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Demon’s Souls: First Steps Location Guide

Demon's Souls

Welcome to Boletaria! A peaceful resort on the outskirts of civilisation. Here in Demon's Souls land you will meet a plethora of friendly staff, all willing to help and guide you during your visit in this esteemed family holiday resort. From the stunning tour of Boletaria’s Palace to the breath-taking views of the Shrine of Storms, all the way down to the relaxing spas of The Valley of Defilement, there is something here for everyone to absolutely hate enjoy!

Whether by choice, or lack of options, Demon’s Souls is sitting in your console, grinding away at the little patience you have left with life. One of the titular PS5 exclusive games currently available, and arguably one of the most challenging mainstream games ever. There are a lot of things in this game that can test your gaming prowess. Here I have tried to make each of the starting areas a little less of a drag for you, with some area and boss tips to see you through to your next gruelling challenges.

I will not be providing you with a list of items and where to find them. Nor will I be describing every little shortcut in these areas. Exploration and looting every item you find is something that is integral to survival and should become ingrained into any playstyle. You can find some of my general tips here. This article aims to be a general aid for each of the starting areas.

There may be further NPCs, mini bosses, optional areas etc in these areas that are not accessible unless returning under different world/character tendencies or until getting items from further in the game. This little guide aims to help you with your initial venture into each area, not on subsequent returns.


The numbers in brackets are how the community numbers each area. 1-1 for example is archstone 1 area 1 within Demon's Souls. An area is any length of game between checkpoints, which themselves are only ever available after a boss is defeated. This guide aims to pinpoint each of the 1st areas as opposed to telling you which route to follow.

There are several routes that claim to be ‘the easiest’ or ‘the best’. But frankly it all depends on your character progression, how you feel about each area, your available equipment etc. Do not be afraid to venture into any area you wish to do some scouting and exploring. If an area proves too difficult, then change up your equipment, or switch to a different area available to you.

Archstone Of The Small King – Boletarian Palace (1-1)

“A huge stone castle in the northern kingdom of Boletaria.

Hungry soldiers whose souls have been stolen by demons attack trespassers, and terrible dragons nest there.”

Whatever grandeur this palace once had has surely been lost in time. The very first area you will need to overcome acts as a punishing uphill heave as you come to grips with the game and its mechanics. You need to finish this area before you have the option to explore other areas, and before you can even level up your character!

This is the make-or-break area. As you will need to smash through this at your base level with limited resources. The most useful thing to have in this area is a shield that can block as much physical damage as possible. If you are not the best at timing rolls yet, this will help keep you alive longer as most of the enemies in this area deal primarily physical damage. It is also the ideal area in which to practice your roll timings, stamina management, blocking and parries etc.

Enemies In This Area:

  • Dreglings & Boletarian Soldiers

These are your run of the mill cannon fodder enemies. Use these as practice for your dodging, blocking, parries, and back stabs.

  • Hoplites

Black goop that carries a shield and a spear. Weaknesses are the rear, and fire!

  • Blue Eye Knights

The first blue eyed night is most people’s ‘panic’ section. Take your time, bait them, backstab, or cheese them with ranged attacks.

  • Red Eye Knight
  • Red Dragon
  • Blue Dragon

You will want to stay clear of these. Timing a run through the Red Dragon’s fire attack is necessary to progress in one section but fighting any of these is not advised until MUCH later in the game.

NPCs In This Area:

  • Ostrava of Boletaria

Ostrava will appear in a series of locations and need assistance throughout. His first time of need is in this area. Make sure you find him and help him. The Thief’s ring is found near him which can prove especially helpful in area 4-1: Shrine of Storms.

  • Dregling Merchant

Make sure you do not kill him! He looks like a standard enemy and is found by rolling through some boxes before you meet the dragon. He can stock you up on some basic items.

The Boss - Phalanx

(The gooey one in Demon's Souls!)

Phalanx is a remarkably simple boss fight, but one of the most interesting in a design point of view. It is an amalgamation of hoplites, resembling something of a liquid spartan defence formation.

