I haven’t finished Elden Ring, but now that a goldfish has beaten Malenia, one of the hardest bosses in FromSotware’s latest game, I feel like I have to in order to maintain any modicum of self-respect I have for myself.
PointCrow, a streamer on YouTube and Twitch, has been streaming Elden Ring but with a twist (thanks, GamesRadar). Rather than playing the game himself, he’s set up the game to register certain inputs based on where his fish, named Tortellini, is swimming in his tank. So for example, swimming in the bottom right corner of the bowl will register as pressing the button to attack, where the slightest move into another panel on the grid will make the character perform a swift dodge.
It sounds silly because how could this fish, who has no concept of how swimming could translate to a video game, actually play a notoriously difficult game like Elden Ring with any coherence? But by god, Tortellini took down Malenia’s first phase, and while I have only just learned of his journey through The Lands Between, I am so very proud of him. Now maybe I should also get back to Elden Ring because if Tortellini can do it, then so can I, dammit.
Just look at this little guy’s form in the clip. The skillful dodge between Malenia’s strikes as she desperately tries to turn the tide of battle, the perfectly-timed attacks, and even topping himself off with healing items when necessary. He is the moment. He is an inspiration.
Malenia has been a thorn in Elden Ring players’ sides since the game launched last year, and is widely considered one of the toughest fights in an already challenging RPG. The fight spawned some of the community’s most viral sensations, including Let Me Solo Her, a player who would show up in other players’ games to take on Malenia without any help. More recently, Let Me Solo Her played a modded Elden Ring run in which every enemy was replaced with Malenia. He also finished it.