There is a lot of confusion about Hollowing in the Dark Souls series. Moreover, many people have difficulty in deciding whether they should heal the Dark Sigil.
In this article, we will be discussing the various aspects of Hollowing to help you understand this concept and make a smart decision about healing the Dark Sigil.
One of the most important things that make Hollowing complicated is that it is handled differently in every Dark Souls game. Therefore, if you are a fan of the Dark Souls series, you are likely to face difficulties in Hollowing in multiple games.
Before you make any decision about getting any Dark Sigils, you should read this comprehensive guide to understand the consequences of making this decision. If you do not like the effects of the Dark Sigils, you will get stuck with challenging options.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Hollowing and healing the Dark Sigils.
What is Hollowing?
The best way to understand hollowing is to think of it as a state in which degradation occurs when an undead thing is not successful in consuming humanity granting item. Every Dark Soul has its different items that consume humanity, due to which the hollowing process is different in every game.
You can better understand the concept of Hollowing by getting familiar with the following three terms:
A being cursed by the Dark Sign is considered to be an undead being. They continue to regenerate infinitely at the bonfire. An interesting fact is that the player’s character is undead in Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2.
If an undead continues to die, again and again, it can become hollow. In other words, they will keep losing a part of their being when the Dark Sign curses them to regenerate.
A being that tried to link the fire but failed is an Unkindled. They are consumed and turned to ash due to their failure in starting the fire. However, The Firekeeper resurrected all of the Unkindled so that one of them would link the fire.
You play as an Unkindled in Dark Souls 3 and cannot turn Hollow through the settings. Instead, you will need the help of the Dark Sigil to become Hollow. Generally, Dark Souls 2 shows that being Hollow is a terrible experience as most of the non-player characters keep losing their health after each death.
In Dark Souls 2, the characters in the game will warn you from time to time about turning Hollow. However, you will not have to worry about Hollowing in Dark Souls 3 because your character is Unkindled.
Impact of Hollowing
Hollowing has different effects in different Dark Souls games. For instance, in Dark Souls 3, Hollowing only has cosmetic effects. It also provides you with a luck bonus if you use Hollow infused weapons. Becoming Hollow becomes essential in Dark Souls 3 to complete the alternate ending.
However, in other games in the series, Hollowing has many other effects other than changing your appearance. Let’s discuss these effects one by one.
Your character in the first game is Chosen Undead. It simply means that you will be playing most of the game as a Hollow. However, players have the option of going back to their human form, but there is a very high risk of invasion by players from other spheres.
Generally, players enjoy Hollowing in Dark Souls because it is not as bad as the game presents it to be. You can consume Humanity items at any time and restore your health in emergency situations.
The good thing is that you will find the Humanities items easily in the first game of the series. Players do not have to waste too much time in finding such consumables. Instead, they can fully focus on the primary goals of the game.
Keep in mind that Humanities is not necessary to progress through the game. You can easily complete the game while being Hollow.
Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 2 is certainly the only game in the series in which you will get the most terrible effects of Hollowing. Every time your character dies in Dark Souls 2, a significant part of your health will be eaten away. It will improve slowly dimmish your health.
It shows that Hollowing is a degenerative state that destroys beings. If you keep dying, you will be left with only half health. It will make you much more vulnerable to enemies.
The good thing is that you can use Human Effigies in Dark Souls 2 to mitigate the effects of Hollowing. Human Effigies are basically the alternative to Humanities, but they do not increase your health. If you want to achieve full health in Dark Souls 2, you will have to rest at a bonfire after using a Human Effigy.
A similarity to the first Dark Souls game is that if you choose to reverse your Hollowing, you will become more susceptible to invaders from other areas. You can fight vulnerability by burning a Human Effigy in the bonfire.
However, finding Human Effigies in Dark Souls 2 is difficult, so you might not want to burn them. Yet, becoming human is essential to keep yourself alive and progress through the game. Therefore, you will have to focus on finding Human Effigies and using them smartly.
