The Moment I Lost Everything In Bloodborne

In terms of the way we discuss it, playing From Software games is kinda like fishing. You once caught a fish this big. You beat this boss first time. You were wandering around Anor Londo with 500,000 souls in New Game+ and got skewered by archers 500 metres away.

The stories are part of what makes these games so compelling, so I thought I might share one...

Warning: Mild early game spoilers ahead.


That Time I Lost A Lot Of Souls Looking For A Lantern

Coming straight from Dark Souls II to Bloodborne has been an interesting experience. Not just in the combat or the structure of the game, but in terms of the frequency of its bonfires/lanterns.

Simply put: Dark Souls II probably had too many Bonfires. Too many to ever really put that dread in your heart. In the original Dark Souls a Bonfire was like a beacon in the fog. When you finally found one you'd punch the air in delight. LAND AHOY. In Dark Souls II it was more like a 7-11 in the CBD when you’re after a Slurpie: "no big deal, I’ll pick one up at the next shop".

Anyway, I was in the deepest depths of Yarnham. A bit lost if I’m being honest. Lost in that Dark Souls way: you’ve totally killed every last bastard in every area and, as a result, just so happen to be carrying a massive payload of Souls/Blood Echoes.

It’s a massive bloody weight on your shoulders. A massive bounty for any random enemy that gets the jump on you. No-one wants to lose all those souls.

Point being I was desperate to find a Lantern. Desperate. I didn’t want to go back to the previous Lantern because -- as you all know -- using that checkpoint would cause all the enemies to respawn and I needed the freedom to explore, because I was lost!

So I kept on keeping on. Eventually I find a route I somehow missed. The kind of route that seems super obvious in hindsight. I walk down a hill, in the distance an ominous looking church/cathedral type thing. The kind of building that might house a tasty little Lantern.

Or, if I’m less lucky, a boss.

So I’m clearly in a risk/reward situation, but I’m already all-in. I’m going to walk down to this cathedral and see what the situation is. As I walk up the stairs of the cathedral it’s pretty clear -- this is a major space where a Lantern might reside.

Or a boss

At the far end of the cathedral: some sort of enemy. At this distance it’s pretty difficult to make out. It looks like one of the wolf-type-creatures that populate this area, so I slowly step forward. As I get closer it looks like this creature is playing a church organ like god-damn Nosferatu but, again, I can’t be sure. I’m so desperate for a Lantern that I keep on walking forward, like I’m sleep walking, or hypnotised.

And of course, a cut-scene triggers. Bollocks. The Blood-Starved Beast. He’s a boss. Fuck. Shit. Fuck.

Imagine the situation. The beast moves slowly. His movements are akin to a creepy stop-motion animated skeleton from Jason and the Argonauts… in dog form. The impending dread of his momentum pushes in on my eyeballs from the insides. I’m a kettle waiting to boil. I’m screwed. He knows it. I know it. We all know it.

I’m just slowly stepping backwards like a librarian in a burgeoning bar fight. “Mr Blood-Starved Beast, I don’t want no trouble mister.”

Well, trouble just found me. There’s no escape. Fight or flight instinct kicks in and I decide to fight -- about as conservatively as I can in this circumstance.

Your mileage may vary, but to begin with I found myself pleasantly surprised. "This guy is pretty slow," I say to myself. "He telegraphs his attacks. He’s finding it difficult to hit me."

This is my inner monologue as I dart in and out of range, carefully striking him once, twice if I’m feeling frisky. I might do this! I might beat him first time. The adrenaline starts pumping through my bones and -- in hindsight -- that was my downfall: the acquisition of confidence. I didn’t know it just yet, but I was already dead.

At about half-health the Blood-Starved Beast evolves like a Pokemon from the deepest ravages of your worst nightmare. He is leaking poison like an out-of-date teabag. In dog form. His movements speed up. His attacks become less predictable and here I am like a dummy using the same tactics, the same techniques on a boss that now feels completely different.

I’m out of my depth. He beats the utter shit out me. He literally grabs me, starts munching on my head like a sweaty lollipop.

Dead.

I am dead.

Of course I’m dead. I was dead from the second I walked in there.

No big deal, I tell myself. I know the way now. I’ll just wander down, pick up my souls/blood echoes, beat this boss and everything will be right with the world.

And, of course, I get super cocky en route and fall off a ledge whilst fighting one of the most harmless, shitty little minions.

Dead.

I am dead.

This goddamn game.


