Dedicated to digging into the game's lore. Bring your thinking caps.
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JohnnyHarpoon

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#1
Now, I haven't checked out the DkS1 board in a long time, so forgive me if this has been suggested/posted/discussed to death...but I was thinking about DkS1 lore the other day and came to a conclusion.

So, I've always tooled around with the idea that Gwyn represents the player, in a way. In the first playthrough, Gwyn is the final boss, yes...but what was Gwyn's story? In the end, he rekindled the First Flame, was essentially incinerated, went Hollow, and now spends his time protecting the Flame from the Dark/being extinguished. Despite it having since dwindled, Gwyn stays, hollow/mindlessly protecting the Flame that is barely even there anymore.

The player is likely to not know about the Dark Lord ending on their first playthrough, and would rekindle the First Flame...thus, being incinerated, going Hollow, and, well, more than likely Hollowly hanging around protecting the Flame from being extinguished. This idea fits pretty snugly into the inherent theme of cycles prevalent throughout the entire game (and series as a whole).

So, if this is true, the Dark Lord ending is surely a way to break the cycle, and instead usher in an age of Dark, right?

Wrong. In order to usher in an age of Dark, what would you need to do, more than anything else? Prevent the First Flame from being rekindled. How do you do that? Well, you sit and wait for somebody to come and try to rekindle the First Flame, and then you kill them.

Seldom does an Undead actually make it to the Kiln, however, and as the Dark Lord obsessed with Dark and keeping the First Flame unkindled, you probably are waiting for somebody to come for a very long time. What happens when somebody becomes completely obsessed with a singular goal, to the point that that goal completely consumes them and they lose their sense of self? They go Hollow.

So, if you listen to Frampt, you sacrifice yourself in order to rekindle the First Flame, spending your subsequent time Hollowly guarding the Flame from being extinguished (even though it eventually dwindles).
If you listen to Kaathe, you kill Gwyn and go on to spend your subsequent time guarding the First Flame, ensuring it is never rekindled (all the while becoming consumed by your obsession, and in turn more and more Hollow).

Essentially, it's the same thing. Regardless of their motivation, the Chosen Undead succeeds Gwyn, protecting the First Flame (from either being extinguished or rekindled).

In the end, I think both Serpents are telling the truth - or, at least, the truth they believe. Neither is inherently lying to you...however, the lie rests in them making you think you have a choice to begin with. That is why the symbol of a Two-Headed Serpent is so prevalent throughout the game: Yes, you have two Serpents, and two different options...but, at the end of the day, they are two heads of the same Serpent (a symbol of deception)...two sides of the same coin, so to speak...and no matter how you choose to go about it, your fate remains exactly the same.
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#2
Agreed - regardless of what path you choose, the same thing will happen. The only slight difference is that the Dark Lord ending makes the world wait longer for the Flame. That's why the theory that Vendrick is a Chosen Undead works regardless of the path taken at the end of the first game - if you don't Link the Fires, another Chosen Undead will take the same path as you and do it themselves.
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#3
Wow really nice JohnnyHarpoon. I like how you tied in that bit of symbolism at the end with the two headed serpents and the players choices in the game (or lack thereof depending on how you want to look at it). Im a hardcore fan of Dark souls 1 lore and I cant believe I missed that one. Well done sir
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skarekrow13

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#4
Eloquently put. I've always said both endings are meaningless as they result in the cycle continuing but you've added a new dimension here.

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Caciowskij

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#5
That may sound wierd, but many times I thought that Frampt and kaathe are two heads of the same creature, thinking in two different ways...
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Orange19

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#6
Except you forgot that having a Lord Soul prevents you from Hollowing. And maybe, Gwyn wasn't Hollow, just because he didn't talk to you doesn't mean he was Hollow. Humans are the DARK race to begin with, that's reason enough to attack you on sight. It would be the same if it was a demon with horns and everything visiting a templar church holding the Holy Grail lol. They wouldn't start talking, the templars would simply attack.

I always considered the Dark Lord Ending to be you going around the world sucking the Humanity out of everyone until the Dark Soul was complete again. Even before DkSII, and now that it is out, I realize Kaathe was lying to us and Frampt was the good guy.

Frampt wanted us to save the world. Kaathe was using us to collect Humanity, so in turn he could give it to Nashandra, to make her Dark Soul whole again. He was using you, to serve his true Dark Lord (Lady). And yes, given the lack of Humanities in DkSII and the presence of the Dark Lady, I believe the going around the world collecting Humanity was a thing. Also, the more Humanity you have, more human and far from Hollowing you are.

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#7
Orango19 wrote:having a Lord Soul prevents you from Hollowing.

May I ask what your source for this is?
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Orange19

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#8
Delam_Farano wrote:
Orango19 wrote:having a Lord Soul prevents you from Hollowing.

May I ask what your source for this is?


Knight Lautrec from F*cking Carim. Humanity is by all means, part of a Lord Soul. No Lord or someone holding a large enough amount of a Lord Soul ever Hollowed.

Nito is just chilling, (and now thanks to DkSII we know he hangs between two worlds). Not Hollow, otherwise he would have attacked you when you were there to join his covenant.

Witch of Izalith was turned into a demon. But she did not Hollow.

Seath (who had a fragment of a Lord Soul) only went mad, but still has enough of his faculties to realize the importance of his crystal. I believe the mad here is just "crazy scientist".

The Four Kings aren't Hollows, they were just sealed away.

Manus didn't Hollow, he died, and then was resurrected, and his soul went insane for the lack of the Pendant. But there is a big difference between that and Hollowing.

The Firekeepers that hold large amounts of the Dark Soul all stay sane through many generations, never showing any sign of Hollowing.

Gwyn did not Hollow. He simply left when humans were one with the Dark.


Lautrec is basically doing what the Darkwraiths do without joining the Dark heads on. You and Nashandra are the only Dark Lord"s" with any desire to get Humanity other than preventing Hollowing.

Delam_Farano

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#9
What line are you referring to? I just read his dialogue, and I don't see it anywhere.
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Orange19

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#10
It's been a while, but iirc he said something like this:

"By the gods! Your face! You are already turning Hollow... but don't worry, there are ways... Rich b*tch with sh*ttons of Humanities just went down into the Catacombs. If you get her Humanities it would revert your state."

Several other NPCs mention how Humanity (The Dark Soul) fixes Hollowing.

http://youtu.be/qnvBVLMFtfE?t=1m45s
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