I’ve played Elden Ring for about 100 hours, and yet I feel like you could still fill a book with things I don’t know about them. It’s a massive game, packed with developer FromSoftware’s usual cryptic lore and subtle details that would still be easy to miss in a game a tenth its size.
Even if you’ve finished Elden Ring and jumped straight into New Game+, you probably don’t know all of its secrets. Here are just a few fun things I learned about the Lands Between.
Heavy spoilers below.
Radahn’s horse goes underground and teleports when he performs his meteor attack
Radahn is quite possibly the most intimidating boss in Elden Ring – he certainly presented one of the game’s biggest difficulty spikes before FromSoftware toned it down a bit in a patch. My favorite line in Elden Ring is the explanation that Radahn learned gravity magic when he grew into a giant just so he could continue riding his beloved horse, Leonard. So sweet!
But what happens to Radahn’s horse when it flies up into the sky and then crashes back down to the ground? Zullie the Witch breaks it down: you can watch in slow motion as he pushes his horse underground, presumably to protect him from the impact of Radahn, who tumbles back down. OK that indeed The reason for this is that FromSoftware can teleport the hidden horse right under your feet, gives Radahn a target for his attack, and lets the character models reunite, but I like to think Radahn has Leonard’s best interests at heart.
Leyndell had completely different enemies in the 1.0 build prior to the day 1 patch
Day 1 patches aren’t just for last-minute bug fixes, at least in the case of FromSoftware. Modder Sekiro Dubi recently released a video that clearly shows different enemy placements in Leyndell, the royal capital. In Build 1.0 of the game, you would encounter enemy types that are no longer present in Leyndell, and miss others, like the music-playing Oracle Envoys you encounter along the capital’s wall. There are also some significant changes to loot and item placement. This Day 1 patch was a huge hit.
You must use the You Are Beautiful emote to complete an NPC’s quest
The Souls series has always had these delightfully spooky voice emote items that you can use to say “thank you” or “you’re beautiful” to other players online. But this is a FromSoftware game: of course there is more to it. Every item contributes to the world in some way. In this case, you must use the Prattling Pate item You Are Beautiful before Boc the Seamster after he tells you that he is ugly in Leyndell.
There are a few ways Boc’s questline can end, but complimenting him will result in the happiest outcome. Everyone needs a positive encouragement sometimes.
Fall damage is as messed up as it seems
This may be less something you didn’t know and more validation of something you have yourself felt in Elden Ring, but wasn’t sure: fall damage doesn’t make much sense. Someone broke down the in-game math and confirmed that the gap between “a little fall damage” and “you’re dead” is pretty small. In fact, it’s only four meters between 16 (ouch) and 20 (RIP).
The most confusing thing about fall damage in Elden Ring is that the items that supposedly reduce it don’t affect how far you have to fall to take lethal damage. This distance is fixed, so using items or increasing your Dexterity stat only affects that percentage Damage you take from falls that wouldn’t kill you anyway.
The enchanting branch can control some surprising enemies
There is a fairly rare consumable item in Elden Ring called the Bewitching Branch. The description states that you can use it to “pierce an enemy and turn them into a temporary ally with FP”. You know, the old mind control trick – something you can usually only use against low level enemies while bosses laugh in your face and then kill you. That’s somewhat true of the Hex branch, as you can’t use it on Malenia, for example, to make the toughest boss in the game your ally. But you can actually use it for summoning in one of Elden Ring’s tougher fights.
Run to Commander Nial’s Spectral Summon when you face him in Giant’s Pinnacles, give them a Bewitching Branch Poke, and you can turn it from a 1v3 to a 3v1.
This is probably the most useful moment of the Enchanting Branch, but you can also use it to turn some formidable enemies into allies and ruin an intruder’s day (opens in new tab).
Trading Dragon Hearts gives you glowing eyes, similar to Raging Flame
Each dragon you defeat in Elden Ring gives you an item that you can take to the Cathedral of Dragon Communion and exchange for powerful spells. What you may not have noticed is that after four trades, your eyes will glow a bright yellow, like you’ve just put on some dragon contacts for a little cosplay. The dragon eyes have a cat-like pupil and are actually different from the more fiery eyes you get when walking down the path of the Raging Flame.
You can also get bloody eyes if you follow Varre’s quest line.
White Mask Varre is level 154 but only has 1 INT
Varre, the very first NPC you encounter when you enter the Lands Between, isn’t the nicest guy. He suggests that you “seem destined to die in the dark” before suggesting you need his advice to survive. The irony of how unearthed by Zullie the Witch (opens in new tab), is that Varre actually only has a single point in his INT statistic. My husband is a stone cold fool.
Every single class in Elden Ring starts with far more INT than Varre has at the level 154. Even the barbarian hero starts with 7 INT.
If you kill Morgott before fighting Margit, Margit’s Arena will be empty
One of the big surprises of Elden Ring is that its first big boss, Margit the Fell Omen, reappears much later in the game with a new name: Morgott the Omen King. They look and sound identical, although Morgott has some new moves he can use to kill you. The two are indeed one and the same – Margit is essentially the alter ego under which Morgott does his dirty work. There are tons of YouTube videos you can watch that delve into Morgott’s story, but the fun little thing here is what happens if you skip that first fight with Margit.
If you do your best to avoid Castle Stormveil and fight Morgott in front of the Earth Tree, you’ll be rewarded with the Talisman Bag, which Margit usually drops when you hit it. You can then return to Stormveil to find an empty arena. Well, not entirely empty: the place of mercy that would appear after defeating Margit will be waiting for you there.
Try your finger, but with the whole map.