I am a Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) practitioner, an environmental biologist, a hard core gamer, modder, a father, and a guy who likes discuss various topics with people. Youtber: The Knight of Green
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First and fore most, if I decided to write a dictionary, Demon's Souls (and Dark Souls) would be my definition of a love-hate relationship. I loved it so much that I got the platinum for it, but on the flip side, I hated it so much, I wanted to prove I was better than it... so I also got the platinum for this reason. This took me 80+ hours and a 4th play through, but finally it is done as all the trophies have been acquired. If you have questions about the game, feel free to ask me and if anyone is around soul level 220, I can trade some stones (I have a few pure blade stones) and I am up for assisting those stuck on bosses, but I am more willing to kill some younglings who think the dragon bone smashing sword is a garbage weapon. Now on to the topic, this is 10 reasons why you are actually the villain of Demon's souls. No matter what you do, you will never be the good guy in this game, it is impossible. Most games allow you to choose what side of morality you are on, but not this one. Everything you do is wrong, and these are the reasons why.
1. Crystal lizards
Ahhh, these little, shiny creatures are the most harmless things imaginable in existence. They are the only enemy in the game that cannot hurt you, I repeat THEY WILL NOT HURT YOU. In fact, their only defense (if you can call it that) is to run away from the player, and then either dig a hole in the ground or run off a cliff to be spared a death from the hands of a human. So why do people spend their time driving these peaceful creatures to extinction? It is quite simple really, people want to use the contents found in/on the lizard's body to forge dangerous and/or supernatural weapons just so they can go about their merry business gutting everything else that moves more easily than before.
2. Game currency
The game currency is souls. You read correctly, I typed souls. There are only a few ways to obtain souls in this game, and unfortunately, there are no good way to do this. The most common way to obtain souls is to kill enemies and demons, which killing in itself in this game is usually not considered a noble action. The next common way to get souls is to take souls found in corpses of legendary heroes and such and melt them down into cold, hard currency, thus destroying the soul of that individual. Also, you can get souls by either helping other humans slaughter things, or you can be that really evil guy by killing a random person's helpers. All and all, a very cutthroat way to get the mullah.
3. Obtaining unique weapons
There are two types of unique weapons in the game; those being created with a boss demon's souls and those that can only be upgraded by colorless demons souls. There are several ways to obtain these weapons. Some of them require you to kill a boss, melt its souls done, and combine it with a weapon upgraded several times through items found on crystal lizard hides. Then the other way is to positively or negatively affect the world tendency of the game in order to conjure the events that allow you to gain theses weapons. This does not sound evil on the surface, but for the most part, these events can corrupt many good NPCs found in pure white tendeancy and turn them into malicious black phantoms so you can kill them and steal their signature weapons. You see, that is wrong on so many levels, not only are you killing them so that you can have their weapons, but you corrupted them in the first place so you could kill them to make their weapons available. Oh, and don't forget, to upgrade some of these weapons, you have to kill multiple primeval demons which are basically the baby demons of the game because their souls are considered the most pure and therefore the most powerful.
4. Exploitations of bosses, especially the dragon god and the storm king
Most of the bosses in Demons souls are very large and powerful, and in order to best them, you must bring them down to your size. To do so, you must find and exploit thier Achilles heel. The phalanx is useless without the hoplites defending it, the tower knight and the adjudicator can be knocked over so you can attack their vulnerable heads, the old hero cannot even see you, and the Fool's Idol is not even actively trying to kill you, However, the Storm King and the Dragon God are the most exploitable bosses in the game. The Storm King only attacks you (and comes into range of being attacked) after you have slaughtered its children, which gives you the advantage because if the Storm King attacked you on sight with its children, you are as good as dead. The dragon god basically accepts death the moment you show up. The dragon god is one of the most iconic figures of this game (it is on the disk and the opening cinematic), in fact, it is potentially the largest organism in the game (cannot tell if the old one is larger). To defeat it, all you had to do was to sneak around its layer/prison/temple, find 2 giant spears, launch the spears to incapacitate the dragon, and with its body pinned, you can now reach up to its head and beat it to death without it even resisting. It can only accidentally hurt you with its weakened flame breath as it is dying and gasping for air. Killing off monsters is one thing, but killing one in cold blood is another.
5. Relationship to NPCs
The only reason why you make relationships in this game is to serve self-interest. You only spare the blacksmiths, Patches, Thomas, Sage Freke etc. because you use them for your own selfish needs. In fact, you wouldn't help them or save them if they did absolutely nothing for you. Also, if you have no use for them, you can always kill them so you can take their stuff and/or get a reward for assassinating them because a random mysterious lady (mephistopheles) told you to do so. It is even encouraged by most professional players to kill the NPCs at the end of each play through so you can obtain all you need for the new start. Though this technique is very useful, it is highly immoral. Sure, even if the people will respawn at the start of the next game, it becomes a vicious cycle of you repeatedly killing them in order to stock up on their stuff. Not very nice is it of you.
