It takes a special kind of dedication to beat Elden Ring. It takes some other level of grit and determination to figure out how to one-shot every boss in the game. Using melee strikes only. Without leveling up at all.
I fancy myself a decent gamer, relatively skilled in the art of combat. My favorite types of games generally fit into one of several categories:
- First-person shooters like Call Of Duty, Counter-Strike, Valorant and so forth;
- Tactical games that require strategic thinking like XCOM, FTL, Civilization et alia;
- Platformers like Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Ori and the Blind Forest;
- Big, sprawling RPGs like Divinity: Original Sin or Dragon Age;
- Everything that FromSoftware makes, from Demon’s Souls to Bloodborne to Elden Ring.
When it comes to that last category, I think I’d place myself in the “mega-fan” bracket, given the fact that Dark Souls basically ruined every other fantasy action-RPG for me. I’ve devoured all of these games, from Demon’s Souls to Bloodborne, playing through multiple times with different builds, defeating crazy hard bosses I thought were impossible—until I discovered a certain truth: That the wave can break the rock given enough tide.
I have sharpened the blade of my skill upon the whetstone of FromSoftware’s games. And I am still just a filthy casual compared to many.
Realistically, the hardest of hardcore players of games like Elden Ring sink thousands of hours into them, playing PvP, fine-tuning builds, learning all about the lore and mechanics, delving deep into every item, every ring, every buff. Obsessively pouring over every little detail.
One of the most impressive Elden Ring players I’ve had the good fortune of encountering recently is Titus Actual, aka Dr. One Shot. Titus is a YouTuber who has not only mastered Elden Ring, but goes to great lengths to show you how to do the crazy awesome stuff he pulls off as well.
Like the headline says, Titus figured out how to one-shot every mandatory boss in the game, and not only that, he’s done it with a melee hit at level 1. In the below video, he shows you exactly how he goes about it. All the shortcuts, all the tricks, all the meticulous, detailed, specific steps you need to take in order to undergo this mad challenge. It’s remarkable and a little bit insane. I am too lazy and too easily distracted to ever do anything like this, but I sure do love that there are people out there who take the time to figure out these crazy puzzles.
This is also just a very, very well-made video that’s super detailed and entertaining to watch. Check it out:
Titus Actual (not his real name) told me that he got into this whole one-shot business after content creator Vageta311 issued the Dark Souls One-Shot Challenge. There were various rules to how this challenge was structured, with very strict leveling limitations and so forth. Titus got so invested in the challenge, he decided to do the whole thing without leveling at all.
“After finding a way to do that, it basically changed the way I played RPG games,” he tells me. “Then Elden Ring Came along. Right away from day 1, I was determined to be the first player in the world to do a traditional Dark Souls One-Shot challenge on Elden Ring. So I followed the traditional rules, I started as a level 1 Wretch, and only leveled after successfully killing a boss in 1 attack. Elden Beast and Radagon were definitely the biggest challenge.”
Eventually he made the above video, killing every mandatory boss in the game with one melee hit. The video has 1.8 million views, on a YouTube channel that isn’t even as old as Elden Ring itself. And unlike most YouTubers, all the revenue the channel earns goes to charity fundraisers.
“To put it out there into such a popular game and watching millions of people enjoying something that I have enjoyed doing for years is really cool,” Titus tells me. “It was the only goal in creating a brand account on YouTube when Elden Ring launched actually, with the hopes to share that same effect to other people that a creator named Vageta311 had on me back in the original Dark Souls.”
The actual strategy to one-shot bosses at Level 1 is insanely complex, requiring players to take an elaborate journey in The Lands Between to gather all the right items and buffs in order to melee kill these monstrous foes. But on top of that, Titus Actual goes to great length in editing and putting together these videos, which are long and detailed and extremely well-produced, especially considering this is a hobby rather than a full-time job. “ I set unrealistic standards for myself on purpose though,” says Titus. “So even if I never reach my own expectations, it’s better to aim for them rather than settle for something I am not happy with.”
But why? This is what I really want to know. Why go to all this trouble, and take all this time? Titus, who works with his wife on many of these builds and videos, says that it’s all about puzzle-solving. “We are trying to dive into the game mechanics, look at the numbers, and see if something is possible, then we have to put the pieces of the puzzle together to find a way to get that weapon or the buff items required, before reaching that boss.”
Titus says he makes these videos both for entertainment purposes and to help his fellow Elden Ring fans out.
“I don’t want to come across as someone that considers themselves an expert, just what I have experienced on my channel moonlighting as an Elden Ring YouTube content creator,” he tells me. “I definitely think the guide aspect helps make it more entertaining. If you treat it like a guide, even if it’s purely for entertainment, you inherently create something more engaging because people are learning something that may help them in just their general first playthrough or something.”
In pursuit of that goal, Titus has created dozens of videos with a wide array of builds ranging from item location guides to build guides and much more, digging into the nitty gritty of the game and showing how you can craft some of the most powerful characters possible—using Magic, or Blood or Faith, just to name a few.
As for Titus’s favorite FromSoft game:
“For me Demon’s souls was the first so it will always have a special place,” he tells me. “It was just so ahead of its time in so many ways. From combat mechanics to the shortcuts system, the original system of souls and trying to reach your bloodstain when you die to not permanently lose them. Just amazing.” But the first Dark Souls is “probably my favorite.” The way the world was all linked together was mind-blowing, Titus says.
“The fact that you could go from Firelink in several directions, with the master key going to down to The Valley of the Drakes for Red Tearstone Ring, back to the Asylum, to the Catacombs, draining the water to New Londo. It was just insane the freedom you had in that game and it was so far ahead of it’s time as well. I think that game was a masterpiece.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Subscribe to Titus’s YouTube channel here.