Thailand got a four-minute Elden Ring soap opera and it’s a masterpiece

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Trailers for fantasy RPGs tend to be predictable. Some disturbing “woosh” sounds, an uncomfortable buzzing string set, some gameplay, some CG. Monsters, dungeons, sweeping views of open world vistas. This is how the Elden Ring official launch trailer exhausted. But if you live in Thailand, your impression of FromSoftware’s new installment might be completely different.

Bandai Namco’s Southeast Asia office went to the trouble of making a four-minute short film to coincide with the release of Elden Ring. It’s less of a trailer for a blockbuster role-playing game, and more of a soapy suburban retelling of the game’s opening cinematic.

In a chic, modern suburban home, a treasured family heirloom – the Elden Ring – is accidentally broken. A fight ensues. From there, we abruptly shift to the perspective of a young man, who fondly recalls his childhood spent battling a fake Flying Dragon Agheel and LARPing as Terni. This young man ends up in the aforementioned suburban house, where the family is now fighting for custody of the broken ring. He plays the diplomat, and everyone is very remorseful.

There’s an Erdtree in there, and Torrent makes a few appearances. The whole thing is so disorienting in its seriousness that after three minutes you might feel like you’re watching a soap opera rather than a promotion for a video game. When the reminder that this is an advertisement for a game comes after three minutes, it’s a truly confusing experience.

Stick around until the end, when Grandma fights the Draconic Tree Sentinel. Good luck, grandma. It took me about 30 tries.

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