Dark Souls Goes Limbo With Black-and-White Mod

Dark Souls Goes Limbo With Black-and-White Mod

Dark Souls has been re-imagined in a mod as a stunning black-and-white RPG experience.

While most would likely point to their intense gameplay as being the best part of From Software's Souls games, there are many others who love their visuals just as much. Oozing with atmosphere, they manage to portray vivid worlds that are beautiful to look at while often also being creepy as all hell. That being the case, it might be hard to believe that anyone could make a game like Dark Souls more striking than it already is.

Then again, you've probably never played the game in black and white. That is exactly what a recent mod for the PC version of the game allows players to do. Originally conceived of after a Reddit user accidentally stripped out the colors and textures from Dark Souls with the software Reshade, the mod itself has been dubbed the "Limbo" mod because of the way it transforms Dark Souls' visuals to resemble the 2010 platformer.

The results are pretty danged stunning. Mind you, actually playing the game this way would probably be substantially more difficult than playing it with the graphics set on normal. That said, all it takes is a quick look at some of the images that have come out of it to see why it might be worth trying. If nothing else, it shines a new light (or casts a shadow rather) on one of modern gaming's most beloved classics. If you're curious, nstructions for trying the mod yourself can be found here.



Source: Kotaku

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I skimmed through the attached video, and holy WOW does this seem like a terrible idea.

So. Much. Infinidark.

I'm just imagining Tomb of the Giants with this.

Nopenopenopenope.

Though I would like to see what Ash Lake would look like with this mod.

As cool as it looks, there's so much actual NOPE to playing this way its not even funny. I've already got a problem with accidentally falling off ledges in Dark Souls, I don't need a 2-color nightmare mode to make that acrophobia inducing hell some sort of super-Hell where the Super-Devil resides... because you know, the Super-Devil>The Devil...

Dark & White Souls... I like it and it does look really nice to boot :)

Play Tomb of Giants with this mod... Yeaaaaaaah baby!

That's... pretty cool, I'm actually going to do a run on this.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
I'm just imagining Tomb of the Giants with this.

Nopenopenopenope.

Though I would like to see what Ash Lake would look like with this mod.

It's actually not bad at all since light isn't rendered, only collision based on how far away it is from you, so its actually pretty light, 4 Kings looks freaking cool though

It's a cool mod, but I'd never play it. No soul glow on items? No thanks. Not to mention that he says that effects like Quelaag's lava won't be visible. I'm not going to play on a mod where harmful ground effects are rendered invisible. It'd be one thing if it was just an aesthetic change, but the mod also makes changes that effect the difficulty of an already unforgiving game.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
I'm just imagining Tomb of the Giants with this.

Nopenopenopenope.

Though I would like to see what Ash Lake would look like with this mod.

Tomb of Giants is actually much easier than even playing with the Cast Light spell. because of how the effect works you can see all the enemies from a mile away, and lethal drops are super easy to differentiate from safe ones. Ash Lake doesn't look that spectacular (it's towards the end of the 3rd part in the video series), since most of the trees there don't seem to be rendered 3D models, but rather 2D background textures, and hence the Limbo effect isn't applied to them. Still looks pretty cool.

OT: If there was some way to make this actually playable to normal people, I'd consider doing a playthrough with this. Some of the bosses and cutscenes look absolutely incredible, like Snorlax and Pikachu's introduction, Bed of Chaos and Four Kings. The cryptic, unexplained terror that comes with only seeing silhouettes of things fits perfectly with the Souls series, though it'd get visually tiring after a while.

I like this in theory, but the execution could be better. Maybe instead of black and white, it could have splashes of colour on important objects and characters like the Unfinished Swan. Imagine Artorias all blacked out apart from some blue on his broken arm, or Ornstien with just a red plume, or Nito as a giant shadow mass with his core skeleton all white. How does this mod work anyway, is it just a texture swap?

I think this would be pretty much unplayable to anyone who doesn't already know the landscape of Dark Souls really well already. It's less "black and white" and more "black and slightly darker black"

Gearhead mk2:
I like this in theory, but the execution could be better. Maybe instead of black and white, it could have splashes of colour on important objects and characters like the Unfinished Swan. Imagine Artorias all blacked out apart from some blue on his broken arm, or Ornstien with just a red plume, or Nito as a giant shadow mass with his core skeleton all white. How does this mod work anyway, is it just a texture swap?

From what I can gather, Dark Souls uses a very small amount of fog when it's rendering. This is typically just implemented by blending white with the regular color, in a ratio depending on the distance from the viewer. The mod took away the colors and textures, so all you see is black blended with the fog.

It could have definitely been done better though. For one, they probably should have changed the function for the fog such that closer objects are distinguished more from one another. Another cool thing to do (although I am not sure if they have access to enough of the code to change this) would be to brighten the edges of objects so that they would stick out against the background

I fail to see the appeal here. It also should have been called the "Dark Mod".

StreamerDarkly:
I fail to see the appeal here. It also should have been called the "Dark Mod".

To me, it's strictly for the Limbo-style atmosphere, which can be really stunning when in the right places.

Actually playing the game like this though? No, it would be a pretty poor time.

Dark Souls already has a nice atmosphere, and this completely fails to bring across the Limbo atmosphere, so all you end up with is something in between both that is not as good as either.

It can make for some nice visual effects, but one of the strengths of Limbo was that you could always see what was on screen. This mod doesn't really grasp that necessary part unless you're standing out in daylight.

The Almighty Aardvark:

Gearhead mk2:
I like this in theory, but the execution could be better. Maybe instead of black and white, it could have splashes of colour on important objects and characters like the Unfinished Swan. Imagine Artorias all blacked out apart from some blue on his broken arm, or Ornstien with just a red plume, or Nito as a giant shadow mass with his core skeleton all white. How does this mod work anyway, is it just a texture swap?

From what I can gather, Dark Souls uses a very small amount of fog when it's rendering. This is typically just implemented by blending white with the regular color, in a ratio depending on the distance from the viewer. The mod took away the colors and textures, so all you see is black blended with the fog.

It could have definitely been done better though. For one, they probably should have changed the function for the fog such that closer objects are distinguished more from one another. Another cool thing to do (although I am not sure if they have access to enough of the code to change this) would be to brighten the edges of objects so that they would stick out against the background

It seems to me that what the modder did was simply output the depth-buffer (or z-buffer) on screen rather than the real scene. For info, the depth buffer is used to determine the distance of the worlds objects to the camera and displays them as dark being closer and white further away.

Subbies:

It seems to me that what the modder did was simply output the depth-buffer (or z-buffer) on screen rather than the real scene. For info, the depth buffer is used to determine the distance of the worlds objects to the camera and displays them as dark being closer and white further away.

As it just so happens, I have a program using fog so we can try both!

Apologies for the blue sky, that would have been an extra minute of effort that I simply wasn't prepared to put in.

Just using the depth buffer scales linearly to white way too quickly, whereas the fog functions are usually raised to some exponent and blend from 0% fog at the front of the viewing volume to 100% at the back.

Also, judging how the article said it happened via accidentally stripping the textures out of the game, I'm pretty sure it must be fog with the color of all objects being black

EDIT: You know what? I wasn't being entirely fair to the depth buffer method. I tweaked the weight of the depth buffer and here's another comparison:

They look at lot closer here (Especially since functionally they're doing almost the exact same thing), but with fog you get it for free and don't need to tweak around with the weight to get it looking right.

 

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