Dark Souls Hits PS3 Today, Meet Its Darkest Demons

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Dark Souls Hits PS3 Today, Meet Its Darkest Demons

“All the monsters I design, from Demon’s Souls to Dark Souls, are beautiful to me no matter how gruesome their appearance.” Dark Souls Director Hidetaka Miyazaki shared this bit of insight with me earlier this year in a PlayStation.Blog interview and the quote has bounced through my brain for more than six months. Since then, I’ve been wanting to get a closer look at the game’s stunning creature designs, all of which are plucked from the further reaches of Miyazaki’s fevered imagination.

Luckily, today’s the day. For the viewing pleasure of PlayStation.Blog readers, From Software and Namco Bandai have collected a host of rare concept artwork accompanied by design notes from Miyazaki himself. Miyazaki also wanted to pass along a greeting just for PlayStation.Blog readers: “I am hoping all of you experience meaningful deaths many times in the game. I know that the game is challenging, but I want you to keep trying to overcome any difficulty you face in the game. And please feel a great sense of achievement when overcoming a difficulty!”

Read on for the full gallery. If you do pick up Dark Souls, keep us updated with your character build, equipment, and winning strategies. I have a hunch we’ll be needing all the help we can get…

Dark Souls for PS3: Gaping Dragon
Dark Souls for PS3: Gaping Dragon

Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director, Dark Souls: These are the preliminary designs for the Gaping Dragon. The story goes that there were many ancient dragons in this world, and after many of them perished, the few survivors went mad. This is just one of the many designs we came up when discussing how they went mad.

Dark Souls for PS3: Snake Man

This is the Snake Man. He was designed as another one of the “failed experiments” for obtaining the immortal scales of the albino dragon Seath the Scaleless. It’s referenced in the rings inside the game, but the image of a snake with scales that sheds its skin overlaps with the immortal ancient dragons. Compared to popular snake-human designs, its neck is much thicker, which I like.

Dark Souls for PS3: Crystal Undead

This is the Crystal Undead. Like the Snake Soldiers, he was designed as one of the “failed experiments” for obtaining the immortal scales. Snake Soldiers were one of the earlier designs, so they (along with the Crystal series) embody the later designs in the game. Visual allusions to the dragon Seath and crystals are a major theme in the Duke’s Archive and Crystal Cavern.

Dark Souls for PS3: Sealer

This is the Sealer. This design was inspired by the theme of “mage of lost rituals.” In the end, it gained the role of sealer, and was assigned with the ritual of curse-breaking.

Dark Souls for PS3: Havel’s Armor

This is Havel’s Armor. His design came from the theme of “an ancient soldier of stone.” I particularly like his large crested helmet.

Dark Souls for PS3: Bell Gargoyle
Dark Souls for PS3: Bell Gargoyle

This is the Bell Gargoyle. This boss was designed after we decided to include a scene where you fight on a church rooftop. The gargoyle motif perfectly fit that situation, as well as what was required for the game. He’s one of the earlier bosses you’ll fight, but we wanted him to convey the ambiance of Anor London in that he’s the embodiment of the medieval ages in a world of knights and kings.

Dark Souls for PS3: The Egg-Bearer

This is the Egg-Bearer. He came about during a flood of ideas with no one particular theme. His design is without a doubt shocking, and many more ideas came from him.

Dark Souls for PS3: Embraced Knight

This is the Embraced Knight. The story went that this knight received divine protection from a goddess, but then we started to think about adding something twisted or unexpected to the design and that’s where we got the idea to have the embracing arms of the goddess designed right into his armor. His armor inspired the creation of the character Lautrec of Carim.

Dark Souls for PS3: Dragon Zombie

This is a Dragon Zombie. Like the Gaping Dragon, the story goes that after many of the ancient dragons died, the few survivors went mad. This is just one of the designs we came up when discussing how they went mad. We decided to go with the straightforward “descendant of dead dragons” design, but we also wanted to go with elements that felt almost metaphysical.

