Bloodborne is notorious for being very, very hard. The gruelling fifty hours it takes to free Yharnam from the grips of blood lust are filled with nightmarish enemies and, much worse, super-challenging bosses. Having beaten Bloodborne six times I’ve had my fair share of frustrating battles with each of these foes. However, the following boss ranking list is based on my very first playthrough of the game and represents my personal experience with each of the bosses and my particular struggles in facing them.
17- The Witches of Hemwick
The Witches of Hemwick is the first boss that I managed to kill in one go, and it seemed that I wasn’t the only one who found them a doddle. The Witch of Hemwick wanders around the arena, appearing and staying visible until you’ve dealt enough damage for her to disappear again. Mad One’s continuously spawn through the fight but most of them have the memory of a goldfish and will only chase you if you walk right under their noses. This ultimately means than there’s almost no danger in this fight if you keep moving. Once the Witch has been killed another Witch of Hemwick will appear with a quarter of her health and a spell attack which can freeze you in place if you allow it to connect. Unfortunately for the boss this move is easy to doge and with no other attacks, you can hunt down the second Witch and kill her before she resurrects her sister. A very easy boss fight, and one that teeters on the tedious side. However, if you fancy an easy optional boss fight to collect some blood echoes then Hemwick Charnel Lane is the right place to go.
16- The Celestial Emissary
A late game (but optional) boss, the Celestial Emissary is made up of a horde of these funny looking aliens that are scattered through the Forbidden Woods and Iosefka’s Clinic. In the Upper Cathedral Ward, the home of Bloodborne’s strongest kin enemies, awaits the Celestial Emissary. Although, this boss is anything but strong. A group of Celestial Emissary’s will spawn from the Lunaflower garden, chase you down and die after you’ve dealt them a few hits. As you do this you’ll notice the bosses HP starting to decrease. Once enough damage has been dealt to the seemingly immortal Celestial Emissary (who you can find easily inside the ever re-spawning group) she’ll grow to twice her size to become a beacon of where to aim your attacks. Retaining the same attacks as her smaller army and remaining sluggish means that she’s of little threat and most players can dispatch her on their first try.
15 – Moon Presence
For the final secret boss of Bloodborne, the Moon Presence is mildly disappointing. Although looming and grotesque, this Great One poses little threat, even appearing directly after the fight with Gehrman. I’ll admit that I was nervous watching him loom above with the knowledge that I only had six blood vials out of a possible twenty-four to back me up. However, I had little to fear as I eradicated this end game boss on my first turn with very little effort. The Moon Presence has some intimidating attacks such as an AI move that leaves you with only one HP but, unfortunately for him his recovery time after this AI attack means you can replenish all your health and slash away at him whilst he watches on. A very intimidating looking foe, the Moon Presence fails to be the one thing a final boss should be, and that’s difficult.
14- The One Reborn
After one of the vilest cut scenes in Bloodborne comes The One Reborn. I must admit, I found this boss fight daunting upon appearance. Disturbingly large and covered in rot and slime this Great One looks to be a challenging boss. And fighting against a Great One (A god in Yharnam’s universe) was also something that installed fear in me, however this boss’s bark is worse than his bite. Bell Ringers sit upon the towers of the level above and summon fireballs to support their God but once you’ve made your way to them they’re easily dispatched. The actual fight with The One Reborn isn’t too tricky, his vast size means the he has a lot of open weak points and, although he summons his attacks from the sky, red circles on the ground let you know if you need to move out of the way or not. Ultimately his daunting size leads to his downfall in the end as his huge mass means that he’s very easy to hit from any angle with any attack and therefore very easy to eradicate.
13- Vicar Amelia
Vicar Amelia was the first boss that I was eager to fight. I had heard rumours of her lore and her combat and was desperate to meet her. Her cutscene is truly nightmarish, and it highlights the consequences in blood consumption and shows how the members of the church are the ones to turn into the most horrifying beasts. Vicar Amelia is one of the faster bosses in the game and will retreat to heal if she takes too much damage. Whilst she never personally healed for me on my first play through, I did find Vicar Amelia a bit of a handful. Her combos are enough to send you staggering and her speed means that running off to heal is often the main cause of your death as she’ll chase you down when you’re vulnerable. All in all, Vicar Amelia isn’t too difficult once you understand her move set and her weaknesses, and the battle becomes more fun than worrisome. Enough so that she remains one of my favourite bosses to this day.
