#151 Edited by BambamCZ (134 posts) -

@myrmicus: That is what I think as well, Throne of Want is essentially kiln of the first flame... or at least part of it. Which makes me wonder what would happen if Nashandra got inside.

#152 Edited by renzu (10 posts) -

Played DkS1 twice, watched lots of lore videos, played DkS2 once, and read this whole thread... Not clear what the Kiln of the First Flame does in a post-Gwyn era. "Someday the flames will fade, and only Dark will remain." If activated, will it hold back The Abyss / an "Age of Dark" or something? The game seemed to have a theme of the flames of civilization continually reigniting in the land of Drangleic, and this "Kiln" is the mechanism to do that? (As an aside, I've always interpreted the "flame" as a metaphor for technology/civilization/order, while "Dark" is heavily implied to be our primal nature.)

I'm also not clear on what exactly causes the undead/Darksign to appear, other than it having something to do with Lord Gwyn attempting to extend the Age of Fire. Does it still relate to the existence and/or usage of this "Kiln" in DkS2? The Green Herald seemed to think you could fix everything by gaining access to the "Throne of Want".

#153 Edited by development (2057 posts) -

@bambamcz: Probably perpetual darkness, aka the cure for the curse.

(explanation for that: As I understand it, Frampt was coerced by Gwyn that the right thing to do is relight the flame, while Kaathe understands the futility in continuing the cycle, and understands Gwyn's obsession with relighting the flame was merely driven by Gwyn's fear of humans. To end the curse is to end the reign of the gods, whoever they might be, and for Man to rule sans-immortality)

I wish they didn't make Nashandra so "evil." Manus was a hollow beast, driven mad by its lust for power. Darkstalker Kaathe was an honest conniver, driven into hiding. Gwyn and his compatriots were either hollow or lost, struggling to maintain the world they originally fought for, regardless of whether maintaining that was actually a good or bad idea. Gwyndolyn was a lonely nerd, programming a giant goddess, giant guards, gargoyles, and a fake sun, all in service of futilely keeping the last remnants of his world together. Seath... I think it wanted *true* immortality, like its old ancient brothers, at any cost.

I'm not saying those were the most fantastically-written characters in gaming or anything, but in comparison to Nashandra they have far more depth.

Nashandra comes off as just generically evil. She wants power via the throne; maybe she would even unwittingly end her own existence. Who's to say she actually knows what she's doing? Kinda unrelated, but I also dislike that her appearance at the end of the game probably comes off as a lame deus-ex machina to 80% of players because they didn't realize who "Nashandra" was... or they missed the "talk" prompt walking by her on their way up Castle Drangleic. It wasn't until half way through the credits that I realized who she was.

#154 Posted by BambamCZ (134 posts) -

@development: That is prolly the safest assumption. And I agree, that was my main gripe with the character of Nashandra, she comes off just as pure evil and it wasn't so for the cast in Demon's Souls or Dark Souls. Also agree with the way ending plays out, you'd think they give the chancellor at least a visible model, as he essentially is the first one to give you big hint that the queen might be more than just what she seems and I almost missed Emerald Herald on my way to the Throne of Want, if I wasn't to return to the bonfire because I've left some items at the box I'd miss her explanation for her origin and Nashandra.

#155 Edited by Thiago123 (366 posts) -

I read most of this thread and one thing I am not seeing discussed directly here is that unlike the other two Souls games, this one did not have a choice of ending. There has been some talk about the lore implying that it doesn't really matter because the cycle will repeat, but as a game...mechanic(?)...it did bother me.

At any rate, tell me if I got this right - the purpose of DS1 and DS2 is that you are the chosen undead and looking to break the curse of the undead - a curse brought on by those who want to keep the first flame going past it's time. I feel like this is a great twist - in DS1: sacrifice yourself for the greater good just like a hero would (Neo, Shepard, etc), but oh wait, if you do that the curse will continue. OR you can choose to keep all this power and let dark enter consume the world, pretty selfish right? No wait, you also break the curse.

Why did DS2 not have a choice? Well, this differs considerably from some of the stuff discussed here, but I think DS2 did a better job of explaining your purpose, that is, break the curse. In so doing, the game only gave you one possible ending - you DON'T link the flame, you sit down in essentially a tomb, to protect the souls and stop anyone from NOT letting the dark in - therefore breaking the curse. This was made a little more...palatable by having you entomb yourself...essentially sacrificing yourself like a hero, rather than showing a lust for power and having a bunch of snake dudes bow down to you haha. More straighforward, but lacking a great twist and choice.

With that said, I think DS1 did a better job of telling you the whys of your smaller actions, but I'll save that for the next post.

#156 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -
Why did DS2 not have a choice? Well, this differs considerably from some of the stuff discussed here, but I think DS2 did a better job of explaining your purpose, that is, break the curse. In so doing, the game only gave you one possible ending - you DON'T link the flame, you sit down in essentially a tomb, to protect the souls and stop anyone from NOT letting the dark in - therefore breaking the curse. This was made a little more...palatable by having you entomb yourself...essentially sacrificing yourself like a hero, rather than showing a lust for power and having a bunch of snake dudes bow down to you haha. More straighforward, but lacking a great twist and choice.

With that said, I think DS1 did a better job of telling you the whys of your smaller actions, but I'll save that for the next post.

I don't agree. Sure, you didn't have a choice, but the Emerald Herald said clearly "kindling the fire or not, it's yours to decide", while you go for the throne. Sure, you sit on the Throne and the doors close, but that doesn't imply any sacrifice. For all we know, you could just sit there, enjoying the Throne without touching the Flame. And there is nothing that states that the door is forever sealed... after all, you opened it to enter, why couldn't you leave ?

#157 Edited by Thiago123 (366 posts) -
@myrmicus said:

I don't agree. Sure, you didn't have a choice, but the Emerald Herald said clearly "kindling the fire or not, it's yours to decide", while you go for the throne. Sure, you sit on the Throne and the doors close, but that doesn't imply any sacrifice.

