It's possible for the player to hear the bell ring while online by other players from across in-game worlds.
Originally planned to be titled 'Dark Race' but the name was decided against to avoid controversy. 'Dark Ring' was suggested for its relationship to the dark sign on players' character, but again discarded as the name was found to be profound English slang. 'Dark Souls' was the last resort by FROM SOFTWARE to name the title despite it appearing as the most obvious choice from gamers' perspectives given that the game is the spiritual successor of Demon's Souls.
Several characters from Demon's Souls return again in Dark Souls, albeit, slightly altered which could simply be a nod to Demon's Souls or suggests that the worlds of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are intertwined in time and reality, which is the main plot of Dark Souls.
The Black Knight Greatsword has a completely different name in the German release, instead called "Sword of the Dragonslayer". This could be a reference to the popular manga and anime Beserk (1997). The main character wields a Dragonslayer sword to kill demons which is represented in game as a damage bonus against Demon bosses.
Is the spiritual successor to the PlayStation 3 exclusive Demon's Souls, although Dark Souls is multiplatform being on the Xbox 360 and PC as well as the PlayStation 3.