Twitch Streamer RockyNoHands has beaten Elden Ring without the use of magic, armor, summoning, or his own hands.
For many players, beating Elden Ring is no small feat, even more so without the use of any magic, armor, or summoning.
Yet, streamer Rocky Stoutenburgh, or “RockyNoHands” as he is known on Twitch, did so without the use of his hands.
In 2006, Stoutenburgh fell and dislocated two of his thoracic vertebrae while wrestling at a party. As a result, at the age of 19, he was paralyzed from the neck down.
It took several years until Stoutenburgh could play video games again, a feat made possible thanks to his brother discovering the Quadstick.
Beginning life as a Kickstarter project before growing into an independent production venture all its own, the Quadstick features multiple holes that can be sipped or puffed acting as input, while the body of the device can act as a joystick.
Though his first experiences with the the specialized controller were rough thanks to the original model’s tendency to break, after the company introduced their FPS model, Rocky was able to successfully play video games once more.
Streaming on Twitch since 2018, has notched a bevy of impressive achievements across his four year run
These include three Guinness World Records: Most Fortnite Victory Royales with Quadstick (2018), Most Kills in a single Fortnite BR match using the Quadstick (2018), and most kills in a single Call of Duty Warzone BR match using quadstick (2020).
Stoutenburgh’s great skill was eventually recognized by Luminosity, and in 2020, he became the first quadriplegic player to join a major esports team.
Since then, Stoutenburgh has continued to rack up achievements, such as when he and his teammates made Masters rank in Apex Legends Season 12 this past April.
— LG Rockynohands (@RockyNoHands) April 5, 2022
Stoutenburgh is also no stranger to games many would consider quite challenging, having beaten such titles as Dark Souls 3 and Cuphead.
He even beat the notoriously frustrating physics puzzle games Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy in a record 6 minutes and 45 seconds and notched a final time of 8 minutes and 6 seconds on the first map of PogoStuck: Rage With Your Friends.
Suffice to say, Stoutenburgh has proven that disabled gamers don’t need easy modes to beat challenging games, but just the appropriate accessibility tools.
Stoutenburgh toppled FromSoftware’s latest medieval outing on May 12th, slaying the Elden Beast with nothing more than a sword and his own wits.
Upon beating Elden Ring, Rocky triumphantly tweeted, “Hi @fromsoftware_pr [FromSoftware], here’s your video for the next time you hear somebody complain about your game being too hard! Disabled gamer first playthru no armor magic summoning challenge ezpz #ELDENRING”
Hi @fromsoftware_pr here’s your video for the next time you hear somebody complain about your game being too hard! Disabled gamer first playthru no armor magic summoning challenge ezpz #ELDENRING pic.twitter.com/5YFGwzfAlj
— LG Rockynohands (@RockyNoHands) May 13, 2022
As alluded to above, discussions regarding accessibility in gaming have regularly been conflated by some with those surrounding the topic of video game difficulty.
One of the most prominent groups to blur these lines are gaming journalists, many of whom have been accused of attempting to ‘dumb down gaming’ in order to make up for their own lack of skill.
On the other side of the debate are genuine video game enthusiasts, who more and more frequently have met these attempts to use disabled gamers as an excuse to argue in favor of making games easier with revulsion.
Though not a journalist himself, disabled gamer and YouTuber Steve Saylor previously recently received backlash after claiming that Elden Ring’s difficulty was an accessibility issue.
“[Accessibility options] removes the blindfold, unties our hands, and what you’re left with is the same challenge,” Saylor argued. “It’s the same challenge that everyone else can be able to play and enjoy. All that’s been removed is just the barriers that disabled people face on a day to day basis.”
We asked Rocky if he had anything to say those who said Elden Ring was either too difficult or lacked the proper accessibility options for handicapped players, to which he confidently asserted, “It is accessible.”
“You just have to learn to fight the bosses and sometimes that can take hours,” he argued. “I know I had to learn one of the boss fights for 10 hours. It can be done, you just got to put in the work. I beat the game, all the bosses with no armor, no magic, and no summons.”
“We are always looking to improve,” Miyazaki told The New Yorker, “but, in our games specifically, hardship is what gives meaning to the experience. So it’s not something we’re willing to abandon at the moment. It’s our identity.”
What do you make of Rocky’s accomplishment? Let us know your thoughts on social media and in the comments down below!