There are several reasons I adore the Souls series of games–their punishing difficulty, their immersive worlds, and the lore that is woven into every character, location and item being just a few. In my mind, the Souls series has always been a horror series, as despair, grief, loneliness and loss are themes played out again and again. Every major enemy you face has a story, and it’s often tragic. What’s more, the game often gives you only pieces of the story, which invites the community to theorize about what it all means.
A prefect example of this Oceiros, the Consumed King.
YouTube user VaatiVidya creates amazing videos about the lore of the Souls series, and you can hear what he has to say about the story of Oceiros at the 12:15 mark of the video below.
So this former ruler of Lothric became obsessed with dragons to the point of transforming himself into a dragon-like creature. Then he fathered a child who he presumed would be an all-powerful heir to the throne, only thing didn’t turn out the way he’d hoped. By the time we find him in the game, he has gone almost completely mad, and appeared to be cradling an invisible child in one arm. There are two very different theories about what happens next.
The first theory is that Oceiros is insane, refusing to believe his child is gone. The cries of a baby you hear throughout the fight are due to Oceiros, as his magic abilities are now feeding his delusion that his child is still with him. Halfway through the fight, he realizes that his son was never there with him, and completely loses it, going into a feral rage.
The second–and much darker–theory suggests the child has the ability to become invisible. Which means Oceiros must be fighting us to protect his own child, right? He is convinced Ocelotte is a powerful being–perhaps he even expects his infant son to aid him in the battle against us, the player. But that doesn’t happen. And so, the real horror comes at the halfway point of the fight, where it appears that Oceiros crushes his own child before going feral and throwing himself at us.
The debate continues to go on about what actually happened, but what’s interesting is that it seems the entire encounter with Oceiros was altered to be less disturbing than originally designed. In the original design, a baby’s cries could be heard throughout, at one point, the audio implies Oceiros had turned on his own infant son.
Either way you look at it, the encounter with Oceiros is both horrific and tragic, and that is just one example among many in the Souls games. The ability of these games to make you think about them when you’re not playing is another reason I love them so. You can see my battle with Oceiros in the video below.