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  • 8.8: There's considerable vitriol from Playstation-centric communities when publications such as GameSpot ranked multi-platform titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Rocket League over Bloodborne.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: As per the norm for From Software, the game invites the player to come to their own conclusions for what the characters are really like based on the Story Breadcrumbs provided.
    • Due to the ambiguous use of partner in Henryk's character entry and due to Father Gascoigne's younger daughter talking about a grandfather, people either interpretation Henryk as Gascoigne's (secret/former/new) lover or his father in law. FROM has neither confirmed nor denied anything.
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    • The Moon Presence has rather ambiguous motivations, and can be considered as either the Big Good or Big Bad of the game depending on how you benevolent you think its apparent mission of exterminating the Great Ones is.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • More of an Anti-Climax mini-boss but Djura the hunter, found on top of a tower in Old Yharnam, can be knocked into a Bottomless Pit with just two or three shots of your gun. Even if you don't shoot him, Djura may just end up flinging himself off while avoiding your attacks. And if you think this will make you lose the important loot that he drops, if you just reload the map (either by quitting and reloading or exiting and reentering the area, the loot will spawn back at the top of the tower.
    • The Blood-starved Beast has the distinct honor of having the potential to be this on top of being That One Boss. While it's fast, relentless in its attacks and has a one-hit-kill grab that has lead to more than one snapped controller, it's incredibly vulnerable to parry and visceral attacks throughout all three stages of the fight, because its moves are so relentless and somewhat-telegraphed. With the proper timing, the beast may not even lay a claw on you as you pump bullets into it and tear out huge chunks of its health. It's also possible to toss Blood Cocktails around and distract it away from you so that you can wail into it with a fire-enhanced weapon, which has a generous multiplier against it.
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    • Despite the fact that she's a Great One and has a pretty large health pool, Amygdala ends up being one of the easier bosses. Her long windup animations give you ample time to react, and you can often get at least 2 good hits in on her whenever she lowers her weakspot, her head—and those hits are often treated as visceral attacks! All these factors make the fight more long than it is difficult. If you have the Cannon fully upgraded and you applied the Bone Marrow Ash onto it, a direct hit to the head would immediately knock her to the ground, leaving you to land a visceral attack.
    • After the frankly amazing and challenging boss that is Gehrman, The Moon Presence is rather easy in comparison. Most of its attacks have blind spots on its sides, and those that don't are very easily dodged. It's also pretty frail and doesn't deal a whole lot of damage for being the True Final Boss. Though this could be intentional, allowing the player to actually defeat it at first try just after defeating that tough boss that is Gehrman, which most likely forced the player to consume his blood vials and put some mental strain.
      • Possibly justified as you have "ascended to the level of a Great One" by eating the Umbilical Cord, so you can now directly combat such a powerful being. Thus, the ease of the fight could imply that you are now among the most powerful of the Great Ones.
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    • The One Reborn is essentially a cakewalk if you simply dodge-roll his projectiles and keep jumping down on him from the second level. With enough luck it's possible to beat this boss without getting hit once. You can make the fight even easier by eliminating the six bell-ringing women on the upper level.
    • The Witch of Hemwick is generally considered to be the easiest boss in the game. The Mad Ones summoned by the Witch are not very dangerous as long as you keep your distance, which isn't hard, because they merely walk toward you instead of running. The only real danger with the Witch is if you don't manage to kill the second Witch in time, leading to the first Witch coming back to life with ranged magic attacks that bind you and make you a sitting duck for the Mad Ones to gang up on. And if you decided to empty your Insight to 0, the Mad Ones wouldn't even spawn, leaving the Witches as the only enemies.
    • The Celestial Emissary is competing with the Witch for the "Easiest Boss" category. The enemies it summons are not very fast and don't have much health, and if you have a long weapon with an attack that can sweep a large area, like the Hunter Axe's transformed L2 attack, you can get rid of whole groups of them in no time. The only really dangerous attack it has is its laser attack when its health gets low, but the boss doesn't have much health to begin with, so you can kill it before it even has a chance to use it.
    • For as impressive as Mergo's Wet Nurse is visually, her boss fight is a serious letdown: her attacks are slow and telegraphed, easily dodged and capitalized upon. Even her Desperation Attack, in which she blankets the area in fog and summons a double, can be dealt with through constant dodging. Her truly colossal health pool only makes it worse, as it goes from uninspiring to outright tedious. The final insult is the fact she's the Final Boss on the Yharnam Sunrise route. One's almost tempted to fight Gehrman if only to avoid the game ending on such an anticlimax.
    • Micolash, Host of the Nightmare is rather memorable to be sure, what with the crazy Mensis-member babbling at you while going with his magical attacks and fisticuffs, but all of those attacks are telegraphed and easily dodged or interrupted. His stage is also littered with Skeleton Puppets which deal decent damage when they hit, but they're somewhat slow, easily dodged, and are rather fragile. His only real claim to fame is A Call Beyond, which, to be fair, is friggin' devastating.
    • While agreed to probably be one of the best fights of the DLC, Lady Maria has been getting this treatment. Her aggressive attacks make parrying her a lot easier, she rarely uses her firearm unlike Father Gascoigne and Gehrman, meaning there's very little risk in keeping your distance and waiting for an opening, and she's very easily stunlocked by a majority of weapons.
