When I first saw news of Demon’s Souls, I didn’t think much of it. “I have Skyrim for my fantasy hacky-slashy time.” I said to myself. I guess something about the gloomy castles and the sound and weight of everything armor/weapon related in Demon’s Souls got to me, as eventually I had a dream about playing it. It felt really satisfying hearing the armor clank around as I explored these environments oozing with atmosphere. Going back to Skyrim felt pretty shallow after that dream.
Later, a friend who got Demon’s Souls wasn’t too thrilled about the difficulty, but did love the weight of everything and sold it to me for cheaper than retail price despite having it for only about a week. Playing it felt just like how it felt in the dream, and everything “clicked” for me.
An earlier dream involved Mario 64 and a special hidden area around the castle mote on the right side past the door that leads into the basement. When the mote was still undrained, I discovered another underwater passage that lead me into a new room inhabited by a giant green ghost and a new ghost world.
The way you got to it wasn’t like the other holes in the ground you’d jump into, instead it felt a lot (and began to look a little) like the rusty pipes area in Banjo & Kazooie before you meet Clank. You’d continue swimming through a small tunnel until you reached a room “inside” the castle. It had gray brick walls, a large dining table and chair with the rusty door texture, the large green ghost at the table, and a new painting.
At the time I was obsessed with and loved the mysterious feeling of looking around all the nooks and crannies of the hub worlds in Mario 64 and Banjo & Kazooie. This was specifically brought on by spots that felt more off-kilter, like the court yard that lead to the ghost house, the door into the metallic pool area, or the mirror room in Mario 64, and especially the first time encountering Clank in Banjo & Kazooie. Something about those specific moments in those hub worlds made me feel like anything could happen next. Maybe I might find something years down the road that I never noticed in my earlier days of playing it.