it was needed for a quest chain with an unknown NPC. Apparently, it was abandoned at the very last moment.
Dataminer and modder Lance McDonald told about the find, who put together the cut files from the pre-release version of Elden Ring on PS4 Pro.
McDonald said that in the test version of Elden Ring, you could meet sleeping animals that reacted to the player only in the event of an attack. In the final game, there are no such creatures, and those that sleep react to the hero immediately when they approach.
The dataminer found out that FromSoftware planned to use sleeping animals for a special dream collection mechanic. As planned by the developers, to do this, you first had to get a crystal ball from an unknown NPC, who stands in a shack in front of the very first castle.
The crystal ball allows you to absorb the dreams of sleeping animals and creatures - from two dreams, an NPC can create a special drink that can be offered to other characters to learn "their darkest secrets."
Apparently, the drink in Elden Ring was supposed to work in the manner of alcohol from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which can also be offered to different NPCs to find out additional information and lore details.
It seems that the icons previously found in the files were intended specifically for the mechanics of collecting dreams. This also explains why there are only images of normal opponents among the pictures, since full-fledged bosses could not be in a sleep state.