i’m not sure it’s possible to talk about this without sounding preachy, self-congratulatory, and/or smug. no one likes to talk about morality and trying to talk about morality and art with artists is like trying to talk to a really dense brick. the conversation often devolves into juvenile fandom discourse about whether or not it’s okay to jack off to children and i really don’t want anything to do with people who consider this a major concern in their lives. i’m trying to think beyond dicks here (impossible, i know).
one of the main things that alienates me with w/ regards to my peers is my primary effort being trying to maintain some level of moral dignity in a field that is inherently slanted toward exploitation and humiliation. i am aware of “how it sounds” to talk negatively about obtaining money in a subculture (web comics, but also comics in general) that is populated largely by minority artists who view it as an avenue for financial freedom that was once closed entirely to us. but: i have no idea where the perception of online art as a source of financial security came from; an artistic career is famously synonymous with poverty. why would online be any different? why would you not anticipate the years needed to build an appreciative audience for your work? or the years of “making your bones”?
as a result, many people (i’m talking the ones who don’t have external financial assistance from friends/family) obviously struggle to maintain a job based entirely on their own work. as a result of that, there seems to be a general presumption that all methods and avenues by which an artist makes money are virtuous because they provide income to a struggling person (you, the artist). to criticize the ways people make their money (for example, taking work from companies known to be abusive to their employees or encouraging the creation of art with a factory line, quantity-over-quality mentality) is read as an attack on the viability of the profession itself. to express disgust with how someone earns a living is perceived as, in the most dramatic instances, wanting artists to starve, suffer, or die (as if the only options in life are to take bad jobs or die; there are alternatives! come on! its intellectually dishonest to pretend otherwise.). somehow, the same people who are deeply convinced that art works influence reality cannot be dissuaded that the jobs they choose to take have consequences outside of the immediate financial comfort it offers to them, the artist.
i refuse to entertain the notion that a subculture built on mutual support and a DIY punk attitude should become a safe house for the financially driven. i do not believe it is acceptable to expect and defend every instance of an artist making a financially beneficial decision over a moral one. to criticize an artist for their financial/moral decisions is not an act of targeted cruelty unique to them only. i do not support a mainstream web comic scene based on gaining the respect of corporations or finding validation in brands.
freelance artists today are blessed to live in an era where becoming an artist for a living is no longer a empty pipe dream that only a tiny handful of already wealthy and connected people can obtain, but financial success is absolutely not even remotely guaranteed despite the accessibility of the career to new artists. the world at large remains hostile to arts funding and the creation of novel ideas and visuals is not of financial interest to the people providing careers (which i’ll define as “a full-time job where you get health insurance”) to artists. when you choose to become an artist for a living, you are making a conscious choice to prioritize your artistic passion over security. and i understand you, if that’s you.
no one becomes an artist to become rich except for maybe the biggest, most naive dopes on the planet. you would have to ignore over 100 years of american sneering at art and the mere concept of paying for it. you can see it in the naked contempt our peers have for art that is genuinely unusual, off-putting or “undeserving” of its status in the artistic canon (i remember some truly idiotic posts about “the comedian” aka “the banana duct taped to the wall”. no one who hated it bothered to research the artist, his work, and what he’s trying to achieve. i’m being mean now: there’s a gaping void where their intellectual curiosity should be that they filled instead with the emotional equivalent of packing peanuts.)
we choose to be artists knowing that financial stability will never occur unless you win the literal or metaphorical lottery. to be an artist as a living is to prioritize your emotional needs over practicality. AND I GET IT. i draw for a living because i think i would be in a padded cell otherwise. there is nothing i wouldn’t give up to continue doing what i do because it’s fulfilling something nebulous and impossible to define in me that gratifies me more than any meal, any medication, any good nights sleep. there’s something wrong with my brain lol. this kind of attitude is certainly not normal.
there is nothing certain, stable or beneficial to being a freelance artist; you will need to make peace with poverty and uncertainty. you can skip this if you don’t want my life story: i started my comic in 2013 while finishing school and working a graveyard shift at the university library. i graduated and drove a small uhaul of my crap up to oregon where i lived with 3 other people who taught me how to sign up for food stamps and medicare. using government benefits, careful spending, and basically only spending my fun money on weed (lol this part i dont recommend but it made “being alive” better), i lived near portland for 4 years on my own money before picking up and moving to rhode island 3k miles away using my savings i’ve built up since i started working at 15. i’ve been living with adam for 4 years (! wowzers!) during which, for about a year, we made approx. the same amount of money lol. a dual income helped, but we were still scraping by at the time. i used my remaining savings last year to put a down payment on our house. it is literally only this month that i am starting to feel financial comfort but its because of adam’s job (which he has worked crazy hard on. manual labor is a class all of its own). however, with the 15% of my income the u.s. government takes, an economic downturn that leaves our supporters with less fun money to spend, and a society that seeks to reduce art’s virtues down to its financial worth, it is a horrible time to be an artist. i have been realizing that if i were still living with roommates, the current american economic landscape would have made it near, if not entirely, unfeasible for me to have continued working as an artist full time. and i used to work with my gloves and coat on so i didnt have to run the very expensive heat during the winter. i was already cutting a lot of corners.
when confronted with the question “then how do we make money off our art if we are expected to ALSO reject jobs on moral grounds?!” the answer is: you don’t. you already are not going to make a living off of it unless you are willing to chase down major corporations for literal years to get the 200 dollars they owe you. you live in and are arguing for the right to contribute/support, without criticism, to a society that does not believe your work has value beyond making the maximum amount of money possible. if i had to, i would rejoin the workforce at least part-time and do art on the side like literally everyone else on the planet has ever had to do (and as i did when i was building my audience). i realize that suggesting this to artists today is like suggesting they lay in the road and die. but if we are going to operate within reality then we need to accept some universal truths:
no one is too good to work minimum wage.
a practical solution to a problem (no money) is not an argument that your work shouldn’t have financial value.
there’s nothing anyone can do about people not purchasing your work. if it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t sell. there is no guarantee that your work will connect with an audience with spare cash or the desire to fund more. that’s entertainment!
if my options for artistic financial fulfillment were limited to propping up the success of companies i am morally opposed to, i would drop art as a job. i would go back to doing it for my own gratification only and start churning out literally a thousand drawings a year. i’ll work for a company that crushes pigeons into cubes before i’ll ever work for dc/marvel (and let’s cut this off at the head: im not chomping on sour grapes here. i am not jealous of people who work for major comic corporations. when you ask them how union building is going they completely flip the fuck out because they know any sign of solidarity in public threatens their bag. and im supposed to applaud this?? lol)
i have to anticipate this: people will bring up being marginalized as a reasonable excuse and im not really sure what the fuck is up with you that you think life works like a points system and you’re just evening out an unseen scale. fuck you! hold yourself to a better standard!!! don’t throw up your hands!!! is a web comic subculture that revolves around making money, creating algorithmically exploitative works, and sharing tips on how to maximize your output (while doing the least amount of actual work) the community you want to ally yourself with? because i really really don’t and feel mortified to be associated by proxy.
my general negativity and constant stream of criticism (lol i know. i know. i dont like being this way either. i feel perpetually aggravated by the inherent evil of life) causes people to make assumptions about my financial status, my upbringing, my political, and moral beliefs and my racial background (and so on and etc). in fact, i will admit i am still burned abt being called privileged over suggesting that there’s more to life than money lol.i think this is a cowardly reaction to someone challenging you and a frantic flailing attempt to justify yourself to others by forgetting the lesson hammered into you by nearly every single literary, visual and audio artwork ever created. i guess now we have confirmation that art has 0 effect on reality.
i feel like a dick, regardless. complicated.
i dont really know what i want from this except to get it out. actually, i do know: i just need a check on how detached this mentality is from “the scene”. if this is met with universal booing, i can be placed back in my habitat so i stop bothering people who fundamentally don’t agree with me.
but man. the only thing you take with you to your grave is your reputation. when they bury me, i hope they say “she was a rotten bitch but at least she gave a shit”
i haven’t updated this in a few months in order to let some data (for lack of a better term) build up. i have a lot of information, most of which i think i remember. if the point of these posts was to provide information for other people i might have already fucked up. anyway: things are mostly better! today and yesterday specifically have been horrible because i just got back from a trip that involved A LOT OF WALKING. as a result, my hips exploded.
first, back in april, i had another leg appointment! with the leg doctor guy. the ortho. yeah.
after he studied my MRI and x-rays, wiggled my leg around, and then murmured “that’s so strange” multiple times under his breath, the doc gave me a very reassuring diagnosis of “i don’t know, pretty weird!”. if i were paying for this visit i think i’d be mad about how often i get the “pretty weird” diagnosis, but i recognize that it’s a polite way of saying “your life is very bad and there’s not anything medically i can do about that”. sometimes, it’s the honest truth. they’re not magicians. they can’t improve the material conditions of my life or whip up a cure/relief if it doesn’t exist.
thankfully (“thankfully”) i am poor enough to enjoy what literally every other nation on earth has access to: free medical care. and he did come up with a temporary solution for the pain. a knee brace! getting it from the doctor meant i didn’t have to do any of the (extremely daunting for someone who pathologically cannot make small decisions) work of trying to sort through a sea of different braces in a CVS aisle. it fits perfectly AND my day to day pain dropped dramatically. it was immediately evident when walking up stairs; the persistent “pulling” pain in the back of my calf was almost entirely absent instead of being razor sharp. it’s not intolerable pain without the brace, just annoying. now its not a bother at all.
a combination of the knee brace on bad days, doing p.t. when i remember to (my body now craves being stretched with the inexpensive resistance bands i purchased), and taking it easy (hehehe sorry! can’t do shit! doctor’s orders!), i’m starting to notice some nice changes to my gait. i used to walk up the stairs on my tip-toes and now my full foot hits the step. the muscles that were once too tight to do so comfortably are starting to unclench. it’s been nice to get some noticeable results. the worst possible outcome would have been everything remaining exactly the same and realizing that i was just kind of experiencing life as it was intended for me. b-bummer! time to raise that wellbutrin dose again!
my biggest complaints about my current below-the-waist situation (before i ground my hips into dust) were that my pelvic floor was/is so tight that it physically hurt and that my erector spinae muscle that covered the most lower part of my back right above the center of my ass began to feel TERRIBLY tight. it felt WEIRD in an unpleasant way. downward dog or downward facing dog (i think these are the ones) yoga poses have been relieving the ass cramp. the cramp in my nether regions is mostly a result of anxiety more than leg problems. however, the p.t. has been helping with the process of untangling the several decades worth of painful cramping i’ve let accumulate over the years.
there’s new, normal “i’m out of shape” pain in my legs now from time to time, but the pain is manageable with an over the counter pain med and goes away in about a day. it’s a specific and different type of pain from the one in my knees and, now, in my hips. i just got back from a disneyworld vacation and epcot is still designed with the idea that every human being is a long distance endurance runner. that place is horrendous to get around. there was a LOT of walking done two days ago and my joints still feel like someone is grinding glass in them. my knee was actually fine (save the one very painful hill in epcot; i see now my knee problem is triggered by going up in any capacity), which is a relief. one less thing to worry about.
