Five Souls One Fox: A Souls Series Playthrough (Bloodborne spoliers abound!)


#98

Okay who took this video of me getting snuck up on while playing Bloodborne show yourself!


#99

After Gascoine you make your way into Oedon Chapel. It’s not a long walk but you do find both a weird sewer area that you will later come back to to do genuinely horrible things, and find a lore note in a library so that’s nice. Also yes this game has lore notes but there’s about ten or so and almost of all them say something cryptic about the moon or some kind of cosmic horror the world is not prepared so really your typical office post it note. It’s in the chapel proper that you find a nameless fellow who looks very creepy but asks you to help people find there way to the chapel. This is in almost all ways the inverse of the clinic. Here it’s a sinister looking man (There’s some discussion on the internet about this characters gender but almost exclusively from shitheads and as far as I can tell male is all that was ever intended on the games part) associated with the obviously bad because this is a video game church who looks vaguely monstrous. He actually does just want to help and if you get all the people you can to the chapel he even asks you to be his friend. Over the course of the game you bring in something of an island of misfit toys of the people discarded by the society of Yharnam. An old women worn down by the horrors of the hunt, a sex worker (henceforth called Arianna as I realized as I am writing this that in this first paragraph that I have only called her the sex worker which is dehumanizing and shitty of me and that I need to edit this to fix that) openly disrespected by many in the game, and the man who lives across the street from Arianna who honestly is just kind of an obstinate ass but not enough of one that I’m going to send him off to be turned into a blue mushroom alien. This is another one of the themes of the game, it’s not as major a theme as the primary theme of What If The Catholic Church Was Bad Actually? But it’s one I appreciate. Bloodborne, more often than not is as interested if not more so in the way the downtrodden are effected by all this rather than the simple guilt of those that have brought this down on them. It will happily so you show you both no doubt but it understands that the reason to care is not the joy of righteous condemnation of the wrongdoers but the effect they have on people. It wants to show you that the cleric beast and Gascoine turn in to monsters but it wants to make sure you know how that effects Gascoine’s family, it wants you to know how the church’s doctrine looks down on Arianna and where that leads, it wants you to see how Eileen the Crow hunts other hunters in the hopes people like you won’t have to, and how this all wears down on people like the old women and that jackass who lives across the street from Arianna. Now once you get down talking to this guy and light the lamp that is the hub for the area. There’s two immediate paths to take, one that goes forward and eventually works as a shortcut to the boss of Cathedral Ward, and one to the left that takes you to Old Yharnam and to a gate that you can open by buying a special emblem from the messengers store in The Hunters Dream for about 10,000 blood echoes. Normally I would say skip this and just the back way around as there’s plenty of useful stuff on the other path and the you’ll get a ton of echoes but beating the boss of Cathedral Ward nets you access to the DLC and I wanted to use the pizza cutter weapon so I needed to get into the DLC sooner so rather than later so for now Old Yharnam can wait.

Cathedral Ward is a less dense version of Central Yharnam. The main difference is the narrowness of the streets and some changes to the architecture. There’s a lot more gates and archways plus some increasingly tentacled statues. This is where it starts to add in a bit of variety into the enemies as well, there’s still your DWHVLAAIVAs, your dogs, and your big troll dudes. But here it adds the pale skinned giants, church servants. The giants as you might expect are a variation of the trolls with slow attacks but can’t be parried as easily instead requiring you to strike them in a certain spot as they attack which is not a thing I knew you could do until I read it on a wiki just now. The church servants are interesting more in how they change as you gain insight. As your insight climbs they can magic attacks and the ones withs scythes and wooden stakes both have their weapons glow and and become more powerful. This is about the extant to which insight makes the game harder believe it or not despite some claims it does more past about 15 insight it really just adds things like visible creatures in the background and babies crying randomly. The last enemy to be introduced here is the Brainsucker which is legally distinct from the Mindflayer of D&D fame and also the Mind Flayer of Demon’s Souls fame! They are squid-like humanoids that walk up to you much like the Mind Flayers and the hooded ones even have similar stun attacks and I also hate them but more so later on. This is also where the judgmental jackass and Arianna is introduced I’ve already summed up both of them more or less but I’ll touch on Arianna here a bit more and ask, why is this women of the night as the game calls her living right outside the Cathedral? Is sex work legal? If so why is that dude such an ass? What’s up with that nun we meet later? Why is she so self defacing? So many questions few of them answered. The main things to not are that the sinister looking man seems entirely fine with her, everyone else being some kind of a dick to her. And that I will do a very bad thing to her later to get the, well, not the good ending this game doesn’t have one of those but the true ending. Of the course of wondering this area you may find a path down that ends in a dead end with a man behind the door that asks for a password. To get said password you have to kill the boss of this area in the great cathedral and to do that you’ll want to open the shortcut gates which you would almost have to try to miss so let’s get to it:

