Elden Ring Finally Explains What the Tarnished Are
The hype around FromSoftware’s upcoming semi-open-world soulslike Elden Ring is reaching incredible heights, and a recent update to the official Elden Ring website may fan the flames even higher. This update adds some fascinating new lore to the list of what we know about Elden Ring so far, including a description of what the Tarnished actually are. Yes, this means we get to know who it is we’re playing as.
Unsurprisingly, it appears our player character will be able to return from the dead after perishing in combat, but the Tarnished appears to be more than an undead victim of a hideous curse.
They are an outcast, descended from exiles driven out from The Lands Between, come back to claim the Elden Ring that legends promised them. Needless to say, it’s not going to be an easy quest.
It appears that Elden Ring’s storyline will be largely determined by the player’s decisions. If you choose to prioritize battling the demigods who hoard the shattered fragments of the Elden Ring, events will play out differently than they will if you choose to help out the surviving inhabitants of The Land Between and try to understand how this tragedy occurred in the first place.
The choice between seeking power and seeking understanding is specifically referenced on the site, as is the ability to build your character as you see fit. Players will be able to choose between dozens of skills, accomplish goals through stealth as well as combat, master the arcane arts of spellcasting or call on the support of their fellow Tarnished, and much more.
The website also goes into some detail about mounted combat and the ability to summon familiar spirits to fight at your side, both of which sound amazing. We don’t know everything about the game’s plot, but George R.R. Martin’s involvement and some specific word choice on the site suggest that the history of The Lands Between was bloody and turbulent even before the Shattering. It appears that delving into that history will be optional for players, but probably very rewarding in terms of story.
Elden Ring will be released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on January 21, 2022.