The Chosen Undead is the title given to the player character in Dark Souls.
In the trailers, artwork and promotional art for Dark Souls the Chosen Undead is depicted wearing the Elite Knight Set as well as using either the Broadsword or the Astora's Straight Sword along with the Crest Shield as his/her main weapons.
However, in the game, the Chosen Undead's appearance and attributes are determined by the player, including their face; sex; origin; starting class and equipment.
Personality-wise the Chosen Undead is portrayed as an archetypal "silent character" who doesn't have any sort of spoken dialogue during the game (aside from making some grunts or cries whenever they are hurt or killed). This trait was made on purpose by the developers so that the player could feel more identified with the character.
The title of "Chosen Undead" is a reference to a prophecy concerning the end of the Age of Fire. It states that at the very end of the Age of Fire, an undead champion will appear and undertake the pilgrimage to ring the Bells of Awakening in "the Land of Ancient Lords," Lordran.
After becoming an undead the player character was imprisoned in the Northern Undead Asylum. They're rescued by Oscar of Astora, who drops a key into the player's cell so that the player can free themself. After escaping from the Asylum Demon, the player encounters a fatally wounded Oscar who tells the player about a prophecy stating that an undead will make a pilgrimage from the Undead Asylum to Lordran in order to ring the Bells of Awakening.
Oscar gives the player some Estus Flasks and dies in peace, knowing that the Chosen Undead will fullfill the prophecy. After defeating the Asylum Demon, the Chosen Undead escapes the asylum and is flown to Lordran by a Giant Crow.
The Bells of AwakeningEdit
Upon arriving to Lordran, the Giant Crow leaves the player in Firelink Shrine, which acts as a hub for the player for the rest of the story. After hearing from the Crestfallen Warrior the location of the Bells of Awakening, the player sets on a journey to ring both bells. During the journey various characters will be met, such as Solaire of Astora; a charismatic warrior seeking "his own sun", the treacherous knight Lautrec of Carim, and Siegmeyer of Catarina; an absent-minded Onion knight who frequently finds himself in danger.
Upon arriving to the Undead Parish, the character slays the Belfry Gargoyles and manages to ring the first bell. Later on, the player travels deep below into the infested swamps of Blighttown.There, the player defeats the Chaos Witch Quelaag and rings the second bell. After ringing both bells, the front gate of Sen's Fortress is opened.
After going through trials to ring the two bells, the player meets Kingseeker Frampt, a primordial serpent who appears to task the character with one more quest before they are officially worthy of the title. The player must go into the kingdom of Anor Londo and retrieve the Lordvessel from Gwynevere, Lord Gwyn's daughter. In order to complete the quest the player needs to traverse Sen's Fortress, an old proving ground built by the gods. After passing though the fortress and its many dangerous traps, the player encounters and defeats the Iron Golem, gaining the entrance into the lost city of Anor Londo.
Once in Anor Londo, the player makes his/her way into the Anor Londo cathedral, where they face Dragonslayer Ornstein (one of the Four Knights of Gwyn) and Executioner Smough. After their defeat, the player gains access into the chamber of Gwynevere, where Gwynevere herself greets the player and grants them the Lordvessel. Upon retrival Frampt declares that the prophecy is indeed true and that the character is the incarnation of the Chosen Undead.
Alternate PathsEditUpon retrieval and confirmation by Frampt, the player is given the choice to put the Lordvessel on the Firelink Altar and proceed along Frampt's designs. In this instance, Frampt prompts that the Chosen Undead is the hero destined to replace Lord Gwyn and extend the Age of Fire, putting an end to the curse of the undead. The player has the choice not to place the Lordvessel and instead seek out the guidance of another ancient serpent named Darkstalker Kaathe, the leader of the Darkwraiths. These actions will bring about the eradication of Gwyn and the old gods, and usher in the Age of Dark.
The Lord SoulsEdit
In order to gain access to Gwyn, the Chosen Undead must fill the Lordvessel with poweful souls. Only a few beings in Lordran possess such powerful souls: Gravelord Nito, the Witch of Izalith, Seath the Scaleless and the Four Kings of New Londo.
In order to defeat the Four Kings, who are located in a dark void called the Abyss, the Chosen Undead needs to acquire the Covenant of Artorias, a ring that is protected by the Great Grey Wolf Sif. Wearing the ring allows the Chosen Undead to traverse the Abyss without being consumed by darkness. Upon arriving to New Londo, the Chosen Undead (with the help of Ingward) opens the Seal which kept the Darkwraiths confined and manages to proceed into the Abyss, where the player defeats the Four Kings. If the player hasn't placed the Lordvessel before defeating the Four Kings, Darkstalker Kaathe will appear in the abyss.
In the Duke's Archives the Chosen Undead faces Seath the Scaleless, an albino dragon who betrayed his own kind during the war against the Ancient Dragons and became Lord Gwyn´s confident. During their first encounter the Chosen Undead loses the fight and is not able to cause any harm to Seath. Seath imprisons the Chosen Undead inside a cage where they are unable to warp to another bonfire. Despite the inconveniences, the Chosen Undead finds a way out of the prison.
Later on, the Chosen Undead learns from Big Hat Logan that Seath is immortal thanks to an ancient artifact known as the Primordial Crystal, an old relic that Seath stole from the Ancient Dragons when he betrayed them. The Chosen undead then parts towards the Crystal Cave, where the crystal is kept hidden, and destroys it, which annuls Seath's immortality and allows the player to kill Seath.
