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Free Elden Ring comedy manga is not a tie-in we expected

An official, free Elden Ring comedy manga series is launched by FromSoftware parent Kadokawa, reimagining the open-world fantasy RPG in a funny comic book form

Elden Ring Comedy Manga 'The Road to the Erdtree' - Melina looks perplexed from under her hood

There’s a free Elden Ring comedy manga, and you can read the first two issues of it right now. That’s not a sentence I expected to type today, but there it is. Following FromSoftware’s incredible success story, with Elden Ring sales clocking it at a huge 16.6 million at the last official count from publisher Bandai Namco, it was inevitable that a variety of tie-ins and merchandise would follow. Now, you can read a humorous take on one of the best RPG games in recent memory, courtesy of a partnership with Comic Hu and writer Nikiichi Tobita.

Elden Ring: The Road to the Erdtree is a gag manga written by the artist of ‘A Cursed Sword’s Daily Life.’ FromSoftware’s parent company Kadokawa Corporation announces in a press release (via Famitsu) that the manga will be serialised through the free web magazine service Comic Hu from September 4, with the first two stories published simultaneously and more to be released over the coming weeks and months.

The series, which has been localised into 12 different languages including English, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese, follows the tale of Tarnished wretch Aseo, after he finds himself “cast out into Limgrave naked, penniless, hopeless, and maidenless.” The initial issue is rather appropriately titled, “You thought this’d be serious, didn’t you?” It begins much in the same way as the opening scenes of the videogame – only to abruptly land on an image of guide Melina standing over an almost-naked Aseo planking face-down on the floor, with bold text announcing “This is a comedy manga.”

It’s a rather bizarre occurrence – but, from what we’ve read so far, it seems to achieve what it sets out to do. It’s all rather silly, with Aseo immediately panicking upon encountering the world’s first NPC, Varré, and a rather ridiculous aside that shows the game’s first major boss Godrick the Grafted pondering over the trendiness of a selection of possible graftings presented to him by his underlings. There’s even some fourth-wall breaking, with a direct note at one point that reads, “Are the devs at FS okay with this?”

You can read the manga for yourself on the Comic Walker website – as mentioned, it’s free and available in English, but if you’re new to manga you’ll want to note that the pages are read from right to left. The next issue is scheduled to arrive on September 19, with more to follow down the line. It may not be the Elden Ring content I expected to see when I woke up this morning, but I have to say that it definitely put a smile on my face.

Elden Ring manga 'The Road to the Erdtree' - protagonist Aseo talks to Melina about the process of leveling up

Recent developments saw additional FromSoftware shares purchased by Sony and Chinese publishing giant Tencent. Meanwhile, the latest Elden Ring update 1.06 overhauls the game’s co-op, ensuring its place as one of the best multiplayer games on PC this year. Be sure to take a look at our guide to the best Elden Ring builds and our helpful rundown of all the Elden Ring bosses you’re likely to encounter on your adventure – many of whom you can expect to see in The Road to the Erdtree as well. Let’s hope you fare a little better than Aseo’s initial attempts.

Image credit: Nikiichi Tobita and Comic Hu.