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Dark Souls NPCs with AI faces are, like, weirdly hunky

Solaire with an AI face.
(Image credit: Illusory Wall)

I love Dark Souls as much as the next red-blooded chosen undead, and of course the character of Solaire, but I have to say I've never really fancied him. Until that is the Souls YouTuber Illusory Wall decided to try that face-transmogrifying AI software that's been doing the rounds on its cast of NPCs.

The results are a lot more impressive than the Street Fighter faces you've probably seen, which I put down to Fromsoft's character creator being less exaggerated than most. These games' character creators are great because it's very hard to make one that doesn't 'fit' the world's aesthetic: you can do, of course, but it takes some effort. The characters are recognisably humanoid and, with an AI built to work magic on human faces, this meshes well.

You can watch the whole thing above (and incidentally if you're a Souls nut it's well worth checking out Illusory Wall's channel, which is full of fascinating deep dives), but let's pull out a few of the choicest AI facejobs.

(Image credit: Illusory Wall)

As you can see, Andre would have made for a great WWE wrestler, and not just because of the name. Some fun trivia about this character is he was at one stage intended to be Gwyn's firstborn son, toiling away in obscurity as a blacksmith.

(Image credit: Illusory Wall)

Oswald of Carim, the pardoner, is definitely one of the oddest sorts you encounter in Lordran: not bad, just odd. I'm getting slight Professor Snape vibes from his AI incarnation, though I'm not sure I'd say he looks like Alan Rickman.

Gwynevere from Dark Souls with a 'human' face.

(Image credit: Illusory Wall)

Gwynevere comes out looking like a cross between Buffy and Willow, and it really is striking with some of these how much like 'real' people they look.

Witch Beatrice looking a bit like Winona Ryder.

(Image credit: Illusory Wall)

Witch Beatrice has a vaguely Winona thing going on and, as one of my favourite NPCs in the game, absolutely deserves it. Dark Souls is incredibly vague about who Beatrice is and what she was ever doing in the world, but it's clear that she knew something about what Seathe was up to, and was capable of traversing the abyss.

The software being used to generate these images is STYLEClip: if you're interested, here's a primer on how to use it. The software seems to have been intended for people to mess around and turn our lovely human faces into AI monstrosities but, naturally, turning fictional characters 'real' has quickly become its raison d'etre.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."