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What Could Have Been / Bloodborne

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Whoo boy... To put it bluntly, the basic story concept was pinned down very early, but specific details were slowly and gradually changed as the game was being developed, to the point where certain background stories and events either end abruptly without any sort of resolution or just appear out of nowhere for a one-note thing.

  • At one point really early on in development, Bloodborne seems to have initially been planned to be a Stealth Sequel to Demon's Souls, with the reveal of the Chalice Dungeons being that the Pthumerian civilization underneath Yharnam was the buried ruins of Boletaria. The tiniest sliver of this made it into the public beta test, wherein Gasciogne would utter "Umbasa" on killing a player; however, not even this survived into the final game. Within the final game, some of the oldest parameter files for enemies are tagged "DS2", which likely means "Demon's Souls 2". On the other hand, Dark Souls 2 was in development at the same time as Bloodborne, so the files tagged "DS2" may refer to Dark Souls 2 instead.
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  • In the Future Press interview with Miyazaki, he mentions that he wanted to include an option to keep Iosefka alive, but the rest of the studio wouldn't let him. Gascoigne's daughter was similarly intended to survive - this is why the daughter does have a model that's used in the final game as the corpse of the supposed "older sister" after she gets the ribbon. Although closer inspection of both the child's model and Viola's model reveal that they're reused and altered versions of the Doll's model.
  • The very first trailers back when the game was still dubbed 'Project Beast' showed a lot of features that were changed or just plain didn't make it - most notably we can see the character blocking and using a more modern looking double-barreled shotgun with a dedicated reload animation as well as using a phantom sword to activate a device. Some enemies look different (the Executioners don't have a cape for example) and the character is seen carrying a normal sword with a sheath, and a few are in radically different locations such as Ebrietas being in Amelia's chamber in the Cathedral, which, needless to say, would have changed the pacing of certain plot revelations quite a bit. Granted, there's a cut cutscene where you're being attacked by the Cleric Beast still in the game as well, so maybe Ebrietas was supposed to show up in that room way later in the story. There's also the implication that there was supposed to be only one version of each area, with the enemy groups and the time of day dynamically changing. Possibly due to technical limitations, it was replaced with each area having multiple versions of themselves with certain enemy loadouts and behaviors set for each time phase, with which version being loaded dependent on what event flags are triggered.
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  • The design of Yharnam was much different during the early stages of development, with the Grand Cathedral's astral clocktower being much more prominent in the skyline. Part of this early design can be seen in the version of Yharnam visible while in Hemwick.
  • The boss room that the Witch of Hemwick is fought in not only doesn't match the aesthetic of Hemwick, it doesn't even make sense layout-wise in comparison to the massive exterior it's found in. Due to a combination of the aesthetic more matching the Cathedral Ward, the release of The Old Hunters, the fact that you find the Rune Workshop Tool there, and early footage of encountering Vicar Amelia in the room, there's speculation that the basement was originally part of a cut area somewhere in the Cathedral Ward.
    • You were apparently supposed to start the game in Hemwick in one of the earliest versions of the game. Unlocking the map flow in the Alpha test would make the game try to load the area. In a way, this makes way more sense than waking up in the Clinic right smack dab in the middle of the city.
    • Micolash has an unused Hemwick variant hidden away in the game files, which was supposed to lead you to "Trap Road", or the Nightmare Frontier. The idea seemed to have been that you'd end up chasing Micolash around Yharnam and the chase would seemingly end at Hemwick, but Micolash would end up jumping into the lake and emerge in the Nightmare. Which explains why a majority of his boss fight is you just chasing him around.
  • Due to how out-of-the-way it is, it's heavily speculated that Cainhurst Castle is host to a great amount of unfinished content.
