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Demon's Souls - Official Impressions and Discussion Topic
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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 17:40:41
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I have been playing Demon's Souls for the last couple of days now, and it is really incredible.  Anyway I'm starting this thread so there is a place for ongoing impressions as I go along in the game and also to discuss strategies and to seek advice (from Leo and Ragnar).

Ragnar has a pretty awesome thread in the GGD with lots of photos and general info which I will link to HERE.  I recommend looking through at least the first few posts in that as I will not try to replicate it in attempt of making an "official" thread here.

Anyway, onto my impressions which so far are overwhelmingly positive.  Any and every review I read about this game had one common theme and that was how difficult and punishing it is.  Only Leo and Ragnar said that the game is not difficult per se but it is really up to the player.  Well, if you are somebody who expects to just maw your way through a game like say God of War ... or even patiently level grind your way until no foe in the game will challenge you then this game IS DIFFICULT.  Personally I spent about 3-4 hours yesterday just struggling through the first area proper, Bolletaria Castle.  I got as far as the first boss and I carelessly used up all the flamebombs in my inventory up until that point without managing to beat him and then any following attempts seemed doomed so I left it at that.  This morning I started another file from scratch, as the exact same class I chose to play as last time (namely a Mage).  I beat the area, including the boss without losing once.  Apparently this was a pretty big test as you are not allowed to level up or upgrade any stats at all until you beat your first boss!  So yeah I patted myself on the back for that.  I played some of the next area (until I lost) and the game is looking amazing, I can't wait to see more and more of it.

I'm someone without much experience in this type of game.  This is I guess the closest to a Western RPG I have ever played (even though it's a Japanese developed game).  I guess the setting is somewhat like Oblivion in that it's medieval and gothic but I don't know how the gameplay compares.  This game does not play anything like my impression of RPGs was.  It has a very intricate and fully featured action control-scheme.  Also it is something you have to get very well used to and learn how to use as you can't just stat-build and button mash your way through.

Very rarely do I import a game nowadays so this shows that I was pretty well excited for this and predisposed to liking it, but I still had my doubts.  Not so much whether the game would be good enough for me, but more about whether I'd be good enough for the game.  I'm happy to say that, so far so good.  I will try to keep this updated with impressions as I play more of it.  In the meantime it would be great to get Leo and Ragnar here as I would find it very helpful asking about stuff and discussing strategies.  Or going co-op if it can be arranged (i'm not sure if the on-line component is not completely random as to what phantoms you can call etc).

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 17:51:15
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*POOF!*

*Leo appears wearing nothing but a toothbrush and a smile!*

Awww, man! I was just brushing my teeth and I suddenly got summoned here!

*Reads topic.*

Yay! Time to cross swords!

HAVE AT YOU!
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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 17:54:46
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From the Demon's Souls Wiki:

Co-op

In Demon's Souls, players can team up with 2 other players online (sometimes 3, apparently a glitch) to form a group of adventurers for a single level! The host (must be in physical Body form) will see a bright Blue message marker (which is left by players in soul form using "Blue Eye Stone"). You can check how many times that player was online and their ranking score percentage. Then you can choose to summon that player, he will show up in Blue Phantom form.

All four players receive Souls for their hard work and can team up to take out Bosses even faster and with better safety, but the Body form host may only summon blue phantoms for co-op in levels that have not been rid of their Boss Demon yet. After beating a demon boss, any blue phantoms will be granted their physical body back and go back to their world, but will not progress in their own story (for example you will not get trophy for helping a body form player beating the boss in blue phantom form, you have to beat it in your own game).

As the Co-Op session ends, each player is permitted to rate the other player(s) on a Grade system which stays with the character. So other players can know how good (or bad) a certain player is. Ratings are from best "S", through "A", "B", "C", "D", and lowest "E".

Since the co-op system is not based on your Friends list or explicit in-game matchmaking, it can be hard to coordinate co-op with someone specific. If you are trying to co-op with someone specific, it can be done,but be attentive to the rules above, especially the level restrictions and the ability for the host to summon only in levels with the boss not yet defeated. It can help if the blue phantom puts their blue soul sign in an uncommon place, since it can be annoying to get summoned to a random host if you were trying to meet someone specific.

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 20:48:48
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Oh crap. Are you guys going to convince me to pay full price for this?

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 20:50:29
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Thanks Leo.  Co-op with friends sounds like very hard work to arrange.  so we could only play a level which hasn't already been beaten?  that's weird.

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 20:53:29
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The one who invites the Blue Phantom in can't have beaten that stage yet, I believe...

...but that's the best time to do it! You'd actually have an edge taking down the bosses! God knows there were times when I could have used a helping hand!
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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 21:00:09
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phantom_leo said:
The one who invites the Blue Phantom in can't have beaten that stage yet, I believe...

