Demon’s Souls’ creator looks back at the making of an RPG classic

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Demon’s Souls’ creator looks back at the making of an RPG classic

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Regular PlayStation Blog readers will be well aware of what a huge fan I am of From Software’s two phenomenal Souls action RPGs, so it is with great pleasure that I can announce that Demon’s Souls, the first game in the series, will be available as a digital download on PlayStation Store from tomorrow, priced at £15.99/€19.99.
Not only that, but as way of celebration, Artorias of the Abyss – Dark Souls’ recent DLC expansion – is on sale at a 38% discount (£6.49/€7.99, down from £9.99/€12.99). I can heartily recommend both purchases.
We had hoped to coax the games’ enigmatic creator Hidetaka Miyazaki onto the Blog to personally introduce Demon’s Souls to the uninitiated. While that wasn’t possible, Miyazaki-san was however kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the game. Read on…

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The Souls series has a reputation for being very challenging, and many newcomers to the series might be scared to pick up the game. Are they right to be afraid?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: I find it very sad if people who get interested in Demon’s Souls do not try it due to the difficulty, so I would like to say please do not be afraid of jumping into the game universe. Rather, ‘challenging’ means ‘a lot of fun’.
What advice can you give players coming to the series for the first time?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: New gamers may think, ‘this game is too difficult and not my game’. However, I believe that not only skilled players can have fun moving forward by learning from failures. I would like players to conquer the difficulty and enjoy taking on formidable enemies and going back and forth in dungeons. The process of overcoming the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment brought by breaking through each difficulty is the value we would like to offer to them.

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What were your ambitions when you first started making Demon’s Souls?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: It was to express all the cool and interesting things from classic CRPG titles through the latest consoles and technologies, and to add inspiring elements achieved by the use of network technology.
Since its release, the series has slowly snowballed into one of the biggest new franchises of this console generation. Why do you think it has taken off so dramatically? And why has it proved such a hit in the West when many Japanese titles have struggled in recent years?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: This is difficult to answer, since we can’t fully analyse the result perfectly. However, one thing I could possibly say here is that, this game was designed and created to directly focus at the core essence that lies within ‘game lovers’ that commonly exist all around the world, instead of focusing on matching gamer preferences according to markets such as Japan, US, Europe or Asia. Creating a game aimed at this sincere element in gamers was one of the policies I have put efforts to maintain throughout the development process.

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The PSN release is of course the same version that was originally released in 2009. However, if you could go back in and change anything about the game, what would you alter?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: Apart from obvious bugs, there are currently no intentions to modify the game. I do not believe that Demon’s Souls is perfect, but one remarkable thing is that all games have a living aspect and a tendency to fit the generation in which it was born. Demon’s Souls is not an exception. That is why I would like to cherish the Demon’s Souls that has been enjoyed and grown along with the fans. I do have some regret, and points that could have been improved on, but I will keep this in mind for any additional future opportunities.
Fans of the series argue back and forth about which of the two Souls games is the best – which one are you personally most proud of?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: This is really a tough question.  It is like choosing a favourite child, which is not something I can do.

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How different will Dark Souls 2 be compared to Demon’s Souls? Is it a huge progression on the series’ original roots?

Hidetaka Miyazaki: Although my role in Dark Souls 2 is a supervisor who would not directly get involved in the development, I believe that the game will show further evolution and new possibilities by welcoming a new experienced director. I am glad if our fans are looking forward to the new game.

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  • No discounts for PlayStation Plus it’s a shame!

  • best rpg ever in this gen.

  • I also think that it’s one the greatest games ever.
    But i wish you would asked him what he thinks about Vita generally.

  • Been dying to play this for a while.
    I keep meaning to pick it up, wanting to know what the fuss is about, but chickening out because it’s a difficult RPG (not my strong suit genre) Once I clear my pile of shame, I may finally grab this.
    Or do I wait for it to arrive in my instant game collection?
    There’s a thought.
    Either way, pretty excited. Cheers for the interview Fred, nice one

  • Now lets hope they don’t ruin the game trying to ‘appeal’ to a ‘wider range of players’. I love Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. I am looking forward to it, I just really would’ve rather Miyazaki worked on it.
    It is his baby and it is his style i’m used to and if they try and broaden the game for casual gamers and people that don’t even like the series. I will be upset. I am well against easy mode since the ease of play comes from learning what to do, where to go, what items to pick up and where and boss strategies.
    All I can do is salute a great man’s series and hope they do him proud.

  • Fred, this must have been one of the interviews you enjoyed the most lately, knowing your love for this game :-)
    Despite the ‘difficulty’ stamp this games has, I wouldn’t really call it difficult. Rather, it is unforgiving. You need to learn the layout of the levels, expect death around every corner, but once you know where the enemies are, you can anticipate them, and master those levels.
    Further, the game is one big game of chicken: Do I dare to venture out further than I ever did before, risking death, or do I turn back, do the same part again, only to level up enough to risk another step forward?
    It’s those mechanics that make this game (and its successor) so great.
    For anyone who hasn’t played it: Try it out now, don’t be afraid to die (the tagline isn’t “You’ll die” for naught), and master it! You won’t be disappointed if you persevere!

    • Yes indeed – it was a fun interview to do :)
      You’re right – the ‘chicken’ mechanic is at the absolute of core of what makes this series so fun (/frustrating). So, so addictive.

