The Unofficial Shitboi Roster: Elden Ring’s Most Annoying Enemies

It’s been four months since I finished Elden Ring and From Software’s latest Souls game is still living rent-free in my head. The game is one I will absolutely describe as “an experience” and have little doubt will end as my GOTY – though God of War: Ragnarök is likely to be a contender. Apart from actually playing the game, one of the other things I’ve enjoyed the most about Elden Ring is the general sense of “community” after its launch. I remember my Twitter timeline being almost *entirely* flooded by clips and screenshots as everyone was sharing everything from tips and strategies to discussing the game’s story and lore in greater depth. There was also an endless array of memes to provide a laugh or two after rage-quitting a boss fight or inadvertently walking into a dungeon trap and losing a small fortune in runes.

I had intended to have this completed for the Blaugust 2022 ‘Creative Appreciation Week’ – yes, I know that was LAST WEEK. Coincidentally enough, this week’s theme is ‘Staying Motivated Week’ and what better way to build momentum in yet another attempt to stay motivated than by *actually finishing* something I’ve been procrastinating on for WAY TOO LONG. I’m pretty excited about today’s Blaugust entry as it is part of a collaborative effort in the spirit of ‘Creative Appreciation Week’. I began this rambling intro by talking about Elden Ring and my experience as part of the FromSoft/Souls community. What better way to tie this all together than by joining forces with the self-appointed ‘Pope of Dark Souls’Meghan from MeghanPlaysGames.

What began as a simple conversation complaining about discussing which Elden Ring enemies annoyed us the most eventually turned into what was not-so-affectionately referred to as the “Shitboi Roster” and…here we are today. Both of us picked the five enemies that irritated us more than any other in our time across the Lands Between and have added our respective two cents for the other’s selections. Alright. Let’s do this! There’s one enemy in particular I knew was gonna get roasted first on my list…

Fanged Imps

When thinking of enemies faced in Elden Ring, no enemy evokes the same level of rage as Fanged Imps. These annoying little gremlin fucks are found in countless dungeons and catacombs throughout the Lands Between and typically hide on walls and ceilings in order to ambush and inflict blood loss on any wayward Tarnished not paying close attention to their surroundings. They are incredibly nimble and often attack in groups. Maybe not as menacing as other enemies found in Elden Ring, but they will absolutely ruin your day if not given the proper respect – 100% speaking from experience here. I’m a little torn as to whether or not my profanity-laced outbursts were affected greater by the sheer number of times you encounter them throughout the game, or being miserable little fucks in general? Either way, my Elden Ring Shitboi Roster BEGINS and ENDS with Fanged Imps.

Meghan: I was humbled by these gremlin fuckers way more times than I am publicly willing to admit. I had a particularly troublesome time with them in the Subterranean Shunning Grounds, while trying to traverse some pipes. The Fanged Imps are hiding everywhere, ready to jump you and send you plunging to your death – or, if you manage to survive, to the Giant Crayfish waiting below. The Fanged Imps are deceptively unassuming, but like Omni said, they will absolutely fuck your day up with vigor. Can’t imagine my Elden Ring experience without them (said with no warmth whatsoever).

Glintstone Sorcerers

I wasn’t sure anything would match the sheer obnoxiousness of the inhabitants of Stormveil Castle – endless waves of archers, birds with knives for legs, and a lion with a giant sword grafted to its front leg. But that was BEFORE I reached Raya Lucaria Academy. Of all the enemies hellbent on making your visit to the academy as MISERABLE AS POSSIBLE, the Glintstone Sorcerers may be the most maddening. These Burger King-masked goons are content to sit back and spam non-stop magical homing missiles which can and WILL one-hit kill you. In addition to a barrage of ranged attacks, Glintstone Sorcerers are more than happy to straight up bitch slap you with a Whopper-sized spellbook should you get close enough. The *only* positive thing I have to say(see? positivity) about these flame-grilled assholes is they provided some A+ meme content to laugh at while suffering through my time at the Academy.