It shares the fire weakness of the hoplites of course, so your most effective way of taking it down is to hoard any firebombs you pick up and put your turpentine to good use. Do not be afraid of getting up close and personal after dispatching a handful of the hoplite minions and you will be fine!

If you get taken out by Phalanx in Demon's Souls then his arena entrance is right next to the spawn area, and if you have wasted all your firebombs, then the dregling merchant sells them. Remember I said don’t kill him?

HOORAY. You have finally finished what is essentially the REAL tutorial, and you can now level up and go where you want. Depending on your character build, the area you choose will differ in difficulty. You can also continue your path in this location into area 1-2 as it isn’t a massive difficulty spike. It is for you to decide where is best for your character to venture and in which order.

Archstone Of The Burrow King – Stonefang Tunnel (2-1)

“City of the burrowers, keepers of the huge tunnel.

Most of the stubborn excavators who supported the soldiers of Boletaria in Demon's Souls had their souls taken. Lacking their own will, they mindlessly continue working.”

Workaholics anonymous would have been a better title for this area of the game. This area features a small army of miners that continue digging for ore even after… well whatever it is that happens to people in these games. This is the best area of the game to farm for a variety of different stone shards for weapon progression. Each miner has a chance to drop one upon death.

This is a rather popular area for invaders (other players) to rob you of your souls. After defeating Phalanx, you will restore your humanity. It is only when in this form, that invaders can target you. And this is the most common area for players to venture into after defeating their first boss. This makes it a prime location for invaders. If you are in undead form, then you don’t need to worry of course, but do be mindful of this.

Enemies In This Area:

  • Scale Miner

- Pickaxe wielders can drop Shards of Sharpstone

- Sack wielders can drop various upgrade materials

- Unarmed miners can drop Shards of Spiderstone

- Hammer wielders can drop Shards of Greystone

- Greatsword wielders can drop Shards of Clearstone

The miners can seem like tough enemies at first as they are resistant to most damage types. Switching to a piercing weapon or magic damage will make a huge difference in this area and go a long way with clearing these out quickly.

  • Dogs

Usually found protecting Fat Officials. These buggers can be a pain in groups, try baiting them one at a time.

  • Fat Official

The Fat Officials are total damage sponges and can deal massive damage. Take your time with them and make sure you clear out any other enemies first. They can shoot fire at you from a great distance so be mindful of your surroundings. They are slow to attack, easy to read, and remain stationary. Be patient and whittle them down at your own pace.

  • Fire Lizard

- Can drop Meltstone

These are not as deadly as they appear, having small health totals, they go down quickly. Especially if you lock onto them and pick them off with a couple of soul arrows if magic is available to you. If not, sweeping attacks or downward attacks work best due to their small height.

NPCs In This Area:

  • Filthy Man

This NPC is a great option for when you need to stock up on healing items. Resting right near the spawn area, he is also easily accessible.

  • Blacksmith Ed

Blacksmith Ed is located at the bottom of a mechanical lift behind the Filthy Man. The lift also acts as a shortcut, but you will need to activate it before it can be used.

As you can see, there is potential to gain a lot of stones and shards in this area, sometimes it is worth doing a run through of this area, just to reap the benefits of having more upgrade materials available to you. You also have a blacksmith here to make use of all your upgrade materials. The area itself is pretty long, and as it is mainly compacted so it can seem a little overwhelming at first. Just take your time and try not to get smited by the fatties and you will be fine.

The Boss – Armor Spider

(The creepy one in Demon's Souls!)

You are going to have to be a lot more careful with your approach to this boss than to Phalanx. In the original game’s release, there was a point in the tunnel where you could stand behind a post, impervious to attacks and cheese the boss at a distance. There is no such cheesing in the remastered version though. This boss uses fire attacks and is of course very resistant to fire. Whilst you are fighting this boss you need to be incredibly careful of its area of effect move, which will see most of the arena covered in flames. When you see the boss gearing up for this attack, it is advised to run back through the tunnel.

Most of the times you will die to this boss in Demon's Souls will be its area attack, usually after it has managed to encase you in web, making follow up attacks hard to avoid. Your best chance with this boss is to manage to get up and personal with it, having a shield that blocks physical damage for when it swipes at you, and beating it when the opportunity arises. And of course, just avoiding the fire attacks all together.

