The interconnected world of unofficial Dark Souls sequel Nightfall was just about finalized a whole year ago, but advances in modding tools led its creators to rebuild the whole thing

Dark Souls Remastered
(Image credit: From Software)

Breaking a year of near-silence on the project, Dark Souls: Nightfall lead Grimrukh has put out a 14-minute video update on the ambitious Dark Souls 1 fan sequel. The good news? They've really dialed in their modding tools to produce a version of their remixed DS1 world map that's simultaneously more ambitious and also technically cleaner, with less proverbial gum and tape holding it together behind the scenes. The bad news is that this required redoing a lot of work, and the project does not yet have a release date.

Nightfall is a mod we've had our eyes on for awhile: it's set just after the end of Dark Souls 1, with that familiar world having degraded and rearranged itself even more as the fires fade. It has a vibe of a Dark Souls ROM hack, with familiar areas stitched together in fresh ways while new bosses and NPCs await.

Building (and rebuilding) the world of Dark Souls: Nightfall - YouTube Building (and rebuilding) the world of Dark Souls: Nightfall - YouTube
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One of its coolest features is transformative weapon stances, like a katana that turns your boring dodge roll into a ninja flash step deal. Whatever the specifics of Nightfall's story and lore, the vibe of a suddenly unfamiliar Lordran with all-new encounters and surprises was enough to get us excited. A demo of the mod came out a mere month before Elden Ring's initial release in 2022, but the all-volunteer team working on the modder-unfriendly Dark Souls 1 has understandably needed time to dial things in. Progress sounded good in Grimrukh's last video a year ago, and then we didn't hear anything new until now.

The biggest news is an advancement in Dark Souls map editing, the Soulstruct tool for Blender, which lets the Nightfall team more easily move areas around in Dark Souls' famously interconnected world map. Previously, a delicate latticework of behind-the-scenes nodes and navmeshes had to be carefully catered to whenever they wanted to move something. Now, it's a much simpler process.

The upshot is that Nightfall's world can be more ambitious, interconnected, and surprising than before, with fewer compromises, loading screens, or rendering tricks to make up for Dark Souls' engine quirks. But this also meant redoing a lot of work that, as of the last update, was close to being finalized.

Better to do it right though, however long it takes, and it's still amazing that this remains a free, hobby project for the Nightfall team. We're pretty spoiled for new Souls experiences coming up too: in addition to Elden Ring's imminent expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree, there's also the Dark Souls 3 ROM hack-style unofficial sequel, Archthrones, which got a demo back in March

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Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.