For those unaware Demon’s Souls is the precursor to the modern Souls series. It debuted in October 2009 to little fanfare and became a cult hit. It was a Playstation exclusive and thus doomed to be a niche hit. I’ll be honest I never would have picked it up myself had my brother not convinced me that the latest Atlus title that year was worth checking out. He had me sold on the notion that it was for hardcore gamers, which as a self-professed hard core gamer I relished in the challenge.
I did poorly. I died numerous times on the opening level and rage quit for a few weeks. I even openly considered chewing out my brother for convincing me to get it. However once I gave it another go a few weeks later I doggedly learned the game’s mechanics and like many in Souls franchise relished in defeating my first boss that November.
By the time I finished my quest through Boletaria I was transformed from a self-professed hardcore gamer to one of the chosen who actually beat a Souls game. Trust me once you beat that first final boss you know you earned it in the Souls series. I also thought Dark Souls was incredible easy when I picked it up in 2011 because I had already been tempered in the fires of Souls combat.
Here are my tips for all Souls fans looking to tackle the challenge of Demon’s Souls. It is also for any curious fans who want some extra help with the challenge. I learned this all through trial and error. Reading about them is much better. I will note that these hints are PVE focused as PVP was not quite as developed in this game.
This is mostly up to you. As with most Souls games you can pretty much make your character into what you want. Plus PVP and online play were really in their prototype phases here. So there is no reason to limit your character other than for a challenge (I beat Old King Allant at level 13 for example just to see if I could). If you are looking for it to be really easy and are unsure pick the Royalty class. They start with Soul Arrow and a Fragrant Ring (it regenerates MP) which can make easy work on almost every enemy you face early on. I typically pick the Temple Knight. He sports an armor that is rather expensive to buy later on and comes with a healing spell.
This is the main tip I give to any new Souls series player. The Souls series is not your typical RPG by any means. Sure you can beat it by typical grinding like any other RPG, but that is doing things the hard way (Trust me I did it that way first as well). This series is less about raw brawn (physical or magical) and more about knowing what resources to pick up where. It’s much more useful to know how to build a Blessed Longsword+5 than it is to have 30 Strength.
World Tendency and Character Tendency
This one is difficult to explain. It was an abandoned concept in the rest of the series so it may seem completely foreign to those playing Dark Souls. It basically works like this your Tendency is given a value and appears between Pure White and Pure Black. Each tendency has different perks.
Whiter worlds typically give the player more health and have easier enemies who do less damage. You also tend to get healing item drops more often. Pure White worlds also have special bonuses as many places give you access to special weapons with debris being moved and ladders appearing (two examples are the Magic Sword Mokoto and the Dragon Bone Smasher).
Blacker worlds leave you with less health, you do less damage, and enemies have more health and power. You also tend to get better drop rates of weapons and other rare items so it’s not without its perks. Black Phantoms will also appear as normal enemies in nearly Pure Black Worlds. Also the Prime Evil Demon with its precious Colorless Demon Soul appears in the Purest Black worlds.
Online World Tendency works a little different. It took me a bit to recognize this but there is a huge difference in playing online than offline. I leave it up to you as to which to choose. For the most part online play will average your Soul Tendency on the servers when you load your game. This skews towards white normally. Which does help you initially.
Be warned however this will mess up your Pure White Tendency upon reload. What happens is that it actually downgrades your world from Pure White to White. While it may look similar, this means that any treasures you would have had access to are now inaccessible. So basically as soon as you achieve a Pure White world try and get the treasures on that World.
It also happens to Pure Black worlds though that is much easier to remedy. You just die again in body form. After you’ve killed all the bosses they don’t respawn, so there is no getting Pure White back this play through once it’s gone.
Character Tendency works similar to the World Tendency however it is achieved differently. It should be noted that the darker you become the less HP you will have. At Pure White Tendency you get a special ring from the Monumental, at Pure Black you get access to Mephistopheles’ quest line.
You gain White World Tendency by killing bosses and Prime Evil Demons. You gain Black World Tendency by dying in Body form using the Stone of Ephemeral Eyes. You gain White Character Tendency by killing Black Phantoms and Prime Evil Demons. You gain Black Character Tendency by killing NPCs or other invading other players.
It is actually quite similar to the hollow form in later series with one caveat, it halves your HP. Despite this I recommend you staying in soul form for the most of your play through. It does negate any invasion you might have by black phantom which is either positive or negative. The reason I recommend doing so is to preserve your critical World Tendency especially if you haven’t collected the treasures of a Pure White World yet. I cannot stress this enough, if you waste your Pure White Tendency after having killed all the bosses you will not be able to collect those treasures again until the next play through.
