The first thing I did in the PlayStation 5 remake of Demon’s Souls—after getting my ass handed to me by the Vanguard demon and being sent to the Nexus, of course—is stop by Blacksmith Boldwin to see if the classic, supremely useful duplication glitch was still a thing. Sadly, it is not.
The duplication glitch was an easy way to alleviate some of the more tedious parts of the original Demon’s Souls. A few simple steps would give you all the grass you needed to heal yourself as well as a never-ending supply of materials to upgrade your equipment. It was all a matter of tricking the game with some overlapping confirmation windows.
Here’s how it’s done on PlayStation 3. First, make sure you have the Nexial Binding item—which allows you to warp back to the Nexus instantly, at the cost of all your souls—equipped on the item bar. Next, speak to Blacksmith Boldwin and attempt to buy an item, stopping just short of accepting the purchase. Walking away from the vendor will cause the window to disappear, at which point you’ll need to activate the Nexial Binding and exit its confirmation prompt with the Start button.
From there, you need to hand over the item you want to duplicate to Stockpile Thomas, the NPC who stores your extra junk. This will cause your character to enter the Nexial Binding animation, which you must cancel with Circle. If everything was performed correctly, the item you gave Thomas will have appeared in storage, duplicated into a stack of 1024. Please don’t ask me why this works!
In the Demon’s Souls remake, however, the above process is interrupted at Blacksmith Boldwin. Whereas on PlayStation 3 you could simply cancel a conversation or purchase by walking away from the NPC, the same thing doesn’t happen on PlayStation 5. Boldwin’s purchase confirmation window remains on-screen until you accept or cancel, preventing the subsequent steps necessary to activate the original game’s duplication trick. And I’ve yet to find a new method to initiate the technique.
Bluepoint Games creative director Gavin Moore told Polygon in October that his team would be largely removing exploitable glitches in the Demon’s Souls remake, intending to leave only “meme-worthy” bugs and “game design quirks” from the original. As item duplication can make a character incredibly strong and resourceful early in the game, it’s obvious if it was one of the exploitable glitches Bluepoint sought to remove.
I’ll admit to having used the duplication glitch frequently during my time with Demon’s Souls on PlayStation 3. I came to the game late and wanted to progress through the story without having to rely on farming materials or worrying about my healing items. But part of me is glad the temptation has been removed on PlayStation 5, if only for my own enjoyment of the game’s challenge. I’m just crossing my fingers that extremely rare crafting items like Pure Bladestone have indeed had their droprates improved.
Kotaku has contacted Sony for more information.
Update (11/12/2020, 6:46 p.m. ET): Sony confirmed to Kotaku that the duplication glitch has been removed in the Demon’s Souls remake.