Vicar Amelia

You find her first kneeling in front of an altar (to what you ask? We’ll get there) with a skull on it. If you stand far enough away you can hear her praying about the old blood and how without fear death would go unmorned and What If The Catholic Church Was Bad Actually? Walk into the arena proper and she turns into a giant screaming dog nightmare. This is more or less the Cleric Beast fight but has a few twists. One the arena is bigger, which might sound like a plus but actually gives the boss more space to dodge away from you and attack you. Two if you let her get far enough away she can heal herself for a good bit of HP which I have rarely seen happen as I just never let her get far enough away from me. And three she does all of this while SCREAMING THE ENTIRE GOD DAMN TIME. It’s a good fight and a fantastic design on the boss herself . She’s draped in What is more interesting here is the story. First things first I’ll eat your brain~wait that’s later the first thing after the fight is you examine the skull on the altar which appears to be the skull of a beast much like the one you just killed and an actual cutscene plays for the first and I think last time in the game and here you learn the password and the origins of the church when a man who’s skull you just picked up, named Laurence, who was a student/scholar at the university of Byrgenwerth (Which I somehow spelled right on my first try so go me) parted ways with the university to use the power of the blood to found the healing church with the best on intentions. Before he goes a man in a chair reminds him to “Fear the old blood” which is the password you need to make your way past the door and to Byrgenwerth yourself. And the other thing is Amelia herself. Who is a very high ranking official in the church, if not the last one, who was clearly just hanging out out here waiting to hulk out into that dog beast. At this point you’ve likely heard something from someone about how the night always ends but you can likely figure from the fact the lady dog pope just went mad that this night is not like the others. It’s around now that the cosmic horror shoe drops as you likely figured out from the straight up Cthulu looking statues along the sides of the entryway into the cathedral and the like, whole vibe around here really

Once I was done with all that I just ran into the DLC real quick to grab the Whiligig saw but more on that later. Instead we shall move onto Old Yharnam. To get there you head out the left path of Oedon Chapel like you do to just pay your way into the Cathedral Ward proper but just keep going straight. You’ll find your way into a mausoleum that for reasons hides a path to a long abandoned part of Yharnam (It was at this point I realized I could just add Yharnam to my spell check dictionary BTW) but prior to that You’ll meet Alfred who is a church hunter of a sort who is looking for a group called The Vilebloods who are basically vampires. He’s also the only character in the game I can recall that has an actual conversation trees of sorts. He might actually be the only NPC in the series that has one actually. And at the moment he seems like a nice enough guy with a noble enough cause and you can tell where that is leading. After that you pull a lever make your way down the stairs, get accosted by a werewolf in a dark room and find another lamp. Now here things pickup everything prior to this is just filler to get here so there space makes some amount of sense in context. On the door out you find a worn note that tells you the beasts here are a danger to none and that you should turn back. This is true and good advice but we are not here to do the right thing we are here to murder and the ethics of the players actions in video games are a lie anyways and I’m not going to feel bad about playing a game that is a character study of human assholeishness. As you enter a hunter named Djura asks you one more time to leave. I did not. Here you find beasts more advanced in the scourge just chilln’ basically. They are still quite happy to attack you as you walk past though as is Djura with his gatling gun who will fire at you when ever you’re in eye sight sometimes shooting exploding urns, though oddly I am not sure I’ve ever seen him hit a beast in the process. There’s also a quite well hidden secret room here that gives you some armor that resists fire and gives you a bit of info about the fires that were used to try and purge the beasts down here. None of this explains the burning crosses but hey it’s no graffiti scrawled in blood. Not far outside that room you find an unnamed NPC hunter that is either turning into a beast or just working with Djura which I bring up as I belive this is the first time you face an enemy hunter Eventually you find you way past all that and hit the first boss of this area:

Djura

Okay so he’s not really a boss but he’s way harder than most real bosses and I want an excuse to cover the basics of these hunter fights. The main things that make these fights so hard is that they have all your skills with all your power with no real stamina or bullet limits and a limited number of vials. Due to all of that these fights are way harder and can feel unfair and people hate them. I love them. The PVP has never really worked for me outside of a brief period in Dark Souls the first and this is a taste of what the PVP was like before it was taken over by Souls obsessives that live to ruin your day and hackers galore. He moves fast, he hits hard, and he can even parry you. It’s all a bit like the Gascoine fight but optional and thus less of a roadblock. Assuming he doesn’t dodge off the edge of the roof which is how I always beat him, this time included. Sorry Djura it’s still a win

