All Bosses

Thu 07 May 2020 by psu

Almost three years ago I wrote my "last" piece on Bloodborne, having beat the Orphan of Kos using a character at base level. If the upload dates on my youtube videos are an accurate reflection of real time, that fight took me about a month to finally win and I was pretty much done with the game after that.

But, in the modern twitch streaming, or classic speed running parlance, I had always planned for this "run" to be "all bosses". Which meant that I actually had three more fights to go:

  1. Laurence (aka The Drama Queen Fire Dog), the optional DLC boss.
  2. Gerhman (aka The Creepy Old Guy), the "final" boss in the main game.
  3. Moon Presence (aka The Moon Slug), the hidden final boss in the main game.

I actually made a run at Laurence before, without much luck, and there the run sat for three years.

I picked up the game again for the same reason any of us picks up an old video game in these days of the "lockdown" (if you are from the future, hopefully the lockdown is over and things are mostly better now). I needed a relaxing distraction from the darkness, so of course I would play series of sadistic boss fights, that I have to relearn, with an underpowered character and no margin for error. Good choice!

I also found a cheese strat for Laurence that I think I tried and failed to use before. But I figured out how it actually works. The problem with the Laurence fight is that while he is in the second third or so of his health bar his attack patterns get very random and hard to dodge. If you are LobosJr and you beat him in a 45min fist only fight, then this is no problem. But if you are me it will take approximately a year to work this out. Since any missed dodge in this fight is instant death, this makes the fight tedious, especially with the long run back to the boss room after every loss.

Luckily, if you are careful you can lock the AI for the creature in a loop where it only ever does one attack, and gives you a window for exactly one attack and you can keep this loop going until the last phase of the fight. Now all you have to do is learn the last phase (and not fuck up the cheese).

As you enter the fight Laurence always does this big overhead slam and fire fist thing. What you do is you run past him, turn around, hit him once, and then run away to the other side of the room, turn around, and run back. As you come back to him he will repeat this action again. Rinse and repeat. If you mess up and get too close to him in the attack window the loop will break and he'll go into his regular patterns and you will die. But, normally you can get off one or two R1s or an R1 and a transform L1. After about 3 minutes of this you'll be into the screaming lava-filled and on fire amputee phase of the fight.

The bad news for me with the last phase is that it requires precision in action and motion so you don't keep running into the lava pools:

or phantom hit boxes:

or just not reading the attacks right:

or just getting stuck on a wall:

or just not remembering the patterns the right way:

and so on and so on. Anyway, after about a week of this nonsense I finally did enough right to not die before hitting the boss enough to end the fight.

While I think beating Laurence without the cheese might have taken longer than Orphan (hard to say) ... with the cheese he's a lot easier, but not without a lot of frustration with my own incompetence.

OK. On to the creepy old guy.

This is much the same story. Phase 1: re-learn all the parries. There are two main ones that work every time. Phase 2: learn where the attack windows are (and how to avoid the shotgun to the face). Phase 3: Hope that you get a lot of parries a row.

Mostly though I died to this:

Which as you can imagine, made me feel great every time. The hard part of this fight is clearly dealing with the sword and shotgun form in the middle phase. The main rule is: never go in for a swing if he has not shot the gun recently. Otherwise you end up in front of him and he one shots you in the face. Somehow I don't have a video of this happening ... since it happened a few hundred times.

Here is a good phase 3 where I fuck up:

Here is a good phase 3 until it's not good anymore:

Here is a good phase 3 where I win:

I expected this fight to be easier, and it was. Only a couple of days.

Finally, the moon slug. Here you just have to learn how to get under the creature and R1 spam.

There is not much more to say about this.

Conclusion: After putting the game down for several years it only took a couple of weeks to clear all these fights. Therefore, Orphan is clearly the hardest fight in all of the Soulsborne games. Even accounting for the Laurence cheese, these monsters are cream puffs by comparison.

Category: Video Games