however, i think i will go back to the ortho and ask about my hips lol. [wobbles pathetically like a t-rex out of the room]
stupid bitch that i am, i assumed that the lyrics to several bloodborne soundtrack songs that are widely available online were sourced from somewhere official. it turns out this is not true. what actually happened is that like 7 years ago, random people on gameFAQs attempted to listen to/transcribe the lyrics they heard and no one since has challenged these interpretations EXCEPT ONE PERSON who somehow did a worse job. we’re going to call one set of lyrics “FAQs lyrics” and the other “sheet music lyrics”.
here’s the problems with the FAQ lyrics:
they do not know latin and are trying to transcribe it.
they do not know latin pronunciation is different from modern english.
they did not know there is a difference between ecclesiastical latin (which is what these lyrics are in) and roman latin (classic? i dont care).
most of the words they heard are not even words that exist
the translations are completely different from the original text and seemingly retrofitted to force “lore” into creation.
i am pissed. this is some of the sloppiest dipshit work i’ve ever seen and the fact that it was apparently accomplished by committee is even more infuriating. at no point did people think to do .01 second searches to even check if what they wrote down is a word in any language or to check a translation source other than just dumping it into google translate. the intellectual laziness on behalf of the original creators is bad enough, but seeing them reposted in a million different places as the real lyrics because no one bothered to check is depressing.
i did “hail the nightmare” myself after what felt like an eternity of listening to a song that is not a banger over and over and over and piggy-backing off the original in an attempt to create something that i can say fairly certainly is the most accurate version (not THE accurate version). i took a look at “laurence the first vicar” last night and it’s. goddamn it guys lol. goddamn.
but the thing is, here’s my problem:
i also dont know latin
i have a degree in drawing and a minor in english. at best my spanish is 3/5.
i cant hear shit.
my methodology is probably exactly the same as theirs: listen over and over until you want to die and try to determine what noises a chorus is screaming in a different language. then write down those noises and shuffle them around to make words. i use latin dictionaries and good old google translate because apparently every translation service now that uses them. but it’s the dictionary that makes the difference. and a latin translation guide. thank you so much to youtube nerds. what would we do without you.
this is the most author’s commentary i’ll get about the original guys who attempted to translate this but i would be seriously curious to know which, if any, had attended a catholic mass regularly at any point in their lives. we went on sundays when i was a kid and while the songs aren’t IN latin anymore, the musical structure of the hymns are the same. the original translators heard breaks in words where i heard none. i’ll try to explain more below.
if you want to try to follow along, here’s a guy with the wrong lyrics:
literally from 0:00 it’s wrong. the first line he has as “sic fili scite tibi vi sacramentum” which he’s translated as “so, you imposed the sacrament on the children”. wtf.
right off on “sic”, there’s no “c” sound to be heard (come on, you know “sic semper tyrannis”, the c is not silent) and while the next two are words that exist, they make no sense in the context of the rest of…uhhh. anything. there’s 0 clever little boys in bloodborne, they’re all stupid british people.
im pretty sure the word involved is actually “felix”, as in “lucky”. here’s where i fall apart: is it
conjugated? because all those conjugations sound VERY similar.
involve reflexive pronouns? these songs often address the listener so we get a lot of verbs that end with “-te”
getting munched up with a bunch of prepositions?? (e, et, si, and everyone’s favorite cum)
my best guess is “si felici te” which im fairly certain is closer to “if you are lucky”. but in a church (ecclesiastical) context, it’s more like “blessed”.
if you’re catholic and listening to this maybe you can tell what i mean by “they hear breaks in words” where i don’t. this also leads to them assuming each line is an individual statement instead of all the lyrics being a complete thought.
anyway. “tibi” is a word, good job. i had to triple check here the difference between “vi” and “vis” and it turns out i don’t think “vi” is a thing lol. it turns out it is “vis”. as in “vis a vis”. “strength”.
oh yeah, about the sheet music lyrics. they are very rarely useful as anything but a backup for ideas. mostly because the guy managed to mishear “sacramentum” as
no notes on the next section except ummm you spelled praemium wrong op -_-;;; geeze op.
anyway, my final take is:
SI FELICI TE TIBI VI SACRAMENTUM.
ERIT PRAEMIUM SANGUINE SANCTUM.
IF YOU ARE BLESSED WITH THE STRENGTH FOR COMMUNION
YOU WILL BE REWARDED WITH HOLY BLOOD
finally something that makes some fucking sense. there’s no way my conjugations are correct but this literally feels like someone gave me sliced white bread and ketchup and told me to make spaghetti. i dont think i can do this for all of them.
welcome back. in the time since the last post, elden ring came out. most people have already finished it, but i’m saving it as a very special treat until after i finish several overdue projects. at the pace i’m going, this should only take me until the rest of my life. those who have been following me on twitter know there’s just been a constant parade of things to do that never seem to end. so, of course, my fist move is to shove aside all my responsibilities so i can write about bloodborne for a few hours. (future bea here: i guess i meant “days”)
i’ll start off with something to chew on for da real bloodborne fans out there (i’ll do my best to break it down for bloodborne neonates so it sounds the least incomprehensible): let’s talk about Formless Oedon! the pervert great one.
(future bea here: i dont know why this is 1500 words. what the fuck)
here’s formless oedon.
he’s formless. no file photo available. he is specifically described as a great one who is “lacking form, exists only in voice”. unsurprisingly, the non-entity is also a near total mystery. if you scratch the surface of arianna’s quest, we can at least infer some information and make an educated guess about his role in her pregnancy (hint: it’s exactly what you think) AND his role in the lives of other bloodborne women (hint: see prior).
the first we hear of oedon is when we pick up the “oedon tomb key” after throwing panicked molotovs at father gascoigne until he dies. the key tells us that “…the church is abandoned, and some say that the residents of Oedon have all gone mad“, which i guess might still be a shocking surprise if you’re that early in the game and have never experienced a horror story in your entire life. everyone in this game is completely nuts, that’s half of the game. anyway: the only occupant of the oedon chapel (at first) is the appropriately named “oedon chapel dweller”. we love the oedon chapel dweller; he’s a little sweetie pie. he looks like someone put dog shit on a plate and then threw a towel on it to cover it up but that’s not his fault. he’s just as god made him.
look at that smile!
oedon chapel is a certified safe zone thanks to his hard work. so come on down and bring all your pals! no, really, you can. it’s the only place where you can send npcs and they have a chance at surviving until the end game. they’re not gonna be in great shape, but they will be there. most of them.
the npcs you can bring to oedon chapel are the suspicious man, the old woman, adella the nun, arianna and, if you’re a dummy or a sadist, the suspicious beggar. the only ones of interest to us (and oedon) are adella and arianna, two young women with exceptional blood. adella is a “blood saint”, a woman who has been specifically groomed to produce blood that’s. i don’t know. it’s better, okay. arianna has vileblood.
oedon still makes himself at home in his own chapel; on a balcony you can find the “secret” +4 rune “formless oedon” just sitting around in a chest. the description reads:
Human or no, the oozing blood is a medium of the highest
grade, and the essence of the formless Great One, Oedon.
Both Oedon, and his inadvertent worshippers, surreptitiously
seek the precious blood.
(it means “secretly”, i didnt know.)
the other runes have to be obtained by killing specific npcs. the +1 is found by sendinggascoigne’s daughter to fauxsefka for experimentation. this is the daughter that gives you the music box. the music box shares the same awful melody during the fight with mergo’s wet nurse at the end of the game. mergo is presumed to be oedon’s child with the pthumerian queen (another woman with uncommon blood) due to the queen’s presence near the arena and mergo’s apparent formlessness. i still dont know why the music is the same. it can’t be because it’s a banger. c-can oedon be music as well as voice. i dont know. it’s scary.
anyway, the +2 and +5 runes are in pthumeru and pthumeru ihyllchalice dungeons. the final +3 is obtained from killing the oedon chapel dweller. nothing personal, kid.
now let’s talk about the other oedon rune: oedon writhe.
there are 3 version of oedon writhe. the first is found on adella the nun‘s corpse. the second is dropped by fauxsefka if you kill her before the blood moon. if you wait until after the blood moon, she drops a third umbilical cord with this description:
A great relic, also known as the Cord of the Eye. Every
infant Great One has this precursor to the umbilical cord.
Provost Willem sought the Cord in order to elevate his being and thoughts to those of a Great One, by lining his brain with eyes. The only choice, he knew, if man were to ever match Their greatness.
hmmm. i assume that fauxsefka stole this cord from willem so she could go solo, but now it also clearly reads as her motivations for her off-the-books experimentation. not sure that oedon was really into it though. i’m going to reasonably assume we don’t cut an umbilical cord out of her.
the final rune is in the pthumeru ihyll chalice dungeon. this is the level with both the queen and her screaming baby (presumed to be mergo). defeating her reveals the baby is stillborn. you know this bc you get it as a prize. whoopee.
so to recap v quickly:
formless oedon (for his bros): little girl, oedon chapel dweller, queen yharnam
oedon writhe (for his hos): yharnam again, adella, fauxsefka
“ahhhh!!” i can hear you screaming. “who cares!!” well: i think we can trace the lineage of arianna’s baby directly within the text of the game. like, of course we can reasonably assume it’s oedon because she’s just suddenly pregnant and no one in the chapel is going “holy shit did you see that monster impregnate arianna that was crazy”. also, when you kill her (non-formless, which is odd) child, the umbilical cord description reads:
Every Great One loses its child, and then yearns for a
surrogate, and Oedon, the formless Great One, is no
different. To think, it was corrupted blood that began this
but why arianna? what made her so different that it succeeded? it can’t JUST be the vileblood; after all, annalise is right there waiting for oedon to give her a fucked up baby eating her vampire cummies or whatever the fuck she’s doing with blood dregs. it’s impossible to say for sure, of course, but arianna did one thing that no one else in the game did.
the chapel dweller is not popular with his fellow yharnamites. every npc ignores him. except…
Ahh, kind hunter. Thank you.
So, that lady, you told’er about this place?
Well, she.. she actually talks to me!
Well, only now and then, and she don’t mince words…
But… she’s a kind one, I can tell.