    • There's dialogue from a very early version of the Vileblood Queen still in the game, with the lines being voiced by Evetta Muradasilova (who voices the Doll, and later Lady Maria) instead of Jenny Funnell. Tying into this, the original description of the Eye Cord found at the Abandoned Workshop says that a child from Cainhurst was used to call down the Moon Presence. Even though Maria and the Doll do kind of resemble each other (there's still enough differences between them to show that they aren't completely identical), the data mining reveals that they technically aren't connected at all: Maria was created solely for the Old Hunters DLC to bridge together the mysteries of Gehrman's dead apprentice buried at the Abandoned Old Workshop and who the Doll was based on. The Doll is most definitely related to this very early version of the Queen, at least until she was further developed into Annalise.
    • Due to the internal file names for Logarius's final model and two earlier versions of it being referred to as "King" (earliest being KingGhost_LowClass, then KingInBlue, and finally KingReaper), it's believed that he was to be the King of Cainhurst. If true, then the concept was changed early enough in development that there's no info in the game files about it. But since the concept for Logarius appears to have been finalized very early in development, the only thing giving credence to this idea is the model names.
    • The building in Cainhurst that Logarius is fought on top of still has some level of geometry left in the entrance and is speculated to be the original location of the Cainhurst throne room. Viewing the exterior of the queen's chamber in the final version of the game via hacking reveals that this is the case: they just duplicated the building exterior, put the duplicate at the rear of the original so the entrance aligned with the archway behind Logarius' chair, then built the interior of the throne room in the duplicate. There's even an unused door texture for the throne room, as seen here.
    • Annalise originally had her own blood vial item in the game called Queenly Blood, which had the same function as Arianna's blood vial.
  • There's still a lot of cut content still in the game files from earlier builds of the game, ranging from armor sets, weapons, NPCs, enemies, to even bosses. Enemies similar to the Beast-Possessed Soul and Lawrence's Cleric Beast form with fire powers, alternate or prototype versions of enemies, more medieval arms and armor. One of the biggest things is there's at least two cut Chalice Dungeon bosses: the Great One Beast, which has a very horse-like appearance, and two more forms for the Moon Presence. One is a more haggard-looking variant form, incomplete with no textures or animations, and the other is almost complete, with a partially finished moveset, crude body textures, and it's own special boss arena which is suspiciously similar to the coastline where you encounter the Old One in Demon's Souls. The coastline was revisited a bit in The Old Hunters DLC with the Orphan of Kos arena, although the ruins in the distance were disabled in the final release.
  • A couple of text dumps of the in-game dialogue have been made public, and both including cut dialogue that gives way more context for some of the stuff that happens in the game and revealing an earlier draft of the game's storyline. Mainly, the PC knew Laurence in some capacity before the game, with you waking up from a month long coma then going to search for him after he left two weeks beforehand to search for the "blood of a sage" (an early version of Paleblood). The Hunter's Dream was originally called the Dream Refuge, with the Doll calling it a haven for the diseased and the implication was that the PC "inherited" a deceased Hunter's dream versus being chosen by the Messengers as a new Hunter. Micolash also had a greater presence, the early script having him claim that he was the head of the Healing Church. Willem's internal name in this version, "Micolash's Cast Off Shell", implies that this early version of Micolash was some kind of projection or strange "reincarnation" used to lead hunters to Byrgenwerth. This is about as much of the original story draft that's known, since nothing taking place after the events at the Grand Cathedral has been found yet and likely don't even exist anymore.
  • The Messenger Lanterns weren't originally going to be lanterns. The earliest Project Beast trailer portrayed them as strange Archstone-like statues that the player had to plant spectral swords into to activate, likely a very early idea that became the cut "create a bonfire" idea in Dark Souls III. These can still be found in the oldest developer test maps in the final game and one appears in the Hunter's Workshop, but all the associated animations are long gone, even in the Alpha test. As for the idea after that, you were supposed to interact with special corpses to be sent to various areas, like the earliest version of Hemwick had a dead Hunter corpse there that was supposed to send you to the Hunter's Dream. During the Alpha test, there were chairs in the place of where the Lanterns are in the final game, which were complete to the point that they have dummied out activation and sit/stand animations and the Messengers were positioned to face the chair. They were changed from the chairs to lanterns late enough during development that the player spawn point locations they are assigned to are still called "warp chair" IDs.
