Oscar, Knight of Astora
Dark Souls 1 Lore
Oscar, Knight of Astora. The Knight of the Undead Asylum. He who drops a corpse with the key to your freedom.
We meet him for the first time, peering out from a hole over our heads and dropping a corpse with the key to our freedom. Who exactly is the man behind our liberty?
The Asylum Knight
Oscar was likely a high-ranking to an elite knight from the land of Astora, who ventured down to the land of Lordran once he became undead.
While he is acknowledged as “Knight of the Undead Asylum” in the credits, through unused game files, we can determine he was to be named: “Oscar, Knight of Astora”.
He is the one who drops the corpse holding the “Dungeon Cell Key” into your cell. This is stated in the description of the item:
Key to the dungeon of the Undead Asylum to the North. A mysterious knight, without saying a word, shoved a corpse down into the cell, and on its person was this key. Who was this knight? And what was his purpose? There may be no answer, but one must still forge ahead.
We find ourselves with a way out of our cell, where we were sent to remain locked up until going hollow.
As we escape the cell and meet other hollows aimlessly, replicating their last useless gestures, we are ambushed by the jailer, the Asylum Demon. A horrendous beast.
We fight or escape the Demon and venture forth until we arrive at a ruined cell. In the dusk, we see the outline of a man lying down, oblivious of our presence.
While we try to find a way in and narrowly avoid a boulder crashing down the nearby stairs, it crashes through the cell wall, giving us an entrance to speak to the man inside.
It is Knight Oscar of Astora. The man who freed us. How did he end up in this cell? We look up and see a hole in the ceiling he crashed through. The Asylum Demon has found him.
We creep closer and find a man who was overthrown, bested by the Asylum Demon. He speaks to us with great difficulty:
…Oh, you… You’re no Hollow, eh? Thank goodness… I’m done for, I’m afraid… I’ll die soon, then lose my sanity…
“Then lose my sanity….” What a strange thing to say. We know one hollows only if his will and hope are gone. Is this due to the Asylum Demon’s utter victory over him? If he cannot overcome the Demon, he can never leave the Asylum and join the chosen undead on his travels. We can assume with certainty this is the reason for his hollowing.
The reasoning behind the freeing of the chosen undead becomes clear if we decide to listen to his last words, in which he states the following:
There is an old saying in my family… Thou who art Undead, art chosen… In thine exodus from the Undead Asylum, maketh pilgrimage to the land of Ancient Lords… When thou ringeth the Bell of Awakening, the fate of the Undead thou shalt know…
From this, we can deduce that the “saying” in this instance relates more to a legend passed down through at least the circle of nobility in Astora. Also, this indicates that Oscar is far from the only undead found in the lands from where he came. This is shown throughout our travels, as we meet many more undead Astoran inhabitants.
While ultimately Oscar does not live to accompany us on our travels, his final gifts to us are an “undead favourite”, the Estus Flask and the “Undead Asylum F2 East Key”.
Is this the last we see from Oscar? No.
If we decide to return to the Asylum, we find him exiting the hole in the cell wall, seemingly recovered from his injuries. We go up to him and are met with a drawn sword, shield, and a far-gone mind. He went hollow and did not recognise us anymore.
We fight him, and as a final thanks for our freedom, we put him out of his undead misery and retrieve his “Crest Shield”, thus ending the “Knight of the Undead Asylum” quest-line.
As an elite knight of Astoria, as shown by the “Elite Knight” set he wears. Oscar presents a formidable fighter. He expertly wields the longsword, the “Astora Straight Sword”, and carries one of the rare Blue Magic enchanted shields, the “Crest Shield”, which has excellent protection against magic as stated in the description:
Shield of a nameless knight, likely a high-ranked knight of Astora. One of the enchanted blue shields. The Crest Shield greatly reduces magic damage.
All these items are significantly upgraded and maintained.
A little side note showing that other Astora knights are roaming the lands of Lordran is found by way of another “Astora Straight Sword”. It can be found by the upper half of the decomposing undead dragon located in the Valley of the Drakes, together with the “Dragon Crest” shield and the “Soul of a proud knight”. This can be deduced from the following descriptions:
Straight sword of an unknown knight, likely one of Astora’s superiors. High-quality sword imbued with a powerful blessing.
Shield of a nameless knight, likely a high-ranked knight of Astora. One of the enchanted blue shields. The dragon crest shield greatly reduces fire damage.
This shows that Oscar was not the only elite knight to be sent into the lands to find out the prophecy and a possible cure to the undead curse.
In a previous version, Oscar would not have succumbed to the defeat by the Asylum Demon, and he would have found a way out of the Asylum together with you.
He would have traversed the lands of Lordran, from time to time meeting you. In the Darkroot Garden, he would have been available to accompany you to fight the band of thieves guarding the grave of Sir Artorias.
Perhaps a minor oversight by the creators of Dark Souls can be found in the description of the “Elite Knight” set found on a corpse in the Darkroot garden.
Although he was loath to give up on his Undead mission, he perished at the Undead Asylum and went Hollow.
However, as more than one Astoran Knight wore this set, it was possible that Oscar was not the only knight to turn hollow at the Asylum.
How a hollow undead would escape the Asylum and end up in Darkroot Garden is a mystery. Perhaps another hollow took it from the corpse of another elite Astoran Knight. One can only speculate.
After the team-up in Darkroot Garden, as you advanced through Anor Londo and collected the Lord’s souls, you would ultimately have to defy him as he would always choose the other side of the coin.
When siding with Frampt:
I have waited for thee… Foolish slave of the Gods, and pawn of Frampt… I will kill you… And become the true Dark Lord…
When siding with Kaathe:
So, it was you… I had a feeling… I shall destroy you, as fate has commanded me… Foolish pawn of Darkstalker Kaathe… And fiendish Dark Lord…
Oscar, the elite Knight of Astora. The follower of the prophecy.
He who opened the path for the chosen undead but was fated to die, always.