8 New Elden Ring Weapon Types Teased in Miyazaki Interview

Now that the Shadow of the Erdtree gameplay trailer has dropped, FromSoft has finally broken radio silence on what we can expect from the massive Elden Ring DLC coming June 21st. In an extensive interview with Japanese outlet Famitsu, FromSoft President and game dev genius Hidetaka Miyazaki dropped a bunch of juicy tidbits about what we can expect from Shadow of the Erdtree. The interview is in Japanese, but thanks to the generosity of Reddit user theangryfurlong, we have a translation and can therefore start getting extra hyped about what’s to come.

It’s a relatively long read, so to save you the effort, we’ve summarized all the most important bits below! Note that our summary only includes gameplay and lore-related stuff. To save you a click, we’ve also included the entire interview below.

Miyazaki’s Shadow of the Erdtree Interview TL;DR:

  • You follow the footseps of Miquella (rather than the Guidance of Grace) while in the Shadowlands
  • There is no time jump — you do the DLC at the same time as the main story takes place, and can move between them via fast travel
    • DLC story will not affect main story
  • You have to beat Radahn and Mohg to access the DLC
  • The character in the key art, Messmer, is a child of Marika
  • DLC is “biggest ever” for the Soulsborne series
    • Contains Field level, Legacy Dungeons, smaller dungeons. “Larger and more varied than Limgrave”, so sounds like there is only one open world area being added
  • Difficulty is akin to latter half of the game
    • There will be special upgrades, like Attack Power in Sekiro, that will help you scale with the DLC if you want (this will only affect your damage in the DLC areas)
  • New Spells, Weapons, Ashes of War, etc. (we hope there’s more foods for Torrent)
    • 8 new weapon types confirmed, including new large Katana type, Throwing Daggers that change attacks into throws, Dueling Shields

Interview Transcription

Translation by /u/theangryfurlong, sourced from their Reddit post

Famitsu: One year after it was released on 2022/2/25, not only had Elden Ring sold over 20 million copies worldwide becoming a huge hit, it also won many game of the year awards and received excellent reviews. And of course, being received so well by the players, can you tell us again how that makes you feel?

Miyazaki: It may be a simple answer, but it makes me very happy.

For us, we try to make games that everyone feels are fun and have value, so we feel great happiness in the fact that so many people over the world have felt that value, and it encourages us.

In Elden Ring, we haven’t changed the theme present in our previous titles which is “the feeling of achievement through overcoming challenges”, but we also set up the concept of taking that theme and giving it a high degree of freedom to make it more accessible to more players.

Famitsu: The game has sold more than 1 million copies just in Japan.

Miyazaki: Yes, that also surprised and pleased us. I’ve had the chance to hear the name of Elden Ring many times, not only at work but from people I encounter in daily life, and remember feeling, “It feels amazing to sell a million copies.”

Famitsu: I’ve heard that development starts from imbuing the experience that you yourself want to give the players into the game. I think all this indicates that this philosophy has resonated with the players.

Miyazaki: Yes, as the game director, letting players taste the experience we want and having them feel the value and emotion are at the core of development. Even the feeling of, “If it were me, I’d want to be killed this way here.” lol

However, this isn’t everything. My opinion isn’t absolute, and if there is a problem or a better way to do something, the staff gives me their frank opinions and I often agree with those opinions and accept them.

This is not specific to Elden Ring, but I believe this is the benefit of creating something with others, and the joy of it.

Famitsu: As a result, I feel the kind of game development of adjusting balance is being taken to the limit, and that is the core feature of From Software games. From the point of view of player experience, Elden Ring’s story also being told in a fragmented way expands the speculation about the world among players.

Miyazaki: There are several reasons that I have employed fragmented storytelling, including in Elden Ring.

First, I want the gameplay experience to become the player’s story. For that, we don’t tell a rigid story in a verbose way.

Additionally, we want to leave some of the story to the player’s imagination. This ties into making the gameplay experience the player’s story as mentioned earlier and becoming absorbed in filling in the margins with your own imagination is simply fun, I believe.

There is also the enjoyment of collecting the fragments in order to understand. Like, “Ah, so that’s what it means. It all connects.”

Famitsu: Shadow of the Erdtree was announced on 2023/2/28, but you’ve just now announced the release date. First I want to ask, when did development begin?

Miyazaki: We started to imagine what the DLC development would look like around the end of the development of the main title.

It became obvious that there were elements in the big picture of Elden Ring that wouldn’t fit into the main title, so we thought it would be good to release these to the world as DLC.

However, at that point it was still just a general idea, as we were still focused on the main release. Actual development work on the DLC started after the release of the main title and after the initial patches settled down a bit.

