Demon's Souls

Moby ID: 43104
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 4/15 3:24 PM )
Conversion (official) Special Edition See Also

Description official description

In the land of Boletaria, the Old King Allant wakened the Old One, a terrible demon that was sealed away below the Nexus eons ago. Now a colourless fog is unleashing the demons and terrorizing mankind. Only one lone hero can save Boletaria from its doom.

Demon's Souls is an action role-playing game where the player can choose from a wide variety of starting classes, including hunters, knights, soldiers, priests and magicians. The objective is to proceed through five worlds and defeat the demon bosses at the end of each level. Killing enemies will give the player souls, the game's currency. These can be traded in for weapons, spells, miracles, items and equipment or to upgrade the player's stats at the Nexus, the world's central hub.

During combat, the player has to watch the protagonist's stamina bar, which decreases with physical movements like attacking, evading or blocking. Death does not end the game: once the hero dies he respawns in soul form. This means that his health is reduced, but he can do more damage against foes. Every time the protagonist dies he loses all the collected souls. However, these can be regained by touching the spot where the character lost his life.

The game features an online portion, where it is possible to observe other players playing the game in "alternate universes", running around the level as white phantoms. Places where players died are marked and can be viewed as a replay, to warn the player of imminent danger. It is also possible to leave messages about dangers like strong enemies or traps on the ground, which can be read by other players. With the use of special items, it is also possible to play cooperatively with other players or invade their worlds to kill them.


  • デモンズソウル - Japanese spelling

Groups +



Credits (PlayStation 3 version)

250 People (230 developers, 20 thanks) · View all

Script Translation (Frognation Ltd.)
Voice Recording Co-Ordination
  • frognation ltd. [UK]
Recording Director
Music Composed and Arranged by
[ full credits ]



Average score: 90% (based on 26 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 1 reviews)

Let strength be granted so the world might be mended.

The Good
As technology advances, many of today’s games are making pushes more towards interactive storytelling. The need to obtain the same level of respect as Hollywood blockbusters is a carrot that seems to dangle in the faces of the industry’s biggest publishers. That’s fine. There’s certainly a lot of potential to tell some great stories using the medium, but more and more games are dropping what was once a crucial piece of a good game: the challenge. Not everyone is willing to invest the time to learn the rules and build the skills required to topple the games of yesteryear, so there’s a lot of fear of alienating a large portion of the market that wants their interactive experience handed to them. That’s fine, too, but I feel it’s a waste of the medium. There’s a lot of power in making the player work for their story’s conclusion, there’s a lot more satisfaction in saving the world when you’re forced to actually fight to do so, and few games demonstrates this power quite as well as Demon’s Souls.

Starting as it means to go on, Demon’s Souls casts you as a warrior who has pierced the sinister colourless fog surrounding the besieged kingdom of Boletaria only to be killed. Rather than that being the end of it, your soul is ripped from your body and deposited in the Nexis, a central point connecting five different lands and the prison for the soul devouring Old One. You’re tasked with helping an enigmatic candle maiden lull the Old One back to sleep by defeating powerful demons and taking their souls to become more powerful.

Despite how simplistic that may sound, the narrative is actually pretty nebulous. Demon’s Souls largely eschews cutscenes when telling its story. There are some – a few expository slideshows and establishing shots – but for the most part the plot unfolds through small snippets of occasionally cryptic dialogue and flavour text attached to the game’s many items. It may be a bit anaemic for some gamers that are used to most modern games that are scripted up to the collar, but those willing to actually do some digging into the game’s lore are likely to find a satisfying amount of depth and backstory. It would probably be inaccurate to say the narrative is central to the game, but it’s there for those that seek it.

The environments themselves largely overshadow the narrative. While the game begins in the grey, winding corridors and walkways of Boletaria, it’s not long before the other areas open up and the real game begins. The nexus that binds you is a central hub for the game’s worlds which include a deep and claustrophobic mine, a darkened asylum and its neighbouring towers, a shrine built into a tremendous mesa, and a murky swamp filled with criss-crossing makeshift structures. Few other characters inhabit these worlds, but the ones you do encounter have their own interesting backstories, each wandering for different reasons. It’s a lonely and treacherous world, one whose ruins and monsters tell a story of their own.

Capping off each slice of level is one of the game’s fantastic boss battles. While some of these are pretty straightforward battles against big dudes, the most fascinating ones feature bosses with specific weaknesses or strategies required to topple them. One of the more memorable bouts requires you to pick up a special weapon in the environment, and the sense of empowerment that comes from wielding it is incredible. Others will have you tiptoeing around to avoid detection or hacking at a specific spot until the baddie takes a fall and gives access to its weak point. Even the more straightforward bosses are a thrill to fight and provoke a sense of adrenaline-filled intensity that I can’t recall ever feeling outside some of the trickier classics of the 8 and 16-bit consoles and computers.

Blended into this is a rather unusual multiplayer system that has you interacting with other players in a number of temporary measures. When connected to the central server, notes and bloodstains left by other players can be found littering the ground. The notes can alert you to secret areas, hidden items, or warn of difficult enemies, while the bloodstains allow you to view the last moments of a fellow adventurer as they suffer their sometimes amusing fate. On top of this is the more conventional cooperative and player-versus-player mechanics. While clinging to their human form, players can summon up to three teammates to assist them, but they are also open to invasion from the more malicious players. This is all voluntary, but some of the game’s more memorable moments are linked to player interaction.

