Twitch Plays Dark Souls Beats Notorious Roadblocks

It took 28 days, but the eternal, self-propelled machine that is Twitch Plays has finally managed to defeat a couple of the toughest bosses of Dark Souls [official site]. That is to say, the notoriously tricky Ornstein and Smough, who were taken out after several attempts – I haven’t a clue how they managed that one. You can watch it all unfold after the jump:

It’s worth pointing out that roughly 90 hours into the game’s Undead Asylum, Twitch players realised the classic Twitch Plays method of chat-based inputs was never going to get them anywhere. So the majority of this Dark Souls playthrough is the result of a turn-based method where each action is followed by a pause while directions in the chat are tallied. Which isn’t to downplay what a total pain-in-the-ass it must still be to choreograph such a feat. Really worth a watch, it’s incredible – especially considering Twitch streams generally have a broadcast delay, causing trouble even with this constant pausing.

After 30 days of playing, Can Twitch Chat beat Dark Souls?! is up to New Londo.


  1. DarkFenix says:

    Wow, I remember looking at the stream a few days in and seeing them still in the Undead Asylum, figured they’d never get anywhere.

    • Abndn says:

      They starting going hard on democracy mode, and the game pauses every second or so giving them at least 10 seconds (numbers might be slightly off) to vote on the next move. Pretty sure they’d still be stuck in the Undead Asylum if it ran in real time and everyone’s commands were entered.

  2. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Those two were the reason I stopped playing Dark Souls. Real life pain threshold long since crossed, the 153rd time not proving to be a charm, I just typed out “not playing 3rd person games much makes Jack shit at Dark Souls”. 5,678 times.

  3. brat-sampson says:

    Wow, looking at the time stamps, in real life twitch viewing time, this fight took about 4 hours. That’s a pretty good achievement. I reckon they can take the rest of the game no problem* now.

    *Well, I mean, it’s doable at least.

    • Jalan says:

      There’s failed attempts to factor in as well.

      I’m really surprised at how many users are cutting together and speeding up the footage from the stream throughout YouTube though. The wait for something to go up is never quite as agonizing as actually watching the thing live.

  4. Hunchback says:

    Punctuation please, this post title makes no sense at all in it’s current state. I actually read it 4 times to try and get the meaning, then abandoned and surrendered to reading the contents in order to understand what this is all about.

    • weltensturm says:

      I don’t see how you could add punctuation without destroying the meaning of the title, which isn’t that hard to understand. Maybe capitalisation would make it easier, but it’s an article header so whatever.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      I think he/she/it is looking at the word “Plays” as if it was a verb, not part of the brand. In that context, the headline should be “Twitch Plays Dark Souls, Beats Notorious Roadblocks”. But since “Twitch Plays Dark Souls” is the name of the series, the current punctuation is correct.

      • Jalan says:

        I thought the name of the series was “Twitch Plays”.

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          I’m pretty sure that Twitch Plays is the channel, and Twitch Plays Dark Souls is the series.

          • Abndn says:

            You are wrong. The title makes perfect sense once you realize that “Twitch plays Dark Souls” is the channel’s name (TwitchPlaysDark specifically).

          • Jalan says:

            I’m willing to concede I’m wrong (or that I may be wrong), but (on the surface) it makes sense that the series would be “Twitch Plays” with the name of the game being something non-static to the title of the series overall. I guess for that side of the argument to make complete sense it would need something like a colon separating it (“Twitch Plays:” (game)) though.

      • JFS says:

        It wouldn’t hurt to add quotation marks, though. It’s not easy to understand.

      • Hunchback says:

        Yes, to me it was either:
        Twitch Plays Dark Souls, Beats Notorious Roadblocks
        “Twitch Plays Dark Souls” Beats Notorious Roadblocks

        As it is, it sounds/reads like a collection of 7 words that can’t really build a phrase. Maybe it’s because i am not a native english speaker… But i guess it’s more lack of “general culture”, not knowing what “Twitch Plays” is. Being 31 has it’s downsides :P

    • horsemedic says:

      > Punctuation please, this post title makes no sense at all in it’s current state.

      Probably just needs more apostrophes

      • robodojo says:

        Horsemedic, “its” is actually the possessive form of it. “It’s” is the conjunction for “it is”. I remember this because I was on the wrong side of a family argument about this very thing.

        • GWOP says:

          Horsemedic has quoted Hunchback without correcting him. It was Hunchback who wrote the contraction of it is in place of its.

          Believe me, we are all suffering from the lack of an edit button.

