#101 Edited by Yummylee (22129 posts) -

@oldirtybearon said:

@yummylee said:

So what the Fuck is the cat supposed to be. After reaching the end with my second character, I decided I might as well kill everyone before I move on, only the cat is bleedin' invulnerable, and is well aware of that fact given how she goades you on to try attacking her again.

I figure she's apart of the same talking cat race as the one from the first Dark Souls that was buddies with Artorias, though you could at least kill her... right? Actually doesn't she vanish after you've attacked her? In any case the cat in DkS2 is clearly wise and all knowing and all that, so she's undoubtedly been around for some time. Probably just a mystery for a mystery's sake?

There's some pretty convincing speculation that she's Alvina. There are some item descriptions linked to Shalquoir (Enchante) that indicate cats like her are reborn into new lives and cannot truly "die."

And you're right, she does know a lot more than she's letting on; or seems like it anyhow. She has some interesting dialogue for you after you beat certain bosses and she is the only character (aside from the Emerald Herald) to actively discuss you becoming the new Monarch and taking the true throne.

And no, Alvina couldn't be killed in Dark Souls 1.

I'm pretty sure that description is in fact from the cat ring she sells you, though I assumed it was to imply that the cats eventually turn into the rings--by way of their essence/spirit/soul/othersuchmojo transferring or what have you--once their 'time is up'.

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#102 Posted by SunBroZak (1213 posts) -

I've been wondering. If the fire is the source of the curse (as suggested by Kaathe in Dark Souls, and the bonfire ascetic in Dark Souls 2), and the Emerald Herald was created to find a cure for the curse, why does she encourage you to link the flame? I suppose the other option isn't that great either.

It's interesting that the Dark could be the solution to the curse, but comes with its own evils. Perhaps when Wellager mentions that Nashandra brought a "peace like the dark", he's suggesting that the peace brought a stop to the undead curse temporarily. If that is the case, what did it do to upset Vendrick?

#103 Edited by Karkarov (3196 posts) -

@turambar said:
The really big giants also dual wielded clubs, so no reason to believe the last giant tearing off his arm so as to have a weapon is a sign of anything really.

I was just making a joke there actually :P. Even still Wellager clearly did not have the whole truth and just says what he understands to be true or what he wants to believe. It is clear the giant's did lose at the fort somehow cause no matter how you slice it the castle would not be in such nice shape either way if they had won.

#104 Edited by pyrodactyl (2206 posts) -

@seikenfreak said:

@karkarov: Because there is a couple things in the game that strongly suggests that is where she came from.

The first half of all the weapons of Want - "The old one of the Abyss was reborn in death, split into miniscule fragments, and spread across the land."

Scythe of Want - "The pieces began to coalese once again, becoming human in shape."

Chime of Want - "The tiniest of these pieces, precisely due to it's size, was the first to restore it's form."

Bow of Want - "The smallest of the pieces, sensing its own fragility, yearned for what it lacked."

Soul of Nashandra - "Nashandra was born of the Dark with an insatiable lust for strength."

So this suggests that Manus was split into fragments, the smallest took form first. It wanted to be as big and strong as the other fragments I guess. It took a human-esque form and became Nashandra. It sounds as though this is From's way of leaving the source of these bosses open ended; meaning Nashandra is just one of the fragments of Manus and the rest were "spread across the land." Nashandra was also the smallest and thus the first. This implies that as we progress into more sequels, they will be stronger.

I sure hope so because HOLY SHIT, that was not a dark souls end boss, that was a wet carpet. She caught me off guard with the curse the first time but she just fell over on my second try. I didn't even break a sweat. Beating vendrick with 2 giant souls was much more of the chalenge I was expecting from an end boss even though his attack paterns were way too predictable.

#105 Edited by Karkarov (3196 posts) -


I sure hope so because HOLY SHIT, that was not a dark souls end boss, that was a wet carpet. She caught me off guard with the curse the first time but she just fell over on my second try. I didn't even break a sweat. Beating vendrick with 2 giant souls was much more of the chalenge I was expecting from an end boss even though his attack paterns were way too predictable.

If you want it to be hard summon the two npc's outside then fight her in melee only. When you summon two helpers she gets insanely more aggressive and will outright spam those curse mists to the point that you will be cursed repeatedly if you try to melee her, period. She will also hit hard enough that if her scythe hits you once you will probably die. Funny but in this game summons only really help on bosses you need to be distracted/tag team. On bosses like Nashandra the summons actually do make the fight harder.

#106 Edited by development (2454 posts) -
@seikenfreak said:

So this suggests that Manus was split into fragments, the smallest took form first. It wanted to be as big and strong as the other fragments I guess. It took a human-esque form and became Nashandra. It sounds as though this is From's way of leaving the source of these bosses open ended; meaning Nashandra is just one of the fragments of Manus and the rest were "spread across the land." Nashandra was also the smallest and thus the first. This implies that as we progress into more sequels, they will be stronger.

Somehow missed this. I really think the whole point of the "she was the smallest bit" thing is to compare her to the Pygmy... who very likely became Manus. I.E. she bided her time undercover and made her moves in the background, through other people, while always ravenous for more strength. The other "bits" of Manus wouldn't be as strong because they started off too large, possibly dissolving into nothing (my own supposition). They didn't have the burning desire (want?) that Nashandra had. You can bet the next Dark Souls won't be so direct as to pit you against "the next" bit of Manus.

#107 Edited by Yummylee (22129 posts) -

@karkarov said:

@pyrodactyl said:

I sure hope so because HOLY SHIT, that was not a dark souls end boss, that was a wet carpet. She caught me off guard with the curse the first time but she just fell over on my second try. I didn't even break a sweat. Beating vendrick with 2 giant souls was much more of the chalenge I was expecting from an end boss even though his attack paterns were way too predictable.

If you want it to be hard summon the two npc's outside then fight her in melee only. When you summon two helpers she gets insanely more aggressive and will outright spam those curse mists to the point that you will be cursed repeatedly if you try to melee her, period. She will also hit hard enough that if her scythe hits you once you will probably die. Funny but in this game summons only really help on bosses you need to be distracted/tag team. On bosses like Nashandra the summons actually do make the fight harder.

Not to mention Ancient Dragon, too. Summons only get in the way and make the boss a lot less predictable than it usually is, and without that predictability he's even more of a bloody nuisance... Fucking hated that boss battle. Though I did sometimes summon Vengarl anywhoo, bless him. Try as he might, but he still pretty much always dies within like the first minute.

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#108 Edited by Oni (2104 posts) -

@turambar said:

Also, we can't exactly be sure what Vendrick stole because we don't actually know where Drangleic is. If it's built atop Lordran, there's no reason to steal the First Flame from across the ocean: the you already have it. If it's Vinheim like the Lingering Dragon Crest Ring potentially hints at though, then someone would have had to bring it over somehow, at some point.

I'm operating under the assumption that Drangleic is built on top of the ruins of Lordran (and probably some kingdoms that came after it), because it requires far less supposition than if it isn't and requires the least amount of mental gymnastics. Occam's Razor etc. We have the four Lord Souls, the first flame, pieces of the Lordvessel, not to mention the crapton of other items, weapons and rings. The Dragoncrest Ring doesn't even contradict this, as it says it was USED in "this land", iirc. At this point, I'm 99% convinced the Giant's Kinship is what Vendrick took, and the Giant Lord's Soul is what he used on himself. Again, it's what makes the most amount of sense to me; Giant's Kinship manipulates Golems, and it's stated Vendrick used the thing he stole to create Golems and make the castle. Vendrick's soul (or some other item) says he used the Giant's strength and made it his own, and mentions him using a powerful soul to keep the curse at bay. 1+1=2.

