There is no native Demon’s Souls easy mode, even on the PlayStation 5. The developer of the remake, Bluepoint, briefly flirted with the idea before leaving the core game more-or-less alone with a new look. And while Demon’s Souls isn’t the hardest title From Software has ever produced (not by a longshot), its obtuse ideas and punishing mechanics can catch some folks off guard. That’s especially true if this is your first Souls game, or your first one in a while, as this one was very experimental for its time. There’s much to learn! But there’s also a way to make Demon’s Souls easier — and it’s very early on in the game.
This is technically a multistep process. It looks like a lot on paper, but doesn’t require much time or effort all put together. Certainly not in the grand scheme of the game. You can also speed things up at character creation… or don’t! It’s up to you. No matter what you choices you make at the start of the game you can still get everything on this checklist to radically change how you play.
If you do want to start fresh, we’re going to look at any one of three different classes. Starting archetypes eventually become meaningless over the course of any Souls game. All they determine is starting stats and gear — pretty much all of which can be customized or acquired in the first few hours of a playthrough. In Demon’s Souls, one choice in particular can really carry you through the early hours, even if you don’t work to create your own “easy mode” after the first boss.
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That starting class is Royalty. Appropriately enough, these rich kids begin with the least skills of any archetype, but get a leg up via inheritance. They start the game with the Fragrant Ring: an accessory that gives naturally regenerating mana points for you to cast spells. This is tremendously powerful throughout Demon’s Souls and even early on, because you can use the basic Soul Arrow spell to peck apart enemies at a distance, with no practical cost whatsoever.
There’s another way to get the same ring very early in the game, however. You just need to beat the first boss: Phalanx. This blobby creature is actually pretty easy compared to, well, almost every other enemy in the game. In fact, it mostly functions as the end of an extended tutorial. When the boss is down you get access to the rest of Demon’s Souls all at once. Four Archstones will activate back at the Nexus for you to hop between in any order you like.
Our own Demon’s Souls tips guide has a specific recommended order for progressing these zones. I mostly agree with that list! But it pays to make a certain detour, first. You specifically want to head to the last area: the Archstone of the Shadowmen. This might sound like a bad idea… and it is. That is to say if you don’t have the right equipment.
This is where two other starting classes can come in handy. The Temple Knight and Barbarian both provide useful equipment for your journey. The former gives a Heater Shield, which blocks 100 percent of physical damage when raised, while the latter gets a blunt weapon, the standard club. Both of these can be acquired from merchants as well, however, so don’t sweat it too much. The blacksmith at the Nexus will pass you a Heater Shield, for instance.
The club can be acquired from the Dregling Merchant. He appears under the bridge beyond the Phalanx Archstone after you beat the first boss. This is fairly essential, since you all but need a blunt weapon for the rest of this strategy.
Another important item (if you didn’t choose Royalty) is the Brass Telescope. This is actually found near the first place the Dregling Merchant spawns. He’s behind some planks in the Boletarian Palace interior courtyard — near where you meet the knight Ostrava for the first time. He’ll stay there until you beat Phalanx before moving on to beneath the bridge.
Ostrava, meanwhile, will give you the Brass Telescope in exchange for killing all the mad soldiers beneath the ledge where he’s standing. If you talk to him, he’ll even ask you to do this exact thing. Make sure to get this item if you didn’t pick Royalty! It’s the key to getting a Fragrant Ring in the Shrine of Storms (the area beyond the Archstone of the Shadowmen).
That’s all the preparation you need. Most of it can and will be achieved while playing through the game normally. But to clarify, here’s a breakdown of all the steps before you head to area 4-1, the Shrine of Storms:
- Acquire a club, either by starting as a Barbarian or buying one from the Dregling Merchant.
- Get the Brass Telescope from Ostrava in the Boletarian Palace (if you didn’t start as Royalty).
- Defeat the Phalanx boss.
- Unlock travel through the Archstones by returning to the Nexus.
Now begins the heart of this so-called Demon’s Souls easy mode. With your new items — particularly the club or some other blunt weapon — you can head to area 4-1 via the Archstone of the Shadowmen. There you’ll encounter a few new types of skeletal enemies. These creepers close the distance lightning quick and can hit hard. They seem very intimidating!
The trick? They fold like paper if you hit them with a blunt weapon. Three or maybe four hits with the fast-swinging club will put them down easily. Their actual attacks are easy to predict, too, and can be avoided by blocking (especially with the Heater Shield) or strafing to the side. Just try to get their attention one at a time and deal with them individually.
You can proceed through the first area very easily this way. All the while, you’ll be acquiring oodles of upper tier enemies’ souls, which will let you power level right after the first boss. You can distribute these however you like! Though endurance and vitality are always great. Magic is also quite useful, particularly with with Fragrant Ring and another weapon we’re about to acquire.
That’s right! This isn’t just about farming easy souls early in the game. Though that is a big part of it. Area 4-1 is also home to a ton of useful items that completely change the early going of Demon’s Souls. You don’t need to beat a single other boss to get them, either. You just need the Brass Telescope, a club, and to get naked.
