I’m Bad At Elden Ring, And That’s Okay

I’m Bad At Elden Ring, And That’s Okay
Image: Ruby Innes / Kotaku Australia

So I finally started playing Elden Ring.

I’ve had the game for long enough now, preparing myself for it by focusing as much energy as I can into thinking about playing it. I’ve never played a FromSoftware game, because I am a little diaper baby. I cry, I shit pants, and my arms and legs are short and fat. I wouldn’t say that I only play easy games, but that also depends on how you define ‘easy’. Death’s Door was an absolute pain in my ass, but it was also one of my most favourite games of last year. Despite dying a whole bunch, I finished it and felt like Gamer Of The Year. Perhaps it was that game that gave me the confidence to go into Elden Ring.

I don’t know if any of you know this. This might be news to many, if not all, of you. It’s shocking to think about, and complete unexpected, but Elden Ring is hard. Not just that, but I am bad at it. Who would’ve expected this to happen?

I started the game by making my character, which I found to be the easiest part of the game. I made a sad goblin man called Fart Smella.

elden ring bad
Screenshot: FromSoftware / Kotaku Australia

As you can see, Fart Smella is jacked as shit and very shiny. I thought this would be good despite him being a magic man, because it suggests that he is not beefed up for combat but rather for his own personal satisfaction. This is important lore.

One of my favourite things about Elden Ring so far is the messages. While I appreciate the helpful messages that players leave for babies like me, it’s the messages like ‘tree’ in front of a tree, and ‘Still no head…’ that really do it for me.

After dying at the start like I was supposed to, I fared fairly well against some zombie fellas, as well as some knights. I felt pretty confident at this point, thinking foolishly, “Wow, this is great. I’m not even struggling. How hard could this be?”

Hah. Hahahah. Hahahahahahahah.

I left the starting dungeon with an ass fat with unfounded confidence, only to meet the iconic fella that calls you maidenless. I was prepared to hear this, but it still hurt being told I had no bitches. Like a teenage boy being called a virgin online, I retaliated. Unbeknownst to me, this fucker is strong. Not only does he look me in the eyes and dunk on me for my lack of ladies, but he then proceeds to block all my attacks and murder me. Sure, it was deserved, but unexpected nonetheless. I also stupidly assumed it would be water under the bridge but no, every time I respawned back in front of him, he came after me. I am a fucking idiot.

So of course I ran away, I bounced and bounded as fast as I could away from this disrespectful king. In my cowardly flee, I respected him more and more. If you’ve got the brawn to strike someone down, you are well within your rights to call them a loser virgin in my eyes. I have to stan, sorry. As I ran, I found myself confronted with even more creatures and people trying to kill me. I couldn’t understand it, as Fart Smella is a nice guy with a lot of redeeming qualities to him. I managed to kill a few of these foes, and felt very confident when I did. And then I’d get destroyed immediately after. It’s a humbling experience.

I also kept accidentally drinking all my flasks when I didn’t need to. I don’t know why. I was thirsty, maybe. This would always be followed by me saying, ‘No! No no, fuck!’ and then getting attacked by a bear and dying.

You’re probably thinking, ‘Ruby, you chose the easiest origin, how are you getting so embarrassingly owned?’. That’s a great question. My answer is simple: I am not good at Elden Ring.

However, I am enjoying it.

There’s a sense of enjoyment in not dying. Sure, I’m dying a lot. I have also been playing Kena: Bridge of Spirits in between Elden Ring to make myself feel better about how much I suck at it. But I’m not giving up, because as long as I keep playing, I’ll get better at it (maybe). Elden Ring is incredibly unforgiving, but there’s a sense of pride that comes with overcoming the small hurdles and eventually jumping over the big ones.

Not just that, but I’m not alone is sucking absolute ass at Elden Ring. Everybody I talk to seems to die as much as I do as well. Sure, there are the talented few that are beating the game in under 30 minutes. On the other hand, the average player is struggling. It’s nice to not feel like the only dunce in the corner of the classroom, and it’s a relief that we share the cone hat around. Regardless, we’re all having fun.

If you’re equally as bad at this game, don’t worry. You’re not alone. It might even be exhausting how shit you are at it, and that’s okay. You gave it a red hot go, and we’re all proud of you for trying. And hey, maybe you left a message or two that you had a little chuckle at, and hoped others did too. That’s great.

bad Elden ring
Screenshot: FromSoftware / Kotaku Australia

I’m not quite done with Elden Ring yet. If I finish the story, I’ll be as amazed as the next person. But for the time being, I’m having a fun time being a sad goblin in The Lands Between.

Comments

  • There’s a very simple trick to being good at Elden Ring that pros like us use, it’s called denial.

    The enemies didn’t kill me repeatedly because I’m bad, I tested their move sets, damage and combos to learn their weaknesses.
    That boss who slapped me around like a drunk toddler? Obviously cheated when faced with impeding defeat.
    Didn’t block or roll in time? Totally did, must be a bug.
    Strategy not working? Of course it is, I just need to keep doing it until it works.

    • This guy gets it. Eloquent and factual as always, dear brother. Oh and Ruby? You and your fart smelling goblin alter ego are now officially my favourite writers @ Kotaku. Refreshingly candid and funny AF.

  • Coming to Elden Ring with zero Souls experience … I cannot even begin to understand how baffling and difficult that must be. The only reason I’m even scraping by in ER is by drawing on years of pain and anger. Respect, Fart Smella. Respect.

  • I’ve not had a crack at the Soulsjasonbourne series before (only a soulslike in Lord’s of the Fallen).

    I had been plodding along at Old Man’s Ring for a little while now and stopped since picking up Cyberpunk.

    I get that Souls games are meant to be ferkin herd, so no ish there, but I just find I’m wishing there was a bit more life to the game and the story, it all feels a bit empty and doesn’t draw me in (as cool as everything looks).

    I’m sure I’ll revisit it again as my wonderful wife picked it up as a surprise gift for me and if anything I’d like to see it through for that reason.

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