Few developers know how to put together a boss fight half as well as FromSoftware. As early as Demon’s Souls on the PlayStation 3, the studio was pumping out games that consistently broke the mold in regards to boss design. Dark Souls only upped the ante when it came to memorable fights, with arguably Bloodborne serving as the apex of FromSoft’s bosses. Brutal, heavy hitters who are all grotesque in nature, Bloodborne’s bosses are legitimate trials to overcome.
This goes double for Bloodborne’s sole expansion pack, The Old Hunters DLC. The boss fights in Old Hunters are far harder than anything in Bloodborne’s base game, and Hunters best be prepared to die time and time again. There’s no getting around just how brutal FromSoftware’s DLC bosses are, guaranteed to break even the most seasoned Souls veterans on New Game + and beyond.
Ludwig, The Holy Blade
Get ready to die, cry, or both because Ludwig, the Holy Blade is a spike in difficulty unlike any other. Bloodborne is hard enough as is, but Ludwig exists to make sure players understand that The Old Hunters DLC operates on a higher level altogether. Not only is Ludwig extremely aggressive – violently dishing out combos that’ll tear health to shreds – his phase changes are genuinely difficult to keep track of.
Ludwig moves around rapidly, requiring a very quick and clear eye for telegraphs. Players need to be ready to dodge in and out of combos in order to chain their own combos while keeping Stamina in check. In typical Bloodborne fashion, dodge in & out to keep on the offensive, not to dance around Ludwig. If you play around too much, he’ll eventually wear you down.
Anyone in the League who has the Impurity Rune equipped can also summon Valtr to distract Ludwig. This isn’t necessarily the best idea since Ludwig will only have more health, but Valtr can buy enough openings to brute force the fight or just allow players to comfortably learn Ludwig’s move set.
The Living Failures aren’t anywhere near as overwhelming as Ludwig – along with being the overall easiest boss fight in the DLC – but that doesn’t mean they’re pushover. Hunters will be fighting multiple Living Failures at once, spread out around a small arena. Two of the Living Failures will cast magic from afar while the others will target the player and attack up close.
Entering phase 2, the Living Failures will summon Meteors to rain down on players, dealing massive damage if hit. Always make sure to either run counter clockwise while dodging meteors or hide by the doorway opposite the boss room entrance. While fighting the Living Failures, only focus on one at a time so not to get overwhelmed.
Keep in mind that killing a Living Failure will simply summon another Living Failure. The fight won’t end until their health bar is totally depleted, regardless of how many are killed. For an easier time, Bolt and Rapid Poison do massive damage against the Living Failures.
Lady Maria Of The Astral Clocktower
Lady Maria’s boss fight is ridiculously fun and a major highlight of The Old Hunters DLC. The woman the Doll was based on, Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower is essentially an even hader & faster version of Gehrman. Her combos get progressively more complex as she loses health, coating her Hunter Weapon with blood before buffing it with fire.
As heavy a hitter as Lady Maria is, it’s not too difficult to create an opening while fighting her. As a Hunter, Lady Maria is susceptible to parrying, staggers, and smart dodging. She telegraphs (most of) her attacks like any other player would, and the fact her worst attacks can be interrupted makes the fight very rewarding for bold players who learn her telegraphs. Keep close, stay on the offensive, and Lady Maria will go down with enough practice.
Orphan Of Kos
The Orphan of Kos is arguably the hardest boss fight in The Old Hunters and for good reasons: his aggression knows no bounds. The Orphan of Kos’ attacks hit supremely hard and its telegraphs are genuinely difficult to read, defying natural laws of movement and throwing weight into its attacks at odd intervals.
The first phase is fairly manageable, more a less a 1 on 1 duel where Hunters are expected to learn the Orphan of Kos’ telegraphs, but things become far more difficult during phase 2. The Orphan of Kos becomes much faster and essentially takes control of the fight away, forcing Hunters to be on the defensive.
It’s possible to fight back on the offensive, but doing so requires knowing how the Orphan of Kos moves in its second phase in order to anticipate attacks. The Orphan of Kos can be parried if nothing else, but your reflexes need to be especially quick.
Laurence, The First Vicar
While the Orphan of Kos is technically the “final boss” of The Old Hunters DLC, it’s best to save Laurence, the First Vicar for last – if only for his connections to the Cleric Beast. Laurence is ostensibly a much harder Cleric Beast. His attacks deal an incredible amount of damage, he’s faster than he should be, and it’s hard to keep him combo locked.
More importantly, the larger arena allows Laurence to be a much bigger threat than the Cleric Beast ever was. Stamina management becomes very important, especially in his last phase where Laurence falls to the ground and starts leaving lava in his wake. Keeping a constant flow of damage going while dodging is key.
Next: Bloodborne: How To Make An Overpowered Hunter
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