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How Elden Ring dominated the headlines in 2022

And now my Fingers ache.

Elden Ring has absolutely dominated the news this year, so much so I've ended up writing 100 news pieces on it alone.

Well, 99 actually. So writing one more in celebration of the best Elden Ring news stories of the year seemed like a fitting way to hit that hundred.

And so below is my ranked list of top 20 favourites. Before that, a big thanks to the rest of the team too for their superb coverage in news, guides, videos, and Aoife's Essential review.

Cover image for YouTube videoELDEN RING | Free Colosseum Update trailer
Elden Ring | Free Colosseum Update trailer

20. Elden Ring will feature poison swamps because Miyazaki loves making them

Ahead of the game's release, there was plenty of speculation about the kinds of areas Elden Ring would include. Poison swamps seemed an obvious choice, and it turns out Miyazaki loves them. They're in every Souls game. But then in the final release he trolled us further and gave us Caelid.

19. Elden Ring has a tutorial problem

For all its glory, Elden Ring (and its predecessors) has been rightly criticised for its lack of accessibility options, despite being more open than before. I, like many players, completely missed the game's tutorial - it's hidden down a hole of all places - and players debated whether this was good or bad. Then FromSoft went and patched it anyway.

18. Boundary breaking video hints at possible Elden Ring DLC

Well this was prophetic. Just over a week after its release, dataminers broke into the game's inaccessible colosseums and found hints at a possible forthcoming multiplayer mode. Nine months later, and that's exactly what we got in DLC.

17. Elden Ring modder cuts Erdtree to improve frame rate

Elden Ring had a few performance problems at launch, especially on PC. Various updates have since made improvements, but one modder took matters into their own hands when - in an effort to boost the frame rate - the Erdtree was entirely removed. You know, the big iconic glowy tree that dominates every vista? What was lost in artistry was gained in playability.

16. Elden Ring speedrunner finishes without dying in just 2.5 hours

This was the story that burst the floodgates. Soon after release, one player managed to speedrun the game in just two and a half hours. The next day someone else did it in under an hour. Then it was half an hour, twenty minutes, 10 minutes... it became impossible to keep up. According to speedrun.com, the record for an Any% Unrestricted run is now just 3m 56s.

15. Elden Ring's fake wall fixed in latest patch

Elden Ring is full of mystery and secrets but one in particular duped the community: the illusory wall in Volcano Manor. After 50 hits it would finally give way only to reveal absolutely nothing of use. FromSoft then patched it a couple of months later, proving it was just a glitch all along.

14. More Elden Ring cut content discovered, this time Vyke's questline

Data miners have discovered tonnes of cut content in the game, from dream collecting to merchant questlines, but this one really took the piss. Sekiro Dubi discovered a cut quest for some guy called Vyke. Who's he? He's only the guy on the cover! That's right, FromSoft had the audacity to put a guy on the cover and then remove his quest entirely.

13. The internet is far too horny for Elden Ring's wolfman Blaidd

Of all the game's characters, who knew that a sexy wolfman would draw in the most thirst? Even Blaidd's voice actor was surprised, noting "he's caused quite a stir in the furry world". And how did that make him feel? "Warm. Aroused. Comforted. And very loved."

Cover image for YouTube videoBlaidd Reacts To Elden Ring Tweets
Blaidd Reacts To Elden Ring Tweets

12. Elden Ring player meets Jesus for holy duel

Before the colosseum DLC, Elden Ring players invaded each other for a multiplayer fix. One player ended up being invaded by Jesus and Satan - two players who had a lot of fun with the character creator. Of course, all hell broke loose.

11. Twitch streamer completes Elden Ring, Sekiro, and Soulsborne games in one no hit run

Completing Elden Ring alone is challenging enough. But what about completing it without getting hit? What about doing that after completing every other Soulsborne game released? Twitch streamer dinossindgeil wasn't the first to complete the God Run 3, as it's known, but it's an incredibly impressive feat.

