Home Elden Ring: The Road to the Erdtree Manga Is an Absolute Treat

Elden Ring: The Road to the Erdtree Manga Is an Absolute Treat

Finally, a completely valid excuse to talk about Elden Ring on an anime website. A companion manga to the Elden Ring video game, titled Elden Ring: The Road to the Erdtree, has released the first few incredibly ridiculous chapters in September. Road to the Erdtree is a parody version of the Elden Ring main storyline. This means that while the characters, plot points, and location are all quite true to the original video game story, just about every detail is filled with jokes, references to actual real-life gaming habits, and self-aware jabs at some of the more ridiculous parts of both Elden Ring and the other games FromSoftware develops.

Every Character Come to Life

Road to the Erdtree follows the main character, just like the video game itself. That character though, unlike the video game character, has constant inner dialogue and commentary on the world around him. Even more, many of the entities in the game that don’t have much dialogue beyond a few moments within a quest also have lines in the manga. For example Torrent, the spectral steed players ride in Elden Ring, has some implied dialogue. This is the first means by which Road to the Erdtree becomes much more than the traditional bit of satire. Rather than simply presenting slightly funnier retellings of the same main story events, Road to the Erdtree adds layers to characters that were barely active in the game. This has the potential to add personality, albeit satirical personality, to many underappreciated elements of the game.

A nice horse pun within the first chapter | Source: Comic Walker

In only the first few chapters, one of the game’s major bosses has already had this “extra personality” treatment and with amazing results. Considering how serious and intense many of the bosses of Elden Ring are I’m very interested to see exactly how Road to the Erdtree treats them. For example, Melania, a boss infamous for taking players sometimes hundreds of attempts to beat, is almost certain to have some extra quirks added to her.

Carefully Sprinkled 4th Wall Breaks

The second way Road to the Erdtree sets itself far apart from most satire is via the use of 4th wall breaks to make commentary on the game itself or gaming writ large. Manga’s main character Aseo (the player character) takes jabs at the game’s confusing mechanics, large map, and incredibly difficult enemies. While it isn’t exactly innovative to make fun of a game, the scope of Elden Ring is what makes a difference here. Elden Ring is a truly massive game in terms of content and playstyle. Because of the seemingly endless number of tried-and-true gameplay mechanics, RPG tropes, and familiar annoyances that are littered across the vast expanse of the game, the available things to poke fun at are similarly high in number. This means that Road to the Erdtree has a unique potential with regard to making even basic jokes about levelling up. There is simply just so much it has the option of making fun of.

Massive castles like this are only a small proportion of the massive map | Source: Elden Ring Official Website

My personal hope is that this becomes a means of taking into account memes or jokes the player base makes known online. Annoying weapons needing to be nerfed, exploits, and common strategies of cheesing bosses are all likely to appear in this manga. Given it comes out every few weeks I think there’s great potential for some of the humor to be at least semi-reactive to the response to the game in the months after its release.

What to Look Forward To

Overall, I think that Elden Ring: The Road to the Erdtree manga will make for a great read as Elden Ring gets a bit older and players like myself wait for DLC. Just like the video game itself, there is plenty of content to grab at and endless routes this manga could choose to place itself upon. What I’m looking forward to quite a bit is how the manga treats the latter portions of the game’s story, when bosses begin to get absolutely ridiculous and dying often is expected. I’d love to get plenty of commentary between respawns as manga character Aseo considers employing a glitch on a boss he just can’t seem to take down.

What I am most looking forward to though is this Road to the Erdtree’s continuous roasting of Elden Ring’s oft convoluted and overcomplicated questlines, names, and mechanics. For those unfamiliar with the game, knowing that George R. R. Martin was involved in writing its story should explain what I mean by convoluted. I don’t think a fourth wall break involving YouTube tutorials is entirely out of the question for some of these quests. We’ll see if it gets that ridiculous.

Elden Ring: The Road to the Erdtree iavailable for free online in 12 languages and published by one of FromSoftware’s parent companies Kadokawa on their Comic Walker online magazine.

Featured image courtesy of Elden Ring’s official website.
©Nikiichi Tobita 2022 ©Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. / ©2022 FromSoftware, Inc. / © 2010 – 2022 Bandai Namco Europe S.A.S

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