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Every now and then I hear a bell tolling in Dark Souls. Is this other people ringing the awakening bell? Do I gain any buffs from this event (like I do when someone kindles a bonfire)?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, according to other players of the game, you'll hear the bell ringing if you're playing online and someone else online rings the bell.

It doesn't appear to have any effect on your game, although the interactions between games in Dark Souls is a bit mysterious and I don't have any authoritative sources confirming this.

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