If you’ve ever played one of From Software’s Dark Souls games yourself, you’re probably well aware that just about everything in the game is designed to either trick, confuse, or kill you with extreme prejudice. Each Dark Souls experience is known for its notorious difficulty in the world of video games, requiring players to master the very core of the game, which revolves around learning the nuances to every encounter. For some, the standard challenge at the heart of Dark Souls isn’t enough, so they place even further limitations on themselves.

Since the original Dark Souls came out back in 2011, players have actively come up with various challenge runs, completing the game without leveling their characters or using a guitar controller instead of a regular one. It may seem a little crazy for those who have a tough enough time with a standard playthrough of a Dark Souls game, but regardless of their motivations, these Dark Souls players have clearly proven themselves capable of mastering one of the most challenging experiences available in video games.

Here are some of the craziest ways players have beaten Dark Souls games:


Voice Commands

Known to his friends and family as Benjamin, Bearzly is a member of the Dark Souls community who took it upon himself to beat the original Dark Souls with a guitar controller after many other players suggested it but never rose to the challenge themselves. After creating a Twitch page and beating the game using only a guitar, Bearzly then took it upon himself to continue pushing his skills with additional challenges — such as beating the game using a DDR mat, a set of Donkey Konga drums, and more impressively, with voice commands. Keeping calm during a frustrating boss encounter is certainly one of Dark Souls’s most challenging tasks, and doing so while giving orders to your character is something we still can’t comprehend.

Upside Down

Proceeding to complete a challenging game like Dark Souls is difficult enough without restricting or altering your perception of the in-game world around your character thanks to all the traps, surprises, and dangerous enemies that pop out at you along the way. So, imagine taking the entire world of Dark Souls, and then flipping it entirely upside down — which is the challenge renowned Dark Souls streamer LobosJr decided to tackle a few years ago on Twitch. While the controls remained largely the same, LobosJr’s modification added a few glitchy textures and animations which took a little bit of time to get the hang of. But they didn’t stop him from completing the disorienting challenge live on Twitch with all this viewers across a few streams.

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Twitch Plays Dark Souls

Following the model set forth by Twitch Plays Pokémon, Twitch Plays Dark Souls was a collective attempt by members of the Twitch community to complete the original Dark Souls by inputting commands into chat which were then translated into actions within the game in real time. While many players from the Dark Souls community didn’t necessarily think the Twitch community truly beat the game due to the change from real-time input to a turn-based format — which tallied votes from chat before playing them out the game — there’s no questioning the fact that Twitch’s take on Dark Souls is a downright impressive accomplishment.

Minimum Level, No Rolling

While changing the type of controller or command input you use to play through a Dark Souls game is quite the accomplishment, it isn’t the only way to challenge yourself once you’ve completed Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, and Dark Souls 3 too many times to count. For Kyle ‘TolomeoR’ Doogilah, the fun in Dark Souls lies in removing certain elements of the game experience such as leveling up or using the dodge roll to avoid incoming attacks. While Kyle has cleared Dark Souls games numerous times using different sets of rules which limit his character’s performance, nothing comes close to his Dark Souls 3 run where he completed the game at the minimum level without rolling once. That’s right, he simply walked Dark Souls 3’s hardest boss Darkeater Midir to death without leveling up once.


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So, there you have it. If you’re skilled enough, beating a Dark Souls game can be a literal walk in the park.

Photos via Nicholas Bashore

Nicholas is a writer and content creator in Knoxville. He frequently covers video games and other consumer electronics. When he's not writing for Inverse, you can usually find him tweeting about Star Wars or streaming on Twitch.