As if the game wasn't hard enough already, it turns out Elden Ring's toughest boss used to be even tougher.
Dataminers have managed to access version 1.0 of the game - a version that was compiled on 8th October 2021, before the network test was held and before recent patches could be applied.
As detailed on YouTube by Kotn3l (spotted by PC Gamer), the game's most infamous boss, Malenia, used to have slight differences to her moveset that made her even more aggressive.
Kotn3l modded into the game all the old enemy and item placements, the UI, item descriptions, and some AI files to see how version 1.0 would have played.
In particular, Malenia's signature Waterfowl Dance ability has been altered over time. Originally it was not tied to health, meaning it would trigger much more frequently.
Moreover, this older version of the boss has a different version of the move. Kotn3l believes that what we now know as Waterfowl Dance was actually called Malenia's Blade, judging by the sword description, and sees the caster moving "almost too fast for the naked eye as they repeatedly shift position and slash at the enemy".
The older Malenia was able to use both moves interchangeably.
She's also able to block attacks regularly, while in the second phase her bloom explosion is slower and her leaping Aenoia move is more frequent.
"Upon encountering Malenia, her AI was a tiny bit different, unpolished even in this version of the game. The most notable change is that she still has access to her 'old' Waterfowl, which modders have discovered before," says kotn3l in the video description.
Malenia has truly become the icon of the game, thanks to both her high difficulty level and the incredible work of player Let Me Solo Her, who was delivered a sword by publisher Bandai Namco for their efforts in beating her a thousand times.