The poison swamp is the environment that FromSoftware fans most dislike. This controversial biome is present in nearly every Soulsborne title, including Dark Souls’ Blighttown, Dark Souls 3’s Farron Keep, and Demon’s Souls’ dreaded Valley of Defilement.
The poison swamp is the bane for many Souls players, but director Hidetaka Mishazaki revealed that the toxic environment is one they are eager to have back in Elden Ring. Game Informer.
Miyazaki, also the director of Demon’s Souls. Dark Souls. Bloodborne. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. [Elden Ring]I have rediscovered my love of making poisonous swamps.”
He said that he knows how people feel about them but suddenly, he realized, and he couldn’t help himself, that a book was in his hands. “It just happens.”
If Elden Ring will mark your first exploration of FromSoftware’s action RPG, it is worth knowing in advance what kind of hell the developer’s poison swamps have in store.
Yes, Soulsborne poisonous swamps can poison you. They slowly drain your health over time. But they’re so much more. They will often severely restrict your ability to move.
This is more evident than in Demon’s Souls or its PS5 remake. Attempting to dodge roll in a swamp will instead play an excruciatingly long animation showing your character struggling to keep their feet on the ground.
A toxic mechanic
Elden Ring’s interpretation of the poisonous swamp does not seem to be entirely consistent with the Soulsborne norm.
“In terms of Elden Ring’s story and setting there is something that is especially horrible that exists and persists in this world,” Miyazaki teased. “I’ll give you the name, so you can look forward, it’s the Scarlet Rot. This is something that is separate from poison and toxicity, but I hope that you enjoy it.
It is not yet clear if the Scarlet Rot status effect will addle the player. However, if this Scarlet Rot has anything to do the poisonous swamps it’s something that we’ll have on our minds while exploring these zones.
Dragonrot, a similar-named affliction, was present in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice. It was a persistent effect that affected certain NPCs in the game when you chose to resurrect after death. This incentivized the taking a small death every now, rather than negatively impacting the other inhabitants of the world.
We aren’t sure that Scarlet Rot will be as complex as that, but it is something we are interested in.