Complete List of Berserk Influences on Dark Souls III
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Complete List of Berserk Influences on Dark Souls III

2013- 2016

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Dark Souls III has the biggest obvious Berserk influences, starting from the base game, up to the two expansions. Berserk references were at the highest as this marks the end of the Dark Souls series.

Dark Souls III is the last entry on the franchise, with Miyazaki sharing that they will move on to creating new exciting games, two of which have been made known after this announcement, Sekiro and Elden Ring.

Berserk and the Souls Games

The creator of Dark Souls III, Hidetaka Miyazaki, is a huge Berserk fan, which he has acknowledged multiple times in interviews. Growing up in a home where video games were not allowed, reading mangas like Berserk and Devilman were among Miyazaki's favorite past time.

During the creation of the Souls games, Miyazaki expressed his admiration and homage to Berserk by placing several references to the manga, either through the monster designs, armor and weapon designs, characters, and even in the plot and story structure of his games.

We collected the Berserk references on all the Souls games and shared here all that is present in the game Dark Souls III.

For every reference we included in the list, we also provided the chapter in the manga where you can find it and the background info that can give you more context.

Grading System - How Sure are We?

In addition, you can also see for each entry a verdict section, where we share if the inspiration is either:

  • Beyond Doubt
  • High Possibility
  • Similar

Berserk Influences on Dark Souls III

King Gaiseric and the Nameless King

  • Verdict: High Possibility
  • Seen in: Volume 10
  • Chapter Name: Thousand-year Fiefdom
  • About: The Nameless King is inspired by King Gaiseric

The Nameless King is described as a "god of war" that conquered numerous nations and bound them together. He shares a lot of similarities with King Gaiseric, both visually and contextually. Gaiseric is the first and only king who established an empire that covers the full continent. 

They also share a sense of anonymity - see the descriptions of Gaiseric below and imagine how the Nameless King became nameless. It includes betrayal and being removed from the records, much like Gaiseric.

The Nameless King was once a dragon-slaying god of war, before he sacrificed everything to ally himself with the ancient dragons. - Dark Souls III

Carefully observe the similarities in their design:

  • the bracelets
  • the design of their sleeves
  • the design of their armor
  • the thick hair in the headgear

Gael's Repeating Crossbow and Guts' Hand Crossbow

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 1
  • Chapter Name: The Black Swordsman
  • About: The crossbow of Gael is inspired by Guts' crossbow

During the boss fight with Gael, he will start using a repeating crossbow after losing half of his health. This crossbow is very similar to the one attached to Guts' left hand.

Both crossbows have the capability to attack with repeated arrows.

Archdeacon Mcdonnell and Slug Count

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 1
  • Chapter Name: The Guardians of Desire
  • About: Archdeacon Mcdonnell is inspired by the Slug Count

Archdeacon Mcdonnell is a stationary NPC, relevant for one of the covenants in the game, the Aldrich Faithful. He has a striking similarity in appearance with the Slug Count in Berserk.

They share some contextual similarities as well. Mcdonnell is a follower of Aldrich, a man-eating, slug-like creature that used to be human. That is basically the essence of the Slug Count, especially when he transforms into his demon-released state.

Aldrich and the Demon-Released Form of the Slug Count

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 2
  • Chapter Name: The Guardians of Desire
  • About: Aldrich is inspired by the Demon-Released form of the Slug Count

Aldrich is a giant slug monster that eats both men and gods. He started as a human feeding on man-flesh, no different from the screenshot of the Slug Count below.

The similarity continues when Aldrich becomes a full-blown blob and sheds his human form. When the Slug Count unleashes his demon-released form, he is essentially the same as Aldrich.

It won't be interesting though to fight a plain slug during a boss fight. So the final form of Aldrich during the boss fight includes the upper body part of Gwyndolin, one of the victims he ate.

Angel Knight and Zondark

  • Verdict: High Possibility
  • Seen in: Volume 1
  • Chapter Name: The Guardians of Desire
  • About: Angel Knight's armor is inspired by Zondark's armor

This inspiration is purely visual. The armor set of the Angel Knight is similar to that worn by Zondark.

  • Helmets are very similar
  • The hands are both segmented
  • The neck part of the armor
  • The sad face

They also both make wide, sweeping attacks with their two-handed weapons.

Pus of Man and Zondark's Demon Form 

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 2
  • Chapter Name: The Guardians of Desire
  • About: The Pus of Man is inspired by Zondark's Demon Form

In Dark Souls III, there is a new type of enemy that releases a blob-like monster in his body once you damage it enough. This is very similar to the character Zondark. 

The transformation of Zondark is more gradual, though: the more damage it gets, the larger and the stronger the blob that comes out of his body.

Carthus Worm and Hell Worm

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 3
  • Chapter Name: The Guardians of Desire
  • About: The Carthus Worm is inspired by the Hell Worm

In Berserk, when an apostle is in the brink of death, Hell opens up, and a worm consisting of human souls come out and drag the dying apostle to Hell. 

