The Political Agenda Of Dark Souls (The Jimquisition)

(gentle somber music) – Hail, traveler, hale and hearty! It is I, Baron von Breadknife,
and I offer you a quest, a deadly quest full of
tricks and traps and horror! Your adventure is to watch a video about politics and video games
at the same time! (laughing) So let us now talk about “Dark
Souls” and class struggle because you know you like it! Once upon a time a thousand years ago, I said “The Division 2”,
a game about terrorism, weaponized capitalism, and
the role of government, a game that makes an argument in favor of private gun ownership within its first five
minutes, was political. I was told I was wrong to read
politics in a Tom Clancy game that my doing so was me
forcing my own left-wing views into a game by suggesting the
game had any views at all. The truth is, however, politics
can be found in most things, even when they’re not overt. If you do a bit of digging, even the most simple artistic work often has something of meaning to say, and that something, even when
the artist claims otherwise, is more often than not rooted in politics. How we view the world,
how we interact with it, what we believe, and how we
think society should work naturally informs the
things we create as people, so it shouldn’t really come
as a shock when I suggest this but “Dark Souls” (chuckling) is political! (Jim screaming) No! (dramatic music) “Dark Souls” is a game that squirrels much of its narrative away in lore. Item descriptions provide
reference material, clues, and shreds of stories about
the history of Lordran, a now dead and decaying realm
prophesied to be the site of a pilgrimage by the Chosen Undead, the Chosen one in this
case being you, the player. Unlike most games that rely
on lore to tell their story, “Dark Souls” doesn’t come
off as flimsy and indecisive in its narrative due to
the environment of Lordran contextualizing almost everything with its broken battlements
and abandoned streets. The lore serves to build a
history for the existing story and despite how vague some of it is, “Dark Souls'” backstory is
consistent and clear enough that it can be pieced together
satisfyingly by its audience. There’s still plenty of
conjecture and debate over the true meaning of many
aspects of the Soul series, but there’s a lot that’s been
more or less agreed upon. “Dark Souls” and the entire Soul series is concerned primarily by cycles. Death and rebirth, the rise
and fall of civilizations, the concept of a world that
repeats itself populated by those who haven’t learned
from history’s mistakes. Lordran is dying because the Age of Fire is coming to a close. – [Woman] In the Age of Ancients, the world was unformed, shrouded by fog, a land of gray crags, Archtrees,
and Everlasting Dragons. – [Jim] We’re told how the world began and given our first taste of a cycle in the opening cutscene. Before the Age of Fire, the
world was ruled by Dragons in a period known as the Age of Ancients, but one among the underclass
grappling and scraping in the shadow of the Dragons, a figure history would remember as Gwyn, found the power to claim
dominion for himself and aligned with other powerful entities to pretty much white for the Dragons off the face of the planet, thus replacing the Age of
Ancients with the Age of Fire. The Age of Fire was not ruled by humans but by de facto gods. Gwyn and his allies tower above
the player character in game their powerful Souls allowed
them to manipulate light, control the dead, perform
world-altering magic. It allowed them to create
huge, beautiful cities. The Age of Fire was prosperous. Lowly human peasantry knew its place, Gwyn and his family ruled
from their seats of Anor Londo and everything was peachy! But Gwyn should’ve read
“Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. “The empire, long divided, must unite; “long united, must divide. “Thus it has ever been.”
So wrote Luo Guanzhong. The world revolves, it doesn’t stay still. You can unite a kingdom, but
you can’t fight its division. The Age of Fire wasn’t
meant to last forever, but Gwyn just couldn’t let go. He wanted to cling to his way of thinking, his view of the world as it should be, and he believed in his view
of the world so strongly that he sacrificed himself to do it. When it was his age’s turn to die, he prolonged it by linking the fire, fueling the First Flame of
his age with his own soul in a manner implied to be horrific. How could it not be? You’re burning your soul
over the course of lifetimes, all to keep the fire that
sparked your age fueled. And, as it turns out, that’s
your job to take over. You, a human being. Not a lord, not a relative of
Gwyn’s, not a de facto god, but a glorified minion of the gods, fed a line about prophecies
and subsequently expected to die over and over and over again in a bid to ring a couple
bells, seize the Lords’ souls, and link the First Flame
to burn yourself for an eon and keep the Age of Fire going since Gwyn, like the First Flame itself, is finally threatening to die. You’re given the task
by Kingseeker Frampt, who looks like this,
and it’s at his urging that you set out to
prolong the Age of Fire. – [Kingseeker Frampt] Chosen Undead. Your fate is to succeed
the Great Lord Gwyn. So that you may link the
Fire, cast away the Dark, and undo the curse of the Undead. To this end, you must visit Anor Londo, and acquire Lordvessel. – [Jim] It’s not a pleasant
job, it’s not a painless job, and you’re doing it for, well,
certainly not for yourself, but for rulers who you don’t know and don’t really owe anything to, all because you’ve been
given the fancy title of Chosen Undead, among many, many others who have been given the
same title I might add! But late in the game “Dark
