Elden Ring is an upcoming action RPG from FromSoftware, created by legendary creators Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin. That sounds really good! But the last time we heard about Elden Ring was via the announcement trailer at E3 2019, and that has some fans a little impatient. There’s a whole host of excellent games to play in 2019, but some fans have abandoned existing video games in order to collectively imagine and celebrate an entirely fictional Elden Ring.
The Elden Ring subreddit has a “Fake Lore” tag. Many of the posts under this category are fans creating their own fictional bosses inspired by the Soulslike genre, or making suggestions for cool content to encounter in the upcoming Elden Ring.
Other fans have just gone feral and started making incredibly specific memes for a game that does not exist and will not for months to come.
For instance, are you stuck on the Shattered Vikings of Stonehaven Sanctuary? None of that exists, but you can find fellow Elden Ring fans discussing in great detail how to best these once noble warriors. One fan is especially impressed with the Serpent’s Fjord, an in-game area that — and I cannot stress this enough — does not exist.
While people love inventing their own parts of the fictional Elden Ring, they’ve all come together to agree on a few common points. For instance, Glaive Master Hodir is a notoriously tough boss that is cursed throughout the subreddit.
Of course, it’s not a FromSoftware game unless there are some truly tragic boss backstories. Fans have gone ahead and created those, too, along with memes demonstrating their fictional heartbreak over imaginary bosses.
Perhaps, through the power of collective belief and friendship, these memes can will Elden Ring into existence.
But is this an authentic way to engage in media? Do these memetic interpretations of common tropes insult the original art form? I would argue that it, in fact, elevates it by acknowledging that shared themes across a body of work can impact a player more than just prizing a series of individual concepts. The fact that FromSoftware fans have a shared vocabulary means that these games matter on a deep level to players; it creates a dialect on certain corners of the Internet, dedicated to discussing these games.
I mean, it’s either that or these players have been watching too closely for Elden Ring news and got a little dehydrated. Maybe they just need a tall glass of water and some applesauce in order to break them out of this fake lore fugue.
There is no release date for Elden Ring, and maybe that’s for the best. I’m interested in learning more about Glaive Master Hodir. He seems nice.