thought fans were nuts for drawing a connection between Frampt and Smough due to the fact that Frampt offers exactly one soul for Smough's soul, the way he dismissed it as wankery was befuddling to me not because there couldn't be another explanation for that, but because Frampt offering one soul in that specific circumstance is weirdly specific. Frampt doesn't offer one soul for any other item in the game. Why Smough? Well, Smough is an axe-crazy bastard who took to grounding the bones of his victims and using that shit in his food like Chili powder. That's not some nebulous fan theory, that's from an item description. It's not fan fiction to draw the conclusion that Frampt (one of Gwyn's "close friends") didn't like Smough. I really don't know how you could draw any other conclusion.

Sorry for the weird tangent, but that thing always struck me as weird. Being dismissive of fan wankery is one thing, being dismissive of something that makes sense is just weird.

#13 Edited by golguin (3842 posts) -

@historyinrust said:

@sunbrozak: @jayeh: I'm with you guys on placing Seath last. Knowing as little as I do about the lore, I sort of can only opine on the basis of presentation alone. Taking that introductory cutscene, Nito, the Witch of Izalith + Daughters of Chaos, and Gwyn seem to have somewhat equal roles in the war that ascends Gwyn to power. The cutscene implies--though not strongly--it isn't until Seath's betrays the dragons that the tides truly turn.

I think I could be argued out of that position, though.

@golguin: Thanks for this. Have been watching these intermittently throughout the work day in the office. Despite the speculative aspect of a lot of that information, it underlines how deliberately crafted the Dark Souls lore truly is.

There is actually very little speculation in that video. Most of the story beats and specific details come from item descriptions or NPC dialogue. I'm curious to know what part you felt is speculative.

For example, I've often come upon comments that talk about the connections between certain characters or the reasons why a character is the way they are as fanfaction, but it's directly written in the game.

Take the Cleansing Greatshield description.

"The steel greatshield used by Knight Artorias, who succumbed to the Abyss. Artorias, deeply scarred by the Abyss, used this to form a barrier to protect his compatriot Sif. Although this drained the shield, its magic defense remains high."

#14 Posted by Random45 (1040 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

@sunbrozak: Using this theory you could also infer that you should do Bed of Chaos before Tomb of Giants. The Fire and Chaos embers used in the catacombs are in the Demon Ruins and the Sunlight Maggot is crucial in Tomb of Giants.

Continuing that logic, I wonder if they intend for you to do the Duke's Archives last. The Darkmoon Seance ring that allows the player access to the Gwyndolin boss is found in the Catacombs. If the player tackles that boss, the bonfire in Anor Londo is lost, making traversal to the Duke's Archives more difficult. Since they're pretty close together, I would assume the player would go fight Seath after killing Gwyndolin. Not to mention you get access to the dlc by getting the pendant in the archives, and in terms of difficulty, I'd say the dlc is much harder than any of the four lord soul fights.

And if you consider that you have the opportunity to place the Lordvessel by either speaking to Frampt at Firelink Shrine (a place I would assume most players go after meeting Gywnevere, since there's that whole deal with Lautrec that's right next to that), or Kaathe in the Abyss, it seems like New Londo is meant to be tackled first.

So, if I were to estimate the intended order, I'd say it's:

The Four Kings > The Bed of Chaos > Gravelord Nito > Seath the Scaleless

I just want to agree with you on how much harder the DLC is than the rest of the Lord Souls fight - NONE of them were difficult after the stupid DLC bosses (with the exception of the Bed of Chaos, but that's because it's a poorly designed boss more than anything).

I agree with your boss order, even though in my game Seath was the first one to die, haha (I wanted the Crystal Lighting Spear - aka: easy mode for the rest of the game).

#15 Edited by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

@golguin said:

@historyinrust said:

@sunbrozak: @jayeh: I'm with you guys on placing Seath last. Knowing as little as I do about the lore, I sort of can only opine on the basis of presentation alone. Taking that introductory cutscene, Nito, the Witch of Izalith + Daughters of Chaos, and Gwyn seem to have somewhat equal roles in the war that ascends Gwyn to power. The cutscene implies--though not strongly--it isn't until Seath's betrays the dragons that the tides truly turn.

