• Member Since 17th Dec, 2011
  • offline last seen 8 hours ago

DannyJ


I'm just here to write.

T
Source

Legends tell of the lost land of Equestria, once the home of all ponies. It is said that the Fire of Friendship was born there, and that the land was ruled over by four beings with brilliant souls and powerful magic. Gone are the glory days now. In this ruined world there are only mindless undead, ravenous changelings, and prowling, demonic beasts. The bonfires that keep the peace in the lands beyond Equestria are failing, and as the Fire fades, so too does the strength of nations.

Yet, perhaps there may still be hope. Perhaps, somewhere in the heart of that forsaken kingdom, there may still be a way to break this curse.


A Dark Souls crossover. Expect pain and misery.

Chapters (10)
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Comments ( 214 )

THIS.
Is easily, the best intro to a pony souls crossover I've ever seen. Bar none.
Well done sir (or madam) Well done.

Your first image appears to be broken.

But I never liked those stories. They make the goddesses out to be crybabies.

Oh man, those callouts. Harsh, yo.

This is pretty great, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where this goes.

This is really, really good!

Will we simply see Dark Souls storyline ponified, or will you add your own ideas/locations? And will there be any old faces from the show, or only ponified NPCs?

Without warning, it seemed to flop on top of me, crushing me underneath its massive weight.

:rainbowlaugh: The classic buttslam attack! Now that reminds me of fighting the Asylum Demon on my first play-through...

I was shocked that Patches actually killed Firelink. :rainbowderp: Even a little disappointed, as I was waiting for the inevitable moment of Firelink looking over into a courtyard below and Patches kicking him off the edge and bursting into maniacal laughter. Pretty sad that Notch is gone too.

I really enjoyed the world-building in the introduction, how you've woven the worlds of Dark Souls and MLP together. :raritystarry: I haven't read a Dark Souls/MLP crossover yet, but I've been wanting to. What luck that your story popped up first when I clicked 'Browse'; very timely.

Have a like! :twilightsmile:

The fifth one down was uncomfortably close to unrestrained feral

Gah, and it was going so well, too.

To be honest, much as I wanted it to, Dark Souls never really made any sense to me. This seems like a fine compromise. It's a gripping start to what I hope turns into a series as planned, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more.

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First image looks okay to me. Take another look. Is it still not there for you?

6052178

Everything is a parallel to something, but there is no "simply" about it. I took a lot of liberties while planning out the story, so a lot of connections will be vague or unclear, and many of the obvious parallels I have made will probably not be where you expect them to be, such as with Patches in this chapter.

And yes, you can expect the canon cast to put in some appearances.

6052647

Fixed, thank you.

And vanilla Dark Souls can be pretty confusing, yeah. Quite a lot of it is left up to interpretation, and even then you've got to really be diligent in working out the lore.

6052799
It's still broken for me. Given my laptop, I'm going to assume the problem is on my end. Stupid laptop...

6052825

Hm. Well, in any case, it's just the cover-art again, so you're not missing much.

With how much you love Fallout, I'm surprised you haven't done your own Fallout Equestria story yet. I suppose with the amount of FOE stories that are out there, you didn't feel the need to write one.

Good thing we have Fallout 4 for new ideas.

Ain't that right Daniel?
i.imgur.com/tAj9jwI.gif

With every chapter of this, I'll post a Dark Souls related piece of media since I'm too lazy to think of insightful comments.

puu.sh/ibFOb.jpg

A Dark Souls crossover that's not a Dark Souls character being thrown into Equestria or a goddamn LoHAV? You know I'm there.

Good

Ponies drained by changelings becoming undead and hollows - That's...fucking brilliant. Brilliant interpretation of Dark Souls lore into an MLP setting.

Integration of an early appearance by Trusty Patches into the story/Firelink and Notch juggling the roles of Oscar and the Chosen Undead - it's clever plays on the source material like these that will keep the Dark Souls veterans intrigued from start to finish. I don't want a 1:1 ponyfication of Dark Souls. By switching things up, you keep the story fresh.

