Elden Ring (New From Soft Game)

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
Might be a dumb question. But do you take that as a reference to something like the beast of darkness getting excited or a beherit about to activate? I can kind of see connections to both examples. Since the beast eye is kind of like a little trinket or fetish of sorts.

Well the beast connection is what it evoked to me when combined with the rest, but I don't think the Beast Eye itself was a conscious reference.
 
I have absolutely loved Elden Ring. First run was strength + faith and big swords. My current run is powerstancing katanas. It was my first souls game and I'm excited to play other games in the series after I'm done with Elden Ring.
 
I finished it this weekend. I only caved to using the black knife summon for three bosses. Amazing game. I enjoyed playing with character based self imposed restrictions. Except for those three bosses.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
What a game!

Edit: To elaborate, I've started to explore the underground areas in earnest, and ... wow. This game is just generous. I'm at about 80h now and the game just keeps opening up to me.

I'm just past Radahn in my current run (if he bored you, try him at RL1:carcus:) and so am doing the underground again as well. The underworld is probably where I still have the most to discover after my previous playthrough.

Loved the Azula dungeon, but I wasn’t a fan of coming back to the changes to Leyndell.

Yeah... I'm making sure I do and collect everything I can before moving on from the boss you mention below. Kind of a chore, but I guess it's one of the few places you have to worry about this. I think I've actually steered clear of any major world changing or questline precluding events thus far.

The beast cleric took a few tries as a caster and Malekith was one of those surprising one shots.

What'd you use to one shot him? Anything I could potentially do to a lesser degree in my current run?

At this point I was ready to be done with the game. So while the final fights were pretty good, especially Radagon, it all just felt very going through the motions.

Yeah, I always get in a big damn hurry the first time I play these and don't really smell the roses until NG+ or subsequent playthroughs where I'll go deep and get granular. First time through is as fast as I can by any means necessary.

The Elden Beast being a total ripoff of Mononoke Hime’s Night Walker was both really cool and really stupid.

He also reminded me of those shots of Guts in the Berserk's Armor where you can see his nervous system in silhouette. And of this:

52d9625d-faa8-4095-b8da-9e355597cc4a_1.a9ccee30eec2036e6baffb9f422b8a5f.jpeg


The game is a monumental achievement but also almost completely unsurprising.

My only disagreement with this is that, aside from the usual Souls formula, how well they pulled this off IS surprising! I mean, there's no reason their implementation of an open world, an unexpectedly robust underworld, and even Torrent didn't end up being awful. I was fully prepared to enjoy this game despite those things, but instead it was all pulled off with aplomb to enhance the core Souls gameplay and vice versa. I get what you mean though, this thing is clearly all made out of old Souls DNA, to the point series vets can spot the reskinned enemies (the land octopus is the giant snake bundles from BB, the Wyrm bosses are basically the Old Watchdogs, etc). That may be the only thing keeping it from being far and away the best modern From Soft/Souls game, which it probably still is by sheer quantity of quality.

Souls Ranks:

Elden Ring
Dark Souls
Bloodborne
Demon's Souls
Dark Souls III
Dark Souls II
Sekiro

I have absolutely loved Elden Ring. First run was strength + faith and big swords. My current run is powerstancing katanas.

I started out powerstancing straight swords and upgraded to katanas for the reach, speed and bleed, plus the crazy OP weapon arts that pretty much give you the answer in every situation.

It was my first souls game and I'm excited to play other games in the series after I'm done with Elden Ring.

If you're looking for the closest thing to more Elden Ring and From Soft's most iconic signature game, go with Dark Souls (it's what the genre is named for despite technically being the second Souls game). If you want something a little different and have got a PS4 then play their other, most tight and thematically cohesive, masterpiece, Bloodborne.

I finished it this weekend. I only caved to using the black knife summon for three bosses. Amazing game. I enjoyed playing with character based self imposed restrictions. Except for those three bosses.

