If the bone shattering difficulty and dark fantasy style weren't already enough to establish FromSoftware's Souls series' identity, then how about the creepers who populate them? Both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls have their fair share of interesting faces to stumble across, and Dark Souls II is looking no different.

A new gallery released by Namco Bandai shows off a handful of character art for the latest gathering of offbeat wayfarers. Undead blacksmiths, hunched granny merchants, noble knights, and roguish vixens alike. It even has a name for each of them.

New characters:

  • Three old ladies and the Housekeeper: Milibeth.
  • Emerald Herald, the mysterious lady.
  • One of the few Drangleic survivors who wanders endlessly with his furniture on his back: Merchant Hag Melentia.
  • A cursed lost undead blacksmith: Blacksmith Lenigrast.
  • Maughlin the Armourer, a Merchant from the West.
  • A cursed Knight from Mirrah: Lucatiel of Mirrah.
  • An apostle called blue knight: Blue Sentinel Targray.

New items, features and places:

  • The Deep Pit, a complicated three dimensional map.
  • An Iron-Barred Gondola that will lead the player to new adventures.
  • Majula, a place at the extremity of Drangleic.
  • A Human Effigy, an item that could save more than one life.

If the new NPCs were not enough to work your nerves, how about some of those bosses? A giant hooded troll being steered by a faceless rider or an axe-wielding mummy. And, maybe it's just me, but most of these screenshots feature plenty of green-skinned undead beings. Could zombies be an issue in this latest game too?

Dark Souls II will be released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on March 11.

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