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Elden Ring: Is there a connection with Dark Souls?

Is the upcoming fantasy RPG, Elden Ring, a spiritual sequel to Dark Souls? Or will the developers deliver an entirely new gaming experience?
Elden Ring: Is there a connection with Dark Souls?
Ever since Elden Ring was first announced prospective players and fans of the developer's previous highly-respect Dark Souls series have been wondering if the two game's worlds are connected.

While from the footage and information we have seen, it is clear the developers are far from starting from scratch with Elden Ring, with similarities noticeable in the game's visuals, combat system and character creation to name a few.

So, where does Elden Ring fit in the scope of Dark Souls and what connections -- if any -- are there between the two games' worlds.

Elden Ring’s connections to Dark Souls explained

Elden Ring game director and creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has stated in an interview with IGN that both Elden Ring and Dark Souls belong to the "same genre" but are not one and the same. While these two games may not share a universe or world, there are a few things that they indeed do share.

As nothing has been confirmed by FromSoftware, this is purely based on the footage and in-game screenshots supplied over the last few months. One such connection ties into Elden Ring’s narrative –  the notion of an “unending curse” that plagues the world of the Lands Between.

This curse, the Darksign, was first introduced to players in Dark Souls, through the eyes of the game’s human protagonist. This curse/illness plagued many people, trapping them in an endless cycle of life and death, transforming the hosts into a form of the Undead.

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Elden Ring and Dark Souls do indeed share a few similarities, callbacks and references. (Picture: Bandai Namco / FromSoftware)

Nevertheless, in Elden Ring, a variation of this curse will add some weight to the game’s overarching narrative. It can be heard during the trailer as the narrator spoke of the main character having to fight and die “in an unending curse” much like players had done through their campaigns in the Dark Souls series.

Another connection between Elden Ring and Dark Souls is its gothic aesthetics which has been a predominant feature throughout most FromSoftware games, including Bloodborne. The exception came in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice where the developers swapped out the gothic visuals for a bold colour scheme to highlight the feudal Japanese time period.

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Players will recognise the gothic aesthetic previously seen in Bloodborne and Dark Souls. (Picture: Bandai Namco / FromSoftware)

However, the gothic aesthetics are making a return in Elden Ring as the team once again rely on the eerie medieval horror theme for which the developers have become renowned. From the dark and desolate environments to slight hints of colour alerting of possible danger and derelict structures, the world of Elden Ring feels eerie, familiar yet different.

One notable difference between Elden Rings and what has come before from the developers is the fact that the former is an open-world rather than the linear level design we have seen in Dark Souls and Bloodborne.

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The game's combat system should feel familiar to those that have played Dark Souls. (Picture: Bandai Namco / FromSoftware)

Finally, the combat system will be another connection between Elden Ring and Dark Souls. While the combat system in Sekiro was a huge deviation, Elden Ring will see players wielding melee and magical weapons once more.

As to what changes the developers will implement to change up the combat and weapon system remains to be seen. However, diehard Soulsborne players should be content with a return to familiar themes, aesthetics, and mechanics that has made Dark Souls iconic and frustrating to play.

At the same time, we look forward to the changes and deviations FromSoftware will undertake to produce a brand new gaming experience for all players.


Don’t forget to check out our dedicated Elden Ring section for the latest news, updates, guides, leaks and more.

Featured image courtesy of Bandai Namco / FromSoftware.