One of Elden Ring’s most recognizable areas looked very different when it first appeared earlier this year, as Bandai Namco quietly altered the game after release.
Leyndell, a grand fortress-city and one of Elden Ring’s late-game areas, included different enemies and items in the game’s 1.0 version. Playing an unpatched PS5 disc copy of the game, YouTuber Sekiro Dubi was able to play this early iteration and spot some of the major changes that have been made through post-release updates (thanks, VG247).
Most obviously, the area’s enemies are totally different. Rather than meeting Leyndell Knights throughout the city, you’ll find it populated by enemy Banished Knights. Deeper in the city, the usual soldiers you’d expect to see are also missing, and replaced with a couple of back-to-back Erdtree Avatars.
The swap suggests this original version of Leyndell was set earlier in Elden Ring’s timeline, before the Leyndell garrison had reclaimed the city from invading forces. Some knights also look to be paying their respects to Gransax – the massive petrified dragon in the middle of the city.
The time shift also means the Oracle Envoys – the rotund, trumpet-tooting enemies you encounter in the city – are nowhere to be found. As Sekiro Dubi points out, their in-game description says they’ll appear and play their pipes “to herald the arrival of a new god, or age”. It seems this version of Leyndell is set at a point in time when that hasn’t yet taken place.
Less significantly, the Lower Capital Church was also originally called Lower Capital Chapel, and didn’t include the bed where you’re now able to find the four-piece Lionel armor set. Although Leyndell’s demigod boss Morgott, the Omen King is called Morgott, Prince of the Omen in this early version. That might suggest a change of lore or merely a change of translation.
Elden Ring has received several discreet changes since it launched earlier this year. Especially its map, which has been subject to numerous secret alterations. Post-release patches have added map details, removed objects, and tweaked its visuals to better represent Elden Ring’s world.