Dark Souls on PC looks awful, but a fix is at hand

Fans around the world should be rejoicing over the PC release of Dark Souls, with developer From Software finally giving gamers what they wanted. But many are far from happy with the news, and with good reason: This eagerly-anticipated PC port is, in a word, hideous.

The unmodded Dark Souls on PC

The unmodded Dark Souls on PC

We should have seen it coming, with From spokesperson Daisuke Uchiyama admitting in June that things were not exactly going to plan.

To be completely honest, we’re having a tough time doing it due to our lack of experience and knowledge in terms of porting to PC.
First we thought it would be a breeze, but it’s turned out not to be the case.

From all accounts, the game itself is about as special as you’d expect (with a few early complaints about the keyboard/mouse control), but the way it’s presented leaves a lot to be desired. For some unknown reason, Dark Souls for PC has afixed rendering resolution of just 1024×720.

The in-game menu will suggest that it’s running at your desktop’s native resolution, but – sorry – that’s a lie.

From has not officially responded to the issue or patched the problem, however one intrepid gamer has coded up a solution. It might not be perfect, but the new version runs fairly happily at higher resolutions, by simply changing one file.

What is it?
It’s an interception d3d9.dll that you place in the same folder as the game executable. It intercepts the game’s calls to the DirectX 9 API and changes them as necessary to enable a higher internal rendering resolution.

How do I use it?
Place d3d9.dll and DSfix.ini into the game’s binary directory. (The place where DARKSOULS.exe is)
You can open DSfix.ini with a text editor to adjust the desired internal resolution.

As this is a largely untested project, creator Durante reminds gamers that this has only been tested on one computer, for the first half hour of the game. There are no guarantees that it will work on anyone else’s machines, or that it won’t cause any adverse effects. (That said, Durante saw a marked improvement: 30 FPS at 2560×1440.)

Dark Souls on PC after Durante's mod

Dark Souls on PC after Durante’s mod

Rumours are already flying about Durante‘s expertise:

I did not do the entire work for this in 23 minutes. I developed an interception dll framework during this week to prepare for the job. I did the actual work to make the game render at higher res in that amount of time though — based on the framework — and spent a few more hours testing and adding the config file.

If you have a copy of Dark Souls for PC, which was released today, you might like to grab the internal rendering resolution fix, mirrored in our file library – or check out Durante’s official source.

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