Fat vs. Fast: The Ins and Outs of Rolling in Demon's Souls
As dodge-rolling is one of the most important mechanics in Demon's Souls, let's take a few minutes to explain the most important and most confusing factor for new players: different roll types and equipment burden
Have you ever booted up the Demon’s Souls remake and accidentally somersaulted your character off a cliff? Are your rolls confusingly inconsistent and sometimes get you whacked by the Vanguard's weapon before you can even get crushed by his spectacular thighs?
Well, this playthrough guide should give new players some tips that explain why your Souls rolls can be wonky sometimes and how to fix that.
What is Rolling?
Rolling has always been a vital game mechanic of the action RPG Dark Souls series. It is the most effective way to deal with enemy attacks in a boss fight.
For newcomers: on PlayStation, you either use the circle button or hold the left stick in a certain direction to execute a dodge roll. Most people also use a controller on their PC, so the controls are the same. For the truly bold and possibly insane keyboard loyalists, though, use the spacebar to roll. Luckily, Demon's Souls lets you roll in 8 different directions, giving players more options than ever.
However, the idealized tactic of perfect dodge rolls and pulling them off are two different things.
The Importance of Equipment Burden
Before we go into the specific rolls, though, we have an important Demon's Souls concept to discuss: equipment burden. This idea focuses on the weight ratio between how much you are carrying and what you can carry. Say your character is carrying an equipment burden of 30 lbs of gear, and the game says you can hold up to 50 lbs, which means your weight ratio is more than 50% (Trust me, that's bad news).
The different speeds of your rolls are based entirely on this equipment burden. So, it’s not like you can click a button harder, slower, or multiple times to get different kinds of rolls. You have to start paying close attention to what you’re carrying, too. That’s the reason so many Souls vets focus on weapons and aren’t too attached to armor, often choosing lighter gear instead.
Types of Rolls
To start, there are 3 types of rolls in the Demon’s Souls remake: The fast roll, the regular roll, and the slow/fat roll.
The fast roll is not only the swiftest of the bunch but also conveniently silent. Its speed can dodge almost anything as long as you make sure to roll away from enemies' melee attacks, not into them. You can only use the fast roll every time if your items are below a 25% weight ratio.
Next is the regular roll, which is still fairly mobile but is slower than the fast roll. Also, when your armor hits the ground, you will now make a clunking noise (so no stealth rolls here). Regular rolls are triggered when your weight ratio is between 26%-49%.
Last and very much least is the slow/fat roll. With a weight ratio over 51%, your dodging will not only be slow, but you won’t even be able to roll at all. This means every Demon’s Souls player should really be careful to not dragon-horde every item they see along the way. Otherwise, they’re going to have a seriously tough time dodging any boss.