Knowing how to level up in Demon’s Souls is crucial to your survival in the Kingdom of Boletaria. That’s true in the original game on PS3 and the remaster on PS5. To upgrade character stats like strength, endurance, vitality, and magic, you must first beat the Phalanx Demon boss, then speak with two different NPCs in the Nexus.
Since you must Phalanx before you can level up, I’ve included a walkthrough for that boss below, including how to find and start the Phalanx demon boss fight, as well as how to defeat it.
If you’ve already completed that step, you can click the following link to skip ahead to “Step 2: Speak to the Monumental,” which you will also need to do before Maiden Astraea allows you to seek soul power and level up in the Nexus.
Step 1: Beat the Phalanx Demon
After the Demon’s Souls tutorial, where you either beat the Vanguard demon or get crushed trying, you’ll find yourself in the Nexus. This is the game’s hub world, which gives you access to each of the five archstones — or worlds.
Go to the Archstone of the Covetous King behind the Crestfallen Warrior. This is the first archstone on the left stairwell behind the sitting Blue Phantom. This Archstone will take you to the Gates of Boletaria.
The mini walkthrough below tells you how to open the gate guarding Phalanx.
How to Find Phalanx
Note: Be mindful to pick up all of the Firebombs and Pine Resin you can throughout the entire section ahead. You will need them to fight Phalanx, whether you’re using magic or not.
When you spawn at the Gates of Boletaria, go straight ahead and watch out for the Dreglings on either side of the path. Ascend the stairs in front of you. At the top of the stairs, go left, and then go up another set of stairs in front of you. There is a Dregling with a flaming sword on the stairs for reference.
At the top of these stairs, go left, and follow the path around to the right, minding the archer and two Dreglings there.
Defeat them and go through the next doorway into the Soldier’s Quarters. Mind the three Dreglings hiding around corners and in the darkness here.
Once through the Soldier’s Quarters, go up the next set of stairs and follow the path around to the right. Defeat the two Boletarian Soldiers here and go through the Fog Gate.
Follow the path up the wooden staircases. There are Soldiers that throw Firebombs here, so be careful!
Keep going up until you reach a stone staircase (you’ll briefly go outside of the castle just before you reach the stone staircase). Be careful here as well because a Boletarian soldier will roll a boulder down the staircase.
Go about a quarter way up the staircase, turn around, and run back down. This should trigger the boulder, which will miss you.
After the boulder comes down the staircase, go up, and defeat the Soldier. Go straight ahead and defeat the Blue Eye Knight (mind the Archers behind you, who can get in a few easy shots).
After defeating the Blue Eye Knight, go through the Fog Gate they were guarding and take the staircase down. Follow the path down and around to the left, minding the bomb-thrower ahead of you.
Kill the bomb-thrower, and go right. Continue forward and defeat the Spearman and the Soldier in the next section. Continue to follow the path.
You’ll quickly emerge and see a wooden scaffold ahead of you. Three Boletarian soldiers will either already be in your way or drop down in the space between you and the scaffolding.
Kill them and climb the scaffolding. Be carfeul of the Dregling at the bottom, the Archers in the middle and top sections, and the Blue Eye Knight at the top.
After defeating those enemies, go through the Fog Gate the Knight was guarding. At the end, you’ll see a small wooden structure that holds several boulders. Strike it from the side, near the front, with your light attack to release the boulders.
Follow the boulders down the path and take a right at the end. Go up the steps and fight the two Spearmen that appear. Defeat them and continue straight, up the steps. You’ll see a bridge full of Soldiers, Spearmen, and Archers at the top.
You can run straight across the bridge if you’d like. However, the best strategy here is to kite a few of the Soldiers and Pikemen away from the bridge. As you do so, a Red Dragon will appear and hover over the far end of the bridge.
Kill the enemies you kited, then run out onto the bridge (shield up) until the Red Dragon starts breathing fire. Now run back off of the bridge; the Dragon will kill the remaining enemies, except for two archers at the far end.
As soon as the Dragon flies away, run across the bridge. On the other side, go down the stairs and straight ahead through the archway. Pull the huge wooden lever in front of you and a cutscene will trigger, showing the gate to Phalanx open up.
