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Tear Jerker / Bloodborne

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Given From Software's history, it's a given that Bloodborne can have some serious moments that tug at your heartstrings.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • One of the housebound NPCs you can talk to is a little girl, who asks you to go looking for her parents. Her father is a hunter and has gone missing during the hunt, while her mother went out to find him. She proceeds to give you a small music box, which they would use to help keep her father sane, and asks you to find her mum, telling you that you can find her via her red-jeweled brooch. Reading the description of the music box reveals two names on a worn piece of paper in the lid: Viola and Gascoigne. Using the music box while fighting against Gascoigne will stun him, the memories of the past coming back to his beast-addled mind. After defeating him you can find a corpse on top of one of the ledges...and on it is Viola's brooch. Of the two worst possible answers to this discovery, either Gascoigne's mind was so far gone he killed his own wife in a blood-fueled rage, or he just got done hacking apart the bastard who did. You can either take the brooch back to the girl or keep it for yourself for the unique upgrade stone within it. Choosing to withhold the brooch will give you the chance to send her to a safe haven, waiting for a mother who's never going to return.
    • Giving the brooch to her causes her to break down crying. Both giving her the brooch or withholding it and telling her to go to Oedon Chapel will result in the gigantic pig in the aqueduct killing her, as it will drop her bloodstained white ribbon upon killing it. After the Red Moon Event, her older sister will show up, asking you to find her sister. Giving her the bloodstained ribbon will cause her to mentally break and commit suicide right at the aqueduct shortcut behind their house.
    • Withholding the brooch and sending her to Iosefka's Clinic will grant you a consumable item. However, the girl's life is forfeit, as she will be experimented on soon after you send her to the clinic, and this is the only way you can get a certain Caryll Rune.
    • In summary, there is no way for the little girl to survive if you've talked to her at all. All choices made result in her death one way or another, showcasing the dark theme of the game.
    • Making things yet worse: when you defeat Father Gascoigne, it sounds very much like his last words are 'Forgive me.'
    • If you talked to Eileen the Crow, Gascoigne's old partner Henryk will appear where Gascoigne died, and attack you on sight should you go there. Eileen mentions he needs to be eliminated because he's going the same way as his partner, meaning he's losing it completely. And yet, despite being insane and probably turning into a beast to some extend, he came looking for his partner and found him dead. And now he wants revenge. That's a strong bond, to say the least.
  • During the fight with Vicar Amelia, she will momentarily pause her attacks and kneel in prayer whilst clutching to her pendant. Within her beastly form and feral mind lies at least one trace of the humanity she held prior to succumbing to the Plague.
    • And then there are her screams, which are both terrifying, and, yet, at the same time, pitiful, as they almost sound like she is in extreme pain.
  • In the final third of the game most of the survivors you brought to the Oedon Chapel earlier clearly lose their minds. The formerly abrasive Old Woman gets high on sedatives and believes you are her child. Adella the Nun can only laugh insanely at what her world has become. The Chapel Keeper, whose only concern was helping others as best they could, just repeats that Yharnam is done for over and over again. The paranoid old man, however, is the only one to keep his shit together. Arianna, well... see below. And you, who can take on beasts the size of small buildings and look in the eye nightmares that would turn most men into gibbering wrecks, can do nothing to help... except, perhaps, putting them out of their misery.
    • Prior to that point, if any of the chapel survivors die/are killed (and there are quite a few ways for that to happen), the Chapel Keeper will sound utterly distraught with grief when they break the news to you.
  • Near the middle of the game, after defeating Rom the Vacuous Spider, if one returns to the Cathedral Ward, and brought Arianna the Woman of Pleasure there earlier in the game, she will be sick. From that point on, her condition worsens. After defeating Micolash, Host of the Nightmare, she will be missing. And if you listen carefully you can hear something, a baby's cries. Go into the basement of the Cathedral and find Arianna sitting next to a newborn monster, which is implied to be the newly made Great One of this hunting cycle. It's heartbreaking to see this friendly woman who freely offered her blood to you with no expectation of reward reduced to sobbing and laughing insanely as her mind breaks under the strain of having been an incubator for an unholy abomination. And there's nothing you can do for her except leave her to her madness, or give her a clean dignified end.
