Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki has revealed which of the action RPG’s many bosses is his favorite, as well as his thoughts on a few of the game’s other characters and design principles.
Speaking about Elden Ring in an interview published on Xbox Wire (opens in new tab) ( translated by IGN (opens in new tab)), Miyazaki was asked which of the game’s bosses was his favorite. Although he had some difficulty choosing, he picked one of the game’s most recognizable, late-game foes.
“It’s tough to decide”, Miyazaki said, “but I’d have to say Radahn. As an individual character, he’s really alluring, and I really like the Radahn Festival situation. There’s a literal sense of festivity and exuberance, but also a unique tinge of sadness and loneliness.”
He went on to say that when he first proposed the idea of the Radahn Festival – a choreographed set-piece that triggers when you square off against Radahn – “no one on the team took it seriously”. They must have been brought around by the time it was added to the game.
Miyazaki added that Godrick, the Grafted and Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy are his next favorite bosses. The Fingercreeper – the gigantic disembodied hands that scuttle about Caria Manor like spiders – while not a boss, is also high up on his list.
“Spider Hand is one of my favorite designs,” Miyazaki said. “It’s something you don’t want to even look at because it’s so horrible.
“I wonder if the way to overcome your issue is to face it head on and beat it,” he added, responding to the interviewer’s fear of the monster.
Inspiration and iteration
Elsewhere in the interview, Miyazaki was asked if any other open-world games inspired the design of Elden Ring. Rather than identifying a single title, he said he’s played many open-world games that have all provided some level of inspiration, and named The Witcher 3, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and The Elder Scrolls series as standout games in the genre.
As for how that open world was designed, Miyazaki describes an iterative process. The position of Elden Ring’s bosses across the map was set near the beginning of its design. From there, the team took a dynamic approach, designing the map to fit the bosses’ gameplay, and adjusting the gameplay of the bosses to suit the map’s environment.
Finally, Miyazaki said he was both happy and surprised by the scale of Elden Ring’s success, but doesn’t appear to attribute it to a change within FromSoftware. The studio, he said, has always tried to make games that are interesting and new, and didn’t change their attitude for their latest release. Elden Ring is just the latest statement of that vision.