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64bitgamer » I Accomplished Elden Ring Utilizing Solely Objects

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I don’t usually do problem runs in video games. Up till now, probably the most tough issues I’ve achieved in solo video video games have been finishing Thief Gold on Skilled Issue, a No Alerts/No Kills run of Steel Gear Strong 3: Snake Eater, and a No Alerts run of Dishonored. All of those are stealth video games, that are my typical wheelhouse, and my penchant for skulking round drove my want to play them with additional restrictions that inspired the core stealth gameplay in every title. It’s ironic, then, that the one From Software program title within the wake of Demon’s Souls which I haven’t performed is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice; you realize, the one which has extra targeted stealth mechanics? Whereas I’ve performed all of the Souls-era Fromsoft video games a minimum of as soon as, and have achieved a number of playthroughs of about half of them (notably Bloodborne), I by no means felt compelled to do one thing like a “Soul Stage 1 Problem.” I get pleasure from these video games quite a bit, however that enjoyment is centered across the immersive environment and moment-to-moment gameplay they supply. They by no means sparked that drive to surmount any sort of problem run or restrictive playstyle.

Till I performed Elden Ring.

(Spoiler Warning: this text mentions each necessary boss in Elden Ring.)

As I got here to grips with all of the intriguing modifications delivered to the Souls system, what caught my consideration most was the plethora of offensive objects, a lot of which might be crafted. A lot of my early game expertise concerned liberal use of things just like the Poisonbone Darts, Bone Darts, and Throwing Daggers. Their use case was so versatile that even hours after I had changed them in my package with bestial magic, I nonetheless discovered myself occupied with how useful they’d be for this case or in opposition to that enemy. As I acquired particular objects like Ritual Pots, Fragrance Bottles, the Ancestral Toddler’s Head, and extra, I couldn’t assist however marvel if it could be potential to finish the complete game solely utilizing objects.

My first playthrough had a small quantity of bestial incantations, however I principally performed as a twin greatsword-wielding berserker knight. This was a enjoyable playstyle, albeit with some drawbacks. I had heard from a number of buddies that extra heavy funding in magic and bleed builds made quick work of a number of Elden Ring encounters that I struggled with on my preliminary character. Whereas I used to be keen on diving into these sorts of builds in later playthroughs, all of the distinctive and compelling objects within the game pushed me towards a singular want to attempt one thing fully out of left discipline.

This led to an thought for an “Objects Solely” Elden Ring playthrough and what I might finally discuss with because the “Chemist Run” to my buddies. Why “Chemist”? It’s a nod to the job in Last Fantasy Ways which revolves round utilizing objects in battle. Chemists in that game aren’t terribly nice in fight, they usually work extra as early-game healers and help items, however objects have been a ubiquitous side of RPGs since time immemorial, and the Chemist was created to focus round this one aspect. In a typical RPG any character or unit can use objects, however in Last Fantasy Ways, solely items who’ve had expertise because the Chemist job can make use of the Use Objects command. Mix this with the truth that a number of of the Perfumer enemies present in Elden Ring each put on apparel paying homage to the Last Fantasy Ways aesthetic, in addition to having a  operate on the planet as chemists who tailored their abilities into a method of preventing, and the title caught.

Earlier than beginning the run correct, I compiled an inventory of things that might should be collected. With the intention to craft something in Elden Ring, you need to purchase the respective Cookbook which provides its recipes to the crafting menu. You get just a few starter recipes whenever you first buy the Crafting Package from the service provider Kalé, who is probably going one of many first NPCs a participant will meet, however every thing else requires a selected guide. I marked out which books have been accessible in every of the areas of the Lands Between, whether or not or not they’d be of use to me for the Chemist Run, and whether or not or not they’d should be bought. I did the identical for the Cracked Pots, Ritual Pots, and Fragrance Bottles. These three container objects act as reusable elements of sure recipes. A Hearth Pot works just like the previous Firebombs in earlier Souls video games – it’s a fiery grenade you throw, however it requires a Mushroom, a Smoldering Butterfly, and a Cracked Pot to craft. Whenever you throw the hearth pot, the cracked pot is returned to you, permitting the crafting of one other Cracked Pot merchandise. Ritual Pots and Fragrance Bottles work on the identical precept, so it’s necessary to accumulate as many of those as potential to extend one’s most crafting capability for mentioned objects.

I additionally established particular guidelines for the Chemist Run playthrough:

– Fast Merchandise & Pouch Slots Solely
– No Weapons
– No Ashes of Battle
– No Spells
– Spirit Ashes at participant’s discretion

This ruleset principally meant that if one thing couldn’t be assigned to a Fast Merchandise Slot or a Pouch Slot, it couldn’t be used. Since armaments like weapons, shields, staves, and seals use the Armament Slots, they’re forbidden. This additionally means weapon-based Ashes of Battle and Spells can’t be used both – it’s good to have a weapon geared up to make use of the previous, and a employees or seal geared up to make use of the latter. Spirit Ashes are summons gamers can use for sure encounters, overworld areas, and boss fights. Since Spirit Ashes are used like an merchandise (they are often assigned to Fast Merchandise or Pouch Slots), they should be wanted, they usually should be upgraded over the course of a playthrough with a selected useful resource, I felt that they have been completely acceptable inclusions to the Chemist Run idea. There are lots of highly effective Spirit Ashes within the game, however practically all of them are locked behind non-obligatory content material, and non-obligatory content material bleeds into assets in a run like this, which strikes a strong steadiness of equity in my eyes.

With all that cataloged and compiled, I set out on creating a brand new character. Whereas I don’t sometimes play these video games in New Game+ to start with, I didn’t assume it could be a worthwhile problem if I merely took my first character and started the Chemist Run there. Accessing a whole playthrough’s value of crafting supplies and talismans would defeat the purpose, particularly since I might have used weapons to accumulate them within the first place. I additionally was involved concerning the scaling well being of enemies sometimes present in NG+ cycles: their well being swimming pools would enhance, however I’d nonetheless have a restricted quantity of things for every boss try.

I initially wished a category with excessive base Dexterity and Intelligence, as lots of the consumable objects scale their harm with these two attributes, so I opted for the Prisoner class. Upon additional examination afterward, I’d notice that Energy and Dexterity have been the extra helpful attributes for the objects I’d depend on, and I ultimately opted for what’s known as a High quality construct: 50 Energy & 50 Dexterity, with 25 Intelligence for the small enhance in magical merchandise harm. The selection in beginning class doesn’t make an enormous distinction in a problem run like this, however for the reason that choice to reallocate one’s attributes requires defeating a selected pair of bosses, and I didn’t but know if I may see this problem by way of to the tip, getting a jumpstart on the actual construct I wished felt vital.

Your beginning souvenir merchandise is a little more attention-grabbing in a Chemist Run. Don’t be like me and notice hours into your playthrough that you simply absentmindedly picked the Golden Seed merchandise in lieu of the Cracked Pots. Keep in mind these? You may truly begin with three of them very first thing, and within the one run the place I’d have a good excuse to select them, I didn’t. It’s not that huge of a deal and selecting these merely takes them from the game world and places them into your stock firstly. You may solely ever have 20 Cracked Pots, and this simply offers you 3 without spending a dime. It’s nonetheless value selecting them up, however for those who discover worth in one other souvenir, otherwise you neglect to select them like I did, then that’s tremendous.

With my beginning class chosen, and my character modeled and named after one of many best fictional demolitionist consultants who isn’t in Staff Fortress 2, I started the run and made my means to Kalé, that service provider I discussed earlier than. I offered him my beginning sword, employees, and protect, and was instantly struck with the primary revelation I had about how this run was going to go: most armaments promote for a measly 100 runes. Even the fabled “legendary armaments” solely promote for just a few hundred extra. Whereas I wasn’t planning on utilizing any weapons, promoting them for runes was one thing I assumed I may depend on to complement my leveling and buying within the early game. I wasn’t incorrect, however simply for instance what a uncooked deal 100 runes is, Kalé sells throwing daggers for 40 runes apiece. Most armaments have been netting me a whopping 2.5 throwing daggers. To make issues worse, enemies at this level required greater than 3 daggers to fell, they usually have been dropping lower than 100 runes, so mathematically talking most engagements would put me in a rune deficit. This was going to be an uphill battle.

Fortunately, 300 runes was precisely sufficient to purchase the Crafting Package, unlocking the crafting menu, which I might use extensively all through the playthrough. Initially you’ll be able to craft two important recipes for the Chemist Run: the Hearth Pot, which I discussed earlier, and the Bone Dart, a useful throwing knife-type weapon that may be crafted with simply 2 Skinny Beast Bones, which you acquire from the corpses of animals like wolves and goats. The issue was that I didn’t have any extra runes to purchase the three cracked pots Kalé sells, nor did I’ve any skinny beast bones with which to craft bone darts. I additionally couldn’t hunt any animals at this level as a result of I didn’t have damaging objects but: I wanted objects to hunt animals so I may craft objects to kill enemies, however I couldn’t get objects as a result of I wanted runes, and I may solely get runes by killing enemies (which I couldn’t do) or promoting objects (which offered for paltry sums). On this second, I had a spark of readability.

Sure, certainly, I used to be a Prisoner on this hellish realm.

A lot of the early game concerned scrounging no matter I may discover. Weapons, armor, improve supplies, something I used to be by no means going to make use of that might be offered off. There are glowing skulls which randomly seem within the open world that may be cracked open to disclose a rune merchandise you’ll be able to pop for 200 runes; they have been remarkably invaluable in increase a small stockpile within the first hour of the run. Runes have been an ever-crucial useful resource, and I knew they might turn into extra plentiful afterward, particularly after defeating among the main bosses who drop Remembrances; particular objects that work just like the boss souls from earlier Souls video games. They are often exchanged for weapons, spells, or ashes of struggle associated to the boss, or they are often consumed for a hefty rune sum, and that further enhance in runes would assist shore up my provides. Earlier than any future windfalls, although, I needed to make do with scraps and salvage. Ultimately I used to be capable of afford the three Cracked Pots and a full inventory of 40 daggers from Kalé. Then I set off looking for locations to farm Mushrooms and Smoldering Butterflies for crafting fireplace pots.

Now, for those who’ve performed Elden Ring, you most likely have already got Mushrooms and Smoldering Butterflies in your stock, but when I requested you, “The place would I am going to farm these supplies,” may you give me a great possibility off the highest of your head? For me, the reply was “no.” I knew Butterflies spawned round campfires, and Mushrooms are discovered by rock partitions, however I didn’t have an thought of the place to go to farm lots of of them effectively. After some cursory analysis, I found two early game spots for each. There are two Mushroom spawns outdoors Stormfoot Catacombs, one of many first mini-dungeons you’ll be able to uncover from the beginning. I’d decide them, run to the grace website within the Catacombs, and respawn the mushrooms for plucking. Rinse and repeat. This could be a relentless train for a lot of supplies. North of the Warmaster’s Shack have been a pair fireplace slugs in a discipline, and round them swarmed 8 Smoldering Butterflies. You may stand up to three Mushrooms per node, and the Butterflies would generally yield 2, so whereas I wasn’t farming these spots for hours, I must often do stockpiling runs for ventures into new territories or dungeons.

With my meager arsenal, I made my means as much as the Smoldering Church, on the border between the areas of Limgrave and Caelid. On this church are two cookbooks, certainly one of which is the 14th version of the Nomadic Warrior’s Cookbook. This guide unlocks Poison Pots and Poisonbone Darts for crafting. These are poison variants of the 2 starter recipes. Poisonbone Darts turned a staple a part of my arsenal, permitting for a potent damage-over-time impact on bigger enemies and executives. I relied on them to such a level that I instantly went down the street to the Warmaster’s Shack to defeat a nighttime-only boss, the Bell-Bearing Hunter, to get his Bone Peddler’s Bell Bearing, which unlocks skinny & hefty beast bones from the store within the Roundtable Maintain. I discovered the onerous means that farming animals for bones with daggers was gradual and inefficient, particularly once they weren’t assured to drop them, so unlocking a dependable supply to purchase them with runes can be way more handy as enemy kills yielded increasingly runes.

