If you’ve played any of the From Software action/RPG titles from Souls to Bloodborne, chances are you’re used to coming face to face with an area where the environment itself can feel like an encounter with a large boss. These oppressive poisonous swamplands have made their way into the Valley of Defilement all the way back to Demon’s Souls, but have continued to plague players to varying degrees through the infamous Blighttown to other poisonous pits, caves and mud. In a conversation with game director Hidetaka Miyazaki of Elden Ring, he says that in this game he rekindled his love for creating these horrific environments.
“In terms of how the player feels when they come across this area, that’s a different story,” Miyazaki says. “But while making the game, I rediscovered my love for making poison swamps. I know what people think about them, but you know, suddenly I realize I’m making one and I just can’t help it. It just happens.”
And it will happen in Elden Ring, where players will once again battle challenging environments alongside titanic bosses. In the past, players have dealt with poison and poison, with toxic being a more virulent and deadly version of the standard poison that often continues to charge the player until he dies. Elden Ring is bigger everywhere though, and there could be even worse status effects here as part of the Poison Swamp Pack.
“In terms of the story and setting of Elden Ring, there’s something very horrific that exists and lasts in this world,” Miyazaki says. “I’ll go ahead and say the name, so it’s something you can look forward to, it’s called the Scarlet Rot. This is something a little bit unrelated to poison or toxicity, but I hope you’re looking forward to it.”
In fact, Elden Ring introduces a new condition that players have to contend with, known as the Scarlet Rot. lIt’s unknown if players can get the Scarlet Rot, but in my playing time with the game it’s been referenced several times, meaning there’s probably a whole poisonous swamp zone to splash around in. Putting together some of the pieces from the extended demo session also makes one think that this Scarlet Rot might be the reason so many of our characters wear masks and facial decorations to hide the ravages of this potential disease.
We’ll have to see when the game comes out on February 25, but I’ll tell you this: the more Miyazaki enjoys creating a poison swamp area, the more we should probably worry about going through it. Hopefully Torrent will get us through it, but don’t count on our mounted companion to be of any help to all the inner areas tinged by the Scarlet Rot.