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Experiments and Enemies: The Research Hall and Its Monstrous Inhabitants in Bloodborne

Bloodborne’s Research Hall

When Bloodborne came out in 2015, it was a massively successful game that received overwhelming praise from its fans. FromSoftware later released a DLC called The Old Hunters which added even more content to the already rich game.

One of the areas in The Old Hunters is the Research Hall. This area is rumored to be where the Healing Church conducted experiments in an attempt to create beings that can commune with the Great Ones.

Enlarged Head Patients

Patients with enlarged heads are often diagnosed after an increased head circumference is discovered by a medical professional. The head size may increase due to an excess of fluid in the skull or abnormal growth of skull bones, among other conditions. Diagnosis is based on history, physical exam, laboratory tests and imagining studies such as an MRI or CT scan.

A patient with an enlarged head is often confused with another condition called hydrocephalus which causes a buildup of water in the skull. Treatment of hydrocephalus involves surgery to drain the fluid from the brain.

The Enlarged Head is a piece of armor that can be obtained from the Research Hall in Bloodborne’s Old Hunters DLC. It provides good resistance to Blunt, and mediocre resistance to arcane damage, poison, frenzy, and thrust. This item can also be crafted into the Enormous Head armor, which is far more powerful and has very good defenses against all attacks except blunt.

Enormous Head Patients

The first enemy the player encounters in the research hall is Lady Maria, a swift and powerful boss who appears as if she was a hybrid between the Celestial Emissary and the enlarged head patients that are found throughout this vertical area of the DLC. She is a great example of the type of foe that the player will encounter throughout the Research Hall and she is also the first boss that requires a significant amount of blood echo to take down.

The runner up to the most annoying enemy in the research hall is the Enormous Head Patients which are a type of Clock Tower Patient that have had their heads enlarged. Unlike the Headless Clocktower Patients that are found outside the Research Hall these are hostile and will attack the player if they come close. They are able to attack with omnidirectional tentacle swings as well as with a headbutt. They can also induce frenzy which makes them a dangerous opponent.

Living Failures

Located atop the Research Hall after rotating the stairs, these alien-looking creatures have bluish-gray elastic arms and can spit out arcane volleys. They have a fixed health pool and when an individual Living Failure takes enough damage it dies. A new Living Failure will spawn in its place to maintain a fixed number of enemies at any given time.

Each Living Failure has a different attack. They can either summon a swarm of magical orbs, shoot homing bolts or perform a melee head butt. A good strategy is to parry their ranged attacks and keep them at a distance with heavy weapons.

Once the Living Failures’ health falls below 60% they will use a collective meteor swarm that is very easy to avoid if players stand behind the Lumenflower tree in the middle of the arena. They can also be killed at any point before the swarm hits by backstabbing one of them or hitting them with a frontal visceral attack.

Cleric Beast

Like Ludwig, the cleric beast is another Healing Church hunter who has given in to beasthood. This enormous monster resembles a disfigured stag, fitting lore wise as it is said that Healing Church members transform into hideous creatures when they are dead.

This is an important fight for players to learn how to approach combat with bosses in Bloodborne. It introduces how to use dodge to step through attacks while also being in position to counter, something that is heavily reinforced through the design of this enemy’s lengthy limbs and straightforward claw swipes and slams.

In addition, it teaches how to injure a large boss’s limbs for extra damage and staggers. Its giant left arm in particular telegraphs where you should dodge and counter – a good way to help players master Bloodborne’s combat. Injuries to this enemy’s head, body and other limbs will also add additional damage, including a breakable skull that will spray the player with the titular fluid.

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