Are you one of those bold, fearless, slightly masochistic Dark Souls veterans who has seen everything the games have to offer? Well, perhaps not. Dark Souls III had some super interesting content cut, which has only just come to light.
The fourth entry in the Souls series arrived in April 2016. It was a huge deal, quickly becoming the fastest-selling game in Bandai Namco’s history. As is always the case with a Souls title, the faithful have ventured through its doom-laden halls again and again, trying different builds and weapons. They’ve mastered PvE and PvP alike. They’ve closely inspected and dissected all of the enigmatic lore, and toppled the most difficult bosses the game could throw at them.
Some enthusiasts, however, have gone way beyond even that. As PC Gamer reports, Lance McDonald is a games developer who is a keen delver into the code and makeup of the Soulsborne series. He has recently been exploring a lot of content that was cut from Dark Souls III, and his discoveries make for super interesting reading.
That climactic final showdown with the Soul of Cinder? That wasn’t going to be the final boss at all, nor was it originally going to take place at the Kiln of the First Flame. As McDonald states on Twitter:
Eventually the 3rd version was totally cut, as well as the entire system for changing time-of-day on the fly. They just build a whole new map for the final confrontation in the end.— Lance McDonald (@manfightdragon) April 18, 2018
Now, the Pontiff as the final boss makes a good deal of sense. After all, as players will know, he was kind of presented as the antagonist. The Soul with all of his elemental shenanigans sure gave players a run for their money in his place, though. Coupled with this, we’re also given a glimpse into what was to be a day/night cycle of sorts.
The Untended Graves map, we’re told, switched between three different states by means of the ‘ceremony’ system. These three states-that-never-were have been named default, eroded and last boss. In each of which resided a different boss.
Now, sure, there’s a degree of speculation at work here. Just how much of all of this was part of the grand plan? Only From Software know that for sure. Nevertheless, it’s always intriguing to see what was left on the cutting room floor.
Back in January this year, we were treated to a similar reveal of cut content from Bloodborne, and… well, that left an impression. Horrible, glitchy, half-finished bosses like the Nightmare Moon Presence lent a further air of the macabre to an already horror-laden title.