It is weak to magic damage, so spells, miracles and magical infused melee weapons pay off the most. Any kind of equipment used to take down the miners will work well against the Armor Spider. Be mindful of your stamina management, laying down too many attacks can see you staggered when blocking. This can mean a quick death for certain character builds.

Archstone Of The Tower Queen – Tower Of Latria (3-1)

“Latria, land of the queen’s ivory tower.

An old man took revenge on the Queen by locking her family in a prison with inhuman guards. All that escapes the place are the prisoners' cries.”

This here is an incredibly atmospheric, dingy, creepy, disgusting, and downright frustrating area. It is my favourite! Enemies here use a lot of magic spells that can paralyse you. Quick thinking and a quick blade are the best approaches in this area. Backstabs and physical attacks work incredibly well, as well as a bit of pyromancy if you have any fire spells available. This is a multi-story prison, and can be quite easy to get lost in. Also, keep an eye on the flooring, in some areas there are holes in the ground that will simply see you fall to a rage inducing cheap death.

You can open most of the cell doors without keys but be wary that some of the dregling prisoners will attack you, and the cell doors do not close after they are opened. This means that after death, there will likely be prisoners coming out of cells to attack you whilst you are dealing with the squid-faced nightmares. Be wary too of the iron maidens. Some of them hold loot, whilst others act as traps. It is advised to munch some healing grass to top your health up when opening a series of these.

You need to keep an eye out when playing Demon's Souls for keys hanging up on the walls in order to progress and be wary that a bit of back and forth will likely be necessary.

Enemies In This Area:

  • Prisoner
  • Prisoner Horde

There is only one Prisoner Horde in this area. (And only 2 in the whole game) it is one of the hardest enemies that isn’t a boss to take down. You will know it when you see it as it induces a “what the F moment”. The window of opportunities for melee attacks are slim, it can decimate you in one flurry of attacks, and shoots Soul Rays at you from a distance. The best way to take this down is at a distance or just ignore it completely as it remains mostly stationary. It is not classed as a mini boss, oddly, so it WILL respawn.

  • Mind Flayer

- Can drop Fresh Spice

- Can drop Old Spice

These are the Cthulhu headed prison wardens that will absolutely butcher you if you give them the chance. Hiding in wait for an ambush whilst they patrol is a smart but time-consuming tactic. Close quarter combat is always the smart choice with these even if it seems foolish as they can paralyse you from quite a distance and rush you for an insta-kill if your health isn’t up to par.

  • Baby's Nail Black Phantom

Not exactly avoidable. This phantom can turn invisible and uses a dagger that inflicts plague damage. She is easy to take down as long as you don’t get ambitious with your attacks. Smack her a few times when she starts reloading her crossbow and be wary of her parries. Spells and fire work well against her.

NPCs In This Area:

  • Royal Woman

She has some interesting things for purchase, including rings, healing items and spices.

  • Sage Freke
  • Lord Rydell

Both of these NPCs are locked up. You can only free Lord Rydell after messing with world tendency later on in the game. Sage Freke can be freed after you find the key to his cell.

As Stonefang Tunnels is great for farming stones and shards, Tower of Latria is a great place to farm spices. If you are a magic wielder in the game, then this area may be more of a challenge for you as enemies are magic resistant, but it is an essential area to keep your spice topped up.

This is possibly the biggest of all starting areas with many shortcuts to open up, challenges to overcome and items to find. It is a tough area to overcome.

The Boss – Fool’s Idol

(The Cheater in Demon's Souls!)

The first thing to note about this boss is that it is simply unbeatable unless you do something before entering the fight. The rule of thumb with Soulsborne games, ‘if it doesn’t attack you then don’t attack it’ does not apply here. When exploring the area outside the boss arena, you can travel way up high on the walls either side of the area by climbing up the stairs in the watch towers near the back of the giant ballista. It is in one of these areas that you find a random monk spectating across the boss arena. KILL HIM. Without killing him, the boss will simply pretend to die and progression is impossible.

