Headbutt spam, Soul Remains, and an Anti-Magic Field — what’s your pleasure?
I am no longer afraid of the magic-slinging Scirvir in Demon’s Souls (at least in a cautiously optimistic Home Alone sense). He could absolutely take me out in the blink of an eye, but I’m going to put on a brave face the next time we cross paths in the Stonefang mines.
In lieu of committing to a fun but probably too time-consuming new run, I’ve been poking around the Demon’s Souls subreddit lately, laughing at ragdoll hijinks, sympathizing with crushing defeats, and marveling at cheesy tactics that I’ll save for a rainy day.
Boss difficulty can really swing from one person to the next, particularly when New Game+ runs come into the conversation, and the same can definitely be said of black phantoms — some of them are no joke. In my original playthrough(s), which descended into Pure Black World Tendency-chasing madness, I died countless times to Scirvir.
Without the right know-how and prep, Scirvir — full name, “the Wanderer” — can be a particularly tricky threat in black phantom form. While he’s pleasant enough as a nonviolent human NPC, he’s one of two owners of the Talisman of Beasts, and as such, he must be destroyed. Scirvir comes into play for Demon’s Souls players who are going down the World and Character Tendency rabbit-hole in the name of trophies and glory.
Instead of crowd-sourcing some pointers at the time, I went with a brute-force approach, eventually grinding out a stressful, lucky, messy af win. Little did I know there are reliable strategies that can make Scirvir look like a total chump. That brings us to this recent Reddit clip — and a couple of other older cheesy strat videos that just slayed me.
As demonstrated by SifinBoots, if you’re okay with a Soulcalibur-style “ring out,” there’s a convenient pit nearby, and Scirvir can be highly susceptible to headbutts. Lots of ’em.
This bold move — up/forward + R1 while unarmed — is never something I’d naturally try on my own. That’s the beauty of Souls games and their tip-sharing communities.
Another strategy for Scirvir, as captured by Oulmes, involves some cheeky Soul Remains (to distract him to a mystifying degree) and plenty of backstabs.
So many potential ways to get revenge on challenging black phantoms, so little time. As a player who goes by gsterr succinctly put it: “This game is special.” I should replay it!
As more of you are able to get ahold of a PlayStation 5, I hope you’re (re?)discovering this game and can relate to the highs and lows of adventuring in such a brutal world.