After that you find a church, roll initiative! Jesus rolls a natural 20 he moves first! I think he cheats. Doesn’t matter turns out it’s not Jesus this time it’s a semi skinned beast with the skin on it’s back stretched out over the front of it like a cloak strung up on a cross dangling from a chandelier. It’s all very subtle. What is actually very subtle is that embossed on this altar is images of the final boss of the game. Sort of. If you squint really hard at the textures. According to the wiki. There’s also theories that the beast up there is in fact the same type of creature as the final boss but the lore page on the wiki that tries to explain it reads like me trying to explain quantum physics to someone after taking a bit too much cold medicine by mistake and tries to tie it all into Norse mythology so I don’t put a lot of stock in it. Past this you unlock a shortcut, then you actually unlock another one not too far past that but you do have to figure out it’s even a shortcut to begin with so that’s fine. There’s actually a path here that you can use only if you take out Amelia first, and in doing so it let’s you talk to Djura without him getting hostile but if you go into the area he warns you not to go into the normal way in he still goes hostile so I opted to take the normal path and typing this all out I realized something about the structure of this world and what that says about the beasts trapped here and I’ll get to that later. This second part of the area is really just more of Yharnam so there’s not much to say before you get to the fourth church in this section of the write up alone and fight the real boss:

Blood Starved Beast

Something I have failed to mention thus fair is that basically every boss for the first two thirds of the game is the one that drives everyone away before the games difficulty dives off a cliff. This one is the main one I have heard about amongst people I know. I have never actually found this boss all that hard though. Don’t get me wrong the boss is fast and you can’t always tell what it’s about to do, but the thing that really makes this fight hard is all the noise. The music that plays is distressing as all hell and the sounds the boss itself makes are even worse. Every scream, every screech of its claws dragging on the ground or the air. It is cacophonous at any volume and the game sets most of the sound effects in the moment to moment a tad low so you keep the speakers up just a bit higher than you normally would. This is in many ways the true core of Bloodborne’s horror, pure sensory overload in a way that is hard to do in other mediums. It’s not purely unique to games, nothing truly is in my view frankly, but this is one of it’s strengths and Bloodborne uses it exceedingly well. The fight itself isn’t all that different from the prior fights just a little faster, the main gimmick here is that the boss can poison you with slow poison which works more or less the same as it did in prior games. It’s main threat is that due to the smaller health bar in Bloodborne and how slow it ticks down your health means you are likely to forget it’s draining in the first place. I actually died right after killing the boss from the poison but luckily the boss stayed dead and I didn’t have to fight it again

With the blood starved beast out of the way there’s a few things that open up but I was hopiong to have this write up out two days ago so instead I shall cover those next time! For now:

Stray Thoughts

There’s this weird side hallway in Cathedral Ward that was likely going to be a shortcut to the next section but was cut when they added the back way in via Old Yharnam, Now it just has a bloodgem at the end in a chest

There’s also what appears to be a crater from an explosion in this area and I have no idea what that’s from

There’s a whole page on the Bloodborne wiki about how the game ties into tarot cards and I can’t tell if it’s a thing the game is actually doing or another example of how incredibly vague tarot cards are lending themselves to just applying them to anything

According to the Wiki Djura is the German equivalent of the name George so, there you go?


#100

Who will win me or this one screamy horsey?!?!

The Horse. The Horse always wins. The Horse always wins, the Horse always screams. The Horse never stops screaming IT NEVER STOPS SCREAMING

Summary

This video is just a test to see how long a video upload would take on my internet and the answer is 5+ hours so do not expect anymore videos out of me


#101

Still have not beaten Ludwig

It’s been four days

Please

Let it end

(Without me having to do any of the sensible things I could do to make this fight way easier like just bringing in help or leveling to a point where I can do more damage to him)


#102

Asking because this happened to me - have you checked that you don’t have significant input lag? I spent a day dying to Ludwig until I realized I always dodge a bit too late, and once I changed my TV picture settings to Game, the lag stopped and I took him out in one try.


#103

I wish but alas, no. I am on a monitor with sub 3ms input lag


God I'm Bored: A God of War Series Playthrough Thread [Spoilers] [See CW In First Post]
#104

Help honestly doesn’t change much for Ludwig, can even make it more stressful if you wanna help Valtyr survive so you can finish his quest in singleplayer.

My own downfall with Ludwig was getting too aggressive in his first phase. His massive health bar make sit very tempting to keep trying for those extra hits just to make it feel like you’re making progress, but it really is bets to just get in what you can safely then Back The Fuck Away.

Other than that, it’s worth making a note of the spot around his rump that pops for an easy stun a burst of damage. And when he jumps up to the ceiling, you’re best off just running rather than trying to time a dodge. So long as you’re sprinting, and you don’t try to make a turn, he should miss you. You might have gathered that though.

At least his second phase is more predictable. Hits like a truck though. Best advice for that bit would be to run TOWARDS him when he points his sword upwards, if you’re a certain distance away he’s pretty much guaranteed to kill you with it. Again though, you might have gathered that already.


#105

After a few optional areas I’m gonna jump into the DLC again myself on stream and tbh Ludwig frightens me; he’s just got such a vicious and unpredictable attack pattern in his first form.
I feel like every time I’ve beat him I’ve summoned online or npc folks, and even that does not exactly trivialise the fight.
It’s a cool fight but the difficulty spike is kind of severe, wish you luck.
I wanna try it solo when it comes to it too.


