These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Dark Souls
This page is full of unmarked SPOILERS, being a game literally built upon Story Bread Crumbs.
Likewise, Kaathe is either being honest about his intention to serve mankind by ushering in the Age of Dark, or he's being every bit as deceitful as Frampt and is pushing his own agenda forward. Either way, as the patron of the Darkwraith covenant, he's utilizing some very violent and shady methods.
In the Dark Lord ending, both Frampt and Kaathe pledge to serve you. Does this mean that they were always working together to play both sides, or are the both simply looking out for themselves and siding with the most powerful being nearby?
Gwyndolin gets hit with this pretty hard. Is he the true villain of the game who drove away the other gods so he could rule Anor Londo himself? Is his desire to continue the Age of Fire at the expense of the player make him the ultimate enemy of mankind? Is he a fiend who uses deception to rule and manipulate others merely to benefit himself? Is he a pragmatist who is aware of how disastrous the coming darkness will be for everyone, not just the gods and realizes that some sacrifices must be made? Is his status as the last deity in Anor Londo not something he actually intended? Is his use of the illusory Gwynevere a sign of vulnerability rather than manipulation? Is he secretly Velka, the black haired witch goddes of sin?
Griggs is unambiguously a spy for Vinheim. Is he really the Nice Guy he appears to be?
Kirk of Thorns, after it was revealed that he's in the Chaos Servant covenant. Speculation as to why a notorious Darkwraith would have such allegiances tends to paint him a little more sympathetically.
Gwyn. Is he a Well-Intentioned Extremist who did everything he could to keep a great(er) evil at bay, a Jerkass God who ordered and/or endorsed a number of horrible things to delay the inevitable waning of his powers, or is he something in between? At the very least, the personal sacrifices he's willing to make suggest that whatever his agenda is, he's a true believer.
Alvina of Darkroot Wood. Is she an old, vengeful cat spirit selfishly guarding Artorias's grave from "defilers"? Or is she, in claiming that traversing the Abyss is a fairy tale (which is a lie), trying to prevent anyone else from suffering Artorias's fate, which she was witness to?
Miyazaki was disappointed with how cheap the fight against Gwyn, Lord of Cinder turned out. It was originally supposed to thoroughly challenge/test whatever character build and playing style you had developed throughout the game. Instead, Gwyn can be easily beaten by any build capable of parrying and riposting, or, due to a programming error, be forced to constantly dodge repeated use of Great Combustion pyromancies.
The towering Ceaseless Discharge, which can be taunted into falling off a cliff, with only a few hits from your sword necessary to serve as 'encouragement'.
The Bed of Chaos hits like a ton of bricks and has a ridiculous number of cheap tricks (bottomless pits, lakes of fire, et cetera), but there's nevertheless much grumbling about any endgame foe that can and should be killed in three hits.
Seath the Scaleless, the inventor of sorcery and its greatest practitioner (not to mention the last living dragon) should be a hellaciously difficult foe, right? Wrong. He's blind and immobile, only capable of pivoting on the spot, which is a serious problem thanks to the blind spot that none of his attacks can reach on his left flank.
Breather Boss: While a fair number of the bosses are relatively simple once you know the tricks to handle them, some are even simpler.
Pinwheel. You're (technically) supposed to face him once you obtain the Lordvessel, but he has low health (only about 100 more than the second boss of the game), he only has a handful of attacks that are easy to spot and dodge, and he's cripplingly weak to melee attacks. Nearly every Dark Souls board agrees that he's a total joke.
The Gaping Dragon in the Depths is a bit of a breather after the Wake-Up Call Boss that is the Capra Demon. The Gaping Dragon's patterns are lengthy, relatively easy to dodge, and there's two NPC summon signs before the boss room. Just don't get grabbed by it or have it jump on top of you...
Sif is pretty easy after the difficult Dual Boss of Smough and Ornstein, being a pretty straightforward boss with a short walk from a safe bonfire. If you wait to do New Londo until even later in the game (instead of immediately after Anor Londo), he becomes even more simple.
