Dark Souls Ending Explained: Praise the Sun! - VRGyani News and Media

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Saturday, August 14, 2021

Dark Souls Ending Explained: Praise the Sun!

Love it or hate it, every gamer knows that Dark Souls is about beating challenging bosses, being invaded by trolls, and getting good at the game. However, while Dark Souls’ gameplay is highly praised, the convoluted narrative of the franchise can deceive even the most cunning of the players. It’s surprisingly usual to discuss Dark Souls with friends who’ve played the game to its end but still don’t know what the heck it’s all about. Fear not, Chosen Undead, we are here to keep the flame of knowledge burning.

So sit down on the bonfire and get ready for an adventure; we’re going to explore what each of Dark Soul’s endings truly means.

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Struggling in a Dying World

You first start your Dark Souls adventure locked inside a cell in the Undead Asylum, a place where those touched by the zombie plague are taken to slowly lose their minds until there’s nothing more than a hollow shell standing. A vicious Demon guards the doors of the Asylum, but a knight is there to help you escape, first by throwing you the key to your cell, then by giving his miraculous Estus Flask. More importantly, this stranger tells you about an old prophecy, about a Chosen Undead who would escape from the Asylum and cleanse the world of the undead curse.

As soon as the player defeats the Demon and gets out of the Asylum, a giant crow flies them to the Lordran, a decaying kingdom devastated by the curse. There, a Crestfallen Warrior shares more details about the prophecy. Supposedly, the Chosen Undead must ring two bells, placed in the highest and lowest point of Lordran, to finally gain access to Anor Londo, the city of the gods. The Crestfallen Warrior warns you, though: many lost souls followed this path in hopes of finding a cure to the undead curse. Unfortunately, no one was successful so far, and the prophecy might not be anything more than an illusion.

Nevertheless, there’s no way to go except forward. So, in control of the Chosen Undead, the player fights the beasts guarding the two bells, ventures through a trap-infested castle, and finally get to challenge Ornstein and Smough, the knights guarding Princess Gwynevere. Once in front of the Princess, the Chosen Undead has his destiny revealed: They are indeed the prophesied champion of the gods. Gwynevere gifts the Chosen Undead with the Lordvessel, a key to opening the door to the Kiln of the First Flame, where a sacred fire still resides.

By taking the Lordvessel back to the Primordial Serpent, Kingseeker Frampt, the player gains access to the Kiln’s doors, shut tightly until the three Lord Souls are collected. One Lord Soul is guarded by Nito, the First of the Dead; a second Lord Soul belongs to the Witch of Izalith; finally, the third Lord Soul was split in two by Gwyn, the leader of the Gods, who gifted each half of it to the Four Kings of New Londo and Seath the Scaleless. Knowing that the First Flame was fading away, Gwyn sacrificed himself to burn and keep the world spinning until the Chosen Undead could take his place.

After acquiring all the Lord Souls, the player might finally face Gwyn himself, now reduced to a powerless husk. Besting Gwyn gives the player the chance to jump into the First Flame and use his body as fuel. Or the player can leave everything behind and just walk away. But why would the player do any of these things? And what does each choice really mean?

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The Age of Fire Renewed

Long ago, before Lordran came to be, the world was ruled by Everlasting Dragons. In this world, there was no disparity, which means no life and death, day and night, pain and pleasure. The world was quiet and would remain like this forever if the First Flame didn’t start to burn. Light creates shadow, and as soon as the First Flame came to be, disparity became a part of the world. The First Flame called beings who crawled in the darkness, and inside the flame, they found the three Lord Souls capable of granting unimaginable power to their wielders.

Powered by the Souls of Lords, three beings formed an alliance to fight the Everlasting Dragons and take control of the world. Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight, smote the Dragons with his lightning bolts. The Witch of Izalith and her Seven Daughters of Chaos used fire to burn their enemies’ kingdom. Finally, Nito used a deadly miasma to destroy all life in their way. With the secret to the Dragon’s immortality revealed by one of their kind, Seath, the three Lords were victorious. Lordran came to be, and the god ruled over the world in the Age of Fire.

No kingdom can last forever, though, and after many centuries, the First Flame, which powered the gods, began to fade. Gwyn was willing to sacrifice himself, using his body as fuel to keep the First Flame burning and prolong the Age of Fire. Gwyn also left instructions behind to guide a Chosen Undead who decided to follow his steps and give their life away so that the Age of Fire could be prolonged, taking the undead curse away for a few more years.

So, should the player trust the Gods, they can cast themselves into the First Flame and succeed Gwyn as the fuel that can take the world back to its glory, at least for a while longer. It might not always be wise to trust the gods, though, especially since the truth is a rare commodity in a dying world.

Embrace the Age of Dark

If the player decides to go off of the path laid before them, they can find a second Primordial Serpent, Darkstalker Kaathe. Kaathe tells a different story about the gods and the Age of Fire. The First Flame is indeed fading, but what Gwyn fears the most is losing power. While the Lords found powerful Souls in the First Flame, so did the Furtive Pygmy. The Pygmy found a Dark Soul, and instead of hoarding its power, he decided to share it with all his descendants. His people, humans, carry shards of the Dark Soul inside them, energy called Humanity.

When Dark replaced Fire, humans rose to power, and Gwyn felt that he lost control. That’s why he sacrificed himself to the flames, to keep the source of the gods’ power burning and stop humanity from taking its rightful place as the rulers of the world. To ensure his dream would never die, Gwyn created the legend of the Chosen Undead so that humans, desperate to prevent themselves from becoming hollow undead, would fight to get to the Kiln of the First Flame.

There is no Chosen Undead; Gwyn only needed people stubborn enough to keep fighting until they became more powerful than the Lords of the past. A Soul as powerful as this would burn a long time and keep the Age of Fire going on for centuries still. In other words, Gwyn created a fake prophecy to lead naive undead to fight until they become strong enough to be sacrificed to the First Flame. Undeads died while trying to prove they were the Chosen One, but Gwyn only needed one to be victorious.

Gwyn used his power to create a fable that would last long after his death, and in doing so, he prevented the rise of the Dark Lord, a human who could lead humanity to power. Not everything is lost, though, as you can claim the strength of the Souls of Lords to kill Gwyn. However, instead of sacrificing yourself to the flame, you can just turn your back and let it fade away while taking your rightful place as the Dark Lord of humanity.

While the sequels would once again explore the cycle of the First Flame, Dark Souls lay the foundations to understanding the entire franchise, and without knowing what each ending means, we cannot dig deeper into its complex universe. You can either believe the gods or turn your back on them: Dark Souls endings reflect the player’s choice of following the rules or making their own path. While putting the story together is a challenge in itself, Dark Souls lore is incredibly deep and reflects philosophical questions with which we struggle in real life. With that knowledge in hand, it’s now time to play another run of Dark Souls, this time knowing exactly why you are killing those powerful beings.

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