The Emerald Herald said it was your choice, but she meant the character, not you the player. From Software only put one ending into the game, and therefore they wanted this to be canon. That canon is certainly open to interpretation, but there LITERALLY is no actual choice. This is more of a traditional video game...the only way for Mario to progress is to defeat Bowser. You as a player has a choice, turn the video game off, but Mario only has one option. So did your character in DS2. Like many games, it is the illusion of choice, but the only real choice in order to see the ending is to not rekindle the flame.
@myrmicus said:

For all we know, you could just sit there, enjoying the Throne without touching the Flame. And there is nothing that states that the door is forever sealed... after all, you opened it to enter, why couldn't you leave ?

I think you missed my point. This is exactly what I am saying - you don't touch a flame, and therefore don't rekindle it. He is not sacrificing himself in the sense of his body dying. In DS1 when you sacrifice yourself to the flame, you actually keep the curse going whereas the "bad" ending in DS1 you actually break the curse by NOT sacrificing yourself, hence the 'twist' on the traditional sacrifice endings in other stories. I never said that the doors were forever sealed, but the next time someone wants to open the doors and rekindle the flame, or take the lord souls, there will be a challenge - you. That's the sacrifice - not leaving and being a defender in there, vs. leaving and being a ruler with ultimate soul power. You don't literally die, but your 'normal' life is now over, similar to Gwyn, but with the opposite motive.

I think that the dome throne was built for this exact purpose and NOT as a Kiln - think about all the pieces that you had to put into place to get there, and now the items are entombed with you. Vendrick built it as a fail safe - the ultimate 'choice' at the end. He was corrupted by Nashandra and this was his last effort to right his wrongs. He wasn't strong enough to do it himself and so it was an empty throne. Consider that his golems would only let you into the dome throne with the Giant Kinship item. He programmed the golems this way. I think there is meaning there - from Vendricks point of view - you must earn this kinship from the memories of these dead giants and see that this was my greatest mistake - taking these souls from their lands and bringing this curse to mine, etc. Perhaps it was called the Throne of Want, because correcting his mistakes was the thing that Vendrick wanted the most. Just as there is only 1 ending, there is a singular purpose for the throne.

EDIT: I'm by no means an expert on DS lore, but the more I think about it and write it here, the more I'm convinced that this is the deal. I'm sure someone with more knowledge will point to an item description completely refuting this haha.

#158 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -

I did miss it, yeah, but what I said, I can say it the other way around.

After all, if the choice is yours (the character, not the player) there is nothing that prevent you from rekindling the First Flame. Of course, for this to happen we must assume that this hoven...errrr... Throne is linked to the First Flame in one way or another.

I think you missed my point. This is exactly what I am saying - you don't touch the flame, and therefore don't rekindle it. He is not sacrificing himself in the sense of his body dying. In DS1 when you sacrifice yourself to the flame, you actually keep the curse going whereas the "bad" ending in DS1 you actually break the curse by NOT sacrificing yourself, hence the 'twist' on the traditional sacrifice endings in other stories. I never said that the doors were forever sealed, but the next time someone wants to open the doors and rekindle the flame, or take the lord souls, there will be a challenge - you. That's the sacrifice - not leaving and being a defender in there, vs. leaving and being a ruler with ultimate soul power. You don't literally die, but your 'normal' life is now over, similar to Gwyn, but with the opposite motive.

I think that the dome throne was built for this exact purpose - think about all the pieces that you had to put into place to get there, and now the items are entombed with you. Vendrick built it as a fail safe - the ultimate 'choice' at the end. He was corrupted by Nashandra and this was his last effort to right his wrongs. He wasn't strong enough to do it himself and so it was an empty throne. Consider that his golems would only let you into the dome throne with the Giant Kinship item. He programmed the golems this way. I think there is meaning there - from Vendricks point of view - you must earn this kinship from the memories of these dead giants and see that this was my greatest mistake - taking these souls from their lands and bringing this curse to mine, etc.

But what I said didn't fall too far from your idea. I still don't agree. You assume that the sacrifice involve, this time, sealing yourself with the Throne and the Lord Souls... I don't think it's how it works. After all, if it really was the purpose, then why Venderick "couldn't do it" just to seal himself in the crypt, in an actual tomb ? If he intended to seal himself forever, why not sitting on the Throne then ? No, there must be something else with the Throne.

I think the Throne is the First Flame (or built on it), because of the hints. First of all, the more you get close to it, the more Shanalotte starts to speak about rekindling the First Flame. It made me think that there was a link between the two. As I said in this thread, the Throne looks like a big hoven with a rocky chair inside. There was ashes all over the room, pretty much like in the Kiln of the First Flame. Then we have the description of the Kinship, that state that "on his throne, the king only see what he wants "or perhaps it is just the throne". The Throne himself is called "Throne of Want". This sound like delusion, not actual power... A delusion that attract those who crave for power (like Nashandra), who should already be powerful, because the more powerful is you are when you rekindle the Flame, the longer it burns.

Let's not forget that Venderick wanted to bring a cure to the Curse and rekindling the First Flame is one solution to this... at least temporary. He went to the Giant, stole "their power". built the Golems with it. I think he stole the Giant Kinship, because it's what makes you control the golem without infusing them with a soul (they move without the blue glow). He then used the golems to create hs castle. On the Throne of Want.
What isn't clear is how the Throne came to be... did Venderick build it ? Did he discovered it ?
In the end, he could sit on the Throne. I think it is because he understood what he would sacrifice by doing so (rekindling the First Flame, burning until total hollowification). But that doesn't explain why he felt the urge to flee inside the crypt, then to seal himself in, with the key to the Throne. If he wanted to cure the Curse so much, he could have given his ring to Nashandra, for her to burn on the Throne, thinking she would gain power... perhaps he understood that the Age of Dark was the only solution to the Curse.

So much questions, so much questions...

#159 Edited by Thiago123 (366 posts) -
@myrmicus said:

After all, if the choice is yours (the character, not the player) there is nothing that prevent you from rekindling the First Flame. Of course, for this to happen we must assume that this hoven...errrr... Throne is linked to the First Flame in one way or another.


Sorry duder, but I think we are arguing about different things here - you are talking about a theoretical choice: "there is nothing that prevent your from rekindling." What I am saying is that there may have been a choice, but you don't rekindle. Period. This is evidenced by the fact that a) the game does not actually offer a choice, and b) the one ending we do get does not show the flame being rekindled. What you're talking about is a 'what if', I'm talking about what we see.

