Exclusive Interview – From Software


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Tanimura San, Dark Souls II Director
From Software’s storied ‘Souls’ series are real games for real gamers; less with the hand-holding, more with the bone crunching!Minimal narrative takes a backseat to precision controls, creative tactics and generation defining online play.
Also those beasties are genuine nightmare fuel!

With the lurching, inexorable approach of the terrifying-if-tantalising Dark Souls II, we deemed it high time to rap precision combat gameplay with Tanimura San, from the studio that does it best.

Obviously, being a Japanese company, a translator was utilised. Even still, you’ll have to make (very understandable) allowances for any culture clash or jarring translation.

That said, their response was so distinctive, so unique, that to edit (overly) would be to sully their gift. And so, in all its untainted glory, behold From Software on Dark Souls II...

Here we go...
Here we go...Enlarge Enlarge

Question in English
Improved backstab animations were showcased at E3. Will counters and ripostes be similarly overhauled? Will they be interruptible?

Question in Japanese

Translator in English
※I will take the question as; Counter attack = Parry, Interruptible = interrupted by an enemy during the execution

Answer in English
The effects of backstab fatal hit was reinforced, however the motions even the fatal blow are all renewed for the effects fortification. The fatal blow can be interrupted during the execution, so the timing is vital when you are fighting against a group of enemies.

Translator in Japanese

Answer in Japanese

Question in English
Dual Wielding weapons was also showcased, with several fluid animations and combos. Will players also be able to dual wield larger weapons like great-swords, spears and pole-axes?

Question in Japanese

Answer in English
It is planned to be for the same category weapons. For example, the dual wielding is not possible between a spear and an axe; however, it is possible between the same categories such as spears, axes, great-swords.

Answer in Japanese

First cut is the deepest. Unless you count the second. Or third.
First cut is the deepest. Unless you count the second. Or third.Enlarge Enlarge

Will melee spells or inherently magic weapons (i.e. Moonlight Greatsword, Dark Hand) have more or a presence in Dark Souls II? Will they be a viable option for an entire playthrough, for instance?

近接魔法攻撃や魔法武器(Moonlight Greatsword,、Dark Hand等)はダークソウルIIでより大きなプレゼンスを持つことになるのでしょうか?プレイの全工程を通してそれらは使えるものとして位置づけられているのでしょうか?

Melee Spells and inherently magic weapons will be positioned as weapons with specific great effects in Dark Souls II as well. This can be said about all the weapons, however, it can’t be effective in every circumstance. Its efficiency to the situation should be well judged.


Melee Finishers with (brutal) canned animations are increasingly common in fighting games. Will they feature in Dark Souls II?


We are thinking to express it by reinforcing the fatal blow action.


(By now, I think you get the picture...)

A major drawback of Fire/Lightning/Magic weapons is that their stats don’t scale, making them relatively useless in NewGame+... Is there a plan to alter this approach for Dark Souls II?


It is not easy to tell the detailed information at the moment. However, the weapons reinforcement has more freedom compared to the last title and the Fire/Lightning/Magic weapons can be fortified enough.


Overcompensate much, pal?
Overcompensate much, pal?Enlarge Enlarge

Given many High End weapons requires specific Strength/Dexterity/Faith etc builds, will Dark Souls II permit players to redistribute skill points or respect their characters?


We can’t tell the detailed information about the character raising system; however the player’s freedom will be very much respected.


Is there a plan to expand the scope of aerial attacks for the sequel? Sadly, this tactic was quite limited in Dark Souls...


※ I take what you mean by aerial attacks as the descending attack rather than all possible attacks in the air.

There will be more situations where the battle can be won advantageously by using the descending attack effectively. However, we prefer not to limit the player’s way to fight so this is not really planned.

※ aerial attacks …落下攻撃でしょうか。それとも空中で行える攻撃全般、という概念的なものを指している?一応、前者を想定しての返答です。


Will the previously announced destructible environments open up combat options as well as hidden paths? Can you give an example if so?


It is developed in that direction. A hidden route explored only by a precise enemy attack is one of the examples.


Will there be a chance to talk or negotiate your way out of combat via dialogue trees or other options?


There will be simple responses like YES/NO, same as the last title. However there will be nothing like dialogue trees.


On the subject of dialogue, how many NPCs will Dark Souls II feature? Are there more, or fewer, than its predecessors? Will the world of Dark Souls II feel more populated?


At this moment, the actual numbers of NPC can’t be revealed. However, it will be the same or a little bit more than the last title. The world is the kingdom once prospered in the past with few survivors.


Likewise, will Dark Souls II offer a more fleshed out narrative? The story in previous games has been quite oblique – though many fans commend this approach...


The basic style of the story telling is the same. I feel that the user’s imagination is much more fascinating than the story itself.


The bonfire network was one of the defining features of Dark Souls however it only opened up about half way through the game. Will Dark Souls II make players wait for fast travel like its predecessor?


This time, the bonfire network will be accessible from the beginning. The search with higher freedom from the beginning will be possible.


It’s said Covenants will be more accessible this time – Will this (coupled with dedicated multiplayer servers) allow for more reliable Co-Op? Or even more frequent invasions?


The upgraded Covenants and the dedicated game server will offer deeper and more comfortable Co-Op and invasions.


The online features of the ‘Souls’ games have been rightly praised for their minimalism. Will sharing or trading items be an option in Dark Souls II?


There will be no sharing or trading items. This title’s idea is “Loose Connection”. As you mentioned in your question, a system to force excessive communication doesn’t suit this title.


Stabby, Stabby
Stabby, StabbyEnlarge Enlarge

And finally... Ok, so there is no new “Easy Mode” (thank god!) but what steps are being taken to open up the ‘Souls’ experience to a wider audience of interested players who may simply be too intimidated to play?


The reason why there is no “Easy Mode” is that this game’s principal is not “a high difficulty game” but “a game with high sense of accomplishment”. It is made in the way that even the situation which seems impossible to clear can be definitely cleared by thinking through the strategy, with creative approach, or by raising a character. In that meaning, the creativity to motivate the player’s efforts is most important rather than using the techniques with superficial cleverness. Then from there, there is the sense of accomplishment and this will lead to the new audience. If this series were to be supported in the future, we feel that keeping such kind of root is very important.


Exclusive Interview – From Software on ClickOnline.com
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