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Demon's Souls
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Pokey
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January 25, 2012 - 10:36 pm
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But you did it the hard way. Way to go! I've been looking for ore to upgrade some of my weapons before I go to the end. I'll probably start a new game just to check out what it is like and pick up Dark Souls when the price drops. It was fun.

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geggis
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January 26, 2012 - 6:46 am
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Yeah I've not got a Talisman of God as far as I know. I'll have a word with Stockpile Thomas, see if he can dig one out for me 😉

I think more than anything Demon's Souls has that thing where you just categorically cannot idle your way through it. Like I said earlier, it's nearly always nerve wracking and that's because of how quick the game is to punish you if you get complacent or sloppy, ever for a moment. It demands that you pay attention all the time which is quite rare these days. Hell, there's not even a pause button and if you're online you can be invaded while you dash to the toilet (this happened to my friend).

Demon's Souls takes me back to when I was little, when all games required concentration and were alien and magical (whether that be down to my lack of experience or by design). It also helps that it's so grim and bleak and utterly committed to letting the world do the talking rather than countless jabbering NPCs.

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Synonamess Botch
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January 26, 2012 - 11:22 am
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" it's so grim and bleak and utterly committed to letting the world do the talking rather than countless jabbering NPCs."

Well said!  That's the strength of Demon's Souls - singleness of purpose.  I love my RPGs, but sometimes I just get tired of having to talk to dozens of people.  Arriving at the Citadel in Mass Effect was like this.  And dare I say it, Planescape: Torment.  I know, blasphemy.

Here's my main criticism of Demon's Souls:  I get tired of the dead bodies kicking around like life-sized blow-up dolls.  Can we turn off the physics after they're dead please?

You're bound to have at least one Talisman geggis.  I remember collecting two or three (if you're a pack rat like me.  I rarely dropped anything, even if I knew I wouldn't use it).  One I specifically remember finding before the first fog gate in 4-1.  I did find myself at times wishing I could sell stuff.   But then I'd realize - sell for what?  I'm the only one with souls to spend around here.  Barter maybe?

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geggis
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January 26, 2012 - 11:45 am
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Synonamess Botch said:

And dare I say it, Planescape: Torment.  I know, blasphemy.

BURN!! 😉 I couldn't get enough of the dialogue in Torment, I found it enthralling and wanted to talk to everyone, which is a real rarity for me.

Synonamess Botch said:

Here's my main criticism of Demon's Souls:  I get tired of the dead bodies kicking around like life-sized blow-up dolls.  Can we turn off the physics after they're dead please?

This! The reaper at the beginning of 5-2 is a particular 'favourite' of mine once he's been made dead.

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Synonamess Botch
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January 26, 2012 - 12:13 pm
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Hee Hee.  OK maybe Torment was a bad example.  That game was really more about the dialog than anything else, and it was uniformly excellent.

I tried NG+ just briefly in 1-1 and it didn't seem much more difficult.  I imagine it ramps up considerably as you go.

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Steerpike
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January 26, 2012 - 12:27 pm
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And dare I say it, Planescape: Torment.  I know, blasphemy.

Get out. GET OUT!

All right, I'll forgive you this once.

 

The corpse physics. Sheesh. I shout "Get off my foot!" but they never do.

This actually raises a great point - developers should include corpse physics with realistic weights, and do mocap and animations for stepping over, kick-dragging, even tripping if you back over one. That'd be sweet.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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January 26, 2012 - 1:56 pm
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Steerpike said:

The corpse physics. Sheesh. I shout "Get off my foot!" but they never do.
This actually raises a great point - developers should include corpse physics with realistic weights, and do mocap and animations for stepping over, kick-dragging, even tripping if you back over one. That'd be sweet.

I've recently - last 6 months - played something (for the life of me, I don't remember which game) where you did step over bodies. The only reason I remember is because I was so tickled seeing my character step over a prostrate body.

Powered by PMS ™

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Scout
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January 26, 2012 - 7:49 pm
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Speech was my mostest sharpest sword in Torment. 

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Pokey
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January 27, 2012 - 8:50 pm
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I attempted a walk into the lava pool to get the dragonstones I needed to upgrade my Dragon Long Sword to +5. I found that it can be done rather easily with the right equipment and water veil. I also killed Miralda, though she almost killed me when she attacked me and I didn't even see her. I need some faintstones to upgrade my Blessed Mace, so a trip to the Filthy Woman is necessary. Also, there is an area in Tower of Latria that I haven't visited, the door that was blocked on the first trip through. Then on to the end game and a look at New Game+.

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geggis
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January 29, 2012 - 4:12 pm
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5-1 and 5-2 are over with. I got so close to the end of 5-2 and even closer to lowering that bridge before dying inexplicably. I reckon I'd taken my eye off my health while I was poisoned. My journey back was a pain in the arse though because I was up against one of the giants and for some reason when I held down circle my character kept trying to do a roll instead of running but because I was knee deep in swamp he kept doing that slow stagger and eventually I got clubbed to death. That really, really pissed me off because it was a quirk that cost me 30,000 souls.

