#301 Posted by rocketboot (138 posts) -

@karkarov: This is interesting, I must have missed your original post about it. I just want to point out I think the person she clashed with was Vestaldt, as the shield description states that the two were the left and right hands of the king. When it says "their wills clashed" I read Raime and Velstadt. It's really too bad that shield is literally the only reference to Raime we have in the game, I'm guessing because whatever she did to clash with whoever she clashed with was pretty unforgivable.

#302 Posted by development (2555 posts) -

@karkarov: Also, actually: Raime liked Black Ravens, and you can get to the Bastille through a black raven. I'd count the theory out if you ever picked up a Raime's Greatsword or something, but that doesn't happen. Seems very probable.

I actually remember you mentioning it now, but I skimmed over it. There's just a lot to read in here. I'm sure 95% of my stuff isn't being read.

@myrmicus I'm down with all of that except the part where you wonder if the Bell Keepers weren't the first. I think, after speaking with the Bastille (Alken) Covenant puppet enough, he'll tell you "The Queen made us to protect the bell towers!" That doesn't necessarily establish that they were created directly after the towers' construction, but I don't think the devs would intentionally mislead us so much. Though I'm not totally ruling your idea out, either.

The Bastille enemies are interesting. I'm pretty sure the explody-mummies were the prisoners, because they're numerous and they make chain-rattling noises. The big mummy guards seem to be exactly that: guards. Not sure why either of these 2 are mummies, though. The Royal Swordsmen confuse me. Why would they be there? Did Vendrick send his men there on some mission? Maybe he wanted them to eradicate the undead living in the Bastille. That's a fool's errand, though, as undead never stop respawning (or who the fuck knows, maybe they do).

@mezmero That would be interesting. Maybe the "forbidden love" is because they were brother and sister. I hope the rest of that isn't the case, as I'm real tired of the whole Metal Gear Solid 2-style "everything is coincidental for a reason! Ha-ha!" business. Yes, I know about the NG+ great souls and all the evidence for this kind of thing, but I'm just hoping that's pretty much the extent of that.

@dudeglove Oh, dude, just forget trying to make sense of the geography in this game. It can't happen. All you can do is say "that area is kinda in that direction." Anything more than that and you're asking too much. Some people are probably tired of hearing it, so I'll put in spoilers all the geographical inconsistencies I've noticed:

  • Earthen Peak -> Iron Keep: Just makes no sense. At all. Period.
  • Heide's Tower of flame -> No Man's Wharf: Heide's tower is on an ocean. Then you go down. Then you go down an elevator. Then you're next to a wharf... that's beside an ocean... under an ocean?
  • Majula -> Heide's Tower of Flame: The walking distance to get there is way, way shorter than it should be. I can forgive this one.
  • Aldia's Manor -> Dragon Aerie: Before fighting the Guardian Drake, stand as far back as you can and look up. You'll see a single stone tower that is very thin and not actually that tall, surrounded by no other stone towers within reasonable distance. Obviously this isn't the case once you get up there and look around.
  • Drangleic Castle, when seen on the horizon in most areas of the game, is way higher up than it should be. Taking a look at it right before you enter the black tunnel between the Forked Road and the Castle, it's really high up there. When you emerge from the tunnel it is suddenly much closer (and it's raining and super dark).
  • Forest of Fallen Giants from Majula: Take a look at the fort from Majula's bonfire. That dome-looking structure you see is actually the head and shoulders of one of the giant old man statues near the ocean. If you move around enough you can get an angle that shows you... another identical Old Man statue to the right. This statue has its head, though, and we know for certain that only 1 statue still has its head.

There are probably more I've forgotten, and likely many more I haven't found. I'm not bothered too much by it. It's clear they weren't going for any real strict cohesion. I would have preferred if they did, but I think seeing it as any kind of oversight would be wrong. The devs knew what they were doing.

#303 Posted by development (2555 posts) -

@rocketboot: Well Velstadt was basically Vendrick's lap dog, so offending Vendrick could have meant offending Velstadt.

#304 Posted by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@development: Well if you play on PC much of the "distant view" stuff is better. For example you can in fact clearly see Hiede's tower from Majula and Majula from Hiede's. The cove thing doesn't bother me because you are a good bit above ground where you fight the Dragon Rider then go up again before you enter the tower. It is weird to be sure but I can suspend my belief on it.

Now Earthen Peak -> Iron Castle
Aldia's Mansion -> Dragon Aerie

You got me! I am just along for the ride man!

#305 Posted by dudeglove (8140 posts) -

@development: I can forgive time/space distances, honestly, from a design and lore standpoint considering the first game says that "time flows differently in Lordran" or whatever Solaire/Chester remarks. I liked to think of the various areas of Lordran as not all existing concurrently, but at slightly different times in the history of Lordran altogether (albeit all taking place some time after the Undead outbreak/exodus from Lordran with the exception of AotA/Oolacile potentially taking place before the fall of New Londo), and that walking between areas you went through a sort of an invisible unnoticeable time warp and that each area was a snapshot of that place at its lowest possible moment. Again it's less of a thing in DkS2, which in trying to be more "seamless" feels the opposite. The Heide's/NMW transition was a little odd to me too, but I sort of think of it as you kind of heading out into the water, then coming back towards the coastline.

