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    Dark Souls

    Game » consists of 14 releases. Released Sep 22, 2011

    A quasi-sequel to From Software's action-RPG Demon's Souls, set in a new universe while retaining most of the basic gameplay and the high level of challenge. It features a less-linear world, a new checkpoint system in the form of bonfires, and the unique Humanity system.

    Twitch Is Playing Dark Souls

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    austin_walker

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    Edited By austin_walker
    Praising the sun is a lot harder when thousands of people are hitting the roll button over and over.
    Praising the sun is a lot harder when thousands of people are hitting the roll button over and over.

    Last winter, the internet watched as tens of thousands of Twitch users "cooperated" to play Pokemon Red. Chatters typed out game commands which were executed one at a time, and while that mostly sent the game's protagonist in circles, they did eventually lead the rookie Pokemon trainer to victory. Now, thousands of Twitch users are trying to do the same thing with Dark Souls... but things aren't going so great this time. In the first 22 hours of play, Twitch has yet to leave the first area of the game, the Undead Asylum.

    In some ways, this feels inevitable. There are so many gimmicky (and amazing) Dark Souls runs out there. There are players who beat the game without ever leveling up, and those who play the game blindfolded. Most recently, one player beat it using only his voice. Dark Souls has a long history of its devoted fans performing incredible feats. So this is only the latest in a long line of unbelievable runs. On the other hand... this run feels impossible.

    There is a line of thinking that says that crowds have a sort of wisdom--take a group of people, let them all submit a solution for a question, and there's a good chance that the average of all of that input will be close to the solution. Plenty of experiments have shown that there's definitely something to that theory. But sometimes, this idea taken to a utopian extreme that forgets (or neglects to consider) that there are limits to what a crowd can do on its own, and that structures, technologies, and all sorts of mechanisms limit and direct what we do. (For more on this, check out All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, or at least watch this clip!)

    I really wanna believe that Twitch can beat Dark Souls. But the thing is, Twitch Plays Pokemon had a lot of advantages over Twitch Plays Dark Souls:

    • Pokemon has only a handful of inputs, and "good play" only requires one button press at a time. Even basic combat in Dark Souls needs players to do some combination of moving, blocking, attacking, and occasional item use.
    • In Pokemon movement is tile based. During Twitch Plays Pokemon, if the trainer needed to go northeast, a bunch of players typed "up" and a bunch typed "right", and the average guided them fairly well. In Twitch Plays Dark Souls, even moving down a hallway seems to be a colossal challenge.
    • Plus, both movement and combat are turn based in Pokemon. This limited the amount of incorrect options that Twitch could input, and it meant the chat wasn't required the chat to execute (or luck into) masterful timing. There were still plenty of bad inputs, but Pokemon's limited options meant that chat could push towards the good options together. Dark Souls is real-time, and that introduces a ton of additional difficulty.
    • Also limiting the damage that the chaotic chat could do in Pokemon was the fact that there many of the bad inputs simply paused the game or brought up a submenu. (And menus in Dark Souls do not pause.)
    • Maybe most important of all: Failing to "progress" in Pokemon mostly meant getting stuck in combat over and over, and that meant that the trainer's Pokemon gained experienced. Which in turn meant that by the time Twitch lead the trainer to the next story challenge, they were prepared to win those fights. If Dark Souls worked this way, I'd think there was still hope: Players would run their heads into a wall until they were buff and tough enough to win by brute strength alone.

    And let me be clear, none of this means that I don't think that Twitch Plays Pokemon wasn't a huge, ridiculous accomplishment. It was! But it was also just a lot simpler.

    I'd love to see Twitch beat Dark Souls. I really would. As it stands, even the tiniest victories feel amazing. I'm just not sure it's gonna be the storybook ending we're hoping for this time. But who knows. Maybe a week from now I'll be writing an article about how Twitch users managed to do the unthinkable. It wouldn't be the first time.

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    Alucitary

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    It's one of those things that immediately after you start seeing it in action you realize it was a horrible mistake.

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    Sessh

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    Yeah, I doubt this will happen and if for some miracle (and lots of summoning) it does actually work out it will take a very, very long time.

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    Getz

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    #3  Edited By Getz

    Nice, a link to LobosJr's blindfolded Sen's Fortress attempt. That guy is the true champion of novelty runs. Can you make it through Bloodborne without ever unequiping the monocular? Lobos can.

