If you’ve ever watched a speedrun of a FromSoftware-developed game, like Bloodborne or Dark Souls, you know how those displays of expert-level gaming tend to go: Speedrunners literally run through most of the game, avoiding combat when they can, and exploit seams in the environment to access areas that are supposed to be out of bounds. There’s also plenty of intentional loading and reloading of saves to reset the game world.
But speedruns of last year’s Demon’s Souls remake for PlayStation 5 tap into some unexpected exploits, including one that’s exclusive to PlayStation Plus subscribers and another that capitalizes on the remake’s graphics settings to break the game.
Speedrunner BertoPlease employed those techniques during a speedrun of Demon’s Souls at Summer Games Done Quick this weekend, exhibiting incredible stamina-management skills and underscoring just how overpowered magic is in the game. BertoPlease showed off a couple of techniques that are exclusive to the PS5 remake, including one that uses PlayStation Plus Activity Cards to warp across the game’s land of Boleteria faster than using the normal teleportation method, archstones.
You can see BertoPlease use Activity Cards to warp quickly through Boletarian Palace at the run’s five-minute mark and later, after defeating the Dragon God, to head right back to the palace again. Berto uses it again after defeating the Storm King to warp directly back to Boletarian Palace to wrap things up with King Allant. (It’s worth noting that Speedrun.com breaks down Demon’s Souls speedruns into two categories, one that uses PS Plus warps and one that doesn’t. The SGDQ speedrun’s hosts jokingly call it “a pay-to-win” technique.)
Even more interesting is how BertoPlease switches between Demon’s Souls’ Cinematic (30 frames per second) and Performance (60 fps) graphics modes to completely break the game. Early in the run, BertoPlease shows off how Demon’s Souls’ collision detection (or lack thereof) helps him sprint through the Tower of Latria prison area. But later, BertoPlease switches graphics modes to break collision detection in a different way, cutting six minutes off the clock, according to SGDQ stream co-host Ashewyn. In one section of the run, BertoPlease just walks through a bunch of obstacles like a ghost, making the Dragon God fight seem like a big joke.
BertoPlease’s Summer Games Done Quick run isn’t his best (he dies a few times, unintentionally). At 53 minutes and 57 seconds, it’s much longer than his record time of 44 minutes, 4 seconds using PS Plus warps and his 47-minute, 27-second time without using PS Plus warps. But it’s definitely a more interesting speedrun of a FromSoft game for its clever use of PS5-exclusive skips and exploits.