Dark Souls 2: Testing the NPC Gravestone Mechanics
This is just a short video of me documenting the time requirement of the tombstones. I have to find a way to kill time waiting for the DLC somehow, right? It’s nothing special, but I figured I might as well have something to show other than my word.
All NPCs have a specific time requirement (x amount of in-game time), and once that time passes, their gravestone will appear. If you’re waiting in the same area, resting at bonfire will trigger its appearance. Melentia’s wait is exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes, and so far I’ve only encountered waits that are in half-hour increments. The video makes it look like it takes a little longer, but I started the timer while attacking her.
I realize this is probably the least-demanded testing that could possibly be done. But I think there’s actually some relevance to getting better information regarding this mechanic. Lately there’s been a surge of cheaters on PC invading and killing other players’ NPCs. I’ve read all sorts of posts expressing doom and gloom if you fail to backup your saves (something you should be doing…), but the Gravestones actually help in ways that some people don’t seem to realize. For example, did you know that-
- In spite of gravestones normally appearing where the NPC is killed, the Emerald Herald getting killed in the Dragon Aerie does NOT stop you from being able to level up with her. The Emerald Herald will appear in Majula regardless of where she is killed, and will still offer her normal services. (initial wait is 5 hours)
- McDuff is able to accept the Dull Ember after death and all of his services will be available. This is true even if you never lit the brazier for him. (initial wait is 3 hours)
I’m updating this page directly as I learn more:
Here’s a previous photo album I made when finding out which NPCs leave tombs (basically all), and finding out their costs:
Dark Souls 2 - Audio Files List (Google Doc)
We made a resource that hopefully makes it easier to explore the game’s files and unused content. So far all of the dialog files have been identified and transcribed, and we’ve included a tutorial on how to rip the audio as well.
The wikis are still missing a lot of the characters’ dialog, so this could be used to help fill it in. I also hope that anyone looking for a particular sample has an easier time finding it now!
Dark Souls 1: Unused Test Map
Imgur mirror - http://imgur.com/a/SkAKy
Here is an unused test map from Dark Souls 1, once again provided by my primary source for this sort of stuff. It’s mostly a series of rooms with cells in them, connected through various inclines or staircases. Some distinct features include a pit in the middle, a human model, a chair/throne, and a restraining table.
Dark Souls 2: Bag and Belt Guy (Unused Test Audio)
Demon’s Lantern has found and sent me more unused content, this time from the game’s audio. There’s a bunch of test dialog recorded by the developers, so we have some pretty hilarious takes of non-voice actors filling in for the characters.
I still have a bunch of files to sift through, but I wanted to share my favorite finding right away!
Chroanna(?), the Bag and Belt Guy.
edit: Turns out this was previously found and shared by hellkitedrake here! I tend to keep up with his cut content findings, though I missed it because it was up as soon as the game came out (that was fast!), when I was on an information blackout.
ebiflynageruyo was able to mod Demon’s Souls, and demonstrate unused content by swapping enemy models. It’s primarily a cosmetic change so we only get to see their models and some of their animations. Otherwise their stats/ AI/ placement should all be based on the enemies they’re replacing.
It gives us a much better look at how these would’ve appeared in-game:
The videos also show some odd content like a red bow, and things like unused upgrade materials added into the inventory.
The following names could be found in the original game’s files (npcmenu.txt) before the Crown of the Sunken King DLC was released:
0000,7570=[Nadalia, Bride of Ash]
0000,7580=[Alsanna, Silent Oracle]
0000,7590=[Elana, Queen of Ruin]
One of those is now familiar to us as Elana, the Squalid Queen. I wonder if this means we’re going to meet Nadalia or Alsanna in the upcoming DLCs…
Dark Souls 2: Unknown LOD Model (Stacked Houses?)
Demon’s Lantern found this odd object in the Dark Souls 2 game files. It looks like it could be a set of low-res houses stacked on top of each other. If that’s the case, then it could have been intended as distant scenery in some area.
The Crown of the Sunken King DLC seems to feature some vertically stacked architecture, but it doesn’t look like this so I’m doubtful there’s a connection. Still, it’s interesting trying to figure out if any of the cut content was repurposed into DLC in some way, or if it’s totally unrelated and would have belonged elsewhere. Perhaps we’ll know more soon…
Demon’s Lantern also discovered the unused area I posted about back in May.
Oh, that’s actually how I spawned the Vagrant. I used the dupe glitch on the fire keeper soul to amass large amounts of humanity (30+, but the exact amount probably doesn’t matter…), then double-suicided in that area to lose that humanity. Each time I do that, there’s a chance I spawn this Vagrant in another player’s world. When someone gets the Vagrant but doesn’t find and kill it, it’ll be sent to some other random person when they abandon it (by luck, it could happen to be me).
