Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City will certainly be the last piece the the Dark Souls story - because that now. If Hidetaka Myazaki and also From software application haven"t claimed they"ll never come ago to this universe, they have actually no plans to carry out so. For all intents and also purposes, this is It.

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A most fans room hoping The Ringed City will make clear every the mysteries that Dark Souls, wrapping the story up neatly. I don"t think it will; the hasn"t been From Software"s technique in the past, and also doing so would certainly undermine among the franchise"s core tenets and additionally a most its entertainment value. Nothing might live approximately the mystery, and also the storytelling walking on inside her feverishly speculating minds.

Nevertheless, this seems favor a really great time to talk about the story of Dark Souls 3 and also the series as a whole, exactly how the Ringed City can fit into it. Every little thing that follows is pure speculation, based upon my an individual interpretation that the more comprehensive franchise story, and also is most likely missing specific details, if not downright incorrect. The beauty beauty of Dark Souls is that we have the right to all have actually our own personal canon; the product is both rich and also deliberately, gapingly incomplete.

"At the close of the age of Fire, the Ringed City is stated to be at world"s end," the trailer because that the last DLC says. "World"s end" is an unusual selection of phrase, and we understand that much of the language of Dark Souls is really deliberately chosen, despite localisation issues.

Linked together it is with the "close the the period of Fire", the expression "world"s end" has actually definite apocalyptic associations. This lends weight to the concept that Dark Souls 3 to represent the ending of the bicycle of the very first Flame.

We observe the Darksign, the firey brand marking a human with the curse of the undead. Is that shape much more than a symbolic nod to Dark Souls" obsession through cycles? go the Ringed City have actually some connection to the curse? Is this whereby it originated?

As this item of narration plays we observe the Darksign, the firey brand noting a person with the curse that the undead. However for the very first time, i wonder if its form is more than a symbolic nod to Dark Souls" obsession through cycles, or circles. Looking at its contempt misshapen, damaged form, I had a gestalt shift, and also felt choose I to be looking at a city wall, indigenous above, lit increase by flames. Walk the Ringed City have some link to the curse? Is this whereby it originated?

"Past this heap the rubbish," the narrator continues. The imagery throughout this scene evokes the folded mash-up of civilizations that we watch in the Kiln the the an initial Flame in ~ the finish of Dark Souls 3. To refer to the convergence of whatever from the many eras the the period of Fire together "rubbish" says that its time is over and done, and also that every little thing is past it is an ext meaningful through comparison.

It"s tempting come say the a city external the period of Fire must be Londor, but accompanying text explained it together "long lost" and also "ancient" and also filled with characters "teetering on the leaf of insanity". That"s a far cry indigenous what we"ve been led to believe around Londor, a city wherein hollows retain their purpose and also forge a new life external of Gwyn"s endless cycles.

Instead, the Ringed City might be a holdout from prior to the comparatively recent and also temporary period of Fire began. The new batch the The Ringed City screenshots consists of a gigantic said to date earlier to the age of Ancients (and that may have actually served the real gods, together opposed come Gwyn"s kin), and also Pygmies, a race we"ve only ever met one member the - earlier before the birth of the age of Fire.

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That"s the finish of info related come the brand-new trailer; native hereon, let"s provide some context because that those that you who aren"t conscious of the wider story of Dark Souls. "Londor? What? What cycles?" you may be asking. Well. I"m so glad you asked.

At the heart of the Dark Souls series is the bicycle of the dying under of the an initial Flame, and also its rekindling through a human champion. It"s something the happens over and also over again, so that the player"s action in Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2 don"t really matter; whether they link the fire to reboot the cycle or not, someone come along and does it eventually, and also so the human being continues on much as before.

How much time passes in between cycles of the first Flame dying down and being rekindled isn"t clear, and it"s an extremely unlikely the the three instances we have seen, in each of the Dark Souls games to date, room the complete so far; so plenty of years pass in between them that each new Dark Souls setting is virtually unrecognisable native the previous one, although details figures and chains of events arise, again and again, to play out their stories. It"s deliberate.

The design template of Dark Souls 3 is the futility the linking the very first Flame. What Gwyn collection in movement is comes to an end at last, knee folding, gears and cogwheels spinning turn off to the sides. The age of Fire can not be sustained.

Dark Souls 3 is a little bit different, in that it paints a grim picture of dice embers and cooling ash in the dice throes of the age of Fire. In ~ the an extremely end the Dark Souls 3, we watch that the cycles room collapsing in on themselves; bits and also pieces the worlds and eras room folded ruinously about the Kiln that the first Flame together the world spasms in the grip of fatality - or rebirth.

To me, the template of Dark Souls 3 is the futility the linking the first Flame. What Gwyn collection in movement is coming to an end at last, knee folding, gears and cogwheels spinning off to the sides. Even if it is the player gives themselves to the an initial Flame or not, the age of Fire can not be continual much much longer - possibly due to the fact that its denizens won"t send to it any more.

