General Overview: You’ve been to the Undead Asylum, the Undead Burg, and the Undead Parish, but how about the Undead Settlement! This sprawling, rural collection of cottages and farmhouses is a rustic backdrop for a collective of peasant hollows more than willing to show you first-hand how their farm implements work.

Design Notes: I always feel a little sad taking the unlives of non-military hollows; they were just going about their business and then you showed up with weapon in hand, cutting a swath through their fellow hollows. It gives the hollows an identity besides “enemy to be dispatched”. In this settlement, these are clearly farm workers interrupting in their work or worship. But it’s not all “nobility of the common man” in this settlement; as the player enters the area, an in-engine cutscene unfolds: one of the workers unleashes hounds on a collection of hollows—presumably trying to gain entrance—just outside the gate to the settlement.

Actually, this area is full of interesting new enemy types to separate the player from their hard-earned souls:

—the evangalists: these strange and portly demogogues will gladly drop their sermon to the masses to deliver a lesson in pain. It’s not enough that she has a mace with a long reach for close combat; she also has a deadly fiery grab and a spell-projectile with an annoyingly long range.

the cage-spiders: These are not actually spiders, but in an inventive bit of nightmare-crafting, a bunch of hollows crammed tight into a cage, with only feet and arms sticking out, the better to attack you with.

—the thralls: The hollows and knights (mostly) play fair in combat, fighting much the same way as you do (with the exception of your dodge-roll). The short, crouching thralls, on the other hand, use every dirty trick they can think of: ambushing from above, ganging up on the player, dodging and weaving to avoid your strike. However...

Nitpick: ...they quickly wear out their welcome, between this area and the Cathedral of the Deep rooftop. Once you’ve spotted one, you’ll be looking for them hiding everywhere.

Very Speculative Lore Notes: You got Undead, you got a settlement...do you need me to draw you a picture?!? OK, OK, there is more going on here than peasant hollows working the land for a pittance. To what end does the evangelist deliver her sermons to these poor souls? Perhaps it is just a ploy to keep the rabble in line. Or perhaps they are seeking some sense of meaning to their humanity-bereft lives? Or it may have something to do with the weird Mound-Makers or the goofy boss of the area, the Curse-Rotted Greatwood?

The Tourism Board recommends: This area is dense with secrets—I’m pretty sure there is a bonfire that I missed—that it seems pretty likely the player will have missed *something* on their first time through. Did you make friends with the giant in the tower? Did you find time to hang out with fan-favorite Siegward of Catarina? Did you rescue the blind cleric from her imprisonment? How about the odd pilgrim found amongst his dead kin?

The Misanthrope’s Pro-Tip: A lot of the enemies in this area are kind of weak, but you shouldn’t get overconfident; once they gang up on you, they can make quick work of even the most stalwart of souls.