Smough is back in Elden Ring

Here’s All The Dark Souls References I Found In The Elden Ring Gameplay Trailer

Yesterday, Bandai Namco and Fromsoftware made me a very happy person by finally showing off some gameplay from the upcoming title, Elden Ring. While I thought that most of what we saw was very similar to Fromsoftware’s Dark Souls series, I suppose there’s a reason for that. The head honcho of the series, Hidetaka Miyazaki, did mention prior that he wanted to do a game that approached Dark Souls in a different light. And given everything we’ve seen with Elden Ring (so far), it looks like this is basically a spiritual successor to the series. Sure, he didn’t come out and say, “Hey, this is Dark Souls 4” but it feels like it is from what we’ve seen.

That said, being the Dark Souls nut that I am, I’ve been going over this gameplay trailer non-stop. Doing so, I’ve seen several references to the Dark Souls series, though I suspect there’s more that I’ve missed. That said, let’s check out those references and how they connect to the Dark Souls universe.

Smough and the Lordvessel is back

One of the first major encounters in the original Dark Souls was against Ornstein and Smough. Both bosses came at the player simultaneously, and it was easily one of the most frustrating bouts in the entire game. Since then, the two have made appearances in the other Dark Souls games in one shape or another. Now it looks like Smough is jumping ship and is making an appearance in Elden Ring. When I saw his character model, there was no denying it was him. The armor is the same and brought with him another Dark Souls reference.

The Lordvessel was an item featured in Dark Souls and allowed players to warp into other areas once they collected the required items. Now, I could be imagining things, but this item that’s sitting on top of the returned Smough head (see above). Only it seems to be spewing fire everything. That encounter doesn’t look like one I’m going to be looking forward to. Hell, who am I kidding – I can’t wait.


Is that the Faraam armor?

Towards the end of the Elden Ring gameplay trailer, we see a character wearing what appears to be the Faraam Armor from Dark Souls. This armor was featured in all three Dark Souls games, and there’s no mistaking it. However, instead of the Faraam Helm, the character looks to be wearing a version of the Fluted Helm. Either way, he’s on the receiving end of a rather nasty impale from this yet unnamed boss character. 

poor guy in faraam armor


Majula is back?

The starting area in Dark Souls II, Majula, is a fascinating place. Upon arriving there, it feels calm, yet the longer you stay, the more despair and dread are felt. The odd melody that plays constantly doesn’t help matters, but that’s what makes Majula a memorable location. In the Elden Ring gameplay trailer, we see a location that looks exactly like Majula. But you can judge for yourself. 

The top image is from Dark Souls II, and the bottom is from the Elden Ring trailer. 

Dark Souls 2 Majula

Mujala in Elden Ring


Great, Soul Stream is back as well

Ah, the magic spell Soul Stream from Dark Souls 3. One of my favorites, and I even got blasted by it a few times whilst doing some PVP. Ah, the memories. This is yet another Dark Souls reference I picked up on from the Elden Ring trailer. And again, it looks similar, don’t you agree?

The top image is from Dark Souls 3, and the bottom is from the Elden Ring trailer. 

Dark Souls 3 Soul Stream

Elden Ring Soul Stream

Giant Dad head incoming

If you’ve played Dark Souls, you’ve either heard of the legend/meme or even encountered a player who is wearing the cosplay armor set of Giant Dad. A running joke in the Dark Souls community, Giant Dad, comprises several armor pieces, but the most important piece is the helmet, the Mask of the Father It has an interesting look, but it also provides a nice state boost for the player. And yet again, this is another Dark Souls reference found in the Elden Ring gameplay trailer.

There are slight differences, mainly with the mustache. However, that noise and eyes are unmistakable. That is the Mask of the Father – except it’s quite larger, and it’s spewing flames, just like the returned Smough.

Dark Souls Giant Dad

Elden Ring Mask of the Father


Painted Worlds are back?

In Dark Souls, we had the Painted World of Ariamis, and in Dark Souls 3, there was the Painted World of Ariandel. Could we see a return of the Painted Worlds in Elden Ring? Given that this specific room shows up a few times, I’m being to think we will. With the painted worlds, the player must touch the painting to be transported into the world. This one might be a stretch, but I don’t think so.

Painted Worlds Return


That’s all the references I could find – for now. Don’t you worry, as I’ll continue to comb through the gameplay trailer to see what we missed. Did you see something I didn’t? Let me know in the comments!

Elden Ring is due to launch on January 21st, 2022, on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC. That is if it doesn’t get delayed.