'Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice' Won't Include Moonlight Greatsword or Patches, 'Dark Souls' and 'Bloodborne' Staples

Neither the Moonlight Sword nor Patches—beloved staples of previous FromSoftware games, including Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series—will make an appearance in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

"We're very sorry to say, but it doesn't actually appear in the game at all," FromSoftware Marketing & Communications Manager Yasuhiro Kitao told Newsweek via translator at a FromSoftware press event. "The reason behind that is mainly that it's kind of something that we focused very much on creating a very set setting that works within itself, that doesn't have a lot of influences outside itself. It's something that's very hard to implement. It's not that we didn't think about it, it's just kind of hard to implement it in the game in a way that would make sense and would look good."

Part of that "set setting" includes a different combat focus in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which won't have the same kind of expansive RPG-like inventory as director Hidetaki Miyazaki's previous games, like the Souls series and Bloodborne. Instead, Sekiro's main character, nicknamed "Sekiro" (an abbreviation of a longer phrase, which translates as "one-armed wolf") after losing an arm, will stick to the same sword throughout the game. While there won't be lots of weapons to choose from in Shadows Die Twice, Sekiro will be able to upgrade his katana throughout the game. His prosthetic arm can also be upgraded to accommodate a number of functions such as a shield-busting axe or small flamethrower.

"Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" downplays RPG elements and puts even more emphasis on combat than "Bloodborne" or "Dark Souls." From Software

The history of the Moonlight Sword stretches back all the way to FromSoftware's King's Field series on the original PlayStation—Demon's Souls is a spiritual successor. The Moonlight Sword appears in several FromSoftware games, typically as one of the best weapons in the game. A legendary weapon, created from the tail of a dragon (at least in Dark Souls), it's kind of like FromSoftware's Excalibur.

The Moonlight Greatsword in "Dark Souls II." FromSoftware Inc.

In Demon's Souls it is the Large Sword of Moonlight and cannot be blocked by shields. In the Dark Souls series it's called the Moonlight Greatsword and can unleash a projectile "wave" of moonlight. In Bloodborne, it returns as the Holy Moonlight Sword, added in The Old Hunters DLC (Ludwig's Holy Blade, one of the best weapons in the main campaign, was built by the first hunter to be like the Holy Moonlight Sword).

The Moonlight Greatsword in "Bloodborne." FromSoftware Inc.

"Since we're trying to make something new and it's a challenge on its own we wanted to not have those restrictions where we went 'OMG we have to put it in here somewhere.' We wanted to have something where we could just do what we wanted to do. In this case, after thinking about it, our director Miyazaki was like 'Maybe this time we should just leave it out,'" Kitao told Newsweek.

This also holds true for Patches, a fan-favorite FromSoftware character and a staple of games produced or directed by Miyazaki. He appears, in different forms, in the Armored Core series, Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Dark Souls III.

In Demon's Souls, he's Patches, the Hyena, a thief who tricks players into traps and loots their bodies. He returns in Dark Souls as "Trusty" Patches (spoiler: he's still a conniving thief). Dark Souls II changes it up a bit, introducing Mild-Mannered Pate, a treasure hunter. But Patches returns in all his devious glory in Dark Souls III—this time as Unbreakable Patches—tricking players into a nasty fight with giants. A player's first encounter with Patches is often dangerous, but anyone who resists the urge to kill him will find the fortune seeker to be a useful merchant later in the game.

Patches also pops up in FromSoftware's gorey, gothic action game Bloodborne, this time as a terrifying, human-headed spider. Just like in the Souls series, Patches the Spider will try and lure you into traps (I'm still mad at him for shoving me into a pit in the Nightmare Frontier).

Patches in "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne." FromSoftware Inc.

"Nothing is final just yet," Miyazaki told Polygon in October 2018, "but we don't believe he's going to be in this game."

In the Polygon interview, Miyazaki said he didn't want to feel obligated to repeat the same in-joke characters in every one of his games, while also pointing out that, unlike many of his previous games, Sekiro was scripted by someone else at FromSoftware.

Kitao confirmed Patches will not be included in Sekiro, but that doesn't mean Miyazaki's characterful creations won't lead to new fan favorites. When you get your hands on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on March 22 (for PC, PS4 and Xbox) keep an eye out for a man floating in a barrel—if you cherish Patches, you might like to meet him.