A good woman! Hee hee…
in hindsight perhaps making small talk with the guy whose god exists as a voice was poor judgement. i choose to believe that oedon exists also as the music box song and that’s why he has a worshipper rune (oedon writhe) in gascoigne’s kid and why that horrendous song shows up during the mergo’s wet nurse fight. can a god make a song be so bad that it forms a living tumor shaped like a baby in your body? bloodborne posits: yes.
arianna goes crazy after giving birth. if you consumed 4 or more of her blood, you get the unusual dialogue “i’ve never been happier…” before she loads up dark_souls_laugh.wav. arianna’s baby is a celestial child, a presumed infant larvae of ebrietas, daughter of the cosmos. these little critters are first encountered in the experimentation hall the choir called “the orphanage”. the purpose of the orphanage appeared to involve caring for the celestial children (which are labeled “kin” by the game, judging by blood color and the damage they take) as well as taking human children and mutating them into celestial emissaries for god knows what reason. honestly, the text in-game seems to suggest they just did it because they could. fauxsefka, a choir member, was attempting to do something similar with the people you send her.
i’m not sure what they were doing in the orphanage but i don’t think it was on the level. i wonder if there’s literally only one “womb that will be blessed with child” when the blood moon occurs, and every great one has to rush to be the first one in like it’s a wal-mart on black friday. maybe the choir was trying to min-max their chances of getting that baby by making the finest wombs in the cosmos. if so, then it’s funny (?) they got undercut by someone who wants to kill their seafood platter-looking baby with a brick.
lastly, i wonder if there’s anything to be gleaned from oedon’s connection with quicksilver bullets and their propensity for slaughtering beasts. all of oedon’s runes up your quicksilver bullets in some capacity, with the item description for the bullets noting that “…ordinary bullets have no effect on beasts, and so Quicksilver Bullets, fused with the wielder’s own blood, must be employed“. the rosamarinus, a device that sprays quicksilver mist, has an interesting description in light of all this:
A special weapon used by the Choir, high-ranking members
of the Healing Church.
Sprays a cloud of sacred mist, created by using blood- imbued Quicksilver Bullets as a special medium.
Arias are heard wherever sacred mist is seen, proving that the mist is a heavenly blessing.
oedon’s chapel repels all beasts because of the anti-werewolf incense, but that same incense is not found in the other churches and cathedrals. very odd…much to think about. perhaps…a rivalry…?
i think that is literally everything there is to say about formless oedon.
dear fucking god.
let’s just get into it.
the pile of laundry on the right is master willem. or “provost” according to the art book and some item descriptions. while his contemporaries split off to form the healing church for blood based worship, willem remained steadfast on maintaining his eyes-on-the-inside doctrine as the headmaster of byrgenwerth. you can’t really tell from the game but apparently he is terminally yucky when you meet him.
it’s not cum
willem facts: his blood is a pale grey. he has mushrooms growing on his back for some reason. and if you punch him enough times barehanded he’ll t-pose with the chair and it’s very funny.
oh yeah, the mushrooms. when we meet willem he’s in bad shape. you find him in his lunarium after obtaining the key with the description:
In his final years, Master Willem was fond of the lookout,
and the rocking chair that he kept there for meditation.
In the end, it is said, he left his secret with the lake.
it reads like he’s super dead. granted, not a lot of people have been to byrgenwerth lately, but i think people would have noticed if the guy in the huge rocking chair with the gold pope outfit died for real. but he’s not dead, he’s right there. rocking away and groaning wordlessly while trying to communicate that he wants you to go jump in a lake.
i’m not sure if we’ve talked about “phantasms” yet so i’ll give a quick descriptor: they are invertebrate familiars of the old ones. they are largely parasites and slugs. they make up a majority of the special arcane items in the game and some of the materials for chalice dungeon entry. they can be found in the lecture building (the augur of ebrietas), the orphanage (blacksky eye, pearl slugs, and a call beyond), and byrgenwerth (pearl slugs and the empty phantasm shell). all places dedicated to the study of the great ones and the evolution of mankind.
what happened to the phantasm in the shell? why does the eye rune willem drops after you atomize him in one hit have all this blue slime on it?
and why does that slime look exactly like the “dubious liquid medicine” blue elixir?
not too sure that’s willem, frankly. i don’t even think it’s anything sapient. just something that moved into a bigger shell when the opportunity arose.
enough of that. let’s get started. the good news about writing all of that is that, maybe. just maybe. the actual entries will be reasonably short.
doll bleeds paleblood
“seek paleblood to transcend the hunt” turns out to be the easiest part of the game. here’s the speedrun:
get killed by the werewolf in iosefka’s clinic
pick up the hunter’s weapon of your choice.
hit the doll*
behold! a paleblood guy!
the palest blood in the game belongs to the doll. it is undeniably and unmistakably #fff white.
it is NOT cum
we already discussed the moon presence and its connection to the phrase/name “paleblood” so i guess we can’t be too surprised when the lady it made turns out to bleed white gunk. its a very literal name.
okay. i am very sorry to inform you now that ahead of time, i wrote a large blood color explainer that doesn’t elucidate anything and only serves to create more questions. but we’re going to go over it now because it does a good job of demonstrating some of the weirder conscious and deliberate aesthetic choices made by the fromsoftware team. the greater purpose of this in the grander scheme of things is to help explain how we differentiate great ones from their distant relatives, kin. it’s not easy. lots of arguing about this still in many places on the internet.
there are 3 kinds of enemy classes: null, beast and kin. these rules largely determine what kind of elemental damage to do against the target, but some very odd and specific choices were made regarding what is considered kin (lesser or manufactured beings not unlike great ones) and what is not. kin tend to have grey blood; humans, pthumerians, beasts and great ones (?!) have red blood. examples of unusual red blood choices include: rom’s body, the brain of mensis (well…it is a legitimate great one after all), ebrietas, moon presence, kos, and the orphan.
“kin” within the fiction ranges from man-made attempts to communicate/replicate the great ones to less great celestial beings. human-made kin were not only intended to facilitate audiences with great ones, but as stepping stones toward the goal of evolving humanity past its current potential. humans can be made kin if they “line their brain with eyes”. the archetypal kin have alien anatomy and arcane powers (for this reason they are often the arcane magic blue in hue). examples include celestial emissaries, the false flower centipede, the crawlers from the nightmare frontier, celestial larvae, and brain suckers.
unusual examples of kin include rom’s head (?), the non-boss amygdalas, winter lanterns and ebrietas again. thats right. she does both. so do all the fish people in the dlc village. i’ll mention that slime scholars “bleed” grey goo but it’s more likely just more goo since they are not counted as kin. they are very failed attempts to transcend…unlike master willem who as far as i know is not classified by the game as kin, but bleeds the same as them.
now, you might be thinking “hold on, what about mergo’s wet nurse? she’s a great one, right?” probably not? she doesn’t bleed anything she just emits like, a black smoke. this smoke is also emitted by the wandering nightmares (canonically, just scrap parts of the nightmare that are running around reality), the “mad ones” conjured by the witches of hemwick and the ghost ladies from cainhurst and the labyrinth.
*okay you might need a point of insight before you do this. in that case either make a beeline for the madman’s knowledge in the sewers or go look at the cleric beast.
“hail the nightmare”, translated
if it isn’t bad enough that bloodborne has lore in the latin lyrics of the boss music, the latin is also terrible and nearly incomprehensible
Chorus: Donum libas You pour out your gift offering,
Solo: Inficimur we are infected!
Chorus: Maledictus bestia O cursed beast;
Solo: Maledictus O cursed one,
Chorus: Pater, do si donas O Father, I am giving, if you are giving,
Solo: Inficimur we are infected!
Chorus: Argentum aquae in tenebris. quicksilver in the darkness.
Chorus: Mater, sanguine O Mother, from the blood
Redemptoris a se of the Redeemer, your people
Exiet, exiet, pleba tua sa—(unknown) shall come forth, shall come forth safe from themselves.
Chorus: Vale, vale,Farewell, farewell,
Solo: Inficimur We are infected!
Chorus: In tenebris aquae. waters in the darkness,
Solo: Maledictus O cursed one,
Chorus: Et argentum aquae. and quicksilver,
Solo: Inficimur we are infected!
Chorus: Et argentum aquae. and quicksilver.
Chorus: Sanguine! In the blood!
Chorus: Sanguine! In the blood!
it’s a good start but even as a layman i can tell there’s problems. like where the hell did the “o”s come from? while he intended to translate with the spirit of the song as he understood it in mind, i believe he has only a passing familiarity with bloodborne. i’m going to take a red marker to this with all the misplaced confidence of a youtube essayist.
Maledictus! We are cursed!
Donum libas! Pour your offering!
Inficimur! We are corrupted!
Maledictus bestia! Cursed beast!
Maledictus! We are cursed!
Mater, do si donas! Mother, I give if you give! (?)
Inficimur! We are infected!
Argentum aquae tenebris! Dark silver waters!
Ave Sanguine! Hail blood!
Redemptoris nostrae! Our Redeemer!
Exiete! Go forth!
Exiete! Flebatur (?) Go forth! something about weeping
Vale, vale! Farewell, farewell,
Inficimur! We are tainted
E tenebris aquae! From the dark waters!
Maledictus! We are cursed!
E argentum aquae. by the silver waters!
Inficimur! We are infected!
E argentum aquae. by the silver waters!
notes: “donum libas” seems a little undersold in the original; “libas” is like pouring something for a sacred ritual. like pouring one out for a homie. “do si donas” isn’t anything, so i must be hearing that wrong. “donas” is like “you gift” and not really “you give” (i think?). that line that’s impossible to hear is truely impossible to hear. i have no idea how that guy got “quicksilver” from “silver water”. i like it, but i don’t get where it came from.
frankly the least comprehensible parts are the silver water bits but that’s def what they are saying. idk where “in” came from in the original.
i have cleaned up a lot of this including finding the right words that made actual sense. i want you all to know i was just doing to copy and paste the other guy’s work, but now it’s 5 am and i’m still hacking away at this latin like i’m a little british preparatory school boy from 1918 and my test is tomorrow. i feel semi-confident with this. why did i do this.
oh my god, this one is easy for real. the dlc sends you back to the time of the old hunters and you can get their special pants as armor. the item description reads:
Old hunter trousers that protected countless hunters from the beasts in an older age.
A widespread belief of the period was that “beast blood crept up the right leg”, and this led to the double-wrapped belt.
there’s two other leg armors that feature the belts. one is the decorative version of the old hunter trousers which are “decorated with brass trinkets.”
At the time, some hunters believed that certain metals would ward off beast blood.