6. Character tendencies/North(ern) Regalia
Character tendency is like karma; do something good whitens it, while doing something bad blackens it. Either way you look at it, having your tendency at pure black or white is still evil. Pure white makes you more powerful in comparison to your enemies, so you are a more lethal killer, while pure black makes you weaker, but you gain more souls and more valuable equipment. Also to maximize the power of some weapons like the North(ern) Regalia, you must have perfect black or white tendencies. To obtain pure white, you must slay boatloads of red phantoms, which in order to do so; you generally have to be a more ruthless fighter in order to kill the people who are already invading you and out to kill you. This sometimes requires you to camp in one spot and ambush anyone who crosses your path or you corrupt peaceful npc forcefully to turn them into ravenous monsters that you feel justified in killing. To obtain pure black, you have to either slay a bunch of innocent NPCs in thier human forms, or you can invade other people's games and kill them. So regardless, to maximize your power, you have to be a blood thirsty, heartless slayer of those around you.
7. Whole Valley of Defilement
Everything here is diseased or plagued. Basically, for you it is like going to the dirtiest place in a city and killing off all the homeless and sick people there. Also, there is a woman (dubbed a saint) and her bodyguard who dedicate their lives to caring for the lost and the wretched. So you are not only killing off the homeless diseased people mentioned in the earlier analogy, but you are also going to the nearest hospital and killing off the doctors and nurses who are caring for the said sick and homeless people. Granted most people feel slightly bad about doing this, but you still go through with the mass slaughter anyway in order to beat the game or to receive the many rewards for killing everything.
8. Red phantoms and the Old Monk
These two are self explanatory, you become an evil spirit or a demon whose sole purpose is to kill another person for their body (and possibly kill their friends if you desire souls). The truth of the matter is, you can obtain your body back through helping people or by using a green (ephemeral eye) stone, but apparently, stealing someone else's body is more fun to some people then helping others out. In fact, some people take it a step forward; some people become the final boss of the Tower of Latria just so they can prevent other players from beating the game online in a timely fashion. This is more than just evil, that is also rude as people need to do more things with their lives then just play the same zone multiple times, like you know, play Dark Souls.
9. Rewards for choosing the good or bad ending
Some people I know (including myself) spend the extra time and effort to beat the final bass to death with only the power of their bare fists. The dude wanted to die anyway; so beating him to death is only prolonging his pain and suffering (which makes it more enjoyable to do so). But the main focus is your rewards at the end, if you walk away and choose the good ending, you seal the old one away and become a sort of demigod that everyone can admire, and you get the maiden in black's souls, which you can use to make the spell souls sucker, which is arguably one of the evilest spells out there as it drains the hard earn experience of other human players, and it also one hit kills normal enemies, giving you more souls from their demise. If you choose the "bad" ending by killing the maiden in black, you become a powerful murder crazed right hand demon to the old one, and you get the old one's souls and the red eye stone. There is no use for the old ones souls besides melting it down to pure currency, and the red eye stone is considered the game's honorable duel mechanic as you choose to make yourself available to fight, and your opponent chooses whether or not they want to fight you. However, the consequences are higher if you are defeated in one of these duels (lose a soul level) so many people engage in this sort of combat to level up at the expense of someone else. Again as earlier stated, this is a very cutthroat community.
10. Revelation of the identity of the old one
Through talking with Sage Freke and Saint Urbain at the end game, the inscription of the talisman of the beast, and the observation about the connections between magic and miracles, we learn that in the game the old one and God are actually the same entity. It is surprising to think how this could be so but in this game it all makes sense. If the opening story for the cinematic were accurate, then a theory for what is happening is is that God created man to have a soul because He was hungry for them and then decided to eat them. Essentially the old one created a soul farming system. Whenever human souls become strong, the old one appears, eats most souls on the planet, is sent back to sleep only to reawaken when human souls are ripe again. This draws parallels between the actions of the player and the old one as it is said that the consumption of souls created widespread chaos and destruction. The games religion seems to be a variant of Christianity or Catholicism, which establishes that human beings are made in God's image, which in this sense means humans try to imitate or reach for the status of God. Through our actions because of our thirst for souls, we do many unorthodox things to achieve an infinite supply of them; we create black phantoms by shifting the world tendency to receive their unique weapons, steal souls to satisfy our lust for power, we destroy our each other just for the fun of it, and we become even greater demons then the boss demons themselves. There is very little difference in how we as a player behaves and how the Old One/or God does. So basically, if in this game God is evil, and we are made in Gods image, then we are inherently evil as well. So in theory, to not be evil, you must not play this game, but seeing how you could just go on to playing Grand Theft Auto or God of War, it doesn't make much of a difference, for Demon's Souls teaches us that video games about our inner darkness, and it takes away our conscience and leaves us a hollow form of the inner good we all posses. Now will you excuse me, some guy challenged me to a duel, so I am going to beat his face in with my matching fully upgraded blade stone twin katana set.
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