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#201 Posted by BambamCZ (137 posts) -

@danthegamer32: The bone shield's description (dragon acolyte drop in Aldia's Keep) heavily implies that. And I'm with right there with you. Actually that was one of the first things I was convinced of when it came to lore. Nashandra calls ancient dragon "fake" (directly in cut dialogue, suggests that it's fake through actual in-game dialogue) and I think Shaloqoir (screw her name) also hints at the nature of the dragon. Plus the fact that it drops giant soul kinda makes it a solid theory combined with all the item descriptions and location of the actual ancient dragon soul.

#202 Posted by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

There are already quite some discussion about the Dragon being a fake and almost everyone involved agrees on him being a Aldia's creation, if not Aldia himself.

#203 Posted by DanTheGamer32 (216 posts) -

@bambamcz: ah cool, at least it seems I'm not so crazy after all! :P

Okay one other thing I'm concerned about (me and my friend can't figure it out really), and again I may have missed you lot talk about it already, but why does the Emerald Herald want you to be the next monarch? Why just some random undead who wandered in to Drangleic?

#204 Posted by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

@danthegamer32: Don't know, but I assume she asks this to any new undead she meets... Pretty much like any undead could be the Chosen Undead in Dark Souls 1.

#205 Posted by rocketboot (135 posts) -

@bambamcz: It's a bit of a stretch to say the Bone Shield description heavily implies Aldia is the dragon. It says Aldia attempted to recreate a dragon and over time was never heard from again. I can see how people might draw the conclusion that Aldia transformed himself into the Ancient Dragon (or something resembling it) from this item and the bits of dialogue you mentioned, but I'm not as confident. What about the other 4 dragons you fight? Why can't Aldia be one of those? Couldn't Aldia be one of the dragon covenant members leading up to the Ancient Dragon? Or the red phantom that invades before you retrieve the petrified egg? Not to mention the theory that Navlaan is Aldia, I'd rather not get into that crackpot theory. Although it carries about as much weight as the Aldia/Ancient Dragon theory. There's also the simple explanation that Aldia was killed by his own creations.

I'm not saying you guys are wrong, or claiming to know what happened to this character. I just don't think there is solid enough evidence to dismiss other possibilities.

#206 Posted by DanTheGamer32 (216 posts) -

@Myrmicus yeah that's true. I suppose she acts as this game's Frampt but without so much of the deceit, or sleepiness :P

@rocketboot I think it's equally possible that he either is or isn't the Ancient Dragon, I think he either became part of it, or he was killed by it. I really don't see him being any of the other dragons in the Aerie or the random dragon soldiers (those guys must be worshipers of the dragon or something, they wear the same armour you get from the dragon covenant items). The invasion could be possible though, don't know if there's any evidence for that though? The Navlaan theory seems way more of a stretch though haha

#207 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

I really like this lore video. I think you guys should watch it.

#208 Posted by DanTheGamer32 (216 posts) -
#209 Posted by golguin (3868 posts) -

Now that I beat the game I can finally join the Lore party. I'll have to read through all the conversations to see what people think. I initially heard people complain about the lore of Dark Souls 2 or even suggesting that it was only "somewhat" connected to Dark Souls 1.

As a person that was WAY into Dark Souls 1 lore I can't believe people even thought that Dark Souls 2 wasn't directly connected to the events in Dark Souls 1.

#210 Posted by development (2217 posts) -

@golguin: Yeah it's very clearly connected. I even saw someone say they thought it took place *before* Dark Souls 1. It couldn't be more obvious that it's a fairly direct sequel.

#211 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@golguin: Yeah it's very clearly connected. I even saw someone say they thought it took place *before* Dark Souls 1. It couldn't be more obvious that it's a fairly direct sequel.

`Do me a favor and watch the video I posted above. The guy does a very good job of explaining things while also having a good video to back everything up. It's interesting and fun to watch.

#212 Posted by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@development said:

@golguin: Yeah it's very clearly connected. I even saw someone say they thought it took place *before* Dark Souls 1. It couldn't be more obvious that it's a fairly direct sequel.

`Do me a favor and watch the video I posted above. The guy does a very good job of explaining things while also having a good video to back everything up. It's interesting and fun to watch.

I second that. He says nothing that hasn't already been said in this very thread though... But at least, that doesn't make the video less pleasant to watch and it have the merits to sum up overly long texts spread in 5 pages of the thread. The thread gives some interesting different theories too, so I think it's worth reading.

#213 Posted by golguin (3868 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.