Interesting that you switched the giant crow (or raven) for a giant phoenix. Crows and Ravens often symbolize death, and the chosen undead being carried to Lordran by one is pretty symbolic. A phoenix on the other hand symbolizes life and rebirth.

Bad

Too much and too fast - Your opening chapter is 17k words long. That's a heavy and intimidating start. I get the feeling that you wanted the tutorial section of the game over with in your chapter 1, but in the process you end up with an enormous chapter that moves at breakneck speeds. Slow down and let us take in the sights and the lore. You could have ended your chapter 1 with Firelink's decision to rescue Notch. There's enough of the Northern Undead Asylum rescue to have its own chapter. I would have liked to linger longer in his hometown. In the game, you don't get to visit places like Astora or Catarina or Vinheim. This was an opportunity to showcase what life was like outside Lordran in your fic. I would have also liked a bit more chemistry between Firelink and Notch, before you parted them.

I'd known him since I was a foal, and since he was a larvae. Back in Brittlesworth, we'd been as close as two friends could be. Granted, he was a little more standoffish than most, and wasn't one for physical affection (he said he didn't want it to look like he was using me to feed), but we were friends. We were best friends.

This is all tell and no show. Include a few scenes in the earlier sections that shows their friendship and not only will we not need this, but it would make Firelink's determination to brave the asylum as well as Notch's sacrifice more poignant.

6054184

I rather suspected that I might catch your attention. I'm glad you liked it.

Interesting that you switched the giant crow (or raven) for a giant phoenix. Crows and Ravens often symbolize death, and the chosen undead being carried to Lordran by one is pretty symbolic. A phoenix on the other hand symbolizes life and rebirth.

I think the phoenix symbolism is indicative of a change in creative direction with this crossover. For obvious reasons, the infusion of elements of FiM into this world does bring with it a greater sense of optimism, and I think it would've been a mistake to try and make this story just as bleak as Dark Souls was. Bridging the tonal gap between the two worlds means putting greater empthasis on some of the lighter elements of the games, such as the minor themes of the importance of friendship and cooperation in an uncaring world, or indeed, on the rebirth aspect of being undead rather than the "death" part, at least where such empthasis is appropriate. In a way, going to Equestria does represent a kind of rebirth for Firelink, so you've definitely got something there.

Too much and too fast - Your opening chapter is 17k words long. That's a heavy and intimidating start. I get the feeling that you wanted the tutorial section of the game over with in your chapter 1, but in the process you end up with an enormous chapter that moves at breakneck speeds. Slow down and let us take in the sights and the lore. You could have ended your chapter 1 with Firelink's decision to rescue Notch. There's enough of the Northern Undead Asylum rescue to have its own chapter. I would have liked to linger longer in his hometown. In the game, you don't get to visit places like Astora or Catarina or Vinheim. This was an opportunity to showcase what life was like outside Lordran in your fic. I would have also liked a bit more chemistry between Firelink and Notch, before you parted them.

This is all tell and no show. Include a few scenes in the earlier sections that shows their friendship and not only will we not need this, but it would make Firelink's determination to brave the asylum as well as Notch's sacrifice more poignant.

Your criticisms mirror much of my editor's when he reviewed the original draft, and ironically, the version you're reading now was born of my attempts to address these very criticisms as much as possible. Originally, the pre-Asylum segments were even shorter than this, completely lacking the Brittlesworth scene entirely. My thoughts were in getting ahead to the action. That's why the Woods' End scene and beyond are part of the first chapter rather than being a chapter of their own. But they were extended because it was pointed out that Firelink and Notch's connection was not as well established and that I was skipping over emotional development. However, having now included the Brittlesworth scene, I'm honestly stumped on how I could extend it further from here. Beyond this point, anything else I found myself coming up with just felt like filler.

How would you've approached this, if you don't mind me asking? Spending more time in the pre-Asylum areas and with Notch, I mean?

That was frikin awesome! One of the best dark souls crossovers.

6054630

How would you've approached this, if you don't mind me asking? Spending more time in the pre-Asylum areas and with Notch, I mean?

