Elden Ring’s Devs Really Don’t Want You To Miss This Heartbreaking Quest

Elden Ring’s Devs Really Don’t Want You To Miss This Heartbreaking Quest
Screenshot: FromSoftware / Kotaku

Unlike other role-playing games, Elden Ring’s lack of a quest log requires players to really pay attention to dialogue and the world around them to follow along with certain NPC storylines. But the beginning of one questline was so well-hidden that FromSoftware took steps to make sure folks would naturally gravitate toward it.

Boc the Seamster is easy to miss. He first shows up in Limgrave, the introductory region where everyone’s Elden Ring adventure begins, but I haven’t encountered him at all during my ongoing, 100-hour playthrough. Boc is disguised as a shrub when you first meet him and, at the game’s launch, only called out to passing Tarnished when they got right up in his grill. He’s so well-hidden, in fact, that I’ve seen players get close enough to initiate Boc’s vague dialogue, scour the area for the source, and ultimately leave after not spotting his camouflage.

As shown in the bite-sized Illusory Wall video above, last month’s massive update increased the range at which Boc begins to call out to Elden Ring players. This makes it so that adventurers sticking to landmarks should be able to hear Boc from the nearby cobblestone road without needing to venture into the grassy wilds surrounding it.

FromSoftware even added a rare, purple-tinted item drop nearby to entice Tarnished to further explore the area where Boc is hiding, but it’s still up to players to figure out they need to attack or roll into Boc’s bush disguise to unveil him.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself if Boc’s storyline is worth all this trouble. The answer to that question depends on what you want out of Elden Ring. In terms of rewards, I’d say no, because everything Boc can do for you (i.e. alter clothing) you can already do yourself at the Sites of Grace checkpoints after finding the requisite key items. But if you’re looking for a traditionally heartbreaking Souls narrative, well, look no further than this weird little dude.

Boc is introduced as an anomaly. He’s a demi-human — a species of typically vicious, ape-like creatures you’ve likely killed in droves before you find him — but one that can think and speak like a person. When you meet Boc, he’s recently been pushed out of a demi-human den located on Limgrave’s shoreline, and offers to head back into the den to secure you a reward for restoring him from shrubhood. That doesn’t go so well for him, but if you venture in yourself to beat the boss, you’ll find his personal sewing kit. Return it to Boc and he becomes your personal seamster, customising your wardrobe free of charge.

What follows is a sad tale concerning Boc’s struggles with his appearance and the various ways in which you can assist him in coming to terms with his lot in life, for better or worse. I’ll let you experience those choices for yourself, just remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: Elden Ring is massive. Most folks aren’t going to find all its secrets during a single playthrough. Even if you’ve hit triple digits in your playtime, I encourage you to jump back in and see what else there is to discover, especially as the devs continue to add on to the game and make changes to existing content.

 

Comments

  • Didn’t see this guy until 200 hours in, and that was only after using a guide to fimd him after seeing some people mention him online. Finding quests in Elden Ring (and progressing them) feels like 99% luck. Fromsofts standard quest design that works reasonably well in Souls games just doesn’t work with Elden Rings open world.

    • I’ve very much been using the map on the public wiki to find NPCs. The recent in-game map upgrade helps a bit, but agree it’s obscure. Quest-pathing is also a bit dodgey sometimes, especially where you have to exhaust a conversation with someone, and then portal out and then back in to advance the quest. I’m used to it from Dark Souls, but it’s getting old and I’m getting sick of playing games with my phone in one hand.

      • I ran in to a crazy problem with the blind girl, her dad, the letter and the sword.
        I started her mission, beat the fort, found the sword and then stumbled on her dad after the fact and nothing would progress.
        I had to go talk to her again, go back to the boss area, find the dad again, go talk to her a second time, dad a third time, her a third time, dad a forth time and finally back to her before it actually completed.

        • Ha, you got there in the end, praise the sun! I guess the glorious complexity of the game and lore brings all this about. I’m sure they’ll patch it, in the meantime there’s some quests I’m just resigned to completing in NG+. Or NG++ …

    • 100% agree. Elden Ring was a wild, at times awe inspiring ride, but the questing and a lot of the story telling just absolutely does not work imo. Personally I think all of their games (except Sekiro) have rich lore but poorly told stories. Sekiro was more deliberate in its story telling and it was for the better. I think Elden Ring could’ve done with a journal system like Divinity Original Sin 2, which is also a little opaque in that it tells you what you’ve done but is a bit more vague about what comes next.

    • i only found out how to do his quest after watching that no damage run that was posted on here a few days ago. without that he would currently still be hiding as a shrub

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