There was a short run, a tap of R2, and a massive swing of a greatsword, and Aldia, the hideous abomination known as the Scholar of the First Sin, went down in a fiery gust of wind. The fight took five tries. I was still surrounded by phantoms--wild, fearless NPCs who chipped at the Scholar even as they burned alive standing too close. I was draped in the armor of a dead enemy, the Smelter Demon, one of the myriad moments when Dark Souls II threatened to break my spirit in half. I stood in an empty arena while the disembodied spectre of Aldia gave his last lecture on the nature of good and evil. And it was right at that moment that Dark Souls II and I finally, truly saw each other.