Many years ago, it seems like it now, a little known game was released. Demon’s Souls. After the gaming press pooped their pants with excitement, and hearing about it for many months I decided it was time to actually invest in an annoying RPG.
I say annoying because of something I decided to do around the start of 2009. I wanted to actually give some genres a chance instead of just ignoring them and playing counter-strike or rainbow six. Following that I bought Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Borderlands, and eventually Demon’s Souls. I was intrigued by ME, but it was a bit underwhelming when the ending rolled around. I was a bit interesting in how a gigantic barren field could hold my interest in fallout. I was pissed off that I spent 40+ hours playing borderlands, because it was a useless waste of time that I want back. Then came Demon’s Souls.
I spent the first night messing about the first level. Impressed at how I had unlocked two gates as a means to keep track of my progress for future playthroughs of the level, and I sat and stared at a gigantic door for 3 minutes deciding if I was going to open it. It was late, I was tired, and I had to get up for work in the morning. I decided I would give it a go and if I came into trouble turn it off and that would be the end of it for the night. I destroyed Phalanx by figuring out what I had to do, running around and avoiding damage, and needless to say I had impressed myself with actually being able to beat a boss first go around.
I thought about the game the entire day at work, couldn’t get past how much the ambiance of the world had sucked me in, had interested me, and I wanted another taste of it as soon as possible. I spent that night running around some hub world, trying to find some “monumental” who was supposed to explain how it all works. After finding an image of them online I had actually walked right past them at least 10 times. Listened to the story bit, leveled up, and awaited my next play.
That continued for a month, I would think about the game constantly, having it nag at me in the back of my mind, working through ways to get around the world and replaying the game in my head over and over. It wasn’t an obsession, it was lust. That game had something about it, something I wanted, something that brought out the best of me, the worst of me, and made me realize a lot about myself as a gamer.
I had gotten to the second boss, probably stared at the third, and I had decided to move on to a second character. I flew through the first level, got to the same spot, and tried another character. It was getting to the point where the game had little room for my tomfoolery and I had to return to my starting character.
I sat down one day, Beep… Beep… Beep…, Black. “Ugh, what now” I thought. I looked at the ps3 as I turned it on, green, yellow…. Fuck. I spent the next month waiting for the RMA to get to my door, boxing it up, calling Sony and explaining shit for the 4th time. Apparently it was going to be $150 dollars to fix my 60 gb ps3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4CASA0vlXk). My UK friend had the same thing happen a month ago to him.
Well, no worries, everything was backed up to a spare drive, I had everything in waiting, I would soon play again. I get the box, start to import the data, but apparently some of it is “protected” to stop me from stealing trophies or something. Oh great, every single game with trophies is not allowed to be imported, it is there, but I can’t import it. Thanks, Sony. Fine, I’ll just redownload every single game from psn again, patch the games, restart everything, and enjoy my Demon’s Souls.
Good, back at Phalanx and done with the first world. I even tried to remake my characters, but it wasn’t the same. I decided to just stick with my main, get as far as possible. A few months later…. Bleep Bleep Bleep, flashing red. SERIOUSLY! Alright Sony, I’m not paying you money to fix this, you obviously can’t, let me just go buy a slim and be done with heat issues. I beg my dad to take me to the store, the one that actually has it in stock, and have access to my stuff again. I spent a week redownloading all of my psn stuff, repatching every disc I had, what a wonderful “feature”. Made me miss steam, just doing shit for me.
Things got busy with school, I had gotten to the bridge again, with that stupid dragon, but I wanted to level up a bit and try to take it down. I tried for weeks, barely doing anything, magic, bows, nothing…. Oh well. I pushed on, got to the second half of the first world, practically cleared it, messed around with just about every world, and finally gotten to explore the entirety of the game it seemed. I looked into special weapons, world tendency, and I even managed to get some cool stuff during events that unlocked them. I would intentionally die on the first world in order to cause tendency, just to unlock a gate on the left side. Man that lady was hard, oh well.
I went to work that day, seemed like any other day. I got a call, little brother, “The house was broken into, they took your ps3.” WHAT! FFS, it wasn’t…. Are you serious? Hold on… I walked outside, got the details. My mom was having knee surgery, what a great time for this to happen. “It’s weird,” my brother said, “they left flowers and candy in mom’s room.” Heh, no man, those were from me. Alright, I’ll see it when I get home.
Just like that, a year long journey to enjoy a simple game was destroyed. Some asshole had taken everything, my ps3, some cables, thankfully he didn’t touch my rig. It seemed like a year and a half before insurance paid me for it…. A whopping 150 dollars, it was the 250 gb version.
I spent the next few years on steam, waiting for the time to buy a ps3 again, waiting for that moment when I would get a chance to try my hand at playing the game again. It’s been 2 years. Now I get news that there will be a sequel. Cool, but it won’t be the same. I wonder if there will be a pc port? Anyways, I wish I had my ps3 back. Back to Counter-Strike…
I spent many months, years it seems just wanting to buy the system, buy the piece of crap that died twice, that has all the shit I wanted as long as I pay them for “fixing their broken shit”. Piracy my ass, thanks Sony. I even bought Gran Turismo Collector’s edition, a strategy guide for dark souls, just to get a taste. I had to borrow a friend’s ps3 just to redeem the dlc code for GT5, so that it didn’t expire.
It’s strange how you can spend so much time, more time thinking about a game then actually playing it. The only reason I wrote this is because those thoughts, those experiences, that game, is changed forever. The servers are going down, it will be playable, but it won’t be the same. It has survived all this time on sheer fans dragging it to the front of people’s faces, forcing them to give it attention. Hardly any other game has done that. Heck, even got myself a PC port on the way of Dark Souls, that will be nice, but it isn’t the same, it is the original, it isn’t where it all started, not even the same company.
I guess the only way to end this is to say thanks, thanks Demon’s Souls. I’m sorry some people saw you as just a “difficult game” or something where you are “hardcore” because they play you. I’m sorry I never got the chance to find out what happens on 1-4, or at 5-2, but thanks for the memories. Thanks for taking the time to show me what some of the world has to offer, that even though the game may be an RPG, it isn’t. Even though the game has online integration, it’s something so much more. There isn’t too much I can say, except you are probably the best game this generation, probably the most important one since half-life, but no one will ever admit it. One day I’ll have a ps3, probably right after Sony decides to pull its head out of its ass, but for now… Keep enjoying the shelf. Thanks for everything…