Without internet, guides and with courtyards full of impossible urban legends, playing souls saga and other similar games would be completely different.
Many players don’t play elden ring for your fight, for your challenge or for achieving all the achievements. We do it for tradition, for putting together the story of the Middle Lands and solving the puzzle that Hidetaka Miyazaki left there for us. I really enjoyed doing this for write The Secrets of the Middle Landsand there are still, to this day, many SinLuz dedicated to this holy mission.
But doing it in 2023 is not the same as in 1990. Knowledge seekers have organized themselves into virtual communities, we get to know each other on Twitter, we share theories, wikis are created and a certain common consensus is reached among all of us . If you doubt something, look it up on the Internet and you can find out if you have something else to find or not. That, 20 years ago, was not possible.
So that you understand how we lived then, I have to put Final Fantasy VII for example. In the late 90’s the Internet was a very primitive tool, there were hardly any people creating content and it took forever to find any data. all the youth of the time we were playing Final Fantasy VII like sick. For us, his world was open, huge and endless possibilities. There was no way to confirm that there weren’t more secrets to reveal, and that led to us playing it over and over again and trying impossible things.
In the 90s there was no information on the internet, just playgrounds and urban legends
Without going into too many spoilers, there is a death in this game, but the title suggested that there was a possibility to resurrect that character. Furthermore, there were also people who claimed that Sephiroth could be cloned, how? Was it true? It was a lie? In reality, we didn’t care that it was. We wanted to play and repeat, we needed an excuse to do this, and this mystery was the best of all. that is, the misinformation made before video games something very special. In 2023 it is already impossible not to know everything about everything. Achievements and trophies let us know when there’s nothing else to do. Guides written on the Internet guarantee this and social networks do the rest. We no longer play to find out, we play to confirm. I even googled what I missed when killing the final bosses. This was something previously unthinkable.
That’s why, Imagine playing Elden Ring in 1997. I know that now you must be thinking that anyone could do it, that it would be enough to disconnect from the world and that’s it. But it’s not just about that. It’s about you going to the schoolyard or the bar, sitting with your friends and sharing your virgin knowledge, without interference and only based on what that you found.
It’s about someone from that gang meeting someone from another and giving them new information. It’s about you meeting up at someone’s house with a few beers to see if it’s true or not. That was playing in the late nineties. AND Elden Ring is a perfect game encourage this type of experience, as it is full of enigmas, mysteries and surprising journeys.
If we had played this in the 90s, we would have gone crazy trying to get out of the Midlands by sea to get to the country the Lightless were banished to, or where Rykard found Tanith. We believed it was possible, as there are areas in the game where we can see mountains beyond our borders, and these sites are mentioned in the game.
If Elden Ring was released in the ’90s, we’d never know if we’ve seen it all
Urban legends would also appear that would assure us that it would be possible to see, know and get to know some of the many gods that are mentioned in Elden Ring. I bet anyone would say that Fia not only takes you to meet the Prince of Death, but also to the Night God himself! And let’s not talk about all the locked doors one would swear to have opened under certain conditions.
If we played this in the 90’s we would have gone crazy
Because the secrets of the Elden Ring aren’t just going to one place or another, but performing very specific actions in a very specific order. It’s as if Hidetaka Miyazaki himself missed those years too and wanted to infuse mystery into his games so that we feel something similar to what it was then. When we arrive in their worlds we don’t know anything about them, everything is horrible, difficult and very confusing. And it’s only by practicing and talking to the community that we find out; but imagine if this community did not exist.
Think of the face on the face of the first person who guessed how to activate Ranni’s quest to descend into the depths of the world. The expression of surprise from those who managed to travel to Mohg through Varré would be insane, and we wouldn’t even know if the endings we know are all! We would spend centuries traversing the Midlands in search of new caves, new mysteries, new challenges, castles and ruins.
And Elden Ring is very cute at poking, teasing, and motivating the player to do just that. I was able to play Elden Ring for a while before it was released and its secrets were revealed. When I reached the area of the four bell towers, and traveled through its gates to those exaggerated previews of Farum Azula or Nokrom, I went crazy. The game was teasing me to discover them! He was telling me, openly, that there was so much more, under my feet and above them. But now we’ve gotten on the internet, and with a couple of searches, we’ve figured out how to access them without any problems. Before, that meant months of work, fun and pleasure.
Are there still mysteries to solve in Elden Ring?
Sometimes he lays me down on the sofa, I open a really cool 1906 and I start thinking about how those feelings could be transferred to the present. How can we avoid the scourge of guides and information overload? How can we play like the 90’s? And the only solution I can think of goes hand in hand with procedural design. I fell ancient ring characters do not appear in the same place for all players, if the steps to follow for your quests vary, if the caves are not in the same place for you and me, or if chests are obtained by random items and equipment, the general mystery of the game would be expanded
Of course, that would be a horrible mess for game design purposes. In addition, it would also spoil those moments of meeting with friends to share discoveries. However, and despite everything, Elden Ring remains the closest experience of living those years. There’s still a lot of information to extract about characters that are only mentioned, but the problem is that before you weren’t just chasing that when you replayed the game, but so much more.
For you to understand this, remember that time someone said who located a secret door in NieR: Automata which opened onto a small chapel. It’s those crazy, mysterious, bewildering secrets that we yearn to discover. And we don’t care one bit about finding them, just about having an excuse to chase them non-stop. The dream of its existence was what moved us. We didn’t want to achieve any goals, just enjoy the journey.
That’s why figures like Yoko Taro or Hideo Kojima are so interesting. Because they are authors that we know are capable of hiding secrets that have not yet been discovered in their games. And maybe that’s the only way this 90’s spirit can survive. That Kojima releases his new video game and declares, “there are five secrets that no one will ever be able to discover. I encourage you to find them.” And they really don’t exist.
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