Demon's Souls Compare-Through - Part 2: Boletaria to the Colorless Fog

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  • ℹ️ Published 6 months ago
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Episode two of the Demon's souls Compare-Through is here! Today we'll be taking a look at the first half of Boletaria. This examines not only how the environments were enhanced or altered from the PS3 version for the PS5 remake, but I also demonstrate any oddities, cut content, and weird stuff I can find along the way.


Ryan Lecocq's out of bounds exploration of Demon's Souls:

0:00:00 - Introduction
0:00:17 - More weird stuff from the tutorial
0:03:29 - The starting area of 1-1
0:09:54 - The execution yard and Miralda
0:23:05 - Moving on, book easter eggs and idling animations
0:30:06 - The mausoleum and Old King Doran
0:33:25 - The hanging corpses and Thomas' daughter
0:36:28 - Ostrava and lower 1-1
0:39:44 - The Dregling Merchant and mid 1-1
0:43:59 - Open view and overgrown hallway
0:48:03 - Dragon's nest and bridge
0:50:37 - Going out of bounds with photo mode
0:53:11 - Phalanx boss and music discussion
0:57:52 - Oolan in the death animation and nearby oddities
1:00:12 - The opening area of 1-2
1:01:56 - The distant town below Boletaria
1:06:06 - The dragon's butt got thicker!
1:08:45 - Area leading up to the Tower Knight
1:10:20 - Tower Knight arena and boss comparisons
1:17:10 - Closing words

💬 Comments
Author

These videos are so good! You have so many great insights behind the thought process Bluepoint may have had when deciding on what to change. As someone who likes the remake a lot but is sometimes a bit too critical, this makes me appreciate the remake a lot more. Also your music theory analysis is incredible.

Author — Iron Pineapple

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Actually an important note about the time frame of Des is that in the original Japanese dialogue Biorr implies he was imprisoned for around three years, and Ostrava explicitly states that Biorr went missing "many years" ago in the Fog. While it was still likely recent in the grand scheme of things, the Fog definitely has been building over the course of years, not just months, meaning the destruction and plant growth is entirely feasible.

Author — hamfootsia

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When you go out of bounds into the low poly town, it kind of looks like you're stepping into PS1 King's Field.

Author — Cameron Stone

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I'm honestly really impressed with how good that town below Boletaria looks in the original considering the game's age and how not at all important to the story it is. I love details like that! Fantastic video as always

Author — Anders Johnsen

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Doran is the founder of Boletaria which likely dates back to the time of the First Scourge so it makes sense for him to speak like a man out of time in the original game. There have been twelve Allants so it’s probably been at least 500 years since Doran’s day.

Author — GuardianOwl

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Why do I always get such an odd sense of nostalgia when you access out of bounds areas. There’s some about low texture/detailed zones that just comfort me

Author — toowingless

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I find it interesting that the Dregling Merchant went from mentioning 'depraved slaves' to 'lowly fodder'. Though both obviously point to different classes within Boletarian society (and reinforces his ex-soldier status), the latter is implied in the overall world design whereas the former is a lot less explicit, except for arguably the Dreglings that power the lift to Allant in 1-4. I dunno, I just thought it was cool that they had a line of dialogue early on that made you view Boletaria's grandiosity in light of the exploitation of other people, even within the capital.

Author — WarMom

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Something that just occurred to me about the "Roof Collpase" kill that you found from the first vid: perhaps that was going to be a "trap" in the style of King's Field? Several KF games (including IV) starts you within just a few steps from a cheeky instadeath trap, presumably to hammer home what type of games they are. Considering DeS was made as a type of successor to KF, I would guess they were playing around with a kind of reference to that. And perhaps it does indicate that the overall form of the game was initially quite different like you said.

Author — eric

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I interpreted the boulder guy looking to the side as him trying to hear if something is going on downstairs

Author — CoachZed

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The parallax effect in the windows looks very convincing because the glass is blurry, the same effect in Spiderman looks super fake in comparison

Author — Null Pointer

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I was always confused by that mass of souls. It looked like a weird, out of place, video game-y hazard. I never noticed it was above the executioners pit. That's what great about these breakdowns: just a little more clarification makes so much fall into place.
Also, about the overgrown hallway in the remake. Maybe the soldiers and citizens abandoned that area well before the fog rolled in because of the dragons. They were content being left alone and only started rampaging once the demons disturbed them.

Author — Kaizur Quantus

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I'll add my two cents regarding how render culling is handled: the way original Demon's Souls (and every other SoulsBorne game) handles rendering is NOTORIOUSLY awful and I would be beyond shocked if it wasn't 99% stripped for the remake.

For everybody not familiar with how this system works: basically, the game decides what should and should not render based on the individual piece of collision the player is currently standing on. Each piece of collision tells the game which of the 128 individual render groups to display (128 in DS1 at least, I can't verify this for DeS but it's likely the same). These groups I believe, disgustingly enough, are set mostly (if not entirely) by hand.

You can imagine how INCREDIBLY easy this is for level designers to mess up, which they have indeed done many times in every souls game. These oversights are responsible for things not being visible when they really should (and vice versa, for performance and otherwise).

Author — king bore haha

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"In the Age of Ancients, the world was unformed, shrouded by fog. A land of grey crags, archtrees, and the first episode of this series.
Then came the second episode, and with the second episode, came me, impatiently waiting for episode 3"

Author — Fools Fog

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good video! The thing with the dragon debris and ds1 crow feathers is random because they're particle effects, and emitters just work that way. As for the corpses of tomas wife and daugther, I imagine they're not visible in the og because of rendering budgets, not memory. The assets are in memory anyway and the dragons in the distance may be loaded into memory, but they're not necessarily rendered. I noticed you use these terms quite interchangeably, but rendering isnt the same thing as just being loaded in. Most game engines use culling techniques to only render what is visible, so most things aren't actually rendered, eventhough they may be loaded in. Anyway your videos are really good, I appreciate you looking at stuff in the environment, it's sad how most players don't even bother looking at anything. One small thing I noticed about the achitecture that you didnt touch on is how the wooden ceilings have been raised in the remake, the rooms in the og felt very claustrophobic, so I like this change a lot, plus the new arched doorways wouldnt work well with the low ceilings either.

Author — v.neck

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It was interesting to see how the tutorial worked, never knew you couldn't die until the Vangaurd fight.

Author — Crota 0100

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About the different loading in the game, iirc Bluepoint confirmed they load stuff differently to add more detail by exploiting the faster load times of an SSD in an interview/discussion they had with Digital Foundry when the game came out.

Author — Dan64Z03

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Absolutely glorious, your skilled craft and dedication is much appreciated.

Author — Burzum

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Our lord Illusory wall has blessed us once again with a masterpiece, its a christmas miracle!

Author — lenikai

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What's funny about the ladder climbing is that even though it feels slow, you still climb faster in the original than the average person climbs ladders in real life.

Author — Sunny Afternoon

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Not sure if you're already planning to talk about it, but BluePoint note how they changed up the architecture and colour palette as you ventured deeper into Boletarian Palace, to give it the feeling of going from a military outpost to a royal and upperclass castle.

Author — Hat Skeleton!