    • What's even worse is that if you decide to kill Arianna and the baby, their corpses will stay behind, even if you go to the Hunter's Dream and come back.
    • Think about Arianna's baby itself also. It uses the same model as the hostile Celestial Child enemies who you can find that slither up to you, bite you and cause Frenzy. Meanwhile, this one doesn't; it's completely non-hostile, oddly cute in a way and appears to just be happily chirping at its mother. Have fun killing it, something that has not actually harmed you or anyone else in any way (Arianna's breakdown aside) for an item you don't technically actually need because you can get it elsewhere and killing her in the process!
  • The Yharnam Sunrise ending. After Gehrman beheads you with his scythe, you find yourself waking in an empty Yharnam courtyard as the sun rises over the horizon. Back in the Hunter's Dream, the Plain Doll kneels down before a gravestone, clasps her hands, and whispers some familiar words: "Farewell, good Hunter. May you find your worth in the waking world."
  • Even Gehrman himself has a sad past. Being the First Hunter and the Keeper of Hunter's Dream, he's forced to serve the Moon Presence for eternity, only to hear his sad words about his former allies, from Laurence to Willem, and his wishes to awake from the Nightmare. The only way to free him is to refuse his offer and kill him, but that will result in either you replacing Gehrman as the new keeper of the dream, or becoming a Great One yourself if you use three of the four umbilical cords you can find, which will let you fight the Moon Presence. Despite his desire to be freed from the Dream, he chose to sacrifice himself and frees the Hunters instead; he would rather carry all the tears and burdens on his own. As he states; the night, and the dream, were long.
    • Specifically, you can hear him begging to be released from the dream. Frankly, it's absolutely heartrending to hear his pleas trail off into crying:
    "Oh, Laurence... Master Willem... Somebody, help me... Unshackle me, please, anybody... I've had enough of this dream... The night blocks all sight... Oh, somebody... please...
    • And if you go into the final boss battle without the being adequately prepared, it will probably be YOU sitting in that same chair years from now; a legendary hunter, capable of overcoming unspeakable horrors, reduced to tears as an eternity of the dream weighs down upon your mind...
    • Hearing Gehrman's crying has made more than one player swear off of the Yharnam Sunrise ending. They were willing to subject their Hunter to the same hell just so that Gehrman can be freed of it.
  • One of the first friendly characters you meet is Gilbert, a man who came to Yharnam for the exact same reason as you, but also found far more than he bargained for. Considering the game's lack of explanation or direction and the immense difficulty, many players will probably feel out of their depths at this point, making it easy to relate to him. Although severely sick and barely able to speak without coughing, he helps you any way he can without expecting anything in return; he is content with the dignity of dying with his humanity intact. In the end, he is denied even that small comfort. As the game progresses, he begins to nearly sob with despair, wondering what horrible crime he must have committed to warrant such torment. The next time you visit his area, you find the window to his house busted open from within... and realize that the beast you slaughtered just a few moments prior, that one passively wandering around outside the window, was the only friend you had in this godforsaken city.
    • To make Gilbert's story even sadder, cut dialogue implies that we could have given him something during the course of the game that could have helped him. Afterward, he tells the Hunter how it was never his intention to impose upon them, but he is nevertheless moved by their generosity, tearing up as he offers them his thanks. But in the end, it's all for naught, as afterward, he's speaking to the Hunter in a rasping voice, warning them to keep away... No doubt he succumbed to beasthood during this time, but he still had enough humanity in him to warn the Hunter to stay away... Either way, even if you had the option of helping him, he would have ultimately been doomed to die a beast.
    • More cut dialogue from Gilbert also seems to imply that he had a lover... Whether it was someone that he knew before he came to Yharnam(or someone he met there), or maybe he developed feelings toward the Hunter. But at some point, he would be speaking to himself of a promise that he and this significant other would soon be together.
    "Ahh, we'll be together again soon... You told me to live and so I did... Please... Tell me that it was enough... Please, my dear..."
