CJ Corso ’24
FromSoftware is a video game company that is notorious for creating ludicrously difficult games. Its lineup includes games such as Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro, along with their newest title Elden Ring.
To play a FromSoftware game, the player needs to have exceptional patience and focus. A person cannot go through these games casually, as there is no easy mode or difficulty slider. This means that if the game gets too difficult, a person can’t just switch to easy mode.
Their games are perpetually on hard difficulty, meaning that the only way to beat the game is through analysis and understanding of the game itself. Running in and swinging a sword like a madman will get the player nowhere.
With game mechanics that constantly put the player at a disadvantage, such as weapon weight, long attack times, armor that makes the player heavier, curses, and little to no instruction on how to defeat enemies, the game is made to challenge even the best of gamers.
While the base game is hard enough, the boss fights are where the real challenges come. FromSoftware’s boss fights are often very intricate and exceedingly difficult, requiring players to actually learn about the boss in order to beat it. This requires players to memorize boss attack patterns, weaknesses, and tricks to use them and the boss arena to their own advantage.
Even base enemies are incredibly challenging, often being the main source of nuisance. With each type of enemy having its own unique strength and weakness, knowing about them is crucial in order to actually make it to the boss fight.
An example would be in Elden Ring, with enemy miners that pick at walls as the player walks by them. They are tough to fight early game and inflict high damage. Attempting to slash at them with a sharp weapon, such as an ax, sword, or katana, will do virtually no damage. However, using a blunt object, such as a club, will inflict higher damage on the miners.
On top of the actual enemies, the map design plays a key role in actually reaching game-changing areas. Often containing multiple paths, secret shortcuts, and even invisible walls, knowing the map and area can make a difference in the ease throughout the playthrough of the game.
To master and learn these games is a large feat that few people actually manage to accomplish. However, Andrew Pedulla ‘24, has found the ins and outs of FromSoftware games.
He is most familiar with Dark Souls 1 and Dark Souls 3, as they were some of the only games he could play for a while. However, he also enjoys Bloodborne and Sekiro.
Andrew Pedulla has in-depth knowledge of the game’s boss fights. He understands most of their attacks, along with how to dodge and work around them. Through his time playing the games, he holds a plethora of knowledge regarding the weaknesses of bosses throughout a multitude of games franchises. “Half the battle is just knowing, like, knowledge of what they are weak to,” stated Andrew in regards to bosses in the Dark Souls franchise.
An example of one such case is in Dark Souls 3 with the Ancient Wyvern. “All you’re supposed to do is jump upon its head and kill it instantly, but if you don’t know that you’ll be swinging at its legs for hours,” stated Andrew.
Along with the boss fights, Andrew has a deep-rooted understanding of the game maps. He understands the puzzles and shortcuts, knowing where to go and how to find the necessary materials to better suit the player’s character for future conflicts.
Andrew Pedulla has put over 250-300+ hours into FromSoftware’s rage-inducing worlds. Through his effort and patience, he has memorized and mastered nearly all of their intricacies.