Yeah… Let’s back up. I’m talking about the Regenerator’s Ring now. It’s the opposite number to the Fragrant Ring, in that it slowly regenerates your health points. This is a laughably powerful tool throughout the entire game. It totally overwrites how you think of boss battles and exploration — combining with the other tricks listed here to create a de facto Demon’s Souls easy mode.
You can acquire the ring in several places, but one of the simplest is right here in the Shrine of Storms. Simply make your way up the initial hill towards the first castle wall. Two skeleton archers will fire arrows at you from above. It’s hard to miss! The path is linear up to this point and you need to pass through the gate in the wall to progress at all.
Inside the wall, you can turn left and head up an indoor staircase to where the two archers are stationed. Just watch out for (and block) the arrows that fire at you when you walk over the pressure plate within.
The archers are guarded by a normal skeleton as well. Dispatch them all using your club to make your life easier. Then run on the topside of the wall — past where the trio was gathered. At this end of the structure is a set of stairs almost identical to the one you took to get on top of the ramparts. But this time there’s a broken bit of wall in the tower turret.
The trick here is to take off your armor so you can do the longest roll possible. While standing at the top of the stairs, you can dodge-roll off the platform just far enough to fly over the gap and land in the crumbling dip of the wall. It will almost certainly take a few tries, but it’s very possible! You’ll also probably see a few helpful player messages littered on the ground trying to teach you this exact same trick.
Once you’re through the broken spot, simply drop down. The Regenerator’s Ring is on the ground waiting for you to pick it up — “hidden” in a small, fenced-in area you can see from the main approach, but not actually access from there.
The downside is that you’ll probably die now. The only other paths back are through a tricky boss and a long, arduous journey going backwards on the normal path to this location. Jumping off a cliff and restarting is a much faster option. The souls are no great loss since you can farm the hell out of them from skeletons. It’s up to you!
The Regenerator’s Ring is the most important pickup here, but there are a few other items worth acquiring ASAP. Our tips guide specifically mentions the Crescent Falchion +1 and the Compound Longbow. The Crescent Falchion in particular is a powerful slashing weapon that also slowly regenerates your mana, like the Fragrant Ring, only slower. It also causes bleeding. You can use this to cheese chunky enemies by cutting them up and backing off.
The sword is right near the first staircase you took to reach the two archers and their guard. It’s also protected by a much tougher red-eyed skeleton, but you can always grab the weapon and run away. Drop off the ledge and continue as normal.
Now what if you didn’t pick Royalty? You can also go to Sparkly the Crow: an unseen NPC that trades the player certain useful items. The Brass Telescope can be traded for a Fragrant Ring if you drop (DO NOT choose discard) the item under the tree where Sparkly speaks to you. If the crow reacts positively to the item you dropped, you’ll know the trade will be successful, and simply need to reload (either by quitting, dying, or leaving the zone and returning). The Fragrant Ring will be waiting in the same spot as where you dropped the telescope.
There are two paths to Sparkly, but the simplest is by taking the third and final exit in the first room with the indoor stairs. This one slopes downward parallel to some fire on your right as you progress down. It leads into a third staircase room. Watch out for more skeleton foes and head to the upper floor. There’s a dirt path leading outside of the turret that eventually U-turns around, leading to the highest point in this level. That’s where the tree resides (alongside Sparkly).
Last but not least, you can head down into some underground passages through the staircase room. In the bowels of the area is prison cell. Inside that is a merchant thief who can sell you various items. The most important among them is his dirt cheap collection of arrows. They cost significantly less here than back at the Nexus. If you plan to use a bow, stock up!
Here’s another recap of what to do in this area:
- Using a club, make your way to the castle wall housing two archers and a skeleton swordsman.
- Turn left inside the castle wall (making sure to block the pressure plate trap arrows) to enter the first staircase room — a turret on one side of the castle wall.
- Go down the dirt path leading outside, past the red-eyed skeleton, to grab the Crescent Falchion +1.
- Go on top of the wall, killing the three skeletons, to reach the turret on the opposite side of the structure.
- Take off your armor, roll onto the crumbling wall, drop down, and grab the Regenerator’s Ring.
- Return to the staircase room one more time and follow the path leading down, past the fire.
- Head upstairs in this third staircase room and take the dirt path leading up to Sparkly the Crow.
- Trade a Brass Telescope for a Fragrant Ring (if you didn’t pick Royalty).
- Farm skeletons for massive amounts souls!
That’s about it! This entire process, and all the smaller tips therein, basically unlock the equivalent of an easy mode in Demon’s Souls. You get to power level early and easily, regenerating health and mana, a some great weapons, and access to a merchant who will sell you cheap ammunition. And you can do all of this without fighting a single boss beyond the first area of the game.
This is a tried and true tradition among Demon’s Souls players on their first run. So make use of it for all it’s worth! Remember that there’s basically no such thing as cheating in a game that’s constantly trying to screw you over, as well. Good luck!