Regardless of time travel dickery, I also still believe the Last Giant is the Giant Lord, if for no other reason than that's the only giant we've seen that has exactly that figure. All of the others are shorter and squatter. It's possible that in the timeline where we didn't intervene in the memories/past, Vendrick eventually captures the Giant Lord and imprisoned him and made him part of his experiments to try and figure out a solution to the curse. This fits with how From has approached time travel in the past. Remember Sif -- if you don't do the DLC before fighting him, his intro cut scene is as normal and he does not recognize you. If you do it before, he does recognize you. Time paradoxes abound (and I fkkn hate time travel, god), I know, but that would make it consistent.

edit: I just realized The Last Giant is entirely optional and now I'm wildly curious to see what happens if you don't kill him and wait until the very endgame after you've killed the Giant Lord in the memory and then go back to the Last Giant.

#109 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4856 posts) -

@oni: Is he optional? I'm pretty sure you need the Soldier's Key to access the second leg of FoFG. In that second leg is of course the Pursuer as well as the King's door that leads to the Giant Lord memory.

Here's a question though; why do the giants have faces like puckered buttholes?

#110 Posted by DrMechano (43 posts) -

@yummylee said:

So what the Fuck is the cat supposed to be. After reaching the end with my second character, I decided I might as well kill everyone before I move on, only the cat is bleedin' invulnerable, and is well aware of that fact given how she goades you on to try attacking her again.

I figure she's apart of the same talking cat race as the one from the first Dark Souls that was buddies with Artorias, though you could at least kill her... right? Actually doesn't she vanish after you've attacked her? In any case the cat in DkS2 is clearly wise and all knowing and all that, so she's undoubtedly been around for some time. Probably just a mystery for a mystery's sake?

Sweet Shalquior is pretty much hinted as being THE oldest thing in the setting, even the Emerald herald refers to her as 'an ancient being'. Even when she mentions that old ones are so old that people have forgotten their names, she mentions it with a chuckle in her voice when she says "could you imagine that?".

Though the friendliness isn't a fascade, unlike a lot of the other NPCs who sell stuff to you (who are nice to you to get you to buy stuff) preciscely BECAUSE she's so freaking ancient. She has seen kingdoms rise and fall, she has talked to 'Chosen Undead' and 'Monarchs' alike, all will be as it should be in time, so why bother being all mean and nasty during the here and now? She has no real need for souls beyond the fact that 'humans give someting to get something', so since humans trade souls for things she just follows their ideals.

Though there are no direct hints to her being Alvina, she knows lore that nobody else in the setting knows. The key thing is..she knows the lore of Dark Souls 1, she knows exactly who the Lords Souls originators are. She might not be Alvina but she is someone equally ancient and may even be a God made manifest (not like the gods of Dark Souls who are just mortals with lord soul powers but a literal, capital G, God). This would explain her invulnerability. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if she was basically the author avatar for Dark Souls creators. Friendly and all knowing but coy with information that is handed out.

#111 Posted by Oni (2104 posts) -

@oni: Is he optional? I'm pretty sure you need the Soldier's Key to access the second leg of FoFG. In that second leg is of course the Pursuer as well as the King's door that leads to the Giant Lord memory.

Here's a question though; why do the giants have faces like puckered buttholes?

Ah you're right, I forgot that the King's Door in FoFG is behind a door that requires the Soldier's Key. Damn. There goes that, I guess. Doesn't change my theory though, I'm aware it's shaky and the biggest thing going for it is the visual similarity between those 2 giants, it's just my pet theory and I like it for some reason.

#112 Posted by Karkarov (3196 posts) -

@oni: Is he optional? I'm pretty sure you need the Soldier's Key to access the second leg of FoFG. In that second leg is of course the Pursuer as well as the King's door that leads to the Giant Lord memory.

Here's a question though; why do the giants have faces like puckered buttholes?

Dirty is correct, you do require the soldiers key to beat the game. However you don't have to have it early in the game at all, you don't actually "need" it until you have the power to access giant memories. The only 100% optional bosses in this game are the Smelter Demon, the Belfry Gargoyles, Old Dragonslayer, Royal Rat Vanguard, and Royal Rat Authority. Of course it is also possible to skip Dragonrider and Flexile Sentry but only if you do kill Pursuer. It is possible to skip the Ruin Sentinels but only if you get to the Bastille via the Wharf + REALLY know the level and have a spare Pharros Lockstone. If you skip via Pursuer and don't go through the Wharf it is impossible to skip the Ruin Sentinels. So depending on your route through the early game you will have to kill 2 out of 4 of those guys every time, possibly 3 of 4 if you don't have a Lockstone. So no matter how you slice it they aren't "100%" optional.

#113 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4856 posts) -

@oni said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@oni: Is he optional? I'm pretty sure you need the Soldier's Key to access the second leg of FoFG. In that second leg is of course the Pursuer as well as the King's door that leads to the Giant Lord memory.

Here's a question though; why do the giants have faces like puckered buttholes?

Ah you're right, I forgot that the King's Door in FoFG is behind a door that requires the Soldier's Key. Damn. There goes that, I guess. Doesn't change my theory though, I'm aware it's shaky and the biggest thing going for it is the visual similarity between those 2 giants, it's just my pet theory and I like it for some reason.

I kind of like it as well. It would definitely go a long way to explaining why the thing aggros to you immediately. I mean, there it is, broken, beaten, with a bajillion swords stuck in its arms and back and a stone column through the abdomen and it still gets enough anger-juice flowing when it catches sight of you. It's weird. Most Dark Souls bosses are provoked in some way, or they tie into the greater narrative to a point where their instant aggression makes sense. Last Giant just goes bonkers at the sight of you for (ostensibly) no reason.

#114 Posted by Oni (2104 posts) -

http://youtu.be/kJC0RFLwPIM?t=31m30s

ENB, who worked with FROM on the official guide and wrote much of the lore in it, calls out the description of the Giant Stone Axe, cryptically. Time travel confirmed?

#115 Edited by development (2454 posts) -

@oni: Yeah, I would like it if it weren't the case, but I think it's pretty clear From is telling us you did actually kill the giant lord. I don't think ENB has any more knowledge of the game than is attainable by players, though. It's not like he was sitting down with the actual devs or anything... I think.

#116 Edited by Shirogane (3579 posts) -

@oni: Yeah, I would like it if it weren't the case, but I think it's pretty clear From is telling us you did actually kill the giant lord. I don't think ENB has any more knowledge of the game than is attainable by players, though. It's not like he was sitting down with the actual devs or anything... I think.

Yeah, i don't think ENB really knows more than we do, or will. All he really knows is all the lore descriptions and conversations whereas we may not have heard/read them all yet. But yeah, that description feels like it's saying that we travel back in time and beat the giants, or it could be From messing with us. Like that godamn Aldia's Keep switch with all those developer messages.

#117 Posted by development (2454 posts) -

@shirogane: I don't think From's messing with us there. It's pretty clear something bad will happen if you let him out. People will get dead. I just went ahead and deaded them myself, though. Poor, Cale... forever a tombstone.

#118 Posted by Karkarov (3196 posts) -

@development said:

@oni: Yeah, I would like it if it weren't the case, but I think it's pretty clear From is telling us you did actually kill the giant lord. I don't think ENB has any more knowledge of the game than is attainable by players, though. It's not like he was sitting down with the actual devs or anything... I think.

Yeah, i don't think ENB really knows more than we do, or will. All he really knows is all the lore descriptions and conversations whereas we may not have heard/read them all yet. But yeah, that description feels like it's saying that we travel back in time and beat the giants, or it could be From messing with us. Like that godamn Aldia's Keep switch with all those developer messages.

He doesn't he just makes stuff up like everyone else but for some reason people always believe him by default. He is just a youtuber that is "trending". Supposedly he had some sort of contribution to the guide though.

