Can someone explain the 'good' Bloodborne ending to me?

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So I finished my first play-through last night. Killed the dude in the wheelchair for no good reason, and because I ate three umbilical chords beforehand I fought a giant tentacle monster(because obviously. Eat baby parts and tentacle monsters just appear), and killed it...
and then it fades to black and the Doll finds a squid on the ground and that's me? She calls it a hunter and then its time for New game.

Like...what? Where did it say eat the baby parts, fight the tentacle monster and you'll become a squid? And why is that good? and why is being a squid something to be?! I have not understood the plot of this game at all. I've gathered the basics: its all a dream, blood is like 40k Warp(useful in a pinch, but if you abuse it you turn into a Spawn), the Church experimented with blood and I think brains, lots of Hunters went Chaosy, and its our job to set things right with giant swords and hammers, and there's a subplot of a cult trying to do culty things and there are Vampires, but we don't call them Vampires.

Outside of that I have no idea what those weird Lovecraft monsters were at all. I thought after the Living Failures boss they'd be aliens. The theme for that fight is very close to Holtz Mars Bringer of War, so I figured that'd be the great twist. Martians or space aliens at least. But nothing ever became of it.
Then Lady Maria is all 'You'll never find out the secret of the fishing village' and this is the first time a secret has even been mentioned! And then, when you get to the village its just a bunch of fish people, and the Orphan of Kos boss and still no secret! I thought after I killed the Orphan there would be a cut-scene or that shadow figure would talk, but nothing. The DLC ends and no secret has been revealed and I have no idea if I did any good. Who's Kos? Why is Kos dead? Why is the Orphan a dude if Kos is a whale? Where's the Father? Why did those weird brain things ask me if I'm Maria? Why did brain juice turn the one lady into the Blob? If I just apologized to the fire monster werewolf for waking him up, can we call off the fight?
And then there's that Micolash guy who after he dies he says 'Oh no, I'm going to wake up with no memory' which for me cements the whole thing is a dream, if the fact its literally called the Hunter's Dream and the bosses are called Nightmares didn't do it.
But again, its never really confirmed and then it just kinda' ends.

Ah From Software.

I really don't know what to make of their style of storytelling. There are countless videos analyzing their games to death and I sometimes wonder if we all give the lore way more credit and thought than it deserves. Maybe the game's own creators have no better an answer to the OP's questions than the OP himself.

Silentpony:
So I finished my first play-through last night. Killed the dude in the wheelchair for no good reason, and because I ate three umbilical chords beforehand I fought a giant tentacle monster(because obviously. Eat baby parts and tentacle monsters just appear), and killed it...
and then it fades to black and the Doll finds a squid on the ground and that's me? She calls it a hunter and then its time for New game.

Like...what? Where did it say eat the baby parts, fight the tentacle monster and you'll become a squid? And why is that good? and why is being a squid something to be?! I have not understood the plot of this game at all. I've gathered the basics: its all a dream, blood is like 40k Warp(useful in a pinch, but if you abuse it you turn into a Spawn), the Church experimented with blood and I think brains, lots of Hunters went Chaosy, and its our job to set things right with giant swords and hammers, and there's a subplot of a cult trying to do culty things and there are Vampires, but we don't call them Vampires.

Outside of that I have no idea what those weird Lovecraft monsters were at all. I thought after the Living Failures boss they'd be aliens. The theme for that fight is very close to Holtz Mars Bringer of War, so I figured that'd be the great twist. Martians or space aliens at least. But nothing ever became of it.
Then Lady Maria is all 'You'll never find out the secret of the fishing village' and this is the first time a secret has even been mentioned! And then, when you get to the village its just a bunch of fish people, and the Orphan of Kos boss and still no secret! I thought after I killed the Orphan there would be a cut-scene or that shadow figure would talk, but nothing. The DLC ends and no secret has been revealed and I have no idea if I did any good. Who's Kos? Why is Kos dead? Why is the Orphan a dude if Kos is a whale? Where's the Father? Why did those weird brain things ask me if I'm Maria? Why did brain juice turn the one lady into the Blob? If I just apologized to the fire monster werewolf for waking him up, can we call off the fight?
And then there's that Micolash guy who after he dies he says 'Oh no, I'm going to wake up with no memory' which for me cements the whole thing is a dream, if the fact its literally called the Hunter's Dream and the bosses are called Nightmares.
But again, its never really confirmed and then it just kinda' ends.