I pretty much know everything that there is to know about the lore in Dark Souls 1 with item descriptions, item placement, cut dialogue/content, etc., and while I can understand that it might appear to be fan headcanon from outside observers I can tell you with 100% certainty that the things in the game have a purpose and they aren't being randomly assigned item description and locations.

Your ancient dragon example is perfect for this. What does the Ancient Dragon drop if you kill it? It drops a Soul of a Giant and a Petrified Dragon Bone. What's the point? We know from the Aldia Key that Vendrick, "condemned his own elder brother to the mansion." Various item descriptions indicate that experiments and strange rituals were being conducted in Aldia's Keep. We see the place full of scientific trinkets, caged experiments, a somewhat active dragon corpse, and giant corpses. The key also reveals that Aldia and Vendrick,"both sought the truth, but through different means, and their fervor meant the eventual withering of their familial ties."

Aldia was in charge of the experiments and he sought a different solution than his brother. At some point Aldia vanishes/disappears. We are told in the Dragon Acolyte equipment description that, "Several of the greatest minds converged in Aldia to weave strange new rituals, but rumors suggest that during the course of their work their thoughts were not their own." This isn't the last time mind control is brought up. During a loading screen the description for either the Dragon Aerie or Dragon Shrine asks if the "Dragons" guarding the place are under some kind of spell.

The game has an Ancient Dragon Soul, but it isn't dropped by Aldia. We need to do a bit of time traveling to the place seen in the opening credits of Dark Souls 1 to pick up that soul. Why doesn't the Ancient Dragon drop that soul? Why does the game throw in time travel when you have a perfectly viable Ancient Dragon waiting for you? Well Nashandra certainly has a pretty good explanation if you talk to her after you meet the Ancient Dragon. She says, "Brave Undead, you've met that dragon? That living, breathing, sham? A false deity offering nothing."

It doesn't take much to put everything together and arrive at the conclusion that the Ancient Dragon is made with the power of the Soul of a Giant and the Petrified Dragon Bone. The part that's speculation is whether the dragon is Aldia himself and if Aldia is controlling the Drakes through his telepathy.

That is essentially the set up for Dark Souls 1 and Dark Souls 2 lore. You are given bits and pieces of truth to put the overall frame together, but the minor details are always left up to interpretation.


#214 Posted by development (2217 posts) -

@zevvion: Well I'm on my shitty phone away from a computer for a few days so I can't watch it, but I suspect it will just have the obvious things that we've talked about in here. I'll watch it when I can, though; I'm always ready to be proven wrong.

#215 Edited by golguin (3868 posts) -

@zevvion said:

I really like this lore video. I think you guys should watch it.

I watched it and it's a really good video for someone who played the game and didn't get the story's main points by missing stuff. I think @vinny would really get the main story beats from Dark Souls 2 if he saw it. It's all backed up with in game evidence and it's simple to follow. Production levels are nice.

#216 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@golguin: I already sent a message to Vinny with that video. I doubt he'll watch it as it is 22 minutes long, but you never know.

@development I'm not sure, I haven't read everything in here. But a video is always nicer to watch than reading through several pages. Especially because it's one vision instead of a mix of interpretations that might get confusing.

#217 Posted by rocketboot (135 posts) -

I wanna talk about some giants again!

Looking at the faces of the giants the word hollow keeps ringing through my head. It makes me wonder how the curse applies to them. I'm also reminded of humanity sprites when I look at the Soul of a Giant items. They look kind of like humanity from DkS with a much thicker border. Very interesting.

Another point I'd like to make is the faces (or lack thereof) of the golems around Drangleic Castle have runes inscribed on them, nearly identically to the faces (or lack thereof) of the Faceless Demons in DkS (the dudes who drop demo titanite, said to be born from titanite slabs). The stone knights that often accompany these golems will drop titanite slabs... There is some emphasis in the game around types of materials used throughout the world to forge weapons but I can't remember the sources or significance, time to do some more digging! To sum up my hypothesis maybe the "power of giants" is actually more technological in terms of forging and the use of titanite?

#218 Posted by bearshamanbro (284 posts) -

Hey guys, great thread. Been enjoying reading through everything here.

Just wanted to pass through 2 new lore video that I thought was very interesting that are a little more big picture and how DkS2 ties into DkS1. From a new video creator, but the few videos he has posted seem very good so far.