  • There is also the origin and nature of the Plain Doll herself. You eventually discover that The Hunter’s Dream is the ideal fantasy of Gehrman, who was the first hunter in Yharnam's history. If you look hard enough, you can even find the original Workshop within Yharnam proper, including the original doll, sitting in a corner. Evidently, the Doll of the Hunter's Dream is a recreation of someone so incredibly dear to Gehrman that, being unable to cope with her loss, he made an exact replica of her in exquisite detail.
    • While this mania and its implications are already tragic, Gehrman’s present treatment and attitude toward the Doll make her situation all the more heartbreaking; after being trapped in The Hunter’s Dream for generations, he’s so weary and jaded of everything within the dream that he’s become utterly indifferent to both the doll and the memory of the woman she represents. All the more telling; the Doll needs a person’s love to act and speak on her own… and she’s utterly inanimate when you first meet her. A random stranger passing by was able to give her the affection she needed to live, and Gehrman, the one who created her, couldn’t or wouldn’t summon even that small shred of empathy. It is little wonder that she refers to you as "good hunter", no matter how you act.
      • Gehrman is so callous and scornful of the Plain Doll that he even invites you to (in a whisper), "[use] even the doll, should it please you."
      • It's not just Gehrman. Many Hunters, like Eileen if her Pre-Mortem One-Liner is anything to go by, are implied to have been to the Hunter's Dream at some point. If they ever had any regard for the Doll, they sure don't right now. You may very well be her Only Friend.
      • Another, more tragic yet comforting take on it is that they do still care for the Doll (Eileen in particular tells you to say hello for her), but they're so far removed from their dreams that they cannot breathe life into her any longer. Alternatively, their dolls are still animate, but their dreams were not your own. So their versions of the Doll are still kneeling before their graves within different dreams, far removed from yours (in the same way our dreams are all separated from one another's).
      • The Tear Stone's description "A doll sheds neither blood nor tears and thus its nature remains unknown. Whoever thinks this is precious must be troubled by severe naivete."
      • It goes even worse when you realize the Doll is based on someone—and that someone is Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower.
  • Even the Great Ones are somewhat pitiable. It's heavily implied they do want to help humans in some way, but every time has Gone Horribly Wrong in some fashion.
    • The Moon Presence was trying to stop Mergo. Not only do you never fight Mergo, it's quite possible you end up fighting and killing the Moon Presence yourself and end up a newborn Great One, exactly like Mergo.]
      • As for Mergo, its Wet Nurse picks it up and cradles it during her introductory cutscene, and hides it in her chest cavity during your fight, you hear it crying whenever you land an attack, and it either dies from from inadvertent wounds or is left helpless and trapped and in her dead body after you claim the umbilical cord and leave. You Bastard!.
      • In fact, if it hadn't been for the Moon Presence, The Hunt would never have existed, and you would have become just another victim among hundreds slain by the beasts and madmen. It's no wonder that it's so clearly enraged during the boss fight; from it's POV, it saved your life, and in return you killed its most trusted servant (after he offered to set you free no less), and are now trying to slaughter it in order to gain its power. The whole situation is reminiscent of that tale about the farmer and the serpent...
    • Mergo was trying to entrust knowledge to humanity, but inadvertently drove the inquirers of said knowledge mad.
      • For that matter, Mergo's wet nurse was merely trying to protect the infant in her care. You can hear it crying throughout the battle, and it promptly stops as soon as she's dead. You essentially assaulted and murdered a concerned caregiver who only tried (and failed) to protect her charge.
      • Made even worse by the fact that the 'Nightmare Slain' does not refer to the wet nurse, but rather Mergo. The wet nurse is a tough boss, but she's not the Great One you're slaying.
      • An alternate interpretation that may soothe your pain. Queen Yharnam, or something that looks like her, is staring helplessly at Mergo's Loft when you arrive, and once you kill the Wet Nurse she bows her head in thanks and vanishes. Mergo itself is crying constantly, but as soon as you end the battle, you can play the Music Box to make it laugh briefly before it fades away. You may have just freed an infant Great One, or its surrogate, from an intolerable existence.
    • Rom, the "Byrgenwerth Spider", was using her powers to hold the other Great Ones in check, apparently in an effort to protect humanity from them. She doesn't even attack you directly until you have damn near killed her, and once she is dead, everything goes straight to hell.