Souls” offers a curveball, a choice, a chance to divide the empire rather than unify it. This choice to disrupt the
cycle is one I always make and I do so because of, well,
personal political beliefs. This is because “Dark Souls”,
oh God, is political, mm! – [Kingseeker Frampt] However
Lord Gwyn trembled at the Dark clinging to his Age of Fire
and in dire fear of humans, and the Dark Lord who would
one day be born amongst them, Lord Gwyn resisted the course of nature. By sacrificing himself to link the Fire and commanding his children
to shepherd the humans, Gwyn has blurred your past, to prevent the birth of the Dark Lord. – [Jim] If you do certain
things in the right order, you may find yourself
face to gormless face with Kingseeker Frampt’s opposite Darkstalker Kaathe, who looks like this, and argues the Age of
Fire was supposed to end but Gwyn’s actions are
unnaturally kept it going long after its sell-by date. Long ago, the world were
supposed to get the Age of Dark, a time without fire heavily
suggested to go by another name: the Age of Man. Essentially, your age,
your time of dominion. if Kaathe is correct,
you’re less than a minion, you’re a puppet strung
along with propaganda, who has been swindled into
undermining your own kind. Whether Kaathe is speaking true or false, “Dark Souls” explores the
idea of perpetuating cycles to keep a status quo upheld
while the ruling class cling to their stale
thrones, a ruling class that has convinced those who
lower on the social rungs to vote against their own
interests and believe things that actively keep them
under the elite’s boot heels. In this light, Kingseeker
Frampt is a little more than a propagandist, a fantasy Goebbels for an upper class that
will gladly sacrifice others to keep their old, dying, miserable world staggering along just a little bit longer, clinging to their past glories at the expense of everyone else. (Jim laughing) Estus! Estus! Estus! It’s Estus! From politicians who exploit
traditional family values to control the agency women
have over their own bodies to corporations litigating
and constraining competition rather than innovating to
maintain market dominance, “Dark Souls'” theme of
upholding a status quo through deception, propaganda,
and good old-fashioned force is reflected in hundreds
of real-world problems. One could even extrapolate
further and suggest “Dark Souls” examines the relative merits of centrism, of sticking in the middle and just keeping the old systems going because better the devil
you know, if you wanted. All of this is ultimately
subjective, after all. The old Lord should’ve
been dead and buried long, long before your
Chosen Undead enters Lordran. The results of their desperate clinging on are found all over the world. Lordran is on the brink of
death and those Lords who remain are shadows of their former selves, weak both physically and mentally to the point where killing
them almost looks like a mercy. Their desperation to keep
that status quo going, their complete fear of change and of being replaced as they
once replaced the Dragons has caused them to not only
hurt the world at large but to hurt themselves. They would rather have a miserable, inhospitable, decayed Age
of Fire than none at all. They would rather have a dying world than a world in which they do not rule. Something, something, climate change. But whatever they’re scrabbling for, their regime has ultimately failed. When the player reaches an Anor Londo, they are greeted by “Dark Souls'” most beautiful and inspiring sight, a grand city of white stone and marble bathing in rays of warm sunlight through a sky full of clouds that do little to hamper the illumination. Everything here is ornate sand golden, even the bosses of the
area, Ornstein and Smough, it’s Smough, not Smou, it’s Smough, are presented at the
height of their power. Emotive and energized, a far cry from the old, rotten,
past their prime shadows you’ve encountered before. It’s here you meet the
legendarily beautiful Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight, who provides crucial
guidance on your quest. – [Gwynevere] Since the day Father his form did obscureth,
I have await’d thee. Once living, now Undead,
and a fitting heir to father Gwyn thou art. Oh Chosen Undead, and beseech thee succeed Lord Gwyn and inheriteth
the Fire of our world. A grave and arduous test of
mettle, yae, it shall be. Indeed we had felt the warmth of Fire, its radiance and the life it sustaineth. Without Fire, all shall be
a frigid and frightful Dark. – [Jim] It’s an overwhelmingly
celestial place, the epitome of the Age of Fire’s grandeur, the ideal reflection of everything Gwyn sacrificed himself for. It’s also a fucking lie. (bell ringing) Should you find and
defeat Dark Sun Gwyndolin, the last born child of Gwyn, you learn that the beauty
and light of Anor Londo is nothing more than an illusion. With Gwyndolin’s illusion killed off, you see Anor Londo as it
really is and it sucks! Even Gwynevere is fake, a
projection of Gwyndolin’s to manipulate the Undead
into doing his bidding. Anor Londo is the Brexit bus. It’s a pretty little lie
designed to get people to willingly oppress themselves. With the illusion gone, you see no light, no glitter, no glory. You see that the very seat of the gods has become the one single
thing the gods feared most: Anor Londo is dark. What they fear is already here,
it’s already claimed them. Linking the First Flame isn’t
just prolonging the inevitable it’s masking the fact that the inevitable has already happened. You can’t fight progress. You can flail, you can scream, you can do everything in
your power to delay it, but progress, whether for good or ill, marches inexorably toward us all. None of this is to say the Age of Dark is a guaranteed success. Its very name is sinister and foreboding, but that does lead one to wonder who called it the Age of
