Culture

Streamer Beats Dark Souls 3 With Insane Morse Code Controller

October 25, 2021

To raise awareness for The AbleGamers Foundation, Streamer Rudeism built a single-button Morse code controller to beat Dark Souls 3.

Difficulty in games has long been a necessary topic among developers and players. While many games have several difficulty settings, there are still a number of them that stick to a single, challenging difficulty level.

Though this may not be a huge issue for many gamers, difficulty settings are incredibly important when it comes to accessiblity. Settings translate differently to different people, even more so for those with disabilities.

So, to raise awareness surrounding accessbility in games, streamer Rudeism took on a wild challenge – beat the notoriously difficult Dark Souls 3 using a self-built unconventional controller.

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RUDEISM’S MORSE CODE CONTROLLER

To prepare for the challenge, Rudeism built a controller that would take input in the form of Morse code. Mapping different Morse code elements to different in-game actions, he was able to play Dark Souls 3 with just a single button. His playthrough was originally to raise donations for The AbleGamers Foundation, which works to improve accessibility in video games.

Originally, he had started out with a simple button rigged up with cables and tape. Now, he’s graduated to a complete controller with the button sitting in a sleek wooden box. Overall, it’s an neat little feat of physical game modding that helped him defeat all 19 bosses in the game.

Aside from the difficulty of memorizing and using Morse Code, Rudeism struggled mainly with reaction timing. His controller used a 250ms delay so that it could properly process his inputs. Though, many of the Dark Souls bosses relied heavily on quick time reactions.

Overall, combining camera movement along with different battle strategies made some bosses near-impossible. Additionally, Rudeism experienced no small number of instant kills, largely due to the difficult reaction times.

Even though he knew what exactly was needed to succeed, Dark Souls 3 was just not built to accomodate means of play that are unconventional to abled players.

ACCESSBILITY THROUGH DIFFICULTY SETTINGS

After all this, Rudeism’s main goal here was to show that a single difficulty setting can be wildly different to different players. For example, a differently-abled player may actually have to use an unconventional system like the Morse code controller. This leads to an entirely different experience, one that is much harder and more frustrating.

All in all, games with just one difficulty setting provide a much greater barrier of entry to players with disabilities. By building several settings, games can truly be more accessible to a wider range of players. In this way, developers can create a more welcoming space within the game industry for players of all abilities.

So far, Rudism’s stated that he’ll soon be tackling Dark Souls 3 DLC content as well. To support his efforts, check out his Twitch channel and his YouTube channel. To learn more about accessibility in games, check out The AbleGamers Foundation, which works to empower the lives of differently-abled gamers around the world.

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Natalie Schmidt
@bynatalies

Natalie (She/Her) is a writer and game design enthusiast hailing from way-too-sunny Los Angeles. She loves to dissect game narrative and analyze mechanics, but she doesn’t even want to think about how many hours she’s spent playing D&D or The Witcher 3. Aside from triple-A adventures, she’s passionate about RPGs of all kinds and meaningful representation in games

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