The Speedrunning Possibilities Of Dark Souls Remastered

Alex McCumbers,

January 30, 2018 3:20 PM

With Dark Souls Remastered announced on various platforms, we reached out to various Dark Souls speedrunners to talk about the possibilities, challenges, and how running the game might change on new platforms.

It was recently announced that the exceptional Dark Souls will be getting remastered and released on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. Rumors of Dark Souls coming to Switch had been circulating for a while, due to developers claiming that they got the series running on the portable fairly quickly. The big question is how this could affect Dark Souls speedruns, mostly because of the increased frame rate and hopefully the removal of frame dips in areas such as Blighttown. 

Of course, running the remastered version of Dark Souls would be a separate category, but it will be interesting to see how it changes some of the tech, or general flow of the run. Currently the record for Any % sits around the 32 minute mark on SpeedRun.com. Could the remastered version create a scenario where the game could be completed in under 30 minutes without resets? 

As an example on how the run currently goes, here’s a recent record submission by CapitaineToinon to speedrun.com, who also added on his submission that there could be improvements. 

There’s also the addition of a portable Dark Souls, which was technically doable on machines like the Nvidia Shield Portable through game streaming, but this addition could change how players practice. Although, there’s always the worry about the game’s performance on the Switch and it will be interesting to see runners gravitate to a particular version for whatever reason. 

To get some further depth into the matter, I prodded some speedrunners to get their thoughts on the matter. 

We reached out the CapitaineToinon, who is an absolute beast at the game. He provided some unique perspective. “We don't know much yet about the game but they announced it will be using the Dark Souls III engine as a base. Therefore a lot of glitches present in the original and that are a big part in the speedrun of that game probably won't be there anymore in the remaster.”

“For that reason, I know I'll still speedrun the original after the release of the remaster. I might try to speedrun the remaster for a bit but it won't become my main speedgame, that's for sure.” 

Having it a different engine could mean the discovery of new exploits though, which is always exciting to see be uncovered over time. 

Watch New PB for GLS any% [1:3818] IGT from Rhakimdar on www.twitch.tv

Rhakimdar, who has been playing with several Dark Souls runs, as well as Super Mario Odyssey and A Hat in Time, offered their own perspective. 

“It depends on how much they change really. Even the upgrade to 60 frames per second can change things if they don't build it properly for such a framerate. There are some tricks you can't do in the run on the 60fps mod they have for it, because the game built some of its animations specifically for a 30fps framerate. I think it's a great thing that could introduce new people or runners to it though.”

“I imagine there will be some balance updates, which could make the run a bit more interesting. One of my favorite aspects of running Souls games is theorycrafting builds, so balancing more of the super OP things could change things a lot for the better.”

Despite this, Rhakimdar did suggest that with the Dark Souls III engine could come Dark Souls III problems that would off-put certain aspects of the series’ original title.

“As long as they don't try to force Dark Souls 3 style controls and combat on the game, I think having an updated, better looking Dark Souls will put some new life into the community.”

I also asked both runners on their thoughts on the Switch version. CapitaineToinon didn’t have much faith in runners choosing the Switch version over the other options. 

“I'm very sceptical about it,” he replied. “If you've played a Souls game in the past, you know that those games always have been pretty demanding games on the hardware, with the exception of Dark Souls II. And looking at other games running on the Switch, made by other studios, it's hard to imagine how the Remaster will hold the announced 1080p 30FPS when games such as Breath of the Wild, for example, only runs at 900p 30FPS.”

Easily, one of the most pressing concerns to runners is how many exploitable glitches will be lost or what new ones will be created in Dark Souls Remastered.
Easily, one of the most pressing concerns to runners is how many exploitable glitches will be lost or what new ones will be created in Dark Souls Remastered.

Despite this, CapitaineToinon expressed that the Switch’s limitations probably means that a speedrun of it will come with its own problems, as well as unique opportunities. 

“Since the Remaster will have its own leaderboards, that means the Switch version will have to compete with the other versions (PC, XBONE, PS4) and thus will probably end up being slower to speedrun anyway. With the Switch version being made by another studio than the other platforms, maybe it will have specific glitches allowing it to be faster though. Who knows?”

Rhakimdar had a similar outlook. 

“Honestly, I think the Switch version won't be as utilized for running purposes,” said Rhakimdar. “Mostly because it will be 30fps. Not only is that less desirable for many gamers in general, it could also lead to some slightly different outcomes for certain tricks. There will probably just be a general consensus of it being ran on other consoles and I predict it will be mostly on PC as it is now for those PC-related benefits such as being able to mod save states for practice and such.”

One of the things that undoubtedly draws players to PC versions of the games is mods that allow for better practice of speedrunning mechanics... among other ventures.
One of the things that undoubtedly draws players to PC versions of the games is mods that allow for better practice of speedrunning mechanics... among other ventures.

There’s also the thought of local multiplayer, whether co-op or competitive for the Switch. Imagine getting people together for an in-game fight club. There are several players that are already super fond of the PVP and having an option like this could actually make it so that tournaments would be more appealing and a little easier to set up. Some of those fights can get super intense and there are many among us who would definitely watch that as an esport. 

At the end of the day, having another Dark Souls speedrun for runners to explore, research, and achieve with is awesome. Who knows what crazy tactics will surface or if newcomers throw in their hats for a chance at a world record? All we can say is good luck when Dark Souls: Remastered comes.

Want to read more about speedruns and the runners that take them on? You can check out some of our favorite AGDQ runs, including Punchy’s Silent Hill run.



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