Meghan: As if going to school wasn’t already miserable enough, this particular wizard academy is crawling with the worst kinds of students – no, not Chads, the Glintstone Sorcerers! Though these little shits are among the most annoying enemies in the game, I do kind of love them – their Burger King likeness (honestly, sending memes back and forth to Omni was my favourite part of this discovery) and general silliness of their appearance does make me more fond of them than I probably should be. Even that one dickhead that shot me in the back with an uncannily accurate homing spell on every single one of my runs to fight Rennala. Shout out to them especially. Number one draft pick for the Shitboi Roster, easily.

Abductor Virgins

There’s no shortage of…strange enemies to be found in Elden Ring, but the Abductor Virgins are among the more foreboding designs. These mechanized foes look like Inquisition-era torture devices and will quickly cause an inattentive Tarnished to seek penance for running afoul. Abductor Virgins only have(need?) two different attacks: rolling up and flailing about with their chain-guillotine arms, and pulling any nearby victims into its frontside chamber of horrors for MASSIVE DAMAGE. I still remember the first time I stumbled across one of these shitbois in the Raya Lucaria Academy courtyard – my bemused laughter quickly turned to fear as soon as one slowly wheeled its way up to me and completely wrecked my ass. What makes these Popes of Pain Town even MORE aggravating is the fact they don’t have a particular weakness as they boast high defensive numbers and are completely immune to all status effects. Another enemy whose appearance would warrant a firm “NO THANKS, BRO!” as I scurried away with my maidenless fingers(and runes) intact.

Meghan: Big “same” from me. I was initially excited about these Iron Maiden-wannabes after seeing them in one of the loading screens – their design is pretty cool, right? But after encountering the Virgin Abductor’s for the first time (getting grabbed, killed, and being unceremoniously yeeted to the Volcano Manor with a ton of runes) I started to avoid these enemies whenever I stumbled across them. Their grab attacks can be hard to dodge, and do an insane amount of damage. Yet another enemy that falls into my “it’s a no from me” category. Bravely running away, not out of fear, at all. Unless I need a pizza sliced, these things can stay ALL THE WAY away from me.

Revenants

Ok. So there I was, minding my own business, casually taking in the sights(and loot) of Elphael – Brace of the Haligtree. I had made a wrong turn somewhere down the line and had become pursued by the numerous Cleanrot Knights patrolling the area. Long story short, I found myself down in the lower depths of the city. It was here that I once again crossed paths with an enemy I had learned to fear dozens of hours prior – Revenants.


Revenants are, in scientific terms – fucking terrifying. I’d elaborate further on precisely what happens when attacked by a Revenant, but I never really…uh, lived long enough to discover anything other than swift death. These humanoid-arachnid abominations have limbs for days and are freakishly fast! Even the bravest of neanderthals(aka STR builds) best tread carefully when there’s one in the area, if not more. I didn’t come across as many of these as some other enemies during my time in Elden Ring and I bothered to fight even fewer – I saw a Revenant, I RAN FOR MY GODDAMN LIFE! Salty, angry tears were plentiful after encountering these cursed foes.

Meghan: The Revenants are probably among my least favourite enemies in this game. Not only do they have 45 limbs to slap you around with (which will stagger you, leaving you unable to roll away – accept your death with as much dignity as you can muster) but they can also magically teleport around by appearing and disappearing into the ground. Great. As if that wasn’t already enough, they have an incredibly loud, grating shriek, reminiscent of the inhuman horrors that they are – headphone users, enjoy. I sure didn’t. I genuinely refused to fight these things after I encountered them a few times, because they were just so infuriating to deal with. I remember running into one down in the sewers while I was looking around for the Shit Eater’s jail cell – I took about three steps into one of the chambers to snatch up some items, heard the Revenant appear, and immediately made a swift exit. Nope. Nope, nope, nope.