However I’m getting forward of myself. The Smoldering Church is guarded by one “Anastacia, Tarnished-Eater.” An NPC invader who makes use of the identical character mannequin and capabilities as a participant character. Most of these enemies have been within the Souls video games since Demon’s Souls, and whereas some other time I’d relish the battle, NPCs have been by far among the worst banes of my existence throughout the Chemist Run. Not like participant characters who’ve restricted FP and Stamina, NPCs have limitless FP and Stamina. So as to add insult to damage, their AI is programmed in such a means as to chain-dodge projectile assaults, like my throwing daggers. Lots of the fights in opposition to these opponents fell into an accursed rhythm, the place I’d throw a dagger, they’d reactively dodge completely, I’d instantly throw one other dagger, and by the point they have been out of their first dodge, they’d be capable to dodge my second dagger immediately. This might repeat till they closed the hole and unleashed an assault of their very own, the place we might commerce blows, or till I finished throwing daggers and resigned myself to baiting out certainly one of their assaults. Ready to throw the second dagger wouldn’t assist, as they might already be in a impartial stance, able to dodge it anyway.

Towards some opponents, like Anastacia who makes use of the Elden Ring variant of the Butcher’s Knife, a brand new reiteration of a traditional From Software program melee weapon, baiting out assaults was simple and easy. Anastacia would typically do a leaping assault which might decrease her head simply sufficient for me to get a headshot with a throwing knife, which does important harm. Amongst all of the NPC enemies I needed to face, she was by far the simplest, however for others down the road, akin to Juno Hoslow, Knight of Blood, I must resort to some fairly nefarious techniques with a view to finest them.

With new recipes in my repertoire, I wanted to discover a good supply to farm Poisonblooms, which have been required to craft Poisonbone Darts. Touring south to the Weeping Peninsula, there’s a really small poison pool earlier than Citadel Morne on the southernmost tip. I wouldn’t precisely name it a poison swamp because it’s not fairly massive sufficient, however it does have Poisonblooms in order that was adequate for me. Alongside the way in which, there was one other service provider by the aspect of the street who would promote me Kukris.

Kukris are heavier knives that are slower to throw than all the opposite throwing knife objects, however their harm scales absurdly effectively with Energy & Dexterity, they usually apply bleed build-up, which takes out an enormous chunk of well being when sufficient is utilized. Kukris are solely 20 runes costlier than the 40 runes-valued throwing daggers, however the quantity of injury they will deal to bosses vulnerable to bleed is completely ridiculous. Between this service provider and Kalé, I might go on to spend lots of of hundreds of runes stockpiling throwing daggers and Kukris each time I had a surplus of runes to spend. As soon as I obtained to the purpose the place I had extra runes than I used to be snug carrying round, however not sufficient to stage up, I’d additionally begin pouring runes on a service provider in Caelid who merely sells Poisonbone Darts. He sells them for twice the value of Kukris, which is why I opted to craft them myself within the early game. Higher to spend runes on ranges and objects which can’t be crafted, I assumed.

These 4 instruments – Hearth Pots, Throwing Daggers, Poisonbone Darts, and Kukris – have been all I wanted to finest Margit, the Fell Omen, one of many earliest main bosses. Being an Omen, Margit’s face is roofed with winding, animalistic horns that give him a putting first impression. He makes use of an extended cane-like weapon in battle, and mixing it together with his wizened visage makes his boss battle akin to preventing a cranky previous man, albeit one who can summon spectral holy weapons, akin to a big hammer, a sword, and a few throwing knives of his personal. Margit is an efficient match for an early game boss in Elden Ring as a result of he has non-obligatory extensions on a few of his combos, and he drives house how necessary spacing is when going through bosses. Margit didn’t give me an excessive amount of hassle on my first playthrough, but when Elden Ring is a participant’s first Souls game, I think about they could battle fairly a bit, and if they can overcome his assaults and finest him, then they’ll be all of the extra ready for the remainder of the game. I might use Margit’s battle as an identical proving floor; an entry examination into the Chemist Run correct.

My first try was extra of a check run to see what sort of harm throwing daggers would do, and I discovered that they solely did 34 harm: Margit has effectively over 4000 HP, so simply with throwing daggers I’d do roughly a 3rd of his whole well being. I wanted extra weapons. Margit is the rationale why I went to the Smoldering Church and the Weeping Peninsula. I didn’t know if he might be poisoned or bled, however on the very least I wanted extra issues to throw at him. It seems he was vulnerable to each poison and bleed, and he went down with relative ease on my second try. That was once I knew I had a proof of idea for the Chemist Run. It was potential, for now.

With Margit out of the image, I had entry to Stormveil Citadel, the proverbial capital of Limgrave. As the one useful objects inside have been a few Cracked Pots I didn’t want proper this second, I made a decision to skip the fort correct for now. Bypassing Stormveil Citadel with a view to make it to the subsequent area, Liurnia of the Lakes, is definitely one thing I organically did on my first playthrough. It was a pleasant discovery, however I solely bookmarked it in my thoughts for later playthroughs, and rapidly warped again to exploring Stormveil. Now, nevertheless, was the time to make use of this little shortcut. My precise purpose was to journey past Liurnia to the Altus Plateau, however doing so requires scaling up a cliff-face mini-dungeon with a good quantity of enemy encounters and a boss battle that was most likely above my pay grade for now.

Alternatively you are able to do what I did naturally on my first playthrough, and occur throughout one half of the Dectus Medallion. Each halves activate the grand elevate which is able to take you from Liurnia to the Altus Plateau, and getting one half tells you the place the opposite half is discovered. I already knew the place each halves have been, and it was a easy matter of working previous all of the enemies standing in my means, and climbing a pair ladders to get each halves of the medallion. Earlier than arriving on the Grand Raise of Dectus on my trek by way of Liurnia, I made positive to befriend some beautiful NPCs: Rya the Scout, who would assist me arrive on the Volcano Manor afterward; Blackguard Huge Boggart, who would promote me some scrumptious boiled shellfish; and Jar-Bairn of Jarburg, who would welcome me to his little village and permit me to reap as a lot of the vegetation as I’d like, poisonblooms and mushrooms being chief amongst them.

As soon as I made my strategy to the Altus Plateau, I beelined it to the Shaded Citadel within the north. Positioned there was one of many Fragrance Bottles, and an enemy sort often called the Wicked Perfumer. I wished their gear for my character, so I spent a pair runs whittling them all the way down to get some drops. They have been capable of heal in a lot the identical method as a participant character, however they weren’t fairly as dodge-happy as typical NPCs. After buying new trend, I traveled to the Perfumer’s Ruins to select up two extra Fragrance Bottles, the Perfumer’s Talisman, and the primary version of the Perfumer’s Cookbook. All of this is able to enable me to make as much as three Spark Aromatics; consider the notorious “Pocket Sand” scene from King of the Hill, besides the sand ignites in a fiery blaze, and you’ve got a good suggestion of how the Spark Fragrant works. With the Perfumer’s Talisman boosting fragrance merchandise harm, and Spark Aromatics scaling effectively with Dexterity, they have been a potent addition to my arsenal, although I’d save them for particular events since one of many supplies wanted to craft them, Miranda Powder, was considerably uncommon because it should be farmed from Miranda Flower enemies.

Again to Stormveil, I used to be stunned at how simple it was to progress by way of the extent. The Spark Aromatics made fast work of the knight you get locked right into a room with, and whereas I used to be dreading fixed resupply journeys on my journey by way of the fort, my foreknowledge of enemy positions, grace websites, and shortcuts proved to be a useful asset. Killing the “spider” enemy was no hassle in any respect, and bypassing the courtyard with flamethrowers and crossbowmen proved little problem as I made a cheeky leap from a battlement to a close-by rooftop, after which scurried alongside the lefthand aspect.

Accumulating the 2 Cracked Pots on my strategy to the grace website subsequent to the boss room, I ready to face Godrick the Grafted, lord of Stormveil. Godrick is very large, with a number of further human limbs sprouting from his grafted arms, and legs made up of a number of legs laced over one another. The person has taken the idea of the Ship of Theseus and utilized it to himself to a viscerally ugly diploma. Regardless of his huge type, Godrick is considerably simpler than the extra nimble Margit, and correct spacing is sufficient to bait out his favorable assaults that open himself as much as retaliation.

I wished to check the effectiveness of an Oil Pot into Hearth Pot combo, in addition to whether or not or not Godrick can be affected by Sleep Pots. Oil Pots weren’t fairly as efficient given the low base harm of Hearth Pots to start with: by my estimates they added 50% extra harm which is good, however I may get 100% extra harm simply by making one other fireplace pot. Godrick was vulnerable to being slept by sleep pots, and it could actually stun him out of his storm-channeling transfer, however he shrugs off the drowsiness rapidly. A traditional construct would be capable to benefit from this quick window, however objects have a deployment time and thus couldn’t output a burst of injury in that window.

To my shock, I did sufficient harm to push Godrick into his second part, the place he good points extra wide-reaching and harder-to-dodge assaults, on my first attempt, and regardless of a pair shut calls right here and there, I even managed to fell him. On two different playthroughs, it took me a minimum of two makes an attempt to kill Godrick, however right here I used to be throwing knives and bombs at him like a horrible Issues Clown and defeating him in a single shot. Fortunately for me, Godrick is maidenless and thus doesn’t have a spouse to protect him from knives and dematerialize my physique.

With Stormveil’s Man of Arms out of fee, I felt assured that I may tackle the remainder of the Chemist Run. The Academy of Raya Lucaria, the capital of Liurnia, wasn’t a lot hassle in any respect – poison knives and bombs are a a lot better response to the academy’s glintstone students than dashing by way of their spells with swords, because it seems. Deeper exploration of Liurnia additionally granted entry to a cookbook with the Crystal Dart recipe, which is immensely highly effective even for non-chemists. I may’ve picked this up in my earlier tour however I merely forgot about it.

Crystal Darts are magic throwing knives that scale their harm primarily with Intelligence, price FP to make use of, and deal magic harm. They solely require Cracked Crystals to craft, and the Raya Lucaria Crystal Tunnel has 4 nodes proper subsequent to the grace website. They’re simple to craft, do good harm (for those who leveled Intelligence), they usually make it cost-effective to discover new areas, since it can save you provides that require runes or crafting supplies which are extra time consuming to assemble. Crystal Darts additionally ship construct-type enemies like fanged imps or golems right into a berserker state the place they are going to begin attacking something of their neighborhood, not simply you, which makes them much more helpful in areas the place these enemy sorts are frequent.

Raya Lucaria homes the 2 bosses that should be felled with a view to unlock the aforementioned attribute reallocation possibility; the Pink Wolf of Radagon, and Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon. Each are vulnerable to bleed and poison, and each use magic spells to deal harm, although within the Pink Wolf’s case it could actually additionally do your commonplace suite of “huge canine” assaults. The identical cookbook that had the Crystal Dart recipe additionally had one for Spellproof Dried Livers – a consumable merchandise that enhances magic negation. These two fights appeared like nearly as good a time as any to deploy them, and whereas I’m positive most gamers will merely neglect about objects like these, they are often simply the factor to save lots of you in clutch conditions, and for those who eat them earlier than coming into a boss area, they’re free harm mitigation.

