Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Demon's Souls

Go To
Brave soul, who fears not death.

"Soul of the mind, key to life's ether.
Soul of the lost, withdrawn from its vessel.
Let strength be granted so the world might be mended.
So the world might be mended."
The Maiden in Black

Demon's Souls is a Playstation 3 game made by FROM Software (in collaboration with Sony's JAPAN Studio) and published in the US by Atlus, Europe by Bandai Namco Entertainment, and Japan and SE Asia by Sony.

The game is set in the Kingdom of Boletaria, which was led to great prosperity by King Allant XII with the use of the power of souls, until it was beset by a strange colorless fog that isolated it from the rest of the world and brought soul-hungry demons with it.

After the world was let known of Boletaria's plight, legend spread of the chaos within the kingdom wreaked upon it by a beast from the Nexus and of the demons that grew ever more powerful with each soul they devoured. Many people went to Boletaria, either to save it from its plight or lured by the prospect of the power of souls, but all were lost in its chaos.


You are one such person, like many others now dead and trapped in the fog with your soul bound to the Nexus. From there, your journey begins...

The game introduced a unique online multiplayer mode that limits direct interaction. Non-interactive "ghosts" of other players atmospherically fade in and out of the game. This includes interactive bloodstains, which shows a ghostly replay of how other players died. Players can also leave short messages for each other, with those rated positively granting the message writer a temporary power boost. This doesn't stop some players from giving deliberately bad advice For the Evulz, however. Under certain conditions, you can receive direct help by sending out a summons that will randomly pull another player into your world, while others are out to kill you for the Souls that you hold and can enter your world uninvited. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. On November 27, 2017, it was announced that the multiplayer servers for the game would be shut down on February 28, 2018, after around 9 years of being online: 9 years 23 days for Japan, 8 years 4 months 22 days for the US, and 7 years 8 months 3 days for Europe. Not that it's stopped hardcore fans from going as far as to setting up their own private servers.


A Spiritual Successor / Non-Linear Sequel, Dark Souls, was released on October 4th, 2011. A second Spiritual Successor for PlayStation 4, Bloodborne, followed in 2015.

This game provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The highest level for any single stat is 99, making the highest possible Soul Level 712, with all individual stats at 99. The maximum is far beyond what's needed to complete the game.
  • Always Night: Tower of Latria and the Valley of Defilement.
  • Anti-Villain: Maiden Astraea and her protector Garl Vinland. Astraea took residence in the Valley of Defilement and became a demon to help its inhabitants, and Garl is there to protect her.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Adjudicator boasts not one, but two weak points — a giant gash in its side, and the bird on its head.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Some of the gear you get later in the game, like the Brushwood Armor set have high stats, but they're incredibly heavy and have high stamina penalties.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: At the end of 1-3, you find a typical Fat Official, the likes of which you've been fighting as regular enemies before. At first it looks like he would be the boss (on account of him having been the subject of more cutscenes than the Maiden in Black)...but suddenly he gets stabbed from behind and thrown out by the real boss, The Penetrator.
  • Bald of Evil: Sported by Patches the Hyena, an untrustworthy fellow who has set a trap for the player.
  • Batman Gambit The Maiden in Black can wait for someone or a collective to clear the way so she can lull The Old One back to sleep. Of course, the player can decide to double cross her at the end, making him/herself the Spanner in the Works.
  • Beef Gate: Happens a lot in this game, Shrine of Storms being a notable example. Even the basic enemies of the level, the silver skeletons, are absolutely ruthless, and can easily kill an unprepared player.
  • BFS:
    • A few of the two-handed weapons, such as the Northern Regalia or the Dragon Bone Smasher. The latter doesn't even have a blade, it just crushes enemies.
    • Some enemies can also wield this, such as the Penetrator and the Gold Skeletons in the Shrine of Storms world.
  • Big Bad: The Old One.
  • The Blacksmith: The brothers Ed and Boldwin. Former resides in the Nexus, and the other is hidden in the Stonfeang Tunnel, and is able to enchant your weapons.
  • Bladder of Steel: You cannot pause the game. At all. The game continues to run whether you're checking your inventory, writing messages, or even changing game options. The only way to stop the game is to quit from the menu. However, enemies don't respawn or chase you without attracting attention, so it's generally safe to park yourself somewhere...well, unless you were playing online and a black phantom invaded your game.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Fixed in the USA and European localisation. But in the Chinese/English version, while the NPCs and most important information show Surprisingly Good English, some of the flavor text is borderline gibberish.
  • Blob Monster: Phalanx. Played with however, since it's actually some kind of magical glowing mass of gunk, covered in slug-like, shield- and spear- wielding Hoplite monsters. Once all the Hoplites are dead, Phalanx itself is completely helpless.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: Possibly the creepiest fight with a demon happens in the church in the Prison of Hope.
  • Body Horror: Many enemies in the game, but especially the multi-human-faced scorpion/centipede things in the Tower of Latria, who are implied to be the result of ghoulish experiments on the prisoners there.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Biorr of the Twin Fangs, one of Boletaria's mightiest warriors and an eager friend to you.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • You can get through certain stages by sniping the demons to death. It takes a long time, so you better have a lot of extra arrows in case you miss. And even then, you might need to go back and get some more.
      • The official strategy guide even flat-out states that the easiest way to kill the red dragon is to do this. Sure, you can kill it with melee weapons, but why the hell would you when it can kill you with one swipe of its tail?
    • Spears. Sure, you can use all kinds of exotic and/or gigantic weapons, but the simple combo of excellent range and accuracy is hard to pass up. Not to mention the ability to poke your opponent from behind a shield, especially if you have the Endurance to block boss-swipes and still attack without lowering it.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: Dragon God has parked itself right in front of two ballistas, which were placed there by the Burrowers to be used in the event it ever resurrected. They perform their duty admirably.
  • Boss Battle: Happens at the end of every section of every level.