Both Quelaag and the Iron Giant have NPC summons that make the bosses much simpler hidden near their fog gates. The Moonlight Butterfly is likewise easy for an NPC summon to take out solo, but finding that particular sign can be a Guide Dang It.
Seath the Scaleless is ridiculously easy to kill for a Lord Soul bearer once you fight him for real - he has a blind spot next to his leftmost tail (the one on your right) which none of his attacks can reach, letting any character, ranged or melee, dish out the hurt with impunity provided they turn as he does.
Broken Base: Caused by the recently announced sequel. Particular points include that it's not being directed by Miyazaki, was announced at the Spike VGAs and that certain interviews note the game is being made with "accessibility" and a "broader audience" in mind. note In most cases with videogames, this has meant dumbing things way down to attract the "casual" audienceHowever with the new Gameplay video that premiered on IGN, the gameplay looks largely intact.
Now that it's post-release, it's clear that the fear was unnecessary, as the game is often considered anywhere from almost as good to even better than the original.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: New players who rely exclusively on the Drake Sword tend to fall victim to this. The Drake Sword's high physical damage will shred through the first few areas, but the Snake Men that infest Sen's Fortress can shrug off most physical damage. If they're particularly inattentive, they might not even notice as it is rapidly outpaced by other weapons, since it gains no benefit from any of your stats.
Disappointing Last Level: The game's final three areas, the Tomb of the Giants, Lost Izalith, and the Crystal Caves have a very apparent dip in quality and are all very gimmicky and, compared to some of the game's other zones, are very linear.
The Tomb of the Giants is pitch black, filled to the brim with instant kill pitfalls as well as some of the nastiest enemies in the game. The darkness can be alleviated with a special shield, helmet, or spell, but none of them are something first time players will have found reliably.
The Crystal Caves is extremely short area with just a few invisible bridges (some of which actually bend). It is very empty, and very gimmicky. Fortunately, it's just a capper on the Duke's Archives area, so it isn't a "waste" of a level so much as it is a bothersome little extra.
Lost Izalith has the same elite enemy, one that is nasty as hell for melee players, placed 30 times through out the zone. You're likely to spend hours here just chipping away at them from a high area with arrows. The patch that reduced enemy aggro ranges made them much less problematic.
Siegmeier of Catarina is probably the most popular character in the game due to his funny-looking armor, very laid-back attitude, and friendly demeanor.
Solaire of Astora qualifies as well. His ceaseless desire to find his personal "sun" as well as his ability to help you in a number of difficult fights up to and including the Final Boss have made him pretty popular. He's even gotten himself the nickname of Brolaire, and players who join his covenant, the Warrior Of Sunlight, nickname themselves Sunbros. He is SO popular that there's a covenant in Dark Souls II that is descended from his, and the fans still call the members of the covenant Sunbros.
Priscilla, who despite having only half a dozen lines and difficult to reach in the first place, is very popular with the fanbase.
The 'Great Grey Wolf Sif; Despite having no talking lines, and the only interaction with the player is trying to kill them, he is still a very popular character. This is helped by the fact he's cool Noble Wolf, wields a BFS (in his mouth), and more or less breaks the Rule of Cool 'o meter. The fact that his death feels like somewhat of Player Punch is also a factor. It's made even worse after the "Artorias of the Abyss" DLC, where you can find him as a pup and even summon him in the final fight - and if you do, the cutscene for meeting him in the present has him recognize the player; he still takes up his sword anyways to protect his master's grave, however.
Even Better Sequel: Dark Souls added Metroidvania style world design, helping give the game a sense of scale and scope that was impossible with Demons SoulsHub Level and level select design, the more concise and densely packed level design, the huge increase in weapons, spells and armor, enemies and bosses as well as adding covenants which added unique flavor to online gameplay.
Funnily enough, you can find fire variants of these attack dogs in Blightown!
