Late at night on July 9, Twitch streamer Ainrun howled in relief after defeating the final boss of Elden Ring. After two and a half grueling hours, he had completed the game without taking a hit from any enemy or spending a single rune to make his character stronger. “Oh my god it’s over man, let’s go, yeah!” he said deliriously. “Oh my god man fuck this game. Elden Ring rune level one no hit run, yes!”
Ring of Elden can be a frustrating yet rewarding game on its own terms. Once completed, however, die-hard fans had to find other ways to keep the challenge alive. Speedrunners complete the game as fast as humanly possible (currently just over an hour without using glitches). Defeated all major bosses using only their ass. Even among these feats, no-hit, no-upgrade runs hold a special place. There’s something both simple and incredibly old-school about this business.
“I’ve done no-hitter runs and sprint runs from Games software since 2020, starting with Dark Souls 1,” Ainrun told Kotaku in an email. He’s since done unsuccessful runs of all three Dark Souls games, as well as Sekiro, and even completed a “trilogy” series where the unsuccessful runs all had to happen sequentially. His focus now is on Elden Ring, whose open-world design allows for interesting choices and more room for strategizing.
While well-known Souls streamers like The right hob have already completed RL1 No Hit Runs, these ignore the game’s first boss, the Grafted Scion. You must jump over a cliff and die to advance to the start of the game, whether the Scion is defeated or not. But where other streamers have bypassed the initial fight, Ainrun sees it as an important part of the run (it brazenly refers to his as the “best” version of this type of race).
“I personally feel like this breaks a sequence that the developers intended you to go through to progress with the game, so I opt to do the fight,” he said. In his opinion, that first Scion is actually one of the more difficult bosses in the no-hit run. “I spent a lot of time practicing it, looking for openings to take advantage of,” he said. “I was also motivated by the fact that a majority of other players choose to skip this boss. In my opinion, a ‘challenge’ run like what I’ve done is supposed to be challenging, [so] using shortcuts doesn’t really make sense. Players love YeetsMeMario have also integrated Scion combat into their races.
From there, it’s all about executing a few key strategies against a few specific bosses. Since there is no leveling, character builds are quite minimal, but still play an important role. Ainrun prefers to wield the Serpent-Hunter Great Spear as it is fast, deals a lot of damage, and requires little investment. After collecting this from Rykard’s boss arena, he further optimizes with the Ash of War Flame of the Redmanes. This does a lot of posture damage, and Ainrun’s goal is to stun bosses and then punish them as much as possible while they’re stunned.
While this is a tried and true strategy in Elden Ring in general, it is especially important in the fight against Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy. In snake form, his “groundshock” attack is incredibly hard to dodge, so Ainrun makes sure to kill him before he can ever take it off. “A member of my community called Arham came up with a brilliant strategy of using Sleep Pots on Rykard at the start of his first phase that would cause him to sleep for about two seconds,” he said. “That fight was the most accurate fight of the race where I had to execute perfectly.”
Gideon Ofnir is another doozy. The wizard has a splashing arsenal of spells that must be faced head-on. Previously players jumped it using an out of bounds parkour trick. In the latest patch, this is no longer an option. A runner called Vsue devised a strategy to stun Gideon using a rapier with bleeding characteristics. This didn’t work for Ainrun, however, instead he and his community opted for crouch, which is more often used in PvP to roll-catch invaders. “It meant I could just kill this boss based on my execution rather than relying on [an] extra buff,” he said.
But even with practice and planning, races can still end in disaster. In a previous RL1 No Hit race attempt on the same night, Ainrun executed everything perfectly only to run into a needle attack in the final moments of the final boss fight. “The Elden Beast was supposed to do another attack (rings) which I usually use to determine where the boss will spawn next and kill it as it comes, but it did a needle rain attack at instead, which is very difficult to avoid and the last needles cut me and ended my run, ”he said. Without missing a beat, he started again and nailed everything.
One of the most amazing things about racing isn’t even finishing as a level one scrub, but doing it so quickly. At just over two hours, the game is moving at a breakneck pace. Then Ainrun focuses on completing the unsuccessful trilogy by adding an achievement All main bosses attempt. Once it’s done, it will tackle it with the “no upgrade” requirement. While Elden Ring will receive DLC in the future, players like Ainrun show that even after hundreds of hours there is always new mountains to climb.
Article source https://kotaku.com/elden-ring-no-hit-rl1-world-s-first-scion-fromsoftware-1849185157