Solaire of Astora

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Solaire of Astora
Dark Souls character
Solaire Concept Art.png
Concept art of Solaire of Astora
First gameDark Souls (2011)
Created byHidetaka Miyazaki
Voiced byDaniel Flynn

Solaire of Astora is a fictional knight from the 2011 action role-playing game Dark Souls. He has received a great deal of popularity amongst fans for his unusually friendly and helpful demeanor, as well as his signature gesture, "Praise the Sun", which involves holding up both arms in a Y-shape while standing on tiptoes. He is voiced by Daniel Flynn.

Characteristics[edit]

Like the player character, Solaire is an Undead who journeys to the land of Lordran from his homeland of Astora, albeit on a personal mission to "find his very own Sun". His world and the player's come into contact at various times during the game, and he gives the player a White Soapstone item during his first meeting so that the player can be summoned into other worlds as phantoms and "engage in jolly cooperation".[1] He also offers to provide assistance for various bosses during the course of the game. His "summon sign" glows gold rather than the typical white, and he rewards the player with "Sunlight Medals" for a successful co-op fight, due to his membership in the covenant called the Warriors of Sunlight. The player may join the covenant upon meeting certain requirements, after which they can be summoned by a wider range of players, and gain the "Praise the Sun" gesture and "Lightning Spear" miracles.[2]

Solaire is described as a skilled warrior who does not rely on any special powers to win beyond his signature miracles. His armor and shield are decorated with a hand-painted sun, reflecting his worship of the Sun, and by association, Lord Gwyn. While he was theorized by some fans to be Gwyn's firstborn son in disguise, this was later proven not to be the case in Dark Souls III.[3] He uses a longsword called the Sunlight Straight Sword, which, despite its name, is extremely plain and only slightly stronger than the typical longsword. The sword reappears in Dark Souls II as the Sun Sword, and in Dark Souls III under its original name, where it does have the special power to boost the attack of allies. His armor and shield are also obtainable in Dark Souls III by trading various items.

The player typically last encounters Solaire in Lost Izalith, where he has gone insane upon confusing the light from a Sunlight Maggot for his "Sun" and the player is forced to kill him. However, if the player opens a shortcut and kills the Maggot beforehand, Solaire retains his sanity and can be summoned for the final boss.[4]

Development[edit]

The "Praise the Sun" gesture was conceived prior to the character of Solaire, and was a rare holy gesture used in Demon's Souls upon casting a miracle while wearing the "Ring of Sincere Prayer".[2] The game's director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, secretly left the gesture in the game, despite being told by the game's publisher that the pose was not "cool enough" upon physically demonstrating it. From then on, the pose gained personal significance to him, and he was determined to also include it in Dark Souls.[2] Miyazaki created the character of Solaire in order to bring recognition to the gesture and make it more popular, purposely positioning him as a "champion" who is the first truly helpful NPC that most players see in the game.[2]

He is also Miyazaki's favorite character, with Miyazaki going as far as to design the Sun emblem that appears on Solaire's armor.[4]

Miyazaki has stated that Solaire being taken over by the Sunlight Maggot, was intended as "the general norm", but that if Solaire is kept alive and fights alongside the player for the last boss, it is the "happiest ending", as he links the flame in his own world and dies by "becoming the Sun".[5]

Merchandise[edit]

On the March 8 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo had announced a Solaire Amiibo that will be compatible with Dark Souls Remastered. The Amiibo, featuring Solaire in a "Praise the Sun" pose, will cause the player's character to perform the gesture from the start of the game when tapped, without any prerequisites.[6]

Reception[edit]

Destructoid named Knight Solaire one of their favorite new video game characters of 2011, calling him "the embodiment of selfless camaraderie and generosity", as well as "bat-shit crazy".[1] He was also called a "total badass" by Eurogamer.[4] The mission to save Solaire was called one of the 20 most unique sidequests in video game history by GamesRadar+, saying that "if there ever was an NPC worth saving, it would be him".[7]

Solaire was modded into Darkest Dungeon as a playable character by a fan of the game, which was called a "fantastic mixup" of the two games by PC Gamer.[8] He also was given Easter eggs in Borderlands 2 as the similarly named "Knight Solitaire",[9] and in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor as a follower named "Soulaire of Andorhal".[10] A "Praise the Sun"-inspired gesture was included as an emote in Destiny called "Praise the Gun".[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Best of 2011: Favorite New Characters". destructoid. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  2. ^ a b c d "Why we praise the sun: the story of Dark Souls' most famous gesture". pcgamer. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  3. ^ "Dark Souls 3: FromSoftware should never have gone back". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  4. ^ a b c Stanton, Rich (2014-04-20). "Telling Tales: Skyrim and Dark Souls". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  5. ^ "Game No Shokutaku Interview - Souls Lore". soulslore.wikidot.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2018-03-08). "Dark Souls' Solaire is getting his own amiibo". Polygon. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  7. ^ "20 of the most unique side quests in RPG history". gamesradar. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  8. ^ "This Darkest Dungeon mod adds Dark Souls' greatest praiser of the sun". pcgamer. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  9. ^ Good, Owen. "Borderlands 2 Tips Its Cap to a Dark Souls Fan Favorite With This Easter Egg". Kotaku. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  10. ^ "Recruit Soulare of Andorhal for your garrison". Engadget. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  11. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2016-03-31), Destiny is getting new emotes inspired by Seinfeld, Dark Souls and Shia LaBeouf, retrieved 2018-02-20