Elden Ring will unleash a slew of wicked monstrosities on you, but few will make your hair stand on end like a Runebear after catching your smell. In the hundreds of hours I've spent playing FromSoftware's open-world game, I've only killed a few Runebears; I'd rather fight Malenia or, more realistically, run away screaming. At first, the Runebears' extraordinary difficulty seemed like a strange, humorous disparity, but months later, we're learning that there might be a pretty excellent reason why they have such a flair for bringing us closer to Marika.


In a thought-provoking video, dataminer Zullie the Witch points out that when Elden Ring was distributed as a "network test" beta, users discovered an out-of-bounds Runebear. Surprisingly, after the Runebear was killed, it dropped a dragon heart. After the release of the Elden Ring, no in-game Runebear appeared to work this way, thus most people forgot about the heart problem. However, following closer examination, it appears that Runebears may, after all, have a special relationship with dragons.



Have you ever noticed how a Runebear's eyes exactly mirror the reptilian shape and color of a certain dragon in the Elden Ring? This may appear to be an unusual focus, yet it appears to be deliberate. After all, dragon hearts do increase a player's power. And larger in-game creatures all have names that imply they were augmented in some way, most likely through runes, but what if bears took a different path?


One YouTube user points out that the Runebear breast has spikes where the heart should be. They "appear to be dragon scales," writes Raloris. "In particular, those depicted on the dragon hearts' icon." I admit that I was too preoccupied in impersonating a headless chicken to notice this small detail. Maybe it's gravel stone. Not to mention that modern Runebears drop Spelldrake Talismans depicting a "blue old dragon." Elden Ring, for some reason, still connects Runebears to dragons, even after the network test.