How to Look at the End of the World
Dr. Monique Tschofe and Daniel Browne
9 February 2017
How to look at the End of the World
Demon Souls, a video game created by FromSoftware during 2009 as a JRPG exclusive for the Playstation 3. The game’s premise revolves around an ignorant King unleashing powerful demons on to the world, resulting in the slow extinction of mankind. However, you’re the last hope for this dying world. “Has the land found its savior, or have the demons found a new slave?”.
This particular painting has no name, it’s used for the opening cutscene for the game and is not displayed in its entirety but rather in three different close up shots. This is obviously made so that the player can see what’s going on however only for a short amount of time. I find it disappointing that it’s shown so quickly because when observing its full canvas you can really see the attention of detail that the artist put to describe the feeling of an apocalyptic end.
This painting tells many stories as all paintings should, the first thing I noticed when viewing it at full size was the wizard on the left side of the canvas. His face is more detailed than any other giving the viewer a clear look at his reaction towards what is going on, and from what I can tell, he doesn’t look too pleased. Looking from the balcony, he sees the destruction of what’s ahead, he knows he may not make it back alive. He shares the last few moments of his life probably reflecting on what he’s done until now as he walks down the path to the slaughter.
On the bottom middle of the painting, two people, another wizard and a knight stand with one another. The knight’s focus is towards the men walking down the staircase, he is probably the general since his armor is different from the rest. He says nothing for his mouth is shut but instead remembering each face as they go by. The Wizard however is not focused on the knights but instead of what’s happening from the distance. All he sees are giant behemoths crushing and absorbing the souls of men, growing stronger and stronger as the battlefield turns bloodier. He finally takes a glimpse at what hell looks like.
The massive demon located on the top right of the painting is the symbol of death and destruction. The reason why I say this is because even though he’s the largest creature of them all and right below the only source of light to even further display himself across the land, nobody looks at him. The soldiers that are marching into battle look only towards the smaller demons because if they saw him, they know they couldn’t stand a chance. In order to keep their sanity, they try to pretend he’s not there to make it seem like they have the upper head but in reality, they know there is no hope. The image shows the large demon consume hundreds of souls becoming even larger and stronger then he already is solidifying that the demons have won.
The painting in the cutscene of Demon Souls is barley shown in-game which is unfortunate because of the attention to detail that the artist put in this work of art shouldn’t be ignored. It tells the story of mankind’s end to hands of the demons and how everyone is trying to coup with the situation. Some recognize that there is no hope while others try to ignore it so that they can feel a sense of security for the last time. In a way this painting reflects everyone’s emotions when dealing with problems in life. Whether you face your issues or pretend they’re not there.
“Demon’s Souls | プレイステーション® オフィシャルサイト.”Demon’s Souls | プレイステーション® オフィシャルサイト. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2017. URL: http://www.jp.playstation.com/scej/title/demons-souls/
“FromSoftware, Inc.”FromSoftware, Inc.N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <http://www.fromsoftware.jp/pc_en/index.html>.
“Demon’s Souls jp : デモンズソウル.” Demon’s Souls – Image Gallery | theVideoGameGallery.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2017. <http://www.thevideogamegallery.com/info/game:demons-souls>.
Larger version of the image: http://www.thevideogamegallery.com/gallery/image:9169/demons-souls:concept-art-10
 Quote from the opening cutscene of Demon Souls. URL: https://youtu.be/4301xQRVgFA?t=163
Images in this online exhibit are either in the public domain or being used under fair dealing for the purpose of research and are provided solely for the purposes of research, private study, or education.