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Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree

Published by on: 05/14/2024

Has A Freak Straight Out Of Bloodborne

The creative team at FromSoftware has an uncanny ability to conjure the most nightmarish and twisted creatures imaginable. Their games testify to the depths of horror lurking within the human psyche. Among their catalogue, Bloodborne stands out as a masterpiece that fully embraces this haunting aesthetic. Elden Ring‘s highly anticipated expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree, appears to continue in this vein, introducing an abomination that will leave players trembling.

The Elden Ring Twitter account recently unveiled a teaser image showcasing a new enemy set to debut in the DLC. This grotesque being roams a foreboding, dark wooded area, using a walking stick to support its elongated, deadly thin limbs. However, the most captivating aspect lies in its bulbous sac-like head, emanating an eerie amber glow.

Upon closer examination, the head reveals itself to be more than a simple sac. It resembles a cage formed from the creature’s skin or an infection. The ground surrounding it is drenched in blood-red hues, leaving us uncertain whether it is a part of the environment or an aura from the creature. Regardless, it is far from inviting, and embracing it with open arms is not advisable.

 

As keen observers in the Twitter thread pointed out, this grotesque entity, referred to as the “abandoned and tragic,” resembles a creature from the acclaimed game, Bloodborne, known as a Winter Lantern. These creatures, swathed in similar robes, possessed fiendishly gnarled and overgrown brains adorned with horrifying eyes and tendrils. Merely being in their presence would raise one’s Frenzy meter, potentially leading to temporary immobilization and severe damage.

Beyond the mere visual similarities, there may be thematic connections as well. Winter Lanterns were confined to two distinct areas in Bloodborne: the Nightmare Frontier and the associated Nightmare of Mensis. These regions stood apart from the rest of the game, existing within their nightmarish realms. Shadow of the Erdtree, Elden Ring’s sole expansion, transports players to the Land of Shadows—a mirror world that appears darker and more distorted. Considering the DLC’s connection to Miquella and their role as the gateway to this new realm, it is plausible to suggest that this new enemy operates under a similar guise to the Winter Lanterns, stemming from Miquella’s twisted mind.

However, there is a possibility that this enemy serves Messmer the Impaler, the apparent main antagonist of Shadow of the Erdtree. Messmer proclaims in the expansion’s debut trailer, “Those stripped of the Grace of Gold shall all meet death.” The enemy teased in the tweet possesses a golden-tinged amber hue within its contorted head, potentially indicating its allegiance. The accompanying flavour text of the tweet further states, “The abandoned and tragic who forage beneath the umbra pray for the embrace of a new master.” Considering that the expansion may unfold within a realm crafted by Miquella, with Miquella as its master, and Messmer’s antagonistic role (as depicted on the expansion’s cover art, seated on a throne), it is highly likely that the two are embroiled in conflict.

What remains unclear is whether Messmer has already assumed the role of master, while the “abandoned and tragic” seek a different ruler (possibly Miquella) or if Miquella and the Land of Shadows are currently under attack from Messmer, who aims to claim dominion over this realm.

Nevertheless, it is not the first time FromSoftware has drawn inspiration from one of its games to shape another. Shadows of the Erdtree incorporates a levelling feature borrowed from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and mechanics frequently intermingle across the studio’s portfolio. If such influences enhance the game’s mechanics and visual allure, FromSoftware is welcome to draw from the rich tapestry of Bloodborne and beyond.

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