I Love How Mimics Work In The Dark Souls Series

The mimic is a unique video game monster in the Dark Souls universe. These games reward players who pay attention and punish players who cavalierly make their way through the world. The mimic is the ultimate encapsulation of that design ideal.

It cute.Image: Dark Souls 3 Wiki (Dark Souls 3 Wiki)

Mimics, well, mimic chests in the game, and when you go to open the chest their toothy maw flies open, their long arms come out, and they give you the chomp. It's amazing. If you're diligent and patient, you can look for the tell-tale chain on the side of the mimic.

If it is a real chest, it's curled. Longer and uncurled? That's a mimic. If you want to be sure, you can hit the chest one time, testing its murdering capacities. A serious Souls player will tell you that you can always avoid a mimic, and they're right, but who hasn't been surprised at least once by these tricky enemies?

A video from YouTuber LynxManager showing the entire mimic experience.

When you catch a true mimic experience in the wild it's magical. My friend Danni and I are playing through Dark Souls III on Twitch after completing Dark Souls, Dark Souls II, and Bloodborne in the same way.

It's a great way to play the game, and the hints and lore discussion from viewers keeps it interesting even through the slow parts and the deaths. A sort-of-friendly person invaded us and this happened:

There were a million things that we could have done here. Don't follow the invader, maybe, and we definitely could have checked the chest to look for signs of mimicry. But we didn't, so we were eaten, and we had a great time being punished for our mistake.

What's amazing by the mimic experience is that it almost always feels like a punchline to the joke of a Souls experience. You've developed all of these skills and worked so hard only to be one-shotted by something you could have avoided if you were a little more aware of your surroundings.

Mimics are the ultimate facepalm moments, totally avoidable and yet (seemingly) always getting us when we least expect it, a punishment for our greed and hubris.

More than that, I think that the mimic might be the best thing in the Dark Souls games. As an enemy, they are the perfect encapsulation of what the game wants you to be learning and paying attention to. They are the smallest recognisable unit of "the Souls experience" and they drive home the themes of risk vs reward, safety vs danger and patience vs progress that are so often held up as virtues of the games and the broader genre that they have inspired.


Comments

    Wait, are you saying chest mimics, a monster that’s been around since 1st edition D&D and has been in the majority of RPGs since the beginning of video games, is unique to Darksouls?
    Fuck me.

      Came here to post this. Am not disappointed.
      Unbelievable.

        Came for same thing. Amazing research displayed in this article.

        Is there an alternative to Kotaku? I think I need to be done with this place. Some of the contributors seem either too young to be writing about video games in a holistic fashion or like they’re too scared to criticise bigger players in the industry.
        The credibility has gone. Eight years I’ve been coming here. And in the past year, it has just turned into video game Scientology.

          I currently use.
          The verge, Gamespot and cnet.
          I'm rarely here now, ditched giz ages ago because of "science" articles like, Uranus smells like farts.

            I started getting Kotaku fatigue when I first saw Snacktaku. What the shit is that fat fuck enabling bullshit? Then that article bagging out Earthworm Jim that read like a wonky GameFAQs message board post by a teenager born in 2001.
            Now there’s the whole promotion of Sea of Thieves (something smells there) and the fact Evan Narcisse writes for Marvel and articles discussing Marvel seem to be careful with words in order to keep his career safe or something.
            The last two are probably paranoia based, but it’s where my brain has been taken. Because integrity is dying here.

              Hey downvoters: leave a comment with WHY you don’t like what I said.I’m kind enough to share my admittedly non-polite frustrations with site, but own your shit. Have guts and dont be a bloodgulching pussy.

                Because one is a fan boy with a crush for a certain writer here.

                  Former writer but yes, Who doesnt love Luke Plunkett

          I've noticed the really bad stuff is the stuff posted from US Kotaku which is Gawker. All their sites have gone downhill since most of the good writers left.

          io9 used to be great now its blogging clickbait headlines with no substance. Writer's agendas and bias towards certain brands or cinematic universes is blatantly obvious.

      It's gets worse when you realise the writer loves the Baldurs Gate series....that had Mimics also.

      Talk about how to ruin your streets of rage cred in one article.

        Checked the US Kotaku post. People have said same things and he is well aware of mimics in history but states this article is quite obvious its about their uniqueness in Dark Souls....the fact he has to explain it means it wasn't communicated well.

          It means he wrote poorly and failed communicating. I honestly don’t believe he knew mimics are a fantasy RPG trope. Otherwise he’d have edited.

          I suspected it might be, from the phrasing "unique monster *in* the DS universe" rather than unique *to*. But still, it isn't made particularly clear.

      "The mimic is a unique video game monster in the Dark Souls universe."

      It looks like none of the commenters here can read. It doesn't say "unique to", it says "unique in", meaning that there's no other enemy in Dark Souls that's like the mimic. It really is unique in Dark Souls. There are a bunch of fast moving small enemies, and many lumbering tanks, but none others behave like the mimic does.

      I came to post the same thing (and I played 1st Edition in HS, because, yes, I'm that old).

      But it's not even DnD, it's also not even new in video games. In Mabongi they have they have the same thing. I'm sure other games do, too.

    Uhh mimics aren't even vaguely unique to Dark Souls

      Uhh - it doesn't say they are unique "to" Dark Souls, it says they are unique "in" Dark Souls - learn to read!

    If it is a real chest, it's curled. Longer and uncurled? That's a mimic. If you want to be sure, you can hit the chest one time, testing its murdering capacities.Or you watch for it slightly opening its mouth, or you can throw down a LLoyd's talisman.

      Yeah not even to mention the weird writing that implies DaS invented it, can't believe the OP didn't even mention or probably notice that the Mimic breathes.

      Or if your experience is anything like mine was in Dark Souls 2, you know exactly when a chest is a mimic because it's surrounded by a ton of bloodstains and messages from other players - meaning that you pay close attention any such chest and thus never get sprung by a single one.

    "The mimic is a unique video game monster in the Dark Souls universe."

    I'll agree that it was confusingly written, but it doesn't say that mimics are unique to DS. It says that in the DS games, mimics are unique as a monster. They function differently to any other monster in the series.
    Granted, you need to get that through context clues, rather than a clearly worded sentence. But it is there.

    Man a lot of you took this article to heart huh? Yikes...

    I just got chomped by a mimic in the Tiny Tina DLC for borderlands to
    Damn I am loving that DLC

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