FromSoftware’s mammoth role-playing game Elden Ring features six different endings, all with their own proportions of esotericism. The Age of Fracture ending, for example, really only requires you to beat the game, while other endings like the Age of Duskborn or Blessing of Despair need you to follow a series of obscure steps to get a rune that unlocks them. None of the six endings, however, are quite as nebulous and complicated as the Age of Stars ending, which PC Gamer noticed that, bizarrely, more Steam players have unlocked than the standard ending.
The Age of Stars ending, to put it lightly, is involved. It wants you to fully prove your commitment to the petite winter witch Ranni, and rewards you with one of her four hands in holy matrimony. You also get the option to complete the game with her by your side, which is what earns the “secret” Age of Stars achievement.
But, hey, you know women—you have to navigate several treacherous bogs, (including Siofra River Well), defeat the crazed Starscourge Radahn at Wailing Dunes, find and talk to the right people (like Blaidd the Half-Wolf), and follow all their instructions in the right order, to get there. That’s like when I had to confirm my League of Legends boyfriend didn’t have a 4chan account before committing to him.
It’s much easier to derail Ranni’s questline than stay on it, too. I unfortunately (though, in my defense, accidentally) kicked my League boyfriend off Ranni’s path after he had already completed its requirements by triggering the blazing Age of Chaos ending out of curiosity, encouraging him to open the mysterious door even though, in hindsight, it looks evil. I’m sorry! You know women!
As punishment, I also kicked myself off the path by getting bored with it right before reaching the end. I didn’t have the heart to defeat quest-mandatory boss Astel, Naturalborn of the Void, who may look like an eldritch mosquito, but it’s not their fault.
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Ranni’s fickleness doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for most Elden Ring players, at least not those who played on Steam.
“25.9% of players have The Age of the Stars achievement, which is the ending unlocked by Ranni’s questline, while 19.6% have the Elden Lord achievement,” the default ending achievement, PC Gamer writes. “Obviously there are some caveats here as well as the fact this is just Steam players, the main one being that some players will have been through the game twice and achieved both.”
According to TrueAchievements, which tracks Xbox and PC achievements, slightly more people reached the game’s default ending than Age of Stars. But its Steam stats still feel notable, and perhaps an indication that I need to sit in a vat of macerated blueberries until my skin takes on Ranni’s ethereal blue. Violet Beauregarde, but make it RPG.