Dark in the first place, especially if it’s supposed
to be the Age of Man. Just a bit a negative political spin? Perhaps. But change is scary, the status
quo, even a miserable one, is at least coldly comforting. We as people settle into routines and we don’t like disruption. We cling to a Constitution
to tell us what to do and many among us are
afraid to make amendments to that Constitution to keep it suitable for a world that exists hundreds of years after it was written. Many people draw their morality from a book written over
2,000 years ago and have used the teachings of this
ancient and bewildered age to inform modern medical
decisions and government policy. Humans love tradition,
they love doing something because it’s worked just
fine for them up until now. The thought of abandoning
their current age, even if it’s an age with people’s
boot heels on their necks, is terrifying because it’s unknown. But progress comes for us all,
both for good and for bad. The irony of change is that it
is itself an immutable cycle. This is represented in “Dark Souls III” by having the Ages of Fire and Dark trade places until the end of the world as two old regimes now
battle for dominance and give nothing else a chance to grow. “The empire, long divided, must unite; “long united, must divide. “Thus it has ever been.” Change has to happen and that’s something that doesn’t, well, change. “Dark Souls II” has its
own politics and themes, ones that may very well
support their own video, as it brings the concepts of
a cycle into a broader focus and offers yet more ways to
disrupt the turn of the world. Similarly, “Dark Souls II”
is different enough that, while cycles are still important, there’s a lot more we could
unpack, and I’m already getting away from my main
point of interest here. Ultimately, though, every
game examines regime changes, the merit or futility
of fighting for change, and if the world’s worth fighting for if it’s just gonna get buggered up again. One thing I know for sure, the Age of Fire was
meant to be snuffed out. It served to nobody by the
time “Dark Souls” takes place, not even the gods trying to keep it going, those decrepit old monsters
who are better off dead. They’re not even good people! Gwyn and his family are
self-entitled liars. Gravelord Nito spent
the Age of Fire sleeping while sending pawns out to
spread death in his name. The Witch of Izalith attempted to prolong the Age of Fire herself and in her arrogance screwed up so badly she turned into “Akira” but trees. Seath the Scaleless, let’s not forget, oversaw the extermination
of his own Dragon species because he was jealous of the fact their scales let them live forever while he was going to die. He lost his mind trying to research a way to emulate that immortality, becoming, by himself, a cautionary tale of attempting to hold off the inevitable, to refuse to abdicate the world so others can take your place and flourish outside of your shadow. Kind of like a baby boomer, really. Seath is a baby boomer, he laughs at memes about
millennials eating avocado. I was inspired to make this video because someone, in the wake
of that “Division 2” uproar, made a joke about me finding
potential political meaning in “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice”. I responded by laying out my view of “Dark Souls'” own
inherent political messages and were surprised by the number of people saying they never thought
of it the way I did. To me, “Dark Souls” was always about upholding a status quo on
behalf of an elite class that uses manipulation and propaganda to keep an underclass held down. To others, it’s not about that at all, and I’m not righteous
because my personal meaning is different to yours. In fact, everything I just said about “Dark Souls” was total bollocks! – Get on it!
(crowd laughing) – [Announcer] He’s a
little more fleet of foot than you think he would be. (people shouting)
(audience applauding) And I think he just
challenged both men to a duel. – [Jim] And that’s the ultimate point. Everything I just said
is complete horseshit spun from my own personal principles. This is not to say I don’t believe it. To me, “Dark Souls” is about
what I said it’s about. You are free to call that
take away complete bollocks. “Dark Souls” director Hidetaka Miyazaki could well watch this video, I mean he won’t watch it
but he could watch it, and say, “Now, mate, that’s all bollocks!” And is that not the
glorious thing about art? We all take personal meaning from it and just like the politics
of a game’s creator will invariably have some
influence on the game’s creation, so too will the politics
of a game’s player influence how they perceive it. To me, the Age of Fire is a bad ending. Fuck the elite! To others, they may see a return to a tried and tested
glory age is a good thing, where everyone knew their place and the gods were gods for a reason. They’d be talking total bollocks but that is their bollocks to talk just as mine are mine. Let’s face it, though, I
am objectively correct. Fuck the elite! (pensive music) Well met, adventurer! You have completed your quest! You have watched a video about
video games and politics, at the same time! You must be brave, you must be bold, you must be a worthy hero to
have accomplished such a feat. This helmet sucks! It is rusted from when we
poured SunnyD all over it and it’s sharp and sweaty inside
and I can smell old SunnyD because we did a fucking
terrible job of cleaning it! I’m Baron von Breadknife and I don’t know where I’m
going with any of this! Thank God for me, adventurer. Thank God for Baron von Breadknife! What the fuck am I doing? ♪ Yeah ♪ ♪ Yeah ♪ ♪ Yeah ♪ ♪ Oh, you don’t know ♪ ♪ Everybody’s thinkin’ ’bout me ♪

