Elden Ring lead Hidetaka Miyazaki won't say how long the DLC is since everyone thinks he lowballed the main game: 'Everyone told me I was lying and that's not remotely enough time!'

 The wretch looks on.
The wretch looks on.

FromSoftware big shot and Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki has delivered some more cryptic Shadow of the Erdtree details in a recent interview shared to the Chinese social network Zhihu. The big takeaways for my money are that this thing is going to be big, and that Elden lore freak favorite St. Trina will make an appearance.

The interview was conducted by Gōuhuǒ yíngdì (篝火营地, literal translation "campfire camp"), a videogames-focused account on Zhihu. User swordandflower on Twitter made a handy English translation of the interview, which I've compared against machine translation for this story.

Miyazaki was asked about both the expected playtime of Shadow of the Erdtree and why FromSoft opted for a single expansion instead of a series like Dark Souls 2 and 3 had⁠—Miyazaki reiterated that Shadow of the Erdtree would be the "first and last" DLC for Elden Ring, but said it's because they wanted to make a whopper.

"Elden Ring focuses on world exploration and a sense of adventure," Miyazaki said. "In order to provide the players such an experience, it's necessary to build a vast and expansive area. So instead of breaking such an area up into multiple DLCs, it would be better to develop a massive DLC.

"It would be a disservice for the player's freedom to explore and sense of immersion if we were to sell multiple smaller DLCs."

The developer was a bit more evasive when it came to that "massive DLC's" projected playtime though, insisting that he "shouldn't be the one to answer this question." He said members of the dev team are so used to the game they can beat it faster than most players, and pointed to a now-infamous pre-release interview where he quoted the base game as taking 30 hours to finish⁠—most of us on PCG were at or approaching 100 hours for our first playthroughs.

"During an interview I’ve said that the Elden Ring will take around 30ish hours to finish the main game," Miyazaki said. "But after it was released, everyone told me that I was lying and that’s not remotely enough time! "

Miyazaki also confirmed to Gōuhuǒ yíngdì that base game NPCs will not directly feature in Shadow of the Erdtree, which will instead focus on its own cast of little freaks who cryptically chuckle when you've cleared all their dialogue. This is in line with Shadow of the Erdtree not impacting the base game's endings⁠—it seems like a very siloed-off, standalone expansion.

The various ghosts haunting Elden Ring's lore, though, are fair game, and Miyazaki confirmed a big one would be showing up: St. Trina. This mythical knight associated with dreams and sleep is popularly assumed to be the alter ego of Miquella, one of the two posterboys of the expansion and the guy whose nasty cocooned corpse has been confirmed as the metro stop for the DLC express.

It'll be interesting to see if Shadow of the Erdtree confirms that they're the same person, and I'm dying to know what role she'll play in the story: friendly NPC and summon? Secret megaboss who puts Messmer and Malenia to shame? Both? We'll find out for sure come June 21.