#306 Posted by dudeglove (8140 posts) -

@development: @karkarov: One of the DS regulars posted this interesting vid showing how some of the areas dramatically overlap one another.

#307 Edited by development (2555 posts) -

Also... so the Iron King was the king who lived before Vendrick, right? Or is that just his title, in that he's the lord of the Iron Keep?

It says he built the Bastille (I think), but we know from Straid that the Bastille was around long before Drangleic was formed by Vendrick.

edit: @dudeglove Awesome, I was waiting for someone to make one of those of DS2. I'm not surprised there's so much overlap.

#308 Edited by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@karkarov said:

@myrmicus said:

The Bell Keepers are mechanical constructs, created by the Iron King for the sole purpose of defending the Bells. But perhaps they weren't the first to guard the bells and, upon realizing that the human guards would turn undead sooner or later, the Iron King could have decinded to replace them with something that couldn't be cursed : the Bell Keepers. I think the mutated undeads we find in the Bastille were the first Bell Keepers, before turning undead. Upon turning undead, the Iron King could have sent them to Aldia's which experimented on them.

Except the bell keepers are midget dudes not robots and the mutants can't hold bows cause they are all mutated.

I don't see why the midget dudes couldn't be constructs. And the mutated undeads still drops bows and shields... and it's implied they are mutated by Aldia's experiment, this means they weren't to begin with.

From the Bell Keepers armor set :

To this day, the forbidden love of the

Prince of Alken and the princess of Venn

manipulates these marionettes.

Surely they never imagined that their dolls

would outlast their own kingdoms.

Speaking of which... I think the Princess of Venn is actually Baneful Mytha and the Prince of Alken could be the Old Iron King. After all, the Prince and Princess created the Doll-Golems that would become the Bell keepers, demonstrating ability to fuse souls with inanimate objects. Mytha and the Iron King both shows this ability too : The Manikins are puppets created by Mytha, using poison. The Ironclads are armor pieces infused with souls to make them alive. The Ruin Sentinels too exhibits this construct traits, while created by "the jailer"... and the Bastille, the prison, where you find them, is said to have been used by "the king" to lock undeads away.

The problem with this theory, is the idea that Mytha becane the Baneful Queen after poisoning herself to become beautifull enough, because the king she loved didn't shared her love. The other hint is the fact that you find Royal Soldiers inside the Bastille and Ruin Sentinels in Drangleic Castle.

I have a problem here : things made too much connection to be just coincidences, but there are things that confuse me : Straid said that the Bastille existed long before his time... and he is from a time where Drangleic didn't existed. Same for Mytha and Iron King, there are evidences that tells they existed long before Vendrick create Drangleic. Of course, There is nothing that prevented Vendrick to uses the Lost Bastille and what he finds inside for his own purpose. But then again, what I gathered from the Drangleic timeline is the fact that the Curse arrived in Drangleic after Vendrick stole something from the Giants (which I think to be the Giant Kinship)... but the Old Iron King already had Undead problems, since he used the Huntsman Copse to put them down. Same for the fact that mutated undeads dropping bell keepers bows and shields... even if the Prince of Alken and the Princess of Venn aren't the Iron King and Mytha, they should be even older (because I don't see who could succeed to them, when they drowned their kingdoms in poison and flames)... but Aldia is from Drangleic, the "last" Kingdom, long, long after their story ended. So, how could he use the "first bell keepers" ? If they are undead, they could have been here to begin with, before them, but then, we fall to the previous problem : How the Curse could have appeared during Vendrick reign, if it was already here ?

The only think that makes me think this could be possible is the idea that "times doesn't flow right in Drangleic" like in Lordran.

#309 Edited by development (2555 posts) -

@myrmicus: The Old Ironclad Armor set says something like "one day these warriors showed up to fight alongside the royal soldiers without explanation." The old rusty ones; not the shiny ones. I think Vendrick found these constructs (the Sentinels and the Ironclad Warriors) and stored them in his castle. He had gained the ability to build Golems, so perhaps he figured he could manipulate/create more of these things, too.

#310 Edited by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@development said:

@myrmicus: The Old Ironclad Armor set says something like "one day these warriors showed up to fight alongside the royal soldiers without explanation." The old rusty ones; not the shiny ones. I think Vendrick found these constructs (the Sentinels and the Ironclad Warriors) and stored them in his castle. He had gained the ability to build Golems, so perhaps he figured he could manipulate/create more of these things, too.

Yeah but the NEW ironclad armors say they came from the King's Castle meaning they were one of Vendrick's experimental soldiers, like the Mastodons. The Bastile was around WAYYYY before any of this took place, and in fact my theory is that it is the undead purgatory of Lordran. Except it is older than Lordran too. I think people keep trying to ascribe more meaning to the Iron King than he really had. Think ancient europe here people, there were tons of Kings. Just because you were a king didn't mean you were a bad ass with this huge kingdom and all that. I think he and Mytha were around but basically under the "protection" of Vendrick who was clearly the big dog of the area.

PS: @dudeglove nice video, good find there.

#311 Edited by development (2555 posts) -

@karkarov: Hah, wait. I thought the Mastadons were created by Scorpion Tark's "master," aka The Duke's Dear Freja or the Duke himself. All the man-beasts I thought were created by him/her/them.

