Check out these 3D maps of Dark Souls’ deaths and warnings


The Dark Souls games are hard. I’ve been told this and I believe it to be true. So true, in fact, that my fragile masculinity keeps me from playing them, for fear that I will learn the last 33 years built to nothing and that this whole “gamer skill set” might be an elaborate creation of my mind that translates into no genuine abilities. Maybe the only thing harder than Dark Souls is finding the strength to admit your weakness. Anyway, look at this cool thing!

Twitter user @DriftItem was kind enough to make and share some incredible images they created from the Dark Souls game which shows visualization of “~20000 DS1 bloodstain & soapstone messages” in a 3D map. This image really shows you where folks run into trouble in the game.

Here’s one of the same map that is labeled with locations.

Here’s some maps of other locations and further Dark Souls data from the same user that you might find as exciting as I do — even without having played the game.

Oh look! Things go poorly in Anor Londo! (That’s a reference I get.)

For someone with less than 30 tweets, we’d really like to see more from @DriftItem so maybe drop them a line and tell ’em you appreciate the work, before they disappear back into the void.


  1. gabrielonuris says:

    And this here is what I wish people could mimic when they jump on the “souls-like” bandwagon; not the difficulty, neither stamina bars…


    • teh_nerd says:

      If by “interconnected” you mean seamless without load screens, then

      ***YOU ARE 100% CORRECT, MAN***

      Applies to other genres as well. I’ve been saying for over 10 years that the seamless world w/o load screens is one of the most important things that made WoW great. Now guess which feature of the game hardly any WoW-clone ever bothered to copy?

      • fish99 says:

        No load screen is nice of course (although Dark Souls does have a few) but I suspect what gabrielonuris is referring to is how the various areas of the game often connect to each other in surprising ways. An example would be coming out of Blight Town the alternate route you find both the cliffs leading to the bottom of New Londo where the drakes are, but also the tower leading up to the lake where you fight the hydra, but it also goes all the way up to the Undead Burg. That’s if I’m remembering it correctly.

    • digital_sneeze says:

      I don’t think there’ll ever be a souls-like that’ll ever match up to the Soulsborne games. Too much artistry going on there. Salt and Sanctuary did pretty well though, actually. At this point Ashen and Death’s Gambit are the only thing giving me some hope.

      • abomb76 says:

        I’ve been finding Nioh to provide a lot of the best elements of the Souls games while still being its own unique game.

        • digital_sneeze says:

          I tried my absolute hardest to like Nioh but after 8 hours or so I had to throw in the towel as I realised I wasn’t enjoying any aspect of it, sadly.

          • fish99 says:

            Same here, played 20 hours or so without ever really enjoying it. I really miss the sense of exploration and discovery from the Souls games. Also Nioh’s story was trash.

    • GepardenK says:

      100% agreed. A web of (hard to open) connections between areas and great views in terms of seeing other areas, and walkways, in relation to your current one is so effective at giving you a sense of space to the world. Riven (completely different genre) did it very similar to DS and it works just as well there. There’s just something to this style that makes the gameworld so damn fascinating to uncover and “unlock”.

      • hijuisuis says:

        This is so funny. I started Riven last week and have the recurring thought that it really reminds me of Dark Souls. I did notice the shortcuts similarity, but there’s something else in there too that’s similar.

        Not sure what.

    • MooseMuffin says:

      Yup, this is what makes DS2 & 3 disappointing in comparison

    • Waznei says:

      Why call it “souls-like” when you can say “3D-metroidvania”?

      • digital_sneeze says:

        Dunno, for me that would be more like Batman: Arkham Asylum. Metroidvania to me always implies gaining new abilities and skills that lets you through new areas you might have encountered already. Souls games are usually just key-like items.

  2. DarkFenix says:

    It gives me no small measure of amusement that Pikachu & Snorlax’s entire room is basically solid orange.

    • Shazbut says:

      Me too, especially because I spent ten hours helping to make that room orange. When I finally beat them I felt like I was going to have a heart attack.

