FromSoftware's Oeuvre

TW: Mention of committing >!suicide!< in reference to Sekiro's plot.

[The _Armoured Core VI_ announcement trailer]( is the _Dark Souls_ of announcement trailers.

FromSoftware's 20-year streak of video games need not be advectivised by me for its gravity to be understood by you. Whether it be a knight, knight, knight, English-pirate(?), knight, shinobi or any combination of the above who doth kill the freaks, game-handlers can't get enough of it. From my perspective, the conversation about *what* these games are has been proxied as the conversation for understanding FromSoftware's vision and arc.

Their latest game announcement is begging for that proxy to be left behind. My personal thoughts about FromSoftware's oeuvre began during my 6th play-through of _Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice_. They began with this thought: 'sekiro is the dark souls of comparing games to dark souls.'

In large part, its game mechanics stand dependently opposite of souls expectations; emphasised verticality and speed in movement, multiple resurrections, unseen aid, proactive-aggression-rewarding combat systems, etc. The name itself pokes a little fun at the resounding **DEATH** screens of past games.

Beyond its design, the story of _Sekiro_ begs the game-feeler to consider FromSoftware's legacy. Set in a mythic and historic Japan, Sekiro is asked by his immortal liege for help in committing >!suicide!< and ending all undeadedness in the lands of Ashina. This prince has wittnessed those who drink the rejuvenating waters stagnate and fears this fate for himself and his people, even in the knowledge that progress ensures destruction.

As the protagonist, Sekiro navigates putting to death the old heroes of a bygone era. As the player, we navigate putting to death every legacy institution of _Dark Souls_ in our own heads.

_Sekiro_ follows an arc in FromSoftware's story. Their oeuvre. _Sekiro_ is a moment of reflection not reverie, consideration not celebration, etc. An admittance for their profound awareness of the existential dangers of a successful formula. Not only did they recognised and admit peril, but they constructed an entire video game grappling with both the philosophical and practical challenges of success, simultaneously.

This is as far as I've gotten.

The bigness of _Elden Ring_ (in every sense) makes thinking about the arc of FS's story a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. The announcement of _Armoured Core VI_ blew everything out of the water. So I'm really interested in hearing what the forums think about FromSoftware's oeuvre, and what _Armoured Core VI_ means on every (except literal) level.

I think that Fromsoftware since its establishment has kept building semi-successful game franchises (1), then making few games in it (2), next some strange reimagining and mostly abandoned that series for something new (3).

1.Kings Field/Armored Core/Demon Souls

2.Kings Field 2 and 3/ Armored Core sequels/ Dark Souls series

3.Shadow Tower/Metal Wolf Chaos/ Sekiro (and maybe Bloodborn)

Also i see Armoured Core VI as a test of market for something new by Fromsoftware since Déraciné sold badly and man in suits lost some faith in allowing developers to move on from Souls

maybe this is unfair, but the big budgets seem to be in the way of From being From idk

I don‘t think I’m an iconoclast, here or otherwise, for thinking this, but I feel a lot of optimism about From Software‘s future at the moment! And, this is even in the face of the minor if hardy feeling of a lingering filigree of disappointment I’ve felt towards Elden Ring.

Maybe I'll address the disappointment towards _Elden Ring_ I feel, which is relevant to this:


@“yeso”#p96874 maybe this is unfair, but the big budgets seem to be in the way of From being From idk

I think this is a bit unfair, but specifically towards From Software, not unfair in general. If there is a problem, I don't think it's From Software having too much money, but Bandai Namco's influence as a publisher.

Case in point:

  • -

    As loathe as I am to give them any goddamn credit for it, I seem to recall that Activision, Sekiro's publisher, did the best possible thing and just signed a cheque and expected them to deliver a great game (at least, comparatively speaking, obviously it's not that simple but from what I recall Activision were, creatively, quite hands off). Love it, loathe it, loathe loving it, wish you could love it, or whatever remaining stock responses to Sekiro there are, I think it would be difficult if not borderline impossible to argue it is a game that was borne out of an exquisitely executed upon creative vision.

