Posted by MannyMAR (405 posts) -

*Sorry for the weirdly Kotaku/IGN-ish Blog title. Also, some very minor Souls series spoilers lie in wait to smash your face in like a boulder atop a staircase. You've been warned.

The Souls franchise has grasped our community in its clutches, as Vinny conquered Dark Souls and Brad makes his Crystal Lizard hunting way through Demon's Souls. Also, with a sequel looming on the horizon that will test our nerve yet again, I thought to myself why not look at one of the Souls series' oft-overlooked NPC staples.

I doo eet fo' da lulz.

No, I'm not talking about the Souls' version of the standard internet troll, Patches. An interesting character in his own right, Patches does embody the nature of players who may use messages to lure the determined yet uninitiated to jump to their doom off random cliffs. Alas, Patches will always be, "That dick who kicked me into a pit of death, then started selling me shit."

The NPC in question I speak of is in fact the Crestfallen Warrior. The Crestfallen Warrior (known here on as CrestBro for brevity sake) is unlike other NPCs in the series, as his goal is likely analogous to the player's. Most other NPCs have personal motives that drive them to reach their goals or meet their untimely fates. Also, unique to the CrestBro in both games is his role as a sullen guide to beginners. He sets you on the early path if you're willing to listen: in Demon's Souls he tells you to use the Archstones to amass the power necessary to gain power or to save Boletaria and in Dark Souls he tells you to ring the Bells of Awakening. He'll also depressingly deliver information on some of the other NPCs you'll meet, some of the places you'll see, game mechanics, and lightly jab you when you've failed. All pretty standard stuff...

Depressed bros of the same feather flock together.

...until you've proven yourself worthy enough to actually accomplish the weighty tasks that you've both seemingly have undertaken. In both games when you've realized certain goals, CrestBro will assume a more jealous and callous tone toward the player. Both characters give in to their depression: Demon's Souls' CrestBro believes the goals set before him to be futile, ultimately commits suicide. Whereas Dark Souls' equivalent finally succumbs to the almost too common fate of the Undead, and becomes a Hollow due to Frapmt's "stench." Being drunk on Haterade leads to shitty fate, now that's a life lesson if there ever was one.

Poor CrestBro will never get to play with Priscilla's DownyⓇ soft tale.

I find these two small narrative arcs to be very compelling, as they seem to be an allegory to players who pick up the game and give up after repeated failures. The goal of the Souls games at the end of it all, is to overcome the challenges faced through experience, patience, and tenacity. Where the Crestbro has some experience, he lacks the other two qualities needed to progress further and just gives up. It gives the player a sense of accomplishment to supersede this tangible character (as other players are only encountered as phantoms,) all the while giving this entity added depth and ironically humanity. It makes me wonder how CrestBro may show up in Dark Souls II, if he does at all.

Hope you enjoyed this little write up, and I also look forward to Jolly Co-Operation with you fellow duders on March 11th. Also, don't forget to poor one out for the CrestBro...

Don't cry Crestfallen Drake, you too may one day be so grossly incandescent.

#1 Posted by jimmyfenix (3829 posts) -

Everyone forgets Siegmeyer :(

#2 Posted by MannyMAR (405 posts) -

@jimmyfenix: Nah, OnionBro and for that matter OnionSis will never be forgotten.

#3 Posted by CaLe (3910 posts) -

How does Frampt's stench turn him hollow? Is that explained anywhere? I remember him complaining about it, nothing more.

#4 Edited by MannyMAR (405 posts) -

@cale: It's the last thing he complains about before turning Hollow.

#5 Edited by Humanity (8809 posts) -

The whole meme of adding "bro" at the end of names etc.. in Dark Souls is one of the worst things ever.

Online
#6 Posted by MannyMAR (405 posts) -

@humanity: Haha my bad, it's just a holdover from the early days of Dark Souls release. Figuring stuff out on GameFAQs with guys like EpicNameBro and the like. It becomes cumbersome writing out full names like Crestfallen Warrior (CrestBro) and Warrior of Sunlight Covenant (Sunbros)

#7 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5338 posts) -

Bro is fine in certain circumstances; calling members of a covenant "bro" seems okay; but calling a well known NPC that is a little ridiculous. Sun Godfather would be a better way to describe Solaire for example. In the case of Crestfallen Warrior no one pays attention to him so call him whatever you like.

#8 Posted by ZolRoyce (630 posts) -

@humanity said:

The whole meme of adding "bro" at the end of names etc.. in Dark Souls is one of the worst things ever.

The Maiden in Brock?

I always feel really bad for the Crestfallen guys, they complain a lot but they never really felt like dicks about it to me, and then eventually they just sort of die, it's a bummer for sure.

