I can not stand clutter, in real life or in my video games. The people who store all their elixirs and power-ups and do not break them out even when faced with the last boss of a video game? I can not relate. If I get something in a game, I use it. If I’m not going to use it, I’ll sell it. That’s what I’ve made in Elden Ringand it all went great – until last week, when I realized I had made a serious tactical mistake.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Fia’s questline in Elden Ring.]
I would like to emphasize that I reached quite a bit Elden Ring before my penchant for selling goods became an issue. As I wrote this post, I have been playing for 87 hours and I still keep my stock as clean as a whistle. I do not regret my choices – except for a certain moment during Fia’s questline, where I very much regretted my choices.
Fia is an NPC in Elden Ring that gives you a hug every time you visit Roundtable Hold, a safe area where players can improve their weapons with the blacksmith Hewg, among other administrative tasks in the game. Once you’ve gotten far enough in the game, if you accept a hug from Fia, she will make an extra request for you: Give a dagger to someone for her.
She will not tell you who the dagger belongs to, but if you happen to be talking to a guy named D, you have the option to give him the dagger. However, if you give it to him, Fia will use it to murder him, after which you will be able to grab the armor of his corpse.
You can guess what I did next time: I sold that whole set. I’ve been wearing Radahn’s armor set since I beat him, and it’s stronger than D’s armor, which was worth thousands of runes. I often sell armor to the blacksmith while upgrading my weapons, because many times I only need a few runes to pay for the job, and he has a “Sell” option right there (though, what’s important is there is no purchase- back mechanic).
After selling D’s armor, I continued in Fia’s questline. The next big step was to fight Valiant Gargoyles in Nokron. Even with my Mimic Tear call to help me, I thought it was a tough fight. They spit out a lot of poison and there are two of them; you have to keep one distracted so you can take the other out. After a few tries, I looked up if I could summon any NPCs to help me get through this battle. It turns out that the NPC sitting just outside the boss arena is D’s brother, and he’s cursed to sleep forever unless I give him … D’s armor. If I had stuck to it, I could have woken him up and gotten his help with these naughty gargoyles.
Folks, I still have not beaten those gargoyles. I have packed on several levels; I just beat a couple of middle bosses in the giants’ mountain tops, and I even redesigned my character build (with Renalla’s help) to transform myself into an even stronger powerhouse. I think I’ll be able to take those gargoyles out when I return.
Still, I have to admit: I fucked up. In addition, I was repeatedly warned about my behavior. When I wanted to stream Elden Ring with my friends at Discord, they told me that my empty storage screens made them feel “stressed”. My colleague Mike McWhertor saw me brag in Polygon’s Slack about how often I sell things in Elden Ring and he did not cut the words and said to me, “I can not support this behavior.” Readers, I admit: I thought this mindset was ridiculous. Why should I stick to weak short swords I would never wear, or tight leggings I would never wear? Even for a few runes, it was worth it. Every rune counts!
But if I had only searched the net for whether D’s armor had any plot relevance, I would have easily avoided this – and usually I check it, but I saw the high rune costs and cashed in. I’m sorry for my mistake, but still do not intend to change my lifestyle choices, although I also regret the period when I sold my GameCube and all its games (including Super Smash Bros. Melee) because I was short of cash at the time and I did not think I would care so much in the future.
It can be hard to know what’s worth saving and what’s worth letting go of – and in general my penchant for getting rid of the old stuff I no longer use has served me well and resulted in a clean home that does not stress me out. IN Elden RingHowever, I do not have such a good reason to make a mistake, so stupid. I could have just googled it. I can only hope I do next time. But no promises.