For the most part, Bloodborne was the main reason I picked up a PlayStation 4 last year; Arkham Knight was a close second. As someone who never played any of the Souls games before, Bloodborne was my first entry into the series–even though Bloodborne technically isn’t part of the series.
I decided to give Bloodborne a try for two pretty odd reasons: the visuals and those unique trick weapons. Bloodborne looked so grim yet shiny when blood splattered all over, drawing me in like a new vampire looking for a drink. There have been moments where I would immediately become interested in a game just because of the visuals, be it cel-shading (Jet Set Radio Future), water coloring effects (Okami), or another fascinating uses of artwork.
The trick weapons lured me further into Bloodborne’s world because how cool it is to have a saw turn into a sword on the fly. Even the weapons I didn’t use wowed me with their quirky designs. In truth, Bloodborne’s trick weapons are the only example of when a game’s weaponry influenced me to buy said game.
Nevertheless, I ventured into Yharnam armed only with the knowledge that I was going to die… a lot. Eventually though, arrogance crept into my mind as I slaughtered various enemies and thought to myself how easy this game was. When I beat The Cleric Beast on my first try, my arrogance went through the roof. However, Father Gascoinge changed my whole perspective on Bloodborne’s bosses after he destroyed me about 10 times, causing me to lose precious Blood Echoes. Not only did this boss take me down five pegs but subsequently taught me that the bosses in this game were nothing to joke about.
While not every boss filled my very being with dread and anger, there are a few exceptional bosses that caused me to fume with fury – especially when only one more hit was required to defeat them. Now, without further delayed, I present the boss fights that boiled my blood time and time again!
Orphan of Kos – Approximate deaths: 25+
Don’t let the skin and bones appearance fool you; Orphan of Kos slaughtered me over 25 times with his brutal attacks and second transformation state. After witnessing this bundle of joy crawl out from the corpse of Kos, a dead Great One, Orphan of Kos proceeds to stare at the full moon until players move close. Then it attacks with the fury of a motherless child at the foreign stranger and it’s none too pleasant.
Most of the attacks are swift and a few of them are insta-kills to a unsuspecting hunter. After doing enough damage and studying the creatures attack patterns, one would think this fight is in the bag but oh no…Orphan of Kos has a second form to torment players. Sprouting wings and looking like some form of twisted gargoyle, Orphan of Kos becomes much faster with its attacks, causing players to constantly stay on edge. If that wasn’t bad enough, this boss has an Area of Effect attack that covers the entire floor for a set amount of distance. Fail to pay attention and it’s game over for hunters.
At one point, I wanted to throw my controller across the room after getting its health down to a sliver. Thankfully, I chose to deny that ridiculous urge.
Laurence The First Vicar – Approximate deaths: 13
Honestly, the only reason why my death count against Laurence wasn’t higher than Orphan of Kos is because I summoned a co-op partner. Had I decided to take on this towering, flaming beast on my own, Laurence would have killed me more than any other boss in the game. The crazy thing is how Cleric Beast and Laurence are extremely similar in design and attacks, yet Cleric Beast fell to my blade on the first fight.
Laurence, on the other hand, would just not give me a break and I think my main problem stemmed from his flame attacks. Those moves obliterated my hunter in an instant if they hit me, which managed to happen quite often. Maybe I didn’t level up enough or used the wrong kind of weapons against him, but Laurence made me his rag doll repeatedly.
After getting tired of being smacked around for the thirteenth time, I recruited a random from online to tackle the beast. Between the two of us, Laurence went down without too much of a fuss and I could breathe easy again. So thanks random co-op buddy… you saved me from a massive headache. Cheers.
Father Gascoigne– Approximate deaths: 8
Father Gascoigne needs to be on this list because he was the first boss to teach me that Bloodborne was not to be trifled with. The introduction to this beastly boss alone filled me with worry; seeing Gascoigne butcher some creature, only to turn his insane gaze towards my hunter. As soon as the cutscene came to an end, Gascoigne dashed straight for me to add my body to his count. I probably lasted two minutes during my first encounter with him–though a majority of that time was spent running away.
I got tired of getting my you-know-what handed to me, so I went to grind for some levels after the sixth beating. Imagine my joy at seeing Gascoigne’s health drop to the halfway point… now imagine the disbelief that followed when he transformed into a hulking Werebeast. I thought Gascoigne was a tough cookie to crack in his human state but going up against my first transformed boss infuriated me.
It was this boss fight where I learned how to perform visceral attacks on a regular basis. I didn’t beat Gascoigne the same day I met him… though I managed to send him to his grave after taking a few days off Bloodborne.
Blood Starved Beast– Approximate deaths: 14
Blood Starved Beast… I think I invented new curse words throughout this fight. The bane of my existence resides with the creature’s ability to produce poison from its body. I remember seeing the poison meter for the first time and going “Oh s**t”. During the initial encounter, I had no antidotes on hand due to the Cloaked Beasts and their poisonous attacks. Needless to say, I died rather quickly that round.
Eventually, I started to dwindle away at the beast’s health, poking carefully and not getting in range of attacks. Come to find out that the beast starts to emit poisonous fumes around its body, rather than just delivering poison with attacks. So now regardless of how many attacks I dodge, my hunter gets poison even by just trying to get in range to go on the offensive… now that’s just not fair.
My new found curse words came to be when I’d have the beast at less than 10% health but would die, thanks to the poison and getting caught off-guard. Without the poison, Blood Starved Beast would have made for a much easier target. Instead, this creature requires timing, patience and a whole butt load of antidotes.
Darkbeast Paarl– Approximate deaths: 15
This boss made my hands and neck hurt. Darkbeast Paarl was a chump when I first fought him on my first playthrough. Thinking I could deliver another smackdown to it on my second playthrough, I was given a rather rude awakening. Paarl is super quick with swift attacks that do a significant amount of damage. The first time I fought him was near the end of the game, when I went grinding for levels to face Gehrman. At this stage, my attacks did so much damage that I really didn’t get a chance to study its attack methods.
Well, let me tell you… I was given ample time to study Paarl’s attacks when he killed me multiple times. What I couldn’t shake was how freaking -quick- this creature was; by the time I managed to get close enough, it would attack me and move away. Of course, sometimes I did get close enough but would get extremely hurt in the process. Paarl wouldn’t even give me the three second breather I needed to put some blood back in my hunter’s system.
I used Ludwig’s Holy Blade against Paarl, which turned about to be a major help for attacking its hind legs and causing the beast to lose his lightning. After that, it was just a matter of making sure to keep the pressure on Paarl to stop it from regaining its lightning body. Easier said than done to be sure but that strategy helped me overcome this speedy foe.
And there you have it folks. These five bosses stood out to me as the most aggravating foes to deal with. The thing about Bloodborne that’s truly remarkable is how the game is different for everyone. While some players find certain enemies to be problematic, others would find them to be a cakewalk. Bloodborne is the main reason why I want to delve into previous Souls titles and the recently released Dark Souls 3, which Myles just reviewed actually.
If nothing else, tell us which Bloodborne bosses troubled you the most. Until next time!