Every single one of Demon’s Souls‘ levels is headed off by a difficult boss. These bosses vary in shape and size, but almost all are tough to take down and managed to give the Souls franchise as a whole its reputation for difficulty. By contrast, Final Fantasy 14 has some pretty unstoppable bosses as well, but the way the game presents them is completely different. In terms of style, gameplay, story, and more, these two titles don’t share a lot in common, but there’s an interesting link between the Storm King boss of Demon’s Souls and the Primals that the Warrior of Light hunts down in Final Fantasy 14.
To be clear, it’s doubtful that Demon’s Souls‘ implementation of the Storm King had any inspiring effect on the basis of Final Fantasy 14‘s Primals, as the connection between the two is hidden in a piece of lore that not many players will find. Though Demon’s Souls provides more background than other Souls games, players still have to read item descriptions, Archstone blurbs, and more in order to get the full picture. In terms of what a Primal is, Final Fantasy 14‘s story goes in depth about these mythical beings, so there isn’t much guesswork required there.
In Final Fantasy 14, Primals are one of the main antagonistic forces that players have to defeat. As they take the form of iconic summons from the Final Fantasy franchise, it was initially thought that they were god like beings. Early on in the story of A Realm Reborn, it’s revealed that these Primals aren’t gods at all, but rather manifestations of the summoner’s faith. These false gods have tricked countless beast tribes in Eorzea, and their influence spreads far beyond that.
In order to summon a Primal, two things are required. First, there must be a sufficient supply of Aether, elemental energy that usually takes the form of solidified crystals. When beast tribes all around Eorzea began gathering these crystals, the Scions knew there was something amiss. Aside from energy, Primals also require a certain amount of strong emotions, whether that be faith, fear, anger, or desperation. Most primal summonings make use of faith, with a large gathering of beastmen praying to summon their god onto the world, only to create a false deity in reality.
In Demon’s Souls, the origins of many of the demons that players hunt down is shrouded in mystery, with only brief hints dropped here or there. Surprisingly, the Storm King, boss of world 4-3, has his history laid out for players that read the corresponding Archstone. In the description of the Storm King Archstone, it says “…the Storm King is the embodiment of the thoughts of Shadowmen from hundreds of years ago.” It doesn’t take long to realize how similar this is to the creation of a Primal from Final Fantasy 14 and how the two creatures are connected in this unique way.
In the case of the Storm King, it seems as though this Demon didn’t come from outside like the others did, but rather was created from the thoughts and prayers of its worshipers from years past. The Shadowmen have long been dead by the time players are traversing through the Shadowmen’s Archstone, so it doesn’t seem plausible that the Storm King was created recently. Instead, the worship they offered to the idea of the Storm King, along with the demonic energy and colorless fog that invaded the lands of Boletaria, served as a catalyst to create this flying monstrosity.
Another way these creatures are similar to one another is what they are capable of doing to mortals in their wake. In Final Fantasy 14, one of the biggest dangers of facing down a Primal is the potential to become Tempered. Primals can exert their immense power over a mortal and demand more worship from them, bending them to their will and essentially creating slaves. It’s revealed early on in the Ifrit fight that once a person has been tempered, it’s nearly impossible to get them back. Primals don’t even hesitate to temper their own beastmen, bringing them under its control without a second thought.
By contrast, the demons in Demon’s Souls have a similar power, as they can steal the souls from men, robbing them of any consciousness or ability to think. Most of the enemies players fight in the first Archstone, Boletaria, are actually humans that have lost their souls. They shamble about mindlessly fighting against the player and anything else that comes their way, ultimately under control of the demons. Though the method is slightly different, the result is mostly the same, marking another odd similarity between these two types of godly creatures.
The final piece of the puzzle that ties the Storm King and Final Fantasy 14‘s Primals together is the character that manages to take them down. In both cases, there’s a unique gift that the player has that allows them to fight against these colossal threats. In the case of the Warrior of Light, they are blessed with the Echo, a powerful ability that allows them to see into the future, resist being tempered by Primals, and even resurrect in the past should they fall in battle. Without this ability, it’s easy to see that the Primals would overpower players with ease.
By contrast, the protagonist in Demon’s Souls has the power of the Nexus to back them up. Even should they fall at the hands of the Storm King, they won’t lose their sanity. Instead, they’ll spawn again in soul form and have yet another chance to take the beast down. Beyond this, they are also empowered with the souls of other demons thanks to the Maiden in Black, making them strong enough to be able to handle being in a fight with this towering sting-ray. Once again, without these powers aiding them, the Storm King and many other demons would defeat the player with ease.
Demon’s Souls is available now on PS5.