#9 Edited by Yummylee (21249 posts) -

One of my favourite NPCs in Dark Souls would be the early Pyromancy teacher. He's really well voiced, and the guy portrays a certain warmth (pun) and kindness about him, that despite not having much of a story/arc like other NPCs, I ended up finding him to still be rather likeable. I can remember during my first ever playthrough that he was one of the few NPCs I would bother to talk to in the hopes of learning more about him; at the time I was generally more so focussed on the game rather than paying much attention to the lore.

Seeing him all Hollow'd out in blight town after he went in search of that Quewhatever lady I can remember thinking was pretty tragic. Losing the accessibility of having someone at firelink to upgrade my pyromancy glove thing didn't help, either.

The same guy also voices the merchant in Sen's Fortress, too. Don't much care for him, though...

#10 Posted by EuanDewar (4757 posts) -

Siegemeyer is my personal favourite. He's scared shitless and has no idea what he's doing but continually pushes onward despite his apprehension. And the ways in which his story can end... Oh lordy.

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#11 Posted by Sterling (2071 posts) -

People forget about him because he is forgettable. He is a throw away NPC. Just like in Demon's Souls. You can even completely miss him attacking you if you do things in a certain order.

I say the most forgotten NPC in between both games is Mephistophele. Not many people talk about her. (she is not in Dark Souls, just Demon's Souls, but still)

#12 Posted by CornBREDX (4805 posts) -

Siegmeyer is my favorite NPC story next to maybe Ostrava- although Ostrava's story is maybe a bit more simplistic in relation.

Also, Siegmeyer reminds me of Winnie the Pooh.

Ho hum, ho hum.

#13 Posted by BeefyGrandmole (338 posts) -

The crestfallen warrior is in the comic for DS2 isn't he?

#14 Posted by SteadyingMeat (1113 posts) -
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#15 Posted by laserguy (438 posts) -

I killed Siegmeyer at Sen's when i attacked a serpent.

#16 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5338 posts) -

@sterling: Mephistopheles is one of the most important NPCs on a gameplay level; crestfallen warrior does literally nothing.

#17 Posted by Sterling (2071 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: I'm sure a lot of people don't even now she exists either.

#18 Posted by MannyMAR (405 posts) -

@sterling: God dat lady. Mephistopheles is a great NPC, given that she has one of the best event chains in the series.

#19 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

@sterling said:

@fredchuckdave: I'm sure a lot of people don't even now she exists either.

The only I reason I know o here is because of the loading screens. I also thought she was dude until I read this thread.

#20 Posted by Yummylee (21249 posts) -

@ramone said:

@sterling said:

@fredchuckdave: I'm sure a lot of people don't even now she exists either.

The only I reason I know o here is because of the loading screens. I also thought she was dude until I read this thread.

She's pretty well hidden in the game, courtesy of the interesting but mostly obtuse world tendency bullshit. It's understandable why she's rather obscure and doesn't seem to inspire as much discussion as other NPCs.

#21 Edited by Zeik (2222 posts) -

I thought he went hollow because he ventured down into ghost land in an attempt to actually accomplish something. I don't remember anything about Frampt's stench being the cause.

#22 Edited by MannyMAR (405 posts) -

@zeik: Haha no, he grew weary of Frampt's presence at Firelink then went into ghost land where he probably lost his mind and humanity, or he fell into the abyss trying to kill Frampt then emerged a Hollow.

Here's the shortest video that pretty much cuts to the chase:

#23 Edited by Shiro2809 (54 posts) -

@yummylee: Character tendency, actually. You need it to be pure black, IIRC, and have killed Yurt, then she hires you to take his place.

#24 Posted by TheBlue (316 posts) -

I can never forget Siegmeyer as his quest always involves me messing it up. Whether it be accidentally attacking Sieglinde, killing him accidentally trying to kick him into the pit of tentacle-thingys, or failing to keep his HP above half, the slab has eluded me thus far.

Also, I lol'd at Crestfallen Drake.

#25 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (897 posts) -
Hey, I'm just the guy who KICKSTARTED THE GOD DAMN PROPHECY AND GAVE YOU YOUR FIRST ESTUS FLASKS!! We all know you just killed me and forgot I ever existed.......

#26 Posted by Devil240Z (3271 posts) -

I thought this was going to be about Soul Calibur's "Lizard Man".

#27 Edited by Zeik (2222 posts) -

@mannymar: I was half right then. He did go down into New Londo to accomplish something, and that something was probably dealing with Frampt. He ultimately ends up being a bit more proactive than the dude from Demon's Souls.

#28 Edited by MannyMAR (405 posts) -

@viciousbearmauling: I said ignored, not forgotten. Ayoo! Oscar's an alright guy, but a bit too insistent if you ask me.

