Elden Ring is a weird game. It’s been years since I’ve seen players peel away layers of discovery from a game so long after launch. The game has been out for almost a month and we’re still uncovering new surprises and secrets across FromSoftware’s unusual masterpiece.
I watched a video earlier today about ten discoveries not to be missed in the early game and I only knew about half of them. There is so much to this obscure open world epic that I’m convinced we will be tinkering with it for years. Now players have stumbled upon an illusory wall in Volcano Manor that is unlike all others found in the game. For one, it took dozens of strikes to bring down, possessing an amount of health that obstacles like this have never had in a Souls game before. It was awful sus, even for The Lands Between.
It had no audio cues, vanished without any visual flair, and took us to a room hiding absolutely no secrets, a room which could be reached by another, much easier path. While you could define it as a strangely placed shortcut, in a conventional sense it serves no purpose as an illusory wall. So why does it exist?
I personally think it’s a bug, or possibly an intended feature that represents an earlier version of the game where the path we were set to take around Volcano Manor was completely different. The wall itself leads into a vast room filled with named NPCs, and inside the place itself you aren’t allowed to attack or even use equipment because the people inside are deemed too important. This further denotes the importance of such a shortcut, but perhaps there was a time when this room was filled with enemies, the tunnels hiding the illusory wall acting as a way to sneak up on unsuspecting foes from the shadows. It certainly makes a lot of sense.
FromSoftware fans are ravenous, so it wasn’t long until similar walls were uncovered throughout the game world that also required several minutes of attention to take down. But once again they didn’t lead anywhere significant, just into rooms or locations that were easily accessible anyway. No secrets, no loot, and no enemies to speak of. They serve no purpose, and I think that is exactly why we find them so fascinating. Elden Ring is deliberately cryptic in many of its mechanics and questlines, hiding layered discoveries behind hours of exploration and combat. We are used for working in pursuit of such rewards, even if you need a comprehensive guide by your side to avoid a random character being murdered off-screen. Yes, that has happened to me multiple times.
So when we stumble across a wall that takes ages to break down and it simply doesn’t lead anywhere, it has us asking additional questions in the absence of answers. I don’t think this clumsy wall has anything to do with a hidden nugget of lore, it’s merely an artefact of a world so vast that FromSoftware was bound to leave something like this in. Maybe the health values of the wall were rocketed up to such an extent that nobody expected anyone to ever discover this illusory door even existed. But we did, and now we won’t stop talking about it.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire thing is patched out or covered up in a future update given it doesn’t serve much of a purpose, shaving off only a few short seconds given the room you’re taking a shortcut to is only a handful of steps away. Even if this mystery goes unsolved, and it’s little more than a reminder of the iterations Elden Ring went through, I love how excited the community became upon its discovery. Thousands of people banded together and battered the walls down themselves, forming a collective reaction as they tried to figure out if there was something deeper at work. Nah, it’s just a wall.
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