God Damned Boss: Gwyndolin is this. He has relatively low health and fairly predictable attacks but the fact that he teleports out of reach every time you get close can make fighting him a frustrating experience nonetheless, especially as a melee-oriented character.
Shooting the Hellkite Dragon (the red drake in the Undead Parish/Burg) in the right spot causes it to jump off its perch and fall down the bridge. Apparently that counts as a Bottomless Pit, so he ends up killing himself and gives you 10,000 souls.
The Bottomless Box glitch. Which allows you to dupe as many items as you want from an existing character onto a new character. There are some things you can't put in the box, and thus cannot dupe (spells, keys), but giving a new character a +5 Lightning Weapon, a fully upgraded armor set, any rings you want and a +5 Ascended Pyromancy Flame will make your character a weapon of mass destruction. Fans of the glitch state that it makes alts much easier and more fun since you can start off with the build you want, rather than have to wait until near the end of the game to pick up some item that happens to be in one of the final levels. Those that dislike the glitch state that it allows for much easier low level griefing and it's cheating. It was patched as of Update 1.06, so it's a moot point either way.
The Hydra residing in the Ash Lake can be goaded into setting foot on land if you approach it from the Everlasting Dragon's bonfire. This in turn kills it instantly, removing the need to even fight it.
For some strange reason, Gwyn, Lord of Cinder will constantly dodge you if you keep spamming Great Combustion or Black Flame pyromancies, making the fight easy even on New Game+7 and eschewing the need to even parry him.
Hilarious in Hindsight: One Urban Legend of Zelda that went around near the beginning of the game's release was that Alvina would eventually request the Player Character to go kill Sif because she did not trust him. In the new content that was added a year later, she guides you to the area where Sif is hidden, presumably so you can rescue him, and proving that they were never enemies to begin with.
Holy Shit Quotient: The more you learn about Dark Souls's lore, the grittier things get. This reaches an all-time high in Artorias of the Abyss, where the true antagonist of the series rears its ugly head and exposes some the darkest truths in the game.
Disconnecting your game in order to prevent yourself from being invaded is a hot topic in the community. The people that do so are often called cheaters by the invaders for depriving them of their kill. DC's maintain they do it because they aren't interested in PvP and would like to experience the online features of the game or kindle bonfires without needing to return to hollow form (not that there's any penalty to being hollow other than being able to summon helpers). Any type of middle ground on this issue is made with either annoyance or spite from all parties involved, so the only other option you can take on this matter besides agreeing with one side is not caring about it in the first place.
Modded save files. While some claim that they're useful for bringing character builds up to speed to a desired level (this is especially true for players who have finished the game repeatedly with different character files and often don't find the time to grind all the way to a viable PvP level), there is an absurd amount of abuse with them, often in the form of massive health pool in the five digits (in a game where you can have at max 2600 or so without mods) and thus making them Nigh Invulnerable save for pushing them off a cliff, infinite stamina and infinite spellcasting, and it crops very frequently while playing online, almost to the point of invaders coming in prepared for countering such abuse or even cheating themselves.
Ganking, i.e. awaiting incoming invaders with up to two allied phantoms (usually summoned ones, but other invaders can be this, too), which often stacks the odds against the invading phantom since it becomes 2v1 or 3v1, not counting the enemy NPCs still present host's world. While this makes all the more easier for the host and his allies to farm souls and humanity, this gets a seriously massive amount of hate among players who are more often than not subjected to this mild form of abuse.
Memetic Molester: Manus, the Father of the Abyss. It's canon that he dragged you and Chester into the DLC area with his hand, and, if the fandom is to be believed, his badtouch got to Dusk of Oolacile big time, setting up Queen Nashandra in the following game, whose human form looks very much like Dusk, and his corpse's dissipation created even more abominable spawns like the Darklurker and the three Children of Dark found in the Lost Crowns Trilogy.
Everyone wants Priscilla to be their waifu; must be that fluffy tail. Fanon further elevates this by claiming that the Painted World of Ariamis is just one big chastity belt, and those impaled corpses you find at the beginning of the area are "waifufags" who failed the test.