Any stories so far? Drop them in the comments below!


Comments

    I've never lost souls in this series. Especially in Dark Souls 2 when I realised those Life Rings could be repaired.

    Last edited 25/03/15 1:05 pm

      I lost count of how many souls I lost in both Dark Souls I and II.

      #Isuckatthesegames

      Are you kidding me? Roflmao man I always wanted to use the ring but I thought it will be gone once it break. Damn.

        Yep, only 3,000 souls to repair. Ended up with 4 at the end, and 2 of those rings that also protect against petrification.

    Decided to find a shortcut and managed to run into the big Hulk with a scythe. Needless to say, I'm dead. Came back and promptly gave the Hulk the middle finger before skewering his heart on my fist. Revenge never felt so good.

    I was watching a stream last night when someone came upon that guy/dog. They thought it was a wolf too and pretty much got savaged right off the bat.
    His movements are akin to a creepy stop-motion animated skeleton from Jason and the Argonauts...It's funny you put it like that because I can't help but feel a lot of enemies look and move like Muppets (Think Muppet Christmas Carol: Christmas Future, Dark Crystal and Labyrinth). I think it's the gangly limbs and exaggerated proportions and features.

    See, this one of those moments in Dark Souls where I would fast quit the fuck out of there and hence re-appear in front of the fog gate :) Yeah its a bitch tactic for the soul conservatives such as myself yet also a true fucking god-send! I'm now guessing there may be no such luxury in this relentless beast of a game :(

    Last edited 25/03/15 1:32 pm

      My younger brothers used to do this on so many games, it frustrated the hell out of me because i didn't see the point in playing the game if you weren't going to do it properly.

      I will admit though there were a few times in Dark souls 2 that i felt like doing this it was VERY hard to resist :P

    I knew I should have chucked a sicky today, I have the bloodborne disc in my hand, yet I can not play... I feel sad...

      You'n me both, buddy. It's going to be a long afternoon...

        I finish at 3pm :D just got my lil brother to go get my copy from EB, itching to get home!

        Blast time and its ability to mess with me !!! Its almost as if it has begun to stand still since I picked up my copy at lunch.

        Longest arvo/day ever !

      I am also in the "OMG why is the clock at work going backwards when all I wanna do is go home and play bloodborne, why didn't I chuck a sicky today curse it all to hell" kinda mood.

      To make it worse the receptionist has gone home sick already. I'm pretty sure even though she doesn't play games that she has gone home to steal and to play my copy of bloodborne !!! She had them shifty eyes ya know !

      TRUST NO ONE !!!!

      TRUST NO ONE !!

    "That was my downfall: the acquisition of confidence. I didn’t know it just yet, but I was already dead."

    Pretty much how it always goes.

    Seems this site is turning in Bloodborne-Taku

    Never seen such a collective sploosh over a game since......actually i dunno.
    Its not my kind of game, i understand that. However from the bug reports ive been seeing and the horribly unbalanced first boss i still have a hard time understanding why everyone is so quick to give this game a 10/10 (as it where).

    Perhaps this is like Justin Bieber or something. Popular for a reason i will never comprehend.

    Last edited 25/03/15 2:24 pm

      It may seem like that to you, and that's ok, it may not be your thing. But that's not to say it doesn't deserve the scores or attention it's getting, or for it to be compared to Bieber. After all, the Souls games do not attract the casual audience, you are probably in the majority that doesn't understand the games appeal.

      The Souls titles have never seen large scale popularity and success, but have had a strong, but small (yet growing) following amongst some old school gamers, and hence gaming sites. I think others (And myself) see it as an 'old school' experience that is gripping because of how you need to be aware of what you are doing to succeed.

      In a roll or dodge you are aware of the milliseconds of 'old school' rough around the edges 'invincibility' you are blessed with. You know each path and the amount of time each enemy takes to swipe, more so you learn where they spawn. You are aware of enemy hit boxes and environment boundary boxes, and ways to cheese them if need be.

      You find the hidden walls that you need to break to progress. You find the parts of the environment that look like props that are actually paths, hidden with 'Easter egg' level tact. Exploiting and being exploited is part of the gratifying experience of learning to succeed in the game which is rough in order to be hard as nails, yet delightfully layers it's learning curve so that you may learn perfection and get gratifyingly better at the game.

      The game is not cutting edge and it's 'unbalanced' bosses are intentional, and actually extremely balanced. Hard, but balanced. It can be difficult and crude in a way that's fun to figure out, much like a PS2 era game. If the experience were more refined, it would loose some of its intensity.

