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  • Accidental Innuendo: Performing a critical attack on an enemy from behind is supposed to be you stabbing them In the Back, but the upwards motion of the stab and the fact most humanoid enemies are taller than your character (even the generic Hollows) can result in it looking like you're shoving your sword somewhere rude.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: All over the place, as is typical for the series.
    • The exact relationship of Aldrich and Sulyvahn is unclear. Depending on your interpretation of their balance of power, Sulyvahn may be a Psycho Supporter, a Dragon-in-Chief, or even The Starscream manipulating Aldrich for his own ends. Since we kill both of them immediately after meeting them, we'll never know.
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    • Yuria of Londor comes across as very sinister for wanting to end the First Flame for good and grooming you to become the Lord of Hollows, including having Anri killed so they can be your partner, but within the context of the game her goals are arguably sympathetic, and it's ambiguous as to whether the Age of Dark will be a good thing or a bad thing for humankind. On the one hand, it's supposed to free humanity from the cycle of Fire and Dark and release the "curse of mortality" that binds them; on the other hand, the actual ending shows everyone has become a near-identical, instinctively loyal Hollow who may be just as mindless as always... and there's no guarantee that the player, as the Lord of Hollows, isn't just a puppet for Yuria to further manipulate.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Yhorm the Giant has a predictable, simplistic moveset that is mostly quite easy dodge. His only boons are his tremendous health pool, his high damage resistance across most of his body, and the relatively small arena, but these are easily countered. If you take a moment to search the arena, you'll find the anti-giant sword Storm Ruler, whose Skill will stun him and deal massive damage. If you completed Siegward's sidequest, then he will assist you during the fight with a Storm Ruler of his own. While he does less damage than you would with Storm Ruler, he will stun Yhorm with it so often that you can still easily win with a normal weapon. The fact that the fight is a Call-Back to Demon's Souls does soften the blow a little, and some players attempting to kill him in one attempt rather than get the sword, die, and equip it back at the bonfire can find a challenge in juggling their inventory while trying to get away from him.
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    • The Ancient Wyvern. Another Call-Back to Demon's Souls, you spend most of the battle running away from the boss until you reach the right spot to kill it in one hit. The enemies along the way are arguably more of a threat than the boss itself. There is also a chance that it will fall down from the arena and die if you ignore it and go hunting the enemies in the area.
    • The Deacons of the Deep are arguably less of a threat than the regular encounters in the Cathedral, especially when you know what you're doing. However, they might become a legitimate threat to sorcerers with low health, the sheer amount of Deacons can eat up all your FP before you enter the second phase.
    • The Spear of the Church can turn into this if the player controlling him happens to suck. Even if the Spear is controlled by an AI, it's still basically just a 2 vs. 1 PvP fight.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
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    • While some Dark Souls II fans were pleasantly surprised to find more overt references to the game in The Ringed City including revisiting good ole Earthen Peak, several armor sets from the second game, and some more lore connections, the continued trend of Continuity Porn to the first Dark Souls and lack of important closure for lore introduced in II still disappoints other fans.
    • In the first game, Ornstein's set lacked the long red plume that its helm had when Ornstein himself wore it. Presumably this was due to technical limitations as many armors that had cloth physics when worn by enemies lacked them when worn by the player, the Silver Knight armor being the most dramatic example. In III, Ornstein's armor returned, yet still lacked the plume, despite other armors having proper cloth physics. Eventually however, they patched the armor and restored the plume, with Ornstein fans rejoicing.
  • Awesome Bosses: Some of the best in the series.
  • Awesome Music: As is tradition.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
  • Breather Boss: After the triple whammy of Sulyvahn, Aldrich and the Dancer, the Dragonslayer Armor is fairly easy by comparison, especially if you summon for him. Just don't use both the summon signs. On the other hand, if you resort to Sequence Breaking and fighting him early.
  • Broken Base:
    • The fact that the plot of this game relies so heavy on the first Dark Souls. While some people are happy and think it expands the universe using previously established lore, others think it feels cheap and doesn't bring anything new to the table in terms of the world. Another group—mostly belonging to the second camp—is quite unhappy that references and plot-points from Dark Souls II are few and far between, almost as if the second game never happened.
    • How the PvP, Covenants, and CO-OP of Dark Souls III compares to its predecessors is another area of contention. While some are satisfied with the online experience and mechanics, others find that the mechanics in previous Souls games, especially Dark Souls II, were superior (or, at the very least, less troubled).
    • The overall world design was met with mixed reception as well, with the game being seen by many as extremely linear compared to previous Souls games. Dark Souls opens up a great deal after Anor Londo, and Dark Souls II gives the player almost complete freedom to explore the world as they choose until slightly after the halfway point; by comparison, Dark Souls III has almost no branching paths. Others, however, believe the game makes up for this with its individual level design, which is generally less linear and more maze-like than in the first two games.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After two full games of endlessly killing fallen heroes, ancient lords and noble dragons, it's incredibly satisfying to finally get to go up against Pontiff Sulyvahn and Aldrich, two of the most despicable people to ever exist in the Dark Souls universe, and the two who deserve everything you give them more than any other.
    • In The Ringed City, there are three angels known for killing you rather easily while being at least mostly indestructible...until you find the hosts that can't fight back. Killing said hosts means that the angels disappear, and for good.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • There are a number of rings in the game which are considered pretty much mandatory for all builds, such as the Prisoner's Chain (increases Vigor, Endurance, and Vitality by 5—basically 15 free levels—at the cost of a paltry 4% loss in all defensive stats), Ring of Favor (the old DS 1 favourite that increases health, stamina, and maximum equip load), and the Chloranthy Ring (a series-long favourite that makes stamina regenerate faster). Magic users have it even worse, they have all of the above plus the Sage Ring (faster casting speed) and two rings that boost the damage of their chosen type of magic (sorcery, miracles, or pyromancy) by 15% and 25%. With only four ring slots, this means that magic users have to miss out on two of these rings, leading to some complaints.
    • Straight Swords and Rapiers dominated the PvP section of the game due to how poorly poise was ultimately implemented, making light attack spamming very powerful. The Refined Longsword in particular is extremely easy to make and almost unparalleled in DPS on a "quality" build.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Aldrich, Saint of the Deep and Devourer of Gods, was a cleric who founded the Church of the Deep and took to devouring the flesh of men for power. Turning to devouring the undead, Aldrich grew bloated and mutated into a hideous, slug-like being who continued to devour countless people alive, luxuriating in their screams. Eventually sacrificed to become a Lord of Cinder, Aldrich was revived and housed within the Cathedral of the Deep where he continued to have helpless people fed to him. In his most profane act, Aldrich devoured the god Gwyndolin slowly, keeping him in a state of unending agony. Not even children were safe from Aldrich, and only two, Anri and Horace, ever escaped the Devourer's hunger.
