Souls on Speed

Is there anything the Souls series does better than Nioh?

Bloodborne has enemies pick up your bloodstain. That’s probably gonna be my best example.

Dark Souls 1 has a superb interconnected world.

Pretty much all the Souls games have better enemy variety and less area re-use.

Souls games have invasions + PVP.

Souls games have sicker speedruns.

Demon’s Souls has world tendency.

Souls games tend to have better economies.

Souls games have more aggregate weapon and attack types.

Souls games have a jump command.

Beyond that, there’s just the unique stuff souls has that Nioh doesn’t, like each of its unique level designs, unique bosses, and so on. Nioh doesn’t have Ornstein and Smough. Nioh doesn’t have Ludwig. Nioh doesn’t have Yurt: The Silent Chef.

What do you find interesting about Dark souls (or I guess soulsborne in general… any significant difference between them?) as a speedgame?

Hahaha! I was literally talking about this when I received this question. Was discussing how it’s totally possible to go down into the catacombs at the start of dark souls and kill Pinwheel to get the rite of Kindling. Guy I was talking to remarked, “It kind of seems like the equivalent of a sequence break in a Metroid game.” And I’m like, “That ain’t shit.”

What you can do if you really want to show off is first go through New Londo, Kill Ingward to get the key to the seal, unlock the seal, go through the valley of drakes and up through darkroot basin to kill Sif, get the abyss covenant ring, go back to new londo and kill the 4kings, then join the darkwraith covenant.

What’s cool about Dark Souls 1 as a speedgame is they let you fight any one of like 10 bosses right from the start. If you need to get somewhere pre-anor londo, you can do that. And on the path to each of these places, there’s a ton of careful jumps, drops, and enemy manipulations you can perform. In Undead Burg, if you want to get to the taurus demon fast, it’s optimal to jump across to that ledge where the black knight is. In Blighttown, it’s optimal to enter from the back, and fall down to land on a thin plank, just above where you’d get killed. You need to dodge and weave enemies as you go, both their melee and ranged attacks. There’s an astounding number of weapons that are all pretty fast, like spells, gravelord sword, pyromancy, blacksmith giant hammer, and so on. And all of these modify the route significantly. There’s even multiple routes for the All Bosses category.

The number of tiny glitches, setups, and so on for saving time is just incredible. There’s something in every area of the game. There’s a lot of small tricks for optimizing things like getting hit, landing and not taking the long animation for getting hurt as you land. There’s ways to platform around to later sections, like jumping into the lower burg, rolling off a moving elevator to skip the mandatory death in the duke’s archives. It’s a game that tests a lot of skills. Plus on top of that, you need raw skill at killing bosses quickly and efficiently. Many bosses have quick kill strategies, like tricking the taurus demon to jump off the bridge, punching ceaseless discharge to death, pushing the iron golem off the tower. And if you fall, you can catch yourself by saving and quitting. It’s a crazy-ass speedgame.

About the worst thing for Dark Souls speedrunning though is the Black Knight Halberd. It drops randomly about 7 minutes into the run, with a 30% or worse drop rate. If it drops, you get to play. If it doesn’t, you reset. This means the vast majority of all Dark Souls 1 speedruns end in reset. Frankly, if I were ever to speedrun dark souls for real, I’d use cheat engine to rig the drop rate to be 100% for that particular item, and screw the consequences.

So you find Dark Souls 1 speedruns in particular interesting. Are other soulsborne games not that interesting as speedgames?

They’re all pretty cool in my opinion, just Dark Souls 1 stands out in particular.

Dark Souls 2 had an interesting history of runs, where they found you could kill the same boss 4 times in a row to get through the shrine of winter, then they found you could skip the shrine of winter, then the devs added an invisible wall to prevent that, which only made it easier because people ran on top of the invisible wall instead of doing the previously roundabout route, then people found you could bino boost, parrywalk, and item dupe, and the game got really crazy, then it was all patched out.

It’s a shame that all bosses is run current patch only. The old runs where bino boosting was still possible made all bosses really fun to watch.

Dark Souls 2 post-patch kind of just comes down to 1 skip, the firebomb wall in forest of fallen giants, and a ton of good movement around enemies, which is really tricky in areas like Shrine of Amana, and the king’s crypt.

Demon’s Souls has a ton of OoB stuff and a REALLY insane skip involving running on railings in the tower of latria. Speedstrats developed for it late.

Bloodborne used to have a really cool speedrun with the forbidden woods skip and the ability to shove gascoigne out of bounds with a well placed parry, but a lot of those things got patched out. They’re still possible on the original patch however, which many people still run. There’s still a ton of really fun tricky platforming stuff too.

I didn’t follow the development of the dark souls 3 speedrun too closely. Looks like a lot of shit went on judging by this wiki page.

Nioh doesn’t look too popular as a speedgame. I think it has all the fundamentals of souls speedruns without any of the skips. Has more aggressive enemies that track for longer and more intense combat. Also you fight all the bosses on the main route, so it’s kind of like an all bosses run. Also the random item drops probably influence the route really hard. Nioh has a great straight-up combat challenge, but it doesn’t have the same potential as the other souls games to evolve routing-wise. You can’t really platform, and there probably aren’t any significantly exploitable glitches. Also the skills you obtain are crazy exploitable as-is. Nioh doesn’t really make a risk/reward game out of saving/losing time, and it doesn’t have multiple competing routes that make optimization harder, and doesn’t have the same potential for future glitch/routing development. Also the runner sucks and isn’t using Flux.

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