Soulsborne sleuth Lance McDonald (opens in new tab) has returned to Lothric—this time with the suggestion Dark Souls 3 once planned a PvP battle royale multiplayer mode.
In his latest Dark Souls alpha cut content video, McDonald visits the third game's High Wall of Lothric area. He discovers three items absent from the final game—the Ceremony Sword of Darkness, the Ceremony Sword of Flame, and the Ceremony Sword Battle Royale Eclipse. In order to explain the latter, it makes sense to first look at the former.
Below, McDonald says the Sword of Darkness' description reads: "When used, perform a ceremony to envelope the world in darkness. For playable version, select this item to perform an eclipse ceremony". He explains the item can only be used in a specific context that he's unable to recreate in-game—but is able to work around it by changing a flag in the game's executable.
Doing so transports McDonald to a new, unseen version of the High Wall that's plunged into darkness. It's referred to in the game's data files as its 'Moonlight Ceremony' state.
McDonald says the Ceremony Sword of Flame's description reads: "When used, invade a world that has been enveloped in darkness. For playable version, select this item to perform an invasion ceremony." While he can't say for sure, McDonald suggests both swords would have allowed players to host and invade player-created moonlight ceremonies respectively.
McDonald then talks to a third item, the Ceremony Sword Battle Royale Eclipse. It comes with no description, but McDonald says it "may have been another way for players to engage in multiplayer events in moonlight ceremonies." He then explains that the term 'battle royale' has been used in the Souls series to describe multiplayer arena modes. He adds: "We might assume that Dark Souls 3's Moonlight Battle Royale Ceremony was an extension of the PvP arena concept."
All of which means Dark Souls 3's cut interpretation of battle royale probably wasn't the PUBG/Fortnite-flavoured, fight-to-the-death set up we're now so familiar with. We can dream though, right? (opens in new tab)
Other neat discoveries of McDonald's include the suggestion that Oceiros' baby wasn't always invisible (opens in new tab), and the idea that Pontiff Sulyvahn was once the final boss (opens in new tab).