But what if the age of Fire does end? to answer that, we have to return come the original Dark Souls, where the opened cinematic speak you every little thing you should know.

Before there was anything, there was nothing: one unchanging, eternal civilization of grey, rule by dragons. However then come the very first flame, bringing through it disparity, and everything adjusted forever. Where there had been homogeny, unexpectedly there to be borders and divisions. Life and death, dark and light.

Out that the dark, newly developed by the very first Flame, they came: 4 beings who each took on the mantle the a mr by declare one aspect of the brand-new world of disparity, and using the powers of the mr Souls to bring down the dragon (admittedly, through the aid of a turncoat). Each of the 4 went on to found kingdoms or realms. The Witch that Izalith and Daughters that Chaos adopted the Flame, governing the realm of Life together manifest in the primeval energy of fire. Conversely, secret Nito came to be the mr of Death, the cold shadow of life.

All 4 of the Lords come from the dark, i m sorry sprang right into being with the an initial Flame; may be their topics were additionally born of the dark.

The various other pairing is the really important one, though. Gwyn, the lord of Light, established a dynasty. This royal family came to be the elite judgment class, and the worshiped figures in ~ the center of a religion. But take note of the reality that the all 4 of the Lords came from the dark, which sprang into being v the very first Flame; may be their topics were additionally born that the dark, but did not insurance claim Lord Souls and also ascend come power.

Unfortunately because that Gwyn, this state of affairs couldn"t proceed forever. The first Flame started to fade, taking v it the lords" powers, and also Gwyn panicked. He referred to as on the Witches of Izalith to aid him in maintaining the flame alight; their experiments offered birth come the demons, a new type of life born that the Chaos flame they produced in your arrogance, and also led to their downfall.

With that possibility axed, Gwyn fight upon a brand-new plan to keep the fire alight. The sacrificed himself to it, fuelling the flame with his own life force. However his vitality would at some point fade, and something else would have to be melted to perpetuate the age of Fire. Go into you, and also possibly hundreds like you: beings that amass an excellent power and also use the to connect the flames.

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On the surface, the story that the very first Dark Souls - deliberately opaque as its presentation is - is a simple hero"s quest: the world is dying, and the god ask you to save it. Same enough; off you trot, guided by spiritual prophecy and the assistance of Kingseeker Frampte, a primordial serpent who defines the situation to you once you"ve verified your chops.

Dig a little bit deeper, and things get much more complicated. A second primordial serpent start the equation, and also Darkstalker Kaathe gift an alternative world view where the gods, frightened and also selfish, look for to perpetuate the age of Fire completely to maintain their rule. Why not refuse them, and also let humanity ascendancy itself? Still, this alternative path is easily written off together the "evil" ending, if you don"t want to think Kaathe"s version of events. After ~ all, he regulates the Darkwraiths, a commitment all around invading various other players, and lives in The Abyss. Besides, turning out every the lights and also leaving only darkness seems a small unwise.

On the surface, the story the the first Dark Souls – deliberately opaque as its presentation is – is a basic hero’s quest: the people is dying, and the gods ask you to conserve it. Fair enough; turn off you trot. Dig a bit deeper, and things get an ext complicated.

The originally disconnected-seeming Dark Souls 2 muddies the waters, presenting what appears to it is in a very similar situation in one more world - arguing your decision to attach the flame may not have been sufficient to conserve the world. Dark Souls 3, filled through throwbacks come both earlier games and peopled by characters weary that the cycle, appears to check this keeps happening. The an initial Flame fades, the curse arises, someone has to come along and link the flame, and also off we go again.

Even the royal family seem to it is in sick the it, if the twin prices that Dark Souls 3 space anything to walk by, in spite of their links to the gods of Gwyn"s line and main religious position, and also at this stage you should more than likely be asking why we keep bothering.

We have actually a strong motivation: the curse of the undead.

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The opening narration the Dark Souls says that together the an initial Flame fades, "amongst the living are seen carrier of the accursed Darksign".

The Darksign robs the bearer of their capacity to die, condemning them to the exact same eternal, unchanging state that characterised the period of Ancients - prior to there come disparity. Living beyond death seems pretty good, however in the brutal civilization of Dark Souls, it method suffering: with each "death" and also rebirth the cursed one endures, they shed a tiny piece of your memories and also indeed their an extremely selves, becoming "hollow", a state of knowing nothing however violence and also the dim it spreads widespread of old routines.

Indeed, it seems the numb dragging the a people that unending repeats chin is enough to drain the humanity from some. Cursed human beings are sent away come rot in asylums and abandoned settlements, although part go voluntarily, seeking honour, glory, to offer the gods - or to link the very first Flame and also lift the curse ... Till the finish of the following cycle, anyway.

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Why go the curse the the undead descend upon mankind as the an initial Flame fades? Why does becoming undead progressively strip lock of your humanity? One theory is that Gwyn or Frampt set it in activity to perpetuate the period of Fire; some even think the bonfires the Dark Souls burn humankind to aid maintain the period of Fire.

