If you were to come up with a list of adjectives to describe FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series, chances are good that it would contain entries like “difficult,” or “frustrating,” or “stressful,” to name a few. While the average Dark Souls playthrough can contain fleeting moments of poignant beauty (mostly when you’re admiring the game’s sweeping vistas or distant ruins), for the most part it is a tense, stressful, and oftentimes aggravating affair, which is exactly how FromSoftware intended it. However, there is a small yet rapidly growing community that has managed to take the infamously stressful Dark Souls series and turn it into a surprisingly calming affair, all through the power of ASMR.
If you’ve never heard of the term ASMR before, it stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. It’s basically a sort of pleasurable tingling sensation in the brain that is often felt when you hear soft auditory cues like a person whispering, or crinkling a plastic bag, or drawing on paper with a pencil. In the past few years, the ASMR phenomenon has grown significantly on platforms like YouTube, with many content creators utilizing various forms of ASMR to please their viewers. Gaming-focused ASMR has also risen in prominence, and from there an even smaller subset of gaming ASMR YouTubers have turned to Dark Souls for their content creation ideas.
Take, for example, this recent clip from The ASMR Review Show in which the narrator whispers walkthroughs for all of Dark Souls 3’s boss encounters, or this ASMR Let’s Play video of the entire first Dark Souls game from established ASMR personality Ephemeral Rift. Dark Souls ASMR obviously isn’t as pervasive as more traditional forms of standard or gaming-focused ASMR, but for those who are willing to give it a go, it can be a surprisingly soothing experience given the subject material.
Some people have a greater sensitivity to ASMR stimulation than others (and some also react more strongly to specific types of ASMR over others), but if you’re at all curious and you consider yourself a fan of the Dark Souls series, the above clips might just allow you to appreciate the series in a whole new way.
Speaking of pleasurable Dark Souls experiences, you might also be interested in this recent video that portrays the game’s entire plot as an animated storybook, or this extremely satisfying clip of a player managing to one-shot the game’s final boss.