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  3. Given the huge demands on combat, could Dark Souls games ever have thick plots?
MasterSausage 8 months ago#1
My reasoning is that most of our drive in playing Souls games is in beating the next enemy/boss or planning to beat the next enemy/boss, which includes planning to upgrade relevant items etc.

The aim of the game is really just combat as a means to progress the route forward. So I wonder if there was a thick plot that drew the player into wanting to find out the next plot turn, whether we'd lose interest in the demanding combat because it became a distraction, even a hindrance, to unfolding the plot?

This also makes me think that games like Zelda have traditionally had very low combat demands because the gameplay is a bit more spread out with other things like some plot turns, sidequests and lots of puzzle solving.
(edited 8 months ago)
UltDeadpool 7 months ago#2
I think Dark Souls has an amazing plot, but it’s like a mystery and you have to piece everything together.

In the first game, we have the opening cinematic that tells us the gist of what’s going on, Oscar starts us down our path as the “chosen undead,” and Frampt tells us that we have to succeed Lord Gwyn to save the world from the dark and the curse. For a lot of people, this may be all they know about the game if they don’t explore or pay attention, and they may never guess how to get the second ending.

If you screw around, it’s possible to meet Kaathe who reveals to you that you are being manipulated by the gods to go against your own interests, that the light gives the gods their power but the dark will give the humans power, which the gods fear. So you are going to sacrifice yourself to keep the gods in power and keep the humans subjugated.

But is an Age of Dark good for humans? Should we stick to what we know or should we see what will happen? The game tells us about what happened in New Londo and Oolacile, makes us think that Gwyn has a point, or is that just propaganda? Although if Gwyn’s goal is to keep the gods in power, why would he plot with Frampt to kill himself and sacrifice his allies to preserve the Age of Fire? Seeing as how they defended themselves, they definitely didn’t agree to Gwyn’s plan.

This is explored further in subsequent games, where the continuous linking of the fire is destroying the land and is making the dark twist, we also learn that the dark makes humans immortal (like the gods) but Gwyn placed the curse on humans to make them lose their humanity, slowly turning them into mindless zombies. We learn that humans used to live the abyss and drew power from it, and we learn of the existence of the Deep; but we don’t know much about it except it was peaceful until Aldrich corrupted it.

The games makes us ask questions, and only gives us some of the answers, and each game ends on a cliffhanger leaving us to wonder... what happens now? Did I make the right choice?
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(edited 7 months ago)
Dragerdeifrit 6 months ago#3
Dark souls has a very thick plot/lore, it's the narrative in itself what is very thin, the game story its not really "told" but rather "suggested", everything needs to be pieced together through object desrciptions, envioremental clues, and vaque cryptic dialogs.
Hotel_Security 6 months ago#4
Dark souls has a very thick plot/lore, it's the narrative in itself what is very thin,

I always say it that Souls games have great lore, but terrible plot. Most of the games have little plot at all as it's just a hollow doing a series of tasks to light the flame. But the lore is nicely done if done well if one likes to follow.

As it stands, I'd never want a narrative-heavy game. That's not what games are for and I'd never want it to be a high priority.
MasterSausage 6 months ago#5
@Hotel_Security

I agree, the plot are the necessary turns that moves things forward from start to finish. Lore is part of backstory, which isn’t plot because they’re static, not forward turns. Anything beyond plot is texture or subplot, but anything less than the necessary turns means it doesn’t make coherent sense.

You could say that Dark Souls has great lore and backstory, but the unnecessary npcs only serve as texture the plot. In this sense, very little is needed to move the plot from start to finish.

Hotel Security, would you really not want much narrative, even if it was minimally intrusive to gameplay (for example, very few cutscenes and not locking you in position during dialogues) and was extremely compelling? Like, what the most you could conceive of having?
McSwordy 6 months ago#6
there's still time to delete this post OP lol
MasterSausage 6 months ago#7
@McSwordy

What? Why?
Eddo_C 6 months ago#8
Narrative and plots are very different. Dark Souls can have a present-time plot or an explicitly told narrative if they wished to. Your character can say things, the bosses can monologue and you can have cut scenes. Wow, we haven't seen games like that right? There is nothing inherent about Souls-like that stops it having a character driven plot. You see it in Nioh, you see it in GoW, heck even From Software had made one with Sekiro. A narrative heavy game is simply not a unique concept.

In some ways, the game's plot is a game in itself. You solve out of place puzzles in other games, why not for once piece together the plot. And I think the game tries to hit you with it once you have your "aha" moment. Game design is intentional, there is a reason why Sif goes limp when his HP is low, is a guide to his tragic fate. The final boss fight music is not a bombastic affair, the endings were deliberately opaque and were all designed to tease out some of your curiosity.

For me it works, Artorias, Sif and Gwyn are among the bosses I feel badly for defeating. If all you got from the game is hard combat, boss, next boss, you have barely scratched the surface of the lore.

I feel like OP is like a high school student in English class complaining that the teacher is reading way too much into the novel/movie they are studying. Not saying this as an insult or calling OP a kid, just that the plot "art" direction just isn't really to their taste.
You're pretty radical, can I fill your valence?
MasterSausage 6 months ago#9
@Eddo_C

Define ‘plot’.
Agahran 1 month ago#10
It does have a thick plot. It's just not told in a traditional way.
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