It's from the mind of the guy who made Dark Souls, so yeah...it'll be "out there". Perhaps even more-so in this case though, because it's a spinoff of sorts.

Having said that, if it's anything like Souls, it was designed to be open to the user's interpretation, and Miyazaki himself probably only knows the one "true" meaning behind it all.

So, there! Others will elaborate I'm sure. I still haven't had time to get all the endings myself. Still tackling the last chalice dungeon.

Here is a better explanation than what I may be able to write.

Never played any of the souls games, but, according the guy below, the ending you got is that you've become an infant god. Arguably better than becoming a slave or becoming ignorant.

CaitSeith:
Here is a better explanation than what I may be able to write.

...okay. I get it, I think. Barely any of that was in the game from what i could tell - like I don't remember where they say the Pthumerians are an ancient race, instead of just zombies, and the whole idea of an alien Civil War going on seems...speculative.

Also I guess now I'm confused as to what the game is. Like its all a dream, as evidence that chair dude tells you its a dream and he can wake you up. Good. Great!
But we've killed the nightmares. Rom, the baby, Kos and Ludwig and a few others. So if we wake up, are the nightmares still dead? Sure we've lost all knowledge of the Hunt, but the Hunt was not only just a dream, we killed the monsters in the dream, so...shouldn't it all be fine? We go off to live a full life, content that the only things left in the Dream are the chair dude, the doll and the tentacle monster. Everything else is dead, and the bosses don't respawn, so we know they're not coming back.
Sounds like Luke Skywalker loosing his memory after the Trench Run. Sure he doesn't remember blowing up the Deathstar, but he still did and its not coming back.

Also the idea that the more insight you have, the more fucked up the world seems and the more monsters you can truly see would have worked so much better if everyone else wasn't fully aware of the monsters too. Or if there were say civilians who think you're crazy for running around with a flamer-thrower, shooting it as shadows. Every NPC seems fully aware monsters are real, shit is getting fucked and something terrible will happen during the blood moon.

I submit From Software doesn't "write" its games with a very clear canon or cause-and-consequence train of events in mind. To me the games are impressionistic and deliberately vague and obfuscating in the interest of creating an oppressive atmosphere. Like nightmares.

Johnny Novgorod:
I submit From Software doesn't "write" its games with a very clear canon or cause-and-consequence train of events in mind. To me the games are impressionistic and deliberately vague and obfuscating in the interest of creating an oppressive atmosphere. Like nightmares.

See I hope not. To me, leaving it all vague and open to interpretation is lazy story-writing. In fact, its a lack of story-writing.

Just throw a bunch of weird squid monsters at the player, have a spooky lady say 'The world is not enough' and then a cat moos, and then we the player are left to try to understand what the hell is going on.

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:
I submit From Software doesn't "write" its games with a very clear canon or cause-and-consequence train of events in mind. To me the games are impressionistic and deliberately vague and obfuscating in the interest of creating an oppressive atmosphere. Like nightmares.

To me, leaving it all vague and open to interpretation is lazy story-writing. In fact, its a lack of story-writing.

That's exactly what I think of the Souls games.

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:
I submit From Software doesn't "write" its games with a very clear canon or cause-and-consequence train of events in mind. To me the games are impressionistic and deliberately vague and obfuscating in the interest of creating an oppressive atmosphere. Like nightmares.

See I hope not. To me, leaving it all vague and open to interpretation is lazy story-writing. In fact, its a lack of story-writing.

Just throw a bunch of weird squid monsters at the player, have a spooky lady say 'The world is not enough' and then a cat moos, and then we the player are left to try to understand what the hell is going on.

I remember Dark Souls storyline. First, you have to prove your worth by getting out of the asylum. If you want to prove your worth, ring two bells. Again prove your worth by going through Sen's. Golem - prove your worth. Next, you have to prove your worth by getting to and then through Anor Londo. Then prove your worth by defeating Ornstien and Smough. Finally you get to find out your final mission. Can you guess what you might need to do?

Prove your worth by finding four lord souls.

