FromSoft’s NPCs do a lot on a budget, combining the developer’s concise style with compelling archetypes and distinctive physiques (lots of dudes in big hats). They often meet tragic or unclear endings, very rarely with a hidden golden path leading to a happy ending.
Fans of Dark Souls 1 had to feed a mute, chronically ill spider lady like fifteen to twenty human souls to open a secret door and kill a giant glowing house centipede before going through the unforgiven point of no return in the main quest where it would lead to a memetic Solaire’s brother of Astora mad.
And you know what? We love it. Even in the internet age, FromSoft games still have the ability to make you obsess over their hidden secrets. Reminiscent of the Triforce-in-Ocarina of Time rumors spawned by liars with Uncle Nintendo, the Soulsborne games have their weird little legends. Literally useless pendant (opens in a new tab) in Dark Souls he brought many to the brink trying to discover the Truth with a capital T that he represented. We’re like Brother Corhyn in the Elden Ring trying to figure out Goldmask’s weird finger twitches.
In the year since the launch of Elden Ring, data scientists such as Zullie the Witch, Lance McDonald, and Sekiro Dubi have uncovered a whole lot of mechanics and storytelling that didn’t make it to the final game—my favorite remains the terrifying tale of Merchant Kalé, reconstructed by Sekiro Dubai. However, one of the most memorable sagas was the one with trimmed content missing for less than a month.
Nepheli Loux (opens in a new tab) he’s prepared for a fan favorite like Solaire or Siegward early game with a sense of justice who shares a name with a legendary barbarian chieftain. After battling her with Godrick in Stormveil and exploring the destroyed village of Albinauric, she just… hung out and was sad for the rest of the game. At the start, the only final ones ending for Nepheli, there was a fate worse than dying in the Seluvis questline (opens in a new tab)and I remember people assuming it was was the intended conclusion of her story.
A similar lack of resolution, sad or otherwise, was present for the list of other NPCs: Diallos (opens in a new tab)Gostoc, Kenneth Haight and Patches (opens in a new tab) they all disappeared or stayed in one place, repeating the same voice line, but without a real sense of closure. Iron Fist Alexander (opens in a new tab) he would drop his gruesome innards as an item after his untimely death, seemingly having nowhere to use them.
And we all just assumed it was on purpose. Like the impossibly buried Three Fingers (opens in a new tab) or the obscure Ranni questline (opens in a new tab)We must have missed something! Either that or these stories were never meant to end, and FromSoft’s harshness wanted us to meditate on the transience and imperfection of true stories.
No, they were all supposed to be normal, doable tasks, not particularly more obscure than any others, and FromSoft simply ran out of time to implement them. Update 1.03 (opens in a new tab) less than a month after launch added in Jar Bairn, Alexander’s nephew to take his remains. Nepheli could become the new ruler of Limgrave after receiving the ashes of the Stormhawk King, with Gostoc and Haight by her side. Diallos would become a true warrior defending the city of Jarburg, and Patches would go on a sightseeing tour of Volcano Manor.
It was a small post-launch patch to cover a few minor bugs in the game, but it felt like an absolute event. After all the speculation, we came to all these satisfying conclusions. Some of them are also quite surprising – in the early stages of the search for Nephela, there is nothing to suggest that she might rule Stormveil or that Diallos would befriend Alexander’s nephew. It’s like the end of a Yakuza game when the heroes finally meet – your favorites team up!
We had a little revenge for that feeling with the opening of the PvP Coliseum in Elden Ring (opens in a new tab), turning these huge structures that initially served no purpose into a multiplayer feature. we speculated (opens in a new tab) in terms of their purpose for months, and while I still wish they hosted a boss rush mode instead, it was still cathartic when it was finally used. Now all that social energy is directed towards the expected expansion of the Elden Ring, whenever that happens (opens in a new tab).