clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why Elden Ring’s skeletons have such good bones


Clayton Ashley , senior video editor, has been producing and editing videos for Polygon since 2016. He is the lead producer of the tabletop gaming series Overboard.

Elden Ring’s skeletons have a grand tradition to live up to; FromSoftware has been making excellent skellies going back to 2009’s Demon’s Souls, and the bone boys in the subsequent Dark Souls franchise are some of video gaming’s best. To get a better sense of what makes an excellent video game skeleton, I took a deep dive into the history of games’ greatest mindless minions.

Skeletons are, unsurprisingly, a long time fascination of humanity. Famous skeletons like the Grim Reaper have their origins in the bubonic plague, as do the woodcuts of the danse macabre. In 1963, movies like Jason and the Argonauts memorably brought skeletons “to life” through the magic of stop motion animation. Even today, these impressive scenes helped define in our mind how a reanimated skeleton should move about. Later, Gary Gygax and company turned the skeleton into a staple enemy of role playing games by including it in the original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.

These are the bones that the modern video game skeleton is built from, and they go a long way toward informing us about why Elden Ring’s skeletons are so memorable. You can learn all about that and more in the video at the top of this post, and if you enjoy it, be sure to check out all our videos over on our YouTube channel!