Dark Souls: Nightfall looks more like a sequel than a mod

The Dark Souls mod Nightfall.
(Image credit: From Software)

There's always a chance that upcoming mod or fan projects will never quite come together. It's a scene that's full of good intentions and great concept art. But Dark Souls: Nightfall has some pedigree behind it, boasting a big team of well-known Souls modders and data-divers, including Grimrukh, creator of the exceptional Daughters of Ash mod. And now there's a video showing 18 minutes of this hugely ambitious re-tooling of the game.

Dark Souls: Nightfall picks up where the original game ends (as with Daughters of Ash, this will be a mod for Dark Souls: Remastered), and if this opening is anything to go by, it'll take the player through the game's locations in roughly reverse order. Though it begins at the Undead Asylum, the original starting location, the player is soon dropped into the Kiln of the First Flame: the arena of the final boss fight, which we arrive just in time to catch the end of.

The mod's name, Nightfall, comes from your character being a hollow in a world where the Chosen Undead has picked the 'dark' ending of Dark Souls, and what happens in Lordran afterwards. The way it stitches this tale together from the Asylum to the Kiln is impressive, and as the video continues there's more re-use of samples and assets in clever ways.

Oh, and it has a day/night cycle.

There's some truly impressive stuff going on here beyond the re-use of environments, too, including a new twist on Souls combat. Nightfall has something like a 'stance' mechanic, whereby players can either play super-aggressive with quicker attacks, better dodges and a health regain system akin to that of Bloodborne, or play with slightly less offensive capability but the ability to heal. Switching between the two takes roughly the same amount of time as drinking an Estus, so it's a combat element that fits into boss fights in particular very well.

The dodge when in the aggressive mode is more of a warp-dash, which is not only omni-directional (in Dark Souls you can roll in four directions) but seems to be more-or-less invincible. This would render most normal Dark Souls enemies trivial but of course Nightfall has its own enemy set, constructed from the elements of the original game but more aggressive and with tricks you might not expect.

The video shows off a boss, the Blistering Demon, which demonstrates the kinds of things these modders are doing with the game. It's based on the Taurus Demon, the game's first real boss, but with the moveset made much quicker, enhanced by attacks from other enemies, and with one AoE attack that uses existing animations to make something completely new.

In addition to all this, Nightfall has its own storyline, items, and NPCs. The tone, and the voice acting, is spot on. You can tell that this project is coming from people who deeply love and understand the game they're working with.

There's no release date for Nightfall yet, but when it hits I'll be on it like a seagull on chips. If you're especially interested and want to follow development you can support its creators on Patreon here: Grimrukh, and Meowmaritus.

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."