This is a collaboration post with GamingOmnivore – check out his list here!
You see the title – you know what time it is. But before I launch into my salty tirade, I do want to do a quick little intro – the theme for week three of Blaugust is Creative Appreciation. And while I do consider myself an artsy kind of person, and I could spend days talking about bands, authors, or other creatives that I love, I’d like to use this space to shout out my blogging pals. Blogging can be draining sometimes – trying to come up with ideas for original posts, making banners/graphics, and you know, actually writing – all while continuing to do the other pesky, non-blogging related activities required by life. But sometimes the cool people you meet, and the discussions you’re able to have here in this corner of the internet make the occasional grind worth it. So am I saying “the real blogging was the friends we made along the way?” Yes, yes I am.
The real MVP’s
Nathan – GamingOmnivore: I’ve known Nathan for actual years now (WILD) and his blog was one of the first I ever found when I started on WordPress. Famous for his love of Metroid and Resident Evil (4), I’ve always enjoyed reading his content and having another person to share my love of Bloodborne with. His Twitch channel was also the first I ever watched when I decided to start making more of an attempt to be present in the extended blogging community. He’s also entirely too patient in listening to my unhinged ramblings on every topic under the sun, which I am eternally grateful for. So check out his Bloodborne Journal entries which I loved, and obviously follow him if you’re not already.
Kate – Blogging with Dragons: I had followed Kate for quite a while, but never worked up the courage to talk to her until I wanted to get some opinions from women in gaming for an article I was working on. We ended up chatting, and just kind of… never stopped. Not only is Kate’s blog adorable (she reviews books, games, and other assorted things, like K-dramas) but she’s also genuinely one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to. She’s introduced me to a bunch of cool people, and new games. She is wonderful, and I have a hard time imagining my life without her anymore. You should follow her immediately.
Jett – InThirdPerson: Jett was one of the first friends I ever made while branching out of my blog – I was introduced to him through the Support Role Discord. He helped me with a ton of streaming and tech advice when I expressed interest in giving Twitch a shot, despite not knowing me at all, and getting nothing out of it himself. TL;DR: Jett is super nice, and a true homie. We’ve met in (third?) person several times now, and he’s introduced me to the world of Pokémon TCG, which we play online regularly. His blog is a literal treasure trove of streaming and tech info, as well as everything you need to know about video games, board games, and other nerdy pursuits (see what I did there?); Jett is also about to be the next big Pokémon TCG streamer/YouTuber, so you should follow him before he’s too famous to acknowledge you.
I wish I had more room to talk about wonderful people like this, but I’m trying not to write another 3,000 word piece, so final shout-outs to other amazing, lovely people I’ve had the opportunity to interact with because of my blog: Solarayo, DaNamesX, Magi, Naithin, McKenna, Ian (I’m probably forgetting people, forgive me). They’re all great beans with great blogs.
SO, we’re finally getting into it – hold on to your butts. In honour of Creative Appreciation week, GamingOmnivore and I cooked up this collaboration – a combination list of all our favourite (re: not so favourite) enemies from Elden Ring – the ones that made this already harrowing game just that much more annoying. Welcome to the Unofficial (official) Shitboi Roster! Fair warning: spoilers for Elden Ring and a ton of swearing to follow. A final thank you to Nathan for letting me totally sponge off of his idea to create this list in the first place, and for working with me to bring it together. Don’t forget to read his half!
The Shitboi Roster
Like many other players I’m sure, I was absolutely stunned when I first wandered into the vast underground of The Lands Between – the Siofra River, and the outskirts of the eternal city of Nokron. The starry-looking purple sky, the soaring architecture – it’s an incredible area to behold. The second thing that absolutely stunned me about this area was the annoying Shitbois that patrol here – the Ancestral Followers. I suppose they watch over the Hallowhorn Grounds, which I can respect – what I don’t respect, however, is their ability to 360 no-scope me from LITERALLY ANYWHERE. Like, I’m crouched behind a tree, HOW ARE YOU STILL HITTING ME?
