As if someone playing Dark Souls doesn't have enough crap to worry about, apparently developer From Software is messing with anyone who's managed to get their hands on an early copy by dropping in as "Black Phantoms" to nastily kill them as they journey on.
Japanese gaming blog Esuteru snapped a shot of one of the high-level player-controlled enemies floating around. It's difficult to confirm whether this is true, but because it sounds so much like something From Software would do, I find it impossible not to pass on the possibility.
The story goes that maxed out, level 145 "Black Phantoms" are roaming around. It takes dozens of hours to even achieve 30 or 40 levels for your own character, so it's not hard to do the math on why this is ridiculous. "Black Phantoms" are controlled by players, allowing them to wreck havoc in other player worlds.
The game launches in Japan this week, so the people roaming around are either game reviewers with early copies of the game or someone managed to convince a retailer to sell it ahead of the street date.
I keep trying to convince myself that Dark Souls is something I want to play, but every time Vinny talks about the game's madness, that idea disappers. Dark Souls (and by extension, Demon's Souls) has the same appeal to me as EVE Online: I want to hear stories about people playing these games, without the pressure of figuring out the total nightmare on my own.
Namco Bandai is currently waiting on word via From Software about this story. Stay tuned.