Hunter’s Journal Pt. 1 – Returning To Yharnam

Having recently finished(and platinumed) Elden Ring, I found myself wondering what to play next. Having come off three big open-world games(Cyberpunk 2077, Horizon: Forbidden West and Elden Ring) back-to-back-to-back, my initial instinct was to play something a little more linear and concise, perhaps something warm and cozy, like Kirby and the Forgotten World or the new LEGO Star Wars game. However, coming off Elden Ring I was still firmly on a From Software kick, so…long story short, I started another playthrough of Bloodborne. A couple hours after embarking on another journey through Yharnam, I had the idea* of documenting my way through the game as installments, for which I concluded ‘Hunter’s Journal’ was the only suitable title.

* ‘Had the idea’ = I remembered reading through fellow blogger(and far more experienced FromSoft player) Meghan from MeghanPlaysGames’ series of ‘Dark Souls Diaries’ posts and thought it sounded like an interesting idea(thanks, btw).

My newest playthrough through Bloodborne began the same as any other: studying the character creator screen before going “uhh….I dunno” and acting on my indecisive laziness by giving my character the moniker of ‘Dude’ along with a few other half-assed aesthetic decisions. I decided I wanted to deviate slightly from my default choice of “Neanderthal STR build” and focus on something of a Skill/Arcane type.

Feeling back at home?

Two things I realized within the first few minutes of playing Bloodborne again: 1) The overall vibe and atmosphere of the game is fantastic – ominous, Victorian-gothic horror. 2) Despite having played the game as long as I have, I’m still not completely sure what the hell is going on when it comes to setting up the story. I have a (very)basic understanding of Yharnam’s history and relation to places such as Cainhurst or Byrgenwerth, but there’s still plenty to piece together. One of the things I’ve learned to love about Bloodborne is the layers of history and lore throughout the game. I guess more…Insight may be required, right? <Applause sign begins flickering>

My youthful, milquetoast hunter, Dude woke up in Iosefka’s Clinic before proceeding to throw a flurry of punches at the large canine beast guarding the front door. Their valiant efforts proved futile as a mere slash from the beast sent the game to From Software’s now familiar calling card – the “You Died” screen. This was followed by “waking” in the Hunter’s Dream where I received my choice of starting melee and ranged weapons; I chose the Threaded Cane this time around as I have the least experience with it and wanted something that would scale well with Skill stats.

I spent the next few minutes getting re-acclimated to the world and enemies around me. Having come straight from Elden Ring made this incredibly easy, though it was hard not to see how Bloodborne is definitely starting to look it’s age, most notably in frame rate(my biggest gripe with the game even back then). I made a few trips around the neighborhood and the game still feels familiar enough that I didn’t have too much trouble clearing out the entire “bonfire welcoming party” and nearly everything else in the area before heading for the Cleric Beast, who was felled in a single attempt as I danced around the giant beast slashing away with my cane-whip. Dude’s off to a good start…

Once I received my unit of Insight from defeating the Cleric Beast I was able to head back to the Hunter’s Dream where The Doll had come to life and will now allow the wary hunter to level up in exchange for blood echoes collected along the way. I made a few additional trips ‘round the neighborhood to collect more blood echoes as well as additional blood vials, before returning to level up a couple times. After leveling my character up to around 160 and across 130 or so hours in Elden Ring, I feel like I finally understand the weapon/attribute scaling works…

Now that I’d completed what is effectively the tutorial on Bloodborne, it was time to make my way across the boulder-trap bridge and face off against the first major hurdle of the game – Father Gascoigne. I made my way to the cemetery where I watched the the tense cutscene which thrusts you straight into the battle with “Papa G’”. My absolute favorite of the many elements in From Software games is how the games amplify the boss fights with such drama by either cutscene intro, harrowing battle music…or both. Father Gascoigne can be a difficult boss fight and is typically considered an early litmus test for the challenges you’ll face in the latter areas of the game. Despite Dude’s best efforts and utilizing the music box obtained shortly before, I was unable to best the beastly priest. I think I’m still slightly under-leveled for Gascoigne, partly due to opting for a skill build rather than my usually Monster Hunter “big, stronk weapon” build, which means I’ll likely make a few trips through Central Yharnam farming some blood echoes/vials while I smack some fools upside the head with my cane(pretty damn awesome). It was at this time(2am), I decided I should probably call it a night and get some sleep. I am, however, already looking forward to that rematch with Father Gascoigne…

Farewell, good hunter. May you find your worth in the waking world…

Author: Gaming Omnivore

Just a guy who loves video games, drinks way too much coffee and can recite way too many Simpsons episodes...

9 thoughts on “Hunter’s Journal Pt. 1 – Returning To Yharnam”

  1. I love this format and I’m super excited to read all your entries!! I’ve also never started with the pimp cane, because the Saw Cleaver is just wayyy too tempting for me. I want to do some kind of Arcane build in this game (because I’ve never done it before) so I’ll also be going back at some point. How weird is it not being able to jump anymore??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Some of my favorite blog ideas are ones that occur at 2am…it’s just a matter of being able to act on them or not.

      I’d never used the cane either as I always look at the saw cleaver and couldn’t NOT choose that. When I got the platinum(on my stream PSN) I used the axe 99% of the time to just brute force my way through. I did the same going through Elden Ring(outside of a few situations), so I wanted to change it up a bit for Bloodborne; the concept of boosting my Arcane stat so I can apply magic to the cane-whip sounded too awesome to resist…and a little Castlevania-like 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Both a) coffee-fueled and b) 2am ideas are the best, I won’t be told otherwise. I’ve done multiple playthroughs with the Saw Cleaver, but I’ve only dabbled a lot with the strength weapons tbh (Beast Claw is probably my fav). Blades of Mercy are a fun Dex weapon but they can’t be buffed, and they’re better two-handed… which means you can’t use your gun LOL. Interested to hear how the Arcane build goes though, I’ll use the info for my next playthrough!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never played much of the From Software games (yet), but I did play a bit of Bloodborne. I actually took many attempts to get past the Cleric Beast, but then found Father Gascoigne much easier, but I guess that just depends on different players I guess. I should really go back to it one day…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I recall correctly, it only took me one or two attempts at Father Gascoigne and 4-6 to beat the Cleric Beast the very first time I played Bloodborne. I’ve gotten a little more adept at fighting the giant bosses like Cleric Beast or Vicar Amelia as you can get up close and dance around their feet for a while before they can usually hit you. The human-sized boss fights like Father Gascoigne or Micolash of the Nightmare Frontier usually seem more difficult by comparison…

      Liked by 1 person

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