#219 Edited by LackingSaint (1782 posts) -

Anyone else get the distinct sense that the game's overall theme was "Life is a Curse"? I know it might seem a bit obvious, but I thought it was an incredible parallel to the overall meaning of "Death is Inevitable" that I got from the first game. Where the first game was this sort of pointless struggle through an apathetic world to fulfill (or reject) a goal that is at best a temporary solution (filled with a cast of characters that all in one way or another have failed in their duties, or died on fulfilling them), Dark Souls 2 gives me a distinct sense that there actually IS hope, and that's the true curse. The NPCs are not so much powerless as they are aimless, doomed to live their long lives with forgotten goals and aspirations, and characters like Vengarl seem like direct icons of suffering through life, not by death (after all, I think most of us would choose death over being trapped in a dingy forest without a body).

Enemies not respawning similar gives this feeling that you are Cursed, not because you're being forced to die, but because you're being forced to live through everything else dying around you. Characters will often speak of the land of Drangleic being part of a cycle, in which the kingdom is inevitably horribly destroyed but still remains alive and prosperous to continue the painful circle. I think it's pretty telling that Nashandra's final dialogue with you almost seems to be her rewarding you with death, and that this time around, our Crestfallen Warrior decides to just sit vacantly by the gravestone rather than go out and just end it as all the others did. While Nito's body was comprised of the dead, The Rotten's body is comprised of the living. And hey, just look at the first boss for most players, a decrepit old lonely Giant stuck in a cavern just waiting for someone to take him out of his misery; his suffering wasn't in death, like all of his allies and kin, but in life.

Maybe the theme is a more open "There is no end to anything", but it's a similar idea, and it's something that ran through my mind all the time while I was playing. I really feel like the focus for Dark Souls was on dying, where in Dark Souls 2 the focus was on living. That strike anybody else?

#220 Edited by rocketboot (135 posts) -

@lackingsaint: I think you nailed it. I think it's the Crestfallen Warrior who says something like "Being alive, that's the real curse" and the Emerald Herald at one point says "The soul and the curse are one and the same." Vendrick and Aldia we're working together on the secret of immortality. It's unclear whether The curse broke out before or after Vendrick crossed the sea to fight the giants, but it would make sense that Vendrick and Aldia used the powerful souls of the giants to create the curse, granting immortality. Nashandra and the Abyss want humans to be immortal, so their souls (humanity) can grow and feed the Abyss, so it would make sense that she would suggest Vendrick go after the giants.

I realize that is a lot of speculation but some of the pieces fit together pretty well. Does anyone see any holes in this one?

Edit: I pointed out in an earlier post that the Soul of a Giant item almost looks like it has a lump of humanity in the centre. Considering humanity as a piece of the Abyss, could the souls Vendrick pillaged have literally contaminated the souls in Drangleic, spreading the curse like a plague throughout the land? And could the giants simply be humans who have gone so hollow that they're faces have changed so much to reflect their hollowing?

#221 Posted by SunBroZak (1069 posts) -

@lackingsaint: I think my own interpretation is summed up by the Ancient Dragon when he says:

Yet another stands before us... Then so be it. For the curse of life, is the curse of want. And so, you peer... Into the fog, in hope of answers.

It is the desire to go on, in hopes of finding what you are looking for, that is the true curse. For there is no end. We are at the forefront of that curse, as we wander aimlessly towards a goal that we don't fully comprehend. Despite the suffering and the death, we march ahead, only to find it was all for naught. The cycle continues, and it is the unwillingness to give up, to "live", that brings even more death and suffering. I feel that it is those who give in to the apathy, the dark, that find peace.

#222 Edited by LackingSaint (1782 posts) -

@sunbrozak: Yes, exactly what I was thinking. I think that idea of exploring what "hope" really is forms the crux of the meaning in both Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2, and that's why (even if in gameplay terms I think it's an inferior game) I am really impressed with the way Dark Souls 2 has spun the idea on its head; Dark Souls came off as a game focusing on finding hope out of despair, the dying light in the growing darkness. Dark Souls 2 is a game focusing on finding despair out of hope, the true curse of being forced to go on and on and on.

#223 Posted by development (2217 posts) -

@rocketboot: I guess that's an idea I'll consider. I figured Nashandra wanted to usher in an age of dark so she would be the most powerful being; kinda simple but I think it's also the thing that makes the most sense when you read the associated item descriptions.

I think she wanted Vendrick to sacrifice himself in the kiln so she could easily usurp him, but after he fled (the game straight up tells you that he "fled") she knew she'd never be able to kill him and get the King's Ring (she has no Giant souls!), so she waits for someone like you to come along and do the leg work for her.