Famitsu: The first thing that intrigued me when I heard Shadow of the Erdtree was the meaning of the title.

Miyazaki: Erdtree refers to the Golden Tree that appears in the main title, so directly interpreting this, the DLC title means the shadow of this golden tree.

In the concept art that was shown in Feb 2023, it is this shadow of the Erdtree that looms tall in the left background, and we also call this the “shadow tree”. So the DLC takes place not in the Lands Between, but the shadow lands of which the shadow tree is a symbol.

Also, there is another small hidden meaning in the title, we hope you will figure this out when playing the game.

Famitsu: In relation to the art, one more thing, the person riding Torrent, is it the Tree Saint Miquella spoken of in the main title?

Yes, Miquella is the central character in the story told in this DLC.

I don’t know if you remember, but in the story in the main title, following the grace was the simple path. Here, you are following the footsteps of Miquella who headed for the shadow lands.

Further, there are NPCs also following after Miquella. The story of the DLC is told through them, and they cross paths with the player, sometimes as allies, sometimes as enemies.

Also, one other main pillar of the DLC story is the history of this shadow land and the history of Queen Marika.

Famitsu: So there have been many details just revealed, please let me ask more. You just mentioned Queen Marika’s history, does this mean the DLC takes place in the past?

Miyazaki: No, it takes place in the same time as the main title. The setting is not in the distant past or future.

The shadow lands and Queen Marika’s past will be told in the same manner as The Shattering was in the main title.

Famitsu: What are the themes you are trying to express in Shadow of the Erdtree?

Miyazaki: That’s difficult to answer. That is exactly what I am hoping players will experience for themselves and it wouldn’t come out right if I talked about it here.

Famitsu: The main story of Elden Ring was told as a heroic tale, is that the same in the DLC?

Miyazaki: Correct. The theme of it being a heroic tale has not changed.

The character of Messmer shown in the key art is a good example. He is another hero.

The chair Messmer sits upon is the same as the ones shown in the fight with Margott the Omen King in the main title, and he is on the same level as characters like Godrick, Malenia, Radahn, Rykard, etc., and is referred to as a child of Marika.

Famitsu: In the creation of the DLC story, is George RR Martin still involved?

Miyazaki: Martin’s involvement is the same as in the main title.

The world and story of the DLC was inspired by the mythology that he penned just as in the main title, and was created thus. To be more precise, what was created this time is part of what was created from the inspiration we took from his mythology for the main title.

So, there was no additional writing done specifically for the DLC.

Famitsu: Another thing that we want to know, is about the volume of the DLC. The ones for Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne were released in about one year, so the expectations for this one are huge.

Miyazaki: Right, very sorry for keeping you waiting.

But speaking about the volume of the DLC, it is clearly larger when compared to DS3 or Bloodborne. It is no mistake to say that this is our biggest DLC ever.

Famitsu: That is beyond expectations! Why did it become so large?

Miyazaki: When we thought about an experience worthy of Elden Ring, we felt that this size was necessary.

There are the threats that need to be overcome, and there is the degree of freedom to engage in that, there is the excitement of exploring the unknown, and what you might discover at the end of each journey – an altogether Elden Ring worthy adventure.

Famitsu: So we get to taste that thrill again. What is the field like in the DLC?

Miyazaki: It is new, different from the field in the main title.

Of course there is the open field, legacy dungeons, and smaller dungeons. It is larger and more varied than Limgrave in the main title.

Famitsu: How is the area accessed?

Miyazaki: It is not connected to the main field, you will be teleported there.

The entrance is the cocoon, or the arm that dangles from it, found in the battle area with Mohg, Lord of Blood.

Also, in order to access this DLC, you will need to have defeated Mohg and Radahn.

Famitsu: Since you can access it in the latter half of the main story, this means the difficulty is also rather high?

Miyazaki: Yes, with regards to stats, it follows that of the latter half of the main game.

Basically, the approach towards difficulty is unchanged from the main title. The freedom you have in how you deal with threats is the same, and there are difficult bosses like Malenia in the main story who don’t need to be defeated.

Famitsu: Can you go back and forth between the main story field and the DLC field?

Miyazaki: Yes you can. As I explained earlier, they are not connected by land, but you can teleport freely between the two.

Famitsu: Maybe it’s a bit too detailed, but how will fast travel work?

Miyazaki: This is the same as the main title. When you discover a site of grace, you can fast travel there.

Famitsu: Can the DLC affect the ending of the main story?

Miyazaki: No, that won’t happen and events of the main story will also not affect the DLC. The story of the DLC will be contained entirely within the DLC.

Famitsu: Are there any new elements unique to the DLC?

Miyazaki: There is an element of leveling unique to the DLC.

