The Elden Ring Tutorial is 2020’s sixth sense

Elden Ring is a tough game. The latest from famed Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro developers FromSoftware, this critical darling isn’t backing down. This isn’t an unfairly hard game (most of the time), but it’s one you need to be careful with – less than complete concentration and you’ll find yourself on a deadly end of a swinging sword and then on a journey to get your lost runes back.

But one area that I didn’t expect to spark discussion is the Elden Ring tutorial. It’s not that this tutorial is difficult – it’s not in the slightest – but it seems a lot of players don’t realize it exists and skip right past it. How is this possible, and is it really a big problem as some are suggesting?

If you haven’t played Elden Ring yet, start with no real information. A big, rather somber intro movie sets the tone, and then it kicks off. Pretty soon a pretty nasty looking enemy appears and his curtains – or at least it was for me after getting hit once and presumably killed. You then enter a new area, and here things seem to go in one of two directions.

Most notable in the scene is a path leading to a glowing tree, some stairs, and a closed door. You can go straight there, open the door and go out into the open world. A lot of people claim to have done this, and I’ve looked at a handful of YouTube playthroughs where people have done just that. You can see the scene in the image below (although it’s a little dark).

Elden Ring hidden tutorial area

However, what also occurs in this scene is a ghost figure slumped in a chair. Before him is a message that reads, “The Cave of Knowledge lies below.” Talk to the ghost and he will encourage you to jump down. As you approach the edge, you will actually see an area below where the tutorial takes place. Jumping down will take you through the basic gameplay mechanics and eventually you’ll face off against a sort of baby-first-steps boss.

I checked this not having started the game yet and saw all the online chats about people missing the tutorial section. So my question is: did you miss the Elden Ring tutorial? For me I will never know if I would have missed it or not. Just as I watched The Sixth Sense after a friend told me the twist, I can only guess what I would have done. I think I would have noticed the pit. I’m a pretty boring gamer and spend ages wandering around to make sure I haven’t missed anything, so I want to think I would have listened to the ghost man and made the jump down.

We have the video at the top of this page. What do you think? Is it too obscure or the perfect way to incorporate a tutorial into a FromSoftware Souls game? I originally thought the online noise was exaggerating it, but having seen it with my own eyes while playing, I can certainly see how it could be overlooked.

As part of the game design, I kinda love it. I still have a long way to go in Elden Ring, but from what I’ve read the whole experience seems built around this principle: do or don’t do the obvious and see where you end up. Both are valid choices. Perhaps a basic tutorial should be more obvious, but you can’t argue that it’s not more interesting than most “look into the light, shoot the target, jump over the barrier” sequences that I’m sure most players will enjoy to bore.

If you’re having trouble with Elden Ring, we have tons of Elden Ring guides on the site, and if you missed the tutorial you can check it out above. It’s by no means all of the game’s systems and mechanics, but it’s definitely worth watching if you’re new to Souls games. The Elden Ring Tutorial is 2020’s sixth sense

Fry Electronics Team

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