I think I could be argued out of that position, though.

@golguin: Thanks for this. Have been watching these intermittently throughout the work day in the office. Despite the speculative aspect of a lot of that information, it underlines how deliberately crafted the Dark Souls lore truly is.

There is actually very little speculation in that video. Most of the story beats and specific details come from item descriptions or NPC dialogue. I'm curious to know what part you felt is speculative.

For example, I've often come upon comments that talk about the connections between certain characters or the reasons why a character is the way they are as fanfaction, but it's directly written in the game.

Take the Cleansing Greatshield description.

"The steel greatshield used by Knight Artorias, who succumbed to the Abyss. Artorias, deeply scarred by the Abyss, used this to form a barrier to protect his compatriot Sif. Although this drained the shield, its magic defense remains high."

No offense, but it's a little silly to task me with delineating what I find to be speculation in this account of the lore when I've pretty plainly stated I really don't know the first thing about said lore. That's the whole reason you linked me the video in the first place. I couldn't very well tell you what is speculation and what isn't.

To your question, though, the guy who produced the videos make me think some of it is speculative, considering he himself wrote this in the playlist description:

All my videos have a bit of speculation, but this one has less concrete information than usual. All my videos are interpretations of the lore . . . As usual, be critical of the lore by yourself, and don't necessarily call these "my theories". I'm sure other people in the community have come to the same conclusion. I just put it into video form.

Share your own conclusions & interpretations :)

#16 Edited by SunBroZak (1014 posts) -

@historyinrust

If you're still interested, consider checking out EpicNameBro. He has some great lore videos, and he's pretty good at digging up the less obvious information.

#17 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -
#18 Edited by golguin (3842 posts) -

@golguin said:

@historyinrust said:

@sunbrozak: @jayeh: I'm with you guys on placing Seath last. Knowing as little as I do about the lore, I sort of can only opine on the basis of presentation alone. Taking that introductory cutscene, Nito, the Witch of Izalith + Daughters of Chaos, and Gwyn seem to have somewhat equal roles in the war that ascends Gwyn to power. The cutscene implies--though not strongly--it isn't until Seath's betrays the dragons that the tides truly turn.

I think I could be argued out of that position, though.

@golguin: Thanks for this. Have been watching these intermittently throughout the work day in the office. Despite the speculative aspect of a lot of that information, it underlines how deliberately crafted the Dark Souls lore truly is.

There is actually very little speculation in that video. Most of the story beats and specific details come from item descriptions or NPC dialogue. I'm curious to know what part you felt is speculative.

For example, I've often come upon comments that talk about the connections between certain characters or the reasons why a character is the way they are as fanfaction, but it's directly written in the game.

Take the Cleansing Greatshield description.

"The steel greatshield used by Knight Artorias, who succumbed to the Abyss. Artorias, deeply scarred by the Abyss, used this to form a barrier to protect his compatriot Sif. Although this drained the shield, its magic defense remains high."

No offense, but it's a little silly to task me with delineating what I find to be speculation in this account of the lore when I've pretty plainly stated I really don't know the first thing about said lore. That's the whole reason you linked me the video in the first place. I couldn't very well tell you what is speculation and what isn't.

To your question, though, the guy who produced the videos make me think some of it is speculative, considering he himself wrote this in the playlist description:

All my videos have a bit of speculation, but this one has less concrete information than usual. All my videos are interpretations of the lore . . . As usual, be critical of the lore by yourself, and don't necessarily call these "my theories". I'm sure other people in the community have come to the same conclusion. I just put it into video form.

Share your own conclusions & interpretations :)

I didn't mean for you to prove what is speculation and what isn't. I was asking what sounded to you as speculative knowing that you DIDN'T know the lore. I've read all the item descriptions and I've heard every spoken piece of NPC dialogue (even the stuff that was cut) so I know what he means about his videos having a bit of speculation. I was curious to know what sounded like it wouldn't be in the game.