Ooof don’t run around with a fire keeper soul on your quick menu it terrifies me
You can’t exactly rely on someone not finding your Vagrant and randomly targeting you, given that it’s more likely it’ll be sent to someone else they’re connected to. But that’s why repetition is key— if you spam connected worlds with lots of Vagrants, then it starts to become more and more likely that someone is going to target you back.
In this case I got lucky and it only took me 15-20 minutes of losing humanity here to get this Vagrant.
Dark Souls 1: Another Uncommon Vagrant
Here’s something you don’t see every day! It’s a standard Evil Vagrant, but what makes it special is its location. It was one of the remaining “undiscovered” vagrant locations, which is in the upstairs of the Undead Burg building that requires the running jump to get to (note the broken staircase).
In the past I was able to use the Future Press Guidebook to hunt down previously undocumented vagrants (explanation of that here), but I sort of hit a wall with that method. The issue with intentionally self-spawning Vagrants is that it can be time consuming even when you already know where it’ll spawn. If you don’t know exactly where it’s going to spawn, then trying to do so would be unreasonably tedious.
So I was content to leave things be with the remaining non-confirmed locations list on the wiki, but then I remembered the work that was going on with DSMODT. Hellkitedrake used it to help me finally confirm the exact locations of the remaining ~25 Vagrants I’ve never seen documented. The one pictured above is one I tested just to make sure the data we saw worked in-game. There are some in very weird places that I can guarantee countless people have run right past without ever finding them!
I might make another post showing all of them or hellkite might want to do a video… either way we’ll find a way to get that information out there. Might as well squeeze everything odd or “unknown” out of Dark Souls we can. :p
This might be old news for some, but a while back I did some testing on this and never got around to posting about it here.
- The exact requirement for getting blue flames on the Majula Mansion map is using 8 ascetics on the corresponding bonfire.
As is commonly suggested, it’s not actually based on beating the area boss 10 times, or getting the bonfire intensity to the equivalent of NG+10.
It’s easy to see how these could get mixed up, because at first there isn’t an obvious distinction between the number of ascetics you’ve used vs the current bonfire intensity. But for the purposes of getting the blue flames to appear, there is.
What this means is that you could get all of the bonfire intensities up to 99 and still never see blue flames on the map, if you did so by progressing through NG+ cycles exclusively. The play-through cycle and actual bonfire intensity are ignored, as only the number of ascetics used are actually counted.
Still, there’s no known effect or secret tied to turning all of the flames blue. But I’ve read about people trying to get them by playing all the way through to NG+10, when that doesn’t help at all. So hopefully this is useful to anyone who wants to mess around with that. :)
ModVMZ created a guide on how to fix corrupted save files on the Xbox 360. It works by creating new save file data, and then extracting certain non-corrupted files from it to replace the corrupted information on the old save data to make it work again.
Note that he warns that it might not work in all cases, and I also haven’t it tried it myself. But it seems like a potentially very useful resource, so I wanted to share it. As always, messing with files is something you should only do at your own risk. Though it appears to be a safe process, we are not liable if anything goes wrong.
Everything below is written is his words and credit goes entirely to him.
How to fix Corrupt Xbox 360 Saves!
Here is a tutorial on how to restore your corrupted save (possibly might not work in all cases). Things you’ll need:
- Flash Drive/USB Stick with at least 1gb of space
- A Computer
- Horizon - https://www.horizonmb.com/download
1) Plug your Flash Drive/USB Stick with at least 1gb of space into your Xbox and navigate to System Settings > Storage > Your Flash Drive. Then format it for Xbox 360 storage.
2) Next MOVE your save onto the flash drive and then plug it into your computer.
3) Install Horizon
4) Once Installed and launched your screen will look like this:
5) Next click on Games then Dark Souls II. You should then see this:
6) Drag SAVE DATA onto your desktop (This is your Back-Up save incase anything goes wrong), Then delete the save in Horizon by right-clicking and selecting Delete
7) Go back to your Xbox with the Flash Drive and create a new save of Dark Souls 2 and then create as many new characters that you had on your backup that you want to keep (this character needs only to start the game nothing else)
8) Back to the Computer, navigate the same path as before but instead of dragging it to the desktop double-click on it and a window will pop up in the center like this and move this window to the right:
9) Click on Contents, if any of the of USER_DATA01 to USER_DATA0a files have way less than 108.70 KB in the size column then that character can not be saved
10) Now drag the file from the desktop into Horizon then move that window to the left:
11) Click on “Contents” of the backup and you will see a list of USER_DATA files (Your save depending on the slot will be one of these)
12) If the save you want to recover is in Slot One (as in the first save when you select Continue) you need to right-click and extract USER_DATA01 and USER_DATA0b to somewhere you can remember. Do this for any other characters you may want to keep going up a number and letter for each character.