    • The Great Brain you find within the nightmare was minding its own business when it was kidnapped by the school of Mensis and strung up like a trophy. Although it inflicts frenzy damage from a distance just by you being able to see it, this is either passive and unintentional, or a self-defense mechanism against the creatures who enslaved it, considering it also affects enemies in its line of sight, and the paths leading to it are littered with corpses with the Frenzy spikes all over them.
      • After unshackling it, you can travel down into the abyss and see it... badly injured from the fall, still alive. If you perform the "Make Contact" gesture for a while towards it, it will give you a very powerful rune. That's right, even though you've done your best to murder it, it still tries to help you or asked for a Mercy Kill. Either way, it probably deserved better.
    • Ebrietas. Poor little Ebrietas. It's stated that she was the only Great One that wanted to coexist with humans, and what did the Healing Church do to her? Totally betray her advice in blood ministration and then lock her away for research purposes. She doesn't even attack you when you first encounter her, she's just peacefully sleeping. The only way to initiate her boss battle is by casting the first strike. Depending on how you look at it, you're either granting her freedom through death or you're just a belligerent asshole wanting to beat your chest about killing what's essentially Alien Jesus. In any case, the fight is far from satisfying.
  • The last words of Micolash can be pretty sad, although they can also be seen as mildly humorous. See the Funny section.
    Micolash: Now I'm waking up! I'll forget everything!
  • Ludwig's ultimate fate. Throughout the night the information you find paints Ludwig, the first Captain of the Healing Church and leader of the Holy Blades, as honourable, idealistic and driven towards justice and the protection of the innocent. However, post-death, upon entering the Hunter’s Nightmare, he was twisted, and fused with his steed that he assumedly once rode into battle, into a nightmare of mutilated flesh, hair and eyes, a mindless flesh hungry beast like the beasts Ludwig once hunted, with screams so inhuman they would make the Cleric Beast wince. While incredibly horrifying, Ludwig’s current form is also incredibly sad as a complete mockery of his former self. Knowing what he was, you can’t help but feel bad as he screams and lashes out at everything around him like a feral, mindless horse beast, his Healing Church clothes and sword draped across his back as even further insult to injury. If he weren’t so terrifying, he’d be kind of a joke, a knight made into a literal horse’s ass.
    • Halfway through the fight, he seems to regain some humanity by seeing the sword he fought with during his life, drawing on the power of his Holy Moonlight Sword to regain some composure, and at least giving him some kind of dignity in his final moments. Eventually you decapitate him. He is only lucid in his final moments and despite his horrific agony in the Nightmare, his first question is whether the Hunters and the Church became the noble protectors of the innocent he hoped. It's hard not to lie to him just so his existence of agony and humiliation was worth it and he can finally rest in peace. It's mentioned by the Harrowed Hunter that Ludwig died with his ideals intact, and that was as good as a true Hero got in this world.
      • If you happen to say no, Ludwig loses himself in despair and begins blubbering and neighing like the beast he became. You can even kill him at this state, though whether that makes it better or worse is anyone's call.
  • Although the boss in question has never seen you before, and has no qualms about killing you, Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower is a difficult fight for anyone who's invested themselves in the story. It feels like you're betraying a friend, and murdering the final shred of innocence in this bleak, desolate world... because you're effectively fighting the Doll.
    Lady Maria: (with the Plain Doll's voice) A corpse...should be left well alone...
    • This gets somewhat relieved when you talk to the Plain Doll afterwards, who mentions she feels as if she's been freed from heavy shackles she didn't even know she was wearing.
