I actually did finish Demon’s Souls before Elden Ring launched.
I didn’t think I could finish Demon’s Souls in my last remaining weekend, but I did. (It helped that I unexpectedly had Friday off.) (It also helped that Demon’s Souls is fairly short compared to the other Souls games.)
There was a long string of bosses that … weren’t that hard. In fact, in the last weekend, I got most of the remaining bosses on the first try, sight unseen, which was entirely unexpected. I have to assume it was from my general Dark Souls experience.
On a scale of Souls game boss mechanic difficulty, the ones in Demon’s Souls are fairly easy, as they are all one phase fights with few attack patterns, and many of them are clearly beta versions of Dark Souls bosses I’m already familiar with. In many ways, actually, Demon’s Souls is basically just an early beta version of Dark Souls.
Anyway, it’s a great game, far greater because you can now play it more-or-less intact on the PS5. (I actually felt the game was somewhat nerfed from the PS3 version, so if you want the true “original brutal challenge” experience, you’ll have to dig out your PS3 to play it.)
Anyway, here’s my final scorecard, in the order that I defeated the bosses:
- Phalanx: 1 (PS3 1)
- Tower Knight: 1 (PS3 2)
- Armored Spider: 1 (PS3 3)
- Fool’s Idol: 1 (PS3 2)
- Flamelurker: 3* (PS3 9*)
- Dragon God: 50+ holy crap so annoyingly random
- Penetrator: 5
- Leechmonger: 1
- Adjudicator: 1
- Maneater: 1 (PS3 6*)
- Old Monk: 1
- Old Hero: 1
- Dirty Colossus: 1
- Storm King: 1
- Maiden Astraea: 2
- Old King Allant: 9*
* Only counts the times I made it to the boss fight. Could be considered more attempts because these were difficult boss runs and I died a lot on the way to the fight.
I’ve begun uploading the epic video journey of completing this relatively blind playthrough of Demon’s Souls on my YouTube channel, which started all the way back in 2018. This will be a memorable game for me mostly because of the amount of time and effort that went into playing it over the years. (It wasn’t easy to boot up my old PS3 Slim, let alone record anything from it. More recently, PS5 consoles don’t exactly grow on trees.)
Weirdly, having completed the game, the PS5 achievement tally thing says I’m only 27% completed with the game. I’m not into achievements so there’s no way I’m ever going to get that to 100%.
But I’m curious to replay the game and see if I can get to Pure White and Pure Black tendencies to peek at those aspects of the game. (Some parts of the game are only unlocked under very specific criteria that aren’t easy to understand or achieve, a unique feature of Demon’s Souls which they thankfully didn’t carry forward.)
Anyway, now just waiting for Elden Ring on Friday, which I think we can all agree will definitely, positively be the RPG of the decade.
I mean, unless it’s a total misfire.
(For the record, I’m very skeptical that an open world Souls-like game is going to work as well, and I’m nervous that Elden Ring will be a second decline in From Software excellence. Sekiro was a fun game, but it has no replayability and thus it’s somewhat of a one-and-done forgettable experience compared to the Souls series, which you can load up and play again and again with different and unique playthroughs.)
Image: Maiden Astraea and Garl Vinland… daayyuuum that was almost as hard as Sif.