Darks souls and Depression (A complete guide)

This article explores the Dark souls game and Depression. We will look at what is Dark souls all about and how it helps in curing Depression.

Dark Souls video game

Dark Souls, created by From Software, is a video game. The game is released by Namco Bandai Games on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Under the working title Project Black, it was previously created and is the direct sequel to Demon’s Souls. It also uses a modified version of the engine of said game. Dark Souls centers on discovering the labyrinth and the stress and fear that occurs when players face enemies in this environment.

In a shared world setting, the game is set and utilizes a third-person perspective. The player fights to live in a dystopian imaginary world employing different weapons and tactics.

His universe, intensely intrigued by the West’s fantasy books (and the manga of Kentaro Miura, Berserk), lies in ruins, with half-mad characters weaving scary puzzles that sometimes direct the character, but many other times are marginalized by deception and deceit.

The antagonists confronted are the nightmare’s hideous power, and it seems like all is out to destroy you. This is improved by the game’s complexity, which is well-recognized as ‘tough but fair’ by players and reviewers. The players’ missions and the opponents they have to beat are overwhelming and can often drive the gamer to throw the console down and leave discouraged.

All about this game is soaked with darkness, anxiety, and desperation.

Dark souls and its relation to reality

In reality, however, this one has a terrible amount to tell regarding Depression, anxiety, and our continued perseverance towards the unswerving disregard for life. Through the Japanese ideology of Ikigai, Dark Souls teaches us this. 

In video games, where the character’s activities are directly controlled, we bear the weight of their strength and choose to use their power where we see appropriate. The antagonists are clearly identified and firmly opposed to the protagonist in these tales.

The story’s crucial antagonist despises the protagonist and wants to see him or her stopped and destroyed at each stage. The antagonist’s intentions are made crystal clear, and as we, the viewer, relate to the protagonist, we grow to hate the antagonist instantaneously; they are also the objective, the essence of evil, the great bad lord who must be defeated to save the planet. But no such archetypal antagonist is found in Dark Souls, not really in the conventional sense.

Instead, it is the universe itself, far more authentic to everyday life, which is determined to catch us. There is no evil force in life that wants to obstruct our progression and force us out; there are only the common obstacles that clutter our pathways, mined out by time and chance. Similarly, Dark Souls’ charred and ruined universe is riddled with undead beings and twisted creatures that they truly are.

They are not part of a huge army of an antagonist; they also aren’t part of his grand schemes; they do not obey his laws or ideology. They function very conveniently, harmful as they are. They appear to possess a goal of their own sometimes, and sometimes they don’t. And therefore, we must overcome every battle with them as we advance across this planet and move on to the next; otherwise, we will grow weary and perish.

The game wants the gamer to achieve success; it provides us goals, it offers us NPCs that help and direct us it also gives us the ability to carry light to the darkness lighting our way as we go. The game may appear to have something connected with those dull conventions of mainstream fantasy in this context, but it is actually farther from the truth.

Simply stated, this is because although the protagonist may have a definite aim, an intent, an Ikigai, they are also not battling a powerful, concrete evil, but are merely trudging through the world around them, which is oblivious, toxic. The main difference draws Dark Souls’ concept much closer to a metaphor of reality than any preceding fantasy universe.

Hollowing is among Dark Souls’ main dynamics: he or she gradually becomes ever more hollow every time the gamer’s character dies.

The option of words here is vital, solidifying the game’s strong intention to provide us with a metaphor of Depression or, at the very minimum, the inability to discover your Ikigai. We face the risk of feeling hollow, sad, meaningless without an objective in life, whatever it may be.

The game offers an immediacy to prevent the protagonist from being Hollow; this can be seen in NPC discussions and in the dynamics of the game itself, where the process of Hollowing ultimately has a detrimental influence on the potential of the protagonist to exist, mainly through eliminating their capacity to invoke assistance. As described in Ikigai (the book), one central element of fostering a prolonged and safe life is establishing close social ties with everyone.

The gamer misses the opportunity to welcome and depend on friends for help in Dark Souls through Hollowing. Hollowing in Dark Souls builds momentum through the game more challenging and isolates oneself from others who would have been able to help otherwise.

Dark souls and Depression

Depression is scary. It feels like nothing for many, as if some invisible power has snatched away the capacity of the victim to feel. There is no excitement or sorrow, no suffering or happiness, none at all. You sound like you’re growing hollow.

One wrong decision will imply a quick death, and all the creatures you vanquished revive when you perish in Dark Souls. Perhaps worse, all their unused skill points are dropped by the Chosen Undead, and a little of their humaneness is lost. This degenerative condition is called becoming Hollow in Dark Souls.

