Dark Souls 3 has been out for nearly a week now, and in that short space of time, it’s caused more combined anger and elation than any game in recent memory. As proof, I’ve assembled a slice of the best examples from the community so far. A few players get acquainted with the unforgiving enemies of Lothric, one exercises deceit under the guise of a familiar face, and another roleplays a box—a super deadly box.
If you’re a Dark Souls player, they’re worth watching for the solidarity. Knowing you’re not the only one to fall for that first Mimic might be the motivation you need to get back on the horse. If you’re not a Dark Souls player, well, if you can laugh at a person slipping on a banana peel then you’ll find plenty to like here. Dark Souls is essentially a game designed around accidental slapstick.
Shields up, Unkindled. The Axe Man cometh.
Life, Death, and Axes: Part One
This gif is a microcosm of the entire Dark Souls experience. It begins with the unlucky player reading a seemingly helpful message. "No dragon ahead," it says, and a gesturing spirit points ahead. Wow. That's the power of asynchronous cooperati—oh shit, nope. There's a dragon. The player stands there, paralyzed with indecision, possibly processing their recent betrayal, the futility of trust, love, life—but before they have time to consider a single rhetorical question, an axe man leaps from offscreen and answers them all at once with a swift death. Dark Souls!
Dark Souls 3 isn’t that bad
Never say this. Never say anything like it. Do not do as this player does (unless you film it for our entertainment). You might as well shout Macbeth in a Broadway theater. You might as well lather yourself in honey, go camping in Alaska, and tell yourself ‘bears are pretty chill, actually!’ You might as well hang upside down from the highest branch in a tall oak and say ‘gravity is easy!’ and let go.
One of Dark Souls' most memorable armor sets returns in Dark Souls 3—memorable for its thorny decoration that damages anything it comes into contact with during a dodge roll. Kirk, Knight of Thorns is back, and this time he's not alone.
A gang of bandits decked out in the armor is running amok in Lothric, repeatedly rolling into its citizens until they are dead. Keep your eyes peeled for a gang of ninjas while you're at it. They're committing an even more serious crime—one against anime.
Proof the the crimes were captured and assembled into the two montages above. The catchy tunes are a flourish too far for such a serious offense, but videos this important need as much reach as possible when trying to nab such prickly, sprightly perps.
I’ve never been chased through a swamp by a crowd of purple people, but Dark Souls 3 has finally made it a possibility. Watch what happens when an invasion goes exactly right.
Fly like an eagle. A limp, lifeless eagle
There really can be beauty in death, as illustrated by this particularly floaty Ashen One. You can actually repeatedly fly in a few of the boss battles. Just keep a happy thought in your head. So majestic.
The Catacombs probably aren’t the best place for a fair one-on-one duel, especially near the rickety rope bridge that dozens of skeletons give chase across every time. As a host, book it. As an invader, well, you know exactly what to do. Team up with your skeleton army and go find some bones to break. Not your own, of course.
A mound of tears
Move over Shakespeare, Dark Souls 3 is our new favorite playwright. Read on for this Reddit user’s tragic account of friendship, loss, and sacrifice as a Mound Maker. I’ll never trust a SunBro again.
I love this clip. The silent fury and confusion behind Cal’s avatar as he tosses fireballs with growing futility. Throwing fire at a massive stone door and expecting it to open? Yeah, that’s some real deal desperation. We’ve all been there, Cal. We believe in you, buddy.
Even though the most serious Dark Souls duelists believe in etiquette and honor, they still know when to watch their backs. Observe these two players engage in a common trust exercise while waiting for another duel to finish. I love watching a deadly friendship bloom.
‘Jolly’ cooperation with Patches
Through some careful character customization, a Mound Makers covenant allegiance, and the use of special ring that disguises your true nature, this creative Dark Souls player pulled off some deceptive online role-playing as the series’ most conniving character, Patches.
By using an item that turns the player into an environmental prop, these two players used an environmental video game trope to spring the perfect trap for an unwary invader. Now that’s some environmental storytelling! Right? No?
Life, Death, and Axes: Part Two
In Dark Souls, life always finds a way to end. There’s no outrunning the inevitable, and no clip better illustrates it than this one, featuring the return of an old friend. His appearance is quick though, so let us know if you spot the cameo.
Firelink Shrine relaxation station
Phew. What a ride. Before the pain kicks in, take a breather by this lovely pixelated interpretation of Firelink Shrine from Deviant Art user Zedotagger. What a view, eh? Once you’re feeling refreshed, steady yourself and carry on.