Shadow of the Erdtree trailer: Elden Ring’s 15 Secret Details! Best of InfoGinie:

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This morning, Bandai Namco shocked fans worldwide by releasing the trailer for the eagerly awaited Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

In addition to being able to see the teaser ahead of time, which verified that the DLC will be released on June 21, I had the good fortune to have a conversation with Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of Elden Ring.

Shadow of the Erdtree

We talk about the specifics of Shadow of the Erdtree, some of Elden Ring’s more audacious decisions, his ideas on maybe stepping aside from the director role in the future, and the status of the industry and how it pertains to FromSoftware during the interview.

Read on for the full interview below, and make sure to check down our complete breakdown of the Shadow of the Erdtree trailer!

Can you set the stage for us with Shadow of the Erdtree? Where is it taking place? And can you speak kind of generally regarding what the story is going to be about? Shadow of the Erdtree
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Director Hidetaka Miyazaki: To begin with, Shadow of the Erdtree takes place in a whole new land. It is an entirely new map that is not part of the Lands Between. Unlike the Erdtree in the Lands Between, this territory is overshadowed by the specific Shadow of the Erdtree. And once more, everything happens on a completely different, geographically distinct map. So, to get there, there will be a sort of warp.
It theoretically exists in the same universe as the Lands Between in terms of concepts and setting. You will travel to the Shadow of the Erdtree land as a separate location because this has become physically isolated owing to a story-related issue that we won’t discuss today.

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The player will thus travel to this Land of Shadow in order to follow in Miquella’s footsteps. Miquella plays a significant role in this plot, as many gamers who viewed the previously leaked art may have surmised. It is true that Miquella is the one who entered the Land of Shadow; the players will be tracking him and going where he goes in an attempt to discover what he does there. The actions of Queen Marika in the Land of Shadow and the reasons Miquella followed her there make up another plot point.

Speaking of this new land that we’re traveling to, how is it structured? Is it structured in very much the same way as the Lands Between, where there are legacy dungeons and minor dungeons? Can you describe a little bit about how the world is going to be compared to the base game? Shadow of the Erdtree
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Miyazaki: Alright. We believe that the experience players get will be comparable to that of the original game. As you mentioned, this will be organized similarly, with open field maps, large-scale legacy dungeons, and small- to medium-sized legacies. It is our aim that throughout the entire structure, gamers will experience a similar sense of vastness and adventure.

Can you approximate the size of the world compared to the world in the base game? Shadow of the Erdtree
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Miyazaki: Hard to say without giving too much away and being extremely accurate, but if you compare it to the area of Limgrave from the main game, it’s probably about the same size, if not more.

So, you mentioned Miquella earlier, and that’s a character that I know fans have had a lot of questions about. Is there anything specifically you can tell us about the role this character will play in the DLC? And I know the trailer opens with a shot of Mohg’s boss arena, with the hand hanging out of the cocoon. Will we learn about what Mohg did to him? Shadow of the Erdtree
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Miyazaki: Alright. The point of entry to the Land of Shadow, where players will enter the DLC region, is really the cocoon and arm you saw at the beginning of the trailer. Furthermore, Miquella is somewhat related to this.

And Miquella has been to the Land of Shadow, as we have mentioned. We don’t want to give too much away, but he does have some motivation and some goals there. However, the player will essentially be treading in their footsteps in the same manner that they did when they followed the Sites of Grace in the Lands Between and the blessings from the Grace. These will lead them across the Land of Shadow and make that motivation clear to them since they will be walking in Miquella’s footsteps.

The cocoon and arm you saw at the beginning of the trailer – this is actually the point of entry to the Land of Shadow where the players will enter to the DLC area! Shadow of the Erdtree
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Naturally, there are other people who are also interested in Miquella besides the player. Numerous people and non-player characters have been trailing Miquella in the universe. We also hope that the player will come across them when traveling across the Land of Shadow, where they will meet new foes and allies.

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There were a lot of striking bosses and enemies that were revealed in this trailer, and I was wondering if we could just go through a handful of them one by one and you can either explain who or what they are, tell us an anecdote about their design, or anything you want. And I’m going to do my best to describe them because I don’t know the names of them. First off, there’s like… a giant basket of flaming kindling. Shadow of the Erdtree

Miyazaki: Alright. Thus, as you so beautifully stated, Mitchell, this enormous basket of flame was a horrendous weapon you employed in a fight that essentially took place in the Land of Shadow. Again, to avoid spoiling the surprise, we cannot officially reveal the identity of the weapon used, although it was extremely gory. Furthermore, the kindling you see is actually the bones of people who were placed inside to burn. And there’s that amiable man.

And then there’s an absolutely terrifying worm with arms that eats people whole. Shadow of the Erdtree

Miyazaki: I hope you can see that discussing some of these foes without giving anything away is difficult. However, there is a very important link between the Land of Shadow and these foes as they are.

Okay. I’m just going to skip to the last one, if it’s okay. But what can you tell me about the man in red with snakes and flames that’s kind of like the focal point of this DLC trailer. Shadow of the Erdtree
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Miyazaki: It’s possible to talk briefly about this character. This is a crucial character in this DLC, as you claim. By the time the trailer launches, we think it will be official that he is Messmer. Indeed, he plays a pivotal role in the DLC, and he possesses that crucial aspect of darkness once more—a motif that runs throughout the DLC.