#106

I have reached the point where I can get him to half consistently so I more or less have him down it just took a while and I’ve beaten him three times


#107

First a bit of NPC round up, after after Amelia you can encounter Eileen The Crow outside of the Chapel and she tells you her next mark is in the Tomb below the chapel and says not to go there as it’s her hunt not yours. So obviously to continue the quest you need to go there and help. There you find a hunter named Henryk (Implied to be Gascoine’s hunting partner) who attacks you on site having gone mad presumably after finding Gascoine’s corpse. There’s two versions of this encounter in one he is already engaged in combat with Eileen which is the intended version as far as I know but sometimes she just spawns in too far away from Henryk for him to engage with her and so you start the fight and she hops in as you drag Henryk closer to her. If you get the first one you can either hop into help Eileen or hope she takes care of it herself. She most likely won’t but it can happen. However if she dies her questline ends here and while you do get her stuff you miss out on, well, one version of the questline let’s say. If you do help you have to be careful not to hit her too many times by mistake as she will aggro on you. After that she thanks you for the help but tells you that hunters should beasts and to leave the hunting of hunters to her. After Amelia you also find Alfred again but not much is going on with him so whatever. Now for the first of the side areas we will cover today let’s go to the left of the Grand Cathedral to:

Hemwick Charnel Lane

To get here you first must go through a long ravine of forested area filled with guys with guns and dogs that try to maul you that is reused note for note in Dark Souls III and find yourself at the only bonfire in the area past that. This section seems to be some sort of farm area and is mostly populated by old women with farm equipment who seem to be the only normal enemies inflicted with the Scourge who are also women (not entirely true actually but again, we’ll get there) which is a bit weird as is killing a bunch of old farm ladies in general but they will murder you quick so I would be lying if I said I lost sleep over it. This level is actually a pretty linear as far as things go, though it’s a nice look at a more rural area in Yharnam and makes so good use of Vistas to show off a secret area and hint at how you can get there. Which is also something Dark Souls III does but in a way that feels less cheap than the gun an’ dogs bit. The main thing this level does is make me wonder why there’s a rural farming community behind the Grand Cathedral, and like most of the side areas in the game there’s not quite as much going on here as in the main areas though that’s not to say it’s just filler. It’s just not adding a lot to the game that really needs to be discussed here so onwards to the boss

The Witch Of Hemwick

This is a weird fight. It plays out a bit like the first Gargoyle fight in the first Dark Souls or the Maneater fight in Demon’s Souls. Basically there’s a witch in the arena who you can’t see until you get close to her at which point you can lock on and hit her. Get her health down far enough and a second one shows up. As you do this they summon in Mad Ones, tall people armed with sickles with long matted hair with bright white eyes. They don’t pose too much of a threat as long as you keep away from them and don’t let the boss get it’s stun attack off at which point they can slit your throat for massive damage as though you were an enemy crab. But there’s a few catches to this fight that most people won’t really see. One: The witches can bring each other back to life. This isn’t a huge deal as they only come back at 20% health and you can deal that fairly quick if you’re careful. Two: in co op only the host player can reveal the witches by standing near them, though you can still hit them while they’re invisible. And three: if you go in with no insight at all they can’t even summon in The Mad Ones meaning you would almost have to go out of your way to fail the fight though the Witches can still kill you. This isn’t an especially though fight but it’s one I like

After that there’s still two areas to go to. One you get to via the same method as the DLC but in a different place, OR. ORRRRR! You can get kidnapped and get taken to Gaol! Let’s do that:

Hypogean Gaol

To get here you have to go up to one of the tall pale church looking dudes with big canvas sacks and get killed by them. This can be by accident or on purpose if you just really want to get there though this area is not skippable fully you will come here later regardless of rather or not you get tossed here now but you’ll come back to it in a very different context. For now you’ll wakeup in a jail cell (Gaol is the old English word for jail and is pronounced the same way [according to the wiki]) with no lamp nearby to warp away with. In this area you can either go out the main door and find a lamp and the boss or go behind your cell and find an NPC, Adella The Nun. You find her behind some vases in the basement of the basement of this gaol and is freaking the fuck out. She won’t even talk to you if you aren’t wearing some church clothing but if you are she gives you an item that gives you insight which looks like a skull in your inventory which is odd, and then after that she asks if there’s somewhere she can go. If she can just walk out of this gaol at any moment I’m not sure why she hadn’t already done that but whatever. Here’s the thing, she seems quite nice, she is not. If you send her to the church and take too much blood from Arianna she gets jealous and kills her because women am I right?!? (I never said the game was a feminist paragon, I just said it was better than Dark Souls II) And will eventually try to kill you outside the church. I do sort of like the way it frames Arianna’s death as unjust and a part of the church’s own hypocrisy but I could do without the dead sex worker trope and wonder if maybe it wouldn’t have been better done by making Adella’s character male but that has it’s own issues. All in all I opted to send her to the clinic instead of the chapel so here is where her story ends for this playthrough. After that there’s a bit you can do in this area but not a ton. I lot of it is sealed off until you beat Rom an upcoming boss at which point a lot about the level changes anyways. The main things to note are that this is one of the few areas in the series that has full music playing in that background at all times complete with creepy chanting. What it’s setting up is that on top of the church and hunters there’s a third faction of sorts within the church that consists of cultists in the more traditional cosmic horror bent and that they may be the ones who have made everything go even more to shit than is normal for The Hunt, and that they seem to be trying to summon something. All told it’s a pretty sort subsection but creepy as hell and you find weaker versions of The Witch Of Himwick here minus the magic who will sneak up on you from behind corners to stab you a bunch. They are mean. To make you way out of here you can either just warp out via the Lamp as the game won’t stop you or take out the boss:

