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The One Character That Connects Elden Ring And Every Souls Game

The lore of FromSoftware's "Souls" universe is difficult to parse. "Demon's Souls" had a difficult road to and almost didn't get produced, but it eventually made it to shelves and helped established the FromSoftware style of incredibly complex, brutally difficult games. Death is inevitable, and just completing the games is an accomplishment. "Elden Ring" is no different, as it comes with its own set of nuanced lore nestled within a sprawling world of challenges and mighty bosses. And while many of FromSoftware's titles have separate sets of mythology that dictate how the world works, some elements bind the settings together in subtle ways – or sometimes, not so subtle ways. All of FromSoftware's titles have one thing in common, and the question isn't what it is, but who.

There's one character that FromSoftware director Hidetaka Miyazaki just can't get enough of: Patches. The surly, sneaky hairless man has appeared in almost every game Miyazaki has had a hand in, making him the link that ties FromSoftware's "Souls" games together. For a series that invites its fans to theorize and speculate about its lore, Patches is often used to tie FromSoftware's games together, more as a treat for hardcore fans than an important actor in the plot. One thing's certain: No matter where he shows up, fans love to hate Patches. And now fans have learned he's made his way to "Elden Ring."

Beware of mild spoilers for "Elden Ring."

Where have we seen Patches?

Patches has appeared in most FromSoftware games, making his debut in 2008's "Armored Core: For Answer." The third-person shooter imagines Patches as a mech pilot named "Patch the Good Luck," who drives a "reverse-legged craft" and enjoys sniping his opponents from a distance. While fans don't technically see Patches in "Armored Core" – as he's safely inside his mech throughout battles – he exhibits many of the same behaviors as his later versions. For example, instead of confronting a problem head-on he chooses to sneakily outwit or shoot from a distance. Self-preservation is Patches' first priority. The second priority? Money.

The creepy character appeared again in "Demon's Souls" a year or so later as "Patches the Hyena." There, he attempts to guide players to a glorious treasure, but ends up leading them to a dangerous enemy instead, hoping to swipe their gear after the baddie inevitably kills them. If players outsmart him, Patches passes off a random item (which players can find on their own) as a valuable good and makes his way to the Nexus where he sells overpriced wares.

There's always something suspicious about Patches. In "Bloodborne," he appears as a giant spider (appropriate for the game's eldritch themes). He also shows up in the "Dark Souls" games, taking on various roles. He even pops up in "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice," according to some fan theories. No matter where he pops up, Patches usually has some sort of scheme to get rich quick, and often tries to kill the player character in order to do so. Now, fans have confirmed that the annoying sneak also graces FromSoftware's latest title, "Elden Ring."

Streamers reveal Patches in Elden Ring

In a Red Bull sponsored stream, which previewed "Elden Ring" ahead of its release, Spanish language streamer Chuso found a character that appeared to be Patches. In the clip, after opening a chest to find a plain cloth garment, a bald man leaps from the shadows to threaten the player. A boss health bar appears at the bottom of the screen, confirming that this is indeed Patches, or some version of him. However, this Patches is much more skilled than some of his previous iterations, and a single swipe from his sword downs almost half of Chuso's hit points. Eventually, Patches wins, and Chuso decides to venture off to another part of the map, avoiding Patches entirely.

While FromSoftware fans aren't surprised that Patches appears in "Elden Ring," some were upset that news outlets spoiled his appearance ahead of the game's release. In response to a Kotaku article about Patches, one reader named Christine wrote, "You know this headline is a spoiler... This is a bad move." On Twitter, others claimed that FromSoftware fans know that Patches is an inevitability, not something that can be spoiled. One user claimed that the outrage about the information was "performative anger," and that another recurring FromSoftware element – the Moonlight Greatsword – will likely also appear in "Elden Ring." Still, others were simply excited to see their old friend again, and welcomed news of Patches' appearance in FromSoftware's new game.

Even though Chuso revealed Patches' existence in "Elden Ring," it's unclear who Patches is in the game or if he'll have a more significant role – perhaps by later becoming a merchant, as in other FromSoftware games. There are still plenty of mysteries left for players to uncover in "Elden Ring."