    • Pontiff Sulyvahn, the leader of the Church of the Deep and Aldrich's right-hand man and Psycho Supporter, was driven by jealousy and hatred towards the Gods and joined with Aldrich to exact his vengeance. Desiring power above all others after he discovered the Profaned Flame, Sulyvahn eliminated potential problems by forming the Outrider Knights and gifting them with rings that turned them into feral beasts with their minds twisted and destroyed, leaving nothing but rage. As the Pontiff of the Church of the Deep, Sulyvahn had Anor Londo devastated, with countless people rounded up to be fed to Aldrich, and even imprisoned Gwyndolin in the Cathedral to feed him to Aldrich. Unlike the majority of the series's villains, Sulyvahn is entirely sane and, driven by nothing more than hatred, cruelty, and an insatiable thirst for power, has no regard for who or what he must destroy.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • While Dark Souls III has been generally well-received, there isn't much of a consensus on how the game stacks up to its predecessors. On one hand, gripes about its lack of individuality, combat more reminiscent of Bloodborne than the other two Dark Souls games, and near-constant callbacks to ''Dark Souls'' are common. Praise, on the other hand, for its detailed world, balanced difficulty curve, numerous and varied bosses, and overall polish and cohesion is just as common.
    • To say nothing of the response to the DLC, with it ranging from people feeling it was the best send-off for the series to people feeling it inferior to previous DLC for a number of reasons. The inclusion of references to Dark Souls II, such as enemies and items from II being added or locations like the Earthen Peak being included in the Ringed City, made some of the DS2 fans who were previously upset for the lack of attention change their minds while others thought it was a token effort that didn't really add to the lore as much as admit that the game happened.
  • Crazy Awesome: Much like their founder Artorias, the Abyss Watchers have a thing for incorporating front flips and other odd displays of acrobatical skills into their swordsmanship—and they're all the more beloved for it.
    • The endgame and DLC weapons crank this up to comical levels. Many of the boss weapons become insane displays of flips and weapons swipes at impossible angles. Notable examples include Freide's Greatscythe, which causes the user to attack like the boss herself, flipping around and shooting out ice, the Demon's Scar, a falchion made of pure fire that can shoot pyromancies, and the Ringed Knight Paired Greatswords, which are two greatswords that cause the user to spin and flip around with a greatsword in each hand.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Locust Priests in The Ringed City, mainly for their cryptic, ominous dialogue.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The Jailers of the Irithyll Dungeon, of all the deadly things trying to kill you in Lothric, stand out due to their single worst trait: they literally cause your health bar to shrink by looking at you. This will take the bar to 10% of its total within six to eight seconds. You can't heal the damage until your health bar recovers, and it lasts at least twenty seconds. This gets exaggerated near the end of the Dungeon, as there's at least 12 patrolling the ground floor of the place.
    • The Lothric Knights. Both in the High Wall and Lothric Castle. If any enemy shows off the new and improved AI, it's them. For starters, they'll shield bash you if you get behind them and keep track of you very well. If you try to rush them, they can stunlock you to death before you get the first hit. There's also a second version that carries a greatshield and a spear, and those get all the qualities mentioned, plus the ability to hide behind their shields as they poke you to death. Did we mention this is one of the first enemies introduced in the game?
    • The Hollow Slave is an imp-like enemy that carries an axe, or Flamberge and are really great at appearing out of nowhere. They're annoying but manageable in the undead settlement but hit Demonic Spider status in the Cathedral of the Deep, often showing high up on ledges where falling to your death is a constant danger. They also love to ambush and dogpile you!
    • The Cathedral Knights are like Lothric Knights on crack. The greatsword ones are bad enough with their huge damage output and a delay between attacks that makes dodging a bit tricky plus a kick to break down your guard. The mace and greatshield ones are even worse however as they have not one but THREE different types of buff: one that reduces the damage they take, one that increases the damage they deal (and leaves glowing spots on the floor that explode after a while) and a heal spell. Nothing stops them from using all three at once and they'll almost always use at least one type of buff when they see you. On top of that they hit hard and have a incredibly fast shield-bash that will break your guard and open you up for their hard-hitting combos (again with a delay). They are also one of the first enemy whose guard you can't break by kicking just once. The only saving grace is that they are open to backstabs during their buffing animation.
    • Ringed Knights from The Ringed City DLC are Lightning Bruisers through and through. Aside from the fast sword, shield and spear combos Knight enemies are typically known for, these are capable of Souls of Cinder-like special moves, where they ignite their weapons and come at you with devastating attack sequences. The spear ones can shield bash you, while the sword variant has a shield that can breathe fire! The latter will occasionally attempt to obscure your vision with flames before suddenly leaping at you. Finally, they are often accompanied by other Knights or enemies.
    • The giant Elder Ghrus in Farron Keep have a nasty habit of hiding in the parts of the swamp where the muck is too thick to run away. Every single attack with the trees they carry creates a burst of flaming skulls, meaning there's no safe time to try stabbing them. And since being poisoned, getting hit by a magic tree and then getting hit by 15 magic skulls really hurts, they make it even easier to die in this hellhole.
    • In the same area (and later in The Demon Ruins) there's the Leaping Ghru. While their HP isn't too high, they can escape out of your stunlock and do one of two things—a highly damaging and fast jumping attack that they'll usually follow up with another one—either killing you or leaving you at low HP. The other one is even worse, as it's a running grab with huge range—they'll leap onto you and claw at your face, which apparently buffs them up. Oh, and once you're lying on the ground they'll probably start another grab as soon as you start getting up. Fortunately, they don't show up a lot, but when they do, be ready for a bad time.
      • Whats significant is that the first Leaping Ghru the player is likely to encounter is designed to catch you off-guard, not by creeping up on you but by playing off your arrogance. The first Leaping Ghru the player finds is static and has its back to the player, it looks no different from the easily managable standard ghru. If the Leaping Ghru surviving the players backstab doesn't tip you off to it being a stronger enemy, then its sudden brutally ferocious moveset will. Return visits to the Farren Keep tend to have players circle in the opposite direction...
    • Another swamp-only enemy is the Giant Crab—boatloads of HP, chained damaging attacks that knock you down, a ranged attack and a grab that'll literally squeeze the life out of you. They're also incredibly fast and have large aggro range. The icing on the cake is that once they lose a lot of HP they can burrow themselves into ground and come up at their spawn point with full HP. If you want to get that pyromancy-boosting ring, get ready for some frustration. You can face several more of them in the Smoldering lake, all of which have beefed up HP pools and damage, though they do lose the ability to burrow underground.
