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Elden Ring finally reveals what’s inside the living jars, I wish I could unsee it

Elden Ring finally reveals what’s inside the living jars, I wish I could unsee it

More than a little jarring

Elden Ring’s long-awaited Shadow Of The Erdtree expansion is nearly upon us, and I recently got the chance to go hands-on with the first few hours of FromSoftware’s latest gauntlet.

You’ve no doubt already heard that Shadow Of The Erdtree is massive. It’s FromSoftware’s biggest expansion ever, featuring more than 10 new bosses, 100 new weapons, and a huge new open-world area to explore filled with dungeons, secrets, and new challenges.

Shadow Of The Erdtree also answers a question I’m not sure ever needed answering. Certainly, it didn’t need answering in the deeply disturbing way it has been. You see, the upcoming DLC finally reveals what, exactly, is hiding inside Elden Ring’s living jars. I’m fairly certain you’ll wish you never got the answer, though.

If you’ve played Elden Ring you’ll no doubt have bumped into at least a few of the game’s living jars. These sentient pots shamble around amiably, and are regarded by most players as kind of adorable. Heck, even the ones that try to kill you are pretty cute. What actually lurks within is far more sinister, however.

It’s no secret that there’s organic matter inside every living jar. If you’ve fought one in Elden Ring you’ll know they explode in a hail of viscera. But Shadow Of The Erdtree has a hidden dungeon that explicitly lays out how these living jars came to be, and the creepy crockery has a tragic backstory you’ll never forget.

Before we go any further, I should make it clear I’m no Elden Ring lore expert. As such I can only really report on what I found. I’ve no doubt proper FromSoftware scholars will have much more to say once Shadow Of The Erdtree launches later in the month. Oh, and if you want to go into the DLC completely fresh, probably best you stay away from the rest of this article. You’ve been warned.

During my hands-on preview of Shadow Of The Erdtree, I came across a small cavern tucked away in the expansion’s starting area. In typical Elden Ring fashion, this seemingly tiny crevice gave way to a huge underground complex: a prison.

Elden Ring /
Bandai Namco

As I gradually descended I was attacked by the occasional emaciated prisoner, while others lay in corners weeping. Before long I noticed some cells were occupied by empty jars. Deeper into the prison I found ghosts lying on the floor and begging not to be put in the jars. Pretty chilling stuff, but it gets worse.

Toward the very bottom of this macabre jail I came across a new type of enemy: the contents of a living jar, spilled out. I’m not sure I’ll be able (or allowed) to share a screenshot, but these enemies are essentially a hulking fleshy mass of pulsating organs, pulped and screaming and lumbering towards you.

My interpretation is that unfortunate prisoners were stuffed inside the jars and condemned to a life of agony. Whether this is the origin of every living jar we meet in the game, I don’t know - though I’m inclined to doubt it. As I say, I reckon the lore experts will have a field day with this.

What I do know is that this twisted hidden dungeon turns Elden Ring into a full-on survival horror as you navigate a maze of jars, some bursting and lunging at you with their fleshy tendrils, others stoically charging towards you with their shells intact. It’s a phenomenal experience, and one that proves Shadow Of The Erdtree is so much more than a straight rehash of the base game.

Featured Image Credit: Bandai Namco

Topics: Elden Ring, Fromsoftware, Bandai Namco