Yeah, I gave up on no summons for the RL1 run and picked up The Dung Eater puppet, and with him at +9 (that wasn't easy without full access to the underworld yet) plan to get Black Knife Tiche as well (I'll probably upgrade the shield knights and that valkarie by the Haligtree as well). DE is cool though because in addition to being a tank he has bleed on his weapon and a debuff spell that increases damage and procs. I read one account of a guy doing an RL1 without summons where he was practicing the final boss with Tiche and she's so good she accidentally killed it and he had to reload his save to do it pure! I never used her before but am looking forward to it now.
 
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NightCrawler

Aeons gone, vast, mad and deathless
Souls Ranks:

Elden Ring
Dark Souls
Bloodborne
Demon's Souls
Dark Souls III
Dark Souls II
Sekiro
I'll never get the hate for Dark Souls II, especially if you love Elden Ring, which is it's spiritual successor in many ways. It's my personal favourite of the trilogy. Sekiro, which was the hardest for me, is the epitome, and logical conclusion, of souls combat. Never played Bloodborne, but I'm sure I'd love it, the aesthetics and that type of combat appeals to me.

My Elden Ring build was mostly str based. I used bloodhound's fang until I got the starscourge greatsword. Powerstancing with just the weight penalty of one sword? Yes, please. I finished the game with it.
As always with these games, I find most items useless apart from weapons and armour and their upgrade materials. I don't care about magic or potions and lotions and crap like that, most of it is just useless bloat. I just get up close and beat people with large swords.
 
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Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
I'll never get the hate for Dark Souls II, especially if you love Elden Ring, which is it's spiritual successor in many ways. It's my personal favourite of the trilogy.

Well, Dark Souls II was my first Souls game, and I've "hated" it to the tune of 300 hours, beaten both the original and Scholar of the First Sin multiple times and played them 100+ and 200 hours respectively, so I wouldn't say I haven't given it its due. I've waxed poetic about it before, and agree that it's as big a precursor to Elden Ring as any of them (the huge world obviously, thrones, and it did dual wielding best until ER finally brought back that style), but here's why it gets dinged from me in a nutshell: they fucked up the movement, i-frames, hurtboxes and controls in general by tying it to your stats and making it relatively ineffective. Compared to Dark Souls 1 and the others you basically start with a broken character, and even maxing those abilities out doesn't feel great or as good as the other games' default. So, that's my persistent issue with Dark Souls II, it's still really good and actually pretty unique compared to the other Souls, but there's reasons it literally doesn't feel good to play for many people, including myself despite putting so much time and effort, and, yes, even love:idea:, into it.

Sekiro, which was the hardest for me, is the epitome, and logical conclusion, of souls combat. Never played Bloodborne

Quoted for relevancy. You're not wrong about Sekiro, except it's the epitome and logical end of one school of Souls combat. If you're into pure weapon technique, parrying, etc, it's the extreme end of that to the exclusion of most everything else. If you're into frantic movement, fast rolling and reckless, high risk, high reward aggression, then Bloodborne is the epitome of that (with some flexibility within those parameters). Those two games are basically Miyazaki telling the player base, particularly those that tank with shields or spam long range attacks, that they're playing wrong. Whereas Elden Ring is like he's older now and telling the kids, "Alright, do whatever you want, just have fun out there."

I'm sure I'd love it, the aesthetics and that type of combat appeals to me.

Yep, it's perfect.

As always with these games, I find most items useless apart from weapons and armour and their upgrade materials. I don't care about magic or potions and lotions and crap like that, most of it is just useless bloat.

That's usually my view, except on runs like I'm on now you really see the value in them because you're looking for every edge you can get. It forces you to use all the tools at your disposal. And you know what? I actually feel stronger than my first, over-leveled build. Now some of that is obviously that I'm better and more familiar with the game and bosses than the first go-round, but my dude is also far more capable with all the tools at my disposal.

Case in point: I can honestly say I fucking killed Mohg on the first try last night... of course, I also died from his blood magic and then had to fight him a dozen more times after that, but still! Killed him on the first try at level 1 (if I'd fought him more and been more familiar with the hazards of his moveset at that point I'd have hung back and easily won)! I could swear that in old school Souls if you died killing a boss they were still gone and it could be an undesirable thing because you basically just lost the souls. Sure could have used that rule last night (I honestly thought the room would be empty, oh the disappointment =).

I just get up close and beat people with large swords.