The boss itself can be tricky. Employing some tactics that we see in a lot of boss fights in other games such as duplication, trap planting and teleportation. It is important to have a beady eye during this fight, as some small little details will help you a lot. For example, when the boss duplicates itself and spreads out across the arena, if you haven’t killed its worshippers, then they will always worship towards the real one. If you are locking onto the boss, then all the clones will display a health bar, where the real one will not. And the clones will always fire a lesser spell at you, where the main one will fire a bigger (and more deadly) version of the spell in your direction.

The magical traps will be your biggest detriment in this fight, as they will shock and paralyse you, leaving you wide open to attacks. The traps only appear on the inner side of the arena however. It is also important to note that this boss is incredibly resistant to magic attacks, and is immune to bleed, plague, and poison damage. Fire and melee are your best advantages against her. And good use of the pillars for shielding and opportunities to heal.

Archstone Of The Shadowmen - Shrine Of Storms (4-1)

“The island shrine of the Shadowmen, who worship storms & mourn the dead.

Here, the Storm Beasts fly above and the souls of the dead inhabit empty skeletons to move about freely.”

This archstone, is arguably the toughest of starting areas. With skeletons doing the rolly-polly left right and centre, illusionary walls and a mini-boss. And if that wasn’t enough, the area also boasts a plethora of flying magical mantis ray things that can impale you from impossible distances out of nowhere whilst your camera is focused elsewhere. I would recommend going to any of the other areas before this one, including many other archstones’ second and even third areas before this starting area.

It may be wise to do a couple of suicide runs of this area to get the lay of the land. Primarily to learn where is safe from the flying jaw-clenching, stress inducing abominations’ attacks and to explore the small ruins and tunnels. These have some illusionary walls, so attacking walls to open them up is needed. Be mindful of the traps. If you stand on one then raise that shield quickly!

Enemies In This Area:

  • Silver Skeletons

It is easy for these guys to decimate your stamina and stun lock you. Especially if you are fighting multiple at the same time. Divide and conquer, bait and butcher, whatever you do, try to fight them 1 on 1. Two handed swords work well against them as does the classic tactic of backstabbing.

  • Storm Beasts

- Can drop Cloudstone

These are undeniably, irrefutably the most annoying enemy in any game. Ever. If your character build includes a bow and arrow, then these guys can be taken down easily. If you are farming for Cloudstone, be wary to kill them above ground that you can access. If they are bothering you too much and you have the Thief’s Ring, then this will keep the majority of them from noticing you.

  • Gold Skeletons

These guys are like suped-up Silver Skeletons on steroids. They are tougher, hit harder, and are more aggressive. They are bigger and usually come in pairs. They are harder to bait 1 by one 1. Back stabs and quick reaction times will help greatly.

  • Black Skeletons

These guys are like suped-up Silver Skeletons on amphetamines. They are quicker, more cunning, and harder to defend against. They are often guarding loot.

  • Vanguard

Remember the tutorial boss that battered you into paste before you gasped for breath? Yeah, this is the same gruesome as him. And now he is but a meagre mini boss. That will also batter you into paste. He doesn’t travel very far though so he is incredibly easy to cheese from a distance if you are taking the yellow-bellied option. He does not respawn, and after taking him down, you will net yourself a Demon’s Soul.

NPCs In This Area:

  • Graverobber Blige

He is found in a small, locked prison cell in some tunnels. After you free him, he can be used as a merchant. He sells some healing grasses, spice, and a selection of arrows. Including Holy Arrows.

  • Sparkly the Crow

An unusual NPC. The originator of all the crow NPCs in the Dark Souls games. Found atop a hill in a tree. You can drop ‘sparkly’ items on the ground under the tree, and if she likes them, she will take them, and promise a reward upon your return. With the speed of loading times on PS5, the quickest way is to quit to menu and then resume game, finding the reward ready and waiting.

  • Satsuki

Can be seen but cannot be interacted with until world tendency has been changed.

The Boss - The Adjudicator

(The Glutton in Demon's Souls!)

If your character build is based on (or has access to) magic or pyromancy, then this boss is going to be a breeze for you. If you are primarily melee based, then it is still an easy boss, but can be a little tricky.

