Wait, we’re not on Ascent?

I’m an OG Cypher main who loves to pop heads and trap lurkers in a Cyber Cage, but after an entire act of grinding the Battle Pass and going up and down the ranking system, I needed to take a break from Valorant.

I recently purchased From Software’s Elden Ring, thinking that the vast Lands Between would be a sweet escape from the popular Riot Games FPS, but I was completely wrong.

Here’s how I met Valorant’s Cypher in Elden Ring

Elden Ring welcomed newcomers to the Souls genre with an incredible opening sequence. As the lowly Tarnished, you wake up in a cave and play through segments to get the mechanics down, including a tutorial boss that I had no trouble with.

Once you get out of the cave, an old guy calls you “maidenless” and sends you into the Lands Between, the realm where you must collect the pieces of the Elden Ring.

The game offers a bit more help by leading you to sites of grace, resting points where you can heal up, fix up your inventory, and pass the time.

Tarnished hears Cypher VA in Elden Ring
Screenshot by Joseph Asuncion/ONE Esports

Just a jog away from the cave, I discovered a landmark called the Church of Elleh, where you can find a new site of grace and your first merchant, Kalé.

I approached the quiet vagabond to purchase some goods and his voice seemed eerily familiar. Even though he wore garments that made him look like Santa Claus, I could’ve sworn that I’d heard that voice before.

Lo and behold, I checked the Elden Ring wiki and Kalé’s voice actor was indeed Nabil Elouahabi, the same voice actor of Cypher from Valorant.

He greeted me with open arms and happily conversed about his merchant lifestyle. Despite the desolate atmosphere of the Lands Between, the NPC finds hope in “kindred spirits” like fellow merchants and the Tarnished.

Though I enjoyed hearing his voice, the meeting was brief with Kalé. He uttered the phrase “I can see that you’re not after my throat” as his famous last words.

Similar to the chicken dilemma in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I had this overwhelming feeling to swing not only once, but twelve times at Kalé just to see if he’d retaliate.

The merchant became hostile even after I left the scene, permanently closing his shop and turning into another low-level enemy at the Church. Being the brash beginner that I was, I went in for the kill.



The kill completely changed my Elden Ring playthrough

Tarnished with no Item Crafting in Elden Ring
Screenshot by Joseph Asuncion/ONE Esports

If there’s anything that Fyodor Dostoevsky’s literary classic “Crime and Punishment” has taught me, it’s that there are serious consequences when you take the life of another.

The murder of Kalé derailed my progress in the game. With no merchant to buy the Crafting Kit from, I lost the ability to craft useful items like the Furlcalling Finger Remedy, which allows players to enter my world during boss fights.

As an emotional experience, I felt haunted by the unjustified kill as I roamed around the empty Church.

It also hurts to know that if I had tuned into the rest of his dialogue, he would’ve mentioned that merchants are “deeply unforgiving” and do not tolerate violence. I seriously should’ve taken the time to listen to those words.

How to bring back Kalé’s merchant shop

In light of my heartless actions, I tried to honor Kalé’s merchant identity by resuming his shop’s business elsewhere.

If you happen to retrieve Kalé’s Bell Bearing off his body, you can offer it to the Twin Maiden Husks at the Table of Lost Grace, which you can access by talking to maiden Melina at a site of grace.

While I was able to finally buy a Crafting Kit and other wares, the purchase felt empty without that iconic voice. Since this is the first open-world Souls game of From Software, I felt shameful for thinking that these well-programmed NPCs with heartfelt stories were just combat practice.

The game places you in a world where violence and death are key to survival, but takes time to teach you about humanity in rare and often overlooked situations like this.

As one of the few humans who greeted me with a smile rather than a sword, Kalé’s death will not be in vain. I vow to always keep his merchant brethren safe in the Lands Between.

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