A REAL man! Speaking of DSII, my first class was a Swordsman, the dual wielder, and I realize I still gravitate towards that today, finally settling on dual curved swords in ER for the speed and bleed.

mine Souls rank:
Bloodborne
Dark Souls
Sekiro
Elden ring
Dark souls III
Dark souls II

I put Elden Ring on top because essentially it's all been building to this, it's got all the advancements, and whether it's recency bias or not, there isn't another I rather play. I should do write ups for each (I'm sure everyone is waiting with bated breath =), but this game is so good it actually got me to reassess Dark Souls and put it back above Bloodborne, which hasn't been my view pretty much since I played the latter, but... the wonder and exploration of these worlds really make them stand out, which is probably something I've taken for granted since I first played Dark Souls. It doesn't hurt that Dark Souls is, like, the ONE, too. There's a good case to be made it should still be on top since Elden Ring is basically a bigger, more modern version of it a decade later.

Also, despite Martin's influence, narratively Elden Ring is obviously a tripling down in focus on the deific family drama that everyone gravitated to most in Dark Souls even though it was pretty flimsy (Gwyn had some kids, and maybe some more!) and there was lots of other dynamics at play and different stuff going on. Here they deep dive on that and it's basically infused into every aspect of the world, with everything else sort of springing up from that foundation.

Godfrey himself is basically the younger, prime Gwyn I had been wanting them to put into some Dark Souls DLC for years. Lost opportunity to basically do The Age of Lords or Dawn of the Age of Fire or something where you get to experience all those hollows, shadows and illusions that remain of the Lords from Dark Souls in their own time, during the war with the Everlasting Dragons (we could have even learned the name of Gwyn's eldest, Gwyffith =)! Right until the end of the last DS3 DLC I was hoping in the last boss' final phase Gwyn's face would take form in the clouds like Ganishka, snarl and contemptfully call you unworthy, then strike the boss with a bolt of lightning and take possession of him for the big finish. Instead there was like a statue of him there and they made up another daughter for him to be tangentially involved. So, that's another thing Elden Ring took from the Dark Souls formula and improved, making all these "Lords" or demigods alive and more vital.
 
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Oh, a Souls ranking discussion! I want in!

Thing is, I gotta distinguish between my favorites, and how they rank if you are critical. As such, I would argue that Bloodborne is Miyazaki's magnum opus, without it being my favorite (it never was). But nevermind that, here are my rankings:

1. Dark Souls
2. Sekiro
3. Elden Ring
4. Bloodborne
5. Demon's Souls
6. Dark Souls III
7. Dark Souls II

Now Dark Souls and Sekiro may swap places depending on my mood, but I'm currently on my, what, 8th playthrough of DS and loving every second of it. Talk about a game that aged like fine wine. My favorite thing about it is its goddamn world design. Lordran is incredible. I mean, look at this thing:
Lordran_large.0.png


It's glorious! Dark Souls takes you on a journey where you physically and mentally travel to the lowest lows and the highest heights, like a modern day Dante. The world is so varied and stunning without feeling like an incoherent patchwork of different areas (like DS II unfortunately was). This combined with the fact that fast-travel is initially locked (something few devs would dare do today), really drove home that you were on a fucking journey, with droves of horror and wonder in store.

There are many other factors that make DS standout from its siblings. As Griff said above, it's "the ONE".

Despite all that, I would still say Bloodborne is the best one. Where it surpasses all the others is how fucking deep that rabbit hole it digs goes. Dark Souls and the other games explored interesting themes, but Bloodborne was absolutely nuts. What started as a straightforward beast-hunting mission quickly spiraled into a religious allegory, with themes of reality as-seen vs as-is, and the limits of human knowledge. Everything from the environmental storytelling to the enemy placement to the stellar soundtrack to the game mechanics served the specific and deep vision Miyazaki had for the game. Of course, it would take much, much more than this one paragraph to expound on all this, so I'll stop here for now.