Dark Beast Paarl

This boss is one of two things: 1) hard as hell, or 2) easy as fuck. If you want the hard version try to dodge away from it and get smashed a whole bunch by it’s super fast claw swipes. For the easy version just dodge under it and land a charge attack to get off a visceral attack and repeat in a stun lock. I went for the latter. There’s not a whole lot going on here really but the boss does look cool as hell. It’s a skeletal beast still draped in fur and seemingly kept alive by some sort of magical electricity that it can discharge in an AOE attack. It’s one of the few undead enemies in the game outside of the Chalice Dungeons (we’ll get there I promise) and while not a super memorable fight it’s a fine one. And if you go here before Old Yharnam you can take the back way to Djura and befriend him instead of killing him! Which I did not do.

Okay so on to the last of the side areas for this sub section. To get there however you need to go up to one of the NPC doors in the game and be given a tonsil stone by a man who wasn’t in the building before, who tells you to go the right of the grand cathedral to be taken somewhere or something. Head there and you’ll find a small hallway area with a few buildings that I assume are church libraries or something but there’s also two hunters back here and good luck with that if you aggro two at once. Past that you get to another building that eventually takes you back to the gaol but for now that door is closed and instead you get picked up by a giant spider monster with too many eyes that does huge damage to you and sends you to:

The Lecture Building

This is actually not the main area we’re here for today but it does answer a question that we will be asking later. Now as you get warped here you’ll hear the voice of the man that gave you the stone that looks an awful lot like the thing that grabbed you and you’ll think, “Oh this guy is like the Patches of this game” and yes, literally. This guy is Patches. He is Patches The Spider. He is a big ass spider, with the head of Patches. It is The Worst. But you can’t kill him yet and maybe shouldn’t as he shows up in chalice dungeons to sell you stuff if you let him live for now. As for the rest of this area what you’re here to do is find some items including the first real spell in the game, the Augur of Ebrietas, which summons tentacles (Had to be real careful on the spell check on that one let me tell you) that strike out at about half the range of a pistol and can also parry. But it’s slower and calls for high Arcane to use so unless you know it’s here you’re unlikely to be able to use it. It also suggests the existence of a hidden boss in the game with its item description (Fun Fact: I have not talked about item descriptions much over the course of this because I don’t really read them all that much). I think you also find a key here but I can’t remember what for so let’s move on to:

The Nightmare Frontier

Imagine a world, filled with even more gravestones than normal Yharnam, hard to picture I know but that’s what we have here. It’s a strange area in that it’s both really cool and a bit dull? The sky box here is gorgeous with hints of green and blue and does a good job of showing off the slight chromatic aberration effect the game has going on. The level also makes great use of things off in the distance like sunken ships below the clouds floating underneath the island you’re standing on and the final level of the game off in the distance. In terms of what you’re actually doing here you want to get to the island below you as you walk out of the cave Patches spawns you in (Next to a lamp for conveniences sake) with the main obstacles being the bell ringing maiden who summons in other players to attack you, a swamp filled with leeches, and a few Winter Lanterns. Winter Lanterns are the most horrifying of the normal enemies in Bloodborne. They are walking brains that inflict a status effect called frenzy that builds up a meter and when that meter fills your brain explodes and does huge damage to you. And the way you know where they are without walking into them is they walk back and forth, singing to themselves and it is a horror trope as old as time and fuck it’s scary as hell. The way they can more or less kill you without any way to fight back does sort of break the Dark Souls fair play rule but also that’s the point, and they don’t ever block anything you need to do. I think. Look as I write this I’ve been trying to kill Ludwig (the almost literally dead Catholic church horse I was talking about earlier) and all I can recall about this game anymore is constant screaming and maybe a bit of crying. Something this level captures very well is that dreamlike sense of taking forever to get through before you realize it was actually only a few minutes. The whole thing takes place in an area smaller then Central Yharnam but feels like it takes forever. It’s not an area that left much of an impression the first time I went through it as I first found it right before the end of the game and the enemies found here are easy as hell at later levels so the only thing that really puts you at risk is the poison swamp, and a poison swamp isn’t really that interesting on it’s own. My mind is too broken for segways so heres the boss write up:

