When it comes to titles published by FromSoftware, arguably one of the most memorable features are the games’ massive selection of boss fights, with Bloodborne in particular offering a multitude of memorable, challenging bosses for players to work through. The difficulty and spectacle of these boss fights allow them to stand out from those in other FromSoftware games.
Of course, Bloodborne‘s bosses might not take first place in the eyes of every FromSoftware fan. Some might find the lore of bosses in the Dark Souls series to be more compelling, or favor the brutal boss battles from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Still, the climactic battles of Bloodborne do well in capturing the tone of the game, utilizing striking visuals, useful audio cues, and storytelling in an attempt to create uniquely memorable encounters.
Some of the bosses of Bloodborne strive to invoke a sense of terror within players on a number of sensory levels. Vicar Amelia, a boss found fairly early in the game, is an example of this. First encountered as a woman seemingly kneeling in prayer, Amelia is overcome when players approach, morphing into a hideous beast. In what some fans deem one of Bloodborne‘s more difficult boss fights, Amelia lashes out at the hunter with claws and fangs. Still, she still holds tight to the pendant symbolizing her position as a woman of the church, and she seems to pray to be healed during the fight. In addition, her feral shrieks during the battle can just as easily be interpreted as fearful as they can angry. These chilling traces of observable humanity help to create a vivid memory of the encounter for players, as well as putting the game’s grisly story into perspective.
Other bosses in Bloodborne are not beasts, but other hunters, and their fights are remembered more for the technical skill required to defeat them. Gehrman, the First Hunter, is the final boss of one Bloodborne ending and one instance of this type of battle. After appearing to be an elderly man in a wheelchair for most of the game, Gehrman will stand and duel the hunter if they refuse to be free of the Hunter’s Dream. The ensuing encounter pits the player’s own combat style against them; Gehrman will utilize firearms, visceral attacks, and a trick weapon, just like the hunter. Similarly, Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower is another hunter added to Bloodborne‘s DLC, The Old Hunters. Like Gehrman, her quick, fluid attacks force players to strike and evade with more precision than ever, making (eventually) for a memorable and satisfying victory.
A number of additional bosses can be challenged by way of the game’s Chalice Dungeons. These dungeons, while optional, allow hunters to explore new areas in which they will encounter both familiar and unique bosses. Some of these bosses can be considered among Bloodborne‘s most challenging, such as the Watchdog of the Old Lords. Others, like Yharnam, Pthumerian Queen, continue the game’s streak of unsettling fights; throughout the battle, players can hear the disembodied cry of a baby, a feature that is especially unnerving considering the boss’s background context.
Even with all of these bosses available to players (over 40, including Chalice Dungeon encounters and bosses from the DLC), it seems that the developers were planning originally to include even more. A number of boss descriptions, and in some cases semi-functional character models, can be found in Bloodborne‘s unused files. Some creatures, such as a boss resembling a giant mass of snakes, never made it past development, but players can get an idea of what these unfinished creatures could have been like with the help of mods and file restoration. Perhaps these unrealized bosses could eventually be used if FromSoftware ever does develop a sequel to Bloodborne in the future, as topping the number of encounters in the existing game would be a difficult endeavor.