I already mentioned chopping this chapter into two. I'd get a little more banter between Notch and Firelink before the Way of White ponies show up. When the arrest comes, I'd make them run. Use the brief chase to build on their relationship. End the chase with Notch being captured while Firelink escapes. Play out the part where he has to tell the parents to show that Firelink is a trusted family friend and add more to their brotherhood. Instead of a quick summary of the weeks afterward, throw in some desperate efforts such as appealing to local authorities, bribes, and such. End chapter with determination to go to the Asylum.

This will likely increase total word count, but creating a natural stopping point earlier makes it easier to get into the story.

6058246

I do like the idea. If I'd had this advice sooner, I'd probably have written it that way. But, que sera sera. Too late for large scale rewrites like that now. But I will be keeping this suggestion in mind in future. I can definitely promise you that from hereon out the pacing will slow down and I'll try to maintain a more reasonable scope for each chapter. Whether they'll actually get shorter, I can't say, as I do write with a lot of detail, but chapters now will usually be focused on a single setting and will not contain long timeskips within themselves if Firelink is still there and experiencing events.

I hope to have you along for the rest of the ride. I have a feeling that your critiques will prove most valuable in shaping how I approach the story in future.

6071223

Oh my. John Perry reading my humble little story. I never thought I'd see the day. I'm glad you enjoyed it, in any case.

I have tried avoiding obvious video-game-isms, but to an extent, that's not possible when it comes to, well, "boss fights". My hope is that once the narrative starts in earnest, encounters that were boss fights in the game won't jump out so much to the reader and instead become part of the long series of different battles that makes up the narrative as a whole, rather than seeming just like setpieces. Dark Souls itself was 80% combat, after all, but the Asylum setting kind of emphasises the Demon's presence because he's the only truly notable enemy there. In a setting where everything is trying to kill Firelink, "bosses" should hopefully stand out less.

But who knows? Perhaps this'll always be a feature of the story - in a narrative that gives so much focus to violent battles, is it not inevitable that the most impressive battles will draw attention and stick out? Hmm. Yes, no, maybe. The one thing I know for sure is that I like abusing my protagonist, and I intend to do a lot more of it.

Danny writing dark souls crossover? oh man, oh god , oh man!.OH GOD ,OH MAN!!

The sad past is when he actually found the resolve to persevere and die continuously, Notch tries to save him.

Firelink and Notch need to git gud. Poor Firelink. I can't say for certain that I would have done better. Lifegems won't be available until the sequel. At least he will inevitably find an Estus Flask. Wait until he finds Equinity (or whatever you decide to call it) on an overgrown rat. Then he'll start questioning reality. Or he'll fall head over heels over a long dead Celestia. Maybe he'll make covenant with Luna. Or Sombra. In truth, he's probably to PRAISE THE SUN. But that's a different covenant from Celestia, parallelism wise.

Also dat buttslam.

I'm no story expert, but that's one long first chapter. I'd be fine if this was the length of later chapters but WHOA that's a long first chapter. I always compare the length of stories to the typical Fallout: Equestria chapter length (10,000 words). And that takes a while.

6167775

You've successfully identified where Firelink and Notch went wrong. Only scrubs rely on ganking.

So, what's the progress on the 2nd chapter, mate?

6222835

Slow but steady. Real life interrupted me, but I do have two of the three most important scenes finished.

6052799
Oh hey
Almost 14 weeks later, and the image shows up
Go me!

I hope to update at least once per month

hon hon hon

Not that I mind the wait, but is there an ETA for next chapter?

6549462

Not long. What should be the final round of editing is done.

What's really a problem is the chapter illustration. My artist could not complete the job for personal reasons, so I need to find somebody new to continue it.

Okay, since I'm a DS player, you got me. :moustache:

"You better not have any damn casuals in this story...":ajbemused:
Just Kidding!

6661963

There are a few, but don't worry; they get rekt, just like filthy casul scum do.

Omg, the "Get Good" statement from Sir Black Iron killed me. As an avid Souls and MLP fan I'm loving your crossover story. Keep up the good work :pinkiehappy:

6664702

These predictions make me smile.

"Get good," he said simply.

You're amazing

You'll won't see them that often so long as you sleep by bonfires

Where did that "won't" come from?