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Did you run out of video ideas of something? Leave Dark Souls out of your political bull.

    Everything has a moral or a lesson to be learned. Every game, book, film, scribble on the cave wall. Doesn't make it political.

  2. I dont care about politics, you do you and all that.
    but you started and ended in the most instantly obvious ways and interpretations. Everything you said was the only real political interpretation you could go with. If you went any further and tried to get more obscure political meaning out of it, you'd end up pulling rhetoric out of your ass. that's the issue with this video, it feels necessary. You can find political art anywhere you look but that doesnt mean it's any more intricate than that; it's merely a perceived politic and one that would be instantly shared with anyone and everyone who sees politics in things also.

  3. I forgot, and am once again blow the fuck away by the fact there are people who think a Tom Clancy game (except maybe Seige given it doesn't have a story, but I'm sure you could come up with something thematic) isn't political. That's literally the entire point of his work, and those that now bear his name.

  4. Did not expect this from you Jim Sterling. Been watching your satire for awhile now, and even though I've liked your sense of insight in some topics this was an impressive show of a deeper side of understanding. Some will not agree as you say and that is one of the beauties of this world but this was a damn fine video.

  5. I hope Jim understands that the politics in games are a genuine concern of criticism. That's about the only crack he has in his high mindset

  6. That is the most nonsensical pronunciation of Smough I've ever heard. It's like how Northernlion pronounces ennui "enway".

  7. That moment where Jim utterly misses the fact that Kingseeker Frampt and Darkseeker Kaathe are both Primordial Serpents, and just manipulating the "chosen undead", showing the futility of everything since either path leads to an endless cycle that will never end.

  8. The working class of America? Vote against their own self-interest? That'd never happen! The middle classes are merely the spear carriers for the Establishment? Never! You're a mad Englishman, Jim. Mad, mad, mad. … But not as mad as those who do naught but yearn to not think, yet cannot avoid the onerous task.

  9. people thinking independantly?! LOL Jim, have not met the modern human?? dare to think for yourself and people tell you to go buy a tinfoil hat. Souls is nothing more than an analogy for our modern times. we live in a world whose current state should have ended but 'we the people' no longer have the spine for any form of true rebellion… just a whole bunch of crazy

  10. Yes yes Jim dark souls has political themes, this DOES NOT! Mean that its political.

    Political games lecture players about politics of the time it was created, political themed games would be like dark souls and even the division 2 (though I'll need to look more into that myself) political themed games are centered on that there is a ruling government, buts its not republican or democrat (or country equivalent) but its party's and people of that world.

    Dragon age Inquisition is politically themed, NOT political

  11. I'd never thougth about this interpertation about politics in dark souls. It's interessting when i think about it

  12. I'm surprised anyone is able to figure out the lore of Darksouls. When I played it I quit after 3 hours because I was given no clear goal or reason to care about my character.

