Dark Souls Creator's "Masochistic" Approach

Dark Souls wasn't created to punish the player — at least, not really. The game's creative director, Hidetaka Miyazaki has revealed that the game was made for himself.

In an interview with EDGE Online, Miyazaki said that claims that the game was "sadistic" and "cruel" towards players were not quite true.

"If I had to say for myself, it's actually the opposite. I'm more masochistic," he said.

"I created Dark Souls while thinking about what type of game I would personally like to play. I wanted somebody to bring out a really sadistic game, but I ended up having to make it myself."

Miyazaki said that despite not wanting to compromise on the game's difficulty, they may have "gone overboard" with the curse in the game.

"Once you reached a quarter of your health bar, we didn’t think that anybody would be cursed further than that, and they’d be able to cure themselves," he said.

"We expected very few people to reach 1/8th or 1/16th of their health, but it turns out a lot of people found themselves in that situation. When we balanced the game, we had all our testers play it, but after a certain amount of playing, test players get immune to all the difficulty in the game. We didn’t think it would ever happen. For people who did get cursed down to 1/8th or 1/16th health prior to the patch, I’ll say this: it’s an important experience you’ve had with the game."

Difficulty was a bit of a problem for us when we played it, but there was nothing a lot of practice couldn't fix. How did you find Dark Souls? Too hard? Not hard enough? Just right? Let us know!



    I'm not touching Daek Souls after getting angry at Demon Souls. Sure, I could have left the tougher enemy alone, but I ALMOST killed him every damned time, and every damned time I'd have to fight my way back there to get my XP.

    And by that point (Every time) I was thinking, "You know, I have beat the other enemies up until this point pretty easily, I'll just have to watch out for that attack he does and keep on the move".

    And then I'd die again.

      Totally agree. Too much bullsh*t punishment. I like exploring game worlds, not wearing a groove in the round where I've had to run the same stretch 50 times to get nowhere. Pfft.

      You shouldn't get discouraged after playing Demon's Souls. Dark Souls is a MUCH easier game, and while it can be frustrating at times, I had a much better experience with it compared to Demon's Souls.

        I second this. Dark Souls is much less cheap and more polished. Also easier to progress since it has more checkpoints.

        in my mind, a game that is hard is super meat boy. they spend the first few levels giving you the basic tutorial stages so you know the controls and ideas, then they constantly ramp up the difficulty.

        in this game you get this half assed that only gives you what buttons to press without telling you whether or not you've correctly learned the basics before forcing you to re-run the same section over and over and over again just to get another shot to fight one guy who got a cheap shot off on you.

        yes i understand death is meant to be a big part and you're supposed to learn, but i'm not exactly embracing the learning process when i have to kill the same guy for the 20th time

    Can't wait to try Dark Souls, but must finish Demon's Souls first. I haven't played it in over a month!

    In all honesty I wished I could have turned the difficulty up even further. The game was SO easy to cheese. It wasn't hard, it just required you to pay attention. If you didn't have enough stats to get past a certain section you just had to grind a bit and level up.

    The hardest part of the game was navigating the menus and scouring the Internet for explanations on all the different stats that weren't explained in the manual

      Games where you HAVE to grind to beat things aren't fun.

        I'd usually agree 100% but Demons Souls was built in such a way that you could tackle different areas of your choosing should you have trouble in a specific area, in fact it's encouraged. The grind did not feel so bad since it was never really necessary to grind in one spot for that sole reason, every time I retread ground it was to get a bit further, defeat something specific, or find a new treasure - A fantastic reward for overcoming adversity.

        You don't HAVE to. I didn't grind at all, except for like an hour when I first started. I soon realised it makes next to no difference what level you are. The proof is in the countless amounts of people who play through the game without leveling so they can grief new players in ng+. This game is the complete opposite of a grind fest.

    dark souls will be even more difficult to those who aren't patient. The game absoultely punishes you for being overconfident and rushing into things... After dying a thousand times from rushing, still no lessons learnt.

    Once you get use to the whole Block , Roll and Strike system I found Dark Souls really easy and if you know how to push out alot of damage in short timings you can actually cheese through a majority of the fights which were mean't to be hard like Seeth the scaleless, Four Kings, Gravelord Nito.

