A little over a decade after Dark Souls made a big splash in the gaming industry, Elden Ring has combined everything that made the Souls trilogy great. The dark fantasy aesthetic of FromSoftware was once again presented in a visually stunning format, with particularly striking distant elements such as Erdtree. In the new open world format, Elden Ring has become everything Dark Souls 2 aspired to be before problems made it linear by default. Elden Ring leads in all sales figures that FromSoftware has seen, turned out to be a worthy successor to FromSoftware’s Soulslike games, and fans who have completed their adventures are looking forward to the rumored DLC.
In a game full of fantasy and Souls-like elements, it’s easy to conclude that Elden Ring was conceived as the best approach to previous FromSoftware games. This is pretty accurate, especially considering the many parallels that can be drawn with enemies, weapons, and Dark Souls concepts. From the simplest Empty and Nobles to the Bearers of the Lords of Souls and Demigods, tried and true enemy concepts are honed and mentioned everywhere. Even the iconic basilisks are returning with an almost identical design. However, there are some omissions that distinguish Elden Ring from its progenitors Souls. One of the most notable of them is the insidious mimic, the memory of which haunted the veteran Souls players throughout their first playthroughs.
Mimics are the basis of RPG
Mimic is a standard enemy in the setting of fantasy role—playing games, and his familiarity with the world as a whole comes from the early releases of Dungeons and Dragons. The whole idea of the mimic is that it disguises itself either as a dungeon device like a wall or a door, or as a treasure that a person can touch. After the person approaches, the mimic opens up and attacks. The exact method of doing this has changed a lot over the years, and D&D has done a lot of experiments with their own facial expressions. Some mimics are smart, some can use magic, and some just hide in treasure chests. Nevertheless, the basis of combining a trap and a monster remains unchanged for each conceived mimic.
Early role-playing video games quickly adopted this idea: Dragon Quest used traditional facial expressions, and Final Fantasy chose “monster in a box” traps. Even Pokemon invented the Voltorb family specifically to justify the presence of mimics. The legacy of this type of creature persists throughout the genre and usually marks games with old-school traits. The Soulslike genre itself makes reasonable use of mimics, and some indie games have taken them to new heights with control point mimics. Prop Hunt-style games and the Golden Light horror roguelike are even built around enemies and allies simulating objects. Mimics have become closely intertwined with the fantasy genre and role-playing games, and something related to them is likely to include animals.
Dark Souls mimics are an important part of their experience
On the FromSoftware side, mimics are included in the King’s Field and Dark Souls series, but they didn’t make it into the Demon’s Souls transition. Taking the form of enemies hiding in chests or mined treasures in the Royal Field, they have become something very special in Dark Souls. Based on the traditional image of a mimic as a living treasure chest, Dark Souls mimics are creatures with four limbs that make strange giggling sounds and move in a strange way. Their arms and legs stick out of the mouths of their treasure chests, and they’re all hidden until it’s too late.
Savvy players learned to recognize mimics by placing chains or locks on their models, and many of them began attacking treasure chests before opening them. Sleeping mimics can also be put to sleep with the help of Lloyd’s talisman, and their snoring will give away any object they were hiding. It’s good that there are so many ways to recognize mimics, as they tend to be much stronger than nearby enemies and have access to devastating grappling attacks. Their health reserves and damage firmly place them in the realm of mini-bosses, and mimics often surprise Souls players with a mixture of bizarre spins and kicks along with their deadly bites. The fusion of traditional treasure mimicry and a few oddities in addition to high lethality makes encounters with mimics, especially the first treasure chest in Dark Souls 3, very memorable.
How Elden Ring Can Bring Mimics Back
Among the hordes of zombies, dogs and crabs that have returned with new designs in the Elden Ring, the mimic is strangely absent. There are several trap chests in Elden Ring, but all of them are either associated with the appearance of external enemies, or teleport the player somewhere else. These teleports can even be useful if the player knows where they will end up.