Elden Ring's oldest ancestor finally has decent controls thanks to modders

King's Field
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

FromSoftware has a whole lot of new fans these days thanks to modern megahits like Elden Ring, and modders have finally made it palatable for today's gamers to go back and play the game where the studio cut its teeth: King's Field.

While the Soulsborne lineage technically begins with Demon's Souls, that game can trace its own roots back to FromSoftware's King's Field - another dark fantasy action-RPG with a mysterious world, an unforgiving difficulty curve, and infuriatingly obtuse NPCs. It's an essential part of the studio's legacy, but the fact that these games rely on stodgy, first-person tank controls can make them difficult to revisit from a modern perspective.

But now, modders have ensured that the King's Field series is playable with the ultimate first-person control scheme: mouse and keyboard. A mouse injector app, available on GitHub, can run alongside the popular PS1 emulator DuckStation to add mouselook to King's Field. You just run the app, start the game in DuckStation, and tap a key to start the mouse controls. It's pre-configured, too, so it's just like firing up a game that supports mouse control natively.

I have a pretty high tolerance for dated retro control schemes, but playing King's Field with the mouse injector really makes a night and day difference. You can technically force King's Field into a semi-modern control system by mapping your controller to mimic dual analogue movement, but the turning is so slow and laborious that it still doesn't feel right. The mouse controls, on the other hand, feel about as perfect as you could ever expect from a PS1 game.

This mouse injector app supports the entire PS1 King's Field series, from the Japan-only original to the worldwide releases of 2 and 3. The project is actually much bigger than King's Field, too, supporting a wide array of games and emulators, including the likes of GoldenEye through Mupen64, TimeSplitters 2 through Dolphin, and Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction through PCSX2.

Developer garungorp isn't done adding games, either - you can make requests for which titles you'd like to see get mouse controls next over on GitHub.

Find out how King's Field started the FromSoftware cycle that's still in motion.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.