Please enjoy this Benny Hill-style fast-forward replay of my exploits. FromSoftware / iantothemax (YouTube)

I started slow. Sneaking behind my foe, I used my last little bit of magic to cast Flame Sling, a long-range fireball incantation I learned after defeating Stormveil’s first boss. This, my most powerful attack, erased less than 1/10 of the monster’s health, prompting me to hightail back to the safety of an adjacent room. I weighed my options. Should I return to my last checkpoint and see if I could make it back here with more resources? No, I thought, that would take way too long. Should I face this guy head-on with my short spear? Hell no, I’m not good enough at this game for that.

Then it hit me: If the monster eventually forgot about me and returned to its set path, I’d be able to tiptoe up while its back was turned, get a few hits in, run back to my safe zone, and repeat.

First, I made sure to use up the magic left in my reserves for multiple Flame Sling casts before switching to my less-powerful weapon. After that, it was about stabbing the monster once and dashing away like Skeletor. I eventually worked out a system where positioning myself in a specific spot in the safe room would lure my enemy towards the corner of the arena, allowing me to sneak back in and hide behind a pillar to reset its aggro. From there, it was simply a matter of making sure I didn’t get too greedy and go for a second hit. My patience was my strongest weapon and, nearly 15 minutes later, I was rewarded with the gruesome creature’s death and free to continue exploring Stormveil Castle.

FromSoftware / Plakatanbringer (YouTube)

In a lot of ways, Elden Ring is an evolution of the FromSoftware style. It incorporates gameplay elements from every previous game in the Souls series, even non-Souls predecessors like Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. And while difficulty discussions often focus on the “achievement” of finally beating a difficult Souls boss, cheesing obstacles like I described above is also woven deep into the very fabric of the genre. Take the Taurus Demon from Dark Souls, for example. It may serve as that game’s first true skill test, but the bridge on which you fight it is also designed in such a way that you can trick the boss into leaping to its death with no combat required.


In fact, players have discovered that several Dark Souls bosses can be defeated with careful positioning or exploits. It’s a time-honored tradition at this point.

This may not be the way FromSoftware intended me to deal with this Elden Ring monster, but I’m not sorry for doing what I needed to do to survive a small part of this humongous, punishing game. If the devs want to be jerks and teleport me to some far-off, high-level area, I think finding the cheapest, easiest way to overcome every other hurdle is the best response. And honestly, I’m just waiting for players better than me to, I don’t know, figure out how to kill the final boss without throwing a single punch or something wild like that.