Elden Ring dataminer uncovers unused alternate underground zones tied to cut 'cataclysm' system that would have altered the world map as you progressed

warriors in an arena
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Prolific Elden Ring dataminer Sekiro Dubi has released a long video outlining alternate versions of some of the game's extensive underground areas. These zones seem to tie into a previous iteration of Elden Ring that involved more world map altering "cataclysms" similar to the meteor that strikes Limgrave in the final game.

Elden Ring's vast underground areas like Siofra and Ainsel are some of the coolest parts of the game, presenting twisty side stories among a cross section of the previous civilizations of the Lands Between. Sekiro Dubi's video begins with an alternate version of the Deeproot Depths under Leyndell, where Fia's quest reaches its conclusion in the final game. The data Sekiro Dubi worked with included a rough draft of how the area would have looked on the world map, as well as a WIP mesh of the area that can still be activated in game and explored.

The alternate Deeproot looks like it roughly maps onto the final one, but then has this long chasm stretching to the northeast and culminating in an elevator up to the endgame Consecrated Snowfield area. As Sekiro Dubi points out in the video, this could have been how we originally accessed the Snowfield, or things could have moved in the opposite direction, with Deeproot Depths being discovered via an elevator from the surface⁠—cut dialogue does seem to suggest the former, though.

The other WIP underground zone seems to tie into the cut cataclysm system Sekiro Dubi made a video about last year. At one point in Elden Ring's development, FromSoftware had planned on more world map altering natural disasters like the meteor that strikes after defeating Radahn. Similar to how that meteor opens up a path to Nokron, Eternal City, these cataclysms would have opened up other areas.

The second WIP underground zone maps onto where Moghwyn Palace sits in the final game, directly underneath Starscourge Radahn and across the chasm from Siofra River. The area is a deep, bowl-shaped structure with a twisting path along its sides leading to the bottom. It could very well be an extension of a crater reaching up to the surface, with unused cataclysm data indicating a crater would appear in Starscourge Radahn's expansive boss arena at one point. The very bottom looks big enough to have supported structures and exploration, or it could have served as another large boss arena.

Sekiro Dubi posits that this zone could have tied into the extant boss Astel, who shows up elsewhere in the final game. An unused animation of Astel falling out of the sky like a meteor was found by fellow dataminer Zullie the Witch, and in theory, Astel could have been the meteor that forms the cut Caelid crater, with players then climbing down to fight it as a boss at the bottom of this alternate Moghwyn.

This all certainly makes for a more logical way of reaching Moghwyn (or what would become Moghwyn) than the portal teleportation business in the final game, but like the alternate starting location previously discovered by Sekiro Dubi, logical isn't necessarily better. While frustrating to play through, the final Moghwyn Palace zone makes for a tantalizing mystery you first find while exploring Siofra early in the game, with its full importance only revealed much later on. Moghwyn will also serve as our metro stop for accessing the upcoming Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

The alternate Deeproot Depths, though, really catches my interest: its potential function as a way into Deeproot or the Snowfield (depending on which way you were supposed to enter) would have been a cool way to introduce either area. Similar to Moghwyn, both Deeproot Depths and the Consecrated Snowfield have pretty nonsensical entry points in the final game: Coffin Flop Kayak and a secret elevator hiding a second, even more secret elevator respectively.

But the only Elden Ring cut content I truly lament is the heartbreaking full questline for Merchant Kalé, also uncovered by Sekiro Dubi. Voice Actor Nabil Elouahabi's delivery in this unused performance is phenomenal, and it really ties a neater bow on the Three Fingers subplot than hanging out with Hyetta and feeding her uh, "grapes" like some kind of sicko.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.