A little more than a week passed before someone completed a speedrun of Elden Ring. But the competition to see who might achieve the fastest time had just begun. The very first time that a speedrun was timed, it came in at little under two hours and fifty minutes. After another two days, the game was finished in a little under an hour. As soon as a time was recorded, it was immediately surpassed by another time. By the month of April, the task had been completed in fewer than ten minutes.
My interest in speedrunning a game like Elden Ring, which features an expansive environment that is deliciously depressing, has never been very strong. I am a diligent player. I prefer to take my time and savour each gloomy discovery and terrifying foe, rather than rush through them. I decided to play by my own rules, which included completing each section of the map before going on to the next one and delaying my entry into the dreadfully fragrant Caelid until I had investigated every nook and cranny of the Raya Lucaria Academy.
But Elden Ring has been a source of motivation for players all throughout the year, with a whole string of imaginative and unusual methods to play other than speedrunning.
Consider the community hero Let Me Solo Her, who has single-handedly vanquished the most feared boss in the game, Malenia, on a thousand different occasions on behalf of players who had previously failed. When so many people were having trouble with the difficulty of FromSoftware’s games, one player absorbed everyone’s unhappiness and carried it on their shoulders. The publisher, Bandai Namco, even presented them with a sword as a token of their appreciation for their work.
Other players assumed control of the game and moved on to the next level. A single streamer managed to finish the game with only one hand, defeating all of the bosses without having to level up her character. She then repeated the entire thing while using a dance pad, as if the first time hadn’t been spectacular enough. After that, she simultaneously toyed with her hands and feet.