    • Lady Maria’s whole story in general is very sad in itself. She was one of the first hunters, learning under Gehrman himself. Despite being of Cainhurst lineage, she shunned her blood magic powers and trained and became one of the greatest hunters to have ever lived by honing her technique with her Rakuyo. Then one fateful day, her and Gerhman went to the Fishing Hamlet, discovered Kos, and eventually massacred the whole village to uncover its secrets to return to Brygenwerth; including the unborn child of Kos. This led to Willem learning about the existence of the Great Ones, thus starting all the events of the game. Maria felt so disgusted in her role in all of this that she threw her beloved sword into the well, wishing to be free of the cycle of violence and her role in all of this. She tried to do good, and help and comfort the patients experimented on by the Church, becoming the only comfort in their wretched existence. But despite how hard she tried, she couldn’t help them. And eventually, she couldn’t outrun her guilt and the suffering around her, and she took her own life. Then she became trapped in the Hunter’s Nightmare, forced to wear her Hunter Garb and wield her sword for all eternity, standing watch over the Fishing Hamlet next to the Research Hall filled with patients she couldn’t help, both her greatest sources of shame. When she finds you, she doesn’t even hate you, the only reason she fights you is because she’s so ashamed of what happened at the Fishing Hamlet and so frightened of what’s in there, that she tries to make you give up looking. She knows you’ll just return to the dream and then come back if she kills you, so she tries desperately to stop you, even delving into the blood magic she rejected for all her life just to stop you. It’s a really sad story and killing her here could easily be interpreted as you freeing her from the eternal torment of the Nightmare, having to stand watch over your greatest source of shame forever.
  • Some of the beasts in the hunter's nightmare are the same variety as those in old Yharnam, who shy away from fire. Those in the nightmare may cower in abject terror from the hunter themselves however; they've been brutalized so often by the insane hunters that roam the nightmare, that they have lost all will to fight, and just want to be left alone. Of course, this will never happen for as long as the nightmare persists. The hunters are so caught up their bloodlust that at this point, they don’t even notice that the beasts aren’t fighting back. It's enough to pity the poor creatures, and one can't help but wonder if old Djura had a point...
  • The intro of the Orphan of Kos. You've just found the dead body of Kos herself washed up on a lonely beach, when suddenly something tears itself out of her body. A Humanoid Abomination of nightmarish size and mien crawls out of its mother's body, stands tall with its own placenta in hand, stares at the sun... and begins to sob.
    • There's also Kos herself. In a way the fact that she died is sad, due to the fact that this means that all the prayers and sacrifices the people of Yharnam have done in her name were all for naught.
      • It is also implied that Kos perished in an attempt to grant her child life, as she was dead prior to washing up onto the shore. She willingly surrendered her immortality out of love for her child... and you butcher it less than a minute after it's born.
      • And that bears it's own bit of tragedy. Yes, the player fights and kills The Orphan of Kos. But the Orphan attacks the player when they try to approach it, forcing the player to kill it in self defense. Given its pained shrieks and erratic movements, it's not too much of a stretch to assume that the Orphan is lashing out at everything around it in an attempt to either soothe the pain of the tragedy its suffered by merely being born, or to die.
    • And then there's the Orphan's screams. While they're certainly nightmarish, listen closely. They're not just gibberish; the Orphan is screaming "NO!" over and over again. You're not just fighting a monster, you're fighting a grieving child lashing out in anger over something it can't understand.
  • One street of Yharnam (where you can find Arianna) has one door you can knock on. Do so, and a woman will say "My baby! My precious little baby! Stay away, stay away from us!" Made even worse because the syntax is vague: either she's asking you to stay away from her and her child, or she's begging her child to stay away from her.
  • Near the end of the DLC, if you've followed the proper questline, you can find Simon the Harrowed critically wounded by an assassin. His dialogue is quite somber, begging you to end the Hunter's Nightmare and lamenting his undignified end, his voice obviously pained and desperate. His final words are especially saddening.
    Simon: So our forefathers sinned? We hunters cannot bear their weight forever.... It isn't fair. It just isn't fair....
  • The Healing Thirst comic tells of two friends, a priest and a scientist, who work together to track the source of the beasthood and ashen blood pandemic. As they work, they begin to (correctly) suspect the old blood, but the scientist's loved one falls sick shortly after. In desperation, knowing the risks, he uses the old blood to aid her, asking the priest for more. While the priest delays, because he worries that his friend is growing obsessed and careless, he eventually steals some supplies to help his friend... but the scientist had already reported the priest to the church in return for more old blood. He profusely apologizes as his friend is taken away to be executed, while the priest just looks at him sadly. And to make matters worse, the loved one has begun her transformation into a beast.