Dark Souls Originally Named With Juvenile, Racist Slang

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Dark Souls Originally Named With Juvenile, Racist Slang

image

From Software struggled with finding a title for Dark Souls that wasn't insulting in some way.

As the spiritual sequel to Demon's Souls, you would think Dark Souls' title came naturally to From Software. In reality, the company had to go through many different final names, with its early choices having unfortunate connotations slang-wise.

In an interview with 4Gamer (translated by Andriasang), Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki talked about some earlier revealed details from the very creepy action-RPG, in addition to revealing that the game will feature 60 hours of gameplay compared to Demon's Souls 30 to 40. During the interview, he also talked about the trouble From had with finding a name that worked.

Miyazaki said that just before From planned to unveil Dark Souls at the Tokyo Game Show in 2010, the game's name was "Dark Race." The reason behind the title was the player's role as a member of a cursed race of people. I don't think you have to know about the controversy over Resident Evil 5 to see how calling the game "Dark Race" could have been a problem.

At the end of 2010, From had two more titles in mind: "Dark Lord" and "Dark Ring." From couldn't get a trademark on "Dark Lord," so it went with "Dark Ring." In the game, a dark ring actually comes out of the player as a sign of his curse, giving the title its meaning. Unfortunately, in England "dark ring" is also slang for "anus," so From had to go back to the drawing board again.

It seems like From basically said "screw it," and went with Dark Souls. I think the final title fits the game better anyway, and lets consumers know that it's spiritually in the Demon's Souls franchise. Miyazaki's comments are a look into the challenging task of naming a product in the face of so many worldwide sensitivities.

Source: Andriasang

Permalink

I don't think I've ever heard the phrase 'dark ring' used in that way...

WrongSprite:
I don't think I've ever heard the phrase 'dark ring' used in that way...

I feel now is the time we should correct that.

WrongSprite:
I don't think I've ever heard the phrase 'dark ring' used in that way...

Neither have I, but I can see how it could mean Anus.

Demon Souls is a game that I missed out on, but this, sort of, sequel sounds quite good.

I am glad they went through the trouble of being inclusive and sensitive in their choosing of title. Not only is that a very positive general philosophy, it would also be very unfortunate if controversy in any way hampered the sales of this game, seeing as this promises to be a very deep and rewarding experience, and ought reach as many people as possible with nothing political colouring their impressions of it.

Never heard of dark ring.. I know of ring being used as slang, but dark ring? News to me.

I've heard "dark ring", although to be fair anything with ring in it is fair game; Halo is mind blowing.

What? Juvenile humour is fun too.

But yeah, Dark Race would have been hilariously inappropriate.

captcha - (piscariae iferef
Eh? Words, use your words.

Well i have to agree that "Dark Souls" suits the new game well. It's easier to see the connection to the other game.
Wait, "Demon's Souls" means "souls of a demon" or "demons"? Gah, i remember Yahtzee saying something about this...i hate my shitty memory.

WrongSprite:
I don't think I've ever heard the phrase 'dark ring' used in that way...

Me either, honestly.

As the article says though, I think Dark Souls works better anyway. A name doesn't necessarily have to be super original or fresh to be good.

For some reason, I want to blame Fox News for this... Well, not only them, but the other part of the blame could possibly get me banned... so... yeah... Damn you Fox News! *shakes fist*

This made my head hurt, so childish, and a tad hypersensitive, dark race has been used before to described evil races in fantasy, it just wasn't the title of the game. Reasonable people don't get offended as easily as they seem to believe. He says while listening to spasticus autisticus, how approproiate.

Does it have to start with 'Dark' why cant it be something like 'Fantasm of Darkness' :P

Assassin Xaero:
For some reason, I want to blame Fox News for this... Well, not only them, but the other part of the blame could possibly get me banned... so... yeah... Damn you Fox News! *shakes fist*

This has absolutely nothing to do with fox news.
It's about the PC bullshit of modern society.

actually its pretty much the exact opposite of FOX news.

NezumiiroKitsune:
Reasonable people don't get offended as easily as they seem to

You really give people too much credit.

If people had actually started controversy if they had named it Dark Race I would seriously smack them. Like do you not have anything else to live for? Dark Ring sounds like the best though besides Dark Souls.

I would have called it Demon's Souls 2.

Owlslayer:
Well i have to agree that "Dark Souls" suits the new game well. It's easier to see the connection to the other game.
Wait, "Demon's Souls" means "souls of a demon" or "demons"? Gah, i remember Yahtzee saying something about this...i hate my shitty memory.

In Demon's Souls you get multiple souls when killing a single demon (likely from victims of this demon). Hence Deom's Souls. It is proven that these are the souls of other people becase you can use them to add these people's strength to your own.

Tom Goldman:
in England "dark ring" is also slang for "anus,"

uhh....no it's not. Honest. I've been here all my life. "Brown Eye" possibly. "Juvenile, Racist Slang" is going a bit far as well.

