Elden Ring is full of hard bosses, many of whom have no problem quickly showing you the nearest gravesite if you’re lost, and defeating them is often a matter of slowly whittling away at their lengthy health bars until you breathe a huge sigh of relief as the words “Enemy Felled” finally appear. One player, however, wanted to dish it out to those bosses every bit as well as they do, and then some. So he beefed up his Tarnished to one-shot many of the game’s toughest adversaries, from Morgott to Radahn, among others.
BushyGames, a Twitch streamer and Elden Ring speedrunner, uploaded a nearly 50-minute video to YouTube on May 16. The video showed Bushy trying—and succeeding—at beating FromSoftware’s action-RPG by killing every main boss with a single hit. There were a couple of rules Bushy put in place before embarking on such a difficult task. For example, he could only perform one attack per enemy or per boss phase (for those bosses, such as Rannala, who have multiple phases, which makes it impossible to fully deplete their health bar with a single attack) and must avoid using the cheap beam spell Comet Azur unless he “absolutely has to to complete the challenge.” Otherwise, he gave himself free rein to use any item or technique available to aid him in his quest. That included stuff like buffs, of which Bushy used plenty to survive the hellish run.
After creating his Tarnished named One Punch Man, Bushy scoured the Lands Between for gear. He collected items like the Axe Talisman and Spiked Cracked Tear for increased charged attack damage. He gathered various smithing stones and weapons skills, such as the Ash of War: Determination, which powers up the strength of your next attack. He also cheesed the horse-riding Night’s Calvary boss by forcing it to jump off the bridge, all before nabbing his idolized weapon: the colossal strength-scaling Giant-Crusher hammer. Bushy leveled up here and there, too, but he didn’t spend as much time on those screens as he did just exploring the Lands Between for resources and slaying enemies for runes.
Things picked up once Bushy got the Giant-Crusher. He leveled the hammer up multiple times and fast-traveled around the map searching for higher quality materials—like advanced smithing stones to further strengthen his weapon—before testing his one-hit attack capabilities against his first real boss fight: the Deathbird in Liurnia of the Lakes. Bushy tried once, buffing himself with items like the HP-recovering consumable Bloodboil Aromatic and the defense-increasing spell Golden Vow, only to shave off about half of the boss’ health bar with his hammer’s single, mighty thwack. A failed second attempt was significantly better, with Deathbird somehow hanging on to the tiniest sliver of health after Bushy’s assault, but the third time was the charm.
After three hours of farming and leveling his hammer one more time, Bushy buffed up his Tarnished with the same items, walked up to the Deathbird, and killed the rotted thing in one blow. “Bang! Whoo,” Bushy exclaimed in excitement. Not gonna lie, I felt it, too. He repeated the process for every main boss, going from Margit, the Fell Omen to Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, performing a self-buffing ritual before starting each fight.
Not every encounter went as intended. Radahn, for example, forced him to swap out some inventory items to maximize his damage, opting for the Flame of Frenzy spell until he was better able to wield the Jellyfish Shield’s attack power-raising Contagious Fury skill. And the Fire Giant bullied him for, like, an hour. But after a bit of trial and error, Bushy one-shotted all of Elden Ring’s main bosses, or in the case of those with multiple phases, he wiped out each phase with a single hit. What made this even more impressive was that, because Bushy used buffing spells that also happened to inflict self-damage, such as the attack power-increasing skill Seppuku, he very often had 10% or less health during the fight. Talk about a glass cannon.
Bushy told Kotaku that while he only killed the bosses “necessary to beat the game,” he’s confident that every boss phase can be done in one hit. That said, he did call out some Elden Ring jerks who gave him a hard time.
“The final boss Radagon and Elden Beast were the most difficult to one-shot and I even had to break my self-imposed rule of no Comet Azur to properly one-shot Elden Beast,” Bushy said. “Some people commented that Comet Azur shouldn’t be considered a one-shot anyway since it is a series of hits rather than one instance of damage, but I disagree. The analogy that I give is a shotgun, it fires one shot but hits multiple times.”
All told, Bushy spent a little over 25 hours gathering, testing, and executing the full run. He said he learned a lot about Elden Ring from this and even picked up tips from the game’s community and commenters on his video.
“It was a fun run with lots of problem-solving, and I’m very surprised it was even possible in the first place,” Bushy said. “On top of that, after posting the video I received plenty of comments and messages that let me know of other items that could have helped or improved the build, those included Ancient Dragon’s Lightning Strike with a faith build, the Rusted Anchor greataxe and Zweihander colossal sword—both of these have thrusting attacks which enable another damage buff called ‘counter damage,’ which is inaccessible on any non-thrusting weapon—and the Marais Executioner’s Sword for its unique Ash of War that can output a ton of damage. I didn’t use any of these items in the run, but they are all options that can perform better in some circumstances compared to what I used.”
I guess if there’s any takeaway from Bushy’s run, maybe it would be this: In Elden Ring, the best way to win is to “output a ton of damage” in one hit.
Who knew? If you’re curious, here’s BushyGames’ final build:
- Weapons: Giant Crusher, Lusat’s staff with Comet Azur (both of these eventually upgraded to max level)
- Weapon buffs: Determination and Royal Knights Resolve
- Body buffs: Exalted Flesh, Bloodboil Aromatic, Flame Grant Me Strength
- Aura buffs: Golden Vow Ash of War, Golden Vow Incantation, Rallying Standard (Commander’s Standard)
- Shield buffs: Contagious Fury (Jellyfish Shield)
- Unique buffs: Faith-Knot Crystal Tear, Strength-Knot Crystal Tear, Spiked Cracked Tear, Magic-Shrouding Cracked Tear, Flame-Shrouding Cracked Tear, Terra Magica
- Talismans: Radagon’s Soreseal, Starscourge Heirloom, Two Fingers Heirloom, Axe Talisman, Magic Scorpion Charm, Fire Scorpion Charm, Red-Feathered Branch Sword, Ritual Sword Talisman, Kindred of Rot Exultation, Lord of Blood’s Exultation.
- Armor with special effects: Black Dumpling, White Mask, Mushroom Crown