  13. The thing that's always annoyed me about the Dark Souls story is they keep talking about the coming dark being the "Age of Man". Why would that be the case? Before the light, humans were worthless nothings. It was the stone dragons that were in charge before; that's who Gwyn's afraid of. Without light to bind time and keep the dragons dead, they just go back to being the immortal rulers of the Dark again. Yes on one hand extending the Age of Fire too long clearly has negative consequences, but there's nothing that says an Age of Dark will lead to change or advancement. Hell, everything seems to indicate an Age of Dark would be a regression.

  14. Jim, your name doesn't make any sense. The "last name"has to refer to your place of origin (castle, county, etc), not an object.

  15. Interesting take on the Dark souls games. Not one i personally agree with, but to each their own. I would like to address many comments here.

    Things can feature politics as a theme without being political. And if the creator says it's not political, then that's how it is. In absence of a clear statement of weather it is or isn't, then it is de facto not. As being political requires making some kind of statement. Else the message will be completely up to a person's interpretation.

    And no, I don't buy that line of thinking where you have to take into account the politics of the times when something was being created. A picture of a dog not being done stylistically, is just a picture of a dog. And unless otherwise stated, it has no political meaning.

  16. Actually I do enjoy politics in my entertainment.
    Take Stars Wars the Old Republic. (The MMO not the single player one. However that one is also good.)
    When you play as a jedi sith they don't pull punches they expect to play as a N_4_Z_1 but you can go against that. Being a light-sided sith is the MOST entertaining thing I've played for a very long time. Politics are alot of fun to see, PROVIDED that you get the entire picture and see what EVERY side has to offer. That includes the side you'd expect to have nothing but bad people.

    Same thing with MGS2 sons of liberty. With the insane codec calls from the Cornell when things go haywire. That sent CHILLS down my spine for how frighteningly accurate it was.

  17. Politics means thinking and discussing who gets what stuff, so basically everything is politics if you want to use that lens. When people complain about politics in games or other arts, they are usually complaining about partisan, fashionable, off-the-shelf, left-wing propaganda thoughtlessly, artlessly, flaccidly thrust at the audience's face at the expense of theme, atmosphere, and gameplay.

    You do a good job of analyzing the plot and themes of Dark Souls, but your claim that age of fire = politics you hate and age of shadow = politics you think are cool is based on nothing other than you associating two groups that are the bad guys in your mind. Someone could just as easily say that the game is a metaphor for Marxist governments burning/exploiting their own people (leaders and peasants alike) by the tens of millions in order to keep their corrupt and rotting facade of a state going for another few years before those grubby humans demand a free market system and start making their own economic choices without the guiding, holy light of a central committee.

    As you say, everyone's opinions can just be reduced to subjectivity, but that attitude is what allows the elites to create wedge issue after wedge issue people get very upset about but aren't able to talk about productive. It limits political discourse and is maintains the status quo for the elites. Ultimately, bringing politics into gaming is fruitless and divisive and that's why it is and should be mostly unwelcome. It doesn't help politics and it doesn't help gaming.

    Even though you do seem like a left wing jackoff that thinks capitalism has failed because 1) it hasn't made human greed just not exist (like Marxism did, haha) and 2) it doesn't promise or deliver equal outcomes to everyone, especially those in governments that don't really practice it (like Marxism did, haha), I still like your videos because you are a good analyst when your left wing indoctrination doesn't subvert your critical thinking skills. Please hang out in the US and enjoy the constitutionally protected freedom of speech and absence of police using social media to warn people about posting illegal opinions =)

  18. What does it mean politically when the dark is actually worse than the light and Gwyn isn’t actually that bad of a guy?

    He’s still pretty bad for leaving Gwyndolin and Gwynevere alone, tricking humans to feed the flame, committing genocide on the dragons, and burning a bunch of knights while kindling the kiln.

    But the dark is so so much worse. It twists beings into freaks, monsters. Oolacile was ruined. New Londo was ruined. Even Nito’s realm was tainted by the dark, though it never had the abyss show up like the others places did. Gwyn was passing the torch to us to avoid the hellish dark age.

  19. You know if you went dark, the real chosen one came in after the game and wrecked your soul and used it to rekindle the flame. You burn no matter what, the only question is if you throw yourself a little party first. I think the best answer to the riddle it to leave Gwynn roasting, and walk away. Nobody makes you finish the game. Frampt and Kaathe can go screw themselves.

