It is known that most From Software games follow a similar type of gameplay, and the stories are also somewhat identical in their lore-based delivery structure. Being the pioneers of the SoulsBorne genre, they are at the pinnacle of such storytelling and world-building, where most have tried to copy the same magic but end up lacking the intricacies that this studio posses.
And with such a perfect niche captured, they tend to refer to and use assets from their brand. Many items are similar and make players go, “hey, that was in Dark Souls” or any other of their entries. With this in mind, the community always starts to stitch together all the games they have developed, even when they are not direct sequels like Demon Souls or Bloodborne.
People like to develop theories of how all these games are part of the same universe, picking up crumbs of similarities and lore points and connecting the dots across the games. There are some amazing theories that the community has formulated.
Though the developers have never made any connection cannon, the community always has a field day while building these webs—some of these theories will be discussed below.
In the Ash Lake area in Dark Souls, you have encountered the Arch Trees that are visible as far as the eyes can see. These trees are like the foundation of this world, and places exist on top of these behemoth branches. Similar structures are found in Hunter’s Dream in Bloodborne.
And the theory goes where both of these are the same, making them connect via some distant branch.
These tree-like pillars are seen in Elden Ring’s Siofra River area though they might look stonish as the texture is very similar. Another location where you spot trees like Ash Lake in Elden Ring is in the final boss arena, the Elden Beast; these have a rather cosmic look.
All these trees at key foundational locations within each game depict a sense of branching story arcs of the Soulsborne universe. So we can assume these worlds are connected and are part of the same multi-verse.
There are some recurring characters, items, and themes that are in almost every game From Software have created, and these too can potentially serve as a hypothetical bridge amongst these worlds. Some of these are:
Patches: This malicious character is found in every game, from Demon Souls to Elden Ring minus Sekiro. He does the same act of throwing you over some ledge and has the same conniving laugh.
Moonlight Greatsword: This legendary weapon has been present in every From Software game since King’s Field and has a similar look and attack type.
Mountaintops of the Giants: You might know the cut Northern Limit region in Demon Souls, which giants would inhabit. You will see the stark resemblance by looking at the recovered content and visiting the Mountaintops of the Giants in Elden Ring.
Basilisk: These freaky-eyed frogs and their death fog attacks were the banes of existence for many Dark Souls players. You will see the return of these weirdos in Elden Ring as well.
Of course, it’s a known fact that From Software has taken heavy inspiration from the Berserk manga series in many of their games. Along with this, there is cyclical referencing in themes and story-telling that they are fond of, and this is what stirs up the audience to make these connections and deep dive into each aspect of the games.
The references are many, but the reality that the studio will never admit to such claims of a single universe will forever leave us guessing. And frankly, this is the fun of being a From Software fan!