Going back to the Cleaning Greatshield description I can tell you that the part in the video where he speaks of Artorias using his shield to protect Sif because his arm was broken is speculation. The game never specifies whether his shield arm was rendered useless before he gave his shield or after. The first scenario shows Artorias as someone who would risk his life by giving up his shield to protect his friend Sif. The second scenario points to an already defeated Artorias using his last bit of strength to form a protective barrier with his now unusable shield.

Info from the game is vague enough to allow for personal interpretations of the details, but it's enough to create a solid foundation for the Lore's main points.

If you want to know about speculation you can simply look into the stuff on Solaire and Priscilla. The game is purposely misleading with everything about them.

#19 Posted by Spoonman671 (4554 posts) -

Tomb of the Giants feels like a late-game location.

#20 Edited by Ezekiel (370 posts) -

I usually defeat Four Kings first so that my character understands both sides of the story. Then Tomb of the Giants so that later they can see the maiden go hollow in the Duke's Archives when they/I go there to get Seath's lord soul, and see the Demon Ruins and Ash Lake for the first time. The channeler in the church (or a replacement we never see) then has a reason for being there. To kidnap her. I usually shoot Gwynevere and kill Gwyndolin on my way to the archives so that my character doesn't appear to be tricked. I don't do that after killing Seath because going back to kill Gwyndolin seems petty. Then, since I found the pendant in the archives and do not wish to leave too much at the end and appear to procrastinate, comes the Artorias of the Abyss content. Bed of Chaos is last so that my character experiences the onion knight's whole story without going back to the forest outside of the archives to talk to the daughter, where they have no reason to go when they don't know that she is there. To get back to the Lord Vessel at the end of the game I go through New Londo again so that I can inform Ingward that his job is done (and hopefully pick up a Titanite Slab or Ghost Blade).

#21 Posted by BBAlpert (1369 posts) -

The canon sequence of bosses is as follows:

  • Gargoyles
  • Quelaag
  • Iron Golem
  • Ornstein and Smough
  • Glitching through the door of the Kiln and fighting Gwyn

Maybe I've been watching too many speed runs.

Online
#22 Posted by Fitzgerald (252 posts) -

Well, here's my take on it:

  1. Seath first. On the way you notice he captures a lot of maidens, which leads you to...
  2. The DLC content, where you learn of Artorias origins and complete that storyline, which leads to...
  3. The Four Kings, since you are the true hero of the Abyss and must stop the Abyss from spreading.
  4. Gravelord Nito, if only because once emerging from the Abyss you notice that the Lady Rhea is missing. While down there you see the Demon Ruins, so next you go...
  5. To the Bed of Chaos.

I want to point out that while the order doesn't matter, the Bed of Chaos should be last because of its item description. If you check it, it reads that the bed of chaos lord soul is so powerful it is "more than enough to satiate the Lord Vessel" which implies that it alone would've been enough to open the Kiln. (reportedly, it's not, otherwise speedrunners would've found this out long ago)

#23 Posted by Evilsbane (4529 posts) -

Whatever order I beat them in.

#24 Posted by crithon (3075 posts) -

hmmmm, fascinating how people are just extrapolating the dark souls story when the narrative is so ambiguous.

#25 Posted by dudeglove (7684 posts) -

Really? People leave Seath for last? I'd have thought that would be the first place people would go, because it's the first most obvious/easiest-to-get-to sealed wall you'd come across before obtaining the lordvessel.

I don't think there's any good order, it just depends on how much punishment you want to put yourself through. Dukes seems to be the easiest to tackle of the four, with Tomb of Giants the one I try to put off until the end (because dog skeleton things uuughhhh). New Londo scared the shit out of me more than anything else and since one of the patches nerfed the dragon butts, Lost Izalith sort of became a breeze.

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