I'm convinced this small area in Shadow of the Erdtree is a reference to the Miyazaki-directed FromSoft game that started it all: Demon's Souls

Elden Ring DLC
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Before Elden Ring and Bloodborne and Dark Souls, FromSoftware had a weird, struggling project that ended up getting passed to Hidetaka Miyazaki, a then-designer who was free to do almost whatever he wanted with it. The result of that little experiment was Demon's Souls, the off-beat dark fantasy action RPG still quietly acting as royal advisor to the newly crowned king that is Elden Ring. In its new Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, FromSoft seems to pay tribute to the game that started it all in an easily missed Easter egg – or at the very least, I'm convinced it's a clear reference. 

For those who've forgotten Demon's Souls or never played it, there is (or at least was) a group of central figures called the Monumentals, prophets who aid the player in their quest to silence the Old One. The last remaining Monumental looks like a capped, robed, squatting young boy, sat in a semicircle line of others who look just like him in a candle-lit corridor. Here's a shot of the Monumental from the original Demon's Souls, not its PS5 remake:

Demon's Souls

(Image credit: FromSoftware / Lokeysouls)

Now keep that description and this image in mind when you look over these screenshots, which I took in Belurat, Tower Settlement in the Elden Ring DLC's Land of Shadow, just past the entrance in the hall filled with scorpions:

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

I realize that Demon's Souls did not invent the idea or imagery of a monk-like figure sitting down, but I can't shake the similarities here. From the caps to the candles, right down to the semicircle lineup, all my brain can see is a subtle nod to Demon's Souls. These figures appear to be statues rather than actual people, but the composition fits so well. Am I reading too much into this, or are too few people talking about this?

Not content with beating Elden Ring with nothing but her brain, the mind-controlling streamer is back and battering Shadow of the Erdtree's tough bosses.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.