Ulcerated Tree Spirit

Have you ever thought to yourself “I wish I could fight the Moldorm from A Link To The Past – the squirmiest, most annoying boss fight in the game, but with the grim specter of death looming over you in a way only Hidetaka Miyazaki can accommodate?” Have I got just the irritating shitbag for you! Ulcerated Tree Spirits look like the disgusting offspring of *Nerdtree* Avatars and Magma Wyrms, but even more frustrating to fight and are found in several places across the Lands Between as mini-boss fights. What makes Tree Spirits so difficult to fight is the face they flop and squirm around the area with no discernable pattern, oftentimes doing little other than spinning in circles and dishing out huge damage to whatever it decides to slap around. As annoying as the erratic movement and attacks of the Ulcerated Tree Spirit can be, the biggest hurdle IS the camera itself which seems to immediately get knocked to the ground and you spend the entire fight looking upward in a daze as the camera spins. There’s also the fact that the majority of fights seem to take place in very confined areas, as if something frivolous like being able to, you know, see what’s kicking your ass was an afterthought. What cemented the Ulcerated Tree Spirit’s place on this list was squaring off against yet another of these fuckers in Elphael at the Brace of the Haligtree, which of course, takes place in a lake of rot. As if tackling these giant slugs wasn’t already fun enough.

Meghan: I hate enemies/bosses like these, specifically for the struggles that Omni mentioned. Locking on to something like the Ulcerated Tree Spirit is completely pointless because the camera goes insane, and you’re more likely to get killed because of it. Instead, I found myself jumping around and swinging my sword like a madman during these encounters, just hoping to hit SOMETHING. It’s a massive tree slug, WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT? I didn’t mind so much when I came across the first one – but then I found a second. And a third. And so on. Yeah, that’s when I started to mind, and officially added these creatures to my Shitboi list. And the ones in the rot areas, like the Grand Cloister? Fuck right off.

(Go check out Meghan’s list of annoying enemies here and bask in her suffering as she undoubtedly did in mine.)

Thanks for reading!

Game & Whiskey Pairings

As the ‘Omnivore’ in the name should suggest, I tend to have pretty varied interests. Of course, video games are the primary subject of this blog, I do occasionally talk about things like music, movies or coffee as well. Today, I’m trying something a little different…

In the last 5-7 years, I’ve gotten into different kinds of whiskies – scotch, bourbon, ryes, Irish whiskey, single malt, mixed, etc. There’s an incredible range when it comes to tasting notes, aging/distillation process, country of origin, and of course…price. One of my favorite ways to unwind after work or on the weekends is to pour up a glass of whiskey and then, kick back and savor while playing some games. You’ve probably come across different articles that recommend a specific wine to go along with a particular meal? Well, some time ago, for whatever reason, I started to match up specific games to a particular whiskey. I’ve selected five of my favorite games of the past few years and five of my favorite whiskies that I like to have in my regular rotation, to go with it.

…and with that, here’s the first batch of game & whiskey pairings that have been aged to imperfection in my drafts folder.

Red Dead Redemption 2/George Dickel No. 8

Genre: Open-world/sandbox, adventure

Tasting notes: “A mellow, approachable Tennessee whisky, selected for it’s smooth-sipping character. A balanced whisky with aromas of light caramel and wood. A warm vanilla finish with hints of maple and buttered corn.”

Let’s start with Red Dead Redemption 2. A rugged, Old West game like this lends itself to being matched up with a good whiskey and is the easiest to start with. George Dickel No. 8 felt like a natural pairing with RDR2 – a Tennessee whiskey that’s maybe a little rougher around the edges than some other straight bourbons, but it possesses plenty of character. The charcoal-filtering process(what defines a Tennessee whiskey) gives it an ever-so-slight “campfire” taste that, when combined with the buttery notes from the corn used in making bourbon, gives the taste of grilled corn on the cob. A nice whiskey to have next to you at the campfire or the saloon table.

