The Chosen Undead is the player character and the protagonist of Dark Souls.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
In the trailers, artwork and promotional art for Dark Souls, Oscar of Astora is depicted wearing the Elite Knight Set as well as using the Astora's Straight Sword and the Broadsword along with the Crest Shield as their main weapons. This would eventually come to be the Chosen Undead's canon appearance.
However, in the game, the Chosen Undead's appearance and attributes are determined by the player, including their face, sex, origin, starting class, and equipment.
They are portrayed as an archetypal "silent character" who doesn't have any sort of spoken dialogue during the game (aside from making some grunts or cries whenever they are hurt or killed). This trait was made on purpose by the developers so that the player could feel more identified with the character.
Lore[edit | edit source]
The title of "Chosen Undead" is a reference to a prophecy concerning the end of the Age of Fire. It states that at the very end of the Age of Fire, an undead champion will appear and undertake the pilgrimage to ring the Bells of Awakening in "the Land of Ancient Lords," Lordran.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Prologue[edit | edit source]
After becoming an undead the player character was imprisoned in the Northern Undead Asylum. They are rescued by Oscar of Astora, who drops a key into the player's cell so that they may be freed. After escaping from the Asylum Demon, they encounter a fatally wounded Oscar, who tells the player about a prophecy, stating that an undead shall partake in pilgrimage to ring the Bells of Awakening.
Oscar gives the player an Estus Flask and dies in peace, trusting the Chosen Undead to take his place. After defeating the Asylum Demon, the Chosen Undead escapes the asylum and is flown to Lordran by a Giant Crow.
The Bells of Awakening[edit | edit source]
Upon arriving in Lordran, the Giant Crow drops the Chosen Undead in Firelink Shrine, which acts as a hub for the player for the rest of the story. After hearing the location of the Bells of Awakening from the Crestfallen Warrior, the Chosen Undead sets out on their journey. Various characters can be encountered throughout Lordran, such as Solaire of Astora, a charismatic warrior seeking "his own sun"; the treacherous knight Lautrec of Carim; and Siegmeyer of Catarina, an absent-minded knight who frequently finds himself in danger.
On a rooftop in the Undead Parish, the player slays the Bell Gargoyles and manages to ring one of the bells. Later on, the player makes their way deep into the infested swamps of Blighttown. There, the player defeats the Chaos Witch Quelaag and rings the other bell. After ringing both bells, the gate to Sen's Fortress is opened.
The Lordvessel[edit | edit source]
After passing the trials to ring the two bells, Kingseeker Frampt, a primordial serpent, appears to task the character with another quest before they are deemed worthy as Chosen. The player must go into the city of Anor Londo and retrieve the Lordvessel from Gwynevere, Lord Gwyn's daughter. In order to complete the quest the player needs to traverse Sen's Fortress, an old proving ground built by the gods. After passing through the fortress and its many dangerous traps, the player battles the Iron Golem, and with its defeat gains the entrance into the forsaken city.
Once in Anor Londo, the player makes their way into the Anor Londo cathedral, where they face Dragonslayer Ornstein, of the Four Knights of Gwyn, and Executioner Smough. The Chosen Undead triumphs over them and gains access into the chamber of Gwynevere, where they are greeted by the Princess and awarded the Lordvessel. When Frampt sees that the player had completed their quest, he declares the prophecy set in motion and that the character is indeed the incarnation of the Chosen Undead.
Alternate paths[edit | edit source]
The player is given the choice to put the Lordvessel on the Firelink Altar and proceed along Frampt's designs. In this instance, Frampt prompts that the Chosen Undead is the hero destined to succeed Lord Gwyn and extend the Age of Fire, continuing the curse of the undead. The player is also given the choice to place the Lordvessel for another ancient serpent named Darkstalker Kaathe, an agent of the Darkwraiths. Following this path will bring about the eradication of the old gods, and usher in the Age of Dark.
The Lord Souls[edit | edit source]
To gain access to Gwyn, Lord of Cinder, the Chosen Undead must satiate the Lordvessel. There are several beings who possess souls powerful enough to do so: Gravelord Nito, the Witch of Izalith, Seath the Scaleless and the Four Kings of New Londo.
In order to defeat the Four Kings, the Chosen Undead needs to acquire the Covenant of Artorias, a ring that is kept by the Great Grey Wolf Sif. The ring allows one to traverse the dark void called the Abyss. Upon arriving in the ruins of New Londo, the Chosen Undead, with the help of Ingward, drains the flooded city, earning passage to the Darkwraiths and their masters. If the player has not yet placed the Lordvessel before defeating the Four Kings, Darkstalker Kaathe will appear in the abyss.
In The Duke's Archives the Chosen Undead confronts Seath the Scaleless, an albino dragon who betrayed the Ancient Dragons and won Lord Gwyn´s trust. During their first encounter, the Chosen Undead is unable to cause any harm to Seath and is captured. Seath imprisons the Chosen Undead inside his prison tower where the player cannot warp out from. Despite the inconveniences, the Chosen Undead eventually escapes.
Later on, the Chosen Undead learns from Big Hat Logan that Seath is immortal due to an ancient artifact known as the Primordial Crystal, an old relic that Seath stole from the Ancient Dragons. The Chosen Undead then departs to the Crystal Cave, where the artifact lies, and shatters it. This annuls Seath's immortality, allowing the Chosen Undead to slay him.