    • In Archdragon Peak, you can meet the giant Greataxe-wielding Snakemen. It's bad enough that their HP, damage and defense is high - they also are hard to stun and cannot be backstabbed. In fact they have a specific grab for those who are trying to backstab them. A rarer variant has a chain attached to the Greataxe and uses it to attack you from a distance, and the animation when they drag the axe back to them can also hit you. Oh and if you though you could hide from them to heal, forget it - the chain-axe clips through walls meaning they can hit you through them or even when you're standing above on a platform. To complete the package they are rarely met alone, usually accompanied by smaller faster snakemen - who are minor Demonic Spiders on their own - that can pelt you with homing fireballs while you're getting your ass handed to you by the big one. They do have a dazed state that allows you to riposte them but it requires either whittling their HP or just attacking them non-stop which is hard with their high poise and constant damaging attacks.
    • The Skeleton Swordsmen in the Catacombs of Carthus are absolute bastards to deal with. They're Lightning Bruisers to the core that can dash, sidestep, and teleport-roll as fast as Hunters in Bloodborne and hit like freight trains, all their weapons do some form of bleed damage, they often are equipped with Carthus Curved Swords that can get around your shield for Scratch Damage, they throw Kukris at range that do bleed damage and can stun-lock (as well as occasionally throwing out 3 at a time), and they have deceptively high health. Even worse is the fact that they are almost always encountered in pairs so that you have to worry about where one is while trying to kill the other. They're so bad that most people would prefer to deal with the Bonewheel Skeletons, the other skeletal Demonic Spider of the series, rather than try and take these walking Cuisinarts on.
    • The Pus of Man, a.k.a. those giant black gooey snake things that erupt out of certain rare Hollows. They have impressive health, as well as powerful and fast attacks with wide coverage that makes them near-impossible to dodge, and seemingly infinite stamina. The easiest way to deal with them is to kill their host before they manifest, but failing that, their only real weakness is to fire, which grants a roughly 1.5 second opening for you to do damage unimpeded before they start fighting back again. And in the Consumed King's Garden, there are three of them wandering around the same small area, which also includes a swamp that Toxifies you populated by poison-spitting slugs. To make matters worse, the camera also has no idea how to handle them; if you end up in close quarters with one, you may as well accept death now, because you're not even going to be able to see what's going on, let alone how to fight back.
    • The Corvians first encountered in the Road of Sacrifices don't look like much of a threat at first, but approaching one causes them to sprout wings and go berserk, savaging the player with relentless, confusing attacks that drain your stamina in seconds and leave almost no time to react. What makes these feathered fiends truly nightmarish is that they are always accompanied by Corvian Storytellers. These shamans will emit a piercing screech the moment they spot you, causing all the Corvians nearby to sprout wings, charge straight for you and mob you to death. What's worse than a screeching savage beast that never lets up its attack? A whole murder of the feathered lizards!
    • The Corvian Knights in the Painted World of Ariandel. Extremely fast, durable, and mobile, they can stunlock you to death using either a rapier or their Wolverine Claws, both of which can rapidly break your guard and then inflict bleed on you for a near instant kill. Despite their size, they're also surprisingly difficult to land a good hit on due to their tendency to leap out of the way just as your weapon is about to connect, throwing a set of kukris at you as they do so just to add insult to injury. It really doesn't help that they have a ton of health and it's possible to aggro as many as 3 of them at once if you aren't careful.
    • Special mention goes to the horrendously ugly Monstrosities of Sin in the Profaned Capital. They're as tough as a tank, and hit like one as well. Think you can take advantage of their ridiculously low speed and circle around them? Guess again, and be punished by a highly damaging attack where they roll over onto you. And they have an incredibly nasty grab attack that comes out ridiculously fast with barely any warning, does Mimic-grab levels of damage, and has enough phantom range to make Dark Souls II's Cyclops blush. Be thankful that for once the game is merciful enough to have these things in a singular area that's cut off from the rest of the game.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Every Lord of Cinder has become hugely popular among the fanbase for various reasons, including; Aldrich, Ludleth, The Abyss Watchers, The Twin Princes, and Yhorm the Giant.
    • Pontiff Sulyvahn has gathered quite a fanbase, mostly stemming from his excellent boss fight, Manipulative Bastard and Chessmaster tendencies, and his resemblance to a Sith Lord.
    • The Dancer of the Boreal Valley has managed to earn quite a surprising fanbase for generally being an excellent and challenging boss battle and for... other reasons.
    • The Nameless King garnered a massive fanbase quickly, for his interesting lore, awesome design and one absolutely unforgettable battle that proves he's a concentrated, industrial-grade badass that's routinely lauded as the best boss battle in the game and one of the best in the series.
    • The Mimic and the skeletons in the Catacombs of Carthuas (aka MVP Ledge Mimic and the Skeleton Gank Squad are extremely well-liked for the mechanic that lets you cooperate with them to kill the much larger nearby Fire Demon, which both of them can do without hardly breaking a sweat.
    • The Catacomb Crab, a mysterious baby crab that inexplicably spawns after destroying one of the skeleton boulders in the Catacombs of Carthus. The sheer oddness of the crab has elevated it to legendary status, and countless, fruitless hours have been devoted to discovering the potential secrets of what may simply be a very weird joke.
      • The crabs in general. They're all rather out of place and goofy considering the tone of the series. The fact that they're not always hostile and relatively innocuous in appearance aside from their size makes them oddly endearing. The baby crabs are virtually harmless, making them something like the successors of the mushroom enemies from I. Expect to find "time for crab" messages in every area of the game, no matter how random or irrelevant.
    • Ocelotte never even appears on screen and is most likely already dead, and yet the sheer amount of fan theories speaks volumes on what players think of him. It got to the point where people assumed that one of the two DLCs would have focused on him prior to their release, simply because fans wanted answers.
    • The Final Boss, the Soul of Cinder, is not even hinted at until you meet him at The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the Kiln of the First Flame, and yet he easily provides one of, if not the absolute greatest boss fights in the series. This is coupled by the fact that he is an amalgamation of every Lord who has linked the flame, including the final boss of I, Lord Gwyn, and potentially even the Player Characters of I and II. This is further compounded by the fact that his first face has him switch his fighting styles between some of the most common builds of the previous two games (Curved Sword/Pyromancy, Faith/Lance, and Pure Sorcery), and his second phase is a new, improved redo of Gwyn's boss fight, even down to the music.
