Complete List of Berserk Influences on Demon's Souls
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Complete List of Berserk Influences on Demon's Souls

2005- 2008

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In 2009, FromSoftware was recognized in Japan as the creator of both King's Field and Armored Core series. They are, relatively, an unknown company to the rest of the world. But things changed for them when they released a game called Demon's Souls.

Demon's Souls did not become a big hit overnight. Instead, it slowly gathered the faithful and created a very strong base of believers, for what will become the golden age of FromSoftware.

Berserk and the Souls Games

The creator of Demon's Souls, Hidetaka Miyazaki, is a huge Berserk fan, which he has acknowledged multiple times in interviews. Growing up in a home where video games were not allowed, reading mangas like Berserk and Devilman were among Miyazaki's favorite past time.

During the creation of the Souls games, Miyazaki expressed his admiration and homage to Berserk by placing several references to the manga, either through the monster designs, armor and weapon designs, characters, and even in the plot and story structure of his games.

We collected the Berserk references on all the Souls games and shared here all that is present in the game Demon's Souls.

For every reference we included in the list, we also provided the chapter in the manga where you can find it and the background info that can give you more context.

Grading System - How Sure are We?

In addition, you can also see for each entry a verdict section, where we share if the inspiration is either:

  • Beyond Doubt
  • High Possibility
  • Similar

Berserk Influences on Demon's Souls

Boletaria and Wyndham

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 33
  • Chapter Name: Fog of Death
  • About: The fog of Boletaria is inspired by the fog of Wyndham under King Ganishka.  

The main story of Demon's Souls revolved around the fate of the Kingdom of Boletaria when it became enveloped by a thick fog that brings demons with it. 

King Allant the Twelfth, by utilizing the power of souls, brought unprecedented prosperity and success to his northern kingdom of Boletaria. That is until the colorless Deep Fog spread across the kingdom. Boletaria was cut off from the reach of the outside world, and those who dared venture into the Deep Fog never returned. - Demon's Souls

There are two things I would like to focus here:

  1. The fog that brings demons with it
  2. The kingdom being cut-off after the fog spread

In Berserk, the kingdom of Wyndham was conquered by an apostle named Ganishka, whose demon-released form is a giant Fog. Whenever Ganishka or his followers attack a location, a thick fog spreads first, and then the demons appear. This is what happened during the night attack in Vritannis. 

After Wyndham fell, the city was filled with a thick fog, and demons were present everywhere. This is what prevented the people from escaping and getting out of the kingdom, as they would surely die from the monsters.

However, at the night when Ganishka achieved his second demon-released form, he pulled all the fog surrounding the kingdom, and all the monsters disappeared. This enabled the escape of the people out of Wyndham.

This chapter in Berserk is pretty much advance in the series. Hence you might wonder if it really had an impact on the lore of Demon's Souls.

To see if there is an alignment, here are the dates derived from the Souls Timeline:

  • May 7, 2004 - Release of the Berserk Chapter Mysterious Fog, where monsters attacked a cabin in a beach, after the spread of a thick fog
  • Jul 22, 2005 - Release of the Berserk Chapter Enchanted Tiger, where monsters attacked Vritannis, after the spread of a thick fog
  • 2005 - Demon's Souls development begins under a different director
  • 2005 - Miyazaki takes over Demon's Souls as the director during its prototyping stage
  • Nov 23, 2007 - Release of the Berserk Chapter Fog of Death, where Ganishka pulled all fog present in the kingdom of Wyndham, and all the monsters disappeared
  • Oct 9, 2008 - Demon's Souls official reveal
  • Feb 5, 2009 - Demon's Souls is released in Japan

Dragon Slayer and Dragon Bone Smasher

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 1
  • Chapter Name: The Black Swordsman
  • About: The Dragon Bone Smasher is inspired by the Dragon Slayer

In fighting the first apostle in Berserk after the eclipse, Guts discovered the Dragon Slayer sword stored in Godo's house. This is the signature weapon of Guts in the series.

It was massively too big to be called a sword. Huge, heavy, thick, and far too rough. Indeed, it was like a mass of raw iron. - Berserk

A bladeless, thick heap of iron used for smashing. According to the ancestors of Stonefang's excavators, they said this weapon was created to fight dragons and is imbued with strong magic to protect the wielder from fire. - Demon's Souls

In Demon's Souls, a similar-looking weapon exists. And it has a very similar description as well. Knowing that Miyazaki wrote all of the text in Demon's Souls, the inspiration is beyond doubt.