On a night of the hunt, it is no wonder that people would resort to superstition.
funnily enough, the right leg is the one your character slams all his blood vials into. i think i figured out why it creeps up the right leg, guys. the only other trousers with belts are djura’s ashen hunter trousers which are also covered in ash to “ward off blood”. taking no chances, very wise.
i cannot believe he’s wearing black shoes with brown pants. everything about him sucks.
i love imagining gehrman learning about germ theory and getting extremely pissed off.
you know, you might not have thought about it, but there’s another place where beasthood infects: the left arm.
the sullied bandage from your blood ministration places the IV in your left arm. the cleric beast has that one really big arm that everyone makes the masturbation jokes about. check out the sleeves of your hunter armors…they’re wrapped in bandages…! the generic huntsman enemies in central yharnam also have one really jacked up left arm where they have been, presumably, getting their blood drips.
no half of your body is safe from the beast scourge, apparently.
hunter’s rune depicts a hanging corpse
this is the hunter’s rune (or mark).
if you want to go back to the hunter’s dream, just think about this until you die.
the hunter’s mark has ancient origins. it appears in the deepest parts of the labyrinth, including yharnam’s…wedding altar? in her boss room.
this straight up looks like a youtube thumbnail
i’m not getting into marriage in this post. that’s for another iceberg tier and is probably another 50,000 words.
the gravestones in the labyrinths reveal the evolution of the symbol over time: (source)
it used to be much more obvious that it was depicting a hanging man. this method of exsanguination was clearly popular in parts of yharnam; for example, (sources: 123) they can be found in the labyrinth, the fishing village, and old yharnam.
it’s not explicit why this is done. the hunters mark in your inventory essentially kills you (the bold hunter marks, the finite version, do not) and the rune version marks one as a “hunter of hunters” (self-explanatory). i have two theories. this is:
exsanguination as a means of preventing the dead from rising (the locked coffins around yharnam imply this is a big problem lately). i feel like it would be pretty hard to come back from the dead once there’s no blood in you.
exsanguination for yummy blood mm tastey
madman’s knowledge is a slug
rom’s real eyes
rom is gross.
looking closely at her head reveals:
the many eyes dotting her head and back are human (this scans with the in-text suggestions that rom was an ascended student created by byrgenwerth somehow).
she has two primary eyes above her slit nose and leech mouth. forming a face.
rom is a dud. but one of the more impressive pupa they managed to cultivate (her smaller spider-lings and the garden of eyes fly enemies also have human eyes, hinting that they were once human and now are even more fail versions of rom). she was blessed with an arsenal of arcane powers that she can use to near effortlessly send you and mensis reject damien back to your ancestors, but they sort of completely destroyed her brain in the process of making her kafka-esque. when you first enter the boss arena, she doesn’t even react to you until you hit her and then she panics and teleports away (women are always doing this).
the original japanese name is more direct and calls her an idiot. “vacuous” is a good word for english, since it also reflects why she remained useful to the bygenwerth scholars: she’s good at hiding secrets and keeping undead queens you pilfered from a labyrinth hostage.
knowing that there are multiple amygdalas running around yharnam, this image…does something. i was going to say “explains ___” but i realized i had no idea what it was explaining. it explains nothing, it’s just an observable pattern that implies a tenuous connection and invites you to speculate on it. they got me again!
what did she mean by this
winter lanterns have the doll’s body
as described on the tin:
hey dude! i’m a faerie! let me in!
yes, it’s got the brain of mensis as a hat as well. this image doesn’t show the winter lantern’s legs, but they’re just multiple tentacles fashioned into “legs”. another very mysterious repeating motif. what the fuck are “winter lanterns” (we know where the name came from, long story)? were they trial runs for the working version of the doll? are they the remains of the patients in the research hall (they ARE in the dlc after all and seem to be entirely confined to the nightmare)? who is plopping these brains onto a porcelain version of gehrman’s sexual fantasy? are they just doing it to be random?
the world……may never know. good, we need something to argue about sometimes.
eileen and djura once dreamed
kind of a wet fart to end on; it’s simply not a very compelling revelation. maybe it is if you’re still under the impression that the dream is personalized in some way. to be fair, these are very easy to miss; you only hear the dialogs confirming these under certain conditions.
when you’re killed by eileen in the grand cathedral at the end of her quest, she says the following:
You still have dreams? Tell the little doll I said hello.
basically “tell your wife i said hi”. eileen please, im already dead.
djura has two lines of dialog about the hunter’s dream. the first is spoken during his friendly encounter, which you have to activate by sneaking in the back way.
I no longer dream, but I was once a hunter, too.
the second is another kill quote:
I should think you still have dreams?
Well, the next time you dream, give some thought…
the “thought” he’s referring to is the fact that beasts were once people. he’s still reeling from this discovery, somehow. i figured that out the millisecond i saw a werewolf and said “that’s a werewolf”. maybe djura blew his head up one too many times like greg kelly.
when djura realized he was slaughtering sick people (technically i guess, i don’t think they’re getting better dude), he quit the hunt and could no longer return to the dream. eileen became disheartened by the gradual, steady corruption of her former hunting partners from their excessive blood use so she took on the “hunter of hunter” mantle to assure them a dignified death. much more important than your stupid dream. it seems as though the vast majority of hunters kill and kill and kill endlessly until they are killed or driven mad or transformed. only a rare few break the cycle, however they choose to do so.
**NOTE: this was supposed to be a patreon exclusive, but patreon shit the bed as i was uploading it, making all the work i just did pointless. in order to salvage this, i’m just going to post this here for anyone to see. oh well. enjoy.
hi, i meant to write this yesterday but it was my boyfriend’s birthday so i spent it with him instead [everyone boos and throws solid objects at me] i know i know.
these characters are not going to be important enough to dedicate too much of your brain pan to. im not about to dump a bazillion new important randoms on the already big cast, but the process of creating characters within a fictional world involves conceptualizing what kind of people would organically emerge from those conditions. i end up having to create a bare bones back story in my head to feel like i can draw them correctly. i dont think that makes a lot of sense now that i think of it. i feel like people usually draw the character first and then come up with a story for them. i have to think of a character first and then think “what would this character look like, based on this dumb idea i had?”
this problem was amplified ten times when faced with having to populate maxine’s coven because the only people who would choose to practice a defunct means of (what is essentially) house cleaning would be the biggest freaks in the world. it’s like joining a club for churning butter.
anyway, i’ll tell you about the freaks from left to right, as they appeared in the most recent page:
note: most them dont have names and choosing them would just add another thing to agonize over forever until they’re perfect, so some will get nicknames.
name: rosa, after dona rosa who offers a really interesting look at an authentic limpia in ecuador
approx age: late 30s
practices?: white magic, as a curandera. less exotic than it sounds
bio: rosa is a butch lesbian who works as a dental assistant. a lot more people die there than you think. it’s always cheaper to have someone on already on staff who can take care of ghosts big and small, so, you know. it looks good on a resume. even if it means you have to close for the rest of the day to clean up all the unsterilized and unidentified liquids you spit all over a space where people lay with their mouths open.
her specialty: using cigarette smoke to purify a room. it’s called “multi-tasking”.
name: lorena, after this pep torres song. it fucking rips, it’s mexican surf rock
age: late teens
practices?: black magic. uses her own blood.
bio: lorena is all in on this witch shit. it’s more than just an aesthetic, which might be your first impression when she turns around and you see her wearing that one fucking “black flag” (or worse, the “unknown pleasures” album cover) shirt. oh great, you might think, another goth wanna-be here. every time school starts, these baby-bat kids start flooding in to your local morgues and funeral homes and covens looking to boost their credibility by hanging out with some real freaks…only to find an icy reception from an insular and secretive group that protects their own. eventually these posers drop out and find some other way to assert their credibility. lorena made the cut when she opened a vein for her fellow coven member with no hesitation. usually, they just, you know, wait to get to know you over a period of time. but whatever.
age: late 30s, early 40s. lookin good girl!
practices?: white magic, kitchen witchery, specifically.
bio: her mother was in the gottwin coven when maxine’s grandmother ran the joint. now, she’s the day to day operator of the coven (with valdo, but he defers to her when it comes to anything involving magic or the coven itself) since maxine only shows up when she has to or needs to. she has no interest in taking over the coven officially since it’s already hard enough to be a PTA member AND a witch AND a den mother. that’s too many hats and this one is pointy enough.
she found witchcraft to be a less expensive, in the long run, way to keep the house clean of supernatural contamination. much in the same way that clipping coupons is good value even if it takes time to do it.
age: late teens
practices: white magic, not well. trying her best.
bio: jeremy’s girlfriend. going to college and uses the coven as an excuse to see her boyfriend, who up until very recently was spending a lot of time working shitty jobs. brace face late in life. not really taking this too seriously but valdo likes her and thinks she’s a good kid.
name: “gordon”. as in freeman. read on.
practices: he does not.
bio: a grad student studying covens and their functions in a modern society, he has been reluctantly allowed to hover and observe as long as his questions are not intrusive, he doesn’t take photos or video and he does not identify anyone in the coven. so far, has kept this up, possibly out of direct fear of retaliation from either valdo or maxine. as a note: every single grad student on planet earth looks like a gordon freeman clone. it’s fucked up and wrong and we should stop tolerating it.
name: “penny” for penanggalan
age: died in her late 20s, currently tipping 40 years old.
bio: killed in a freak car power window accident, penny is the daughter of an immigrant mother/former coven member. having been brought to coven meetings as a child, penny feels a sense of familial comfort among those whom she grew up with and frequently visits to spend time people she ultimately feels the most comfortable with, despite her upward mobility in life. except uh, sometimes she does have to go upstairs if someone starts experimenting with an extermination technique. its not like they’ll accidentally exterminate her, but it wont feel good and she will make that known. studied hard and became a lawyer, much to her mother’s surprise and joy. she does not represent maxine often due to her being “career poison”.
age: early 80s
practices: oh, a little of this. a little of that.
bio: albert is a hobbyist witch who has spent a long and storied career studying, discovering and fine-tuning some spells from difficult to decipher grimoires. while this never lead to any mind-blowing discoveries, he did make some significant enough to have his name appear in a few research papers and books. albert is one of those guys who will be like “ah, i can use this skill i learned from when i tamed lions in the circus when i deserted the french legion!” and you just have to take his word for it that he probably did that at some point…but its impossible to know if he’s bullshitting or not. legally blind. dont feel too sorry for him, he looked at a lunar eclipse.
“bea dont you mean solar eclipse” no i do not!!! you will read more in the coming pages about the MOON. im annoyed that lunar magic is already a thing that exists but everyone will think im just cribbing bloodborne. a hell of my own making.
currently attempting to make a major discovery before he dies by unlocking the secrets of alchemy using forbidden black magics. the thing is, alchemy is not real. but he’ll show them when he’s swimming in his scrooge mcduck gold vault
name: uh…m-mary? no that’s not it. it’s like uhh, japanese? shit. juri? maybe it was juri. ayami? wait! asami!…right?
age: uh did anyone get this from her? i dont think we asked
practices: definitely black magic.
bio: he’ll be sorry.
penny again. moving on.
age: just a little baby…
practices: only with adult supervision
bio: some kids are just born weird and develop an affinity for things that make absolutely no sense to their befuddled parents. these children might also have a difficult time connecting with other children without beating the absolute fucking shit out of them with their patented HULK HANDS. fatima’s parents are dealing with a certified weird child who has developed an all consuming interest in something that does not have an after school program or any mainstream means of indulging. plus it’s threatening to make her even MORE socially awkward than she already is; who wants to be friends with the kid obsessed with butter churning? valdo, having been a family friend since they moved into town (he’s friends with EVERYONE its SO annoying to jack and maxine) offered to babysit on coven nights. the diversity of mostly successful weirdos in the coven did much to assure fatima’s parents that she was in good hands. maxine had not attended that day. things might have been different if she had.
that’s all for now. there are some not pictured who are joke characters or just haven’t shown up yet. such as:
– a ghost learning white magic to sate his sexual masochism
-a living sex worker learning for the same reason, but as a niche dominatrix.