#312 Posted by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@karkarov: Hah, wait. I thought the Mastadons were created by Scorpion Tark's "master," aka The Duke's Dear Freja or the Duke himself. All the man-beasts I thought were created by him/her/them.

Let me look at their armor description... and I quote "The King restored a forbidden, long-lost art to create these inhuman abominations". So yeah, the king made the Mastodon's, aka the Primal Knights. Also apparently we are backwards on the Irconcclad knights. The new Ironclads were created by the Iron King, and the old rusty ones came from Draengelic Castle.

#313 Edited by development (2555 posts) -

@karkarov: So I was right about the Ironclad dudes, then. That's what I was sayin'. So, here's my idea then:

The Rusty Mastadons were made by Manscorpion Tark's Master and then Vendrick created more of them during his phase where he captured the Sentries/Ironclad Soldiers/etc. I don't think it's a coincidence that you find the Mastodons for the first time immediately after the Shaded Ruins, where the Lion dudes, the bird lady, and both Manscorpions are. Off-topic, but maybe the shaded ruins were a kind of hiding place for their "master" to let its creations roam.

#314 Edited by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@karkarov said:

Yeah but the NEW ironclad armors say they came from the King's Castle meaning they were one of Vendrick's experimental soldiers, like the Mastodons. The Bastile was around WAYYYY before any of this took place, and in fact my theory is that it is the undead purgatory of Lordran. Except it is older than Lordran too. I think people keep trying to ascribe more meaning to the Iron King than he really had. Think ancient europe here people, there were tons of Kings. Just because you were a king didn't mean you were a bad ass with this huge kingdom and all that. I think he and Mytha were around but basically under the "protection" of Vendrick who was clearly the big dog of the area.

PS: @dudeglove nice video, good find there.

Sorry, but no, it's clearly said "the Old Iron King" not "the King" :

The Ironclad Soldiers were minions created

by the Old Iron King, their life granted by

an enchantment of souls. By now this is

again an iron husk, and fit to wear.

As for the OldIronclad, the description is this :

One day, warriors wearing decrepit armor

emerged from Drangleic castle, and quietly

assumed positions amongst the royal army.

Not one of them ever spoke a word,

or revealed the face under the mask.

That's not saying they were created by Vendrick, that's just saying they were stored inside it. Considering that the Old Iron King is supposed to have lived long before Vendrick, that makes sense : He created the Ironclads and, after Vendrick came, found them and used them for his own purpose. As for the Lost Bastille being Undead Asylum, I don't see any evidence of that, the architecture isn't the same, and they aren't even on the same ground : the Lost Bastille has it's foot in water, while the Undead Asylum is on at the top of some mountain.

I agree with Developement on the Mastodon too, Vendrick merely used what he already found : The Mastodons, Ironclads, Ruin Sentinels and even Golems.

#315 Edited by Oni (2108 posts) -

Also, there are Alonne Knights in Drangleic Castle too, which may or may not be significant. Hard to tell in Dark Souls 2 because enemy placement sometimes seems all over the place, like Grave Wardens in Earthen Peak.

#316 Edited by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@oni said:

Also, there are Alonne Knights in Drangleic Castle too, which may or may not be significant. Hard to tell in Dark Souls 2 because enemy placement sometimes seems all over the place, like Grave Wardens in Earthen Peak.

Yeah. Also if Vendrick is the johnny come lately to the party (he isn't) and the Iron King is so much older (no evidence to support that) then why are Vendrick's Iron Clads actual "men" inside suits wearing "old" armor while the Iron Kings are enchanted suits of armor that are "new". Also again I was quoting the Mastodon armor description word for word. It doesn't say Vendrick "found" it says specially the word "create". It is hard to misinterpret that. Even the rusted Mastodon set (the set you get from the ones in Doors of Pharros) says "The Primal Knights of Draengelic Castle". You guys are over thinking it, mob placement as Oni stated is ambiguous at best in this game. Item descriptions have always been the most reliable source of good info in the Souls and King's Field games too for that matter.

#317 Posted by rocketboot (138 posts) -

Has anyone looked frame by frame or anything to definitively confirm what bird carries the Pursuer and takes you to the Bastille? I'm no bird expert, but it didn't really strike me as a crow or raven. Maybe an eagle or falcon, it has a bit more of a brown colour. I think it's obvious we'd all like it to be a crow but I don't think we've had a sunstantial conversation about it.

#318 Posted by dudeglove (8140 posts) -

@rocketboot: looking at some trivia, the bird drop is something of an homage to Armored Core. It's certainly not a raven. Looks more like a hawk or a falcon (related to falconer's armor set, maybe?). For some odd reason it's the same bird that will transport you to Bastille.

The Pursuer bugs me. I don't like that he floats, because he goes against the design ethic of nearly every other enemy being subject to the same rules as you in terms of level design. It just reeks of "yo we designed something cool, screw wherever we put it", I get that it's nearly a palette swap of the Four Kings, but at least you fought the Four Kings in a place that didn't seem weird.

#319 Posted by rocketboot (138 posts) -

@dudeglove: Ahh interesting. It is too bad, if it were a crow we could almost irrifutably connect him to Velka, as his gear talks about how he hunts down the guilty to atone for his own crimes. Although I believe that could explain why he is on the wall of the fort, as that is where we kill the Giant Lord later in the game. He could be some kind of time travelling dark fantasy Terminator type dude. I like the idea but admittedly it is a weak thread.