@myrmicus said:

But what I said didn't fall too far from your idea. I still don't agree. You assume that the sacrifice involve, this time, sealing yourself with the Throne and the Lord Souls... I don't think it's how it works. After all, if it really was the purpose, then why Venderick "couldn't do it" just to seal himself in the crypt, in an actual tomb ? If he intended to seal himself forever, why not sitting on the Throne then ? No, there must be something else with the Throne.

(SNIPPED FOR LENGTH)

As I said, he wanted to do it himself, but Nashandra's corruption was too strong. Curing the curse was what he WANTed the most, hence he programmed the golems to build the throne with these safeguards and named it as such. Nashandra would not let him do it though. I'm not disputing that the first flame may be there or that this is a Kiln, I do think that this isn't the exact same locale as in DS1 and this isn't Lordran, etc, but thats a whole other discussion. But yes, I am operating on the gut feeling that Vendrick built the throne and that the curse did not exist in Drangleic until he brought back the souls/flame from the Giants. He understands that the only way to do it is to let the flame extinguish - thus he cannot let Nashandra have the ring, she would keep it burning. He sealed himself with the ring until someone worthy could come get it, someone worthy enough to also be able to defeat Nashandra.
----
There has been some suggestion that From Software considers the rekindling ending of DS1 as canon. If we accept this assumption, I think it provides really good symmetry. In DS1 the player must collect the Lord Vessel and the Lord Souls in order to open the entrance to the Kiln of the First Flame. This was how King Gwyn determined you were worthy enough to light the flame (rekindle it). In DS2 you must obtain the kinship and lord souls in order to enter the Throne of Want. This was how King Vendrick's determined you were strong enough to let the flame die out.
---

But like I said, I think we are talking about slightly different things here and I feel like I am repeating myself too much, so I'll say I guess we will have to agree to disagree and move on unless I see some new evidence/comments, I'm not getting that from your arguments, but certainly doesn't mean they are right (if there is such a thing with these games). That's whats great about the vagueness of Souls games, right? And like I also said, I don't have the item description research, and probably never will. This is how I am interpreting it and it feels right...for now!

#160 Edited by Vermisean (154 posts) -

@thunderslash: That interview has really got me thinking about the name Drangleic. I think that is worth investigating...

I've been googling for some sort of etymology for drang and leic seperately (just a hunch they are seperate), and the best I have found so far is from Wiktionary (such a solid source) under Dutch:

"Noun

drang m (plural drangen, diminutive drangetje n)

pressure

urge, longing"

I think this could be interesting (even if completely inaccurate), if the world is some sort of longing for leic (lake, water, maybe? - if water, it is not exactly stable, maybe the world longs for its disorder). I know I am likely making something from nothing but hey, it could be a lead!

I'm on my phone at work so I can't exactly investigate as well as I'd like to, but I do think the word Drangleic is worth looking into.

Keep up the lore talk, this thread is endlessly fascinating to think about! What a game!

#161 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -

@thiago123: .

What I am saying is that there may have been a choice, but you don't rekindle. Period.

No, you just don't see it in the cinematic, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. For all we know, the rekindling is done behind the door, and I could say "Door closes, Flame rekindled. Period.", you couldn't prove me wrong, as I can't prove you wrong. Next, you say Venderick programmed the golem to do stuff... I don't see how you could be so sure. For all we know, he used a power stolen from the giants to create golems and, with them, build his castle. There is no hint about any "programming" here... and what I say is that the Giant Kinship is the power stolen and that it's why, when you have it, the golems obey and let you to the Throne.

It is very unlikely that Venderick pulled such a gambit. That would mean he knew every thingle things that would happen in the game :
- You beating the bearers of the Lords Souls. The doors of the Shrine to access the castle is specifically designed to open for a strong enough individual, so that's a fair assumption.
- You finding the Giant Kinship, on the other hand, is very unlikely. For all we know, it could have been lost (because you stole it in the past, traveling in the dreams) without any clue to where (or when) it was. Add the fact that the only way to do this is to obtain the Ashen Heart Mist from a (fake) Dragon, that seems to be created by Aldia... Aldia whom he didn't want to have anything to do with, because of the nature of his experiments.

You say King Vanderick wants you to let the Flame die out. On this point I can agree.
You say we must agree to disagree.This, I can agree too ^^

#162 Posted by development (2057 posts) -

Lucatiel is Manus

#163 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -
#164 Posted by development (2057 posts) -

@myrmicus: Just a joke referencing Vinny's playthrough of Dark Souls.

#165 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -

@development: Yeah, I thought as much. But I'm interested on how someone could pull this theory... even while Joking, what's the catch ? ^^

#166 Edited by Thiago123 (366 posts) -
@myrmicus said:

@thiago123: .

What I am saying is that there may have been a choice, but you don't rekindle. Period.

No, you just don't see it in the cinematic, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. For all we know, the rekindling is done behind the door, and I could say "Door closes, Flame rekindled. Period.", you couldn't prove me wrong, as I can't prove you wrong.

Any other disagreement about the lore aside, this argument to refute my theory is absolutely insane nonsense. The doors close and you take your helmet off revealing that you are really master chief, the herald is just cortana and Drangleic is actually a Halo. You don't see it, but it doesn't mean it doesn't happen. At the end of Mario, he 'saves' the Princess. But after the game is over, he throws her in the lava pit along with Bowser. You don't see it, but it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Let's just say hypothetically that you agree with my theory, just for a moment. You are speculating that he could still make a choice. I am saying that the choice was already made. It doesn't stand to reason that he would later change his mind or that From has some sort of hidden ending beyond the cinematic they have given you. Now, I understand you don't agree with me and don't think my theory is correct in the first place, and that's fine! - but this counter argument as evidence that it can't be true is nuts. OK, I'm for realsies moving on now, because I think we are the only two reading this thread anymore haha.

#167 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -

That's not "insane nonsense", because we are on the field of supposition from the very begenning. I can't say that when the door closes, the Flames is rekindled, there is clues about that and you can't prove I'm wrong to say that. But I think there is a misunderstanding from the start. If what you say "In the cinematic, your character doesn't rekindle the Flame." Then you are 100% right... But you can't say it doesn't happen in the ending, just in the cinematic. See my point.

