Just like its four spiritual successors, Demon’s Souls is at its best when you’re thrust into the unknown and left to uncover, experiment with, and inevitably get destroyed by its enemies, environments, and treacherous surprises that lie in wait around nearly every corner.
However, if you’re ready to peer behind the curtain, we’re here to provide you with some helpful nudges in the right direction for your first few forays into Boletaria with this Demon's Souls guide. We've got guides for each of the game's bosses, tips for which Class and Starting Gift to pick, and we even have walkthroughs on how to rescue some valuable NPC's like Biorr, Sage Freke, Saint Urbain, and Yuria the Witch.
Demon's Souls Guide: Boss Walkthroughs
You'll be pitted against plenty of creatures throughout Demon's Souls, but the big bad bosses are likely to give you the toughest time. Worry not, fair traveller, as we've got some guides to help. You'll find walkthroughs for each of the bosses below, divided up by Archstone stages.
Boletarian Palace Boss Guides
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Phalanx Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Tower Knight Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Penetrator Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Kill the Blue Dragon
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the False King Boss
Stonefang Tunnel Boss Guides
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Armor Spider Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Flamelurker Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Dragon God Boss
Tower of Latria Boss Guides
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Fool's Idol Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Maneater Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Old Monk Boss
Shrine of Storms Boss Guides
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Adjudicator Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Old Hero Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Storm King Boss
Valley of Defilement Boss Guides
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Leechmonger Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Dirty Colossus Boss
- Demon's Souls: How to Beat the Maiden Astraea Boss
Demon's Souls Guide: Tendency
Tendency in Demon's Souls is pretty darn difficult to understand – so much so that the idea was scrapped for its Souls spiritual successors. There are two types of Tendency to keep track of:
- Character Tendency is a status associated with your current character that gives you slight buffs or debuffs depending on the actions you take throughout Demon's Souls.
- World Tendency is a status that pertains to each of the game's five stages. Changes in World Tendency are more significant and can make your Demon's Souls experience easier or harder.
The above summaries barely scratch the surface of all there is know about Tendency. We've put together the following guides for further fleshed out explanations:
Demon's Souls Guide: Trophies and FAQs
This is the part of the Demon's Souls guide where we help you with the Trophies, hints, and frequently asked questions that you've probably got.
- Demon's Souls: All Trophies and How to Unlock the Platinum
- Demon's Souls: Where to find Biorr
- Demon's Souls: How to Rescue Sage Freke
- Demon's Souls: How to Rescue Saint Urbain
- Demon's Souls: How to Rescue Yuria the Witch
- Demon's Souls: Which Class Should You Pick?
- Demon's Souls: Which Starting Gift Should You Pick?
- Demon's Souls: How Long Does It Take to Beat?
- Demon's Souls: What Happens if You Defeat the Vanguard Tutorial Boss?
- Demon's Souls: How do Multiplayer and Online Play Work?
- Demon's Souls: New Game +: What Carries Over and How to Start New Game +
- Demon's Souls: What are Soul Form and Human Form?
Demon's Souls Guide: Tips and Tricks for Beginners
There’s a lot that Demon’s Souls doesn’t explain to you, and it doesn’t help that you’re immediately met with the choice of a character class before knowing nearly anything about the game ahead. Here are a few helpful pointers to aid with any hesitation you might have early on.
Pick the Royalty Class
Do feel free to pick whatever class you’d like and take it for a spin, but we’d recommend starting out with the Royalty class if you’re struggling to choose. As an eminent member of the ruling elite, you’ll not only begin the game with the Soul Arrow spell, but you’ll also be equipped with a Fragrant Ring that’s actually quite valuable as you won’t come upon one until a few stages into the game.
This ring will gradually regenerate your MP which, in conjunction with Soul Arrows, should make for a much smoother experience out the gate. Having both in your opening arsenal allows you to fire off healthy helpings of Soul Arrows without worrying about restoring your mana pools with spice consumables that can get cumbersome to manage.
However, in all actuality, the classes aren’t all that different from one another – they just have different starting stats, items, and equipment; none of which can’t be procured later on. There’s no class that will ruin your build before you even start, and you can save up to four characters at once, so experiment to your heart’s content!
Don’t You Dare Attack that NPC
Unlike other action RPG’s, Demon’s Souls doesn’t stop you from attacking any of its important NPC’s that happen to be hanging around. A mere accidental press of R1 could legitimately alter the rest of your current character’s playthrough for the worse.
While there might be an NPC or two later on that you'll probably want to put out of their misery, exercise extreme caution around the colorful characters that start out in The Nexus. Blacksmith Boldwin and Stockpile Thomas are especially consequential as they allow you to repair your gear and offload whatever valuables you don't need on each return trip to the game's hub. With the sole exception of the Maiden in Black, if you accidentally kill any NPC, they'll be gone until New Game +. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Try a Different Area
Along the innermost circular staircase of The Nexus hub area sit six stone slabs (one of which is in disrepair) called Archstones. These serve as transport to the game’s stages, each of which is subdivided into checkpoints that are conveniently placed at the end of each boss in that zone. While only the first of these Archstone stages is accessible to you in the beginning, the other four open up after defeating your first big boss.
