When players booted up Elden Ring for the first time, they were greeted with the standard FromSoftware introduction to the game world and some of its characters. There was an air of mystique and otherworldliness to it, but it was also the first time FromSoft made me laugh in one of its Souls games. I heard an authoritative narrator introduce many of the characters, which included shouting with complete disdain, “THE LOATHSOME DUNG EATER.” Who wouldn’t find something like that hilarious? And so, like with all of the other characters in that intro sequence, I wanted to meet him. Nay, I had to meet this disgusting poop eater.
Many players will encounter him for the first time after reaching Altus Plateau once they warp back to the Roundtable Hold. The tarnished character is isolated in a time room full of corpses and looks like a hostile NPC thanks to his vibrant red aura. Given the fact that I did have to fight an enemy earlier in my playthrough in this apparently violence-free area, I was ready for anything. Yet he only scoffed at me when I approached him, and I went about my business.
I eventually returned to him with a Seedbed Curse that I had acquired later in the game, not knowing that it would have any effect on him. I just continued to approach him and hope that something I did in my playthrough would give him new dialogue or a new encounter. This time he took interest in me. He tasked me with finding his body, which I did after trudging through the sewers of Leyndell, Royal Capital, because of course there’s always a sewer level, even in Elden Ring.
Because I’ve been rocking a strength build with the Bloodhound’s Fang, most of the enemies I encountered in the sewers melted after hitting them once or twice. So I soon discovered the jail cell I was looking for, yet all I found was a madman smashing his head against a wall saying he was going to curse me. I don’t pretend to follow the plot or storylines in FromSoftware games, but given that I didn’t receive an item from him, I knew there had to be more. His quest couldn’t end with him just being a curiosity in a room. Sure enough, upon returning back to the Roundtable Hold and going to his corpse-laden room, the loathsome Dung Eater was gone, with only a note left declaring that he would fight me and kill me.
It took a bit to find where he was outside of Leyndell, Royal Capital, but I was ready for the fight. Most bosses, especially NPC bosses, weren’t all that challenging to me, but I was still excited at what the Dung Eater was going to bring. Would he be just another standard NPC fight, or would he have some extra strategy to him? Would he be absolutely infuriating like the one NPC in the Liurnia of the Lakes Divine Tower?
Upon arriving at the area and seeing the text that I was invaded by the loathsome Dung Eater, I noticed a small group of crabs off to the side. I opted not to attack them since I had no clue where the Dung Eater would strike from. Sure enough, he spawned off to the side and came charging at me, raving about desecrating my corpse. Then the fight was on with this NPC I’d waited 60+ hours to fight.
In truth, the fight was just like every other Elden Ring NPC fight. My strategy is usually just to bum rush up to an enemy, slash them as much as possible, and hope they die before me. I had over 1500 health and some solid defense rocking Radahn’s armor set, so I could take a hit or two. And sure enough, the Dung Eater landed some solid hits on me. I brought him down to a sliver of health and backed away to heal myself, only for something truly amazing to happen.
As I dodge rolled back, from off-camera, a giant enemy crab swooped in with its pincer and snatched the Dung Eater. The crab lifted the loathsome Dung Eater high into the sky as he flailed about, trying to escape in vain. I just stood back and watched in wonder as this random crab that had come out of nowhere delivered the finishing blow to a character I had waited for most of the game to experience. With a snap of its pincer, the telltale death chord echoed as the Dung Eater faded away. And frankly, it was amazing to see him slaughtered with an extended animation and everything!
When I eventually returned to the Roundtable Hold, the tarnished Dung Eater was still there, though not as aggressive. Was he humbled by the fact that a mere crab had killed him? I mean, I died from a crab or two in my playthrough, but it’s still a bit demoralizing for you to die as seafood. Sidequests can be hard to get right, and I admit that without this episode ending the way it did, it would have been a major disappointment (even knowing there is more of the quest left). But to see a character from the first five minutes of Elden Ring meet his end by giant crustacean really elevated this sidequest to another level.