  • Demon’s Souls will definitely be remembered as one of the landmark experiences of this gen, at least for me but I’ll go one step further and say it’s one of my favourite games of all time and may even end up in my top 10.
    Hearing about ther difficulty from American players only made me more interested to get my hands on it, by the way thank you for the 7-8 month wait for EU release, lol. Can’t get enough of the world of the game, it’s just so engrossing and I adore the world tendancy system; always something new to find.
    Missed out on Dark Souls because it came out a year later and I was still playing Demon’s Souls. Put over 200 hours into the game so I was really burnt out on the setting and style. Now I am definitely ready for Dark Souls 2, heck might as well make Demon’s Souls 2 with Sony as well :P

  • Are the servers still up for this game? I heard ages ago that they were being taken down but then they extended it for awhile.Do you even need the online really? Or is it just an extra feature that be an inconvenience as well as a convenience?

  • The servers are up and will be staying up.

  • Well I got my Platinum in Demon’s Souls and yet I wouldn’t rate that game as one of my very best experiences within the recent years.
    The only real difficulty is that you must know how and when to handle certain situations, not really GOTY material imho and the reason why I didn’t purchase Demon’s Souls so far. I’m far far more excited about Ni No Kuni or Persona 4 Golden.
    But hey, as long as everyone finds something that suits their tastes … ;)

  • Argl, “the reason why I didn’t purchase Dark Souls so far.” of course.
    Freeeeeed, where is that promised edit function and blog revamp? :)

  • Love these games and I WILL finish them one day soon. Not had chance so far, unfortunately having a very young child and a game that you can’t pause don’t mix very well! ;)

  • One of the most terrifyingly tense games of recent times.

  • Demon souuls = great game but i like dark souls more
    I hope dark souls 2 u wil be abel to play online with other players on same time ( co op )

  • ‘Artorias of the Abyss – Dark Souls’ recent DLC expansion – is on sale at a 38% discount’ Ahh the old 38% discount…..random

  • is this like skyrim but with a steep learning curve?

  • Still waiting for SSM tech Vs From design for Demons Souls 2.I’d love to have seen the GOW 3 engine powering Demons Souls 2.

  • @XnoobsquadX
    No,DS has a good combat system and a steep yet fair learning curve.In some ways it’s like God Hand,anything can kill you at anytime.But it’s always because you could of done better.
    It’s not open world like Skyrim,each section you pick is fairly linear and after each section you unlock the next.
    Think there were four worlds,and you can attempt any world from the hub.

  • not long started Dark souls .. must say its a great game.
    very satisfying when you beat a huge boss.
    im descending in to blighttown at the moment and iv died about 3 times.. losing a bunch of souls and humanity.

  • Demon’s Souls is without a doubt one of the finest games ever created (Along with Dark Souls).
    Sony needs system sellers for the Vita, so they failed miserably by not securing/funding Demon’s Souls 2 for the Vita. I think a portable souls game would move tons of units.

  • Make Demon’s souls 2!! Still one of the best games this generation, Darks souls was good but far from Demons souls.

  • i’m quite surprised no mention of 3D Dot Game Heroes. Early on in the game there’s even a joke where one of the npc’s says “I bought this demon’s game, it’s too hard…want to trade?”
    Perhaps fans of the series should check it out 8 bit retro in 3D and challenging. Also made by same team
    I will eventually get around to the Soul’s series but I have close to 300 games on my backlog to play…at least 20 of them are rpgs unfortunately

  • Praise the Sun!
    Thank you Fred!
    Thank you Miyazaki-san!

  • great game! I bought my 1st console almost 2 years ago and one of the reasons I decided to buy the PS3 was because Id heard good things about Demons Souls – and I wasnt disapointed

  • Aw man, just thinking about the last boss of the Valley of Defilement still sends chills down my spine, that was both one of the most disturbing and heartbreaking things I have ever seen…
    Also, I wouldn’t say its the difficulty that is the most defining thing about this game, but rather the sheer, unbridled fear I’ve experienced playing it. Fear of losing all the souls I collected, fear of not knowing what’s around the next corner, fear of knowing what IS around the next corner, the sheer terror I experienced the first time my game was invaded by a Red Phantom! No doubt, this game is hard as nails, but that is only part of the experience.

  • Sony should hire Miyazaki to make Demon’s Souls 2. I’d love having both Demon’s and Dark Souls to look forward to!

  • Demon’s Souls II as a PS exclusive (like the first one) would rule hard. Even if it weren’t exclusive. But a part II to that great story would go down well

  • Would definitely pick up with some discount for PS Plus.

  • I still don’t understand why Sony didn’t keep its right as a publisher for all the world, making this and its successors the PS3 RPG franchise. D* Souls games could be console sellers for the hard core RPG gamers!

  • Dont be afaid of the game. There are people who still play who can really help you through the tough spots. summon someone with alot of multiplayer sessions. Also beware, if you get summoned at soul level 50 or so, you might find yourself in NG+5 or better!

  • @Above. Dark Souls IS Demon’s Souls 2. Dark Souls 2 will be Demon Souls 3 in everything but name.

  • All they would have to do is port this game to the Vita and all of Sony’s vita problems would evaporate, that’s how good this game is.

  • “Not only that, but as way of celebration, Artorias of the Abyss – Dark Souls’ recent DLC expansion – is on sale at a 38% discount (£6.49/€7.99, down from £9.99/€12.99).”
    What’s the deal with this?
    I checked PSN a couple of days ago and it listed the DLC as being on sale at £6.49 until the 5th of February. Checked again today and it’s back to full price.

  • @Peradam
    Exactly! Was going to buy it, but the discount was gone on the 31st (was supposed to last till the 5th). A shame, really.

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