The player-named protagonist of the Black Souls series is a male "Chosen Undead" who battles fantastical beings based on popular fairy tales and children's novels. While the player can choose between different classes (three in Black Souls 1 and nine in Black Souls 2), he is most commonly depicted as an armored knight.
The protagonist is also known as Grimm, after the real-life Grimm brothers who collected many fairy tales. This name is actually a major spoiler, but the true context behind it is only revealed at the end of the game.
Black Souls is a series of Japanese adult games created by Ini Mini Mani Mo in RPG Maker, and is best described as "a Dark Souls-inspired RPG Maker with fairy tale waifus, sex scenes, and horror elements". The game shares similar mechanics to its inspiration, such as an open-world map, multiple endings, punishing difficulty, and bonfires. As a hentai RPG Maker game, the protagonist engages in sex scenes with the female characters through several means: by feeding souls (leveling up), forming a covenant, or attempting to rape them; the last option causes the female to be imprisoned / killed if successful.
In Black Souls 1, should the player decide to enter "Grimm" (case-sensitive) in the name selection prompt, a special dialogue will trigger: Alice will refer to the player as "Lord Grimm" / "Grimm-sama", saying he remembered his true name - but an unseen character interferes and sends the player back to the title screen.
The sequel Black Souls 2 replaces the "Sin" counter with a new value called "Sen", which affects how the protagonist perceives and interacts with the overworld. A high Sen is considered "Sane" and allows the player to interact normally with the world. On the other hand, dropping Sen to zero and below will prevent the player from talking to most people and will cause certain enemies to spawn, but is needed in certain areas and events in order to obtain some of the game's endings.
Black Souls 2 End Game Spoilers
During the events needed to get the hidden endings (Ends F and G), Red Riding Hood and Leaf will call the protagonist Grimm regardless of what the player names him, which confirms that it's his real name.
King of /v/
Black Souls gained a cult following in 4chan's /v/ and /vrpg/ boards because of its replay value and dense lore content, and partly because of the positive reception of Dark Souls in the site. The game threads soon earned a reputation for being spoiler-heavy, with many paragraphs being obscured by black bars as if someone was reading classified documents from some top secret agency. Most anons call the protagonist by his true name, Grimm. Even though it's technically a spoiler, it's also the closest the protagonist has to a "canon name" in the story, so fans will use that name for convenience's sake.
Grimm first appeared in the 2020 King tournament where he failed to qualify for the bracket at 85 votes. The undead finally qualified in 2021 as a #32 seed, but lost in round 2 to Castlevania's Dracula. He will next be eligible for the 2022 contest.
|King of /v/|
|2021 - seed 32|
|Ro128||(97) King Dice||599 - 560||Cuphead||51.7%|
|Ro64||(33) Dracula||520 - 687||Castlevania||43.1%|
Grimm rose to prominence in tournament lore during King of /v/ 2021 when anons decided to create alliances based on common characteristics, in hopes of propping their picks up for the tournament. Among these groups was "Team Schizo", an alliance of vidya characters with mental problems. Grimm was selected as the team's frontman because of his role in Black Souls 2, where he obsesses over Alice's whereabouts, and can choose to drop his "sanity" below zero. Along the way, he was partnered with fellow RPG Maker protagonist, Batter from Off, who ironically doesn't explicitly suffer from any mental illnesses. Some anons noticed that Grimm and Batter provide a nice contrast towards each other, like Grimm's corrupted undeath against Batter's purity.
Grimm soon became a popular subject of fan arts posted in the threads, such as crossovers with the I Have No Mouth adventure game (which features an insane supercomputer) and his friendship with Batter. After barely winning his fight against King Dice, the undead faced Count Dracula in round 2 and failed to stop him from gathering many votes, resulting in his elimination. Grimm's loss was mourned by his fans, and several drawfags decided to depict his death with Batter, who swore to take home the championship for Grimm and Team Schizo's sake.
As a result, Batter's popularity in the tournament received a sizable boost from Black Souls fans who desired to see the Off protagonist fulfill his promise. After overcoming a series of vocally-supported guys and meme picks, Batter's campaign reached its peak in the final match against famous villain Dr. Eggman. In the famous Team Schizo Gurren Lagann parody fan art, Grimm was depicted as the "Kamina" to Batter's "Simon" since Grimm's performance in the bracket was similar to Kamina's fate in the anime — fallen early on, but still lives on in people's hearts forever.
For more images, visit the booru.