It's only been a little bit over a year since Elden Ring came out, but so much of it is already seared into my brain. Much like leaving the sewers in Oblivion for the first time and greeting Cyrodil, that first glimpse of Limgrave is an iconic gaming moment, but at some point in development it wasn't Limgrave at all, but apparently "Tenebrae."
Dataminer Sekiro Dubi's latest video focuses on an in-progress vision of Limgrave hinted at by files left over from Elden Ring's development, one where familiar characters like Nepheli and Blaidd are replaced with newcomers or characters pulled from other parts of the game. The main focus of this video is Guilbert, a hybrid of Bloody Finger Hunter Yurah and Witch Hunter Jerren from the finished game.
Sekiro Dubi's research into Elden Ring's files shows the skeletal remains of Guilbert's questline, which by their reckoning was cut before the Network Test of Elden Ring at the end of 2021. Guilbert shares Witch Hunter Jerren's weapon and Eccentric armor set, but has voice lines recorded by Yurah's actor, and his scripting had him hanging out at Yurah's location from the finished game.
Guilbert was to be a servant of the "God of Vengeance," and would have teamed up with you to fight Crucible Knight Ordovis, a boss in the final game who, in this build, would have been found where you fight Darriwil with Blaidd in the release version. Guilbert then would have been a summon for the fight against Godrick alongside Vyke, an endgame boss and the guy on Elden Ring's box art—in the final game, Vyke is a mid-game invader, end-game boss, and otherwise a ghostly presence haunting some item descriptions, but at some point in development he seems to have had a full-on NPC questline. Guilbert also would have attacked you as an invader if you killed members of a trio of Traveling Merchants, pursuing vengeance for their surviving kin.
In following Guilbert, Sekiro Dubi touches on various ways Limgrave changed over development, with its original (and unexplained) moniker of Tenebrae just really sticking out to me—it just doesn't feel right! In the real world, "Tenebrae" is a Christian religious service leading up to Easter Sunday, one I had literally never heard of before despite thirteen years of Catholic school, go figure. Sekiro Dubi also shows off how Stormhill Shack once functioned as a minor hub for familiar NPCs like Roderika, but also drastically repositioned ones like Hewg, and previous work by dataminer Lance McDonald positioned the dreaming monk Jiko there as well.
Guilbert's quest looks to have been planned to extend beyond Limgrave—he shared his lookalike Jerren's affinity for General Radahn, and mentioned hunting down Malenia in cut dialogue. It's unclear as yet whether any remnant of those later stages remains in the game's files. It's interesting to see the way FromSoft reshuffles and recontextualizes its NPCs, even scrapping them altogether, and at a late enough stage to have recorded voice overs in the case of Guilbert. I also love how surreal it is to see these familiar characters behaving in such unfamiliar ways. I'm quite happy with the Elden Ring we got though, barring the exclusion of Kalé's phenomenal cut questline, which Sekiro Dubi previously covered in another video.