You can maintain Soul form by a suicide fall in the Nexus after every boss fight. Matter of fact that is why you see it done so often online. It’s not as much now but when it first started there were bloodstains all over the Nexus and I didn’t understand. Now I know it was all about maintaining that World Tendency.
That being said remember to wear the Cling Ring. It’s pretty much locked onto after you find it in the beginning. It lets you gain more health as a soul. It doesn’t give it all back to you and once you have enough vitality it’s up to you if you want to ditch it. However for the most part you should not take it off.
There is no one way to play the game. I’ll just give you examples of weapons I built and used. You can take or leave the weapons but I highly recommend using the specific type of upgrades. I used them to essentially finish the game.
This can be found guard by a Dual Wielding Katana Skeleton in 4-1 the Shrine of Storms. Not a terrible weapon. It’s actually quite good early on. I typically use it right up until I make a Crescent Kilij. It’s replaceable because in the end, (the Kilij does more damage and only weighs a little more) but it is still a good choice early on and will help you make mincemeat of those pesky miners in 2-1 before you make a better magic weapon.
You can find a Kilij in 4-1 at the Shrine of Storms. So essentially right after you beat the Phalanx demon you can find one. It’s a curved sword, is lightweight and does additional bleeding damage to opponents on top of the regular strikes you do. The reason you want the Crescent upgrade is that it does magic damage and regenerates your MP. Combined with the Fragrant Ring this can regenerate your MP constantly after spell use.
To give it the Crescent upgrade you need to add Darkmoon stones to it. You can find the regular stones and chunks on the Reapers in 4-2 and crystal lizards. The Pure Darkmoon Stone needed to get the +5 Upgrade is only found in the 4-4 area. You need to kill the crystal lizards by where you drew Stormbringer.
This shield was a must for me. Not only does it provide constant health regen as you upgrade it, it regenerates more health. Using an Adjudicator Shield+5, Regenerator Ring and Blessed Longsword+5 at the end of my first play through I basically negated all the physical damage Old King Allant did on his grab attack. It was insane he’d pick me up, do massive damage but before he do his second strike I’d be back at near full health so he could never kill me. It’s also extremely useful for two handed users as it constantly regenerates you the entire time. It also stacks with the Regenerator Ring and any Blessed Weapon for even greater HP regen.
Blessed Longword/Mirdan Hammer
I don’t need to explain the versatility of the Longsword. It’s easily the most versatile of the entire Souls series. I use it more often than the heavier and stronger Knight Sword. Mostly due to the Knight Sword being heavier and leaving less room in your item weight inventory. A knight starts with the Longsword. Also you can buy it off the Dregling merchant in the first level.
I also recommend using the Midran Hammer. You can find one in the Valley of Defilement. Also the miners with hammers drop them in Stonefang Tunnel Even though it’s two handed it weighs only 3.5. So it has a lot of bang for its buck being a two handed powerhouse. Plus it gives you more range than the standard sword weapons. Sadly it doesn’t have the same move set as the later weapons in the series but give it a try. It will surprise you.
Blessed Upgrade is definitely something you want. Not only does it give you a magic attack tied to your Faith but it also regenerates your HP. You need Faintstones for the upgrade luckily you can find the stones and chunks on the Shaman in 5-2 the Valley of Defilement. The Pure Faintstone can be found on crystal lizards on both 5-2 and 5-3. Quick note using a Blessed weapon, a Regenerator Ring, and the Adjudicator Shield can negate the effects of the poison status effect.
Dragon Longsword/Mirdan Hammer
Ok I don’t need to go over the weapons again since we covered them just before. However I will tell you that you can find an already made Dragon Longsword in the tunnels in 2-2. Find it there and all you need do is upgrade it. Lots of things in the game are weak to fire, particularly skeletons but also many bosses. The first two bosses in the Valley of Defilement are weak to fire so having a strong fire weapon will make the battle that much easier.
Dragon upgrades are achieved by using dragonstone obviously. This is actually the first upgrade I ever maxed out. So you can find dragonstones and chunks on bugbears. Or you can find them just on lying around the tunnels as treasure. Pure Dragonstone is your reward for beating the Dragon Demon God in 2-3. Or you can find one in the lava river in 2-2 if you have high enough fire resistance and HP.
I won’t go into specifics as you can youtube it. This exploit still works as of now and won’t be patched as they no longer patch the game. It really cuts down on your farming and lets you gain trophies much faster. I’d recommend using it for the gamer that wants to enjoy the game but doesn’t have the time waiting for the droprate. Which we can all admit at times is every one of us.
There you have it. I am confident using these hints will help anyone looking to get into this game. It was quite the fun game and really set the tone for the Souls series for me. I hope this helps any who read this.