As for Dark Souls II, what I would add to the above discussion is that the game was "doomed" from the start because it was simply not a Miyazaki game. Don't get me wrong, it's a good game and I put an unhealthy amount of hours into it, but it is quite obvious that it misses Miyazaki's fingerprint. This is only natural. It's like if someone else picks up Berserk after Miura, it won't be the same and won't be as good. Or to use a closer example, it's like when they made Bioshock 2 without Ken Levine. A fun game, but it ain't BIOSHOCK. That, plus DS II's arguably weak world design and some other weird decisions, such as having enemies stop spawning after you kill them an x number of times, ended up giving the game the reputation it has.
Final Thought: Shouldn't this game have been called Elden Rune?:shrug:
Miyazaki likes rings, what can we say? Did you know that Dark Souls was originally meant to be called Dark Ring, but Miyazaki changed his mind? "The reason this didn't happen is because Dark Ring is slang for anus in England," Miyazaki explained.

English SK members are welcome to confirm or deny this. :ganishka:
 
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Fuckin AY, Malenia is dead. Not fun AT ALL but satisfying nonetheless.

What'd you use to one shot him? Anything I could potentially do to a lesser degree in my current run
Honestly it wasn’t anything special, seemed like one of those bosses that telegraph in a way that just worked for me. Also I fought him once so my skill was obviously perfect :chomp:
 
The number of people that I’ve seen complain about the
godskin duo
is crazy to me. I beat them on my first try by accident without using some OP katana build, magic or spirit ash like the mimic tear. I did summon Recusant Bernahl outside their room just because I always summon an npc if they give me an option to. I won’t deny their are a couple bosses that simply probably aren’t worth the player time to learn their timing and “git gud” enough to beat on their own with no summons. But for some it’s like if every 2 v 1 fight isn’t O and S level then there’s no satisfaction. “Oh I can’t do this end game 2 v 1 fight easily by myself? I guess that the whole game is a huge failure.” People seem to judge everything in this game against dark souls one or other games in the series. I can understand that to a degree since it’s basically dark souls 4. But they even weigh some of the open world components against other games which doesn’t make much sense to me since this is the only real true open world souls game.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
The number of people that I’ve seen complain about the godskin duo is crazy to me. I beat them on my first try by accident without using some OP katana build, magic or spirit ash like the mimic tear. I did summon Recusant Bernahl outside their room just because I always summon an npc if they give me an option to. I won’t deny their are a couple bosses that simply probably aren’t worth the player time to learn their timing and “git gud” enough to beat on their own with no summons. But for some it’s like if every 2 v 1 fight isn’t O and S level then there’s no satisfaction. “Oh I can’t do this end game 2 v 1 fight easily by myself? I guess that the whole game is a huge failure.” People seem to judge everything in this game against dark souls one or other games in the series. I can understand that to a degree since it’s basically dark souls 4. But they even weigh some of the open world components against other games which doesn’t make much sense to me since this is the only real true open world souls game.

I never concern myself with online communities, as the level of discussion tends to be down the gutter, so I haven't seen the complaints you mention. What I can say is that they were a formality to me, same as you. I think it mostly comes down to how much you've explored and therefore what your level is when you encounter them. I took my time with the game, checking every nook and crany, and I progressed in Farum Azula as late as possible because I suspected (correctly) that it would trigger some end game stuff. So by the time I fought these two, I'd beaten their individual versions a few times and knew their moves and I was relatively high level.

Also, and I guess this is a separate issue, but I don't think the game lacks challenging enemies. It took me a while to find the right tactic to beat Malenia, and while I didn't struggle too much against him, Maliketh must be hardcore if you rush through the game, much more so than the two snake losers. Really, this brings me back to my starting point: as with many things, the worst thing about From Software games is the online community.
 
