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The worst Dark Souls bullshit is back in Elden Ring

Consider this a warning

A Tarnished holds a torch aloft and looks down at a crystal cave in a screenshot from Elden Ring Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Elden Ring carries on many FromSoftware traditions, including the unique cooperative and competitive multiplayer components first introduced in Demon’s Souls and poisonous swamps that make a very stressful experience even more stressful. But there’s one thing in the open world of Elden Ring that carries over from the Souls games that I wasn’t expecting to see, and if you’re a longtime fan of these games, I think you deserve to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Dark Souls itself had its share of infuriating and just-shy-of-unfair elements: the Silver Knight archers of Anor Londo, the Wheel Skeletons, the invisible crystal walkways in the Crystal Cave, and every single element of Blighttown, including that area’s infamously awful frame rate.

That game also introduced a hateful enemy that makes a somewhat surprising return in Elden Ring. Other than that, FromSoft’s new game is very good.

[Warning: The rest of this article contains light spoilers for Elden Ring. This might be a “fun” surprise for you, so turn back now, if you can.]

A Tarnished faces a basilisk in Volcano Manor in Elden Ring
We meet again.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

I regret to inform you that the basilisks are back and they are at it again.

The basilisk, introduced in Dark Souls and brought back for Dark Souls 2 and Dark Souls 3, is a creepy, fake-bug-eyed froglike creature that spits death. In the Dark Souls games, it emitted a cloud of cursed fog, which could quickly kill the player and halve their hit points. Those lousy beasts are back in Elden Ring, hopping around chaotically in various places, and this time they can Death Blight you. Should your Death Blight meter fill up, it’s instant, gruesome death. (You will not be viciously cursed, however, one of the elements of the basilisk in the first Dark Souls that earned them such a bad reputation.)

Basilisks in Elden Ring certainly aren’t the game’s worst enemies, but they’re in the top 10. Fortunately, they are few and far between (and relatively mid- to late-game), and they’re mostly avoidable. But if you have a deep-rooted fear of these horrible creatures, based on past experience, keep your eyes peeled. Theirs certainly are.

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