The Ongoing War Over Elden Ring Boss Music Lyrics

Over the past several weeks, a war has been raging in the Lands Between, or rather over the very lore of the world. It all began when a YouTuber going by the name ‘Daniel Olmos’ set up a channel claiming to translate, from Latin into English, the choral elements that we hear in the tracks accompanying many of the game’s bosses. The premise for the channel was simple: bombastic music from bosses like Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy or The Godskin Apostles plays over a title card, accompanied by subtitles with appropriately moody lyrics that seem to reflect the dark feelings, inner turmoils and hubris of the bosses you fight.

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It seemed to unearth a whole new layer of lore, and the channel quickly built up a following of Elden Ring fans who believed they were being given unprecedented insights into major characters in the game.

But a couple of weeks later, another YouTuber, Antonius Tertius, stepped forward, claiming that Olmos’ channel was all lies. Tertius said he had spoken to key composers of Elden Ring’s music (who I’ve since contacted and verified), who revealed that all that chanting and dramatic choirs we hear in the boss music is in fact gibberish that was computer-generated and adjusted to sound like Latin. Despite the backlash, Olmos continues to create videos that ostensibly translate Elden Ring lyrics from Latin, and based on the comments in those videos fans are continuing to lap up the fake translations as actual lore.

Tertius, who is a Latin student at the University of Sao Paulo, reached out to me personally to shed more light on the situation. He revealed the names of the Elden Ring music producer, and expressed his frustration at trying to get word out on Olmos’ deception, which has seen Tertius banned from the main Elden Ring subreddit for apparent ‘witch-hunting.’

Olmos’ translations sound cool, but they’re made up.

Tertius’ issue with Olmos does not stem from the fact that Olmos is making these translations, but rather because he’s passing them off as real translations rather than the fanfiction that they appear to actually be. “I am not against fanmade lyrics (I even support Ilas channel, for example) as long as they are named correctly to prevent misinformation. I tried to talk some sense into Olmos many times, ”Tertius tells me. “He must alter his video titles to ‘fanmade lyrics.’ By the way, did you notice he changed his video titles after my first post about him? He changed them to ‘Fan Translated Lyrics’ which is still misleading of course. ”

The ‘Ilas’ channel that Tertius is referring to has not received the same level of attention as Olmos’, but openly says in the description that the lyrics “have been made up by me for the sole purpose of contributing to and enriching the Souls community. ”

Olmos, in contrast, claims on his channel that his translations are “a best effort attempt to translate the Latin lyrics for this track into English using online tools. Please help offer any corrections to the Latin grammar.Not guaranteed to be 100% correct, but I am convinced this is very close. ”

Now I’m pretty lyric-deaf myself, and tend to just la-la-la along to any band outside of The Doors, but listening to Tertius’ and Olmos’ respective interpretations of the lyrics from the Godskin Apostle boss music, it does sound to me like Tertius’ interpretation is more accurate. Have a listen yourself and see what you think:

Here are the Godskin Apostle lyrics according to OImos:

And here is the translation by Tertius

There’s an interesting thing going on here, because even though the gibberish interpretation seems more accurate, you can not help but be drawn to the version that actually has something to say, right? In an Olmos video ‘translating’ Godrick’s music, the idea that the other gods are shouting down and mocking Godrick as he demands recognition is compelling stuff. Speaking to a fellow Reddit user, Tertius pretty much nailed the issue on the head. Curiously, the official lyrics do not get famous, but made up lyrics and fake translations too good to be true get famous pretty quickly. Convenient lies draw people’s attention more than the disappointing truth. ”

Olmos’ latest video went up just a few days ago, this time claiming to translate the music from the God-Devouring Serpent. The video’s already had about 6000 views, with top comments saying things like “It’s crazy how much more enjoyable these tracks are to listen to when there are lyrics attached to them!” and “Whoa whoa whoa, did he call for the death of Malenia via the black knives? Thats a new connection. ” Clearly, Olmos is knowledgeable enough about Elden Ring lore and compelling enough with his fabricated lyrics to take his growing number of followers down his fanfiction rabbit-hole.

Tertius’ translation of the Rykard reveals them to mean… nothing.

There’s no question that plenty of work is going into this on Olmos’ part, but it does seem to be based on a fundamental lie.

Tertius reached out to Olmos in the comments on one of his videos, saying (in part) the following: “We all love your English texts because of how fitting ‘n’ amazing they are, but you do know yours are no lyrics translations at all, you would still get several views and subscribers if you named your videos correctly as ‘fanmade lyrics’. Also, you end up misleading others into thinking you really know Latin and that most of Elden Ring lyrics are in Latin (in truth most of them are not and mean nothing). ”

Olmos did not respond to Tertius and removed his comment, but later on asked Tertius to prove that the lyrics weren’t in Latin, in response to which Tertius revealed some of the exchanges he apparently had with Elden Ring’s music producers.

Tertius has some chops in the Elden Ring lore community. It was he, alongside fellow Reddit user Nyrun, who translated one of the few songs in Elden Ring that were sung in actual Latin – the Song of Lament – which is sung by those tragic-looking bat people at several points in the game. The veracity of this is verified by the fact that the latin lyrics were provided to them by the song’s vocalist, Nóra Csádi.

Tertius’ video detailing the translation of the Song of Lament.

As of this day however, Tertius ‘videos with the gibberish’ real ‘lyrics are not receiving nearly the same amount as Olmos’ videos with the fictitious lyrics.

There are plenty who are siding with Tertius, but that hasn’t stopped Olmos from building up a following of unquestioning fans who seem to be getting more and more embroiled in his own slant on Elden Ring. Of course, the beauty of the lore in FromSoft games is that so much of it is ambiguous and hazy enough to leave plenty of room for interpretation, but claiming to be diligently unpicking the lyrical breadcrumbs that the developers left in there when in fact there are no breadcrumbs at all makes Olmos’ undeniably evocative work rather misleading. With Olmos seemingly deleting comments that question the legitimacy of his ‘translations,’ he’s created a closed-off ecosystem in which his word is gospel. It’s pretty much the same setup as a cult, and even though in the scheme of things it’s relatively harmless, the mentality behind it is nefarious.

Tertius, meanwhile, is continuing his Latin studies and continuing to share his translations with those who care to listen. Following his ban from r / eldenring, he now posts to r / eldenringdiscussions, where the community has been more accommodating of his work. Despite his research leading into the realization that it’s mostly nonsense, Tertius remains a fan of the Elden Ring soundtrack. “Lastly, I’d like to state that the Elden Ring soundtrack is still amazing and no less great due to meaningless lyrics in most of its songs. Most of Nier games’ song lyrics do not mean anything either, but they are still excellent, ”he tells me. “Music is the universal language we have, musical sounds stir the soul and convey emotions without needing words, such is the power is music.”

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