#119 Edited by rocketboot (138 posts) -

@karkarov: I think a lot of people trust ENB because he's pretty inightful and his theories general hold up. Way back before Artorias of the Abyss came out he theorized that Darkroot Forest was or had ties to Oolacile. I'm not going to believe everything he says but his theories have a good deal of weight.

Anyways, if I could weigh in on some of the discussion here. I'd like to talk about what Vendrick stole from the giants. I agree with everyone who dismisses the idea that he stole the flame, kiln or throne due to those being structural and not likely movable. I want to really focus on the lord souls or lordvessel. I also agree that Drangleic is Lordran so that has to mean the lord souls left Lordran at some point, which I don't think is really too much of a stretch.

So my biggest hurdle with this theory is some timeline stuff the game tells us putting Vendrick building the kingdom after defeating the four old ones. And if he built the kingdom using the power of giants (which many of us assume to be the golems) then my theory doesn't work. But what if he defeated four others (presumably giants) who possessed the souls, and gifted them to the four we meet in the game? That would explain why the broken lordvessel lies in a dingy basement, someone else broke it and pillaged the souls from it long ago.

That may be a bit of stretch but I thought I'd put it out there. There's one other thing that I feel puts the battle with the giants before the four old ones being defeated: the iron king got beat down by the smelter demon before himself turning into a giant fiery monstrosity. The smelter demon looks like he was born of something related to giants, with the face of his helm being all butthole shaped like that. I think he's basically a big angry iron golem. Which says to me that the iron king may have gotten his power from the giants.

#120 Posted by LawGamer (254 posts) -

I just want to know what's up with the CG cutscene at the beginning of the game. It implies that the player character came from another land and was drawn to the whirlpool thing that eventually brings them to Things Betwixt. I guess that's what happens to the ones cursed with the Dark Sign? They get the urge to go to Drangleic? It would explain all the people with amnesia around Majula. Perhaps Drangleic is already a fallen kingdom steeped within the Dark and the whirlpool is a time travel portal a la Dark Souls 1 DLC portal? There is also a weird scene in which a maiden's face turns to ash but I'll brush that off as added in to look cool for now.

Completely random thing here, but there is a statue at Firelink Shrine in DSI that is of a maiden holding an infant, which looks almost exactly like the woman holding the infant in the DSII intro.

Also, if you look at the reflection in the water in the DSII intro, there is clearly some weird time travel/alternate universe stuff going on. The building your character is walking through is ruined, but the building is shiny and new in the reflection.

I have no idea about the significance of either one of those things. Just thought I'd point it out.

Online
#121 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4856 posts) -

@development said:

@oni: Yeah, I would like it if it weren't the case, but I think it's pretty clear From is telling us you did actually kill the giant lord. I don't think ENB has any more knowledge of the game than is attainable by players, though. It's not like he was sitting down with the actual devs or anything... I think.

He was in contact with From while writing the Guide (along with like, half a dozen other writers) and specifically cited lore questions as one of the topics of conversation. Which makes sense because, you know, he wrote the lore stuff in the guide.

@karkarov said:

He doesn't he just makes stuff up like everyone else but for some reason people always believe him by default. He is just a youtuber that is "trending". Supposedly he had some sort of contribution to the guide though.

People believe him because he pieced together a fuckton of the lore in the first Dark Souls. He also speculated (correctly) that Oolacile became Darkroot Garden/Basin. Oh, and he also speculated (correctly) that the Artorias of the Abyss DLC would take place in Oolacile. He's fired plenty of shots and they've all been on target so far.

The dude has built himself a ton of credit and sway with the general player base for these reasons. I always find it peculiar when others try to dismiss someone's credibility by downplaying their significance. He's not just a "trending youtuber", he's a part of the foundation for lore hounds in the Dark Souls community.

Anyways, if I could weigh in on some of the discussion here. I'd like to talk about what Vendrick stole from the giants. I agree with everyone who dismisses the idea that he stole the flame, kiln or throne due to those being structural and not likely movable. I want to really focus on the lord souls or lordvessel. I also agree that Drangleic is Lordran so that has to mean the lord souls left Lordran at some point, which I don't think is really too much of a stretch.

So my biggest hurdle with this theory is some timeline stuff the game tells us putting Vendrick building the kingdom after defeating the four old ones. And if he built the kingdom using the power of giants (which many of us assume to be the golems) then my theory doesn't work. But what if he defeated four others (presumably giants) who possessed the souls, and gifted them to the four we meet in the game? That would explain why the broken lordvessel lies in a dingy basement, someone else broke it and pillaged the souls from it long ago.

That may be a bit of stretch but I thought I'd put it out there. There's one other thing that I feel puts the battle with the giants before the four old ones being defeated: the iron king got beat down by the smelter demon before himself turning into a giant fiery monstrosity. The smelter demon looks like he was born of something related to giants, with the face of his helm being all butthole shaped like that. I think he's basically a big angry iron golem. Which says to me that the iron king may have gotten his power from the giants.

I'm not sure what's confusing you about the timeline. I thought it was relatively straight forward in that Vendrick rose to power by defeating the four "old ones" and then built his kingdom on top of the ruins of those that came before. Drangleic Castle is the only structure in the game said to be built with the aid of the golems. Notice how it is completely unique to every other structure in the game? It's practically an obsidian monolith. Almost as if it was planted on the dirt it occupies.

As far as the Old Iron King and the Smelter Demon goes, I think you made a good point. I also noticed that the Smelter Demon's head looks like a fiery butthole they have a cream for that don't they? but I didn't make the Giant connection until now. I'm convinced at the moment that the Old Iron King isn't related to Vendrick's Drangleic, however. I believe that he and his kingdom are evidence of a kingdom that came before Drangleic. It'd provide the kind of symmetry that FromSoft is fond of if the Old Iron King's land was destroyed by a giant, much like Drangleic was destroyed by a giant invasion. What I'm not sure of right now, though, is if OIK dug too deep and woke it up or if the Smelter Demon was somehow created by the OIK. Lore currently points to the Smelter Demon being "woken up" by the Old Iron King, so it's possible that he's a remnant of another cycle from long before that kingdom.

#122 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4856 posts) -
@lawgamer said:

@thunderslash said:

I just want to know what's up with the CG cutscene at the beginning of the game. It implies that the player character came from another land and was drawn to the whirlpool thing that eventually brings them to Things Betwixt. I guess that's what happens to the ones cursed with the Dark Sign? They get the urge to go to Drangleic? It would explain all the people with amnesia around Majula. Perhaps Drangleic is already a fallen kingdom steeped within the Dark and the whirlpool is a time travel portal a la Dark Souls 1 DLC portal? There is also a weird scene in which a maiden's face turns to ash but I'll brush that off as added in to look cool for now.

Completely random thing here, but there is a statue at Firelink Shrine in DSI that is of a maiden holding an infant, which looks almost exactly like the woman holding the infant in the DSII intro.

Also, if you look at the reflection in the water in the DSII intro, there is clearly some weird time travel/alternate universe stuff going on. The building your character is walking through is ruined, but the building is shiny and new in the reflection.

I have no idea about the significance of either one of those things. Just thought I'd point it out.

I theorized on the sub reddit for DS2 that the game (and by extension DS1) are an allegory for the afterlife.

It's worth noting that in both of the intro cinematics for DS1 and DS2 that one of the last images you see (the final being a fade to black) is a dead man. Both in DS1 we see a dead man with the dark sign at what is presumably a burial. In Dark Souls 2, we see the "cursed undead" leap to their death. I say leap to their death because when we awaken in Things Betwixt, we're full-hollow while in the cutscene, we're perfectly normal.

I've re-posted a conversation I had on reddit. It was with another user about the nature of the world in Dark Souls 2 and why, ultimately, it feels so... ethereal?