Anyway, you're right about one other thing : we should move on.

Some info I got from my NG+. It's said even in NG and doesn't need any research, but I forgot it, that helps understand the chronology :
- It is said (can't remember if it was Shanolette or Wellager that told me that) Venderick defeated "four powerfull being, then founded Drangelic".
- Then Nashendra came from "very far away" and warned Venderick about the threat of the giants. (Wellager's quote)
- Venderick sailed to the land of the giants and defeated them WITH Nashendra. (Wellager's quote)- He claimed "their power" (the power of the giants) and, with it, created the golem. (Wellager's quote)
- With the golems, Venderick created the castle "as a a proof of his love to his queen".(Wellager's quote)
- Nashendra brougth peace to the kingdom, and the king. "A peace so deep that it felt like the Dark" (Wellager's quote)
- The Curse came to his land and he fought it with all his strength, "but in the end, he couldn't claim the true throne" (Nashendra's quote). Not sure how this one fits in the chronology.
- Venderick fled to the Crypt, locking the way behind him.
- The giants came to claim back what was stole. I put this one here on the chronology, because of something Wellager say the first (or second) time you interact with him, while he doesn't seem to know where and when he is. He say something like "Where is the King ? He's gone ! Without him, we will be conquered by the giants !"
- The giant are defeated by an "unnamed hero, but too late" (description of the Giant Axe). The merchant hag say, when you talk to her in the begenning, that "the country looks like this since the war that ravaged the land". So, giants defeated, Drangelic fallen.
- Undeads are drawn to Drangelic, in a search for a cure to the Curse
- You come in.

#168 Edited by Oni (2094 posts) -

@thiago123: Haven't been in this thread a while, just caught up, really like your read on the ending, that's good stuff.

@myrmicus: You posted some good stuff on the last page, but I have to agree with thiago that your agument "because we don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't happen" is... bad. You can argue all kinds of silly business following that logic. That's not how narrative works. I'm not saying you're crazy, just that it's a bad argument. I mean hell, maybe after the cinematic your character strolls back out and goes swimming. We don't see it, but it could happen. No.

#169 Posted by development (2057 posts) -

@thiago123: It was kinda funny reading your last reply, because you basically responded with what Myrmicus could have responded with. You're not realizing that your whole opinion on what you think happens is a supposition in itself. When the doors close, there is no indication of what will happen. That's the point: either option could be chosen. When you suppose your character chooses to let the fire exaust, that's you bringing that, not From. Not seeing the character rekindle is not the same as never rekindling.

#170 Edited by Thiago123 (366 posts) -

@development: LOL - and likewise you are just saying the same thing he/she is: it's ok to have multiple theories, but yours is wrong because I've taken x argument as fact. Good stuff.

Maybe you didn't mean it this way, but yea, you've said the same thing he has which I've argued against. No need to rehash it here. I clearly understand its supposition and it's perfectly fine to have different theories and opinions.

#171 Edited by ThunderSlash (1544 posts) -

Schrodinger's Throne of Want

#172 Posted by development (2057 posts) -

@garr123 said:

Drangleic is already consumed by the Abyss according to Rosabeth, and you fall into the Abyss to get there in the intro.

I'm curious how you thought this. I remembered this comment from awhile back, and am now coming back realizing I never saw anything saying as much. Seems all she says is that she's from Melfia, a student of "Carhillion of the Fold," needs clothes, and almost died walking through the hills.

#173 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -

I thought about something.

Wellager clearly state that Vendrick battled "four being with tremendous souls" and, with it, created Drangleic. I didn't gave it much of a thought. Neither did I I gave much thought about the Lord Vessel pieces in the Manor's basement, in Majula, nor did I to the intro, which was quite oniric. But if you piece it together...

First, we can (and we do) assume that the "four souls" are the Lord Souls. You can even claim them in a NG+. So King Vendrick killed their previous owner, then used them to create Drangleic... How ? I feel that the Lord Vessel might be involved somehow. In Dark Souls, it was used to open the Kiln doors, by feeding it the Lord Souls.The Kiln of the First Flame was very "outerworldy" too... to access it was required that you use the "Primeval Serpents Train" or jumping in the pit from where one came from. It appears underground, surrounded by darkness. Then you open the doors with a Lord Vessel full of powerful souls. A stair in some whitish grey void (limbo?) then BAM, you were somewhere on the outside...

In Dark Souls 2 introdcuction, you jump in a pool of darkness, then end up in "Thing Betwix" described by one of it's inhabitent as a "limbo" between Drangleic and the outside world. You find pieces of the Lord Vessel, in the basement of a Manor. The same basement were you find a map made of stone, engraved in the very ground... a map which lits flames when you kill those who wield the Lord Souls, or when you find key items... a Manor which is in the hub village, in the center of Drangleic, directly connected to the Thing Betwix and where all the decent folks (read, not yet hollowed, nor mad) end up.

Add to that the fact that the Throne of Want is suspected to "be" the First Flame (or directly linked to it) while it is not required to use any "magical door" nor going through a "magical staircaise of nowhere".to reach it. Made me think... Could have built Drangleic directly on the Kiln ?

What doesn't make sense, though, is the fact tat Drangleic seems "outerworld" but still connected to the world itself : The Giants came from across the sea, not from the Thing Betwix. Countries existed before Drangleic, like Heide, Olaphile, Mirrah, Lindelt, etc.

#174 Edited by renzu (10 posts) -

Yeah, there are many contradictions about Drangleic being Lordran yet not Lordran, and Drangleic being a place with traversable boundaries (giants crossing the sea to it) yet disconnected from the world (with Things Betwixt being its magical gateway). What we find on the continent are the remains of past kingdoms, perhaps related to the lord souls & First Flame & Lordran, all mysteriously collected into one place. Some of it doesn't make sense like with Heide's Tower of Flame, a place where the gods of Lordran supposedly fled to, being a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Majula "Far Fire", which appears to be some sort of fundamental bonfire surrounded by all things Lordran in all directions.

I don't know what to make of DkS2 due to all of its contradictions. There's so much magic & time travel & fudge factor involved in making the pieces fit that I wonder if there's even a concrete lore this time.