      • Abndn says:

        Its is correct.

        • DarkFenix says:

          That’s his point (look at Hunchback’s post), however in his enthusiasm to quote somebody else’s grammatical error he made a glaring one of his own and forgot quotation marks. Tsk tsk.

          • gunny1993 says:

            I do believe the “>” is code for a nested quotation, so since we’re using the internet, everyone should be fluent in what that code means.

            Your move

          • The Godzilla Hunter says:

            So confused.

          • Hunchback says:

            This has gone out of hand! :)
            And yes, i made an error of typing “it’s”, oh well.

          • Jalan says:

            Hunchback – make one mistake and it all snowballs out of control.

          • horsemedic says:



  5. Dale Winton says:

    They should complete the game now , although I am wondering how they will do the bed of chaos as that requires good timing.

    • Freud says:

      It’s also rather predictable since you know where you have to go to hit stuff.

  6. Jokerme says:

    How is this even possible? Stream delay should be well beyond reaction windows you have to dodge attacks. Even if it was without delay, reacting with chat commands should take more time than you have in fast paced fights.

    There is something fishy here.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      The streamer has built in a delay system, so there’s a 30-40 second window after each action to vote on the next action. So it’s no longer real-time, that would have been impossible (as we saw in the first 5 days or so).

      • Jokerme says:

        I see, somehow I missed that information while scanning the article.

        That’s less impressive and more manageable. I did watch the first day a little and they weren’t doing delay thing.

        Not related but reminds me of the time me and my brother finished Captain Tsubasa 2: Super Striker on NES. It had a level up system and your players got stronger even if you lost the game. So when you played again, the match was a little easier. But we didn’t know that back then and when we lost we replayed the same game using the password since losing meant going back to previous match.

        Consequently the game got harder and harder. At one point it was so hard some matches took months to win. We were playing near perfectly and enemies were always three times the level we were. Almost everything they did were successful even for their weakest players. Their stars were just unstoppable and only way to fight back was using Tsubasa or Misaki’s strengths which were not that powerful against these monsters.

        All in all, one way or another we managed to reach the World Cup Final to face Brazil. That was the end of our run. It was literally impossible to win with our team at their current level. Every shoot Brazil took turned into goal, all of their defenders took the ball without any trouble, their keeper conceded nothing etc.

        So we discovered THE cheat. Run once, pause the game, run once, pause the game. This guaranteed that no rival player could catch our players and we managed the reach their goal without getting intercepted. At that point it was just a 50/50. Either the keeper goes for the ball save and takes it even if you shoot or dribble since his stats are just too overwhelming or he goes for the tackle and you shoot and somehow he is not able to catch you before you do and you score. ONLY way to score was this. So what we did? We scored one and ran around until the game was over: 1-0.

        So we managed to beat Brazil at lowest level possible for the game, but did it in a shameful manner. We dishonored our families and victory was indeed bitter. We did it anyway.

    • basilisk says:

      As the article says, it was indeed impossible, and the early days proved that beyond any doubt. But they’ve changed their approach and now it’s sort of cheating – the game is essentially played in “Real Time with Pause” mode, and the next move is decided during each of the regular pauses by democratic vote. Which is extremely tedious, but apparently can get the job done.

      Without that, they never would have made it outside the Asylum.

    • Herr_C says:

      I actually think I died the most to Sif for some reason. Made me take a brake for few weeks. Or maybe even to 4 Kings.

  7. Andy_Panthro says:

    It seems they’ll be finishing this before me! Which is slightly depressing. Although they have been playing it constantly for about a month, whereas I find the odd hour here and there.

    • fish99 says:

      I’m guessing you don’t have the option for longer sessions, but short sessions definitely makes a game like Dark Souls significantly harder. A big part of beating the tougher bosses is learning their move sets and getting the muscle memory down for roll timing.

      (you probably already know this)

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        I’ve also being playing more of a “tank” character, which isn’t a good idea for several boss fights which require a bit more agility.

    • Harlander says:

      If they ever finish this, they’ll finish it before me.

    • skyturnedred says:

      My problem is I keep restarting with a new character. I like playing the areas I know already, it’s such a pain in the ass when you progress to a certain point (for me at least).

  8. Michael Fogg says:

    Can’t we now just use Twitch to find the cure for cancer by the way of people’s random inputs?

  9. MacGuffin says:

    They did get really lucky on Smough’s move-selection RNG right at the end, but they were consistently getting Ornstein down before that and dying to super-Smough.

    I’m actually surprised they downed Priscilla.