It is a known fact that most From Software games follow a similar type of gameplay and the stories are also somewhat identical in their lore-based delivery structure. Being the pioneers of the SoulsBorne genre they are at the pinnacle of such storytelling and world-building, where most have tried to copy the same magic but end up lacking the intricacies that this studio posses.
And with such a perfect niche captured they tend to refer to and use assets from amongst their brand. Many items are similar in nature and make players go “hey that was in Dark Souls” or any other of their entries. With this in mind, the community always starts to stitch together all the games they have developed even when they are not direct sequels like Demon Souls or Bloodborne.
People like to come up with theories of how all these games are part of the same universe, picking up crumbs of similarities and lore points and connecting the dots themselves across the games. There are some amazing theories that the community has formulated.
This whole process of connection has been applied to Elden Ring as well, as this is the spiritual culmination of everything that From Software has done prior. Though the developers have never made any connection cannon, the community always has a field day while building these webs. Some of these theories we will be discussing below.
In the Ash Lake area in Dark Souls you have encountered the Arch Trees that are visible as far as the eyes can see. These trees are like the foundation of this world and places exist on top of these behemoth branches. Similar structures are found in the Hunter’s Dream in Bloodborne. And the theory goes where both of these are basically same making them connecting via some long distant branch.
These tree like pillars are seen in Elden Ring’s Siofra River area though they might look stonish as the texture is very similar. Another location you spot trees like Ash Lake in Elden Ring is in the final boss arena the Elden Beast, these have a rather cosmic look to them.
With all these trees at key foundational locations within each game, they depict a sense of branching story arcs of the Soulsborne universe. So we can assume these worlds are connected and are part of the same multi-verse.
There are some recurring characters and items and themes that are in almost every game From Software has created and these too can potentially serve as a hypothetical bridge amongst these worlds. Some of these are:
Patches: This malicious character is found in every game from Demon Souls to Elden Ring minus Sekiro. He does the same act of throwing you over some ledge and has the same conniving laugh.
Moonlight Greatsword: This legendary weapon has been present in every From Software game since King’s Field and has a similar look and attack type to it.
Mountaintops of the Giants: You might be aware of the cut Northern Limit region in Demon Souls which would be inhabited by giants. Looking at the recovered content and visiting the Mountaintops of the Giants in Elden Ring you will see the stark resemblance.
Basilisk: These freaky-eyed frogs and their death fog attacks were the banes of existence for many Dark Souls players. You will see the return of these weirdos in Elden Ring as well.
Of course, it’s a known fact that From Software has taken heavy inspiration from the Berserk manga series in many of their games. Along with this, there is a cyclical referencing in themes and story-telling that they are fond of and this is what stirs up the audience to make these connections and deep dive into each aspect of the games. The references are many but the reality that the studio will never admit to such claims of a single universe will forever leave us guessing. And frankly, this is the fun of being a From Software fan!