Ah Dark Souls, a masterpiece that changed the industry. A game I will praise to the heavens. And yet we all know, even the most devoted of us, that Dark Souls has some issues. Maybe the biggest is the Izalith area, which comes across as largely unfinished and, worst of all, features a boss called Bed of Chaos.
Bed of Chaos is basically a giant sentient tree at the back of a collapsing arena, which sweeps its tendril branches back-and-forth while the player tries to smash specific parts and get to its core. The problem is that those branches… by god they’re hard to avoid. And most of the time, one hit will see the Chosen Undead flying into the bottomless pit, YOU DIED, respawn and spend five minutes running back to do the same again. In a great game, it’s a real low.
I’ve been keeping an eye on a modder called King Bore, because they’re working on a Dark Souls project called Shadow of the Eclipse that may turn out to be very cool, and recently they detailed some of their findings about the Bed of Chaos, and specifically the hitboxes.
I don’t think I can properly convey how insanely bad vanilla Bed of Chaos (tree body) attacks & hitboxes are with just images, but here’s an example of them versus my reworked ones (wip). The thin tendril hitboxes deal much, MUCH less damage and stun.old -> new, old -> new pic.twitter.com/BPAdDV2p1dMarch 2, 2021
You may need to click on the images to get a full sense of the comparison, but essentially in the original game those branches have massive hitboxes shooting out at angles that don’t match-up with the visual tendrils. All those times you felt you’d dodged right and got swept into the pit regardless? Yeah, it WAS unfair.
Another example really drives the point home:
the more bed of chaos hitboxes I see, the worse it gets.keep in mind all of these hitboxes deal full damage pic.twitter.com/XyhnoRnig2March 2, 2021
Generally speaking, I think Fromsoft’s games have some of the most amazing hitbox work out there: it’s one of the reasons the combat feels so good. But here we can see that this bullshit tree has basically three giant hitbox lozenges extending from its branches, and these are what killed you and me over and over, completely unfairly.
So: the Bed of Chaos is a crap boss, and that’s no longer opinion but scientific gamer fact.
King Bore’s deep-dive into the boss turned up some other interesting tidbits, such as unused attack animations, and there’s a wealth of other Dark Souls trivia among their mod updates: you can follow them here. When Shadows of the Eclipse is available, best believe I’ll be on it like a seagull on chips.