In other news, those mosquito things; when they latch on to you and gorge themselves. Bleurgh, horrible.

After killing the Dirty Colossus (who was easy) I went back to the Shrine of Storms to farm a chunk of Bladestone and managed to get one on my first run so that has allowed me to upgrade my sharp secret dagger to +4.

Onward to 5-3!

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Synonamess Botch
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January 30, 2012 - 10:31 am
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Ah yes, I had a rough time in 5-2.  I never got gorged on by the mosquitos, but I did die many times to those big defiled ones.  Doesn't help that they can move fine in the swamp and you can't.  I had pretty much the identical experience with trying to dodge.  The key is to de-select your target, but then you probably knew that.

Once I ran smack into four of them and needless to say didn't last long.

And the meat cleaver BP…

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Pokey
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January 30, 2012 - 12:31 pm
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I was able to sneak by all the giants. It was easier going staying off that raised walkway after the first giant.

I've been going after all the crystal lizards left in the game. One was after the Blue Dragon in 1-4. The Blue Dragon was gone and there were many souls to be found on charred bodies. I looked for Biorr's gold armor, but nowhere to be seen. I really enjoyed fighting along side him.

I've found the best way to get close to a crystal lizard is to use the cloak spell as well as the thief's ring. You can get very close to them this way, even the one in the tower in 1-2. I still have the two in 4-3 to get. It is hard to get both at once. No luck getting a pure moonlightstone, though.

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geggis
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January 30, 2012 - 1:27 pm
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Synonamess Botch said:

Ah yes, I had a rough time in 5-2.  I never got gorged on by the mosquitos, but I did die many times to those big defiled ones.  Doesn't help that they can move fine in the swamp and you can't.  I had pretty much the identical experience with trying to dodge.  The key is to de-select your target, but then you probably knew that.

Once I ran smack into four of them and needless to say didn't last long.

And the meat cleaver BP…

Ahhh! That's probably it. I've got say I'm quite reluctant to make a run for it when I'm locked on so it seems unusual that I didn't twig on to that.

And yes, that BP. That thing killed me 3 times...

I nearly ran into those giants as well but thankfully saw them in time. I think I'll dispatch them from the walkway leading to the bridge. Sniper perch!

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xtal
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January 30, 2012 - 2:03 pm
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This thread has more bravery in one confined place than there has ever been on an interwebs forum. Wow! I'm remorseful that I've been too weak to play Demon's Souls whilst you all were enjoying it. It's in that place in my pile placed snugly between 'fear' and 'waiting for rainy day where I've completed all my easy games'. Once I go through another routine pruning of console games I believe Demon's Souls will be a bit more visible in aforementioned pile. Perhaps a bit of practice leading up to then. Before the past few months where many of you have been talking about the Souls games, this was a mere fascination, and I owned it because people said it was essential. Now that I know more people from here-- people of like minds to my own tastes, very much so-- have actually delved deep into these games, it raises my interest from onlooker to quite-curious voyeur. I would like nothing more than to learn how to survive this game. Maybe learning something about myself from it?

Thank you for this labyrinthine thread, you brave people. It continues to be Good Reading.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Pokey
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January 30, 2012 - 4:00 pm
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xtal, when you do play, set small goals. It took me five deaths to get to the rooftop and several more before I killed the blue-eyed knight. That was very encouraging. Then I got the shortcut open and I was thrilled. It took a lot more deaths to get to the Demon, but at least I had the shortcut. Get the spear from the vendor and let Ostrava help you by killing several of the knights in that area.

Once you get past Phalanx, things really open up. You can use souls to raise your stats, buy spells and other items. The world is wide open and you are free to go where you please. Some areas are even easier than Boletaria. The game is tough but one of the most amazing I have ever played.

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Synonamess Botch
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January 30, 2012 - 6:06 pm
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xtal, I really think the reputation that this game has built up may be somewhat overblown.  It's really not that hard, at least not in the sense of mechanics.  It doesn't require the skills that a Ninja Gaiden or Street Fighter would.  The controls are very well implemented (OK, the auto-targeting can be a bit finicky under certain conditions but that's a special case) and reward deliberate, measured play.  It's not a hack-fest.  It requires patience and, to be fair, a bit of timing.

It's just that it speaks a different language, as it were, than so many modern games.  The punishment for failure can be severe and it offers precious little guidance, not in the sense of where to go (levels are for the most part linear), but what to expect.  I'm a wimp and relied heavily on FAQs to tell me what was around the corner, but I don't believe that to be necessary for success.  You just always have to be on your guard and pay close attention to your surroundings (sights as well as sounds).  The other side of this is that success tastes so much sweeter.