...but that's the best time to do it! You'd actually have an edge taking down the bosses! God knows there were times when I could have used a helping hand!

yeah, i'm just worried i won't be a good enough companion for an experienced player.  i saw some blue markers down when i was first playing the area after phalanx and had my full body form for the first time since the start of the game.  but i was too hesitant to call them thinking i was too tentative (and altogether rubbish) a player to keep up.  then i was mauled by some rabid dogs as i was trying to burrow underground to avoid the dragon flames and now i'm a soul again.  so i have to beat the level on my own Sad

aspro buddy, yes i definitely recommend it.  i'm a proper hobo when it comes to games and i paid import prices for this (plus hefty postage) so it is definitely worth full price

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 21:01:56
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Just lemme know when you need my help!
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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 21:06:56
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phantom_leo said:
Just lemme know when you need my help!

thanks buddy.  i will do soon as i have my body form back

ps technically i could beat the first level and phalanx again to get my body back right?  and then summon you for the next level.  or do i have to beat a new boss to get my body back?

Edited: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 21:09:01

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 21:57:29

aspro said:
Oh crap. Are you guys going to convince me to pay full price for this?

Do it. I will pay whatever amount of money I am asked at stores here.

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:04:04
So how long before Ragnaar shows up here?
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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:21:27

Iga_Bobovic said:
So how long before Ragnaar shows up here?

Who's Ragnaar again? The name sounds familiar . . . . Nyaa

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Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:32:38

Ravenprose said:

Iga_Bobovic said:
So how long before Ragnaar shows up here?

Who's Ragnaar again? The name sounds familiar . . . . Nyaa

 I think he's a dude with a cat that can OPTIC BLAST.

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Mon, 19 Oct 2009 18:12:45
i tried playing the first level again to beat the boss and get my body back ... but the boss is not there GASP  so can i only beat bosses once despite every other enemy in the level respawning?  i'm confused

also need some advice on how to build my stats.  i'm pretty sure i want to play as a mage.  but i don't want to be useless in melee combat as my mana runs out pretty quickly and i have to be very stingy with my magic.  what should i invest in besides "intelligence" and "magic"?  also what gear/items would help with how i want to play?

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Mon, 19 Oct 2009 19:56:23

bugsonglass said:
i tried playing the first level again to beat the boss and get my body back ... but the boss is not there GASP  so can i only beat bosses once despite every other enemy in the level respawning?  i'm confused

also need some advice on how to build my stats.  i'm pretty sure i want to play as a mage.  but i don't want to be useless in melee combat as my mana runs out pretty quickly and i have to be very stingy with my magic.  what should i invest in besides "intelligence" and "magic"?  also what gear/items would help with how i want to play?

Bosses only show up once.  However, you can lay down your 'blue eye stone' to get summoned into someone else's game to beat their boss in co-op.  This won't work with the 1-1 boss, but it will work for every other boss.

As for your stats, if you are playing as a magic user, you can ignore your Strength, Dexterity, and Luck stats.  Run your Vitality up to 20 early on in the game, and leave it alone after that, and then focus primarily on your Magic and Intelligence skills.  I wouldn't worry about taking your Intelligence past 40, and you'll want to run your Magic up as high as you can.  You can throw some points into Endurance as it will make you a more nimble character.  I recommend having your Endurance somewhere around 20-30 by the end of the game.  Your most important stats early on will be Vitality, Magic and Intelligence.

The lucky thing for you is that you can find Crescent weapons in the game that do physical damage based on how high your Magic stat is.  So, the higher your Magic stat, the more damage you'll do with a Crescent blade.  The other cool thing about the Crescent blades is that the regenerate your MP.  There is a Crescent Falchion in 4-1.  It is a little bit hard to get, but once you get it, you'll have a much easier time in the game.

Copied from my post about it on NeoGAF:

When you start 4-1, there is a small gate with a fog barrier. There is a rolling skeleton knight that you have to fight before going through the fog. In the next section, there are four of the skeleton knights, and a skeleton archer. Having the Thief's Ring equipped is a good way to go so that you don't have to fight the knights all at once while dodging arrows from the archer.

Once you've beaten them, and gone up the stairs, you'll see two more archers standing on top of a large wall with a fog barrier gate in it. Ignore the archers and move through the barrier. Immediately to your left is a small passageway tucked into the gate you just went through. Head down that passage, but be careful, there is a booby trap you will trigger that sends three really strong projectiles at you. You can either block it with your shield, or if you sprint down the passageway, you can roll out of danger at the very end of the hall. That can be tricky to time though.

Once you've made it down that little passage, there is a hole in the wall to your left. The black phantom and the Crescent Falchion are waiting for you there. Be careful while fighting that Black Phantom, as there are archers that can hit you while you are taking him on.

Edited: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 20:00:01
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Mon, 19 Oct 2009 22:46:29
Thanks bro, this is really helpful.  I started as a Mage and I don't have the mana regenerating ring so I will attempt to  get the crescent falcion.  maybe i can manage that.

I also didn't know I wasn't meant to go through the levels sequentially even though i understand that all archstones unlocking simultaneously would suggest that.  Was plowing away at 1-2 today and I got as far as the first gate of fog (killed the archers and blue-eyed knight at the end of the fourth bridge only to be murdered by the second blue-eyed knight who charged at me while i was taking a breather.  i really hate the dogs too).  what would you say is perhaps the most manageable level to try after 1-1?

ps congrats on the mod badge

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Mon, 19 Oct 2009 23:05:51

bugsonglass said:
Thanks bro, this is really helpful.  I started as a Mage and I don't have the mana regenerating ring so I will attempt to  get the crescent falcion.  maybe i can manage that.

