The Elden Ring Subreddit Is The Wildest on the Web

A bronze titan brandishing a metal broadsword stands tall on the mouth of an ashy volcano. In entrance of him is a weary adventurer, helmet teetering on his head, with a plume of arrows protruding of his again. This image, of unknown origin, was uploaded to r/EldenRing, the subreddit for the hotly anticipated new recreation from Souls studio FromSoftware in collaboration with Sport of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin, and so far, it is gathered 1,100 upvotes. “While you lastly gonna defeat glaive grasp Hodir,” reads the title. “Nevertheless it turns on the market are hidden archers within the again capturing you to loss of life.”

An off-the-cuff observer may assume that this can be a meme based mostly on the collective expertise of those that have actively performed Elden Ring. All of us bear in mind our first encounter with the indomitable Hodir, proper? What a gauntlet that was! It took me a dozen tries. However no, here is the factor: The gaming group hasn’t seen something new about Elden Ring since a two minute, 20-second announcement trailer from E3 2019.

The gaming group hasn’t seen something new about Elden Ring since a two minute, 20-second announcement trailer from E3 2019.


That teaser featured zero gameplay, a lean montage of cryptic photographs, and four-and-a-half traces of equally cryptic dialogue that gave us little to no element on the story. Since then, it has been a famine. We’re properly previous 2020’s E3 season, we’re completed with the keynote showcases for the forthcoming PS5 and Xbox Sequence X, Gamescom is within the rearview mirror, and TGS simply got here and went. All through all of these exhibits, there hasn’t been a shred of recent info on Hidetaka Miyazaki’s subsequent opus, and the Elden Ring fan group is on their fifteenth consecutive month of getting nothing to speak about. So, they’ve taken issues into their very own palms by producing what can solely be described as “faux lore”—photographs, merchandise descriptions, and character fashions designed by customers with a view to reminisce, hypothesize, and wax poetic on the Elden Ring tidbits that FromSoftware is solely refusing to supply. Extra instantly: If it will take this lengthy to study something about Elden Ring, the followers are going to go forward and create Elden Ring themselves.

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In a single picture, a player imagines a dusky hubzone referred to as Gaoth Respite, providing a scant little bit of refuge from the overwhelming grimness of the remainder of the wasteland. (A typical Souls UI has been added, with Well being and Stamina bars masking the top-left nook, and a Soul counter within the backside.) Here, concept art has been created for Elken Forestborn, a Knight of the Inexperienced Order, one of many many imaginary factions the followers have dreamt up after being left to their very own units for thus lengthy. Here’s a thread referred to as Best Elden Ring Boss Fights Part Four, the place customers are arguing over weapon mechanics, secret phases, and issue spikes that can by no means seem within the online game. “Individuals who did not vote for Ring Maiden weren’t carrying the Pendant of Burdens for the struggle and it exhibits,” feedback a consumer named Imperialvirtue. This runs deep.

There’s a idea launched within the first Darkish Souls recreation referred to as “hollowing.” It refers to a degeneration that the denizens of Lordran ultimately face, because the hopelessness of undeath turns into an excessive amount of to bear, which ends up in a semi-crippled state that your player-character ultimately falls into. Satirically, among the moderators of the Elden Ring subreddit consider {that a} comparable destiny has befallen their very own group.

“It has been a gradual descent into hollowing over time,” one among them, who goes by Imomushi8 on the discussion board, tells IGN. “You’ll be able to solely break down a two-minute trailer so many occasions earlier than you begin arising with your individual concepts”. The lore, Imomushi8 explains, can be constructed on consistently dashed expectations. “there’s all the time discuss and hope about potential information, and as each gaming occasion passes with out new info, an increasing number of individuals look to the faux lore and memes for a form of consolation.”

“You’ll be able to solely break down a two-minute trailer so many occasions earlier than you begin arising with your individual concepts”.


At first, says Imomushi8, the moderation staff puzzled if they need to crack down on imaginary Elden Ring lore. I imply, online game boards are speculated to be about video video games, proper? Not mutual delusion. However ultimately, the management gave up on censoring the mania. “[We] realized, what else is there to speak about?” provides Imomushi8. Now, it is turn into one thing of a metagame inside the fandom. This faux lore goes deep. A number of the names, just like the aforementioned Glaive Grasp Hodir, have recurred again and again in faux lore penned by totally different customers—like a weird shared universe owned and authored by the subreddit. A real ouroborus of gamer headcannon.