I think it was geggis who said that it communicates with tone and atmosphere instead of words and such.  It doesn't tell you what it is, it lives it.  It's also uncompromisingly dark and foreboding, which I think adds to the mystique around it.  Even the "good" ending is somber.

It is unmerciful in trying to kill you for sure (the ultimate purpose of the "tutorial" is to kill you), and uses this as a teaching tool.  But somehow re-doing areas doesn't seem tedious like in other games.  Pokey is right, once you get past the first boss, things really open up.  You are simply unable to improve your character before that point, other than some small weapon upgrades, and there are a few legitimately hard challenges (read: blue-eyed knights) leading up to it.  It seems the game was deliberately designed this way to test your resolve.  But once you overcome this hurdle, it backs down somewhat.

Hmm, reading back over this post, I can think of others who have said these same things but more eloquently...It really is worth a try and I think you'll find that your fear (if I can call it that) is largely unfounded.

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Steerpike
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January 30, 2012 - 9:55 pm
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What Botch said there is exactly right. The games are not "hard" in the sense of a Zanac or a Ninja Gaiden. They are only hard in the sense that they're overwhelmingly unforgiving: the penalty for failure can be staggering, reprieves are never granted, and they don't ever do anything that's not brutal. But the actual gameplay? Meh. Most foes, provided you're careful and observant and appropriate level, go down after a tense battle, but never one where you're flat outmatched. Sure, if you go to a place you shouldn't before you're ready, you'll get pasted, but lots of games do that.

The bosses, meanwhile - and this is something that's even more true in Dark Souls - are hard, yes, but the games take advantage of your fear, not cheap tricks and unfairly ratcheted difficulty. There's always a way, and sometimes many, to bring them down... unless you give in to your "sweet mommy save me" pants-wetting terror (which admittedly is pretty easy to do when facing something like Maneater or Dragon God).

It's all about teaching yourself to play correctly, learning from errors, and finding satisfaction and reward in doing the same thing right many times. It also helps to take failures philosophically, because if you throw a controller every time you lose 70,000 souls due to your own mistake, you're going to need a lot of controllers.

Approach with respect and caution, knowing what you're getting yourself into, and you'll be fine. You may find yourself as enraptured as we have!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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February 1, 2012 - 6:19 am
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I defeated the Maiden of Astraea before venturing back to Boletarian Palace (bleurgh, Plague Babies, who the hell thought of them?!). When I got back to 1-4 I realised I'd died that many times in body form that the world tendency was nearly black. Eek. I managed to get up to King Allant and died within 10 seconds. This of course gave me the fear, big time. After the numerous anecdotes my friend had told me of his experience I was ready for the long haul. The biggest problem was the Blue Dragon which was making my journey back to Allant a royal pain in the arse and very risky (I died a number of times making my way back) and coupled with the fat officials on the walkway I decided to gather some souls and buy as many arrows as I could carry to take down the beast. A Ring of Herculean Strength, a Clever Rat's ring, less than 30% health and 999 arrows later I was stood firing arrow after arrow into it. It took over 100 arrows to get it down to half health at which point it flew back to its position above the steps. I realised that if I died making my way up those steps I'd have to fire another 100 or so arrows into it again. Anyway I managed to get beneath it where I could finish it off. After that (and a trip back to the Nexus to level up) it was time for King Allant. Again.

In a few moments I managed to crack a solid dodging technique which allowed my to sidestep him and attack him repeatedly with my sharp secret dagger +4. The speed of my dagger prevented him from retaliating as it interrupted his attack animations so after my stamina bar got close to bottoming out I fled to recoup. Rinse and repeat, occasionally healing up. Despite it being a fairly straight forward fight my heart was in my mouth and I could hear it beating in my ears. What a rush! With that, I went below the Nexus and faced the Old One. I was quite taken by how, I dunno, 'purifying' that last bit on the beach was. It felt like the end, like a release from all the traumatic shit that came before. And the music over the end credits was really lovely.

I quickly had a run through the tutorial again because I wanted to walk through the castle grounds again and see the intro (which I scarcely remember) and now I'm pumped for some Dark Souls!

All in all: MINT!

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Pokey
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February 1, 2012 - 7:13 pm
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I did the end game today and I guess I got the good ending, though I didn't know what was happening. I had no thought of  silencing that sweet voice. I did play a bit of NG+ and am nearly to the Blue Eye Knight. It seems to be about 40% harder as has been claimed, but that is a whole lot easier than the first time through, due to better weapons and stats.

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Synonamess Botch
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kudos geggis!  That was a great read.  King Allant is scary as heck for sure, but patience pays off.  And once you get the hang of his "tells" you can be ready for the various attacks.  It was that intense for me too.

Did you guys have to fight the Maiden of Astraea?  In my game she killed herself after I bested Vinland and spoke with her for a bit.

I'm going to pick up Dark Souls, but right now I'm playing through Human Revolution and thoroughly enjoying it.

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