#175 Posted by Talon64 (169 posts) -

Has anyone brought up the primeval bonfires? Is there anything in the game that directly indicates what there role is in the world, something I missed?

They do take you right back to the Far Fire once you light them. It could just be an easy mechanic for going back to the hub with that area of the game complete, or does that indicate a connection between them all?

I'm just going to throw this out there to either be torn down or be supported, but could the primeval bonfires, the Far Fire, the Throne of Want, whatever the other flames on the map represent... Could ALL of that, in combination as some kind of network, make up the Kiln of the First Flame? And the Throne is the final catalyst to determine whether it becomes fully lit or either stops at that point or all gets snuffed out? For that to work, the primeval ones would have to be fragments or offshoots of the First Flame or something, although they're whole yet broken bonfires so it might fall apart there.

If that's viable at all, then you could argue that all of Drangleic itself is the Kiln. The entire basis of the kingdom is to act as the Kiln.

#176 Edited by Myrmicus (213 posts) -

@talon64: From Dark Soul 1, we already know that ALL the bonefire are linked to one another, and to the First Flame. The primeval bonfires appear to me as an easy mechanic to get back to Majula... but seeing how much bone return you can find and the warping ability from one bonfire to another, that mechanic isn't really necessary. Plus, why making primeval bonfires so special ? I mean, they have a different name and all warps you to Majula.

Thinking deeper into it, I feel you may be right.

What I previously said, about the fact that Majula is in the exact center of Drangleic. The fact that you find a broken Lordvessel in the basement of Majula's Manor. The fact that Vendrick used the Lord Souls (heavily hinted, even if it's no proof) to create Drangleic. Add to that those primeval bonfires, the fact that the Emerald Herald, the last Fire Keeper still in duty, stays in Majula (except for her little apparitions here and there)... and the fact that undeads are drawn to Drangleic for no known reason... That's a lot of coïncidences.

From my last post, I already thought that Drangleic was created "on" the Kiln, as you had to go through some sort of limbo to access it, just like Drangleic... Yeah, I think you are right.

#177 Posted by gerrid (295 posts) -

There have been some text dumps with unused dialogue lines, which are up on the wiki now (Emerald Herald - unused dialogue is at the bottom). They reveal little, apart from confirming one theory that has been brought up in this thread about the ancient dragon being a fake, made by Aldia.

Nashandra:

Brave Undead, you've met that dragon? That living, breathing sham.

A false deity, offering nothing.

Seek the forest, you, where those wretched Giants slumber.

Use the symbol of the dragon to delve into their thoughts.

Brave Undead, to the forest. The Forest of Giants.

Before it's too late…

The rest of the removed dialogue, from both Nashandra and the Emerald Herald, are explicit references to you becoming the king and taking the throne. From the Herald:

Bearer of the curse… If you acquire all four souls,

then you will have proved yourself deserving.

Deserving of the king's throne in the castle.

And then later once you have all four souls:

You are blessed with a myriad of souls.

Bearer of the curse, make your way to the castle.

There, you will find the throne. And your journey will end.

Nashandra in the Castle had references to you taking the throne and becoming king also removed. From the first time you meet her:

Brave Undead, perhaps you are the true monarch.

Visit Vendrick.

We have no need for two rulers…

I will wait here. For you to settle things.

And then after you've "visited" Vendrick

Brave Undead, vanquisher of King Vendrick, and bearer of the symbol of the monarch.

Drangleic is no longer.

But to know if you are the true king…

…we will require the throne.

Brave Undead, follow the symbol of the monarch. Surely you have it in you.

For this is your true purpose…

I don't know why they would remove all these references to your purpose, since a lot of players (including Vinny) have complained that they didn't understand why they were doing what they were doing. Having the Herald tell you outright that you needed to get to the throne in order to be king would have solved that quite simply.

But perhaps that is the point - they don't want you to know why you're doing what you're doing. In a way, that loss of purpose mirrors what happens to all the undead that come to Drangleic. Nobody remembers why they are there, or what their purpose is either. The series definitely has a very strong theme of using the lore to make the player go through the same experience as the character - the main example being that repeated death brings you closer and closer to mindless, insane hollowing. This isn't actually something that happens to the character (who will never go hollow), but to the player instead.

This would be an example of that mirroring on an even grander scale. As you near the end of the game you've lost the thread of what you were doing, just ploughing on now because it's all you know how to do. You've forgotten why you were there in the first place, and can be easily manipulated into doing the bidding of others.

Maybe that's giving them too much credit, it's possible that they just removed it to deliberately obfuscate the story because that's what the series is known for.

#178 Posted by Karkarov (2971 posts) -

@gerrid: At least two of those lines ARE in game, I got them myself. You just had to talk to the Herald/Nashandra at very specific times to get them. The one about settling things with Vendrick definitely isn't... but there is a time she says something basically similar to that implying the same stuff, only she says it in a different way. The whole Dragon is fake is already heavily based on Nashandra's dialog to begin with, that said, she lies to you about everything else and betrays you in the end.... why should you believe her about that?

#179 Edited by Humanity (8800 posts) -

Apart from this being Dark Souls 2 and all, is it stated anywhere that the lore and world-mechanics at all related to the previous game?

I mean everyone is talking about the first kiln and carrying over story from the first game into the second one, but do they link up? Is it explicitly stated anywhere that they do? I don't mean stuff like "oh yah this character said lots of castles used to be here so that OBVIOUSLY means this is built on the ruins of Anor Londo guys!" Like I mean concrete confirmation that yah these games are linked and it's not just a Demons Souls-to-Dark Souls sort of spiritual linking.

Online
#180 Edited by Karkarov (2971 posts) -

@humanity said:

Apart from this being Dark Souls 2 and all, is it stated anywhere that the lore and world-mechanics at all related to the previous game?

I mean everyone is talking about the first kiln and carrying over story from the first game into the second one, but do they link up? Is it explicitly stated anywhere that they do? I don't mean stuff like "oh yah this character said lots of castles used to be here so that OBVIOUSLY means this is built on the ruins of Anor Londo guys!" Like I mean concrete confirmation that yah these games are linked and it's not just a Demons Souls-to-Dark Souls sort of spiritual linking.

