[[caption-width-right:350:[[TagLine Prepare to Die.]]]]
->''"I remember the first time I died. Facing down my foe was to be expected. Even inevitable. Resurrected, my soul awoke and my battles were fought harder. Death became my friend. I remember the first time I died. But dying gets easier; it's how you die that leaves your mark. Prepare to die..." ''
-->-- ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bciLdZnU1Ag Dark Souls Hardcore Trailer]]''
''Dark Souls'' is the SpiritualSuccessor to ''[[VideoGame/DemonsSouls Demon's Souls]]'', developed by FROMSoftware and published by NamcoBandai.
In the Age of Ancients, the world was unformed, and shrouded by fog: a land of gray crags, arch-trees, and everlasting dragons. But then there was fire, and with it disparity: heat and cold, life and death, light and dark. From the dark came the four lords: Nito, the First of the Dead. The Witch of Izalith and her daughters of chaos. Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight, and his faithful knights. And the easily forgotten Furtive Pygmy. They brought an end to the dragons, and ushered in a golden age called the Age of Fire. But now the flames are fading. The world suffers through endless nights, and mysterious brands called the Darksign curse humans with eternal undeath. These immortal undead are doomed to eventual madness as they lose their humanity, and thus are locked away in an asylum in the north to await the end of the world.
Players take the role of one of these undead, as they break out of the Undead Asylum and begin a quest through the huge, non-linear world of Lordran to ring the twin Bells of Awakening, prophesied to reveal the fate and true purpose of the undead.
''Dark Souls'' features a weightier type of ActionRPG combat, encouraging players to learn enemy tells and draw out opponents one at a time. This goes double for bosses, who can kill players in only a few hits. There are over 20 weapon types, each with their own move sets. Weapon upgrades allow you to improve different stat bonuses to weapon damage, or add lightning / fire / magic / etc. damage instead.
Character classes do exist, but only determine starting equipment and stats. Builds are instead based on which stats you choose to level up and equipment you wear. Each point you put into a stat counts as a "Soul Level", which decides the level range of other players you can encounter online.
''Dark Souls'' reuses ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls''' unique online components. Examining bloodstains while playing online will replay the last ten seconds of another player's life, highlighting potential hazards. You can also leave messages on the ground about potential enemies, hazards and treasure (or to [[ForTheEvulz lure others into traps]]). Additionally, players in human form can summon two other players to help them. However, they can also be invaded and killed by others. By entering one of the game's nine covenants, players gain benefits to co-op play, invasion, hunting invaders, and so forth.
''Dark Souls'' is also [[NintendoHard hard]]. [[MemeticMutation Infamously]] hard. As the TagLine says, PrepareToDie. ''A lot.'' The game auto-saves every few seconds, so you live with the consequences of every single action you take.
''Dark Souls'' was released for PS3 and [[XBoxThreeSixty Xbox 360]] on September 22, 2011 in Japan and October 4 and 6, 2011 in North America and Europe. A PC port, ''[[UpdatedRerelease Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition]]'' was later released August 24th 2012. The PC port content was released for PS3 and Xbox360 as DLC named "Artorias of the Abyss" on October 23, 2012. On December 15th, 2014 FROMSoftware began the PC version's transition off of the now defunct Games for Windows Live platform in favor of upgrading to support Steamworks, allowing players to transfer their data and achievements in the process.
Has a sequel, ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII''.
!!The game provides examples of:
-> ''"Well, now you know... And I can die with hope in my heart."''