      Further more, the game is far less buggy than many big releases, why draw attention to this game? Other than the clear fact that you seem to look down at it. Be that because of personal tastes or otherwise.

      TLDR: It's getting 10's because it deserves them. I'm sorry that you don't like it, but that doesn't make it less deserving.

      Last edited 25/03/15 3:27 pm

        I completely get your point.
        I tried playing both Demon Souls and Dark Souls and couldnt get past the rage factor.

        I suppose my annoyance and frustration comes from WANTING to desperately like this game. Hell i bought 2 of em!
        But after bashing my head against the games for a total of 10 hours or so i just couldnt handle it. What i was getting out of it and what i was putting in where so different it wasnt worth my time anymore. I just relegated myself to watching a youtuber play through them and experiencing it like that, which isnt the same.

        The world those games created where incredible, and im sure Bloodborne is the same. Just a shame that someone who isnt overly skilled in these kinds of games wont be able to experience it.

        Maybe someone will make a difficulty reduction mod or something. Nothing too extreme, just something to cater to those that dont want to lose hours of their day trying to complete a single section of a game.

          You don't really need that, just a decent guide to refer to. Generally it's figuring out HOW to beat the enemies that is the hardest part. The actual execution is usually quite manageable once you know what to do.

          I'm not that skilled with it myself and it can be frustrating. In the end though, if it's not your thing it's not your thing. There's no need to feel frustrated by that, or to try and force yourself to enjoy something that you don't.

          I don't like many games that I know are good games. And that's OK. It doesn't make them worse games and I'm not wrong for not liking them.

      Can't you feel that hype burning in your veins?! :-P

      I must admit, I haven't played any Dark Souls, although I liked Demon's Souls (except those fecking crystal lizards), so Bloodborne may or may not be my jam to the extant that it is Mark's. I did get swept up in the excitement enough to rush out and buy it at launch, so here's hoping!

      Since Destiny?

      Since Titanfall?

      Big name games drive hits.

      Watching people play this on twitch it seems directionless and unbalanced.

    Call me crazy, but I'm not overly enthused to try a game that has an 'oppressive atmosphere' and is routinely described as punishing. I want my games to be fun. I don't want to die constantly, I don't want to be stuck in a murky grey hellhole where the only thing you do is fight, and pretty violently by the looks (How has it not been discussed that all you do in this game, and all the Souls games for that matter, is walk around and fight stuff?).

    I don't think this will add to my life at all. How is any of this stuff 'fun'? Miyamoto would probably have a heart attack trying to play this game.

    For the record I've tried both Souls games so I know what they're like.

      What games do you like?

      I wasn't huge on either Souls games, but this.... This is different, much more fun imo.

      Well, I agree completely that they can be depressing and if you don't want to play that, that's just dandy. All the lore is depressing. Heck, Artorias should have been the hero but if you've played Souls we know how it went for him.

      But that doesn't make the game 'not fun' in the gameplay dept.

    You need the right mindset and a degree of patience to love these games. They're like a really hot, psychotic girlfriend who abuses you, screws with your head and makes you go insane....But you see glimpses of sweetness and stay for the crazy sex.

    The entire experience comes down to everything put together. The world, lore, enemies, art design, combat, difficulty and sense of reward. The fun doesn't come from death and frustration alone, but the by the byproducts.

    Lmfao I had this exakt situation! Walked down the hill with 20k souls and went into the churhc... oops bad idea. And then on the way back I died from a werewolf. The feeling sucks but you know you'll be back for more...after you rip your hair out

    You guys are kidding yourselves. Having to memorize and read specific tactics to beat something doesn't make it a challenge. Some people like it for some reason, but I have to say it just doesn't seem rational to me. WoW had 11 mil players at one point, and the main technique for downing raid bosses was memorization, rehearsal, following steps. How is this fun though? I can't understand it. People will try to make it to be more than this, but it really isn't.

    There's the aspect of losing stuff, which I actually don't mind, as I'm a huge minecraft fan, and anyone who actually played that how it should be played (imo but more like a fact), lost a lot of stuff while in the depths of some godawful cave. But it was fun. Somehow these games are not that same kind of fun though. I think it's because of the necessity of rehearsal and dictation of playstyle. I want to fight how I want to fight, that's what I enjoy. I don't enjoy following the beat of someone else's drum as the only means to progress.

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