    • Slave Knight Gael, the Deuteragonist of sorts of the two DLCs, has become quite popular, due to a combination of being an Iron Woobie Hero of Another Story, a badass who's willing to help you fight multiple bosses in the two DLCs, and a sheer Determinator willing to do anything, even go completely hollow and commit Suicide by Cop, to achieve his goals. It helps that his boss fight is completely awesome, and an amazing send-off to end the Dark Souls trilogy.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory:
    • A common interpretation of the game and the story is that is is symbolic of Miyazaki wanting to end the Dark Souls series, but being forced to continue by publishers. The Lords of Cinder are often attributed to being the developers, who after making the first game, were forced to create more games despite wanting to make new properties, while the player character is supposed to represent the publisher, who go around forcing them to return to make the third game. The Lord of Hollows ending has even been linked to something of a Take a Third Option meta wise: the developers decide that they should take the "soul" of Dark Souls, while letting it end to create something new. The rabbit hole goes much deeper beyond that but many find the game to be an allegory for that concept, not unlike Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
    • A second, related interpretation by a smaller group of players is the opposite - that Miyazaki and his team wanted to continue the Dark Souls series but were forced to stop by their publisher Bandai Namco, who decided to end the series with the third entry. During development, Miyazaki state he saw the game as a "turning point" in the series and wanted to explore some new ideas for the future of the franchise, but changed this sentiment when he announced that, as of the time being, the publisher wasn't interested in further entries. Rather than let the "soul" of Dark Souls fade away, they took it with them so that new franchises could be built on a similar play style - similar to the "extinguish the flame" ending where the Firekeeper finally gently snuffs out the last embers to let new flames be born in the darkness.
  • Evil Is Cool: Aldrich and Sulyvahn are two of the most unambiguously evil characters in the whole series and are responsible for countless atrocities, but their memorable design and challenging boss battles have led to them becoming very popular.
  • Fanon:
    • Fan artists in general like to draw Pickle Pee, Pump-a-Rum Crow not as a talking crow, but a cute harpy girl with short black hair and a rag bikini even though there's nothing to support it.
    • Much like Artorias and Ciaran before them, the relationship between Vordt and the Dancer is invariably interpreted by fans as being romantic in nature even though the game indicates only that they were very close comrades-in-arms.
    • Due to finding his armor after beating the Nameless King, the community generally agrees that Ornstein, sometime after taking his guard of Anor Londo, left to rejoin the Nameless King. From there many believe he underwent the process of becoming a Dragon, though why is not clear.
    • The Catacombs of Carthus being underneath the Abyss Watchers has been accepted by many as being that the Abyss Watchers, upon learning of Wolnir in the Abyss, destroyed Carthus and setup shop on top of the Catacombs so that they could guard it. This is also used to explain how they became corrupted by the Abyss, essentially making Wolnir's presence as a boss below a form of Taking You with Me. In game nothing of this is implied to be the case, but due to how natural the transition is, many feel it makes more sense than just being "the lands smashed together".
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The item description for the broken straight sword as well as its weapon art can come off as much less humorous given one of Anri's endings in their questline involves attacking you with said weapon as a hollow.
    A weapon with no exceptional qualities. Only a mad Hollow would choose to fight with this.
    While in stance, use normal attack to break a foe's guard from below, and strong attack to slash upwards with a forward lunge. Only, neither move will appear very impressive with a broken sword.
  • Game-Breaker: It wouldn't be Dark Souls without some.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • In classic Souls fashion, dogs are one of the most annoying enemy types in the game, perhaps even moreso than before - melee characters will find that hitting the dog hard enough will launch it away from you and usually out of your attack range making fighting them even more annoying. They have gotten better at dodging attacks, and can run fast enough to attack you in the back despite you swinging around to block. Oh, and unlike every other enemy in the game, they can literally pop into existence right behind you if you run too far away from them.
    • The Hollows up on the High Wall and in Castle Lothric can also turn into this due to their better A.I. making it harder to beat them like in previous games, as well as the spear and great axe wielding ones having deceptively high health and hitting like a freight train (especially in the early game). And, as is tradition, their flailing stun-lock combo comes back with a vengeance and can still catch unaware players with a bad case of the "You Died".
    • The Pygmy Hollows in The Ringed City have behavior designed to frustrate you. Thrall-like ambushes? Check. Mobbing you out of nowhere? Check. Interfering in battles with or accompanying tough enemies? Check. To add to the annoyance, they're capable of casting the lightning spear and stake miracles and can cast the former from quite a distance. A special variety does not attack but has curse crystals on its back, rapidly building up your curse meter, while the Hollow itself plays dead or is difficult to spot. Finally, they have one of the most annoying and pathetic attacks in the entire game: a push that does no damage and only serves to interrupt your attack animation so that they can retreat and fling lightning spears from a safe distance. Due to their low health and melee attack power, it will only delay their death by a few seconds and further test your patience.
    • The Rotting Flesh are one of the most annoying enemies in the game - they have incredibly huge resistance to just about any damage type besides fire, have a long-range poke attack and can drop on you from above when you're picking up an item, resulting in a lengthy, unblockable grab attack that can take out half of your health. The ones found in the Smouldering Lake add fire damage to their attacks and also lose the weakness to fire, but become weak to lightning. They are absolutely unsatisfying to kill too and barely drop any souls.
    • Wolves in the Painted World of Ariandel aren't very tough on their own, being somewhat similar to the undead dog enemies. If not killed immediately, however, they will howl, drawing wolves from within a considerable range to you, which on their turn will howl to summon more wolves. Their realistic AI of surrounding you and baiting your attacks can make them very frustrating to fight. If the pack grows too large, this easily crosses over into demonic spider territory, as they will attempt to overwhelm you when you fail an attack.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • The Curse Rotted Greatwood isn't hard as far as Dark Souls bosses go, given it only has a few basic attacks and obvious weak spots that foil its otherwise invincible body. What makes it a tedious fight is having to reach those spots while it's constantly trying to swat you away, made even worse by its limbs' obnoxious range and the Hollows that try to interfere during the first half of the fight. In the second half, you also have to contend with an additional arm that can molest you, and you'll be losing a lot of time going back and forth trying to reach the remaining pustules as the Greatwood becomes more mobile and uses attacks that you are forced to retreat from. It is an optional boss, but because it has the Transposing Kilm, you'll want to fight it so you can get special boss weapons/items from their souls.
    • Yhorm the Giant becomes this if one doesn't use the Storm Ruler to win the fight. His moveset is very basic and easy to figure out, with only his stomps being attacks the player has to worry about. However, he has absurd defenses that make all attacks do significantly reduced damage even if one uses strong builds that would be useful against such a foe. Due to that, he essentially is a Damage-Sponge Boss in a game series that generally avoids that type of boss, and so you are encouraged to either use the Storm Ruler, or do Siegward's quest so he does it for you. If not, he's potentially one of the longest boss fights in the entire series.
