A hominoid looking silhouette of smoke raises from the giant cadaver, which is lying on this moonlit beach. The same beach at where the offspring of the Great One “Kos” (some say “Kosm“) handed my ass to me before, using his placenta. Again. And again. But all what is left now is a final stroke of my blade and the smoke will transform into thin air.
Yes, Bloodborne is a hard Game. This insight and the generalization towards all From Software games is not quite novel. But “The Orphan of Kos” is really, really something; super fast, having a giant moveset, hitting hard and being a real damage sponge. It is the last boss of the DLC and as that a consecutive closure. The final of the final, so-to-speak, which, according to some assumptions, isn’t experienced by 60% of the players, due to the fact that finishing a game is actually quite rare for most these days. Albeit that might differ in the case of Bloodborne, due to the questionable “git gud” elitism.
Nevertheless, I am proud of my performance. It is a bit like doing sports. The hundreds of attempts of beating the boss result in something significant: Skill. Like with a newly won feel for the ball I retreat from the beach back to the dark caves and easily finish off two Winter Lanterns, who normally put me back in my place, that is the last bonfire. And it continues almost constantly like this. As if having a cheat code activated or the input latency reduced. None of the monsters I encounter are as agile as the recently slaughtered calamity and my personal response time is at an all-time peak. I do not fear the old blood, I am the old blood. I am the one who knocks.
It is a pity that this winning comes at a price: I am done. I saw everything, at least everything drama-driven, from the game. It was the same back then with Super Mario Galaxy 2 and the elation after beating the very last level without taking even one hit. Or like the discovery of the last of four hundred Riddler Trophies in Arkham City. A medium-length moment of triumph – but what’s next? At the roof of the castle, Yoshi even seems cynical in retrospect, as he handed us 100 1-ups after we found all of the 120 Stars in Super Mario 64. Now, one could experience the whole world again, without any fears of loss. Well. One rather was about to beat the beaten paths even more.
My reflexes are top notch, I navigate through menus in my sleep and I know the location and size of every polygon in the world by heart. It looks to me like the end of the road, but for challenge runners and online players this is actually only the beginning. They show how high the skill ceiling actually is and I get humble, realizing that I thought I was a giant when actually I am a noob. For them, “being done” actually means having completed the tutorial.
Luckily, that is actually a matter of perspective. And people willing to put another 500 hours of training into a game have every right to do so. I remain being done, I am happy about my recent adventure and for the sake of feeling gratification I continue to show some NPCs what I think of them a while longer. And who knows, maybe these experiences come in handy in the next game, even if it plays differently. One thing I take away from this is the certainty that I will be done again at some point. For better and for worse.
From Software was done with Bloodborne in 2015 – the title was released the same year exclusively for PlayStation 4.
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