Pilgrimage now wore the same grimace that she'd had after first noticing my darksign,

I might be wrong on that, since English is not my native language, but shouldn't it be "she's had" instead "she'd had"?

If I'd still had my grappling hook,

Same as above, English is not my native language, but that sentence looks kinda messy. You sure about that "If I had"? Or is that suppose to be "If I would"?

Nonetheless, the wait for this chapter was definitely worth it. I see a lot of allusions of sorts to Bloodborne, what with the Fire-Keeper's Dream, I love how you managed to sensibly include the Darkwraiths, without splitting the world into other worlds with all that timelines nonsense as I so often see in other fanfics.

I love how he got the Broadsword - it has a nice Strength scaling - ain't no filthy Dexscrubs in these here lands!

6665234

Bloodborne is a part of the Souls series as well. I couldn't let it go by without at least a little homage.

The double had (or a contraction of it) is past perfect form, used "when we are talking about the past and want to refer back to an earlier past time." I'm fairly certain that both instances you pointed out here are technically correct usage, weird as they might look. But that "won't" is a definite error, and has now been fixed. Thank you.

6665372

Ah, now that would be telling, wouldn't it?

6665426

Who can say? The future is shrouded in shadows.

So will Firelink become The Legend by the end of the story?

Or will he simply be rekt by him?

Im kidding but won't mind if The legend plays a role in the story.

Seriously though will The Pursuer make an appearance? Not as a boss initially but as an actual.... well pursuer hell bent on hollowing firelink, only for him to be defeated in some epic battle. (Probably in the painted world, useing it as a base of operations an, eye orb allowing him to hunt undead until they hollow. No he shouldn't replace Priscilla.)

Just some ideas....

It's bad enough when some chosen undead run into the regenerating skeletons after arriving in Lordran, this poor shmuck runs into a darkwraith as his first encounter.

I slowly turned to find the source of the noise, and saw a spectre manifesting before me.

At this point, I think you should already point out that it was a pony spectre that showed up, because we don't really get a sense of what it is until you mention hooves later. For all we know it's still a human darkwraith's armor you're describing.

"I... am a nightmare."

That's a moment killer right there. I think the encounter would have more menace if the darkwraith showed no interest in communicating, that it is an alien thing so devoid of equinity that it offers no explanation for itself. It just is.

I turned around to go back to the fire, and froze in place. There was a new figure sitting on the steps by the edge of the pit, one who I hadn't noticed before. He had the shape of a pony, and he was very big, as tall sitting down as I was standing. Black plate armour covered him all over, and a great square shield was strapped to his back. It looked heavy, but his posture didn't suggest any kind of discomfort from it. In fact, he seemed almost relaxed. Not that I could tell for sure with his face obscured by that cylindrical helmet he wore. I noted his sword, half-buried in the ground by his side. It was massive, easily twice the size of the one that the nightmare had been carrying, which had itself been very impressive.

I like this bit. I don't think even many ds players recall that bit in the trailer where the chosen undead and Iron Tarkus meet.

"Griffin Isles... I've heard of them. That is east of here. Far east. You are new to Equestria. You've never been in the Fire-Keeper's Dream before now, have you?"

DannyJ, you're getting some Bloodborne on my Dark Souls crossover. I suppose it's a good explanation as to why the bonfires shit you out whenever you die.

"So you're telling me that these ponies can come after me anywhere, at any time, even when I'm sleeping, and that if they kill me they're going to steal my soul?"

This is an interesting take on the darkwraith lore. My understanding of it in the game is that the darkwraiths can't leave New Londo. That was the whole point of flooding the place at the cost of thousands of lives was for. If the darkwraiths in this world are able to run around french-kissing the equinity out of the living, that would mean New Londo was never flooded, or the keepers of the seal are doing a really shit job.

and up in the north you'll find demons wandering down from the Lost Empire.

Let me be blunt with this. If you can fuse the Crystal Empire, Lost Izalith, AND Frozen Eleum Loyce, then this is the best Dark Souls fic I've ever read in this site, and it's already quite good.

Get good," he said simply.

You know that's not how that phrase is spelled.

I felt a stiff breeze on my back as my eyes cracked open.

