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Creator / FromSoftware

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Difficult, but Awesome: The Developer

FromSoftware, Inc. 『株式会社フロム・ソフトウェア』 is a Japanese game developer founded in 1986. Outside their home country, they are known for Nintendo Hard games involving Humongous Mecha and their brutally addictive, trope-codifying Souls-like RPGs, Demon's Souls, the Dark Souls trilogy, and Bloodborne. Generally speaking, almost every game they make tends to either go against the grain or has something to distinguish itself from the competition.

In early-mid 2014, Kadokawa announced that they acquired 80% of FromSoftware, ending nearly 20 years of independence.


Games developed by FromSoftware:


Armored Core series

King's Field series

  • King's Field I, II, III, IV
  • King's Field Additional I & II
  • King's Field Mobile I & II, EX

Recurring tropes in FromSoftware's works:

  • Arc Symbol: Symbols feature heavily in fromsoft games, especially those of the Soulsborne series, and often consist of very simple iconography, often circles, and often featuring flare that makes them look like part of the world; The nexus glyphs of Demon's Souls, the Darksign for Dark Souls, the Hunter's rune for Bloodborne, the death kanji for Sekiro, the queen's runestone from Lost Kingdoms and the shattered ring for Elden Ring.
  • Associated Composer: Kota Hoshino was responsible for almost all the music in the Armored Core series, while Motoi Sakuraba and Yuka Kitamura are associated with the Hidetaka Miyazaki-directed projects.
  • BFG: The Karasawa Gun, often used as one of the strongest rifles available (Armored Core usually has it as an Infinity +1 Sword).
  • BFS: The Moonlight Sword, a regular among the the strongest blades available (laser blades in Armored Core, magic swords in the Souls series, bazookas in the Metal Wolf Chaos).
  • Bag of Spilling: A common mechanic is to have the protagonist drop all their EXP/money (usually the same thing) when they die. Have fun fighting your way back and getting it again.
  • Crapsack World: The setting for Armored Core is less than optimistic, with each new installment escalating the global conflict and the pathos of war. The same can be said for the Souls series, with a recursive plot involving the fall of a great kingdom and the inexorable rise of darkness. Bloodborne adds Cosmic Horror to classic torch-and-pitchfork Gothic Horror using epic amounts of corrupted chum upon stunningly bleak city- and landscapes.
  • Mysterious Waif: A Recurring Element in their fantasy games. Each game features a young woman with a mysterious past (usually completely unexplained), and frequently magical powers, who stays in the Hub World and helps the hero however she can, often by leveling up. She is usually a Blind Seer, and has Mystical White Hair. In Demon's Souls she's the Maiden in Black; In Dark Souls I and III she's the Fire Keeper(s); In Dark Souls II she's Shanalotte, the Emerald Herald; In Bloodborne she's the Plain Doll, and in Sekiro she's Lady Emma, who takes an unusually proactive role by being the Penultimate boss in the Shura ending.
  • Mythology Gag: A number of them appear between FromSoftware's titles
    • The Moonlight Sword, mentioned above, is a massive sword with an immaterial blade of blue-green light. In the King’s Field games, it's a magical claymore of great power. In Armored Core, it's the most potent Laser Blade, balancing length and intensity. In Demon's Souls, its blade ignores physical barriers: namely shields. The Dark Souls games allow it to be blocked, but grant it a Sword Beam ability, and Bloodborne makes it a seemingly ordinary claymore that may adopt the Dark Souls traits on command. In the Metal Wolf Chaos, it's a very powerful bazooka-type weapon, which looks like a sword with handle and shoulder rest from "Super Bazooka" and shoots slow-moving vertical lightning discharges. There's also a King's Field game maker tool for Windows they have developed that was also named after it as Sword of Moonlight.
    • Patches appears in Armored Core: For Answer as Patch the Good Luck, a cowardly sniper who abandons his faction as soon as he notices his life is at risk. In Demon's Souls, he's Patches the Hyena, a grave robber who promises treasure to unwitting adventurers, only to kick them into a pit full of dangerous enemies so he can rob their corpses for things to sell. In Dark Souls 1 and 3, he's Trusty Patches and Unbreakable Patches respectively (these two seem to be the exact same person) and does the same thing as his Demon's counterpart. The same goes for Bloodborne’s Patches the Spider, with the minor change that he's literally a spider. He is absent from Dark Souls 2, however an Expy named Mild-Mannered Pate is present instead, who has a different look and voice as well as a slightly different MO — he still tricks people into getting killed by traps by promising them treasure, they're just not his traps. He just wants a guinea pig to sacrifice to the trap and get rid of the danger so that he can have the treasure all to himself. He also doesn't seem to rob corpses.
      • And a notable side-note: Patches always uses the most cowardly fighting style possible when confronted. In Armored Core, he snipes from great heights, avoiding direct combat entirely. In the Souls games, he tries to avoid confrontation entirely, preferring to dispatch his marks with trickery and kicking people into enemy-filled pits, and if forced to fight, he wields a spear from behind a greatshield (and in Demon's Souls especially, he uses the health-regenerating Adjudicator's Shield along with the Scraping Spear which causes massive equipment degradation). Pate uses this fighting style as well.
      • What’s more, Patches always has a special (and usually mutual) hatred of the clergy, whoever they may be in the game's universe. Except in Bloodborne, where he pretty much is a member of the clergy in all but name (to Amygdala).
      • Also, falling for Patches's tricks usually gives you an opportunity to forgive him for tricking you. Usually choosing "no" will result in him giving you extra rewards as a way of sucking back up to you, but either way he becomes a merchant for the rest of the game.
  • Nintendo Hard: A large amount of their published games throw in some particularly nasty Classic Video Game "Screw You"s, including, but not limited to: Checkpoint Starvation, Kaizo Trap, numerous boss battle types, Spiteful A.I., Early Game Hell, Guide Dang It!, Bag of Spilling, etc.
  • Scenery Gorn/Scenery Porn: An amazing mixture of both; when they want to convey the greatness of a scene, they do so with every cent of their budget. And when they want bleakness... let's just say nausea isn't too strong a word to apply.
  • Signature Style: There's a lot of variety in their catalogue, but in general their games are known for being unforgivingly difficult while still allowing a wide latitude of player freedom, having extremely confusing stories, and being at least a little bit janky. Also, complicated menus.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The main theme of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro. To elaborate, Resurrective Immortality is a mechanic used just for the player, but said power is painful to go through and especially in the latter, this combines with Immortality Immorality, where many of the people are willing to commit various crimes to obtain it.


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