ODB (yeah you know me): I think it's interesting that the cinematic takes place in what is ostensibly the "real world". At least within the game's setting. I also think it's interesting that in order to find Drangleic, we need to take a leap of faith into swirling vortex of dark spirits.

However the one thing that keeps gnawing at the back of my mind is the reflection in the water just before shit hits the fan. How the archway/doorway is nothing but a few pebbles and stones on the surface, yet in the reflection it's an ominous and well maintained gateway. It could be From tipping their hand and revealing that Drangleic is actually a pocket dimension, or perhaps an afterlife of sorts. It's too oddly specific to be solely be an artistic touch.

vivi: I think the afterlife idea deserves some discussion. The idea seems ridiculous and un-soulsy. But, there's so much about looking into your past and trying to remember.

The crone says look deep into your past when she gives you the effigy. A few NPCs make mention that your character surely has a storied past. Most NPCs begin to forget where they came from or, in some cases, who they are. Chloanne is unable to recognize her father. But the interesting part to me is that in most cases, people are only struggling to remember who/what/where/how/why they were before coming to Drangelic. They seem to remember everything since they've been in Drangelic just fine.

There's also some dialogue that hints heavily at having died: pyro girl, for instance, who talks about "the number of times [she] almost died!", etc.

Basically, I'm not ready to say that DS2 takes place in the afterlife, but it seems From has carefully separated the character's lives from before coming to Drangelic.

ODB: To explore the admittedly ridiculous notion that the Dark Souls series takes place in some kind of afterlife further, what you mentioned is very interesting. The fact that NPCs and even the player character struggle to remember their lives before Drangleic (for the player it's implied during the beginning of the game), and that also correlates to a lot of various mythologies in their interpretations of the afterlife. Especially in regards to reincarnation. Reincarnation is often depicted as a gradual loss of your previous self (interpreted in Dark Souls as memories for clarity) before being reborn in your new life.

Pure speculation, of course, but perhaps the curse of undeath isn't so much being brought back again and again, but more to do with the idea that you can't move on. When you are cursed, you cannot shed your previous life in preparation for the next and instead are caught in a never ending cycle of life and death. The curse of course means that you are aware of this, and you remain your current incarnation through all of these "lives." I think being stuck in that sense would be enough to drive someone mad; to give up hope and hollow.

Perhaps this "afterlife" isn't so much a traditional heaven, but is a kind of recycling plant. The idea being that people die, they go to Drangleic (or Lordran in Dark Souls 1), and in time they lose their identities and their souls are reborn in a new life. In this context "linking the fire" isn't so much about lighting the biggest, baddest bonfire but more of hitting the reset button. After all a recycling plant needs maintenance, and the fading fire could be interpreted as the "machine" gradually breaking down. It needs new parts, or a kickstart, to get it back to working order. Perhaps that's how we cure undeath? Link the fire, restart the machine, and people are back to their cycle of reincarnation.

This is all just wild speculation, of course, and I'm 99% sure I'm wrong. If there is anything to this speculation at all, it's most likely unintended subtext and I'm reading between too many lines.

vivi: I think that's a fair analysis to make, though. Though "reincarnation" is a bit of a loaded word, something that runs through all the souls games both independently and with each other is the notion of this repetition, which you aptly call "a never ending cycle of life and death". We see this play out in some ways subtly: the gameplay itself, the similarities amongst NPCs across the games; in other ways we see the theme developed more overtly. The crone at the beginning of DS2 refers to this cycle and explains you'll lose your souls over and over again, the emerald herald's incessant talking of the "cycle" and her urging you to break it.

It's an interesting and supported idea, if a bit ridiculous, but I think it holds water if approached without any regard for the typical ideas of an afterlife. Despite the terminology of "demon" and Darklurker's seraphic design, there's not much in the way of standard afterlife affairs.

DS2 puts it in an interesting context though in addition to all we've previously mentioned. The opening cinematic is vague and surreal, with the player character jumping into a whirlpool of spirits before landing in Things Betwixt (which we are told is a limbo between Drangelic and the "outside world"). It's worth noting the player character is human in the custcene and then fully hollowed upon landing in Things Betwixt. Once landing, it seems almost every NPC has something important to say about the cycle of death and life, whether they realize it or not. Some, like the cat, seem to celebrate the notion. Others, like Maughlin, seem unaware.

Regardless, it's something interesting to think about. You're absolutely right that the game doesn't make much to do with the traditional view of an afterlife, but there's certainly some notion there.

I figured it might be worth cross posting considering you noticed the weirdness in the opening cinematic as well.

#123 Posted by Karkarov (3196 posts) -

@karkarov said:

He doesn't he just makes stuff up like everyone else but for some reason people always believe him by default. He is just a youtuber that is "trending". Supposedly he had some sort of contribution to the guide though.

People believe him because he pieced together a fuckton of the lore in the first Dark Souls. He also speculated (correctly) that Oolacile became Darkroot Garden/Basin. Oh, and he also speculated (correctly) that the Artorias of the Abyss DLC would take place in Oolacile. He's fired plenty of shots and they've all been on target so far.

The dude has built himself a ton of credit and sway with the general player base for these reasons. I always find it peculiar when others try to dismiss someone's credibility by downplaying their significance. He's not just a "trending youtuber", he's a part of the foundation for lore hounds in the Dark Souls community.

None of that took a genius to figure out, plenty of other people had similar theories, and guessing where the DLC would take place doesn't matter. It isn't like they even had options. It was always going to be Oolacile (only other country mentioned in the entire game) or some place they invented just for the DLC. 50/50 odds aren't hard to hit. You could argue Vinheim except lots of NPC's in game were from Vinheim and it was clear that place wasn't a monster infested hell hole it was a magic school and it was probably far away.

I don't have a problem with him. My problem is more with the "Dark Souls Lore" people who don't think for themselves and just assume he is right about everything even when the stuff he says is circumstantial or nothing but a long shot guess based on stuff he is just making up that is beyond circumstantial. As far as Dark Souls 2 goes you can give him weight I guess if From just basically told him everything he has no chance of being wrong does he?

#124 Posted by rocketboot (138 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: This raises another problem. The Iron King is one of the four old ones, or possesses a soul of the old ones. Either Vendrick has something to do with the Iron King having this soul, or he is one of the old ones Vendrick defeated and built his kingdom upon. The latter is impossible, as we know that the Iron King was killed by Smelter. There are problems with the former as well with there being evidence of the Iron King's kingdom existing before Drangleic. I'd like to say they existed alongside each other but there isn't anything to suggest that in the game.

We also have the Ironclads stated as being a creation of the Iron King, yet the Old Ironclads in the Forest of Fallen Giants are said to have emerged from Drangleic Castle. And there are Alonne Knights in Drangleic Castle. I haven't got a drop from any of them yet so I don't know if their armour is any different than the ones in the Iron Keep. The appearance of these guys could be as simple as Vendrick or Nashandra finding ways to revive or control old constructs. I would like to think there is a deeper connection, like the Channellers in DkS. But it could be that I'm grasping here.

As far as Smelters origins, we're told he emerged from the flames, but his presence could be a creation of the kings own conceit. Also that he is a hunk of iron given life through a powerful soul. I don't think we have a Moria/Balrog situation here, we are never told the Iron King dug too deep. Only that his castle was too heavy and sunk into the earth. If Smelter was already there he could have been displaced with all the lava that rose when the keep sunk. But the facts are that he is a hunk of iron given life, the Iron King seems to have a thing for iron, and we're given the kings conceit as a possible source for the demon's existence. And also that he one-shotted the Iron King, which is I think my favourite piece of lore in the game.

I'm gonna leave it at that for now. I'm in an airport waiting for a flight with only my phone, so I don't really have anything to reference and make sure I'm not mixing everything up. I'll have to gather some real evidence once I get home and find out where my theories stand here.