This means you have proven your worth and have a chance to defeat the end boss.

This is probably how most games go, you can't get to the next stage in Mario unless you reach that flag. But the Dark Souls 'prove your worth' mentality wasn't there. Thank god that wasn't a focus for the next two games.

Many people disliked how Dark Souls 3 story went. I wonder if too many people were looking at it at the same time. No unfounded theories came out becuase there were so may people fact checking unlike the first one. I'm looking squarely at the stupidly of Solaire being the first, as it had no leg to stand on.

But then I remember the silliness of Soliare soup and I think the Dark Souls loremasters are just deranged.

Silentpony:

...okay. I get it, I think. Barely any of that was in the game from what i could tell - like I don't remember where they say the Pthumerians are an ancient race, instead of just zombies, and the whole idea of an alien Civil War going on seems...speculative.

Also I guess now I'm confused as to what the game is. Like its all a dream, as evidence that chair dude tells you its a dream and he can wake you up. Good. Great!
But we've killed the nightmares. Rom, the baby, Kos and Ludwig and a few others. So if we wake up, are the nightmares still dead? Sure we've lost all knowledge of the Hunt, but the Hunt was not only just a dream, we killed the monsters in the dream, so...shouldn't it all be fine? We go off to live a full life, content that the only things left in the Dream are the chair dude, the doll and the tentacle monster. Everything else is dead, and the bosses don't respawn, so we know they're not coming back.
Sounds like Luke Skywalker loosing his memory after the Trench Run. Sure he doesn't remember blowing up the Deathstar, but he still did and its not coming back.

The Nightmares are permanently dead - and due to the dream essentially being their reality, and how they influence our reality, they're very dead in the waking world too - but the thing is the dream is still... a dream. It's the realm of the Tentacle Monster, a method for hunters to fight back against the Nightmares. With them all dead there's... no reason for you to hang around. Jobs done, go home kinda deal. Unless you're really keen on the hunt, that is, which is the only reason to stick around, and how you get the second ending where you take Wheelchair dude's place as Leader of the Hunt, presumably to rally new hunters to go ruin the shit of new Nightmares.

Really, the endings can be summed up as:
Ending 1: Job Done, time to go home, wake up out of the dream.
Ending 2: Job Done, but you like the hunt too much, so you take the job of Wheelchair dude so you can keep hunting.
Ending 3: Job Done, fight wheelchair dude, but turns out you ate a little too much baby Old God, fight the Moon Spirit and take HIS job instead.

...makes it kinda weird that everyone refers to the 3rd one as the 'Good' ending. It's harder to get, sure, but FromSoft games tend to have more 'you choose what fits you' endings than 'Good/Bad' ones.

This video isn't specifically about the ending, but any and all videos by VaatiVidya about Bloodborne (and other games, too) tend to be insightful:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjWOy6ioVHI

And while we're talking about endings:
I went for the 3rd ending the first time around, but when I replayed it, I intentionally chose ending one. It felt the most fitting for it to be "over" at least for my character.

I feel like the point of the lack of lore in the Soulsborne games, beyond of course the snippets here and there given in item texts and cryptic NPC dialogue, is to more or less player-insert storytelling, where the character you play has not much (if at all) memory of the world as it was, so all you get of what's happening is what little memory you can recall through objects found, and what others tell you (which may or may not be true) because you're existing in a world that, to quote the Dark Tower series, "has moved on" with its history pretty much lost to the desolation, destruction, and deterioration of the world and the possibly inaccurate memories of those who still dwell within it. Some may feel that's lazy storywriting, but personally I find it to be interesting to fill in the blanks for myself, regardless of whether or not it actually is the truth. Maybe in a world so far gone, there isn't any real truth anymore, since the history is pretty much lost.

Wrex Brogan:

Really, the endings can be summed up as:
Ending 1: Job Done, time to go home, wake up out of the dream.
Ending 2: Job Done, but you like the hunt too much, so you take the job of Wheelchair dude so you can keep hunting.
Ending 3: Job Done, fight wheelchair dude, but turns out you ate a little too much baby Old God, fight the Moon Spirit and take HIS job instead.

...makes it kinda weird that everyone refers to the 3rd one as the 'Good' ending. It's harder to get, sure, but FromSoft games tend to have more 'you choose what fits you' endings than 'Good/Bad' ones.