After gaining access to those other stages, don’t hesitate to visit them and poke around a bit, especially if you find yourself struggling. The stages are not meant to be played in order, and there’s even a hard stop halfway through the Boletarian Palace Archstone that prevents you from moving on without getting through at least one of the other stages first. You never know what you might come across in a different level that could help you with the one you’re struggling with. When in doubt, warp out, and give a different stage a shot.
Spec Your Stats Carefully
After felling your first boss in the Boletarian Palace, you’ll be able to increase your stats by speaking with the Maiden in Black who hangs around in The Nexus. Before you just start spamming your hard-earned souls into Strength to do more damage with your starting sword, think about the type of character you want to play in the long run.
Your Strength stat will be vital if you want a character that can carry a metric ton’s worth of armor on their back while bludgeoning baddies with a massive club as those types of equipment often have a high Strength stat requirement before being able to wield them effectively, but heavily investing in Strength won’t be all that useful otherwise. Try to focus on Dexterity and Endurance if you want a more nimble rapier-wielder, or prioritize Magic and Intelligence (and some points in Faith will help, too) if you’re looking to primarily spellcast.
It’s important that you pick a path and stick to it because, not only does it cost increasingly more souls to improve a stat, but there also isn’t a respec option to redistribute your current character’s skill points once they’ve been allocated. It’s best to plan ahead and make your character-building decisions in advance. If you’re ever at a loss, take a look at what increasing each stat will do for your character on the right-hand side of the upgrade menu and go with your gut. If you’re still struggling to pick a stat to upgrade but have a weapon you’re especially fond of, take a look at what stats it depends on and prioritize those.
Don’t Rush Things
The feelings of frustration that you can become flooded with after dying to the same boss for the umpteenth time are indescribable – we understand that. But, while Demon's Souls is a game about mechanical mastery and precision, it also rewards patience and persistence.
Don't get reckless and sloppy, because it'll only make things worse. If you've got a bloodstain full of souls waiting for you in a boss room, the last thing you want to do is die to some scrawny zombie with a pointy stick. Even if there aren't thousands of souls on the line, carefully dispatching enemies that come your way and not underestimating any of them will save you a ton of time in the long run thanks to how much less dying you'll do. Just take a deep breath and take things on one adversary at a time.
Watch Your Weight
There are two weight stats that matter most in Demon's Souls: Item Burden and Equipment Burden. Item Burden refers to the cumulative weight of all the items that you're currently carrying in your inventory, while the aptly named Equipment Burden dictates the maximum weight of the equipment that your character can have on their person.
You don't really have to spend any time worrying about your Item Burden since you can send items to storage straight from your inventory which will transport them to Stockpile Thomas. Be sure to give him all the ore, armor, and weapons you might have picked up on your excursions as those tend to weigh you down the most. If you come across something you don't have the capacity to pick up, there's no need to worry as you can send any item that's on the ground straight to storage. If you find item management too tedious, increasing your Vitality stat also increases your maximum Item Burden.
You might find that trying out a different sword or giving some shiny new armor a shot makes your character seem slower – that's Equipment Burden. While you could deck yourself out in protective heavy armor and wield a massive greatsword to reach your burden cap, doing so will slow you down and make your dodge rolls take longer. It's completely possible to play the entire game that way, but if you want to maintain your maximum movement capabilities, keep your equipment at or below half of your possible total. If you can't reach a comfortable compromise, then investing into Endurance will also bump up your max equip weight.
Backstab at Every Opportunity
Backstabbing an enemy is an easy way to deal a massive amount of damage, and it'll even leave your backstab victim stunned for a few seconds which will allow you to regain some stamina before your foe regains their footing. It's an all-around excellent way of dispatching any and all of the game's regular humanoid enemies, but do note that nearly none of the game's bosses are susceptible to backstabs.
All you have to do to backstab is approach an enemy's backside and press R1. If you do it in the right spot, you'll temporarily lose control of your character as an awesome backstab animation plays out. It not only looks cool, but also feels so incredibly satisfying to pull off.
You should be on the lookout for pretty much any possible backstabbing opportunity if you're playing a melee character. Get in close, raise your shield, and strafe to the side to try and get an opening at their back. You do have to be pretty precisely positioned for a backstab to initiate, and getting up close and personal will put you in harm's way, but if you're up against an enemy that you're familiar with or one that's heavily armored, a backstab is a surefire way to wipe away most if not all of their health in just a few seconds.
That's all for our Demon's Souls guide, but we hope it helped in some way, however small. Are there any tips or pointers you'd give a Demon's Souls first timer? Let us know by sounding off in the comments below.