Dark Souls' Dodge Roll Would Get You Killed In Real Life

Dark Souls' Dodge Roll Would Get You Killed In Real Life

Think the dodge roll, a video game avoidance manoeuvre popularised by everything from Dark Souls to Legend of Zelda, is the height of armed combat, a stroke of tactical genius? This swordsman says you're very, very wrong.

Now, a comparison. Video game:

Dark Souls' Dodge Roll Would Get You Killed In Real Life

Real life:

Dark Souls' Dodge Roll Would Get You Killed In Real Life

Yeaaaaah. Turns out that it doesn't take much effort to turn a blade slightly and send someone's head rolling from their rolling body. Bummer.

Actual sword dodging is a much simpler, more efficient motion, as one wrong move in a sword fight can mean instant death or a small cut that really stings a lot, especially if salt gets in it. For example, as demonstrated in the video:

Dark Souls' Dodge Roll Would Get You Killed In Real Life

Skall, the YouTuber behind the video, goes on to question why game designers don't just model dodging accurately, with slight movements and short hops instead of ponderously slow rolls. Admittedly not all games feature the dodge roll, but there are definitely upsides to it — reasons it's become so popular.

For one, it's not just an avoidance technique in games. It also covers distance, allowing players to re-position themselves in a big way or even briefly disengage from combat entirely. This makes for a greater range of possible tactical maneuvers and — on top of that — players can move out of striking range and readjust, rethink their attack plan, if need be. Combat can be overwhelming. The dodge roll is a remedy to that.

It's also satisfying. All that motion, all that power, smooshed into a tiny man-ball shaped explosion of movement. It feels good — arguably better than a quick side or back-step, although it depends on how those mechanics are designed too.

Those are just some quick reasons for the dodge roll's popularity in games despite its absurd impracticality. And while dodge rolling definitely falls under the purview of "kids, don't try this at home (unless you have a death wish)," that hasn't stopped some people from attempting it in real combat scenarios anyway. Case in point:

Dark Souls' Dodge Roll Would Get You Killed In Real Life


    Also true for archery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zGnxeSbb3g

    Gawd! Come on! Everybody knows the reason why dodging is effective is because of invincibility frames.

    That MMA guy isn't rolling over to dodge anything he is rolling for a kneebar, hence you see his arm stick out and try and grab his leg when he is doing the first roll.

    Edit: The second one was trying to get away I suppose but he didn't have a lot of option from there.

    Last edited 02/10/14 3:18 pm

      Nah, man. He was rolling over for a KFC double-down! :)

      That's actually the name of his special move...

    in the guys defense, he is telegraphing his attack like a dark souls boss too, i.e. following you through your roll and still hitting you even though he had no intention of striking the location you ended up at when he first wound up the string

    Against a human it might be ineffective, but what about enemies two stories tall with the stopping power and agility of a semi-trailer?

    They don't use small dodges because it's super hard to animate tight sword play. Link doesn't get hit by the sword it passes through him and he loses some life. The movement has to be large and exaggerated because if it's not then odds are the sword is going to pass through him resulting in a miss that looks exactly the same as a hit.

    Real life doesn't have i-frames


    Dodging in video games undermines the character hit detection and reaction mechanisms. Thus its very good in games. I wonder if they will allow for it in Kingdom Comes game, since they are trying to be realistic, hopefully they can just make the AI come up to you during the roll and clip you one as per first vid/gif above.

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