Go through the archway to the left of the lever and follow the path through the Soldier’s Quarters and down the tower. Mind the Dreglings, Spearmen, Boletarian Soldiers, and the Hoplites along the way.
Attack the Hoplites from behind, where they’re weakest, but hold on to any Firebombs and Pine Resin you’ve accumulated. You’ll need those for Phalanx.
At the bottom of the tower, pull the lever to open the gate. You’ll find yourself back at the Gates of Boletaria, where you began. Now the huge gate guarding Phalanx is open, and there is a Fog Gate in its place. Go through the gate when you’re ready.
How to Beat Phalanx
The Phalanx Demon is covered in Hoplites, and there is a handful of them scattered around the boss area. To damage Phalanx, first remove the Hoplites covering its body.
Since Phalanx and the Hoplites on it are weak to fire, use your Firebombs to knock the Hoplites off. It will take around three to four Firebombs to expose Phalanx.
Mind the roving Hoplites in the arena while you’re doing this; a good strategy is to stop in one spot, wait a second, and then move a few feet to the right or left of Phalanx. The Hoplites will often attack your previous position, and this helps you throw Firebombs at Phalanx safely.
Keep in mind that Phalanx can respawn Hoplites on its body and in the boss area, so it’s best to focus on Phalanx and not the Hoplites in the boss area as much as you can.
Once Phalanx’s body is exposed, use Pine Resin to enchant your weapon with flame. For more damage, two-hand your sword and hack away.
Ranged builds could opt to attack Phalanx from afar, but putting souls into Fire Arrows this early in the game isn’t advised (and choosing Fire Arrows as a starting gift only gives you 10). To buy more, you would have to first find Graverobber Blige in Shrine of Storms, which also isn’t advised this early.
If you chose Magician as your class, you can get Flame Toss immediately, which gives you a slight advantage in this fight. You will need Spice to replenish your MP, which you can buy from:
- Boldwin in the Nexus (350 souls)
- Royal Mistress in Tower of Latria, Prison of Hope 4F (250 souls)
- Graverobber Blige in Shrine of Storms, Island’s Edge (300 souls)
You can also find it as a drop by defeating Mindflayers in Tower of Latria, Prison of Hope. You can also get Bright Water as a starting gift, which replenishes some MP over time.
For science, I tried this method, and it’s hit or miss; targeting Phalanx is very difficult with all of the Hoplites in the boss arena. I ultimately chose to defeat it via the melee strategy using Pine Resin to speed things up. But you may have more success with it.
Once the Phalanx is defeated, you’ll get 1,270 Souls and a 30% increase to World Tendency. Touch the Archstone to get the Lead Demon’s Soul, and go back to the Nexus.
Step 2: Speak to the Monumental
Once you return to the Nexus, Maiden Astraea will tell you to speak with the Monumental near the top of the Nexus.
Climb the outer staircase up two stories. You’ll reach a landing at the base of the large statue holding a sword. Go through the archway to the left (or right if you’re coming from the opposite direction) and take an immediate left to go up another staircase.
At the top of the staircase, go left, and go up another staircase. That staircase will level off, before heading up. Don’t go up. Instead, take a right.
You’ll now be facing the middle of the statue holding the sword. Go forward and take a left. The Monumental is sitting on the ground on the left-hand side, about halfway down.
Step 3: Speak to Maiden Astraea
After listening to the Monumental’s story, go all the way back down to the bottom of the Nexus. Speak with Maiden Astraea. She will give you the Blue Eye Stone and the White Eye Stone.
After receiving those stones, speak with her again. She will ask if you seek the power of souls. Say “Yes,” and then choose “Seek Soul Power.” You will now be able to use the souls you’ve acquired to level up!
Though it’s a little drawn out, that’s all you need to know about how to level up in Demon’s Souls, as well as how to find the Phalanx boss fight and defeat it. Good stats to upgrade early include stamina, endurance, and strength. For more on Demon’s Souls, consider checking out our growing guides hub, and if you found this guide helpful, please consider giving it a share!