The Link the Fire and Dark Lord endings from Dark Souls.

Dark Souls Endings Guide

The fate of Lordran is in your hands.

Written by:
Avatar photo
Rhett Roxl is a professional writer who has been gaming for as long as he can remember. He merged both passions together to become a writer in the game industry in 2020.

Reviewed by:
Avatar photo
Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

Dark Souls has two endings.

  • Link the Fire – Approach the bonfire and link the fire after defeating Gwyn, Lord of Cinder.
  • Age of Dark – Leave the arena after defeating Gwyn without linking the fire.

In the story of Dark Souls, the two possible endings are vastly different. Some say you are meant to follow Gwyn’s footsteps; succeed him as the next Great Lord and continue to link the fire. However, there’s another ending to the game which completely subverts your intended role…

Table Of Contents

    How to Get the “Link the Fire” Ending in Dark Souls

    The Chosen Undead about to light the last bonfire in the Kiln of the First Flame to get the "Link the Fire" ending in Dark Souls.

    You don’t need to meet any other prerequisites for this ending. You must simply see the game through. This is how you should naturally progress through the game to reach the ending.

    1. Obtain the Lordvessel from Gwynevere in Anor Londo.
    2. Place the Lordvessel in the Firelink Altar.
    3. Collect the four Lord Souls by defeating the Four Kings, Gravelord Nito, the Bed of Chaos, and Seath the Scaleless.
    4. Offer the Lord Souls to the Lordvessel to open the gate to the Kiln of the First Flame.
    5. Defeat Gwyn, Lord of Cinder.

    After defeating Gwyn, you must approach the bonfire and link the fire. With that, you banish the curse of the Undead and bring life and order to the land again—if only for a little while longer…

    How to Get the “Age of Dark” Ending in Dark Souls

    The Chosen Undead leaving Gwyn's boss room after defeating him.

    This is the alternate ending to Dark Souls. To reach this ending, you must follow the same path as the previous ending to reach and defeat Gwyn. However, this time, instead of approaching the bonfire to link the flame, leave the boss room. This will trigger The Age of Dark ending wherein you usher in an era devoid of light.

    Manus would be proud.

    Which Ending Is Canon?

    In the world of Dark Souls, both endings can canonically be true. The timeline of Dark Souls is highly convoluted, but all you have to know is that the universe of the series—from Dark Souls 1 to Dark Souls 3—is set in a non-linear timeline with multiple universes existing all at once.

    While Dark Souls 2 and Dark Souls 3 suggest that the “Link the Fire” ending is the one that is canon, the nature of the game’s universe subverts this. If you were to refuse to link the fire in your world and opt to choose the Age of Dark ending instead, this is the canon ending in YOUR universe. If another chooses to link the fire in theirs, it is the canon ending in theirs.

    That said, do multiple playthroughs and acquire both endings. Other than the fact that this nets you a trophy or achievement, see for yourself how the feeling of the ending differs from one another. Whichever one of them feels better for you is your canon ending. That is the beauty of the endings in Dark Souls—your choice makes it canon.

    The Dark Souls series and FromSoftware’s Soulsborne games in general are known for having intricate stories. Every single one of these games has multiple endings for you to choose from. What’s amazing is that it is up to you which of these endings feels like the true conclusion to your adventure.

    Read Next
    Dark Souls: Chasm of the Abyss Walkthrough
    Rhett Roxl | 2 months ago
    Dark Souls: Everything You Need to Know About Firelink Shrine
    Rhett Roxl | 4 months ago
    Dark Souls: Why Are the Taurus Demon and Capra Demon in Undead Burg?
    Rhett Roxl | 2 months ago