#125 Edited by Humanity (9647 posts) -

So here is a question for all your lore buffs out there.

As a souls layman that basically plays these games once, with one character and calls it a day, I usually find it somewhat hard to follow what is going on. I even made it a point to read every item description in Dark Souls 2, yet by the time the credits rolled around I still came up short on understanding what exactly transpired.

So could someone, in a somewhat abbreviated way, explain what exactly takes place in the game? Sort of like a synopsis from beginning to end.

#126 Posted by Demoskinos (15034 posts) -

@humanity: I'm much in the same boat. What I got out of it was that there was a war with the Giants and apparently Vendrick destroyed the giants then there is something about you taking Hendricks place as ruler. That is about as much as I took away from it.

#127 Posted by Humanity (9647 posts) -

@humanity: I'm much in the same boat. What I got out of it was that there was a war with the Giants and apparently Vendrick destroyed the giants then there is something about you taking Hendricks place as ruler. That is about as much as I took away from it.

What I understood was that you arrive in Majula. You are told you need to find the 4 large souls and seek out the king. There was a war with the Giants. Vendrick took a soul that helped him control giants and build the castle and became corrupt. Then the Herald says she was made to break the curse.. but it didn't work.. and that the dragon named her.. and that she was made by him and someone else.. and.. I guess I have to kill the Queen now? Things like, why am I seeking these 4 large souls, who is the Herald, why does the Queen want me to kill the king if he's already hollow, why does she want to kill me after and most importantly, why was I doing all of this in the first place - all somewhat elluded me.

#128 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

First of all, I'm french, so excuse my english... My grammar will certainly be awful. Here are my 2 cents. Those are theory I got upon reading descriptions of the items, the events I saw and the things I read on this very topic.

- The False Dragon.
I find it was pretty obvious : The Queen talk about "the false deity", refering to the dragon. The first hint is his drop : A Giant Soul and a Petrified Dragon Bone. People tand to forget the dragon bone, but I think it is important.too. I'll come to it later. The second hint is where you can find him... after Aldia's little horror show. The third hint, directly tied to the second, is the fact that Aldia did experiment on the Soul and he did experiments on dragons. And the fourth and last hint is the Ancient Dragon Soul you find in the Dragon Memory.
Now, how I piece it together ? Aldia was known for his gruesome experiments on the Soul. He was so good at it that only Venderick was his equal in this art. We know Venderick and Aldia studied the Soul together and separated because of a different (the gruesome nature of Aldia's experiment, as stated above, even if I'm not quite as certain Venderick was such a good hearted king)... Venderick had access to Giant Souls, so Aldia should have too. Now I insert the Petrified Dragon Bone. The dragon skeletton in the mansion tells about the experiments conducted by Aldia... and that skeletton try to eat you (even if he falls to pieces right after that). That makes me think that Aldia was on the right track : Infusing a dragon corpse with a Soul powerfull enough (namely, a Giant Soum) created the False Dragon. And last, there is the Ancient Dragon Soul. At first I was confused by its description, but like others, I started to think that its description referred to the False Dragon, not the one we find in the Memory (which is, as stated before, obviously from an age before the Age of Flame... or even during the war Between the Three Lords and the Everlasting Dragon).
So, for me, the Ancient Dragon we found alive is a fraud.

- Drangelic... Vinheim or Lordran (or both, or none) ?
This is a tricky question, but I think Drangelic was called Vinheim in the past. I didn't see the hints about Drangelic being on Lordran, maybe I just didn't pay too much attention. My first clue was, of course, the Lingering Draconcrest Ring. In Dark Souls 1, it was an artifact from Vinheim and it's actual description state that it was used in the kingdom where now lies Drangelic. Sure, some could argue (and some has) that the word "used" is important... because the Chosen Unded could use this ring in Lordran, but I think that this theory is overly complicated. And then, I read the description of the Dragon-rieder Greatshield. It says that Venderick, with his Dragon Riders, came to a land, slaugthered it's people and created Drangelic on it's remains (that very description made me doubt about the good hearted nature of the King, but that's another topic). It's interesting because there was people to slaughter in Vinheim, will Lordran was only filled with undeads... Third, we meet one guy that was here before the country was called Drangelic. That's Straid... a really powerfull wizard. And guess what he sells ? The lingering dragoncrest ring. Pieced together, I'm assuming Drangelic is on Vinheim.
But there is the Old Dragonslayer, in a land reminiscent of Anor Londo (if flooded).
That's right, that's an hint that Drangelic is on Lordran...
And then, developper said it's in another continent. Seeing how the land is flooded, I will argue that Anor Londo flooded and that "the continent" is not the same as before, because part of the land went underwater and others didn't.

- Dreams and Time Travel.
Tricky question too. For me, visiting the dreams pretty much a form of time travel. When yu go in the dreams, you can take things from there and they stay with you. It's just a conception of my mind, but I have hard time considering visiting dreams and taking stuff from them. Plus, I heard at least once a NPC state that the flow of time is somewhat distorded in Drangelic (which is the lore eplanation for the phantoms from Dark Souls 1 if I recall).Now that poses problems with the chronology, the prize that Venderick took from the giants, the golems and so on.
As others stated the chronology is this :
1/ Venderick go kick some Giant Asses, steal something and come back.
2/ With his prize, he create the Golems and, with them, his castle.
3/ The Giants are pissed and came to take it back, winning the war this time.
Here what I think. The prize he stole must have been the Giant Kinship, because he created the golems with it... and the last cinemtic show the golems responding to your character while he holds the giant kinship. The giant fight back and win the war, until an unnamed hero kills their leader (Giant Lord), but "too late". Too late for what, claiming the victory ? If the very reason of this war was reclaiming the Giant Kinship, then one could say yes : All that it is known is that the unnamed hero killed the Giant Lord (or at least weakened him enough for him to be captured, as the theory Last Giant = Giant Lord says...), but the Kinship is lost. It all makes sense to me at least.
If Drangelic Castle is already there when the giant invade, then the Kinship already served it's purpose. The golem are of no use now and can still be activated for a brief period of time by infusing them with a soul. But when the player hold the kinship, the golems in the end cinematic moves without the blue glow that goes with the activation by souls.
Time travel without paradox here, it makes sense in my eye.Now another clue that makes me think dream travel = time travel. The King's Ring talk about the King that tried to fight his curse with powerfull souls. We assumed it was the Lord Souls, but I don't think so. In fact, I think he used Giant Souls and that supports the thery that visiting the dreams = time travel. After all, having giant souls in you inventory weakens Venderick. That point is important : it's not making you stronger, it makes him weaker... why is that ? Because you stole the souls before he could use them to grow stronger... by visiting the dreams. You could argue that there is the one droped by the false dragon and the one in black gulch, but the Ancient Dragon is so damn tough that I think your not supposed to claim it. And the one in black gulch is in an hidden area.
And why do I think it was Giant Souls that were used by Venderick to 'fight the curse" ? Because they are pretty damn strong. One was enough to create an Everlasting Dragon...

That's all for now.
I'm tired so I'll have to go get some sleep now ^^

#129 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

One thing came to my mind, while I was logging out... about the "landscape that didn't make sense"
It does, I think. It's a design choice, to give a sense of space : The landscape is designed to give you the impression that Drangelic is HUGE. Like someone said, you go from Majula to the Heide Tower and can see Majula from there, and it appears far, far away. But in term of gameplay, that wouldn't be possible to make the game world actually fit the scale of what you see. Sure, for those who can see those details, it seems strange, but that's fine by me.