Yes, in many ways. Old Dragonslayer is blatantly Ornstein. Seigmeyer of Catarina can be an invader in new game+. Lot's of boss soul references in NG+. Some NPC's talk about a King of Sunlight which sounds a ton like Gwynn, lots of NPC races revolving around caring for the dead end in the letters "nito". Nashandra is apparently spawned from a small piece of Manus after he died, I still think that is stupid but it is confirmed. At the absolute least they are alternate dimensions of the same world which is completely possible, but there is plenty of reasons to believe Anor Londo is the "past" and the "present" is Draenglic.

#181 Edited by pyrodactyl (1874 posts) -

@karkarov said:

@gerrid: At least two of those lines ARE in game, I got them myself. You just had to talk to the Herald/Nashandra at very specific times to get them. The one about settling things with Vendrick definitely isn't... but there is a time she says something basically similar to that implying the same stuff, only she says it in a different way. The whole Dragon is fake is already heavily based on Nashandra's dialog to begin with, that said, she lies to you about everything else and betrays you in the end.... why should you believe her about that?

Because it's pretty obvious from environmental clues and item descriptions.

#182 Posted by Humanity (8800 posts) -

@karkarov said:

@humanity said:

Apart from this being Dark Souls 2 and all, is it stated anywhere that the lore and world-mechanics at all related to the previous game?

I mean everyone is talking about the first kiln and carrying over story from the first game into the second one, but do they link up? Is it explicitly stated anywhere that they do? I don't mean stuff like "oh yah this character said lots of castles used to be here so that OBVIOUSLY means this is built on the ruins of Anor Londo guys!" Like I mean concrete confirmation that yah these games are linked and it's not just a Demons Souls-to-Dark Souls sort of spiritual linking.

Yes, in many ways. Old Dragonslayer is blatantly Ornstein. Seigmeyer of Catarina can be an invader in new game+. Lot's of boss soul references in NG+. Some NPC's talk about a King of Sunlight which sounds a ton like Gwynn, lots of NPC races revolving around caring for the dead end in the letters "nito". Nashandra is apparently spawned from a small piece of Manus after he died, I still think that is stupid but it is confirmed. At the absolute least they are alternate dimensions of the same world which is completely possible, but there is plenty of reasons to believe Anor Londo is the "past" and the "present" is Draenglic.

Confirmed by the developers, or confirmed by fans extrapolating info from vague item descriptions and connecting dots that are ridiculously far apart? It just seems like easter eggs more than anything else.

Online
#183 Posted by gerrid (295 posts) -

@humanity: Yes the developers have said they are set in the same world in an interview. Also it's not just "vague item descriptions", it is literally the same exact items and characters and places being in both games.

#184 Posted by Humanity (8800 posts) -

@gerrid said:

@humanity: Yes the developers have said they are set in the same world in an interview. Also it's not just "vague item descriptions", it is literally the same exact items and characters and places being in both games.

Well I'm not gonna argue against it since I'm not too heavy into the lore, but I always feel like a lot of this is intentionally left super vague in order for the fans to just fill in the blanks themselves. For me personally fighting the Old Dragonslayer or finding Havels armor seem like easter eggs for fans of the series, but if people are finding some intricate links then I'm not out there to ruin anyones fun.

Online
#185 Posted by gerrid (295 posts) -

@karkarov:

@karkarov said:

@gerrid: At least two of those lines ARE in game, I got them myself. You just had to talk to the Herald/Nashandra at very specific times to get them.

Which lines? Only the parts in italics are unused, anything in standard bold is in the game. For instance the Herald tells you to go to the castle, and in the game stops talking, but she has an additional dialog line in the engine that never triggers, saying that you will find the throne there.

Also it's true that Nashandra lies, but the fact that the Ancient Dragon doesn't drop anything other than a Giant's Soul is the biggest indicator that it isn't what it appears to be, for me.

#186 Posted by gerrid (295 posts) -

@humanity: Sure, they love to be vague in the game, but the developer literally also said that "The game is set in a different part of the same planet" as the first game.

The blanks that people are filling in are mostly to do with how much time has passed between the two stories. Since the same items exist, but in the new game it says "the origin of this item is lost to time", but in the first game we knew the origin of the item, it's not just easter eggs I think, it's pretty plain.

You're definitely right that it's up to the player to connect the dots and fill in the blanks, and I think lots of people get a lot of satisfaction from that, as it requires a lot more investment. It's a different way of telling a story - rather than be directly explicit, they provide hints and clues and let the player work it out. Just because they aren't explicit though, it doesn't mean there isn't an actual story or narrative or connection that is there. Plenty of fiction exists where things are never outright stated but the internal logic and intention of the author is clear.

The consistency is there in the clues and what does exist in the game, meaning that the developers had an internal, true narrative which they were working with, or at least some version of a narrative. I don't think it's a case of them leaving things so vague that you have to make up your own story - although this does certainly happen sometimes when people get a little wild.

A lot of debate comes down to the fact that there are alternate possibilities that can exist with the same evidence. Of course that is deliberate and there often isn't an actual, canonical reality - it's just a storytelling device meant to give the reader some agency, or to create a sense of unknown possibility. Something like the ending of Inception with the spinning top is a good example. It's not that one answer is right or the other wrong, just that the story lets both possibilities exist, and actually what is important isn't the outcome, but what has led you there, and how you react to that.

So Dark Souls 2 won't ever tell you whether Creighton or Pate is the bad guy, but it doesn't matter in the end, since you will be affected by the story in the way the developers wanted whether there is a canonical truth to it or not.

#187 Posted by Humanity (8800 posts) -

@gerrid: I certainly understand all that, but unlike the Souls game, that ending with the spinning top is basically the only part of the entire story that the viewer decides upon on their own - whereas Dark Souls is littered with such "moments" throughout. Undoubtedly there was a narrative they followed, but it seems that at this point the games have become so cryptic in storytelling that people quite literally develop narrative paranoia: this ring is in a cave, so wait a second, what does the cave symbolize? So he had to go through boss-A to get here, oh so boss-A must have let him come here, oh so they are related... so on and so forth.. when the actual answer might be that the developers just put the ring there without much deeper meaning. I sincerely believe there is a very real possibility that the lore isn't nearly as deep as people think, and fans have filled in 70% of the blanks based on 30% of actual story. People believe because the ancient dragon drops a soul of the giant that this clearly means something, but what if, and I'm not saying this is the case, but what if thats just a bug? And now you have thousands of people arguing about the significance this, and it's all just an error? Everyone has been so thoroughly conditioned to look for any minor discrepancies that the thought of From Software not doing something intentionally has become an impossibility.