Amygdala

This fight is actually rather similar to the Ludwig fight in some ways. It’s a very large enemy that is prone to instant death combos. Unlike Ludwig this boss isn’t super fast and constantly screaming like a newborn who’s just found out about climate change. The main sort of gimmick here is that to actually damage the boss you can’t really just swing at it’s body only it’s arms and head are vulnerable (and a bit of it’s crotch which while funny is not especially useful with most weapons) so you either need a weapon with a large overhead swing or wait for it’s attacks to bring it’s head down. And oh what a head it is. It’s a sort of brain like cage with eyes on the inside (it also looks like another part of human anatomy but I already used up my crotch joke for the day) and looks like the unholy spawn of a spider and an earwig AKA all the worst things. I actually quite like this fight here but it pops up latter in the chalice dungeons and it’s a nightmare for Reasons but for now it’s a tough fight that plays fair, is creepy as hell, and doesn’t really give you a whole lot as all this was just for a chalice

That’s it for this section and the first half to three fifths of the game! Next up Cainhurst, the clinic, and god damn Ludwig

Stray thoughts

I would be done with Ludwig by now if I just leveled up a bit more but noooooooo I can do it now so I have to. I can’t give up now I’m not a quitter!

There’s a lady who hides around a corner with a knife ready to kill you towards the end of Hemwick and it took three playthroughs of the game before I learned to dodge past her


#108


#109

I have played too many Souls games in the last year. My parakeet just did a fucking dark souls hehehe laugh

Also I’m up through Rom now and just need to do a bit of clean up on some NPC sidequests I want to get out of the way for the next write so expect that probably this weekend


#110

I opened Clip Studio by mistake instead of my writing software so instead of a write up for this I have instead done a painting

Please look forward to my next write up which will be done in the medium of interpretive dance. I look forward to you all joining me in my efforts to make games criticism into true art via increasingly abstract methods of expression that will start out as valid attempts to rethink the way we view the world but will quickly devolve into selling rich people art that makes no sense so that they may donate it to an art museum for the tax write off and/or use it to launder drug money


#111

Context warning for extreme violence and self harm on this one so heads up. The self harm bits are blurred out

Forbidden Woods

So we are going to talk about the bulk of this area in a bit but first we need get through this opening bit of the level. The forbidden woods is largely populated with the same enemies you found in Central Yharnam and is something of a last hurrah for them. There’s a small village a few windmills but for now we are More interested in a cave that works as a back way into Iosefka’s clinic. The cave is off to the left of where you actually need to go and I totally missed it and about three other major areas in the game because of it. In the cave there’s a bunch of the giant pale dudes but this time shirtless so look forward to that in your playthrough and creepy worm things that do a surprising amount of damage with their one attack and are really hard to hit due to there size. They also show up in the Castle Cainhurst courtyard and clip through the ground there in spots making them suck even more. You’ll also find some blood gems of varying levels of usefulness but the main thing we are here for is the ladder back up into Yharnam. The ladder actually takes to a gate that’s right out side the clinic where you start the game but also has back way into the clinic proper

Iosefka’s Clinic

To get in you go around the backway and find a lot of crows that bark like dogs as all crows do and another brain sucker doing it’s thing before finding you way in via a window. Here in the clinic there’s only a few things but it’s important things. You’ll find at least one blue alien mushroom creature which it turns out is actually a person that Iosefka has experimented on (Including the real Iosefka who you find in the same room you start the game in) which would be anyone you sent to the clinic. You also find a summons with your name on it to Cainhurst Castle which allows you to reach the castle via undead horse driven carriage. You’ll also find Fake Iosefka herself on the second floor and she’ll ask you to leave and tell you that there’s clearly no reason to keep up the ruse and ask you to simply leave and nothing about your relation ship need change. Now, if you leave and don’t come back you can keep sending people to her and she will still give you rewards. And if you don’t want to do a Very Bad Thing later this is the best option as she will eventually die and you can get one of the umbilical cords you need to get the true ending. But if you just kill her now you get a rune that gives you bullets every time you pull of a visceral attack and and I was going to do the Very Bad Thing anyways so I went up to take her out

Iosefka

Okay so this fight is basically the fight with Durja but not on a roof. The main difference here is she uses the threaded cane and can also use the Aurger Of Eraibetas (Note to self: Check spelling later but leave note in for comedic purposes) and more devastatingly a spell called A Call Beyond which summons a small cloud of stars that shoots highly damaging beams of light in waves that are hard to dodge. The best way to deal with that is just stay close so she can’t get the spell off or heal herself. If you can do that the fight isn’t too bad and if you can parry her well the fight can be over in about 20 seconds. If not it’s a damn hard fight thanks to her healing and damage output but it’s not the hardest NPC fight in the game stares off into the middle distance

After this I ran off to Castle Cainhurst in the hopes of finding some Blood Stone Chunks with which to upgrade my pizza cutter. To get there you have to go back to Hemwick to the old pathway that has fallen into the sea at which point a cutscene of a horse drawn carriage with no driver shows up and you get to kill the horse by mistake turning the whole carriage into mist and making you wonder if this means you can’t get to the area and if you’ll have to start the whole game over to do this write up but no you’re fine and you just need to reload back into the area and you’re fine