Another strategy you should know is that if you find an item called Ring of Binding, you will be able to limit the health drop to just 75%. Therefore, you will not have to consume the Human Effigies much, and the game will become easier.
Dark Souls 3
As mentioned before, you play as an Unkindled in Dark Souls 3. It means you will be resurrected by the Firekeeper and keep regenerating. Since you already have a human character, there is no need for Humanities and Human Effigies in Dark Souls 3. Instead, you can get Embers to increase your health and invite invaders to your world.
If you want to unlock the alternative ending, you will have to complete an extensive and challenging questline to get a Dark Sigil and become Hollow.
Keep reading to understand the working of a Dark Sigil and whether you should heal the Dark Sigil.
What is a Dark Sigil?
Dark Souls describe a Dark Sigil as a black hole in the flesh that is similar to an Undead. It is filled with the accumulated curse and cannot heal. According to a tale in the game, a Fire Keeper returned from the Abyss can minimize the effects of the curse and heal the Dark Sigil.
This official description shows that the Dark Sigil is not the Dark Sign. Therefore, players do not become undead by receiving it. It is the primary reason why Hollowing only affects your appearance in Darks Souls 3.
What is the Purpose of a Dark Sigil?
The purpose of having a Dark Sigil is to increase your Hollowing level every time you die in the game. Once you have obtained a Dark Sigil, the only way to get rid of it is to heal it.
If you are able to fully heal the Dark Sigil, you can remove it from your inventory. However, you will not be able to get the alternate ending in this scenario. If you are not enjoying the Hollowing, you will have to learn some strategies to reverse your Hollowing.
Whenever you receive a Sigil in Dark Souls, it is branded on your character until you heal the Dark Sigil. You should also note that the Sigils will be automatically healed when you are starting a new game. You will not have to worry about them in the next levels.
Another benefit of the Dark Sigils is that they add a cosmetic Hollowed look to the character. They also increase the Luck stat when the players are using a Hollow infused weapon. Overall, there is no disadvantage of being Hollow in Dark Souls 3 unless you are annoyed by the look of your character.
How to Obtain Dark Sigils?
Dark Souls 3 has 8 Dark Sigils in total. You will have to obtain all 8 of them to complete the alternate ending of the game.
Obtaining First 5 Dark Sigils
When you reach the Undead Settlement in Dark Souls 3, you will have to go to the High Wall Bonfire and locate a non-player character called Yoel of Londor near the corpses. You should not kill him because otherwise, you will not be able to complete the alternative ending.
Once you talk to Yoel of Londor, you will get the option of drawing out your true strength and exchange a Dark Sigil. It will also give you a free soul level through which you can get five extra levels after obtaining all of them from Yoel of Londor. However, keep in mind that you will have to get the levels of Hollowing after obtaining the first soul level.
In other words, every time your character dies in the game while being branded with the Dark Sigil, you will be getting the Hollow levels according to the number of Sigils you have. For example, if you have 3 Dark Sigils, you will get 3 Hollow levels on dying.
You can easily check your Hollowing level by going to the status screen and checking under the player level. You also have the option of getting a new Dark Sigil at Hollow levels 2, 6, 12, and 15. It means you will have to keep dying at these levels.
Once you are successful in receiving these 5 Dark Sigils, you will have to proceed to obtain the last 3 Sigils.
Obtaining Last 3 Dark Sigils
To obtain the last 3 Dark Sigils in Dark Souls, you will have to marry Anri of Astora. You must complete the questline perfectly to achieve this goal and obtain the last 3 Dark Sigils to complete the alternative ending of Dark Souls 3.
To get to the Usurpation of Fire ending, you will have to complete the questline that starts with Yoel of Londor. You will have to recruit Yoel to the Firelink Shrine and follow the instruction to ensure you are able to complete the ending.
The last step involved in linking the fire is to complete the marriage ceremony and get the last 3 Dark Sigils. Talking to Yuria will facilitate you in linking the fire. Once you have all of the 8 Dark Sigils in your inventory, you can beat the Soul of Cinder and touch the bonfire to complete the game with an alternate ending.
