one way the fromsoft team has historically tried to tie plot threads together is by using color to indicate connections that are otherwise not outright stated for the audience. sometimes, these connections are so obtuse that its not until the game is datamined that it becomes clear what the fuck the color was even trying to communicate. trying to track colors and their usage in bloodborne is a huge pain in the ass. i’ve done my best to pick out some that stick out in my mind significant either for their ubiquitous nature or how annoying/weird they are.
let’s look at these beautiful colors together…be a rainbow shrimp with me…
crazy to imagine, but the game called “blood”borne has a lot of reds in it. let’s check ’em out.
arcane curse red
i have yet to discuss the properties of blood in yharnam that lead to the creation of arcane curse. it does arcane damage just like the blue version, but it’s red. found only in castle cainhurst and associated items.
arcane magic red
counterpart to arcane magic blue, but not associated with castle cainhurst. the hues here are more inconsistent and i’m wobbly about including the witch of hemwick’s AOE attack.
a handful of church doctors outside of amelia’s boss room have a stick shaped like the hunter’s mark. if they poke you with it, you get your first taste of the frenzy status effect. you won’t like it. while ebrietas is not the source of the healing church’s blood supply, she DOES spit frenzy inducing blood. she might supply them with their frenzy stick….aura.
rapid poison red
it’s the “bleed” status from dark souls and also the frenzy status from this game, but weaker. when your rapid poison bar fills up, you lose a percentage of your health. rapid poison is associated with pthumerian corpses or vileblood.
confederate summon red
spots where you summon allies for boss rights typically have an orangish hue to help them stand out from lanterns. however, if you are wearing your “impurity” rune, you can summon your confederates from the league to help you out! their color is red.
sinister bell red
when a “sinister” type bell is rung by the bell ringing woman, it summons either an enemy hunter (in online play) or a weird red construct that resembles a mob type enemy. ahhh its so sinister. the image on the right is giving bloodborne veterans heart palpitations from rage/terror.
it’s blood and it’s red. some blood isn’t red. vile/old/beast blood is. the blood of great ones is red. most of the blood is red.
red eye buff
there are two kinds of red eye buffs. one is to signal that the enemy will drop a vermin after death. the other is to let the player know that this enemy is stronger than the others. it might have super armor or the power to buff other enemies’ attacks.
rally potential red
you’re going to have to trust me and this youtube guy when we say this is what this does because i can’t find proof of this shit anywhere outside of hacked chalice dungeons (?). this extremely rare aura on this enemy means they can rally their health back the way the hunter can. i had seen this called “vampirism” before when it was misunderstood to be them stealing your health and not using the rally mechanic.
one thing to keep in mind when looking at all of these reds and oranges is that these colors were likely chosen so that they would stick out against the dark blues and purples of the environments. what we’re looking for is mostly visual consistency in HOW these colors are used to tie threads together.
you know what fire is.
the orange light of fucking get you
for whatever reason, the brain of mensis emits a bright orange light when you’re in its line of sight. this might just be a case of a nice color to contrast the purples of the nightmare.
ashen blood orange
the bloodletting beast has a unique blood color that’s really only noticeable in good light. very rusty! all the other beast blood is dark. nothing like this at all. diarrhea blood lol
summon me orange
the average, non-unique summon spot color. seems to be orange so you can differentiate it from the purple glow of lanterns from afar.
summon you orange
the strange teleportation bath in yahar’gul has a color very similar to the orange of the summon spots. this is another instance of a color that appears once. but the connection is similar enough i should mention it. and yet…different enough…who knows.
healing church orange
the beasts associated with the healing church can do an unusual move to restore their HP or to mend the limbs you “break” (allowing you to break them again for another big hit). amelia’s animation makes it the most clear that it’s an act of prayer. the bloodletting beast seems to be huffing something up off the ground. blood? its always blood, lets just say its blood.
probably the second most consequential color in the game. where red indicates the presence of beasts and blood, blue will signal the arcane and cosmic.
arcane magic blue
the counterpart to red arcane magic. still does arcane damage. the difference is aesthetic/plot/origin.
