It’s not like FromSoftware’s games didn’t work out, but Elden ring (opens in new tab) it was a new level of success for Japanese studio and publisher Bandai Namco. Which led a lot of people to discover for the first time that FromSoft’s group of maniacal geniuses really like one thing, and that is filleting players in fifty different ways.
The number of people playing the game led to endless memeing (opens in new tab) : the most popular by far involving calling turtles from dogs (generated by the messaging system, which includes ‘dog’ but not ‘turtle’). This one is so widespread that even the Elden Ring wiki has the following in its description of an NPC (opens in new tab): “Miriel, Shepherdess of the Vows is the butler of the Church of the Vows, a huge tortoise (actually a dog) wearing a miter.”
There’s a meme I’ve been watching for a few weeks but couldn’t identify, and I kept seeing different clips of it: A doodle-style animation of Tarnished being shredded by various bosses. I finally found the channel of Youtuber Merong, a South Korean animator specializing in witty shorts on pop culture topics.
And what can I say: They preach Elden Ring. I consider myself pretty decent in the Soulslike stuff and yet I spent most of my time in The Lands Between being absolutely mistreated. What I think some underestimate FromSoft’s enemy design is how humorous he can be, in a completely exaggerated way, like with the grotesque Godskin Apostles: When the skinny one gets mad, he flies through the top half in circles like a deadly Stretch Armstrong.
Merong captures that feeling of smiling even when you’re watching your Tarnished fall to the ground for the tenth time after a flurry of Melania’s super saiyan swords, or being ROFLstomped the first time you meet Godrick. These games are not so much about skill, for a player like me, but about perseverance. And a big part of having the will to keep going is finding humor in your mistakes.
As for the game itself, the latest Elden Ring patch added the biggest improvement in quality of life yet (opens in new tab) and modders continue to run wild on PC: If you want turn it into a survival game (opens in new tab)or take up arms against a viral chip shop (opens in new tab).