This being the third iteration of the highly challenging Dark Souls series, many have become familiar with the beloved phrase “Praise the Sun.” This mantra, bestowed upon the many hopeful by Knight Solaire has been a rallying call for many of From Software’s more devoted fans. But for many, there is more to life than just uttering a well-known catchphrase. The Unkindled must become one with the light in order to truly wash themselves clean of the looming darkness.
Sunbros live by the same code that brought Solaire into our lives all those years ago. Dark Souls III is not just another opportunity to die, but one to help others in need as we steer the nightmare towards something a bit more favorable. Instead of lurking around corners, Sunbros greet hostility with open arms and share nothing but honor and hope with those lucky enough to make their acquaintance.
With arms lifted high towards the morning sun, you are happiness incarnate in this pit of utter despair.
The Walking Fortress
Let’s state the obvious really quick: Dark Souls III is a difficult game. There are a vast number of ways in which this action RPG attempts to torment players at every turn. Transforming monsters, huge bosses, poisonous swamps, treasure chests that try to eat you (seriously), the list goes on. There is very little that players can do to steel themselves against the overbearing force of every single line of code trying to kill them. But, those that try usually do so with copious amounts of actual steel.
These players are knights of the highest order, pouring all of their souls into Strength, Vigor, and Vitality, or just Strength alone. One sure fire way to get through the horrors of Dark Souls III is to bash your way through it, and no class does that better than a knight with the power to one-shot nearly everything in its path.
These walking fortresses care little for the nuances of battle, rather they just want to smash everything into a bloody pulp and be able to live to tell the tale.
The Bloodborne Aficionado
Dark Souls III blessed us with its presence just under a year after Bloodborne. While Bloodborne isn’t exactly a Souls game, From Software made sure to include many elements of its prized franchise in order to provide a different take on the seemingly insurmountable challenge. Bloodborne offered a system where aggression and speed were rewarded over care and timidness.
Some fans enjoyed that so much that they seek to employ the same discipline to the much more challenging world of Dark Souls III. Instead of baiting and using patience to secure victory, these players go for high Endurance and Dexterity so that they can engage in a fantastic, high-speed dance with Dark Souls III’s most terrifying foes. Instead of blocking, they rely solely on swift dodges and parries to punish anyone in their path. Daggers and other throwable items are used to keep enemies off-balance. Style is definitely of the utmost importance.
This type lends itself well to intense dueling, with speed and aggression forcing inexperienced players to retreat nervously.
It isn’t easy to play this latest entry with a Bloodborne mindset, leaving these aficionados with a much-deserved pride in their skill set. It is definitely a sight to behold as the Hunters who survived the Nightmare step up to link the flame.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Dark Souls III tells you that you have to kill all of these bosses, but it lets you decide how you go about doing so. While there is a heavy focus on physical weapons and armor, magic is definitely a viable option. For most, magic is a good way to balance out your strategy. A simple spell here and there will keep enemies guessing as you plan your next physical onslaught. But then there are those who feel weapons are a bit too barbaric. Intelligence and faith are all that are required to triumph above any challenge.
Using powerful sorcery, miracles, and/or pyromancy, these players use magic to overcome any obstacle. Even if that obstacle happens to be you, another player. Devotion to one’s learning is all that matters, and they will stop at nothing to prove that weapons are little more than toys for the unlearned.
The Naked Maniac
Anyone can survive a battle when covered in leather, protected by steel, or wielding a powerful starting weapon. Okay, well maybe not anyone. As we’ve stated before, Dark Souls III is incredibly difficult. But there are those who feel the difficult needs a little extra oomph. Why provide those starting out as fresh Unkindled with anything to help them on their journey? Why not give them nothing but the skin on their backs and a club?
If you’ve had the same questions, playing naked is probably your true calling. This means starting with the Deprived class and no gifts. It’s just you and your wits, While the obvious advantage is a completely clean slate, allowing you to plan out whatever character type you want for your playthrough, there is another perk. You can brag to all of the unwashed masses about how you overcame one of the world’s toughest games with nothing more than the skin on your back.
