"King's Field" Field Journal

It is with some trepidation that I set sail for King's Field, or King's Field II as the Japanese know it. Its legacy can be felt in the more civilised kingdoms of Dark Souls and Demon's Souls, but of King's Field itself I know very little. I intend to further study these primordial lands.

It has been smooth sailing since departing the trading port of eBay with my slightly weather-beaten (but still functional) disc. I wonder if this disc has facilitated a very long chain of voyagers before me? There's a poorly translated, buzzword-heavy blurb which could describe just about any dungeon-crawling roleplaying realm in existence. The travel brochure is missing, forcing me to rely on my own wits.

I confess, my imagination got the better of me while preparing for this journey. I dreamt I was in King's Field, looking out across the crude, polygonal scenery — though still far too well rendered to be the real thing. In my dream I caught hold of a child, dressed only in grubby rags. I was faced with a sudden BioShock-style choice to sacrifice or release her, except there was no benefit to letting her go and I was desperate. I threw her head, spinal cord still attached, down by the fire as a bloody sacrifice, while Hellraiser-like creatures laughed that I was willing to sell my soul to survive.

Clearly my subconscious has the wrong idea, but maybe there is some valid core at the centre of my wild delusions. What will it take to succeed here?

Shipwrecked

I've washed ashore on the strange island of Melanat. Most of my equipment and supplies were lost, leaving me with only a compass and a crude dagger. The dagger might serve well enough for a basic dissection if I can catch any local wildlife off guard.

King's Field Screenshot

My first view of the island. Blocky scenery with a bright blue ocean, now calm. It's night time, the stars winking down on the lonely shore. In the background a subtle, vaguely unsettling melody plays. It hints at mystery and danger ahead.

The shore seemed deserted, but I could see a pier nearby and the cliffs ahead showed signs of stone masonry. As I dragged myself ashore I spied a fish in the shallows and moved to investigate.

The wildlife I've encountered so far has been peculiarly aggressive. The fish lashed out quickly, leaving me with a painful bite. I flailed wildly with my dagger, but I missed by a large margin and decided to back off.

Kracken Nest

A glimpse of The Kraken guarding her nest. Hopefully I will have the chance to study her habits at a later date.

A nearby sign warned me not to get any closer to the Kraken's nest. Peeking around the corner I could see what it was referring to: a large, black bulbous animal with red eyes and sharp-looking appendages. It seemed to be guarding a cave entrance, presumably the aforementioned nest. Oh, how I longed to see inside and observe the habits of these unusual creatures further! But I was weak from my ordeal and already injured. Instead, I decided to follow the shore in the other direction, moving south west past the pier I'd glimpsed earlier.

So far the shore had been bare of any vegetation, but I found a small, herbaceous plant growing by the cliff. In a moment of recklessness I discovered the bitter leaves have remarkable healing properties when consumed.

King's Field Screenshot

Local vegetation, the healing "earth herb" opportunistically sprouting in a sheltered region near to the pier. It seems reasonably resilient to littoral conditions where other species would struggle — note the surrounding bare soil.

The shore was not as deserted as I'd originally thought. At the pier I met a fisherman, seemingly unperturbed by piscine dangers. Large flying insects buzzed overhead, but seemed willing to leave us alone for the moment. The fisherman reminisced about his own journey here. He claims to be infected by poison, and that he now relies on the island's water to survive, so he can never leave. I wonder if I will become similarly afflicted, but perhaps this is merely tall tales and superstition.

The fisherman helped me get my bearings, pointing out the local landmarks including the nearby lighthouse. A submerged land bridge connected us to the lighthouse, easily wadeable but with many more blue fish swimming nearby. Apparently the locals know them as "sigills", and the one I'd been attacked by earlier was only a baby.

The fisherman warned of many dangers in the nearby caves, but was unable to provide more practical assistance beyond pointing me in the direction of the nearest town. I resigned myself to what would be a dangerous trip in search of new supplies and equipment.

The cave nearby appeared abandoned, but with signs of people here previously. The entrance led into a large, open room with supply barrels stacked near the walls. The barrels were largely empty now, save for an iron mask. I felt absurd wearing it, but glad of any extra protection. Human bones warned of the fate of other travellers who had let their guard down here.

Carefully checking the rest of the room, I spied a small, dark figure in the far corner. A kraken, though thankfully much smaller than the one outside. It was time to put my dagger to the test. I aimed my slashes low, trying to circle around the sharp appendages as they retaliated. Not, I must admit, with complete success. We traded blows for a while, and I came out the victor but not without significant cost to myself.

The kraken remain able to function without the larger, bulbous section of their body, at least in the short term. Slicing this strange organ caused it to deflate, leaving the much smaller, chitinous body behind. They retain full mobility and use of their limbs in this state, and can still deliver a nasty blow.

Checking to make sure there were no other dangers nearby, I noticed the sound of running water. And other, more worrying noises. Rough growls and scrapes. The adjoining room contained a well: the promise of sweet, fresh water but with two kraken guarding it. I tried to draw one out, but it refused to be baited. I ducked into the fray, ready to hit and run if necessary. I circled more effectively this time, but had to be wary of the second kraken closing in. I tried to dash away again, but was too slow and took a sharp hit for my trouble.

Another strange creature was making it difficult to manoeuvre around the well, some kind of green slime. Heavily injured, I decided to make a break for the fountain and its allegedly revitalising water. One of the kraken hit me so hard I staggered back against the wall, but I recovered quickly enough to make it to the fountain… just barely. Thankfully, the fisherman had not exaggerated the utility of the island's fresh water.

I continued to move around the well, fighting the kraken until it was all over. By comparison, the slime was simple to deal with. They are resilient to dagger attacks, but with little in the way of offence they will succumb eventually.

I was finally able to rest, and set up a base of operations ready to set out tomorrow and further explore the surrounding area. Hopefully make my way towards town. I say tomorrow, but in truth my sense of time is confused. The island appears stuck in endless night; the stars have not moved an inch since I dragged myself ashore.