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Saturday, September 18, 2021

“Elden Ring” will Drown in the Same Abyss of Racism and Misogyny that Swallowed “Dark Souls”

The Summer Game Fest was an exciting event for journalists and gamers alike. We were finally given answers to our most important questions:

“Is Elden Ring even real?” Yes, it is!

“When is Elden Ring expected to release?” Next year! (2022)

But one important question remained unanswered, “Will Elden Ring be a journalist approved game?” Though we will not have a definitive answer until our journalists get their hands on the review copy, we can still make an educated guess by looking at earlier titles made by developer FromSoftware.

FromSoftware’s largest and most successful project thus far has been “Dark Souls”. Initially released all the way back in 2011, this critically acclaimed game quickly became popular by providing gamers with a grueling challenge, along with providing gamers with an innovative online multiplayer system. Just about any topic regarding Dark Souls has been talked about already, with one important exception. There is an enormous elephant in the room that Dark Souls fans have refused to address up until this very day. Namely, that the game is rooted in hatred and misogyny. And we do not care if the community is not ready to talk about it yet. We are still going to have that conversation.

And so, Globe Media Holdings journalists Neville (Xe/Xir) and Robert (they/them) took it upon themselves to journey through the forbidding land of “Lordran” and uncover its many secrets. They infiltrated ruined castles, traversed poisonous swamps, visited ancient cities of old Gods, and then proceeded to link the fire. Most importantly however, they uncovered the mysteries of the lore and discovered many hidden yet problematic elements that slipped under the radar of even the wisest of lore-enthusiasts. What is upsetting is that to find most of those elements, you do not have to look further than the opening cinematic itself.

At the very start of your adventure in “Dark Souls”, you are shown an informative video explaining the history of the world. Long ago, the world was ruled by Dragons of Color. Then, a pygmy lord discovered the White Soul within a flame. He used the power from this Soul to launch a crusade against the Dragons. A genocide ensued, and a kingdom named “Lordran” was built. One day, the kingdom was prosperous, and its people civilized, but now it is decayed, with the people being nothing more than mindless hollows. The reason for the decline of civilization is implied to be that a dark energy known as “humanity”, which was carried by a small number of POCs, began to spread among the populace. This became a threat to the white Gods and their “Age of Light”, resulting in them fleeing the kingdom, leaving the POCs to starve and rot in the wasteland.

A “humanity sprite” of color

I must give Fromsoftware credit. It is truly astounding how much racist imagery they managed to squeeze into the opening cinematic. It is also unacceptable. But what is most shocking, is how all of this has remained unnoticed by the community for what has been almost an entire decade. Thankfully, Neville and Robert took their time to produce a video that goes into even more detail about the lore of Dark Souls. If this article will not wake up the gaming community to the horrors of Dark Souls, then hopefully their video will. After all, what I managed to cover in this article is just the tip of the iceberg.

Neville and Robert’s in-depth analysis of “Dark Souls”

Note that “Robert Downey Jr.” mentioned in the video was used as a “gamertag” and has no relation to the American actor.

However, we are not done yet. You see, Dark Souls is part of a trilogy. There are two other games left that need to be analyzed. Thankfully, we will not have to go as in-depth about the other games, as all games in the trilogy take place in the same world and explore similar themes. All three games are ultimately about linking the fire and rooting out the Black humanity so that the white Gods can continue enjoying their privilege. However, there are many smaller subplots and tales told in the games that have undoubtedly left marks that are just as terrible as those left by the main story.

Let’s begin with Dark Souls II. One of the more significant stories told in this game, besides the main story, is the tale of Velstadt and Raime. The story of these twin knights is used to send a racist message about the supposed threat that Black culture poses. The game uses light to represent the Christian God, while using darkness to represent Black culture. The white man Velstadt discovers light in the depths of the Undead Crypt, which inspires him to remain loyal to his hollowed King until his own death. But the Black and stereotypical Raime does not believe in loyalty. Instead, he is scorched Black by flame, and spends the rest of his days selfishly robbing unfortunate travelers of their Souls. 

The “good” knight Velstadt praying to his light.

Dark Souls III is not quite as problematic when it comes to the sub-plots. It appears that FromSoftware knew better than to pull the same trick thrice.  However, the main story remains unmistakably similar to the prior games in the trilogy. The world becomes consumed by darkness, and it is your duty to prevent the natural course of nature by artificially maintaining the “Age of Light” which, if you recall, was built on a foundation of colonialism and genocide. 

