[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Elden Ring.]
There are multiple endings players can unlock for both the main story and side quests within an Elden Ring playthrough. Some of these endings are optimistic in tone, some bleak, with some ambiguous and open to interpretation. Players who are trying out Elden Ring for the first time should be particularly cautious about the following story choices, which are both bleak in outcome and easy to unlock by accident.
Often, it seems that to be an NPC in a FromSoftware-developed dark fantasy RPG is to be doomed to a grisly fate. Solaire, the jolly NPC knight who aids players throughout Dark Souls, is fated to fall into despair and death as he searches for his own “personal sun,” while half the NPCs in Bloodborne go insane or become bosses themselves. There are (sometimes) ways to keep friendly NPCs in Elden Ring from suffering horrible ends, but the open-world gameplay of this RPG makes it hard to locate the paths leading to the more desirable endings.
Most of the ending scenarios for Elden Ring have a hopeful air, though there’s debate among players about whether the Age Of The Stars, the Age Of Order, or the Age Of The Duskborn ending will bring about the best possible future for the Lands Between. The cruel Blessing of Despair ending can only be reached if Elden Ring players interact with and enable the defiling deeds of the blatantly ominous and aptly named Elden Ring NPC, the Dung Eater. One ending in particular, however, can accidentally be unlocked by players who haven’t paid close enough attention to the game’s lore, and locks out all other possible endings unless the player goes on to challenge two of the most difficult bosses in Elden Ring‘s main game world.
Embracing The Frenzied Flame Is An Elden Ring Apocalypse
Players will first encounter the Frenzied Flame in isolated enclaves found through the Lands Between – settlements and ruins populated by villagers, soldiers, and beasts whose eyes glow with a maddening, writhing flame. Incantation spells like Elden Ring‘s Frenzied Burst and weapons such as Vyke’s War Spear will inflict both fire damage and the Madness status effect, which scalds the eyes of player characters and Tarnished NPCs with same maddening fire. Late in the campaign of Elden Ring, players will learn that Melina, their steadfast companion and confidant, must be sacrificed to fire in order to open the path to the Erdtree’s heart. Shortly afterward, an NPC called Shabriri will appear and offer the players an alternative; descend to the deepest part of the catacombs beneath Leyndell, receive the embrace of the Three Fingers, and become the Lord of Chaos – a scorched, yellow-eyed being with the power to burn the Erdtree on their own.
If a player has been paying attention to Elden Ring‘s game lore, they’ll notice multiple clues indicating that becoming the Lord of Chaos is an apocalyptically bad idea. Melina, the companion well-intentioned players may seek to save, will leave the Tarnished in disgust if they embrace the Frenzied Flame. In the Lord Of Frenzied Flame ending cutscene, where the fire-possessed Tarnished starts to incinerate all the life within the Lands Between, Melina appears once more and declares her intent to save the world and destroy the Tarnished with the power of Destined Death.
Elden Ring Players Can Help Seluvis With His Disturbing Puppets
If the player enters the service of Elden Ring‘s bodiless Ranni the Witch (a prerequisite to unlocking the Age Of The Stars ending) they’ll become acquainted with multiple NPC accomplices of Ranni, all of whom have a pronounced distaste for a colleague of theirs named Preceptor Seluvis. Rude and scornful in demeanor, the big-hatted Seluvis will begrudgingly sell unique Glintstone Sorceries and Spirit Ashes to the player if they help him with a truly detestable “hobby.”
Seluvis, as it transpires, is an expert in the cruel art of puppetry magic, using special potions to force human beings into a kind of eternal slumber or paralysis, then using their bodies as a catalyst to generate unique Spirit Ashes he obsesses over in dialogue with truly creepy, predatory undertones. A player who goes along with the plans goes down a very dark path indeed, tricking NPCs like the Dung Eater or Nepheli Loux into drinking Seluvis’ potion, which binds them to fates worse than death. Thankfully, Preceptor Seluvis can easily be tricked by players and bites the dust part way into the Ranni quest line. This leads him to a truly poetic fate: rebelled against and torn apart by the very puppets he used and abused.
Elden Ring’s Boc Needs Help Learning To Love Himself
Of all the NPCs, Boc the Seamster is perhaps both the sweetest and saddest. Players first encounter him in Limgrave – a cringing, rat-like Demi-Human cast out by his tribe and cursed into the shape of a tree. After the player returns his mother’s old sewing needle to him, Boc finds a new lease on life and becomes the Tarnished’s personal tailor, letting the player modify certain outfits without spending any Runes. As the protagonist draws closer and closer to becoming Elden Lord, Boc starts to feel insecure about his appearance, which he judges clumsy and “ugly” in comparison to Elden Ring‘s exiled Tarnished hero (even if the player uses the character creator to make a truly horrifying visage).
If left to his own devices, Boc will eventually depart in search of Queen Rennala at Raya Lucaria Academy, who can change people’s appearances with her golden egg of Rebirth. On his own, the kind, gentle Boc will perish, and if the player gifts Boc with one of the Larval Tear items needed for players to reallocate attribute points, he will successfully reach Rennala and become reborn, but winds up losing everything he used to be in the process. The true happy ending for Boc in Elden Ring requires an obscure item called the Prattling Pate “You’re beautiful,” found in the Mr. Gelmir region where Volcano Manor, home of the Tarnished hunters, resides; use this item in front of Boc, and he will hear his own mother’s voice refer to him as beautiful, giving the gentle Demi-Human the validation needed to love himself for who he is.
Next: Elden Ring: How Boc May Have Ended Up As A Tree
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