  • Boss Corridor: A tunnel leads up to the room where you battle Maiden Astraea and Garl Vinland. The corridor leading to where you fight the Dragon God gets extra points for giving you a view of the boss and its primary attack in all its glory. Finally, an example before the False King, after the Blue Dragon. Partial examples before the Storm King and the Old Monk—they are only empty after you fight and beat the Old Hero and Maneater in each corridor, respectively. There's also the Armor Spider, whose boss arena is a giant corridor.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Black Phantoms, who are created similarly to your own character and generally have better stats than you. The Giant Maneaters in the Valley of Defilement are another infamous example.
  • But Thou Must!: When the Monumental tells you its plan to defeat the Old One, you get to decline to helping it. It then points out that your only other option is staying in the Nexus for all eternity, slowly withering away.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • No, they're not manta rays, they're Storm Beasts. Granted, in Real Life, manta rays don't fly, but they're visually indistinguishable from the former.
    • The Mirdan Hammer, which is called a Lucerne hammer in the real world. Then again, the world of Demon's Souls is not our world, and thus has no Lucerne, Switzerland.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • The assassins that you see after the Tower Knight's arch stone look a lot like Altair.
    • The Tower Knight himself bares a striking resemblance to Grunbeld.
      • The Knight also bears similarities to Talos- both are colossal figures clad in metal, with powerful long-range attacks and defeated by wounding their ankles to release their vital force.
  • Cherry Tapping: Ever killed a boss with a broken sword?
  • Cognizant Limbs: Two for the Maneater (body and tail), and an impressive five for the Storm King (both wings, tail, body, and head).
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In the Valley of Defilement, AI human black phantoms (who normally operate under the same limitations as you) are not encumbered (or poisoned) by the swamp at all.
    • Neither is any enemy for that matter. That includes the Giant Depraved Ones, who can't be stunned, have loads of HP, and will relentlessly pursue and attack you with their heavy-hitting giant clubs. Their Black Phantom versions are probably the most hated enemy in the game.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: One lone human soul against a veritable army of demons...AHA! Those demons won't stand a chance!
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Mostly absent; status effects can help a lot (or even be gamebreakers with exploits) when fighting most bosses and strong normal enemies. They were also helpful in PvP.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The player can walk right up to the edge of lava without injury. Dragons' firebreath has a pretty messy hitbox and may cause damage without actually coming in contact, though a fire that size should still have a much larger area of effect.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Monumental and the player, depending on his or her choice.
  • Counter-Attack: It may be pretty hard to pull off (as in if your timing is off by a millisecond you're eating whatever attack you were trying to stop) but you can parry the attacks of most humanoid enemies, at least those with weapons, if you're using a small shield, some weapons, or even with your empty offhand by hitting L2 at the right time. If timed right it staggers them back and leaves them open, hitting the light attack button immediately after a parry executes a downright brutal counterattack. Swords, spears, and other stabby weapons impale your enemy before you slam them to the ground for more damage than you could hope to do with any other physical attack, usually instantly killing the poor sap you just parried. Blunt weapons smash your target in the pelvis before slamming them in the chest and crushing them to the floor, doing, wait for it, just as much damage as their stabby counterparts. Oh, and the one boss 1-3 that's human? And the sub-boss Garl in 5-3? Yeah, these work on them.
    • You are, however, advised not to attempt to parry Garl's Bramd when he starts two-handing it. He'll just plow through your parry and kill you. Similarly, the Penetrator's most dangerous attack, the lunging impale stab of death that autotracks to an extent, is unblockable and can't be parried, and will almost certainly kill you on the spot if you try.
  • Crapsack World: Let's see: there's Boletaria, a kingdom that is considered a paradise on Earth in comparison to other lands, but is supported by an army of slaves (the Dreglings). The land of the burrowers is a dangerously difficult-to-navigate system of mines and caves that go all the way down to molten magma, wherein lie a powerful fire demon and the bones of a dragon god that the burrowers actually expected to revive one day (given that they created a sword with the sole purpose of killing it, as well as two giant javelin launchers to pin the sucker down). The Tower of Latria was taken over by a madman an unknown amount of time ago, but couldn't have been a land of sunshine and roses before the Old Monk showed up, seeing as the place had obviously been set up as a prison from its construction. The land of the Shadowmen is the home of a long lost tribe of warriors who gave far more care to the dead than they ever did to the living, and whose "gods" include a gigantic man-eating monster and a monstrous flying manta ray. Finally, there's the Valley Of Defilement, where all the garbage is sent, whether it's things, animals, or people. It's the garbage dump of the world, and it was a nightmarish place even before the demons came: when the Maiden Astraea came and became a demon, conditions actually improved. The water is toxic, poisoning anyone who isn't a local, and there are plague rats, gigantic man-eating insects, the nightmarish plague babies, a monster that is nothing more than a horrendous mass of leeches, and apparently some of the garbage was there so long that it actually gained sentience and started moving around! And let's not forget: There is no God, only the Old One This game brings "Crapsack" to a whole new level.
  • Creepy Crows: They're present in various locations, usually feasting on the abundant corpses. The Shrine of Storms implicitly even has a talking crow (popularly called Sparkly) who you can trade "sparkly" items with (see also Thieving Magpie).
  • Critical Hit: Counter-attacks and backstabs are the most basic ways of achieving this, however some weapons have 'sweet spots' that deal extra damage when you strike an enemy with a certain part. Note that counter-attacks can be triggered on any enemy whose attacks you can block; those Blue-Eyed Knights? One good counter-attack (which is actually easy enough to do consistently) and they're done for the count. You can, in fact, kill almost everything in 1-1 with a single counter attack before you even level up.
    • The epitome of this is the Secret Dagger, whose sweet spot damage triggers (and thus adds onto) backstab and counter-attack strikes. Add to this that this dagger can have its damage in this area further enhanced by imbuing it with Marrowstone, and your potential for massive damage sky-rockets.