All things considered; it is not looking pretty for fans of FromSoftware. Elden Ring will most likely end up being a hate game just like its predecessors. But hope is not quite lost yet! There is a chance that FromSoftware may have finally learned from their mistakes. Still though, our usual advice applies even more here than it does for other unreleased games. Do not pre-order games that are not approved yet, but instead wait for our journalists to give the games a shot. We will tell you what games you can play!

For more journalist approved games, please view Inclusive Gamers and our articles on unapproved games like Animal Crossing, Super Mario, Minecraft, and why gaming in general needs to be changed.

Marcus Xander
Inspired by the Malcolms and Martins who came before him, Marcus dedicates his life towards fighting for civil rights and social justice. Since graduating from Mesa Community College with a masters in Journalism, he has been working in the media to inform the populace, and heal society.

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Ralph Payne

Did you ever think that maybe you’re just wrong? Or is your opinion absolute and infallible? Maybe you should’ve decided on a more suitable career path than journalism considering you can’t seem to write a worthwhile article.

Looking at everything through the lens of race doesn’t make you a better person than other people. As a matter of fact, it makes you infinitely worse. I hope you soon find better things to do than fight for false injustices. There are many real issues far more prevalent in modern society that need fixing and we don’t need people like you creating more issues that aren’t actually issues.

Obeon

Write a worthwile article? He clearly isn’t even understanding what he is seeing.

“All three games are ultimately about linking the fire and rooting out the Black humanity so that the white Gods can continue enjoying their privilege”

C’mon, the end of the series is almost THE EXACT OPPOSITE of this.

Giant_Dad

Wat r u casul?

Obeon

really, it has to be a joke. I can hardly believe someone understand the plot this wrongly.

literallydontcare

i like it when i can use a big hammer to pummel the whiteys

based

This is ridiculous.
Actually no, I will say it as it is. This is absolute BS.

“Will Elden Ring be a journalist approved game?”

What makes a “journalist approved game” at this point? Does the protagonist have to be a colored (Don’t you dare say ‘black’ or ‘n…’ or you’ll trigger their pea brains.) Mary Sue with a mental disability and 679 gender identities?

Video games are not meant to appease the miniscule minority of jouralist cuckolds and whiny manchildren.

Next you’ll say that games like Kingdom Hearts should not have a critical difficulty – or any difficulty at all, because that would imply an “ableist discrimination” against those who simply can’t “git gud”. There’s no harm when you can’t beat a certain level. There are just two very important DON’Ts when discussing video game difficulties.

– DON’T imply that it’s discrimination.
– DON’T whine about others being better, trying to talk them down.

Next you’ll say that chess is racist because it’s a race war between white and black, and that white has the first move.

“The reason for the decline of civilization is implied to be that a dark energy known as “humanity”, which was carried by a small number of POCs (…) . This became a threat to the white Gods and their “Age of Light”, resulting in them fleeing the kingdom, leaving the POCs to starve and rot in the wasteland.”

These souls are black. Dark. They’re not colored.

Darkness is often stylized in a purple-blue tint, and not in the shape of Rodney King, Rosa Parks or George Floyd.

This isn’t even an attempt at a Kojima Troll. You’re just plain wrong, attempting to falsely cancel a game for something that your rotten mindset has interpreted as racism.

If you can cite where it said that “the game uses light to represent the Christian God, while using darkness to represent Black culture”, then I will gladly check on that. Until then, it’s what YOU claim for it to be. But that doesn’t make it true. You’re not a preacher of the sole truth. You’re a journalist.

Video games are not social commentary. Social commentary can be found in those, but that’s not what makes a video game.

Clearly, you are not ready to be challenged by critique.

With that said: git gud, and get ready to have THIS conversation.

AvenirXi

I believe you need change your profession because u are on wrong way

PhantasmBlast

I read the part on raime and velstadt
And it’s completely wrong
Raime was the one who was loyal to the entire kingdom
He was the one who discovered the truth
And was the good guy
And raime left, not really being scorched at all
And velstadt went to a crypt to basically rot away

Also the age of darkness in dark souls 3 is thought to bring about humanity’s best, the gods wanted the age of fire to continue because they are basically selfish pricks and scared, but in dark souls 3 the “best” ending (No real best in 3 they’re all sad af) is letting the fire die out and bringing in the age of darkness; Which is said to be the age of humanity and peace. Also the souls are black. Not white. LMfao.

Baumgratz

I was first confused if this is a satirical article or not. But as soon as I watched the linked video where it’s said “Dark Souls is a game where women are portrayed as violent and hysterical persons will attackyou on sight” I totally undersood what is going on. The NPC who’s showed just attack you if you attack her first. The whole video is clear irony, wich is something tricky to get by text but way easier to get by voice.
I need to say, this is an actual really well done bait, probably caught many distracted people.
I rate it 7/10

AdolfSwagler1488

your gay

bogheorghiu

lol, satire or not (honestly can’t tell), this article only proves the genius of Miyazaki. basically it’s a quasi-correct (although ridiculously specific) reading of the surface story, the one the player is told and expected to take for granted on the first playthrough of DS1.

