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Paying Tribute to the Cruel Beauty of Demon's Souls

AXE OF THE BLOOD GOD | Kat is joined by special guests David Craddock and John Learned as they pay tribute to a pioneering action RPG.

Article by Kat Bailey, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey and Nadia Oxford. You can find the previous episodes here.

After close to a decade, Demon's Souls' servers were finally closed down last week. To capture this seminal moment, I brought in Souls expert John Learned, who chronicled the month leading up to Demon's Souls' demise for USgamer. We also welcome back David Craddock, author of the outstanding Dungeon H@cks, to share his own thoughts on the action RPG that started the Soulsborne phenomenon [download link here].

But that's not all! I'm cautiously interested in Square Enix's new Valkyrie Profile teaser, but I'm a little nervous in light of how the Secret of Mana remake went. Plus, Nadia and I aren't too happy about the unfortunate Chrono Trigger PC port (Warning: Much ranting within). And Nadia finally shares her thoughts on the unique Final Fantasy XV mobile game!

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Show Description

Kat is joined by Demon's Souls experts David Craddock to pay tribute to Demon's Souls as its servers shutdown. Plus, Kat and Nadia rail against the sloppy PC port of Chrono Trigger, and wonder what's in store for Valkyrie Profile. And we finally get to talk about the Final Fantasy XV mobile game, too!

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at rpgmaker.net. Check it out!

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Comments 7

  • Avatar for kidgorilla #1 kidgorilla 6 months ago
    FWIW: Exile is a cool curio, but that game is busted as hell
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  • Avatar for daverhodus #2 daverhodus 6 months ago
    I want to buy good versions of Valkyrie Profile and Chrono Trigger. I wholly recommend Retropie to people looking for a simple solution while we wait though.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #3 riderkicker 6 months ago
    Doesn't Nadia still have her PSP? But what if... she were to somehow get Valkyrie Profile on the portable? A ho ho ho, delightfully devilish, riderkicker.

    What's stopping you Square Enix from porting VP on the PSN? We'd settle for Lenneth on the PS3 or Vita!Edited March 2018 by riderkicker
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #4 riderkicker 6 months ago
    @daverhodus Might as well use our SNES Classics. :taps nose:
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  • Avatar for Maxbeedo #5 Maxbeedo 6 months ago
    I picked up Demon's Souls about a year after it came out (so about a year before Dark Souls). It was very hard to get into, and was one of the few games where I completely restarted after having lost all my souls multiple times throughout 1-1 before I could even use them, so that I could blast through the level and end up with tons of souls. I remember being so scared of Phalanx and luring as many of the little ones away as I could, because the rest of the level before him had been so hard. After that, I went back to the beginning of the level and noticed the door to the left courtyard was open, where I found the Brushwood armor set, which I wore for the rest of the game regardless of how slow it made me, though I needed to farm that Red-eye Knight like 50 times to level enough to wear it. The Tower Knight was my next conquest, which took me a few tries mostly due to my heavy slowness. Every level had those little moments of being scared of just HOW MUCH DAMAGE I would take, like dealing with the poison swamp, hearing that singing in the Tower of Latria and then getting stunned and shanked by a Mindflayer, or seeing the screen shake from the explosions from the bearbugs, but also moments of realization of what you can use to fight that fear, such as infinitely farmable grass, a big greatshield to let you learn an enemy's moveset, ranged attacks of all sorts (both my Lava Bow and Sticky Compound Longbow were my best friends), and slowly coming to terms with failure not actually being that big of a deal. Much like your guests said, there's only one first time to learn this series, and after that it doesn't take that long to figure each game out and become Fantasy Batman. Sure, some enemies, areas and bosses in later games could be scary, but they were scary in predictable ways. I got the next 4 games day 1 and spent at least a month each time doing constant co-op helping people out with bosses (before everyone figures out the best PVP and cheating methods and start ruining our fun). I have 6 platinums for the 5 games (DS2 twice on PS3/PS4), and can thank Demon's Souls for the lessons it taught me. Umbasa
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #6 NiceGuyNeon 6 months ago
    I will say this, about Demon's Souls being the for sure game of the year in 2009: every Souls game I've played has been a for sure game of the year choice even if I opted for something different. The design and gameplay just feel timeless no matter how many times I play or which entry it is. It took a real masterpiece in later years to compete and top each Souls sequel (Bayonetta 2 in 2014, Witcher 3 in 2015 for example).

    However, I am fully committed to the idea that if the Souls series were introduced in those later years for the very first time as opposed to 2009 I would have said it was the very best game of 2014 or 2015.
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  • Avatar for Heike #7 Heike 11 days ago
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