Black Iron Tarkus is one of the most badass characters in Dark Souls, but how would he fare in the modern dating world? We signed him up to Tinder to find out — it would be his toughest challenge to date.
There exists a perilous land mortals are ever drawn to, only to experience pain and hardship. A humbling journey to find the Chosen, and rekindle a flame. I speak, of course, of the land of dating. These are the adventures of Black Iron Tarkus on Tinder.
This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.
Anyone who’s played Dark Souls - one of the best, most influential games of this era - remembers Black Iron Tarkus. By the time you meet him in game, you’ve already been introduced to the hardiness of the knights of Berenike — but only one of them had what it took to ring both legendary bells, and best the challenges that waited beyond.
Tarkus is a solid guy — and I mean that both figuratively and literally. Anyone who’s braved the traps and treasures of Sen’s Fortress will know how easily the Iron Golem at the end can knock you off the edge. And we never even get to meet Sen! But it’s cool, everyone, relax — the Golem is the one boss fight in the entire series where you can summon an NPC - my man, Tarkus - and have him completely solo the boss for you.
So I wanted to do something in return. Y’know, be a giver as well as a taker. I figure Tarkus doesn’t live a very social life — too much time spent around cathedrals, heavy clothes that make dancing really hard, and I’m pretty sure he thinks his soapstone doubles as actual soap. So I wanted to help him out a bit and find him someone special. A Priscilla in the streets, and a Quelaag in the sheets. Something to take his mind off that case of mistaken identity when he was Snapchatting Gwyndolin. I created him a dating profile.
I wrote a bio with some filler about just arriving in Sydney and enjoying long walks through the Darkroot Garden. I advised against it, but Tarkus was insistent on including a favourite quote from his friend Ornstein. Something about needing to slay a few dragons before you find your princess.
Is chivalry dead? We’d soon find out.
I wanted to make it clear within the first few messages that this was not a normal (i.e. serious) Tinder profile. People should be aware they’re talking to a knight, not just a normal pleb. To that end, I had to choose a suitable profile pic. I read a few guides on which pics do the best, and used Source Filmmaker to pose my hardened friend. We settled on a waist-high shot of Tarkus looking into the distance. I keep telling him not to duckface, but I don’t think you can tell.
But that wasn’t enough. You need more than one photo to make a Tinder profile, and I wanted to show what Tarkus is really all about. Sure, he slays demons and whatnot, but I wanted to show the fun side of Tarkus. What about that time he was just chilling at the game?
I can’t tell what tires out my thumbs more: Mashing the roll button against Gwyn, or all this endless swiping to find a match.
At last! A match! Let’s see what Cupid hath bestowed upon our warrior.
Well. I guess I should have expected there’d be a few spammers.
A few million more swipes to the right, and another person was willing to chat to Tarkus. Ooh, lots of art in their profile! At least I hoped it was a real person.
No response. Obviously isn’t familiar with the prolific work of Ariamis.
It was like after a few initial lines, they abandoned the chat. I was beginning to think people weren’t taking Tarkus seriously.
It was time to show a little more of Tarkus to increase our match rate.
Tarkus is fit. He does a lot of rolling around and lifting heavy things. We need something to show how active he is. What about a nice shot at the beach?
Alright, we’re set.
I finally found someone who wanted to have a deeper conversation. I passed Tarkus the phone and he was head over hollows.
Woohoo! I felt like Tarkus had made a new friend, and let him chat on the phone for a while. Underneath that Black Iron Helm, I could tell he was smiling.
This was great. But I reminded Tarkus to keep chatting to other people, too. Everyone on Tinder had photos that were stylised in some way, so I needed to keep up. I tried getting a snap of Tarkus lying on the bed. Something that said “Hey, you could be right next to me. Nestled against that smoooooooth iron.”
Lastly, nothing adds a bit of style like a Prisma filter. Who couldn’t love that face?!?
Alright, here we go. It was time to use an age-old dating tactic: Lowering standards.
I felt like Tarkus was getting his groove back. After all that time spent on the rooftops of Anor Londo, this guy is shingle and ready to mingle.
Who knows if Tarkus will actually meet any of these people, but I thought it’s high time to just turn things over to him. If our time on Tinder taught us anything, it’s that every single person out there likes food, hanging out with friends, good music, and is otherwise the exact same.
Good to know there are plenty of fish in the sea, then. I hope Tarkus finds someone to light his torch. After that golem fight, he’s earned it.
This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.