The number of people that I’ve seen complain about the
godskin duo
is crazy to me. I beat them on my first try by accident without using some OP katana build, magic or spirit ash like the mimic tear. I did summon Recusant Bernahl outside their room just because I always summon an npc if they give me an option to. I won’t deny their are a couple bosses that simply probably aren’t worth the player time to learn their timing and “git gud” enough to beat on their own with no summons. But for some it’s like if every 2 v 1 fight isn’t O and S level then there’s no satisfaction. “Oh I can’t do this end game 2 v 1 fight easily by myself? I guess that the whole game is a huge failure.”
Agreed. I was surprised to hear people were complaining about those two as well. I wrecked them on my first try and forgot about them until I heard the complaints. Folks are making them sound like the next Pikachu & Snorlax Ornstein & Smough.
Even the complaints about Maliketh sound weird to me, come to think of it. The only boss I sort of struggled with in that area was that dragon with the name that sounds like an antibiotic brand. Placidusax or something.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Well, let me join the not-so-humble brag, "these bosses people find hard I found easy" party! In fairness to people comparing the Godskin Duo to Orstein & Smough, they're probably objectively harder than the latter but not as impactful in their respective games. Orstein & Smough will make you shit your pants in DS, but compared to a bunch of DS2, BB, DS3 and ER bosses to come after they're now sort of quant (compare any of these guys to Sister Frea and her father or the Demon Princes in The Ringed City and it's no comparison). Whereas if you're prepped for the Duo like Aaz said they're not so bad and you can always put them to sleep or summon Bernie, who can practically solo them if you get good RNG on his healing.

I have much respect for the Duo though since I'm still suffering PTSD from taking them on at RL1 (no-so-humble brag!), and the same for Malekith, who I initially found quite intimidating even though he ultimately didn't take too much effort under regular conditions. Otherwise, I think the variance in people's perceptions of boss difficulty comes down to build, playstyle and matchups; sometimes your build and style is already perfect for beating the boss, and sometimes it's perfect for them beating you.

More RL1 running diary:

4/27
I tried Malekith again after some gear hunting and upgrading last night... easily took him to phase 2! More importantly, I tanked a hit off his second phase, only took me halfway down (I'm using the full life = huge defense boost talisman, so I just can't take two in a row =). Fuck, if I'd proc'd bleed again then he might have croaked from that glitch. I need to consider if there's anything else I need to do/get at the capital before I continue with him and turn that place to ash.

4/29
[Play break to have a son]

5/1

And we're back! I've been using the Radahn's flame Ash of War or whatever to get quick poise breaks and criticals, even on bosses. It's also great for invaders because it fans out so wide it still hits even when they side roll. I have all these cool ash of wars placed on daggers so I can scroll through them for crazy buffs or super attacks. The assassin one that lets you become undetectable is a must and basically how I navigate the world. I did a build like this in DS3 once, basically lets you move freely through each area and sneak kill most enemies. Heck, use the talisman that restores FP with critical attacks and it's self-sustaining. The AI is a lot better than DS3 though; in that one they basically give up once you run away a few yards, as if they perhaps think they got stabbed in the back by a bee, but here they know you're there, they're pissed and they're looking for you (they seem to be able to detect you continually once you're revealed, which makes sense since they're alerted). Though, unlike DS3, I've found it to be semi-effective against field bosses like the various types of Minor Erdtree guardians. Made getting the Cracked Cerulean Tear to summon my Dung Consuming friend much easier.

Speaking of which, I wanted a decent spirit summon to distract enemies but they all die way too fast (the rot hound couldn't even afflict anyone before perishing) and the best ones are all stuck behind tough boss fights, so I recruited a good one that required a lot of legwork but the hurdles weren't too high... THE DUNG EATER! It's quite complicated getting him though, you basically have to almost complete his questline, plus do enough of Seluvis' to give him the potion instead of the curse when he's tied to the chair. Then, viola, you can have him as a puppet summon. He has a few nice benefits too, tanky, his weapon procs bleed, and he debuffs your adversaries increasing damage and proc ability, so a lot of synergies with my bleed build.

5/3
Dung Eater isn't as powerful as I'd hoped, but I still find him quite useful for his status effects, synergies with my build, and as a damage sponge that gets the heat off me. If you're lucky he'll put it all together to do some decent damage too, but it's a bonus. Plus, for lore reasons it's just a funny treat having him as like your teammate.