  • -

    _Bloodborne_ is much the same. Whether you love it or hate it, it was, at least in my opinion, born of a creative vision that was exquisitely, Baroque-ly (lol get it) executed upon. I am not totally aware of how much or how little Sony Computer Entertainment meddle creatively, but if I had to speculate, I think that their deal with the devil there was for the platform exclusivity in order to make _Bloodborne_ a system seller for the PS4, not to impose creative constraints. I mean, it's not like _Bloodborne_ is perfect, but it's definitely the _Bloodborne_ of videogames.

  • -

    It's worth taking into account that _Demons's Soul's_ was published by Sony Computer Entertainment domestically, and they also in hindsight fumbled quite a bag on opting out of publishing it outside of Japan. This is where Bandai Namco get introduced to the _Souls_ games by them publishing it in PAL regions (and Atlus for that matter since they published it in North America, but, I guess they don't become relevant to this story again), and I suppose Bandai Namco saw the potential from there since they were the sole publisher for _Dark Souls._

  • -

    The rest is history--love 'em, hate 'em, like 'em a lot and just wish they were like 5-10% different, make multi-hour Youtube videos defending their honour, I personally think of From Software's modern oeuvre, _Dark Souls II, Dark Souls III,_ and, despite that 5-10% of _something_ I personally can't help but feel is missing from it, _Elden Ring,_ have the most clear signs of some kind of compromise. The very existence of _Dark Souls II_ and _III_ represent a compromise after all--we know at least at some point Miyazaki has expressed that iterating on games with sequels is not his preferred mode of conceiving of games, even if despite all their flaws they are still beautiful and complex games in their own right. I still have not precisely figured out what kind of a problem I have with _Elden Ring,_ a game I played for close to 200 hours, but if it's anything, it was its reluctance to stray too far from the _Souls_ games.

  • Combining all of those points, and while admitting it's never really a great idea to speculate too much about what goes on within the black box environment of mass media production (especially when the development/publishing arrangement is so fraught with potential for creative compromise and how there are real and serious pitfalls for developers to speak publicly about the goriest details), I would still put forth that there might be a correlation between Bandai Namco's influence on From Software as a possible contributing force in some of the less inspiring elements of their modern oeuvre. I can deign to admit that Bandai Namco had foresight in choosing to take a small gamble on _Demons's' Soul's,_ and a larger one on _Dark Souls._ And, as schlocky and embarrassing as some of their promotional approaches have been, not even a cynic like me would say that _Bloodborne_ and _Sekiro_ would exist as they do without the commercial success of the _Dark Souls_ games, which, if I am correct and remembering the pertinent details, were potentially as well made as they were due to SCE and Activision getting out of the way. I mean, I'll hear an argument that there are publishers out there primarily dedicated to facilitating the creative visions of developers, but trying to argue Acti-fucking-vision is one of them sounds like a Herculean labour.

    Still, I am left unable to disregard the possibility that this last decade or so of _relative_ creative stagnation expressed by this clutch of games perhaps has more to do with pressures put on From Software through the terms of their contracts with Bandai Namco than anything else. Even if the creative stagnation expressed by these games is nowhere near a studio like, idk, Ubisoft, or, ironically, studios touched by Activision's tendrils, the degree to which _Bloodborne_ and _Sekiro_ shine so brilliantly does suggest to me that Bandai Namco intended to get what they paid for. Maybe that does explain some of the feelings I have towards _Elden Ring..._ it being _Dark Souls IV-VI_ or _Dark Souls II: 2: Two_ explains its biggest strengths and its biggest weaknesses, and, well, _Sekiro_ feels like proof From was ready and willing to make a game that both was and wasn't _Dark Souls,_ and at least to me keeping the game in a relatively familiar form sounds more like what Bandai Namco would want than what From Software, Miyazaki, and the team(s) both would want and what they're capable of. I even feel there are loose threads, if not much more, poking out of _Elden Ring,_ suggesting a game with more refined but less Souls-like combat and structure, and certainly _much_ less recycled content, that Bandai Namco might feel represents too much of a commercial risk. Or, at least, it represents that in like 2017 when I imagine the contract was inked and the game's production began, which itself makes this speculation of mine feel a little more plausible.