Throughout this area, there are a series of braziers for you to light in order to gain access to the Ancestor Spirit boss. So normally, this would make for a fun little exploration jaunt – looking around this gorgeous area, and finding these flames to ignite. But of course, this is a FromSoft game, so we can’t have nice things. Prepare yourself, because the Ancestral Followers are here to ruin your day – though there are a few variants in their weaponry, the bowmen are the real problem. These dudes are like Legolas, but with the best optometry coverage money can buy – and I can’t tell you how many times I was sprinting through this area on Torrent, desperately chugging my not-Estus to heal through getting shot constantly. This did not work. At all. I really had to suck it up and clear out all of these relentless bastards in order to explore in peace. Eventually, FINALLY, riddled with arrows and looking like a porcupine warrior princess, I crawled my way out of the Siofra River with my pride very much not-intact. Fuck these guys. Love the armor though.
Omni: Aside from my all-goddamn-afternoon battle(s) against Malenia at the base of the Haligtree, I can’t think of something that pissed me off MORE than getting sniped 24/7 by the Ancestral Followers found in the Siofra River region. The breathtaking awe of the Siofra River region and Nokron, Eternal City promptly took a backseat to angry outbursts as I COULD NOT AVOID GETTING HIT by these aqua-blue assholes. My attempts at lighting the braziers scattered across the area were concisely and consistently thwarted by the not-so-merry band of Vikings who can shoot a Shabiri grape from your fingers with pinpoint accuracy. I remember my reaction when I discovered the Ancestral Follower Shamans, who could summon enemies faster than I could take them out – I’m sure my neighbors heard it too.
Lesser Kindred of Rot (Pests)
I didn’t realize these Shitbois were called pests, but I’m pleasantly surprised, because that’s entirely accurate. According to the wiki entry, “due to their appearance, they have been forsaken” and honestly, good – they deserve it. I absolutely hate. These. Fucking. Things. Claps for emphasis. Not only do they remind me of those creepy centipede things you might see hauling ass across your carpet at 2am (purely anecdotal) but their attacks are annoying as hell. They also happen to be found almost exclusively in areas where Scarlet Rot is common (go figure) which makes dealing with them even more frustrating. On their own, they’re fairly manageable, but if you aggro more than one at a time, you’re in a lot of trouble.
They have one particular attack that always caught me – they can shoot out a series of threads, and like 9000 homing bullets, they’ll shred through your health in an instant. These pests are freakishly fast and move in a weird, skittery way that gives me the creeps. They’re really just human-sized bugs, and I’m not about that life. Trying to get through the Grand Cloister and deal with these things made this relatively short area stick out in my mind as one of the worst. When I finally made it to Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree and saw these bastards hanging around AGAIN, it was an immediate no from me. I’ll roll my way slowly through that putrid swamp and catch Scarlet Rot 40 times before I fight even one of these. Bleh.
Omni: In the many hours I wandered across Limgrave in the initial few dozen hours of Elden Ring, I remember scouring the Dragon-Burnt Ruins and innocently opening a chest. Before I realized what was happening I found myself being teleported to the Sellia Crystal Tunnel in Caelid. After getting my bearings, I noticed a message that had been left by some other unfortunate Tarnished who had suffered the same fate. The message read – “Beware Prawn”. It took mere seconds to learn what that meant – I was IMMEDIATELY one-shot by this goofy-looking centipede holding a spear. This was my introduction to the Lesser Kindred of Rot (BIG FUCKING PESTS).
Now, I’m not the most observant person in the world, but I feel like I’ve noticed a trend in FromSoftware games with certain enemy types – I can just picture a round table discussion where some genius says, “Hey, what if we took this regular, fairly nondescript animal, and just made it GIGANTIC and utterly horrifying?” Nodding and clapping all around. Giant rats? They got you. Giant pigs? They got you. Giant lobsters? They got you… but why? Miyazaki, please.
You’ll encounter the Giant Crayfish (affectionately known as the Sniper Lobsters for GamingOmnivore and I) in the swamps of Liurnia first – I remember spotting one from the Purified Ruins and just laughing. FromSoft, back at it again with their big animal shenanigans – oh, you. How cute. Until I tried to attack said giant lobster, that is. Not very cute anymore. Mistakes were made. And I quickly discovered that running away from these massive crustaceans is not an option – while they’re not quite on the level of the Ancestral Followers, these enemies do have a ranged spitting attack that will absolutely fuck your day (and your spine) up. You know, if the massive pincers don’t get you first.
