as always: major spoilers ahoy
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.
ok. bye. see you next time.
2 thoughts on “justifying my own bloodborne iceberg p2”
these posts are amazing, and have clarified some things for me that i was apparently too dumb to understand on my own. also you’re 100% correct about the chalice dungeon bosses. i lost years off my life on that defiled amygdala fight. i was on >ng+7 and it still took me probably twenty tries. i finally got it with a couple of good blasts from a call beyond and then just darting in to whack her with the kirkhammer. yharnam was SO easy by comparison. but i’d still rather do defiled amygdala than the goddamn fight with logarius.
great post! i’m so sorry that you went through the whole chalice dungeon process, i had to give up at some point then came back months later with PS+ and it took me like a few hours at most using dungeon codes to get the plat. my memories of getting obliterated by the pthumerian descendant come rushing back, specifically the one room filled with pillars ayayay