I can’t believe I could have gotten high with the Elden Ring NPCs. Tragedy!
FromSoftware has a long history of leaving chunks of cut content in their games, and knowledge fanatics also have a long history of digging up these secrets from each game’s code in order to study them. This process is just getting started with Elden Ring, but YouTuber Lance McDonald has already put together a video about a fascinating feature cut during the development of Elden Ring.
An NPC named Monk Jiko, who doesn’t appear in the finished game, once gave him a quest to help him create “dreambrew, the nectar of the demigods”. Jiko gives the player an item to collect “dream mist” from sleeping enemies scattered across the Midlands, and Jiko then gives the player bottles of dream brew distilled from this mist. You could then share that dream drink with NPCs – maybe all of them, although the McDonald’s video above only shows a conversation with Kale the merchant – to see some new dialogue and learn about your dreams.
McDonald and another dataminer named Sekiro Dubi discovered this Dreambrew mechanic in the Network Test version of Elden Ring released last fall. Although Monk Jiko could not be found in the area that Network Test players had access to, the dataminers quickly found a way around Network Test’s fog wall, and McDonald and Sekiro Dubi were able to restore the unfinished mechanic. In the final version of the game, the sleeping animals that you can collect dream mist from are removed, and the collection mechanic is completely gone.
Based on where McDonald found some of the animals, it’s clear that FromSoftware had planned for them to be a way to encourage and reward exploration of the seemingly empty nooks and crannies of the Midlands. Sekiro Dubi made a separate video speculating that, at some point in development, capturing the dream mist may also be linked to obtaining summoning spirits.
In the final game, there’s a moment where you enter an NPC’s dream, which feels like it would make a lot more sense with this dream mechanic intact. It’s hard to know how complete the feature was before FromSoftware decided to cut it, but I wonder if there’s any chance it will return in a future update or expansion.
The bits of NPC dialogue that Dreambrew would have triggered are what interests me the most. “Many of the characters in Elden Ring have unused dialogue waiting to be dated, which once accompanied this mechanic. The monk himself also had an extensive story that flowed deeply through the overarching campaign,” says McDonald at the end of his video. He’s saving these good things for a future video.