Dark Souls: The Age of Fire is a comic set in the Dark Souls universe, written by Ryan OSullivan, and illustrated by Anton Kokarev. Unlike previous series outings in the comic genre, who seemingly had almost no connections to the games, Age of Fire is the complete opposite, being an Origin Story of sorts, detailing the backstories of famous characters form the games, such as Knight Artorias the Abyss Walker, and even the first Lord of Cinder himself, Gwyn. The comic begins during the final days of the horrific Dragon War during the Age of Fog, and continues on into the dawn of the Age of Fire, when Gwyn ruled from Anor Londo.
In a world where ancient Lords wield god-like powers and Everlasting Dragons soar the skies, what place is there for mortal men? Join Silver Knight Arkon, a powerful warrior in Lord Gwyn's army, on a quest for redemption and survival, as we journey to age before the undead curse blighted the land of Lordran.
The first issue is set to be released on May 23rd, two days before Dark Souls: Remastered comes out.
Tropes present in Dark Souls: Age of Fire:
- Adaptational Villainy: Downplayed with Seath the Scaleless. In the games, Seath was evil without a doubt, but at the very least, his worst crime—the mass kidnappings of women for torturous experiments—didn't happen until after he went crazy, so he couldn't fully be held accountable for it. Here, he's doing it right out of the box, and he expressly doesn't care about humanity or the gods at all (compared to the games, where his relationship with the two is unexplored).
- Big Damn Heroes: Gwyn saves the protagonist, Arkon's, life, just as he's about to be consumed by roaring flames.
- Artorias has two moments so far, saving Arkon from a dragon and saving the remnants of Gywn's army in New Londo.
- Black Knight: The Silver Knights sent into Izalith are burned by its flames and become the familiar Black Knights.
- Arkon is turned into one at the end of Issue 2.
- Canon Character All Along: Arkon becomes the Black Knight encountered in the Undead Asylum. The series ends with him being defeated by the Chosen Undead.
- Canon Immigrant: Garl Vinland himself from Demon Souls fame is canonised in the Dark Souls universe as a knight within Gywn's Legion.
- Call-Back: Many to the original Dark Souls.
- Call-Forward: When discussing Knight Artorias, the narration notes that he has 'a destiny touch'd by inevitable dark', alluding to his ultimate fate.
- Classical Anti-Hero: Arkon freezes up when a dragon burns his fellow knights to death during the Dragon War and only survives because Artorias kills the beast. His shame at surviving and being credited with Artorias' victory is a defining aspect of his character. The narrator outright states that Akron is not the hero of this story even though he is its protagonist.
- Diagonal Cut: Artorias beheads a dragon this way during the Dragon War.
- Downer Ending: It's a prequel to Dark Souls. Arkon himself ultimately ends up just another foe whom the Chosen Undead cuts down.
- The other characters don't fare much better. Arkon finds Gwyn's ashes in the Kiln after he burned himself, Artorias is last seen on his way to Oolacile, and Dragon Knight Gravis loses her helmet while fighting Liste, revealing that she is undead.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Arkon was credited for Artorias' slaying of a dragon by Gwyn and named "The Dragon-Killer". Arkon is ashamed of this and accepted the moniker not as an honor but as a reminder of his failure.
- Front Line General: Gwyn is shown to be leading his Silver Knight Cohorts against the Dragons from the very front.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: All of the trials and travails of Arkon just lead to him being another enemy killed by the Chosen Undead, who never even learns anything about him before continuing onward.
- Hate Sink: Nobody likes or trusts Seath the Scaleless, and for good reason.
- The Hero Dies: Arkon's fate is to be just another Black Knight whom the Chosen Undead defeats.
- It's All About Me: Seath doesn't care one bit about the Undead Curse or the waning of The Age of Fire. All he cares about is his own research.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Executioner Wurdow dismisses undead as unworthy of living, and is all around a bit of a jerk, but he still cares about his friend Gravis, letting some undead escape as a distraction so she can get away.
- Not Me This Time: Seath the Scaleless' reputation as a treacherous scheming monster as well as the (truthful) accusations that he's kidnapping women lead to some accusing Seath of being responsible for the Undead Curse. Seath is engaged in truly depraved and mad experiments, but he has nothing to do with the Undead Curse.
- Person of Mass Destruction: We finally see Lord Gwyn unleashed and in his prime, in which he's able to fell scores of dragons by summoning an utterly massive lighting storm, as he levitates into the sky.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Liste. Unfortunately, Seath is so thoroughly engrossed in his research he finds Liste's involvement in Lordran thoroughly annoying, and ultimately gets fed up with his attempts at securing power (even if it's ostensibly on the dragon's own interest) he just grabs Liste and transforms him into a massive crystal monstrosity so he can go back to his research unmolested.
- Red Shirt Army: The Silver Knights don't fare well against the Dragons at all.
- The Reveal: Arkon turns out to be the Black Knight encountered in the Undead Asylum.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Wurdow mentions offhandedly that Liste is rounding up Undead and placing them in an Asylum, implying that he may have started the tradition that eventually got the Chosen Undead stuck in their cell, where they would be freed by Oscar and go on to become what they are in the game.
- Think Nothing of It: Though his motive for it is unclear, Artorias shrugs off Arkon's thanks for saving him from a dragon and allows Arkon to receive credit for the kill from Gwyn.
- Unwanted Assistance: Liste keeps working behind the scenes to increase or cement his master Seath's power... who's fed up with Liste's little power plays and transforms his devoted servant into a giant crystal abomination so he can go back to his experiments.
- War Is Hell: We actually get see what it was like for the Silver Knights to face the Everlasting Dragons, and we learn Hawkeye Gough wasn't exaggerating at all when he said they were utterly terrifying opponents, with scores of Silver Knights being roasted alive by Dragon flame (and it's shown in fully, grisly detail), as they scream out in pure agony.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: The entire series leads up to Arkon just being one of many foes the Chosen Undead kills without learning anything about him.
- Word of Dante: Despite what most people think, the comics have strictly unknown canonicity, for while Bandai Namco did license all of the comics, FromSoftware (Miyazaki included) has remained silent on the matter. In fact, the examples below conflict with previous statements by the developers of Dark Souls - as it has been stated multiple times that Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are entirely separate works.
- Albeit with the case of Garl, it could just be like what Patches is in relations to both works, a Shout-Out and a Recurring Element. It should also be noted the story, from the start, is presented as a legend by the narrator, something that might have a grain of truth, but may also be a total lie in the universe, it's impossible to know.