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15 Unforgettable Moments from the Souls Series

Praise the Sun!

With The Ringed City marking the end of Dark Souls as we know it, let’s pay our respects to the series that gave us some of our favorite gaming memories of all time. Be warned: major spoilers ahead.

Here are 15 unforgettable moments from the Souls series.

1. Facing the Dragon God (Demon’s Souls)

Few bosses in the Souls series ever matched the sheer scale of the Dragon God fight from Demon’s Souls. Passing through the fog door and coming face-to-face with the massive winged demon was terrifying enough, but the Dragon God is more than just an intimidating fight. It’s one of those rare boss battles that relies more on smarts than stats and reflexes.

Mitchell Saltzman

2. Your First PVP Kill

Passive multiplayer has been a signature element in the series since Demon’s Souls, but no matter which game you started with, your very first PVP kill is bound to stick with you… even a thousand PVP kills later. Whether we were the host or the invader, the thrill of pitting our skills against another player and actually beating them for the first time is a special victory we’ll never forget.

Chloi Rad

3. Becoming the Old Monk (Demon’s Souls)
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The Old Monk fight used Demon’s Souls’ unique approach to multiplayer to grant real players control of the boss itself. From Software has replicated this idea a couple times since, notably with Dark Souls 2’s Looking Glass Knight and Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City’s Halflight, Spear of the Church fight. But none of these have surpassed the excitement of getting summoned into another player’s world and waiting for them beyond the fog door that first time.

Mitchell Saltzman

4. Discovering a Secret Level

Few gaming moments can match the thrill of uncovering a secret level or secret boss, and in a series known for secrets, you can count on Dark Souls to go all out. From the haunting beauty of Ash Lake to the sinister foreboding of the Untended Graves, the first time we opened up an illusory wall into a whole new world was a mind-blowing reward in itself — rivaled only by all the incredible surprises those worlds had in store.

Chloi Rad

5. Fighting Artorias (Dark Souls)

There are so many incredible boss fights in the first Dark Souls, but the showdown against Knight Artorias is an obvious stand-out. When you finally come face to face with the noble Abysswalker, he’s a shell of his former self — corrupted by the very darkness he fought against. Knowing it was up to us to give the legendary, self-sacrificing Artorias the honorable death he deserved made the fight as tragic as it was tough… and don’t even get us started on his pet wolf.

Chloi Rad

6. Defeating Havel the Rock (Dark Souls)

Awe-inspiring bosses aren’t the only worthy challenges in the Souls series. There are a number of fierce NPC opponents just waiting to take you on, and few are as iconic as Havel the Rock. Most of us remember the first time the tank-like knight one-shotted us with his massive Dragon’s Tooth, but even more unforgettable is when we finally nailed that parry and defeated the great Havel once and for all… until Dark Souls 3, at least.

Chloi Rad

7. The Anor Londo Archers (Dark Souls)

The Souls series has challenged more than our combat skills. The Anor Londo archers stand as one of the most hilarious and frustrating examples: those pesky, Greatbow-wielding Silver Knights that made our early platforming adventures in the city of the gods just a little more memorable… for better or for worse.

Chloi Rad

8. The End of Solaire’s Quest Line (Dark Souls)

In a world that wants to see you die repeatedly, Solaire is the best friend we could’ve hoped for. But towards the end, his sense of hope begins to wane, and eventually, in the hellish depths of Lost Izalith, driven mad by a sunlight maggot, he turns on us. While it is possible to save Solaire, the method is so obscure it’s unlikely most first-time players will succeed. Most of us were forced into taking the life of our dear sunbro, in true, heartbreaking Dark Souls fashion.

Daniel Krupa

9. Learning You Can Parry Gwyn (Dark Souls)

Gwyn is one of the all-time great final bosses. Some say that being able to parry him trivialises your eventual face-off, but that first time we realized we even could only increased the pathos of the moment. It triggered the realization that Gwyn is no longer the king who ruled over Anor Londo, but a fading god standing in a pile of ash as his world dies.

Daniel Krupa

10. Seeing Majula For the First Time (Dark Souls 2)

In keeping with the somber tone of the series, Dark Souls 2 begins in darkness. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. The ogre-filled caves of Things Betwixt eventually give way to a breathtaking sight: a peaceful, seaside settlement basking in the warm orange glow of the sun. Majula became a place of pleasant respite in the harsh and unforgiving kingdom of Drangleic, making the moment we first laid eyes on it like opening the door to a new home.

Mitchell Saltzman

11. Accessing the Memories of the Ancients (Dark Souls 2)

Accessing the memories of the Giants grants an awesome trek through the past and lore of Dark Souls 2. These brief snippets only gave us a small amount of time to explore what the world was like long before the events of the game, but they were a strange, novel, and dream-like way to experience Drangleic’s history.

Marty Sliva

12. The Burnt Ivory King Battle (Dark Souls 2)

The battle against the Burnt Ivory King is one of the most epic fights of Dark Souls 2. If you fully complete the final piece of Dark Souls 2 DLC, you’ll enter The Old Chaos with the four Loyce Knights at your side. What ensues is an epic battle with over half a dozen warriors swinging swords and casting spells, as massive waves of lava crash and burn in the backdrop.

Marty Sliva

13. Finding King Vendrick as a Hollow (Dark Souls 2)

Souls lore does an incredible job of humanizing the monstrous, and King Vendrick is a prime example. Vendrick is one of the toughest bosses in all of Dark Souls 2, but in the Memory of the King, you’re able to confront the once-noble leader before he went hollow. Seeing his human side makes the actual boss fight all the more tragic.

Marty Sliva

14. Rediscovering Anor Londo (Dark Souls 3)

Ornstein and Smough, the infamous archers, the portal to the Painted World, the hidden fight with Gwyndolin, the Darkmoon covenant, that incredible elevator, and that lovable Giant Blacksmith. Anor Londo was home to some of Lordran’s finest, making our eventual return to its grand cathedral in Dark Souls 3 both gracefully understated and profoundly nostalgic.

Chloi Rad

15. Soul of Cinder Fight (Dark Souls 3)

The last boss of the last Dark Souls game ever was going to be emotional no matter what. After braving Boletaria, Lordran, Drangleic, and finally Lothric to get there, coming face-to-face with the Soul of Cinder felt like a mix of excitement, sorrow, and relief all at once. But it wasn’t until the somber piano of Gwyn’s theme started up during its second phase that the weight of the moment really hit us.

Chloi Rad

In a series full of incredible moments, it would be impossible to highlight every single one, but we hoped you enjoyed reading about some of our favorites. Let us know which moments from the Souls series stood out to you the most in the comments!

For more on Dark Souls, don’t forget to check out our hilarious Dark Souls let’s play series Prepare to Try, and our deep dive into From Software’s incredible history of action RPGs in The Secret Origins of Dark Souls.

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