The Chosen Undead also travels to the Catacombs, where they defeat Pinwheel and acquire the Rite of Kindling. The Chosen Undead then descends into the Tomb of the Giants, where a scavenger named Trusty Patches tricks the player and kicks them into a hole. Inside the hole the player rescues Reah of Thorolund, a maiden who ventured into Nito's domain in search of the Rite of Kindling. Finally, the Chosen Undead reaches Gravelord Nito's tomb, in the deepest part of the Tomb of the Giants, and finishes him off.
Lastly, the Chosen Undead heads towards Lost Izalith in order to retrieve the soul of the Witch of Izalith. If the player speaks to Quelana of Izalith it will be discovered that her mother tried to use her power to replicate the First Flame, but failed to control it and was engulfed within it, killing some of the daughters in the process and turning some of her other surviving daughters into deformed creatures, with only Quelana and the Daughter of Chaos surviving without a scratch. After entering into Lost Izalith, the Chosen Undead faces the Witch of Izalith, who has become an abomination known as The Bed of Chaos, which is the source of all the demons that wander Lordran. After much struggle, the player manages to destroy the Bed of Chaos.
After retrieving all the Lord Souls and filling the Lordvessel with them, the Chosen Undead opens the gate into the Kiln of the First Flame. The Chosen Undead finds Lord Gwyn in this place and has the final confrontation with him, which ends up with the Chosen Undead winning the battle. After Gwyn is killed, the Chosen Undead is given the option of either linking the flame or walking away without doing anything. Depending on which course of action has been taken, one of the two possible endings will be unlocked. Whether the player has aligned himself with Kaathe or Frampt will not affect the ending of the game.
- Link the Fire: This ending is unlocked if the player lights the bonfire. In this ending it is discovered that Frampt was actually manipulating the Chosen Undead into linking the fire, so that the Age of Fire could continue and the gods could keep their position as the rulers of the world. This procedure consumes the power of the Chosen Undead and turns them into an empty hollow, just as happened to Gwyn when he linked the flame for the first time.
- Dark Lord: If the Chosen Undead walks away from the arena without lighting the bonfire, the player will be greeted by all the primordial serpents (Kaathe and Frampt included) who will bow down before him/her and will refer to the Chosen Undead as their new Dark Lord. The humans have become the leaders of the new world and the Age of Dark has started. However, the flames have faded away, and the world will be engulfed by the corruption and chaos of the darkness. The Chosen Undead has become the ruler of a slowly dying world.
Artorias of the AbyssEdit
In the Artorias of the Abyss DLC the Chosen Undead travels back in time to the ancient realm of Oolacile, where they discover the truth about the death of the knight Artorias and the fall of Oolacile. The quest presented in this DLC is completely optional and, therefore, it is not required to complete the game.
After being dragged back in time the Chosen Undead wakes up in some kind of forest, where they're confronted by the Sanctuary Guardian. After slaying the beast the Chosen Undead finds an old sanctuary where they meet a giant talking mushroom named Elizabeth, who informs the player that the realm of Oolacile is being consumed by the darkness of the Abyss, She also tells the player that Princess Dusk has been kidnapped by a creature from the abyss and that Sir Artorias the Abysswalker has been sent to Oolacile to put an end to the spread of the dark, although she assures the player that Artorias will be corrupted by the darkness.
The Chosen Undead then heads towards Oolacile Township in search of Artorias and Dusk. On their way to Oolacile, the players encounter Black Dragon Kalameet, an optional boss that can be fought later in the DLC. Elizabeth's words are proven to be true when, upon arriving into the Oolacile coliseum, the player is attacked by a corrupted Artorias. The Chosen Undead has no other option than finishing him off as Artorias is unable to come back to his senses. After killing him, the Chosen Undead has the option of giving his soul to Lord's Blade Ciaran so that she can give Artorias a proper burial or keeping the Soul for their own uses.
During his quest in Oolacile the Chosen Undead also meets Marvelous Chester, a somewhat sinister merchant who, like the player, was dragged back into the past. He reveals to the Chosen Undead that the spread of the dark in the realm was caused when the inhabitants of Oolacile opened the grave of the primeval man after they were manipulated by a "toothy serpent", hinting that either Kaathe or Frampt had a hand in the fall of Oolacile. The Chosen Undead then traverses Oolacile Township and in order to get into the source of the darkness.
Finally, the Chosen Undead arrives to the Chasm of the Abyss where an illusion of Alvina guides the player to an illusory wall. After traversing the wall, the Chosen Undead discovers an injured Sif, protected by a magic barrier created by his master, Artorias, in order to prevent Sif from being attacked by the darkness of the chasm. Shortly after rescuing Sif the player faces Manus, Father of the Abyss, who is the one responsible for the spread of the darkness in Oolacile. The player also has the option of summoning Sif for this fight. After finishing Manus off the Chosen Undead rescues Princess Dusk and, if he returns to the Sanctuary Garden, he's greeted by Elizabeth, who tells the Chosen Undead that she will tell everyone that Artorias was the one who defeated Manus so that his honor can prevail intact. However, she assures the Chosen Undead that she will never forget them for their efforts in putting an end to the spread of the abyss.
- In the trailers and concept art for Dark Souls, the Chosen Undead uses the same weapons and armor as Oscar of Astora.
- Many fans have theorized that the Chosen Undead never becomes fully hollow because their desire to fulfill the Undead Prophecy is so strong that they can retain some humanity where others would have become full hollow.
- Another theory is that when the player quits Dark Souls, unable to overcome the challenges the game offers, the Chosen Undead loses hope for completing its quest, loses its sanity and becomes fully hollow.