Demon’s Souls is a fantastic game. But it’s also a game that literally hates you to death. This is a game where sudden death lurks around every corner, like spending a weekend visiting elderly relatives.
Proof that Demon’s souls hates you #1: The Maneater Boss
Demon’s Souls is similar to arcade games of old in that it has a distinct set of levels, and each level is divided into sub levels of distilled hatred. In world 3-2, resides the first example of just how much DS wants you to fail like Stephen Hawking in the paralympics, the Maneater Boss.
The Maneater is a boss that happens to live conveniently on an extremely narrow walkway, just narrow enough for you to get knocked off by a well timed swipe, or for you to plummet to your death while trying to circle around him. But before youve even set foot on the Maneater’s rickety walkway of impending death, you must first navigate the rickety stairway of certain failure and defeat an enemy known as a ‘black phantom’. Black phantoms are unique in that they are like regular enemies, who can kill you in one or two hits, but the main difference being that black phantoms can kill you even easier than regular enemies.
On the off chance that you somehow manage to survive the rickety stairway of hell (which you can also conveniently plummet to your death from) and do indeed make it to fight the Maneater, be prepared to see just how much DS really really fucking hates you. For if you somehow do manage to beat the Maneater, another one will show up just as youre about to finish him off, thus confirming that you are a weak little baby girl, and Demons Souls is going to make you realise this at every turn.
Reasons why Demon’s souls hates you #2: Death is not the end
In most modern day games, death is merely a speedbump on easy victory highway, with a final destination of Ending Credits cove. Liberal sprinklings of checkpoints, waypoint arrows, and bosses that scream ‘attack my weak spot for massive damage’, all ensure even the most cack handed gamer will eventually live long enough to see the credits roll.
Not so with Demons souls.
In Demons Souls, checkpoints do not exist. In fact, not only does dying kick you right back to the start of the level for no other reason than ‘fuck this guy‘, regardless of how far you were, you also lose all your souls (used for levelling up or buying items) gathered up until the point of death. Oh, and you also lose your body and must remain in spirit form, with 50% of your max health. Why? The reason is simple. This game fucking hates you and wants you to suffer.
Oh, and lets not forget, the more you die, and you will die, over and over, the game doesnt make it easier for you. Not like weak baby shit like Bayonetta, or Ninja Gaiden 2, which unlocks an ‘easy’ mode upon dying repeatedly, Demons souls just unlocks ass rape mode, wether you want it or not, spawning black phantoms, making normal enemies tougher, and spawning less healing items.
You’re a piece of worthless shit, and Demons souls wants you to fully grasp the magnitude of your shitness.
Reasons why Demons souls hates you #3: Invaders
Imagine if you will, you’re playing super mario, or some other gay shit, and youve just made it to the end of the level. Sweaty palmed, heart pounding, youre almost at the end, when your brother bursts into the room, grabs your joypad, and then shoots you dead. This is what happens every so often when Demons souls decides ‘fuck this guy’, and lets a random player from the internet invade your game, and hunt you down to kill you. Doesn’t matter if youre at the beginning, middle, or end of the current level. If you lose, you lsoe your souls, and are bumped back to the start. And if you’re really unlucky, the invader will steal all the souls you dropped, and in a complete and utter dick move, can also de-level you using a specific spell. Thats right, you wil lactually lose experience just because Demon’s souls thinks its funny.
At this stage, Demons Souls is pretty much just trolling the shit out of you, and want’s you to know that not only can the game kill you, but its now letting random punters from the internet drop by to try and kill you too.
Reasons Demons Souls hates you #4: Yurt, The Silent Chief
If further proof was needed that at this stage the Developers of DS were actively pursuing ways to fuck the player over in the most emasculating ways possible, its this prick:
You first encounter Yurt in world 3-2, you will find him locked away in a cage, pleading with you for release. In return, he pledges assistance to your quest, and assures you will be rewarded. Around now, most gamers would be thinking ‘sweet, this guy looks like he could be helpful. What could possibly go wrong?’.
In what must be the single greatest dick move in a game since ‘the princess is in another castle’ in Mario, or Ghosts n’ Goblins telling you the entire game up til the ending was a nightmare, and you now have to do it all over from the beginning, the newly freed Yurt will take a jaunt back to the hub world of the game, and proceed to fucking kill all the people in the game who can teach you magic. Thats right, Yurt will make it so that (unless you know this beforehand and kill his ass once he’s freed), he’ll bump off every single practitioner of magic in the hub world making it impossible for you to learn any more magic spells. And you’ll need those spells to finish the game. Demons souls is essentially telling you ”go fuck yourself, cause youre not finishing me any time soon.”
Reasons Demons soul’s hates you #5: The Valley of Defilement
At first glance, the Valley of Defilement actually seems like a car crash of game design. The camera behaves like a drunk having a spaz attack, youre constantly in danger of falling to your doom, the very levels themselves are toxic to your character, and theres giant depreaved mutants that can kill you in one hit. It appears to be a terribly designed level alright, until you realise it was actually designed this way just to fuck with you. It isn’t bad level design, it’s the level designers trolling you.
This trolling culminates in the 2nd sub level, a swamp, where doing nothing but standing in the swamp water will eventually poison & kill you. Your movement is also slowed down in the swamp, to maximise the amount of time it has to try and poison you to death. Then to cap it all, in the middle of a black dark swamp, in the black of night, is a black phantom. You wont see it, until its too late. And by the time it’s too late, the black phantom, who weilds possibly the most powerful weapon in the whole game, and who can roll, run and dodge like she’s runnong on air and youre stuck sinking into the murk, will have killed you with one fucking hit.
And you will love it.
For the record, DS is possibly my favourite game played this year. It’s addictive, it’s brutal, it’s bloody marvellous.