It took me 20 hours to beat the Demon’s Souls remake on PlayStation 5, but speedrunners have already discovered a massive bug that lets them beat it in less than 20 minutes.
The set-up, known as “wrong-warping” or “force quit,” takes some explanation. Demon’s Souls is made up of checkpoints known as archstones, which are functionally similar to the bonfires in Dark Souls. Unlike bonfires, however, archstones are more sporadic, acting mostly as starting locations for the older game’s levels. While players will typically start back up at the last archstone they used upon booting up the game or reviving, there’s a small window between the level loading and a new archstone spawn being saved that can be exploited, as noted in the explanatory video by speedrunner Distortion2 below.
In short, saving your spawn point at an archstone in one area, teleporting to a different area, force quitting by way of the PS5’s pop-up menu after the area loads but before your spawn point is saved, jumping back into the game, and dying will warp you to the same-numbered archstone in the second area. This can be used to perform massive skips, like jumping straight to boss battles against the Dragon God or Old King Allant, as long as you have progressed to the requisite archstone in a separate area.
Distortion2, who has been on the forefront of Demon’s Souls discoveries like opening the remake’s mysterious hidden door, recently used this wrong-warp glitch to complete the game in just 19 minutes, according to the in-game timer. It takes some pre-run preparation — Distortion2 saves his spawn at the Phalanx archstone with a separate character before creating his speedrun character in order to skip the entire opening level — but after that, he’s off to the races.
This Demon’s Souls bug also has some beneficial side effects. Wrong-warping into the Sanctuary of the Lost boss fight places you right in front of Maiden Astraea, removing the need to defeat her bodyguard Garl Vinland or struggle through the toxic sludge that surrounds her. And the endgame boss fight against Old King Allant is made trivial since his AI doesn’t load if you warp into his arena.
Distortion2’s run also makes use of the same environmental collision glitch that nearly got him to the area beyond the hidden door to skip a huge part of the Tower of Latria and snag the Clever Rat’s Ring, which boosts damage by 50% when you’re below 30% health.
Bluepoint Games has been hard at work ironing out bugs in Demon’s Souls since the game’s release almost two weeks ago. So far, the developers have removed a glitch that gave players near-infinite souls for soulsucking a player who’d taken advantage of the massive Luck gains from yet another bug, and also added an invisible wall to prevent players from skipping a decent-sized chunk of Upper Latria en route to the Maneaters boss fight.
There’s no telling when the speedrun-enabling bugs will be removed, but until then, you can bet Demon’s Souls players will continue to use them to get their times as low as possible.