    Its like the last Thieves Guild mission in Skyrim. Sorry, no, hard pass. I'm not enslaving myself to a demon for all eternity so I can be the head of her little club. Nocturnal will solve her own problem or not.

  20. I feel like most don't understand what "politics" really means. Some likely think it's purely government, but then fail to realize that "The Government" isn't the only form of government. Every choice made is on its own a form of self-government because the choice was debated in their own mind even if only for a moment. Some likely think it's anything socially controversial. For them I have only sympathy because they have either not learned what Government is yet, or genuinely have nothing in their lives worth standing by and live like slaves with no rights to even so much as think beyond "Do what master says." I'm not able to even comprehend any other misinterpretations for politics without some possible examples.

    The word itself is its own meaning. Frankly the act of claiming something isn't political becomes its own political statement, and by extension injects politics into the thing they are claiming isn't political. Let's take your average kitchen chair for instance. Person A says, "That chair is making a political statement." Person B laughs and says, "No it's not." Congratulations; these two are now in a political disagreement over the politics of a kitchen chair. And yeah I was really trying to squeeze in a Will Riker joke sitting on it backwards, but just mentioning it like this will get more laughs. Ba-dum-tish… Anyway, even Jim's example of the pronunciation of Smough's name is itself a political stance, and the argument of that pronunciation is political.

    We have objective facts and general objectivity based on known facts. Sure, new factors are discovered regularly that challenge our objective facts. However, the original fact without the new factor typically still remains. Then we have subjectivity which is a personal or social interpretation of something. Subjectivity can have foundations in fact, but on its own remains unproven and/or unprovable. Subjectivity can be debated and often is, thus making all forms of subjectivity political. Traditions of all kinds are a form of subjective behaviors, making them political. History as written by the victors in war is from a subjective perspective, making our own written history political. The act of claiming something isn't political, makes the thing political. Known fact: The Earth is ROUND!!! A slightly oblate ellipsoid sphere. But no, "flat-earthers" claim it isn't which makes the known fact political. Every choice is debated even to the minimal extent of acknowledging more than one potential option. "What do I want to eat today?" is political.

  21. I gather your implying that Ornstein is actually Bill Callahan in golden armor and Smough is his alter ego Smog…also in good armor.

  22. This is funny considering the ridiculous level of left wing bs stuffed into every game that comes out these days – heck, one of my main gripes about WoW's BFA is that the quests were more like Captain Planet than Warcraft, just for one example out of a pile. Good heavens man, getting desperate

  23. Jim, bless me with your like to this comment till' Mexico >:'v
    Think your analysis is great and I'll quote a Batman v Superman phrase: "in this world every act is a political act". Videogames are art and art can't be free from beliefs, beliefs can't be free from politics.

  24. Jim, a slight correction. The lower beings didn't all become gods. 1 shared the power of the flame with the rest of the lower beings. They eventually turned into humans from sharing their lord soul. They're god power was split instead of one of them using the power like what happened to the gods. Humans helped the gods destroy the dragons. After they defeated the dragons Gwyn became paranoid of human power overthrowing theirs eventually. He saw that their lord soul was stronger than theirs. It was something that would naturally happen one day anyway. Because the human soul constantly grew while their lord souls were fading. So he went against nature and created the matrix, using his own soul to power it. He brainwashed other humans into believing the human souls power was bad before he created the matrix. He called the human soul, the "dark soul". Some humans as a result of the dark soul couldn't die. Those are the humans he put into the matrix and tricked them to keep using there souls to power his over and over. Keeping the human souls power growth in check. That's the character we play as.

  25. No Seath is Peter Thiel.

  26. pretty much everything your saying is pretty blatantly there. i have no idea how people can see this and disagree with your interpretation. it's almost like youre reiterating what the game itself just says

  27. Fuck me, I got baited then rolled. I almost felt things. ANGRY things. But then I saw your pert buttocks in that silvery wrestling costume and all was forgiven.

