Image: Lance McDonald / YouTube
The final version of Bloodborne featured coldblood, what were essentially portable blood echoes. In the alpha build of Bloodborne, these items were "fresh livers" - and bosses would have dropped special livers of their own.
The livers were discovered in an alpha build of the game, which Aussie developer Lance McDonald has had fun digging through over the last little while. We've written about some of his discoveries before, including enemies that were scrapped before release, different pathways, and how Bloodborne's lanterns were originally envisioned as comfy chairs.
Aussie developer and From Software fan Lance McDonald has had a ball of a time messing around with alpha versions of Bloodborne. So far, he's recovered deleted NPCs, brought cut enemies back to life, and scoured areas of Yharnam that were closed entirely. And just like a set of steak knives, of course there's more.
The GOTY version of Bloodborne has a secret debug menu that's accessible from the main menu. It lets you redesign your character, restart, visit any item shop, and basically muck about at will.
After discovering that in the final version of the game, McDonald used that knowledge to enable a similar menu in an alpha build of Bloodborne from September 2014. That granted him access to a bunch of unfinished menus, like the early inventory screen and placeholders for other screens, as well as the ability to granted himself every item available in the game at that point.
Most of the items are pretty straightforward, many of which ended up in the final version of the game. Some are placeholders. But McDonald also found a series of consumable "livers", which ended up being an early version of what FromSoftware would originally reimagine as coldblood.
Different bosses would drop special livers of their own, and Bloodborne had names for each of the livers. The alpha had different animations depending on the rarity of liver consumed.
The livers, much like coldblood, would have granted a number of souls depending on the rarity of the form. The rarest liver would have only granted 20,000 blood echoes, whereas Bloodborne's chalice dungeons would eventually hold Great One and Old Great One coldblood items, granting 40,000 and 50,000 echoes respectively.
I'm curious to know where FromSoftware was going with the liver connection: was it based off that old medical mythology where the liver was responsible for creating blood? I do like the idea that part of a boss's decayed corpse would become a consumable for the player; it's very fitting for Bloodborne's world.