The alarm the serpent-men hit when you escape from the prison in the Duke's Archives. It's not unheard of for invaders to run over to the alarm, turn it, and Black Crystal out of the world.
The archtree carvings from the Downloadable Content. Using it once to state your expression is as decent as any other gesture, but spamming it repeatedly can get on the nerves of most online players.
Narm Charm: The original text that appears when killing bosses, "You Defeated". While it has been since changed to "Victory Achieved" in the Updated Re-release, it's still present in some console versions.
The Four Kings battle is this for some. You have to battle them in the Abyss, a dimension of pure blackness with nothing but you and the Kings. Its hard to judge distance or if you're even moving at all. For extra fun, try playing this fight right in front of a large TV in a pitch black room so that you can't tell where the edges of the screen are.
Then you have the Depths, a disgusting sewer with pus seeping out of the walls and Blighttown, a vile, disease and filth ridden swamp. The first chamber of the Catacombs is filled with thousands of insects and you can hear them crawling around the room.
New Londo, once you've drained the water from it. The sheer number of bodies lying on the ground is just sickening...
Paranoia Fuel: Simply playing in human form is this since you can be invaded at any time, anywhere (save a few rare safe areas and areas where you have killed the boss). It gets even worse when the invasion message pops up, because you don't know where the invader is; you just know he's lurking somewhere.
If the player has the Old Witch's Ring, every single line of Quelaag's sisteris like a laser-guided guilt missile. Even worse is if you kill her for her Fire Keeper's Soul, she thinks her beloved sister just murdered her for no reason. Eingyi calls you a monster, and it's kinda hard to disagree with him.
Were you hoping that befriending Sif in the past would allow you to avoid killing him in the present? Well, you can't, and the thing is, he actually recognizes you, but you must kill him anyway becuase letting you past without a fight would mean betraying his oath.
The thing that makes most of these punches all the worse? There's often no warning. You'll be walking along a shadowed path, and suddenly a NPC who you were just talking jovially with half an hour ago will suddenly lurch out of the shadows, swinging a weapon at your head. No warning, no dialogue, no buildup....and it is entirely possible that you could cut down that character and not realize who you just killed until a few moments after they're already dead.
Play the Game, Skip the Story: There are more than enough players who are content to just kill things, get souls, buy stuff and other crazy things with not a care in the world for the story or characters.
PolishedPorting Disaster: The PC version, Dark Souls: Prepare to Die, is both of these. It's polished in that it comes out of the box with new content - it's disastrous in that you need to download a fanmade patch to support additional resolutions, it effectively requires a gamepad to play, and the fact that it uses Games For Windows Live. The developers later admitted that the port was "half-assed", and that the sequel will have a much better PC version, due to it being developed in-tandem with the console versions.
Scrappy Mechanic: The matchmaking system, returning from Demons Souls. Unlike a lot of multiplayer games which use a dedicated server for the players to play on, this one uses a peer-to-peer (or P2P) connection, which can badly hurt players who face frequent internet connection issues. It's also not unheard of to spend a good half hour or even more trying to search for one of your friends who are in the same area and level range, and NOT being able to summon them at all, despite having met all the requirements to summon one another.
Scrub: The punishment for death in this game, whether in PvE or PvP, causes a lot of friction during online interactions whenever a player sees a particular armor or weapon type, especially when it's being used in a way they perceive as unfair. Made even worse by the abundance of gamebreakers in the game.
Serial Numbers Filed Off: Let's face it, this game isDemon's Souls 2. Same interface, same leveling system, same gameplay, same voice acting... they just changed the title a bit so they can claim it as an independent IP from the one that Sony holds the rights to.
So Cool Its Awesome: In the same vein as its supposed rivalSkyrim, Dark Souls remains incredibly popular on all platforms to this date, even when more recent AAA titles have started to decline past their usual life expectancy. And a large number of fans are already getting hyped up for the March 2014 release of its sequel.
