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The Soul of Cinder is the final boss and a major antagonist of the dark fantasy role-playing video game Dark Souls III. It is the physical manifestation of every previous Lord of Cinder.
As its name implies, the Soul of Cinder is an amalgamation of every creature to ever give themselves to the First Flame, their bodies and souls being used as fuel to keep the Flame burning, therefore also allowing the Age of Fire to continue, staving off the dreaded Age of Dark.
By the time of Dark Souls III, many centuries have passed and with it many Lords of Cinder, all giving their lives and becoming legendary heroes for sacrificing themselves to keep the Flame alight.
However, when Prince Lothric saw how twisted the world around him had become from the prolonging of the Age of Fire, he rejected his destiny to become the next Lord of Cinder, choosing to instead watch the Flame die and allow Darkness to shroud the world, seeing it as the natural next step needed to fix the world.
A contingency is formed, in which previous Lords are resurrected in hopes they would allow themselves to burn again, only for all but Ludleth of Courland to reject their mantle: The Abyss Watchers, driven mad by their failure to defend the world from their hated enemy, the Abyss, soon begun to wage war against each other. Yhorm the Giant of the Profaned Capital was overcome with despair at the sight of his home reduced to ruins, making all his struggles in the past in vain. And finally Aldrich, Saint of the Deep and Devourer of Gods, never intended to become a Lord in the first place, having been forced to burn against his will due to the power he wielded. Now resurrected, he, allured by visions of a deep and endless sea, formed a cult based on his dreams, seeking to, as his name implies, consume the gods of this world to bring forth an Age of the Deep.
As such, a final and desperate attempt was made, in which the Unkindled, those who attempted to link the flame but were reduced to ash are brought back from the dead, tasked with finding the lost Lords and returning them to the Flame, which could be fueled by their remains, due to none willingly returning.
Once all Lords are slain, The Ashen One, an Unkindled, is transported to Kiln of the First Flame, guarded by the Soul of Cinder, the physical manifestation of all Lords, wielding all of their powers, The Souls representing the final test to see if the Ashen One was indeed worthy of linking the Flame.
They and the Ashen One engage in a grueling fight, the Soul of Cinder utilizing the abilities of all previous Lords of Cinder, most notably that of Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight, the first Lord of Cinder and person responsible for ushering in the Age of Fire, to begin with.
In the end, The Soul is defeated, leaving the Ashen one with four different choices. They may, having proved their strength, link the Flame, letting the Age of Fire Continue. Next, they could summon their companion, the Fire Keeper, who when ordered, shall take the Flame in her hand, letting it die and ushering in the Age of Dark. The Ashen One can so they wish, kill the Fire Keeper, taking the Flame to use for themselves. And finally, they may, should certain requisitions be met, claim the Fire, bring forth the Age of Hollow's with them as Lord of all Hollow.
In its brief existence, the Soul showed little in the way of actual personality, though it was obviously sentient, due to the fact that it was aware of its surroundings and was capable of fighting with skill and intelligence, having access to various spells that would require thought to use.
The Soul was made to be the Fire Flames final line of defense, as well as the last test for those who seek to link the fire, for only a true Lord of Cinder, a person of unrivaled strength and intelligence could ever hope to triumph over it.
During its battle, the Soul lets out various grunts and snarls, also emitting an enraged howl before initiating its second phase. Once beaten, it will fall to its knees, releasing a long and mournful cry before vanishing.
The Soul of Cinder takes the form of a towering knight, nearly three times the height of the Ashen One, clad in its own personal set of armor, charred and blackened from the fire that radiates from its body, most noticeable on the head, arms and right leg.
Their body is thin with long legs, giving the Soul a surprising amount of agility for a being of its size, the top of their helmet, alongside most of their armor is warped, seemingly melted, a series of jagged points that glow like embers rising from the back of their head, giving the appearance of a flaming crown.
Within one hand, the Soul wields the Firelink Greatsword, a massive version of the Coiled Sword, being able to transform the Greatsword into a number of different shapes to suit that its needs to have.
Powers and Abilities
Being a combination of every past Lord of Cinder, the Soul of Cinder combines all of their powers and knowledge, making it one of the most powerful beings in all of Dark Souls, if not even the strongest of all.
Its sheer size allows the Soul to lift a fully grown adult with one hand and fling them around with little effort, also letting it swing their greatsword in breathtaking feats of strength. Despite their great stature, the Soul is quite nimble, able to perform various rolls, flips, and dodges to avoid attacks.
Their skill with the Firelink Sword is unmatched, mastery over the blade letting the Soul transform their weapon depending on their current desire, such forms being a curved scimitar used in conjunction with various forms of fire magic, a pike combined with healing miracles and a staff used for bringing forth blasts of energy.
- The Soul of Cinder is highly resistant to fire attacks but weak to lightning and dark based attacks.
- The Soul of Cinder has an unused weapon style involving a greatsword.
- In promotion material, the Soul of Cinder was referred to as "The Red Knight" to avoid spoiling the game's ending.
- The Soul of Cinder can be staggered, but the player is unable to perform a critical hit on it.
- The Soul of Cinder is one of the four humanoid bosses in Dark Souls III whose weapons cannot be parried, the others being Dragonslayer Armor, Nameless King, and Slave Knight Gael.
- Due to it being an amalgamation of all previous Lords of Cinder, then this means it may also be both the Chosen Undead and Bearer of the Curse, the main protagonists of Darks Souls one and two respectively, should the player have decided to link the Flame in these games.