    • The Ancient Wyvern of Archdragon Peak, if only because most of the fight is circumnavigating its arena, dodging man serpents to maneuver to the specific place where it can be instantly slain by a plunging attack. Worse, the hitbox for succeeding on the plunging attack in question is actually quite picky and finicky, and failing to pull it off means plummeting to your death, and having to redo the entire fight all over again.
  • Good Bad Bugs: A particular infamous example involving the off-hand bow glitch, namely by performing it similar to the tumblebuff glitch, which can result in from faster weapon attack animations, to instant spell casting, and Gywn forbid, turning a Great Bow into a Great Automatic Crossbow, allowing for shenanigans such as one-shotting the final boss.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Here's a meta one. If you do (female) Anri of Astora's quest line, depending on your playthrough, it's possible for Yuria of Londor to order an assassin to kill her in Irithyll/Anor Londo, and you later find her body in the Darkmoon Tomb. She becomes your "bride" and you have to stab her corpse during your "wedding". Anri is voiced by Lucy Briggs-Owen, and Yuria is voiced by Pooky Quesnel, a.k.a. Sister Adella and Arianna from Bloodborne, respectively. Looks like Arianna finally got back at Adella.
    • Oceiros The Consumed King has a son named Ocelotte, whose Japanese name is literally "Ocelot". And when he can't find Ocelotte, he yells "OCELOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTT!!" More than enough players can't help but shout back "SNAAAAAKKKKKKEEEEE!!" when they hear that.
    • Shortly after the release of Dark Souls 3, prolific animator ThePruld released this video, featuring someone swinging around a greatsword as if it were weightless, before comically splitting it in two and flapping them to fly. And then the Ringed City DLC came out, with Gael's Greatsword that comes with exactly the same moveset, alongside the infamous Paired Greatswords... "NOT affected by Bloodborne" indeed.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: The general reception to Ashes of Ariandel can be chalked up to this. It has a great final boss and the area itself is well designed, but it only has two bosses, and at most has maybe two areas if you are generous. To put this in perspective, Dark Souls 1 had four DLC bosses and Dark Souls 2 had three bosses per DLC. One of the things FROM made sure to mention when advertising The Ringed City was its increased length and greater number of bosses (4).
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: A somewhat common criticism is that Dark Souls III borrows too much from previous games (such as Dark Souls I's plot and Bloodborne's combat style) and feels more like a stagnant "Greatest Hits" entry than a meaningful evolution of the series. The large amount of Call Backs and Continuity Porn doesn't help, as some view this as little more than Fanservice that keeps III from making its own unique mark.
  • Love to Hate: Aldrich and Sulyvahn have this in spades. Both are the most unambiguously evil characters in the whole series with a list of atrocities that would make one lose sleep at night, yet whenever discussions are made about them it would be on how cool they look as bosses and how hard they are to defeat. Dark Souls veterans love them for putting on such a challenge that they can't wait to face them again and again, while newcomers hate their difficulty but can't help respecting their power and try to improve their skills just to beat them. One thing's for sure: both parties will be very satisfied once they finally defeat them.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • The soft-spoken and enigmatic Yuria of Londor is the potential architect of the Age of Dark, pledging her loyalty to the Ashen One once they obtain 5 Dark Sigils from the pilgrim Yoel. Set on making you into a Dark Lord, Yuria uses a proxy to manipulate Anri of Astora into joining you in wedlock, granting the Ashen One the remaining Dark Sigils they need to become the Lord of Hollows. Instructing them to usurp the First Flame, one of the potential endings of the game sees the Ashen One bringing forth a new world of darkness, one where mankind can potentially thrive, just as Yuria desires. Of course, it's also possible that it's so that humanity can be enslaved as mindless hollows who, rather than attacking anything that moves, now follow the orders of a puppet ruler "guided" (read: manipulated) by Yuria.
    • Slave Knight Gael is an ancient undead first appearing as an ally of the Ashen One. Luring the Ashen One into the Painted World of Ariandel to free it from the tyranny of Sister Friede and bringing about the death of Father Ariandel to liberate the young Painter for a new world, Gael travels to the Ringed City with intention of claiming the Dark Soul. Realizing that the ruling Pygmy Lords' blood is too dried to serve as pigment for a new Painted World, Gael slaughters them and takes their blood to absorb the Dark Soul, devising a plan for the Ashen One to destroy him and bring his blood to the Painter for the needed pigment.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Knight Slayer Tsorig. Clad in Tarkus' armor, wielding Raime's BFS, and wearing rings from Eleum Loyce, on top of being a ridiculously hard NPC invader, there's little wonder veterans of the series shat their pants when they encountered him for the first time.
    • Holy Knight Hodrick, otherwise known as "The Parry King" .
    • The Catacomb Crab. Eventually the theories around it elevated it to near-omnipotent status.
    • Champion Gundyr is considered one of the biggest badasses in the series, despite (or because of) his lack of any significant supernatural powers. The consensus is that when he Turns Red, he simply starts trying.
  • Misaimed Marketing:
    • Funko Pop released the Red Knight figure from the cover box, while it is cool to finally have a knight figure in a cutesy, chibi form, the description in the official blog may lead to a Mood Whiplash if you actually completed the game. The Red Knight is everything but the hope of humanity. Specifically, he's the Final Boss and the manifestation of every last unfortunate Lords of Cinder doomed to live inside an Animated Armor for eternity. To their credit, however, the description on the figure was correct for most of development. The red knight armor was originally intended to be this games version of the elite knight set, heavily featured in marketing and something the player could get quite easily. In the alpha and beta builds of the game, that was still true. It wasn't until very late that that was changed, making this a case of outdated marketing more than anything else.
  • Narm: There are some who feel that the multiple title-drops featured throughout The Ringed City come across as forced and awkward.
    • The game will always spawn a bonfire after a bossfight, no matter what happens. In the case of the Dragonrider Armor, his bonfire spawns not more than several meters away from yet another bonfire in front of the Grand Archives, which feels really redundant and can be extremely humorous.
    • The fact that the Champion's Gravetender, if you look closely during his boss fight, is inexplicably not wearing pants.
    • Artorias's armour looks as badass as ever...which means that it retains the tiny legs from the first game.
    • Seeing the Soul of Cinder perform the iconic backflip popular with players of Dark Souls 1 is supposed to be a Wham Shot... but for people who haven't played the first game (and potentially those who have played the game), seeing this ominous Final Boss in smouldering heavy armour randomly perform a handstand-backflip can look ridiculous to the point that it pulls one completely out of the moment and the dramatic nature of the fight.
