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'Mirage' is official concept artwork for action role playing video game Dark Souls II, made by Japanese studio FromSoftware. This limited edition Certified Art Giclee™ print is part of the official Dark Souls fine art collection by Cook & Becker, FromSoftware, and Bandai Namco. The print is hand-numbered and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Before players of Dark Souls II plunge into the game, and into the Kingdom of Drangleic, a dramatic opening cinematic fires up the story. In it, a knight stumbles into a whirlpool of nightmarish visions and memories, explaining his status (and thus that of the player) as a cursed man who must seek redemption in the kingdom. One of the visions is similar to the one in this concept art piece by FromSoftware. As demons swirl around the knight, a strong image of a lakeshore emerges, with the surface of the water reflecting a gateway building that isn't there on the shore. Next, the reflection in the water is replaced by a vortex, which turns out to be the actual portal to the Drangleic kingdom.

The opening cinematic led to discussion among fans about its meaning. Was the knight/player coming from the 'real world' when he stepped into the vortex, and is the dark, haunted world of Drangleic some form of hellish afterlife? In the end, the topic was laid to rest without a strong conclusion: the powerful lakeside vision belongs to the surreal, as does much of the dark fantasy world of Dark Souls , and is forever open to interpretation – which is exactly what makes this concept art piece such an enthralling thing to behold.


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