Shadow Of The Erdtree’s Awesome Dancing Lion Boss Is Actually Just Two Weirdos In A Costume

Shadow Of The Erdtree’s Awesome Dancing Lion Boss Is Actually Just Two Weirdos In A Costume

It turns out that one of Shadow of the Erdtree’s bosses is actually even more fucked up than you already thought it was. When most people took on the Dancing Lion in Elden Ring’s new expansion, they probably thought that it was more or less what it appears to be, a creature that’s simultaneously regal, tragic, and horrifying, in that way that so many FromSoftware bosses tend to be, but it turns out there are even more layers to it. That’s because that boss is not in fact a lion at all, but is instead just two guys in a suit.

As reported by PC Gamer, a YouTube channel called BonfireVN used mods to strip away various layers of the Divine Beast Dancing Lion, only to find out that the model is literally composed of two dudes. Much like the puppeted Chinese lion costumes you might see at a parade, there are just a pair of fellas holding up the front and the rear, and for as gnarly as the finished product looks, it’s actually even stranger watching them in action in this stripped-down form.

The guy at the front fully has his head in the giant lion’s head, but what is mostly obscured in the final incarnation of the fight is that his hands are also clasping the sides of the lion’s face, especially its jaw. In other words, he not only leads the charge, but he’s controlling its maw, and the roars you hear from it are presumably his. You can see this in the cutscene when you first trigger the fight, but otherwise it’s pretty hard to make out when everything’s in motion.

The poor guy in the back is another, sadder story. His one job is to be the ass of the lion. He doesn’t get to do much but follow the head. Occasionally he’ll get flung as a tail whip, or offer his back as a jump pad for the guy upfront, and the worst part is that he does this on all fours. He’s hunched over looking directly at the ground and his hands are bunched into fists as he literally white-knuckles the encounter. To make things even worse, he’s got a sack over his head. He’s just kind of the most deeply pitiable guy in the Land of Shadows. If you thought you hated your 9-5, I’m sure this dude’s got it so much worse.

BonfireVN’s video not only strips much of the decorative flair that obscures the two puppeteers, it also shows the fight in this form and it’s kind of hilarious. Again, the guy in the front is entirely responsible for the aggression and attacks, meaning that you just kind of get to watch the guy in the back fly through the air, skid against the ground, and twist and turn like crazy just to keep up. The guy in the back moves much more like an animal than the guy up front, and it’s neat seeing how their animation and movement styles were blended into this singular entity.

The video is honestly just a great showcase for FromSoft’s animators. It’s deeply impressive watching how fluidly the animations unfold on this level, so if anything, you should give the video a look just to pay some respect to the team that clearly worked hard on the fight. But mostly, pay your respects to the lion’s ass. Nobody wants to be that guy, and it’s often thankless work.

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