Bluepoint Games’s gorgeous next-gen remake of the game that laid the groundwork for a new kind of tough but fair action RPGs, launches today. For those brave new souls who wish to take on the challenge that is Demon’s Souls for the first time, we have put together an adventurer’s guide to get you started on your incredible quest. Please be aware that it may contain minor spoilers.
Souls are everything
The souls you harvest from fallen foes are the central currency of this bleak, oppressive world; you’ll use them to level up and to purchase items at vendors. If you die, and can’t survive the battle back to where you were slain, it’s gone. Forever.
Death is not the end
Death will come knocking, and you will lose all those precious souls. The sooner you come to grips with this fact, the sooner you’ll learn that every journey through a level is a learning experience – one meant to teach you the location of hazards, enemies and their attack patterns.
Your quest has many roads
Upon your arrival in the Nexus, you’ll be greeted by five Archstones leading to distant lands. Each of these lands contain roads that progressively become more dangerous, always ending in a demonic battle. The leftmost Archstone is generally considered where a novice adventurer starts and ends their quest.
Demon’s Souls’ level design is ornate, and littered with ways to help shorten your arduous quest, though they’re not always easy to discover. It’s hard to overstate how much of a relief it is to find a lever or ladder that leads you back to an Archstone portal.
Watch what you are carrying
Keeping your encumbrance in check offers massive gains in the distance you can roll and how far you can sprint. Your total item weight is viewable in your inventory; yellow means you’re becoming encumbered and you might want to drop something, while red means you’ll move like a corpse in the ichor of the Valley of Defilement.
Don’t worry too much about being whole or a soul
When you die your human body will be replaced with a walking ghost, your soul form. Whilst in Body Form you possess your full lifeforce, in Soul Form your ghostly remains can only muster half, but don’t get too hung up on trying to restore your humanity. It’ll happen automatically after defeating a great demon. Soul Form is where you will mainly exist, and it’s easier to wrap your head around that being the “true” amount of life you have rather than expending valuable items to stay human.
Upon accepting your quest, you will be asked to choose a class. Your character’s only limitation on weapons, armor and sorceries are stat points, so you’re free to upgrade and experiment as much as you like. Over time you can learn and evolve, developing new skills to become the Slayer of Demons.
That said, the Royalty class is without question the “easiest”choice for a new adventurer who would brave the lands of Demon’s Souls. Royalty is blessed with a catalyst and a knowledge of the dark arts and spells. With the ability to lock onto enemies with a click of L3 and fling Soul Arrows from afar, enemies have to close the distance to do damage. The focus on ranged attacks makes it a good fit for the more cautious adventurer.
Hopefully this guide has given you a few handy hints as to how you’ll start your game. Much of the fun (and tension) of Demon’s Souls lies in not knowing what’s around the corner, so care was taken not to spoil things too much. There is something absolutely fundamental that can ruin a new player’s game for good, though, so we’ll spoil the surprise. NPCs – that is people you can actually talk to instead of bludgeoning to death on sight – can be killed or turned hostile.
This includes an innocent wayward button press while setting down the DualSense wireless controller, and once an NPC is gone, they’re gone for good. This can mean losing out to entire storefronts for the rest of the game, so be on guard while near a friendly face or you may pay the ultimate price.
Eager to know more? Read an expanded version of this guide at PlayStation.com.