- a. USER_DATA02 and USER_DATA0c for Slot Two, and so on
14) For Slot One right-click on USER_DATA01 and replace it with the one from the back up. Do the same with the USER_DATA0b file and any other files you may have extracted.
15) Once finished click on Save, Rehash, and Resign of the Double-clicked save
16) Unplug your Flash Drive, and plug it into the Xbox load up Dark Souls 2 select the flash drive then the slot you want to load. Don’t worry that it shows no name and a Level 1 character once loaded, if it worked those things will reappear.
17) Enjoy your Non-corrupted save and Praise The Sun! \[T]/
We didn’t find anything major, so it’s difficult to make sense of it, but it seems reasonable to speculate that another area to the side of the Shaded Woods might have been considered during development.
(click images to enlarge)
1. The Pit-Tunnel
For some reason, there’s a pit/ tunnel of some kind hidden behind some rubble on the path between Old Akelarre and Ruined Forked Road.
You can see it in-game if you try to walk around the side the rubble, but you can only just barely catch a glimpse of it. Seems like an odd detail to include since it feels like you’re not supposed to see it. The above screenshots used the skywalking glitch (PS3) and freecam (PC) to get a better view of it.
Moving the camera underground and around to the side reveals the shape and size of it, and that it doesn’t actually lead anywhere. But perhaps it was supposed to lead somewhere else…
2. Path #1
Tilting the camera up, you can see this structure not too far in the background behind the pit:
Raising the camera reveals a path along the top of it, leading to an empty room.
This screenshot shows its distance/ relationship to the foggy area of the woods:
3. Path #2
This is what we see if we angle the camera to the left, instead of up and straight ahead, when standing on the rubble wall in front of the pit:
There appears to be a doorway floating off in the distance. Here we can see that it’s another path, off to the side from the first path (with the doorway appearing black now):
We can’t really draw any concrete conclusions from this finding, but with 3 unused paths nearby, it indicates that the devs had a tentative idea to put something else here. Here’s a couple ideas, which are purely speculative:
-Assuming the premise that the Undead Purgatory was supposed to have a side entrance is true, it seems plausible that one of these paths could have lead in that direction.
-The second path leads to a room surrounded by a large rock structure. Perhaps the unused area could have been inside.
PC screenshots provided by OpTic_Niko and Demon’s Lantern
Based on a few tests, it appears that the matchmaking ranges haven’t changed with the latest calibrations.
We didn’t check all the items, but we checked the Small and regular White Sign Soapstone, with and without the Name-Engraved Ring equipped. As well as the Red Sign Soapstone. Their ranges worked exactly as predicted, so for now it’s probably safe to assume that nothing has changed.
You can find an explanation of the ranges here-
As well as a working range calculator here-
I’ve been playing around with the skywalking glitch (recently discovered by xlrve), and found something a little odd around the side of the Undead Purgatory colosseum.
If you circle counter-clockwise from the entrance to the Executioner’s Chariot, you’ll find a lone tent and an outcrop that extends into the mountain wall behind it (instead of being completely cliff-side).
The tent leads into an empty, unfinished corridor that runs parallel to a segment of the Executioner Chariot’s path. You can think of it as an “outer ring”. It doesn’t lead anywhere, but if you could go straight through the wall, it’d put you on the staircase leading to Twitchy Gren:
Perhaps with different world design, this could have been intended as an alternate side entrance that would allow you to exit from the mountainside and bypass the boss. I think the inclusion of a couple boulders hidden underneath the outrcrop adds further evidence to the idea that at some point, they planned on putting more work into a side entrance.
There are no other boulders like this in the immediate area. Others in different parts of the level are placed so that they are clipped partially through a wall, to help add detail to the environment. I would think that the only reason they would be loaded here is if there was the intention to “complete” this spot at some point in the past.
An article from edge also seems to indicate a different original plan for the Executioner’s Chariot:
The black rider in the chariot, who looks like one of Tolkien’s Nazgûl, is in fact an undead who acts as an executioner if you commit evil deeds. So does this mean there will be some kind of moral system underpinning Dark Souls II? “Yes, definitely,” Shibuya confirms with a grin. “If you’re unlucky enough, you’ll be able to meet them.”
If it’s true that there were going to be more opportunities to fight executioners, it would make even more sense to have an option to bypass the fight here.
Dark Souls 2: Unused Map/ Area
My friend Demon’s Lantern found this when poking around the game’s files. It appears to be a cave with 6 walkways, each leading up to a monolith. There is also a hallway with a descending staircase leading into this area.
Without more information, we don’t yet have any idea where this might have been implemented, or if it was meant to connect to a currently-existing area at all. This is just speculation, but I wonder if it might have been intended as something like the Pantheon from Demon’s Souls. Or perhaps a Nexus-like DLC hub.