The only other hint towards the Pursuer I can think of is the Ring of Blades that we get from him, making reference to the mad knight of Alkan. Maybe this mad knight is the Pursuer? We also have the Mad Warrior invader in Belfry Sol, which I think is the Bell of Alkan. I really don't think there's any more on the subject, definitely not enough to draw any conclusions.

#320 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@karkarov: You just ignore completely ignore the little bit of description that says "Vendrick restored forbidden long lost art to create the mastodon."

Why do I think the Old Iron King is from a time before Drangleic ? The Ironclad armor. They were created by him (Ironclad armor description), the Old Ironclad armor are, on the other hand, used during Vendrick reign, being old and rusted... Which is a hint. That raises - which you raised already - a good question : Why the one used by Vendrick would be old and decrepti, while the one in Ironkeep are shiny and "new" ?

My bet is held by a quote from the crestfallen warrior (or maybe it's someone else saying ?) : He says time doesn't flow right in Drangleic, in a non linear way. Without this explanation, the fact that the Ironclads and the Old Ironclads could exist within the same timeline.

#321 Posted by golguin (4005 posts) -

VaatiVidya released an ending explanation video that I feel does a very good job of visually representing the discussions that have taken place in this thread. There is also a 2nd video that discusses the motivations behind Vendrick, Aldia, and Nashandra.

I don't remember if it was in this thread that I posted the reason why Nashandra was meant to be an easy fight at the end, but the 2nd video touches on that as well.

#322 Posted by development (2555 posts) -

The Pursuer bugs me. I don't like that he floats, because he goes against the design ethic of nearly every other enemy being subject to the same rules as you in terms of level design. It just reeks of "yo we designed something cool, screw wherever we put it", I get that it's nearly a palette swap of the Four Kings, but at least you fought the Four Kings in a place that didn't seem weird.

This. So much. And the weird proportions: super slim waste, bulged out barrel chest, superfluous weapons in a quiver on its back. Really looks like something pulled straight out of Final Fantasy. Even upon seeing it before any other boss in the game I immediately thought it looked out-of-place; even moreso now that I've thoroughly explored the game.

@myrmicus said:

the Old Ironclad armor are, on the other hand, used during Vendrick reign, being old and rusted... Which is a hint. That raises - which you raised already - a good question : Why the one used by Vendrick would be old and decrepti, while the one in Ironkeep are shiny and "new"?

Well, the Mastadons are organic beings. The Sentinels and Ironclads are armor infused with sentient souls. Notice the Ruin Sentinels in Drangleic Castle, albeit nice and shiny, are not on guard duty like the mastodons; they're hidden away in storage.

#323 Posted by rocketboot (138 posts) -

@myrmicus: Gilligan also makes a comment about the whole poison queen situation happening a very long time ago. I'm assuming the king in that story to be the Old Iron King, but I suppose there's always a chance that may not be the case.

#324 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1847 posts) -

@nicked said:

This might not count as "lore", but I think it's interesting how this game is basically identical to BioShock Infinite. Personally I think the samsara theme is kind of a cop out in any instance, but I think the ideas are better conveyed here. Just thought it was weird how very different games express exactly the same idea.

I was starting to notice the similarities to BioShock Infinite about halfway through my first run, as well. I'll agree that it was handled much better this time around, though I liked the ending of BioShock Infinite much more than many of its vocal opponents seem to have.

I do think people are trying to force some revelations in this thread, however. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and game design is a collaborative effort between many people who have time constraints. I mean, in Dark Souls 1 Gwynevere had massive breasts because an overly excited artist got a little crazy with the design, and Miyazaki didn't want to rain on his parade. There's no lore reason for it, though that didn't stop people from trying.

Still, interesting stuff here, even if as a whole I find the story to be more purposely vague than the last.

One thing I would like to note is that I believe that this cycle is different than all the other cycles that came before, save the first cycle seen in Dark Souls 1. Vendrick didn't link the first flame. Instead, he was persuaded by Nashandra to take something from the giants, which may very well be the kiln seen in the ending. It's been implied that this device shapes the world, and with the possibility of the other pieces of Manus starting to coalesce, a new kind of cycle might be born. Or not. It could also just be that the throne is a weird new version of the first flame.

If that were true though, why was the Lost Sinner punished for trying to light the first flame? Was she punished for fighting through Drangleic to get the kiln, or did she perhaps take a venture to the far North, a place currently feared, and also the generic direction of Lordran in the first game? Just some thoughts.

#325 Posted by dudeglove (8140 posts) -

@dudeglove: Ahh interesting. It is too bad, if it were a crow we could almost irrifutably connect him to Velka, as his gear talks about how he hunts down the guilty to atone for his own crimes. Although I believe that could explain why he is on the wall of the fort, as that is where we kill the Giant Lord later in the game. He could be some kind of time travelling dark fantasy Terminator type dude. I like the idea but admittedly it is a weak thread.

The only other hint towards the Pursuer I can think of is the Ring of Blades that we get from him, making reference to the mad knight of Alkan. Maybe this mad knight is the Pursuer? We also have the Mad Warrior invader in Belfry Sol, which I think is the Bell of Alkan. I really don't think there's any more on the subject, definitely not enough to draw any conclusions.