I'm not clear why you think ushering in an age of dark would make normal humans immortal. I thought ushering in dark would completely eliminate the curse of undeath and give humans normal lives forever, and the curse itself is just something that crops up when the flames begin to fade during that cycle.

#224 Edited by rocketboot (135 posts) -

@sunbrozak: This is interesting too. As evidenced by Maughlin, who once actually reaching his goal in being a successful businessman and gaining great wealth, is completely overcome by the curse and loses all memory of his past. While many people want life or power, and this desire consumes them, Maughlin's want is more material. His story is there to simplify things for us.

#225 Edited by rocketboot (135 posts) -

@development: I believe it was Vedrick and Aldia who believed what they were doing was going to make humans (Vendrick himself specifically, probably Aldia too) immortal. And essentially the curse of the undead is just that, the undead can never die.

Nashandra really just wants Vendrick's humanity, or soul or whatever, to inflate a huge amount to feed the Abyss until it consumes everything. And likewise for every other great soul that comes to Drangeic. Or maybe she wants it for herself so she actually becomes more powerful than the Abyss. This is kind of my stopping point right now, and I think the key lies within the Shrine of Amana/Undead Crypt and Vendrick's reason for fleeing there specifically. The crypt seems to have some Abyss-like features, in that it corrupts Velstadt. The place is drenched in dark magic too. But I don't think the Fenitos or Malfenitos are necessarily down with the Abyss, as they seem to have sympathy towards the undead.

#226 Posted by LackingSaint (1782 posts) -

@zevvion said:

I really like this lore video. I think you guys should watch it.

Did anyone else have a strange thing where they only started noticing the cool music in the background when the Demon's Souls soundtrack started playing? I wasn't even really paying attention to the backing track, but then they stopped playing DaS/DaS2 tracks and suddenly I noticed how awesome the music was.

#227 Posted by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

Soul of mind, key to Life's ether
Soul of the Lost, withdrown from it's vessel
Let's strength be granted, so the world shall be manded.
So the world shall be manded.

Aaaah, Demon Souls. No character from the Soul series made such an impression on me, other than the Maiden in Black.

Anyway,

@development: I believe it was Vedrick and Aldia who believed what they were doing was going to make humans (Vendrick himself specifically, probably Aldia too) immortal. And essentially the curse of the undead is just that, the undead can never die.

Not quite, I don't remeber which character or which item description says that, but Aldia and Vendrick studied the "Essence of the Soul" and Aldia, in particular, studied "Life" and believe that the Curse was the key to his research. Considering Vendrick banished him to his keep and fought the Undead, I feel that they were opposed on what to do with the Curse, but neither brought it to Drangleic.

#228 Posted by Humanity (9015 posts) -

Here is a question - in Freja's boss room, is that gigantic dragon all over the ceiling in the regular game or does he only show up in NG+? Because I swear I never noticed it before and I spent a lot of time assisting with that boss on the first playthrough. Kinda blew my mind really..

#229 Posted by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

@humanity: He is there from the start and you can access his memory with the Ashen Mist Heart to get the Ancient Dragon Soul.
Speaking of Freja, I noticed something interesting :

Of the four Great Ones, she is the only one that doesn't give you great soul uppon death and if you look the icon of the soul, it looks like a regular boss soul, while the other Great Ones have a bigger, orange, flame-shaped soul. About the fact that she doesn't give you the Great Soul, you have to pick it up on the ground, at the exact same location where the cristal used to get into the Dragon Memory spawns. What can we say about it ?

I say that Freja is not a Great One, but merely the creation of the actual Great One... which is the "Duke" Duke you encounter in the next room, completely hollowed. It wouldn't be the only guy who dropped (or lost) his soul somewhere else, Vendrick does the exact same thing.

#230 Posted by golguin (3868 posts) -

@humanity said:

Here is a question - in Freja's boss room, is that gigantic dragon all over the ceiling in the regular game or does he only show up in NG+? Because I swear I never noticed it before and I spent a lot of time assisting with that boss on the first playthrough. Kinda blew my mind really..

It's there in the normal game. If you enter it's memory you'll see why it's the only true dragon in Dark Souls 2.

#231 Posted by Humanity (9015 posts) -

@golguin: Well thats nuts, I never even noticed it. On Ng+ I beat Freja then looked around for some NG+ business and came upon a sign that said "look up slowly" and I was like oh wow.. yah I didn't see that before.