Me and Dungy just fucked up Loretta so it's on to inner Haligtree! Malenia is next (if I can pull it off at this point)! This run doesn't really have to end either, even if I beat the Elden Beast, or do an ending (straight Elden Lord, bro) it's not like I'm going to rush to NG+. I'll probably try to do everything I possibly can eventually. I've consciously stopped at Maliketh now because I decided I don't want to progress any changes I can't undo, and now I'm just picking off side bosses like the gargoyles and shit. Dungy and I took on two at once and turned em to concrete dust. :badbone:

You know who's pissing me off though? The Tree Sentinel that guard's the entrance to the inner capital. Had that fucker down to like less than a quarter life on multiple occasions but he can basically one shot me with his lighting call at any time, from anywhere in his second phase. It's not hard to roll away from it, the problem is it's much harder to dodge on horseback when you're going all out and I need the movement speed to keep him from just hammering me in the head, so I end up switching to keep him at range and that's when I'm vulnerable. Plus, the usual Souls shit where you roll into a tree the camera is obscuring so he fries you anyway lol.

5/8
I've taken out most of the shardbearers and optional bosses, of note only Dragonlord, Malenia and the final four remain (Malekith, Godfrey, Radagon and Elden Beast) and I'm not taking them on, or even burning the tree, until I finish all the side quests and bosses I can. I'm actually doing way more of the game in this run than my normal game, which I plan to return to for as many NG+ runs as I desire afterward (probably going to take a break instead, because I'm going to be like 300 hours in by that point). I'll probably do the Frenzied Flame ending there after I complete Elden Lord at RL1.

My dude is currently pretty much equipped for anything, weapons all at +24, two curved swords with frost and bleed, upgraded Longbow with poison arrows, upgraded Pulley Crossbow with bleed bolts, then two daggers, a bleed infused with assassin ash for sneak mode and the other electrified with Golden Vow. I put those on for general moving around and quick kills, switch to the curved swords for big damage, and bows for safety/cheese (I also have a couple of +24 magic Lordsworn Longswords in my inventory for those that don't bleed, freeze, rot, etc). I'm wearing the Omenkiller mask for the strength buff, that bird cape for the jump attack bonus, traveling maiden gloves and pants for the high elemental protection and to make weight. Talismans: Radagon's Soreseal, Ritual Shield, Dragoncrest Shield, and Millicent's Prothesis.

Still having a blast seeing what I can easily take out and what presents major problems. For those remaining bosses I mentioned I may have to abandon all pretense of defense and just go full glass cannon, just buff myself to hell and go HAM to try to kill them in a minute or less (this is how I get Malenia to phase 2, and probably how I'll kill her and Malekith), otherwise, the longer it goes, the more it's inevitable they're going to tag you and you'll be 1-shotted anyway. Once I get some more HP enhancers I'll see if it's possible to use the Mimic summon without a rune and see what sort of awesome customizable summon builds I can do with him. I don't know if he's even viable at RL1 though or if his HP is dependent on mine, severely gimping him in this scenario. I'll find out though.
 
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Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
Otherwise, I think the variance in people's perceptions of boss difficulty comes down to build, playstyle and matchups; sometimes your build and style is already perfect for beating the boss, and sometimes it's perfect for them beating you.

Yeah for sure, that's usually the untold factor that explains everything. =) Always harder to beat the fire dragon with a fire sword than another weapon... as it should be. Figuring out enemy strengths and weaknesses is also part of the game. It's just playing smart.
 

Dark Emperor

I’ll gnaw right through your arteries!
You know who's pissing me off though? The Tree Sentinel that guard's the entrance to the inner capital. Had that fucker down to like less than a quarter life on multiple occasions but he can basically one shot me with his lighting call at any time, from anywhere in his second phase. It's not hard to roll away from it, the problem is it's much harder to dodge on horseback when you're going all out and I need the movement speed to keep him from just hammering me in the head, so I end up switching to keep him at range and that's when I'm vulnerable. Plus, the usual Souls shit where you roll into a tree the camera is obscuring so he fries you anyway lol.
I've found that fighting these guys on foot instead of horseback is far easier, at least they were for me. They are some of the toughest enemies in the game though, right up there with just about any bird enemy and the giant lobsters.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Yeah for sure, that's usually the untold factor that explains everything. =) Always harder to beat the fire dragon with a fire sword than another weapon... as it should be. Figuring out enemy strengths and weaknesses is also part of the game. It's just playing smart.

