You'd be forgiven for thinking this gorgeously-animated Elden Ring lore video was official

Fanart from a VaatiVidya video depicting two characters from Elden Ring locked in battle.
(Image credit: From Software / VaatiVidya, art by John Devlin)

I've watched VaatiVidya—an old sage of the Souls games lore community—for years, ever since his first "Prepare To Cry" video in 2013. Granted, it's been a while since I've sunk into his dulcet tones. I saw a Youtube notification pointing me in the direction of his latest video, and I decided to see what he was up to. 

What I didn't anticipate, however, was four minutes of gorgeously illustrated, animated artwork proceeding his narration tones over tasteful gameplay footage. The production value on display is absurd—you'd be forgiven for thinking it was official.

The video, titled: "An Elden Ring Movie: Age of the Stars", sets out the tale of Ranni the Witch and her companion, Blaidd the Wolf. It also touches on everyone's favourite egg lover Rennala (Ranni's mother), her ex-husband Radagon, and her other child, Radahn—yeah, the one who turns himself into a meteor and flattens you.

The art was created by John Devlin and animated by Xavier Lesieu, with custom music from Arcane Bard Audio. What's astounding me is that this isn't even the first time VaatiVidya's pulled this off—two of his other "Elden Ring Movie'' videos, Age of the Duskborn and The Blessing of Despair, feature similar storybook openings with their own custom art and animation.

The video itself distils Elden Ring's obscure narrative into a linear narrative, with artwork that looks like it should be part of some absurdly-expensive collector's item somewhere. It carries on the Souls community's tradition of untangling From Software's compelling narratives, usually buried in item descriptions, and boiling them down to their raw essence.

These videos are staggering reminders of how dedicated the community is to these games and their worlds—both on the side of creating lore videos like this, as well as supporting creators via Patreon subscriptions and the like.

I myself love sinking into the ambience of these worlds, but there comes a point where my memory fails me, and I'm not quite the kind of gamer to break out the mystery corkboard. So to have these tales I've only experienced piecemeal laid out in a digestible form is a huge boon, and it's keeping me from turning hollow during the long wait for Elden Ring's upcoming DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.