Months of planning and dozens of attempts culminated in one perfect run.
In Elden Ring, death comes for us all. The inevitability of the booming “YOU DIED” game over screen is a core part of the Souls genre, as you wait to reawaken at the last checkpoint to bang your head against whatever brick wall you're fighting all over again.
Even “Let Me Solo Her”, the Elden Ring player that helped hundreds of players beat the game's toughest boss, died over 200 times attempting to take Malenia down for the first time. So what if I told you there's an Elden Ring player that not only managed to cheat death, but avoid taking a single hit from any of The Lands Between's 165 bosses?
That's exactly what GinoMachino did last week, when the Twitch streamer completed Elden Ring's first-ever all bosses, no-hit run. Not only did GinoMachino beat every boss with not even a scratch to show for it, he did it all in a single ten-and-a-half hour run on Twitch. IGN spoke to GinoMachino about the run, and he told us about the sigh of relief he exhaled upon defeating the final boss to seal the deal.
“There's a lot of relief, obviously,” GinoMachino says. “I was really focused towards the back half of the run, so for like four to five hours I was kind of not really talking. I was just focused on the game, making sure I wasn't going to forget some little enemy or something like that. So it's a lot of relief. I had also been working on the run for quite some time before that. So it's really nice to get that run off my shoulders.”
Immediately after the winning moment on the Twitch stream, GinoMachino said, “I can't believe we did it… I came into today not confident at all, dude.”
We did it. World’s First Elden Ring All Bosses No Hit Run has been completed.Thanks to everyone who was there for it including the legendary no hit runners @OtzdarvaYT and @OGSquilla
What a moment. https://t.co/WiLQWu1SW8 pic.twitter.com/t5XAFDGoT7
— GinoMachino (@GinoMachino) October 26, 2022
You'd probably be in disbelief too, if you'd poured as much time into this challenge as GinoMachino has. A months-long buildup led to last week's accomplishment, from the planning phases to an estimated 80 to 100 attempts at the no-hit run.
The challenge was a true no-hit run, meaning if GinoMachino had gotten hit a single time, he would have had to start the game over from scratch. Whether he took a hit one hour in or five hours makes no difference — the run would instantly be thrown in the garbage with the rest of the failed attempts. 80 to 100 runs at multiple hours apiece sure stacks up, no doubt one of the largest contributors to GinoMachino's 1200 logged hours in Elden Ring.
Anatomy of a perfect run
GinoMachino told me creating the route is one of the most challenging parts of tackling a task like this. You want to fight the toughest bosses first in a challenge run because you have the highest odds of getting hit in the harder fights. Why waste your time plowing through the easier bosses, just to lose the run later on?
Instead, you leave the easier stuff for later in the run to take on once you've already cleared the toughest fights in the game (he says the three toughest bosses for challenge runs are Malenia, the Godskin Duo, and Mohg). Even with all of this planning, GinoMachino said there have definitely been times where he's lost a run five-plus hours deep to something unplanned, like a boss behaving in a slightly unusual manner, or taking one step too far into a boss arena.
[M]y end goal would be to do all bosses, no-hit without leveling or upgrading any weapons…“
Beyond routing the best boss order, planning the ideal path through Elden Ring's game world also takes into account stopping to get items, weapons, and Runes to level up with. It took at least two months to plan the golden path before GinoMachino started to actually attempt the run. The plan was always in flux, though, with GinoMachino saying, “but even up until the moment I got the run, I was changing stuff, improving some of the strategies and routing through the area.”
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One accolade among many
So when GinoMachino logged onto Elden Ring on October 25, he could have been diving into just another forgotten, failed attempt. But that's the thing about these challenge runs, and Souls games in general: You never know when your next run could be the run. For GinoMachino, when the run passed the six-hour mark, that's when he realized that it was actually happening.
The all bosses, no-hit run is just another accolade that joins GinoMachino's impressive resume of completed challenges. The streamer recently completed Elden Ring using only bare fists, where some bosses took upwards of five hours apiece. He also has completed different types of no-hit runs in other FromSoftware games, like Dark Souls 2 and Dark Souls 3. Funnily enough, GinoMachino said the FromSoftware formula didn't click with him for a long time.
I just became the first person to complete Elden Ring using only bare fists.
The entire run took us 58 hours and it was so much fun that I'm a little upset it's over. Maybe in the future we can do try to do some more bosses like this 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/LMDmRfk4Xb
— GinoMachino (@GinoMachino) October 13, 2022
“I started doing no hit runs in Dark Souls 3 five years ago, and it's actually interesting, I didn't really like the game when I first played it, like I actually quit halfway through,” he said. “But what drew me back was when I saw a no-hit run on YouTube and I was like, 'Wow, this is crazy compared to me fighting the bosses the first time, dying hundreds of times, just like everybody else…' And so, I started to enjoy the games once I actually started challenge running them a bit more, and I guess I just never stopped since then. It's been a long time.”
And he's showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. In wake of his no-hit run and bare fists run, GinoMachino is already working on a run of Elden Ring without stopping at any Sites of Grace. Once that's done, he's got an ultimate goal in mind, too.
“I don't know if I'll be able to do it, but I think my end goal would be to do all bosses, no-hit without leveling or upgrading any weapons… And I did runs like that in Dark Souls 3 and Dark Souls 2… Elden Ring's got so many bosses… That's gonna be a hard run. But I think that's kind of like my end goal. If I can do that, then I'll be pretty satisfied, I think.”
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.