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.
But wait, there's more! The distance from which his dialog triggers was massively expanded. Like it wasn't just doubled or tripled, it reaches out MUCH further, allowing you to hear him from the road. pic.twitter.com/c5KRTqyLqW— illusory wall (@illusorywall) April 5, 2022
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.