    • The final boss of the Chalice Dungeons, Pthumerian Queen Yharnam, is ridiculously easy, especially since she comes on the heels of the second Bloodletting Beast, and her dungeon is preceded by the Defiled Chalice. The only thing to watch out for with her is the arcane binding maneuver, which is avoided by simply not attacking her excessively whenever you hear a baby cry.
  • Awesome Music: Many pieces, but for starters let's just mention 'Ludwig, the Holy Blade'. More like 'Ludwig, the Holy Shit!'
    • Then there's 'Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower'. It starts off a simple but tense orchestral simmer, but then you reach 1:16 and the chorus blows you out of your chair!
    • 'Cleric Beast' is (typically) the first boss theme players will hear, and the best foot was definitely put forward. Ominous Latin Chanting, beginning with what can only be described as grinding teeth, and a very tense and relentless cello backing all create a frantic and nerve-shattering soundscape for an equally frantic boss.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Micolash is a rather divisive character. Some enjoy his Large Ham personality and unconventional boss battle, while others think he's an annoying gimmick fight whose only difficulty comes from the fact that he's somewhat difficult to corner and can one-shot you with A Call Beyond.
  • Breather Level: The Lecture Building. It's very short and very easy, especially in comparison to the sheer hell that was Yahar'gul before it. You can just sprint right through if you want, but a little exploration can also get you some useful loot.
  • Broken Base:
    • The devs saying that the game will run at 30 FPS, claiming that's it's the best framerate for action games has caused no shortage of arguments. Some people are indifferent to it, while others think it's an excuse to prioritize the graphics over making the game run smoothly. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the game often drops below 30 fps during combat, which hurts the smoothness and responsiveness of the gameplay.
    • The aesthetic of the game. Of course there are those who like the neo-Gothic world of the game, while others either don't like that certain aesthetic, think it's generic compared to other Gothic settings, or just don't think the world is as mythical and mysterious as the world of Dark Souls and Demon's Souls. Of course, this is before the Cosmic Horror Story comes into play.
    • The online mechanics of the game are subject to a lot of scrutiny. The long wait times, the lack of people using their bells to either invade or co-op due to the aforementioned queue times, and the more convoluted invasion process in general have upset a lot of people who utilized the online a lot in past Souls games, while others say that it's not a big deal, especially now that many of the problems with it have been addressed through patches and the community themselves.
    • The small number of weapons and armor has been criticized by some; a large amount of people liked the large roster of available weapons in the Souls games thanks to the choice potential and varied builds. Others think that it's streamlined for the better and that people would only use a few weapons/armor sets anyway.
    • Some feel that the games combat is little more than "R1 spamming" and dodging, while others would contend that it helps the games theme and also that with all Trick weapons there's a lot of variety to go with beyond the R1 attack.
    • The Chalice Dungeons are pretty contentious, especially the Root Chalice Dungeons. Some view them as a nice side level to the games adding extra fun and challenges, or as a waste of time that was put in to pad out the game, which goes against the design philosophy of FromSoftware.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Even with the more streamlined weapons this still occurs. Of note is Ludwig's Holy Blade, especially for those with strength builds. It has attacks that cover a good area and come out relatively quickly, it scales well with strength, skill, and arcane, and it can be acquired around only a third of the way into the game.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Micolash is undoubtedly insane. He's also one of the most memorable characters in the game thanks to this, due to great lines and his howling, despite being a One-Scene Wonder.
    • Valtr, Master of the League, who ate the beast that killed his friends.
  • Creepy Awesome: Like its predecessors, most of the whole game is very creepy yet awesome aesthetic. Darkbeast Paarl is a notable example.
    • The introductory cutscene for the One Reborn, in which the moon turns oily black before this deformed Eldritch Abomination seeps down from it like some unholy cosmic abortion. It's Nausea Fuel to the extreme while also being completely badass.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The city of Yharnam has been nearly exterminated by a plague and warped into a hellish nightmare by Lovecraftian horrors. Human blood is used for literally everything in the city, from alcohol to medicine. Nearly everyone left in the city are corrupt dicks, bloodthirsty Hunters, violently insane townsfolk, horrific monsters, or all of the above. The few who aren't all have terrible things happen to them, and there's nothing you can do to help them. And that's all before the Genre Shift into Cosmic Horror Story and the fact that two out of the three endings are blatant "Shaggy Dog" Story moments... and the last one may or may not be much better. Combined with the tremendous Gorn, depressing gothic environments, and Mind Screw lore, it's difficult to find anything even remotely positive or hopeful here.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The Bloodlickers. They get bonus points for actually looking like spiders… or rather, pale, bloated human fleas with Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl heads. Most players will first encounter them in Cainhurst Castle and get wrecked by their erratic attacks and invulnerability to parries. What truly qualifies them for Demonic Spider status are the ones that appear in Chalice dungeons after an enemy is killed with a visceral attack. Imagine breezing happily back through a cleared room only to encounter one of these monstrosities slurping blood off the floor.