  • Pandering to the Base: A problem that some had with the game. The sheer amount of references to the previous games, most notably the reappearance of characters from the first game like Andre of Astora, Patches and Siegmeyer (via his nearly identical Expy Siegward) in a way that often seems borderline nonsensical, are seen as being there purely for Fanservice which prevents the game from feeling distinct from its predecessors. Fans of the game would argue that the amount of new interesting lore counters the retread (which many think are tasteful and well-done), but that's disputed. See It's the Same, Now It Sucks! and Broken Base above.
  • Polished Port: The PC version looks amazing, finally has decent mouse and keyboard controls, and runs at a perfect 60 frames per second... on most systems. Some have reported consistent slowness, crashing, and lag despite high-spec machines, with no ability to pin down any kind of unifying cause, though a number of users report that turning "Lighting" to Low quality prevents their crashes. That said...
  • Porting Disaster: The PC port is prone to crashing, and many players are incapable of even completing the tutorial because of it.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Poise has always been a point of contention among fans of the Souls series, but most people agree that it is busted in this game. Poise is the stat that prevents your character from getting staggered by attacks, and is increased by armor (bigger armor, higher poise basically). A good example of how useless poise is in game is the fact that you can stunlock Havel during your duel with him in Archdragon Peak. You heard that right. The memetically mighty, unflinching Havel can be stunlocked with just about any weapon. This is due to the fact that poise has been changed to only affect attacks with heavy weapons and weapon arts; otherwise, players can be staggered when not in the middle of an attack animation with poise frames.
    • While some of the community is glad that Dark Souls II's influence hasn't largely affected the story, many are much less happy that the majority of the PvP improvements from that game have been removed.
    • Because elemental infusions lower base damage, (nearly) remove scaling, and have damage subtracted by both the enemy's defenses, they almost universally deal less or barely more damage than Raw or Regular with the bare minimum STR/DEX—even when the infusion scales with INT and/or FTH stats that are extremely high. Additionally, while some weapons innately have elemental damage on them, a ridiculously small amount of them actually scale with intelligence or faith without being infused to do so (which no boss or unique weapons can be because of how infusions work), meaning that their already crippled split damage can't get much higher.
    • Considering that in Dark Souls II the Blue Sentinels just plainly didn't work most of the time, the community is even less happy that they've not only returned but also now share the exact same group of people to defend with the Blade of the Darkmoon, a covenant which never had anything to do with defending the innocentnote . That, and the Way of the Blue gives no rewards and can once again be swapped out for a better covenant extremely early on.
      • Somewhat mitigated by the fact that having an allied phantom being summoned to protect you from these pesky Dark Spirits, Farron Watchdogs and Aldrich Faithfuls is always useful if you are not actively using another covenant, and being able to switch covenants on the fly is bound to make the Way of the Blue covenant more popular.
    • Offensive magic in general in this game is widely considered to be in need of a buff, because its damage is naturally so low that in order to do somewhat respectable damage you have to dedicate a huge portion of your level upsNumbers , and devote at least two or three out of four of your ring slots entirely to one specific school of magic, thereby leaving yourself with almost no defensive stats, and all to just get damage comparable to using a Raw-infused weapon at base stats.
    • The soft ban system, arguably put in place to stop cheaters, can actually be used against legitimate players BY cheaters. A hacking invader can use hacked throwing knives that give the host "illegal" souls, resulting in that player getting banned from the game. Yes, someone doing nothing wrong can get banned for a hacker's work. The easiest way around this? Kill yourself or disconnect before the hacker can do anything, which requires even knowing that the invader is a hacker ahead of time!
    • The censor check list makes a return in the PC version, in an attempt to cut down on offensive names. It also censors names that even NPCs use! The letter combinations "nig" and "ho" mean that you can't spell the word "Knight" or even just "Howard". If you want to check ahead of time if your character's name is "legal", you can use this website to make sure.
      • Becomes even more stupid (or, perhaps, hilarious?) when you encounter something like this.
  • Squick:
    • The Curse-Rotted Greatwood's pustuled butt-stomp attack is very.... juicy.
    • The respawning undead outside of the Cathedral of the Deep have an attack where they puke maggots at the player. The vomiting sounds they make are almost too good.
    • The Undead Brutes in the Undead Settlement will sometimes start with a different weapon than their giant saws; a giant mortar bowl full of gore! Yech!
    • Large portions of Ariandel are described as "rotting", covered in what appears to be some kind of fungus that "bleeds" blood-like liquid. Many of these areas have giant flies feasting on them. Giant flies who will vomit flesh-eating maggots all over you if given the chance.
  • That One Attack:
    • The Stray Demon's boulder spew does huge damage at a fair distance and it basically impossible to dodge. It's a complete nonissue once you get under or behind the beast, but the issue is getting there.
      • Weirdly, this attack is completely nullified by blocking. The first boulder will break your guard, but others will not even connect.
    • Aldrich can fire a Rain of Arrows that will kill you in a fraction of a second. In his first phase, this is no big deal, as it simply moves in an easy-to-avoid straight line. In his second phase, however, the rain of arrows will follow you for about 10-15 seconds, requiring you to stop paying attention to Aldrich for that amount of time and sprint around the room for dear life, giving him the perfect opening to blast you with his magic from off-screen.
    • Speaking of Aldrich, there's his Lifehunt Scythe attack: It heals him which is bad enough already, it covers a lot of ground since he spins it around, and it hits twice in quick succession which means you have to dodge at the exact moment so you won't come out of your roll too fast.
    • King Oceiros' charge attack has a messy hitbox, deals high damage, is lightning fast, and is infamous for coming out instantly. No telegraphing, no audio cues, not even any time to notice and dodge unless you were on the other end of the boss room.
    • Even though the Deacons of the Deep are considered one of the easiest bosses (see Anti-Climax Boss), even they get two of this. The first one is a slow moving fireball that can be casted by all of them, and the second one is a huge projectile with area of damage that can be interrupted and takes a while to charge. Why are they here then? Because both attacks have almost perfect tracking AND can go through everything except the floor and make almost no indication that they are close. Trying to hide behind a pillar or the structure in the boss room to heal? You get at best a second to react.
    • As mentioned above, the Soul of Cinder has a four-hit combo string in its second phase that can straight up juggle you like in a Fighting Game, and this is always followed up by a massive AoE that is practically undodgeable if you got caught up in the combo. The kicker? The AoE alone can tear off a good 2/3 of your health bar, so if you got hit in the combo and then blasted by the AoE it's pretty much a guaranteed One-Hit Kill unless you have stupidly high defenses and Vigor. It can also result in a Total Party Wipe if you have Phantom summons in since it can juggle multiple players at once.
