Elden Ring: Is the Age of Absolute Ending Real or an Elaborate Hoax?
Elden Ring's "secret" Age of Absolute ending has fans buzzing, but is there any truth to the rumors that the game features a hidden finale?
As more and more people actually finish Elden Ring, more and more players are quickly becoming obsessed with the game’s supposed secret ending known simply as the “Age of Absolute.”
First off, you may have recently heard that Elden Ring YouTuber Garden of Eyes actually discovered the Age of Absolute ending and was nice enough to post that ending online for everyone to see. However, it turns out that this popular video is indeed fake and was only ever intended to be an early April Fool’s Day joke (the worst kind of April Fool’s Day joke):
That video may be fake, but the hype around the Age of Absolute ending is absolutely real. While we already know how to unlock Elden Ring‘s six official endings, many fans still swear that the game contains a hidden seventh ending that could very well help explain some of its currently unexplained mysteries.
While it’s relatively easy to dismiss all of this talk about a hidden Elden Ring ending as another example of that game’s enthusiastic community making up their own lore (or perhaps simply trying to troll us), the fact of the matter is that there is at least some amount of truth to the Age of Absolute ending rumors. However, appreciating and understanding the truth in this instance requires you to go full Jonathan Frakes and start separating fact from fiction.
Elden Ring: What is The Age of Absolute Ending Supposed to Be About?
The fact that nobody has ever seen the Age of Absolute ending (if it even exists) obviously makes it pretty difficult to talk about what it means with…well, absolute certainty. However, there are a few popular theories about what the ending is reportedly all about.
It all starts with the ending’s name. The exact meaning of the word “absolute” kind of depends on the context you’re using it in, but most definitions of the word include the idea that it represents something that is total, complete, and unrestricted. That’s also why the word is commonly used to describe deities who operate with total authority.
So, it certainly makes sense that many of the most popular theories regarding Elden Ring‘s Age of Absolute ending tend to revolve around the player becoming a god or interacting with the gods in some way. A few variations of that theory involve the player helping some other diety rule the Lands Between (more on that in a bit), but most Age of Absolute speculation involves the gods and other powerful figures in the Lands Between. For instance, I don’t know if I quite buy into that fake video’s suggestion that the ending could be about the Two Fingers (representatives of the Greater Will) and the Three Fingers (a powerful force hellbent on destruction) joining forces, but that idea does fit nicely into the broad Age of Absolute speculation that is going around.
There is also the curious matter of Sir Gideon Ofnir. For much of Elden Ring, Ofnir is treated like a pretty important character. He’s mentioned in the opening cutscene, he’s described as a Tarnished who wishes to be all-knowing (perhaps “absolute?”) so that he may become Elden Lord, and he seems to hold a position of power and respect in Roundtable Hold. Yet, you end up killing Ofnir during a rather unceremonious boss fight that kind of feels like it was shoehorned into the game at the last minute.
Could it be that there is a way to ally yourself with Ofnir and help him become an all-knowing Elden Lord? After all, Ofnir’s final words (“A Tarnished cannot become a Lord. Not even you. A man cannot kill a god…”) do fit into the basic Age of Absolute ending theory. Furthermore, it still just feels odd that Ofnir doesn’t ultimately have a larger role to play in the game. The idea that he’s related to a secret ending known as the Age of Absolute does make a lot of sense.
As interesting as all of that is, none of it actually means much if it’s all based on fan theories and wild speculation. However, it turns out the Age of Absolute ending is actually a little more substantial than that. In fact, not everything in that joke video posted above is as fake as it may seem…
Elden Ring: Why Do Fans Believe the Age of Absolute Ending is Real?
While some Elden Ring fans figured out that YouTuber Garden of Eyes’ Age of Absolute ending was a fake pretty quickly, even skeptics didn’t know quite what to make of the game’s suspiciously accurate voiceover. As it turns out, that’s actually one aspect of the video that wasn’t entirely manufactured.
“The voice line saying ‘Age Absolute’ DOES exist in the final game and not the Network Test like some people claimed,” explains Garden of Eyes in the video’s comments section. “By looking at the files, its ID is actually an alternate line for the ‘Age of Order’ line’s ending.”
