Elden Ring player wins $1,000 bet with her husband by beating the RPG after nearly 50 hours of grinding: "It was extremely painful ... I don't play games often"

Elden Ring Melina
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

A new Elden Lord has ascended the throne in Elden Ring's Lands Between, and thanks to a bet with her husband, she's $1,000 richer. 

Last week, Reddit user Jamersaur informed the Elden Ring Reddit community that he'd bet his wife $1,000 she couldn't beat Elden Ring. He goes by Jamer online, and his wife asked to remain anonymous for this story. She tells me that it was no easy feat, in no small part because playing offline was part of the bet, but reader, she did beat Elden Ring. 

Jamer ended up crowd-sourcing creative ways to gift his wife the cash for the Elden Ring DLC launch next month, which was the deadline for their bet. I reached out to the couple to learn more about the wager, and Jamer was quick to admit that this whole thing was really just an excuse to get his wife to try Elden Ring. (Responses lightly edited for clarity and length.)

"It definitely was [an excuse], and definitely was worth it!" he says of the bet. "I enjoy watching her play games and wanted her to share an experience I had. It made for a fun pastime for us and a frustrating experience for her."

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware, Emma Kent)

Fascinated by her perspective as a new player, I asked our newly crowned Elden Lord what she thought of the massive, unflinching RPG. 

"It was extremely painful," she begins. "Pretty much every day I rage quit, but came back to be an Elden Lord for $1,000. I don’t play games often, so it was challenging for me to keep up with everything on the screen all the time. I needed to keep using potions and keep my health at 100%. One potion, one hit."

As for her favorite aspect of Elden Ring, she was pleased to find that "this game is hard but not hard enough to make me quit playing," and reckons it's great cardio. 

"The good part about this game is that I can work out even though I am playing a game. Any boss fight made my heart beat like crazy and I am calling this gaming cardio. This game somewhat made me healthy." 

She played the game with an Intel build after starting as the Prisoner class and pushing Dexterity to use the Moonveil katana. She ended up with extremely high Intel at 95, with just 6 Faith and 9 Arcane. But with 40 Vigor, 40 Mind, 25 Endurance, 15 Strength, and 40 Dexterity, she had a fairly well-rounded and durable character. Vigor remains the ultimate Elden Ring cheat code. 

"I was holding a shield but I never used it during the boss fight," she says. "Only heavy skill attacks and casting spells. Shard Spiral helped save my life at the end to beat the Elden Beast." 

You may have picked up on this build being unusually high-level for a first playthrough. That's very much by design. "Basically I have no gaming sense such as dodging and shielding, so I over-leveled to one shot enemies," the new Elden Lord says. "It’s not cheating, it’s a strategy."

Of her final play time of 99 hours, roughly 40 - 50 hours were spent farming Runes to over-level bosses. "Me and militiamen were besties. Love backstabbing them," she says. Toward the end of the game, she turned to the classic Albinauric farm for even more plentiful runes. "A win is a win and I’m proud of her, as even I cannot say I’ve beaten the game without being online," Jamer said in his Reddit post. 

Elden Ring Fire giant boss fight how to beat cheese weaknesses

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

I was surprised to hear that Fire Giant was actually the boss that gave her the most trouble. "It took me more than a week, probably 30 - 40 attempts, to beat," she says. "That was the time I wanted to quit, but I'd gone too far for quitting. Also Radagon and Elden Beast were tricky since I did not have enough potions [for two bosses]. I needed to change my stats and build just for them." 

Jamer, who previously lost a similar $100 bet over his wife beating Hollow Knight, says Fire Giant was also a major milestone in the wager. 

"I started to realize she was actually getting really close to completing the game," he says. "Before, I figured she would burn out or quit, but as soon as she got to the end-game areas I started to realize how dedicated she was to becoming Elden Lord. The tipping point was when I was away on a trip, and she sent me a picture of her defeating the Fire Giant, the boss who gave her the most trouble so far. Once I saw that, I knew it was only a matter of time. 

"For the final boss, I was in the other room and heard her holler with cheer and triumph after beating the Elden Beast," he continues. "I celebrated with her and properly addressed her as Elden Lord, and started thinking about how to present her reward.

"I watched her play the game for the most part. It was a bonding experience as I watched her explore the Lands Between. I gave her some tips and pointers here and there on some difficult enemies or puzzles, but not too much because it felt like I was ruining my chances of winning the bet." 

With the bet now sealed, Jamer has an idea for packaging the winnings, inspired by his wife's habit of compulsively breaking rogue skulls in Elden Ring even for the paltriest sum of Runes: "A Redditor suggested the idea of presenting it as a skull that contains golden Runes. I think I’ll do this, but instead stuff cash inside a skull and have her break it. She never passed up a skull if she saw it, because even those 100 Runes would help her reach her goal." 

Jamer says he's excited for Shadow of the Erdtree, but his wife is content with her throne and would prefer to move onto a less challenging gaming experience herself: "Right after beating the game, she’s in the mood for something more relaxing, so we will be starting a farm together in Stardew Valley." 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.