10. Elden Ring player stumbles on unknown invisible boss

Mods are dangerous. YouTuber MythyMoo found this out the hard way when playing Elden Ring with an item and boss randomiser. Things took a turn when an unknown invisible boss rocked up, somewhat unfairly increasing the considerable challenge of the game but likely the result of a glitch. Still, the streamer spent hours dissecting the game and strategising to eventually win anyway.

Cover image for YouTube videoNew never-before-seen boss in ELDEN RING Enemy Randomizer
New never-before-seen boss in ELDEN RING Enemy Randomiser

9. George R. R. Martin admits he hasn't played Elden Ring as "people seem to want this Winds of Winter book"

After Elden Ring was released, fans speculated as to the extent of Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin's involvement in the game beyond a quick fact sheet of names and lore. Then, by October, it turned out he hadn't even played the game. Apparently he's too busy being an author and writing some much-wanted book or other.

8. Elden Ring players discover underwear cut from final game

More cut content, this time some snazzy underwear. The Deathbed Smalls were unobtainable in the game without cheating, though some lucky players did get their hands on these pearly pants, eventually leading to an update to prevent cheating. Big shout out to Tom for the strap on this one: "A thong of ice and fire" is genius.

7. What would Elden Ring look like as a CRPG?

Elden Ring has inspired plenty of art over the past year, but I'm particularly fond of this CRPG recreation. YouTuber Flurdeh used camera tools to shift the perspective of the game, turning Miyazaki's bleak world into miniature dioramas. It's adorable.

Cover image for YouTube videoTiny Elden Ring | Tilt Shift
Tiny Elden Ring | Tilt Shift

6. What if Elden Ring was a SNES game?

Ok, one more. I'm partial to old JRPGs of the SNES era and this Elden Ring recreation from 64 Bits really hit the nostalgia nerve. A gorgeous pixelated Erdtree, a mode 7 world map, and screen-filling bosses. I need this to be a reality.

Cover image for YouTube video64 Bits - Elden Ring Demake for SNES
64 Bits - Elden Ring Demake for SNES

5. Elden Ring player hides in a bush for three hours to thwart a rune farmer

Some irritating trolls spent time farming runes by hiding in inaccessible areas until invaders got bored and left, instead of just playing the game normally. One player, though, had had enough and trolled the troll by - what else? - hiding in a bush for three hours.

4. Let Me Solo Her receives congratulatory sword from Elden Ring publisher

Elden Ring, like all Soulsborne games, is known for its high difficulty. But one player became a pillar of the community for their services to Tarnished around the world. After single-handedly killing Malenia - the game's most infamous boss - a thousand times on behalf of other struggling players, Bandai Namco gifted them a sword in thanks. Absolutely deserved.

3. Elden Ring boss beaten with an actual banana

A dance mat. A harp. A Fisher Price controller. Elden Ring fans have found a whole host of creative ways to control the game. But the award for most bizarre controller surely goes to Super Louis 64 who hooked up an actual bunch of bananas to play the game and managed to beat the first major boss without slipping up.

2. Elden Ring's pacifist turtle pope wins modded battle royale

Who would win in an Elden Ring boss battle royale? That's what YouTuber BjornTheBear decided to find out, by modding all the creatures from the game into one epic battle. And the winner? The pacifist pope turtle of course, who remained still and won by default without lifting a limb. Praise the dog!

Cover image for YouTube videoThe ULTIMATE Battle Royale of Animals - Elden Ring
The ULTIMATE Battle Royale of Animals - Elden Ring

1. I bought Elden Ring runes on eBay so you don't have to

Runes are the main currency in Elden Ring, allowing players to level up their skills, purchase items, and more. Rune farming became a big deal, then, as players sought shortcuts to glory. The biggest shortcut of all, though, was buying runes on eBay from other players with actual money. I went undercover and did just that, purchasing 2m runes on the black market. It was like meeting a drug dealer. I felt dirty. I quickly deleted my save file. Was it worth it? No, except to bring you all this investigative report.