Come, sit down and let me tell you the tale of one really strange, hidden door in the massive open-world RPG Elden Ring. You might have to hit it 50 times or more to open it up, they say. There seems to be more of the doors, though this all could be a weird bug that someday might be fixed. While fans are still trying to find out what, exactly, we’re dealing with here, footage of the phenomenon captured the attention of thousands of players and added yet another wild thing to think about while playing FromSoftware’s mystery-filled adventure.
On the morning of March 18, Reddit user teristam uploaded a video to the Elden Ring subreddit showcasing something wild. In their video, they approach a nondescript wall located in Volcano Manor, an ostensible late-game location, and started bashing it with a sword. After 50 hits, the wall blinks out of existence and reveals a new hidden path that nobody had seemingly encountered before. The video quickly exploded on Reddit, as it seemed to imply some absurd puzzle no average person would be able to find without prompting like this, or data mining. If this sounds outlandish, well, the game is full of esoteric puzzles and unexplained mechanics, and FromSoftware builds game worlds dedicated to rewarding—and trolling—players for exploring and experimenting. Intentionality didn’t seem completely out of the realm of the possibility.
And so, other players quickly started checking and verifying that the fake wall was indeed real and in the game. The hidden doorway only became more famous and attracted more attention when popular Dark Souls YouTuber Iron Pineapple shared the Reddit clip on Twitter.
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However, while many assumed this was just yet another trollish secret hidden in a game filled with similar secrets, there now appears to be more to this story.
According to another Reddit user who responded to the original subreddit post, there is in fact another similar and fake wall located near the viral doorway seen in the original video. They included a picture of it and some spoiler-y details about its location, which you can read here. It appears this fake wall can be removed in the same way, with a bunch of smacks from a weapon of your choice. But it doesn’t require nearly as many hits, depending on your stats, some players allege.
To be clear: The idea of secret, fake walls isn’t what got Elden Ring players excited. Weird walls that hide secrets are a known part of Elden Ring. These so-called “illusory walls” are already fairly well documented and understood. What makes this (and the other similar) hidden wall so strange is that it doesn’t behave like the other illusory walls in the game, lacking the same sound cue when vanishing, returning when you rest at a Site of Grace, and taking dozens and dozens of hits to open. While initially, the footage spread the belief the door might have been intentional, some players and experts now speculate that this weird wall might be a bug or an oversight left in the game by the devs.
Well-known Dark Souls hacker Zullie seemingly confirmed this theory—that its a mistake left in by the devs—on March 18 via a short Twitter thread. They explained that after poking at the game files and digging into the fake wall, they claimed to see the door displays 9999 hit points. This is apparently similar to some unbreakable objects in Dark Souls having 999 HP. However, those objects also had 999 defense, meaning they never take damage from any attack and can only be broken via in-game triggers or events scripted by the devs.
“The [Elden Ring] wall being set as a destructible object, but having 9999 HP and no fade-out animation, means it was very likely intended to be destroyed by an event script,” explained Zullie on Twitter. “Though it’s not obvious whether they dummied that out or it’s bugged. It should definitely have 9999 Defense though.”
Illusory Wall, another popular Dark Souls expert who also theorized the fake wall was unintentional, backed up Zullie’s discoveries, agreeing with their thoughts on the wall.
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Of course, until developers FromSoftware or Bandai Namco officially clarify if this fake wall and other similarly hard-to-crack secrets are intentional tricks or unplanned bugs, we can’t say for sure. Kotaku has reached out to Bandai Namco about the fake wall and if it is a bug that may one day be patched out via another large update, like the recently released 1.03 patch.
But then, even if this wall is explained away as an odd bug or oversight, it will still undoubtedly lead to many players hitting everything within sight for weeks or months or even years, as they search endlessly for every last secret, hidden room, and unlockable piece of gear or weaponry. Sure, this fake wall might not be on purpose. But what if there’s a fake wall or cave hidden deep in the game that hasn’t been found yet, and maybe that one does require more than one hit? And what if it holds some incredible secret?
In most games, I’d roll my eyes and laugh at that even being a possibility. But in Elden Ring, well… anything, no matter how frustrating it might be, seems possible.