    • Champion Gundyr has a lot of them, but special note goes to the deadly charge attack in his second phase. Basically, it's a powerful multi-hitting running attack with long reach.... immediately followed up by an equally strong wide-sweeping slash. Blocking all the hits of the attack is nearly impossible unless you have a greatshield and tons of stamina. Dodging is a bit easier, since it's fairly telegraphed - but only if you're prepared for the follow-up sweep, which first-time players won't be expecting. Oh, and Gundyr can chain this into any of his other extremely powerful attacks pretty much instantly.
    • Due to messy hitboxes, katanas' running and plunging attacks can be extremely annoying, especially the latter since it can happen when someone falls onto you, staggering you and then making you kiss the ground.
    • The Lightning Arrow miracle, most prominently used by Shira at the end of The Ringed City. It's fast, does a lot of damage, and shots can be held like with a real bow to catch you coming out of a roll. The worst part? This attack is practically the only thing she does.
    • Darkeater Midir gets you coming and going with these. If you want to stick close to him and beat him up in melee, you risk getting too far underneath him and prompting him to use his downward fire breath attack, which creates a fast-spreading, high-damage fire blast. Try him at range, and you may get to experience his high-damage, fast-moving, ridiculously accurate laser breath.
    • The Nameless King's Stormdrake has an airial firebreathing attack that can be absolute hell for melee players. The Stormdrake is generally a source of Camera Screw due to how quickly it flies around and how inadvisable it is to lock onto it or the King, but what makes this attack so devastating is how it is almost impossible to avoid if you keep close to the boss, which is not helped by how well the attack's direction corrects for your attempts at evasion. The Stormdrake will leap up and breath fire at you from a terrible angle for your camera, and its size and capacity to pancake you can make dodging out of it something of a crapshoot with the Camera Screw, so it can damage you twice. This can easily be a deathblow, but even if it isn't, it damages you in a fight in which you could use all the health you can use in the second phase.
  • That One Boss: As to be expected in a Souls game.
  • That One Level: It's Dark Souls. What did you expect? Some particularly arduous levels include:
    • Farron Keep, a poison-filled swamp which makes Blightown and the Valley of Defilement look like SugarBowls in comparison. Imagine a BIG poisonous swamp, filled with Demonic Spiders: feral beasts capable of one-shotting you, giant creatures armed with a tree and regularly releasing a homing magical attack, giant crabs, basilisks, darkwraiths, and a whole covenant of players dedicated to prevent you from reaching the Abyss Walkers. Also, slugs. Making it worse, the majority of the map is covered in swamp water that both slows you down and poisons you, and unlike in Blighttown, there's no item you can find that alleviates this.
      • It is also host to two NPC invasions. One of them has a ring equipped that makes them invisable unless they're just a few feet away from the player. She starts off very far from the player, leaving them wondering just how close she is as they stand in the middle of their dinky island. The other NPC invader is likely to occur when you're busy with the basilisks. It's worth mentioning that these two invaders are each linked to a major faction, but neither is a Watchdog meaning a player Watchdog won't be spared. But hey, at least there's soup.
    • The Catacombs of Carthus, which can best be described as the bastardized, unholy offspring of The Catacombs and Sen's Fortress from Dark Souls. Lousy with traps, filled with tight corridors that will absolutely ruin any horizontal attacks and make dodging/camera work extremely difficult, and also home of the Skeleton Swordsmen, absolutely nightmarish Lightning Bruisers capable of teleport rolling a la the Old Hunter Bone quickstep from Bloodborne. Oh and one more thing, just to add a cherry on top of the evil cake: the Bonewheel Skeletons are back!
    • The Cathedral of the Deep is where the proverbial gloves come off. The place is absolutely stonking massive and incredibly complex to navigate, forcing the player in and out and through all manner of different pathways and routes. The place is also filled with traps and powerful enemies, and has just about every negative area feature in the series stacked onto one place- it's dark, it's filled with poison that slows you, and it tosses gank squads at you like nobodies business. While running Pyromancy can alleviate this, as many enemies inside the Cathedral are weak to fire and the cramped corridors make it easy to lob Fire Orbs down range, it's still a massive pain in the ass.
    • Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. Oozing with Scenery Porn aside, the standard mooks include acrobatic swordsmen that can and will stunlock the shit out of you, Mad One style enemies that can and will mob the crap out of you (and can turn invisible at the drop of a hat), and Jester Thomas-like pyromancy knights that deal absurd amounts of fire damage. All these enemies come with absurd aggro ranges and devilish ambushes that put the Alonne Knights to shame. And to put the cherry on top of the pain cake, the boss of the area is Pontiff Sulyvahn.
    • Irithyll Dungeon is hair-tearingly frustrating. The standard mooks of the level, the Jailers, can sap your health just by looking at you. Seriously, they reduce your life bar when they look at you, meaning you can't even heal the damage done until you kill them and your bar recovers. The lower part of the Dungeon is filled with absurd enemy concentration, including around a dozen Jailers in the same room, some rather uncomfortable narrow ledges and corridors, and an annoying (but thankfully optional) encounter with a giant which spawns infinite rats while you fight it. Its follow-up area, the Profaned Capital, is also very unpopular; it houses some of the most annoying mobs in the game in the form of the Gargoyles and the Profaned Nobility, and it consists mostly of a Toxic-inducing swamp and a cathedral housing Monstrosities of Sin (which thankfully don't respawn). They're also both home to an absurd number of mimics, most notably one right next to the squad of jailers and one which spawns a horde of basilisks if triggered. Fortunately, most of the Capital can be skipped, unless you want to finish Siegward's quest or free Karla to acquire some of the best pyromancies and dark miracles in the game.
    • Archdragon Peak's snakemen alone send it into That One Level territory. They're extremely fast, can stunlock anyone regardless of build or shield, have huge range with their long necks, and can breathe homing fireballs with tremendous range (the larger variation with the chain axe can hit you with the axe for huge damage outside of your character's lock-on range, for added fun). Just to make matters worse, there's a dragon that blocks the main path you have to kill, rock lizards that breathe fire and can roll you right off a cliff, and summoners that can summon Havel Clones. Going after the Dragon Stones means having to fight at least 30 of the snakemen, small and huge, while hoping you don't draw more of them down on you or fall off the narrow path. And if you manage to struggle through all of that, you get to fight the area's boss, who may be the hardest boss in the game. Have fun!