    • Bell-Ringing Women themselves are very weak, but will continuously spawn monsters (which, incidentally, can include actual spiders) who will seek you out and attack you. This can be especially rough in the Chalice Dungeons, where their thralls seem to know exactly where you are at all times. You don't even have to be in the same room—they will find you eventually, and in some dungeons will even attack you as you're coming up on the floor's first lantern!
    • Snatchers are the first truly difficult enemy you'll encounter after you defeat the Blood-starved Beast; a few will appear in Cathedral Ward and will undoubtedly crush the living shit out of you and then take you to a high-level area full with even more Snatcher! These undead mobs with sacks over their shoulders have massive health and deal INSANE damage, they have many attack moves and when under 75% health they will turn into god-damn martial artists and become a full on Lightning Bruiser. Don't let them fool you with their slow-walking act either, they can pounce you at anytime which causes MASSIVE damage and can also be linked into a combo.
    • The Winter Lanterns. Not only do they spam a grab attack that's difficult to avoid, hard to parry, and very damaging, but just being around them causes the Frenzy meter to rise. If they grab you, chances are you'll be killed by the Frenzy effect long before the lengthy animation is finished. They also cannot be snuck up on because they're covered with eyes. Killing them is often more trouble than it's worth. The only mercy is that they are in strictly optional Nightmare areas.
    • Almost as hated as the Winter Lanterns are the Brainsuckers. What they are, essentially, is a Cthulhumanoid whose primary attack is to grab you and suck out some of your Insight with an enormous tentacle that bursts suddenly from their head, draining a ton of your health in the process. Once they have a hold of you, you can't break free no matter how hard you mash the shoulder buttons, and you won't get the Insight you lose back even if you kill them immediately afterwards. Making things worse is their ability to fire spells at you that restrain you and hold you in place while they run up to eat your head. These spells are very hard to dodge due to the speed at which the projectile moves, and they can spam them at an insane rate, meaning that even if you dodge one, the next is probably going to hit you unless you take cover immediately. And if all that doesn't make you hate them, then the disgusting gurgling sounds they make constantly when idle will.
    • The Fish Giants in the Fishing Hamlet area of the DLC are this. They're quick, they hit like trucks, and the delays in their attacks make them tricky to dodge. They can be countered, but that's easier said than done. Apart from their normal swings, the Fish Giants also have a charge attack that can kill you instantly. Couple that charge attack with ridiculous tracking and dodging it can be downright unfair.
    • The tentacle-faced Church Executioners from the DLC are also this. They have tons of health, can kill you in only a few hits, have long combos, and can buff their weapon up to not only add MORE range, but also a secondary hitbox after EVERY swing.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Plain Doll.
    • As of the release of The Old Hunters, Lady Maria has become this as well. Which makes sense, given that the Doll and Maria are sort of the same character. And, to a lesser extent, Ludwig and Simon.
    • Micolash and Valtr, for the reasons mentioned under Crazy Awesome. Though Micolash is liked more for his Cloud Cuckoolander antics than for his boss fight, which is generally considered to be one of the worse fights in the game.
    • Gascoigne and his family seem to be this as well, especially his youngest daughter. Because of how awful players tend to feel for her death, it's not uncommon to find people on fan forums or other websites asking how they can save her. There is; it's to never speak to her in the first place. The moment she greets you, her fate from then on is sealed.
  • Even Better Sequel: While it is, of course, YMMV, quite a few people consider Bloodborne to be FromSoftware's finest work and the pinnacle of the "Soulsborne" series, surpassing previous efforts Demon's Souls, Dark Souls I and Dark Souls II, and even Dark Souls III that came after it. This is generally due to its more aggressive and dynamic gameplay, it's more intense atmosphere, and more focused lore and story that also stands out as truly fresh and unique for the series and the industry as a whole.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Despite the game involving absolutely no romance whatsoever, quite a number of fans pair up the Hunter with the Plain Doll, mostly due to the Doll's dialogue and her devotion to the Hunter as well as how the player can choose to (sort of) reciprocate her feelings by giving her the Small Hair Ornament.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • A Bone Ash enhanced Cannon (also known as the Bass Cannon) deals an obscene amount of damage against anyone in its range, but is otherwise inaccurate and inefficient. The problem comes when you combine it with the Reiterspallasch Trick Weapon to effectively parry and stun your opponent (just spamming R2 is enough) and follow up with a cannon blast while they're down. Using it for low level PvP? It would be a guaranteed One-Hit Kill.
    • A Rifle Spear that stacks Arcane damage bonus blood gems only require you to do one thing: spam the L2 button, no other moves involved.
      • This is no longer the case after the 1.04 patch, which fixed the oversight.
    • Shaman Bone Blades, as A German Spy reveals, can wreck the PvE gameplay if you use them right. Being limited to a carry stock of 3 of them may be for the best.
    • The parry mechanic itself can allow skilled players to tear through most enemies and humanoid bosses (Gascoigne, Logarius, Gehrman, etc.) with ease. Some bosses (looking at you, Pthumerian Descendant) are usually taken out exclusively using parries/visceral attacks. The later chalice dungeons balance this by summoning particularly vicious monsters when an enemy is killed with a visceral attack.