  • Dark Action Girl: Mephistopheles, Oolan, Miralda, several unnamed Black Phantom invaders. Most of the women capable of fighting in Demon's Souls appear to be baddies.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Maiden in Black. She has a pretty sinister moniker and an overall creepy vibe (what with her wax-covered eyes), and happens to be one of the most powerful demons around. However, she is the only one who can lull the Old One back to sleep, and wants nothing more than to do so.
    • Astraea, the maiden saint; you find her on a pile of human corpses in an enormous pool of plague-infected blood, surrounded and worshiped by the vile things dwelling in the swamp. On the other hand, she seems to genuinely care for the poor once-people in the valley, she doesn't attack you at all, and it's very likely she killed only in self-defense.
      • Those vile things in the swamp? Fucking aborted fetuses.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: You can die as many times as you want; the only penalty is loss of your currency and a shift in your World Tendency. In-story, this is explained as a phenomenon that only happens when one dies in Boletaria, and continues after the soul is bound to the Nexus.
    • It becomes a lot less cheap if you take the World and Character Tendencies into account. The more you die (except for spirit form deaths, if you've patched), the blacker it gets, and when it's all dark, it becomes harder.
  • Death by Despair: The Crestfallen Warrior, the blue phantom in the Nexus, slowly becomes more and more depressed as the game goes on and if the player keeps talking to him he eventually loses his mind and fades away leaving only a storied hero's soul behind. It is implied that this happened because he lost the will to live or he was separated from his physical body for too long, which begs the question if this will be the same fate as your own character.
  • Death Mountain: World 2, the Stonefang Tunnels, complete with falling rocks, hot lava and multiple opportunities to fall to your death.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The giant bearbugs explode once you kill them.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: If some of the bosses have names like Dragon God, then defeating them counts as this.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Some of the higher level spells and miracles, like Firestorm, Soulsucker, and God's Wrath, fall under this in PVE. They do huge amounts of damage to enemies, up to one-shoting the final boss. But their charging times are some of the longest in the game (Sometimes reaching up to 4 seconds) and can only be done at very close range. So using these spells correctly requires careful planning and a lot of knowledge of enemy attacks, so that you can time these attacks well.
  • Dirty Coward: After you survive his trap Patches the Hyena is quick to placate you with a gift.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The crescent falchion in 4-1. Although it can carry you pretty far into the game if you know what you're doing.
    • For a faith based character the blessed mace found in 5-1. It'll probably be your primary weapon for awhile since the only place to get faintstone (which is required for blessed weapons) is one of the harder worlds.
    • And for a strength character the crushing great axe in 2-1. It can be obtained within soon after Stonefang becomes available and can even be upgraded once or twice if you progress a bit and a willing to do some grinding.
    • Another disc one nuke, albeit it takes far more effort to get than the above, is the Dozer Axe. The weapon is very heavy and possesses no stat scaling, but it does impressive base damage for an early STR build character.
    • The Noble background starts with a wand, the Soul Arrow spell, and most importantly, a ring that constantly regenerates magic. The official guide packed in with the US release outright states that this is overpowered and encourages the player to abuse it. With sufficient Magic and Faith, the Noble is almost unkillable, thanks to long range attacks from Soul Arrow, an easy method of healing with a healing spell (easily obtained quite early), and inexhaustible magic from the ring.
  • The Dragon:
    • Garl Vinland is this to Maiden Astraea, the Big Bad of the Valley of Defilement. When he's gone, she doesn't even bother defending herself.
    • In Boletaria Palace, you'll have to slay (or at least evade) two literal dragons serving the False King Allant.
    • The Real King Allant to the Old One, with the False King Allant serving as a Dragon-in-Chief and the Final Boss.
    • Essentially, the game revolves around you slaughtering your way through the ranks of the Old One's flunkies so you can become its Dragon. Of course, you end up betraying it. Maybe.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Ostrava kills himself, after seeing his father as a demon.
    • Saint Astraea kills herself too, if you eliminate her knight Garl Vinland first and then talk to her.
    • Likewise, Garl Vinland will kill himself if you kill Astraea first.
  • Drone of Dread: A faint, pulsing drone can be heard in the background for the second level of the Tower of Latria, which is implied to be the beating of the Old Monk's enormous heart. It really helps sell the evil atmosphere of the level.
  • Dual Boss: Maneater, to the dismay of many a player who did not expect last-minute reinforcements
  • Dual Wielding: Can be done if you want to, although you need the strength to be able to properly wield both weapons one-handed. And if you want to get ridiculous, you can dual wield two-handed weapons.
    • Dual Wielding in game is about like Dual Wielding in Real Life: Awesome, but Impractical. While you can do all sorts of nifty attacks with the weapon in your right hand, the weapon in your left can parry and do a single, half-inept slash.
      • When the online servers were still up, Dual Wielding Katanas was a very viable strategy in PvP, as the offhand Light Attack has decent range and is very quick. It's used to set up combos.
  • Duel Boss:
    • The Old Monk, which is a multiplayer duel against another player. However, since the game's servers are currently disconnected, you now just have to fight a fairly weak and unintelligent generic Black Phantom.
    • The Penetrator, a sword duel against a knight wielding a massive BFS. You can tip the odds in your favor by freeing Biorr from prison however, in which case the battle can be trivialized, as Biorr is an absolute tank.
    • The Final Boss, False King Allant, who wields the cursed BFS Soulbrandt.
  • Dug Too Deep: Implied in the backstory of Stonefang, when the precursors uncovered the Dragon God... and ever since, took measures to ensure it does not get out.
  • The Dung Ages: The entire game world (spearheaded by the Valley of Defilement) seems to contain nothing but pain and despair. Made obvious through the vendors, who in several cases are covered in crap and seemingly unable to stand upright. Most of the Mooks have the appearance of terminally ill humanoids.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Being the first "Souls game", there are some spots where From and JS were still trying to suss out how best to approach certain mechanics, and they maybe didn't quite hit it on the head this first time around:
    • The biggest is HP restoration: there is no Estus Flask-style free HP restoration item. All HP restoration is instead handled by a selection of dedicated healing herbs. While there were some enemies who served as "money" targets with dedicated drops of said herbs (ala Bloodborne and its blood vials), part of the problem is that the herbs came in four different tiers - and the higher tier ones only dropped rarely. You otherwise had to buy the healing items you need. Needless to say, this was a generally unpopular system due to how much grinding it required, and all the Souls games which followed would play around with how HP restoration worked and how you gained it.
    • The other big one: world tendency, the final part of this implementation of the multiplayer system. In short, your actions had an effect on the world at large - act like a jerk and you'd trend toward "Black Tendency", act virtuous and you'd get "White Tendency". This would have various effects on the world, like making monsters stronger or weaker, and opening routes to various pieces of treasure. Moreover, your personal tendency would affect the "Global World Tendency" toward White or Black. While theoretically a neat idea, the tying of the concept to loot made true 100% runs virtually impossible and thus made the concept more an annoyance than anything. Later games replaced world tendency with various branching paths in individual NPC sidequests.
    • Speaking of the multiplayer: unlike the later Souls games where you can opt to limit your matchmaking to your region, but ultimately everyone worldwide plays together, Demon's Souls has stridently segregated regional servers due to how it was published in each region. JP players play on one server, NA players on another, SE Asia on yet another, et cetera. Needless to say, during the game's more "niche" era this made playing with anyone even more difficult than it should've been.
    • Endurance increased both your Stamina bar and your equipment weight threshold, making it generally the most valuable stat in the game. Games that followed uncoupled the two and tried various other solutions for equip weight (including Bloodborne discarding it altogether).
    • There were really just two kinds of equip-weight dodge rolls: normal rolling at under 50% and "fat rolling" at over 50%. Needless to say, this made a lot of the heavier armors rather undesirable and further encouraged tons of END stacking. Later games would get more granular with the dodge mechanics and how it tied to weight.
    • On that note: item burden. That's right, because the game was patterned somewhat more traditionally off of "older" RPGs (like From's own King's Field), your inventory didn't exist in a complete Hammerspace. In addition to equip weight, you had to worry about the overall weight of your inventory. Happily, going over 50% didn't hamper your rolls, but if you went over 100%? Hope you like walking. And yes, the aforementioned healing herbs, not to mention bow ammunition, would contribute to this total. As might be expected, this was tremendously unpopular and made trips back to the storage NPC common (to say nothing of pointlessly hampering bow builds). Every following Souls game would basically implement a Hammerspace-style inventory.
