Elsen make up the population of the Zones. They are the first populous encountered in the game, and they are the general neutral party that make up most of the population of the world of OFF. The entities generally dress in very sterile, formal attire, which seems to be related to their jobs. They have limited awareness about both themselves and their environments. However, their attitudes and actions vary depending on where they are, such as with Elsen in The Room actively assisting The Batter and The Player. They are encountered in every Zone with the exception of Zone 0.
The Elsen, as most characters, are black and white in appearance. They appear to be human, but their faces display blank, emotionless expressions. Their eyes have shading that conveys both a sense of being 'bloodshot' and having a 'black eye', which may indicate physical suffering. All inhabitants look the same with different degrees in clothing. Most wear a white collared long sleeved shirt with black dress pants and a black tie. However, over-world sprites have their dress pants colored white instead for an unknown reason. Miners from Zone 1 have a hard hat with a light, as with a few from Zone 3. Others in Zone 3 wear what seems to be some sort of biohazard suit or laboratory coat.
They appear to be male, although their gender is never specified in the game. Elsen are generally not hostile at first, though they may stand in the Batter's way or otherwise be unhelpful to him. Yet should an Elsen undergo significant personal harm and/or stress, he may become Burnt. These Elsen undergo a physical transformation in which they succumb to some kind of corruption, becoming enemies to be defeated.
Most Elsen are extremely timid. Many seem to have mild to severe degrees of neurosis as well as other psychological impairments. They startle easy, but things depend on the various Zone in terms of the specific kinds of timidness they seem to take.
- Elsen of Zone 1 are mostly timid, and they are more inclined to support their jobs despite being faced with both physical danger as well as an unruly supervisor in Dedan.
- Elsen of Zone 2 are more obsessive with safety, and they seem to let their fears get the best of them, with one Elsen in particular feeling physically ill to the point of vomiting merely by sitting.
- Elsen of Zone 3 are addicted to sugar, and they will act depending on how much they have had, growing ever more hostile the closer they are to withdrawal.
In The Room, several Elsen can be found who ask the player trivia about earlier points in the game, and they reward the player with special items if they answer correctly. One of the rooms also contains a very large Elsen who watches the player as they traverse the room. It is unclear if this Elsen is truly building sized or if he happens to only look as such due to something such as being projected onto a screen. All of the Elsen in the areas seem to act like caretakers or teachers.
When Elsen are highly stressed or are ailing in health, they may become Burnt. A Burnt Elsen will literally lose their head, which is replaced with a fountains of a liquid substance (interpretations vary as to whether this is blood, some kind of fluid-based corruption, etc.) from their neck. When an inhabitant transforms into a burnt, it apparently gets much stronger to the point of even being able to fight off specters. This is displayed in Zone 3, when three inhabitants catch three specters in a sugar storage room and transform into burnt out of fear that the specters will take their sugar. Those three easily kill the specters before turning on the Batter. There are varying degrees of Burnt Elsen.
|Regular Burnt||Zone 1||These ailing inhabitants have merely lost their heads|
|Valzong Burnt||Bismark, Zone 2||Inhabitants with "inappropriate manners". They seem to have a strange symbol that comes with the fountain from their necks. They have lost their normal white hands, and possess dark black hands that may be clawed.|
|Calvary Burnt||Vesper, Zone 3||Employees on a Sugar deprivation. They look similar to the first type of Burnt, but their arms are far longer than normal, and end in large, wicked claws.|
|Critic Burnt||Zone 3||Like Calvary-Burnt, this one is on a Sugar deprivation, and like the others before it, has dark, charred looking skin. Its body looks normal, though its hands appear to be very small. Its head is by far its most defining part- It is either incredibly large and solid, or a massive black fountain. It has ghastly white eyes, and a mouth that is always wide open, from which it screams and pleads for "HELP". It is most likely in constant, torturous pain.|
|Pastel Burnt||Area 4 (Zone 3)||It wears a white lab coat over top its standard suit and tie. Its hands resemble the Calvary-Burnt's hands, being long, vicious claws. Its head is the most defining piece- A large, monstrous head, almost resembling a dinosaur or a dragon. The black head lacks any eyes, but it has a large, gaping mouth filled with needle-like teeth. However, it is implied this head may be fake, as a strange, white head will emerge from its mouth constantly. It resembles an Elsen's head, but is rounder, and has a strange, neutral expression. This Burnt's body is apparently incredibly powerful, as it can withstand any form of attack and will not fall. Its weakness is the white head that constantly emerges from its mouth.|
- Elsen are not the official names of the citizens, the term just became so popular that even Mortis Ghost himself adopted the name for the inhabitants.
- Burnt Elsen still use the regular Elsen world sprites and face-sets. This may suggest that the monstrous battle sprite that is seen of the burnt might just be a perspective distortion, similar to how the Batter looks like a horrific being upon fighting against him when siding with The Judge in the final battle. This may also indicate that their corruption flows in fits and starts, their bodies changing depending on the moment, or perhaps something else.
- Scared Elsen have their eyes and mouth appear to increase in size, with their teeth becoming visible, to a degree in which it looks like just being scared causes them to feel direct physical suffering and show signs of some sort of corruption already happening. This may point to Elsen as a whole being in a fundamentally weak condition and having an internal corruption even before any kind of stress.
- The Critic-Burnt possesses many similarities to Hugo, as both of them:
- Do not express any hostility to The Batter.
- Are visibly highly sick and likely in severe, chronic pain.
- Seem to have an impaired awareness of what is happening and the larger situation.
- Must be killed in order to progress through the game, even though both have not particularly done anything (unlike the specters) and appear essentially "innocent".
- The "Pastel" segment of the Pastel-Burnt's name means "Cake" in Spanish. Which relates to the love of sugar that the Elsen of Zone 3 had. It could also mean that the Pastel-Burnt has ingested more sugar than that of a common Elsen worker.
- It has been stated by Mortis Ghost on his deviant art page that the Elsen look the way they do because of a strange and violent disease. "Enoch and the Elsen are humans, but in context totally unrealistic. Enoch is huge, and the Elsen are victims of a strange and violent disease. All of that isn't very scientific, it's just a story."
- Some Elsen are aware of the existence of Burnts, demonstrated when whilst the residential area of Bismark is under attack from Porter Specters; one particular Elsen states explicitly that he doesn't "Want to be burnt", along with others saying that they "Don't want to be a specter".
- However, most Elsen outside of Zone 2 never mention or acknowledge the existence of Burnts. This could be because normally Elsen tend to transform when they are alone and under more stress, but the Elsen in Bismark are constantly under stress due to their safety-obsessive nature and are consequently more susceptible to transforming.
- The Burnt Elsen look may be a result of the combination of sulfuric acid and sugar, which causes a chemical reaction that looks very similar to the head being "blown" off.
- The term "Elsen" seems to come from three sources in the game. The first station in Zone 1 is called Elsen, and the large inhabitant that resides in one of the areas in the Room. They are also referred to as "Elsen" in the game's credits. Also, while discussing the game with his fans, OFF creator Mortis Ghost also refers to the inhabitants as "Elsen".
- "Elsen" might have derived from the Biblical name Elijah.
|Guardians||The Judge ● Dedan ● Japhet ● Enoch ● The Queen|
|NPCs||Elsen ● Zacharie|
|Playable characters||The Player ● The Batter ● Add-Ons|
|Other||Hugo ● Sugar ● Space Apes ● Spectres|