That's usually what's missing from the discussion when the "extreme difficulty" of these games comes up: all these bosses have weaknesses, if not outright solutions, that make them manageable and potentially even trivial. You just have to do the work figuring it out.

I've found that fighting these guys on foot instead of horseback is far easier, at least they were for me. They are some of the toughest enemies in the game though, right up there with just about any bird enemy and the giant lobsters.

Yeah, I got him the usual way eventually, being far more agressive from the start after I was fully familiar with his moveset, got him down big early, THEN play it safe/zone 'em out in the end.

As for the giant lobsters, that's a whole other story; I just don't fuck with those guys, at all. Even running away from them is dangerous as they'll blast you from seemingly any distance with powerful projectiles. I hate those guys.
 
Yeah for sure, that's usually the untold factor that explains everything. =) Always harder to beat the fire dragon with a fire sword than another weapon... as it should be. Figuring out enemy strengths and weaknesses is also part of the game. It's just playing smart.
That’s usually the case. But some bosses in Elden Ring had me scratching my head. Like I believe commander Niall is susceptible to frostbite and Mohg can be bled. Those two use frost and blood based attacks. So it did seem odd and counter intuitive to me at least. Though I suppose someone could work out some convoluted explanation. The game really just wants the player to explore and try new things. Like you and others have said. Even if sometimes it means throwing previous conceptions away. Which isn’t a bad thing by itself.
 
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Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
That’s usually the case. But some bosses in Elden Ring had me scratching my head. Like I believe commander Niall is susceptible to frostbite and Mohg can be bled. Those two use frost and blood based attacks. So it did seem odd and counter intuitive to me at least.

Well none of these games are perfect. There's tons of things to nitpick on if you start down that road, whether it's from a gameplay, level-design or scenaristic perspective. But that's Ok, they're still great.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
I was also talking about way more specific and potentially esoteric strategies, perhaps even using a rare item only on a single boss, etc. It also wouldn't be very interesting if every boss' weakness was always the opposite of the element they're most closely associated with; sometimes a taste of their own medicine is in order. I thought it was fitting that Mohg was susceptible to being bled given that blood is the source of his power, plus it makes for an appropriately blood-soaked spectacle.

Anyway, it turns out my big weakness is a newborn because I've hardly got time to play anymore, and with that all-night feeding schedule, when he's asleep at night, I better follow suit. I'll need to consult Walter on how to do this with a wife and two kids in the house.
 
Congrats, Griff. Newborns and FromSoft games are tricky to pull off. That's partially why Sekiro waited an entire year for me to play it. :/ It gets easier.
 
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I was also talking about way more specific and potentially esoteric strategies, perhaps even using a rare item only on a single boss, etc. It also wouldn't be very interesting if every boss' weakness was always the opposite of the element they're most closely associated with; sometimes a taste of their own medicine is in order. I thought it was fitting that Mohg was susceptible to being bled given that blood is the source of his power, plus it makes for an appropriately blood-soaked spectacle.
Yeah. I agree not everything has to be like pokemon opposites are super effect logic either. It also kind of plays into other stuff the game does. Like overloading those bloated swamp pustules with poison makes them explode. As long as there can be some kind of explanation.

Congrats on the newborn also!
 
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First off, congratulations to Griff for his newborn!

So after an ungodly number of attempts, I beat Malenia in NG+. Dunno if I just suck or if FromSoft just went a little too far with this one, but man the struggle was real. It didn't help I fought a really fast boss with my slow and high-risk/high-reward colossal great sword build (I wasn't gonna respec for this boss, as this is for me a kind of defeat in and of itself). Still, she's down and I'm glad for it.

One thing I don't get, and would love if you guys can explain to me, is the disconnect between the narrative and the gameplay where this boss is concerned. I mean, in the story, Malenia and Radahn are supposed equals in strength. In the gameplay, however, Radahn is the far easier boss. And you fight him at a lower level than when you fight Malenia. I don't know if I'm missing something or if this is a mistake, which would be weird as Miyazaki is excellent at blending gameplay and narrative together. This would seem a strange oversight.

