One of the real treats of contemporary gaming is the disparate global army of tech-heads and coders who like to tinker with games, and find out how the magical sausage is made. As a longtime Souls-lover I’ve learned an enormous amount over the years from one ZullieTheWitch, a Dark Souls hacker who digs through the game’s files and shares their most interesting findings.
What’s great about Zullie’s work is their clear love and respect for the games, which leads to an interest in teasing out the subterranean connections between them. This in turn shows some of FromSoftware’s development process: How the studio conceptualises ideas and changes them, or puts them to one side and later returns.
Zullie’s latest discovery is a perfect example of this, focusing on the Elden Ring boss Rennala, bearer of a Great Rune, and what it implies about a major Dark Souls 3 NPC, Rosaria. The video above walks you through it.
The gist is that Rennala and Rosaria have some striking thematic similarities. Both are associated with rebirth as a literal concept, bringing characters back to life: But the rebirthing process never quite works. Rennala’s boss fight sees you fighting to her through her daughters, who crawl around the arena casting spells and respawn from cribs that hang from the ceiling.
Look around Rosaria’s room in Dark Souls 3, and you’ll notice cribs hanging from the ceiling. In addition, Zullie points out that the character id for the character is from the same ‘group’ as Dark Souls 3’s boss characters: “out of every NPC in the 5000 range in Dark Souls III, only two aren’t bosses, the Fire Witch and Rosaria.” Funnily enough, the dataminer has made a previous video on how the Fire Witch fight was likely replaced with that of Pontiff Sulyvahn.
As a bit of a Fromsoft nut, these bits of hidden connective tissue between its disparate worlds are things I love finding out about. It’s especially interesting, and you see this across every Souls game since Demon’s, how Miyazaki and his team rarely completely abandon an idea: the Rosaria and Rennala link is far from the first time it’s happened, and this feels like a studio content to sit on an idea until it works out how to do it justice.
I mean OK, there’s Bed of Chaos, but even Homer nods.