    This can be called a success if they can even beat the first boss and get out of the asylum, because they never will. Maybe if they ran this for a year they could get that far, monkeys with typewriters etc.

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    Jangowuzhere

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    #4  Edited By Jangowuzhere

    I don't find this funny or enjoyable. This twitch plays joke is getting old fast. It worked well with Pokemon, but games that require actual reflexes makes this entire concept lame and boring to watch.

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    TwoLines

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    Thanks for that clip Austin, now I'll have to watch the whole damn thing!

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    abendlaender

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    Yeah, no way that'll ever happen

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    Shindig

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    The only way this could work is if you heavily, heavily curate the chat. To the point where a small group of 3-5 people have any influence.

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    Omega

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    Twitch plays Dota, make it happen!

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    casty

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    If they manage to get out of the first area I'd consider that a victory in itself...

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    binhoker

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    #10  Edited By binhoker

    I wasn't expecting giantbomb to be linking to Adam Curtis documentaries, and yet here we are.

    Everybody watch all the Adam Curtis documentaries.

    All of them.

    Immediately.

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    LarryDavis

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    I don't find this funny or enjoyable. This twitch plays joke is getting old fast. It worked well with Pokemon, but games that require actual reflexes makes this entire concept lame and boring to watch.

    Yeah, the point with Pokemon was that it was pretty much designed to be impossible to lose progress in. Letting some of the Pokemon free aside, it was a steady treadmill to the end. This is just... Stupid. I'm sure once interest dies and there are fewer people doing it, they'll find a way to finish it, but ehhhh.

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    49th

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    I think it might be way more manageable if they disable camera control and only allow rolling. At least then it will be more like a grid-based movement system and rolling directions will stay consistent.

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    bill_mcneal

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    #13  Edited By bill_mcneal

    If a someone can beat it using only a guitar or their voice, Twitch could easily do it. Just not me though apparently :/

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    odinsmana

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    This is like going from having a child put shaped cubes in shaped holes to have him build a space shuttle.

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    Shindig

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    Twitch plays Street Fighter x Saltybet.

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    cornbredx

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    @jangowuzhere: While in a certain way it is funny, and may have started out that way intentionally, It's not a joke at this point. It's a social experiment. It's quite an interesting one actually.

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    hassun

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    The question is, how long will it take before the bots take over? I hesitate to put all that much faith in the cooperative spirit and ability of the online community when it comes to these things.

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    hassun

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    The question is: How long before the bots take over?

    I hesitate to put that much faith in the online community when it comes to these things.

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    Grelik

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    I actually don't think it will be possible for them to make it out of the asylum. If they did, I feel that would be more impressive than the entire Pokemon run. Turn based, tile based 2D is one thing. Full 3D requiring precise timing and multiple inputs simultaneously is a completely different animal.

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    Mirado

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    #22  Edited By Mirado

    Dark Souls on Twitch cannot leverage the anarchy vs democracy system that made Pokemon so interesting, and Pokemon had zero elements of timing in it. This will never, ever happen.

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    fernanthonies

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    I don't see how this could ever work. I'd put money on this never even getting out of the undead asylum.

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    Farkas

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    Even having a single person use text to advance in DS would be a great accomplishment. Thousands are going to dump our ambitious hero off a cliff over and over again.

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    TDot

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    Didn't think I'd see a reference to an Adam Curtis film in this but it is Austin, after all.

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    Naoiko

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    Twitch will most likely still be trying to beat Dark Souls by the time all Vinny's tvs are able to show ever image possible. And right a twitch beats the game, Drew will get to see that image he wanted of the dude and the car.

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    zero_

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    Guys - be more psyched. I had no reason to believe Pokemon could work and it totally did. The moment Twitch completes Dark Souls, is the moment the internet and humanity will be remembered by.

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    Error52

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    @zero_: I always felt like Twitch was going to do it, because ultimately you can bruteforce your way through it, unlike Dark Souls. Also Pokemon isn't hugely long, Dark Souls is a really, really fucking long game.

    Also, the only way literally any progress at all would happen is they got an obscenely OP character that could knock down bosses by farting. Then they could get somewhere.

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    NoneSun

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    #29  Edited By NoneSun

    An infinite number of Twitch viewers with an infinite amount of time should be able to beat this game at some point. Maybe.

