Elden Ring has been out for quite a while now, which means thousands of tarnished souls have been busy traversing the lands in between, getting murdered by Margit, riding Torrent from one cliff, being taken to the other end of the world without consent and write “dog” next to a turtle.
But behind all these poorly communicated deaths, misadventures and dogs, who are these unfortunate Ternis – and more importantly, what fashion trends do they bring to The Lands Between’s frankly sordid wardrobes? Almost the entire PC Gamer team has ventured into Elden Ring, and here are the regal, rotten, and ridiculous characters we threw against the game’s killing fields.
Mary of Psamathe
Nat Clayton—Feature Film Producer: Look, I’m anything but predictable. Upon turning on Elden Ring, I immediately got to work creating a Dark fantasy facsimile of Apex Legends’ Horizonand in doing so, I have also created a disturbing and distressing recreation of myself.
But it took a minute to really come up with a look, something I attribute to the icy pace with which Elden Ring hands out new gear. For a while, I rocked some basic scale armor from a merchant, in what can only be described as a kind of barnacles-encrusted Boromir look. But having now slain more than one god, Mary begins to develop a more personalized fit.
For a long time, she sported a look centered around a red shawl ripped from the Stormveil guards, perfect for those chilly nights in The Lands Between. Boots and gloves are chosen to suggest a glittering past, now buried in rags and furs, with a gold shield (never used) to match. I kept the fuzzy headband from the warrior starter set as it fits surprisingly well, the blue matching the trim at the bottom of the tunic discreetly.
It’s a lightweight, athletic version of knightly armor, perfect for a traveler armed with two blades. But in recent days I’ve been going for more armored looks, eventually returning to a scaled armor variant with a new set snatched from a hapless knight. My endgame in all soul games is to find the most battered armor with the widest cloaks, and I think I may have found it here, although after 40+ hours, the warrior’s headband is now an integral part of Mary’s look. Maybe a shame considering how long I took to polish her face, but at this point I feel naked without it.
However, there’s still a long way to go for our time-lost space mother, and we’ll see what she’ll look like when she finally takes on the role of Elden Lord.
Zentarim (from nowhere in particular, but he definitely spent some time in a trash can)
Fraser Brown—Online Editor: I have yet to find a look for my sad tarnished boy. Under the armor he is skinny and dirty, and his eye socket is almost certainly infected from the dirty rag he uses to cover it. Maybe I’ll stick with it, or maybe I’ll use a magic mirror to change him up, but what’s really important is what he drapes over his miserable figure.
For most of my time in the Lands Between, I had him decked out in Kaiden armor, except for his helmet, which is from the Prisoner set he started with, and one of my favorite gear in the game. It looks like something you’d stick in your butt, and it makes me laugh. Sorcery is his thing, but he’s a battlemage, so he often ends up clashing in melee scraps, hence the need for better physical protection than what light gear and magical.
After 50 hours of wearing the same thing, however, I decided it was time for a wardrobe change. I should add that I have a few nifty sets that I don’t show because they might be considered spoilers, and also because I don’t wear them much because they just don’t fit the aesthetic that I have in mind for ol’ Zentarim. Dirty chain mail that gives its wearer a mighty belly, on the other hand, is much closer. This is how we should measure success in Elden Ring. He started off helpless and skinny, and now he’s a big, burly guy with a devastating arsenal of spells. Corn! Above all, he always looks very sad.
great aunt cathy
Wes Fenlon—Editor: When I create a Souls character these days, I do so with one goal: to be an irresistible summon. I want to be the one someone chooses from a pile of forgettable fantasy names, hopefully because they laughed at the absurdity of my creation. In Elden Ring, I travel through The Lands Between as Great Aunt Cathy, a dex/faith confessor I modeled after the nastiest Catholic school nun I could conjure up in the creator of the character. Don’t ask him about the eye.
It’s hard to tell from this close-up, but Big Aunt Cathy is indeed tall, pushing the limits of the Elden Ring character designer’s size. Eventually I’ll find the right outfit for her – still practical and stern, but a little prettier than that shackled tabard. But styling isn’t really a priority for Big Aunt Cathy, as you can tell from her haircut. As long as she can inflict punishment, she’s… well, “happy” would imply that Cathy has the ability to smile, so we’ll go for “satisfied.”
Morgan Park—Personal Editor: This is the left ox, named after the the best pizza all time. He’s a samurai who has inexplicably woken up in a world where just about everyone seems to be from Europe. It’s OK with LB, but it makes him feel like a fish out of water at times. He considered swapping his clan armor for a knight’s outfit he pulled from a dead man, but it’s too heavy and “looks like crap”, according to him.
As you can see from my starter armor, I haven’t been adventurous with LB’s wardrobe. I’m 16 and still using the stuff I started with. It’s not because I don’t care, but because I care too much. I really like my samurai armor and can’t stand breaking the set for meager stat boosts. When I see friends marching in helmets that don’t match their chest protectors or ugly pants that make them faster, I back off.
I didn’t start the game as a samurai just to put on a knight’s helmet a few hours later. Also, I really like the dual katana setup I run and would feel too weird to swing them while carrying anything else. While everyone is playing Dark Souls 4, Left beef and I are enjoying Sekiro 2.
Tyler Colp—Associate Editor: Okay, it’s not Ornifex from Dark Souls 2, and I wasn’t trying to make her look like Ornifex from Dark Souls 2 either. I just liked the name. She’s not a lanky lady, she’s a witch with magic spells plucked from the stars. She also has a tall hat, because wizards in Souls games have all had a tall hat at some point in their lives.
I’ve completed Elden Ring, so these robes and boots aren’t really what I’ve been wearing for the last 15 hours, but they’re a close approximation of what my character is. She throws small meteors at people and often dies in a single hit from enemies. I don’t usually play magic users in Souls games, but I finally decided to give it a shot. My character is weak to anything that hits harder than a rat, but damn does she look good in the dresses she stole from the academy (please, don’t tell them).
Lauren Morton—Associate Editor: When I walk into an RPG character creator, my mind just goes to characters from other games that I like. I knew I was going to play a warrior in Elden Ring, so here’s Fenris fame from Dragon Age 2, recognizable by his hair and my best attempt to give him his lyrium tattoos. I’m that souls player wearing the biggest and weirdest loot at some point, so here it is in that huge horn headband that I’m currently enjoying. Although it makes me feel like I should have done a character from The Iron Bull instead.
Robin Valentine—Print Editor: Egith has seen some serious shit before during his time in the Lands Between, and frankly, he doesn’t want to see any more, so he’s keeping his prophet blindfolded, thank you very much. As a side benefit, it covers up the huge scar and tearing eye bags I cursed it with during character creation.
This is actually my second Terni, after a successful but ultimately unsatisfying run as a wizard, so I haven’t found too much cool gear for him yet. But I really like the sturdy, furry armor of the Kaiden mercenaries, hard-earned in combat on horseback. And I’m glad I’ve already found a great sword with the same animations – and stopping power – as the claymore that stayed by my side for most of the first Dark Souls.
Rich Stanton—Editor: I like to play Souls games more or less naked, and the same goes for my character. The “light charge” boosts dodging efficiency, my little goblin sickle does savage bleed damage, the shield is for max parry action, and the horns just make me laugh and feel like the dick boy. ‘Ico. I really should have called her Yorda.