Soul Sucking

by Jinryu

The game I’m currently playing (as a break from exam studies) is Demon’s Souls, and as I mentioned, it’s reputed to be the hardest game ever created.  Personally, I think Prinny: Can I be the Hero? is harder, but the difference is that Prinny was hard because of shitty controls and bad game design.  DS is… I don’t know.  It’s very rewarding when you actually get through stages, and the game is designed pretty well.  It’s just… fucking hard.


It plays like a third person action-RPG.  Think of a cross between Mass Effect or Borderlands with  Arkham Asylum/City, minus guns, and set in a medieval fantasy world with knights, wizards and dragons.


To illustrate how hard the game is– I just fought a boss and died, but I died so bad, it’s like I went back in time.


In this game, like in other RPGs, you can “level up” and build your stats up so that your character is stronger, smarter, better at magic, etc.  The boss that I just fought, Old King Allant, has a special move where he literally sucks the level out of your character– meaning, not only can he kill you (that’s the least of your worries), if he catches you with his special attack, he actually makes you DROP experience levels! As in… yes, it took me half at least half an hour of  grinding to gain one level.  And in the span of 2 seconds because I couldn’t dodge the special attack, I’m going to lose half a level.


I’ve lost 5 levels on this boss.  The first time, he did his special attack and I thought to myself… “Soul drained? What the hell does that mean?”  It’s not often I can beat a boss in this game on the first try so I didn’t think too much about it.  The second time I ran into him, he caught me with that attack 4 times.  After the first one, I noticed that my character was getting a bit sluggish– and it was then that I realised that my character was acting encumbered!  I have a pretty specific balance of stats– just enough so that my character is strong enough to wear all his armor while still being able to run.  So suddenly, the fact that I couldn’t run, and that my dodges were getting really laboured– it could only mean that somehow, my stamina stats had dropped.


To lighten the load, I took off a helmet and gloves.  This boss doesn’t leave you along for more than a second or two so going through the menus to de-quip things is really not safe (the game hates humans so much, it doesn’t even have a pause button).  So I take off the stuff, but now with reduced armor I’m just eating damage… he catches me with the special attack a few more times, and eventually, I die.


When I reload– I find that I’ve lost a total of FIVE levels of EXP.  I mean…. PERMANENTLY.  This game is soooo unforgiving…

Basically, a boss fight that I laboured at for maybe 20 minutes cause me to lose the experience that took me something like a whole afternoon to gain.  THIS GAME IS ACTUALLY CANCELLING OUT PROGRESS IN MY LIFE.