Blood, Souls and tears #7 — Back to where it all ended

Almost exactly two years after my first foray into the streets of Yharnam came to an abrupt end, I made it back to where I left off… then promptly got my ass handed to me, as is tradition.

That can’t be good

The first thing that greeted me as I exited the woods was a giant bug man that tried to suck my brains out of my skull. Clearly, I was headed in the right direction. And indeed: I finally made it back to Byrgenwerth. The place where two years ago, I just kinda left things hanging due to life getting in the way.

I was rather surprised by how small Byrgenwerth turned out to be. In my, admittedly rather vague by this point, memories it was significantly grander in scale. In reality, aside from a few bugmen, a giant arcane centipede (or tiny Gaping Dragon, either works) and a fellow hunter whose name I unfortunately never came across, there really wasn’t anything there.

Although, of course, our man Willem — at least I assumed it was Willem — was still chilling in his rocking chair by the lake, pointing the way to Rom. I said hello, made preparations both in mind and in levels, then took the all-too-familiar plunge down into the lake.

Two years ago this fight took a lot of tries. That’s why initially I tried to just rush Rom down while ignoring the smaller spiderlings. This turned out to be a fairly bad idea, so I gave up on that about three of four runs in, instead opting to take the more cautious approach. It does admittedly make for a bit of a boring video to watch, I’ll admit, but it was by far the most practical (and sanity saving) way of doing things. That said, I did get far too greedy when it was just Rom left all the way at the end and took far more damage that I really should have. Still, Rom is no more and from here on out, I truly have no damn clue what awaits me; the entire rest of the game is unknown territory.

Exciting!

With Rom out of the way, I got treated to a rather ominous cutscene of a (noble?)woman whose abdomen was nothing more than a gaping hole. I’m going to guess a miscarriage or some weird eldritch baby that crawled out of her stomach, assuming this scene is to be taken at face value of course. This lovely scene was followed by the moon coming far too close for comfort, as well as turning red, after which I promptly found myself in the company of Cthulhu.

At least I now know what crushed me earlier.

Apparently, the item I got from the NPC in the Forbidden Woods yesterday was in fact not the key to this room; killing Rom was. I really wonder what it was for then…

The door in the chapel now open and literally right in front of my face, I could not to resist to take a peak at what lie ahead. I’m not sure if I should have. Welcome to Yahar’gul, where the main decoration for houses is apparently your own personal Cthulhu. On second thought, let’s not go there; it is a silly place.

Instead, considering killing Rom seemed to have been a major milestone in my journey, I went back to the very start of the game and checked every area to see if there was anything new to be found.

By far the most obvious change was that virtually all the house-dwelling NPCs were gone (dead?), except Gascoine’s other? daughter, who I gave one of the ribbons I found along the way to. Looks like it belonged to the girl who was originally here. She probably tried to make her way to Iosefka’s (who, by the way, also seemed very much MIA), only to get killed. Needless to say, her older sister did not exactly handle the news well.

Beyond that though, the only real notable differences that I could find were that there is now one of those Cthulian monstrosities attached to the Oedon Chapel (or has it always been there and was I simply not able to see it before?) and Eileen, the huntress I met earlier, had made her way the Grand Cathedral and turned hostile.

Very hostile.

This was by far the hardest fight to date. Granted, it seemed to be optional and I probably could (and should) have let her be for the time being, but since I got close after just a few tries I figured I could take her out right away, with a bit of patience.

That bit of patience turned out to be several hours and dozens of attempts. I tried literally every fighting style and combination of weapons + utility items I could think of. I tried both one-handing and two-handing my sword and axe. I tried setting her lovely feathered robe ablaze with my flamethrower. I munched on some beast pellets to see if I could manage to get enough damage in before she could kill me. I spent close to a hundred bullets trying to get the parrying timing down. Even the wooden shield got its time in the spotlight for a bit, although to my credit it was rather effective at preventing damage. The second I tried to attack, however, things didn’t fare so well for me.

Ultimately, I eventually got into a rhythm while two-handing Ludwig’s Blade, where I could smack Eileen twice just as she stepped in for a strike. It was the only way that I could find that didn’t also leave me open for massive counter attacks if I missed — I could parry some of her attacks but not reliably and missing meant at least 50% of my health gone instantly. Too risky.

Once I had her down to just a sliver of health I started getting jittery and got sloppy, but at least I stayed calm enough to back off and heal rather than get greedy and try to swing wildly in the hopes of dealing the final blow ASAP.

Her defeat gave me the Crow Hunter Badge, which unlocked her gear for purchase. Her armor seemed pretty good overall so I might pick it up at some point, but it’s too pricey for now. Her daggers, while certainly very cool looking, probably don’t suit my playstyle too well. Might be interesting for a potential NG+ however.

For now though, I was incredibly tired so I called it a day there. Pretty sure I checked all the areas, so it looks like I’ll be heading either to the immense cathedral where I was held captive earlier, or to the new town full of Eldritch horrors.

I think I’ll take my chances with the cathedral first.

This damn item will continue to taunt me until the end of the game, I just know it.