Dataminer Discovers Alternate Elden Ring Intro

Screenshot: FromSoftware / Kotaku
Screenshot: FromSoftware / Kotaku

I thought we were done with the base Elden Ring narrative and, instead, had moved onto figuring out the Shadow of the Erdtree clues director Hidetaka Miyazaki left behind. But it turns out that FromSoftware’s magnum opus really is an endless treasure trove of cool lore and interesting stories, as a dataminer has recently dusted off and reconstructed an alternate introduction to the game that slightly changes things.

As spotted by IGN, Elden Ring dataminer Sekiro Dubi discovered that the game originally started with you washing up on a beach instead of awakening in The Stranded Graveyard and trudging through to the Cave of Knowledge. Elden Ring players know that the game plops you the de facto tutorial area after you (most likely) die to the Grafted Scion boss at the Chapel of Anticipation. However, in a March 6 YouTube video, Sekiro Dubi reveals that in “the original Elden Ring starting point” that they restored, FromSoft actually intended for your macerated body to arrive on a sandy beach under the Seaside Ruins. This, according to a cutscene that Sekiro Dubi had stitched together after sleuthing through in-game files, is where you would have first been introduced to Melina and Torrent.

The dialogue doesn’t change too much, though there are a few new lines here and there. The starting point itself, however, is totally new. Instead of taking control of your Tarnished in the Stranded Graveyard as you do in the retail version of Elden Ring, Sekiro Dubi showed that, at one point in the game’s development, you would encounter an enemy, a mercenary and his wolf, on the beach before swerving into a cave that leads you to the Stranded Graveyard. According to Sekiro Dubi’s findings, all of this is even found in the Network Test maps of the game, suggesting that Stormveil Castle previously had a teleport that’d zip you back to the Chapel of Anticipation. The (Elden Ring) world really is round, huh?

Kotaku has reached out to Sekiro Dubi for comment.

It’s exciting that discoveries like this are still being made in Elden Ring, even as attention shifts toward its upcoming expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree, which will give us a look into Malenia’s twin brother, Miquella, and his connection to The Shadowland. The DLC is due out on June 22, and already some players have Indiana Jones’d a piece of lore in the base game that connects to Shadow of the Erdtree. Dataminers just keep finding the coolest stuff in Elden Ring.

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