Yes, clever-clogs, technically we all beat Elden Ring with our brain. But only because it's triggering all those fancy appendages we call fingers. Streamer Perrikaryal, however, only needs the digits for movement: And does everything else with the power of her mind.
Before we get too Psycho Mantis about this, Perrikaryal has a Master's degree in Psychology and, as part of the neuroscience element, picked up an interest in Electroencephalograms (EEG). These devices use electrodes, placed across a user's head, to identify changes in electrical activity. I once used one of these and got nothing, whereupon the cheery demonstrator told me I had "the wrong type of brain."
Perrikaryal, however, has the right type of brain, and has been training to do this for several months: Because EEGs are finicky. "EEG isn't very good at placing where signals are coming from, [but it's] really good at figuring out when they're happening," Perri told our sister site GamesRadar+. "Traditionally, the technology is used to diagnose various brain disorders, like epilepsy, and in neuroscientific research. More directly, however, the signals it picks up are specific enough that they can be mapped to a specific action."
Here she is kicking Rykard's ass with the power of thought (and thumbs).
Elden Ring boss, Rykard, defeated using brain activity for both attacking and using items (healing). What a milestone! This was our first achievement on 2 EEG inputs and now we're one step closer to going totally hands-free by the end of the year. Thanks everyone! pic.twitter.com/KVsPl00uwgFebruary 14, 2023
Since that clip in early February, Perri has been training herself alongside the device to recognise the inputs for attack and heal. She says that "the attacking is imagining pushing something heavy forwards." When the device recognizes an EEG pattern on those lines, Perri's character attacks.
Even just going for those two inputs from the EEG is tricky, however, and depending on the conditions sometimes it won't work at all: No matter how hard the user's trying to imagine pushing something heavy forwards. On such occasions "it feels like your brain is broken," said Perri.
I finally beat Elden Ring using only my mind for everything but movement. Here are some highlights from yesterday's stream. Thanks to everyone for their support, including @emotiv ♥️ I've already started the next project... stay tuned pic.twitter.com/7jwSYJ8unHApril 19, 2023
The concession to be made here is that, yes, Perri obviously still uses her thumbs to move and it looks like dodge-roll at certain points. But next to the achievement I won't grouse about that, not least because she might read it and send out a psychic bolt my way.
Surely, surely, we are now done with beating Elden Ring in absurd and admirable ways. This magisterial game is seen by many as FromSoft's magnum opus, and what have the gamers done? Last week a dude beat the thing with a Bop-It. This streamer strummed Margit to death with an acoustic guitar, another almost unbelievable feat was taking out Malenia at soul level 1 with a goddamn dance pad, and someone's even beaten it using only the butt attack. These bosses can't catch a break: And Perrikaryal says the goal now is to go completely hands-free by the end of the year. Who'd want to be a demigod, eh?