I also wanted it to be a Velka tie-in, but Velka and the Painted World were explicitly represented by crows which tend to eat - well, anything - rather than more predatory-looking birds that . That the Pursuer uses curse and dark magic I also think is odd (or maybe not) considering the Black Set from DS1 that Carim wears has high curse resistance. Either way, his design is outlandish and at odds with the more reserved forms of DS1.

Or who knows? Maybe someone will figure out that Velka, who used to be the Darkmoon Blades covenant leader (apparently) left to go do her own hunting-the-guilty thing across the ocean while Gwyndolin took up the reins in Anor Londo, with the schism resulting in divergent uses of magic and whatnot.

#326 Edited by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@rocketboot: @development: Yup, both of you. I agree, completely agree and that was my point : When you play the game, you encounter creatures from a longer time ago (Mytha, the Old Iron King and his shiny Ironclads), while meeting some creature from a less distant past (Old Ironclads), which shouldn't be possible... except for the "messed up timeline" the Crestfallen Warrior talk about.

Time doesn't flow right, so it's possible to encounter creatures from different periods.

As for the Pursuer, I think he can be a creation of the Old Iron King or Raime. His bird seems to be an hawk or an eagle, but I read somewhere that it was, in fact, a crow. The crow is a symbol of Velka, Goddess of Sin as well as the favorite animal of Raime. The Pursuer's item descriptions talk about someone who track down undeads repenting for his pasts sins... And we know that Raime was deemed a traitor after a clash with Velstadt. The theory behind the Pursuer being a creation of the Old Iron King has less ints supporting it and is held by a single idea : The Old Iron King was cruel, hunting and torturing the Undead (he created Huntsman Copse and the Undead Purgatory). That would be very like him to create a creature that would track down undeads unrelentlessly. The fact that you can fight two Pursuers at a time tend to make me think that that was a soldier, not a unique person like Raime... but it could also be some ability to duplicate.

#327 Edited by development (2555 posts) -

Found something else that should have been obvious to me.

I finally read the Watchdragon Parma's description and looked at it.

The black and white contrast depicts the

ebb and flow of the fate of all things living,

and the serpentine dragons that watch over

the march of time.

At first glance this makes me think of Frampt etc., but I just wasn't seeing it. Then I finally Googled it for a better picture, and guess what? It's totally the DS1 serpents depicted on the shield:

You can even see their floppy mustaches.

Something to keep in mind, though: this is one of the fan-created shields that was chosen by From to be in the game. I suspect they made it canon, though, and the description isn't any less valid.

So this means 2 obvious things:

  1. The serpents were/are a kind of dragon, assuming the descriptions are always correct when written matter-of-factly.
  2. This shield was created by someone and it ended up in the Dragon Aerie next to the petrified dragon egg.

Also, the shield is garbage in combat. Not sure why they chose to make it so worthless so close to the end of the game. The description also says,

The bearer of this shield will be blessed

by great fortune in battle.

But as of right now no one has figured out what that "great fortune" is, if anything. Seems to be BS.

...So, I don't know if I'm the only one who didn't catch this immediately or what, but thought I'd share.

#328 Posted by SunBroZak (1258 posts) -

@development I'd almost be inclined to believe it's another troll attempt, similar to the pendant. I'd like to believe there's more information on the serpents as a whole, hidden in the game somewhere, but I think it's unlikely.

#329 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@sunbrozak: I don't understand why you think this specific shield is a troll attempt. I mean, the pendant was an item that serve no purpose. This one is a shield which is very usable (even if crappy). Description says "blessed with great fortune in battle", but I don't see how it's trolling : you know its stats, and I don't recall any developer saying "best shield evar, you should totally use it instead of Havel's Shield !"

#330 Posted by SunBroZak (1258 posts) -

@myrmicus said:

@sunbrozak: I don't understand why you think this specific shield is a troll attempt. I mean, the pendant was an item that serve no purpose. This one is a shield which is very usable (even if crappy). Description says "blessed with great fortune in battle", but I don't see how it's trolling : you know its stats, and I don't recall any developer saying "best shield evar, you should totally use it instead of Havel's Shield !"

I'm not speaking towards the usability of the shield. It's pretty standard in that regard. I simply think "blessed with a great fortune in battle" is a joke. That players would use this ordinary shield just because the description told them it was better.

#331 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@sunbrozak: No description sold me any special effect, for any item, except when it's written : "Effect : does this" or if the description clearly state that a weapon does something. "Good fortune" is too vague. So I still don't see the stuff. For me, it's pretty much like I-can't-remeber-which-weapon that said previous owners met a bloody fate, It didn't make me die more often than any other weapon.

#332 Posted by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@myrmicus said:

@sunbrozak: No description sold me any special effect, for any item, except when it's written : "Effect : does this" or if the description clearly state that a weapon does something. "Good fortune" is too vague. So I still don't see the stuff. For me, it's pretty much like I-can't-remeber-which-weapon that said previous owners met a bloody fate, It didn't make me die more often than any other weapon.

Yeah it is just flavor text. Really it adds character to the shield because in reality during those medieval times of swords and axes there were surely tons of people who named their swords or shields etc etc. In truth they were no better than any other similarly made item, but they felt it was lucky and so it was. The people who feel text like that is trolling take the games backstory too seriously and are reading more into it than there actually is.