  • On the note of cut mechanics, data mining the Alpha test reveals that you were once able to get information from NPCs via giving them blood echoes.
  • The coldblood items were originally "fresh livers" in the Alpha build and were complete to the point of having usage animations. Not only that, but all the bosses were supposed to drop their own "fresh liver" and the list reveals some very interesting things about the early story, most notably the flow of the main story bosses, or at least how they were listed in the inventory screen.
    • Father Gascoigne is the first boss listed, as he was supposed to be your initial "mentor" character and the lead Church hunter within Central Yharnam.
    • Next is the Cleric Beast, who was supposed to be the boss for the Grand Cathedral.
    • Then the Witch of Hemwick, which apparently worked as she did in the final game.
    • Then the Fresh Liver of a Snake Ball, implying that one was supposed to be a boss instead of the Shadows of Yharnam. Data mining has found a massive lo-res textured model of one that's half-way complete still in the game files.
    • Next is Mergo's Wet Nurse, although named "Dream Demon" at this point and the Liver calls her a "Lesser Demon of Death and Darkness", which is her internal name. She was apparently supposed to be the original Iosefka early on, even having her own unique human model. Her, the spiders found in the Nightmare of Mensis, and the Shadows of Yharnam, were supposed to be their own separate faction encountered either during or after going through the pathway between the Forbidden Woods and the Central Yharnam clinic, or even within their own dreamscape.
    • Then Martyr Logarius, who is called "King Reaper" in the description.
    • Next is Provost Willem, or rather "Micolash's Cast Off Shell", whose status as a former enemy/boss is supported by the cut attack animations. Rom is next in line, likely fought in the "Altar of Despair" when it was still part of the Byrgenwerth campus.
    • The One Reborn (an Incomplete False God, or "HalfBakedDevil" as it is internally called), which was supposed to work more like the Tower Knight from Demon's Souls than in the final game.
    • Then the Liver of the False God's Apostle, most likely Micolash (or a version of him) since the Amygdala's internal name is "FalseGod". At some point afterward, the Amygdala was supposed to be fought. On the note of the Amygdala, it was supposedly at one point to a late-to-endgame boss in an earlier version of the game. Whether it was supposed to be just a final boss (like Mergo's Wet Nurse) or the final boss (Moon Presence) is unknown.
    • Then Vicar Amelia, known at this point as "Saint Laura" and the "Beastess Saint". Where exactly she was supposed to be encountered is unknown, but was likely placed in the Witch of Hemwick boss room like in the early trailers.
    • Where it gets the most interesting is the last three Livers: Fresh Liver of Kos, Fallen Child of the Moon; Fresh Liver of Ebrietas's Inheritor; Fresh Liver of the Moon's Messenger, the Nightmare's Inheritor. The implications are astounding, meaning that at one point the version of Ebrietas in the final game was supposed to be just Kos, but the child of Ebrietas.
      • Where the earlier version of Kos was supposed to be fought is unknown, although there is early trailer footage of her being fought in the Grand Cathedral.
      • Even though the logical idea that the First Hunter is the next boss to drop a Liver, he isn't. Apparently the fight in the Hunter's Dream was supposed to take a shocking swerve: once you beat the First Hunter, the Moon Presence was supposed to come down and kill him, then turn to you and start phase 2 of the fight. Also, the Moon Presence is expressly called the "Inheritor of Ebrietas" in earlier builds.
      • The Moon's Inheritor is unfortunately a complete unknown.
  • There's a cut character that was supposed to be found in the Workshop named Izzy, a wheelchair clad old man that would be a helper NPC for the hub. He was eventually stripped out of the game and his role got shifted to Gehrman, who was originally just The First Hunter. The only remains of Izzy is the version used as a historical/lore character.
