7 Years Later, Demon's Souls Fans Still Discovering New Secrets

Nearly Seven Years Later, Demon's Souls Fans Still Discovering New Secrets

We're only a few months away from the release of Dark Souls 3, which may or may not be the last Dark Souls game, but everything started with Demon's Souls. You'd think fans had mined everything there is to find by now, but it's not true. This video by Sanadsk been kicking around for a few weeks, but with Demon's Souls' seventh anniversary today — it hit Japan on 5 February 2009 — it seemed appropriate to finally explain the significance of what's happening here.

Like most games, there were levels, enemies and other material cut from Demon's Souls before it was released. What's interesting about Demon's Souls is how it directly references what should have been another area within the fiction.

Demon's Souls is unique from the other Souls games because it's level-based. The other games, including spiritual spin-off Bloodborne, allow players to explore a sprawling map that branches off into discrete locations, whereas Demon's Souls literally has you walking up to portals, called archstones, and warping away.

Nearly Seven Years Later, Demon's Souls Fans Still Discovering New Secrets

Image Credit: Demon's Souls Wiki

The five archstones — Small King, Burrow King, Tower Queen, Shadowmen and Chieftan — leads to five different worlds. But there's a broken archstone the player cannot use, and a character makes a brief reference to its origins:

The [archstone was] given to the great giants of the Northern Lands.

This world was supposedly abandoned — thus, the crushed archstone — to stop the death fog that's spreading through the lands. Big surprise: it didn't work.

Some fans have dubbed this area the Land of the Giants. Fans who really want to go down the rabbit hole should read this post and this post from the series' most well-known data miner, Illusorywall. He's pieced together lots of details about what From Software's plan for the Land of the Giants might have been.

There's a competing theory, though one without any substance, that it's a portal to the world in Dark Souls. From Software has explicitly said the two games are not connected, though obviously they're similar, gameplay-wise.

Over the years, people have dug through the code to unearth abandoned material, which pointed in the direction of this abandoned area. It seems like players would have been forced to face some truly grotesque enemies, such as...

Nearly Seven Years Later, Demon's Souls Fans Still Discovering New Secrets

Image Credit: Demon's Souls Wiki

A sasquatch with a mouth for a stomach? God damn, Miyazaki!

But Sanadsk's video is our most in-depth look at what might have been. It's not sexy to look at, since the area was never finished, but you get the general idea.

Nearly Seven Years Later, Demon's Souls Fans Still Discovering New Secrets
Nearly Seven Years Later, Demon's Souls Fans Still Discovering New Secrets

If you're interested in learning more about other stuff cut from the various Souls, you can't do much better than Sanadsk's channel.


    I played Dark Souls first, but I think it was around the time the PC version was *just* about to come out (around the DLC release?). It was still regarded as 'Demon's Souls 2' and niche of a niche, kinda.

    The PS3 userbase in Japan and elsewhere knew what they were getting, but the legions on 360 by and large were still ignoring that system's port. It hadn't really 'broken through'...but it soon did.

    I went back and played Demon's Souls once I was done with Dark Souls, and holy hell.

    I actually prefer the 'Mario' style of Demon's Souls in some ways. Level 1-1, Level 1-2, they were actually called that were they not?

    The 'Zelda' type of level design that Dark Souls utilised wasn't really open world, in the way that phrase is used. I think Mark has called it a honeycomb sort of open world?

    Anyway, if we were to ever get another Demon's Souls game, this sort of thing would be worth revisiting.

    I never actually played Bloodborne's Chalice Dungeons, I must get on that.

      I think the Dark Souls world design is a much better fit for this sort of game. An interconnected world with shortcuts between certain areas is a much more cohesive design than simply transporting you to whichever location you wanted to go. It really forces you to learn the map and makes subsequent playthroughs a lot of fun. Instead of just saying 'oh I can go to 4-1 now and get XYZ weapon' it becomes 'If I take the master key and try and run through all the enemies in Blighttown I can get that neat gear early'.

      I think the closest we'll see From return the the Demon's Souls world design is what we got in Dark Souls 2 - essentially 'open world', but not really interconnected and with everything accessibly by early teleporting.

      Same here - I MUCH preferred the structure of Demon's Souls where you could just jump directly into whatever area you wanted to do next. I never really got very far through Dark Souls, the one-big-world approach really put me off. I spent most of my time wondering where the hell I was and where I was going.

      My preference for Demon's Souls may also be partly because it was the first one I played, so everything felt new and fresh to me. Dark Souls was basically a refinement of Demon's Souls, and I didn't feel that a lot of the stuff that they changed really improved it.

    I am probably going to get some snarcky comments about my opinion on this, but I feel like the games have gotten worse with every release.

    Sure Demon Souls was not perfect, but it felt a LOT more amazing adventuring from area to area, where as in the newer games the relative linearity means that a lot of the spectacle is lost in what is essentially a mass of choke points.

    Side note, attempting the Dragon God the first time (without a guide) was amazing, nothing will ever be as terrifying as stepping through the fog into what is obviously a choke point about to be filled with fire (with an hours worth of souls saved up).

      I don't necessarily disagree as Demon's Souls was an absolute revelation for me too while Dark Souls had a bit of been there, done that to it.

      However Dark Souls was by far the more cohesive game in my opinion, the areas flowed from one another better and the design was less disparate and this made it easier for people to get in to I think.

      Side note, The Tower of Latria is still my favourite level, I found the Dragon God to be disappointing. Oh and did you know if you beat the Vanguard in the Tutorial a different (much better) Dragon God will kill you?

        I just feel like the games have gotten easier and more streamlined (not for the better), this however is coming from someone that played a lot of the older less explained games (Armored Core, Mechwarrior, etc) and found it more interesting to be beaten into a good player rather than having a lot of the mechanics just handed to you.

        I had no problems with the changes in aesthetic from area to area mostly because it made sense to me. I mean everyone/everything is clearly broken, so why not your characters perception of reality.

        Did not know that about the Vanguard, will have to go back at some point and look into it.

      I'd have to agree with you.

      I picked up DSouls 1 on a whim when there was a pricing error and almost gave up at O&Smough, but thankfully persisted. I have since finished DS1+DLC and DS2 (gave up on the DLC) and have almost finished DESouls.

      I am hesistant but sort of looking forward to DS3 to see if they can create new experiences instead of somewhat regurgating the same old bosses which DS2 was pretty guilty of.

      So far it looks promising though, we shall see =P

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