Over the years, FromSoftware’s Soulsborne games have fostered a particularly dedicated fan base — one filled with players that are committed to scouring their favorites games for every piece of available lore. Some, like YouTuber Lance McDonald, have taken this a step further, tapping into game files and old builds to be certain that no stone has been left unturned, and he has recently uncovered more from Dark Souls 3.
In his latest video, McDonald showcases a “Cult Death” system (from an alpha version of the game), which was not included in Dark Souls 3‘s retail release. Under this system, some enemies would trigger a “Cult Death” upon being slain, which would have allowed players to drag the corpse throughout the map.
Further, if the player had joined a “Cult,” another mechanic excised before the game’s release, they would be able to perform a ceremony and create a “Cult Bonfire” within the corpse. Seemingly, “Cult Bonfires” were to have a similar functionality to the Bonfires fans of the series are familiar with, but the ability to place them at locations of a player’s choosing is not like anything featured in any of the “Soulsborne” games.
This is not all that McDonald has unearthed, however, as his video outlines a completely new type of player-built Bonfire with a unique functionality. Using a “Ceremony Sword,” players could invite Player vs. Player invasions by “eclipsing the sun” in another corpse-based ceremony. A complimentary ceremony would have allowed players to actually perform the invasion.
Again, PvP invasions are commonplace across “Soulsborne” games, but none feature an implementation quite like this one.
Interestingly, in June 2015, The Know leaked a bevy of information and gameplay details for Dark Souls 3, and all of these elements (the corpse dragging, the invasion ceremonies) were amongst them. Additionally, it is now clear that the Dark Souls 3 display at E3 2015 was, in fact, the Ashen One performing an eclipse ceremony.
While Dark Souls 3 was released to critical acclaim, some players voiced dissatisfaction with its lack of innovation compared to other “Soulsborne” entries. It is, of course, not guaranteed that these ceremony systems would have resolved this complaint. However, they are certainly a unique approach, and it is fortunate that players like McDonald are willing to share them with us.
The aforementioned Dark Souls 3 leaks can be found in-full on The Know’s YouTube page.