I also didn't know I wasn't meant to go through the levels sequentially even though i understand that all archstones unlocking simultaneously would suggest that.  Was plowing away at 1-2 today and I got as far as the first gate of fog (killed the archers and blue-eyed knight at the end of the fourth bridge only to be murdered by the second blue-eyed knight who charged at me while i was taking a breather.  i really hate the dogs too).  what would you say is perhaps the most manageable level to try after 1-1?

ps congrats on the mod badge

Oh thanks for the congratulations, it has been a busy day... Happy

Even if you have to cheese your way through it, and just run to get that Crescent Falchion, I'd recommend getting it before trying to tackle any of the levels.  After you get that sword, I'd recommend tackling 2-1.  You might also consider starting over as a Royal class rather than a Mage.  The Royal Class begins the game with an MP regeneration ring and a more powerful spell than the Mage's flame spell.

Either way, 2-1 will be easy if you can get the Crescent Falchion.  It will make quick work of the miners.  Invading 4-1 long enough to get that sword will be very hard for a beginner, but it will be worth it.  That sword will do about twice as much damage as anything you've found in the game so far, and it will just keep getting stronger as your magic stat increases.

Edited: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 23:06:27
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Wed, 28 Oct 2009 20:44:19

I started playing Demon's Souls yesterday, I picked a normal soldier as my class. I went through the first level with no problem. Besides the tutorial death i did not die at all in 1-1. I beat the blob boss with no issue at all. What I loved about that first level is that it shows you how open this game can be. There is that dude on the bridge which you are not supposed to fight yet. Toward the end a giant freaking dragon pops up. I was left wonder "is this a boss fight", I am so used to a game telling me what to do, so when I dragon just showed up for no reason it blew my mind. I see he protects a ton of treasure, I will figure out how to get that some other time.

After that level I tried the archstone that takes you to that plague world, with the zombie bird people. I went there cause I saw a user hint that said there is a powerful item to get there, ok. So I went in and while the enemies are doable with lots of health, that level is hell to navigate. I started to die, lose my souls. Every time I died i would get angry that i have to do it over again so i get more reckless and die even quicker. Soon I learned to forget the souls, so I lost a thousand souls, big deal. The important thing is that you keep the items, and I found items hidden all over the place in that level. I got this bad ass mace that heals my life. I got some miracle stone that lets me cast miracles. I got some weapons I cant even use yet. I got as far as I felt comfortable going and now I will tackle a different level with my new gear. I love the freedom of this game.

For some strange reason though the online stuff isnt working for me much. I see a few bloodstains and a few hints but when I played with my friend I saw stuff all over the place.

BTW this post is from GS, if you have questions about the game ask me.

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Wed, 28 Oct 2009 20:44:24

I started playing Demon's Souls yesterday, I picked a normal soldier as my class. I went through the first level with no problem. Besides the tutorial death i did not die at all in 1-1. I beat the blob boss with no issue at all. What I loved about that first level is that it shows you how open this game can be. There is that dude on the bridge which you are not supposed to fight yet. Toward the end a giant freaking dragon pops up. I was left wonder "is this a boss fight", I am so used to a game telling me what to do, so when I dragon just showed up for no reason it blew my mind. I see he protects a ton of treasure, I will figure out how to get that some other time.

After that level I tried the archstone that takes you to that plague world, with the zombie bird people. I went there cause I saw a user hint that said there is a powerful item to get there, ok. So I went in and while the enemies are doable with lots of health, that level is hell to navigate. I started to die, lose my souls. Every time I died i would get angry that i have to do it over again so i get more reckless and die even quicker. Soon I learned to forget the souls, so I lost a thousand souls, big deal. The important thing is that you keep the items, and I found items hidden all over the place in that level. I got this bad ass mace that heals my life. I got some miracle stone that lets me cast miracles. I got some weapons I cant even use yet. I got as far as I felt comfortable going and now I will tackle a different level with my new gear. I love the freedom of this game.

For some strange reason though the online stuff isnt working for me much. I see a few bloodstains and a few hints but when I played with my friend I saw stuff all over the place.

BTW this post is from GS, if you have questions about the game ask me.

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Thu, 29 Oct 2009 05:15:39

This game is incredible! I haven't played a game this open, not in terms of game world, in terms of freedom on how to play the game. I can go anywhere, I can do almost anything I want granted if I can stay alive. Its brutal cause the game doesn't hold your hand, this day in age that is so rare that i almost dont know how to play the game. The online features are so great, I dont know what I would do without the in game hints, they give me a tiny bit of direction in what is a directionless game.

Above all the sense of adventure is as great as any game as I have played. I just want to keep exploring, keep upgrading my character. I have defeated three bosses so far 1-1, 1-2 and 2-1, all were really well done boss fights.My character is a basic sword dude, no spells or ranged attacks, I need to work on that. I have yet to delve into co-op or PVP.

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