Wyald and Adjudicator

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 11
  • Chapter Name: Forest of Tragedy
  • About: The Adjudicator is inspired by Wyald's demon-released form

Wyald is one of the early apostles that Guts fought in the series. In his demon-released form, he is a sturdy monster whose main weakness is the upper part, where Wyald is attached. 

In Demon's Souls, there is a similar monster named Adjudicator, but instead of a humanoid on the upper part, it is a bird. Like Wyald, the weakness of the monster is the upper part. So the goal of the player is to unleash his attacks on the bird, whenever the chance comes.

A strange-looking demon with a small golden crow on its top and a massively long tongue, which he uses to smash victims, who are beyond the range of his blades. He grew large from eating the demon slayers who attempted to venture deeper into the Shrine of Storms. - Demon's Souls

Schierke and Yuria the Witch

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 22
  • Chapter Name: War Cry of the Wind
  • About: Yuria is inspired by Schierke

Schierke is one of the major characters that will join the group of Guts as he goes on his journey. She is a young witch who plays a major role in helping Guts gain control of the Berserker armor. 

On the other hand, Yuria the Witch is a mature woman who helps the hero learn special skills. She will appear again in Dark Souls III, but this time, her name will be Karla. She will still be having the same clothes as Schierke.

They branded me a witch at a very young age, and since then, I have been persecuted as a danger to human society - Demon's Souls

Opened Iron Maiden in Griffith's Torture Room and Tower of Latria

  • Verdict: Similar
  • Seen in: Volume 9
  • Chapter Name: The Fallen Hawk
  • About: The design of the opened iron maidens in the Tower of Latria is similar to that in Berserk

In the screenshot below, Griffith is hanging in chains, and next to him is an opened iron maiden. When exploring the Tower of Latria, you will see not only the opened iron maidens but corpses as well, hanging in chains.

In the game, sometimes there will be an enemy that will come out of the iron maiden if it is initially closed.

Closed Iron Maiden in Mozgus' Torture Room and Tower of Latria

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 19
  • Chapter Name: Captives
  • About: The design of the closed iron maidens in the Tower of Latria is very similar to the one in the torture room of Mozgus.

There are lots of torture scenes in Berserk, and one of them involves placing the heroine Casca in a closed iron maiden. If you observe the shape and design of the head closely, it is very similar to the screenshot from the game below.

The iron maiden below looks like an exact 3d manifestation of the drawing above.

Iron Cage Near Griffiths Torture Room and Tower of Latria

  • Verdict: Similar
  • Seen in: Volume 16
  • Chapter Name: Festival's Eve
  • About: The iron cages in Demon's Souls look similar to those in Berserk.

On their way to save Griffith, Guts and his team passed through several iron cages that are very similar to the iron cages in the game.

In the later games, like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, these iron cages will also serve as an elevator for the player so that he can be transported vertically.

Plague Baby and Fire Baby

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 15
  • Chapter Name: Red-Eyed Peekaf
  • About: The plague baby is inspired by the fire baby

In the manga, there is a location where Guts was attacked by monster babies that are surrounded by flame. If the baby touches a person, he will burst on fire. Guts spent a night fighting these small enemies.

In the game, while exploring the path towards Maiden Astraea, you will face the Plague Babies. These small enemies have a very similar attack to the Fire Babies. They can also inflict Plague on the player if touched, similar to the burning effect of the babies in Berserk.

Prisoner Horde and Corpse Ball

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 15
  • Chapter Name: Lost Children
  • About: The Prisoner Horde is inspired by the ball of corpse in the Lost Children

In the chapter Lost Children, Guts fought a group of monsters that came out of a ball of corpse. The ball did not actually fight Guts, but it would have been interesting if it did. In the Souls games, the ball fights the hero, either in the form of flesh or skeleton.

One of the enemies the hero will face in the Tower of Latria is the Prisoner Horde. A similar enemy will appear in Dark Souls III, but instead of a ball of flesh, it will be of skeleton.

Ball of skeleton in Dark Souls III

Berserk Influences on other Souls Games

If you would like to see how Demon's Souls scored compared to the other Souls games when it comes to Berserk influences, see this full summary.

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