    • Spellcasting was radically different from later Souls games. The biggest was a dedicated magic bar instead of the Vancian charges-per-rest system of later games or Bloodborne's more granular ammo system, and more importantly, there was a ring that granted passive MP restoration. Moreover, casting catalysts weren't honed - spell power was determined purely by your magic stat and by the base power of the spell itself. Even weirder, there were no stat requirements for the spells - the strongest Catalyst had a mild stat requirement, and you'd need enough Intelligence to have the MP to cast certain spells, but that was it. And on top of all this, you could continue to walk during the early part of your casting animation. While all this does allow for a purely-spellcaster based playstyle, in practice it was seriously overpowered for a lot of bosses and enemies, and even the developers didn't like how it trivialized some of the content. Later Souls games would make serious changes to how spellcasting worked, with Bloodborne almost throwing the concept overboard entirely until the Old Hunters expansion.
    • Character death was a bit odd here, too - you have a "dead form" like other Souls games, naturally, but here not only does it make you simply a semi-translucent "soul" instead of a walking Hollow, the dead-form penalty seems severe: you lose half your max HP. This isn't actually nearly as bad as it sounds - most enemies and bosses are balanced around you being in Soul form and thus will do quite a bit less damage than veterans of later games might expect - but a penalty that steep sure didn't feel great and was super unpopular. One of the big selling points of Dark Souls, in fact, was this penalty not being part of the game structure. DS2 played around with the idea of decreasing health on death, too, but not nearly as dramatically, and it also made sure that "re-humanizing" was much, much easier than in Demon's Souls (where revive items are rare, and co-op was a bit harder to pull off).
    • Tying in to the "you're a soul spirit" idea, fall damage was vastly more lenient here than it would be in later titles. The idea seems to be that, as a semi-incorporeal ghost, falling down isn't as big a deal for you... though you can still take equally big plunges as a human. There's a few places where the game even expects you to make use of your generous fall damage allotment.
    • Tying in to that, the game lacks something that will feel jarring to later Souls veterans: plunging attacks. You can't attack at all while falling, which is likely to feel very, very strange to players of later games.
    • A number of armor sets were gender-specific, or changed appearance based on gender. This looked cool in some cases, but naturally also led to debate in a few others, and was also a lot more work for the art team. Every game after Demon's featured fully unisex outfits, with a tiny number of exceptions.
  • The Eeyore: The Crestfallen Warrior.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The Old One, a gigantic, foliage-covered, formless god.
    • The final boss of Shrine of Storms, the Storm King, a gargantuan sting ray.
    • In the second part of the Tower of Latria, there's the giant heart made of the bodies and fueled by the souls of the prisoners, which seems to be the only thing keeping the Old Monk alive.
  • Elite Mook: There is usually one of these per world:
    • In Boletarian Palace, the Red-Eyed Knights which deal and take a lot of damage.
    • In Stonefang Tunnels, the Giant Bearbugs are huge and heavily armored, but extremely slow, and they deal fairly low and easily dodge-able damage. However, some of them block the way so you can't just go around them.
    • In Shrine of Storms, both the Dual-Wielding Black Skeletons and the Golden Skeletons.
    • The Tower of Latria's prison guards. They have powerful long range attacks that will tear you to bits if your character doesn't have good magic defense, and if you try to close the distance, they can hit you with a paralyzing attack before running over and eating your brain.
    • In Valley of Defilement, the Giant Depraved Ones, who are extremely powerful and fast. Their attacks power through your attempts to block them and they are completely unimpeded by the swamp water, which slows you to a walk and takes away your ability to dodge.
    • The Black Phantom version of any enemy will deal and take much more damage than most regular enemies.
  • Equivalent Exchange: A demon's soul for your life.
  • Escort Mission: Luckily of the non-mandatory variety. There are spots in World 1 where you have to save Ostrava from some sticky situations and where he'd likely be killed without your help. Failing to save him doesn't penalize you or stop you from progressing; in fact, letting him die effortlessly nets you a valuable key much sooner than you'd normally get it. But if you do want to keep him alive you have to be careful if you die and return to a level he's on before you've completed it, since in 1-1 and 1-3 he'll still be around and blunder right into the respawned enemies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Patches, the backstabbing thief, will warn you to stay away from Yurt the Silent Chief.
  • Evil Is Easy: The only way to obtain Pure White Character Tendency is to kill certain Black Phantoms, those being either the Black Phantom versions of NPCs that appear in Pure White World Tendency, or invading players. This means you either have five chances per cycle to raise it, or you'll have to fight actual players. To obtain Pure Black Character Tendency instead, all you have to do is pick some NPCs to slaughter (though invading as a Black Phantom and killing the host works too), with there already being three or four in the Nexus that you won't particularly missnote . Considering that Evil Pays Better as stated below, it's hard to see from a pure mechanical standpoint how sticking to Pure White Character Tendency is really worth it.
  • Evil Mentor: Sage Freke can become one to you, if you follow his advice of killing the Maiden in Black at the end to seize the Old One's power for yourself.
  • Evil Overlord:
    • The Old Monk, master of the Tower of Latria, who overthrew the rightful king and queen of Latria and began to conduct foul magical experiments on their people, turning them into the army of demons you face in the level. He's eventually revealed to be a mere pawn for the possessed magical robes he wears, which are the real demon you need to face.
    • King Allant, who effectively caused the entire mess by awakening the Old One.
  • Evil Pays Better: The reward for gaining Pure White Character Tendency is the Friend's Ring, which increases damage dealt as a Blue Phantom by 20%. Neat if you tend to do that sort of thingnote , but you ultimately only need the one since you can't equip two of the same ring. For keeping Pure Black Character tendency, you get the Foe's Ring, which is the same thing but as a Black Phantom, but on top of that you get two extra Colorless Demon's Souls, which are difficult to acquire upgrade components of which there are only ten per game cycle, including these two. Not only that, but considering that Evil Is Easy and your Character Tendency has nothing to do with the ending you get, it's certainly the more attractive option between the two.
    • At the end of the game, you are given one of two Demon's Souls. For doing as you're told, you get the Maiden in Black Demon's Soul, which gives 60,000 Souls when used or can be given to Yuria for the Soulsucker spell. Instead killing her will get you the Beast Demon's Soul, which has no use for weapons, spells, or miracles, but confers a hefty 200,000 souls when used. Seeing as how once you get any spell you have it for keeps, it's most profitable to be good once, then turn to the dark side for the end of every other cycle. Then again, it's not that hard to make 200,000 souls anyway thanks to the Reaper, so the difference isn't as big as it sounds once you have Soulsucker. note 
  • Evil Plan: The Old One has a simple one: collect souls for eating. Allant found this out the hard way.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Tower of Latria.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most boss names say it how it is: Tower Knight, Armored Spider, Phalanx, Penetrator, to name a few.
  • Experience Points: Souls are both these and currency.
  • Exploding Barrels: Found around the place, although they explode only when set on fire. Hitting them with regular weaponry just breaks them.
    • Of course, God help you if your weapon is on fire when you hit it.
  • Fake Difficulty: Normally, the game avoids this. Deaths are due to mistakes, and generally your own fault. However, it's in full swing in the Valley of Defilement. The problem is that your enemies are fast, painful, and hardy. You can be painful and hardy, but 95% of the second stage of the Valley of Defilement severely inhibits your movement, disallowing you from running normally, sprinting at all, and rolling, which is the only thing that keeps you alive in this game. The result is being forced to get smashed by giants with clubs when you're barely able to evade them, and even less able to retaliate, the only exception being if you can engage the enemy on the very scarce land, which isn't possible in some cases.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Blue-Eyed Knights. They can do a lot of damage to you early in the game, but their attacks are predictable and they're quite easy to outmaneuver.
    • The fireball-using Fat Officials in Stonefang Tunnel can count as this to players who first meet them, as they are the first enemies that use spells if the player hasn't been to the Tower of Latria yet.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The tutorial ends with you coming face-to-face with the monstrous Vanguard in a very enclosed space. You're supposed to die so that your soul can be bound to the Nexus. If you're good enough, however, you can kill the Vanguard, which nets you a lot of soul items. And then you die anyway, so that your soul can be bound to the Nexus.note 
  • Fat Bastard: The Fat Officials, the Adjudicator, the Vanguard demons.
  • First Episode Resurrection: The tutorial ends with your death.
    • Likely a foreshadowing of how many times you will die in the game.
  • Flaming Sword: Just add turpentine.