As for Rennala herself, her boss battle is one thing out of an previous nursery rhyme. Her distinctive headpiece and normal look recall to mind photos of early twentieth century kids’s books; there’s one thing nostalgic concerning the presentation of her floating amidst a magical library, cradling her amber egg and cooing softly to the students under. The students crawl across the ground and assault you, whereas a bubbled one chants a bit of tune to keep up Rennala’s golden barrier, they usually add an oddly cute appeal to the battle. I discovered that Crystal Darts have been helpful for popping the chanting scholar’s bubble from a spread: I initially thought you needed to outright kill the students, however studying that one dart was sufficient to fulfill the mechanic made the primary a part of her battle a lot faster. Three fast darts popped Rennala’s golden barrier, opening her as much as assaults. Spark Aromatics have been my best choice for burst harm, and half her well being was gone throughout the first thirty seconds of the battle simply with their harm alone. As soon as her first well being bar is depleted, Rennala’s second part begins: The total moon rests upon a horizon of evening sky and deep water, because the Queen of the Full Moon herself assaults with the sorceries she’s perfected over numerous years as head of the Academy. It’s one of many extra memorable fights in opposition to a grasp of magic that From Software program has ever produced, and it compelled me to learn to dodge all her magic assaults and spirit summons appropriately. By spacing myself away from her, she avoided utilizing her fast employees assaults, sticking as a substitute to ranged sorceries which I had extra time to dodge. Although her second part is extra visually putting, I discover her first part extra attention-grabbing. It’s as if somebody requested the query “what if we made an old-timey elementary faculty classroom right into a boss battle?”

Rennala was the primary battle that I had some stage of problem with, to the purpose the place I opted to alter my management scheme. Usually, on a regular video games controller, you press Down on the D-pad to cycle by way of your objects, and you may maintain that enter to leap instantly to the merchandise within the first slot, however that requires both taking one’s thumb off the management stick used for motion, or utilizing the notorious and painful “claw hand” formation to have entry to each the D-pad and the management stick on the identical time. As an alternative, I assigned merchandise biking to the L2 or Left Set off button, which made Chemist Run fight a lot smoother. I may cycle by way of objects and transfer round on the identical time, however this got here at a bizarre price: Elden Ring doesn’t allow you to depart any of its built-in controller actions unassigned. Usually, the L2/LT button is used for Abilities – the Ashes of Battle I used to be forbidden from utilizing on the Chemist Run. Since I couldn’t use them, it could’ve been preferable to depart this motion unassigned, however Elden Ring compelled me to map this motion to Down on the D-Pad. This didn’t appear to be a giant deal initially, however the D-Pad is used to activate Pouch merchandise shortcuts when mixed with Triangle or Y, in addition to zooming out and in with the Telescope device. Apparently, by reassigning Down on the D-Pad to the Ability motion as a substitute of its default, it prevented me from doing both of those actions; I couldn’t use one of many 4 Pouch Merchandise shortcuts, nor may I zoom out after zooming in with the Telescope. In case you resolve to do a Chemist Run your self and alter the management scheme in the identical means, concentrate on this performance quirk.

Vanquishing Godrick and Rennala allowed for entry into Leyndell, the capital metropolis of the Altus Plateau and the Lands Between general, being the seat of the Elden Lord. I keep in mind spending hours combing over a lot of the capital’s multi-layered stage design, from rooftops to Perfumer retailers, to the decrease streets and the subterranean underground. This time, nevertheless, I made a beeline for all of the necessary objects I may need. With Stormveil Citadel and the Academy of Raya Lucaria, I fought most enemies with little challenge, however with how sturdy Leyndell’s knights and troopers have been, I assumed it finest to easily run previous every thing I may. Earlier than coming into the capital metropolis, nevertheless, there’s an overworld boss blocking the way- the Draconic Tree Sentinel. Because you face him within the overworld, the horse Torrent is out there to be used, however the Sentinel has pink lightning assaults that may do nasty harm to riders for those who aren’t cautious.

There’s a “cheese” technique involving a Poison Mist spell that you need to use to poison the Sentinel from behind and kill him with out ever coming into fight, however a lot to my dismay, the Poison Spraymist fragrance merchandise, which capabilities identically to the spell, can’t be used for this objective. I consider it’s as a result of the spell could be carried out whereas crouched, whereas utilizing any merchandise forces the participant character to face up, and utilizing objects alerts enemies to your presence. This was the primary battle the place I opted to make use of spirit ashes, which I had been doing for some mini-dungeon bosses right here and there. I opted to make use of the Fanged Imps for this battle, since I wished to see how efficient “assemble” spirits can be: they felt thematically applicable for the run. In the end the Fanged Imps helped apply bleed to the Sentinel, and distracted him sufficient for me to fling bombs and knives at him with relative impunity.

Leyndell has two bosses: a golden spectral type of Godfrey, the First Elden Lord, and Morgott, the Omen King. The previous would show to be a good problem, if solely as a result of I destroyed him fairly rapidly on my first go-around, and I hadn’t had the prospect to correctly be taught his moveset. “Golden Godfrey” doesn’t have quite a bit occurring (he’s a giant golden man with an enormous greataxe), however he’s instantly adopted by Morgott, whose heavy-hitting assaults destroyed me in three makes an attempt, whereas I barely did any harm to him in return. It was at this level that I spotted “hey, perhaps being stage 43 at this level is an issue.” Skipping a number of enemies and spending a lot of runes on knives has a means of consuming into pne’s level-ups, and I seemed towards researching “rune farms” in order that I may put extra factors into Vigor for survivability.

It was then that I discovered movies showcasing the well-known Large Ball farming methodology. In Caelid, simply down the street from Lenne’s Rise, there’s a magical Large Ball enemy that spawns and rolls down the street at a excessive velocity. This ball is supposed to function a magical entice when heading to the Rise through a street main in from the west, however for those who strategy the Rise from the southern cliff, you’ll be able to bait the ball into launching itself off the close by cliff, the place it dies. Because it’s an enemy and never an object, its dying rewards you with about 2,000 runes. Then it’s a easy matter of working again up the street and resting on the website of grace to reset the entice, rinse and repeat. This space additionally has a number of glintstone crystal formations, upon that are Glintstone Fireflies. Very like how Cracked Crystals are the one ingredient wanted for Crystal Darts, Glintstone Fireflies are the one ingredient wanted for Magic Pots, the magical model of the Hearth Pot. Farming this spot pulled double-duty, and I’d extremely suggest it for an early game rune farming possibility, because it’s comparatively easy to get there even when beginning out, and also you don’t even need to do precise fight.

Earlier than farming this ball, I sought out the Gold Scarab; a talisman positioned in a cave dungeon in Caelid. The Gold Scarab provides a further 20% rune bonus any time you acquire runes from enemies. This doesn’t work on runes gained by way of consumable rune objects or boss remembrances, however the Gold Scarab bonus does work on boss kills. I might preserve this talisman on for the complete remainder of the playthrough, and the additional runes accounted for literal hundreds of further knives, and I’d contemplate it necessary for a Chemist Run for the reason that majority of talismans provide little to no benefit with out weapons, spells, or ashes of struggle at one’s disposal.

Talking of talismans, two others I might check have been the Blue Dancer Allure and the Winged Sword Insignia. I acquired the previous on this interim interval between Morgott makes an attempt, and did a cursory check to verify it labored, however I might check each afterward when wanting into methods to additional increase harm. Each of those talismans enhance harm, however in several methods: the Blue Dancer Allure will increase scaling bodily harm primarily based on the lightness of your character’s gear; the Winged Sword Insignia raises assault energy with successive assaults. Since I wasn’t wielding armaments and I used to be attacking quickly with flurries of knives, I figured each of those would enhance my harm.

Utilizing the big troll outdoors Godrick’s boss area as a check topic, I might throw a flurry of 15 Throwing Daggers at him from a static vary, report the harm numbers, and calculate the typical harm every dagger did. With neither talisman, daggers have been starting from 123 to 129 harm. With each talismans, that common bumped as much as 138, however curiously with simply the Blue Dancer Allure, the typical inched as much as 140. I didn’t need to spend an exhaustive period of time testing the efficacy on totally different enemy sorts and utilizing totally different objects, however this small check gave me sufficient solutions to be happy. The Blue Dancer Allure did certainly work with objects; so long as you have got beneath 30 equip load, you get a harm bonus. I stored my character beneath 20 equip load all through the run, which affords a barely bigger harm enhance, however not the utmost enhance the appeal can present. Each talismans didn’t work at the side of one another — they could accomplish that for regular weapons, however objects wouldn’t profit from the Winged Sword Insignia, and I chalked up the harm enhance seen in each talismans to being solely due to the Blue Dancer Allure. If each charms wouldn’t work on the identical time, then there was solely a degree in equipping one, and I might follow the one I knew labored, and that didn’t depend on fast successive assaults, since that’s not all the time potential to perform for each encounter.

Again to rune farming, the ball methodology gave me a good quantity of runes and glintstone fireflies for magic pot crafting, however I wanted one thing quicker. The ball methodology was good for early game, however I used to be nearing the late game of Elden Ring at this level, and a couple of,000 runes per ball wasn’t going to be quick sufficient, even with the Gold Scarab bonus. There was the enormous dragon in Caelid that many gamers use to get practically 100,000 runes early on, however it is a one-and-done affair, and whereas I used to be capable of fell that dragon finally, you wouldn’t consider what number of shit pots I needed to throw at it. Fetid Pots are an evolution of the Dung Pie objects discovered within the Darkish Souls trilogy; they inflict build-up of Lethal Poison, but additionally builds up Lethal Poison by yourself character, and given how highly effective the toxin impact is, this self-inflicted build-up has been the primary means this merchandise has been balanced by From Software program. “Shit pots” isn’t a euphemism both; one of many components required to craft them is Gold-Tinged Excrement, which yow will discover scattered on the bottom all through Limgrave.

The dragon’s hurtbox is kind of unusual, too; knives deal harm to it however they get caught outdoors of its mannequin, they usually solely deal harm from sure spots (a standard level of assault on regular playthrough is its tail, which knives go proper by way of with out dealing harm). I nearly ran out of things to assault it with, and whereas resting at a grace would refill my shares, it’d reset the dragon’s well being as effectively. As soon as it lastly went down, I had a great stash of runes, however I would want a repeatable methodology to maintain my chemist.

Screenshot from Elden Ring of a player character observing several knives floating in the air after impacting a dragon's disjointed hurtbox.

Thankfully, I had been engaged on a rune farming methodology with out even realizing it. One consumable merchandise in Elden Ring is the Bewitching Department –- it’s a department you poke an enemy with and it causes them to ally with you for a time, attacking different enemies as a substitute. You may solely purchase the cookbook to craft these from Sir Gideon Ofnir, the All-Understanding, after you go to an non-obligatory late-game space, Mohgwyn Palace. Palace entry requires entry to the Consecrated Snowfield, one other non-obligatory late-game space. Alternatively, for those who full White Masks Varré’s questline, he offers you an merchandise that teleports you midway by way of Mohgwyn Palace, and this is sufficient to fulfill Sir Gideon, who offers you the third version of the Fevor’s Cookbook, permitting for the crafting of Bewitching Branches.

I had been doing Varré’s questline to accumulate this cookbook; he requires you to invade three different gamers, and whereas I truly succeeded in a single invasion, the outcomes are irrelevant. Summoning different gamers to help with fight was in opposition to the spirit of the Chemist Run, however being summoned to help different gamers, or invading different gamers felt like truthful game as long as I caught to objects solely. Whereas I began Varré’s questline for the cookbook, I gained one thing way more useful; entry to probably the greatest rune farming strategies in Elden Ring.

Mohgwyn Palace is split into two elements: there’s the palace strategy, and the palace correct. Varré’s merchandise drops you in between these two elements, and the rune farming spot is in the beginning of the strategy. With Torrent, it’s comparatively fast to make it by way of the strategy so long as you don’t try to decide up each little merchandise on the way in which. When you arrive on the Palace Strategy Ledge-Street website of grace, you’ll be able to start the rune farm. The positioning of grace overlooks a canyon, and on the opposite aspect is a lake of blood that’s patrolled by an enormous crow. In case you assault the crow with a ranged weapon, it can rush at you and run proper off the cliff, into the canyon the place it dies, supplying you with 13,245 runes (with the Gold Scarab). This methodology is totally protected, quick, and simple. Regular gamers farm this crow with a bow and a few arrows, or with spells, however my chemist had a little bit of an issue—knives and pots don’t fairly attain over the canyon. The crow itself patrols in such a means that it walks towards the cliff after which away from it, so even when I may arc pot throws to crash on the crow, it’d be far too time-consuming and taxing on assets to check out the trajectory and craft pots and line every thing up completely. So, how is a chemist supposed to utilize this methodology?