    • With a high enough Bloodtinge stat, Simon's Bowblade can make a majority of the game trivially easy, letting you hang back at a safe range and pelt enemies and bosses with high-damage arrows without having to put yourself at much risk. The only limiter to this is how well you can manage your quicksilver bullets, and if someone were to combine it with the Runes that give bullets for Visceral Attacks, even this is mitigated and the weapon becomes almost completely self-sufficient.
    • Similar to the weapon mentioned above are the Blacksky Eye and Accursed Brew also from the DLC. They scale incredibly well with Arcane and use only one or two Quicksilver Bullets respectively. The latter is worth mentioning because of it's wide hitbox while the Blacksky Eye is easily spammable with short casting time and almost non-existent cooldown and fair range. It's entirely possible to cheese out some bosses, even the endgame ones only using a combination of the two.
    • From a PvE stand point we have the Whirligig Saw, the thing's damage output is awe inspiring. It's fully capable of crippling every limb a boss possesses in seconds, stun locking them in various flinch animations. It's particularly devastating against beasts, as it does serrated damage and can be set on fire, a damage type most beasts are crippling weak to, for even more damage. Fittingly it is the weapon of choice for Valtr, Master of the Co-op covenant The League. Did we mention that, if you're a bit gutsy and light on your feet, you can get it not long after defeating Amelia, who can potentially be the second boss you kill?
    • For PvP we present the Rakuyo, weapon of Lady Maria. Without a doubt the most devastating weapon against other Hunters... once properly mastered at any rate. The Rakuyo's incredibly complex moveset essentially turns Bloodborne into a fighting game, as it has far more complex combos then any other weapon. This makes it ''extremely'' difficult to predict. Combined with it's blazing fast attack rate allows it to chew through other Hunters, NPC or PC, with frightening ease. Bringing this thing into invasions or duels will generally get you lots of hate mail and/or mockery as it's universally considered the most over powered weapon in the game once mastered.
    • The Holy Moonlight Greatsword counts through three virtues. First, it has excellent scaling and damage in both strength and arcane. Secondly, it has a decent moveset, amazing switch attacks, good reach and fine rally potential. Thirdly and most importantly is it's transformed attack. It's L2 is bad enough, a slow wind up for a massive thrust almost as good as a visceral attack for a pittance in bullets... but it's charged L1 is where it shines: A massive windup for an attack...that shoots a sword beam. Seems lack-luster until you account for the fact that the main swing is still present, so with perfect positioning it hits twice for absurd bouts of damage. More importantly the attack is an A.I. Breaker, as most bosses will just slowly walk towards you] if you use a Charged Attack with no chance of hitting anything... never remembering the Sword-Beam part of the attack until it hits them in the face. Alone none of these would make the different but together they make the Moonlight greatsword a weapon cut above the rest.
    • In its transformed state, all of the Church Pick's attacks deal pure Thrust damage. Why is this a game breaker? Well, as this video puts it:
      Here, look at this list:
      these are all the enemies weak to thrust damage
      [Beat]
      ALL OF THEM
  • Genius Bonus: As shown on the analysis page, the level progression in The Old Hunters closely mirrors Buddhist depictions of Hell.
  • Goddamn Bats: From Software must have a thing for making their dog enemies as annoying as possible. It only gets worse as the game goes on, as the dogs keep getting bigger and meaner. In the Chalice Dungeons, they start being relentless, accompanied by Keepers of the Old Lords, and breath fire.
    • There's also the infamous worms thanks to their screwed hitbox, fast attacks, surprisingly large damage and of course — attacking in groups. In a late-game level they SPAWN from defeated enemies!
  • Goddamned Boss: Micolash can be especially irritating. Unless you know the layout of the arena, it's quite difficult to corral him into a dead end so you can actually fight him. Once you do, he's relatively easy in his first phase. In the second, his use of A Call Beyond can quickly send him into That One Boss territory, and not in a good way.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The item duplication glitch returns yet again. Although some swear it was removed in the 1.02 patch, which fixed the missing Lunarium Key glitch.
    • Leaving the game running for long periods of time (somewhere in the 12 hour range) causes a memory leak that messes with the AI of the bosses in the game. The typical result forces them to use a single attack and nothing else, which completely trivializes every boss in the game if you're willing to leave your PS4 on for a long time. The 1.03 patch fixed this, along with the long load times and the performance drops.
    • The Souls brand ragdoll physics also return in full form, after Dark Souls II disabled it for the most part.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the endings. The Childhood's Beginning ending can be accurately described as "you're a kid now, you're a squid now".
    • The Old Hunters introduces Ludwig as one of the bosses. If you know your animal related Dark Souls memes, take a wild guess with what mutilated animal he resembles.
  • Ho Yay: Gascoigne and Henryk. 'Partners' is ambiguous, and once you've defeated the former Henryk takes up residence at his deathplace.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Just when you thought the adrenaline-pumping action and Cosmic Horror Story in the Souls series was too extreme...
  • It Was His Sled: The biggest twist of the game, that there's a bunch of invisible, gigantic aliens pulling the strings, has long since become common knowledge thanks to the Play the Game, Skip the Story nature.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Old Woman becomes this after she loses her mind and starts thinking you're her grandchild.
  • Memetic Badass: No mercy for Wheelchairs. note 
    • The Powder Kegs are slowly gaining momentum, considering they make the coolest trick weapons in the game. Including the Whirligig Saw and the Boom Hammer.
