In today’s day and age, we love a good comparison, and nothing is more commonly compared than FromSoftware’s action RPG Dark Souls. We’ve all heard the gags and seen the clickbaity titles, but there is that one question no one can seem to answer clearly: what does it mean to be “like Dark Souls“?
To begin answering that question, let us look into the most obvious place: this season’s Darling in the FranXX, from Studio Trigger. Darling in the FranXX takes all of its major cues from Dark Souls. It takes place in a time different from today, after humans have been nearly driven extinct thanks to terrifying beasts known as Klaxosaurs.
In the world of Darling in the FranXX, human civilization has been driven to the brink. Outside of the inhabited Plantations, Earth looks like an abandoned skeleton of its past, similar to the aesthetic of Dark Souls.
Darling in the FranXX is also about failing. Besides the very obvious backdrop of humanity generally failing to defeat Klaxosaurs — the main character, Hiro, repeatedly fails to connect with a partner in order to fight in his mech. Just like how I repeatedly fail to defeat even the first boss I encounter in Dark Souls.
Then I go online and look for advice on playing Dark Souls and find out I need to get better weapons. Well, Darling in the FranXX is all about our characters piloting the eponymous FranXX, mechs that are humanity’s only weapon to defeat these beasts.
In this dystopian future, a monsieur Tout-le-monde from a devastated human race discovers he has a rare ability and uses fantastic equipment to fight giant beasts, failing many times along the way. That’s as Dark Souls as it gets.
But this brings me to our original question: what does it mean to be Dark Souls? And why does it matter that Darling in the FranXX is similar to it?
I have no idea.
You see, that is because I don’t play Dark Souls. I’m also way behind on Darling in the FranXX. Like many people who write articles like this, I have no clue what I am talking about and I am full of shit. I stopped playing Dark Souls after a few hours because it was too hard. I also stopped watching Darling in the FranXX after a few episodes because I was too hard.
Thanks for reading, and join me next week as we discuss what game is the Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica of video games.