Aldrich, Devourer of Gods

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Aldrich, Devourer of Gods
'Dark Souls' character
First gameDark Souls III (2016)
Created byHidetaka Miyazaki

Aldrich, Devourer of Gods (also known as Aldrich, Saint of the Deep) is a fictional character and boss in the action role-playing game Dark Souls III. A former human and cleric, he became a sentient monster of sludge due to his cannibalistic tendencies. He is also a Lord of Cinder in the game's lore, a being who rekindled the First Flame. Aldrich received critical acclaim for the difficulty and visuals of his boss fight, as well as his depiction in the game's lore and links to Dark Souls.

Characteristics[edit]

Aldrich is only seen in his monstrous form during the game, although he appears in the comic Dark Souls #1 in human form.[1] Once a cleric, he is stated to have become "infamous" due to the pleasure he took from consuming human flesh.[2] Compared to some of his followers, Aldrich retained his mind while devolving into a snake-like being of black sludge covered in the skeletal remains of his victims prior to being locked in a stone "coffin" within the Cathedral of the Deep. He was later forced to become a sacrifice when the First Flame began to fade. He was resurrected upon the rise of the Unkindled, refusing to surrender his new power as a Lord of Cinder to rekindle the First Flame and fled to Anor Londo.[2] Prior to being confronted by the player, Aldrich had partially devoured Anor Londo's deity Dark Sun Gwyndolin, assimilating the deity's memories and torso to defend himself with both Gwyndolin's powers and a recreation of Priscilla's Lifehunt Scythe.

Aldrich is also the focus of an in-game covenant, the Aldrich Faithful, which encourages attacking other players who attempt to make their way to fight him.[3]

Development[edit]

Aldrich's character and that of the Cathedral of the Deep are based on Lovecraftian themes, with his name being similar to "eldritch" knowledge.[2] The cathedral's ambiance and enemies exhibit oceanic sounds and designs that depict Aldrich's worship of a "dark, abyssal realm" known as the Deep.[2]

Aldrich's purple clothing was stated to be "the color of authority" and evidence that he held a high rank.[4]

Reception[edit]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Edwin Evans-Thirlwell called Aldrich the best video game boss of 2016, saying that he is "the focus of the game's shift into the realm of the macabre".[5] Calling him an example of the gluttony that marks the key antagonists of Dark Souls, he states that Aldrich's cannibalism is also the most "pointed" exploration of the parallel between the harmfulness of unnatural longevity and making sequels.[5] He also says that the fight may seem anti-climactic compared to Ornstein and Smough, who are fought in the same arena, and that this is on purpose due to the fact that Aldrich is a pitiful figure who lost his own identity trying to consume others.[5]

James Davenport of PC Gamer called Aldrich "one of the most obvious, influential and nuanced" villains in the Dark Souls series, suggesting that he was planning to subvert the fire-linking process by embracing the "darker plane" of the Deep.[2] He also praised the fact that Dark Souls III "spends entire zones" characterizing Aldrich rather than making him a mere boss.[2]

Aldrich was voted the 5th hardest boss in Dark Souls III by the IGN community, citing his powerful magical attacks.[6] He was also named as one of the best bosses in the game by GamesRadar+, calling his attacks "impressive" and requiring constant motion for the player to stay alive.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The first Dark Souls comic plays it too safe". pcgamer. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "How Dark Souls 3 builds up its most villainous slime lord". pcgamer. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  3. ^ "How Dark Souls 3's Aldrich Faithful covenant turns good people into trolling monsters". pcgamer. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  4. ^ "Dark Souls III and the color purple - Kill Screen". Kill Screen. 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  5. ^ a b c "Why Dark Souls 3's Aldrich is 2016's best boss". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  6. ^ "Dark Souls 3's Hardest Bosses". IGN. 2016-05-18. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  7. ^ "Prepare to die - these are the 15 greatest Dark Souls bosses". gamesradar. Retrieved 2018-03-01.