Following in the footsteps of the chaotic but brilliant adventure that was Twitch Plays Pokémon, the next conquest on the horizon for the popular streaming service was the notoriously difficult Dark Souls. A game well-known for its punishing of even the tiniest of mistakes with hours of lost progress, Dark Souls was a near impossible choice for the Twitch community.
The game’s high difficulty level wasn’t all that was preventing the chat from making progress, however. True to the Twitch Plays Pokémon style, the community initially had to fight to even move their avatar in the right direction and on a game like Dark Souls, it seemed downright unplayable.
Due to so many players inputting commands at the same time, the game’s Chosen Undead was stuck rolling in a pool of water for the first 90 hours until finally the channel’s mods implemented a new control system. After, the chat could control the game with a new, turn-based control system, allowing for commands to be entered with time to consider the options. Every few seconds the game paused and waited for the chat to decide its next input. Soon enough, Twitch beat the game’s first boss.
28 days into playing, Twitch defeated Ornstein and Smough, the game’s hardest bosses and at the 43-day mark the game was complete. On Saturday night the community felled Gwyn, Lord of Cinder, Dark Souls’ final boss and achieved victory, choosing the Dark Lord ending to the game. This great achievement came at the cost of a tremendous 904 deaths and nearly a month and a half of agonizingly slow gameplay. The video below has removed the pauses and showcases the battle against Gwyn in real time.
While some claim that the pausing modification to the stream is unfair and against the spirit of the Twitch Plays experience, it’s still an impressive feat to finish one of the most brutally difficult games in recent memory with so many people at the reins.
Attempting to complete Dark Souls in unusual ways has become something of an internet sensation as of late. One eccentric fan by the name of Benjamin “Bearzly” Gwin has shared his attempts at finishing the unforgiving RPG using bizarre controllers such as the Donkey Kong bongo drums, a Rock Band guitar, and even voice control. Another hardcore fan named Lobos Jr even attempted to complete sections of the game with his screen flipped vertically.
Many are claiming that the completion of Dark Souls is Twitch’s biggest triumph since it completed the original Pokémon and now the site has set itself a new goal: completing Dark Souls II. Perhaps when Dark Souls III launches in early 2016, the site will tackle that one as well. And so the question has to be asked, if Twitch can beat Dark Souls, what can’t it handle?