This feature was originally published as part of our Supporter Program. Please do sign up for one bonus feature every weekday (plus assorted game-related gifts), selected highlights from which will eventually appear on the main site too.
An exploration of the uncanny architecture of Daggerfall’s dungeons and the interconnected worlds of Dark Souls.
Dungeons, as a concept in games, are one of the great pillars from which disbelief is suspended like a ragged banner. They are functional objects, from the perspective of designer and player alike, but their function as part of a world is unclear. Occasionally, they are prisons of a sort, as their name suggests, but they are more likely to be ruins of uncertain utility. As to the question ‘why are ruins so often underground?’, we can perhaps answer by recognising that no visible architecture is required on the surface if such complex spaces are buried. The conjuring of the momumental without the pesky need to build the monument.