    Sidenote, by creative stagnation expressed by _Dark Souls II, III,_ and _Elden Ring,_ I should note that I'm referring quite specifically to a sort of reluctance to stray from established gameplay or structural elements, anyway... I think the visual aesthetics and narrative material of these games are not stagnant at all (insert joke about how the narrative throughline of _Dark Souls_ is societal/cultural/spiritual stagnation)). But, like, you know. I'm still floored at the idea that, despite its wildly different relationship to spatial verticality, the core mechanics for fall damage in _Elden Ring,_ especially the minimum distance to fall from before all falls are 100% fatal to the player character, are boneheadishly identical to _Dark Souls._ It's hard not to feel that that and many things like it is the product of anything of, say, the vast network of creative oversights and overall disruptions in development that surely happened due to the pandemic (not to be too elegiac but Pandemic Games sure have a weird sort of flavor to them huh), or some kind of insistence from somewhere to not rewrite the game's _Dark Souls_ DNA too much. Or both. Or some other reason, idk, again, black box environment.

    In any case, I have until now forgotten that I sat down to write this in order to express optimism about the future of From Software's games. To some degree I am compartmentalizing how I really feel about _Elden Ring,_ but also, not really, because I feel I've decided on pretty tangible reasons for why _Elden Ring_ is what it is. Perhaps what I actually mean to express is that _Sekiro_ in particular filled me with an enormous amount of optimism for From Software's future that, even if to me _Elden Ring_ represents a brief if frustrating detour or a pit stop more than it represents further linear progress in creative mastery, it wasn't able to change my mind that they are just getting started. And, I was even somewhat skeptical about _Sekiro_ before I played it and had my expectations blown out of the water. I mean, I was pretty confident it would be another fantastic game, just that, despite my highhorsedness about it in this post, perhaps I wasn't sure if _I_ was ready to move on from the _Souls_ formula. And I was blown out of the water by how refreshing it was to experience something different from them, and something so brilliantly and beautifully executed upon creatively, and something with such pitch perfect, uncompromising gameplay. I also don't know what _Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon_ really represents to all of these thoughts I have either, and don't even know if it's too relevant of a data point that it is being published by Bandai Namco once more. Perhaps it's enough to hope that, at least as far as inking deals with Bandai Namco is concerned, they are no longer in the sort of position where From Software's top decision makers feel compelled to so directly iterate on their games, which, if we read into how Miyazaki has said he is not necessarily always inclined to do so, was a commercial decision for _Dark Souls,_ and perhaps _Elden Ring_ is a product of Bandai Namco allowing From Software to have their No Sequels cake, but still being able to eat the Ok But It's Still Kinda The Same Game cake, too. And, maybe _Armored Core VI_ represents a similar compromise still, it's a sequel and they have been clear that it's not going to stray design and structure-wise too far from what has been established by the series in the past, even factoring how long the _Armored Core_ series has lain dormant. Surely though, at some point, Miyazaki or whoever is sitting down to the table with Bandai Namco can say that Sony or Activision can _probably_ at least match the incentives Bandai is able to offer _without_ expectations as to what the game will play like.

    Jeeze, I keep getting sidetracked from speaking on _why_ for goodness' sake I'm actually very optimistic about what From Software will do in the future. I dunno! At this point, I guess it's faith! Maybe this post could have just been one paragraph long. I guess what I'll conclude is that definitely do not think I've got blind faith, though--I've witnessed the miracles of _Bloodborne_ and _Sekiro,_ and can see what (may) have happened with _Elden Ring,_ and, boy, I haven't played an _Armored Core_ game since the first one and that was _extremely_ my shit even before I could competently play it, and MAN that trailer was HOT.

    So, yeah, idk, if they're still going to continue their sort of leapfrog development and release schedule, I am very, _very_ interested whatever will come next. Well, whatever comes next that is completely new, anyway... I honestly don't feel much if any anticipating for _Elden Ring_ DLC (I feel I have quite entirely put that game to bed and it's hard not to feel like _Elden Ring_ came complete, but with a healthy dollop of Day One DLC, and I know I had my goddamn fill of _that_ if you know what I mean), and _Armored Core VI_ feels like an equal mix of something new and familiar. There's a shitty little part of me that can't help but wish Miyazaki will break his sequels code and _Blooc**||**ↄorne II_ or _Sekiro 2: Collision in Korea_ will become a reality. It does kinda feel like if they ever do happen it will be for a creatively justified reason, so I'd probably have kittens if they were to choose to do it. But something entirely new will be super exciting to me no matter what it ends up being.

