If you've been keeping up with Elden Ring's various updates over the last several months, the game's minor evolutions should be familiar to you. FromSoftware has quietly changed the game's maps (several times), and made a number of other tweaks that rarely get mentioned in patch notes.
And, it turns out, one of the game's most recongisable areas was being updated right up until the last minute.
Leyndell, the Royal Capital is a vast, complex legacy dungeon, which players arrive at fairly late into the game. In Elden Ring's 1.0 version - the one that shipped on disc - Leyndell is a little different from the one players have been visiting since the days of release.
By playing the unpatched, day one edition of Elden Ring, YouTuber Sekiro Dubi made a number of curious findings, most of them with lore implications rather than outright gameplay ones.
The most noticeable difference is that the old version of Leyndell appears to take place earlier in the game's timeline, at a point when the Erdtree-following, Golden Order-loyals had not yet retaken control of the city. In the current Leyndell, the streets and halls are almost exclusively guarded by Leyndell Knights and soldiers, but that hasn't always been the case.
As you can see in the video above, the capital was still under the invasion of Crucible Knights, Banished Knights and other forces, with its garrison nowhere to be seen. You can even see a few praying to the fallen dragon Gransax, whose husk adorns the cityscape. Gransax, of course, kicked off the war against the dragons when it attacked the capital.
When arriving into Leyndell in the current version, one of the most unique sights your eyes will catch is the congregation of Oracle Envoys tooting their pipes and spinning in the Erdtree's light. The version of the capital that shipped, however, shows a time before their arrival. The Oracle Envoys are said to appear to herald the beginning of a new age, which would make sense given the timeline of events.
Apart from a sub-area name change and the removal of a certain armour set, Leyndell's boss had a slightly different name. Morgott, the Omen King is instead named Prince of the Omen.
Many things, of course, remain unchanged, such as the city's layout. You'll also note that some of Leyndell's invaders haven't been completely eradicated by the time we arrive, such as the few scattered Crucible Knights you'll run into.