Dark Souls for PS3: Titanite Demon

This is the Titanite Demon. He was the product of a lot of brainstorming when we weren’t able to narrow down the theme. From the game perspective, we needed “an ore demon that forges weapons,” and he was ultimately selected for that role.

Dark Souls for PS3: Black Knight

The Black Knight. At first, he was designed to represent an evil spirit. We pictured it as the grudge of fallen soldiers amassed together to become the hollow Black Knight. That idea ultimately didn’t take shape, but it was such a cool idea that it we eventually tweaked it for King Gwyn’s knights.

Dark Souls for PS3: Gravelord Nito

This is the Gravelord Nito. He was designed with the theme of “Lord of Death.” I remember his first drafts being approved without many revisions. A rare treat!

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  • neat :3~~~~~~~~~ desu

  • Picking this up in a couple hours! Can’t wait!

  • whoa, dudes got major hemorrhoid problems!

    don’t want THAT crawling after me.

    picking up my copy in a few hours, I’m prepared to DIE!

  • DARK SOULLLLLLLLLLLSSSSSSSSSS!! Can’t wait to play this tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Whoa super awesome. I hope I can fight all these marvelous monsters, but I can’t even get past Demon’s Souls 2nd level. :'[

  • Shouldn’t have gone multiplatform.

  • Some awesome art work there! Can’t wait to pick this up today! :D

  • I don’t care if they went multi-platform. It just means more money and notoriety for one of the most unique and challenging franchises in the past decade. It’s not like it was a DS, PSP, PS2, PS3, WII, 360 release. More power to them!

  • Sony is so nice, they let Demon’s Souls 2 go to XBox 360 as well.

  • Thinking about renting this or should I just straight buy it? You guys tell me.

  • Man that is some cool art work! Does this guy have more art work? It kinda sucks it went multiplatform but they will learn they hard way that the threesixty boys want FPS games more than RPGs. Oh well I cant want to get home after work and play this.

  • what do you need to be smoking to come up with designs like that, some of the most amazing looking creatures designs I’ve ever seen…demented as well.

  • I hope they put in some save spots. Unlike the first 1. It was a pain to start from the beginning to reach Boss only to die and then start back at the beginning. That really tead me off but as far as the game itself. It was really creepy cool looking and the art work was outstanding! If they added save spots then I will buy, if not then I won’t. Simple enough but I hope they did because I truly would live to play this game.

  • There are campfires you can save at.

  • My neighbors will wonder why I’m screaming & crying so much over the next many weeks. This is one of my top 3 anticipated games of 2011.

    Thanks for this post.

  • Awesome art work, unfortunately I can’t pick it up right away because there are just too many games coming out right now but it’s definitely on my hit list, consider it SOLD!!! 8)

  • looks amazing; not sure i mind it’s multi-platform (devs, investors, etc gotta make a buck, this is a business) … nice to see that this will actually come out .. but I should probably finished the first game first .. LOL :D

  • AMAZING!!!

    I dropped my Skyrim pre-order over this amazing game!

    Besides I can still wait for Skyrim GotY edition that will include all DLCs! But this game (Dark Souls) is complete!!!!!

    GREAT!!!! Cant wait to get my copy!!!

  • @station3fever Yep well that’s part of the challenge.

  • I got RAGE instead but i will be getting this really soon :)

  • Just got my copy.

    If you have a Fry’s Electronics store by you, they are selling the game for $50.

  • Most warped character design ever… love it.

  • This game has me confused. So many places to go, with out a real direction. I’ve died prob like 100 times already just trying to figure this out, where to go, and what to do.

    Its a good game so far…. i’ve done a few things.

  • Awesome artwork!

  • cool beans

  • @yawn

  • Should have been a PS3 exclusive! What the **** is Sony doing? Didn’t you learn your lesson from Demon’s Souls?

