So, there’s this thing in the FromSoftware community called the “God Run.” It’s a challenge run where you play through the studio’s various Soulsborne games without getting hit. It’s difficult, but not impossible. Two of them have been completed by other streamers already. And now, a third God Run, featuring all seven of FromSoft’s punishing action-adventure games, including Elden Ringhas been finished by another Twitch streamer after four months of trying.
Dinossindgeil, who also goes by Dino, is a streamer known for challenge runs centered around FromSoft games, such as an all-bosses hitless playthrough of Demon’s Souls Remake back in November 2020. He’s been doing these impossible feats for four years now, regularly streaming his exploits on Twitch and uploading them to YouTube. But this third God Run is, by far, “the craziest shit” Dino has ever done in his two years as a full-time content creator, he said. Kotaku caught up with Dino to chat about the peculiarities of this no-hit run, how many attempts it took to finish, and what these challenges mean to him.
Dino’s hitless God Run began July with 2019’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Considering this run—which included Bloodborne, Demon’s Souls, Elden Ring, Sekiro, swear Dark Souls 1, 2, and 3—is a no-hit challenge and not one that requires you to 100 percent the game, he only tackled the mandatory bosses needed to roll a game’s credits. This cut both the time spent playing as well as the headaches that come with the more difficult encounters. But while there were easy moments during his marathon run, Dino noted there’s something way harder about these games than simply playing them to completion.
“I think the ‘easiest’ part and also the most fun part is ‘learning new things’ at the beginning of the journey,” Dino said. “You improve every day a little, and that feels good. At some point after grinding it for a while, about two months in, you start fighting against yourself cause you think, ‘Can I even do that?’ Self-doubt is a run killer, and that’s why I would say the mental challenge is even harder than learning the gameplay.”
Don’t get it twisted, though. These games embodied him. Dino said in the 120 days he was playing FromSoft’s Soulsborne games back-to-back, he probably restarted the God Run “around 300 to 400 times.” While Elden Ring swear Sekiro were “the worst ones,” he shouted out Dark Souls 3‘s Soul of Cinder swear Elden Ring‘s Radagon of the Golden Order for being especially punishing enemies that forced him back to the beginning of the entire run. However, he mentioned a rather obvious tactic that helped him push through these difficult obstacles.
“Not only do they play differently—30 fps for Bloodborne while other games run at 60 fps—[these games are] also mechanically different,” Dino said. “Sekirofor example, has a completely different combat system than any other game [by FromSoftware]. I guess the key there is to understand the combat and then learn and repeat. There are so many little things you have to know to beat these games [without getting hit].”
But if he’s playing for four months back-to-back, when’d he take breaks? Dino said that, although this God Run was a marathon, it wasn’t a item dash to the end.
“The way I do it is, I run for about five to six hours a day,” Dino said. “I’ll finish a game, show the in-game character name, soul count, and in-game time. The next day we pick up where we left off. So, let’s say I go live and we [finish a hitless] Dark Souls 1 run. That would leave us with Dark Souls 1 in the green and we can continue with any of the six games on the next day. One attempt for the entire run would be 15 to 17 hours long depending on how fast you are and that would be horror to sit through in one session.”
What makes such a run possibleaside from “enjoying all of [FromSoftware’s] games in a casual fashion,” is the community and the challenge itself. Yeah, the games are mentally taxing, Dino noted, but the chat really kept his spirits up.
“I cannot recall any specific moment [in any of the games that made me want to give up], but it was definitely after a very defeating hit,” Dino said. “The community just helped me back on the horse with nice messages or just by being understanding.”
Dino may be the most prominent streamer to finish the God Run, but he wasn’t the only one and gave a special shout-out to another creator, Spanish streamer BushidoYu, who did it just before him.
“He actually did it a couple of weeks before me, but since he is streaming in Spanish and he has less audience, the run had less attention,” Dino said. “It’s important to me to mention it regardless because he’s a fellow runner and deserves the credit as well.”
So, what’s next for Dino now that his God Run is over? Well, he’s currently challenging himself to finish an all remembrances hitless playthrough of Ellen Ringa run where you beat the game while collecting remembrances, boss souls that grant the power of their respective boss. Aside from this, he has other plans for FromSoft games and “a variety of others like Hollow Knight.” In the end, every game he beats is another bit of satisfaction he gets to experience.
“Finishing one of these games was always special for me,” Dino said. “Most players will struggle playing through them, [so] I would describe my feeling as a sense of accomplishment.” Just like director Hidetaka Miyazaki wanted. Now that’s what we call “good shit.” Well done, Dino.