-a living woman who has “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” and claims to feels pain from the electro-magnetic pulse bombs used in commercial ghost extermination. this is not a thing.
-a man who has emblazoned his hat with the runes ᛚᛗ (WOMEN) ᚾ (NEED)ᛗ (SELF) / ᛚᚢ (WATER BEAST [bountiful]) ᛁᛈ (TERROR) ᛗ (SELF)
-mervin, from the municipal government
well. ill see you soon. i have a page to draw and movie reviews to do. i finally thought of an angle for one of them. it was struggling with how to tackle it bc there was something i wanted to do with it but the framing of it all wasn’t coming together. this is incomprehensible, sorry. well. good night
i was going to make a follow up post when i got results from the orthopedist but he’s booked up until mid-april so i’ll post a shorter-update now.
you’re my captive audience so i’m going to complain a little bit (but i’ve bolded the important bits for anyone here for the leg info): this turned out to be the month from hell. at the beginning of the month i was still doing p.t. (which did not do anything to correct my pain but it did DRASTICALLY improve my balance. i’m going to keep up these exercises so i don’t become wobble like aluminum foil when walking on stairs) two times a week. then, just for fun, our heat stopped working. this turned out to be due to a broken valve on our apparently leaking oil tank. because the valve is welded to the tank, it was necessary to purchase an entire new one. then the heat stopped working. after having an emergency plumber come out to light my burner for $400 dollars, i was at least given the information that the oil tank men failed to install part of the system. so then they came back out.
now my heat works. all that plus various other appointments i keep monthly and p.t. AND an MRI. the mri was very, very enlightening.
here are the notable bits from my results:
i hope this is also incomprehensible for you, because my eyes started glazing over reading this the first time. after a combination of google, consulting my bone professor friend, using a basic knowledge of latin roots/bones, and getting a final confirmation from the physical therapy guy on my last day, i have discovered what this means in simple terms:
my knee doesn’t move correctly when in motion, causing swelling to jimmy hoffa’s fat ass. the kneecap rides too high. “weiberg type III” refers to the shape of my patella but it seems like that’s not really involved in the myriad of problems here, just an observation. the top of my tibia is shaped weird and all of this combines together to cause damage to my cartilage. ooooohh ohhh owww my bones.
the mri itself was no sweat. they pretty much only put you far enough in the machine to get your leg and i just laid there with headphones on for 1/2 an hour listening to classical music. the easiest test you could ever get. requires absolutely nothing from you but the ability to sit still.
here’s what i feel the most relieved about: i’m not crazy. this isn’t the result of me being lazy, out of shape, and pushing myself to exercise more the way that i was BEFORE physical therapy was probably destroying my legs faster instead of helping them. after a lifetime of open disdain from family for my inability to engage in physical activity, telling me to stop complaining about my pain, and waving off my problems as “growing pains” (to be fair, these are real), i finally have proof i’m not a malingering lunatic and my pain was real. i really, really have to underscore that i try not to complain about this much. if i complained about my leg every time it hurt people would treat me like a wilting flower or get so sick of me they give me the “misery” treatment so i really have something to cry about. i’m going to use this irrefutable proof of my deformity (? that seems like a very drastic word to use in this instance doesn’t it. i’m not really sure to to think of myself in relation to disability but i guess the real answer is that it doesn’t matter and no one cares and the chances of someone pushing me to be more formal about my fucked up leg are near 0. so that’s reassuring.) to uhhhh get better i guess. i’ll find out the next steps from the doctor in a few weeks. see you then!
it’s been a little over a month since i started physical therapy for my leg. and what a heart-pounding adventure it’s been. im really out of shape.
in the interest of sharing my experiences for any other adult who has an out-toe and has no idea whats in store for them, i will tell you what i’ve been up to. maybe someday someone will google their way here and find a little assurance in some demystification of the untwisting process (? actually im not sure if my leg will visibly untwist).
the good news is that this week the doc told me i don’t look like i’ll need to surgically twirl the bone and my gait can be adjusted by continuing physical therapy. great news, because, despite the surgery feeling like a very direct way to address a problem that otherwise will take a lot of hard work and sweat, its probably really expensive and we just had to drop a lot on a new boiler. he does still seem a little weirded out by my skeleton despite his assurances. when you go to the leg doctor, they take your leg and wiggle it in a bunch of directions. my doctor told me my knee was weird a few times. not bad. and not specific. just weird. exactly what every patient wants to hear.
my physical therapy is covered by medicaid and thank god for it; i would actually be extremely bad at trying to correct this myself. the guidance a therapist offers you is invaluable and being physically forced to go to a location ensures i actually do them. the way i walk and move is so weird that i kept needing the therapist to physically re-adjust me until i started to feel muscles stretching in new directions. just knowing which muscles i needed to work on was useful information. so: if you can get physical therapy, i recommend it. my experience has been very positive and i can feel improvements especially to my balance! my balance was shockingly bad prior to this. my poor boyfriend has to be caught near me when i trip over nothing and faceplant onto the pavement.
an average visit goes like this: i arrive, i check in, i dump my purse and my coat on a chair and do 5 (then 10, then 15 as the month went on) minutes on a bike machine. the machine is recumbent so it doesn’t shatter my tailbone like upright bikes do. honestly, this is the most enjoyable activity to me because the way it works your muscles feels GOOD. years ago, i bought a step machine with the intention of using it to get fit and found it very difficult and painful to use regularly (especially in the fucked up knee lol). i had assumed it was just because i was THAT out of shape but it never seemed to get better no matter how many times i used it. now it gathers dust in the basement where it will stay, because it turns out i picked a body destroying machine by accident.
after the bike- wait i forgot. the first 2 days they would have me sit with a hot damp weighted towel on my knee and it was sooooooo good but then they stopped doing it. >:(
some context going forward: i am a 110 lb, 4’10” woman. not a typo. please do not sit on me. i have a history of bursitis in the fucked up knee. i created this chart to show you my various aches and pains, i hope it is useful. honestly the pin is my least favorite one because it makes me limp. it only kinda hurts but i can’t get the fucking thing to move right. second worst was the tooth-ache type pain that went away when they replaced my birth control. so. whatever.
anyway, then i do my exercises while my physical therapy guy checks in on me to make sure im doing things right and make small talk. “bridges” and “clam shell” exercises work the ass, which will help my hip bones face the direction they’re supposed to (i don’t remember what’s going on down there. they’re pointing out or down or something). specifically, the gluteus medius, the middle child of the ass, needs to be strengthened. i enjoyed doing the clam shells more with the resistance band; being able to work against something made me feel like i was actually doing some kind of physical work. the hamstring stretch also involves the band.
Tamarian voice: leon, on the floor
leg raises, in which you literally just lay down and lift one straight leg up in the air, were surprisingly difficult at first. maybe difficult isn’t the right word uhhh there was more resistance in my body than i was anticipating. the muscles dictating that action were pretty tight and unwilling to give way. anyway, after a month i can do it with 6lb weights attached.
there’s a smattering of other random exercises they had me do as well. it seems like we’ve been slowly whittling down my capabilities and needs by throwing things at me and seeing what puts us in the right direction. the very, very low squats completely destroyed every muscle in my body for a weekend so they were adjusted to account for my short height. i can squat much better now. not slavic style yet, but getting there. the ones where i just wiggle my knee up and down or kick my legs while sitting in a chair seemed extremely trivial for me, but now i go in and leave having broken a sweat.
i won’t lie, given the relative low intensity of the work out, i feel a little embarrassed about how hard i its for me. this is stupid, because everyone in the clinic is experiencing the same exhaustion from similar “easy” workouts. however, those people are all over 50; i am the youngest person i’ve seen there all month by a wide margin. i’m hesitant to call myself disabled, as i am to all outside observers a very weird looking able bodied adult woman and to claim that label feels like it indicates a more immediate seriousness to my condition. my knee hurts when i stand for long periods of time and i can’t walk far because my calves start to burn and every time i use stairs it hurts. but is it debilitating? no. does it affect my day to day activities? well, kind of. but what i am really, really worried about is how knee pain progresses. i need to get this done now so i’m not paying for it as an an old geezer. i want to minimize the amount of suffering i experience day to day as a general rule.
anyway i guess that’s it. i have a MRI soon for the knee which should be a very boring experience. they asked me if i had claustrophobia and i said no but after i hung up i was like “do i?” im afraid of literally everything else so i don’t know why this would be any different. guess we’ll see. check obituaries and see if someone died of a terror induced heart attack.
i’m back, with another self-indulgent 3,000 words about a video game and how normal i am. i was trying to figure out how to start these subsequent posts but i got a great idea: i will use this space to inform you of the current state of the bloodborne community. for example:
BLOODBORNE COMMUNITY UPDATE: today it was discovered that by uncommenting two lines of code, a kick attack was restored. it doesn’t really do any damage, but it staggers an enemy. this is a less exciting update to me than the discovery that the moon in the yharnam sky isn’t a .jpg but a fully rendered round sphere. like why would they do that. the moon is flat in the hunter’s dream. why is one flat and the other rendered!! you know what i don’t want to think about this anymore.
oh hold on breaking news: japanese bloodborne players discovered you can do gestures while using hunter tools, so it looks like the effects are coming out of your dick.
level 2: the tip
today’s madness level indicator is gehrman, the first hunter. you meet gehrman in the hunter’s dream after you gain your first point of insight, which most people gain after seeing one of the two first bosses, the cleric beast or father gascoigne. right after the beast scrapes you against the pavement (or gascoigne pins you between gravestones and clobbers the shit out of you), gehrman makes himself known to the hunter in order to encourage you to give the hunt all you’ve got, guide you through the blood-drenched streets of yharnam and to make a very inappropriate sexual offer. gehrman is an “old hunter”, one of the first to treat the hunt as an organized attempt at dog control, and is now very, very, very, very, very, old, having been apparently kept alive by the power of the hunter’s dream. what a poor old man……..NOT!!!! fuck this shitty old bitch.
for bloodborne aficionados, here’s a weird tidbit: gehrman can appear in the garden before you gain your first point of insight. i happened to be recording the time i found him there and i was quite shocked. he didn’t do anything but mumble at that point (his dialog doesn’t change until the next moon phase) and nothing else happened. i just had no idea he could do that.
for normal people: the old man is almost always in a chapel that only opens after you see the first boss. let’s get on with this.
arianna is vileblood
shit, i already covered a lot of this in my little addendum at the end of the last update, but why not refresh your memory: arianna is a saveable character who is heavily, HEAVILY implied to have special blood. one way they do this is by having her give you special blood. in hindsight, maybe implied isn’t the right word; it’s pretty overt.. yet somehow this remains a frequent re-occurring discovery to people who presumably just learned how to read.
here’s the clues, detective. first, arianna is wearing the noble dress, which explicitly states it’s clothing for cainhurst nobles. it’s kind of a weird thing to wear on your day off from your job as a prostitute but who knows, maybe it’s really soft or something.