  28. Interesting take on things, and I agree with what you have to say about personal interpretation, unless of course the creator has laid out his intent rather clearly, which is not the case here. I had similar thoughts weirdly despite very different overall political views, but I will say that for me whenever I run into a fantasy world with a cycle taking place (Robert Jordan's "Wheel Of Time" for example) I always want to see the cycle broken on principle. That said I think the overall point being missed in trying to make a political analogy is the supernatural forces in play, which get right down to the nature of the cycle itself. What's more I would tend to think anyone who understand the cycle well enough to try and stop it probably has some idea of what an "Age Of Darkness" entails and it doesn't get that name by being nice, I think it goes beyond propaganda. I think there was a definite point being made that the guys trying to stop the cycle failed in a big picture sense since they had destroyed themselves trying to stop it and become the darkness, but I think there was supposed to be more than selfishness involved as nobody confines themselves to a long period of burning, soul-destroying agony out of self interest. I mean our king of fire and light wasn't exactly retaining rulership of anything was he? I suppose for the political analogy to work one would have to argue the other fire lords tricked him into doing it to preserve their own power or something, I think he was still a rather heroic figure…. and I suppose in a way if you sacrifice yourself the point is not that you are preserving a decrepit system that fears change, but staving off a full takeover of utter hell a little longer by giving the universe a few mortal embers. Strictly speaking, I think the point is there is no "happy ending" either way, and while I was never into these games (though I did play them a bit) I think the "age of man" bit was meant to be a lot of crap, as I understand that world humans get a raw deal regardless of what cycle your in.

  29. I think you are being too obtuse. When people say they don't want "politics" in games they mean that we don't want current real life ham-fisted political messages. Everything is political in a general or subtle way, and that's okay but when you start demanding that everything to have some "orange man bad" level politics in them is very obnoxious.

  30. Jim, can you help me out? I think I'm having an issue with YouTube – it's only letting me like the video once. I need to like it at least ten more times because this has been one of your best to date. Thank God for Jim.

  31. I can see where you are coming from, and the amount of evidence you put forward to prove your point is very impressive. I would've agreed with you a few weeks ago, but after watching that game informer interview with the Modern warfare directors I realised that what you are talking about isn't "politics", they're "themes". Themes can relate to political ideas and situations we experience today but aren't directly referring to those situations. Political agendas and references directly refer to those situations.
    For example, in Farcy 5 when John Seed is dying, he says "Look at the headlines. Look who's in charge". You could interpret that as a reference to Donald Trump (don't forget the pee tape mission) or Kim Jong Un. That is political in a sense. In the GI interview, the directors said MW explores the concepts of war, freedom, colonialism, occupation and independence, but it doesn't refer to specific countries, governments or leaders, it's just the themes. So I would argue that what DS does with its story isn't inherently political because it doesn't refer specifically to real-life geopolitics, however it utilises themes we can relate to. Great video BTW.

  32. I don't think it is correct to say that it has an agenda, but I do agree that everything humans create is, on some level, politically motivated. There is just too many intricacies in how we view the world to completely remove our biases from art.

  33. Being influenced by the politics of the time it was created and being political are two different things. Also just because games can be political does not mean all games are or have to be political.

  34. I wouldn't call it reaching but my vocabulary fails me at this moment, But rather i wouldn't call it political to thread the story of darksouls with what is fundamentally human nature. We are a flawed species destined to create and inevitably destroy ourselves irrespective of politics. Personally (opinion – i hate that in 2019 i have to point that out) I think its more the innate fear of change that both we and the lords that cause reckless actions and thus an inevitable demise. I see the parallels and its fun to discuss. Well thats my take on it.

  35. I remember when you were funny, now you're just whinging and moaning about everything it's a video game! Everything can be made political very easily. I want to make this clear! I RESPECT your opinion, I do not agree but I understand it. I just hope someday you go back to being fun to watch

  36. … Ya know I DID never think about it that way and that's actually a pretty good view of it. I always saw it as the gods fading and it was the players choice either to aid the gods (of which there are good and bad) or to get rid of them to create a new world that could succeed or fail. I do like Jims take tho.

  37. Anor Londo is not the Brexit Bus it is Brussels, the status quo that needs to end, the Brexit Bus is the change that needs to happen.

  38. Here's something curious I would like to look into a bit more.
    Wolfenstein: The New Colossus.
    Yes, it has problems. For a shooter it has really long cutscenes unlike Bioshock or Half Life. Now, the story tried to do too much and some scenes are quite inconsistent, because I feel that they didn't know when to put comedy relief and it comes off as ridiculous. But overall the game is fun and has a really strong message.
    Now, the game was panned by many YouTube reviewers and as always quite a few pulled out the "SJW propaganda" card… However!
    Other Youtubers really liked it; hardcore shooter gamers that usually don't care for stories in shooters loved it. Here's the thing… These gamers are black.
    I think this says a lot, The New Colossus shows the struggles of minorities in a world ruled by a fascist supremacy, and I think said gamers were able to identify with this.
    Anywho, wall of text over, I'm out.