This makes so much sense, thank you! I was sat here wondering why the baby squid ending is the 'good' ending when it seems to be the worst, just hardest, to get.

Ending 2 seems interesting, assuming there will be new nightmares to fight eventually. But ending 1 seems like the one I'm going with in my next run.

To be frank there's no definitive proof that the Moon Presence ending is the "good" ending or really any solid explanation for Bloodborne irregardless of how many people claim they've figured it out or have one for it.

But there is the lazy interpretation of Bloodborne and then there's the indepth interpretation.

I would like to suggest that applying 'Good/bad' to the endings is misleading. More like "True" ending would be better.

Also to add, The 'Dream' while it suggests that the game was well, a dream, following the plot of Eileen the Crow suggests that the dream isnt literally a dream, but it is really some sort of twisted immortality, and that being 'awoken' from it turns you mortal, but perhaps also removes any madness from you.

As others have said, it's not so much as a "good" ending, as just another alternative. IMO the closest thing to an actual "good" ending would be submitting to Gehrman at the end, since it's the only time you get to see actual daylight and manage to escape the Hunt.

Bloodborne's story is, like all Souls games, a bit backwards in the sense that the game's plot is just what happens on screen, but the actual story can only be discovered by finding the context for the plot. And that's found by piecing it together from item descriptions, environmental clues and the blithering madness of the dialogue. VaatiVidya is perhaps the leading expert in deconstructing Soulsborne lore, and he does the best job on the internet of explaining the stories. Turns out Bloodborne's lore is insanely complex with a long history, multiple planes of existence, factions with different goals, really strange bending of what constitutes reality, what it means to be "dead" or "alive". Even putting together a timeline of events is a nightmare (pun intended), and trying to explain the ending without giving the proper context first is like trying to explain alpine skiing to a fish. Anyway, here's the briefest summary I could find:

The shortest explanation is that what you call the "good" ending is the first step of humanity taking its next great leap in evolution; ascending to a higher plane of existence and becoming more like the Great Ones. Which is both an awesome and terrifying concept, considering what we've seen the Great Ones to be like.

Saelune:
I would like to suggest that applying 'Good/bad' to the endings is misleading. More like "True" ending would be better.

Also to add, The 'Dream' while it suggests that the game was well, a dream, following the plot of Eileen the Crow suggests that the dream isnt literally a dream, but it is really some sort of twisted immortality, and that being 'awoken' from it turns you mortal, but perhaps also removes any madness from you.

So I've been researching a little, and there are two 'realities' going on. The real world, and the dreams(Hunters dream and any nightmare realm, and post-Rom red moon land) and the Hunt takes place on both fronts, with real world normal Hunters like Eileen, Gyula and Alfred, and the Nightmare front where the player characters fight.

Also those real world hunters have all already done a tour of duty on the nightmare front, fighting their own nightmares and the old one baby of the moment, and they all accepted the first ending, to return to the real world, forget the nightmare wars, and continue with the real world hunt.

So presumably, within the world, if the player character chooses to wake up, he just becomes another Hunter wondering the streets, killing beasts and helping the nightmare front hunters when he meets them.

Silentpony:

...okay. I get it, I think. Barely any of that was in the game from what i could tell - like I don't remember where they say the Pthumerians are an ancient race, instead of just zombies,

"The old labyrinth was carved out by the Pthumerians, superhuman beings that are said to have unlocked the wisdom of the eldritch Truth." - Central Pthumeru Chalice description

And there are things that were left out in the video (like the land of Loran, which was lost to the scourge of the beast)

Johnny Novgorod:

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:
I submit From Software doesn't "write" its games with a very clear canon or cause-and-consequence train of events in mind. To me the games are impressionistic and deliberately vague and obfuscating in the interest of creating an oppressive atmosphere. Like nightmares.

To me, leaving it all vague and open to interpretation is lazy story-writing. In fact, its a lack of story-writing.

That's exactly what I think of the Souls games.

I also concur. Thats not to say I dont enjoy the games I mean I loved Demons Souls because it felt so fresh at the time and you never knew what to expect it was like a mash of crazy ideas and a boss could be a real challenge or a cakewalk but over time it started to settle into a groove and feel like a bit less passion and effort was put in.

