Dark Souls Is A Metaphor For These Things ONLY

If I have learned anything from reading other people’s opinions about Dark Souls it’s that Dark Souls is probably a metaphor for something. But what? WHAT? There are so many conflicting opinions out there.

Well, that’s where your pal, Pip (that is me), can help. I have come up with a definitive list of ways to interpret Dark Souls correctly:

  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for life
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for death
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for purgatory
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for all variations on the experience of life and the afterlife and possibly also the past or the distant future or a different reality or maybe something to do with the apocalypse and armageddon (not the movie) all co-existing at the same time
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for surprise parties that might go really well or be really bad and full of skeletons and you have to tell your mum why her favourite lamp is broken
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for making a really beautiful piece of toast and then using out-of-date marmalade on top and suddenly it’s all gritty and you have to work really hard to get rid of the skeletons marmalade but you don’t want to give up on the toast
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for the benefits of sun salutations and, by extension, regular yoga practice of any kind
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for a completely different time that skeletons didn’t want you to ring a bell and got in your way all the time
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for dealing with telephone helpline systems that ask you to press numbers in various patterns in order to reach customer service representatives. In this metaphor forward rolls are like when you find out that hammering 0 over and over brings you to a real person. That is a lifehack. Thank me later.
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for when you were really into Radiohead as a teenager but ONLY Kid A onwards because its lack of instant accessibility makes the listening experience more rewarding
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for when you are older and have to learn how to persuade a toddler over and over again to keep their sunhat on
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for that piece of furniture in your house that always catches you on the shins when you’re on your way to do something else and you have to stop and deal with the shin pain and it is so annoying but there it is, all the time, giving you bruises and being part of the experience of being at your house
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for the importance of bonfire night and not forgetting the actions of Guy Fawkes and thus the potential fragility of the status quo in any given political system
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for Tinder and how swiping at things is the only way to defeat them. Or get dick pics from them. That is not part of the metaphor. Skeleton dick pics would be kind of pointless.
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for terrestrial biomass pyramids and how we place importance on the higher trophic levels but that the prolific lower levels are a vital part of the ecosystem because the skeletons represent the insects and the algae and the plants probably
  • Dark Souls is a metaphor for Bloodborne

    1. Amake says:

      You need to play like you mean to win, but at the same time be able to use your understanding that this is just a game.

      To lose without feeling, without passion, without judgment, without judgment.

      • DDark says:

        To play Dark Souls, one must stop being human, one must go hollow.

    2. HumaTT says:

      This is the Dark Souls of “This is the Dark Souls of…” metacommentary articles.

      • HumaTT says:

        (And that ^^ , by the way, was the Dark Souls of “This is the Dark Souls of…” metacommentary article comments.)

    3. Pich says:

      It was an autistic kid all along.

    4. ironman Tetsuo says:

      Everything, in its right place

    5. GWOP says:

      Dark Souls is wandering around Lordran and wondering how a game that doesn’t allow you to jump can have such wonderful verticality, and other games can’t.

      • Nuno Miguel says:

        Have you tried pressing L3?

        • Nevard says:

          While that is indeed a jump, it barely gains you any vertical ground and is mostly used for travelling horizontally.

        • popej says:

          Also, L3 won’t do you much good in Lordran.

      • IJC says:

        Indeed! (you can tap B while sprinting to jump, but I still agree).

      • soundofsatellites says:

        From Soft new IP confirmed: Jump Souls (Jumpborne?). Hardcore plataformer with teeth grinding difficulty.

    6. Geebs says:

      Everything Radiohead did after Kid A was unique in that it was dense, difficult music that utterly, utterly failed to reward repeated listening. As an oeuvre, it’d work fine as an expression of Thom Yorke’s general cussedness if it wasn’t undermined by Hail to the Thief being an uninspired middle-of-the-road rock album.

      Good thing the Flaming Lips were in the middle of a particularly creative patch about that time, really.

      • batraz says:

        Couldn’t agree more… Radiohead ans Dark souls are two things I’ll never get because I’m just too dumb, I’m told.

      • unit 3000-21 says:

        Oh Geebs, you had to ruin it for all concerned. While I can admit that “Where I End and You Begin” is pretty uninspired, the rest of the album is great, and I find every it a very rewarding listen. BTW I never could get the supposed difficulty of Radiohead’s music – to me it’s beautiful and easy on the ears.
        On the other hand I wouldn’t call rehashing ideas from previous two albums, but with slighty worse songs terribly creative.