    • Then there are the Dragon weapons, which have permanent fire effects.
  • Flunky Boss: The Phalanx Demon and The Tower Knight. For Phalanx, the boss itself is completely helpless, relying on the swarm of shield-bearing Hoplite soldiers that surrounds it for protection. The Tower Knight is quite formidable on his own, but is assisted by a squad of crossbowmen who constantly fire at you from the ramparts that you need to deal with before you can duel the Knight himself.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the spears you can find is called a revelation from god. It's made completely from wood. Since there is no god, only the Old One, that means the spear was made from a piece of the Old One himself.
  • Friendly Fireproof: An arrow launched at you by an enemy will just pass through other enemies, though the Blue Dragon will toast anything, allied or not.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: The Monumental is the only NPC that reacts to being attacked without taking damage and it chides you for wasting your energy.
  • Gender-Restricted Gear: Male and female avatars have 4 complete armor sets to their genders. In addition to this, female avatars have an exclusive pair of gloves that boosts their soul gains.
  • God Is Evil: There are hints implying that God, the deity venerated by Urbain and his followers, and the Old One responsible for this whole mess, are one and the same.
  • Giant Flyer: The Storm Ruler. Because giant flying doom mantas just aren't giant flying doom mantas unless they're big enough to sweep most of the arena in massive spines in a single strafing run.
  • Gradual Regeneration: The Regenerator's Ring, Adjudicator's Shield and any type of blessed weaponry have this power. They can be stacked.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Blacksmith Ed. Boldwin counts, too, but isn't nearly as grumpy as his brother.
  • Guide Dang It!: The official strategy guide is only available in the Deluxe edition. Of which production ceased two weeks after the game was released.
    • There are items that cannot be found without the right World Tendency. Plus there are several visible side areas that can't be accessed and NPCs with side quests that can't be completed without the right Tendency. It's easy for players to get stuck trying to figure out a side quest or how to get into an area without realizing that they need to change the Tendency (which is itself a Guide Dang It!). Probably the most notorious example is Lord Rydell in the Tower of Latria. You find him in his cell easily and you're given a definite clue as to where the key to his cell is, so you just need to find it, right? Wrong. You need to get Pure White World tendency for World 3 and then locate the key in World 3-2. It doesn't help that keys to cells and floors are already all over the first stage of the Tower of Latria and the clue you get can easily be interpreted as hinting that one of the Fat Officials in Worlds 1 or 2 is holding the key (and Fat Officials in 1-3 already have keys to prison cells holding other NPCs). The Internet is still rife with gamers demanding to know how they can save Lord Rydell after they've wasted hours trying in vain to find the right key.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: In general, the bosses in the game are the easiest in the series, with simplistic attack patterns and not much in the way of clever trickery. The levels, on the other hand, tend to be a major ordeal, with the difficulty of some bordering on the hellish, a matter not helped by checkpoints only coming whenever you defeat a boss.
  • Hellhole Prison: The Prison of Hope, which is filled with torture chambers, manned by sadistic Mind Flayers, and contains cells so small that prisoners can't sit down.
  • Heroic Fantasy
  • Holiday Mode: Halloween 2009 temporarily made it harder by upping the damage of the monsters.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The Vanguard at the end of the tutorial, to serve the plot. Beating him is acknowledged by the game, earning the player a decent reward for his or her trouble...and also nets the player the privilege of being killed in a cutscene encounter with the Dragon God, end-boss of Stonefang Tunnel.
  • Homage: Tower of Latria's swamp looks a lot like ActRaiser's Bloodpool, down to the red bloodied waters.
  • Implied Love Interest: Maiden Astraea and Garl Vinland seem to have more than just a bodyguard relationship, and care about each other to the point that if the player kills one of them, the other won't attack and will kill themselves out of grief.
  • Infinite Flashlight: The light stone on your belt.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Meat Cleaver, a large sword made from the Adjudicator demon's soul, has the best stat boosts in the game (it gets boosted by YOUR stats, not the other way around), having A's in strength and dexterity, and an S in Faith, meaning that as long as you work on those stats, its damage scales up much faster than any other weapon in the game. Although it is a bit bigger and slower than other swords, once the player passes a certain threshold, its damage leaves all other weapons in the dust.
    • The Blueblood sword is probably closer; it requires you to finish arguably the hardest world before it can be forged, it requires a large spread of stats, and its true power requires an unorthodox stat-spread (it scales best off Luck, which is otherwise considered useless). It's quite fast, has massive power, and can be enchanted (most of the other candidates can't be), making it an almost instant gamebreaker. As a bonus, it requires forging from a broken sword.
    • While not necessarily superior to either the Meat Cleaver or Blueblood Sword in performance, some of the fully upgraded weapon paths can fall under this due to how many of them require farming for ore to forge. The fully upgraded "Sharp" path is particularly infamous as it requires getting a rare ore which can only be dropped by 2 types of enemies (of which there can only be one of each in the area they drop them) and the possibility of them dropping is incredibly low. Comparatively speaking, forging either the Meat Cleaver or Blueblood Sword is relatively simple (or at least less of a test in patience).
    • The Dragon Bone Smasher. While it has "only" a B scaling in strength, it also has the highest Base Damage in the game, and can be enchanted. It's a bit held back by being very slow, but also has humongous swing arcs.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: You can't jump even by running off ledges, and just about any ledge higher than your knees is off-limits, but with short ledges that aren't meant to block off out-of-bounds areas, you can move against them and hoist yourself up.
    • The area below the Nexus has insurmountable knee high stone blocks that keep you from just wandering off into the wastes.
  • Jerkass: Patches the Hyena, Satsuki, Sage Freke's disciple, and the Filthy Woman.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Sage Freke originally starts out as a wizard seeking to understand the power and nature of souls. The further into the adventure, the more... disturbingly fascinated he becomes with the power and knowledge they grant him, until at the end, he urges the Player Character to not lull the Old One to sleep, and let the world continue on in its broken, chaotic state, so he can continue to utilize the Soul Arts. By following this advice, the Player Character does as well.
  • Justified Tutorial: It's your entrance into Boletaria. It can be skipped, though, but it's recommended to go through it for the souls and extra items.
  • Karma Meter: Soul Tendency.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Katanas are only better if you have the DEX to back them up. They also have some of the lowest durability in the game, making you a fine target for those that enjoyed the Scraping Spear. They are, however, very good on your stamina, have a very long range, and could exploit a tactic called pushlocking in PvP to make it all but impossible for the player it's used on to strike back... until they figured out that the easiest way to break pushlocking is to switch weapons.
  • Kevlard: The Adjudicator qualifies, although the Meat Cleaver stuck in his chest was a pretty good indicator of where you had to hit him.
  • Kill It with Fire: An effective tactic against the Phalanx demon.
    • And every enemy in the Valley of Defilement. All that filth must be very very flammable.
    • The three primary damage types are physical, magic, and fire, 'nuff said.
  • Lady and Knight:
    • The Slayer of Demons and Maiden in Black have this going on, with their titles being very self-explanatory. The Slayer must venture forth to kill the demons, which would be an impossible task if not for the Maiden's assistance.
    • Maiden Astraea and Garl Vinland, are a more traditional example. Astraea commits to her sacred duties as a saint of the church, and Vinland protects her. Both are utterly devoted to one another, to the point where if one dies, the other can't go on living.
  • Large Ham: Biorr of the Twin Fangs.
  • Last of His Kind: The Monumental. It sits on the higher of two floors, each with long walls lined with dozens of its similarly-dressed companions, all dead, each with a snuffed candle in front of them. The one living Monumental is the only one with a lit candle.
  • Light Is Not Good: Maiden Astraea. A once pious person, she did not take it well when her faith shattered, taking on the soul of a demon and ruling over the corrupted denizens of the Valley of Defilement. She is described as having "the most impure soul."
    • Granted, her alleged impurity becomes more of an Informed Flaw when you realize that switching her loyalty from God to demons wasn't really much of a change at all — see below.
    • Miracles may seem all dandy and righteous, but when you realize they require demon's souls to learn (not at all unlike spells) and that God might not exist or even be the Old One, well...
  • Light Is Good: Astrea's soul is impure because she is absorbing as much of the filth as she can, to make the Valley a slightly better place for the denizens. She is not so much ruling over them as comforting them.
  • Lord British Postulate: The Hopeless Boss Fight at the start of the game has a health bar just like all the other, non-hopeless bosses. The dev team anticipated this trope and added a scripted kill-the-player-instantly sequence in the very next hallway, just in case.