Storywise it always felt like it was about to be written as in the world is roughly defined characters are given a basic motive and background and the player is given a goal but they never bothered to write past that. In one sense I find it an interesting experiment at least at first but the more they did it the lazier it felt because it is just crafting the barest bones of a story.

As for Bloodbourne I honestly couldnt care less what happened when I finished it I was glad to be rid of it at that point as while it had engaged me earlier it had long since worn out its welcome on all fronts but from what I gathered from it you had essentially evolved by re birthing yourself into an old one. I remember them trying to achieve an evolution throughout the story to be able to reach the ones who came before and some thought the blood was the way and others thought they must do it through their own efforts not borrowed power or some stuff I cant really remember. I just thought ok through my own efforts and mastering the blood the character was able to achieve that evolution showing that both were right and wrong.

As for the thing you had to eat three of (cant even remember what it was) I just thought oh right some stem cell nonsense or something that will be a catalyst for the change its also why that old one couldnt control you as you had become his equal.

This was just my idle musings though because as I said I didnt really care to much at that point.

zimou13:
As someone who has never played any of the souls games or Bloodborne I thought I'd come here to see why you guys like the game so much. From the gameplay I've watched it really looks uninteresting. I'm not trying to come off hostile, I'm actually hoping to be dissuaded. However, from what I've seen the character creation looks really outdated. The beginning has virtually no story, you're just thrown into this world and you're supposed to save it. Why should I care about saving a world I know nothing about? Most of the enemies (like the ones who are dead and get up and attack you) look pretty lame, looks like something out of Resident Evil 4. There are almost no NPC's and no dialogue choices. The variety of weapons and armor seems limited. Overall it looks like Resident Evil 4 in the 19th century. Resident Evil 4 was awesome in 2005, but ten years later I hold games to a higher standard. TL;DR: It just looks like Resident Evil 4 with less guns and more meelee

Nothing's gonna get explained to some piece of rotten jism spam bot, get the f#%k out.

Silentpony:
See I hope not. To me, leaving it all vague and open to interpretation is lazy story-writing. In fact, its a lack of story-writing.

Just throw a bunch of weird squid monsters at the player, have a spooky lady say 'The world is not enough' and then a cat moos, and then we the player are left to try to understand what the hell is going on.

Just because it's vague and largely left open to interpretation, doesn't mean it's just random ideas thrown at the wall. There's werewolves and aliens in Bloodborne, and even without a direct explanation the game manages to make these two different concepts work together within the world.

Most Souls fans make a big deal about reading item discriptions, and how the story is told through that. But I never bothered doing that with any of the games I played, and I still found these settings facinating. And that's mainly what the "writing" seems to be in service of; creating a setting that feels like it has a lot of history, but that you can never truly parse. This in turn leaves you with a sense of unease, that you can never fully understand these worlds.

Casual Shinji:

Silentpony:
See I hope not. To me, leaving it all vague and open to interpretation is lazy story-writing. In fact, its a lack of story-writing.

Just throw a bunch of weird squid monsters at the player, have a spooky lady say 'The world is not enough' and then a cat moos, and then we the player are left to try to understand what the hell is going on.

Just because it's vague and largely left open to interpretation, doesn't mean it's just random ideas thrown at the wall. There's werewolves and aliens in Bloodborne, and even without a direct explanation the game manages to make these two different concepts work together within the world.

Most Souls fans make a big deal about reading item discriptions, and how the story is told through that. But I never bothered doing that with any of the games I played, and I still found these settings facinating. And that's mainly what the "writing" seems to be in service of; creating a setting that feels like it has a lot of history, but that you can never truly parse. This in turn leaves you with a sense of unease, that you can never fully understand these worlds.

I ain't saying its not fascinating. I love it! I find the entire thing to be enthralling.
And I don't need to be led by the nose Final Fantasy style where everything is explained in minutes long dialogue trees every few seconds.
But there has to be a limit on I guess...player driven plot revelations. Like we shouldn't have to go into the audio files of the game to find hidden dialogue or sound files that hint at what the Orphan of Kos is, or wild assumptions of alien civil wars based on the fact the tentacle monster is an old one, and the daughter of the cosmos is also an old one, and nothing else.
Its that I don't like. When we're given A and B, and expected to get to Z, especially in a world where madness, misinterpretations, mistranslations and lying NPCs are involved.

