Bark Souls, Bork Souls and Dark Souls IRL Edits refer to videos of real-life actions resembling boss behavior in video game Dark Souls and its direct and spiritual sequels, particularly of dogs acting in a similar way to Dark Souls boss Great Grey Wolf Sif. The videos are usually edited to include music and UI elements from the game.
On January 10th, 2016, YouTube user Hellkite posted a video titled “Cleric_Beast.mp4” in which health bar of Bloodborne boss Cleric Beast and “Cleric Beast” soundtrack composition from the game were added to footage of a howling husky (original video unavailable). The video gained over 660,000 views before January 18th, 2018.
On October 7th, 2016, YouTube user Ghemz uploaded an extended version of the video (shown below, left). On April 5th, 2017, YouTube user Tyler Reddick posted a video of a labrador retriever swinging a ball on a rope with a Dark Souls-style health bar and Bloodborn soundtrack composition “Watchdog of the Old Lords” edited in (shown below, right). The video gained over 1.6 million views in two years.
On February 27th, 2018, iFunny user KittyOrnstein posted an edited video of a Shibe acting in a way resembling the behavior of Dark Souls boss Great Grey Wolf Sif. The post gained over 5,200 likes in two years.
In the following year, the format received further spread on YouTube, Instagram, iFunny and other platforms, with Dark Souls IRL edits not featuring dogs also being created. In 2019, several popular compilations of such videos were posted on YouTube.
Dark Souls Hidden Boss Videos
A similar style of parody using various other animals and characters began trending thanks largely to the YouTube account Erynth, which posted multiple videos of people in comical battles, often with small animals and children, and edited them to feature Dark Souls music and UI. These would often play on the trope in Dark Souls games in which a player would come upon an ordinary scene, only for it to suddenly become a boss battle. For example, on May 5th, 2019, the user posted a video which gained over 15 million views (shown below, left). On May 21st, the user posted another video that gained over 4.1 million views (shown below, right).
Erynth also posted multiple compilation videos of the meme, often gaining millions of views (shown below).