Forsaken Castle Cainhurst

Hey do you like vampires? Bad news you won’t like these. You first find yourself on the dismantled bridge with the carriage behind you but surprise the horses were dead this entire time! Spooky! Inside the courtyard proper you find the lamp and these awful giant tick like creatures that appear to be women infected with some version of the Scourge Of Beasts (Please see Stray Thoughts) and they are awful and I hate them and their weird blood udders. Get into the the castle proper and you find your self surrounded by the ghosts of women with slit throats and bound hands wielding daggers in finely made gowns and y’all it does not get more subtle from here so strap in for a round of What If The Catholic Church Was Bad Actually? To Women! Edition with a side of me wondering what the actual message was and what is From using horror tropes without thinking about it and what is intended commentary. In this opening stairway area you can find a gun sword that has a very German name that is hard to read let alone try to pronounce called the Reiterpallasch (I think it’s German, a google search just brings up the Bloodborne weapon and Zootopia fan fiction. No really). It’s a fun weapon for skill builds but alas my Bloodtinge/Skill build days are behind me now. Soon after you find yourself in the very nice dinning hall where you can find a very nice ballroom gown that you can wear as armor (even if your character is male which is… A thing. That I’m not super fond of but there’s a case to be made for it, though it’s worth noting the game does give men and women different versions of the same armor when it would be less “funny” so while it’s not quite Breath Of The Wild or Dark Souls one levels of transphobia I would put this in the Bad category. From here the level has you climb on some roofs get attacked by some gargoyles as you do and get attacked by some dude cleaning the floors. It’s a shame he clearly was working very hard at it and doing a good job and now there’s blood all over it like everything else in this game but hey what can ya do. Eventually you find your way to the library which surprise has a bunch of hidden pathways behind bookcases! This is extremely my jam I can’t lie. Now as always I struggle here between giving you a blow by blow break down that is functional or more of a summary that gives you a more interesting depiction of the way the level communicates it’s themes via design of various sorts but instead I will just talk about the shit you find here like I am my father excitedly telling you about the Costco coupon book. To get around here you need to first head up to the second floor and very carefully fall out a window onto a smaller ledge and then onto a smaller ledge before falling onto a big ledge that leads into a room that thinking about it has no other way into it which is weird. In this room with no way in you find a glove that that summons spirits of the dead when you get blood on them insert joke about sweatshops here. You also find the knights set here which instead of being metal armor like you would expect it’s noble finery that varies between the two genders the game offers with both being equally impractical in that neither is actually all that impractical. Past this you find the lever you need to get to the top of the roof were you find a wig and no way obvious way forward. There’s no boss just some more gargoyles. But since you had to climb around some ledges you will likely figure out that there’s a near by roof that you can use to get to a nearby section of the castle and this is where you find the boss:

 Martyr Logarius

Okay lore first. Logarius is the leader of the Executioners, a group of presumed church hunters focused on the annihilation of the Vilebloods who’s castle we have been traipsing around this whole time. The Vilebloods were a group of rich assholes who took forbidden blood to make themselves stronger and get closer to the old ones and become immortal. Maybe. I think. Look someone gave me a box of very boozy German chocolates that I have eaten too many of and I’m not sure of anything anymore to be entirely honest with you but the gist is that the Vilebloods are more or less the same as the church and the the church didn’t really like them moving in on there territory a thing that most certainly has not happened in real life ever. Eventually there was a raid on the castle and all the Vilebloods were killed. But there was a catch. The Vileblood Queen, Annalise, actually succeeded in becoming immortal. So, logarius looked her in an iron mask for that sweet literary reference and trapped her behind an illusory wall. He’s a dick like that. For the fight itself Logarius fights the same way I tend to. A lotta swords and a lotta magic. He tends to swipe at you with the scythe in the first phase before blasting you with a few types of magic. One is much like the spell you can cast with the gloves you just got and one is a more immediate blast. At this point the hard part of the fight is that he’s fast enough with this that you can get got in a loop where you have to dodge out of your attacks to not take a hit but whack him enough and he starts charging into his second phase. If you let him charge all the way up this fight gets a lot harder. He’s stun proof at least from bullets and as you might guess hits harder as well but if you go behind him as he charges you can pull off a backstab and prevent him from gaining the extra power though he still gets the expanded moveset and starts flying around. But he’s also much easier to parry in the second phase without the stun protection. All and all it’s a quite hard fight even after all this time but a damn good one