Enter the Wraith Calling Bell.

The Wraith Calling Bell is a device merchandise that consumes FP each time it’s used, however it may be reused indefinitely as soon as acquired. It’s positioned in Laskyar Ruins, one of many earliest areas in Liurnia, and I obtained it tremendous early in my playthrough. It summons a wraith that chases down your goal. The wraith has pretty low harm and poor scaling, however it makes up with that in its low FP price, lengthy vary, and glorious monitoring potential. The final two are essential for hitting the crow as a chemist: you’ll be able to spam a relentless barrage of wraiths that can monitor down the crow, hit it, and trigger it to run off the cliff, rewarding you with runes within the course of. There have been some collision points with a tree that blocks among the projectiles, however this was by far the most effective methodology for farming runes which I may all the time fall again on if my assets ran dry.

Screenshot from Elden Ring: a player character observes a large crow patrolling a lake of blood from the other side of a ravine.

This crow gave me sufficient runes to stage my character from 43 all the way in which to 105, and with that I felt greater than able to tackle Morgott, however earlier than that, I wished to deal with one other aspect of the Chemist Run. A part of what impressed me to do that was that I stored discovering objects and gear that made it appear to be an item-only construct would work, and a kind of was the Jar helmet that the Dwelling Jar NPC Alexander the Iron Fist offers you as a part of his questline. I began doing this quest in patch 1.03, the place they added a brand new NPC within the type of Jar-Bairn. Jar-Bairn offers you the Companion Jar talisman on the finish of his questline. Each the Jar helmet and the Companion Jar talisman enhance the harm of your pot objects, they usually sound like they’d be imminently helpful on a playthrough the place you’re solely allowed to make use of objects, proper? Sadly, my Chemist Run would by no means purchase these things, because of how NPC quests work in From Software program video games.

The Alexander Incident

Alexander’s quest begins in northern Limgrave. You’re supposed to listen to him shouting for assist, and discover him caught in a gap. After smacking his chiseled ass out of the opening, he rewards you with a gesture and a few Exalted Flesh (an attack-boosting consumable). He by no means spawned on this gap on my Chemist Run. The opening was there, however Alexander was not. After this, he could be present in Gael Tunnel, in between Limgrave and Caelid. He’s positioned within the rear entrance to the Gael Tunnel on the Limgrave aspect, caught behind a locked door; enter from the Caelid aspect, make your strategy to the door, and open it for him to thanks. He was by no means on this tunnel on my playthrough. He subsequent exhibits up in Citadel Redmane, the capital (or what’s left of it) of Caelid, the place he takes half within the Radahan Pageant, an occasion centered round defeating Starscourge Radahn, one of many 4 bosses you’ll be able to defeat to enter Leyndell. I had already defeated Godrick and Rennala at this level, so there was little motive for me to battle Radahn outdoors of progressing Alexander’s questline. He truly was on the fort, and it’s right here the place we lastly met. At this level, I figured the questline was intact, so I proceeded to problem Radahn.

Starscourge Radahn is a difficult boss, besides he’s additionally one of many best if you need him to be. He’s the one main boss battle the place I didn’t publish the footage I recorded, however not as a result of I made him simpler. Radahn solely took two tries to fell, however the motive I didn’t publish the footage was as a result of a lot of it concerned me working round making an attempt to copy a glitch the place you make him chase you up a cliff face and as soon as up there, he expenses off of the wall to his dying. I used to be by no means profitable at getting it to work, and finally gave up and simply killed him by summoning the squad of NPCs tailor-made for this battle, whereas often poisoning him and pelting him with knives. The NPC summons are what make Radahn a neater battle: You may deal with him like a traditional Souls boss, or you’ll be able to deal with him like a gimmick Souls boss, relying on which model of boss taste you’re keen on. I did a lot of the studying a part of his battle on my first playthrough, so right here I used to be resolved merely to let the game give me this freebie. It will be the primary of solely two simple wins the game would give my chemist, and the second would require me to work for it.

After Radahn is defeated, Alexander’s questline takes him to Liurnia, simply above the cliff that leads down into Jarburg. His look right here is meant to be a clue about Jarburg’s existence for those who aren’t aware of it already. He’s caught in a second gap and you need to smack that chiseled ass as soon as extra, however this time you need to oil him up earlier than you accomplish that. This wasn’t a difficulty since I already had the recipe for concocting Oil Pots, however this introduced one other challenge to mild. One of many considerations I had going into the Chemist Run was this: you’re speculated to smack Alexander out of two holes on his questline, however would throwing daggers suffice? Initially I suspected this is able to be the factor that might break the questline for me, however it was right here I discovered my reply. Knives of any type deal some quantity of stagger harm, and it’s the stagger harm that knocks Alexander out of the opening. Throwing Daggers deal a good quantity, however I nonetheless needed to throw a couple of dozen or so earlier than he’d come out. After he was free, he gave me the gesture I ought to’ve gotten in Limgrave, in addition to some Exalted Flesh. I assumed every thing was effectively. 

Screenshot from Elden Ring. Iron Fist Alexander, nameplate in red to indicate hostility, approaches a mounted player character, who foolishly attacked him.

It was not.

After being free of the opening in Liurnia, he talks about heading to Mt. Gelmir, and certainly that’s the place you discover him subsequent just under the western aspect of Volcano Manor, the mountain’s capital. It’s there the place he rewards you with the Jar helmet. It’s important to defeat a Magma Wyrm overworld boss to ensure that him to maneuver, however these are a dime a dozen and aren’t that difficult to defeat. Tragically, Alexander by no means made it to Mt. Gelmir on my Chemist Run. He went again to Radahn’s boss area, eternally scooping up troopers to push into his battle-hardened physique. Nothing I may discover on-line gave a motive as to why his questline was damaged, and I attempted a number of strategies of fixing it: restarting the game, reloading areas, attacking him to the purpose the place he turned an enemy after which in search of forgiveness on the Church of Vows to pacify him. None of it labored.

I had an concept that, with the implementation of Jar-Bairn, Alexander’s questline had been affected in some respects, so I sought to progress the hunt from the opposite aspect of it. Jar-Bairn is tied with Knight Diallos, an NPC you meet the primary time you go to the Roundtable Maintain, the hub space of Elden Ring you get entry to early on. Diallos’ questline takes him to Volcano Manor, and that is the place Rya is available in. You keep in mind Rya, proper? I met her on my first trek by way of Liurnia? In case you assist get better her necklace from Huge Boggart, then she will be able to warp you to Volcano Manor, avoiding the nasty climb up Mt. Gelmir. It was right here that I turned a Recusant of Volcano Manor, and picked up a fragrance bottle for my troubles. Progressing Diallos’ questline includes progressing the Volcano Manor questline, which includes invading NPCs and killing them.

Beforehand I discussed how NPC enemies have been among the worst ones I encountered on my Chemist Run, however most of those encounters have been one-shot affairs. I even did the bonus invasions you are able to do for Recusant Bernahl and Patches the Untethered, two different NPCs who be part of the Manor. Patches could be met early on in Limgrave, and he’d be a useful service provider as the one supply of purchasable Fan Daggers, one of many extra highly effective throwing knife objects.

Ultimately after sufficient invasions, Diallos left the Volcano Manor and relocated to Jarburg, which is the place his questline continues with Jar-Bairn. I progressed this half of the questline during to its conclusion, however sadly, this didn’t restore Alexander’s questline. I at the moment consider that Alexander’s questline broke as a result of I by no means freed him from the opening in Limgrave, and I think that he frees himself after you go a sure checkpoint. It’s potential my untimely enterprise into the Altus Plateau ignored some flags essential to get his questline to work correctly, however that’s simply my finest guess.

With Alexander’s questline in shards, I might purchase neither the Jar helmet nor the Companion Jar Talisman. A tragedy to make certain, however the Souls video games are all about urgent on within the face of such setbacks. I made for Leyndell, and my rematch with Morgott, the Omen King.

Morgott was a lot simpler at stage 105 than he was at stage 43, however he nonetheless wasn’t a pushover. I summoned Melina for this battle, and by chance summoned the Soldjars of Fortune. I did need to check them out since I had been denied the Jar helmet, however I had anticipated to summon the Fanged Imps as a substitute and easily forgot to reequip their ashes. The Soldjars of Fortune are funky little guys with plenty of gumption and I really like them, however they aren’t notably efficient in opposition to Morgott. They’re gradual and simply staggered, whereas Morgott is agile with a plethora of heavy assaults. Their one signature trick is upon receiving a deadly blow or a touch of fireside harm, the Soldjars explode, however the explosion is barely value the price of summoning them, particularly since they’re a uncommon spirit ash which consumes HP as a substitute of FP upon summoning. Nonetheless, they supplied a helpful distraction and their efforts must be applauded.

Margit’s Shackle, the merchandise I purchased from Patches, can be utilized on this battle to stun Morgott briefly (Margit and Morgott are the identical particular person if that isn’t clear, although when preventing him as Morgott he has extra spectral holy weapons at his disposal), and whereas I did do not forget that the Shackle can solely be used twice per try, I foolishly forgot that it doesn’t work over the past half of the battle, after his curse spills out from his wounds. Melina is a strong ally for this battle, and her magic tree spell can heal each of you and any spirit ashes you’ve summoned, supplied they stand in its neighborhood. Total, my preparations for the rematch have been profitable, regardless of my blunders.

Leyndell was now kingless, and Morgott’s Remembrance was the one one I exchanged for an merchandise, reasonably than consuming for runes. On this case, the merchandise was the Regal Omen Bairn: a powered up model of the Omen Bairn, a doll-like merchandise I had missed earlier. Each fireplace wraiths much like the Wraith Calling Bell, besides the Regal Omen Bairn explodes with a couple of dozen or so wraiths in any respect as soon as, which all do extra harm and attain their most velocity quicker. It will make farming that crow a lot quicker, however it price an excessive amount of FP to make use of in battle, a minimum of for my functions.

The Chemist Run had entered the late game of Elden Ring. Half of the necessary bosses have been gone, and there was one half left to go. Morgott’s defeat allowed me entry to the Forbidden Lands, a small hall space on the way in which to the Grand Raise of Rold, which rose as much as the Mountaintops of the Giants. The Hearth Large there was the subsequent necessary boss, however as you would possibly count on, I wished to take some detours.

One thing I had determined means again at character creation was the ending I used to be going for on this character. I figured solely a madman would attempt taking up the Lands Between with simply objects, so I opted for the trail of the Frenzied Flame. This was additionally as a result of one merchandise is the Frenzyflame Stone. It really works like a Warming Stone, a rock you drop on the bottom that radiates therapeutic power, besides the Frenzyflame Stone causes Insanity build-up in characters not allied with the Frenzied Flame. Insanity is a devastating standing impact that not solely rips out large chunks of HP, it additionally lowers FP and stuns targets once they’re . It’s a strong standing impact, however I failed to comprehend that it solely works on Tarnished enemies just like the participant character, or different gamers. However, the Frenzied Flame nonetheless felt probably the most applicable for my chemist, particularly as soon as I seemed up methods to purchase the armor set I wished for my chemist.

The Nomadic Service provider’s Set is similar outfit Kalé, and certainly all of the retailers within the game put on, the identical retailers who I had been counting on all this time to ship me cookbooks and consumables and numerous knives. I knew it existed as armor wearable by gamers from varied messages and bloodstains I occurred throughout, the place different gamers’ characters have been carrying it. Once I seemed up methods to purchase this set, that’s once I discovered a couple of hidden path within the sewers that led to the Frenzied Flame. That caught my consideration; what did the retailers need to do with the Frenzied Flame? Why was the armor set positioned all the way in which down within the sewers, when the retailers promote outfits worn by all of the beginning courses? Certainly it could make extra sense for them to promote their very own set, proper?