Silentpony:

So I've been researching a little, and there are two 'realities' going on. The real world, and the dreams(Hunters dream and any nightmare realm, and post-Rom red moon land) and the Hunt takes place on both fronts, with real world normal Hunters like Eileen, Gyula and Alfred, and the Nightmare front where the player characters fight.

Well, the player Hunter travels between the realities of the "waking world" and the Hunter's Dream, as well as the Nightmare realms. He acts in both realms throughout the game.

The real Hunt-- meaning the Yharnam night in which citizens and Hunters take to the streets to quell the beasts-- takes place in the waking world. However, when Hunters go drunk with blood, they wind up in the Hunter's Nightmare, where the Hunt is never-ending. According to Simon the Harrowed, this is the fate of all Hunters eventually (though it seems Djura, at least, has managed to escape this fate, since he has successfully retired).

It's implied that the Hunter's Nightmare is the result of a curse placed on the Hunters following the massacre in the fishing hamlet.

Silentpony:

Also those real world hunters have all already done a tour of duty on the nightmare front, fighting their own nightmares and the old one baby of the moment, and they all accepted the first ending, to return to the real world, forget the nightmare wars, and continue with the real world hunt.

Some other Hunters-- Djura and Eileen for sure-- have been in the Hunter's Dream before, and Djura has definitely met the Doll. It's never communicated why they were there, what they did, how they left for good, or whether they undertook similar "contracts" to the one the player character did.

All we really know is that "dreaming" offers a Hunter the ability to return from the dead back to the waking world (when a Hunter dies, they return to the dream). This is why when Eileen is injured after fighting the Bloody Crow, she states that this is her "last chance", specifically because she does not dream anymore.

Silvanus:
SNIP

I assumed that because a new grave is added to the Hunter's Dream if you 'wake up' that the other graves were those of hunters who also chose to wake up.
And I assumed that because the other named hunters know of the Dream, the only way they could and still be in the real world is to have woken up.

THe nature of the world itself in Bloodborne is wierd and fancinating. The best I've been able to make of it is that it follows the concept of Lovecrafts Dreamlands, where Dreams are just as real as the waking world but almost on another plane of reality. With that being said, Yarnhem almost seems to be existing in both the real world and dream world at the same time, like it's straddling the borders of dimensions.

The hunters nightmare, the Nightmare of Mensis and the Nightmare Frontier all seem to be on a seperate layer beyond that, Bygenworth is a wierd case where it seems to have once been part of Yarnhem and somehow drifted off into the nightmare itself(which is why it connects to the nigthtmare realms)

Silentpony:
But there has to be a limit on I guess...player driven plot revelations. Like we shouldn't have to go into the audio files of the game to find hidden dialogue or sound files that hint at what the Orphan of Kos is, or wild assumptions of alien civil wars based on the fact the tentacle monster is an old one, and the daughter of the cosmos is also an old one, and nothing else.
Its that I don't like. When we're given A and B, and expected to get to Z, especially in a world where madness, misinterpretations, mistranslations and lying NPCs are involved.

I don't think that's really the point of the game though. Again, hardcore Souls fans can lead you to believe that you NEED to read item discriptions and go digging through EVERYTHING, but honestly these worlds seem primarily designed to keep you mostly in the dark about the innerworkings.

This might piss off some people here, but I feel a lot of Souls fans overanalyze these games, and make shit up under the notion that everything in these games is connected and means something.

Silentpony:

Silvanus:
SNIP

I assumed that because a new grave is added to the Hunter's Dream if you 'wake up' that the other graves were those of hunters who also chose to wake up.

And I assumed that because the other named hunters know of the Dream, the only way they could and still be in the real world is to have woken up.

That's very possible. We just know so little. They certainly "woke up", but it's unclear how or why. I find it hard to believe they undertook similar contracts to that of the player Hunter-- I don't think there's any indication that the killing of Mergo is a cyclical affair, or that it happened before at all.

