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The Old Hunters

Once you've done all that, head back to the second Hunter's Nightmare lantern. Instead of going downstairs to summon Henriett, head out into the pool of blood, sticking to the right to avoid the huge monstrosities waiting to kill you there. Make short work of the enemies near the gate to the right of the tunnel, including the harmless corpse banging at the gate who will drop five Blood Vials each time and then head to where the two crows were hiding. Valtr's summon appears there.

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There isn't a perfect method to the Ludwig fight. If you're under-leveled and your gear isn't powerful enough, it's going to be really hard. Ludwig is super aggressive, especially in phase one. Ludwig begins the fight on all fours, in beast-form. He'll charge right at you at first, and almost all of his attacks deal huge damage. Standing in front of Ludwig is suicide. His forward swiping attacks are super powerful, but it's his leaping charge that will easily one-shot you if you're not careful. Stick to his sides and his back, though he'll sometimes stomp and kick at you from behind like a horse.

You can also just stick under his belly, swerving from side to side and avoiding his swiping attacks and charge at all costs. This is dangerous, but not as dangerous as being out in front. I found sticking as close as possible and trying to retaliate as quickly as possible when wounded worked well, as I'd regain life and get in some hits. To access The Old Hunters, however, you'll want to be sufficiently prepared.

Firstly, at the very least, you'll need to have defeated Vicar Amelia at the Grand Cathedral and interacted with the altar after the fight.

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Due to the expansion's extreme difficulty though, it's recommended that you progress through as much of the main game as possible before delving into the new content our Bloodborne walkthrough can help with this. Once you've investigated the altar, Yharnam will be plunged into twilight, unlocking the items needed to access The Hunter's Nightmare as the new area is known.

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To retrieve the items, you'll first need to return to the Hunter's Dream. Next, collect the Eye of a Blood-drunk Hunter from the Messengers on the ground at the foot of the steps, close to the Doll's usual resting spot. You should also grab the Old Hunter Bell lying just outside the workshop, further up the steps - which will only be visible if you're carrying at least one Insight.

The Old Hunter Bell enables you to summon the help of powerful NPC hunters at specific markers placed around the new content area, at the cost of one Insight per summon. There's one last thing to note here: once you've accessed the Hunter's Nightmare for the first time and illuminated the lamp in the starting area, you'll be able to fast-travel to it via a brand-new headstone located in the Hunter's Dream.

It can be found at the top of the steps running alongside the Chalice Dungeon headstones - on the right-hand side, just outside the workshop.

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More locations will be added to the headstone as you progress through the new area. Before continuing, you should also consider joining Bloodborne's new guild, known as the League. This will add additional, and extremely helpful, NPC summon points to the new content area. Once you materialise at your destination, make your way inside the windmill to the right. Note that you'll need to complete the first portion of the Forbidden Woods area in order to access the windmill, as its entrance is locked from the other side. Inside the building, you'll spot a man standing against the wall to the right.

Speak with him and he'll introduce himself as Valtr, Master of the League. Agree to join the League and you'll receive the Impurity Caryll rune. Equipping this rune at the Memory Altar in the Hunter's Dream will enable you to see additional summon spots while in the Hunter's Nightmare.

Talk with Valtr again and he'll tell you about Vermin. And the first time I threw away 14, Blood Echoes because of sheer cockiness, I practically screeched in agony. As with Dark Souls, you have one chance to find your corpse and reclaim your Blood Echoes when you fall in battle.


Die again before doing so, and all those precious Echoes disappear forever. Bloodborne ups the ante even further: monsters near your dead body can absorb its essence, requiring you to kill them to get your stockpile back. You'll know who took them thanks to their blue-glowing eyes, but if you're unfamiliar with how to take them down, your lost savings might be as good as gone. If you've collected a ton of Echoes, resist the temptation to explore new areas.

Head to the Hunter's Dream instead, and spend them on stat boosts or equipment. Bloodborne takes an ingenious approach to level design. Instead of feeling like a series of disconnected, individual stages, the decrepit city of Yharnam is one big, interconnected labyrinth, full of criss-crossing paths and passages that bridge areas you initially thought were far apart. Oh, and there's no map screen to keep track of where you've been, meaning you've got some serious mental mapping to do every time you set foot into unfamiliar territory.

There's an easy way to do this: once you've cleared out the enemies in an area, take some time to really explore the environment. You're guaranteed to find a few shortcuts or secret item stashes, and you're far less likely to get lost if you fall in battle and need to find your body. You might be familiar with Dark Souls' Estus Flasks: potions that you have to ration out during your adventures, given that they can only be replenished at a bonfire.

But the self-healing system in Bloodborne works very differently. From the get-go, you're able to carry up to 20 Blood Vials, which you can chug to regain a decent chunk of health. And crucially, enemies will often carry more Blood Vials to replenish your stock, sometimes dropping as many as four upon death. Some creatures, like the aforementioned ogres or red-furred werewolves, will reliably drop plenty of Blood Vials.

Once you know how to take them out easily, restocking on potions is a cinch. Heal yourself whenever you feel like topping off your health, because you can always find or buy more Blood Vials later. Upgrading your weapon of choice should be one of your key objectives. To do that, you'll need to track down the required materials on the streets of Yharnam, then head to central building in the Hunter's Dream.

The workbench there tells you which materials you'll need and how many Blood Echoes it costs to make your weapon stronger. Don't neglect this in favor of simply upgrading yourself, as pure stat boosts have diminishing returns.

Bloodborne: The Old Hunters Review

A strong arm is worth nothing unless it's carrying a strong weapon, and vice versa. Get a feel for which weapon works best with your playstyle, then be sure to build it up ASAP. Big enemies tend to use heavy attacks that recover slowly. With that in mind, it's best to quickstep around their incoming offense and go for a less direct assault. There's a particular nuance to maximizing your opportunity, though. You should read their attack winding up, evade accordingly, and then hit them in the back with a charged strike.

This will stagger them, allowing you to follow up with a Visceral Attack, which, as mentioned earlier, is very likely to finish them off. You can also tiptoe behind some enemies that have their backs turned to you by ever-so-gently nudging the analog stick, which perfectly sets you up to pull off the same Visceral Attack.

Shortcuts don't just save time; they make getting back to where you were before you died much less dangerous. That's very important when you have a lot of Blood Echoes on the line say, 14, or so. Much like in Dark Souls, those shortcuts can be found everywhere, you just need to take things at a considered pace and pay attention. Before tackling the Cleric Beast, for example, make sure you first go downstairs in the unlit Bridge Residence, then head out of the door to the left and up the stairway to open the gate there.

This will give you an easy path when starting from the Central Yharnam checkpoint lamp.