    • Kittim says:

      I’m the worse able bodied DS player ever. I don’t even have the excuse of a crappy controller. I got a better one because of DS.

      For some reason, I got to Ornstein and Smough and bitch slapped them into oblivion, first try.

      Cut to the DLC and Artorias, no matter how hard I tried, he owned me enough to call it quits on the entire series.

      • digital_sneeze says:

        Artorias does have some jank phantom hitboxes though, particularly that spinning leap and requires more of that classic Souls-timing needed for many bosses. OnS could have been a lot harder if the AI had them work better as a team, but as it stands they kind of fumble around on their own steam which can be exploited. Can still be a tough battle though, especially with heavier weapons I found.

      • fish99 says:

        Artorias is my favourite boss in any From game. The fight just has such a great rhythm and his moveset is so awesome. He looks badass too.

        Took me 6 hrs the first time and I broke a headset. I feel like that fight taught me how to play the game.

    • MooseMuffin says:

      As brutal as these guys were, the level layout meant you could continuously backup and dodge in relative safety until you found an opening you were comfortable with to get in some hits. For that reason, even as much as I died, I found them less frustrating than Capra’s tiny room and the dogs that gave you no breathing room.

  3. Freud says:

    In a way the Dark Souls games are hard, but it’s more that they punish impatience hard. So it’s more a discipline test than a hand eye coordination test.

    I think this is the reason these games resonate with so many people because all the deaths doesn’t really lead to frustration but the eventual success leads to a zen-like state of calm. I find the games very soothing.

    • wcq says:

      I find this to be true for the older games, but the later ones (DS3 and Bloodborne especially) have upped the pace of the fights to the point where you need to be able to nail those roll timings. If you frequently die because you mistimed a dodge and ate a boss’s multi-hit combo rather than because you got greedy and overreached, I’d say it’s not just patience that’s needed anymore.

    • OmNomNom says:

      Probably my biggest fault with the games, forced to fail until you succeed. Unlikely to beat any boss until you die repeatedly to learn tricks and then eventually it becomes quite easy. Rarely a skill thing though, more of a remembering a choreographed set of moves

      • GepardenK says:

        That’s more preference than a fault. You could have leveled the same criticism towards something like Trackmania. Generally speaking trail & error is a very popular style of challenge.

        If you had the skill to beat each boss on first try then the fun would be ruined. He’s supposed to beat you until you figure out how to deal with him, like a puzzle. The same can be said for a lot of the tracks in trackmania as well.

        • OmNomNom says:

          Fair point, I’d agree with this, I don’t think its a bad game by any standards.
          I just wasn’t a fan of the loop.

          • Crusoe says:

            Very much agreed.

            Nigh on impossible to defeat a boss first time using skill.

            As much as I enjoyed DS, this is why I think it’s overpraised

      • Freud says:

        Dying is part of the gameplay loop. It’s rarely unfair. You notice the second time around that what killed you was properly announced before and you just didn’t pay enough attention or wasn’t quick enough.

        Pretty much any game worth playing has you learning through failure. If not, it’s way too easy to start with. Imagine playing X-Com without ever losing a soldier. It would be completely pointless.

      • digital_sneeze says:

        The choreography, move-learning thing is only partially true. It is possible to have an innate skill with Dark Souls that you learn through playing it. People go on about how hard it is but, like myself, I’m guessing a fair few, if not most people, beat a bunch of bosses first time round. The true difficulty only comes true on a certain few bosses and situations. I’ve found so many other games that aren’t considered hard to be more difficult than Souls games.

        • digital_sneeze says:

          I think people really exaggerate the difficulty in all honesty. I don’t know if this comes from only knowing about the games through reputation or because they only played it for a bit, but it seems like people imagine these impossible to win scenarios that take absolute precision and where one mistake can be fatal or you die in one hit. In 90% of situations you have a lot of leeway, a fair amount of forgiveness and multiple ways of beating an enemy or situation.

          • Thomas Foolery says:

            I would say they’re punishing more than they’re difficult. And I also find them to be pretty obtuse. I just don’t find it to be very fun to not know when or where I’m going to be able to save my progress again.

