Hey Dark Souls, We Need to Talk

Dear Dark SoulsHey Dark Souls, there’s something I need to talk to you about.  It’s just . . . Oh man, I don’t know how to say this. Can I sit down? No, no, no. Relax. It’s okay. Aw geez. Okay, no, I’m just going to cut right to the chase here . . . I don’t think things are working between us, Dark Souls. It’s been bothering me for a while.

I think . . . . I think we need to take a break.

I’m so sorry. Listen, this isn’t easy for me either. It’s not like I want to do this. I just think it’s for the best. You know, maybe this was all a mistake. Maybe you and I just aren’t compatible. You can’t really expect me to believe that you’ve been enjoying having me fumble around you all this time, can you? Y’know, I heard a lot about you before we met. Everyone said that you were really interesting, that you had a rich history that I’d discover as I spent more time with you. People said that we’d probably be a good match. But it’s just not working. I don’t know how to give you what you want and it’s not like you’re exactly forthcoming either.

I’ve been waiting for things to click between us over the ten hours we’ve spent together, but . . . they’re just not. Every time I begin seeing what makes you so loveable you just start acting like you hate me. I find a weird shopkeeper down a hidden staircase and he says the strangest things and it all seems so fascinating but then you send a monster over to one-hit kill me and I just end up frustrated. I really am interested in learning more about you, but you just make everything so difficult. I mean, I spent about an hour exploring your Depths, killing mutant rats and going around in circles through these crazy tunnels and really started feeling like I was making some progress, but then a blob creature ate me and I lost the 10,000 souls I’d accumulated while looking for a bonfire.

Dark SoulsDid you ever stop to think how hard it would be on me to lose 10,000 souls? If you had let me keep those — if you had put fewer deathtraps between one checkpoint and another — then I might have been able to forgive how mean you can be. But you didn’t. Look, maybe I’m just being petty now. I mean, this is probably all my fault anyway. I’m probably not good enough for you. I know lots of other people sing your praises. They say that you’re one of the best there is. That there’s no one else out there quite like you. Y’know, they’re right. You really are something special. But it doesn’t mean that we should keep spending time together, Dark Souls.

It doesn’t seem like it’s healthy for me. Did you know that at one point I was thinking about how to get past one of your bosses while I was lying in bed at night? That’s never happened to me before. Maybe I shouldn’t have been hanging out with you right before going to sleep, but I thought it would be okay. You just have this way of sticking in my head and making me feel the kind of obsession that I’m not comfortable with. Does this mean that I have a fear of commitment? It could be. I’ve always been happier when I can spend a few hours with something then move on with my life when I’m not around it. You don’t let me do that, Dark Souls.

No! No, I’m not trying to say you’re needy! Please don’t get mad at me. That didn’t come out right. Let’s take a step back for a second.

Dark Souls 2I told you that I was with your cousin, Demon’s Souls before we met and . . . maybe I should have known better than to get together with you after that. You’re just so good looking, though. You’re so attractive that I decided not to think about the headaches that your cousin gave me — the fact that I couldn’t get past its final boss without help from another player and that it also made me obsessive in a way that I told myself I wasn’t interested in experiencing again. But you came along and you were on computer and there was this patch that I could use that made you run so smoothly and I thought things would be different. That maybe you would have learned from Demon’s Souls mistakes and made yourself better. At first it really seemed like you had.

But those 10,000 souls! I just can’t get past that. I know it’s not a good idea to make decisions when you’re emotional, but I’ve come back to you after you’ve mistreated me before, Dark Souls, and I really don’t want to do it again. I’m making a promise to myself right now that I’m not going to hang out with you anymore. You and I are through. You can keep putting all your other fans through hell, but I’m out. You’re not getting any more of my time and don’t even try to send that lovely looking Dark Souls II my way. I’m not having it.

Well, you seem okay. That went a lot better than I expected. What? No no no, I don’t think we should meet up for just an hour here and there. You know that’s not going to end well for me. Sorry, Dark Souls, I just can’t keep doing this.

I’ll let myself out.


Reid McCarter is a writer, editor, and musician living and working in Toronto. He has written for sites and magazines including Kill Screen, The Escapist, and C&G Magazine. He is also editor-in-extremis for videogame site Digital Love Child. His Tweet-fu is strong @reidmccarter.