You can remain on the areas above the boss, and simply fling magic or fire at the golden bird perched on his head. This will reduce him to ashes fairly quickly. Be mindful of his massive, whip-like tongue. Other than that, there is nothing really to fear. The boss is easier than the majority of the enemies leading up to him.

If you are melee based, then you need to drop down to him and attack his open wound. Attacking anywhere else will be futile as he is immune to physical damage for the most part. Cripple his open wound and he will fall down, allowing you to pummel the golden bird with melee. Rinse and repeat a few times and you are done.

Archstone Of The Chieftain - Valley Of Defilement (5-1)

“This damp valley is the resting place of those who have been long forgotten.

Overtaken by poison and plague, the dwellers attack anyone who wanders into the valley.”

And we have arrived at the final of the starting areas in Demon's Souls. This area is simply unforgiving. It is not necessarily rife with hard enemies, but it is easy to be swamped by smaller enemies, poisoned, plagued, or simply fall to your death. The area isn’t so hard once you come to terms with slow exploration, lack of visibility and after you have fallen folly to the ambushes a few times. The biggest challenge comes from simply trying to survive until you reach the boss as the environment is trying to kill you just as much as the enemies are.

Most Demon's Souls players tend to do this area last, as it is the last in the line of archstones. However, you will likely find this area easier than Latria or The Shrine, so long as you are careful with avoiding the hazards.

Enemies In This Area:

  • Depraved Ones

- Shaman variation can drop Faintstone

Weak against fire, but honestly, all variations of Depraved ones are simply this areas cannon fodder. They go down quickly.

  • Giant Depraved Ones

These guys however do not go down quickly. Soul remains can be used to distract them. I would recommend using any of your fire attacks/spells on these guys before they get too close. They are NOT slow; they are just as speedy as the smaller guys.

  • Giant Tick

Avoid attacking with melee as blood spray damage by these will cause poison damage.

  • Plague Rat

These only appear in one cluster, below the NPC merchant. They are small, so a lot of physical attacks simply won’t hit them. They have tiny health, small attack damage, but being hit by a few will see you inflicted with plague. Take them out from a distance to be on the safe side.

NPCs In This Area:

  • Filthy Woman

The only NPC available in this area. She is the only merchant in the game that sells rotten arrows. These inflict poison damage. She also sells both Royal and Widow’s Lotuses, which will cure poison and plague. These can be crucial to surviving The Valley of Defilement as a whole.

The Boss – The Leechmonger

(The slimy one in Demon's Souls!)

Let’s hope you didn’t use all of your fire tricks on the giants on the way to this boss as fire turns the Leechmonger into a total chump. The trickiest part of this boss is making sure you keep your health up, as with all of its attacks, it will leave you writhing in leeches that will slowly drain your health. The boss’ attacks aren’t especially damaging, but if you have been neglecting the leeches sapping you, then one attack may just be enough to finish you off.

The boss in Demon's Souls will regenerate with a ring of leeches around itself. Simply take down this ring and it will stop regenerating for a while. If you are using fire attacks then you will likely only see this once or twice before you claim your victory. It is considered, along with the Adjudicator as one of the easiest bosses in the game.

Well Done!

You likely explored further into each world before delving into a different archstone, and that would have been wise. As you probably realised with this list, the starting areas seem to be balanced in different ways. Archstones 1 and 2 have relatively easy enemies but some tough bosses; archstone 3 has a middle ground between enemies and the boss, it is just a long area; archstones 4 and 5 have tough enemies and environmental hazards, but unusually easy to defeat bosses.

I hope you found this intro-area guide somewhat helpful, but bear in mind, that some things could be slightly different when re-visiting these areas if your world/character tendency is fully white or black. New bosses appear, different NPCs become interested in you, and things can get a little more chaotic!

Enjoy your time with Demon’s Souls. It is not an easy game. Take your time with it. Try different routes, character builds, weapons, spells, and find your favourite ways to take down the demons lying in wait for you. Most importantly though, Demon's Souls is not just a challenge, it is a game, so have fun with it!