    I've referenced it many times on this forum, but I'm still very much in agreement with something Tim Rogers said in his 2019 end-of-decade retrospective on, where he talked about 10 (15? I don't remember how many) of the best games of 2010-2019. And, I think I'm paraphrasing, but I believe when he responded to the idea of what From Software's best game is, he mainly concluded that their best game is one they haven't made yet.

    I wholeheartedly agree, I guess!

    I guess I‘ll elaborate and say that while From is pursuing it’s own idiosyncratic ends in some respects, more $$$ is leading to more conventional-looking games just more tastefully done, and nothing is a weird as King's Field or Evergrace or as fragmented as the earlier Armored Core games. So maybe this is what From would have been doing all along if they had the money


    @“yeso”#p96929 So maybe this is what From would have been doing all along if they had the money

    Eh.... maybe. Some of the idiosyncrasies of games from that era might just be a long and slow acclimation to 3D games, especially with regards to modelling and animation but also just games monumentally increasing in fidelity in a lot of respects more generally, that produced a lot of weird and weird lookin shit from a lot of different sources, From Software included. If <=8 bit was infancy and 16-bit was childhood, videogames had a long and _weird_ adolescence.

    Although, admittedly From Software was perhaps weirdo than others. There have seemingly been weirdos doin' weird stuff there for a long time.

    Perhaps it's also worth considering Miyazaki's meteoric rise within the company, and in hindsight what a miracle his turnaround of _Demon's Soulz_ was.

    As a reminder of the Company/Miyazaki Lore:


    Miyazaki‘s first gig was as a planner or designer on Armored Core: Last Raven in 2004, and he later went on to direct Armored Core 4 in 2006 and Armored Core: For Answer in 2008. At some point, Miyazaki became interested in Demon Souls, which was already in development, because he’s a dork who likes fantasy. Whoever was in charge viewed the game's unmoored development and its failure as a foregone conclusion, and so let Miyazaki take over as director. Then by 2014 he was the company president.

    _Evergrace_ was in 2000, and even if Miyazaki was a fan of Weird Pre _Souls_ From Software, it doesn't seem to be the case that he ever worked on any of 'em (unless you consider _Armored Core_ to be Weird From Software). Who knows to what degree the weirdos who made stuff like _Evergrace_ remain, and what level of influence they have creatively anymore? I mean, I'm asking that question rhetorically because I have no inkling of what the answer would be even though there's a way to at least make an educated guess.

    sure, there‘s not necessarily continuity between the people who made Echo Night or whatever through to today, but the studio’s output is much more focused on variations of a single theme and aesthetic, to the point that Elden Ring is imo kind of extraneous even though it‘s obviously really good and impressive as a video game. So idk if they’re really a weird studio anymore.

    It will be interesting to see what AC VI is like. If it's as nihilstic as 4 and 4A I wonder how convincing that will be in the context of it being a frontrunner of a game rather than a fucked up egm 5/10


    @“yeso”#p96953 So idk if they’re really a weird studio anymore.

    Hope springs eternal! AAA reboot of _The Adventures of Cookie & Cream_ probably isn't gonna get snuck in in between speech-worthy awards at The Gamer Awards though I suppose.

    And, I dunno, this feels a teensy bit unfair towards _Bloodborne,_ even if dark gothic fantasy with cosmic horror isn't a massive stretch from dark high fantasy with less focused horror. On the other hand, It's not totally unfair towards _Sekiro,_ though. I mean, a game set during the Sengoku period? Come on, try harder. There's a whole series of games named after Oda Nobunaga already.

    At some point it feels pertinent to ask if at least in the modern context where people really have been recreating Peach's Castle from Mario 64 in Unreal Engine for youtube clicks (I mean look at these [goddamn hacks](, are indie games now the main purveyors of "weird" aesthetics, mainly in order to stand out from the sort of stylized near-photorealism that has become the default for AAA? Like, was a AAA game ever going to look like _Sable_ in this decade?