It’s important to do a bizarre video game factor with a view to get the outfit, akin to among the wild stuff you need to do in Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. Down under town, on the backside of the sewers, there’s a corpse with the set beneath a tent, however these tents are everywhere in the Lands Between and none of them are breakable. With the intention to break the tent, you need to lure a close-by enemy to the tent, after which get it to make use of its frenzy assault on the tent, which shatters it and permits entry to the set. Nothing within the game hints at this interplay between the enemy and the tent: I’m left concluding that the location of the merchandise, the tent, and the enemy, is supposed to be an unintended discovery. The tent is in your left after crossing a beam located above an enormous sq. pit, and the enemy walks up some stairs to the tent room out of your proper. The enemy will doubtless assault the participant with the frenzy spell, and the participant would possibly run subsequent to the tent to get a ways, for the reason that spell has a brief vary. It’s fairly a weird sequence for what’s finally simply an okay armor set, however after buying it, I lastly learn the outline of its items:

“Finery of the nomadic retailers.
Embellished with tiny gems in a large spectrum of colours.
These retailers as soon as thrived because the Nice Caravan, however after being accused of heretical beliefs, their total clan was rounded up and buried alive far underground.
Then, they chanted a curse of despair, and summoned the flame of frenzy.”
– Nomadic Service provider’s Finery

Upon first assembly him, for those who make small discuss with Kalé, he mentions how his persons are wanderers who have been spurned by the grace of gold, and whereas they journey unceasingly, it has made issues simpler for them now: the Elden Ring is shattered and many individuals are , however the retailers are carrying on as they’ve, as if nothing has modified, as a result of that really is the case for them. Kalé provides that he thinks this “[….]makes us kindred spirits of types. Your individuals, the Tarnished, and mine.”

The realm the place you discover the Nomadic Service provider’s Set is stuffed with corpses who all wield the identical peculiar instrument that the retailers do. The enemy who breaks the tent does as effectively, and there are some passive enemies who’re sitting down and enjoying a somber tune with it, resting amongst a discipline of corpses identical to them. It’s fairly miserable, maddening even. These retailers had been the rationale for this run’s success: with out their cookbooks and knives and cracked pots, it could’ve taken an age or two to complete this run. It made sense now greater than ever to turn into Lord of the Frenzied Flame on this run: The curse of despair would ring true within the Lands Between earlier than lengthy, and the flame of frenzy would ignite the Erdtree with indignation.

Melodrama apart, with the Frenzied Flame correctly inherited and the brand new outfit acquired, I used to be nonetheless curious concerning the Alexander questline. I hoped that defeating Morgott would progress it, since Alexander is out there as a summon for the Hearth Large battle—the subsequent necessary boss in sequence. Sadly, Alexander was nonetheless in Radahn’s boss battle. Then I had an terrible, horrible thought: “What if you need to defeat Praetor Rykard, Lord of Volcano Manor, with a view to progress Alexander’s questline?” It made sense in my head as a result of he wouldn’t transfer to Mt. Gelmir till the area’s greatest menace was eradicated, since he was planning on bathing himself within the lava and reforging himself anew, because it have been. And so I endeavored to finish the Volcano Manor questline, with a view to bypass the Volcano Manor stage and get a free warp proper to the boss room.

The ultimate mission for the Volcano Manor is to defeat Juno Hoslow, Knight of Blood. You would possibly keep in mind him from earlier once I was speaking about how NPC enemies have been among the worst ones to battle within the Chemist Run. Juno Hoslow was one of many worst NPC enemies, tied solely with one other character we’ll get to later. Juno makes Vyke seem like a cakewalk, since there’s no cliff to bait Juno into falling over. He dual-wields lethal whips which construct up bleed harm, and he’s simply as dodge-happy as some other NPC.

Screenshot from Elden Ring: the player character is defeated by Juno Hoslow, Knight of Blood.

The one means I used to be capable of finest him was to make use of an AI glitch: there’s a rocky pillar on the correct hand aspect of the dueling space you battle him in, and behind the pillar is a cliff wall. In case you wedge your self up the wall, it breaks his AI in such a means that he forgets to dodge roll, and this makes it simpler to hit him with knives and pots. I even used some Frenzyflame Stones on him to construct up Insanity, and whereas that was efficient, I attempted it earlier than resorting to this glitch methodology. It’s nonetheless potential to get hit by his whips since they ignore wall collision, and you need to consistently trick him into getting caught since he corrects his motion after a time, however this was the one strategy to reliably poison him. I additionally employed the Ancestral Toddler’s Head, a deer-like cranium merchandise that unleashes a puddle of spectral water that lingers and damages enemies who stand in it. It was a good possibility for when Juno obtained too near me, however its low harm and vital wind-up time made it lower than ultimate for in depth use. Ultimately, after many knives and bombs, the Knight of Blood was bested within the ring of dishonorable fight, and a wave of aid washed over me briefly, solely simply subsiding into a chilly, chilling realization:

Juno was simply the prelude to one of many greatest errors I’d make on the Chemist Run.

The Rykard Incident

Lord Rykard is among the 4 fundamental bosses within the first half of Elden Ring. As you’ll recall, between him, Godrick, Queen Rennala, and Common Radahn, you need to defeat a minimum of two to finish the game. By this level, I had lengthy felled Godrick and Rennala, and Radahn was a less-distant however nonetheless distant reminiscence. Rykard was the final boss I wished to battle on the Chemist Run, as a result of he’s the most recent iteration on a signature gimmick boss setup From Software program video games have been using for the reason that starting. Demon’s Souls and Darkish Souls 3 each have a compulsory boss battle that requires using a particular weapon, the Storm Ruler greatsword. In each video games, the Storm Ruler has a particular assault when preventing the respective boss, which allows the participant to kill them in an affordable period of time. The Storm Ruler reaches up into the sky to slice on the Storm King in Demon’s Souls, and its tempestuous would possibly brings Yhorm the Large to his knees in Darkish Souls 3.

Rykard is designed in an identical method: the participant is obtainable the good spear Serpent-Hunter proper as they enter Rykard’s boss area. The weapon good points elevated vary and harm when preventing Rykard, and the boss has an inflated well being pool to account for the spear in query. So as to add insult to damage, Rykard has two phases: First, you face the God-Devouring Serpent, an enormous tangled snake paying homage to the snake balls from Bloodborne, and then you definitely face Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy correct, whose visage rests on the again of the Serpent’s neck, and who wields a big sword encrusted with the types of all of the individuals he’s consumed up up to now. Each have inflated well being, and each are very harmful, as they’re consistently surrounded by a pool of lava, and the sector you battle them in has pillars and piles of charred corpses which are simple to get caught on whereas making an attempt to dodge and reposition your self. Rykard’s sword is very large and he additionally spews out a flaming cranium that traces an explosive path by way of the sector, all whereas Rykard himself slashes and stabs at you together with his sword. And right here I used to be deciding to fell this monster of monsters with a small assortment of cutlery and some explosives. It was going to be an uphill battle, however I used to be resolved to do it. It was time to arrange for the serpent hunt.

My first makes an attempt on the God-Devouring Serpent have been assessments to see if it might be poisoned and bled: each have been profitable. I used to be capable of make it to Rykard himself as soon as, however I spotted I used to be out of knives, and didn’t have sufficient harm to complete him off. I combed over a spreadsheet I had been utilizing to maintain monitor of necessary merchandise areas. There was one important merchandise I may depend on on this battle that might create absurd quantities of injury. I solely wanted to get the cookbook for it, however getting there was a prolonged course of. I had already began this course of beforehand, earlier than even going through Juno Hoslow: it began again in Liurnia.

North of Raya Lucaria sits Caria Manor. This manor is teeming with horrible hand enemies and a number of other spectral troopers, however working previous every thing right here was about as simple because it will get. The primary issues I grabbed right here have been the ultimate cracked pot, the sixth version of the Glintstone Craftsman’s Cookbook and a ritual pot which I bought from Pidia, a servant squirreled away on the balcony of the small chapel within the manor’s inside. The cookbook allowed for the crafting of Freezing Pots, that are the one supply of the Frostbite standing on a Chemist Run. Frostbite does harm but additionally lowers a goal’s defenses: a great choice to have in a pinch. The boss of Caria Manor is the spirit ash type of Royal Knight Loretta, who was felled simply sufficient. Previous the Manor have been the Three Sisters, a trio of sorcerer towers. The center tower was the house of Lunar Princess Ranni. In an identical method to Alexander, I by no means met Ranni in Limgrave, so it was right here that I met her correctly for the primary time. Pledging to ally myself to her trigger, she sought a treasure from Nokron, Everlasting Metropolis, positioned deep under Limgrave.

It’s a great factor I had already killed Radahn, since if I hadn’t, I’d now be tasked with doing so, as felling him is required to entry Nokron. The Everlasting Metropolis is break up into an higher and decrease half. You enter the small higher half, and make your means all the way down to the decrease half, which remains to be small however no much less harmful. There’s a boss on the finish of the higher half: the Mimic Tear. This can be a boss that mimics your participant character, proper all the way down to their gear and merchandise slots. A typical tactic to make this battle simpler is to strip all of your gear off, after which as soon as the Mimic Tear copies your bare type, reequip your self and destroy it. I didn’t do that on my first playthrough, and I didn’t assume I’d have to do it on this playthrough, so I went into it usually.

The Mimic Tear did certainly use the objects I had geared up, however it principally relied on pathetic punches that hardly did something to me. Whereas Radahn was a battle I recorded and by no means printed, the Mimic Tear was a battle I by no means recorded and want I had, since there was a second the place it unleashed a flurry of punches upon me, they usually didn’t transfer my HP bar in any respect. As a result of the Mimic Tear didn’t have weapons of its personal, defeating it with simply objects was the simplest NPC battle within the game, since I didn’t have to fret about [meaningful] counterattacks. The remainder of Nokron was uneventful—a lot of sneaking previous enemies once I may, and working previous ones I couldn’t. It’s right here the place I picked up that Ancestral Toddler’s Head from earlier, although I by no means discovered a great use for it. I feel if the puddle lingered on the bottom thrice longer than it does at the moment, it’d be a great merchandise to have, however finally I solely used it in that battle with Juno Hoslow. My purpose in coming to Nokron was the hunt merchandise Ranni needs positioned at its middle: the Fingerslayer Blade. Returning this to her on the Three Sisters permits for the continuation of her questline, and it permits me entry to Renna’s Rise, which has a sending gate in its highest chamber, granting me a path to the Ainsel River Principal.

The Ainsel River Principal is the place you decide up the small doll Ranni, and after working by way of every thing and defeating the shadow invader model of Blaidd the Half-Wolf, one can progress to the goal space, the Lake of Rot. It’s right here the place the twenty-second version of the Nomadic Warrior’s Cookbook is discovered, permitting for the crafting of Rot Pots, the one supply of the scarlet rot standing impact I might have entry to on this Chemist Run. I may have used the Rotten Stray spirit ashes to summon a canine that inflicts scarlet rot with its bites, however I figured it could solely handle to use scarlet rot as soon as earlier than dying to Rykard’s flying cranium swarm assault. By crafting and utilizing Rot Pots as a substitute, I might have extra flexibility within the spirits I may summon.

Rot Pots are a ritual pot merchandise, which means solely 10 could be held at most, however it was on this second that I got here to a grave realization. Rot Pots require 2 Poisonous Mushrooms, 2 Light Erdleaf Flowers, and 1 Aeonian Butterfly to craft. Poisonous Mushrooms and Light Erdleaf Flowers have been plentiful all through Caelid; I even defeated Commander O’Neil to have a website of grace proper within the coronary heart of Caelid, subsequent to gathering nodes for each of those supplies. It was the Aeonian Butterflies which have been the hindrance. They’re uncommon objects that don’t respawn as soon as gathered. There have been loads to select within the Lake of Rot, and I discovered some across the Swamp of Aeonia in the course of Caelid simply by giving it a cursory once-over. I even bought a handful from a service provider close by, however all of this gathering left me with lower than 50 Aeonian Butterflies.