#333 Edited by Dragon4234 (135 posts) -
@karkarov said:

@myrmicus said:

@sunbrozak: No description sold me any special effect, for any item, except when it's written : "Effect : does this" or if the description clearly state that a weapon does something. "Good fortune" is too vague. So I still don't see the stuff. For me, it's pretty much like I-can't-remeber-which-weapon that said previous owners met a bloody fate, It didn't make me die more often than any other weapon.

Yeah it is just flavor text. Really it adds character to the shield because in reality during those medieval times of swords and axes there were surely tons of people who named their swords or shields etc etc. In truth they were no better than any other similarly made item, but they felt it was lucky and so it was. The people who feel text like that is trolling take the games backstory too seriously and are reading more into it than there actually is.

Except when there's stuff like the King's Crown, which increases INT and FTH by 3, or Velsadt's Helm, that increases the equip load, that aren't listed in their descriptions. I think it's fair to wonder about all text.

#334 Posted by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@karkarov said:

Yeah it is just flavor text. Really it adds character to the shield because in reality during those medieval times of swords and axes there were surely tons of people who named their swords or shields etc etc. In truth they were no better than any other similarly made item, but they felt it was lucky and so it was. The people who feel text like that is trolling take the games backstory too seriously and are reading more into it than there actually is.

Except when there's stuff like the King's Crown, which increases INT and FTH by 3, or Velsadt's Helm, that increases the equip load, that aren't listed in their descriptions. I think it's fair to wonder about all text.

True but those are clear cut effects you can see by taking the item on and off. "Good luck" not so much,

#335 Edited by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

Oh also since there was a lot of discussion on the sinner a bit ago and I was having to do some screen captures as part of my ongoing youtube thing I figured I would post one for a sinner close up. It is interesting because on PC you can get a REALLY good look at the bug. What is also even more interesting is if you look closely.... in the cutscene for the brief moment where I take the pic it is like the game is in fact focusing on the bug, not the sinners mask. The thing even has a face you can make out on PC... definitely the real mind behind the machine. That being said watching that scene over and over also makes it look like the "beard" is attached to the mask, not under it. Of course you lose the beard when you get it but who knows. Anyway pic.

#336 Edited by GunslingerPanda (4846 posts) -

Just finished the game, came here to see what you all made of it, and realized I should have finished DS1. Whoops.

Anyways, I saw some stuff here about what Vendrick took from the giants to piss them off. The King's Ring description says:

A powerful soul is like a curse. And Vendrick, King of Drangleic used a powerful soul to keep the curse at bay. King Vendrick sought greater souls, and made the giants' strength his own, but even still, the curse overcame him.

I got the impression this "powerful soul" that he used was what he stole from the Giants. Might explain the disparity between his size and the size of his chair, as well as while his soul was on it. He could have swapped them out, the new Giant's soul within him contorting his body into a more fitting size.

I don't know dick about DS1 though, so probably not.

#337 Posted by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@gunslingerpanda: Nope I would say your idea is pretty much accurate to a degree. The game highly implies he also stole the throne from them as well, but he definitely took more than just that. I don't get where people are saying he stole the "first flame" though, it says he lit it before he became king in game, and it isn't a thing you can move. Not to mention you never see it in game anyway.

#338 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

I already said what I think Vendrick stole to the Giants, but I'll say it again. I'm not sure about Vendrick stealing the Throne of Want, I don't recall what in the game implies it so much. I think he stole the Giant Kinship : Wellager says us that he stole something from the giant and used it to give birth to the Golems, using them next to build his castle. We know the golems can be activated by infusing them with a soul (ingame, killing something close to them)... But, in the end, you can only access the Throne of Want if you have the Giant Kinship, which activate the golems there to create a bridge. The interesting thing about this activation is that it doesn't create any blue glow, like the soul activation does. Of course, those particular golems could have been created with the sole purpose of responding to the Giant Kinship, but I don't think so.

You'll say "but you find the Giant Kinship by defeating the Giant Lord". That is very true. What is also true is the fact that the giants came to reclaim what was stolen to them and whe also know that they were winning this war... Meaning, by the time you face the Giant Lord, he could have reclaimed the Kinship.

On the Throne of Want part, the Kinship is clearly linked to it, judging by his description, so Vendrick could have stolen both of them.

#339 Edited by development (2555 posts) -

@myrmicus: I think I figured it out! It just occurred to me. Duh. We're so dense. Who the hell says there was only one Giant's Kinship? Vendrick went over to Giantsberg and slaughtered their king, taking his soul (making him giant) and the Giant's Kinship along with it. It is only reasonable that sometime between the decades or more since then (I'm low-balling that number, but Captain Drummond says, "my father, and his father before him, have fought the giants") that the Giants found themselves a new leader.

Also, it's called the "Giant's Kinship," I think implying that he who controls it controls the giants as a whole. "A singular rage burns within their hearts." Who owns it? The Giant Lord, of course. What happens when you obtain it? The war ends.

Why do The Last Giant and the giants in The Black Gulch attack you, then? Well, no one said the Giant's Kinship was the "brain" of the giants. They can still be semi-intelligent beings without it, but just aren't given a leader's influence. And they are "barbarians," so attacking humans on-sight might not be the unexpected thing for them to do.

