Famitsu has shed some light on the beautiful but mysterious batch of Dark Souls screenshots released last week.
From Software had already hinted that the bonfire seen in the screenshots has an important function, and according to Andriasang's translation of a recent info dump which accompanied a collection of screenshots and artworks, it serves as a combination checkpoint, vending machine, and multiplayer hub.
Ghostly images of other players appear gathered around the fire during online play, and players respawn at the camp fire after dying in-level, much like the archstones in Demon's Souls.
The fire can also be used to heal a character, and to refill his or her supply of Est, a substance used like a potion for mid-level health restoration. The monk class can use a healing spell, too.
The game's first trailer showed a character climbing a ladder at much greater sped than in Demon's Souls, and Famitsu confirmed players can use verticality to escape humanoid enemies, who can be kicked off ladders.
Dark Souls will feature several NPCs, including the "mysterious holy woman", and even a few summonable comrades, including the Black Iron Knight.
Speaking of, Andriasang confirmed one of the screens shows the Iron Knight spell, which hardens defences at the cost of speed.
Thanks, MTV Multiplayer.