A red circle and arrow point at the genitals of a horse from Elden Ring while it traverses the side of a mountain.

I don’t want to believe.
Screenshot: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco / Kotaku

The hype surrounding FromSoftware’s Elden Ring has reached critical mass for fervent fans in the form of a very unorthodox debate. Surprisingly, the current discourse surrounding the highly anticipated Souls-like game isn’t centered on the same tired online argument over reused animation. Oh no, this debate is about whether the horses in the game have dicks or not.

In a Reddit discussion post with spoiler and not safe for work tags, a redditor named asiuhds made a post titled “WARNING VERY IMPORTANT DISCOVERY.” Clicking into the mosaiced preview image reveals a shoddy screenshot from Elden Ring’s official gameplay trailer with a red circle drawn around a shadowy form that might be the horse’s junk as it scales the side of a cliff. Enter Horse Dickgate.

Surely the thingamabob in question isn’t FromSoftware deliberately showcasing its equestrian, HDR-supported, ray-traced genitals, right? Then again, maybe thinking like that is just what the creative minds who included that image in the trailer are counting on. Since I had the unfortunate privilege of diving into this weird rabbit hole on the Elden Ring subreddit, I shall curse you with some of the highlights from the discourse.

A typo-laden post by redditor estenombre said, “I was expecting a big big spoiler… I’m not dissapointed lmao.”

“Hopefully this is patched. I want a flopper,” posted user Trick_Inevitable6043. They also happen to be the top commenter on the post, garnering a silver award for their humble contribution.

“Prolific commenter” and “avid voter” The_Jolly_Bengali sent me for a ride with their comment. While I briefly hoped they’d be the voice of reason, positing that the appendage was simply a sword sheath, they let me down.

“To be fair, what you’re looking at here is probably just the sheath, with the penis retracted inside,” they wrote. My faith in humanity is waning.

While many of the other comments were derivatives of redditors typing different combinations of “cock ring” with the game’s title, redditor Stardraconis, my golden calf, typed what I was thinking and hypothesized that the theorists’ Big Foot-esque phenomenon might actually just be a foot–the left foot of the human astride the horse, that is. Apparently, Reddit is a haven of fledgling comedians, because user Devoidofimagination jokingly agreed, posting that it’s probably “about a foot, give or take an inch.” Having never interacted with the Soulsborne community, this experience has left a hell of a first impression on me.

Luckily, the discourse appears to be all in jest as hungry fans lie in wait for more information for Elden Ring lore to dissect before they dive into playing the game. For their sakes, I hope that the horse dick debate is laid to rest once Elden Ring comes out on February 25.



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