  • Made of Iron: All of the NPCs are incredibly sturdy and have a lot of health, but special mention has to go to Biorr. He helps you in your fight against the Penetrator and the Blue Dragon, and both times, he takes the brunt of the punishment, the kind which you'd die from easily, yet he can keep taking all the damage and keep standing up to charge.
    • To put that into perspective, when you see him the second time, Biorr takes repeated blasts from an enemy that would kill you in one hit (at around 600 HP). Biorr takes 20 HP from the attack. This becomes less fun when dealing with enemy unique NPCs (Rydell has more HP than you can max out at in the game).
    • This is because has the full Brushwood set, a Purple Flame Shield, and possibly a Flame Resistance Ring, meaning that he laughs at flame attacks. This set up can in turn make Flame Lurker reasonably easy as barring his claws, he loses much of his fire power.
  • The Magic Comes Back: The awakening of the Old One marked the return of the long-forgotten Soul Arts. Magic could be cast and miracles of God could be invoked again.
  • The Magic Goes Away: When the Old One is lulled back to sleep, the Soul Arts disappear once more.
  • Magic Is Evil: Played surprisingly straight. Magic, or "The Soul Arts" being rediscovered is what leads to the second Scourge, and most magic is born of demons. Sage Freke, the most powerful mage you meet who has a reputation as wizarding wunderkind, goes insane at the end of the game and asks you to kill the Maiden in Black and let the colorless fog engulf the world just to keep the Soul Arts around. You can also purify demon's souls to make miracles as countersigns against them, but according to the Talisman of Beasts, God is just the Old One, making miracles the same thing as magic.
  • Magic Knight: Moon and Crescent weapons can give any mage power in a melee fight.
  • Medieval European Fantasy
  • Mega Manning: You can learn powerful magic or abilities from boss demons by taking their souls to Sage Freke, Yuria or Saint Urbain.
    • By taking them to Ed the Blacksmith you can make powerful unique weapons with different effects and uses.
  • Messianic Archetype: Astraea has elements of this, as she willingly suffers for the inhabitants of the Valley of Defilement by absorbing their impurities into herself, healing them but making herself increasingly corrupted.
  • Mirror Boss: Old Monk, of the "equivalency" rather than "identical" type. You actually fight another player in Black Phantom form if you played online.
  • Mook Chivalry: The dreglings in the intro cinematic are polite enough to attack the Slayer of Demons one at a time despite surrounding him. The enemies in the actual game won't extend you the same courtesy.
  • Mook Lieutenant: The Fat Officials, who appear to be in command of the various mooks you encounter in Boletaria and Stonefang.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Dragon God.
  • Multiple Endings
  • Mysterious Waif: The Maiden in Black.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Mephistopheles (she will task you with killing the other inhabitants of the Nexus, and will attack you with the Soulsucker when you've accomplished it), Miralda the Executioner (will attack you whether she's alive or a Black Phantom), and Yurt the Silent Chief (one boss fight after you free him in the Tower of Latria, he starts assassinating people in the Nexus).
    • The Penetrator.
    • The Dragon God.
    • The Maneaters, especially being widely considered one of the most difficult boss fights in the game.
  • Newgame Plus: After completing the game, you return to the beginning with all your stats, souls, items, equipment, and spells on hand. And the enemies are even tougher now.
  • Nice Hat: The Fat Officials wear them. Also, in order to rescue Yuria, the player has to wear one of these hats as a disguise.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game demands impeccable timing to attack and block in a sea of enemies who'll stun-lock you to death - if they won't nail you from afar.
    • The series as a whole is considered the modern reigning champion of this trope, along with the Shin Megami Tensei series. Oh, and DS was published by Atlus, ShinMegaTen's developer. Coincidence? Pfft, no.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Garl Vinland.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Release Yurt from his prison, and he will happily begin butchering all the various helpful NPCs in the Nexus. And when he's done with them, he'll come for you!
  • Not So Different: Sage Freke and his follower despise Saint Urbain and his followers as fools worshiping a false and most definitely malevolent god. Likewise, Urbain condemns Freke and his ilk as heretics who rely on demon magic for power. Both sides are absolutely correct!
  • Obsolete Mentor: In a weird gameplay sort of way, rather than a narrative one. Freke's Apprentice will teach the player basic spells that only require regular souls to learn, and can set or change the player's loaded spells. When Freke is rescued, he does the same things on top of having a selection of spells that use boss souls instead, so Freke's Apprentice becomes the obvious obsolete mentor (The Disciple of God doesn't count, as he disappears outright once Urbain becomes available). The weird part is that this also applies to Freke himself, as Yuria also allows the player to manage their spells, including those taught by Freke, meaning that if you bought all of Freke's spells then there's nothing he can do that Yuria can't do just as well. Why this pushes Freke toward this position instead of Yuria is because of Mephistopheles. In order to get the Colorless Demon's Souls rewarded to you for killing Patches and Biorr, you also need to take out Freke and Urbain first. Yuria, on the other hand, is the final target given to you by Mephistopheles and killing her gets you the Foe's Ring, which on top of being useless offline is something that you would only ever need one of since you can't wear two of them at once (whereas Colorless Demon's Souls are used to upgrade special weapons and shields, and the ten per playthrough you can get is only good enough for two items). Thus, spellcasters who already have all of Freke's spells have nothing to lose by killing him for Mephistopheles since Yuria has them covered on everything, making him the second obsolete mentor.
  • Obviously Evil: Yurt the Silent Chief. The menacing voice... the Sauron-like armor... the sinister sickle-like weapon... the statement that "Life is not so precious." Really, though, he's in a cage when you meet him. If he is anything, it is not good.
  • Ominous Fog: With soul-hungry demons in it.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Only when you impress King Doran with your fighting prowess will he let you have the Demonbrand.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: When you die, you return in "Soul Form" (this will probably happen a lot). There are also friendly blue phantoms as well as hostile black phantoms, unusual in that players as well as NPCs can become them. While NPCs and their black phantom incarnations are gone for good when you kill them, there are a number of ways for players to come Back from the Dead.
  • Our Souls Are Different
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • 1st stage after the Tutorial, there's a Red-eyed Knight. You are not supposed to casually take them on until about 30 character levels later. You can, however, position yourself so the character AI walks off a cliff and kills itself from falling damage. This enemy respawns every time you enter the stage, and you get a lot of souls from it.
    • The beginning of the second stage in the Shrine of Storms (4-2) has a nearby flying manta and a soul-summoning reaper-esque enemy that are collectively worth a solid 7,000 souls when killed while wearing the Ring of Avarice, a ring that gives you more souls for your kills. Just start 4-2 with a bow and some decent arrows and take out the flying manta when it flies close. Right after that, run inside to the ledge between the two narrow bridges and snipe the reaper enemy waiting in front of the altar below. Collect your 7,000 souls, return to the Nexus, come back, repeat.