This scene is very similar to that of the Carthus Worm, consisting of human skeletons fused together.

Undead Settlement Tree and Tree of Corpses

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 3
  • Chapter Name: The Golden Age
  • About: The tree at the center of the Undead Settlement is inspired by the Tree of Corpses

In the Undead Settlement, there is a tree that has dead people hanging on its branches. This is very similar to the one in Berserk.

The tree in Berserk plays a significant role, though, as this is the birthplace of Guts, after dropping from his dead mother still hanging from the tree.

The Eclipse

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 12
  • Chapter Name: Eclipse
  • About: The eclipse in Dark Souls 3 is inspired by the eclipse in Berserk

This is another fine example of what we have shared earlier - Miyazaki did not have to do it. But he did. Because those who know will recognize it.

The eclipse in Berserk is the most significant event in its story, as it was the junction when things changed for all the major characters.

Cathedral Evangelist and Mozgus

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 17
  • Chapter Name: To Holy Ground
  • About: The Cathedral Evangelist is inspired by Mozgus

There is a new type of enemy in Dark Souls III called the Cathedral Evangelist. This enemy is very similar to Mozgus of Berserk. 

Aside from visual similarity, they also carry a thick book that they both use for attacking. 

And if you don't agree with this entry, Mozgus has this message for you.

Hollow Slave and Hollow Manservant

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 17
  • Chapter Name: To Holy Ground
  • About: The Hollow Slave and Hollow Manservant are inspired by Mozgus' Disciples

The hollow slave and hollow manservant are new enemies introduced in Dark Souls 3. They have a striking similarity with the disciples of Mozgus. They also have similar weapons.

Unlike those in the game, the disciples have an upgraded form where they sprout wings and become more powerful.

Execution Wheel

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 17
  • Chapter Name: To Holy Ground
  • About: The execution wheels in Undead Settlement are inspired by Berserk

If you visit the Undead Settlement, you will see a lot of elevated wheels containing corpses. This is a form of torture that was practiced during the middle ages. 

They are very similar to those seen in Berserk, especially their elevation.

Locus and Dragonslayer Armour

  • Verdict: High Possibility
  • Seen in: Volume 22
  • Chapter Name: War Cry of the Wind
  • About: The Dragonslayer Armour is inspired by Locus

The Dragonslayer Armour is one of the best boss fights in the game. His armor, especially his helmet, looks very similar to the one worn by Locus. 

Locus does not use a shield, though, and his main weapon is a lance.

Outrider Knight and Berserker Armor

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 26
  • Chapter Name: The Berserker Armor
  • About: The Outrider Knight concept is inspired by the Berserker Armor

The similarities between the Outrider Knight and Guts wearing the Berserker Armor is visual and contextual.

The idea behind the Berserker armor is that it strengthens the wearer in combat and makes him feel no pain. However, it gradually consumes and controls him until he turns into a beast.

The Outrider Knight has a similar situation. That explains why they have a chaotic style of fighting and act like wild beasts. Later on, they will totally transform into what is called a Sulyvahn's Beasts.

Sulyvahn's Beast and Beast of Darkness

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 33
  • Chapter Name: A Howl from the Darkness
  • About: The Sulyvahn Beast is inspired by the Beast of Darkness

This is the second attempt in the Souls games that the Beast of Darkness is re-created. In Bloodborne, there is a boss in the chalice dungeon, named Watchdogs of the Old Lord, which is a replica of Guts' inner beast. In Dark Souls III, they have perfected it.

The lore behind the beasts is that they were originally Outrider Knights serving Sulyvhan. The beast form is their final state when they have fully lost their self-control, and the transformation is complete.

Ravenous Crystal Lizard and Grunbeld

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 27
  • Chapter Name: The War Demons
  • About: The Ravenous crystal lizards are inspired by Grunbeld

There is a new type of enemy called Ravenous crystal lizard. This monster's body is filled with crystals, and it has a crystal breath attack as well. 

It is very similar to the apostle Grunbeld, whose demon-released form is a dragon-filled with crystals in his body.

Gael and Guts

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 7
  • Chapter Name: Prepared for Death
  • About: Gael is inspired by Guts

In the section for Dark Souls, I shared that Artorias is Guts wearing the Berserker armor. In this section, I will share that Gael is the original Guts before the Berserker armor.

It is a fitting tribute that Miyazaki ended the Dark Souls series, with Guts as the final boss. In the two scenes below, they share a lot of similarities, including the weapons that they wield. This is Guts' resting pose after killing a large number of enemies, establishing his legend as the "Hundred Man Slayer." 

During Gael's boss fight, after losing half of his health, he will start using his repeating crossbow, as a reference to Guts, who has a similar weapon.

Berserk Influences on other Souls Games

If you would like to see how Dark Souls III scored compared to the other Souls games when it comes to Berserk influences, see this full summary.

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