      • By extension, this includes Valtr, a Solaire Expy and wielder of the Whirligig Saw.
  • Memetic Molester: A dark variation. Some players see Gehrman as a Dirty Old Man and believe that he not only raped the Plain Doll, but encourages the player to do the same. This is due to some alarming dialogue, his distant attitude to the Doll, and the heavily implied backstory of both the doll and himself.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in The Old Hunters DLC, long before the Doll was created, Gehrman has a curious mania towards Lady Maria, his apprentice of Cainhurst heritage. Being unable to cope with her loss, Gehrman created an exact replica of Lady Maria, and that, is where the Doll came from. One may wonder what else Gehrman did to Lady Maria when she was still alive.
    • On a lighter note, the fact that Gehrman has a book titled "How To Pick Up Fair Maidens" in his workshop (can be viewed by using the Monocular) pretty much cements his Dirty Old Man status.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Meme Sword" Explanation 
    • "You just got Anwar'd" Explanation 
    • Kos...some say Kosm.
      • Grant us eyes. Grant us eyes.
      • AHWOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    • A HOONTER MOOST HOONT Explanation 
    • The "Make Contact" and the "League Oath" gestures have pretty much become the new "Praise the Suns". Doubly so for "League Oath", since it is Bloodborne's actual equivalent of the Warriors of Sunlight.
    • DOLL WAIFU IS BEST WAIFU! Explanation 
    • From the TV... Give me the tea... Sushi piggy... Explanation 
    • Badass Pizza Cutter.Explanation 
    • The Snakes map. Explanation 
    • Spin2Win! Explanation 
    • "Away, away!" Explanation 
    • The Bloodborne Machine. Explanation 
    • NEVER EVER. Explanation 
    • "Bloodborne Kart".Explanation 
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Much like its predecessors, the "boss kill" sound effect. The splattering of a mighty foe's blood, the sudden swell of wind and noise, followed by complete silence. It reinforces the feeling of relief after killing a particularly difficult boss.
    • The WHA-SHING of a successful parry can make one's heart skip.
  • Narm:
    • Plants resembling Amygdala appear deep in the Forbidden Woods. However, since these are plants, they just look like gigantic peanuts.
    • The giant spiders in the Nightmare of Mensis, who look like oversized Halloween decorations when they're hanging from the ceiling.
    • Upon defeating Ludwig in the DLC, his severed head will remain alive and (if you're wearing any Church attire) tearfully ask you whether the Church's legacy turned out to be honorable. Tell him a brutally honest "no" and he will deliver a line to the effect of "Just as I feared...my detractors were right after all," and then start laughing/crying/nickering like a horse for what feels like a minute straight.
  • Narm Charm: The Orphan of Kos' screams. Out of context, it sounds a bit silly, but considering what you're fighting, many find it terrifying.
  • Nausea Fuel: The whole theme of disease mixed with the use of blood is utterly nauseating. Injecting yourself with blood is a gameplay mechanic which you will almost certainly use several hundred times before you finish the game, and you will not be acquiring it via sanitary means; you consume it directly from nightmarish creatures, who were formerly human, in the midst of a rampant plague zone. Anyone even remotely worried about infection or bloodborne taint will have trouble just making it through the first act.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The Milkweed Rune gives you a grotesque transformation, which is supposed to represent your character becoming more like those corrupted by the Great Ones. In practice, it makes you look like you have a giant piece of cauliflower for a head.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Late in the game, you'll see that Lesser Amygdala are scattered all over Yharnam, watching your every move, and they've been doing that from the very beginning, without you even being aware of it. Only after you defeat Rom, the Vacuous Spider do they finally become fully visible to you. And if you can get your Insight high enough, you'll see them even earlier!
      • One is hanging out right outside the Oedon Chapel, where you have been sending people to as the last safe haven the whole game.
    • Mergo's Wet Nurse. The game will not immediately acknowledge that you've defeated her after you've reduced her health to zero. It will continue running as if she were still alive. And considering that she has the ability to teleport all over the place and create a double, this lull in the action will likely leave you wondering just where or when she's going to strike, all the way until the "Nightmare Slain" message finally appears.
  • Player Punch: Multiple possible examples.
    • The death of Gascoigne's younger daughter, and later, the suicide of her sister as a direct result.
    • You send the the younger sister to the chapel. but she never arrives. The older sister asks you to find her, saying she was carrying a white ribbon. Later, you kill one of the giant pigs (its face covered in eyes} and find a bloody ribbon. You talk to the older sister through the window again and give her the ribbon. Later still, she doesn't answer at the window anymore... and you find her broken body at the bottom of a ladder, having jumped or fallen to her death.
    • Arianna being murdered by Adella, all because of the latter's demented jealousy.
    • Discovering Iosefka's Clinic and then finding out that all the people you thought you were saving by sending there have been subjected to horrific experiments by the Choir agent posing as Iosefka.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • If anything in the game was consistently criticized, it was the load times, which can take anywhere from 30-45 seconds. Considering the nature of the game, you will be seeing the load screen a lot. Thankfully, From Software acknowledged the problem and made a patch that reduced the load times considerably.
