Ring of Elden is a classic FromSoftware title, marrying elements of fantasy, macabre and deep lore with punishing gameplay. Ring of Elden more than proved it deserved all the hype ahead of release, and gamers sang its praises. Now that Ring of Elden has been out for a few weeks, more and more players are reaching the endgames and are faced with endgame choices.
Ring of Elden has six possible endings depending on the player’s choice. Some of them don’t seem to differ too much, with the player’s Terni fulfilling his promise to restore the Elden Ring and restore some sort of order. However, there are subtle differences in each choice that can have a big impact on how Lands Between looks and functions in the future. The “default” choice is the age of the fracture, but that does not necessarily mean that it is the “best”.
SPOILER WARNING: The remainder of this article contains spoilers for Ring of EldenThe age of the fracture
Elden Ring default ending
This is probably the ending that requires the least prerequisites and planning. Simply finishing the game and reaching the end the Terni were about to solve – repairing the Elden Ring and becoming the new Elden Lord as a new era begins – will trigger the end of the Age of Fracture. After defeating the last boss (or technically two bosses, with Radagon of the Golden Order and Elden Beast appearing immediately after), players simply need to choose the “Mend the Elden Ring” option. Many of the other options simply offer variations on this ending – like order age – which makes fracture age seem like the easiest and easiest choice.
The NPC and game guide Melina attempted to achieve this ending throughout the game, in an effort to restore the pre-Ring breaking age. Players have ascended to the role of Lord Elden, and they intend to rule this new era where the Golden Order continues to shape and influence the Interlands. FromSoftware games typically have deep lore and sometimes complex narratives, even if those stories are buried under layers of gameplay and hidden in item descriptions. But compared to older FromSoftware titles, Ring of Elden is more character-driven and story-driven, with the aftermath of the Broken Ring made clear as players explore the Middle Lands. The object of the game is to reform the Ring and become Lord Elden, and the Age of Sundering achieves this perfectly.
Ending the Elden Ring Fracture Age Isn’t As Simple As It Seems
While Age of Fracture’s ending seems to tick all the boxes for the goals of a Ring of Elden playthrough, it’s not that simple. It would be hard to find a FromSoftware title that had an unequivocal ending for everyone involved; there’s usually some sort of caveat or dark undertone to even the happiest of endings. While it is true that the Age of Fracture should usher in a new period of peace, however short, the fact is that this means the cycle could repeat itself, and nothing prevents the Ring from being shattered once again and throwing the world into chaos.
This theme of cyclical violence and tragedy is also found in the dark souls series with the Lords of Cinder, and while it’s not necessarily a bad spell, it’s not exactly a good one either. There’s usually some sort of “status quo” conclusion to FromSoftware titles, which are often the ones players are meant to pursue throughout the game. However, when they learn more and the true nature of the choice is revealed, it doesn’t really sound that great. The games will then offer some kind of alternative that may seem too destructive or chaotic, but nevertheless frees the inhabitants from an endless cycle of the same thing over and over again. It’s up to players to decide what’s worse and what they’d rather see happen to the Lands Between in their own games.
Ring of Elden is now available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
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