Anyway, I'm at NG+2. I switched to a onehanded weapon to change things up a little, but it's not as magical as that first playthrough, naturally. One problem with an exploration based game is that once you've explored it, it won't be as fun in subsequent runs. Oh well.

Bring on the DLC soon, FromSoft! And the Bloodborne patch/remaster/remake/whatever already, for the love of God :azan:.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
One thing I don't get, and would love if you guys can explain to me, is the disconnect between the narrative and the gameplay where this boss is concerned. I mean, in the story, Malenia and Radahn are supposed equals in strength. In the gameplay, however, Radahn is the far easier boss. And you fight him at a lower level than when you fight Malenia. I don't know if I'm missing something or if this is a mistake, which would be weird as Miyazaki is excellent at blending gameplay and narrative together. This would seem a strange oversight.

To be candid, I don't think the narrative elements are ever as strong in those games as the "super fans" make them out to be. There's always plot holes and inconsistencies to be found if you look for them.

That being said, in this case Malenia did more or less beat Radhan. He "fought her to a standstill" because she couldn't get past him without using her full power. So she unleashed the scarlet rot, devastating Caelid in the process. But that took a toll on her as well: she entered a dormant state afterwards and was carried back to the Haligtree by one of her cleanrot knights. That's why her onslaught stopped. As for Radhan, he survived but started rotting, which means that by the time you fight him, he's only a shadow of his former self. That also explains it.
 
To be candid, I don't think the narrative elements are ever as strong in those games as the "super fans" make them out to be. There's always plot holes and inconsistencies to be found if you look for them.
Here's how I see it:

I take a step forward. I swing my sword and kill an enemy behind a crumbling wall. I start victory dancing but a dragon swoops down and eats me. I die. In a video game, this is the story. Not cutscenes or item descriptions or whatever. The gameplay is the story. It is to a game what prose is to a novel or artwork to a manga. So as long as I get immersed in a world and given a decent reason to care, I consider the game a success.

Now we consider FromSoft games. You enter a strange world you know very little about. With exploration, environments, and speech from NPCs, you get to piece together the backstory of the world with the main story being your journey itself. Sometimes NPCs can contradict each other, sometimes things just don't make sense, right? It kind of parallels real life in a way. We're born into this world with no knowledge and we piece together its "lore" by various ways, from other people to historical evidence and so on. Again, sometimes it contradicts or you're left scratching your head.

So that, combined with the generally vague, open-ended, and fragmentary storytelling of FromSoft should generally account for the inconsistencies or plot holes. Those things can even be, bizarrely, good things in this case. Does that make any sense?

So yeah, if we take FromSoft stories and convert them to another medium, they'll probably suck, which is why they only work as video games. Again, a good thing because it means they're using the medium effectively.

The rule I use is that while plot points contradicting one another may be excused, the gameplay and narrative should at least not contradict each other. Which is why I asked my question above.

So that's my take. I don't know if I managed to change your mind, but I hope I didn't bore you with an incoherent post at least :ganishka:
That being said, in this case Malenia did more or less beat Radhan. He "fought her to a standstill" because she couldn't get past him without using her full power. So she unleashed the scarlet rot, devastating Caelid in the process. But that took a toll on her as well: she entered a dormant state afterwards and was carried back to the Haligtree by one of her cleanrot knights. That's why her onslaught stopped. As for Radhan, he survived but started rotting, which means that by the time you fight him, he's only a shadow of his former self. That also explains it.
That's an excellent point. I hadn't considered that Radahn is simply not as powerful as he once was and maybe assumed the rot affected his mental abilities only, which even then should weaken him anyway now that I consider it again. Thanks for the explanation, Aaz.
 
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Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
So that's my take. I don't know if I managed to change your mind

Not really, I mean I consider myself quite knowledgeable about video games as a medium and I also happen to understand From Software's method of storytelling pretty well. I've greatly enjoyed their work over the past 12 years, but like I said, if you look for flaws or inconsistencies, you will find them. Especially if you consider discrepancies between the narrative and the gameplay. And it's fine! No work of such complexity is ever perfect. What matters most in a game is that it is fun, and their games are fun. Which is basically my point: sometimes trying to find ways for everything make sense in every regard is just a waste of time for the player.
 
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