12- The Shadows of Yharnam
An intimidating boss fight that will see you facing off against three enemies rather than the fairer one versus one fights we’ve been so used to up until this point. The three Shadows of Yharnam fight strategically, meaning that you will also have to. Each of the Shadows fights in a specific way, one with fire, one with a sword and one that utilises both. This means that ranged and close attacks are things you’ll have to constantly avoid. Personally, I had little trouble with this fight because I was careful to keep on the move and therefore dodged the majority of the attacks. As most Bloodborne boss fights go there are two extra stages to this fight. Once you have one Shadow down the other two will sprout snakes and become more powerful and, when only a single Shadow stands he will cast a red ring on the ground which awakens a mass of giant deadly vipers in their nest underneath your feet. Letting him do this often proves deadly, and both of my two deaths came from this when I was frustratingly only moments away from killing the last shadow. On my third attempt, I didn’t dare let the vipers awaken again and I found victory.
11- Micolash Host of the Nightmare
It is well known that I am not a fan of bosses whose arsenal includes magical and arcane attacks. When I first fought Micolash I was almost disappointed at how simple he was, only attacking you with Augar of Ebrietas (a close range attack) when you manage to corner him. Like the Witches of Hemwick, Micolash has a habit of pretending to die only to respawn somewhere else, forcing you to run around after him whilst spamming buttons on the Dual Shock 4 to stop his insane rants about ‘eyes’ and his irritating howling. Once I’d found Micolash again he pulled out another trick and started to cast A Call Beyond, an homing style attack that almost never misses and resulted in my two deaths in this fight. However, it didn’t take me too long to realise that if you keep close to him he will not trigger this attack, making this fight relatively simple to overcome. Micolash is also very weak to poison, and whittle down his health with a few poison knifes definitely benefited me in the long run.
The very first time I stumbled across this boss I was under levelled and lost in the ruins of Yahar’gul. In an attempt to escape I ran outside and right onto the sleeping body of Darkbeast Paarl. Terrified that I was now trapped in an arena with this behemoth I panicked and ran straight into his AOE electric blast which ended the fight immediately. I love this boss. Paarls’ design is wonderful, his skeletal structure makes him seem ghastly and his electric attacks are unique up until this point. Paarl shares the same speed as Vicar Amelia and with a small area to fight in, this battle can often feel overwhelming. The story behind this boss’s creation is fascinating to me, the possibility that Paarl was an experiment created by the people of Yahar’gul to create a Great One. It seemed so different than all the other bosses, it seems questionable as to why these people made another monster when Yharnam was already full of them. As for the fight, I struggled a few times with Paarl’s electric bursts that occur if you get too greedy and his fast swiping combos but, once I nailed the timing, I had little trouble putting Darkbeast Paarl out of its misery.
9- The Cleric Beast
For the first boss in the game I struggled more than I should have done with the Cleric Beast. I was still unfamiliar with the controls and the combat style and so the Cleric Beast quickly showed me that I wasn’t going to get through the game playing the way that I had been. Full exploration of Yharnam (which was something I was reluctant to do as I felt so weak and under levelled in the world of nightmares) proved to be the key to success as I found the Hunter set, plenty of molotov’s and fire paper perfect for dealing with a beast like the mutated Cleric. My winning fight against the Cleric Beast was still a struggle but once I had taken him down (with much relief I’ll add) I had learned Bloodborne’s mechanics. The importance of dodging and avoiding getting to greedy when facing off against a foe. In a way, the Cleric Beast was my training wheels for the game; the thing that forced me to git gud.
8- Blood Starved Beast
This boss is terrifying. He has two folds of skin flapping off his back and bones that protrude out of his poisonous body. The poison aspect of the Blood Starved Beast is something that really put me on my back foot during this battle. So many times I had whittled him down to low health only to die unexpectedly thanks to the slow poison that had been building up during the fight. Along with his poison, The Blood Starved beast gets deadlier the lower his health gets, gaining speed and attack boosts once you hit half health, then again when you quarter his health. Antidotes are littered around both Old Yharnam and the arena you face the beast in so if you’re conservative with your health, you should be able to prevent any poisoning almost instantly. Amidst the terror and frustration of dying to The Blood Starved Beast a few times I did really enjoy this fight, its fast paced and as testing as some of the hunter vs hunter fights you encounter later in the game. Blood Starved Beast is definitely a challenge.
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