#232 Posted by rocketboot (135 posts) -

@myrmicus: As far as I can tell from dialogue from the Emerald Herald and (If I remember correctly) Ornifex, Vendrick did most of the "soul essence peering." The Ancient Dragon soul states it was created by those who peered into the essence of the soul, so from that we can gather that Aldia partook as well. (As a quick aside, it could also infer that Vendrick had a part in creating the Ancient Dragon, something I had not yet considered! Although I am more inclined to believe this refers to the acolytes.) A lot of items refer to Aldia's experiments and rituals (Northern/Southern Ritual Bands, Dragon Acolyte set to name a few) but none actually mention the curse. However there is a lot of visual evidence to support the idea that Aldia was in fact experimenting on the undead. But don't forget about the pile of giant corpses in a room in Aldia's keep. Giants were as much a key to Aldia's research as anything else.

I don't see who you're so sure that neither Aldia nor Vendrick have ties to the origin of the curse... I do believe Vendrick feared the undead and therefore wanted them killed or imprisoned, while Aldia preferred to use them for research and this is most likely where the rift between the two began. My idea is that when they were working together they unleashed the curse on Drangleic, either unintentionally through meddling or with cause not knowing the consequences. I admit saying the curse was their own creation was an error, as we know the curse has been around for a long time. But right now I haven't seen anything to dispute this theory. I can understand if you disagree with me but please provide evidence rather than just being contradictory.

About the Duke... I believe he "bequeathed" his great soul to Freja. The weapons crafted from Freja's soul say that the duke took on a form far from human. I believe this is why Freja has two heads: the duke infused himself within the spider.

#233 Edited by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

@rocketboot: Well if by "unleashing the Curse on Drangleic" means "creating what caused the Curse to rise there", I will agree with you. My only problem with your statement was the fact that you said they "created" the Curse, but you corrected it ^^

After all, the Undeads hunger for Life, which they lack and the very primal representation of the life essence is the Soul. Vendrick created Drangleic WITH the Souls of "four great entities" whom he defeated. This means the very ground, the kingdom itself, is built on what undeads, hollow or not, are looking for. And that's why you (and many other undeads) end up in Drangleic in the first place : You are drawn to it "like a moth to a flame". We can also assume that the research (and experiments) done on the Essence of the Soul may have accelerated the process, but I don't see any evidence about it.

About the Duke, it's an interesting theory. Another note on it : You pick up the Great Soul right under the dragon corpse, where you find the cristal used to enter the dragon's dream. Considering the Duke (and Freja) have ties with Seath (a duke himself), what you're saying makes me think he was not "inside" Freja, but was the dead dragon himself, it is a form "he" is comfortable with. After all, why would there be one here, underground ? What I'm starting to think is that the Dragon's Memory could be Seath's Memory.

EDIT : After remembering bits of dialogue with Tark, I think you're right about the Duke being one of the two heads of Freja.
But what I said about her Soul being a "regular boss soul" and the fact she doesn't hold the Great Soul feel contradictory with this theory, in my opinion.

#234 Edited by development (2217 posts) -

I just realized: the red Guardian Drake boss might be the only real drake, possibly enslaved/trained to stay put and guard while also serving as the template for all the clones you fight up top.

I say this because it's the only drake that gives you a soul, and even though there isn't a ceiling to that boss arena (lending to the idea that the drake wasn't an unwilling slave) it is still very bird-cage-like and obviously secluded, making me think this particular drake was special for one reason or another.

Also, my house was robbed and I have no way of playing this game anymore, so I won't be contributing much more, most likely. I'd write more about it, but this isn't the place.

edit: also again: I finally watched that lore video. Er, I mean I tried to watch it. I'm sorry, but I just can't stand that dude's voice. Physical pain ensues.

#235 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

I just realized: the red Guardian Drake boss might be the only real drake, possibly enslaved/trained to stay put and guard while also serving as the template for all the clones you fight up top.

I say this because it's the only drake that gives you a soul, and even though there isn't a ceiling to that boss arena (lending to the idea that the drake wasn't an unwilling slave) it is still very bird-cage-like and obviously secluded, making me think this particular drake was special for one reason or another.

Also, my house was robbed and I have no way of playing this game anymore, so I won't be contributing much more, most likely. I'd write more about it, but this isn't the place.

edit: also again: I finally watched that lore video. Er, I mean I tried to watch it. I'm sorry, but I just can't stand that dude's voice. Physical pain ensues.

Interesting theory. The description of his soul is as follows:

Soul of a dragon that guards
the path to the shrine.
Do the dragons watch over the land
of their own will, or are they in the grip of
one of Aldia's spells?
Use the special soul of this dragon
to acquire numerous souls,
or to create something of greath worth.