As if everything about these Shitbois – the extensive HP, the power, and the sniper spit – wasn’t bad enough, they also like to hide under the water to surprise unsuspecting Tarnished. While they’re not quite as sneaky as the Fingercreepers (as you can usually spot them before you bumble into them) they have still managed to surprise me on several occasions. And it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Particularly when there’s an entire cohort waiting for you. Apparently Sniper Lobsters are also pack animals – who knew? While these enemies aren’t the most common, they certainly inspired enough fear in me that I began to (bravely, strategically) avoid them. I’ll never look at those lobster tanks in the grocery store the same way again…
Omni: You know the old saying “Never run from a sniper, you’ll only die tired”? You’ve probably seen it on some gamer bro’s Xbox 360 profile, but just remember this friendly advice as you’re trying to escape the meaty claws of a lobster the SIZE OF A FUCKING TANK who can no-scope your ass from here to the Altus Plateau. I first came across mentions of “sniper lobsters” on Twitter shortly after the game was released and couldn’t help but think “WTF Miyazaki??” I finally came across these crustacean sharpshooters on my way to Raya Lucaria Academy – one moment I was riding through the Academy Gate Village with my buddy Torrent and before I knew it, a squad of lobster bois had boiled up from underwater, immediately surrounding me. I laughed, then died. True story. If only FromSoft had thrown in a few Cheddar Bay biscuits for my pain.
As if Caelid wasn’t miserable enough, with the plague of Scarlet Rot, endless zombie bois, and massive dino-dogs, you have the birds. THE BIRDS! Sure, the classic birds-with-knives-for-feet in Stormveil are wild, but imagine they were also the size of a small bus. In continuing their trend of creating gigantic, horrifying animals, FromSoft made yet another banger – the Monstrous Crow. If you’re like me, you probably stumbled upon the Rotting Shack early into your trip to the Florida of The Lands Between – and just there, in the distance, a huge crow perched in a spooky tree. I remember seeing it and immediately thinking “You know what? Nah, I’m good.” And as usual, my first instinct was correct. These birds are a nightmare.
Like a lot of the other Shitbois on this list, these birds hit like trucks, have way too much health, and are ornery as fuck. They’re also fairly content to chase you FOREVER, on their weirdly long, spindly legs. And of course, these hellish creatures aren’t just in Caelid, they’re also in the Mountaintops of the Giants (thankfully they’re occupied fighting the Yeti Trolls and don’t usually bother you) and Mohgwyn Palace – and the variation at the Palace are significantly more annoying than their counterparts. I used to think the crows from Bloodborne were annoying, with their flapping and flailing, but they’re actually kind of cute compared to these abominations in Elden Ring. In conclusion, FromSoft has no chill, and I am perpetually scared but here for it.
Omni: There’s no two ways about it – Caelid is horrible. An entire region to the southeast of the Lands Between, devastated by Scarlet Rot after being nuked by Malenia during her legendary battle with General Radahn. It is 1000% NO SURPRISE that Caelid is home to some really, REALLY dreadful creatures like zombies, t-rex dogs, a giant dragon that breathes Scarlet Rot and of course, Monstrous Crows. These feathered fucks have giant beaks with which they Edgar Allan “Poke” your eyes out and will aggro you from another time zone before annihilating your sorry ass with their obnoxious “stomp, then peck” attack. Fun Fact: a group of crows is called a “murder.” Coincidence? I think not.
Of course we had to save the best (worst) for last, right? These things are the actual bane of my existence. I was first introduced to the Fingercreepers at Caria Manor – the outer garden is absolutely crawling with them. And, as if facing them head on wasn’t terrifying enough, they also hide UNDER THE GROUND to grab unsuspecting fools (i.e. me) innocently trying to plunder items from abandoned manors. I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that I was grabbed by these colossal hands more times than I probably should have been – and every single time, I nearly had a stroke. They also hang out on the walls, on the ceilings, and come in large and small varieties! Fun! But scaring the hell out of me aside, they’re strong, and quite fast as well. Thankfully, my giant Greatsword was enough to slow them down and give them a bit of trouble.
But it’s really the jump-scares, the shitting-my-pants factor that sells the Fingercreepers for me. Even once I learned to check for those telltale nails sticking out of the ground to indicate their lying-in-wait, they STILL caught me slippin multiple times when I wasn’t paying attention. RIP to my heart rate. I don’t think anyone who has played this game made it through without being spooked by one of these things – they’re in Liurnia, the Altus Plateau, the Subterranean Shunning Grounds, AND in the Mountaintops of the Giants. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. It was a quick and simple “fuck this shit, I’m out” every time I came across these 18-fingered fucks in a new area. The amount of cursing these things inspire is directly proportional to the amount that I hate them. I’m tempted to start a petition to make the Fingercreepers the official mascot of the term “nightmare fuel” because I truly believe they deserve it. I think these enemies will always be the “one” I associate with Elden Ring in my head – for better or worse.