    • The Storm King Archstone (4-3) after you defeat said Storm King is a prime spot for racking up souls by using the Storm Ruler to kill the large flock of flying mantas. Since there's an archstone right there, it's easy to teleport back to the Nexus and return for another round of manta killing. With the Soul Thirst spell you can get up to 35,000 souls per round, but even without Soul Thirst it's a simple and safe way (that is, by Dark Souls standards) to grind quickly.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Many, many items and demon souls. The main reason for this is because reloading a previously saved file does not mend your mistake; once it's done, it's done for the entirety of this playthrough. For example, if a crucial NPC dies, anything related to them are lost until you start New Game+. In some cases, you have to make a choice on which item to obtain, losing the other in the process. World Tendencies also seem to affect this greatly. One of the biggest replay values of the game is trying out different options and collecting previously unobtained items. However, the Monk's Head Collar became the only completely unobtainable item in the game after the online servers shut down at the end of February 2018; while the only other item that requires being online to get is an Ephemeral Eye Stone found in the pantheon at the very top of the Nexus, it's not a completely unique item.
  • Piñata Enemy: The miners with sacks and the Crystal Geckos. Both appear only a set amount of times per playthrough, making them very, very valuable.
  • Player Killing: Invasion is a mechanic allowing Soul Form players to enter the games of Body Form players in order to revive into Body Form themselves. Invaders are called "Black Phantoms" and use the Black Eye Stone in engage this mechanic.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Gender doesn't affect base stats; though it does affect which armor the player can wear. Female characters have exclusive access to Silver Bracelets (a gauntlet which increases the amount of souls you get every time you kill an enemy), the Binded armor set (light armor with high fire resistance, zero stamina regeneration penalty, and can be acquired as early as after the first boss) and others. On the other hand, males have exclusive access to the Old King armor Set (heavy armor with high fire resist and no stamina penalty), Dark Silver armor set (heavy armor with remarkably high magic resistance), and others. Overall, men get more suits of armour.
  • Recurring Boss: In a manner of speaking. The three Black Phantoms encountered in the room right after the Penetrator boss fight are actually the three bosses you had fought in the Boletarian Palace so far - Phalanx, Tower Knight, and Penetrator - only as their former human selves.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Red-Eyed Knights, The Black Phantoms and The Dragon God.
    • One sure way to tell a strong enemy from the rest is whether or not its eyes glow.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The two dragons in World 1-1. The red dragon is standing at its nest in an attack position, searching for prey, and will immediately come after you if you dare set foot on the bridge several hundred feet away. The blue dragon, meanwhile, is taking a nap.
    • Yet, when you get close to the blue dragon, it's swinging tail will suddenly aim at you & try to crush you. Maybe he's just pretending to take a nap.
  • Role-Playing Game: An Action RPG, which is made by the East, but also has elements of the West (sort of).
  • Royal Rapier: The rapier is treated this way, as the Royalty class uses one as their starting weapon.
  • Sequence Breaking: Normally, while advancing in a world, the player has to go through fog gates, usually 3. In world 4-1 it is possible to bypass all 3 fog gates and finish the level in 5 minutes.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • Depending on how you play the game, you may end up facing the final boss with the following equipment setup: The armor of an ancient demigod king, a shield dedicated to the judge of fallen warriors, a spear that is considered a Revelation From God (and boosted five times from the souls of demons), a bow forged from the soul of a Demonic Spider, and a divine talisman crafted in the image of the Big Bad. Need I go on?
    • The game itself pulls one on you: having New Game+ means that you can now go slaughter all those hapless Demons with your overpowered stats a la traditional JRPG, right? Wrong, with each successive New Game Plus you take, the game gets harder!
    • Another example is simply having 99 on all stats, due to the insanely curving amount of Souls needed to upgrade the more you go on. Full Brushwood Armor set (heaviest in the game) and dual wielding the Dragon Bone/Keel Smasher (also the heaviest in the game), and still able to keep it under half maximum equip burden for normal rolling? Experienced players' responses would be somewhere along the lines of: "Been there, done that."
  • Serial Killer: Yurt, who begins killing people in the Nexus if you free him.
  • Shoot the Dog: No matter how you cut it, killing Maiden Astraea and Garl Vinland, who only want to bring comfort and salvation to those abandoned in the Valley of Defilement, is a morally reprehensible act, but it has to be done in order to reach the Old One.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The kingdom's name is Boletaria: it's literally a Mushroom Kingdom.
    • Many fans are convinced that the game is full of references to Berserk, although most of these things are widespread enough that they could have come from from other sources and Miyazaki's mention of Berserk in a certain interview has been blown out of proportion by the fans.
    • You can get some Old Spice in the game.
    • The Large Sword of Moonlight is this game's entry in the lineage of powerful melee weapons named Moonlight in FromSoftware games.
    • Some of the character names are references to Armored Core: For Answer. Examples include Ostrava/Otsdarva, Old King Doran, Patches the Hyena/Patch the Good Luck (bonus point for both being dirty cowards) and Risaia of Istaril.
    • The Old Monk was once married to the Queen of Latria, and his most prominent feature is the yellow robe he wears. This would make him a King in Yellow.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Hoplites, most Blue-Eye and Red-Eye Knights, certain Black Phantoms. Also includes a Shield Bearing Boss: the appropriately-named Tower Knight, who bears an appropriately-sized tower shield for his stature, and spans several stories in height.
  • Slasher Smile: The Fat Officials sport permanent rictus grins.
  • Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship: The various straight swords (with the exception of rapier-type weaponry) can be used to both slash and thrust, although their effectiveness in doing so varies. For example, the long sword is a balanced weapon and can be used to slash and thrust, although it's not as effective at slashing as the falchion and not as effective at thrusting as the rapier.
  • Socketed Equipment: Almost every weapon and shield in the game can be imbued with "Transmogrified sprites," or shards of special stone, that can affect how weapons deal damage, what sorts of damage weapons deal, what player abilities can affect a weapon's damage output and by how much, etc.; and can even confer small bonuses to health or mana regeneration. By imbuing mundane weapons with certain demon souls, you can change weapons into special unique versions with vastly different properties. These and other special weapons you find throughout the game can be further enhanced by applying the souls of infant demons.
  • Soul-Powered Engine:
    • Magic is fueled by the energy of souls. The npcs are pretty verbal about this, and is part of the reason why magic in any form is considered a dark art by the church.
    • To a degree, the player character and demons. The level-up system works by absorbing the souls of the fallen into one's own soul, thus bolstering it.