Scarlet Rot is a strong standing impact as a result of it does a part of its harm primarily based on a share of a goal’s most HP. This was the right counter to enemies with inflated HP swimming pools like Rykard and the upcoming Hearth Large. Nonetheless, solely having a restricted assured amount of rot pots made them valuable commodities. If I didn’t kill a boss after having spent them, they’d be gone ceaselessly. Now, like with any uncommon useful resource in Elden Ring, it’s potential to farm Aeonian Butterflies: in actual fact, the Lake of Rot is the most effective place to farm them, for the reason that basilisk enemies right here can drop them, and the lake is awful with basilisks. The issue is that I solely had a discovery of 109: this attribute governs the probability of enemies dropping objects on dying. It will be potential to spice up this to 159 for 3 minutes with a Silver-Pickled Fowl Foot, however that might require extra gathering for that recipe, and I wouldn’t be capable to take full benefit of the merchandise. The quickest methodology for me to farm basilisks as a chemist was to kill simply the primary three on a raised path close to the north aspect of the lake, the place you enter it, after which warping to the grace website close by (do not forget that I’ve restricted provides every run, and would want to relaxation on the grace website to resupply).

I did a check to see what number of basilisks I would want to kill with a view to get an Aeonian Butterfly to drop with simply 109 discovery: with the Gold Scarab they have been giving me 733 runes per kill, which meant that if I killed a basilisk in 18 throwing daggers or much less, I might acquire extra runes than lose. More often than not they have been dying in 8 or 9 daggers, so I used to be truly gaining extra daggers this fashion. I killed fifty-five basilisks earlier than the game deigned to present me one (1) Aeonian Butterfly, then on the fifty-sixth kill I obtained a second one. This took a very long time and I exhausted 518 out of a potential 640 throwing daggers doing this check. I used to be capable of purchase all of them again and nonetheless have runes left over, however take heed: if you end up on a Chemist Run and want extra butterflies for rot pots, use the Silver-Pickled Fowl Foot. Don’t make the identical mistake I did.

Screenshot from Elden Ring: a player character stands over a fresh basilisk corpse in the Lake of Rot, having pilfered a rare Aeonian Butterfly from it.

Earlier than going through off in opposition to Rykard, I made a decision to face the boss of the Lake of Rot: Astel, Naturalborn of the Void. I had one-shot it on my first playthrough, and I practically did on my Chemist Run too, however its seize assault the place it comes at you from off the display screen obtained me a minimum of twice. In the end, fan daggers proved to be extremely efficient in opposition to massive bosses. Spending the runes on some extra ranges, and having full shares of all throwing knife objects, I felt sufficiently ready. Feeling assured, it was time to face the Lord of Blasphemy as soon as extra. I crafted some lightning pots simply in case I ran out of knives, centered my focus, and went about slaying the would-be god-eater.

I had confronted off in opposition to the God-Devouring Serpent sufficient occasions to know its moveset. The one deadly assault it has is an earthquake assault the place it ruptures the bottom and sends a wave of rock at you. The one time I used to be capable of dodge this was when the serpent tousled its concentrating on and misfired it in between goal shifts: it primed the assault whereas concentrating on me, however then shifted to my spirit ashes, and the assault fired between us. If the assault hit me the incorrect means, it might be an on the spot kill. The important thing to this stage was sticking shut sufficient that it by no means did this assault, however far sufficient away that it by no means did the spinning “get away from me” assault both. It’s not shocking that my profitable run by no means noticed this earthquake assault as soon as.

My fundamental technique concerned whittling down the Serpent with Poisonbone Darts, Fan Daggers, Kukris, and Throwing Daggers, and utilizing its assaults to scrub up the particles littering the boss area (which might kill you in both part for those who aren’t cautious). These knives alone can be sufficient to take it down, permitting me to save lots of Rot Pots for Rykard himself. However the Rot Pots themselves wouldn’t be sufficient, particularly since all enemies construct up resistances to standing results every time they’re utilized. I’d solely want to use poison to the Serpent twice, however I’d exhaust my total inventory of Fan Daggers, and most of my Kukris. I wanted one thing else; yet another ace within the gap.

It was time for restrict breaking. Ordinarily, a participant can solely carry 40 Throwing Daggers, 40 Fan Daggers, and 30 Kukris. Nonetheless, gamers are capable of depart objects on the bottom. That is distinct from discarding them: leaving truly drops the merchandise on the bottom, the place they are often picked up by the participant once more or by one other participant; that is the way it’s potential to commerce objects in Elden Ring from one participant to a different. Discarding an merchandise, then again, destroys it fully. The mist partitions that block gamers from leaving a boss area as soon as entered have thin-enough collision detection that it’s potential to depart stacks of things on one aspect of the sector, go by way of the mist, after which retrieve these objects as soon as on the skin.

Rykard required some further preparation on this method; it’s lucky that the small room simply earlier than his boss area has a website of grace for this actual objective. I would depart full stacks of Throwing Daggers, Kukris, and Fan Daggers on the skin of the boss area, after which relaxation on the grace website. This could absolutely replenish my shares of all three objects from reserves, whereas conserving the dropped objects on the bottom. Then I’d enter the boss area and battle the Serpent usually, free to expend as many knives as I wanted. This added further danger to the equation: Not solely have been valuable rot pots on the road, but when I died, the dropped objects would despawn, misplaced ceaselessly. This is the reason Rykard can be probably the most hectic boss to face on a Chemist Run: so many assets have been on the road with every try.

I break up my further stash of knives into three separate teams: fan daggers on the left (relative to being contained in the boss area), kukris within the center, and throwing daggers on the correct. I may’ve stashed them multi function spot, however the doorway is huge sufficient to area them out for extra correct choice. There’s sufficient time after the Serpent dies to run to the mist wall and seize what you want, however an issue I foresaw was discovering the doorway in a boss area as huge as Rykard’s. For the reason that compass is turned off throughout boss fights, I used a blue map marker as a visible information. Inserting these on the map additionally locations a blue beacon that stretches up into the sky, and if one is positioned simply south of the grace website subsequent to Rykard’s boss area, the blue beacon will shoot up by way of the roof of the small cave. The beacon is clearly seen in opposition to the colours of the boss area, and it made realizing the place to place myself and the boss as soon as I obtained it all the way down to lower than 1 / 4 of well being remaining a lot simpler.

Rykard himself isn’t any joke, however I had gotten fairly far on earlier makes an attempt, solely succumbing to easy errors or lack of knives. I wasn’t about to let victory slip away from me once more. Summoning my Marionettes, they helped distract nearly all of the flying skulls throughout Rykard’s first huge assault sequence. Rykard is gradual sufficient that it’s simple to hit him with pots, and two rot pots are sufficient to get the primary occasion of scarlet rot going. After that, the battle isn’t too dangerous in case you have sufficient apply with each phases. The Serpent assaults from part one get reintroduced midway by way of part two, so having self-discipline with the dodge button is essential. Rykard and the Serpent like to delay assaults for only a tick longer than you assume, and when you get that rhythm down there’s not a lot that stands in the way in which. I solely wanted to use scarlet rot twice all through the battle, and when all was mentioned and achieved, I used to be happy with my victory. No Serpent-Hunter wanted: rot pots and knives have been all it took.

It’s a merciless joke, then, that this was all for naught, as finishing Volcano Manor meant I must kill Patches to insure that his bell-bearing might be used to purchase extra fan daggers. He leaves for the Shaded Citadel, however for those who don’t kill him there, he disappears and so too do his wares. He’s the one supply of purchasable fan daggers, so I needed to kill him. Killing Rykard additionally didn’t repair Alexander’s questline like I hoped. I might by no means get that Jar, or that talisman from Jar-Bairn. Extra’s the pity, I suppose.

(Notice: The Chemist Run was accomplished previous to patch 1.04 of Elden Ring, a.okay.a. The Patches Patch. In 1.04, they added a further step to Patches’ questline, which causes him to return as a service provider following his occasion within the Shaded Citadel. Since my Chemist Run was solely achieved in 1.03, this was not an possibility on the time.)

The journey by way of the Mountaintops of the Giants was fast and unceremonious, save for a fast cease in one of many catacombs so I may purchase the tenth and ultimate ritual pot. This area is infamous for its sharp enhance in enemy well being and harm, and by the tip of it, the enemies are so massive and harmful that I’ve by no means bothered to face them in fight, even once I had the posh of weapons. There’s an NPC invader right here, Bloody Finger Okina, who wields the dreaded Rivers of Blood katana, probably the most highly effective weapons within the game. He gave me just a few deaths, however then I made a decision to face on the sting of a cliff and see if he’d fall to his dying with me: positive sufficient, he did. I used to be even capable of get better the runes gained from his dying.

The Hearth Large is one other enemy with an inflated well being pool, and I practically obtained him on my first attempt, however I couldn’t fairly handle his part two. I beat him in two tries on my first playthrough, so he was a kind of bosses I by no means obtained to correctly apply. I did hear a couple of cheese technique the place you’d lure him to a small cliff in his boss area, and bait him into leaping off of it which might do sufficient harm to push him into his second type (the place you’ll bait him once more for the kill), however this was patched out in 1.03. One other technique which did exist was leaping out of the boss area with Torrent after which looping round to a different cliff and preventing him at vary from there. He can solely hit you together with his avalanche assault, and when you get him to half well being the cutscene teleports you again contained in the boss room (so if you wish to cheese him extra you’ll need to make that harrowing leap once more).

I may make the leap comparatively constantly, however a chemist-only drawback introduced itself, much like the enormous crow farm: not one of the knives reached him, and the pots didn’t fare a lot better. The Wraith Calling Bell and the Regal Omen Bairn projectiles may attain him, however they couldn’t do practically sufficient harm for the quantity of FP I had, even when I transformed all my therapeutic flasks into FP-replenishing ones. I assumed it was time to bust out among the stone objects I’d been neglecting up up to now. The magic stones will launch magic projectiles when thrown, and people projectiles will house in in your goal, however this had one other drawback: if I locked onto the enormous, then the stones would crash in opposition to the cliff face, and the projectiles would collide with the sting earlier than reaching the enormous. If I didn’t lock on, the projectiles wouldn’t monitor to the enormous as a result of he was too distant. In the long run, I concluded there was no strategy to cheese him out, and that I might merely need to be taught the battle usually. 

Rot Pots as soon as once more got here in useful to cope with the enormous’s huge well being pool, and as soon as once more I reserved them for the final half of the battle. The important thing to this battle was staying between his legs for the primary half, and staying beneath or behind him for the second half. Simpler mentioned than achieved given his proclivity for rolling away, however perseverance received out. I used to be fairly impressed with my spacing on this battle for probably the most half. I’m undecided what it’s, however I discovered it fairly easy to intuit the right spacing wanted  to counteract the enormous’s many assaults. I make errors to make certain, however I solely obtained hit as soon as within the final half of the battle. I’ll take it.

With the enormous vanquished, I used to be free to stoke the embers of their kiln and set the Erdtree aflame, my chemist Vinny was whisked away to Crumbling Farum Azula, the final stage earlier than the finale of Elden Ring.

Crumbling Farum Azula is a winding, twisting, damaged place with a lot of verticality and paths looping again on themselves. It was additionally extraordinarily uneventful. The beast enemies right here can chase you for fairly awhile, and their leaping lunge assaults can catch you in retreat for those who aren’t cautious, however I solely died as soon as working to the primary boss, and that was solely as a result of I finished to knife some beasts within the first place. Making it all the way down to the primary boss was easy, and by this level within the game I had every thing I wished item-wise, so it was only a matter of attending to the bosses and killing them. First on the chopping block have been the Godskin Duo, a pair consisting of the Godskin Apostle and the Godskin Noble. These bosses are sometimes fought solo, with the Apostle requiring deft actions to keep away from their assaults, and the Noble demanding sufficient spacing to counteract their rolling assaults and large piercing sword, and preventing them each required spacing every of them out and blocking one’s assaults with the opposite’s physique.