I guess you didn’t dig too deep into the game (or actually play it lol) if you didn’t figure out how the game itself subverts this intentionally authoritarian mythos.
hint (without spoilers): the game is kinda sorta lying to you.
hint 2 (for DS1): some of the messages on the floor are left by the developers.
hint 3 (also for DS1): if you’re anti-authoritarian, why are you doing what you’re told? “cause it’s a videogame”? try otherwise, you might be surprised.

generic explanation of the BIGGEST spoiler about all of Dark Souls and DS1 in particular
the deeper layer is that maybe the so-called gods are lying to you in order to keep their power. the even deeper layer is that you can’t possibly know if either of the two layers is true or not, and to what extent.

in DS1, one of the key points where this is revealed is dark Anor Londo (what it is and how you trigger it. if you “play by the rules” you’ll never know it exists).
the other is Kaathe.
don’t look up either of these unless you’re sure you don’t want to experience the game for yourself.

but what makes me seriously doubt your honesty is how you can not know this if you read up on DS lore, as you claim you did.

Last edited 1 month ago by bogheorghiu
Augur

He doesn’t even know it’s called the Age of Fire. I knew that after playing thirty seconds of the game, which guess what, I actually played, and know there is more to it than the opening cinematic, which implies very, very little of what he’s grasping at straws to try and describe.

starkey1493

As a rabid dark souls fan, I love this article. Absolutely dying 🤣

mryupjup

The way of the white and gwyns name refer to the church. Which the main character is a victim of. Saying this is about race is like saying berserk is. Saying this game is making the gods seem like something good is like saying berserk is saying white is better than black because griffith is pretty.
Yourenliterally calling this game as full of hatred by projecting a specific social issue upon characters in the game killing immortal dragons.
By projecting dishonestly like this you are missing out on the real messages of the games, these you can find by reading them through an empty cup and they are masterful.
It is a masterpiece afterall.

and damn the best ending of dark souls 3 is about the humans gaining their dignity back and is literally about the age of dark and it being a rightious thing.

This is dumb

mryupjup

fuck i just realized this is a really good article

mryupjup

Disabled people want to be able to play the game. They dont want to play an easy game. Difficult games have a place. Many games simply lose quality on a lower difficulty setting hence why theyre the experiences they are.

Snez

This is either a very good parody or you shouldn’t be a journalist as you’re the one seeing issues that aren’t there and virtue signalling in the worse possible way. Let’s not forget fromsoft are a Japanese company so logically your argument falls apart.

As for the difficulty debate that rages, I want a challenge, therefor I am the target audience. Animal crossing doesn’t, it’s not for me, should I therefore berate Nintendo for not thinking of my poor feeling and the fact I’m excluded?

Saddam_Hussein_Slayer

ur casual

vompeta.jpg
N.F.fan

Hi there,

I was wondering if you have really played the Dark Souls Games, especially their latest, DS3? Because obviously when the first one came out, everything was a lot more problematic, also in pop and entertainment culture (But even then it wasn’t problematic, really). But more recent titles such as Sekiro and DS3 don’t have that at all, and it’s giving me cancel culture and not allowing people and companies to grow and learn from their mistakes, which in itself is very toxic.

To me the article reads as if you didn’t really engage with the story of Dark Souls. It’s actually very political, and very anti racist, pro feminism and progressive depending on which decisions you choose. The racism argument is trivial, as white and black only represent dark and light, in fact, the “dark” humanity side is the good side for most players, so you could say it is very pro POC and racial equality.

The only thing I’m gonna point out however is the lack of non-heteronormative narratives, if you decide to engage in quest lines such as marrying.

There must be a place for discussions like this, but I see why it upset some people.

Last edited 1 month ago by N.F.fan
Obeon

I sincerely hope this article (and video) is just a joke, because if it isn’t…

wow. I couldn’t express how impressed I’d be at how badly you understood the lore. I mean, it’s a whole new level of bad interpretation. Makes the “solaire is the estus soup” gag sound like the theory of relativity by comparison. For someone that intend to critique a plot, you clearly lack basic interpretation skills for even the most stablished lore aspects of the game (like the fact that the gods are NOT portrayed as exactly good beings, specially gwyn).

PS: “but instead wait for our journalists to give the games a shot. We will tell you what games you can play!”

pretentious much?

Last edited 1 month ago by Obeon
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