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    development

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    #30  Edited By development

    This would take literal years.

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    Sinusoidal

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    I started watching about 16 hours in. They were stuck in the pool next to the second bonfire. Then again about eight hours later. They were stuck in the pool next to the second bonfire. Then again about ten hours later. They are stuck in the pool next to the second bonfire.

    I did see them kill the first undead enemy with a shield, two-handed... That was pretty special

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    bill_mcneal

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    This is like going from having a child put shaped cubes in shaped holes to have him build a space shuttle.

    Twitch Plays Kerbal perhaps?

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    NeoCalypso

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    @zero_: Like the article points out, Pokemon could and was brute forced. Dark Souls cannot be brute forced. you die, you lose your souls you don't level up. So basically what's going to happen is not only does Twitch have to play this but because dying is going to happen over and over, they also have to do a Soul Level 1 run.

    There are so many spots that are just never gonna happen with this method of control. Every single boss, Sen's Fortress, the archers of Anor Londo, the long way through Blighttown. The list goes on. I would legitimately wager everything I own on this never getting beaten without an outside force lending a hand. Even then that outside force would have to be direct control through tough spots.

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    trucksimulator

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    This is as impossible as the Halo one.

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    Visualizer

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    #35  Edited By Visualizer

    Right now they're pretty much just rolling back and forth in place in the sewers and they're over 24 hours in. I wish I had as much free time as the guy/gal who decided to program this does. Maybe then I could finish writing my music and get through some TV and anime that I've been wanting to watch.

    Sometimes the internet just can't let the awesome novel things it produces lie.

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    deactivated-6050ef4074a17

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    Is this from the same guy who did Twitch Plays Pokemon? Because otherwise I'm a bit puzzled this is getting attention at all, considering in the rush of "Twitch Plays" copycats, there was totally a Twitch Plays Dark Souls before.

    Slow news week I guess.

    This would take literal years.

    Very likely, without some severe handicapping when it becomes clear it won't get anywhere under the current setup. Theoretically they'll get there eventually, but it will not be on anything near the timescale as Pokemon.

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    redzavod

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    ripelivejam

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    #38  Edited By ripelivejam

    just realized invaders could make this even more hellish.

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    SomeJerk

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    #39  Edited By SomeJerk

    If I had a PS3/USB arcade stick I'd be doing Dark Souls PC that way right now..

    ..because I cannot decide how to satisfyingly configure steering wheel and pedals for the deed!

    DS is realtime, the miracle necessary for the herd of kittens to take the character past the tutorial will eventually happen but this stuff is too much madness to take into a game like this. Anything turnbased though, yes! What if the idea could be adapted to something like Civilization V?

    (over on nicovideo a guy ran a "nico plays me" stream and he got out of his home and into a parking lot, bumped into a wall repeatedly and the experiment ended)

    (TpDS just darksigned or died to the jailcell oh god)

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    ArbitraryWater

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    This isn't happening. For as much as I'd love something absurd as this to succeed, I can't see it.

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    JordanaRama

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    I love that this is a thing. And I would love it even more if they can pull it off. I want to believe. But..............

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    Levio

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    #43  Edited By Levio

    What a crappy game choice. I mean seriously, wtf were they thinking.

    I would have picked Diablo 3, which would be doable but way harder than Pokemon.

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    deactivated-60dda8699e35a

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    This is literally impossible. There's no fucking way they can beat Dark Souls using the same input as Pokemon. Hell, they're never getting out of the first area. Even if it was just one person playing, I doubt they could beat the game using the twitch input system. What a waste of time.

    I don't want to come off as overly negative, but why don't they do another Gameboy game? Something simple that is at least feasible to be beaten.

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    GaspoweR

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    Man, they're basically trying to do the impossible.

    Literally THE IMPOSSIBLE.

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    Rich666

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    Sounds like a futile cause. How would leveling work? Odds are they would put every point into resistance. I'd be amazed if they got to Lordran.

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    madlaughter

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    Few things here that I hadn't thought about, like the no pausing thing. They will literally never beat this thing.

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    larmer

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    #49  Edited By larmer

    This article is so negative. Why ya gotta be so critical? Try having some hope. As Batman said, sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded. And hoping for something unthinkable and getting it feels way better than denying something is possible and being right.

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    WrathOfGod

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    This will never, ever happen.

    But yo that pong video was pretty dope.

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