Today is the day! All your friends are talking about that crazy game Demon’s Souls, and it’s finally available for purchase! That’s right, the supposed “too hard for school” action-RPG Demon’s Souls is officially hitting retailers, and I have no doubt that many people will play it for a few hours, and promptly give up.
But that’s a shame. Despite how hard the game may seem, there’s always (repeat: always) a solution to your problem. Demon’s Souls was masterfully crafted to the point where once you figure it out: you become God, and engage in one of the most rewarding gaming experiences of all time. I’m going to provide some very brief tips for you, in hopes that you’ll have that eureka moment just like myself.
Here is a typical Demon’s Souls first session:
0:05 – Oh wow! I can’t die in training! Have at you, fiends!
0:15 – FFFFUUUUUUUU I died in a hit?!
0:20 – Ok…a town…what do I buy?!
0:35 – FFFFUUUUUUUU this game is impossible I quit.
What gamers don’t realize is that if they reached the hour mark, all would be revealed. So how can you avoid failure, and enjoy one of the greatest dungeon crawlers of all time? Well, here are some things I learned by playing my press copy…
Tame non-story spoilers incoming for the few hours or so of gameplay. I’d recommend saving this article if you get stuck, and need a quick reference:
- You’re going to assume that the “Knight” class is the correct choice, because of all the videos and screenshots you’ve seen him in: he’s actually an advanced character, so don’t pick him. Pick the Soldier or the Thief: they’re the easiest to use. Keep in mind you can make any character whatever you want eventually. Just because you’re a Barbarian doesn’t mean you can’t use magic.
- Don’t skip the tutorial, and grab EVERYTHING you can find in it, as these items carry on into the main game.
- If you’re afraid that every time you want to end your game session you’ll have to somehow get back to the nexus; don’t worry. Just press start, go to the book icon option, and quit the game. You’ll restart exactly where you were before.
- Be cautious: look around for potential ambushes. They’re always the same if you die and repeat a level. Often times you can use an early arrow shot when they can’t see you (read on to find out how to use the thief ring in conjunction with this).
- As soon as you start the first level, take the left path, go up and around the large spire, and then descend it. Hit the switch to open a short cut, and make SURE you grab the “cling ring” on the bottom floor. You’ll be using this ring nearly the entire game, as it allows you to keep 75% of your health in soul form. Get used to the fact that 75% of your maximum health is going to be your “real” health.
- Go back up that same spire. See that Blue Knight? Either kill him or run past him, head down the stairs, and jump down to the raised platform below. Grab the thief ring: you’ll be using this the entire game. It prevents enemies from noticing you as much, and even works on bosses. Congratulations! You just grabbed two of the best rings in the game during your first 30 minutes of play, and saved yourself a major headache.
- After the first boss (about an hour and a half in), head back to the Nexus, speak to the Maiden In Black, and level up your Vitality stat a bunch of times (you cannot level up until the first boss is dead: the reason for vitality is because it increases your HP: ANY stat will increase defense, so if you’re having trouble, just level up). It’ll allow you to have more health when learning each level’s traps: eventually, you’ll have to learn how to maneuver around, but HP will soften the blow for now. DO NOT use any boss’s soul as currency. Save them, because alternatively, you can cash them in to vendors for super powerful unique spells (and sometimes weapons) all for free.
- Demon’s Souls players refer to each world as a “level”. Starting from the bottom staircase near Boldwin (Boletaria), that’s level “1″. Going up and around the staircase and ceasing with the Valley of Defilement, it ends with level “5″.
- In the second boss fight, defeat the archers, and use the soul arrow spell (buy this behind the level “5″ stairs) on the Tower Knight’s head when his shield is down for a VERY easy victory.
- As soon as you can, level up your “faith” stat just enough so you can store one miracle (you may already be able to do this), then buy the evacuation ability (the miracle seller is located behind Boldwin the Blacksmith). This allows you to return to the Nexus with all of your souls intact, meaning you’ll never be “scared” of losing your souls again.
- At least for the beginning of the game, never upgrade a weapon past level 3, unless you’re changing the weapon’s name (properties) entirely. If an early weapon is upgraded to level 4, it can’t evolve, and you have to use a special stone to make it level 1 again.
- After you’ve gained a few levels and beaten all of level 1, head to level 4, and find the compound long bow on a tower to the left of the keep’s entrance, and the crystal falchion to the left of the entrance gate: then run back or leave with evacuation. Press on with level 2 to meet Patches, but eventually, you’ll want to go back to level 4, head down into the basement and free him, then leave (you won’t be going back for a long while, nor will you be ready to press on). Finish level 2.
- Finally: this is the “click moment”. After you buy a few spells, get a compound long bow with plenty of arrows (buy “hard arrows” from Patches in the Nexus, after he is free), and have enough health, you’ll be nearly unstoppable. You can accomplish all this in about 3-4 hours (keep in mind the game can be up to 100 hours). Until then, just keep your wits about you, and you’ll do great!
If you own Demon’s Souls and have any tips for newcomers, feel free to leave them below.
This post is entirely for people who are having a tough time with Atlus’ latest localization, and want to blow off some steam.