"There Is No Safe Zone In Dark Souls," Says Producer Hidetaka Miyazaki

By Spencer . February 3, 2011 . 3:48am


"You might laugh because you die so much," Hidetaka Miyazaki, the producer at From Software who worked on Demon’s Souls, joked before showing up the spiritual successor, Dark Souls. The hands-off demo began on castle grounds with a conveniently placed orb containing a great sword. In the distance we saw a sleeping dragon guarding another treasure. Players can wake the dragon up, fight it, and procure the treasure. Since this was still early in the game, Miyazaki said it was best to tiptoe around it. The knight fought an undead soldier who relentlessly bashed the hero while Miyazaki was pointing out details about the dragon. Another undead warrior blocking a pass underneath the dragon threw firebombs.


Combat appears to be reminiscent of Demon’s Souls. "Tactical swordplay," Miyazaki said speaking of the system. Dark Souls has over one hundred different types of weapons each with their own style. The knight was armed with a standard shortsword, which wasn’t too slow or too long. While it was quite effective against the undead droves, it’s range could be an issue when battling a minotaur-like mid-boss.


This monster starts the fight by crashing onto a narrow castle path and charging at the player. At the same time, skeletons shooting arrows attack from behind. Miyazaki recommended to take care of the skeletons first by climbing a ladder to a narrow tower. After slaying the skeletons (and effectively stopping a long range attack), the minotaur approached the tower and jumped to the top of it, crushing the knight reveling in his minor victory. "There’s no safe place in Dark Souls," Miyazaki laughed. "My goal is to kill all players who think there is a safe zone in Dark Souls." Man and monster leapt of the tower and continued the fight on the balcony, but this time the knight switched to the great sword found at the beginning of the demo. The great sword is expectedly an unwieldy weapon. It lacks finesse, but makes up for its slow strikes with heavy damage and long range. It’s possible to defeat the minotaur in a face to face fight. There is a more strategic suggestion, however, you can do a ledge jumping downward slash from the top of the tower to the minotaur’s back. Levels are designed for players to take advantage of the environment during fights. I suppose there is no safe zone for monsters in Dark Souls either.


Leaving the castle grounds, Miyazaki showed a foggy forest and then a level he called "Underground Hell." The character in this level had a samurai-feel and was standing right next to lava. We caught a glimpse of enemies staring in the distance. Miyazaki also pointed out areas in Dark Souls have vertical layers. Players can smash barrels, open ledges, and jump off them to explore new areas. Sometimes falling, Miyazaki explained, can put players in a more difficult spot.


The final area Miyazaki revealed was the development team’s favorite, Trap Road. As soon as the knight stepped into this level he was greeted with an auto-firing arrow trap and a snake-man (with a slithering head) carrying a scimitar. In the next few rooms, I saw a narrow bridge with swinging guillotines passing by. The trap hit the character and threw him into a level below with even more traps. Miyazaki said if players don’t fall for traps they may miss out on some parts of the world.


But, Miyazaki wouldn’t show anymore traps. He wants to keep those a secret so players will feel surprised and frustrated when they play Dark Souls this holiday season.

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  • krokounleashed

    My Soul is ready.

    • Hexen

      Oh Umbasa

      • kupomogli

        There’s one left I didn’t kill(Saint Urbain’s followers?)

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        So the world might be… nah.

  • Testsubject909

    This is what I die for!

    Oh… The more I hear. The more I feel like I’m turning into that Bouncer character in Disgaea….

  • ikiryou

    Gaming masochists take note: Miyazaki’s goal is “to kill all players who think there is a safe zone in Dark Souls”. I hope the multiplayer is cross-platform. Just imagine all the spirits roaming about…

  • This is gonna be even more of a challenge than Demon’s Souls.

  • Scallion

    The hardened lump in my jeans just rose up to my throat.
    That beings said, this is going to be awesome.

    • You wrote “The hardened lump in my jeans just rose up”…..ohh.. ok I see now, I thought you were refering to…forget it. Oh Dark Souls, great game!, I agree this is gonna be be totally awesome! Can’t wait to some stick white stuff…

      • Scallion

        It’s a fear lump! Fear lump.

    • You could probably make some money off that ability.

      • Scallion

        That’s how I’m paying for Dark Souls.
        Holla atcha boy.

  • “My goal is to kill all players who think there is a safe zone in Dark Souls.”

    Unfortunately, he’s not talking in-game.

    *starts boarding up windows*

  • It sounds so exciting! Makes it feel like the enemies don’t have a set course of action and they’ll really respond =D

    It was pretty sad when I’d run by Miralda, go to the ladder, climb down a little and see her kill herself so I could snatch up that delicious gear

    …however it was no laughing matter when she fell into the water where I could no longer retrieve the gear… =[

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    That’s ok, we don’t want “safe zones” and we don’t NEED ‘EM. Hah.

    Seriously though, this is looking amazing, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The monsters seem even more menacing than the ones in DS, which is no small feat. Also, I’ve said it before, but I hope they end the game with a boss like the one we found in 1-4. Such a great, great battle.

  • shion16

    Im scared and excited at the same time >=D
    i love demon souls

  • I’ll honestly have to pass. I loved Demon’s Souls, but it scratched a masochistic itch that is now sated. Possibly forever.