Think of the attack power system in Sekiro. Seperate from the original level system there is an “attack power” that is only enabled in the DLC areas.

This was introduced in order to give freedom to meet the threats mentioned earlier, so you can do something like exploring other areas before going back to challenge bosses that were too strong the first time, allowing you to more easily experience this even in the high-level range.

On the other hand, by keeping your attack power low, you can also experience this challenge at a lower level.

Famitsu: Are there new weapons, magic, or incantations?

Miyazaki: Yes, many weapons, spells, weapon arts, etc. have been added. They are one of the main selling points of this DLC.

Especially weapons, there are 8 new weapon types added. Of course, there are additions to existing weapon types as well.

Famitsu: 8!? There are a great number of weapons in the main title, specifically what kinds of new weapons are added in the DLC?

Miyazaki: First of all, there are fairly classic large Japanese katanas known as “Odachi”, and others are reverse-hand swords “Gyakute ken”, and more peculiar, highly novel ones.

*(Translator’s note: Sorry, I messed up the name of the large katana here, the most likely rendering in English should probably not be “Odachi” but “Daito” or perhaps just “Tachi”, also there is some debate as whether the “reverse-hand” or “reverse-grip” weapons should be called “gyakute” or “sakate”. There is a type of traditional Japanese sword grip called “sakatemochi”.)

For example, martial arts if you imagine monks, or dual offensive/defensive “Dueling Shields”. Or throwing daggers that change all attacks into throws.

So it should still be fun and refreshing for players who have gone through all the weapons in the main story.

Famitsu: So the weapons revealed in the trailer are definitely something to pay attention to. Also, the “Lion Dance” enemy that we’ve never seen before, is that a DLC boss?

Miyazaki: Yes, that lion dance, in some ways could be considered a very DLC-like boss.

In fact, the shadow lands are where Marika became a god and where the Erdtree was born. Of course there was a culture there before the Erdtree, and that lion dance comes from this culture.

So, you can get the flavor of a different culture from the one found in the main title.

Famitsu: In the background of the new art, there appears to be some kind of veil in the sky.

Miyazaki: Yes, the shadow lands in which the DLC take place are sundered from the Lands Between where the main story takes place. It has been removed from and hidden from the outside world and this veil is a symbol of that.

Famitsu: The mystery only deepens, but I’m looking forward to new discovery. I might be a bit hasty, but is there a special ending for clearing the DLC areas?

Miyazaki: There is no separate ending, that is to say, nothing like where the credits would roll.

However, it is clear when the DLC has been finished, and there is a bit of artistic direction to make you feel that.

Famitsu: Are there any more DLC or anything planned to further expand the world of Elden Ring after this DLC?

Miyazaki: No, at this point we have no plan to release another DLC after this one. In terms of DLC being added to the main story of Elden Ring, I think this will mark a large milestone.

However, that’s not to say that all of Elden Ring has come to an end. I may have said the same thing with Dark Souls III, but I don’t want to make any decisive statements to rule out any future possibilites.

Famitsu: You decided to also release a bundle of the DLC along with the main title, not just the standalone DLC.

Miyazaki: Yes, we would be very happy if there are new players who will take this opportunity to play Elden Ring for the first time.

As mentioned earlier, in order to take on the DLC field, you will need to have progressed a way in the main story, so it may be a good idea to progress the main story before the DLC release.

Famitsu: We’re still before the DLC release, but since this a break at the end of the road, looking back now at Elden Ring, how do you feel?

Miyazaki: The DLC development hasn’t finished yet, so I can’t quite get into that mindset.

Whether the main title or the DLC, I’m always frantic while making it, and always wish “Give me more development time!”, but having finished I always feel that it was a very long process.

Of course, there were always many hardships, but more than anything it was an enjoyable time. Starting with the development staff, everyone involved were amazing people and teams. And our involvement with GRR Martin was a huge honor and inspiration.

I might get in trouble if I say this, but for me a large part of game development is not just work, but it gives a purpose for living. In that way, Elden Ring is a rare experience.

I’ve been blessed with many great fans, and consider myself very lucky. I can’t help but just feel thankful.

Famitsu: Do you still have the desire to create games on the scale of Elden Ring?

Miyazaki: Yes, I do. I can’t say if it’s something I can get to right away, but if I am allowed, I want to try.

The staff and everyone probably feel the same, but we want to take advantage of this experience we had with Elden Ring, but rather than that and above all, creating huge worlds and adventures is amazingly fun. It thrills me.

https://www.famitsu.com/news/202402/22335199.html

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DanielD
DanielD

Unabashed FromSoftware fanboy still learning to take his time with games (and everything else, really). The time he doesn't spend on games is spent on music, books, or occasionally going outside.

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