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


Still have not beaten Ludwig

It’s been four days


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)


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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:


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



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


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