The FromSoftware games, like Dark Souls, are known for their difficulty and unrelenting challenging for those that don’t fully understand the games mechanics or master the combat. While Demon’s Souls may be the easiest in the series and as difficult as the average RPG, it can still catch the unaware player off guard if they don’t get to grips with its systems pretty quickly. In this post, I want to share some tips that I found that will definitely be useful for any new player, or those that might be struggling mid-way through. Let’s get started.
Pick the Royalty class
When you start the game, you’re given the choice from a variety of different classes to choose from. You might think that this is an important decision to make, something that might impact your build for the rest of the game, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality, what class you pick only has an impact on the early hours of the game, since you can distribute points differently as you go along, making this choice not important in the long run. However, the Royalty class is the best choice by far to have an easier experience in those first few hours and beginning area. It starts you at a lower level, making it easier for you to choose your build’s direction. The default equipment is great, with a decent weapon and armour, is able to use the Soul Arrow spell and has the Fragrant Ring, which slowly recovers your mana. Whatever type of build you might be thinking of pursuing, the Royalty Class is a must pick that will make the early game easier and has the room to develop into whichever way you want.
Find and equip the Cling Ring
One of the cons of being in Soul form, is that your maximum health is reduced by 50%, making it much more risky to stay in this form. However, the Cling Ring is a crucial piece of equipment that raises your maximum health to 75%. Having this means that it becomes far more viable to stay in this form for long periods of time, preventing you from being invaded by other players and from negatively impacting the world tendencies of regions. This can be found quite early in the game, in the Gates of Boletaria location. You have to progress far enough until you reach a fog door at the top of the wall, ignore this and carry on towards a doorway that will lead you down the interior again. After fighting a variety of enemies, there will be a lever which not only opens up a shortcut, but a corpse with the Clutch Ring.
Pick a build and stick with it
While in many other RPGs, you can often allocate things like skill points and attributes evenly and progress fairly well, games like Demon’s Souls are different. It is very important that you choose the build you want to pursue early on and stick with it. Trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, allocating levels across all or even many of the attributes, will set you up for a more challenging experience full of grind. This will end up leading you to not deal enough damage to enemies as your attributes aren’t that high, where weapons scale to them. It will also likely lead to you wasting levels on attributes you don’t use. Therefore, focusing on a few attributes that correspond to your particular build and weapons are key. This will allow you to deal more damage in general, where focusing early on, coupled with the Royalty class, will mana you have a much easier journey overall.
Die in The Nexus to prevent Black World Tendency
World Tendency is an important aspect to the game, where being aware of its current stage and managing it, are crucial to having an easier time. In White tendency, enemies are weaker and new/secret areas get opened up. Beating bosses moves that region’s closer to full White, while dying in human form moves it towards Black. If you want to try and prevent it from going black, then there’s a great way of helping this. The Nexus is a special place that doesn’t have a World Tendency, where dying there in human form won’t affect anything. After beating a boss and your human form is restored, return to The Nexus and climb a few flights of stairs before jumping off. This will kill you and put you back into soul form, but in a location that’s safe from having a negative impact. You can then continue traversing the other areas for as long as you want, saving items that restore your human form for bosses where you might want help. Getting the Cling Ring like I mentioned earlier will be incredibly helpful for this tip, as you can keep 75% of your max health, making the soul form less fragile. If you want to reduce the risk of getting Black World Tendency, then using this tip will be a huge help.
Use Photo Mode to check surroundings and avoid ambushes
Demon’s Souls can be a very dark game, where it can often be difficult to see your surroundings clearly, as well as any traps. This is especially apparent in The Tower of Latria levels, which is full of dark corridors, holes in the floor and thin pathways you can be knocked from to your death. The photo mode can be used in a creative way to help you a significant amount. If you activate it then up the brightness in the settings there, then you can move the camera around your character a decent amount, illuminating the darkness so that you can easily make sense of your surroundings and even help in finding out where to go. The game is also full of ambushes waiting to happen. Using this tip will also help in checking ahead and around corners to see if there are any hidden threats coming up. While the camera can’t be moved a huge amount, it’s still enough to make it a very useful method that I can’t recommend enough.
Practice and get consistent at backstabbing and parrying
The average player likely won’t realise or make enough use out of parrying and backstabbing especially. Parrying is a difficult technique to master, where compared to any other game, the timing feels more off and early. This means that players will often try to parry just as the enemy blow is about to connect with you, which is true for FromSoftware’s other game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. However in Demon’s Souls, you actually need to press L2 more early, often just as the enemy swings forward to attack. It throws off the player, where the timing is unusual and different from most other games. If you can nail it, then you can counter and deal a huge amount of damage, against even some bosses. It’s also worth noting that parrying requires certain weapons to be able to pull off, where some shields and others won’t allow it. Backstabbing is far more consistent and overall effective because of this. Simply circle around the enemy to get behind and press R1 to backstab and deal large amounts of damage. I backstabbed enemies most of the time because it was so easy to pull off, making the game far less challenging than without it.
Alternate weapons for different enemies and areas
What you might not realise is that enemies and bosses are weak and strong against certain types of damage. For example, the miners in the Stonefang Tunnel are susceptible to piercing damage. Having a weapon like a spear or even using magic will be important here, since other damage types will barely leave a dent. I recommend carrying a couple of weapons with different damage types (ones that scale to your attributes) so that you can be prepared and alternate between them for the different areas and bosses.
Thank you for reading. I hope that if you’re currently playing through, about to start or will in the future, these tips will be beneficial and help you have an easier time. Let me know what you think in the comments. Stay safe and stay tuned for more gaming content. Have a great day.
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