    Have fun, you crazies. d:

  • Barrit

    Sounds really good. Given that I usually prefer thief/stealth classes, I sure as hell won’t try that again as a first character like I did with Demon’s Souls. That was a HUGE mistake and almost resulted in me smashing the game into a million pieces after dying countless times. I was decent at dodging, but after trying to face those acrobat skeletons, they beat me into submission. I had to stop playing for a week or so, and came back to it later. I made a different character with the magic/shield approach. It was MUCH more enjoyable.

  • It’s not a ‘spiritual successor’, it’s a sequel. Don’t know why they are trying to pass it off as that.

    • DisgaeaGuy11

      maybe, because… that’s what from software has been calling it since day one? and… because that’s what it is?

      • not when it’s practically the same thing improved and much harder.
        Not that I’m complaining. I think they named it that and spewing the spiritual successor crap because of SCEJ.

        • Pretty much. I mean FFS ppl, it’s even using the same FONT as Demon Souls. At this level From are barely doing the bare-minimum to prevent a Sony lawsuit.

          • LOL I just noticed that.

        • DisgaeaGuy11

          who says it’s improved? it’s quite different is what it is. although they added stuff on top of what was Demon’s Souls, they took away quite a few things as well. I’m going to wait and see how this “much harder” quote plays out. I think they just might force you to rely on multiplayer to deal with the difficulty which is totaly, completely different than what DS did.

          • Taking stuff out that (they thought) didn’t work, putting new interesting things to spice it up a bit = improvement.

    • neo_firenze

      Demon’s Souls might as well have been called a King’s Field sequel, but From made that a “spiritual successor” too. I’ve got no problem with them trying to give Dark Souls a bit more of its own identity instead of just calling it Demon’s Souls 2.

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        Hmm, judging from the media we got so far, it doesn’t seem much different than DS. Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you. More DS is great!

        How was King’s Field? As addicting as DS? I’ve seen a few videos, but the 1st person perspective really doesn’t do anything for me.

    • Sony owns the Demon’s Soul IP, so From Software can’t call this a sequel, even if it is essentially the same game.

  • Well Demon’s Souls was easy too after your 1st run BUT at the 1st time it will probably be the hardest thing ever.

    Cant wait
    The only fun fact is…Every 360 owner hated Demon’s Souls because it is so damn good and PS3 only.
    Now all of them(well those 5 people who play something different than CoD) love those games…Sad gamers are sad.

    • Hraesvelgr

      I read this comment and was going to give it a proper response… then I saw who posted it.

    • [The Hunter] Doomrider

      Sad gamers are sad, indeed.

    • Its unbelievable how much is wrong with this asinine comment.

    • Volcynika

      Sweet, more delicious hyperbole.

    • I was dealing with console fanboys when I was 8 and I’m 31 now. Good thing I never held out a ton of hope for the future of the human race to begin with, because 23 years is plenty enough time to notice that We. Don’t. Learn.

      That said, this sounds like it might be fun. My brother just got Demon’s Souls about a week ago, and while it’s frustrating as hell at times I’m still enjoying it. Probably by the time it’s out I’ll have been able to get a few nice palate-cleansers in, like Dragon Quest VI…

      • Yeah, I remember back in when I was in elementary school and the Colecovision kids would argue with the Intellivision kids over which one was better. And we’d both make fun of the three kids with Atari 2600’s.

        The more things change…

    • I’m a 360 owner and I don’t hate Demon Souls :) Then again I also own a PlayStation 3

      All round gamers are awesome :D

  • Zefux

    I didn’t know there was a safe zone is Demon’s Souls. Was too busy raging over my tens of thousands worth of lost souls when I died :(.

    And oh, did I mention how much I hate environmental deaths in Demon’s Souls? But the game is just love.

  • Let’s just hope if Atlus localizes this they don’t keep up this whole “The servers will be up for another year, teehee!” business.

    That is, if there’s online play that requires servers.

    • [The Hunter] Doomrider

      There’s no more tendency stuff, apparently and there won’t be dedicated servers this time, I think.

      Also, Namco are publishing this one outside of Japan.

    • Just to reiterate what Doomrider said, Namco Bandai is the international publishing partner for Dark Souls. Also, From Software said there would be no dedicated servers for online play.

      We’ll have more Dark Souls coverage shortly. Perhaps even something where readers can participate…

  • Code

    It’s sounding really good so far, I wonder if they’ll have a systems like Black Phantoms in this one too, I always felt like it was what added the pressure to watch your back, as they’d hunt you through a level >w<' But even having enemies with AI to track you would be neat.

  • PrinceHeir

    cannot wait for this :)

    “But, Miyazaki wouldn’t show anymore traps. He wants to keep those a secret so players will feel surprised and frustrated when they play Dark Souls this holiday season.”

    so this Christmas huh? thanks for the presents :D

  • Jirin

    I haven’t been masochistic enough in my gaming lately. I need to go play Startropics to prepare myself for this game.

  • Kai2591

    Patience is key in DS, i guess..slow and steady…but rushing to your death IS kinda fun!

  • Blacksofa

    Someone has to make a randomly generated 3-4 person dungeon crawler based on this engine. No lobbies. Prepare for the unexpected.

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