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“My favourite posts are most likely those that would appear fully complicated to somebody casually visiting the subreddit,” says Imomushi8, linking out to a thread that opens with a picture of a stoic gray knight embossed with the phrases, “Shield Master Hagvir looks sick in the new trailer.” “A stranger to the subreddit may suppose, Protect Grasp Hagvir should be from Elden Ring? And possibly Glaive Grasp Hodir talked about within the feedback can be from the sport? The place did OP get this picture as a result of it isn’t from the trailer? Why are a number of individuals discussing Elden Ring DLC when the precise recreation does not actually have a launch date?”

Elden Ring is not the one online game that is below an entire media blackout. You’ll be able to find a subreddit for Grand Theft Auto VI, the existence of which hasn’t been confirmed by Rockstar Video games. Nonetheless, that discussion board is just not full of untamed synthetic story beats pulled from the hypothetical way forward for Los Santos; as a substitute, it’s residence to a whole lot of players twiddling their thumbs, praying for an announcement on the horizon. That’s what makes the FromSoftware fandom distinctive, explains Imomushi8. The esoterism of Darkish Souls and Bloodborne has all the time inspired fan theories, and in some methods, everybody naturally generates faux lore in their very own minds after they uncover among the mysteries in Anor Londo.

Finally, Elden Ring will get a launch date. There can be extra trailers, extra gameplay showcases, and a extra substantial hype cycle. When that day comes, many of the faux lore will most likely dry up on the Elden Ring subreddit, as there can be actual lore to deal with. Within the meantime although, among the discussion board’s denizens are doing their greatest to honor the canon that they’ve by chance established. Proper now, a handful of obsessives are congregated in a Discord channel, bringing life to a mission referred to as Elden Ring: Pretend Lore Version.

The aim, says Spriteblood, the Reddit consumer who initially kickstarted the enterprise, is to ship a fan-made model of Elden Ring as a homage to the hollowing the group has endured collectively. The concept got here from a rudimentary gameplay demo (flip your sound down a bit) that Spriteblood based mostly off one of many outstanding faux bosses that was posted to the subreddit. After that blew up, Spriteblood petitioned the participant base to see if anybody was concerned about serving to construct a fully-fledged recreation in the identical custom. Earlier than lengthy, Spriteblood had a staff of “programmers, gifted artists, music creators, and even professional voice actors,” who all needed to contribute.

The staff desires Pretend Lore Version to be out there earlier than Elden Ring makes its option to retail, so followers can quench their thirst for an additional FromSoftware journey with or with out Miyazaki’s involvement. Naturally, the themes, mechanics, and storytelling will echo these seen within the SoulsBorne video games, so aficionados will really feel proper at residence. Similar to the actual Elden Ring, the builders behind Pretend Lore Version haven’t revealed any fully-fledged gameplay trailers but, however the makeshift studio has launched some idea artwork and 3D fashions to innervate the bottom. The origin story is as bizarre and eldritch as any From saga; an Elden Ring slowly gathered energy within the forgotten depths of an web message board. Now, it is reconstituted into an precise online game. (Followers can sustain with the progress on the project’s very own Discord channel.)

That is the true nature of FromSoftware followers. Over time they’ve developed a repute as the last word grognards—sneering at any wannabes who could not abdomen the Outdated Metropolis werewolves, or the brutalizing tandem of Ornstein and Smough. However that is a complete misnomer. At their core, they’re shamelessly, gleefully geeky. Who else would write legends of their very own, whereas they anticipate Miyazaki to chart the subsequent path ahead?

“We’re consistently thought to be the ‘git gud’ group, a bunch of overconfident ‘superior’ players, however in actuality, we aren’t,” concludes Reddit consumer THE_GUY, one other Elden Ring fan who’s engaged on Pretend Lore Version. “There’s proof already that we’re among the most devoted and useful individuals to play video games with. I believe this mission really exemplifies our ardour and caring for these video games in a method that most individuals would take into account loopy or not possible.”

Luke Winkie is a author and former pizza maker in Brooklyn. Observe him on Twitter.

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