    @“Syzygy”#p96976 You‘re a loose cannon, Syzygy… putting forth the idea that a game that explicitly says it’s set during the Sengoku Period in its introduction is in fact not set in the Sengoku Period… but goddamn it… you get results


    @“Syzygy”#p96976 just based on the visuals the Kamakura period would be more appropriate

    Depending on what you're referring to, does anyone off hand remember when Senpou Temple was established? Maybe that was deliberate!


    @“Diisco”#p96749 The bigness of Elden Ring (in every sense) makes thinking about the arc of FS’s story a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

    I'm the type of person that tends to see the big picture, zoomed-out perspective, also less literal and material and more emotional and figurative. So to me the oeuvre and arc of FS seem very clear, having played a lot of their games from every generation.

    I also think that this stuff is about to be made apparent by a horde of youtubers who are as we speak plowing through the Armored Core series for the first time. Since I come here to add stuff that I feel like *no one else besides me* is saying, I think that limits what I have to add..

    In general, I think that all of FS's games are more similar and connected than they appear at first glance. People want to make something out of nothing, so they're going to preemptively complain that this post-souls AC is going to be more souls-like than it should be. I think that Armored Core already was souls-like, in that it's an expansion of the kings-field-like, and then souls was built upon the AC-like-King'sField-prototype pile of filthy dregs.

    Sekiro, I can say now confidently, was more a symbol of what lies ahead than Elden Ring.

    playing so many of them there games-- mechanically, all of them are about moving guys around in a space, it being really super dangerous, and then becoming as powerful as a god. minor tweaks here and there, increase of speed, and switch between first and third person view, and Souls is armored core.

    @"yeso"#p96874's section:


    maybe this is unfair, but the big budgets seem to be in the way of From being From idk


    @“yeso”#p96929 eading to more conventional-looking games just more tastefully done, and nothing is a weird as King’s Field or Evergrace or as fragmented as the earlier Armored Core games.

    I like your opinion.

    My opinion: I define FS by King's Field and their earliest "experimental, yet satisfying" stuff that was on playstation. I think they have done a great job, to the point of recreating scenes and environments from King's Field in HD as recently as Elden Ring and Sekiro. However I do agree with you that I expected a lot more _surprise! It's Evergrace_ out of elden ring. I think elden ring left a stale taste with a few of us.


    @“yeso”#p96953 Elden Ring is imo kind of extraneous even though it’s obviously really good and impressive as a video game. So idk if they’re really a weird studio anymore.

    IMHO, I think this is because Sekiro and Elden ring were developed at the same time like 8 years ago, and elden ring just took a whole lot longer to complete. So it's pretty darn tiresome by now, I probably played & replayed souls games runs too many times in those 8 years and compounded the weariness. Sekiro isn't that weird either, but if you, like me, are tired, there's probably still a bunch of weird From Soft games from the bronze age you still haven't played!

    @“Syzygy”#p96976 thanks for calling that clown out on his bs

    @"treefroggy"#p96986 I'm very curious to see if AC VI carries forward the structure of brutal, totally unsatisfying 90-second long missions from 4 and 4A or if that gets sanded down, because that's not really an "anachronism" like the movement, speed, environments, etc of _King's Field_ have been labeled and then dispensed with.


    @“treefroggy”#p96986 Sekiro, I can say now confidently, was more a symbol of what lies ahead than Elden Ring.

    here's hoping! And credit where it's due, they did make _Déraciné_ for an audience of a)themselves and b)mutants like us

    @“yeso”#p97009 Interesting point. My expectation is that this time around, Miyazaki-san would be aiming to create the Shin-Armored Core, true and all-encompassing.


    @“yeso”#p97009 here’s hoping! And credit where it’s due, they did make Déraciné for an audience of a)themselves and b)mutants like us


    @“Syzygy”#p97026 joking about our pal gaagaagiins getting corrected about minutiae


    @“Syzygy”#p97049 Immortality derived from centipede-like worms in the blood?

    This is completely off topic but I was watching RedLetterMedia's video on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and they were talking about the comics. They mentioned that in the first issue Shreddar dies. He is then broguht back in a later issue with the explanation that his henchmen fed his corpse to alien worms and then cloned him from that or something.

