Drangleic Castle - Dark Souls II, artwork by FromSoftware
'Drangleic Castle' 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.
After a long journey through the world of Dark Souls II, the player reaches Drangleic Castle, an important location for the game. Once the residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Drangleic, it was built as a remote hideout, nested among the mountains. Like all important game locations, the castle went through several iterations before the development team landed on the final design, yet one important element remained throughout: the scene had to revolve around an epic boss battle in an inner courtyard, in the rain, with crashing lightning to enhance the drama of the fight.
The 'Drangleic Castle' concept art piece shows the team's early ideas on the shape of the castle, and the weather conditions that set the mood for the eventual fight against the Mirror Knight (also known as Looking Glass Knight). The ruined castle walls are kept light, as this is clearly not a fortress, with ornaments meant to impress visitors, not ward off enemies. Bolts of lightning shoot through the skies, illuminating the statues, while the rain gushes from the walls. The castle would see a lot of versions after this concept piece, but Dark Souls II players will recognize how the team stayed true to their early vision of a remote castle with a desolate, forlorn feel.
FromSoftware, Inc. is a Japanese video game company founded in November 1986. The studio is primarily known for being the developers of the Dark Souls and Demon's Souls games, Bloodborne, Armored Core, Otogi and Tenchu series.
The studio has been a prominent fixture of the Japanese videogame landscape but it was the Demon's Souls (2009), Dark Souls and Bloodborne games that really gave the developers unprecedented exposure in North America and Europe. The Souls series and Bloodborne have all received widespread critical acclaim from both critics and general audience alike as well as strong sales.