  39. I guess that the Greek mythology is also political then with Kronos usurping power from his father Uranos and them because he was worried about being usurped by his children he was swallowing them whole at birth etc

  40. Well video games are a form of art and the message, political or not, is different depending on the interpreter ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  41. I'm waiting on the Souls games to finally move on to the age of dark with the age of fire finally being dead. The age of man is effectively punctuated in nearly every other medium as effectively a second age of fire, but one of innovation and progress. That in of itself will eventually come to an end as well.

  42. that was fucking amazing I guess I'm wrong I guess Dark Souls is actually really good because that sounds like an amazing game the way you put it but then again I've always been a nerd for politics and philosophy

  43. There always has been, and always will be, an elite class. Egalitarianism is a lie, because all humans are not equal, no matter how much an individual or group of individuals tries to make it so.

  44. I have to say it's pretty disappointing to see someone who knows full well that nothing on a government level ever actually just stops and yet you honestly believe that people fight government regulations due to wanting to keep a status quo. Gun regulations(the amendment point you poorly hid as it's the only amendment under constant scrutiny) is just an ever increasing spiral until it finally reaches the point where literally no one can have any firearm. What does it accomplish? Fuck all, as nothing stops people from buying/stealing a pickup truck and driving it through a school yard running over every child on the way. Gonna ban pickup trucks then? There will never be a safe world as long as people with cruel intentions who don't give a fuck if they live or die exist. Perhaps we should ask WHY so many people have stopped giving a fuck? Treat the disease and not the damn symptoms.
    Even climate change fixes are poorly thought out, because the recurring question that NO ONE ANSWERS is where does the money come from that fixes it? People will drive their gasoline cars for as long as the car runs, because like hell they will buy another car just because they are told they have to. Is the government expected to purchase an electric vehicle for the hundreds of millions of citizens in this country? Because I wouldn't want to be the politician in office when they go over the additional 50 trillion debt by my decision. I have no respect for the mouth pieces of right or left wing idealist fools who constantly demand the world succumb to their orders, but fail to provide any good reason to do so. WHY IS THE ANSWER ALWAYS TO FORCE PEOPLE TO DO SOMETHING? Why is it so complicated to simply offer a REASON to do it themselves?

  45. Wow this was an amazing video. I thought I felt a Vaati vibe, cool he helped out. Your view on the game's plot was really nice and makes the end of the game really meta. You could be blind as a player and choose an ending at random not really understanding what's different between them or just thinking about what it would mean for your own character. Or you can learn more about the lore and make an informed choice. Something that also rewards repeat playthroughs or going through the lore in detail. From this perspective the fire one would be the bad choice, but the main thing is you wouldn't even know if you just let the NPCs string you along telling you what to do. To me, no matter what someone took from this video it makes Dark Souls a deeper game. Thanks!

  46. yo if these are going to be a thing, please do Fallout 1/2 or New Vegas because I've had to argue someone who was convinced Fallout wasn't political

  47. This is intriguing and given how many real world issues creep into fiction, I would love to see this kind of video essay more often. I vote that if you you find more parallels like this in games, please make more like this

  48. a video game being political is not a problem, but it becomes one when the politics become the main focus or if the political message is done poorly and often tells you what's right and wrong when it should tells a question rather than an answer

  49. lol pictures like that is why i still watch cartoons as an adult and if people think im a loser for that well then im a loser thats happy.

  50. lol pictures like that is why i still watch cartoons as an adult and if people think im a loser for that well then im a loser thats happy.

  51. I think your using the word political in the loosest sense possible. Your technically right, but its really not political at all. Its making no attempt to change your view or current or old politics.

    Also people don't love tradition, they are just afraid of change. Like any living creature is. It requires more energy for the brain to make new connections to use old ones, that causes stress. All living things instinctively avoid stress, just how it is. Im with you on most stuff, but your REALLY have to try hard to hamfist this game into being political at all. Tom Clancy, sure. Metal Gear, the best kinda political game. Dark Souls? Really?

  52. "[the witch of izaleth] screwed up so badly, she turned into Akira-But-Trees."

    I have to say, I had to think about that one for a bit longer than I really should've, but that is absolutely the best joke in the episode.

  53. Pretty sure I could watch a whole series of videos where you explain Dark Souls lore.

  54. When I say "Political" im referring to taking a side on a current or recent issue. I see darksouls as the decisions made by characters acting on what they want, not a director telling me to support or fight gun control.

  55. If Jim ever says in a future video that he's "not a socialist," as he has in a number of previous videos, just remember this video.

Related Post