I don’t have a lot to say about these two. It solely took me two makes an attempt which is yet another than my first playthrough. I by no means had hassle with these guys in that playthrough, however I had heard they have been giving individuals a lot of guff, so I chalked it as much as my twin greatsword construct having an edge, however the chemist has one other edge fully. Greater than any battle, this one illustrates how efficient working away could be in opposition to enemies in Elden Ring. Utilizing the pillars to pressure whiffs was nice, however I did find yourself losing a bunch of knives which didn’t clear the pillars’ collision detection. These bosses are extremely vulnerable to the sleep standing; if I needed to battle them once more, I’d most likely concentrate on the massive one because it’s simpler to hit with fan daggers, and I wouldn’t summon imps in order that the skinny one would slumber for longer.

With the Godskin dweebs out of the image, it was time for yet another mad sprint by way of to the ultimate boss of Crumbling Farum Azula. I notice I make this space sound like it is vitally quick, however whenever you’re working previous each encounter like I’m, you’ll be able to go at a reasonably brisk tempo. There’s an non-obligatory NPC Invader battle with Recusant Bernahl (keep in mind him?) which grants you the Blasphemous Claw device merchandise. That is much like the Silver Pendant from Darks Souls 1’s Artorias of the Abyss DLC: it’s an merchandise that negates sure boss assaults. The Blasphemous Claw has the bonus impact of working like a parry, and it could actually stun the subsequent boss permitting for large bursts of injury. Since I’m already utilizing objects extensively for all fights, I wished to make use of this claw merchandise, however I discovered it cluttered my stock greater than I may stand.

The Beast Clergyman is a personality you’ll be able to meet on the northeastern fringe of Caelid, within the Bestial Sanctum. By giving him Deathroot to eat, which you principally acquire by killing particular bosses related to These Who Stay In Dying (learn: skeletons, principally), he’ll reward you with the bestial incantations I used on my first character, and whenever you give him the final one, he thanks you and disappears. In case you try this, then he acknowledges you when you face him right here in Crumbling Farum Azula, the place you need to battle him to the dying, however as I couldn’t use any of his rewards, I by no means bothered giving him Deathroot on my Chemist Run. As such, he didn’t acknowledge my chemist, and this simply turned a traditional boss battle, the place the Beast Clergyman makes use of those self same incantations and slashes away together with his Cinquedea knife. Nonetheless, upon reducing his well being sufficient, he reveals himself to be Maliketh, the Black Blade.

Maliketh is a black-armored beastman wielding a colossal greatsword imbued with the Rune of Dying, giving it a particular impact within the battle for those who’re hit with sure assaults. His assaults are extra putting, and he leaps throughout the battlefield slinging waves of sunshine together with his sword which propel him up into the air earlier than he crashes down upon you. Maliketh brings to thoughts boss fights like Ludwig, the Holy Blade from Bloodborne and Sir Artorias from Darkish Souls, and whereas I don’t assume his battle is as narratively impactful as these two, as Maliketh just isn’t as outstanding a determine within the lore as Ludwig or Artorias have been of their video games, it’s Maliketh’s battle that’s my favourite boss battle amongst all of the bosses of Elden Ring.

Most of my appreciation for Maliketh’s battle is owed largely to the way it felt like a Dante vs Vergil battle for my first character particularly (greatswords & bestial incantations, with some bloodflame for visible aptitude, even the vigor-heavy construct had a pleasant distinction with this battle’s gimmick). On the Chemist Run, I’ll admit this kill was sloppy; not my best work. Much like the Godskin Duo, utilizing the pillars within the area for canopy makes many assaults a non-issue, however that doesn’t cease me from practically dying within the second half due to the distinctive gimmick of this boss battle, the place Maliketh lowers your most HP after which additionally drains away your remaining HP over time. It’s one of many messiest kills I made on this run, second solely to the Radahn kill.

Maliketh’s dying marks the purpose of no return, the place the Rune of Dying is unbound and killing a god turns into potential. It’s right here that Leyndell transforms into the Capital of Ash, and the ultimate sequence of boss fights happens. There is no such thing as a substantial stage to run by way of, nor are there any explicit enemies value participating (for a Chemist Run a minimum of). I did exit of my strategy to get the Erdtree’s Favor +2 talisman, although that is clearly only for the HP and Stamina enhance. It’s comparatively simple to sneak previous all of the Ulcerated Tree Spirits, seize it, and warp out of there; not necessary, however since I used to be already utilizing the +1 model from defeating Mohg earlier within the sewers, I figured I’d as effectively get the improve. The Capital of Ash is an appropriately barren space, missing the layered, intricate stage design Leyndell had earlier than, as can be anticipated from an space positioned straight beneath a completely blazing Erdtree.

There are three boss fights remaining, and the primary is Sir Gideon Ofnir, the All-Understanding. Sir Gideon is an NPC boss, and is tied with Juno Hoslow for worst NPC enemy within the game. Sir Gideon has a plethora of boss spells at his disposal, using sorceries and incantations from all through the Lands Between. Since I knowledgeable him about Mohg’s whereabouts on this playthrough, he integrated certainly one of Mohg’s blood incantations into his arsenal of spells. On my first playthrough, Sir Gideon was a whole push-over, however on my Chemist Run, when the entire NPC enemies had been troublesome at finest and obscenely irritating at worst, he was fairly a formidable opponent. I feel it took me about 9 tries earlier than I lastly offed Ofnir. It obtained to the purpose the place I used to be utilizing Gravity Stone Followers, a stone merchandise that emits waves of gravitational power alongside the bottom, to catch his rolls and interrupt his casting, however I ultimately determined to summon the imps to chunk his ankles whereas I knifed him from afar.

The footage actually captures simply how ridiculous the roll-spamming will get with enemies like this: for those who didn’t consider me in any case this time that the NPC enemies have been among the worst to go up in opposition to as a chemist, hopefully now you perceive how irritating they are often. Past Sir Gideon Ofnir, the All-Rolling, lies the penultimate boss battle in opposition to Godfrey, the First Elden Lord. The golden spectral type fought earlier was only a style of his boss battle, and he has extra devastating space assaults this time round. He, like Maliketh and the Hearth Large earlier than him, additionally good points a brand new moveset midway by way of his well being bar, returning to his previous id as Hoarah Loux, Warrior, Chieftain of the Badlands.

One thing I didn’t know beforehand was that you could summon NPCs for this battle: Shabriri is out there in case you have inherited the Frenzied Flame, and newly added to patch 1.03 is the choice to summon Nepheli Loux, Warrior, who’s presumably associated to Hoarah Loux, although I’m hesitant to dictate the style of their relation.

I haven’t introduced up any of the lore surrounding the characters or setting of Elden Ring, regardless that they’re a big a part of what makes these video games interesting to many individuals, myself included. I famous my enjoyment of the “immersive environment” these video games present earlier, and whereas I discover nice pleasure in contemplating varied points of the characters and goings-on of locations from Boletaria to the Lands Between, I discover that quantifying all of the bits and items of the backgrounds behind these video games is pointless for my enjoyment.

In lots of respects, the disappearance of Queen Marika the Everlasting described within the opening cutscene of Elden Ring is quite a bit like the invention of Laura Palmer’s physique within the opening minutes of Twin Peak’s first episode. Each girls are unable to inform their elements of the story, and each are important characters of their respective communities, with ties to varied different characters in each works. Laura Palmer is extra centrally targeted on in Twin Peaks: the invention of her physique is the catalyst that drives the complete narrative ahead. In the meantime, Queen Marika is extra of a background character who was instrumental within the institution and cultural structuring of the Lands Between as much as the purpose the place Elden Ring begins. It’s not a one-to-one comparability, however the important thing function they’ve in frequent is that the viewers/participant is left with questions and mysteries to ponder and switch round of their minds because the story progresses; questions and mysteries which can by no means be absolutely answered, as a result of it’s the pondering that’s the entertaining half.

That is the place Elden Ring’s place as a video game lends power to this storytelling fashion: Gamers aren’t going to search out each shred of proof essential to get the entire image, and even when they uncover an enormous clue, they could not make the necessary connections instantly. Whereas scripting this piece, I’ve been wanting up lots of the objects I’ve talked about, and in so doing I made an unlimited connection between one explicit merchandise and a sure weapon, which has intriguing ramifications on my understanding of the world of Elden Ring and its historical past. You’ll have to take my phrase for it that this occurred, nevertheless, as a result of I’m reluctant to level out the precise connection I made, and what these objects have been, in a lot the identical means that one may be reluctant to clarify a puzzle answer to somebody who hasn’t figured it out but. The enjoyment comes from piecing issues collectively oneself, however there’s additionally fascination available in not realizing each quantifiable element in a piece, and treating it like an natural account, reasonably than one thing as rigidly structured as a logic puzzle.

This brings me again to Nepheli Loux, and her aforementioned nebulous relationship with Hoarah Loux. It’s potential that they’ve a familial relationship—they’ve the identical surname, however in addition they each introduce themselves as “Warrior,” and if we infer that Nepheli Loux is from the badlands like Hoarah Loux, there’s no assure that badlanders use surnames in the identical capability that, say, Diallos and his older brother Juno do. It’s potential that “Loux” itself isn’t truly a surname, however a title or a signifier of station. However perhaps that is pondering too deeply about it: even when it’s only a surname and they’re certainly associated, there’d nonetheless be no strategy to know precisely how they’re associated. One would possibly assume a father-daughter relationship, however it is also a grandfather-granddaughter relationship, or an ancestor-descendant relationship. There’s no conclusive proof a method or one other, and that’s what makes it participating within the first place.

“We’re amidst unusual beings, in a wierd land. The movement of time itself is convoluted, with heroes centuries previous phasing out and in. The very cloth wavers, and relations shift and obscure.” – Solaire of Astora, Darkish Souls

Discuss warriors and Lynchian storytelling apart, Godfrey/Hoarah Loux is among the finest fights within the game, and being so near the tip and dreading the issue I’d have in opposition to the ultimate boss, I elected to simply accept the assistance of each Shabriri and Nepheli Loux. Each of them can solely be summoned beneath particular circumstances. I discussed Shabriri’s earlier than, however Nepheli Loux’s situation requires finishing her questline. This was left unfinished on the game’s launch, however as of patch 1.03, one can certainly end her questline and summon her for this battle.

I hadn’t caught a break in opposition to bosses on this run since Common Radahn. I’m discounting the Mimic Tear battle I described earlier, as a result of it wasn’t a lot of a problem to start with, like a number of bosses in mini dungeons I haven’t even talked about, such because the Crystalians who you assume can be an issue for a chemist given their excessive armor, however who finally fell reasonably rapidly. If the game was going to reward my efforts by giving me entry to 2 NPC summons for the penultimate boss battle, then I used to be going to take it.

I by no means obtained grappled by Hoarah Loux on my first battle with him, so attending to see the animations play firsthand was fairly the spectacle for me. It’s simple to know why this battle is a favourite for a lot of. Whereas Nepheli Loux, Shabriri, my two Marionettes, and myself made reasonably fast work of Godfrey, I made a decision to go full overkill and throw rot pots at him. My analysis instructed me that the ultimate boss of Elden Ring is proof against all standing results, and I nonetheless had some rot pots readily available. I’d as effectively use them after which convert these ritual pots into simpler bombs for that battle. Godfrey’s battle felt a bit anticlimactic for the way rapidly the 5 of us trounced him, however I already had defeated Praetor Rykard with objects: I doubted that something lower than the ultimate boss would really feel as satisfying as that kill, and I might be proper.

