With 9 days until release, the Elden Ring subreddit is trying very hard not to die

Elden Ring gameplay preview video
(Image credit: FromSoftware)
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In the runup to the game's release, FromSoftware is gradually revealing more of Elden Ring's world, showing off the classes, and wheeling out Hidetaka Miyazaki for interviews. People are playing this thing, somewhere in the world, right now. Elden Ring is not a dream, it is actually happening.

If that feels a bit like I'm over-egging it, well I am: But for the Elden Ring obsessives this has been such a long time coming. The game was announced at E3 2019, but then went completely dark until June 2021. A small amount of time in the grand scheme of things, but a stretch that had the subreddit going bananas over a single tweet that gave them hope (opens in new tab).

When the game 'leaked', in absolute potato quality, there was even a slight disappointment that Elden Ring was no longer just in the domain of pure imaginative fantasy (opens in new tab). When the actual trailer dropped, it was reduced to inarticulate shouting (opens in new tab).

It has been a long time for these folks. And of course in the runup to release, the subreddit is seeing an influx of new players to this domain of grizzled hype veterans. As Camping Obsessive puts it (opens in new tab): "When you see an r/Eldenring newbie discussing the 'age of hollowing'..."

Elden Ring meme.

(Image credit: Reddit)

This article was inspired after I saw a screenshot of the Elden Ring subreddit doing the rounds on Twitter. It's a more self-aware and amusing post than some give it credit for, written by Old_Wet_Hole (choose your usernames carefully, kids), and is titled: Is anyone else having genuine anxiety about dying before elden ring comes out? The text reads: "I drank two cups of coffee this morning, my heart fluttered a bit and my first thought was "Oh God please no, not before Elden Ring." I am 28 years old. I feel ridiculous."

That is ridiculous, but it's also completely relatable. We do look forward to things like this with such excitement that it can seem to dwarf everything else in life for a while, and you do occasionally have these daft half-thoughts while Actually Serious Stuff is happening. As JunkMatt says in the replies, "I realized how fucked my brain was today while I was thinking about the Ukraine conflict (as you do) and my first thought was "what if Russia invades and Elden Ring gets delayed" my brain is broken."

I've been watching all this stuff about the classes, and feel exactly the same way that GWUN- does.

Elden Ring meme.

(Image credit: Reddit)

Patrick Bateman is a generally popular choice for memes, but he does quite suit Elden Ring. Environmental-Tea262's effort (opens in new tab) is particularly excellent, almost impossible to read it without hearing Bale's delivery:

Elden Ring meme.

(Image credit: Reddit)

The self-deprecating humour is what I enjoy about my fellow Souls obsessives. Yes, we're all-in on these games and yes, we know it can look a bit daft when we're arguing the toss over some bog monster's role in a empire's collapse. Thing is: It's worth every minute. Even if, by playing the game, you have to spoil it for yourself.

The PC requirements have come in for some amused reaction. I don't really get the Michael Zaki thing but I'll put it down to Eltruzz's (opens in new tab) youth humour.

An Elden Ring meme featuring Miyazaki.

(Image credit: Reddit)

The joke is: They were higher than folks expected. I'm lucky enough that it should run decently, but it must be agonising if your hardware is just on the cusp: the Elden Ring's subreddit's reaction as whole is encapsulated here.

Elden Ring meme.

(Image credit: Reddit)

NoteBlock08 (opens in new tab) feels the dilemma acutely.

Elden Ring meme.

(Image credit: Reddit)

Meanwhile Bongio (opens in new tab) shares the thought that all Tarnished have when their significant other asks if we've any plans for next weekend.

Tom Cruise laughing at the thought of doing anything but playing Elden Ring.

(Image credit: Bongio79)

As they say: Family first.

Aside from all the jokes, there's the occasional reminder that this fan community boasts some excellent artists, and I liked this drawing of Fromsoft protagonists themselves waiting on release.

The Dark Souls 2 guy having a wee is a great touch.

The imminent arrival of the object of this subreddit's adoration is a funny old time to be there: These places over time become familiar haunts, with their own big personalities and in-jokes, and a great sense of camaraderie builds around the shared passion for a much-anticipated game. It can almost feel a little melancholy at times though then again, as PixelatedCatMom puts it:

PIPPIN: I didn't think it would end this way.

GANDALF: End? No, the memes doesn't end here. Elden Ring is just another game, one that we all must play. The grey rain-curtain of this hollowing rolls back, and all turns to the game's opening cinematic, and then you see it.

PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?

GANDALF: Best game of all time, and beyond... so much content and memes it will last for decades to come.

PIPPIN: Well, that isn't so bad.

GANDALF: No. No, it isn't.

Elden Ring releases March 25. Seriously.

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Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."