    • Every goddamned area in The Ringed City. From Software made sure that the series managed to go out with a huge bang, and hoo boy, they made sure that the last DLC will not be a walk in the park. The enemies alone are a major factor to this, such as the Murkmen that tend to appear in rather seemingly empty areas, the Harald Knights that have massive amounts of HP and can one-shot a player with 40 vigor or more in a single combo, the Angels that, unless the Pupa spawning them is killed, will rain light beams at you, Desert Pyromancer Zoey who can surprisingly use a whip very well along with devastating pyromancies, Hollow Clerics that will abuse their long-range miracles and will hide in the lump of stone they carry to heal unless kicked (which is a pain for curved sword users), The Pygmy Paladins that can push you off near narrow bridges or edges and use Lightning Spears and Stakes, The Ringed Knights that can manage to rollcatch you with a lot of their attacks, along with the ability to buff their weapons with fire, the large Locusts who will partake in eating you, and most frustratingly, the Judicator Giants that will summon ruin Phantoms to bombard you with arrows, and even getting close will either have them summon Ledo to pound you to the ground, and speaking of him, if you go down the wrong path, you may even encounter him as a dark spirit. And oh, it gets worse. Going too far down the swamp will result in you eventually encountering the Dragonslayer Armour, though thankfully, you should have been leveled up well for the encounter. Finally, the last stretch has you dodging Midir's dragon breath, and trying to get to cover without thinking will either get you pushed by a Pygmy Paladin into the fire, or end up falling right into your doom. Thankfully, after all that, the difficulty appears to drop, though going down the wrong path will result the Moaning Knight invading. There's a reason why if you don't have the Ashes of Ariandel DLC, the only way to access it is during the Klin of the First Flame.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The rot (the black sludge that corrupts Iudex Gundyr and other enemies) is almost completely ignored. Almost no lore even mentions it and only a few enemies including the Iudex are affected by it. Considering how much lore is taken from previous games, some fans are annoyed that one of the game's unique lore points is dropped past the first area. All There in the Manual reveals that they're called the Pus of Man, and are a result of being corrupted by the Abyss. Their Humanity has gone wild and turned them into twisted monsters as a result. However, it doesn't explain how wyverns have been infected by it, or how specifically the Abyss was able to affect them. They're also somehow tied to the Ancient Serpents.
    • The Angels of Lothric were one of the more unique story additions to the series. They seem to have nothing to do with the Demons of Izalith, Gwyn or even the First Flame. One day, Gertrude (who may or may not be Gwynevere's daughter) was visited by something only described as an Angel. Gertrude is blind and mute, which was possibly due to the experience but still managed to record a Miracle which is utterly unlike any kind of Miracle spell in the game thus far. This inspired a new religion, which led to a civil war between Lothric Knights who still followed Gwyn and the Winged Knights of the Angelic faith. Pilgrims eventually turn into Pilgrim Butterflys which may or may not be related. The Ringed City DLC had an enemy that evoked Angelic imagery, but just turned out to be the hologram of Pilgrim's who grew some kind of parasite. Safe to say, they remain the biggest mystery in the game. Everything written here is the extent of the story the player gets on these beings, which can be disappointing.
    • Londor. Various pieces of in game lore explain it to be a city of Hollows founded by three sisters, all of them want to bring about the Age of Dark, or rather, the Age of Man. Not only is it a unique concept given how most cities or homes in the series are poorly made settlements that easily fall due to the curse, but apparently Kaathe had a hand in the creation of it. Given how many items and pieces of lore exist about Londor, and Unsurp the Fire ending essentially having you take the Fire and Dark together, you would expect Londor to be one of the DLC locations, but nothing comes from it. Like with the Angels of Lothric plot, it comes across as a huge missed opportunity, and the fact that both of the games DLC references the lore of Londor makes the cities absence sting harder.
  • Underused Game Mechanic:
    • The Frostbite status effect introduced in this game. An enemy affected by Frostbite will have their stamina regeneration reduced for a moment and take a bit of damage. It's a decent idea, and only a handful of your opponents, whether a player or a boss, can actually resist it. The issue is that only 5 weapons in the base game are even capable of inflicting it, one of which is a greathammer that will kill most of its targets before it even inflicts the effect, and its function of reducing stamina regeneration only applies to players, making it inferior to Bleed for boss killing. Ashes of Ariandel somewhat mitigated Frostbite's underuse, adding two dedicated spells for it, as well as another weapon with the effect attached; it was also buffed with the introduction of The Ringed City, which made it much easier to apply on both enemies and actual players.
    • Weapon and armor durability has also become this, since bonfires restore the durability of all non-broken equipment for free. They did this in Dark Souls II as well, but it was offset by having weapon durability decrease extremely quickly. In this game, even the most delicate weapons will probably last long enough to get to the next bonfire, so you pretty much have to be either fighting enemies with acid or other equipment-breaking attacks or doing a No-Bonfire Run for durability to be a factor.
    • A lot of robes have hoods that aren't officially apart of the armor set, so From added into one or two headpieces that allow you to pull them over your head. This only works for maybe 2 robes out of the dozen or so and it makes you wonder why they bothered.
  • The Woobie:
    • Even if you buy the idea that he was motivated entirely by selfishness in the first game, Gwyndolin in this one has not only the sheer suck of his childhood and abandonment by the other gods, but compounds that with the fact he is now the primary victim and body of Aldrich, all because he wanted to save his sister.
    • Lothric and Lorian. The two were implied to be unwilling as Lords of Cinder. The way Lothric was raised implied he was soon disillusioned about the First Flame going on, going so far to reject his duty. His brother Lorian didn't fare any better, as the flame burnt away his mind to the point he can no longer use his legs properly.
    • Anri of Astora. Just another Unkindled trying to reunite the Lords of Cinder, and being protected by a large and imposing but ultimately gentle Blue Sentinel. As their questline progresses Anri can lose Horace, be forced to continue on ahead, have Horace get killed without their knowing, be told that you were the one that killed their beloved traveling companion, and be murdered by either you, a Hollowed Horace, or a Londor assassin on Yuria's orders. Sure, the Usurpation of Fire ending gives them a happy-(ish) ending, but Anri has to go through a lot of shit to get there.
    • The Abyss Watchers also have a pretty sorry lot. A Band of Brothers who decided to link the First Flame together, they unfortunately started to slowly give way to their madness to the point where the player finds out that the reason that the sane members can't go back to the Firelink Shrine is because they are busy killing off their mad brethren, which happens even during the fight with them, which becomes even more painful when you consider their founder Artorias suffered a similar fate. The only consolation is that in death, the group can finally be at peace together.
    • With the release of Ashes of Ariandel we have Father Ariandel himself. A massive Corvian, he has been constantly flagellating himself for ages to use his blood to stop the fire from burning the Painted World away, preferring to let it rot. He's also surprisingly cordial to you when you first meet him, asking you politely to fetch his flail for him. Then it's made abundantly apparent that he and Sister Freide (a.k.a. Elfreide, elder sister to Yuria and one of the founders of the Sable Church of Londor) are a team in this endeavour, and he does nothing to help you as Friede wails on you. Then heaven help you if you beat her, 'cause then Ariandel goes absolutely mad with grief and proceeds to revive Freide and pound you into the dirt for daring to kill her.

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