Dark Souls' Creator Includes A Useless Item Just To Frustrate Players
Dark Souls is famous for being soul-crushingly ruthless, but perhaps the cruelest thing about it is a pretty little unassuming necklace. See, you begin the game by choosing a "starting gift" -- items like rings that boost your health, bombs that burn up enemies, or a pendant ... that does nothing. Absolutely nothing.
The game tells you this, to be fair.
Or does it? In an interview with Famitsu magazine, Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki said he'd pick the pendant over the other items. Naturally, it didn't take long for the internet to fill up with theories about what the pendant could really do. The short description ("A simple pendant with no effect. Even so, pleasant memories are crucial to survival on arduous journeys.") was taken to mean that the object was somehow magically filled with blocked memories, like a high school yearbook. Long wiki pages and hundred-post threads were written about it, with players exhaustively exploring every niche in the game, trying to use the pendant everywhere -- multiple times, in case it finally did something when you were on your fifth playthrough.
When told about this, Miyazaki gleefully encouraged fans to keep spending a ridiculous amount of time looking for the pendant's "meaning."
The interviewer should have known something was up because that "[laughs]" lasted one hour.
Almost exactly a year after that interview, Miyazaki casually revealed the true purpose of the pendant to his expectant fans:
"When it comes to the pendant," Miyazaki said to IGN, "I actually had a little bit of an intention to play a prank."