    • Even the most adamant of fans of Bloodborne utterly hate Frenzy's mechanics. The concept is fine (going mad from being in the presence of the otherworldly or incomprehensible), but the mechanics of it are absurd. The higher your Insight, the lower your defense against Frenzy, and Frenzy continues to build up long after the source of the attack has either stopped or been killed. Winter Lanterns in the Nightmare Frontier and Nightmare of Mensis are the absolute worst about it, as merely being in their line of sight (note that their heads are enormous spheres covered in eyes) can inflict frenzy. Unless you're packing plenty of sedatives or have very good timing on a visceral attack, you're losing around 50-90% of your HP from bad timing.
    • Blood Vials and Quicksilver Bullets are actual items to be purchased, instead of being replenished for free at checkpoints like the Estus of Dark Souls. To many, this is a step backward—Continuing Is Painful in Dark Souls, sure, but at least you could keep exploring without buying or searching for healing items like in Demon's Souls. The result is that if the player hits a wall at a tough boss, they may expend all their Vials and Bullets and be forced to farm enemies for the money or the items themselves—the epitome of Padding. They're actually fairly expensive, too—Vials are 720 and Bullets are 400 blood echoes each in the lategame, and it adds up quickly when you can hold at least 20 of each. It's telling that FROM's next works, Dark Souls III and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, returned to the Estus system. Sekiro features an analogue to the Quicksilver Bullet which must still be purchased or picked up, but they only cost 20 sen each at a point in the game where many enemies drop at least 100 sen.
  • Self-Fanservice: While pretty much every game has this these days (Rule 34 explicitly states "no exceptions"), there's a particularly notable (and bizarre) case in Bloodborne. You'll never guess who the most frequently fan-sexualised female character in the game is after the Plain Doll. Lady Maria? No. Arianna? No. Iosefka? No. It's Vicar Amelia. And not in human form either, but in her giant horned dog-beast form. Even non-porn artists are fond of idealising her.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Despite never meeting or even acknowledging each other's presence, some people ship Father Gascoigne with Djura.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: It's very easy to just spend hours upon hours exploring the Chalice Dungeons while entirely ignoring the main game. Due to the increased number of blood echoes awarded by enemies in later Chalices, it's not uncommon for players to get sidetracked by the Chalice Dungeons and then come out completely overlevelled for even the hardest content in the main game.
  • Spiritual Licensee: To all of the Souls games, from fans and reviewers alike. It takes the excellent combat of the Souls games and reinvents it for a much more visceral experience.
    • The monster-based horror aesthetic, difficulty level and nonlinear world design have led many fans to deem it the 3D Castlevania game they always wanted.
    • Given its Cosmic Horror Story aesthetic, the game is essentially an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's works, with particular emphasis to the Dream Cycle.
    • To the French film Brotherhood of the Wolf, which uses themes and aesthetics that clearly inspired the production of Bloodborne on some level.
    • Also to Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula in terms of visual atmosphere, fusion of Victorian England and Central Europe, clothing and production design, and the overall focus on blood and life.
    • Some argue that huge wedges of the appeal lie in how it feels even more like old school Survival Horror games than the Souls games do for whole sections (and Souls is pretty nifty at the heart-in-mouth, yay-made-it, OMG-help-help-help-not-going-to-make-it, follow-the-bread-crumbs survival feel as it is). A rare thing, these days.
  • Squick: Any medical student/doctor who pays attention to the way the game describes blood ministration & the creation & use of blood vials will cringe at just how many things are wrong with it. First, the person violently injects the blood vial into their right leg. In real life, this would likely cause more blood loss than the vial would restore, not to mention that the blood vials are all likely contaminated, giving roots to all sorts of ...*ahem*... bloodborne diseases. There's also the fact that if the recipient's blood type doesn't match with the blood type in the vial, that person would be dead within minutes due to the body's immune response destroying the received blood.
    • Backstabbing the giant pig in the sewers looks... unclean, to say the least.
    • In the Old Hunters DLC, the last Brain Fluid you have to find to finish Saint Adeline's questline is apparently found by killing her, which means she is effectively drinking her own brain fluid. Yikes.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: Mentioning having a problem with the game's grindy nature or difficulty unfortunately tends to result in people giving helpful tips such as "Any real gamer would appreciate the challenge", "Get good", or "I had no problems with that part, you must suck", instead of actual advice. This is especially poignant if one actually enjoys the game but feels it's repetive at times, and at least a few critics have had insults thrown at them for having to repeat segments of the game.
  • That One Achievement: For the most part, platinuming the game is surprisingly easy, since the trophies you need to unlock are all for killing all the bosses, retrieving all the Hunter weapons and tools, and completing all three endings. However, there's one trophy that will be a pain in the ass to get: Yharnam, Pthumerian Queen, a boss trophy you get for killing the Final Boss in the Pthumeru Ihyll Chalice Dungeon. Killing her isn't actually much of a problem (see Anti-Climax Boss). Rather, the difficulty comes from getting to her, since it means traversing all of the (increasingly challenging) Pthumerian Chalice Dungeons including the ridiculously hard Defiled Chalice Dungeon, as well as beating two nasty bosses on the upper levels of Pthumeru Ihyll.