Omni: Full disclosure – I was very politely asked by Meghan to include these handsy bastards on this list or I’d be receiving a not-so-politely worded message.
Another enemy I was aware of before actually playing Elden Ring, the Fingercreepers take FromSoft creature design to a whole new level. OK, picture this – a hand, BUT ALSO A FUCKING SPIDER! I still remember quite vividly my first encounter with these gargantuan Glovers after (finally) defeating Rennala in the Raya Lucaria library – I was simply trying to reach the inner corridors of Caria Manor and I hear my wife, who was watching me play, quietly say “Oh…you’re here”. Before I knew it I was ambushed by a hideous gang of hands and my day was immeasurably ruined. This wasn’t the last I would see of the Fingercreepers, not by a long shot. It was many hours later before I reached the Subterranean Shunning Grounds and just happened to look upwards as I made my way through the labyrinthian sewers of Leyndell; there it was – another enormous spider-hand just chilling on the wall above the doorway I was *intending* to use. Fingercreepers maybe don’t have the range of attacks in their repertoire as other enemies, but honestly, they DO NOT need it. They will lie underground, quietly waiting for you to absent-mindedly tread across their palms before crushing you and your health bar like so many of my hopes and dreams. Gotta hand it to From Software though (pun absolutely intended), they really created the stuff of nightmares here.
Honorary Mention: Preceptor Miriam
Yeah, that’s right, it’s time for a small bonus round. I have to give this enemy a shout out, because never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I’d be yelling, “fuck off, Miriam!” while playing a video game. What a time to be alive. But seriously, Miriam can take a long walk off a short pier as far as I’m concerned.
Ol’ Miriam hangs around in the Carian Study Hall in Liurnia – I found her fairly early, and being the stubborn shit that I am, decided I needed to humble her after she killed me several times. But Miriam does not fuck around – this NPC has strong magic attacks, all ranged of course, and teleports away to safety once you start to lay into her. Eventually, I did manage to kill her (after many attempts) but found that I couldn’t do much else in the Study Hall. So I went on my merry way. Once I obtained the Carian Inverted Statue and returned, however, I found a nasty surprise waiting for me – I mean, nastier than all the other shit lurking in the Study Hall. My old pal Miriam, back again! Gets meaner and meaner each time, baby (laughs in Ludacris). But really, I almost passed away when I saw her stupid pointy hat waiting for me. And this time, she was even more annoying to deal with because of the awkward new layout of the Study Hall. Sigh. Gotta hand it to you Miriam, you really were a pain in the ass. Respect.
Omni: To be honest, I had completely forgotten about this until Meghan refreshed my memory on who the hell Preceptor Miriam even was – there’s a lot of NPC invaders with random-ass names throughout the game. Upon closer inspection I do, in fact, remember Miriam makin’ it rain in the Study Hall with showers of glintstone magic causing all kinds of mayhem and making my trip(s) there generally unpleasant. By far the most trouble she caused me was after pulling the Symphony of the Night inverted castle trick. I usually consider myself fairly competent when it comes to platforming games; however, Elden Ring IS NOT A PLATFORMER, despite the addition of a dedicated jump button to the Souls formula. Once the Carian Study Hall is flipped on its head, there’s even more opportunities to miscalculate your jump to the next sliver of rafters and fall to your death. Such hazards are amplified TENFOLD once Miriam decides to join the party. I was all too happy to finally be rid of this NPC nuisance after what had to be a dozen attempts. Good fucking riddance.
Another week, done
So there you have it – all the annoying enemies that made my journey through Elden Ring just that much more enjoyable. Not looking forward to becoming re-acquainted with any of these hellspawn on my second playthrough. But alas, such is life – where there are turtle popes and sentient jars, there must also be giant murderous hands. Balance in all things. Of course, I’d love to know if y’all agree with mine and GamingOmnivore’s picks – and let me know if I missed any of your personal favourite Shitbois. I’ll be back next week for another Blaugust post (on Staying Motivated, hahahaha). Peace!