Before we dive into that last part, it’s important to explain that most of the Age of Absolute discussions and theories can be traced back to the fact that the words “Age of Absolute” were indeed discovered in Elden Ring‘s files. Given that other Elden Ring endings use the “Age of” phrase, and that those datamined words are closely associated with other data related to Elden Ring‘s endings, it’s easy enough to see why some jumped to the conclusion that “Age of Absolute” could be a missing or secret Elden Ring finale.
However, things started to get much more complicated when fans started sharing theories about how you might be able to unlock that conclusion. Many of those early theories (which were initially shared around the time of Elden Ring‘s launch) revolved around quests that seemingly had no proper conclusion and items that had no apparent use. For instance, many speculated that the Age of Absolute ending could be related to Nepheli Loux and Kenneth Haight’s incomplete questlines, or perhaps the mysterious “Alexander’s Innards” item you acquired if you killed Iron Fist Alexander in Crumbling Farum Azula.
At one time, it was surprisingly easy to buy into the idea that any one of Elden Ring‘s unanswered questions related to major characters and events could also be related to the undiscovered Age of Absolute ending. However, we’ve since learned that’s likely not the case.
See, Elden Ring‘s recent 1.03 update actually “fixed” the Nepheli Loux, Kenneth Haight, and Iron Fist Alexander questlines by making it possible to complete them. It’s not entirely clear why those quests weren’t complete at the time the game was released, but thanks to that update, we know that those characters and Alexander’s Innards have purposes not specifically related to the Age of Absolute ending.
With those once-popular theories now seemingly invalid, some Age of Absolute supporters have started leaning more towards the idea that the use of the word “Absolute” is meant to imply that you need to complete absolutely everything in Elden Ring in order to unlock the ending. Some even say that you need to complete everything in Elden Ring across multiple New Game+ sessions in order to see the secret ending.
While I don’t believe anyone can say with absolute certainty that they’ve done everything there is to do in Elden Ring (much less multiple times), numerous people have unlocked all of the game’s achievements and have not reported discovering anything that definitively brings us closer to the Age of Absolute ending. New Game+ diehards who have reached multiple New Game+ playthroughs have also not reported finding any additional evidence that strongly suggests beating the game multiple times eventually unlocks the Age of Absolute ending.
In the absence of such evidence, we’re forced to turn to some slightly more logical (if potentially less exciting) explanations for the Age of Absolute ending speculation…
Elden Ring: Is the Age of Absolute Ending Real?
The fact of the matter is that it’s impossible to completely dismiss the basic theory that Elden Ring features one or more undiscovered endings. Not only are there still aspects of the game that feel incomplete (such as the aforementioned Sir Gideon Ofnir subplot), but in a game that is this large and this confusing, there’s always a little room for speculation when it comes to such urban legends and fan theories.
However, it seems pretty clear at this point that there are two likely explanations for the Age of Absolute data that was discovered in the game and the secret ending speculation it resulted in.
The first theory revolves around the idea that the Age of Absolute ending will be featured in subsequent Elden Ring updates or DLC releases. While it remains to be seen whether we will be treated to Elden Ring DLC in the near future (or at all), FromSoftware has traditionally released DLC for many of their Soulsborne games. Besides, those recent Elden Ring updates make it clear that FromSoftware is not opposed to using patches to add more content (or missing content) to the game.
Personally, I subscribe to the theory that the Age of Absolute ending is related to content that was simply cut from Elden Ring (if it was ever intended to be included in the first place). In fact, it makes a lot of sense that the Age of Absolute ending line could have once been a part of the Age of Order ending’s voiceover. After all, both that ending and the Age of Stars ending deal with the “gods” in some way. Even if that’s not the case, it’s really not that hard to believe that the line players discovered in the game’s files is just a remnant of some idea that never made it into the final product. We see similar things happen in major releases all of the time.
Still, this whole thing does bring us back to the point that one of the great things about Elden Ring is the fact that the game feels so large, so untamed, and so mysterious that it’s surprisingly easy to buy into the idea that there are major parts of the experience that haven’t been discovered yet. While I’m not sure the Age of Absolute ending is one of those undiscovered things, I wouldn’t be surprised if Elden Ring‘s diehard players unearth some pretty surprising stuff in the weeks, months, and years to come.