The Bad
The reputation that surrounds Demon’s Souls is that it’s an extremely difficult game, which is an assessment that I find to be inaccurate. If the measurement of a game’s difficulty is how many times the player fails in attempting a challenge, then Demon’s Souls doesn’t come close to some of the games I’ve played. During my various playthroughs of the game, it was rare that I’d fail on a boss or in the midst of a level more than four of five times. What Demon’s Souls is, I’d argue, is an unforgiving game. What most gamers have difficulty grappling with is how seriously it treats death.

Dying in Demon’s Souls carries quite a number of repercussions. The most obvious is that you’re immediately kicked back to the last archstone that you spawned from, forcing you to make the perilous trip back through the level. To make things more harrowing, you drop your entire stock of the game’s main currency; souls. Souls are used to both level up and buy items from the various shopkeepers. When you die, you drop them all near the place of your demise, and if you fail to return to them without dying again, you lose them forever. As though that weren’t troublesome enough, you’re also stripped of your corporeal form and reduced to just your soul, which has the drawback of a halved healthbar. To get your body back, you’ll either need to defeat one of the game’s bosses, assist another player in defeating a boss, or simply use a rare and limited item. To top all this off, there’s also the matter of world tendency, a rather poorly explained mechanic that has the various worlds become more or less perilous depending on how successful you are. The point is: do everything you can to avoid dying.

That’s easier said than done. The world of Demon’s Souls demands a great deal of situational awareness. The levels a fraught with traps of a wide variety that prey on the unsuspecting adventurer. Running towards an enemy that waits patiently at the end of a hallway is a good way to get ambushed. Failure to notice environmental cues can result in yet another embarrassing death. Attacking an enemy without first observing their attack patterns often ends with another flattened would-be hero. Underestimate even the lowliest of enemies and you may find yourself cornered without means of defense. Demon’s Souls isn’t always friendly about its hazards – a lot of bosses carry in their arsenal moves so damaging they could be described as insta-kills – but being cautious goes a long way in avoiding the frustration that comes from repeated deaths.

It can be an alienating experience, as frustration is almost unavoidable. Even the first level of the game is long, meandering, and so packed with peril that some give up before even completing it. Most people who have experienced the game like to cite a moment where everything finally clicks for them; a moment where Demon’s Souls finally makes sense. For me, it was blundering my way through a level, absolutely turgid with souls I had unwisely been hording, and finding myself face to face with a particularly intimidating boss. At that moment I knew my only way out was to take the boss down; defeat wasn’t an option. No game has ever instilled such a tangible fear of death in me. It was at that moment that I finally understood the genius that underlies all its mechanics.

The Bottom Line
While it is technically a spiritual successor to the somewhat obscure King’s Field series, when stood next to the tutorial filled, cutscene packed games of today, Demon’s Souls looks and feels as though it were developed in a vacuum. Few games have managed to place so much meaning on death, and fewer have been able to so deftly utilize negative reinforcement to do so. It pulls it all off so effortlessly, wraps it all in deep and flexible character building, and tops it all off with some truly imaginative and unforgettable boss battles. It’s an OUTSTANDING game, bordering on genius, and while not everyone will dig its uninviting demeanour, I feel that everyone experienced in the hobby should at least try it.

PlayStation 3 · by Adzuken (836) · 2015


Subject By Date
Why so difficult? BurningStickMan (17916) Feb 20, 2011


1001 Video Games

Demon's Souls appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


  • 4Players
    • 2009 – Best Import Game of the Year
    • 2009 – #8 Best Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2010 – #3 Best Game of the Year
    • 2010 – #2 Best PS3 Game of the Year
    • 2010 – Best Role-Playing Game of the Year
  • G4
    • 2009 - Best Gameplay Innovation (for its multiplayer component)
  • GamePro
    • 2009 - Biggest Surprise
  • Gamespot
    • 2009 - Game of the Year
    • 2009 - Best PS3 Game
    • 2009 - Best Role-Playing Game
    • 2009 - Best Original Game Mechanic
    • 2009 - Best Boss Fights (Readers' Choice)
  • Gamespy
    • 2009 - Tough Love Award
  • GameTrailers
    • 2009 - Best Role-Playing Game
    • 2009 - Best New IP (Intellectual Property)
  • IGN
    • 2009 - Best PS3 Role-Playing Game
    • 2009 - Best PS3 Role-Playing Game (Readers' Choice)


MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Demon's Souls (Deluxe Edition)
Released 2009 on PlayStation 3
Demon's Souls (Digital Deluxe Edition)
Released 2020 on PlayStation 5
Demon's Crest
Released 1994 on SNES, 2014 on Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS
Demon's Winter
Released 1989 on DOS, Amiga, Atari ST...
Demon's Blood
Released 2023 on Windows
Demon's Tilt
Released 2019 on Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4...
Demon's Revenge
Released 1988 on ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC
Demon's Tier
Released 2020 on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, 2022 on PlayStation 5...
Demon's Crystals
Released 2016 on Linux, Windows, Xbox One...

Related Sites +

  • Demon's Souls Wiki
    A fan-driven wiki devoted to the game. Includes information such as localization differences, walkthroughs, character builds, items and weapons and more.
  • trophy guide's trophy guide for Demon's Souls

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 43104
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

Additional contributors: CaptainCanuck, Big John WV, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack, Zhuzha.

Game added November 3, 2009. Last modified December 24, 2023.