Mimic Chests were always an iconic trap in previous Dark Souls titles that usually ended in the brutally frustrating demise of the player. Elden Ring has opted for an arguably crueler type of treasure chest trap.
For those whose first FromSoftware game is Elden Ring, a Mimic Chest was a fake chest that was instead a devious shapeshifter known as a “mimic.” If you went to open a chest that was actually a disguised mimic, then you would be eaten and then hunted down if you survived. However, whether you lived or died you knew where you stood with a mimic chest. You would never open it again and you could simply go collect your souls after death and carry on.
Elden Ring has a much more devious treasure chest trap at work, and if you are unfortunate enough it could be one of the first things you run into. The game starts in the heart of Limgrave and just a little way east from here lies one of the traps. In a marshy swamp area just past Flying Dragon Agheel, there will be the appropriately named Dragon-Burnt Ruins. You can actually see these ruins from the tutorial’s exit and if you head just a little in their direction you will see the low-level ghoul enemies lurking around. It is fairly common to take this as a great opportunity to snag some easy Runes and head on over. Everything about this little area screams too good to be true, but a big bad boss never shows up to surprise you. You waltz in and snag some easy runes, what could go wrong from here?
Well, there is something that could in fact go horribly wrong, and it is something that will leave you wishing that a big bad boss had popped out to chase you away. After defeating the enemies in the ruins you will undoubtedly notice a staircase leading into a lower crypt, and as a senseless gamer, you must explore the depths of this clearly haunted area. You will be attacked by some rats that will prove little more than a second’s nuisance and then spot a glorious treasure chest in the back.
Any Tarnished at this point is going to rush over and kick that chest open. Even the cautious ones, who attack the chest first, just to be sure there is no mimic like the old games, will find this strategy useless. When you open the treasure chest a cloud of smoke will trigger a loading screen which sends you to the Sellia Crystal Tunnel. What is this tunnel? Only a high-level area North-East of where you just were. You are now in the center of the tunnel surrounded by powerful enemies, and what’s worse is that fast travel is disabled until you escape.
The second you step out of the mine hut you are in you will be attacked by a patrolling crystal miner and even worse, a spider-like crystal enforcer. The spider enforcer is on top of the hut and will begin to attack without you seeing it coming. All the creatures in this tunnel do a ton of damage and are also capable of using magic, in the enforcer’s case it can shoot tracking magic at you. You will be tempted to fight at first, but you will quickly learn that the only way to handle this situation is to run for your life? Where though?
When you leave the hut, there are crystal miners everywhere and several paths to take. Any confusion will certainly lead to your death as the enforcer’s magic is quick and will relentlessly track you down. The miners will also do a considerable amount of damage to your health whether they blast you with magic or physically strike you. This can be extremely nerve-wracking if you accidentally wandered in here with a ton of Rune, as you will have to do your best to rush out, snatch back your Runes, and retry finding the exit.
The way to escape the tunnels is to make a right upon leaving the initial hut. Avoid the miners and keep running, you can hear the swishing of the spider enforcer’s magic so do your best to dodge it. Keep running down the path to the right until you see it lead into a tunnel. Keep running through here and you will find a drop-off leading to a Site of Grace. Rest here to save your progress. After this, you will see a tunnel leading outside. Take the tunnel and you will be able to fast travel back across the map to where you were. If the tunnels were too high level for you, make sure to fast travel out immediately as the harsh environment outside will be even worse.
This trick has fooled and claimed the lives of many Tarnished. It is something that no one expected and can really put players in a stressful situation. The Sellia Crystal Tunnel is not for the faint of heart and you would do well to avoid this trap if at all possible.
Elden Ring is currently available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.