    God it’s **** like this that will stop me from buying another Playstation product.

    Better secure exclusivity rights in the next Dark/Demon’s Souls game.

  • Demon’s Souls is one of my top games for this generation of systems, so I can’t wait to start hacking my way through Dark Souls tonight.

  • Namco can’t publish jack ****. Hey Sony, are you aware of the pre-order fiasco going on with this game right now? It’s selling so damn well that many retailers oversold their inventory. Amazon and BestBuy to name a few. Now a ton of people that PRE-PAID and pre-ordered are out of luck and, regarding the collector’s edition, ****ed.

    If Sony published this, being made of money like they are, shelves would surely be stocked.

  • I want this game bad!… just don’t know if i want to punish myself again..

  • Really great art work, hope it translates into the game well :)

  • Demon’s Souls > Dark Souls. Though this should have NEVER been allowed to go multi-plat. Down right disgrace…

  • @20 same here

  • Man, there is nothing more exciting to me then conceptual art. I’ve got rows and rows of books at home just of game conceptual art, from God of War to Metal Gear, Uncharted, etc. Can’t wait to get the Dark Souls art book. Very inspirational.

  • I picked up the Collector’s Edition last night at the midnight launch. I played the first level. This game… will rule ALL!! The only other game that will tear me away from this title is Uncharted 3, and that doesn’t come out until November. I’m going to be deep into Dark Souls for at least the next couple of months. Don’t call me. I’ll be busy.

  • I just got it, played for two hours, addicting as anything i just want to go back to it, but i got hw

  • Dark Souls is selling so well in my area that my Gamestop ran out. Good thing I per-ordered my copy 5 months in advance!

  • @darfreeze
    put down the blue sign in Demon’s Souls and get a group to raid some levels and bosses with you. That will help you beat it if solo is to tough for you. Also try a caster. It is easier and then graduate to a melee toon once you get good.

  • yes dark souls pre orders are 300 k so far. i agree it shouldnt have went to both console. but im happy still the 1st game was on our console to start.

    You cant close every deal with a dev team .. Im just glad sony open the world eyes to a another great gaming franchise.

  • Put Demon’s Souls on PSN. The guys at Sony who passed on publishing DS in the US/EU should be fired. Sony lost a great exclusive.

  • @29

    Yup, it happened to me. Pre-ordered the CE well in advance, only to get an e-mail the day before the game releases that Newegg can’t honor my pre-order. They offer $20 credit, but I’d much rather have the CE. Sucks. Big time.

    Why Atlus didn’t publish it when Demon’s Souls was so successful for them is beyond me. Honestly, I think anyone could have done a better job than Bamco. Not very happy with them right now. >:(

  • Dark Souls is about 10x HARDER than Demon Soul’s IMO. Just beat the Taurus Demon. What a doozy he was. I don’t care for the limited cast magic system, but it’ll have to do. Need more healing items as well IMO. 5 flasks just aint doing it ATM. So much frustration, yet I can’t seem to put it down. =D

  • I just lost 1000+ souls at the beginning… Damn you FROM SOFTWARE!!!

  • Great job! Glad to see something on this!
    I’ll be facing the gargoyles by tomorrow.

  • Backstab > Black Knight!
    Fantastic game guys. Looking forward to spending a lot of time with it over the next while.

  • Awesome, pre-ordered at both Newegg and Best Buy.. and get shafted by both. Also hearing about quite a lot of people having pre-orders since May and not even receiving a Collector’s Edition. Hope you guys do a 2nd print of the CE, because tons of people got screwed.

  • sony please tell me your making demons souls 2….. PLEASE :(

  • Why are so many people crying about this game coming to Xbox 360? As a hardcore Demon’s Souls fan, I’m glad that even more people are going to be able to experience this amazing game. Besides, it’ll make more money for From Software so we can see a third installment.

  • It’ll be awesome for some cross-platform gaming!!

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