I don't personally think Vendrick moved/stole the Throne of Want, simply because it's a giant throne and that just seems really ridiculous. That, and the Kiln of the First Flame was in Lordran, and Drangleic is almost certainly Lordran.

Off-topic: Did you guys notice how the Giant Pyromancers throw flames? They pull the flames out of their faces. Or, more accurately, they vomit the flames into their hands and then throw them. Just thought that was neat.

#340 Posted by Jaqen_HGhar (944 posts) -

I just beat the game a couple of days ago, and haven't really done or seen everything yet. But I wanted to float something minor by you guys. The pillars you see in the Dragon Aerie... Is it possible that those are the petrified remains of the giant trees holding Lordran up in DS1? If so it would be some indication on how long after DS1 this is, and also be some explanation for why so many remains from that land can be found, yet it's supposed to not be the same land.

I was also toying with the idea that Vendrick actually used the four great souls to build Drangleic inside the Kiln. That he somehow expanded the place, opened the gate and made it more a part of the real world. But as the flame fades, the connection it has to the real world fades as well, making Things Betwixt the only way to actually get there. After all, you seemingly just walk to the Throne without having to traverse some mystical gate, but you do need to traverse a mystical gate to get to Drangleic. This is guaranteed to be nothing near what is actually intended, but it's fun to spin weird theories.

#341 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@jaqen_hghar: I toyed with that idea too. Here what I posted about it :

@myrmicus said:

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.

#342 Posted by rocketboot (138 posts) -

@myrmicus: @development: I've been meaning to say something about the word 'kinship' for a while now. I think a lot of people are misunderstanding it's meaning. It has more to do with familial or relational ties than anything else.

From dictionary.com:

kin·ship

[kin-ship]

noun

1. the state or fact of being of kin; family relationship.

2. relationship by nature, qualities, etc.; affinity.

I think we need to stop thinking of Giant's Kinship as a tangible item that someone can just take. I see at as a kind of respect that you earn after defeating the Giant Lord. In that case it is possible that Vendrick earned kinship with the giants after his first encounter with them, but that makes me question why they would want to return to "take it back." Not to mention how some one could possibly "take back" something so abstract.

I stumbled upon a Reddit thread yesterday that was very interesting. Apparently, the message on the back of the obelisk in Majula that says "The letters are worn beyond recognition" displays differently in the Portuguese version of the game. Translated into English it says "The Giants crossed the seas, perhaps to return home." (Apparently the text was not there before the update to v 1.04. The most sensible explanation I've seen for this is that it has something to do with future DLC and it wasn't supposed to be added in yet and some one made a mistake) Could this mean the giants originally came from the land Drangleic stands on? Or possibly, as I've inferred before, that they have some connection to the Abyss, which is very prominent in Drangleic? Here's another crazy idea: Vendrick came to the land of the giants and straight up conquered it. Ran them out. And Drangleic is the land of the giants. Before everyone starts freaking out I don't actually believe that's the case, it's just food for thought. I think it's pretty likely that can be disproved easily anyway, but I don't feel like doing the digging right now to see if anything/anyone says something about Vendrick returning after fighting the giants.

#343 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

@rocketboot: Your theory of the Kinship makes sense : Yes, by definition it's not a thing but an idea... but we could say so fo for the Soul, it's rarely seen as something tangible. You noted the problems with this theory yourself : if it was abstract, how can the giants can "take it back" ? Also, the Giant Kinship allow some sort of control on the Golems... The Kinship must be somthing more than just some "respect" awarded by the giants, it holds power.

As for Majula... What I remember about the Giants is that Vendrick went to their land AFTER creating Drangleic, then encountered Nashandra, who warned him about the threat the Giants were to his kingdom, prompting him to go to war... So your food for thought seems unlikely. Although, this "return home" is interesting, we just need to figure out how to correctly interpret it.

#344 Edited by development (2555 posts) -

@rocketboot: Yeah, that makes the most sense, thinking of the kinship as a kind or respect/acknowledgment earned, perhaps by killing their leader (Game of Thrones Kal Drogo style <--not a spoiler).

@myrmicus along those same lines, I still think the biggest question/giant plot hole in the game is:

Everyone in Drangleic was not always undead. You get to Drangleic through a portal/whirlpool while undead. How the hell did non-undead get there? And, even more confusing to me: I thought Drangleic is supposed to be its own world of sorts, sealed off from everything. If that's the case then how are things able to "cross the seas" or be "from Volgen to the West?"

#346 Edited by rocketboot (138 posts) -

@myrmicus: @development: The more I think of the geography of the Dark Souls world the more I think there's some kind of dimensional clashing going on. I think Drangleic is possibly the creation of worlds colliding, or a junction between parallel universes. Things Betwixt is a way of accessing it. The Abyss also connects worlds in its own way.

A major point that suggest this to me is Heide's Tower of Flame. There is something very odd about the sky here. It's dark and you can see some swirling texture, but it doesn't look like a cloud in any way. You can kind of see stars in the darkness, and there is blue sky in every direction. It almost looks like there is a big hole in the sky directly above you. Or a tear in the universe, as if the submerged building beneath you just fell out of space and time. Haha another wild idea for ya!