Dark Souls attributes a growing number of players with helping them deal with Depression. Some even claim the violent game saved their lives. How can a game that is popular for its depressing atmosphere and its harsh complexity benefit people?

One gamer says, “Dark Souls isn’t as dark and morbid as the advertising turned it out to be,” Really, he thought of the game as a metaphor for life. The number of times I’ve perished in the game has become amusing. This has trivialized death. The thing that counted was not death anymore. It’s about enduring and surviving. Even though it is in this universe where your existence feels completely oblivious, he said Dark Souls helped him, to be more precise, as it put him in circumstances that seemed unimaginable.

Another gamer says,” It should be remembered that defeating Dark Souls did not operate as the cure for my mental health problems in any significant manner. Rather, my actions that culminated in such observable disparities helped define it. These include having me to receive clinical treatment, opening myself up to my friends and family who were amazingly supportive, and returning to activities I enjoyed.”

It could be a massive relief to control a fantasy protagonist literally going through how you feel like you’re psychologically going through.

Life gets more like a relentless battle full of unimaginable difficulties. This depressing reality introduces Dark Souls, then offers the players the resources to resolve these challenges. Few games make the gamer feel quite as great about a win because of their sheer determination that they accomplished. Not giving up and ultimately thriving for many players is precisely how they have learned to understand living with mental illness.

Depression also informs us that we can not achieve things. It generates mental barriers that make it difficult for us to consider doing certain tasks: moving out of bed every morning, working, leaving home to see friends. But what Dark Souls trains one to do is disintegrate a dilemma before attempting to fix it or seek to comprehend and solve a destructive thinking process.

Issues with mental wellbeing have a propensity to exclude you and leave you feeling useless. The idea of leaving the room or even making contact with another individual is, however, bad enough in the midst of a bad episode, let alone going to somebody to seek help. But it’s an essential part of coping with issues such as these. Though renowned for their difficulty, Dark Souls have also nurtured one of the most awesome community groups.

Dark Souls is attempting to drive you ahead. Even though it’s shared, the search is high and meaningful. This mission to bring light back to the world is what will bring you meaning. This is how the citizens of Lordran live, and that’s their only real defense from getting hollow. An objective can help keep an individual powerful, protect them from the weakening forces of darkness, and when they miss that goal, people go hollow.

You’re struggling against the darkness around you in Dark Souls, as well as the darkness inside you.


This article explored the Dark souls game and Depression. We looked at what is Dark souls all about and how it helps in curing Depression.

If you’ve enjoyed the Darks souls and Depression mentioned above, I would recommend you to take a look at Darth Vader depression too.

FAQ: Dark souls depression

Is Dark souls about Depression?

It also seems to establish some significant and profound similarities to Depression in knowing more about Dark Souls. But the real challenge of the game, more specifically for some games, recognizes the difficulty they face in life while still inspiring persistence.

Why is Dark souls so sad?

Since Dark Souls is centered in very prehistoric times and influenced by the circumstances of the past of our modern world. It was a very dark and horrible time in the medieval era where people lived in poor sanitation, hardly had any medical education, and were continuously being tortured and murdered.

Is Dark souls a metaphor for Depression?

Dark souls is a metaphor for Depression. People might lose their might to move on to go down into insanity and to kill themselves.


Dark Souls. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2020, from https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/Dark_Souls

Vollmer, B. (2019, April 06). ‘Dark Souls,’ Depression, and Difficulty Settings. Retrieved November 24, 2020, from https://epiloguegaming.com/dark-souls-depression-and-difficulty-settings/

Heath, A. (2019, August 14). Dark Souls and Finding Your Ikigai (Life’s Meaning). Retrieved November 24, 2020, from https://booksandbao.com/dark-souls-and-finding-your-ikigai-lifes-meaning/

Don’t Go Hollow: How ‘Dark Souls’ Is Defeating Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2020, from https://www.vice.com/en/article/4xav83/dont-go-hollow-how-dark-souls-is-defeating-depression

Rivers, B. (2020, September 17). How Elden Ring Uses Dark Souls’ Mental Health Metaphors. Retrieved November 24, 2020, from https://screenrant.com/dark-souls-depression-elden-ring-fromsoftware-games-themes/

Jukebox, T. (2016, September 28). How Dark Souls helped me deal with Depression. Retrieved November 24, 2020, from https://medium.com/@thegamesbiz/how-dark-souls-helped-me-deal-with-depression-da52fda7a258

Published by Lindsay View all posts by Lindsay, Lindsay, P., Lindsay, Lindsay, V., 20, O., Says:, O., . . . (required), N. (2015, August 20). Lighting the Bonfire: ‘Dark Souls’ as an Allegory for Depression. Retrieved November 24, 2020, from https://femhype.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/lighting-the-bonfire-dark-souls-as-an-allegory-for-depression/


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