Like I said though, if people have fun with it then thats great, I just think the stories have become so obtuse that they're in danger of what people on the internet refer to as being "up their own ass." I mean if Metal Gear is up it's own ass, then certainly Dark Souls must have made the loop several times over. I still enjoy the games though, but I hope they really change up the formula for the inevitable next-gen release.

Online
#188 Edited by Thiago123 (366 posts) -
@talon64 said:

Has anyone brought up the primeval bonfires? Is there anything in the game that directly indicates what there role is in the world, something I missed?

They do take you right back to the Far Fire once you light them. It could just be an easy mechanic for going back to the hub with that area of the game complete, or does that indicate a connection between them all?

I'm just going to throw this out there to either be torn down or be supported, but could the primeval bonfires, the Far Fire, the Throne of Want, whatever the other flames on the map represent... Could ALL of that, in combination as some kind of network, make up the Kiln of the First Flame? And the Throne is the final catalyst to determine whether it becomes fully lit or either stops at that point or all gets snuffed out? For that to work, the primeval ones would have to be fragments or offshoots of the First Flame or something, although they're whole yet broken bonfires so it might fall apart there.

If that's viable at all, then you could argue that all of Drangleic itself is the Kiln. The entire basis of the kingdom is to act as the Kiln.

Like Vinny said in the most recent podcast, DS2 does a much poorer job of telling you why you are doing the things that you are doing. Many people have noted this, meanwhile I also felt that DS2 did a better job of telling you your overall purpose (again, to be clear, I'm talking about your overall goal vs. your actual actions -see my ending theory on this page). Anyway, one of the sticking points to me is, just what the hell is a Primal bonfire and why am I lighting it. Sure, it gets me back to Majula and is primarily a game mechanic, but why can't I warp back to them?

I think it's important to note that they are called 'primal' NOT 'primeval.' While primal and primeval share a definition (e.g. primitive), primal also has another definition, which means (first in importance, i.e. prime). They are found with the lord souls, which themselves were found in the first flame. So yes, it is quite likely that they are related to the First Flame and it's a viable theory that Drangleic is a kiln. I say a kiln and not the Kiln because that would imply that Drangleic is where Lordran once was, a theory I'm not sold on, but that is a whole other discussion. As others have said, this is From intentionally leaving it vague and for us to discuss like morons in a forum lol.

#189 Edited by gerrid (295 posts) -

@humanity: Well in the other games From have been very careful and deliberate with their item, character and enemy placement. It isn't random, and is clearly meant to tell a story in many cases - that isn't really up for debate I don't think, especially if you listen to or read developer interviews. Here is a good example of a developer saying that players need to think about why characters are where they are. They aren't just putting things wherever and then crazy fans are coming up with off the wall theories, although I can see why it would look this way if you don't pay much attention to these things.

But things are very specifically placed with the exact purpose of creating a story through the environment. It isn't just random stuff that people are attributing their own ideas to, and you can also tell quite easily when things are put in a place for a reason and whether it's narrative or gameplay related. It's been happening since Demon's Souls 1-1 and in every level they've made since then.

When you find a corpse in a cell, and it has an entire set of armour and a weapon that say they belonged to a character, it's because you have found the corpse of that character, and the game is telling you a story about that area. Another example would be Aldia's Keep. It's not just random coincidence that you find bizarre creatures trapped in cages and strange masked enemies hunched over corpses on benches, and when you read the item description it says "these workers conducted strange horrible experiments on living creatures". It's deliberately creating layers of story there for you to understand more about the place you're in. On the other hand, you find the alluring skulls on the bridge above the Boar in Undead Parish because they want you to use them on that enemy, not because it means anything story wise. You have to unpick this yourself, of course, but it's pretty clear which is which most of the time, simply based on what the items are, or what the enemies are. Definitely people can go too far, and usually it's because of confusion between an item or enemy being somewhere for gameplay, rather than it being there for story.

But you have to remember that everything is placed in the world for a reason - either gameplay or lore - by a designer. If it was 70% random then they have managed to be incredibly, impossibly fortunate that 70% of the items they've placed randomly in three seperate games managed to come together and still make sense.

And with all the patches to the previous games, they haven't changed the placement of key items, and they have patched this game 3 times and not "corrected" any item placements. If it was a bug that the Ancient Dragon dropped a Giant's Soul it would have been corrected. The souls that enemies drop is the major way that the game communicates the story of the bosses, so having a boss that drops a souls that is very obviously NOT what you would expect isn't some crazy leap, since every other boss in the game drops a soul that describes who the boss was...except this one guy.

#190 Edited by Thiago123 (366 posts) -
@humanity said:

@gerrid: I certainly understand all that, but unlike the Souls game, that ending with the spinning top is basically the only part of the entire story that the viewer decides upon on their own - whereas Dark Souls is littered with such "moments" throughout. Undoubtedly there was a narrative they followed, but it seems that at this point the games have become so cryptic in storytelling that people quite literally develop narrative paranoia: this ring is in a cave, so wait a second, what does the cave symbolize? So he had to go through boss-A to get here, oh so boss-A must have let him come here, oh so they are related... so on and so forth.. when the actual answer might be that the developers just put the ring there without much deeper meaning. I sincerely believe there is a very real possibility that the lore isn't nearly as deep as people think, and fans have filled in 70% of the blanks based on 30% of actual story. People believe because the ancient dragon drops a soul of the giant that this clearly means something, but what if, and I'm not saying this is the case, but what if thats just a bug? And now you have thousands of people arguing about the significance this, and it's all just an error? Everyone has been so thoroughly conditioned to look for any minor discrepancies that the thought of From Software not doing something intentionally has become an impossibility.

Like I said though, if people have fun with it then thats great, I just think the stories have become so obtuse that they're in danger of what people on the internet refer to as being "up their own ass." I mean if Metal Gear is up it's own ass, then certainly Dark Souls must have made the loop several times over. I still enjoy the games though, but I hope they really change up the formula for the inevitable next-gen release.