          • digital_sneeze says:

            All the games save automatically every 30 seconds or so, lel. I guess you mean bonfires though. They’re usually on the main path so to speak, though occasionally they’re obfuscated. Won’t argue with it being obtuse to a degree, but then most fans would probably say that aspect is one of it’s selling points.

          • Kitsunin says:

            DS #1 in particular had an awful lot of its most convenient bonfires (the one that didn’t force you to repeat all of Sen’s Fortress if you died to the boss, for instance) hidden. I think this is actually pretty effective design in several ways, but if you never found them, you’d think the game was far more punishing than it is.

    • satan says:

      Dark souls is a bit like an egg and spoon race, a lot of boring effort (roll roll roll stab roll roll roll stab rolll…) for a little bit of fun.

      • popej says:

        It’s just that most of us find the roll, roll, roll, stab bit fun. You don’t. Well done.

        • digital_sneeze says:

          Pretty reductive way to describe it. An FPS would be shoot, shoot, reload, shoot. A platformer would be jump, jump, pickup item, jump. And so on. Anything’s crap if you minimalise the gameplay in a pejorative way.

  4. Minglefingler says:

    Seems like a good place to link this (strong language): link to
    It’s an oldie but it always gets a smile from me.

  5. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    I’m wryly amused by the orange dots around Solaire, Firelink (presumably the crestfallen warrior), and the first bonfire in Anor Londo (presumably the firekeeper). Some people just can’t resist attacking those NPCs, I guess.

    • digital_sneeze says:

      Hit him accidentally on my first ever playthrough. Probably took a good 45 minutes of learning to parry before I finally bested him.

  6. fish99 says:

    That bright spot of deaths in the OnS boss room is pretty predictable, as is the high concentration of what are presumably ‘amazing chest ahead’ messages just beyond ;)

    Surprised to see more people dying at Artoria than Manus though. Maybe people give up at Manus or cheese him.

    • Minglefingler says:

      I gave up on Manus. He kept two shotting me and the run back to him took a bit too long for my liking so I ran up to Gwyn to see what he was like to fight. I almost killed him on my first go and the bloodlust took over so I went back and killed him properly. Magic build, couldn’t have gotten him so easily with melee.

    • Shinard says:

      I gave up at Manus. Should head back, but man, that was a year ago now. My Souls-fu was the best it’d ever been (mediocre objectively, but I could still take down Kalameet relatively easily) and Manus still utterly crushed me. Repeatedly. Facing him when those skills are all rusty… not sure I can face that.

  7. April March says:

    Interesting data ahead

  8. Mungrul says:

    And then there’s this mind-blowing achievement:
    link to

  9. kalirion says:

    I’ve been stuck in the DLC for years. Technically I finished it, IIRC, but I just can’t leave without killing that damn Black Dragon….

    • Kohlrabi says:

      I “cheesed” Kalameet using a crossbow. That fight took about 45 minutes, but I also severed the tail first, which also took about 15-20 minutes. My souls-fu has gotten slightly better since then, having recently cleared DS2 and DS3 DLCs, so these numbers might be a little bit inflated.

  10. Swordfishtrombone says:

    Are they all in Tomb of the Giants?

  11. pentraksil says:

    This map is a perfect example to all the open world RPGs and the players demanding bigger maps, obsessing over the amount of km2. The design is almost perfect and it shows that the world doesn’t have to be 6000 km2 to feel big and sprawling.

  12. MegaTiny says:

    I love the deaths that make a perfect tracing of the balance beams in Anor Londo.

    • Shinard says:

      My mental map’s a little rusty, but that one pure orange line on the top left – that’s the balance beam with the bastard archers, isn’t it? If the boss was anyone but O+S I’d call those two the hardest enemies in Anor Londo.

  13. Monggerel says:

    Really cool visualization!
    Reminds me, Dark Souls 2 has a worldwide death counter. It sits comfortably above 200 million by now, and I’d wager ~1 million of those deaths are the sole responsibility of Fume Knight.