Elden Ring hasn't been out for long, but enough time has passed that we're now starting to see a little bit of datamining and the sort of complex digging through game files that reveals entirely cut content, older versions of existing areas/systems – and, of course, removed mechanics.
All FromSoftware games go through this after launch, but considering the sheer scale and scope of Elden Ring compared to the studio's earlier work, the wealth of information game code might hide has many in the community giddy with excitement.Lance McDonalnd, the modder whose name should be familiar to anyone who follows that side of FromSoft's games, has started releasing new content about Elden Ring. Their most recent video uncovers a curious mechanic that didn't make the final cut.
But perhaps more interesting than that, a version of that mechanic actually existed in the game's November 2021 Network Test. Using a modded PS4, McDonalnd was able to break through the boundaries of that build, and free the camera to compare and contrast with the final version of the game.
That journey lead them to a particular NPC – monk Jiko – complete with unique dialogue, an item, and an entire gameplay mechanic, all of which no longer exist in the final build.
From what we can gather, the mechanic basically allowed players to brew booze, which can then be offered to NPCs to get them to reveal more about themselves you wouldn't otherwise be able to learn – sort of like how alcohol loosens people's tongues.
Of course, being a fantasy game, FromSoft added a neat spin on it. Rather than simply collecting fruits and fermenting them, Jiko instructs you to capture the Dream Mist/Slumber Fog, which is only found on creatures in a state of deep sleep. Those creatures are covered in mist, and won't wake up when you get close to them.
This feature was far enough along in development that a tutorial for it exists in the inventory's info tab. There's even a prompt for when you approach one of those slumbering creatures that lets you fill your St. Trina's Crystal Ball flask (given to you by the NPC) with said mist.
You need two for a single drink, which is called Dreambrew. After the process is done, you receive a single-use item – a nice refreshing beverage – you can offer to NPCs and get them to spill the beans. The Network Test build even showed what happens when an NPC accepts your gesture. As you can see in the video at the top of the page, the subtitles describe the nightmare Kale the merchant has when he takes your drink and falls asleep. What's revealed lines up with the lore behind Kale's nomadic people, which you meet all across The Lands Between.
As McDonalnd points out, the feature was likely cut late into development, as several related, unused lines of dialogue for various NPCs can be found, which would have been unlocked had the mechanic made it into the final build. Indeed, the monk himself seemingly had a larger quest that's all gone from the game.
For more on what’s actually made the cut, our Elden Ring guide is always here for you.