    7. Freud says:

      Dark Souls is a metaphor for the plight of Irish potato farmers in the 19th century.

    8. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Dark Souls is clearly a metaphor for that one sperm that makes it, by roll dodging.

      • Emeraude says:

        Amusingly, while I’ll refrain to comment on 3 until I’m done with it, you may not be that far from the mark on that one.

        Between the very deliberate symbolism – that shot of the basin + sword the first time you enter Lothric, the pilgrims and the city… – the multiple references to a missing child, from King Oceiros to Rosaria’s empty cradles, to even “Heir of Fire restored”…

        I have a feeling DS3 might actually be just that really… or at the very least part that given how DS as a series manages to do brilliant things as far as mixing the representational and the allegorical is concerned.

    9. trollomat says:

      It’s a metaphor for sex, and it sells.

    10. Michael Fogg says:

      DS III is a metaphor for an adult able bodied person who just wants to read item descriptions and watch level geometry but finds themself literally, physically unable to, and that constitutes a violation of said person’s civil rights

    11. Alfy says:

      I disagree.

    12. fish99 says:

      Dark Souls is a video game.

    13. Rumpelstiltskin says:

      I think it’s a metaphor for a great game. It conveys the general idea of what a great game could feel like, without actually being one.

      • Nauallis says:


      • cautet says:


        Can you ever get a masterpiece that isn’t flawed? That doesn’t punish you in an unpleasant and draconian manner for every tiny little bit of enjoyment or wonder you can wring out of it? I wonder now whether the whole broken keyboard and mouse controls were deliberate in DS1. Well done waiting for the port – now wait for someone to mod it before you can actually play it. Hell – maybe the choice of games for windows live (purgatory) was deliberately designed to add to the experience?

    14. Monggerel says:

      Bloodborne on the other hand is an extended allegory of human sexuality in the same way “Use of Weapons” is an extended allegory of creative carpentry.

    15. Heliocentric says:

      Dark Souls is a literal message about the SKELETON WAR.

    16. Ddub says:

      – Dark Souls is a metaphor for that time I wassitting.. no stressing on the John pinching a troublesome loaf for a long time, and when I finally heard that splash-down, I stood up, exasperated with feelings of final relief, only to soon realize I’ll have to do this again tomorrow on NG+ cause Momma-bear brought home a Taco Bell volcano box.

    17. Henas says:

      Don’t give up, Marmalade!

      Good luck, Toast!

    18. benkc says:

      Pip, you make the best articles. :)

    19. Dudeness says:

      I’ve played Dark Souls for a couple of hours — before cowardly gaving up it in front of the sheer amount of many bloody pulpy bloody times I’ve been beaten by that crenels minotaur — so I didn’t get a real glimpse at it’s essence, it’s meaning.
      So thank you Pip for exhaustive list of metaphors, now I can dig it, with out having to play it.

    20. Edgewise says:

      Dark Souls is a metaphor for YOUR MOM.

      Ohhhhhhhh snap!

    21. cannonballsimp says:

      Dark Souls was obviously meant as a metaphor for being a locksmith’s simian assistant tasked with grinding keys, although of course these other interpretations are not necessarily invalidated just because they fail to reflect the artist’s true intent.

    22. Benratha says:

      Did the furniture also, possibly, contain a skeleton? Or maybe have some other bone related structure? Or is the fact that it catches your actual shin bone a metaphor?

    23. HotSoapyBeard says:

      THANKYOU!! Now I can finally have something clever to say at dinner parties.

    24. dethtoll says:

      Bless you, Pippa, you and Alice are why I come to this site.

    25. cpt_freakout says:

      Dark Souls is a metaphor for Die Hard 9

    26. DORKSMAN says:

      Dark Souls is a metaphor for climate change (probably? i haven’t played it)

    27. KingFunk says:

      Dark Souls IS a metaphor for life. It represents all those shiny things I’m conceptually interested in but have never got round to because I don’t have time and actually it might be too difficult. Except now I’m unemployed so I could play all the Dark Souls I wanted except I can’t because I can’t afford to buy any games as my current loot is barely enough to keep me stocked with life-sustaining health potions whilst I deal with the grimdark world of job searching and navigating the Job Centre. Perhaps my life is a metaphor for Dark Souls…