Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Story Trailer Premier Reveals Details of Miquella, Messmer

Today’s trailer for the Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree was announced only three hours before its premiere, via Twitter. It illuminated more about exactly what Miquella is doing in the Erdtree’s shadow, who Messmer is, what their flame is, and what the heck the Tarnished are supposed to do about it.

The story trailer starts by talking about a war in the shadow of the Erdtree, with a tyrant Messmer setting a lot of stuff on fire — the trailer speaks of “the tyranny of Messmer’s flame”. It seems to be literally flames, but there is almost assuredly a magical element to it as well. Miquella apparently abandoned his godlike powers — and even his fate — to go to the shadow of the Erdtree because of these events. The player is called to follow Miquella into the shadow, presumably to do something about Messmer and his flame.

It’s a surprising turn of events. Usually, FromSoft neglects to show off much of their games before they release them — perhaps publisher Bandai Namco is insisting these days. Additionally, the story of the Soulsborne games tend to be incredibly opaque, so having a trailer specifically to show more of the story is very out of character for FromSoft. Yet two of their recent titles — Sekiro and Armored Core 6 — both had very clearly defined plots, so this may mark a larger shift in the storytelling style of FromSoft.

Hopefully, this doesn’t mean FromSoft stops telling weird stories that are impossible to follow without item description scholarship. It’s their signature style; the Japanese developers moving away from their old ways to appeal to a wider fanbase is an unpleasant thought. Indeed, Elden Ring’s story, co-written by George R.R. Martin, is notably easier to follow than previous Soulsborne titles.

No need to dwell on what may not come to pass — we’ve got a DLC to be hyped for! And at least we can be sure the combat will still be fun for a few more games, even if the intentionally vague narratives go away. Shadow of the Erdtree is set to drop Friday, June 21, 2024.

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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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