Monday, 12 November 2012

Does Dark Souls give you a Dark Mind? - A Psych evalutation of the current male residents of Bedford 11

There's a very popular personality test used by employers and psychiatrists to divide people up into four main trait classes, each with four sub classes. Apparently I am a Guardian Protector. Reading up about it actually convinced me that the theory behind the testing framework was definitive  but other intelligence has come to light that suggests otherwise.  I now know that From Software's Dark Souls holds the key to understanding the innate psychological profile of anyone who is made to play this game.

Take myself for instance, I completed my first playthrough as a female Sorcerer by the name of Munfupper. Note that I completed my playthrough, which already means that I have the tenacity, persistence and wisdom to accomplish my goals in the face of both crippling difficulty and immense pressure. However, my character build also revealed a certain level lethargy and moderation. I almost exclusively relied on a high intelligence statistic and a couple of very powerful sorceries to win almost all of my boss encounters. I would rarely entertain the notion on attempting a boss fight unless I was reasonably confident that the spells in my possession would have more than enough damage potential for me to win without having to resort to any other form of combat. I played the game with skill and intellect and to great effect, but took almost no risks at all. It shows an chronic default level of restraint in my psyche.

If both my Kamehameha and my Spirit Bomb fail, I'm generally fucked
Contrast with Tom Dransfield's build, a berserk motherfucker (named Tiawoo) with an axe of lightning and a nothing but a butcher's sack for her headgear. There were countless times throughout Tom's (ongoing :p) playthrough where anything but a sack would have made Tiawoo's life that little bit easier stats wise but Tom had forsaken all but the sack for the sake of the sack itself. Bear in mind that this is a man who created an entirely naked Elder Scroll's character simply named 'The Fist'. This hardcore aesthetic isn't just for show either. Tom plays with a very direct and in your face manner, using Tiawoo's relentless lightning strike combos to cut through defenses and stagger slow enemies. The only enemies that give Tiawoo much trouble (other than the final boss :p) are those which are effectively brick walls that nullify her desperado offensives. However, as we know from his own blog posts on the subject, Tom rather enjoys running into brick walls endlessly for hours on end and so too is Tiawoo. I also know that if Tom wants something, it would take a pretty tangible and real obstacle to deter him from doing so, (a big fiery king for instance :p). Tom plays the game with an intense sense of passion and style, which fits in with his no compromise style of living. Direct in Dark Souls, direct in life.

Ragna the Bloodedge from BlazBlue, with his unblockable sword attacks and anarchicism, is a good fit for Tom.

Where Tom shuns indirect methods, Liam champions them. Etheroth (his Thief Archer) is more than capable of parrying, evading and generally stabbing away at adversaries that are of a similar lightweight build to Etheroth's skinny woman body. For most other challenges, Liam is more than happy to exploit terrain, glitches and game mechanics to sit Etheroth down somewhere and fire an endless stream of arrows at the unsuspecting enemy. Oddly enough, it can be very difficult to aggro certain enemies in the game with arrows at various points in Dark Souls. Where I'd find this immersion breaking and Tom would find it wussy, Liam does not give a flying fuck so long as it means he's winning and making progress. A very methodical and business like approach to playing this game means that Liam has all the best gear (stats speaking), is able to farm for souls optimally and ruthlessly (and hypocritically) uses game guides to find all the elusive loot drops, hidden rooms and enemy weaknesses. That leaves only logical evaluation for Liam and his Etheroth play style...

I could have also gone with Business Scrub from Zelda
Many personality tests exist. I quite enjoy this one used by companies worldwide to categorise their employees/applicants and of course the D&D alignment test. They're well worth doing for their own sakes but if you really want to see what truly lies within your mind and spirit. Try your hand at Dark Souls. It will get inside your head.

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