The Secret Origin of Dark Souls

A Different Kind of RPG

Deep Connections

King’s Field provided a framework that FromSoftware would continue to build on for decades. 1998’s Shadow Tower, another first-person action RPG, introduced an unforgiving stamina bar, equipment weight, and durability ratings for your gear. Narrative writing found around the world calls to mind the messages you can leave for other players in Demon’s Souls onward. But Shadow Tower’s most striking elements in the context of the Souls lineage were its soul harvesting mechanics and the introduction of shields that you had to manually raise to block attacks.

A Worldwide Phenomenon

FromSoftware’s principles never wavered in the two decades it’s been making games. The studio’s dedication to a game design philosophy that prioritizes challenge, reward, exploration, and skill can be seen in both the Dark Souls of today and the King’s Fields of generations past. The recent renaissance of tough, but fair games is a testament to the power of the formula FromSoftware has created. But if we are to truly appreciate that magic, we can’t neglect where it came from.

Chloi Rad is our former Features Editor and a major Dark Souls fan. We miss her very much and hope that she is thoroughly enjoying her adventures. 


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