The Seventh Knife

One of many core aspects of the Chemist Run as I outlined to start with, was that objects have been the one strategies I may use to deal harm to enemies and executives. I couldn’t wield weapons, even when I used to be merely holding them to make use of their ashes of struggle. I couldn’t wield magic spells both, as that too went in opposition to the entire level of the run. Solely objects might be used, nevertheless Elden Ring launched a brand new set of things: spirit ashes. For the reason that starting, I had left using spirit ashes as much as participant discretion. If a chemist wished to make use of spirit ashes, they might be allowed to take action of their run, for the reason that spirit ashes must be obtained within the first place, and the supplies to improve them must be gathered. This added problem and gameplay to the Chemist Run, in a fashion much like accumulating the ritual pots or the cookbooks, and I believed {that a} “no spirit ashes” rule would additional prohibit an already-restrictive playstyle to the breaking level of enjoyment.

As I’ve demonstrated, I used to be capable of face a good quantity of bosses in Elden Ring with out utilizing spirit ashes in any respect. It might be argued each that the spirit ashes I elected to make use of weren’t the most effective ones I may’ve been utilizing, and that I didn’t want them that a lot within the first place. I summoned the Marionettes for the Rykard battle, however they barely did significant harm to him, and their worth was higher felt within the first fiery cranium part, the place they distracted a lot of the skulls’ consideration. Nonetheless, a second fiery cranium part occurred throughout my battle with him, and I demonstrated the power to efficiently survive that sequence — the Marionettes weren’t required to defeat Rykard.

Of the spirit ashes that I elected to make use of all through the run, three of them have been constructs, or synthetic creations: the Fanged Imps, the Marionettes, and the Soldjars of Fortune, although the latter have been solely in one of many main fights. I did additionally buy the Jarwight Puppet from Seluvis, a personality concerned in Ranni’s questline: This puppet wears my coveted Jar helmet, and throws pot objects which appeared applicable for this problem run, as he makes use of objects in the identical method that I do. Sadly, the Jarwight Puppet is finest in opposition to lumbering, gradual bosses which are simple to hit and don’t transfer round an excessive amount of. Watching him attempt to lob pots on the Hearth Large was pitiable, and after that battle, practically the entire bosses can be a foul match-up for the Jarwight Puppet. I shudder to think about him making an attempt to hit Maliketh or Gideon.

Once I look again on the Chemist Run, and the entire objects I deployed to succeed in the tip of Elden Ring, there was one fixed factor in my arsenal. There was one shining, glimmering merchandise archetype that proved to be the simplest, most versatile, and most plentiful. The Cracked and Ritual Pot objects have been useful, however restricted of their utility because of their gradual animation; the identical might be mentioned of the stone objects just like the Gravity and Magic stones. The Fragrance objects have been highly effective and potent, however restricted by the assets required to craft them, and the vary of their effectiveness. The instruments just like the Regal Omen Bairn have been extraordinarily necessary for particular conditions, akin to rune farming on the enormous crow, however they lacked velocity and harm. There was only one singular merchandise archetype that had the entire utility, harm, velocity, and effectivity to outclass all others.

Knives.

Throwing Daggers have been low cost, highly effective, and quick; Kukris have been devastating and made up for his or her sluggishness; Fan Daggers have been absurdly sturdy in opposition to massive targets, racking up ridiculous quantities of injury, with staggering potential too; Poisonbone Darts allowed for steady harm even in periods of retreat or evasion; Crystal Darts supplied a cost-efficient avenue for harm, whereas additionally offering an elemental offense possibility, and making dungeon crawling extra tactically dynamic; and Bone Darts have been an ever-present backup provide within the occasion that any of the opposite 5 knife sorts ran dry. Throwing knives have lengthy been a tactical possibility since Demon’s Souls, they usually have been certainly one of my favourite objects to deploy in Bloodborne, and right here they have been in Elden Ring carrying me all the way in which from Margit to the ultimate boss. It will be throughout this ultimate boss, nevertheless, the place their power can be, in a fashion of talking, hard-countered.

The ultimate boss of Elden Ring is break up into two totally different fights, much like Rykard however with the 2 fights being in opposition to fully totally different bosses. Up first is Radagon of the Golden Order. You recognize a boss means enterprise once they fucking RP stroll towards you want they don’t give a shit. Radagon has highly effective holy hammer assaults and might take out chunks of well being with a single strike. He additionally shatters the bottom with delayed holy explosions, and hurls lightning spears that influence the bottom and explode shortly thereafter. He’s a tricky battle, greater than worthy as a ultimate boss, however unbeknownst to me my first time round, Radagon has a tough counter to my Chemist Run: he can deflect thrown objects, massively lowering their harm.

One among my Poisonbone Darts would deal 24 harm to him—when deflected they dealt 2. That’s a minimum of a 90% harm discount on objects he deflects; Poisonbone Darts deal most of their harm with their poison impact, however this is able to apply to each merchandise. I even discovered that he can deflect the Spark Fragrant whereas it explodes. Very like the NPC enemies spamming the dodge roll, Radagon can deflect as many projectiles as he needs, and whereas he can solely do that from his impartial stance (i.e. not throughout the wind-up, execution, or cooldown animations of an assault), boss impartial stances have been among the finest occasions to get harm in in opposition to bosses up up to now. It’s an particularly efficient counter for a boss like Radagon to have, whose impartial stance is a gradual stroll towards the participant. The one different boss I’ve seen with the power to neutralize objects have been the storm currents on Godrick’s charge-up animation, and Rennala’s casting of her Full Moon spell (the Moon blocks the objects from hitting her). Each different boss simply dodges the merchandise as soon as thrown, or will get hit with it: a easy dichotomy of injury utility or avoidance that’s simple to know.

If Radagon had this deflection potential as the one twist in his boss battle, then it wouldn’t have been trigger for concern, however there was one other challenge: he’s simply the primary of two bosses. As soon as defeated, the precise ultimate boss of Elden Ring takes stage: the Elden Beast, an unlimited, otherworldly sauropod-like creature. The Beast has humanoid arms, and it fashions the physique of the now-slain Radagon into an enormous sword, which it makes use of to launch devastating holy slashes, along with all method of celestial cloud assaults, and a large-scale incantation that seemingly traces the Elden Ring itself within the sky earlier than it encircles and annihilates you with holy harm.

Mercifully, the Elden Beast can not deflect objects like Radagon, and its massive lumbering type makes it fairly easy to get hits on it, however it has some actually devastating assaults, and a penchant for flying and swimming across the area in a means that makes catching as much as it a relentless battle all through the battle. To not point out the truth that each of those bosses should be felled in the identical run—for those who die throughout the Elden Beast battle, then you need to battle Radagon yet again. Because of the nature of the boss area, it’s additionally not potential to drag the identical trick that I used with Rykard: There’s no alternative to drop further provides outdoors the boss room and resupply between fights. Whenever you enter the boss room, positioned throughout the Erdtree itself, you’re teleported inside, with no entry to the mist wall or any objects you will have left behind it.

It’s one factor to throw a knife or pot and miss fully as a result of the enemy moved in a selected means that the knife flew over their shoulder, or the pot arced over their head. It’s one other factor fully to hit an enemy dead-on with the merchandise, and have most of that merchandise’s harm be negated. Combining this with the truth that the double boss battle wouldn’t have a resupply possibility, I used to be merely puzzled. Not even rot pots would save me this time, for the reason that Elden Beast is proof against scarlet rot. I may poison Radagon, however his resistance to poison was so excessive that it’d take a number of darts simply to use it as soon as, and after that, I wouldn’t have sufficient darts to use it a second time. My choices for making use of harm have been restricted for each fights, and certainly one of them may cut back my harm by a minimum of 90% per merchandise.

Right here I used to be, because the Erdtree burned above, on the twilight hour of the Chemist Run, and the ultimate bosses have been pulling out all of the stops to carry the entire thing crashing down round me. No punches pulled; no quarter given. If that’s how they wished to play…

So be it.

Screenshot from Elden Ring: a player character talks with Blackguard Big Boggart, who exclaims "Marika's tits, you must be 'ungry."

Throughout my earlier makes an attempt in opposition to the Hearth Large, after deciding that the cheese technique was out of the query, however earlier than making an attempt my hand at preventing him in earnest, I put collectively a contingency plan. A plan to be enacted within the unlikely, however potential, occasion {that a} late-game boss would merely be an excessive amount of for a chemist to surmount. I wasn’t positive on the time if this plan can be vital, however I had been initially meant to apply it to the Hearth Large himself. Thankfully, I used to be capable of finest him with out its use. Radagon, and the Elden Beast, wouldn’t be so fortunate.

Previous to going through off in opposition to Praetor Rykard, I had explored the Lake of Rot to accumulate the cookbook for crafting Rot Pots. The boss of that space was Astel, Naturalborn of the Void. I had fought it on a whim, simply to see if I may do it as a chemist, and it solely took me just a few tries to finest it. Past Astel’s boss area, nevertheless, was an elevator that lead as much as a sequestered plateau in southern Liurnia. It was right here {that a} particular evergaol might be discovered: the Ringleader’s Evergaol. Evergaols are small arenas with what are basically mini-boss fights, and the Ringleader’s Evergaol housed Alecto, Black Knife Ringleader.

As her title signifies, she is the chief of the Black Knives, the faction answerable for a number of high-profile murders within the Lands Between. Black Knife enemies are strewn everywhere in the game, and in an identical vein to NPC enemies, they’re impressively agile and fast to dodge projectiles. Thankfully for me, Alecto suffers from a selected AI exploit because of the placement of her evergaol on the sting of the plateau. By luring her to a selected level in her area, Alecto will get wedged between the sting and a small ledge beside it. She is going to then attempt to stroll again into the sector, however you’ll be able to bodyblock her with your personal character, and assault her with impunity. I wouldn’t have resorted to doing this if not for the truth that I had already achieved an identical factor for Juno Hoslow, and that she was extremely good at dodging my knives as you would possibly count on.

Defeating Alecto awards one with the spirit ashes of Black Knife Tiche, Alecto’s daughter who perished defending her mom. Black Knife Tiche is among the strongest spirit ashes in Elden Ring: She’s fast, agile, good at dodging enemy assaults, and her signature talent includes utilizing her black knife to solid Blade of Dying, which has the identical properties as these present in a few of Maliketh’s assaults: getting hit by Blade of Dying will debuff a goal, briefly lowering their most HP and draining their HP away for a short while. With my low Thoughts attribute, I didn’t even have sufficient FP to summon Tiche, so I modified my Flask of Wondrous Physick to negate FP prices for a short while earlier than summoning her. I loaded up on Boiled Crab, a strong merchandise to spice up bodily protection, from Blackguard Huge Boggart, and entered the Erdtree.

Tiche can be the seventh knife in my arsenal: the Godkilling Knife.

Screenshot from Elden Ring: The "Quit Game" menu from the Chemist Run file, which reads the character name and level: "Chemist Vinny, Level 145," and which lists the total playtime: 67 hours 17 minutes and 8 seconds.

I don’t usually do problem runs in video video games, however the sheer novelty of an item-only Chemist Run of Elden Ring felt equal elements difficult and intrinsically rewarding. There are most likely these on the market who may do a run like this with none spirit ashes, or with none NPC summons, or with out both, and I applaud those that handle that feat. As for me, I don’t have any regrets over my accomplishment: I did this Chemist Run for myself and I don’t care if others discover it much less spectacular. They most likely had to make use of Serpent-Hunter to kill Rykard.

In order that’s the Chemist Run for you. In case you’re keen on doing one your self, I’d love to listen to your ideas and updates in your progress. Total, I’d say the run was successful and it had some attention-grabbing challenges to beat, however I additionally would by no means suggest that anybody play Elden Ring this fashion, except it actually, actually strikes their fancy. I want to give a particular shoutout to 2 content material creators whose work impressed my very own Chemist Run: ymfah and The Backlogs, whose unbelievable problem runs of a number of Souls video games are value trying out. Their movies stored me getting into occasions of battle with this run.

Keep protected on the market Tarnished, and should the steerage of grace lead you to many Boiled Crabs.

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