  • That One Attack: Martyr Logarius' dark magic spells are incredibly aggravating even for experienced dodgers (one large skull projectile clips through the scenery and towards you, for starters). You'd better pray that he goes after you with melee attacks.
    • Ebrietas, Daughter of the Cosmos has a ton of these. Two charge attacks that are near impossible to dodge without great timing, a flurry of magic spells that deal a ton of damage, and two other attacks that inflict frenzy. There's a very good reason why she's one of the harder bosses in the game.
    • A Call Beyond, which is used by multiple NPCs. It's excessively difficult to dodge and it can one-shot you if you're unlucky. And Micolash in particular likes to spam it. There's a reason why the player base likes to name it "A Call Beyond Bullshit."
    • Rom, the Vacuous Spider for the most part is a pretty simple Flunky Boss. However when you reduce its health enough, it starts spamming a very high damaging meteor attack. These meteors can home in on you as well. And Rom likes to do this move constantly.
    • Ludwig's jump attack. He pretty much leaves the screen for a few seconds, then comes crashing down on your location, dealing huge damage. Avoiding it requires either split-second dodging (sprinting doesn't work half the time) or careful manoeuvering around the arena.
      • And then in the above boss' second phase, he has two attacks that involve pointing his sword either up or down. Down isn't the subject here. Up is the real issue; he will use a much larger shockwave around him just to knock the hunter over, then begin charging his sword. If you don't have him in either half of the corpse room or realize you can dodge behind him just before he strikes, you are going to eat a massive cone-shaped shockwave. It easily can cover half of the whole room and will most likely kill you before it ends.
    • The Undead Giant's leaping attack can be one of these if you have to go back and fight the one that appears as the first boss in the Pthumerian Chalice Dungeon. It likes to bring this attack out the instant you pass through the Nightmare Mists into its boss room before you're able to dodge, putting you at an immense disadvantage right out of the gate. If you're unlucky enough to face the version with chains protruding from its back, it may also one-shot you with a spinning attack that covers most of the arena.
    • Father Gascoigne's forward leap after he transforms into a beast is incredibly fast and hard to dodge, but what pushes it into That One Attack territory is that he is almost guaranteed to use it after he's knocked you down with another attack, killing the player instantly if they don't spam the roll button at the right time. Making matters worse is that he'll often use this technique several times in a row; first one to knock you down and the rest to finish you off. And to make matters even worse he is probably the first or second (depending on whether you fight the Cleric Beast first) boss you encounter so unless you've spent most of the game so far practicing dodging and stunning...good luck.
    • The Bloody Crow of Cainhurst's gun shots can deplete half your health and is made even worse if he parries you since his visceral attacks are a straight One-Hit Kill no matter how much you have in vitality, he will also use his gun constantly after strafing or rolling so be prepared to dodge instantly after he does to avoid that gun shot.
    • The Orphan of Kos's second phase is full of these, but arguably the worst is his lightning attack, which covers the majority of the arena and forces you to split your attention between dodging the Orphan's frenzied attacks and trying not to get hit by the lightning, both of which are damaging enough on their own and can kill you instantly when comboed together. His leaping attacks are also pretty infuriating, as he basically leaves the screen for a couple of seconds, and if you're unlucky he'll land right on top of you and do immense damage.
    • The Headless Bloodletting Beast's body slam attack, which he loves to do whenever you're underneath him. It's incredibly difficult to dodge because it basically turns his entire body and the area around it into one giant hitbox and, due to its short windup and the Camera Screw resulting from the boss's enormous size, it's very difficult to see coming as well. This attack can easily take off more than half your health and he spams it with abandon whenever you dare get underneath him, and it's probably the main reason why this boss is so infamous among the player base.
  • That One Boss: Now has its own Page.
  • That One Level: Yahar'gul, the Unseen Village. Unlike other stages, this one is swarming with Bell Maidens who continuously respawn enemies, sometimes right behind you (and you only get Echoes for killing them the first time). It's full of Lesser Amygdala that will try to snatch you as you run past or blast laser beams in your direction. And then there's the infamous "Gank Squad," a trio of NPC Hunters that will tear you to shreds without extremely careful baiting.
    • The Forbidden Woods. While the enemies there are not terribly dangerous, they can inflict poison. What makes this area a pain is that it's so massive, to the point where it's easy to get lost in. It doesn't help that the stretches between lanterns and short cuts are really long.
    • Upper Cathedral Ward. The orphanage is pretty much the only reason this area is hard, it is home to tougher Scourge Beasts AND Brainsuckers, the worst part is it's almost impossible to deal with one without alerting the others.
    • Nightmare Frontier. Big, easy to get lost, and has tough enemies such as Loran Silverbeast and rock throwing giants that are placed in difficult positions which are incredibly hard to get to. Not to mention the rocks they throw could one-shot you if you don't spend a lot in vitality, this area also introduces the Winter Lantern.
    • Nightmare of Mensis. As the final area of the game before 2 optional final bosses in Hunter's Dream, it is certainly tough. Upon venturing further, you'll immediately be induced with frenzy by the Brain of Mensis located far away in a tower, this makes navigating difficult since you'll have to put up with Loran Silverbeast constantly attacking you when you're busy trying to staying out of the Brain of Mensis' line of sight and hiding behind objects. This area is massive and littered with tough enemies such as Winter Lanterns, rock throwing giants, hunters, and many more.