How to Heal the Dark Sigil?
If you want to heal the Dark Sigil, you should also note that healing the Sigils will remove them from your inventory. Hence, you should only take such a step when you are fully sure about it.
The first step you have to take to heal the Dark Sigil is to obtain a Fire Keeper soul and give it to the Fire Keeper.
1. Obtain Fire Keeper Soul
You will have to buy the Tower Key from the Shrine Handmaid for 20,000 souls to obtain the Fire Keeper soul. Getting 20,000 souls in the first place can be challenging for the players, especially beginners, but healing the Dark Sigil is a challenging process.
Once you have obtained the Tower Key, you will have to use it to unlock the tower located outside the Firelink Shrine, leading to the top. Once you are on the roof of the Shrine, you will see a dead Fire Keeper and his soul. Pick it up and give it to the Fire Keeper.
Make sure that you do not consume the Fire Keeper soul yourself. Otherwise, you will have to start the process from scratch.
2. Remove the Sigil
Once you give the soul to the Fire Keeper in the main Shrine, he will give you the option to heal the Dark Sigil. The overall cost of this process will be evaluated on the basis of the number of Sigils you have and the soul level.
Generally, you will have to pay five times the amount you need to level up your character to the following soul level to heal the Dark Sigil if you have 5 Dark Sigils. Similarly, if you have all 8 Sigils, you will have to pay the number of souls it will take to level up eight times. It means that you will be required to pay a very high number of souls, especially if you have a high-level character.
Once you make the payment and heal the Dark Sigil, all of the Dark Sigils and Hollow levels will be removed from your inventory. As there is a huge cost involved in healing the Dark Sigils, it is understandable that it will take a lot of time to farm souls and complete the process.
However, if you want to complete the alternate ending, you should not heal the Dark Sigils at all. Otherwise, you will not be able to complete the Yuria of Londor quest.
Generally, you will not get any benefits if you choose to heal the Dark Sigils other than improving the appearance of your character. In fact, the appearance is not much noticeable when your character is wearing armor.
How to Reverse Hollowing in Dark Souls?
There is no major benefit of reversing Hollowing, but it is important to discuss this option because many players want to get rid of the effects of Hollowing on appearance. The good thing about this process is that it is much cheaper than healing the Dark Sigil.
Use A Purging Stone
The most cost-effective method of reversing Hollowing in Dark Souls is to purchase a Purging Stone from Yuria of Londor for 4500 souls. It is a very small price when compared to other methods, especially healing the Dark Sigils.
An important thing to remember is that you must not kill Yuria because it will finish the questline, and you will not be able to buy the Purging Stone. You can also get 4 Purging Stones from the Profaned Capital.
Visit Alter of Velka
Another method you can use to reverse Hollowing is by visiting the Alter of Velka in the sewers of the Undead Settlement. However, you should only use this method if Yuria is dead and you are not able to find the Stones in the Profaned Capital.
To access the Alter of Velka, you will need the Grave Key for 1500 souls from the Shrine Handmaid. You can buy it by giving Mortician’s Ashes that can be found in the area of Undead Settlement.
Once you are in the sewers, you should also kill the rats because they will start attacking you. Once you see a locked door, you should unlock it with the Grave Key and find the alter. Choose the option of requesting dissolution. The cost of reversing your Hollowed state will cost you 100 times the soul level of your character.
Getting to the Alter of Velka, again and again, can be very costly and frustrating for the players. Purchasing a lot of Purging Stones is a much easier and cost-effective method of reversing the Hollowing and continue playing the game.
The bottom line is that you should only care about the Dark Sigils and the process to heal the Dark Sigils if you are interested in completing an alternate ending. Otherwise, Hollowing is not a significant part of Dark Souls as it only affects the appearance of your character.
Yet, the overall mystique of Hollowing and healing the Dark Sigils attract people, due to which a lot of players of the Dark Souls series are interested in these processes and completing the alternate endings of the game.
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