For the five people in the world who thought Malenia was too easy, a new mod turns Elden Ring’s toughest boss into a 4-phase marathon ordeal including cut attacks and dialogue

Elden Ring’s optional megaboss Malenia is one of those memetic videogame tests of skill now. Like the Emerald Weapon in Final Fantasy 7 or the White Palace in Hollow Knight she represents the ultimate challenge in her game, and might just be the boss design high-water mark in FromSoftware’s notoriously boss-centric body of work. So why not make this fight even more difficult?

That’s the proposition of Unalloyed Malenia from modder MiquellaTheUnalloyed. The mod further breaks up the fight with two new phases including a moveset change in the first half and a full heal partway through the second, as well as a host of other tweaks. The fight’s also been injected with new additions to Malenia’s moveset, including the second, secret Waterfowl Dance that never made it into the final game, plus some animations lifted from Sekiro and Bloodborne.

Honestly, it all seems a bit much to me, but even as a self-professed Elden Ring freak, I’m probably not the target audience. “I highly do not recommend this mod if you have only successfully completed vanilla Malenia a few times,” writes mod author MiquellaTheUnalloyed. This thing is basically microtargeting those people who fight the same überhard Soulsborne bosses on a daily or weekly basis and post it to YouTube.

Indeed, I first came across the mod through Ongbal, a Souls YouTuber who specializes in no-hit boss videos⁠—though they actually did take some damage in their first Unalloyed Malenia video, such is the new fight’s difficulty. Watching someone who’s really, really good at the game take her on is probably the optimal way to enjoy Unalloyed Malenia.

On the story front, I appreciate the work put into the mod’s alternate ending for Malenia’s character, which seems to rely on datamined dialogue lines. You can save Malenia’s life with the titular Unalloyed Gold Needle from the base game (read: some Elden Ring Lore shenanigans, a nice man on YouTube can explain it all in 40 minutes or less), but I infinitely prefer the pointless tragedy (with just a dash of ambiguous, halting optimism) in Malenia and Miquella’s story as originally told by FromSoftware.

And, really, this is a story we’re almost sure to revisit in the upcoming Shadows of the Erdtree expansion to Elden Ring, which seems to focus on Malenia’s mysterious brother, Miquella. I just hope there’s not yet another harder version of Malenia squirreled away in there as well⁠—I’ve joked about the existence of Blue Malenia (referencing an infamous DLC boss palette swap in Dark Souls 2) enough times in the past two years I’m worried I’ve willed it into existence.

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