After this a lamp spawns as it does after all bosses and nothing really happens. In order to move on from here you have to pick up the crown the boss drops after you kill him and a path opens that takes you to Queen Annalise. Here she sits on her throne near another lamp (She’s a faction leader and you might not know theres anything after the boss hence the second lamp) and you ha=ve three options. You can go up and talk to her at which point she calls you rude and tells you to kneel and address her properly. Or if you find a ring deep in the chalice dungeons you can propose to her as she turns you down in increasingly blunt ways. Now if you swear allegiance to the Vilebloods you get a badge that lets you buy the only suit of metal armor in the game which looks a bit weird but not bad but more importantly it lets you buy the Chikage a katana/European curved sword that normally is just a sword but in it’s transformed state is covered in blood crystals and does a shit ton of damage and is metal as fuuuuuuck. In this room you can also find another summons to Cainhurst Castle and wouldn’t you know it we know some one that wants to get to Cainhurst! This will not end well. If you go back to where we last saw Alfred and give him the summons he thanks you and makes his way there excitedly and when you head back to the sort of throne room you find he has beaten Annalise to a literal pulp and say’s the following:
“Master, look! I’ve done it, I’ve done it! I smashed and pounded and grounded this rotten siren into fleshy pink pulp!”
“There, you filthy monstrosity! What good’s your immortality now! Try stirring up trouble in this sorry state! All mangled and twisted, with every inside on the outside, for all the world to see! He heh hah hah Hah! He heh heh ha ha ha ha!”
“Oh, you, is it? Look at this! Thanks to you, I’ve done it! Well? Isn’t it wonderful?”
“Now Master can be canonized as a true martyr! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I’ve done it, I have!!! Hah h-hah ha ha hah!”
Now, there’s a lot to unpack here about misogyny and how to present it especially in the context of both horror and the presumed male leads who wrote it. I can’t actually find who wrote but I know it was at least Hidetaka Miyazaki is credited and I believe the guy who translated the previous games also gets a writing credit. I can’t really speak beyond my experience as a dude and while I have my issues here I am largely okay with how the game handles things. In this scene it’s worth noting that you do not watch her get beaten to a pulp you just find the scene and what you do see is largely removed from any sort of resemblance to a human body. Which might sound like a weird thing to praise but the thing I am getting at here is that the violence is that the violence is not sexualized It is portrayed as obscene yes and Alfred’s speech does have some less than pleasant sexual undertones I can’t say anything about this scene glorifies it. Rather or not it should go there is another question and where the questions about horror as a genre come into play but that’s more relevant later so I’ll get more into that later. As for this I think it plays well into the themes and in the context of the world as presented I do not personally object to this bit here. It further sells the hypocrisy of the church and honestly without something like this there would likely be a gaping hole in the center where the horrid treatment of women in the historical the game is playing with is. Which in some other cases would be fine but with some of the miscarriage themes this game deals with later would be a big misstep. And again not to say there are not issues here and you are welcome to bring up any you might have this is where I stand with it right now. Maybe not later. But for now I on the whole like how this is handled Alfred is portrayed as just awful and it is clearly trying to make you question where you would ever think this was the right thing to do. He’s wearing a god damn Pyramid Head looking hat for crying out loud there is nothing subtle going on here. Now the Queen as you may guess from the way her remains pulse in her chair she is not dead and you can bring her back to life at an altar you find after a twice hidden boss. If you do she’s just kinda nonchalant about the whole thing as I recall. Immortality will do that to ya I guess. I should also finish up Alfreds arc here as well. After he does this you have two options murder him, which I wouldn’t even call murder because for real like, did you read all that? Or you can leave him and he kills himself in front of the stature you first found him at. I’m going to have to put another content warning on this aren’t I? Well easy enough

Stray Thoughts

I do sort of wonder what was trying to be said by having the only women you see with the scourge being this awful tick creatures but actually there’s nothing to indicate that the ticks are women and in fact there’s a lot that implies they are not I think the blood sacks are actually a balls joke so uh nevermind I was wrong

The gargoyles can drop blood stone chunks and I spent about half an hour trying to get one more to upgrade my weapon and not a one

I said this write up would include the Ludwig fight but I realized this one was already going to be very long and it is


#112

Oh heads up I have to do a bunch of real life adult stuff over the next week so Don’t count on seeing an update. It’s nothing major by any means but some lightly stressful stuff that just make it hard to do these write ups like going to the DMV and getting my eyes checked


#113

Let me help you with that, dearie.


#114

sigh I really should have seen that coming


#115

Weirdly when I asked the eye doctor about eyes on the inside he just gave me an intense look and left in a hurry but the women at the front desk said my eyes were fine and I should leave now. So I guess that went well


#116

Make sure you ask the nurse about seeking the paleblood next time you go to donate blood at your local clinic.


#117

Don’t forget about Amelia! She’s the only woman we see transform though, otherwise its all males or at least generally male-coded were-boyos. I suppose any of the already-mostly-transformed beasts in old yharnam or the quadrupedal full werewolf ones could have once been women, especially since more or less the entire population of Old Yharnam transformed, but we never see them as humans so there’s no way to know.

Anyway I have been really enjoying your walkthrough/analysis and I’m looking forward to you reaching the second half of the game when the Cthulhus come out!