Multiple ways to interpret this. He can either be a true dragon as you said and somehow controlled by Aldia, or he can be created by Aldia completely.

OR, he may be purposefully have helped Aldia to create more dragons? This is assuming if it is a true dragon.

Interesting.

#236 Posted by golguin (3868 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@development said:

I just realized: the red Guardian Drake boss might be the only real drake, possibly enslaved/trained to stay put and guard while also serving as the template for all the clones you fight up top.

I say this because it's the only drake that gives you a soul, and even though there isn't a ceiling to that boss arena (lending to the idea that the drake wasn't an unwilling slave) it is still very bird-cage-like and obviously secluded, making me think this particular drake was special for one reason or another.

Also, my house was robbed and I have no way of playing this game anymore, so I won't be contributing much more, most likely. I'd write more about it, but this isn't the place.

edit: also again: I finally watched that lore video. Er, I mean I tried to watch it. I'm sorry, but I just can't stand that dude's voice. Physical pain ensues.

Interesting theory. The description of his soul is as follows:

Soul of a dragon that guards

the path to the shrine.

Do the dragons watch over the land

of their own will, or are they in the grip of

one of Aldia's spells?

Use the special soul of this dragon

to acquire numerous souls,

or to create something of greath worth.

Multiple ways to interpret this. He can either be a true dragon as you said and somehow controlled by Aldia, or he can be created by Aldia completely.

OR, he may be purposefully have helped Aldia to create more dragons? This is assuming if it is a true dragon.

Interesting.

It's not a true dragon. Dragons have 4 limbs, scales of immortality, and wings (Seath is a special case as he clearly has no scales of immortality or legs). A drake has two legs and their arms are fused with their wings.

#237 Posted by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

For all we know, the only real Dragons you can find in Dark Souls are Seath (which is unique) and the Stone Dragon leading the dragon remnants covenent in Dark Souls 1. It's quite clear that the Ancient Dragon is a fake. Any other "dragon like" creatures are Wyrms or Drakes, which isn't the same. Even Kalameet was only a Drake... Which says a lot about how fearsome the Everlasting Dragons were.

What is so different between Dragons and Drakes ? As Golguin said, the first thing is : Scales of Immortality. Only Seath lacked those. The second ? Drakes and Wyrms seems to be nothing more than Mindless Beasts. You know Seath wasn't mindless but mad, the other two Dragons (including the fake one) weren't prone to violence. On the other end, those so called "dragon" in the aerie and in the cage attack on sight. Wyrms were even domesticated by the Dragon Riders, like common animals.

#238 Edited by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@golguin: I know of the difference physically, but the souls says it is of a dragon. Which makes it all the more interesting.

#239 Posted by DanTheGamer32 (216 posts) -

It seems almost every Drake and Wyrm are referred to as 'dragons' which to me makes it seem that people have forgotten what a true dragon really is due to them existing only in legends. The wyrms that the 'Dragonriders' ride on in that art are a far cry from what dragons really look like for example.

#240 Posted by golguin (3868 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@golguin: I know of the difference physically, but the souls says it is of a dragon. Which makes it all the more interesting.

It's a matter of knowing who wrote the description from a lore perspective. We know that certain items are straight up wrong because we know the lore from the first game. Havel's equipment and Elizabeth's Mushroom are two big ones.

The descriptions are written as if some historian is trying to piece together the information that's currently available.

#241 Edited by development (2217 posts) -

@danthegamer32 said:

It seems almost every Drake and Wyrm are referred to as 'dragons' which to me makes it seem that people have forgotten what a true dragon really is due to them existing only in legends. The wyrms that the 'Dragonriders' ride on in that art are a far cry from what dragons really look like for example.

This is how I interpret the world they've set up. Maybe Aldia (perhaps encouraged by Vendrick) was one of the few left who actually wanted to discover a real dragon, because he himself wanted to unlock the secret of immortality (someone/something says this somewhere).

@myrmicus well, the Dragonrider armor says that they were commonly eaten by their own wyrms, and only those who learned to tame them (makes them sound like wild beasts that can be tamed; nothing more) were finally honored with the title of "Dragonrider."

Also, technically the Gaping Dragon in DS1 is a real dragon that was physically warped by its gluttony. I'd say it probably wasn't much more crazy than Seath, except for the whole intellectual integrity thing. Although I'm not 100% sure it was a real dragon, to be honest, as it's easy as hell to kill, while real dragons are immortal. Maybe that dragon also lacked the genuine Dragon Scales that made them immortal. I kinda take the Gaping Dragon being considered a "real" dragon to be wishy-washy stuff, even if it did come from the developers.

