Evergrace, A Forgotten FromSoft Classic

Evergrace, A Forgotten FromSoft Classic

I experienced a strange moment of déjà vu when I first set foot on the Altus Plateau in Elden Ring, the breakaway hit game of 2022. There was something about the way the golden leaves of the trees swayed in the breeze that stirred my memory. I had definitely seen this place before. I had walked through these abandoned ruins. I had gotten lost on these plains, and I had died under these golden leaves. In fact, I had died kind of a lot.

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Dark Souls and Trans Closets: Self Discovery Through Failure

Dark Souls and Trans Closets: Self Discovery Through Failure

Or: I struggled my way through Dark Souls and all I got was this lousy gender.

Spend more than five minutes browsing Dark Souls content on any social media platform and you’re bound to see some mention of transfeminine people being absolutely feral about (and uncannily good at) any Dark Souls game. It isn’t uncommon to see Twitter users joking about getting “girldick” by asking a transfem to explain the “deep lore” of Dark Souls or any of the games in its offshoot “Soulsborne” genre. Dark Souls is notoriously difficult, cryptic, and hostile to the player both in its mechanics and atmosphere. It’s no surprise that such a series would attract a devoted cult following. But why are transfeminine people in particular associated with this cult following? Is taking exogenous estrogen really the secret to “gitting gud” and getting past that boss you’ve been stuck on for weeks? (more…)

Chip Chat #3: Becoming the Elden Lord (of Snacks)

Chip Chat #3: Becoming the Elden Lord (of Snacks)

Welcome to Chip Chat, a column where I eat as many novelty chip* flavors as humanly possible, then justify it by reviewing the chips and pairing them with a game I think they’re particularly suited for, like a garbage sommelier who specializes in junk food instead of wine. This is, I insist, not a thinly veiled excuse to buy novelty chip flavors—but if it was, that sure would be convenient, now wouldn’t it.

*That’s crisps, for the British readers among us.

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Fighting Futility with Bloodborne

Fighting Futility with Bloodborne

I don’t exactly remember when I picked up Bloodborne. Like a dream, worn-out memories hang at the edge of consciousness to the point that if you told me one day it had appeared on my shelf with no explanation, I would believe you. The more likely explanation is that I purchase games to add to my library and swear I’ll get to them later. I know it appeared in my home near its release, and I tried a few fruitless hours to navigate the streets of Yharnam, only succeeding in defeating the Cleric Beast. While I wasn’t far into it, Bloodborne’s story did intrigue me; unlike Dark Souls, you’re not given much of a summary. Just tasked to go out and kill a few beasts since it’ll “do some good.” The answers within this city—of a mysterious illness and blood-as-medicine, of being called a “Hunter”—were yet to unfold.

The following essay discusses familial illness and contains spoilers for Bloodborne. (more…)

Review: Journeying Into Madness With Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder

Review: Journeying Into Madness With Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder



Like most FromSoftware games, if there’s a single word that describes Bloodborne the game, it would probably be “punishing.” It’s set in the Gothic, Victorian city of Yharnam, where Hunters roam, seeking the source of a mysterious infection that’s turning the city’s residents to beasts. Naturally, though, the beasts and the gods watching over Yharnam don’t make it easy to do so. (more…)