    • The Defiled Chalice Dungeon. Most of the dungeon wouldn't be bad, but it comes with an extra side effect of cutting your HP in half. The actual dungeon is hell enough, but then you get to the bosses, who can easily one-shot you or catch you in a combo that drains your entire health bar. And the final boss will literally rip her arms off and use them as trick weapons. Did I mention she's fifty feet tall and has six arms?
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Eileen the Crow's questline. Not so much a factor of difficulty as much as the fact that it seems to be very easy to abort the quest: there are a set of extremely particular requirements to trigger each event. Whatever these requirements are are still so obscure after over a year after the game's release that this situation is popularly assumed to just be a bug.
    • To get your hands on the Rakuyo weapon, you have to descend a ladder down into a well within the Fishing Hamlet and battle the two Giant Fishmen inside. One Giant Fishman by itself is stronger than most enemies, including some of the bosses, so fighting two at once is insane, though thankfully the second one only joins in when the first is brought down to half health. Adding to this, one of the Fishmen sports a completely different moveset from the rest of them, meaning you have to learn the different timings for dodging or get thoroughly thrashed. Lastly, there is no foolproof way to cheese it; if you want Rakuyo, you're earning it. That said, a popular method to deal with these two jerks is to hit the first one with a Shaman Bone Blade as it walks to where the second is clinging to the ceiling. Ideally, these two will begin mauling each other and will, at worst, leave each other severely low on health.
      • Another way to get the Rakuyo can be found in the form of a passage just before the Final Boss of the DLC that leads to a raised platform where you can pepper the Fishmen with ranged attacks in relative safety. Of course, getting there means getting through the entire Fishing Hamlet first and then dealing with a pair of Winter Lanterns to actually get to the platform.
    • Getting rid of the Brain of Mensis in the Nightmare is a procession of instant death threats that have to be carefully navigated. One has to get past Micolash, and then jump into an open window from an elevator shortcut. It's very easy to just miss or bounce off the window and die from the fall. Then a bridge with four Winter Lanterns that will make your head explode if you mess up, a room full of spiders to get you while wounded, and then finally you can pull the lever to make that Brain fall from its perch.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The DLC area, the Hunter's Nightmare, is stated to be a hellish dream space where hunters spend eternity after becoming drunk on blood. While the DLC features several historical hunters, hunters that go insane during the main game like Gascoigne, Eileen, or Albert don't appear at all.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Messengers are pretty hideous little things, but when they wear funny hats they end up becoming oddly cute. They're also described as being innocent, eager to please, and having a love of dress-up. They also do a funny little dance whenever the player positively rates one of their messages. It's hard not to like the freakish little ghouls. Even the doll is quite taken with the Messengers, describing them as "sweet."
    • Rom, the Vacuous Spider also dips into this a bit despite being a Great One. It's a stubby-looking pillbug monster that is a quite passive opponent compared to most other bosses in the game. Its offspring also fall into this, being man-sized baby spiders who attack by leaping into the air and landing clumsily on their faces.
    • The Keeper's Hunting Dogs found within the Chalice Dungeons. While they're harder to see in-game, the guide has a clear picture of them. They look like they could be entered in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest.
    • Vicar Amelia's transformation. A Mix-and-Match Critter with a long, wolf-like muzzle and antlers, long white hair, and eyes hidden behind wrappings, the end result looks more pitiable than horrific.
  • The Woobie: A pretty large portion of the cast could count, but special mention goes to Gascoigne's daughter who you meet in Central Yharnam. Her father's turned into a beast, her mother is dead (possibly even at his hands), and she's stuck at home alone in a city full of bloodthirsty monsters. Making it worse, it is absolutely impossible to save her from death.
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Gehrman, once the first Hunter of Yharnam, a selfless person who can withstand a cosmic scale of horror, reducing into a crippled, wheelchair-bound old man trapped in a dream. He wished to be freed from the nightmare and begged his friends to put him out of his misery, but they couldn't. By the time when you halted the source of nightmare, he insisted to offer you a Mercy Kill instead of begging you to kill him, wishing you to be freed. If you reject his offer, he demonstrates quite handily that having a missing leg is not a big handicap for him.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The Orphan of Kos. Being a Half-Human Hybrid of both man and Great One (and having no place in either world), its mother long dead, and the only way it can even communicate is with incoherent screaming, is it any wonder that the poor thing lashes out at the first thing it sees without hesitation?
  • Woobie Species: Humanity itself is stuck in a three way tug-of-war between the ruthless Scourge of beasts plaguing the land, the well-intentioned but ultimately disastrous actions of the Great Ones, and their own dwindling sanity, a song and dance implied to have been going on for generations. Most of the people the player talks to aside from Gehrman and the Plain Doll are insane, afraid to leave their homes, or angry at the hunters for failing to do their job. This is without getting into specific characters, like Ludwig, whose attempts to fend off the plague ultimately made the situation worse before turning into a particularly vile beast himself, and the Chapel Samaritan, a lonely, blind man who just wants to create a safe haven for the unfortunate.

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