    • The Old One is a being that has a literally infinite appetite for souls. It's never said that it actually grows stronger or is fueled off of these, though; rather, a place devoid of souls is open to invasion by the deep fog.
  • Speech Impediment: Scirvir the Wanderer has a stutter.
  • Spiritual Successor:
  • Stationary Boss: The Adjudicator (which isn't actually stationary, but is so immobile it might as well be), The Leechmonger, The Dragon God.
  • Storming the Castle: The entirety of the Boletarian Palace is essentially this spread over the whole game. Along the way you'll end up killing most of Boletaria's remaining knights and soldiers.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In order to save Saint Urbain, you are required to fall for the exact same painfully obvious trap that he fell for — one which his disciples warn you about multiple times, in fact.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Patches: Nothing here is stolen, I swear. I no longer partake in the whole "corpse-robbing" thing. Yeah… No, I'm completely free from my vice. My old mother would be proud indeed!
  • Swamps Are Evil:
    • The Valley of Defilement is a sprawling toxic swamp, populated by all manners of fetid creatures, from giant blood-sucking mosquitoes, depraved mutants, plagued rats, and is home to the most "impure soul of all", Maiden Astraea.
    • The fetid swamp at the base of the Tower of Latria is another one, filled with the mutant castoffs from the Tower itself and dead torture victims affixed to hobbling wheels.
  • Teleport Spam: Fool's Idol, combining with Doppelgänger Spin for Shell Game shenanigans.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: This starts happening in the Nexus after you free Yurt the Silent Chief. From that point forward, every time you kill a boss Yurt will kill someone, starting with two anonymous corpses and then progressing to important vendors. The only way to stop it is to find the killer's hiding spot and kill him, but he'll stop on his own after killing 5 people, leaving really important NPCs like Stockpile Thomas and Boldwin alone.
  • Tin Tyrant: Many enemies and bosses are covered in armor, including the Tower Knight and the Penetrator. You can also get full armor sets for the player character.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The death penalty promotes using souls up whenever you get the chance, but it's also easy to start hoarding other items, even in situations where they would be very useful.
    • The Stone of Ephemeral Eyes can instantly revive you in soul form. But there is only a small, set number of them per playthrough, and the only enemies who have a chance to drop them are the Giant Depraved Ones and the Plague Babies, both located in the much-hated Valley of Defilement. Then there is the fact that defeating a boss has the exact same effect, so often you might as well save the stone and defeat the boss in soul form (unless you want to shift the world tendency). The only merchant who carries and restocks them is the Old Woman in the Valley of Defilement, but only if you're out of them.
  • Torture Cellar: All around the Tower of Latria. While the Prison of Hope (3-1) is this period, there's stuff like breaking wheels down in the mini-swamp at the bottom of 3-2.
  • Tragic Villain: Maiden Astraea, who is only considered a demon because she willingly absorbed the impurities of the Valley of Defilement to try and relieve the pain of its inhabitants.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Fitting the game's "hard but fair" image, you're encouraged to repeatedly try against bosses and enemies to try what they're weakest against, and also be aware of what happens if you have to play through a section repeatedly. Messages from prior players can help with this, but there are indeed a few trolls among them.
  • Troubled, but Cute: The Maiden in Black. She's gloomy, she's blind, but her voice and demeanor are just precious.
  • Turns Red: When his health is getting low, the Flamelurker burns brighter and he attacks a lot more aggressively.
  • Undead Child: The Plague Babies are this trope ramped Up to Eleven. Why? They're undead aborted foetuses.
  • Unexplained Accent: Just what kind of accent does the Maiden in Black have anyway?
  • Unstable Equilibrium: The more you die (except for spirit form deaths, if you've patched), the blacker it gets, and when it's all dark, it becomes harder. It's not too bad as you don't lose your items, plus some good things only appear when the world is Pure Black.
    • Black Tendency is extremely easy to get. White Tendency is much harder to get, which makes the realization that it makes the game easier kind of a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment (boosting a world tendency towards White requires not dying, killing powerful bosses, and certain Guide Dang It! moments, in a game that's unashamedly Nintendo Hard).
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Ed, who can upgrade weapons using every kind of ore. And he's one of the few remaining lucid people in Stonefang.
  • Useless Item: The Blue, White, Red, and Black Eye Stones, the Friend's Ring, and the Foe's Ring became this once the online servers for the game went down. The Eye Stones are useless during offline play anyway, while the Friend's/Foe's Rings are useless for the boosts they give to Blue/Black Phantom forms respectively: all six items are only useful for 100% item completion purposes.
  • Vader Breath: The Blue Eye and Red Eye Knights.
  • Warrior Prince: Ostrava of Boletaria, but he tends to be in need of rescue when you encounter him so it stretches this trope a bit.
  • Was Once a Man: A number of bosses and enemies were normal humans before the fog consumed their souls and turned them into demons, for example the trio of black phantoms you meet after the dead dragon in 1-4. They were the humans that turned into the bosses from 1-1 to 1-3.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Adjudicator has one major weakness: people moving clockwise. Every one of its powerful attacks can be dodged if you run clockwise around it.
  • Whip It Good: Fat Officials in Stonefang carry riding crops instead of their signature Great Axes. They don't hurt a lot, but if you block it, expect it to take off about 3/4ths of your stamina bar, if not completely guard break it.
  • With This Herring: You go into Boletaria alone, at no one's behest, so you only have the equipment you came in with, which you get to keep after the Vanguard kills you. You also wouldn't know that the currency of the Nexus is souls, so what currency a standard adventurer has would be worthless.
  • The Worm That Walks: The Leechmonger.
  • Wreaking Havok: There's plenty of destructable set pieces in all the worlds, but the real fun comes from killing basic enemies and running into their corpses and enjoying the subsequent flailing of disturbing creature's ligaments.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The majority of the game involves the protagonist doing the legwork for one, since the Old One will not allow the player near it until there are no longer any demons left to feed it souls. The protagonist has to go out and do the killing before anything can be done about the Old One. So either you feed it souls like it wants, or refuse and wander the fog until you wither away or something kills you, which would also please the Old One.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Maiden in Black speaks like this.
    • So does Old King Doran.
  • You Bastard!: When you attack Maiden Astraea, she calls you out on such offensive dickery.
    "We have done nothing to you! Leave us be!"
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It's possible to give your character an irregular hair colour.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Maiden Astraea, if you kill Garl Vinland.

Phantom, you were not able to achieve your goal.
You must leave this world.


Video Example(s):


The Old One

A monstrous, plant-like entity and progenitor of demon-kind, summoned to Earth due to the misuse of soul-based power.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / BotanicalAbomination

Media sources:

Main / BotanicalAbomination