Elden Ring has taken the world by storm. The critically acclaimed open-world action RPG from the vibrant minds of “Dark Souls” creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin has become wildly popular thanks to its incredibly rich fantasy world full of thrilling combat and plentiful quests. The game has already seen some impressive sales numbers, and its impressive Metacritic score is only surpassed by a few other timeless titles.
A big part of the appeal of “Elden Ring” is its epic bosses and other combative creatures players meet along the way. Though “Elden Ring” is by no means a horror title, there are plenty of enemies players who will meet along their journey who send shivers down their spines. Running into dragons, demigods, and the like is guaranteed in the Lands Between. Some fear them, while others seek them out for the thrill. Whatever stance a player takes on the most hair-raising enemies in “Elden Ring,” this guide will help them prepare for the scares ahead. Fair warning: don’t expect to sleep anytime soon after seeing these creatures.
Astel, Naturalborn of the Void in Elden Ring
As if the name wasn’t enough to give players the creeps, a big reason Astel, Naturalborn of the Void is so scary is because of the place it calls home. One of many hidden areas worth exploring in “Elden Ring,” the Lake of Rot is a pool of health-draining Scarlet Rot. In other words, Astel’s abode is a literal bloodbath.
For those who can hold their own in the Lake of Rot, Astel, Naturalborn of the Void awaits for a truly trying boss battle. Players should note that defeating Astel is optional, unless they’re working on completing Ranni the Witch’s questline.
At first glance, Astel looks almost like a giant firefly, but with some completely unsettling features. Each of its six legs ends in a human-like skeletal hand, and its head is a smiling, cracked human skull with a mouth full of pincers. Glowing orbs of blue, purple, yellow, and green light make up its body and tail, with rays of light circling certain sections. Completing the intimidating look is its tail, which features long, thorny spikes.
Beating Astel is no easy task, as it’s clearly set up to attack with all parts of its nightmarish form, doling out everything from laser beams to tail whips to meteor showers. Taking into account appearance, abilities, and overall atmosphere, Astel has the potential to scare even the most composed gamer.
Don’t be fooled by their brass instruments – the Oracle Envoy are not the chill, peaceful musicians they appear to be at first glance. With impossibly long, thin arms and stoic faces with covered-up eyes, the humanlike features of the Oracle Envoy stand out against their bodies and heads, which are composed of two large spheres. They’re basically shaped like deformed, fleshy snowmen (only with zero winter cheer).
Located in both Leyndell and Miquella’s Haligtree, these humanoid horrors will go from playing their ominous tunes to bashing players with their pipes in an instant. The fact that they also blow bubbles out of their horns is just too much. The contrast between their whimsical designs and their brutality is shocking.
These creepy creatures also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For instance, there’s even a Giant Oracle Envoy in Miquella’s Haligtree that’s particularly daunting, so keep an eye (and ear) out for that.
Godrick the Grafted
This is the first boss in “Elden Ring” that players have the option to defeat, ensuring that the image of his unforgettable form will be burned in players’ minds for the remainder of the game. Godrick the Grafted is a demigod who lords over Stormveil Castle. In addition to a big gold axe he uses to attack, his official description states that “he has grafted many arms on his body, a symbol of power to all those who might try to depose him.”
Godrick the Grafted doesn’t need leg day — he’s all upper body. As if his permanently contorted collection of arms wasn’t frightening enough, midway through his incredibly challenging boss battle, the demigod chops off one of his own arms and replaces it with a fire-breathing dragon head. His cold intensity — including the creepy, reverent whisper in which he addresses the dragon skeleton he implores — only accentuates the upsetting nature of his evolving form.
It’s bloodcurdling to think about how ruthless Godrick the Grafted is towards even his own body. Given what he does to himself, his rage against his enemies is truly unimaginable. Good thing there is an easy way to beat him.
Death Rite Bird
The name and striking image speak for themselves when it comes to the Death Rite Bird. There are multiple locations for these optional bosses, including Caelid, Liurnia of the Lakes, and both the Central and West Mountaintops of the Giants. And, of course, players can find the Death Rite Bird in their nightmares for the rest of life.
Armed with a spear and described in-game as an “immense bird skeleton with crow-like features,” the Death Rite Bird is Halloween with wings. Its long, curved spine and strangely humanlike feet and hands give this bird a distinctly unsettling feel. The skull-like head — which may bring Astel to mind — is also a nice touch.
In battle, the Death Rite Bird pecks, soars, stabs, and even rains down spears upon its enemies. Sometimes it seems to move slowly and gracefully, only for its movements to become faster and unexpected. There’s sure to be a lingering sense of dread in the air after encountering this unique monster.
Putrid Crystalian Trio
There are many Crystalian enemies throughout “Elden Ring,” though the scariest have to be the trio of Putrid Crystalian that players have the option to fight in Sellia Hideaway. Like other Crystalians in the game, these three foes are made head-to-toe from crystal. What’s more chilling than their rock-hard form is the matching cold attitude that comes with it. These enemies move slowly and deliberately, almost like robots. Even in battle, it’s as if they can’t be bothered to worry about you.
The Putrid Crystalian Trio is particularly spooky since each member has a different weapon. The staff and spear are intimidating enough, but it’s the ringblade-bearing Crystalian who spins around at the speed of light and truly leaves an impression. When struck in battle, they get up with an unsettling slowness. These three shiny creeps are sure to challenge the idea that diamonds are anyone’s best friend.
By now, there’s been no shortage of out-of-place hands adding to the overall creepiness of “Elden Ring” enemies, from Astel to the Death Rite Bird and beyond. However, the Fingercreeper puts all of those other fantastical phalanges to shame.
Getting killed by the Fingercreeper is hands-down one of the worst ways to die in “Elden Ring,” since it can really sneak up on players. Known by some fans as “Spider Hands,” these absolute atrocities are known for “skitter[ing] about their environs, often clinging to walls to put the drop on unsuspecting trespassers. They are also capable of burrowing deep beneath the earth, violently bursting out of the ground to grab and crush their prey.”
Even for those brave souls unafraid of spiders, the Fingercreepers are sneaky enough to give players a solid jump scare. Their scurrying movements and unnatural design are also totally off-putting. Players who choose to tangle with this beast may also find a ring finger weapon of their very own.
Believe it or not, these scary enemies are just a few of the many fearsome foes who await “Elden Ring” gamers. As players explore more of the game, the list of characters they won’t want to hug is sure to grow.