Back to the whole "kinship" thing, I think it does have power. You've gained parity with the giants, proven through great feats that you are an equal. Therefor it makes sense that you can interact with golems or some similar constructs in a way that the average human or undead can't.

Concerning souls, there is a lot of precedent to see souls as items or something that you can consume throughout literature and pop culture. Not only that but the "soul" doesn't really have a contemporary definition in the way that "kinship" has, giving a lot more room for interperetation. Sure the idea of a soul is more abstract than the idea of kinship, but that is probably why it's easier to interperet as a source of power or progression. "Kinship" is more comparable to "humanity" as a term.

#347 Posted by development (2555 posts) -

@rocketboot: I was thinking about that recently, too. I think the devs wanted "Things Betwixt" to be a big clue for how the world worked that a lot of people just glossed over. For me, the Shrine of Amana comes to mind. Vendrick didn't care about clerics (probably because he himself was so damn powerful). He only wanted them around for ceremony. Then you get to the Shrine of Amana and it's overflowing with powerful warrior clerics, of which are all holding gear talking about how great this "Lindelt" place is and how they serve as protectors of some kind of great tradition/secret. Maybe you're actually in Lindelt when you traverse the SoA.

#348 Posted by development (2555 posts) -

Also, to squash the idea that Alkan and Venn were kingdoms thriving alongside Drangleic:

Laddersmith Gilligan:

(After talking about Mytha and the Old Iron King)

"[...] Before long the Princess's ire transformed her into a monster [...] When do you think this all happened? Long ago, when this very land was called something else. We say Drangleic now, but countless kingdoms have risen and fallen on this very spot."

I'd quote the whole thing, but seemingly no one has uploaded the text version of this conversation, so I had to transcribe it.

#349 Posted by Bane (435 posts) -

I thought the idea that The Lost Bastille is the Undead Asylum from DS1 was pretty much a given (as much as anything can be in Dark Souls lore).

For one, they're used for the same purpose. Two, they're both disconnected from the rest of the world. You could only reach the Undead Asylum via Snuggly the Crow, and you can only reach The Lost Bastille (the first time) via the Pursuer's bird or the Varangian's ship. Three, and the most convincing, is what Shalquoir says about the place:

Once, people tried to round up the Undead and hide them away from the world.

They thought that imprisoning the Undead would solve the problem.

They created a towering bastille to contain them, but in the end, it did no good.

The Lost Sinner lives deep within the bastille.

The fool. Trying to light the First Flame…

I don't think the difference in geology is an argument against the idea. After all, the geology of our planet is changing all the time, just in timescales much too long for us to see. If anything it's another way of showing us just how much time has passed between games. I don't think the difference in architecture is either. The many kingdoms that have existed since Lordran would have remodeled the place many times over I'm sure, but they would have kept using the same geographic location.

#350 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

Back to the whole "kinship" thing, I think it does have power. You've gained parity with the giants, proven through great feats that you are an equal. Therefor it makes sense that you can interact with golems or some similar constructs in a way that the average human or undead can't.

Concerning souls, there is a lot of precedent to see souls as items or something that you can consume throughout literature and pop culture. Not only that but the "soul" doesn't really have a contemporary definition in the way that "kinship" has, giving a lot more room for interperetation. Sure the idea of a soul is more abstract than the idea of kinship, but that is probably why it's easier to interperet as a source of power or progression. "Kinship" is more comparable to "humanity" as a term.

And we know from Dark Soul 1 that "humanity" can be a very palpable object...

@bane said:

I thought the idea that The Lost Bastille is the Undead Asylum from DS1 was pretty much a given (as much as anything can be in Dark Souls lore).

For one, they're used for the same purpose. Two, they're both disconnected from the rest of the world. You could only reach the Undead Asylum via Snuggly the Crow, and you can only reach The Lost Bastille (the first time) via the Pursuer's bird or the Varangian's ship. Three, and the most convincing, is what Shalquoir says about the place:

Once, people tried to round up the Undead and hide them away from the world.

They thought that imprisoning the Undead would solve the problem.

They created a towering bastille to contain them, but in the end, it did no good.

The Lost Sinner lives deep within the bastille.

The fool. Trying to light the First Flame…

I don't think the difference in geology is an argument against the idea. After all, the geology of our planet is changing all the time, just in timescales much too long for us to see. If anything it's another way of showing us just how much time has passed between games. I don't think the difference in architecture is either. The many kingdoms that have existed since Lordran would have remodeled the place many times over I'm sure, but they would have kept using the same geographic location.

Except there are a lot of things that are alike, if not outright identical from one Soul Game to another. Apart from their role, the Lost Bastille and the Undead Asylum bears no ressemblance whatsoever : Not the same architecture, not the same structure, not the same location... On this very subject, time has passed, right, but the Undead Asylum was on top of a mountain while the Lost Bastille has its feets in the sea. And even if I can admit that it's the same location (which is really, really hard to believe) : If the building is not the same, even if built on the remain of the previous, without any architectural nor structural ressemblance, without the same name... then it ISN'T the same building.

Plus, add to that what dev team said : "Drangleic and Lordran aren't on the same continent". This very "Word of God" is saying : "Drangleic is not Lordran" so I don't understand why people still want Drangleic to be built on Lordran...