….Lenny!!

God of War/Buffalo Trace

Genre: Third-person action-adventure, Hack ‘n slash

Tasting notes: “This deep amber whiskey has a complex aroma of vanilla, mint and molasses. Pleasantly sweet to the taste with notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak, toffee, dark fruit and anise. This whiskey finishes long and smooth with serious depth.”

God of War has been one of my favorite game series’ going all the way back to 2005. Any hesitation I had about the 2018 sequel/soft-reboot quickly subsided once I finally played the game. The story and worlds are larger-than-life,yet, nuanced with characteristically silky-smooth gameplay. Buffalo Trace straight bourbon is my pick for God of War – it’s buttery sweetness is the foundation to the subtle layers of oak and spice underneath. It’s my favorite all-around bourbon to accompany my pick for best all-around game of 2018.

Super Mario Odyssey/Jameson

Genre: Adventure/platformer , Golf, Kart Racing, RPG, Tennis, Puzzle, Fighting, Baseball, Party/mini-game(s)…

Tasting notes: “The perfect balance of spicy, nutty and vanilla notes with hints of sweet sherry and exceptional smoothness.”

Mario is as iconic of a video game character as you’ll find, so it made sense(to me, at least) that I’d pair it with a whiskey like Jameson. Over the years, we’ve seen Mario cross over into a variety of different genres – sports, kart racing, fighting, all while retaining the essence of what made Mario games so universally enjoyable . Similarly, Jameson has a level of versatility as it can be served neat, on the rocks, or in a number of cocktails(Irish Mules being a personal favorite). A classic for a classic.

Elden Ring/Ardbeg 10

Genre: Open-world RPG, Souls-like

Tasting notes:An explosion of crackling peat sets off millions of flavour explosions: peat effervesces with tangy lemon and lime juice, black pepper pops with sizzling cinnamon-spiced toffee. Then comes a wave of brine infused with smooth buttermilk, ripe bananas and currants. Smoke gradually wells up on the palate bringing a mouthful of warm creamy cappuccino and toasted marshmallows. As the taste lengthens and deepens, dry espresso, liquorice root and tarry smoke develop coating the palate with chewy peat oils.”

Elden Ring, or really any From Software game is not for everyone. Some may be put off by the punishing gameplay, the cryptic obscurity in which the worlds and story unfold, or the developer’s, uh…passionate fanbase. In a similar vein, Ardbeg 10 likely isn’t to everyone’s taste, but those that can get past it’s seemingly impenetrable wall(mist veil?) of smoke are treated to a satisfyingly complex array of tastes and aromas that linger with you afterwards. It’s about the only substance on Earth I know of that can use “tarry rope” as a positive description…and I love it.

Death Stranding/Laphroaig 10

Genre: Action-adventure, Open-world, Stranding

Tasting notes: “Huge smoke, seaweedy, ‘medicinal’. Surprising sweetness with hints of salt and layers of peatiness.”

Death Stranding is a polarizing game. It can be an emotional masterpiece to one person, but a boring, pretentious AAA title to another. While I completely understand where those in the latter category are coming from, I absolutely loved Death Stranding and Hideo Kojima’s idiosyncratic blend of over-the-top cinematic style AND utter weirdness. Enter Laphroaig, another Islay scotch that is famous(infamous?) for it’s distinctive taste and aroma. As with Death Stranding, I understand why it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but personally love the way all the different notes and flavors are intertwined, making something so almost-indescribably weird. “Like drinking a glass of sea water while next to a campfire on the beach” may be my favorite description of my favorite whisk(e)y…weirdly enough. Both Laphroaig and Death Stranding are a perfect pairing…as well as prime examples of taste being completely subjective.

If you enjoyed this, I also recommend checking out McKenna Talks About Games’ series of blog posts pairing a different wine with each Zelda game. Do you have any particular beverages, distilled or not, that you like to have on hand while gaming? Cheers! and thanks for reading!