The transition between the Iron Keep and the poisoned earth is especially guilty of this, because the corridor between the boss room and the elevator is ridiculously short. But the building is encased in the mountain, dans judging by the great wheel that you burn, it's not to high in the tower. So, you can assume that the boss room leads directly under the mountain. I verified and if you go from the first bonfire in Harvest Valley to the place where you find Chloanne the first time, if you look closely, you will see an orange glow in the mountains behind the building. It seems too far away from it, but it's on par with Majula that seems too far away from Heide's Tower.

As for the Drake Aerie that is one block from the distance and suddenly turn into multiple platforms, it stays consistent with the idea that the landscape is far greater than the gameplay makes us think : From very far away, some plateforms close to one another like those in dragon aerie are could seem like a single block of stone.

#130 Edited by ThunderSlash (1857 posts) -

@humanity said:

@demoskinos said:

@humanity: I'm much in the same boat. What I got out of it was that there was a war with the Giants and apparently Vendrick destroyed the giants then there is something about you taking Hendricks place as ruler. That is about as much as I took away from it.

What I understood was that you arrive in Majula. You are told you need to find the 4 large souls and seek out the king. There was a war with the Giants. Vendrick took a soul that helped him control giants and build the castle and became corrupt. Then the Herald says she was made to break the curse.. but it didn't work.. and that the dragon named her.. and that she was made by him and someone else.. and.. I guess I have to kill the Queen now? Things like, why am I seeking these 4 large souls, who is the Herald, why does the Queen want me to kill the king if he's already hollow, why does she want to kill me after and most importantly, why was I doing all of this in the first place - all somewhat elluded me.

Here's what I got out of it so far:

The main character is some person from a different land. They find out that they have the curse/Dark Sign and slowly start losing their memories. They head to Drangleic in search of a cure like most of the NPCs you meet in the game. The Emerald Herald is there to break the curse, she was raised by the fake dragons made by Aldia(?). Her goal is to get a powerful being, one with a strong soul, to the throne and hopefully they end the cycle. The Throne of Want, the thing the main character sits on in the end of the game, is said to be a powerful object capable of molding reality. The reason why you are told to seek large souls is so that you can become a powerful being, because the Shrine of Winter doesn't allow just anyone to enter Castle Drangleic, they need to have a powerful soul. I heard that if you get a million souls in your soul memory in New Game you can go through the Shrine of Winter without beating the 4 prime bosses. The Queen is a piece of Manus, the Father of the Dark from the first game's DLC. As the smallest piece, she wants power. She gave herself a human form and tricked Vendrick into stealing something from the Giants (people theorize that this is either the Throne of Want or the 4 large souls) and became his queen. Vendrick caught on to her plans, locked himself in the crypt, and got Velstadt to protect him. Vendrick wanted to prevent the Queen from accessing the Throne of Want, so he locked himself away with his King's Ring. At some point he hollows out. Then the player character meets the Queen, and she tricks them into opening the way to the Throne of Want for her. At the end, she wanted to get rid of you and take her place in the Throne.

tl;dr you got played son

This is just how I interpreted the events in the game however. So I bet a bunch of that is off.

#131 Posted by Demoskinos (15034 posts) -

Can anyone explain what is the deal with the lady that sells miracles in the tower? You know the one that switches the path and lets you access Huntsman's Copse. I finally found out today you can invade her with the Cracked Eye Orb. What's her deal?

#132 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@demoskinos: When you beat her this way, you get her armor and catalyst and two Miracles. The armor descriptions talk about her having something to hide, about the strict rules of her church that are forgotten by some of their priest while they are wandering in the outside world. And one of the miracles you get from killing her with the crushed eye orb state that it is one of the most sacred scroll, that was one day stolen and never found since. Piecing it together, I think that she was a priest that forgot the rules of her church, became overly greedy (she berates you for not giving souls if you don't bye anything from her and seems envious about all your souls when you go talk to her later in game) and finally stole a most sacred artifact (the miracle scroll).

#133 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

- The PC from Dark Souls 2 is weaker than the Chosen Undead from Dark Souls 1.

Some other thougths came to my mind, regarding the idea that the undead you play as in Dark Souls 2 is weaker than the Chosen Undead from Dark Souls 1... I'm don't quite agree.

What we know is that she is "the smallest shard" from the Dark Soul. It could be a shard of Manus, after he was defeated by the Chosen Undead, or she could be the very first offspring of the Furtive Pygmy, from before he became Manus (if Manus and Pygmy are one and the same). In both cases, she should be far weaker than the "father" and her "brothers"... and that's why she is craving for what she lacked : Power.

But even though, that doesn't make her actually weaker by the time we encounter her in Dark Souls 2. After all, in both cases, she could be one of the most elderly being in Drangelic, on par with Shalquoir. Even if she is born from Manus, which was born long time after the Pygmy, she would still old by the time Dark Souls 1 prophecy takes place. After all, the first time you meet Dusk of Oolacile, she state : "I'm from a time long before thine." item descriptions in Dark Souls 1 speaking about Oolacile tell us that this country disapeared long time ago. Considering this and the power one can grow by harvesting souls, plus the fact that she actually crave for power, she could be one of the more powerfull being in Drangelic.

One could argue that the fact she manipulates people to do her biddings is a mark of weakness, but that's not true. After all, that's how she survived in her first day, that's how she is : furtive (like the Pygmy). But when time comes, she doesn't hesitate to come after you confident that she can kill you even though you pretty much destroyed every powerfull being in Drangelic (present and past).

With this in mind, the Undead we play as can be considered pretty damn tough for beating her.

#134 Edited by Humanity (9647 posts) -

@thunderslash: Makes sense, I guess?

Who is Aldia? I don't recall reading anything about her anywhere - apart from the area named after her.

#135 Edited by ThunderSlash (1857 posts) -

@humanity: I think Aldia is Vendrick's mad scientist brother. There doesn't really seem to be much about him from what I've seen. He tried to recreate dragons and a ton of other abominations from the looks of it. I'm just guessing that the dragons existing is because of his experiments due to two things from the game:

1) His place is pretty close to the Dragon's Aerie and he had a dragon locked up next to his mansion.

2) The Queen alludes to the Ancient Dragon as being a false deity or something. And if you kill the Ancient Dragon, you get a Soul of a Giant out of it instead of something like an Ancient Dragon Soul.

Also, the dragons (except for Seath and Priscilla I guess) were supposedly wiped out by the time of the first Dark Souls. Eh, as more time goes on I hope more stuff will get clearer.

#136 Edited by ThunderSlash (1857 posts) -

@myrmicus: Don't forget that the DS2 protagonist managed to kick the asses of the supposed new owners of the 4 Lord Souls early in the game.

#137 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@thunderslash: True enough. I haven't got to NG+ yet, so maybe I'm wrong but... I read somewhere that the Lord Souls lost some of their former glory in DS2.

#138 Posted by development (2454 posts) -

@thunderslash: As far as all the information in this game goes: the dragons are all dead (or at least hiding like in DS1). All we have are drakes and fakes.

And I actually came back in here to share something about Mr. Aldia I think I found out.

If you read the descriptions of the Sage/acolyte gear that you get in Aldia's Keep you are told straight up that ritual sacrifices were required to create these monsters. But check this out: the desc. of the Acolyte Bone Shield confirms things as hard as a DS game can confirm things:

"The peculiar figure known as Lord Aldia kept Giants in his manor, and attempted to recreate a dragon, but after some time, was not heard from again."

That right there is DS code for "yeah that dragon was a fake, alright?" So at least that is confirmed. I also think this alludes to Aldia having to be sacrificed in order to create the dragon, possibly ending up as part of the creature (or not; there ain't no logic in magic).

#139 Edited by pyrodactyl (2206 posts) -

@thunderslash said:

@humanity said:

@demoskinos said:

@humanity: I'm much in the same boat. What I got out of it was that there was a war with the Giants and apparently Vendrick destroyed the giants then there is something about you taking Hendricks place as ruler. That is about as much as I took away from it.