@devil240z: Well it is Namco we're talking about here.... BTW you're username instills the urge to find a Wangan Midnight Arcade machine.

#29 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4594 posts) -

@zeik said:

@mannymar: I was half right then. He did go down into New Londo to accomplish something, and that something was probably dealing with Frampt.

He says as much in one of his final dialogues with the player. A complaint about Frampt's breath, and then a menacing "Maybe I'll have to do something about that (Frampt)".

My guess is he went down to New Londo to kill the shit-sniffin' snake and met a grisly end because ghosts suck.

#30 Posted by Devil240Z (3271 posts) -

@mannymar said:

@devil240z: Well it is Namco we're talking about here.... BTW you're username instills the urge to find a Wangan Midnight Arcade machine.

You know, I have never actually played Wangan Midnight. Except for the PS3 one which I think is nothing like the arcade game. I would love to give the arcade game a spin but I have just never seen it in any arcade ive been to.

#31 Edited by Zeik (2222 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: The TC's allegory is a bit off then, since he doesn't just give up and quit like the dude from Demon's Souls. Even if it's a dumb reason, I see him risking his life going down into New Londo to deal with the "stench" as an improvement in his character. He ultimately fails and goes hollow, but he does make an attempt at accomplishing something rather than just moping around Firelink.

#32 Edited by MannyMAR (405 posts) -

@zeik: Actually now that you mention you're right, although it actually makes the allegory more apt.

Since rather than trying to find the Lord Vessel, his focus turns to a much more achievable goal (Well in the Cresfallen dude's mind, anyway.) As a player who gives up would move onto a game that is easier (in the player's mind. Consistency.)

#33 Posted by Zeik (2222 posts) -

@mannymar: That seems a little more forced. The "easy" route for him in that situation would have been to stay in Firelink and continue to be miserable, despite the stench, or even move somewhere else farther from the stench, but still safe. Instead he treks down into friggin' ghost hell.

If I really wanted to make an allegory about that it would probably be for the newcomers who start the game ignorant of the world outside of Firelink and find themselves trying to take on New Londo (or the skeletons), not realizing there are easier and safer paths to take.

#34 Posted by MannyMAR (405 posts) -

@zeik: That answer was in jest more than anything.

Where, yeah you can say Dark Souls' version of the Crestfallen Warrior is more pro-active than Demon's Souls', you do also have to consider the idea that he never had any intention to continue on. Also, consider where and when you face his hollow form. He is nowhere near Sen's Fortress after you ring the Bells of Awakening which is earliest you can face his hollow form. Secondly, he has given up and resigned himself to be among the apathetic hollows that reside just before entering the New Londo Ruins.

#35 Posted by Zeik (2222 posts) -

I don't think it's an issue of him giving up, he just sucks. He went down into New Londo and died almost immediately, causing him to go hollow and lose his mind. When you run into him he's basically just a mindless creature.

#36 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1735 posts) -

The Crestfallen Warrior in Demon's Souls doesn't commit suicide. He eventually goes insane from being away from his body for too long and then fades.

#37 Posted by Karkarov (2981 posts) -

The Crestfallen Warrior in Demon's Souls doesn't commit suicide. He eventually goes insane from being away from his body for too long and then fades.

Quoted for semi truth, staying in spirit form too long in that game was supposed to be fatal. Yeah.... he is in spirit form too.

But seriously stop calling him Crest Bro. He has been and will always be the Emo Warrior.

#38 Posted by Yummylee (21249 posts) -

@yummylee: Character tendency, actually. You need it to be pure black, IIRC, and have killed Yurt, then she hires you to take his place.

Then that just makes it even worse!

#39 Posted by Capum15 (4810 posts) -

I enjoyed the random info I got from talking to him whenever I got back to Firelink.

Also, I would like to hug Fuzzy Tails' tail. She's so fuzzy.

#40 Edited by AssInAss (2541 posts) -

As someone who hasn't played enough of either game, I thought this was interesting to read because it seems while the story isn't what people care about these games but it seems characters are. Which is why I expect more creepy laughing as a staple. So thanks @mannymar.

#41 Edited by Yummylee (21249 posts) -

@assinass: The story for both is actually really basic, it's the lore surrounding it that has everyone so enamoured. I myself never paid much attention to much of it when actually playing through it all, but it's been fun all the same in reading about all of the speculative history and importance of certain characters and events ect.

#42 Posted by dudeglove (7685 posts) -

The crestfallen warrior is a douche. If you see his equipment in Dark Souls, it's apparent he only ever got as far as the Undeadburg merchant.

#43 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (537 posts) -

I like Siegmeier because at least he had the God damned honesty to admit he's too fat to outrun the boulders in Sen's Fortress