  • There's a number of "magic" items in the Alpha that were workshop versions of the Hunter's Tools: the Augur of Kos (mostly functions like the Auger of Ebrietas, but makes a huge spike emerge from the ground in a random spot and the tentacles don't stun/damage anyone); the Rage of Kos (has mostly the same animation of A Call Beyond, but summons one tiny meteorite that strikes a random spot); Reflective Light Wall (early Beast Roar tool); Consume Sacred Serum (maybe an early version of the Lead Elixir item, has an animation but no effect); Compelling Awakening (early Choir Bell tool); Double Accelerator (early Old Hunter Bone tool); Cane of Shock (early Tiny Tonitrus tool); Stalker (functions like the Executioner's Gloves, but fires three Messenger spirits instead of three arcane skull spirits); Opportunistic Chance (Shaman Bone Blade item, but the icon is different); and Follower's Obligation (early Messenger's Gift tool, but you appear as a single large Messenger/Follower with a vastly different appearance compared to the final game).
  • There's a host of regular items that were cut for unknown reasons.
    • Caryll's Runes were originally supposed to be obtained by finding pages of the Runesmith's lost book.
    • There are icons for an item to refill your quicksilver bullets, a doll repair kit, an unused Hunter Badge, Petrified versions of Blood Gems, and text for unused Chalice Dungeon ritual items. Based on where the icon file was located, the doll repair kit was supposed to be found in Cainhurst and there's a cut model for a damaged/broken version of the Doll.
  • Archibald was going to be encountered one point as a friendly NPC, instead of just being a reference character. His cut dialogue mentions gathering and bringing him blood-crystals (blood gems) to "make them into your power", meaning that he'd be the way to socket blood gems into your weapons, rather than getting the Blood Gem Workshop Tool from a chest after defeating Gascoigne. Unfortunately, Archibald was cut early enough that the script only appears in the TGS Alpha build of the game, and in Japanese at that.
  • There's another cut NPC in the TGS Alpha, one that survived the events of Old Yharnam. Their dialogue mentions "white gravewardens" (Pthumerians) emerging from underground being one of the reasons that the valley hamlet was burned to the ground, likely tying into an idea that the Chalice Dungeons were able to be entered via the Waking World instead of the grave altars in the Hunter's Dream. This also explains why the headpiece of the Graveguard Set looks like a Pthumerian's face.
  • There appears to have been plans for a minimap to appear on the HUD while in the Chalice Dungeons.
  • There's a cut Chalice Dungeon ritual called "Boss Rush", which would warp you to a string of boss chambers where you could fight a gauntlet of bosses one after the other.
  • The Hunter's Dream has a cut model of a mummified body cradling a skull still in the area RAM. The reflective environment map of the area still shows these bodies propped against the tombstones of the Dream, implying that they were the means of "waking up" from the Dream into the Waking World instead of just the tombstones.
  • The Lecture Hall is in the same map file as the version of Byrgenwerth in the final game. Comparisons between the in-game version, concept art, and a very early map of all the "waking world" areas of the game show that the campus was originally planned to be much larger, with the lecture hall being it's own building across from Willem's study/lunarium. It's unknown as to at what point the lecture hall was put "in the void" to serve as a waypoint to reach the Nightmare Frontier and Nightmare of Mensis. Additionally, there was another building that got completely cut and the lake wasn't there at all. And there was supposed to be an inverted version of Byrgenwerth shown in the Rom boss fight room.
  • The cracked mirror in the Hunter's Dream has a dummied out feature: putting on disguises. The in-game reason as to why this feature was even made is unknown, as it was cut early enough that it's incomplete, but it allowed the player to completely redo their character's appearance.
  • In the Old Hunters DLC, Lady Maria was supposed to be a fully functional NPC instead of just a boss fight, likely a holdover from when it was two separate pieces of content. She still has lines of dialogue for when she was alive and her room originally had items in it for you to loot. Triggering the boss fight still involved inspecting her corpse, but she had separate "dead" models based on who killed her: if the player killed her then she slumped to the right, but if the player left her alive, then Simon would kill her and her body slumped to the left. In the final game, her "murdered by Simon" model and cutscene are used.

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