The Let's Play Archive

Dark Souls III

by IGgy IGsen

Part 34: - Kiln of the First Flame

This is it! The end of Dark Souls III but as you may know not the end of the LP. We'll be seeing all four endings, one of which they tried to hide that hard it doesn't even have an achievement. There will be no weapon demo in this one as I didn't want to include it over or after the credits, but I'll be covering the lore of it in this post and some of it even in the video.

Soul of Cinder (Yep, it's the guy from the cover art)

When playing through a Souls game. You've died, fought, struggled, endured, suffered and lived through all of the challenges. Now there's only one enemy left to beat and you know it. But now you're wondering what it'll throw at you, if it will make you go through it all again. Gwyn was ferocious but had one glaring weakness, Nashandra tried to fight smart but not smart enough. But now Dark Souls III delivers what I think is a great final boss.

The Soul of Cinder is what could very well be the final boss of the Dark Souls games, given the fact that, at least according to what we've been told, there are currently no plans for a Dark Souls IV. And as much as I love those games that is probably a good thing. This is a good place to end it.

The Soul of Cinder is clearly meant to mirror the player. When you first see it it will sit at a bonfire, just resting, as we did numerous times. Upon getting up to fight it will be ready to assume one of four fighting styles that an actual player might be want to use. This is because the Soul of Cinder is everyone who has ever linked the fire. The Description of the Soul of the Lords we get for defeating it as well as that of the Firelink Greatsword we can make of it reinforce what could legitimately be what you just assume by observing it fight.

"Since Lord Gwyn, the first Lord of Cinder, many exalted lords have linked the First Flame, and it is their very souls that have manifested themselves as defender of the flame." (Soul of the Lords)

"The Lords of Cinder linked the First Flame, and this Greatsword was wielded by their deific manifestation. This coiled sword, found thrust in the bonfire, existed long before the throneless lords themselves." (Firelink Greatsword)

Of course, as the Souls description lets us know: The very first one to link the fire was none other than Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight, head deity of Anor Londo. So he too will take part in the fray.

When entering the fight the Soul of Cinder will always use the STR/Knight style using a straight sword and nothing else. If you get close yourself you need to learn to read its movement to dodge its swings effectively. In this state it can use several different combos.

The INT/Sorcerer style has The Soul focusing on simply casting a variety of spells. Soul Spear is is basic projectile, Farron Hail basically just zones you out of whatever area it's cast on, Soul Stream can be devastating but if you see it charging just run behind the Soul and wail on it as the stream goes into nothingness. Finally, he can also cast a Homing Soulmass. This one is special in that it will regenerate itself for a set amount of time and can be active even when transitioning to a different style

If it becomes a DEX/Pyromancer it uses a curved sword as a weapon. It attacks fast, though only at a closer range. Up close it's probably harder to deal with than the STR phase. It's also able to cast Power Within, Poison Mist as well as some fireballs.

Finally, it has a FTH/Cleric style. The weapon of choice this time is a spear which it can use to great effectiveness. If you get used to dodging the charge you can retaliate with some easy free hits. It also has a horizontal swipe that comes out real fast to zone you out a bit. Additionally it will sometimes cast A healing miracle as well as Wrath of the Gods, which it sometimes spams. It's best to just gain some distance when it happens.

The Soul of Cinder switches between those four at will during the first phase. If you manage to empty its health-bar completely it... just fills up again and Phase 2 beings (I know in the video it transitions to phase 2 with some health left, but that's the only time that happened to me). Now The Soul of Cinder mirrors Gwyn, though, the moveset is a bit more intense. When the phase first begins it usually favors a wide reaching five-hit combo that ends with a large AoE blast after its sword is thrust into the ground... or you if you get hit. Because just getting hit once by this combo means you are being air juggled. Aside from some other, less devastating attacks with the sword it has several lighting based attacks. First up, the classic Sunlight Spear, which is just a projectile flung your way, then there's Lightning Stake, driven into the ground in front of him for a small AoE, but great damage if hit directly. Lastly, it can throw lightning up into the air only for it to come back raining down, homing in on your position.

If you manage to best the Soul of Cinder despite everything it throws on you, you get to choose what to do with the first flame.

You may Link the Fire, just sitting there, slowly burning away. Contrast this with the Link the Fire ending for Dark Souls where it was an eruption of fire. Ever since then, throughout multiple cycles, it seems there's not that much fuel left. And eventually, even if we struggle over and over, the flame will fade and only dark will remain.

Which brings us to the End of Fire, which you can introduce early by simply not linking the fire. To do this you need to find the Eyes of a Firekeeper in the Untended Shrine and give them to the Firekeeper. After defeating the Lord of Cinder you can now summon her to End Fire. But it may not be that simple, according to the Firekeeper there are still tiny flames in the distance left by past lords.

But that's not all, we can also Usurp the Flame. This is equivalent to the Dark Lord ending from Dark Souls, in which you side with Kaathe, who claims to be on the side of humanity. Humanity is represented by Londor here, of course Kaathe is also behind them, as we learn when killing Yuria. She laments failing Kaathe. The steps to reaching this ending are fairly involved, you need to use five of Yoels free level ups to befriend Yuria. You also need to guide Anri to the Darkmoon Tomb to "marry" her. Some people say that Anri is even in this ending, but I'm just not seeing it.

Finally, there is an ending that doesn't even have an achievement. What you need to here is to trigger the End of Fire ending, and in the final moments, when the camera centers behind your character you have to attack the Firekeeper. This ending has you literally walk over her, in a reference to one of the endings of Demon's Souls and take the flame for yourself. I guess it's like with dogs chasing a car, though. If they catch one they have no idea what to do with it.

Soul of the Lords
Soul of the Lords.
One of the twisted souls, steeped in strength.
Use to acquire numerous souls, or transpose to extract it's true strength.
Since Lord Gwyn, the first Lord of Cinder, many exalted lords have linked the First Flame, and it is their very souls that have manifested themselves as defender of the flame.

Firelink Greatsword
The Lords of Cinder linked the First Flame, and this Greatsword was wielded by their deific manifestation. This coiled sword, found thrust in the bonfire, existed long before the throneless lords themselves.
Skill: Ember - The fading flame momentarily illuminates and launches itself forward.

Sunlight Spear
Dark Souls III:
Miracle of Gwyn, the First Lord. Hurls a sunlight spear.
The tales of Gwyn's Archdragon hunts describe the inception of the Age of Fire.

Dark Souls II:
A miracle that launches a spear of sunlight. Powered with immense wondrous souls.
One of the ancient original miracles, said to have existed from the infancy of the very world.

Dark Souls:
Miracle born from the fading soul of Gwyn.
Hurl sunlight spear.
In the war that marked the dawn of the Age of Fire, Gwyn wielded these rays of sunlight, which remains fierce even as they fade.

Skull Ring
One of Courland's transposed wonders. Derived from the soul of a Soulfeeder.
Easier to be detected by enemies.
The Soulfeeder was a beast that insatiably absorbed souls to feed its own power. Even after its accursed corpse was burned, it is said that the pungent stench of souls left the air permanently stained."
Note: Can be collected from Ludleth's throne. Even though he's burnt to cinders you can still make boss weapons at this spot