Starting from January 2018, I have played through Dark Souls, the first part in a trilogy of games that are known for their excellent continuous open world level design and unforgiving learning curve. It focuses most of its attention on single player mode in which some multiplayer elements are always present. Players can send each other messages in the form of orange glowing script on the ground, they may summon each other for help and can invade each other's worlds for an element of pvp.

The Dark Souls lore is not obvious unless you seek it out. Its story is told mainly through item descriptions, npc dialogue and the cutscenes. The series has been an inspiration for other games to the point where 'souls-like' is now considered a genre of its own.

"Dark Souls is a game that broke away from the traditional, modern game industry for everything that it was and wasn’t doing."

-- Matthew Byrd, denofgeek.com

The platform I played Dark Souls on is Xbox One, which is fed into a Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro 4K capture card on my Debian Linux PC. That source is captured by OBS, broadcast to Mixer and then referred to Twitch via Streamex.

Since finishing Dark Souls, I have now started playing Dark Souls III and plan on playing Dark Souls II after that. The reason I will play the games in that order is due to the storyline progression, which is a bit more obvious between these two games. It's great being able to take advantage of the 20/20 hindsight of the souls community!

"Dark Souls is excellent at molding you into the kind of player that you need to be to beat it. Paradoxically, the more experienced you are with games in general, the harder it is to make those adaptations, since most people who have RPG and general gaming experience will come into the game with many preconceived notions and baggage. Dark Souls will make you check all of that at the door by the end of the real tutorial and will set you on your way to success if you but let yourself be taught."

-- CilantroGamer, veteran Dark Souls player

My playthrough was done mostly blind, although I did rarely allow tips from the community when I got stuck or discouraged and specifically asked for them. It has been very satisfying to figure things out on my own! My first experience with the Dark Souls trilogy lasted for 122 hours, spread out over a total of 203 days. I defeated Gwyn on 12 August, 2018.

You can watch the entire playthrough (43 videos) on Twitch. Use the boss portraits at the top of this page to watch videos of my experience with each boss, as well as read some of my thoughts on the fights. Use the playlist below to watch them all without reading any additional information.

Dark Souls: memorable moments

26 videos, duration 02:06:27

Developer: FromSoftware, inc.
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Released: September 22, 2011
Genre: Action role-playing