Ah, Elden Ring, light of my (Steam) library, fire of my Erdtree.
When we met, it was love at first sight. Your rolling vistas. Your behemoth monoliths. Even that grace-forsaken horseman with the halberd and a bad attitude. All of it, in tandem, hooked me hard, and still hasn’t let me go. From that first time your hideous grafted warrior slew me, to the moment that I finally laid to rest a certain Blade of Miquella (though, do put a pin in that), I was yours.
For better or worse, you’re a permanent install. I’ve come to love our time together. I still remember the first playthrough… Bonking through the Lands Between, finding all your secrets and your hidden caves. And, just as fondly, I recall the most recent time: a wretch I was, powering through, until I finally laid to rest the Elden Beast with an untempered blade.
There have been hard times. I still remember that one quest you tricked me with: the one where my favored NPC died in the end? You know the one. That time you changed the poison swamp out for a rot swamp. That time you tried to convince me I was fighting something new, when you’d gotten me that same boss before on my last birthday. Those are easily forgiven, though, when you are as stunning as you are.
What is not so forgiving, though, is your teasing promise, that one you promised once and promptly never said again. Yes, that’s right: The Shadow of the Erdtree.
I’ve been ready for some time, since you told me in that one golden image. I’ve been ready since before even that, as I imagined our future together, growing old beneath the burning leaves….
But that was nearly a year ago now, and since, only silence… and I do not know how much longer I’m willing to wait. I need commitment, you see, Elden Ring. I need assurance. I understand that these things take time. I would never rush you to such an important milestone. But you have to tell me something. I’ve been eagerly awaiting that for half the time I’ve known your name.
I bring this up because you had your chance, and now it is gone. It should’ve been at the Game Awards, your golden pageant, with your best friend Geoff there at your side. It was not so long ago that your sibling made its debut at that very ball, in the shadow of your accolades (turns out, the only shadow you’d entertain). You even got all gussied up, updating your files in the days prior. I won’t pretend I didn’t notice.
Everything was aligned, and everyone was excited for the news. It was the perfect time to announce what you’ve been up to in these long months since you last gave word. I, and all the others, waited with bated breath, waited you to steal a show you weren’t even a part of, and then…
Nothing. You gave us nothing. Not a peep. Didn’t even deign to show, even as that shadowed sibling took home a trophy of her own.
I don’t know what happened. I can’t even say I’m mad, just… Disappointed. I thought we had something special. I thought you were ready to move forward. I thought you were ready to commit. Perhaps I was wrong, but you can’t say you haven’t strung me along. And, I have to say, I’m hurt.
If I didn’t love you so, I’d tell you I wouldn’t come back, but that would be a lie. I’ll be back, playing mage or bleed, regardless of whether you show your Shadow anytime soon. But… After all the work I (well… the royal I, technically that was mostly Daniel. Thanks Daniel) put in on your behalf, I expected better. That is all.
Perhaps soon, you will be able to say what I’ve been waiting to hear. You know what it is. Until then, I will only keep playing you begrudgingly. Write back soon (please).
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Graves is an avid writer, web designer, and gamer, with more ideas than he could hope to achieve in a lifetime. But, armed with a mug of coffee and an overactive imagination, he'll try. When he isn't working on a creative project, he is painting miniatures, reading cheesy sci-fi novels, or making music.