What I understood was that you arrive in Majula. You are told you need to find the 4 large souls and seek out the king. There was a war with the Giants. Vendrick took a soul that helped him control giants and build the castle and became corrupt. Then the Herald says she was made to break the curse.. but it didn't work.. and that the dragon named her.. and that she was made by him and someone else.. and.. I guess I have to kill the Queen now? Things like, why am I seeking these 4 large souls, who is the Herald, why does the Queen want me to kill the king if he's already hollow, why does she want to kill me after and most importantly, why was I doing all of this in the first place - all somewhat elluded me.

Here's what I got out of it so far:

The main character is some person from a different land. They find out that they have the curse/Dark Sign and slowly start losing their memories. They head to Drangleic in search of a cure like most of the NPCs you meet in the game. The Emerald Herald is there to break the curse, she was raised by the fake dragons made by Aldia(?). Her goal is to get a powerful being, one with a strong soul, to the throne and hopefully they end the cycle. The Throne of Want, the thing the main character sits on in the end of the game, is said to be a powerful object capable of molding reality. The reason why you are told to seek large souls is so that you can become a powerful being, because the Shrine of Winter doesn't allow just anyone to enter Castle Drangleic, they need to have a powerful soul. I heard that if you get a million souls in your soul memory in New Game you can go through the Shrine of Winter without beating the 4 prime bosses. The Queen is a piece of Manus, the Father of the Dark from the first game's DLC. As the smallest piece, she wants power. She gave herself a human form and tricked Vendrick into stealing something from the Giants (people theorize that this is either the Throne of Want or the 4 large souls) and became his queen. Vendrick caught on to her plans, locked himself in the crypt, and got Velstadt to protect him. Vendrick wanted to prevent the Queen from accessing the Throne of Want, so he locked himself away with his King's Ring. At some point he hollows out. Then the player character meets the Queen, and she tricks them into opening the way to the Throne of Want for her. At the end, she wanted to get rid of you and take her place in the Throne.

tl;dr you got played son

This is just how I interpreted the events in the game however. So I bet a bunch of that is off.

Don't know about some points in there:

  1. The main character doesn't get to drangleic to get the cure, he's just drawn there by the powerful souls. Every hollow is drawn there but they don't know why.
  2. The emerald Herald was probably also created by Aldia as a way to break the undead curse but she failed and was raised by the fake dragon
  3. Don't know if Vendrick got to the crypt to flee from the queen (I'm pretty sure he's much stronger than her, even in his fully undead form), I think he just went hollow even after absorbing the giant souls and the 4 great souls
  4. Someone says that Vendrick killed the 4 great ones and that's why he became so powerful I think. Might've been before the war with the giants

#140 Edited by pyrodactyl (2206 posts) -
@development said:

@thunderslash: As far as all the information in this game goes: the dragons are all dead (or at least hiding like in DS1). All we have are drakes and fakes.

And I actually came back in here to share something about Mr. Aldia I think I found out.

If you read the descriptions of the Sage/acolyte gear that you get in Aldia's Keep you are told straight up that ritual sacrifices were required to create these monsters. But check this out: the desc. of the Acolyte Bone Shield confirms things as hard as a DS game can confirm things:

"The peculiar figure known as Lord Aldia kept Giants in his manor, and attempted to recreate a dragon, but after some time, was not heard from again."

That right there is DS code for "yeah that dragon was a fake, alright?" So at least that is confirmed. I also think this alludes to Aldia having to be sacrificed in order to create the dragon, possibly ending up as part of the creature (or not; there ain't no logic in magic).

Great find, now it seems pretty clear something went wrong in Aldia's experiment to create a dragon but he succeeded by sacrificing himeself in the end. The emerald herald then was raised by the dragon because her original creator was dead/inside the dragon

#141 Posted by development (2454 posts) -

Yeah and if you read the feather desc. it kinda says directly that she is the child of the dragon, so that's what the whole "born of dragons; contrived by men" bit was about. As for the "she imagined a world of endless possibilities," I have no idea what we're supposed to take away from that.

Maybe that explains the fucked up geography of this world.

#142 Edited by ThunderSlash (1857 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: All are fair points that counter my theory. I just assumed you were there for a cure due to what the old firekeepers and the old lady in the CG intro said in the beginning. At least, I think that's where I thought I got that info. I could be making it up.

As for Vendrick, I toyed with the idea that he took the souls for himself, but killing him doesn't net you any major soul item. Instead, you gotta head on over to Shrine of Amana in human form in order to grab his soul off of a smallish human sized chair. That's another question, why did he he leave his soul in the Shrine and why did he have a set of human sized clothes? And as for Vendrick saying he killed the Great Ones, I'm sure that was Chancellor Wellegar who said that. Although I don't quite recall if he mentioned how many Great Ones Vendrick slew, he could be talking about another set of Great Ones not related to the Lord Soul holders. Either way, the title of Great/Old Ones seem to be carried by the 4 big bosses in the first half of the game.

@development When I first met Navlaan I thought that he might be Aldia. His Chaos armor set description seems to allude to Navlaan being just the name for the thing possessing him. It's really brief though:

"Hood/Robe/Gloves/Leggings worn by a chaos sorcerer.

He calls himself Navlaan, now."

Also, the "she imagined a world of endless possibilities" thing kinda reminds me of the Throne of Want and the description for the Giant's Kinship.

"Each King has his rightful throne.

And when he sits upon it,

he sees what he chooses to see.

Or perhaps, it is the throne,

which shows the king only what he wants."

Could be alluding to her wanting to break the cycle of the curse.

Edit:

Just did a search for "Dark Souls 2" and "cure" and found this interview with one of the directors of the game. Seems like I might've gotten the cure idea from prerelease info.

We’re told the story will once again revolve around a character who is cursed and seeking to find the cure for his affliction, but Shibuya won’t be drawn out further. He will provide no details about how much continuity there is between the story of Dark Souls II and its predecessor, nor explain why the player has appeared in this new region. “They’ll find out right away,” he says, “but that’s something we want to refrain from speaking too much about today.”

Also here is something interesing:

“The name of the world will be key to the story,” he says. “We will reveal it eventually, but not in the first announcement. If Lordran was to be an area in a world called, say, Earth, the setting of this game will be somewhere completely different. The two places won’t necessarily interact directly with each other, but, from a visual concept [standpoint] at least, it will be within the same world.”

Although I don't know how important the name Drangleic is to the overall story. It just reminds me of the Drakensang series haha.

#143 Edited by gerrid (359 posts) -

@thunderslash: the idea that navlaan is aldia is one I really like. I think a nice idea is that aldia was using the ashen mist heart to delve into memories - perhaps that is how he found what he needed to create the ancient dragon. And possibly he got possessed by navlaan then, in some memory.

Also why does the dragon just give you the mist heart? Could it be that aldia was just using the ancient dragon to guard it?

and on that theme, could it be that vendrick had aldia create the herald from his dragons, in order for her to break the curse - but it didn't go quite right ? perhaps he was even using the heart to try and go back and find something of the original chosen undead

#144 Edited by DrMechano (43 posts) -

@karkarov said:

It was always going to be Oolacile (only other country mentioned in the entire game)

Actually this particular sentence I do take umbridge with. There were quite a few countries mentioned in Dark Souls 1.

Catarina (home of Siegmeyer and Sieglinde, land of proud knights who dress in Onion shaped armour)

Balder (home of the Balder Knights and the Knight King Rendal)

Berenike (home of the Berenike Knights and Iron Tarkus)

Vinheim (Home of Big Hat Logan, his assistant Griggs, established as a land of mages)

The Great Swamp (Home of Laurentius, established as a land of Pyromancers).

Thorolund (Home of the Rhea and Petrus, established as being a church state where people worship Allfather Lloyd and actively hunt the undead).

