Elden Ring Dragon

I’m not going to lie — I have no clue what the overarching plot in Elden Ring is. I know they hyped up the fact that George R. R. Martin played a pivotal role in the game’s story, but it just seems super minimalistic. And sure, the Souls series — and a lot of Soulslikes — tend to tuck away their stories and lore in character interactions, dialogue, and item descriptions, but it’s all sort of lost on me. But hey, I don’t mind too much, because I love the core gameplay and the game world.

Speaking of the world of Elden Ring, there’s so much going on across the game’s open spaces that no two people’s playthroughs will be alike. There are countless NPCs, optional bosses, hidden caves, and gargantuan dragons spread throughout the Lands Between. And honestly, main plot line aside, it’s through all of the little experiences I’ve had in Elden Ring that I’ve found the game’s best storytelling.

In one instance, I joined my friend’s game in co-op to help him take on a dragon. While this could’ve essentially turned into just a regular ol’ boss fight, the way it played out made it feel special. My friend and I slowly chipped away at the dragon’s health bar, running and hiding from its flames and dodging its tail whips. My friend would run in and take stabs at the dragon while I fought from a short distance, firing arrows and throwing daggers at it.

Elden Ring Flying Dragon Agheel

Fast-forward several minutes later, and both my friend and I were in dire straits, as was the dragon. We were out of heals, and one good hit could kill us all. My friend ran for cover as the dragon planted itself a few yards away from me. I was down to one arrow. The dragon stared at me and puffed up its chest, ready to breathe out its fatal fire. I clicked in the auto-aim, drew my arrow, and fired. At the same time, the dragon let out its fierce breath.

I heard my arrow connect with the dragon and looked on as it met its demise. At the same time, the dragon’s fire rolled toward me, too fast for me to avoid. My character, Bruce Rhodes, was enveloped in flames and was faced with a tragic fate of his own.

Afterward, I couldn’t help but to truly appreciate this awesome fantasy experience that Elden Ring provided. It was almost cinematic. Here I was, summoned into my friend’s game to play a supporting role. As the old dog who had already defeated a dragon in my own game, I was here to lend a hand to another warrior. (Note: I made my guy look like an old man when I created him, so Bruce totally looks like a dude who’s fought some hard battles, maybe drinks too much, and now has his best days behind him.)

We knew we were screwed. My friend did the smart thing and ran, living to fight another day. But ol’ Bruce Rhodes, he knew he was going to die this day. So he used his last bit of energy to draw his bow and arrow and fire a weak yet effective killshot. And that moment of eye contact between the dragon and Bruce, well, that was just two old warriors paying respect to one another right before they did what they had to do.

Elden Ring Character Creator
Bruce Rhodes Will Live on in Infamy… Maybe

It made for an instant epic of a tale, one that will be told across pubs and towns all over the Lands Between. The legend of Bruce Rhodes and the dragon he slayed with his last breath will live on. By the way, thanks to the slow, torturous burning-to-death animation, I was able to get those sweet, sweet runes right before getting booted from my friend’s game! So there was that!

This was just one instance of standard gameplay in Elden Ring playing out like a dope fantasy short story or scene from a TV show, though. There have been quite a few more. I’ve left boss battles a defeated mess and returned after leveling up for a climactic final showdown. I’ve entered haunted ruins that look like they came out of a medieval horror movie. I’ve gotten lost and accidentally stumbled my way into some badass scenarios.

Yes, there’s a story in Elden Ring, but I hope you’re all finding the same joy that I am in creating your own stories. Whether it’s through insane dragon battles or just discovering a dungeon or castle that really resonates with you, there are countless tales to be told in the Lands Between. And for my money, these personal stories are the ones worth telling, even more so than the game’s actual plot line.

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1 year ago

David, awesome retelling of some truly special experiences in Fromsoftwares Lands Between. I have found this short story to be the best describer of what makes this game so special.

As with our reality here on Earth, the story that plays out on its stage is so vast and complex that more of us then most are unaware of what direction this crazy home of ours is headed. As with the Tarnished in Lands Between, we are literally strung along by the will of Grace, or our own special adventures and journeys through life. Elden Ring does not need exposition in the traditional way. It doesn’t matter. And your story is tribute to that. I don’t normally reply on places like this, but I wanted to say thanks for sharing, and I hope you are finding good purchase in the hides of your enemies and are creating more fun and exciting stories with your friends.

Thanks for sharing!

Please enjoy a SS of the fated battle between Captain Algren, the last samurai, and the mighty Margit the Fel Omen 😉

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