- Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:21 am
DS3 is a great ending to the series, and the DLC literally brings you to the end of the world with the planet looking like its burning out down to the core and the entire Solar System appears to be collapsing.
But an ending is nothing if it has not been properly built up to. I really enjoy the idea of DS1 being the beginning to the story, with the character being the first to link the flame since the time of Gwyn's firelinking, AKA the first fire-linking of all time. DS2 is a slice of history and glimpse into the middle ages between beginning and end, where the world has already been subjected to dark times where the flame had been rejected by those who reach the kiln, and subjected to the unnatural rebirth brought about by countless undead linking the flame. DS2 is a cross-sectional view of an enormous world that has seen so many more cycles of darkness and light than in DS1 where the flame had only been linked once and ends with its 2nd linking. It feels like so many cultures have come and gone, countless heroes were born and died or hollowed... I really enjoy how the world and lore of DS2 presents a perfect juxtaposition between DS1's beginning of the Age of Lords, and DS3's ashen planet that is clearly tiring and being utterly depleted by the endless and unnatural cycle of Linking the Flame having been triggered an uncountable amount. Apocalyptically Burnt Out, the World appears to be a barren wasteland once Filianore's egg crumbles and leads to her either becoming unable to maintain the illusory world she created, or more likely we are thrust forward into time, and probably not absurdly far forward, as I believe the world's already nearing complete implosion from the abuse of flame-linking and divergence from the natural order. Just as the painted world(s) seem to always rot, so too has the real world finally rotted and burnt out to the point that linking the flame was likely no longer a viable ideology nor solution due to the planet's structural integrity seeming so fragile and destroyed.
I like to think that the painted world that Aria begins to paint will exist with time passing normally within the painting, while the physical painting itself which exists in the real world exists in suspended animation and time on the outside world. In a way where time passes in the painted world independent of the real world and thus a whole new era of mankind can be born with a brand new beginning to the world. That or the fact that Aria is painting her portrait within an existing portrait, ie The Painted World of Ariandel, might cause Aria's new painted world to act as a portal to another dimension, parallel universe and/or another totally independent plane of existence, as the new portrait is so far removed from the real outer world of Lothric, Lordran, Drangleic, etc, that it seems to have severed its connection to the places, people, time and space of that world. Especially with Aria acquiring the Blood of the Dark Soul Pigment as the paint with which she will paint the portrait, does this seem like a brand new beginning free of the constraints and traditions of the Dark Souls world, without the obsession with flame linking that was put in motion by Gwyn, without corrupt, hypocritical, power-hungry and cult-esque religions found in the the Way of White's faithless leaders who abuse the faith of subordinates and command great military power and the Cathedral of the Deep's obsession with hyper-hedonism going as far as to emulate the cannibalism and sadistic joy of watching the terror on the faces of the people, often children, that Aldritch and the many Aldritch faithful would engage in torturing, murdering and cannibalizing an unholy amount of victims, the early decimation and forced-extinction of an entire race of ancient dragons, and so much more that lead the world of Dark Souls to a continuous downward spiral that kept going lower until the end of time. The world Aria paints with pigment of the Dark Soul might possibly become as eternal and as immortal as the pigmies were when they possessed the dark soul... Allowing for a new world to be started from scratch; without the burdens, atrocities and mistakes of the past, and free from the outside world's obsession with linking a flame that should likely never have been linked in the first place. Mankind may have finally found its beginnings with the world that Aria paints, free from the Lords and gods of old, and free from all their downfalls and demands. Free not just from the aspects and influence of the world outside of the painting within a painting. Never before has a painted world been drawn using the Dark Soul, and I also like to think that this powerful pigment will grant a new world that is COMPLETELY unhindered by the characteristics and attributes of the painted world of Ariandel, and especially free of the toxic influences of the true outside world of Lothric/Drangleic/Lordran and all else that we never personally got to discover. And free from the apocalyptic nightmare the world has become where we fight Gael and Shira, allowing the new Painted World to become a totally untouched New World, with their time reset back to 0 as this new world becomes a welcoming place for new life and a chance for humanity to finally flourish after so long being herded by the gods, lords and their vassals to live in a mental, psychological, and spiritual, as well as an often literally physical, cage.
And Dark Souls 2 is such a warm slice of life straight out of my favorite video game universe ever created. A cross section of the world of Dark Souls long after the Chosen Undead linked the fading flame of Gwyn and defeated the Abyss in Oolacile, and long before the world of Dark Souls 3 where the World's existence is nearly burnt out and everyone and everything is running out of time, and out of options: Where Lords of Cinder see such worldly and personal destruction in the Linking of the Flame that they refuse to contribute to their world's destruction by linking it a second time when summoned, or, In the case of Lothric, refused to even link the Flame a first time.
The world of Dark Souls 2 is vast and the enormous differences since Lordran was our home in DS1 show just how far the world has come. New kings and lords have replaced old kings and lords. New civilizations, cultures and cities have replaced their older counterparts. And almost all of it has crumbled and almost all the names of this time were forgotten by the time of Dark Souls 3.
I love it, and I only played a few hours of DS2 so far, and I'm 4 bosses in. I beat DS1 and DS3 to several NG+. And to simply write off DS2 by labelling it as inferior to DS3 and ignoring it is beyond pointless, because it shows you also largely missed the point of what made DS2 great and what makes Dark Souls as a series great.
Unless you were just trying to make a cheeky tongue in cheek comment, but yeah... you know lol.