    [seinfeld voice] : _Whats the deal with worms and immortality?_


    @“Syzygy”#p97048 It’s not really my intent to correct Gaagaagiins, I was discussing From Software’s ouevre in this thread inviting me to on a video game discussion forum?

    Mods please ban @"yeso"#385 for his excessive rudeness towards me...

    (Also, not to worry, that's how I read yeso's post, we're all good here (and I know you didn't intend to correct me and you're sharing your substantiated interpretation (or, at least, not me specifically, I was just the one talkin' shit)))

    Anyway we of course all know to never take anything yeso says seriously (this is also a joke)


    @“Syzygy”#p97048 Blade of the Immortal is specifically set in mid-, late-Tokugawa rule and the entrenched fascism of the shogunate is a crucial plot point; that would make more sense for Sekiro, too, casting Isshin as a former war-hero of the Sengoku who survived but lost politically and turned to occultism to regain his family’s feudal power.

    This is definitely how I read it. Inasmuch a "historical period" can exist, it rarely has truly well-defined beginning and end dates. Even if there is some kind of event that might signify as something having ended, like, for example, Japanese surrender during World War II, it wouldn't be totally accurate to say that [conflict or even combat and casulaties in the Pacific Theatre definitively ended.](

    If we were to take it to be unavoidable canon fact that _Sekiro_ is set _during_ the Sengoku period, I would say there's supporting narrative material to say that it is set during a transitory period right at the end--if historians (read: wikipedia) say the Sengoku period ended when "Toyotomi loyalists were defeated at the siege of Osaka in 1615," if _Sekiro_ must be set in the Sengoku period, it must be somewhere _around_ 1615. Given the events leading up to the game's ending, where ||crack troops from the central government arrive to put down Genichiro's rebellion|| that makes sense to me. Or, and I quite like this interpretation of yours, it is in fact definitively after the clean historically agreed upon ending of the period, with Genichiro attempting to, heh, reanimate the political conditions where Ashina achieved glory. I won't speculate on a history I don't know really know anything about, but assuming a natural length of life for Isshin, I'd assume either could be possible?

    I suppose what is up to interpretation is whether or not Genichiro was attempting to artificially prolong a losing battle or reanimate a definitively cold corpse. I just took it as a given that it was set during the Sengoku period, so I didn't play the game with that in mind (not that I'm knowledgeable enough to have spotted the anachronisms anyway).

    I guess I should read Blade of the Immortal, since I very much enjoy what I‘ve seen of Sekiro’s aesthetic, but am too lazy to actually play it.


    @“Syzygy”#p97188 内府 in Japanese

    I am always so fascinated by the English translations of historical Chinese and Japanese political offices. I remember reading 中国历代政治得失 ("The Gains and Losses/Plusses and Minuses of Chinese Political History"? I'm not sure how to translate the title) by Qian Mu, which lists in excruciating detail the various offices and titles used in local and imperial governments during various dynasties in order to explain the evolution of China's political structure. While reading I had to constantly have a dictionary open, and the English translations of these ancient Chinese offices sound so much like modern bureaucracy to me. They would make me imagine the Han dynasty government as just a bunch of guys sitting in cubicles or whatever. Minister of the Interior is a good Japanese example of that.

    I also wish I actually retained any knowledge about ancient Chinese political structure from that book lol.


    @“Syzygy”#p97188 Of course, there is no Ashina in history, so trying to frame this fantasy story historically, my follow-up question is: where does Ashina/Isshin belong, who did they fight for and against?

    That's certainly where the historicity of the game completely falls apart, since while I suppose there was a real Ashina clan according to [this Reddit post]( (which also makes another interesting connection to Tokugawa), there's nothing more fantastical about Ashina the place as depicted in the game than its otherworldly, impossible geography. Well, ok, the skyscraper sized snake is pretty fantastical too I guess, but the impossible geography is up there for sure. And, I'd say that the answer to this question is a geographical one, ultimately.

    My specific memories on this aspect of the game's backstory are hazy, but I guess I interpreted Isshin being the former head of the Ashina clan (with Genichiro being the current) to mean he was some sort of samurai warlord or feudal lord or _daimyo,_ or whatever. Which isn't mutually exclusive to him being a sword-saint, no?

