Trailers for fantasy RPGs tend to be predictable. Some ominous “woosh” sounds, some discomforting droning string ensemble, a little bit of gameplay, a little bit of CG. Monsters, dungeons, sweeping views of open world panoramas. That’s how the official Elden Ring launch trailer played out. But if you live in Thailand, your impression of FromSoftware’s new opus might be entirely different.
Bandai Namco’s Southeast Asia office went to the trouble of making a four minute short film to coincide with Elden Ring’s release. It’s less a trailer for a blockbuster roleplaying game, and more a soapy suburban retelling of the game’s opening cinematic.
In a fancy modern day suburban home a precious family heirloom—the Elden Ring—is accidentally broken. A fight ensues. From there, we move abruptly to the perspective of a young man, who is wistfully reminiscing about his childhood spent fighting a pretend Flying Dragon Agheel, and larping as a Tarnished. This young man ends up at the aforementioned suburban home, where the family is now fighting over custody of the broken ring. He plays the diplomat, and everyone feels very remorseful.
There’s an Erdtree in there, and Torrent makes a few appearances. The whole thing is so disorientating in its earnestness, that by the three minute mark you might feel as if you’re watching a TV soap opera rather than a promotion for a videogame. When the reminder that this is an ad for a game arrives at the three minute mark, it’s a truly disarranging experience.
Stick around for the end, when the grandma is fighting the Draconic Tree Sentinel. Good luck, grandma. That took me around 30 tries.