The Chosen Undead also travels to the Catacombs, where they defeat Pinwheel and acquire the Rite of Kindling. The Chosen Undead then descends into the Tomb of the Giants, where the scavenger, Trusty Patches tricks the player and kicks them off a cliff. The Chosen Undead survives and rescues Reah of Thorolund, a maiden who ventured into Nito's domain in search of the Rite of Kindling. Finally, the Chosen Undead advances toward the deepest part of the area: Gravelord Nito's tomb. There, they finish off the conductor of death.
Lastly, the Chosen Undead advances into the deepest part of Lordran: Lost Izalith. If the player speaks to Quelana in Blighttown it will be discovered that her mother tried to use her power to replicate the First Flame, but failed and was engulfed within it; eventually succeeding but at the cost of their former forms. This killed some of her daughters in the process and turned others into deformed creatures, and only Quelana and a Daughter of Chaos maintained the entirety of their human forms. Within the city, the Chosen Undead comes upon the Bed of Chaos, the source of all the demons that wander Lordran, and overcomes it.
Epilogue[edit | edit source]
After offering the necessary Lord Souls, the doors to the Kiln of the First Flame are opened to the Chosen Undead. Gwyn, now reduced to a Lord of Cinder, breathes his last breath in the final confrontation with the Chosen Undead. It is here that the Chosen Undead may make their decision of either linking the flame or walking away from it. Depending on which course of action is taken, one of the two possible endings will be unlocked. Whether the player has aligned themselves with Kaathe or Frampt will not affect the ending of the game.
- Link the Fire: This ending is unlocked if the player rekindles the First Flame. The Chosen Undead offers themselves as kindling to the fire. Sacrificing all of their souls, the Chosen Undead is consumed by the flames and the Age of Fire is extended, as life is breathed into the First Flame once more.
- Dark Lord: This ending is unlocked if the player leaves the arena after killing Lord Gwyn. Upon leaving, the Chosen Undead is greeted by the Primordial Serpents, who bow down before their Dark Lord. Rejecting the Age of Fire, the Chosen Undead instead ushers in the Age of Dark, and becomes a monarch of mankind.
Artorias of the Abyss[edit | edit source]
In the Artorias of the Abyss DLC the Chosen Undead travels back in time to the ancient realm of Oolacile, where they discover the truth about the death of the Knight Artorias and the fall of Oolacile. The quest presented in this DLC is completely optional and therefore, it is not required to complete the game.
After being dragged back in time, the Chosen Undead wakes up inside a cave beneath some trees. Outside, they are confronted by the Sanctuary Guardian. After slaying the beast, the Chosen Undead finds some sort of garden temple where they encounter a giant, talking mushroom named Elizabeth, who informs the player that the realm of Oolacile is being consumed by the darkness of the Abyss, She also tells the player that Princess Dusk has been kidnapped by a creature from the abyss and that Knight Artorias has ventured unto Oolacile to put an end to the spread. However, she assures the player that Artorias will be overwhelmed by the darkness.
The Chosen Undead then heads towards Oolacile Township in search of Artorias and Dusk. On their way to Oolacile, the player encounters Black Dragon Kalameet, an optional boss that can be fought later in the DLC. Elizabeth's words are proven to be true when, upon entering the Coliseum, the player is attacked by a corrupted Artorias. The Chosen Undead has no other option than finishing him off as he is unable to come back to his senses. After killing Artorias, the Chosen Undead can either give his soul to Lord's Blade Ciaran so that she can complete a proper burial or keep it for their own uses.
During their quest in Oolacile the Chosen Undead also meets Marvelous Chester, a somewhat sinister merchant who, like the player, was dragged into the past. He reveals to the Chosen Undead that the spread of the dark was caused when the inhabitants of Oolacile opened the grave of the primeval man due to the influence of a "toothy serpent". The Chosen Undead then treads through Oolacile Township in search of the dark source.
Finally, the Chosen Undead arrives at the Chasm of the Abyss where an illusion of Alvina guides the player to an illusory wall. Inside, the Chosen Undead discovers an injured Sif, protected by a magic barrier created by Artorias, in order to prevent Sif from being engulfed. Shortly after rescuing Sif the player faces Manus, Father of the Abyss, who is responsible for the spread of the dark. Manus is defeated, and Princess Dusk is saved. Upon returning to Oolacile Sanctuary, they are greeted by Elizabeth, who tells the Chosen Undead that she will let everyone know that Artorias was the one who defeated Manus, so that his honor may prevail. However, she assures them that their great deed will not be forgotten.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In the trailers and concept art for Dark Souls, the Chosen Undead uses the same weapons and armor as Oscar, Knight of Astora.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Opening narration.
- Oscar, Knight of Astora dialogue.
- Endings description.
- Darkstalker Kaathe dialogue.
- Miyazaki, Game no Shokutaku interview: "It isn't written anywhere, but, the image [the Furtive Pygmy] is something like humanity's ancestor. He found the Lord Soul, fragmented it and humanity are like the fragments of it. Kinda like an ancestor, yeah. So the descendants, the humans, have a part of that Lord Soul."