Elden Ring DLC's fearsome Dancing Lion boss is just two big dudes in a suit

The Shadow of the Erdtree expansion has some surprising secrets hidden in plain sight.

Elden Ring's giant Shadow of the Erdtree expansion dropped on Friday and it didn't take long for players to poke under the hood and discover some fascinating things. The first big bad of the DLC is the Divine Beast Dancing Lion, a fearsome creature that uses wind, lightning, ice and its own hulking body to decimate foul Tarnished. But the mandatory boss suddenly seems a bit less terrifying after YouTuber BonfireVN found out that it's basically just two large dudes in a suit.

BonfireVN's video shows one person wearing the lion's head and another one hunched over in the rear — a little like a pantomime horse. The video shows the front end of the near-nude boss firing off elemental attacks and twisting through the air to lunge at the player, while the back half just sorta tags along as if connected by magnets.

Game developers use all kinds of tricks just to make things work, but this one actually makes sense on a conceptual level. As 80 Level points out, it keeps in with the Chinese tradition of the lion dance, wherein two people wear a costume and mimic the movements of the big cat. One person controls the head and the other takes charge of the body, albeit with less flip flopping than the namesake Elden Ring boss.

Image of one human figure hunched over, and another crouching while wearing a lion's head.
Image of one human figure hunched over, and another crouching while wearing a lion's head. (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco/BonfireVN)

Meanwhile, the $40 Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is evidently a hit already. Elden Ring (which includes the DLC) reached a simultaneous player count of 780,000 on Steam alone over the weekend. It hadn't seen those kinds of numbers since it neared a million concurrent Steam players when it debuted in early 2022. Elden Ring has now sold more than 25 million copies, making it one of the best-selling games of all time.

Shadow of the Erdtree has earned near-unanimous praise from critics, but many players felt it was too difficult and review bombed it on Steam as a result. Elden Ring's creators have a clear message to naysayers, though: get good, scrubs.

“If we really wanted the whole world to play the game, we could just crank the difficulty down more and more. But that wasn’t the right approach,” From president and Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki told The Guardian. “Had we taken that approach, I don’t think the game would have done what it did, because the sense of achievement that players gain from overcoming these hurdles is such a fundamental part of the experience. Turning down difficulty would strip the game of that joy — which, in my eyes, would break the game itself.”