#242 Posted by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

@development: oh, forgot about the gaping dragon.
Anyway, it's not clear what dragons really are. You have names like "Dragons, Drakes, Wyrms" that point out the different (sub?)species. Then there are those boss that are called "dragons" while not having much traits common with THE Dragons. So, are those boss really from the same species than the Everlasting Dragon of the origins, are they corrupted, (d)evolved offspring, or is it a langage abuse used while refering to Drakes or Wyrms ?

#243 Edited by development (2217 posts) -

@myrmicus: To be blunt, I think it's pretty clear it's supposed to be a language abuse thing. I think the actual screen-displayed names of the bosses are not omniscient narrative names, but names that those bosses are most commonly known by, or perhaps an accepted "true" name of the creature. Dragons were pretty much unseen and unheard of in DS1 as far as the lore and the people in the universe go (not taking into account the DLC which travels back in time before humans prospered). For all intents and purposes, the Hellkite Drake and the drakes in the Valley of Drakes were "dragons" to the people who saw and told tales of them. And such a ridiculous amount of time has passed between DS1 and DS2 that I think it has just been forgotten by almost everyone that dragons were something other than drakes, with only Aldia and a few others (Archdrakes of Lindelt, maybe, although their name says otherwise) looking to rediscover the "real" dragons. After all, the story of Gwyn and his fellow gods has been completely forgotten, as well as the story of the original dragons, so the people really have no way to even suspect the dragons to have been something other than drakes.

edit: wait, I think I slightly misinterpreted your comment. I think the only real mention of the Gaping Dragon being a real dragon is Miyazaki or another developer saying as much in interviews. As for the other "dragon" bosses: Seath is a real one without the scales, so without immorality; the Black Dragon is a real one that could only be killed once weakened by a greatarrow of Gough, who isn't a human, and is purportedly not made of the same "stuff" as humans (I think he's different from the DS2 giants, too, but that's off-topic). Those are the only "dragon" bosses I can think of, besides DS2's Ancient Dragon, which I think we all agree is a fake.

#244 Edited by militantfreudian (108 posts) -

@zevvion: Thanks for posting the video. It was immensely helpful, even though it ruined some things for me in Dark Souls, having not played it yet. Quite a few things went over my head, and I kind of still don't get what exactly triggers the cycle.

#245 Posted by development (2217 posts) -

@militantfreudian: Well, when a chosen undead relights the flame, the cycle begins. I think the new cycle starts with the curse of undeath seemingly gone, then over time it starts to come back as the flame starts fading, leading to the new undead being called toward the flame to light it again. I don't know how the 4 lords are crowned after they've been killed. I kinda don't think that is explained anywhere in either game, period. For example, Nito is killed in DS1, but somehow a "new" Nito is created, seemingly from Saint Serreta, and is then recognized by that age's peoples as the "one who gave us the first death," even though we as players know that isn't true.

#246 Edited by militantfreudian (108 posts) -

@development: Oh, I see. So... the fading of the flame could be just a sign that the curse of undeath is returning. What I mean is that the underlying cause or purpose of the curse are not explicitly explained in either games, correct? Thanks for the clarification by the way.

#247 Posted by development (2217 posts) -

@development: Oh, I see. So... the fading of the flame could be just a sign that the curse of undeath is returning. What I mean is that the underlying cause or purpose of the curse are not explicitly explained in either games, correct? Thanks for the clarification by the way.

Hmm. Well, I assume you mean the initial cause of the curse? In DS1 it's roughly explained that the Furtive Pygmy found the last soul: the Dark Soul, which he hid away with (hence the name "furtive"). I'll return to that in a sec.

If you're referring to the whole origin of fire stuff... you're correct in thinking it's never explained. First there were ancient dragons with a bunch of fog... and then there was fire. I think that's as far as they go in explaining the origin of the fire. Fire spawned everything in the world: light and dark: Gwyn and the Pygmy, and everything in-between, as I interpret it. Gwyn founded an entire world on the graves of the dragons, while the Pygmy slowly gathered strength, spreading the influence of his dark soul, and with it, spreading humanity. I think Gwyn eventually set out to relight the flame when it began to fade for the first time. He's "Zeus," so he presumably just "knew" what he had to do, I guess, but that's my own speculation.

