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How Alita: Battle Angel Had Dark Souls Fans Doing Double Takes

Based on Yukito Kishiro's manga Battle Angel Alita and the anime adaptation that followed, 2019's Alita: Battle Angel takes place in the far-flung future of 2563, three centuries after a war dubbed "The Fall" leaves Earth a shell of its former self. Post-war, cyborg technology remains an integral part of human lives, a sport called Motorball keeps the masses entertained, and love is still love. In order to move on with his own life after his daughter's untimely passing, Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) restores a discarded cyborg girl he finds and names her Alita (Rosa Salazar) after his late daughter.

Having lost all memory of who she was before Ido restored her, Alita has no choice but to forge forward even as flashbacks from a previous life encroach on her consciousness. Along the way, Alita crosses paths with Vector (Mahershala Ali), head of the Motorball tournament she eventually takes part in, powerful figure in Iron City's government body The Factory, and dangerous crime lord. Unbeknownst to Alita, Hugo (Keean Johnson), the boy she finds herself falling for, works for Vector, making her relationship with the antagonist twice as complicated as it otherwise would've been.

Story significance aside, eagle-eyed Alita: Battle Angel viewers noticed something interesting on one of Vector's fingers. That something won't mean much to everyone watching the film, but some fans see a connection. Speaking on Reddit, fans of FromSoftware's seminal video game series Dark Souls have a sneaking suspicion about an Easter egg afoot (ahand?).

A cyborg's enemy, a goddess' tears

From Demon's Souls to Dark Souls III, players can equip magical rings to aid them in their journeys. Each ring has a story behind it that players can read in the item description menu, and each has its own use on (and sometimes off) the field of battle. Havel's Ring, for example, was worn by men under the leadership of the knight Havel, allowing them to carry more equipment than they'd normally be able to. Whether an Easter egg or pure coincidence, it looks like Vector is wearing one of these rings: the Blue Tearstone Ring.

It looks slightly different in Dark Souls II, but Vector's ring bears an uncanny resemblance to the Blue Tearstone Ring in both Dark Souls and Dark Souls III. Thought to be a solidified tear of the goddess Caitha, the ring increases players' defense when their health is dangerously low. It sounds useful on paper, but in practice, many Dark Souls veterans would tell you it's one of the worst rings to wear, as buffed defense almost doesn't matter by the time the ring kicks into gear. As an early-game item, however, it's better than nothing.

Alita: Battle Angel and Dark Souls fans alike may never know whether Vector's costume designer had FromSoftware in mind when giving Mahershala Ali the ring, but it's always fun to speculate and draw parallels. Either way, if it really is the Blue Tearstone Ring, it doesn't do much for Vector's defense once Alita finally catches up to him.