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Elden Ring's First Boss Nearly Borrowed From Dark Souls

"Elden Ring" has some fairly recognizable bosses by this point, but the very first encounter in the Lands Between was almost the ultimate tribute to "Dark Souls." While many gamers in the community have moved on to exploring a New Game+ playthrough, perfecting their builds with the most powerful Axe or Bow and learning how to fight like legendary players, others have dedicated their time to taking the title apart piece by piece to see how it all works. This pursuit has lead to startling discoveries about fake walls and even the cuts that didn't make it into "Elden Ring."

Zullie The Witch – a data miner and modder who previously helped unearth the reason why players were getting obliterated by certain dogs, discovered the game's strongest wall was fixed, and showed the world what certain characters really look like – has made an interesting discovery. They've learned that a few iconic "Elden Ring" enemies were actually in consideration for the title's first bout, and one of them is a callback to an iconic foe from FromSoftware's past.

Erdtree Avatar is another name for Asylum Demon

In a video originally shared to YouTube, Zullie The Witch details their latest discoveries surrounding the first few moments of "Elden Ring." Normally, when players begin their journey through the Lands Between, they're confronted with a boss fight against a monstrous Grafted Scion just after getting their bearings. As it turns out, the Grafted Scion was just one of a few boss choices vying for the honor of delivering the player's first death. 

By studying the title's files and looking at a list of potential models that could be loaded into the area, Zullie The Witch found three foes that don't appear under normal circumstances in-game. The data miner concludes that these were options previously tested as the game's first encounter but not used for the final product. Out of the three potential boss replacements, one demands special attention: the Erdtree Avatar.

Erdtree Avatars become common mini-bosses as players progress further into "Elden Ring," but the enemy has its roots in "Dark Souls." Many "Dark Souls" veterans will see the Erdtree Avatar's stature or moves and identify the same animations as the Asylum Demon boss. Some see the foe as an homage to the boss and to "Dark Souls" in general. Had FromSoftware made the Erdtree Avatar the first boss in "Elden Ring," players would effectively find themselves replaying opening moments of "Dark Souls."