“ahem, um , excuse me? um, wearing clothes doesn’t make you royalty”. fine, here’s some more proof, you little doubting thomas. arianna will act as a “blood saint” and give you a vial of her blood to heal with (it also boosts your stamina recovery). the description is:
A member of the old Healing Church would know that her blood is similar indeed, to precisely what was once forbidden.
oh such as…………………..THE FORBIDDEN BLOOD OF CAINHURST???? yes.
here’s some interesting info about royalty in bloodborne. first, let’s get you up to speed on arianna’s entire questline(s). much like the other survivors of yharnam, you can choose to send arianna to iosefka which will net you some numbing mist. the numbing mist description reads:
Said to be used by the blood hunters of Cainhurst, its recipe is a secret closely guarded by the line of nobles inhabiting the castle.
OR you can send her to the cathedral, where things can end up one of two…well. three ways. but we’re not going to count “can be someone’s lunch” as an option. taking blood too many times from arianna in front of another survivor, adella, will trigger murderous jealousy in adella. but, if you just avoid being seen taking blood or don’t take it at all, arianna will fulfill the prophecy found in the books of byrgenwerth:
When the red moon hangs low, the line between man and beast is blurred. And when the Great Ones descend, a womb will be blessed with child.
i think its kind of cute
its implied that the celestial child arianna gives birth to after you end the nightmare of mensis is the “child of blood” that annalise has been attempting to uh…host? through the use of blood dregs.
i’m ending this with an even more useless fact than usual: arianna actually has 3 different face models she swaps through as she grows sicker.
this is what happens when women are not given cucumber lime gatorade
lmfao. okay. so. “chalice dungeons” are optional areas for grinding blood gems and blood echoes. i guess we should talk about the chalice layers since they will end up being important to refer back to. you can first enter chalice dungeons by obtaining the “ritual blood” item left on the altar in front of the flayed, dead (blood-starved) beast in old yharnam and the “pthumeru” chalice you get from the flayed, alived (blood-starved) beast. the blood of this magical dog and his special cup will unlock the labyrinth beneath byrgenwerth, which will then unlock deeper and deeper labyrinths.
you can also create your own chalice dungeons and invite people to try them out. in this case, “cummmfpk” is the code for a hacked dungeon that gives you 83,489 blood echoes if you just stand there for like 5 seconds. you can reload the dungeon over and over and get infinite enormous amounts of EXP. it’s great for cheaters and people who are just sick of the first part of the game and want to steamroll through it but. you know. the unfortunate randomly generated name…
cum dungeon facts: the layer 1 boss is a keeper of the old lords. layer 2 is a maneater boar. layer 3 is a headless bloodletting beast. all of them drop glitched items you can’t pick up. data-miner/soulsborne experimenter zullie the witch did some exploration of the cum dungeon to see who was dying in such a weird manner. the health bar doesn’t drop all at once (otherwise it would be easy to assume something was put outside the map and fell to its death) but instead is taken off in chunks. turns out there’s an enemy hunter who is placed in the path of a swinging blade that loads weird.
paleblood is the moon presence
in my opinion, they spell this out for you directly as well but for some people it’s still a matter of debate for some reason. i don’t know. i’ll present my argument.
the note in iosefka’s office at the start of the game and the messengers in yahar’gul mention “Paleblood”:
it’s capitalized. it’s a name. the name given to the moon presence that you kill to transcend the hunt.
oh nice going laurence.
curiously, there IS a character that bleeds white blood…we will get into later.
the doll was based on maria
i talked about this on tumblr before, so i’m going to copy-paste my answer and clean it up for you all.
the first hunters of the beasts were gehrman and lady maria; they worked together long, long before the player character ever arrives in yharnam. together they founded they principles and core techniques that other hunters worked off of when hunting beasts, based out of a workshop underneath the cathedral ward of the healing church (who, unbeknownst at the time, was responsible for the spread of the beast scourge through the act of irresponsible blood ministration). this is the abandoned workshop you discover that has an eerie resemblance to the hunter’s dream.
there is an abandoned doll in the abandoned workshop who looks identical to your friend, the animate doll. the doll is almost always standing in her spot in front of the church, though she occasionally moves from her designated spot to pray in front of a grave near the doors of the dream workshop. she never comments on why she does this.
back to the abandoned yharnam workshop: inside you will find some weird shit. a hair ornament for the doll, a spare set of clothing for the doll (the description adds that the clothing was made with “a precision and obsession that borders on mania”) and the umbilical cord, signifying that a deal occurred between the hunters and the moon presence here.
A great relic, also known as the Cord of the Eye. Every infant Great One has this precursor to the umbilical cord. Every Great One loses its child, and then yearns for a surrogate. The Third Umbilical Cord precipitated the encounter with the pale moon, which beckoned the hunters and conceived the Hunter’s Dream.
this deal appears to have included the creation of the living doll.
there’s one last item: a bone that gives you a sick new ability to disappear when you sidejump, called “quickening”. its found at the same gravestone at the abandoned workshop that the doll prays at in the hunter’s dream. the item description is this.
The bone of an old hunter whose name is lost. It is said that he* was an apprentice to old Gehrman, and a practitioner of the art of Quickening, a technique particular to the first hunters.
and that was all. until the dlc came out.
the second to last boss of the dlc is lady maria of the astral watch tower, who is extremely, uncomfortably, very creepily visually similar to the doll. they even have the same voice. personality wise? nothing alike. maria is a firecracker. the doll is passive and demure; gehrman even offers her to you as a sex object.
oh thats……..oh no
in the original post, i erroneously stated that only maria and gehrman could use the quickening, but it turns out there’s two hunters in the hunter’s nightmare who can use it. they have saifs that operate much like gerhman’s burial blade, implying they were his and/or maria’s apprentices. however, the point is that maria can use the quickening without casting.
all this to say: gehrman is a sex criminal and it is good that he is in hell
bonus tip: it seems like the bloody crow of cainhurst has her other leg bone.
*result of poor translation, the original pronoun here is gender ambiguous.
chalice illusory walls
lol this one is very short and sweet. in dark souls, there are a number of fake walls you can roll through that reveal treasure or secret areas. bloodborne does not have these at all………except for literally one place: lower pthumeru. for some reason, in this chalice dungeon only, there is one illusory wall on every level, for a total of 4. what’s behind them? treasure mostly, but the final one has a messenger bath that sells versions of weapons that take different gem slots than the vanilla version. this doesn’t matter to anyone who isn’t really into build mechanics.
fun fact! very, very, very, VERY, VERY, VERY, SO VERY RARELY, a bath messenger will be replaced with patches. yes, THAT patches.
[nervously looks around for a hole]
rom was a she
another short one. and is it important? probably not. but if someone calls rom a ‘he’ they don’t know SHIT. FAKE bloodborne fan. let’s ATTACK THEM.
straight from the man himself:
Miyazaki: That’s another hard one. Hmm… Which would it be for this game? Maybe this is cheating a little, but if you ignore gameplay for a moment, it’s Rom, the Vacuous Spider. From the design and atmosphere to that kind of plaintive air she has, I really like her. There are some oddly cute aspects to her moves and modeling.
its just because she has a lot of feet, i think.
yharnham, pthumerian queen
an eerie pthumerian woman in a white ball gown stained with blood at the abdomen appears as an apparition (?) twice in the base game. first, after defeating rom, the woman must be approached for a cutscene to begin; while she stares up at the approaching blood moon revealed after rom’s defeat, a baby begins to cry. then, you meet her again outside of the boss elevator that leads to the fight with mergo’s wet nurse (where the baby’s cry is loudest). after the defeat of the wet nurse, the woman will bow to you in appreciation before fading away.
this is yharnam, pthumerian queen, and she is a secret boss fight in the game, available only to those who. who do the. chalice dungeons. all of them.
the good news is that your dungeon progression carries over to new game +. but here’s the thing: doing the chalice dungeons is an exercise in tedium. they layouts are all largely the same with almost no deviation. enemy/boss levels are static and unchanging. since there is a lot (like a LOT) of new, cool stuff in the dungeons that cant be seen anywhere else (including exclusive loot) they are unfortunately worth going through. you will not like it though! unless you are a little mouse who was trained to run through mazes for cheese and still gets the dopamine even when there’s no reward at the end.
okay, there’s some reward. the yharnam fight whips ass. it was a seriously great fight and i was immediately frustrated that such a fun and interesting boss battle was locked behind some of the worst video gaming of all time. i cannot understate how long and agonizing and aggravating doing this is. im certain getting plat for bloodborne took years off my lifespan.
i have, in my madness, created a flow chart of ONLY the chalice dungeons required for the yharnam fight. i know that this APPEARS to be very straight forward. however, i will do my best to convey the experience of actually completing this gauntlet. please use this for reference.
the pthumeru chalice dungeon is a joke. by the time you finally get around to completing it (read: when you get stuck in the base game), all of the enemies will be so low level that you will just slice through each layer like a hot knife on butter. the only notable creature is the final boss, the watchdog of the old lords. i want you to think about him. remember him. you have the advantage of knowing he’s coming. i did not. right now? at this moment? no big deal.
no!!! no!!! not on the rug noooo!!!
there is little of interest in central pthumeru when it comes to the quest to see a pretty lady. you might find yourself tempted to use the “hintertombs” chalice you find here, but try to stay on task. we’re here to, ostensibly, have fun and the best way to do that is to avoid the hintertombs.
although the hintertombs IS home to the scariest fucking thing ive ever seen in a video game. so head on over if you want to shit your pants.
i agree, youtube video title.
welcome to hell! lower pthumeru lures you in with a false sense of security by soft-balling you an insultingly easy repeat boss fight. the game then has the audacity to throw yet another repeat fight at you, but worst of all it’s a boss you’ve fought two times already: the undead giant. “ah,” you will think to yourself, “i’ve done this before, piece of cake”. then, from literally the entire opposite end of the room, the giant does a little twirl and blends you into a slurry with his new chains.
this is the fight where, after so many failed attempts lasted a humiliating 10 seconds or less, i realized i could no longer progress in the chalice dungeons without starting new game plus. i needed exp. the kind of exp you can only get from defeating bosses. so, let me be clear, this path to the hot babe is not linear. by the time i reached the final layer of pthumeru i was on new game+ 4. that’s all of bloodborne 5 times. i think the winning solution to beating this guy is to abuse his weakness to fire with molotovs and shooting him in the face with the ol’ cannon-and-bone-marrow-ash combo.
still having fun? not for long! now fight rom again (AGAIN???) in a room with several huge pillars in it. this fight is pretty annoying, but not too difficult. it’s mostly luck based on whether or not her horde of 20 or so spiderlings manage to pincer attack you in the dressing room sized arena.
boss number three: the bloodletting beast. he is a complete bastard but at least he’s new. note: if he touches you, you WILL die, because he does 12 bazillion damage on every hit. if you somehow survive the first hit, you WILL be juggled into a second one. his arm span is approximately the length of the room and he moves faster than the speed of light, so trying to get some distance between the two of you for a healing break is impossible. this is a “don’t get hit” fight. the first one.
