Twitch streamer beats Dark Souls 3 with a single button

All thanks to fan-made accessibility options.

Screenshot of Rudeism playing Dark Souls 3 with a one-button controller

Image via Rudeism on Twitch

Twitch streamer and custom controller creator Rudeism beat Dark Souls 3 on stream earlier today using a homemade, single-buttoned controller that mapped the game’s inputs to Morse code. The streamer started his run two months ago on August 20 and defeated all 19 of the base game’s bosses, according to a celebratory tweet by Rudeism.

During Rudeism’s run, the streamer’s Morse code inputs were visible via a log in the upper-right-hand corner of the stream. According to the streamer, an on-screen counter also tracked how many times Rudeism pressed the one button he was afforded; 258,250 button presses were counted by the game’s end.

While facing his self-imposed challenge, Rudeism also raised money for AbleGamers – a nonprofit organization that advocates for accessibility in the video game industry. The content creator used his two-month-long playthrough of Dark Souls 3 to support accessibility options, including difficulty modifiers, to become standardized in video games.

The Dark Souls series, and by extension most games by developer FromSoftware, are challenging games with one unmodifiable difficulty. Naturally, these titles are generally brought up when discussing difficulty and accessibility in games. Some claim that more accessibility options such as different control schemes or difficulty modes would enable more people, including disabled folk who may be physically incapable of playing with a standard controller, to experience these games comfortably. Meanwhile, accessibility opponents claim that such options would betray the vision that FromSoftware has for its games and that difficulty is what defines the studio’s catalog.

On Twitter, AbleGamers Chief Operating Officer Steve Spohn noted that Rudeism’s achievement — which by all accounts took more effort than simply beating the game with a regular controller — was only possible thanks to the streamer’s manually-added accessibility options.

“I doubt this was the intent of [FromSoftware] either. And yet, [Rudeism] killed all the bosses with only 1 button. That was his point. [Accessibility didn’t] make the game cheaper. It didn’t ruin his experience. He had a blast doing it and can now claim to have beaten the game with accessibility,” said Spohn on Twitter.

Screenshot of Elden Ring
Image via Bandai Namco

FromSoftware’s hotly-anticipated title, Elden Ring, will be the studio’s next game to hit store shelves in February 2022. In an interview with Famitsu (translated by FrontlineJP.net), Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki advised that the upcoming FromSoftware title would be more forgiving than some of the studio’s other games. No further accessibility options have been confirmed.