“IT IS FUCKING OVER. I AM GOD. GOOD FUCKING NIGHT” reads the description of YouTuber DarklyInDarkness’s latest video, which he posted on Wednesday night. The video shows the streamer accomplishing what no Guitar Hero player before him has ever done: not missing a single note (known as a Full Combo or FC) on “Soulless 4,” one of the most ridiculously difficult Guitar Hero tracks ever created.
“Soulless 4” is one of a series of notoriously challenging, user-created tracks by player ExileLord. The tracks have never been released commercially with Guitar Hero, and are modded into the game by diehard players who want an extra challenge. PCGamer once described “Soulless 4” as being “like a ROM hack designed specifically to break the hearts (or fingers) of anyone who comes near it.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, a perfect run of the song has never been completed, until now.
“I've been playing for around nine years or so”, DarklyInDarkess told Motherboard over Discord. “I've been on and off trying to get ‘Soulless 4’ since around the song actually released, back around 2015 when taps were just modded into Guitar Hero 3. Songs like ‘Soulless 4’ were mind-blowing to everyone in the community. It's been a 3 year effort for me.”
“Soulless 4” is 12 minutes long and requires different playing techniques to complete, such as tapping, rake strumming, and rake tapping. It’s been the subject of much anguish in the Guitar Hero community. Many of the near-impossible elements of “Soulless 4” only exist to show off modifications that ExileLord built into his Guitar Hero mod, such as tap notes that require two hands to hit.
The pursuit to conquer the Soulless tracks has been ongoing for years, but it was only last year that DarklyInDarkness completed the first ever full combo run of Soulless 2, which was also assumed to be impossible at the time.
Acai, another Guitar Hero YouTuber who gained virality for his amusing run of Travis Scott’’s “Sicko Mode,” published a video in January 2018 explaining exactly why he thought, at the time, that “Soulless 4” wasis impossible and would never be FC’d. His video showed that certain segments and transitions of the song require near-impossible feats of luck and skill that would be hard enough to do in isolation, let alone in sequence.
Darkly and Acai’s very public competition for the first Soulless 2 FC run generated a lot of traction on YouTube and Twitch. The buzz helped to reignite the Guitar Hero online community and get people interested in the Soulless songs again, 8 years after the release of Soulless 2. “ I don't think you can say that about many other Guitar Hero customs, if any at all. The Soulless series has had that effect on the community.”
“The significance of a feat like FCing ‘Soulless 4’ is something that has revived the [ _Guitar Hero_][Guitar Hero] community in a way.” DarklyInDarkness told us. “The score battles between [other players] and myself are one of the most active periods of the community I’ve seen in a very long while. People get very invested over’ Soulless 4’ and it shows.”
Now that “Soulless 4” has been beaten, there is yet another mountain for diehard Guitar Hero players to climb. In July, ExileLord released “Soulless 5,” a longer and more difficult addition to the Soulless track series. DarklyInDarkness said he’s going to lay off it for now, though.
“I myself personally do not like playing that song, nor do the people who really have the skill to do it,” he told me. “I don't think we'll be seeing ‘Soulless 5 done’ in the near future.”
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