- Elden Ring offers players the freedom to choose how they interact with NPCs, including the option to kill or spare them.
- The game seems to encourage players to kill the character Patches, as it requires multiple encounters with him and killing him yields important items.
- Killing Patches early on can be beneficial for players who want easy access to his inventory by giving his Bell Bearing to the Twin Maiden Husks in Roundtable Hold.
Elden Ring offers players a variety of play styles to experiment with as they make their way through the open world FromSoftware has crafted in the Lands Between. While Elden Ring does offer the freedom to explore its world in any way the player chooses, including which side quests to follow and what dungeons to explore, there are some ways the game railroads the player into making certain decisions if they want access to all of the content possible. In the case of the NPC Patches, the game seemingly wants players to kill this character for the best outcome.
One of the ways Elden Ring gives players the freedom to play how they like is through the game’s lenience with which NPCs it allows players to kill. Certain NPCs need to be killed as part of their questline, such as Blaidd who drops his greatsword and armor set upon defeat, but others give players the option to kill or spare them. While killing some NPCs can anger others and lock players out of their specific questlines, it is possible to regain access to these quests by atoning for the character’s sins at the Church of Vows, but killing some NPCs before their quest is finished will lock players out of their rewards for good.
What to Expect From FromSoftware in 2024
With no new games currently announced for the year, FromSoftware fans might only have DLC and updates for existing games to look forward to in 2024.
Elden Ring Seems Like it Wants Players to Kill Patches
One of the most infamous recurring FromSoftware characters is Patches, a trickster who shows up in several games such as Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne to antagonize the player. In Elden Ring, Patches can be first encountered in Murkwater Cave in Limgrave where he attacks the player as a boss, but surrenders partway through the fight and becomes a merchant. Although players have the option to kill him here, sparing him allows players to see his questline through to the end.
Sparing Patches here and following his questline through Volcano Manor and the Shaded Castle will end with Patches returning to Murkwater Cave and ambushing players once again. However, this time he will surrender almost immediately, granting players the Patches’ Crouch gesture. Despite there being more rewards for sparing Patches, Elden Ring feels like it wants players to kill this character given how often they have to fight him, and it doesn’t help that killing him earns players an important item that becomes useful in Elden Ring‘s endgame.
Why Killing Patches is the Best Option
Once killed, Patches drops his gear along with the Key Item Patches’ Bell Bearing, which can be given to the Twin Maiden Husks in Roundtable Hold to expand their inventory of goods for sale. Most NPC merchants throughout the Lands Between will drop a Bell Bearing upon death that allows the Twin Maiden Husks to sell the items they would normally stock for players to purchase in the more convenient location of Roundtable Hold. As players progress through Elden Ring, it is often in their best interest to kill these merchants before entering the endgame to have easy access to their stock of items before parts of the world become inaccessible.
Patches is one of the best NPCs to kill for this reason since his quest has him traveling all over the Lands Between, making it often difficult to remember where he is located. If players aren’t interested in obtaining his gesture or the Bull-Goat armor that can be obtained by killing Patches’ assassination target during the Volcano Manor quest, then killing him early on and localizing his inventory to the Twin Maiden Husks might be the best course of action. The game itself seems to push players in this direction by making Patches ambush them when they first find him in the Murkwater Cave, establishing that this NPC can’t be trusted.
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Elden Ring is a fantasy action-RPG adventure set in a world co-created by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the creator of the influential Dark Souls video game series, and George R.R. Martin, the author of the best-selling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. This collaboration between two renowned creators has resulted in FromSoftware’s largest game to date, filled with danger and discovery at every turn. Hidetaka Miyazaki, president and game director of FromSoftware, has a history of directing highly acclaimed games in franchises such as Armored Core and Dark Souls.
- February 25, 2022
- Online Co-Op , Online Multiplayer
- M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
- How Long To Beat
- 58 Hours
- Platforms That Support Crossplay
- PS4 & PS5 and Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S
- PS Plus Availability