Additionally, as you may have seen at the conclusion of the teaser, there was a piece of key art showing Messmer sitting in what appears to be a throne-like chair. Gamers who have completed the game may recognize this chair as one of the ones from the boss room where you fight Morgott. Furthermore, this stands in for the thrones at the Erdtree’s base. It is also meant to represent Messmer’s equality with these other demigods and Marika’s offspring, who occupied the Erdtree rooms and sat on these thrones.

He therefore rivals these other demigods in importance. You will also discover some of the reasons behind his exclusion from the Erdtree, the countries between, legends as you progress through the DLC. You will understand why he is here, in this country of shadows.

Switching gears for a second. One of the big news points I think of Elden Ring was that the scenario was written by George R. R. Martin. Did he have any kind of role in the planning of Shadow of the Erdtree? And if so, just out of curiosity, have you talked to him since the game has come out and has he had any kind of reaction to the outstanding success of the game? Shadow of the Erdtree
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Miyazaki: The integration of George Martin’s plot is identical to that of the Elden Ring base game. We just want to be clear that he hasn’t authored anything specifically new for this DLC in order to prevent any misunderstandings.

However, it would still be accurate to state that he and the mythos he developed for us played a similar role in the development of Shadow of the Erdtree. And the reason for that is that, while creating Elden Ring and the base game, we borrowed from that mythos, if only partially. The Shadow of the Erdtree is yet another aspect of the original mythos that he authored and that has inspired us to build the story of this DLC. We drew from a section that established the story of Elden Ring and constructed the world that we wanted to picture.

Regarding your second inquiry, Mr. Martin and I have sadly not been able to meet and speak in person, but we have at least corresponded via email since the publication of Elden Ring. Since the game’s release, I’ve wanted to talk to him again and maybe express our excitement with it, but he’s been so busy that we haven’t had the opportunity yet. I will, however, continue to search for a chance.

It’s been two years now since Elden Ring has launched, and much of the hardcore audience have already found the best gear, they fought the hardest bosses, and they’re at such high levels that I imagine it must be difficult to come up with content that can provide a challenge for those hardcore fans without making it too hard for some of the more casual Elden Ring players. So with all that said, how do you approach difficulty with a DLC such as this? Shadow of the Erdtree
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Miyazaki: Of course, we still view difficulties generally in the same way—that is, as Elden Ring. Our goal is to design a demanding experience that puts gamers to the test and, when they overcome these obstacles, leaves them with a sense of fulfillment and success. We do, however, want to emphasize that these interactions nevertheless provide for a degree of approach freedom and strategic breadth.

And it applies to how you approach them as well—whether you want to tackle these obstacles head-on or revisit them later to avoid them altogether and choose a different route, returning when you’re ready. Shadow of the Erdtree adopts the same mindset. Again, for our more dedicated players, there are optional monsters that are not essential. monsters like Malenia, whom you probably know from the main game, have been tweaked in a similar manner.

Oh, God.

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Miyazaki: Yes, you may recall her. They are an optional bonus to help challenge for those who feel so motivated, but they are not necessary to finish the DLC.
Having said that, we feel that this is a place where we’ve given careful attention, delivering that same degree of challenge and freedom, even though there may not be another boss quite on the same level as Malenia. We also hope that players can grow and develop in the Land of Shadow just as they did in the places between.

In fact, I would like to make that right. Not because it’s only a lower level than Malenia, but because we’ve designed bosses in the DLC region with a similar philosophy, they should challenge the player and leave them with a lasting impression, much like Malenia did.

Final question on the topic of Shadow of the Erdtree, but do you envision this as the end of Elden Ring’s story or is there room for either more DLC or in Elden Ring 2 down the line? Shadow of the Erdtree
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Miyazaki: For the time being, we don’t want to declare that the Elden Ring saga is over. We may have made a similar statement at the conclusion of Dark Souls 3. At that point, we didn’t want to squash those possibilities or put a stop to them. And Elden Ring’s story is much the same. We don’t wish to rule out the possibility of it. In the future, there might be more concepts.
Although we don’t currently have any intentions to create a sequel or more DLC, we really don’t want to rule out the potential. We believe that something may occur in the future.

And lastly, the state of the game industry right now is pretty rough. There’s a lot of layoffs, studio closures… the PS5 apparently is already in the latter stage of its lifecycle. Has the landscape of the industry changed your outlook at all on From Software’s future? Shadow of the Erdtree

Miyazaki: Indeed. I am aware of the terrifying circumstances the video game industry is currently facing. Speaking of all those things that are going on, such as studio closures and layoffs, I believe it’s hard for me to pinpoint the precise situation there. I won’t go into detail about those.

In my capacity as a representative of FromSoftware, let me say that we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have a large number of talented young developers who have matured and developed within the studio to the point where they are able to lead projects like the most recent Armored Core VI. We are able to assign these tasks to a number of these talented directors, and we are able to work on various projects concurrently.

In this environment, I imagine a FromSoftware where other people, than just myself, may direct games, at least for us. In light of that difficulty and the current state of the gaming business, I believe that this is an excellent moment for us to keep developing, nurturing this talent, and releasing these games for as long as we can.

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