Longtime Souls series dataminer Lance McDonald discovered the early stages of a hacked NPC questline in the Elden Ring version of the game’s console network test in November 2021.
The Stormhill Shack (formerly Scavenger’s Shack), where you find Roderika in the finished game, is empty in the network’s test version, but Lance has managed to redeploy the NPC that was once supposed to live there: Monk Jigo.
Jigo has been “seduced by the good lady of alcohol” and asks for her help in securing the ingredients of “Dreambrew”, a legendary liqueur with magical properties. This mission ties in with another curiosity from the network test: non-hostile, sleeping animals hiding all over the world. They were meant to emit “Dream Mist”, which you would collect for Jigo with the help of St. Trina. St. Trina is an enigmatic character in Elden Ring lore associated with sleep and dreams, and it seems they were initially intended to have more of a presence in the game.
Lance also provided a glimpse into Dreambrew’s eventual use: gifting it to NPCs for bonus dialogue. Lance gave his first batch of Dreambrew to Merchant Kalé at the Church of Eleh in Limgrave. This put Kalé to sleep, and while the game’s audio is just the merchant’s snoring, the subtitles briefly describe his nightmare of being tortured by the Frenzied Flame.
This appears to have been planned as a long-running quest, with Dream Mist providing another collectible to hunt in the Middlelands, and subsequent conversations with NPCs providing more context for the Elden Ring story.
In the finished game, players are able to fight an optional boss in a character’s dream at the end of Fia’s quest line. It’s unclear at the moment whether the Dreambrew questline would end up featuring equally involved gameplay, jumping into characters’ dreams, or just the bonus dialogue. We can probably expect more investigation into this abandoned plot and gameplay mechanics in future Lance videos.
For his part, Lance also covered the weird giant heads that appear in distant settings in the network test, but are absent in the final game. Fellow Souls series dataminer Zullie the Witch has also maintained a steady stream of insightful Elden Ring videos.