Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree Has A Freak Straight Out Of Bloodborne

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree Has A Freak Straight Out Of Bloodborne

The team at FromSoftware is really good at making the most fucked-up creatures imaginable. Some of the stuff that team has fit into its games are utter nightmares ripped out of the deep dark recesses of the human mind. Parts of its catalog, like Bloodborne, have explicitly leaned into that haunting aesthetic more than others, and it seems like Elden Ring’s upcoming expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree, is going to feature an abomination in a similar vein.

The Elden Ring Twitter account posted a teaser image of a new enemy being introduced in the DLC, which appears to traipse around some dark, foreboding wooded area with a walking stick and elongated, deathly thin limbs. The main attraction, however, is its bulbous sac for a head and the amber glow within it.

Upon closer inspection, its head is less a sac and more a kind of cage rendered from its skin or some infection. The ground immediately around it appears blood red, though it’s unclear if that is just part of the environment it’s in or an aura that emanates from the thing. No matter how you slice it, it doesn’t look particularly inviting, and I’m probably not going to try and give it a hug.

As a few folks in the replies to that tweet pointed out, this grotesquerie, which is referred to as the “abandoned and tragic,” resembles an enemy type from the best game ever, Bloodborne, called a Winter Lantern. These creatures also walked around in similar robes but, rather than sacs for heads, they had fiendishly gnarled and overgrown brains, complete with horrifying eyes and tendrils. Simply being in their presence would raise your Frenzy meter, and once it maxed out, you were temporarily immobilized and dealt heavy damage.

There might be more to the thematic resemblances than just that. Winter Lanterns were only found in two areas in Bloodborne: the Nightmare Frontier and the connected Nightmare of Mensis. These areas stood apart from most of the regions in the game because they were in their own realm. Shadow of the Erdrtree, which will be Elden Ring’s only expansion, doesn’t actually take place in the (mostly) contiguous land mass featured in the game, but instead is set in a sort of mirror world called the Land of Shadows, which appears to be darker and more distorted. Considering the DLC’s connection to Miquella and how they are the gateway to this new region, it isn’t a stretch to say this new enemy might operate under a similar guise to the Winter Lanterns in Bloodborne and be a product of Miquella’s twisted mind.

However, there’s a chance that this enemy could instead be a servant of Messmer the Impaler, who appears to be the main antagonist of Shadow of the Erdtree. In the debut trailer of the expansion, Messmer states, “Those stripped of the Grace of Gold shall all meet death.” The enemy teased in the tweet specifically has a gold-tinged amber in its warped head, which may give away its allegiance. The flavor text of the tweet also reads, “The abandoned and tragic who forage beneath the umbra pray for the embrace of a new master.” Considering both that the expansion may take place in a realm of Miquella’s creation, making him the domain’s master, and Messmer’s antagonistic role (as well as his posturing on a throne for the expansion’s cover art), it’s very likely the two are in conflict.

What’s currently unclear is if Messmer has already taken over as master and the “abandoned and tragic” want someone else to rule (maybe even Miquella), or if Miquella and the Land of Shadows are currently under attack from Messmer, who’s looking to become its new master.

Regardless, it wouldn’t be the first time FromSoft has been influenced by one of its own games in the development of another. Shadows of the Erdtree seems to be borrowing a leveling feature that is ripped straight from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and many of the mechanics across the studio’s portfolio bleed into one another all the time. If it makes the game more mechanically and visually interesting, FromSoft can keep borrowing from Bloodborne for all I care.

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