This is starting to get quire noticeable. Remember that the first person pov allows the reader to assume that every sensation described is something that the pov character experiences, so there's seldom a need to add "I saw" or "I felt" each time you describe something. You can tighten the narrative a bit if you went straight for the sensation instead of reminding us that it's Firelink who's experiencing it.

Not wanting to wade through the flooded hall, I went back the way I came and out into the grassy, open area.

Good for you, Firelink, those skeletons would have fucked you up if you insisted on that way.

Fighting with a sword or a spear was just another skill, like harvesting apples, or playing the lute.

Why yes, swordplay is just like harvesting apples, if the apple trees bashed your skull in if you reached for their fruit incorrectly.

"I... Hmm." I cleared my throat. "I beg you pardon, but... what's a Chaos Paladin, and who's King Aspen?"

Okay, it's at this point that the chapter really gets too explainey. We're still digesting the lore on darkwraiths, and the Way of White, now we're on a third subject. It's too much. And it runs contrary to the game's "figure it out yourself" atmosphere when there's always someone around to provide a convenient lecture.

And speaking of chaos paladins, now you're getting WH40K in there.

The way there is treacherous, and none survive the journey. Trust me, it's not worth going there to find out. The pathway up the mountain is littered with corpses and hollows."

You can thank that asshole, Sen.

After a minute of uncertainty, trying to determine which way we'd come from, I finally picked a path and began walking in what I hoped was a southern direction. This time, there was no laughter, no conversation, and nobody to explain things to me. There was only the sounds of the forest, and the clinking and rattling of my armour.

That's better. If he's alone, he can find things out for himself.

I'm holding you to that faster update.

6698997

Ah, hello there, Vis! I was wondering where you were. Glad you liked the chapter. I made a few minor edits already based on your suggestions. Unfortunately, there's little I can do about the overabundance of exposition. I thought it was a bit excessive as well, but unfortunately, this early in the story, there's a lot that I needed to establish quickly. I'll try to avoid such things in future, although I fear that not even I can stop Firelink's insatiable curiosity.

I don't think even many ds players recall that bit in the trailer where the chosen undead and Iron Tarkus meet.

Which is a shame, because that was such a good scene! Why do we live in this cruel world where we couldn't ever meet and talk to Iron Tarkus in the flesh?

Oh shoot, this story has an update! TIme to get cracking. Tomorrow though. That's what I say with many a fanfic, but I mean it this time! Maybe. Definitely. Definitely maybe.

Am i the only person who thinks Spike will be Sif or something like that, or is wondering who Ornstein will be (if he appears). Side note found this ages ago how on earth did i forget to favorite this

7065469

Is indeed. It's an alternate future (with no AU tag because the timelines didn't diverge until after the current point of the show). But the groundwork is all set by Borderworld lore. Magic and souls go by Borderworld rules, the Way of White are based on a revival of Alicornism, the Chaos Paladins are currently trying to invade Vanaheim, the Changeling Asylum was converted from Castle Defiance on the Forsaken Crags, and the reason why Firelink can't read the journal he finds in the second chapter is because it's written in Standard Equestrian, which is such a mess that his homeland abandoned it and now uses the equivalent of French for writing.

There are a lot of these little connections around, and there will be more later. A person who knows both their Dark Souls lore and their Borderworld trivia could probably spot a few of them in advance, but I won't be spoiling any of that in the comments here.

7067325

Yes. This is what I do when I'm not making Dark Souls III.

If the main OCs in this story were voiced, what would they sound like?

7178009

Firelink and Notch are from a rural community in the pony equivalent of Britain, so I imagine them with the voices of middle-class Englishmen. Firelink is slightly rough but pronounces his words well, while Notch is more refined and soft-spoken. As for the characters we met in chapter 2, their voices are already described, but in the case of Sir Penance and Pilgrimage, I imagine them as sounding exactly like the characters they're based upon - Petrus and Reah of Thorolund (don't watch the linked videos too far if you're worried about spoilers for Dark Souls or possible spoilers for this story). Same deal with Patches.

Ahhh, absolutely fantastic! Poor Firelink though, a Black Knight AND Havel! Even seasoned Dark souls players would have trouble with that

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