There are holes in there that I'm not sure about, but that's the best I got for now. It's very convoluted, and half the time I think about the stories in these games I'm wondering if Miyazaki and Co. accidentally retconned huge parts as they went. A lot of theories make sense until you remember other elements which seemingly make your current theory impossible, even though it really, really seems your theory is what the developers had in mind.

#248 Edited by Mezmero (1855 posts) -

Since there's already a ton of speculation on the main players in the plot of Dark Souls II I thought maybe I could do some introspection on one of the unsung supporting characters. Namely Darkdiver Grandahl, the leader of the Pilgrims of the Dark covenant. For anyone who doesn't already know you meet him in three different locations in Drangleic where darkness is most concentrated. The underground cave of the Shaded Ruins where curse jars are strewn across the surface, the deepest depths of the Black Gulch beyond an ancient sealed door, and under Drangleic Castle an area where Nashandra herself resides. These three locations open the mouth to the Dark Chasms of Old, an entry way to the lair of the Darklurker within a forgotten fragment of the Abyss.

As for the actual identity of this decrepit old undead bound to a wheelchair several possibilities exist. He could have been a cursed undead warrior who got distracted by the Dark Chasm while on his journey to the Throne of Want. There he would have become enraptured by the darkness of the Abyss and obsessed with defeating the Darklurker himself. Perhaps he gave up after years of attempting this feat and grew to worship this entity to the point that he tricked pilgrims into forever trapping themselves in the Chasm as black phantoms. He has exactly 3 human effigies for sale, the exact number one would need to attempt all three areas. Maybe in the back of his mind he thought he could try once more to beat the Darklurker, that is until he meets the Curse Bearer.

Another possibility is that he is actually the Xanthous King Jerimiah from Dark Souls since he awards you that armor set after reaching rank three of the covenant. It's also possible that the Darklurker is actually a reincarnation of Jerimiah's soul since it is a soul that can grant one the ability of Lifedrain and it's also the soul of a King within the Abyss. Meanwhile Darkdiver is simply a preacher of the abyssal faith for this exiled king. Since the Darklurker can split itself into multiple bodies it would suggest ties to the same power as the Four Kings. The most likely origin of Grandahl is that he was a former cleric of the Dragon Shrine who forsook the dragons in order to seek the truest form of Dark. The description of the Dragon Chime he awards you would certainly back up this theory.

The most intriguing thing to me is that it would appear that he is harboring two (or four) living giants from the eyes of Drangleic's monarchy as part of some kind of amnesty. I came to this conclusion since the giants under Black Gulch are holding the key to one of Grandahl's chambers. They're not even all gnarled and hollow like the Last Giant but actual full sized giants. If the giants are willing to coexist in the dark it would explain how Nashandra was born from Dark and yet she knew enough about the giants to seek out Vendrick to invade their land and steal their power. I think at one point the Darkdiver actually mentions "What once was a great void of Darkness became but fragments. But slowly the scattered fragments grew, absorbing all things." (he might only say this during your first times ranking up in the covenant). This seems to be a reference to either the advent of Manus or simply speaking of the origins of the Darklurker itself which has manifested the Dark Chasm around itself as a sort of defensive shell within the Abyss. Grandahl's final dialogue is "We need the Abyss, now more than ever." This is either in anticipation of Nashandra spreading the dark of the Abyss throughout Drangleic after claiming the Throne of Want or something far more sinister. I feel like I'm missing some info here but I'm just spitballin' for now.

#249 Posted by Dragon4234 (133 posts) -

I just wanna know how you go down from the Tower of Flame into No-man's Wharf.

#250 Edited by GamingSince81 (35 posts) -

What up!

I have through most of this thread, lots of good stuff in here, thanks everyone for the entertainment.

I just wanted to add a couple of things that I have noticed and I don't think they have been mentioned before.

  1. The area that you fight the Pursuer and access one of the Giant Memories is the same area that you travel to when you fight the Giant Lord. If you stand on the platform before the fog gate to fight the Pursuer you can see the statues head that rolls at you, etc. You enter the area from opposite directions in the 2 scenarios.
  2. There was a discussion between 2 of you (sorry I don't remember who it was) that was talking about the characters choice to embrace or renounce the cycle after sitting on the throne. There might be evidence that the flame is rekindled after you beat Nashandra. On the map in Majula, a seventh (maybe eighth after doing some more reading) flame appears on the map in the manor after you beat her. So my question would be, what exactly do the flames on the map represent? I thought that they would show after lighting significant bonfires, but it could just be for defeating the boss. I am not sure because I have always lit the primal (or any other) bonfires after defeating the major bosses. Anyone have any insight on this?

Thanks for reading and for any responses.