this overlaps a lot with arcane magic blue. the only real distinction is that the blue color comes from specific cosmic entities, like exploding stars or meteors. as you can see the best strategy is running and screaming.
madman wallar blue
in order to communicate to the player that you can summon wallar in addition to another companion of your choosing, his summon sign is a bizarre take on the arcane blue. it’s unique to him. they should name the pantone after him.
the famous blue sparks from loran that captivated archibald. likely a result from the dry, desert air. kin hate this shit. zzzzzap!
fuck your entire life blue
the colors are similar enough to lump them together and they’re both equally bullshit in different ways. there’s a few enemies with this specific, weird, ring of binding magic. it’s tremendously annoying and comes from a variety of sources, such as a spell being cast or a baby crying. seems to be pthumerian in origin. brainsuckers love to use this from 500 ft away, and then takes his sweet ass time running up on you before subjecting you to a 30 second animation you will feel every single second of.
the other is the very rare, very stupid chalice dungeon warp trap.
been here blue
messengers in the chalice dungeons (and in the nightmare frontier, oddly enough) will light their little lantern after you enter a room to let you know you’ve been this way. thanks fellas.
my theory is that the ones you find in the nightmare frontier were removed from the loran labyrinth during the school of mensis’ exploration of both areas. it’s very easy to get lost in the nightmare, it makes sense why they’d want to use this free tech they were familiar with.
while the celestial emissary bosses do not drop blue elixir, their mob counterparts do in the chalice dungeons. the blue-eyed werewolves from the orphanage (where the celestial emissary boss is located) also have a small chance of dropping the mysterious “blue elixir”.
what if it was purple!!!!
slow poison purple
try to avoid breathing this in if you can. fart gas.
a mysterious color. and not the only lantern to shine with it; the church servants carry one around that looks like it came from the labyrinth. not sure what to make of it, to be honest.
blood echo purple
enemy eyes will glow purple to indicate if they’ve picked up your blood echoes, requiring you to defeat them to get them back. this is nearly the same purple from the lanterns. weird!
ludwig’s pals from back in the day were given an unusual fate in the hunter’s nightmare. since they were all tomb prospectors, i think its fair to assume they picked some weird shit up down there. however, they glow and use magic with a unique purple color that rings like a bell. i assume all this shit was done specifically to annoy me personally because of how little it matches anything else.
black, white, and everything in between. so, uh, gray.
nightmare mist black
lmfao sorry for how itty-bitty the pic in the middle is. that’s the messenger’s gift in action, which is the item that defines what this stuff is. you’ll see it when attacking mergo’s wet nurse in lieu of blood (indicating she is a construct of the nightmare, evidently) and when you travel via a headstone.
white laser of explode now
corpse fire white
appears only in yahar’gul after the blood moon rises. inexplicably rings like a bell when you get close. your guess is as good as mine.
“it’s not cum” white
its spit. arcane spit.
kin blood grey
its hard to see this shit spewing out while the hunter is in the middle of trying to squish this bug, but its that murky shit in the center of the frame. possibly mercury? possibly not.
for the stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else.
this is the only green of significance i know of in the entire game. a long running reference to the unique seafoam hue this sword has in every fromsoft game.
fucked up fire blue
i could not even BEGIN to try to tell you what the fuck this is. it only appears when you have 15 or more insight, like the eyeballs on the lanterns these guys use. there’s only two of these guys in the game and this fire appears nowhere else. the fuck!
bell-ringing buff red/bell-ringing attack purple
the red robed bell-ringing pthumerian women from the one reborn fight will buff him over and over unless you take them out first. they’re the only ones with this ability and i have no idea what they’re doing. conversely, the chalice dungeon versions have a weird purple AOE that iirc drains your health. these are unique. i dont know why they do that.
what the fuck red
when the snatcher/kidnapper enemies are at 75% health, they will suddenly stop, scream like a velociraptor, glow red, and then start kicking the shit out of you 3x as hard and fast. i don’t know. its scary.