Patches With Elden Ring

Elden Ring may resemble Dark Souls in appearance, but it is, as far as we know, entirely unique in terms of narrative and lore. That doesn’t rule out the possibility of legitimate connections between From Software’s latest action RPG and previous titles such as Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne, and even Armored Core.

 If you don’t want to see Elden Ring content before it launches on February 25th, this is your last chance to close this tab or click on a link to one of Kotaku’s other fantastic stories.

A character named Patches appears in the upcoming game, according to a recent Red Bull-branded preview event that brought in several notable Twitch personalities to demo Elden Ring ahead of its release. During his session, Spanish streamer ChusoMMontero came face to face with Patches, apparently inviting the NPC’s wrath after looting a treasure chest.

Chuso was quickly dispatched, but not before capturing this fantastic footage of Patches in action.

Patches should be familiar to longtime From Software fans, particularly when it comes to the company’s genre-defining Souls and Souls-like games.

While he made his first appearance in Armored Core: For Answer in 2008 as Patch the Good Luck, a faceless rival pilot who prefers to snipe you from the air rather than face you head-on, most people got their first taste of this character’s unique brand of nonsense in Demon’s Souls the following year.

Patches the Hyena (as he’s known in Demon’s Souls) is a cowardly, conniving NPC who twice leads you into compromising situations in the hopes of looting your corpse. Once you’ve escaped his traps in both cases, he apologizes for his actions. Patches will open a shop in the game’s hub area if you let him live.

While many people were critical of the changes made to the Demon’s Souls aesthetics in the PlayStation 5 remake, I applaud developer Bluepoint Software for making Patches have one of the most punchable faces I’ve ever seen in a video game. I’m curious if there were more people who killed him on the PlayStation 5 version than on the PlayStation 3 version.

Patches, dubbed “Trusty,” reappeared in 2011’s Dark Souls, introducing himself to you in various locations based on your progress through the game. He lures you in with the promise of treasure, much like Demon’s Souls, only to send you careening over cliffs and into dark chasms.

Patches becomes a merchant, selling his ill-gotten loot in Firelink Shrine, if you don’t succumb to the temptation of cutting him down where he stands, as you did in Demon’s Souls.

Bloodborne, released in 2015, has my favorite Patches cameo. You meet Patches the Spider, who is basically the Patches we’ve come to know and love with a creepy, arachnid-style body, deep into that Lovecraftian adventure.

Before his full face is revealed in the otherworldly Lecture Building, he first appears behind locked doors early in the story, providing you with a key item for progressing through the game.

Of course, if Patches didn’t kick you into a hole, what kind of jerk would he be? In the late-game Nightmare Frontier, approaching a specific cliff triggers a short point-of-view cutscene in which he pushes you over the edge. That’s Patches as we’ve come to know and love him!

Finally, “Unbreakable” Patches made their most recent appearance in Dark Souls 3 in 2016. He puts you through a series of trials once more, even stealing the armor and identity of a beloved ally known as Siegward of Catarina, but his story comes to a satisfying conclusion in the Ringed City expansion.

I highly recommend watching Souls loresmith VaatiVidya’s video essay on Patches’ transformation from vile parasite to ruthless survivor if you haven’t already.

Patches could also be found in Dark Souls 2 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, though not under the same name. Mild-Mannered Pate of the former appears friendly at first, but later becomes involved in a quest involving a betrayed former partner, while Anayama the Peddler of the latter is considered a possible stand-in due to his history as a former thief turned merchant. While these aren’t direct references to the real Patches, it’s easy to see how they could have been intended to serve the same purpose.

During a 2011 interview on the Japanese podcast Game no Shokutaku, Hidetaka Miyazaki, who is credited with establishing the Souls-like genre with his work on Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro, reportedly claimed that every game he makes will have Patches in it. It’s nice to see Elden Ring keeping up with the continuity, whether he’s joking or not. Dark Souls 3 felt like the perfect send-off for the little jerk, but I’m curious to see what, if any, role he plays in the story of this and future From Software games.

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