That One Achievement: Notably averted compared to Demons Souls. There is nothing compared to the random drop insanity of Demon's Souls Pure Bladestone requirement.
The Basilisk's curse cloud. It kills you instantly, and places a curse on you that permanently removes half of your health with the exception of a few difficult ways you can remove the curse. This effect also stacks.
How difficult is curing a curse? There are three ways; be wearing a Rare Ring of Sacrifice when you are cursed, visit Ingward in New Londo Ruins, or use a Purging Stone. There's only four Rare Rings of Sacrifice in the game, planting them firmly in the Too Awesome to Use category. New Londo Ruins is rather out of the way, and is lousy with horrendous Demonic Spiders that you really won't want to fight with only half health, and if you can make it to Ingward, he charges one humanity for curse removal. That leaves Purging Stones, which are sold by two merchants, Oswald of Carim and the Female Undead Merchant. Oswald sells five per playthrough, and the Female Undead charges 6,000 souls a piece. The easiest option, for those who have persevered and discovered either of the two areas where they appear, is to farm the from man-eating clams.
The Four Kings' magic homing attack. They'll throw it at you when you're out of their melee range. It's hard hitting, can be spammed by any of the Four Kings (even when you can't see them spam it) and worse of all is extremely hard to dodge and block due to difficulties with depth perception in the horizonless Abyss.
The Bed of Chaos's firestorm attack, which involve firing flame pillars throughout the ground. Not only do these really hurt but they can also launch you into the air, leaving you open for more attacks, or worse, into the Bottomless Pit the boss creates throughout the fight. This attack can even hit you when your running across her branches. Fortunately this attack only starts happening during the last third of the fight.
Both Artorias and Manus from the DLC have their own variants as well. Artorias is already a hellish fight, with his attacks blowing through all but the most sturdy guards and him being incredibly aggressive, but his one attack comes from when he's gotten too far from the player: he'll crouch for a moment, before launching himself across the arena at high speeds with a downward swing that can break through any guard and deal very high damage. It's not so bad for lightweight players who can potentially dodge it, but ones using heavy equipment have virtually no way of avoiding it besides staying right up against Artorias to keep him from using it at all. Manus on the other hand will shower you with multiples flurries of Abyss spells if he's not relentlessly attacking you with melee moves (one of which is a downright nasty combo that stunlocks you easily, preventing you from escaping the full damage of the attack). With the right equipment (and pendant) they can be resisted, but there is little to no opportunity to avoid them as Manus executes his moves really fast.
Black Dragon Kalameet's breath attacks drain your stamina very quickly, even if you have a high stability shield, and can sometime last long enough to break your guard and deal massive damage successively. And here you thought your Black Flame pyromancy was ridiculous...
Very nearly every enemy in the game has a potential That One Attack: From getting eaten by ents and getting pecked to death by Crow Demons, to being grabbed and drained several times in a row by The Four Kings, very few creatures in Dark Souls lack means to brutally murder the player as they helplessly watch their hard-earned souls vanish into the air.
That One Level: While the game's levels are certainly not a walk in the park, levels like Tomb of the Giants and Lost Izalith have gotten backlash from players due to being too dark or too bright respectively.
'That Part' of Anor Londo. Everyone who's played it knows what part 'That Part' is. To clarify, you have to run up a narrow walkway and go right across a very narrow ledge to get inside a massive cathedral. There's two Silver Knights, one on the left, one on the right, both firing Dragonslayer Greatbows at you. Dragonslayer Arrows are essentially javelins, and for pretty much anyone without insanely high poise, even blocking a Dragonslayer Arrow will push you off the walkway. Not only do you have to run up there, but you actually have to kill one of the Silver Knights to get past and get to a safe spot. While the other Silver Knight is still shooting at you.