The Far East (home of Shiva, his ninja bodyguard and basically the Dark Souls equivilent of Asia).

Carim (Home of Marvellous Chester, Lautrec and Oswald, seems to be a particularly cruel kingdom and heavily focused on backstabbing your way to the top).

Astora (Home of Andre and Solaire, the land where the Undead Prophercy orginated).

#145 Posted by development (2454 posts) -

@thunderslash: Ah, yes. That bit about the feather/throne makes sense. I think it might have been referencing her ability to call a chosen undead to this world to claim the throne (I'm pretty sure Shanalotte says at one point that she is actually what has been calling undead there, trying to get the chosen undead to take the throne).

In regards to that last quote, I think he's just saying that Drangleic is different from Lordran, not that they don't take place in the same location. And he says the two places (Lordran and Drangleic) won't "interact directly," which leaves room for plenty of interaction to be passed down the line between the fall of the original 4 lords and all the kingdoms rising and falling in-between. Still very much seems like the same geographical area, as far as tons of item descriptions and dialogs are concerned.

I for some reason hadn't even considered that Navlaan was Aldia, but that makes total sense. I mean, he's locked away within Aldia's frickin' keep via a mechanism that was constructed by himself (Aldia).

Oh! I've got it! More "evidence!" The Dragon Acolyte/Sage equipment repeatedly says "during their work in Aldia's Manor, their minds were not their own." There you go. Just like Navlaan. Whatever crazy shit these dudes were getting up to was really fuckin' with their heads.

Slightly unrelated, but have you guys looked at Navlaan's face? The dude's bright blue. It says somewhere that Navlaan is basically the embodiment of a sentient sorcery, so maybe From was like... "yeah, make him blue... you know, like sorceries."

#146 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

On the "flooded Anor Londo" bits. Reading the Heide Knight Helm description revealed it's definitly not that. It state that it is unknown if Heide was a country or just a region from a country, but that it was one of the most powerfull. Then it flooded. Of course, Heide could be what became of Anor Londo after the event of Dark Souls 1, but I didn't find any clue about it, opposed to the clues you can find about Drangelic rising on the ashes of another country.

"Each King has his rightful throne.

And when he sits upon it,

he sees what he chooses to see.

Or perhaps, it is the throne,

which shows the king only what he wants."

This description makes makes me think about delusions, not actual power. "He sees what he chooses to see" doesn't mean in any way that he can alter reality. This, added to things that the Emerald Herald says which hints that the Throne of Want is tied to linking the First Flame, makes me think of something quite painful : What if the Throne of Want wasn't an instrument of power, but an instrument of delusion ? After all, when you enter the throne room, there is ashes on the ground. The room itself looks like a hoven (as someone said on this very thread)... Perhaps the Throne of Want is just there to keep the one sacrificied to the Flame in a constant dream, to ease the pain, making him full of happiness, so he doesn't hollow too quiclky... thus, making the Flame burn for a longer time ?

#147 Posted by rocketboot (138 posts) -

Oh my god. I just found Havels set and it's description has me a little concered. It says that the origin of the name Havel isn't clear, that it may refer to a person or possibly a country. We know from DkS that Havel is definitely a dude. We've also seen from DkS2 that a lot of names and places seem to be forgotten or confused, and everyone's memories are failing due to the curse.

I'm starting to think that a lot of what we're told in this game might be wrong. I was very confused about references to the Witch of Izalith being referred to as the mother of Pyromancy (who we know was Quelaana, one of the daughters), even Straid makes a comment saying the mother of Pyromancy an her daughters fought the dragons, but maybe he's just flat out wrong! So what else are people in this world wrong about? Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

#148 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@rocketboot: Uh... I thought the "Witch of Izalith" was a group of persons, or at least a title refering to each witch (because it would be called Witches of Izalith if I'm not mistaken). But after verification, it appears you are right, Quelaana of Izalith, known as "the Mother of Pyromancy" is a daughter of the Witch of Izalith... Almost anything refering to the Dark Souls 1 timeline is obscured and forgoten, but what Straid says isn't so wrong. After all, Queelana hold the title "Mother of Pyromancy" she is not it's creator. After all, Queelag, the Fair Lady and the Oldest Daugther of Izalith wield Pyrmoancy (although, Chaos Pyromancy). I think that the title Quelaana holds is due to the fact that she was the one to spread Pyromancy to the world. So, in some way, Straid state the truth : The Witch of Izalith IS the godmother of Pyromancy. She and her daugthers fought the Everlsating Dragons.

Speaking about Straid, how old is he exactly ?

#149 Edited by DrMechano (43 posts) -

@myrmicus:

The Witch of Izalith is a singular person, the holder of a Lords Soul. Her group of Daughters are refered to in the Dark Souls opening cutscene, where they refer to the entire family as 'The Witch of Izalith and her Daughters of Chaos'.

Yeah, it does look like that due to so much time passing that the origin of Pyromancy has been a bit muddled. The Witch of Izalith was the creator of 'Flame sorceries' (which were cast with a catalyst and lost to time) and not Pyromancy. Quelana is the 'mother of Pyromancy' because she taught the Flame Sorceries in a way that could be used by humans using a Pyromancy glove.

This was one of the things that during the time when we only had trailers and gameplay footage to go on cause a lot of speculation about Dark Souls 2, since during the Alpha stage of the game all the Pyromancies were cast using a Catalyst and not a Pyromancy glove, hinting that they were infact Flame sorceries. However I do believe that the fact this was a popular fan theory pointing to Dark Souls 2 being a prequel (and perhaps the developers hadn't remembered this little piece of lore) led to the reintroduction of the Pyromancy glove.

This would explain why its location makes almost zero sense in the current game and isn't given to you by the woman who, you know, actually teaches Pyromancies since originally you could just use them if your int was high enough to do so.

#150 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@drmechano: I see, good points.
So, let's think about it :
- Witch of Izalith created fire sorcery, cast with a catalyst (I remember the catalyst of Izalith stating that flame sorcery existed before Pyromancy, but that the art was lost long ago).
- Witch of Izalith tried to recreate the First Flame with her Lord Soul, but gave life to the Bed of Chaos instead, a being of Fire and Chaos, spawning demons.
- He daugthers were engulfed by the Bed of Chaos. Two of her children were totally corrupted (Bed of Chaos, her only son, and her oldest daugther, known as Daugther of Chaos). Two daugthers were partially corrupted, being Queelag and the Fair Lady. The last one, Quelana, could escape unharmed.
- Leveling in the Chaos Servent covenent grants you Chaos Pyromancies.
- The Daugther of Chaos uses Chaos Pyromancy to fight you.
- Quelana "the Mother of Pyromancy", created the Primal Pyromancy, which require no catalyst, but the pyromancy glove, to be used by common humans.

Starting from here, I do think that Quelana didn't "create" anything, but just converted something that already existed. A don't even think that she converted the Flame Sorcery into Pyrmoancy, because, if I'm not mistaken, she did it after escaping from the corruption of her mother and sisters. What I do think is that the creation of the Bed of Chaos corrupted the Flame Sorcery, turning it into the Chaos Pyromancy... Thus, Quelana only took it, cleansing the Pyromancy from Chaos, then teaching it to mankind. I don't see any other reason for the Flame Sorcery to be extinct... because Quelana should remember how to use it. And that would explain why the Daugther of Chaos andthe Chaos Servants could use Chaos Pyromancy without Quelana teaching it to them.

With this theory, th Witch of Izalith still is the "real" mother of Pyromancy (and demons), while Quelana just "refined" it. Thus, Straid is still right.

All of this to say : Sure, the lore of Dark Souls 1 seems muddled in Dark Souls 2 because of time passing, but what is muddled isn't necessary wrong.