The oft-forgotten Furtive Pygmy is the crucial here. The bearer the the Dark Soul, and also the absent piece the the lord Souls compass, part people think the Furtive Pygmy is the progenitor of humankind, and rather than hoard the Dark Soul, they offered it to all your children. Or maybe the Dark heart arises naturally in all people anyway; ~ all, we were all born that the dark, and we did no have an additional Lord spirit to set us apart from it.

Unlike the other Lord Souls, the Dark soul is a fine that might never operation dry: as long as humanity proliferates, it can be consumed together fuel come prop up the dominance of Gwyn and his heirs – forever.

Humanity, a principle rendered as an in-game source capable of being gathered, lost and spent, may well it is in the Dark heart itself. Light, one more aspect of the an initial Flame, fades in time unless fed - however Darkness grows and also spreads, proliferating with and also inside humankind.

Just together Gwyn and also Frampt manipulated the player into harvesting the Life and Death lord Souls to feed the an initial Flame in Dark Souls, probably they additionally wish come harvest the Dark soul for the exact same purpose. Uneven the various other Lord Souls, the Dark heart is a well that might never operation dry: as lengthy as mankind proliferates, it deserve to be consumed together fuel come prop increase the ascendancy of Gwyn and his heirs - forever. This could well it is in why cursed humans lose your humanity: it"s being shed up to serve someone else"s ends.

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But lifting the curse by linking the an initial Flame is no the only option accessible to cursed humanity. Some undead do not walk hollow, or in ~ least, retain your sanity and also personality in ~ the same time. The an essential to continuing to be sane is to retain a sense of purpose; as lengthy as the undead keeps pushing because that a goal, they can cling to their feeling of self no matter how plenty of false deaths they suffer.

Player characters are an example of an undead with a feeling of purpose, however by the time of Dark Souls 3 there are enough purpose-driven undead the they have banded together in the city of Londor to keep each various other safe and strong, under the banner that the Sable Church. It"s likely no accident the this organisation"s name means "black", together opposed to the way of White - the church that the Lords that Light, led through Gwyn, which disclosure the worldview in i beg your pardon the age of Fire need to be perpetuated to end the curse and also protect the world, at the cost of humanity.

In Dark Souls 3, we fulfill one the the three sisters who established Londor"s Sable Church. Interestingly, need to you pick to death her, Yuria gasps "Kaathe, I have actually failed thee", as she dies. Possibly Kaathe was appropriate all along, and it"s time to end the age of Fire.

What wake up if the age of Fire closes because that good? lord of light orthodoxy claims the human being will end, but Kaathe and his followers believe the period of Dark will change it. The period of man, in other words, free from the dominance of the bearers that the Light mr Soul, that variously style themselves gods, kings and giants, and also demand that various other beings bend the knee.

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The opened of Dark Souls states that "when the flames fade, only dark will certainly remain" - yet nobody ever before demonstrates that this is a poor thing. Darkness is not the eternal nothingness that the age of Ancients; the is simply the other side of the coin come light.

Gwyn and his family certainly do not desire the flame to fade, due to the fact that the fire is the source of their power; without it, they shed their location as the elite, noble rulers of the world. Humanity, the Dark Soul, would be cost-free to ascendancy itself.

At the end of Dark Souls 3, football player who have met certain conditions can choose to usurp the flame. Unequal previous ending choices, this one isn"t a issue of simply walking away, leaving the very first Flame to it is in rekindled by an additional champion: this activity seizes the strength of the Kiln for the purposeful hollows the Londor - because that humanity.

The stories we hear and the guides us follow space not necessarily trustworthy, as soon as we recognise your origins and the enormous investment and also self-interest Gwyn and his kin have in the perpetuation that the age of Fire.

This is the first moment in any kind of Dark Souls game were the bike of the age of Fire can actually it is in broken, and it"s normally something players desire to know an ext about, since as ever, whether it"s a great thing or bad is open up to interpretation.

The Furtive Pygmy, and therefore the Dark Soul and humanity itself, has actually been tentatively attached to Manus and also the Abyss - and everything we"ve ever before seen of the corruption of the Abyss says it"s not a good thing. However could the be a bias imposed on united state by the framing narratives that the games, handed under by the Lords that Light and those that serve them? The stories we hear and also the guides us follow are not necessarily trustworthy, as soon as we recognise your origins and the substantial investment and also self-interest Gwyn and his kin have actually in the perpetuation of the age of Fire.

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Everyone"s to be hoping Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City would take united state to Londor and finally phone call us an ext about the age of Dark, yet I really doubt it. Everything we watch at World"s end will practically certainly be simply as darkly beautiful, and seductively incomplete, together anything indigenous Software has actually aired to date.

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That"s okay, though; I think the Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City trailer confirms the age of man is inexorably rising. Just as From software bows the end of the perpetual motion device of sequels, therefore too deserve to the civilization of Dark Souls shake off the yoke the a long-dead Lord who sought only the continuation of the status quo. At your hand or at that of an additional Lord the Hollows, the age of Fire is done. It"s closure, the a kind.