Agreed on some level, I do think that people try to make too much out of every detail. "OMG this area in DS2 has the same texture as Anor Londo! Drangleic is Lordran CONFIRMED !!!ONE11!!!" Real answer from From developer: "It was easy to CTRL+C and then CTRL+V." I touched a lot on how DS2 was more vague about your actions (see bonfire post above), they also seem to be trying to establish a canon by not giving you a choice of ending as they did in DS1 and Demon's Souls. But the interpretation of what that ending actually means, is still up for debate.

The main reason I'm replying to you though, is a thread derailing comment - I just did the main mission in Ground Zeroes last night so regarding your MGS comparison. Yes, MGS Stories are completely borked, but for the exact opposite reason. Kojima is the one that gets into every details and retcons everything lol, not the fans, and actually explanations are found for everything, not matter how crazy they are. Both are fun to argue about.

#191 Posted by vikingdeath1 (927 posts) -

I just spent a good hour reading all this Fascinating stuff, and I'm not even done with page 1 of these comments.

Keep it coming guys, the differing opinions on certain aspects of the game are super interesting to read.

#192 Posted by development (2057 posts) -

I think Drangleic simply means "dragon lay," or "where the dragons lie." Makes perfect sense, as Vendrick's kingdom's crest is a double dragon. The dude loved dragons. That much is certain. So did everyone else, seemingly (archdrakes of Lindelt).

I just looked up "leic," and it's apparently German for "lay." I don't see anything super Germanic about Vendrick's Kingdom, but then again I know nothing of German culture, and the degree to which a culture influenced the designers of the game could range from "huge" to "we just picked that name."

#193 Posted by Krulz (2 posts) -

Just posting to say big THANKS to all, awesome reading, keep the good work.

#194 Posted by Krulz (2 posts) -

By the way I don't know if this it's something or just ramblings, but inside Cale's house, in the basement, you can see the broken Lordvessel, but inside a "circular" building, the one that have the Soul vessel item, looks quite similar to me to the structure in which you step in at the end...Maybe all started there and it's a broken/old whatever throne of want.

#195 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -

A little something, not sure how it fits with the rest, maybe it's just lore that isn't really important but anyway...

Black Hollow Mage gear and White Hollow Mage gear have almost the same description... Specifically, the Black set is designed for women and worn by necromancers, while the White set is designed for men, worn by sorcerors. It's interesting, because we know that the Queen is tied to the Dark, while the King, not so much. Drangleic's Castle throne room, right behind Wellager, have two thrones, one for the King, one for the Queen. One is "light" colored, while the other is dark colored.

The Crypt, too, seems to be officially a "land" of Dark, since the Fenitos here don't accept light inside, as it is "troubling the rest of those buried here". Wellager talk about the peace the Queen granted to the kingdom, a peace so "complete" that it reminded him the Dark.

This makes me wonder, how much the Dark was accepted as a natural thing to Drangleic's culture ?

On a side note, as Developement said, Drangleic may very well mean : "Where the Dragon's lay". Dragons is one of the crests of Drangleic and from Dark Souls lore, we know that the Dragons were everlasting creatures, from the "age of grey". This makes me think even further about the possibility that Drangleic was a land of duality, not centered around the Flame like Lordran was.

#196 Posted by DanTheGamer32 (211 posts) -

@karkarov 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?

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.

Nope, you NEED to get past the Dragonrider to talk to Miracle Chick (I forget her name), how else are you supposed to get to Huntsman's Copse? You need the key off her or get her to move the rotating door for you to get through the game.

#197 Posted by DanTheGamer32 (211 posts) -

Okay I just thought of this while reading through the comments (I got halfway down page 3, so if this has been suggested already forgive me, there's a lot to read here!!).

Maybe this is crazy, and I don't have too much proof of it but, what if the Ancient Dragon is Aldia? He was trying to recreate dragons, and he disappeared while trying to create one. Maybe he became obsessed with becoming a dragon like Loghain did in DkS1, but he was successful in his experiments with the soul of a giant? Could explain his disappearance? Or maybe he was just sacrificed in order to make the dragon and is now just dead somewhere.

#198 Posted by pyrodactyl (1874 posts) -

Okay I just thought of this while reading through the comments (I got halfway down page 3, so if this has been suggested already forgive me, there's a lot to read here!!).

Maybe this is crazy, and I don't have too much proof of it but, what if the Ancient Dragon is Aldia? He was trying to recreate dragons, and he disappeared while trying to create one. Maybe he became obsessed with becoming a dragon like Loghain did in DkS1, but he was successful in his experiments with the soul of a giant? Could explain his disappearance? Or maybe he was just sacrificed in order to make the dragon and is now just dead somewhere.

Someone pulled an item description that implied pretty directly that Aldia is now part of the ancient (fake) dragon

#199 Edited by Karkarov (2971 posts) -

Nope, you NEED to get past the Dragonrider to talk to Miracle Chick (I forget her name), how else are you supposed to get to Huntsman's Copse? You need the key off her or get her to move the rotating door for you to get through the game.

That's "technically" true. I forgot when I wrote the post you couldn't back track through the wharf if you got there via Pursuer. That said though... you don't really "require" the copse.... you can in theory use an Ascetic on one of the other bosses to double down and get enough "great souls" to move on. On a legit new game cycle though played the way it is meant to be it is unlikely the player knows this.

#200 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -

@danthegamer32: Technically it's not required to kill the Dragonrider, since you don't need to go to huntsman copse.

All you need is to kill the last giant to access the Jeigh's memory. Opening the Shrine of Winters "only" require 1.000.000 souls, not the four great souls, so... On the other end, it's not how the game is supposed do be played. The only problem is that you WILL need a fragrant branch of yore, which can only be aquired from one of the "four path", but strictly speaking, they aren't independently required to finish the game.

Skipping the ruin sentinels also means you will need to beat BOTH Flexile Sentry and Pursuer, since parts of the Lost Bastille are closed and can be opened only by the side you came through. Specifically, the Pharros Mechanism that opens the shortcut is behind a closed door on the Flexile Sentry path, while the key to open said door is located in a chest found in the Pursuer's Path.