Considering that most players struggle on the first boss with a full set of armor, that’s most certainly a bragging right to be proud of.
We’re not saying there’s a fight club in Dark Souls III. But, if there were to be one it, it would have a particular set of rules:
- The first rule is that you do not talk about fight club.
- The second rule is that you do not talk about fight club.
- The third rule is that only two people fight.
- The fourth rule is that there is no healing.
Hypothetically, if this club and set of rules existed, it would be organized by a hypothetical player who may or may not admire a certain hypothetical man hypothetically named Tyler Durden. That player would be a stickler for the rules listed above and live for nothing more than the thrill of the duel. Winning or losing is not important, but rather the act of being engaged in a battle of skill and wits.
We’re not saying that the player must also have a split personality that allows them to become fully immersed in this non-existent club, but it wouldn’t hurt.
Invaders exist to make your life hell. As if Dark Souls III wasn’t difficult enough, you now have these guys trying to kill you while you’re already engaged in combat. They come in, bow, then murder you, simple as that. They come in several types.
Everyone’s favorite type is the honorable duelist. They adhere to a strict code where battles are agreed to first, then no healing or dirty tricks are employed. Using open areas with no enemies to get in the way, they fight you one-on-one in the fairest way possible.
Then there’s the scoundrel. They will come in and wreck house. You’re in the middle of a fight? Too bad, they’ll jump in and stab you in the back. AFK for some reason? Prepare to come back to a “You Died” screen. You got the upper hand? Now they’re running into the center of a mob so they can heal. These add a bit of spice to the challenge of Dark Souls III.
The last type is an oddity. They live to mess with you. They won’t attack you directly, but they’ll stop at no end to annoy you. Rolling around, making noise, attracting attention. They’re funny, but if you pay too much attention to them you may end up forgetting that you’re actually moving through the most dangerous game out there.
Ever want to feel even worse about your utter lack of skill in Dark Souls III? Then watch a speedrun of the game. There you’ll get to witness a player not only own every aspect of the game, but do so faster than you can figure out how to beat a simple enemy without dying.
Some may say that speedrunners don’t take the time to appreciate all of the hard work put forth by From Software. But I have to say that it must be quite the contrary. In order to exhibit such skill and knowledge of the game’s many encounters, a person would have to completely invest themselves into the puzzle that is Dark Souls III.
Focusing on finding weaknesses, exploits, and opportunities, speedrunners leave nothing up to chance as they scan every element with eagle-eye accuracy. They are champions among warriors.
The player that does absolutely everything. It’s not about getting the Platinum Trophy or 1000 Gamerscore, it’s about mastering everything that From Software has built. Killing every boss, joining every covenant, rolling through every box, and collecting every single bauble are all part of the fun of Dark Souls.
There is no stone to be left unturned and no bit of story to be left undiscovered. Completionists are the lorekeepers of the universe, and their triumph of everything left in the darkness is truly worthy of admiration. Let us all aspire to triumph over the Lords of Cinder as these players have, as we struggle to get through the game even once.
This Game Is Too Easy
This particular player type is defined by any number of phrases that equate to Dark Souls III being too easy. Everyone has come across at least one, and there’s a slight chance that you, the reader, may find yourself a member of this exclusive group. Some players honestly believe that Dark Souls III is not only easy, but too easy.
These players are easily on NG+ 9 already, having triumphed over each boss in the game many times over, even as they’ve grown exponentially stronger with each restart. They’ve perfected their loadouts, and find joy in proving just how simple everything is, much to the chagrin of those still stuck on Iudex Grundyr. They dance about the challenges put in place without ever breaking a sweat. If only I could exhibit such poise during my encounter with the Pontiff Sulyvahn.
The game becoming easy is something many players aspire to achieve, so kudos to this lot. But please, stop rubbing salt in all of our wounds.