For years, I’ve been turning on my old PlayStation 3 Slim to play the Demon’s Souls as it’s the only platform that it’s been readily available on — despite being available to Japanese players over PS NOW, Sony’s game streaming service.
The return of the game as a remake on modern hardware is an interesting move for Sony and welcome despite my usual hesitance over games like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which was exceptionally overpriced.
So, while many of you might be familiar with Dark Souls you might be unfamiliar with the Demon’s Souls plays, its online systems, and game mechanics, so here’s a few details that you may find interesting.
The online rating system
In the original game, you could rate the spirits who you summoned into your game at the end of each multiplayer session.
The Blue Eye Stone‘s sign featured your user name and a rating from S to E with percentages. This gave summoners choice in who you were going to bring into your game, but also imposed quite a lot of bias.
But who would bring a spirit into the game that had 100% B rating when there was a 100% S rating player available? The system imposed a lot of bias in who you chose to summon and limited newer players from being chosen. You could also have done an amazing job helping a player and they still gave you a C for your effort, so it was kinda flawed.
I have a feeling that a system closer resembling Dark Souls where you summon players without knowing how good or bad they are will likely be what’s put in this system’s place.
Weapon and armour durability
Unlike Dark Souls 2 and 3, weapon and armour durability is a huge deal in Demon’s Souls as it costs a tonne to have broken items fixed.
The rarity of an item and the amount of damage it has taken determines the cost of repairs. In addition to this, returning to the Nexus, the game’s hub world, doesn’t repair your items, so if something’s broke or near to breaking then you gotta fix it.
However, there are relatively few enemies in the game that deal massive amounts of weapon durability damage, so if you’re playing Player Versus Engine the chance of your weapons being broken is relatively low.
If you play online, well, that’s another story.
The Scraping Spear deals 10 points of damage to your armour and weapon durability, and was used, mostly by trolls, to make your life harder.
The Fluted Armor chest piece has 250 durability and only takes 17 hits to destroy because armour breaks at 30% durability.
While the cost of repairing that armour is minimal, other, rarer sets like Old King Doran can cost a mint. This also affects new players quite a lot because in the early game acquiring souls can be tough.
The easy solution Scraping Spear trolls was to either play as a spirit to avoid them or just take off all of your armour, rings, and weapons then let them kill you.
I have a feeling that the power of the weapon is either going to be scaled back in the remake or the Nexus will repair nearly-broken items.
Health regeneration is viable
Unlike Dark Souls, health regeneration was actually viable in Demon’s Souls.
With the combination of a Blessed Weapon, the Regenerator’s Ring, and Adjudicator’s Shield, players could reach up to 18 health regeneration per second. So, if you have 600 HP it would take 30ish seconds to get back up to max health.
The Sanctus shield was the only item in Dark Souls that provided health regeneration, but only at 1 point per second, which is nothing.
While health regeneration is a viable when playing against the game engine, it’s much harder in player versus player gameplay.
Players can deal quite a lot of damage to you and they’ll be persistent if invading. If you’re the one doing the invading, players usually have a bevy of health regenerating items, so your regen won’t compare.
And major hurdle for health regeneration in the game is acquiring Colourless Demon Souls to upgrade items like the Adjudicator’s Shield, which I’ll get into in the next section.
World and Character Tendency
Tendency is one of the stranger game mechanics of Demon’s Souls and something that will likely return in the remake.
Character tendency is affected by online interactions. The more you invade and kill other players, the blacker your tendency. The more you help other players, the whiter your tendency.
Pure white character tendency allows you to get things like the Friend Ring from the Monumental that increases your power while playing online in soul form.
Pure black tendency will let you gain access to assassination quests, but will reduce the amount of HP you have in online play.
World tendency also influences how difficult areas of the game will be. Blacker tendency leads to harder creatures with more HP, but also increases the likelihood of rare drops. Whiter tendency has easier enemies and can also lead to certain areas becoming open to the player.
Black world tendency also leads to the appearance of Primeval Demons, which are really important if you want to upgrade special items in the game as they are one of the only ways to get Colourless Demons Souls.
If you are playing purely Player Versus Engine, I would recommend going for Pure White Tendency for both your character and your world. There are a lot of advantages to easier worlds plus it’s also easier to achieve white tendency through killing bosses.
If you want to gather rare items and make the game harder go for Pure Black Tendency. I never have, but imagine it really ups the challenge.
Unlike all of the other games in the Souls series, Demon’s Souls features item burden.
This mechanic rarely affected me while playing as you gain access to Stockpile Thomas right at the start of the game to offload all of your spare stuff.
There are also items like the Ring of Herculean Strength, which increases your capacity by 50%.
I’m really unsure if this mechanic will be coming back in the remake, but it did somewhat up the difficult of the game by making the player choose what they brought with them into the various worlds.
The frustrating bit was playing a spell or miracle focuses character yet still wanting to stockpile items.
The Broken Archstone
In Demon’s Souls, you visit other worlds by touching various Archstones: The Archstone of the Small King, The Archstone of the Burrow King, The Archstone of the Tower Queen, The Archstone of the Shadowmen, and The Archstone of the Chieftain.
But there was also a 6th broken Archstone, which could be fixed in the remake? Maybe?
In 2016, players found a bunch of unused content in the game that lead to a place call the Land of the Giants.
So there’s a bunch of cut content in the game that included creatures, so there’s a good chance players might get treated to a new world either new content or as DLC, which From Software has made a practice of doing.
The Moonlight Greatsword.
It’s in the game, but covered in slugs when you find it. Yuck.
Demon’s Souls’s return to modern PlayStation hardware is great and I’m really looking forward to playing the new version of the game.
There are a lot of mechanics in the game that I’d like to see return in the remake, but also a lot of stuff that could use some updating.
It’ll be really interesting to see what From Software decides to keep and cut from the game for the PS5.