With the advent of data mining and instant information, getting video game campfire stories has become a rarity. It’s hard to spread a rumor that can immediately be fact-checked, and even legitimate mysteries tend to be deconstructed pretty quickly. But the beauty of modding is that it doesn’t have to be real. You can make it real.
That’s what I love so much about king bore haha’s quick but effective new Elden Ring film, which shows an area of the game you’ve likely never seen before. “Saint’s Descent” sees the player going down a seemingly endless, pitch-black staircase where there is eventually a pit.
The player goes down the pit, of course, because by now we’ve learned that you miss critical content in Elden Ring if you don’t throw yourself into every abyss. I won’t spoil the rest.
Like I said, it’s a simple story that is nonetheless good at what it sets out to do, partially because it isn’t some wild thing. It seems believable, and some people watching legitimately thought it was real before being informed it actually isn’t.
King bore haha has actually made an entire playlist of “spooky mod” videos and mods like this one, but for older Dark Souls games, if you’d like to take a look. What gets me is some of the exceedingly normal situations that take a sudden turn, like getting trapped in a claustrophobic elevator. Something like that could actually happen to someone, maybe by sheer bad glitch luck, but no one would believe you, would they? The alternative can be equally scary: a fall that just never ends. It’s so good!
The fiction aspect here is critical to the enjoyment, in a way. When news broke of the Elden Ring mystery wall that took 50 hits to knock down, it tore the internet up. Who would ever find that anomaly naturally? Why would they do something like that? Miyazaki, you devil!
Out came the investigators, to take a closer look. That’s when we found out it was actually just a glitch, it never took 50 hits, and there wasn’t actually anything particularly interesting “hiding” behind the wall. The moment was cool while it lasted, but anyone coming in now can’t recreate the feeling of not knowing what the hell was happening when it was an enigma. Now we just tell each other it’s a glitched wall.
Sure, I can tell you that this Elden Ring video isn’t real, but that’s not the point, is it? For a moment, you get sucked into a different reality where evoking a feeling is all that matters. It reminds me a lot of the modern advent of Super Mario 64 scary stories. Anyone with critical thinking skills would be able to suss out that the elaborate stories never actually happened, or we would have heard about it well before now. We pull out the popcorn all the same.