Edit: Just checked, Urbandictionary doesn't have it, Profanisaurus doesn't have it, who came up with this ridiculous idea, as it's all across the media.

image

Edit 2: Ah, Hidetaka Miyazaki called it. And he'd know. Being not English?

Edit 3: Because it's Engrish...translated/paraphrased from 4gamer. Ah the wonder of...if you'll pardon the pun...Chinese Whispers.

Mcface:

Assassin Xaero:
For some reason, I want to blame Fox News for this... Well, not only them, but the other part of the blame could possibly get me banned... so... yeah... Damn you Fox News! *shakes fist*

This has absolutely nothing to do with fox news.
It's about the PC bullshit of modern society.

actually its pretty much the exact opposite of FOX news.

Fox News doesn't help... pretty sure they were the same people that went after L4D2 because "a large number of the zombies were black". They just look for ways to take down things that aren't them...

And seriously, what the fuck captcha? It's one thing to load an image I can't even read, but now you don't even load the damn image?

o lordy i have to use that on my british pals on Teamspeak now!

Dark Ring is slang for anus, now that is a hoot XD

I just get the feeling they were all sitting around talking about names and when they came up with "Dark Race" the marketing guy interrupted them and said "Yaaa...I don't think that will fly." I had never heard of Dark Ring as anything other then to signify a ring of darkness. But I guess they just wanted to avoid some rather artistic photoshops that would surely pop up.

I think Dark Souls flows nicely with Demon's Souls though so it all turned out for the better I guess.

Rascisim aside, Dark Race sounds pretty cool. Dark Ring too.

Better than "Dark of the Moon", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean :p

It's rim, not ring, obviously.

NezumiiroKitsune:
This made my head hurt, so childish, and a tad hypersensitive, dark race has been used before to described evil races in fantasy, it just wasn't the title of the game. Reasonable people don't get offended as easily as they seem to believe. He says while listening to spasticus autisticus, how approproiate.

If you bury the term "dark race" in the text of a novel or some cutscene dialogue, no one will bat an eye, because the context will clearly indicate it's not a racial slur aimed at real-world people. But if you emblazon a cover or box in a retail outlet with "DARK RACE" in big bold letters, people who would never read/play it will see it and complain.

I didn't know about the Dark-Ring slang! I need to spread that info as far across the US as possible in hopes that it will catch on!

As well as Dark Souls fits as the title of Demons Soul's sequel's title, I really don't see anything wrong with Dark Race. Then again, I am a white boy so my view on that matter may be a bit skewed.

Why do they have to use 'dark' anyway? From the context, Fallen Souls could have worked just as well, unless they didn't want to offend paraplegics.

This is ridiculous. I hate when they putts around because of language. Language is how people communicate (one of many). Political correctness inhibits the ability of language to communicate. Language by nature is amorphis, and changes by social meanings, whether it is derogatory in a nature or complimentary in nature. But when we give in to political correctness, it stops the word from evolving and the word then can never have a positive meaning or connotation.

On the other hand, the title they settled on is the best of the three titles, no matter how uninspired it is. The other one's are equally uninspired and don't grab anyone's attention either. You can see how ineffective titles can be, as a few examples we have Dark Sector (what now?) and The Darkness (a game few people seem to realize is based off a pretty good comic book). Titles like this could never sell a game, thank god for magazines and websites that focus on the medium.

I think it's lame they needed that kind of connection to the first game (even though it's not an official sequel), when the game is clearly going to be a great game, as Demon's Souls was.

im english and i dont hear people use dark ring...ring yes...dark ring no

unless maybe your on about a comedy that used it once, but then comedies have used every possible innuendo here...

even pimhole

I'm sorry, but I don't see the controversy in the name, or the racism in it. I just think it's not a good name for a video game.

This is not like Resident Evil 5, where there is a familiar depiction of humanity that may be construed as racist. This is Demon's Souls, which takes place in a sword and sorcery setting.

I don't think "Dark Race" would have gone down in history as one of those racially insensitive moments in gaming history if that name was OKed.

Now dark is a no no word?

Well, i don´t like the word pink, cause im pink as a pig, so please stop use it.

I don´t like jam either, so red is gone.

Btw all of you owe me a sandwich.

I kind of want to play around in a Dark Ring now.

WrongSprite:
I don't think I've ever heard the phrase 'dark ring' used in that way...

Seconded, only really sad people would call it that.

But couldn't it have been a slight over reaction?

The_root_of_all_evil:

Tom Goldman:
in England "dark ring" is also slang for "anus,"

uhh....no it's not. Honest. I've been here all my life. "Brown Eye" possibly. "Juvenile, Racist Slang" is going a bit far as well.

You know, I looked it up too and couldn't find it! I took the translation's word for it. Maybe From was given bad information, or they came up with the association themselves?

Damn, trying to come up with a title that doesn't offend anyone, what a pain in the dark ring.
That isn't something we really give much thought to, how many games went through different titles before deciding on what we now know them as?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here