    Still, the location of Ashina in the game, as in, the land holdings of the clan of Ashina, are clearly not grounded in anything, even if we were to assume there's some veiled connection to the real Mt. Kongo.

    All I can really find as to this question is that a scattering of websites call Isshin a "hero of the north," and I can't remember that being in the game at all. So... idk. Presumably Ashina is some land somewhere north of Edo? Which describes like 65% of the country. IDK, this isn't a negative thing, but the geography of Ashina only makes a low to moderate amount more sense than the geography of Lothric, and like, there's some shit going down there for real.


    @“Syzygy”#p97205 I have doubts about Sekiro’s Ashina, 葦名, being based on the Ashina family, 蘆名, identified in that Reddit post; the latter is so minor a footnote in history that it seems more likely From came up with a homonymous name by accident, considering the initial kanji in both means “reeds” and that’s a phrase they’ve used to identify eastern Asian-y kingdoms since Demon’s Souls.

    That's plausible, and also, pretty funny.

    I guess ultimately what we could say to tie all of this back into From Software's oeuvre is that From Software do some detailed and impressive work in grounding their games in history, which, to be specific, is quite a different thing from grounding them in historical events.

    Otherwise, how would we even have this conversation?


    @“beets”#p97178 [seinfeld voice] : Whats the deal with worms and immortality?

    Also Swamp Thing...weird

    Armored Core 1 has a poison swamp stamina run mission. King‘s Field also has poison riddled areas, king’s field 3 specifically has a poison swamp area. So it‘s also not just a miyazaki thing. He’s getting attributed for a lot of stuff. He's just a director! Kind of like hideaki anno is just a director!

    What's awesome about FS is that they were a young contender that started with 3D games' infancy in the mid 90's, so a lot of the old guard and OGs were still around when most old companies (square, nintendo, sega, konami namco etc) torchbearers were retiring or had moved on.

    So they keep the spirit alive.

    The way that the same map designers are able to make maps for PS4 in bloodborne with the same feel and appeal as maps from 1994 is astounding, it's like they've been making remakes all along.

    what's especially funny is that a lot of these stories are being retold, and people still don't get it, lol. Like holy crap the story of the first armored core is a bit un subtle, (but I love it) I wouldn't call it ham fisted, but now armored core VI's rubicon seems like it's gonna be straight up Dune with the same things happening. How many post apocalyptic corporate wars can there be happening in this universe?

    Last, this probably should go in the FS general thread, but instead of bumping two FS threads at once,
    after completing AC1 and getting a few hours deep in my KFIII run, I'm not feeling very motivated. I've said this a lot, KFIII is regarded as the best one that holds up the most, but I think it's the ugliest of the three, which is a feat. It's making me sick! And my ass played KF1/2 and loved it!

    It's too spread out (like elden ring). Geographically, KF1 is Demon's Souls (teleport to enclosed puzzley areas), KF2 is Dark Souls (very vertical, areas bleed in and out of eachother naturally), KF3 is Dark Souls II (branching paths, very annoying to keep tabs on!!!!!). KFII is less Red/Green and more Blue/Gray, which is more appealing on my eyes. It's also textured more like a Bank lounge area in 1993 or a set from Star Trek: TNG than KFIII is textured like the underside of a rock I found at the park, or a ~~pussy~~ scab. (EDIT: WOW I meant pus, like what you'd find on a scab. did NOT realize what I had written there)

    Maybe I'm just not caffeinating enough lately, I'm drinking a Reign right now before I have to go run my local branch of Toys for Tots.
    FS games I still have yet to finish (on PS1)

  • - KFIII
  • - Armored Core Phantasma and Arena
  • - Spriggan
  • - Shadow Tower
  • - Echo Night 1/2
    and I guess when you put it that way, I've only beaten KF 1/2, armored core 1, lol
  • I'm very tempted to skip ahead to Dreamcast/PS2 games now, just for the graphical leap. I definitely want to hit Frame Gride, very interesting. Same with the armored cores on PS2, which seems like their golden era stride before demon's souls. The Demon's Souls adjacents and late 5th generation like MWC and Otogi will come last.


    @“Syzygy”#p97194 And to be clear I hold Sekiro in high regard and recommend the game also.

    hahaha that should be clear based on the depth you're describing it