Torrent, the magic horse-goat that lets you get around Elden Ring’s world at cruising speeds, is one of the highlights of the game, but that’s not to say they’re perfect.
This piece originally ran on Kotaku Australia on April 13, 2022. It has been retimed as a weekend read.
You may have noticed that sometimes Torrent’s health hasn’t refilled like other NPCs. Or that sometimes, instead of allowing the player to double-jump while exploring/travelling, they’ll simply fall to their deaths, taking you with them.
While I’m sure some fans have deluded themselves into thinking these are conscious decisions — ”oh, Torrent’s heart is forever torn between freedom and servitude”, or “occasional long falls are a reminder of life’s inherent pitfalls” — Souls expert and modder extraordinaire Zullie The Witch has a more practical answer: one is a design oversight, the other most likely a bug.
The health thing comes from the fact that Torrent isn’t governed by the same script — tying them to a specific point on the map — that other NPCs are, though Zullie does point out in the video below that there are plenty of other ways to quickly get Torrent’s health back up, like feeding them, drinking potions or just letting them regenerate naturally (Torrent “passively regenerates” 3HP per second).
Now onto the falling thing, triggered when Torrent falls off a ledge instead of jumping, and leaving the player unable to trigger a second jump and so plunge to their demise. Zullie explains in the video that it’s not actually a random act of cruelty, but a bug, one that only affects players holding certain types of weapons (from categories 2 & 3, like big swords, spears, etc) in certain ways (like over the shoulder). “This is most likely a glitch”, they explain, “some flag being left out of the falling animations associated with categories 2 and 3″.
The reason for digging into this is pretty funny; in an accompanying tweet, Zullie says “I used a spear, then a swordspear, and then a greatsword for my first playthrough of Elden Ring, which means I thought Torrent simply couldn’t jump after falling off a ledge. It turns out Torrent has a few glitches that may need to be worked out.”
If you’re into this kind of stuff, we featured some other code-digging from Zullie a few weeks back when they took a look at Elden Ring’s Secret Wall saga.