the first one.
welcome to cursed and defiled pthumeru.
in a cursed and defiled dungeon, your hp is halved. hope you’ve been putting points into vitality because if not, ahahahaha. enjoy your no-hit run of the entire labyrinth! (i did this to myself as a staunch, smug believer in “just dont get hit”. this was the most painful lesson ive ever been taught about putting points into hp and the reality of being able to avoid every hit). out of the kindness of their hearts, fromsoft did you a service and changed enemies so that they do half of the damage they usually do.
except fire damage. oh, also your first boss is the keeper of the old lords, who uses fire based magic attacks. so, this moment was finally the point when i understood that this wasn’t a game meant to be “fun”, it was intended to keep very sick people occupied so they don’t do vigilante crimes with all their spare energy.
the watchdog of the old lords happens to you. again.
the deck is already stacked against you. 8 out of 10 times you get trampled by the dog before you even have time to finish walking through the fog gate. you level up but the incremental health improvements aren’t enough to make a difference and by now your level is so high that it takes significant effort to stack up the blood echoes. you equip your fire-resistant hunter clothes which gives you a 1% boost in defense. nothing is working. it’s time…to summon an npc hunter!
i’m 99% sure this is the boss that forced me to go from ng+ all the way to ng+3 before i had the exp to beat it. after many days of being violently trampled in the exact same way, at the exact same moment, i felt my sanity fraying and my ability to emotionally regulate in a healthy manner deteriorating. it is fundamentally cruel to create a game that can be beat fairly so long as you engage the game on its own terms and then ambush you with the bloodborne equivalent of trying to fight a flaming mack truck with a knife. while losing repeatedly, i said some things to the game i can’t take back, but i meant it and i stick by it.
it was only through the wisdom of goons i was able to finally put this horrible beast in the ground. use a very upgraded saw spear and just poke his head from a distance. he has absolutely no chance against the power of a poking stick.
“””fun””” “”””””fact””””””: the defiled chalice watchdog of the old lords has the second most hp of any boss in bloodborne with a whopping 23964 hp. he is second only to the second fight with a bloodletting beast which barely squeaks by with more at 24052 hp. they didn’t want to make it too easy, you see.
don’t think this is over yet. we still have one more defiled boss. haha but at least it’s one we’ve fought before AND it doesn’t do fire damage! whew! right? …right?
is this good
wrong, moron. defiled amygdala WILL jump on your head. she WILL stomp on you. she WILL hit you with her arms and kill you in one hit. this boss is the maddest i have EVER been at a video game. im talking white knuckle rage that could only be suppressed by turning the game off and standing in the other room for an hour while my heart rate slowly returned to normal. i hate her. she is so flighty and takes to the air with little provocation and will use heat seeking technology to land directly on you no matter how far you run. and the thing about amygdala is: some parts of her body take more damage than others. her legs and tail take the tiniest wafer thin slivers off her health bar while those who bravely go for her arms and head are rewarded for their bravery with much larger damage chunks. so your choices are:
get really close to her and hack away at her legs and ass for 15-20 minutes hoping she doesn’t successfully stomp on you in that extremely long period of time like a coward and a yellowbelly would.
shoot her in the face with a cannon 10 times after baiting a specific attack that brings her head very close to the ground (wasting 10 very expensive and rare bone marrow ashes and replenishing your bullets with your precious health vials because every cannon blast costs 5 fucking bullets!), perform a visceral attack when she’s staggered, apply bolt paper and look to god for salvation.
both of these are bad. when you finally deplete that health bar, you’re worse off for it. you’re a worse person now. you have a status effect irl causing you psychic damage. fromsoft games are rarely unfair but the defiled dungeon takes the cake as the biggest bullshit of all time.
oh my god but finally. FINALLY, we are on the last chalice. this broad is within goosing distance (i have already forgotten why we are looking for her). and great news: the pthumerian descendant fight is fun; you’re finally playing bloodborne again and not “i wanna be the guy”. here’s a neat detail: the descendant fights with a sickle that splits into two separate ones during the second phase…like a trick weapon…! who REALLY invented what!!!
next is a fight that is annoying but in a way that is familiar and understandable: the blood-letting beast is back baby!!! and this time, he’s headless! it’s still a very hard fight, and during the second phase a big worm grows out of the stump on his head and spits fast poison at you, making it difficult to stay close to him. at this point, i was too close to the end and was fully in the thrall of a life wasting sunk cost fallacy. i finished bloodborne ng+4 to defeat the beast.
oh my GOD SHE’S HERE. WE DID IT.
kind of a milf, reblog.
the fight lasts about 3 minutes.
it’s a little easier than you expect, but you spend the entire time dodging, weaving and running to keep yourself moving. this is a different character model than the one we’ve seen at other locations: the one in the chalice dungeon is pregnant (but still bloodied) and her illusions are not. it’s impossible to stay close to her and just hack away since the baby’s cry paralyzes the hunter if they’re within AOE distance. she has 3 phases and is the only user of blood arts in the game besides maria (excluding martyr logarius, alfred and the hunter who all use a pale imitation of the REAL blood arts) and she makes maria’s blood arts look like little baby shit*. stay limber, hunter, you have to be fast on your feet for this. it’s a hell of a rush.
when it was over, i felt a consuming, dark emptiness swallow my chest as i realized i would never experience this very fun activity again. this shit took way too long. sure, i could just use a glyph and go to a hacked dungeon where i could fight her, but then i’d have to buy playstation’s online service and i’m not paying for my internet twice!!! its the principle of the matter!!!!
and now you know how it feels to play from software’s “bloodborne”. writing this section took the most time because whenever i sat down to hammer away at it, i would have to re-experience the emotional agony of doing the chalice dungeons and my suffering would become so great that i could only be revived with a defibrillator.
defeating her rewards you with an item that does nothing. well, it implies the queen is undead in the exact same way that annalise is, which is interesting. all hail the undying queens of blood!
*oops future bea here. i forgot the bell ringing women in yahar’gul use blood magic to make guys that kill you. so jot that down.
the research hall is byrgenwerth
come on man.
the same enemies…the same clutter items…somehow chunks of byrgenwerth got sucked into the nightmare. byrgenwerth is a really small area for how much it’s hyped up in the lore; it’s literally a two story room and the tiny grounds (oh, and a lunarium but that thing is really REALLY small). but if you take the lecture hall into consideration (which is actually a large two story wing of labs and classrooms), the size of the area is more analogous to other areas in the game.
to access the first floor of the lecture hall, you need to be smunched into the nightmare dimension by an amygdala.
this is how your cat feels when you pick them up
therefore, i think it’s fair to assume that amygdala is responsible for the theft of the lecture hall. the first floor double doors of the lecture hall lead to the nightmare frontier where you can find amygdala’s sad little house. the second floor is accessed via micolash’s skull in yahar’gul (the entrance to yahar’gul is guarded by the amygdala you use to access the first floor) and the double doors lead to the nightmare of mensis, an area which shares aesthetic overlap with the frontier. case closed.
except i have no idea why it would do this. another weird detail is that there’s a unique pthumerian church giant here with flaming hands. why is he here? to learn? not with those hands.
here’s some relatively baseless speculation: when willem and micolash had their ideological split, micolash made a deal with amygdala in a similar vein to gehrman’s deal and just took some school with him. amygdala also seems directly tied to the blood moon (more on this later, i see its on my chart lol) which was micolash’s very weird personal project he was working on, so i think it’s a fair assumption that these two were in cahoots together in some capacity. mergo’s cord is proof of a covenant, hey oh shit i just realized where they got the cord from lol. oh no. sorry yharnam pthumerian queen.
anyway: let me sum up. byrgenwerth had access to the labyrinths (chalice dungeons) which we can presume are beneath the college itself. this is where they met yharnam pthumerian queen and friends. the first schism of byrgenwerth between laurence and willem revolved around what to do with the discovery of blood that makes you live forever, which lead to the creation of the healing church. the second lead to micolash bailing on willem to found the school of mensis under the healing church, which coincided with the development of another church organization called “the choir”. while the choir did human experimentation with ebrietas and laurence turned people into dogs, the school of mensis took over the unseen village to do something i still don’t understand entirely. some of it involved discovering loran (the chalice was likely provided by amygdala since she drops it after you defeat her) and stealing a darkbeast from loran (paarl) to play with. all three institutions are in a race to see who can elevate humanity into godhood first.
speculation: micolash chooses the DIY option: mergo is the stillborn child of blood you win (?) as a prize after defeating yharnam pthumerian queen. using the umbilical cord from mergo, which they pilfered from yharnam directly (killing mergo in the process, byrgenwerth is established in canon as loving matricide especially when they’re pregnant), they forged a pact with amygdala who gave them cover while they uhhhh mashed people together into a horrible monstrosity called “the one reborn” using parts provided by the ladies of hemwick and the yaharghul kidnappers. i would assume “the one” was intended to be a body for the brain that mensis “retrieved from the nightmare”. they fucked up really bad and (almost) all their brains turned off except for micolash, who used his infinite time in the nightmare to become a long distance endurance runner, and some guy named edgar who was actually a choir member in disguise doing covert ops. lol owned.
killing the brain grants you the living string, a one of a kind item used exclusively to open the great pthumeru ihyll chalice. this was its final connection with its mother. the brain itself was a legitimate great one, even if the body was going to be artificial, but it was dying.
1. why are the bell ringing women from the chalice dungeons in yahar’gul? if they teamed up with the school of mensis (as it seems they have), why? are they in service of yharnam and looking to revive the child of blood? i think yharnam is going to notice the difference guys.
2. why do winter lanterns have brains very similar to the mensis brain? both also have messenger corpses in them (as many things in the nightmare do), why? why is the doll the body? why do they sing?