An alternate method for dealing with them that's potentially more boring but safer involves poison arrows, a bow with good range, patience and a little luck. When you first come down to the first platform instead of going left, go to the railing on the right. Once standing as close to it as possible, equip your bow and poison arrows and enter first person view. From there you can take pot-shots at the archers without fear of reprisal (as they never aim high enough to actually hit you there) and keep shooting them (yes it will take a little practice to hit them at that distance, just keep trying and bring a lot of arrows) until you see their life bar pop up. Once that happens repeat for the other one and then wait. They'll die from the poison and you'll be able to cross without getting skewered. You'll still need to watch your footing though because if you die before you make it to the next bonfire you'll have to do it again.
Blight Town has gotten quite the nasty reputation, to the point that it's considered the point in the game where you either keep going or just give up and Rage Quit. Numerous annoying enemies, constant danger of falling off the narrow walkways, and enemies using attacks that knock the player back (almost always knocking them off a ledge) with hardly any bonfires AND it leads into some of the most annoying bosses in the game. There's a reason its Fan Nickname is Suck Town. And then, should you tolerate these flaws, there's the lag resulting from so many polygons in the scenery, which is bound to hamper your experience of the area drastically.
New Londo Ruins is full of ghosts, which can fly and pass through walls. And the game makes use of this to full effect, with ghosts popping out of the walls, floor, and ceiling to ambush you. This makes every bit of progress arduous as you have to constantly keep looking around for ambushes. They also love to reach through walls or float over pits while attacking, so you'll spend a lot of time maneuvering on very narrow walkways to draw them out. There's even a trio of ghosts which is smart enough to retreat instead of chasing you mindlessly. If you go here to get your curse removed, you're in for a world of hurt.
Getting some of the dragon tail weapons can be an absolute pain.
Want to get the Moonlight Greatsword? You'll have to cut Seath's tail. However, Seath has an infuriating habit of turning extremely fast, and if you DO get to his tail, you need to watch out for his tail slam attack, which he will perform just to spite you. On top of that, while almost every other boss tail has a clear area where it can be cut off, only the tip of Seath's tail will register the damage properly. It's possible to take off his entire health bar by just attacking what you thought was his tail, and still not obtain it.
Want to get Priscilla's Dagger? You'll have to cut Priscilla's tail first. However, she has relatively low health, and at the start of the battle, she will go invisible, and needs to be staggered before she can be visible again. This can result in you lowering her health too low to actually get the dagger before killing her.
Want to get the Obsidian Greatsword? Good luck, because you'll need to cut off Kalameet's tail. You'll quickly discover that there are almost no openings to strike his tail, and the only two that are require you to prolong the fight for a painfully long time waiting for him to attack you in three very specific ways, two of which require you to get right next to him as he's doing extremely high-damaging attacks. You can't shoot at it with a bow because Kalameet is facing you nine times out of ten, and any magic you throw at it is nearly guaranteed to miss. The only solution is to summon phantoms, that way somebody is able to unload on the tail while the boss is paying attention to someone else.
Want to get Souvenirs of Reprisal or Dragon Scales in order to progress in the Blades of Darkmoon or Path of the Dragon covenants respectively without having to actively invade people online? Good luck, because both items are dropped at an absurdly low rate by Demonic Spiders who often fight in packs, have insanely high health and have a relatively unpredictable A.I. pattern.
Viewer Gender Confusion: Despite his willowy appearance, androgynous voice, distinctly female name, and tits, Dark Sun Gwyndolin is confirmed in the flavor text of several items to be male.
Sif is also a mild case, as none of the descriptions of the items concerning the wolf and its fallen master Artorias ever allude to its gender other than its name, which is that of a Norse goddess.
Pharis. The description Pharis' Hat refers to Pharis as male, yet closer examination of the archer who drops it (easily done if the player is a member of the Forest Hunter Covenant) reveals the character model to be female, leading to speculation that she is only using Pharis' equipment.
Ciaran before the Artorias of the Abyss expansion, since the English translation decided to omit any gendered pronouns when mentionin her in the Hornet Ring's description.