One of Dark Souls' weirdest bugs is likely Microsoft Excel's fault

Dark Souls' Chosen Undead stands in front of a campfire.
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Dark Souls players are rediscovering how a critical bug is the fault of Microsoft Excel.

Somehow, the preceding sentence is true. Last week, one relative Dark Souls newcomer reached out on Twitter to ask why they were seeing a player transform into a vampire in a coffin whenever a gauntlet-based weapon attack landed on the opposing player in PvP combat.

The Dark Souls veteran, below, was swift to remind everyone that this is a bug and that it comes about through Microsoft Excel. Everyone was sort of a bit taken aback on Twitter, having a hard time believing the bug was the fault of Microsoft Excel, but the user proved it in a follow-up video.

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That video can be seen below. Now, if you didn't already know, the coffin stab animation for the player originates from the Catacombs area, where the player climbs into a coffin to reach the Gravelord Servant Covenant, lying down on the ground with their arms over their chest.

When the player is in the coffin, they receive a special status effect that designates that they're open to being stabbed in the animation by another player. It's this effect that's mistakenly applied to a region near Quelana in Blighttown, meaning that if the player is backstabbed in this area, the coffin stab animation plays out, entirely by mistake.

This effect also comes with another feature: hiding the player from enemies. This is an effect enabled by Quelana, as the character can temporarily enable the "hide player" status effect to stop the player being swarmed by enemies while talking to her.

FromSoftware, like many developers around the world, use Microsoft Excel in the development process. What's very likely happened here is that a FromSoftware developer wanted to replicate the "hide player" effect while the player is near Quelana, and didn't notice that the effect also carried with it the hidden coffin stab feature in Microsoft Excel's two-dimensional grid format.

And so, the player is hidden from enemies while near Quelana, but also open to the coffin stab feature that comes from the Gravelord Servant Covenant route. It's all absolutely barmy, and is a pretty good luck at how game development can go so very wrong in any number of unpredictable manners. We can't help but wonder if this feature will ever be patched out of Dark Souls.

Elsewhere in weird errors, Elden Ring has revived Dark Souls 3's infamous frontstab backstab animation via a recent patch. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.