3. who the fuck is the wet nurse lol
mysteries galore. i have been very slowly working on a little project so that i can make a chart explaining various important character relationships to refer back to. this shit is confusing.
i still have many more to go. its impossible to draw paarl in a simplified style. have you seen that motherfucker’s face. go look it up right now.
it’s been an embarrassingly long time since i first received this request. it coincided with real life stressors and i fell behind on my reviews/work/ability to care for myself to a shameful degree. i have a plethora of excuses and explanations but who cares. we don’t have time for that. we need to prepare for our case. although, i’ll be honest with you, i think it’s a slam dunk. you read the notes, right? never mind. we’ll go over them again.
i mean it all revolves around this ad here. a newspaper ad? probably. they really don’t make ads like this anymore; exuberant testimonials from some unseen narrator who is both too friendly and too formal at the same time. in this case it’s like getting a movie recommendation from your “cool” teacher who has to think extra careful about what words he’d going to use in front of a classroom of bloodthirsty 13 year olds.
nearly every statement in this poster is a lie. it looks like lionel hutz already took the marker to it.
i do plan to “see it twice” in order for me to “really get it all”, like it do when i review all my movies. im feeling a little self conscious about this one because i dont know robert altman’s movies at all outside of “popeye”, which i think is charming and fun in it’s own way (not something i’d seek out on purpose but, you know, if someone else put it on i wouldn’t complain). im not unaware that altman is a beloved filmmaker and this movie has, in my opinion, a baffling, inexplicable array of glowing reviews. taking aim at something that i am likely not “getting” due to the honest truth of being a regular ol’ simpleton feels like im setting down my own rake to walk on. regardless, the mission statement of this my reviews are to view these movies through the eyes of someone devoid of sophistication. i do not think these reviews should be intended to be insightful. they’re for laughs and recommendations on the basis of taste (not expertise) only.
additionally, i am going to be looking at this movie as a modern day viewer, which i mention because it will make my assessment seem a little less unhinged to people who do like altman and this movie. i can admit i do not have extensive context for the 1970s that would have likely given much more context to this VERY “of the times” apparent satire. the only stuff i picked up on was the bullitt reference and the m*a*s*h poster in the background. oh wait, i just noticed that it just tells you its bullitt inspired lol. they’re just saying it!
special note that doesn’t fit anywhere else: the soundtrack is from john phillips from the mama and the papas and it fucking sucks.
with that said, let’s talk about what IS true on this ad so we can address the egregious false advertising at play here.
i will now examine the claims made by the defendant in preparation for our “big case”.
RAVE: roger ebert gave it a 3.5 out of 4. that’s all i have to say about that. okay roger!
“I DON’T KNOW”: ryan cracknell from “movie views”, a website that sounds like it was made up exclusively to be the workplace of the protagonist of a 2015 a hallmark movie, seemed delighted but mystified by this movie.
“NOW I HAVE SEEN EVERYTHING”: 0 out of 1 people found this helpful.
YOU’LL TALK ABOUT IT: i am, as part of my agreement with my patreon donors. many people were contractually obligated to talk about this movie. the problem is, i haven’t really be sure HOW to talk about this movie. that’s why we have this silly framing device.
WEIRD: i’ll give it this one. i am forced to admit its not every day that you watch a movie in which a serial killing boy uses bird shit as a calling card.
HOT LIPS: absolutely true and the kind of nickname i would murder someone to have. if someone named “hot lips” was starring in your movie you bet your fucking ass you’d put that on the poster.
RATED ‘R’: factual. today it would be like, pg.
“SOMETHING ELSE” FROM THE CREATOR OF M*A*S*H: this might be the funniest use of sarcastic quotation marks i’ve seen in a long time. this is just a non-controversial statement of fact made passive aggressive for no reason. spectacular.
YOU DUG M*A*S*H*: i have not seen m*a*s*h*. i did like m*a*s*h* the tv show. does that help.
THIS ONE WILL BLOW YOUR MIND: sorry mr. altman, no dice. i literally have no idea what this thinks its referring to.
adjective: far out
unconventional or avant-garde.
i guess, arguably, it could be the first one but it is by no means the second one.
VERY HIP, VERY IN: i hate to imagine that it was.
STARRING ‘THE WEIRDO TWOSOME’:
god who the fuck is this part talking about. what the fuck does this mean!!! every time i’m face to face with it i’m fucking vexed at this phrase that no one outside of a marketing exec would ever think to use in any context. imagine being one of the stars and seeing this poster. did they ask first if they could call them a pair of freaks.
WILDEST AUTO CHASE SINCE “BULLITT”/SPACE ODYSSEY: okay, first of all, the gothic novel-esque use of capital lettering in this section is absolutely bizarre. like, this is a transparent attention grab for people who liked actual good movies, but the phasing and the formatting is completely sporadic and random. no rhyme or reason.
additionally, this is not a “tip”. and not true.
IT SHAPES UP REAL GROOVY: perhaps “brewster mccloud” is a movie that simply exists too far outside the parameters of my enjoyment specifically. i am vexed by the knowledge that other people truly gained something from this movie that i did not so i can assume it is a combination of these factors: 1. i am too far from the historical immediacy needed for context for many of the references or concepts that fly (hee ehehehehe ohohohoh) over my head, 2. it is simply not to my taste, being a movie that is both too grounded to be fantastical and too self-serious in spite of its deliberate use of ridiculous situations, and 3. maybe it fucking sucked a little to begin with. and all of these factors combined made for a watch that was the movie sensory experience equivalent to walking down a baby toy aisle with all the toys playing noise at once.
also i hate birds, so there’s that.
GREENBORO, ET AL.: unverifiable. this is evidently a tri-city area in north carolina. i think the opinions of people in greensboro, north carolina have never mattered less in human history.
CONTROVERSIAL: maaaaaybe. by today’s standards…? the most controversial aspect is the language, which we’ll cover more in detail in a moment. there is a fair bit of suggestive nudity in it (with occasional incestual overtones) and a girl who has extremely annoying screeching orgasms twice while gesturing wildly under a blanket. although, it was the early 70s. wasn’t that when directors realized boobs sell tickets? i guess it was a different time.
this is what our case hinges on. let’s examine this…in depth.
the movie begins with a man who is not, but is trying to be, gene wilder. he is a disheveled professor teaching us about man’s lust for the concept of flight and the jealously one harbors for birds, who move as freely as the wind. after his monologue, which continues throughout the movie and results in his loud and physically-embarrassing-to-watch degradation into a squawking bird-type man for no reason. i guess the parallel is that as brewster gets closer to the clouds, the professor uhhh wait this doesn’t make sense. i guess he’s just doing it to be random. anyway, smash cut to a racist woman bellowing out a deliberately bad version of “the star spangled banner”. this movie is an audio and visual torture session. the CIA should just play this movie on loop at guantanamo if they want people to really crack. don’t worry if you missed it, because she make everyone, including the credits, stop and start over again; this opening scene is only a taste of what’s to come. i was already checking my watch and realized i was in for a rough time.
our titular character is a “dork” aka a ripped guy with glasses. despite this reality, everyone around him keeps trying to push him around like he couldn’t just crush their heads with a well timed judo punch. a bird takes a dump on a newspaper clipping about agnew. wow. social commentary. the professor reads about bird pecking order as a rich landlord in a limo with the license plate “owl” (who delights in taking mustache-twirling actions against his renters such as: calling them racial slurs, hitting them, sexually abusing them, stealing money from their boobs, etc.) abuses his driver, brewster.
cutting edge stuff.
the radio announces the murder of the aforementioned lady who is apparently the singer at the astrodome? do people not have ears in this universe? i don’t mean this in like a cinemasins “HEH PLOTHOLE” kind of way, but more bewilderment at the truly off-putting, grotesque world the movie is trying to build in front of me. i dont want it. i don’t want to be here. go away mr. altman.
the shittiest song you’ve ever heard in your life plays as the old man is lifelessly rolled down a hill after pointing a gun at brewster and getting shid and farded on by a bird.
a flashback to the death of the national anthem singer reveals that she died wearing the wizard of oz ruby slippers for no reason. as “somewhere over the rainbow” faintly plays, a bird shits on her shoes. how irreverent! take that “hollywood”.
shelley duvall is in this movie, thank god, and she is somewhat charming acting as brewster’s ACTUAL love interest (until she realizes he’s batshit crazy), as opposed to the screeching intrusive orgasm-haver that invades his living space over the astrodome. “hot lips” has been skulking around various locations stealing things and being sexually attractive. a detective from the exotic locale of “san fransisco” arrives. another bird shit-related murder of a racist occurs, this time its an off-duty cop who beats up his wife, emotionally batters his kid and then tries to start shit with brewster over a camera.
the detective discovers that brewster stole a book from the racist old man after he killed him. a book from the old man’s “brothers”.
the first actual joke happens in this movie at 31 mins in.
brewster’s supernatural………….mom??????? aka hot lips shows up and takes off all her clothes and bathes this grown man with a sponge bath. according to her, brewster’s quest for his wings is also his quest to preserve his virginity and purity, since if he comes in contact with a sexually interested woman he will become tainted and bad and stuck on this gay earth without any magic. love this movie’s heart-warming message!
but uh oh! shelley duvall is soooooo pure compared to La Horny Llarona. when brewster tries to steal duvall’s car she just brushes it off and offers very sweetly and lightly to drive him where-ever he wants because she’s soooo quirky. 🙂 i have no idea what these women see in him since he is explicitly disinterested to the point of seeming like he might be slamming xannies. like, when she asks if hes going to kiss her he says “i don’t know how” in a flat tone one might use in therapy when recalling how you used to rip the wings off flies as a kid. mom runs interference with the cops making sure brewster can’t be arrested for his murders of scumbags. serial killer moms really are on another level.
the car chase happens and fellas, it’s not exciting. its just like the rest of this movie: loud. a guy does drive through a wall of cardboard boxes though. that’s pretty cool. just kidding that’s lame as shit. i’ve seen literally any martial arts movie where they smash each other over the head with florescent bulbs and drive into walls of bulbs. you gotta work way harder to impress me!!!
it ends with the detective killing himself after getting in a mildly inconvenient car accident. me too, dude.
brewster and shelley duvall have the traditional post-car chase sex, taking brewster’s magical virginity; immediately after having sex for the first time brewster tells her that he’s going to be with her forever. men are the worst. hot lips mommy has a problem with brewster seeing other women and tsks-tsks over his sexual exploration. however, when she finds out that it wasnt just SEX and he LOVES shelley duvall, mom squawks like a heart broken bird and leaves the astrodome presumably forever due to brewster losing his inherent magical spirit to those yucky dream-ruining sluts. how can mom stay 5 steps ahead of the cops, but she can’t cock (hehehe hahaha hhoohoho) block her bird son. its because women are duplicitous disgusting creatures naturally. i hate this movie dude. this second watch isn’t doing it a single favor.
shelley duvall squeals on brewster after he spills his whole insane plan to use his magic bird mom’s advice to create wings to fly in order to escape his serial killings. she and her ex-boyfriend, a low-level government employee who hasn’t mattered at all, are spotted by brewster while making out very close to his astrodome home (poor planning on her part). unfortunately, they’re spotted and spot brewster while he’s wearing his goofy ass looking wing machine. it’s awkward for everyone.
brewster takes flight as another shitty, corny song takes over the soundtrack. what could have been a technically impressive moment is really undercut by this school house rock ass music.
brewster starts to screech and freak out like a bird. turns out flying is harder than it looks when you’re coated in the weighty sins of eve or whatever. he stalls out and plummets, dying on impact. uh. i guess there were people in the stands. despite the camera showing moments before that the place was completely empty except for the cops rolling in. but now there’s a crowd here to clap in an ironic fashion at brewster’s splatfest. how ironic that he chose to do this the day of the circus! and that everyone watched him fly and fall screaming to his death and managed to keep themselves contained until they saw a clown.
miserable film. some real misogyny 101 shit. lot of making me think about how this says much about society. blech! the ending would have been shocking and upsetting in literally any other movie or if it happened to a character that didn’t come off as a jeff dahmer’s apprentice.
ah, oh shit the trial’s starting. okay. uh, your honor. we plead guilty.