Dark Souls launches for the PS3 in Japan tomorrow, but some players were lucky enough to stumble upon retail copies of the game ahead of street date somehow. Developer From Software is already well aware of the situation, having kept its eyes glued on some incriminating PSN statistics. Yet instead of pulling some strings at Sony to request utter bannination for any PS3 player audacious enough to break the covenant that everyone else was planning to adhere to on launch day, From Software ended up delivering a surprise of its own.
Anyone in Japan currently playing the game at some point found themselves the target of maximum level Black Phantoms, unleashed over PSN courtesy of none other than From Software. The players were allowed to continue enjoying the game ahead of everyone else who has to wait in line tomorrow in Japan, but only if they can stomach the prospect of being hunted down by level 145 Black Phantoms with 1900HP and maximum 99 point stats across the board.
Black Phantoms are players who randomly invade the worlds of others when they are online in Dark Souls. Their reasons are myriad, but it all boils down to some good old fashioned PvP where items, souls and even the humanity of the players are at stake.
Dark Souls will be a multiplatform release outside of Japan. The North American launch is still scheduled for October 4th, while Europe will get its hands on the game three days later.