    I also found the curse effect a non-issue since theres only like three areas where it can happen.

    I enjoyed playing the game I just wish it unlocked an "easy" mode after you beat the game.

    After doing all the "hard work" I would love to just be able to pick it up and play it for half an hour enjoying the combat and environments without having to be constantly on my guard.

    I lost some respect for the game when it got easier after a major update. Still was a lot of fun and very good value for the time I got out of it.

    I managed to get cursed maybe... 4 times in all my several playthroughs? I don't know how the hell anyone managed to get cursed more than that, much less in consecutive runs of one area.

    Dark Souls was definitely an easy game to play (only a handful of buttons, no tiwtch reflexes needed, no combos to master), if not necessarily an easy game (harsh - but not overly so - penalties for getting things wrong), if you have muscle memory and patience to learn it, far easier than Demon's Souls, I found (bonfires were too liberal, enemies too weak and telegraphed too easily and so forth). But like the earlier days of doing a LLNMIENA FFVII run, the Real Dark Souls™ can begin on successive play throughs (level 1, fists only, no pyro etc)

    It was also a pure game, with all the trimmings of Things That I Like, with none of the trappings that AAA title's wear proudly upon their boxes that I detest. In fact, in many ways it the things Dark Souls doesn't do or doesn't have that I like it the most for. No many-hour long tutorials. No laborious 'press X to open the door' moments (fuck you Skyrim) that remind you that you are playing a game. No shiny ding dongs held above your head, proclaiming you got 'THIS' (fuck you Zelda) despite having got that thing many times before (both in that game and in gam-ing). No cumbersome menus or superfluous design decisions (except maybe an overly large UI/health bars/items).to wade through.

      If you don't like that aspect of Zelda then the child inside you is dead and I feel sorry for you.

        It's a little overboard in SS when you get it for every collectible, every single time you load the game. Once for each item is fine per play-through, not every play session.

    Haha, no need to feel sorry for me at all. It is garbage game design, and is something that affects Zelda in a way I can't get - and am determined to not overlook - past. It's a similar game mechanic fault that FFXIII exhibited - after every battle you are shown a 'loot' screen, regardless of whether the enemy actually dropped any loot and you must press X to close that screen.

    Why is that considered good gaming? It's utter garbage that should have been designed out of games generations ago.

      So that little stupid complaint is what stopped you from playing one of the most celebrated games in 2011?

        No. Read and think beyond the words of what I'm saying.

        I played Skyward Sword, and that aspect of it was something (among many other things) that annoyed the hell out of me. Made me embarrassed to be caught playing it (like that fucking annoying Midna creature in TP and the incessant 'eh' 'oh' 'ah' sounds emanating from every speaker - the only time I was glad the Wii couldn't do decent sound)

        To you that complaint is 'stupid'; to me it was beyond annoying, almost the straw that broke the camel's back. I've never been a fan of Zelda's "find a lock & remember to use the key" and pseudo 'make you feel smart but not actually make you smarter' design philosophy, so every little irritant is heightened during my time spent with it.

          Besides, how can anyone sit through a game of Fi and still have good things to say about it?

    I've been playing Dark Souls for MONTHS now, and I without a doubt love it. The difficulty was definitely there, but it never seemed cheap or unfair. Thats because every single time I died, I knew it was my own fault, because I stopped concentrating or just didn't have the knowledge yet on how to beat a boss.

    I'm just about to throw down with Nito after over 60 hours of play, and I seriously can not reccomend Dark Souls more as an entirely satisfying gaming experience.

    I once sighed in disbelief "it's a shame they don't make games like that anymore", and the demons and dark souls came out. Prayer answered. Thank you FROM SOFTWARE

    how much do you have to suck to keep getting cursed?


    My only compliant toward Dark Souls was, that why is it always connected to the net? my connection isnt great so sometimes i would die cuz of lag. a dely of like 0.5 sec is more that enough to get you killed.
    sure you can play offline but the u lose are the comments and summons.

    Beside that Dark Souls is my 2011 GOTY.

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