Silentpony:

Then Lady Maria is all 'You'll never find out the secret of the fishing village' and this is the first time a secret has even been mentioned! And then, when you get to the village its just a bunch of fish people, and the Orphan of Kos boss and still no secret! I thought after I killed the Orphan there would be a cut-scene or that shadow figure would talk, but nothing. The DLC ends and no secret has been revealed and I have no idea if I did any good. Who's Kos? Why is Kos dead? Why is the Orphan a dude if Kos is a whale? Where's the Father? Why did those weird brain things ask me if I'm Maria? Why did brain juice turn the one lady into the Blob? If I just apologized to the fire monster werewolf for waking him up, can we call off the fight?
And then there's that Micolash guy who after he dies he says 'Oh no, I'm going to wake up with no memory' which for me cements the whole thing is a dream, if the fact its literally called the Hunter's Dream and the bosses are called Nightmares didn't do it.
But again, its never really confirmed and then it just kinda' ends.

The fishing village is the origin of the beast plague as this is where the Healing Church violated Kos' corpse(the whale creature). This is what caused the curse passed on from generation to generation(and led to one pissed off orphan :p). More of the Church' experiments are found in the great cathedral. When you're dressed in church garb you can also confront Ludwig about the error of his ways. I assume you mean Laurence with the 'fire werewolf' and same as Ludwig he probably became similarly corrupted in the Hunter's Nightmare after drifting so far off Willem's teachings. The Nightmare of Mensis where Mergo's Loft resides is in a separate dimension so after you kill Micolash in the nightmare he returns to his physical body which lies dead in Yahar'gul. It is where you fight The One Reborn. I'm still wondering myself though, what did Mensis actually tried to resurrect? As for the ending of the main game; with the third ending after defeating Moon Presence I always assume you are simply reborn as an infant great one.

From a gameplay perspective the different dimensions really worked as you have greatly different motiffs that would be hard to explain otherwise and they really fit in Bloodborne's dream-like world. The way they also blended it in the narrative was brilliantly done. I love this game sooooooooo much. :p

Casual Shinji:

This might piss off some people here, but I feel a lot of Souls fans overanalyze these games, and make shit up under the notion that everything in these games is connected and means something.

The item descriptions and environmental design is very detailed so while things are left intentionally vague there is no doubt that Miyazaki has a clear picture in his mind of what the story is about. Retracing these steps and putting the story back together is one of the things that make the lore so intriguing. Like an archeologist, you become an active participant. There is a reason why these games speak to the imagination so much. The story is very good but since many things are open to interpretation you have to use your own thoughts and ideas to fill in the gaps. But still, only to a relative amount as to not contradict the story the game actually does tell. I think Bloodborne and Demon's Souls are much more straightforward in this regard compared to Dark Souls which is a lot more esoteric in much of it's content.

stroopwafel:

Casual Shinji:

This might piss off some people here, but I feel a lot of Souls fans overanalyze these games, and make shit up under the notion that everything in these games is connected and means something.

The item descriptions and environmental design is very detailed so while things are left intentionally vague there is no doubt that Miyazaki has a clear picture in his mind of what the story is about. Retracing these steps and putting the story back together is one of the things that make the lore so intriguing. Like an archeologist, you become an active participant. There is a reason why these games speak to the imagination so much. The story is very good but since many things are open to interpretation you have to use your own thoughts and ideas to fill in the gaps. But still, only to a relative amount as to not contradict the story the game actually does tell. I think Bloodborne and Demon's Souls are much more straightforward in this regard compared to Dark Souls which is a lot more esoteric in much of it's content.

To be fair, there are some details that I think don't mean anything or are glitches. For example, the Doll has eyes in the back of her eyes, and wild theories postulate that insight is just that - sight within. A second set of eyes.
with theories about pebbles being insight eyes ripped from skulls and drained, and skulls found in the fishing village with eyesockets hacked apart and yadda yadda.

But people forget - she's a doll! Constructed and painted. and those eye have blue streaks, red smears and purple blotches. Paint. Someone painted her eyes, and those small irises were a first run at getting the eyes right. You can tell because the eyes are different sizes, and look crudely drawn, as if someone who wasn't that great at free-hand attempted eyes without practicing.

Or there's a crow in the Hemlock that doesn't go agro. Surrounded by a murder of other crows, this one crow just kinda chills. Theories about what it could mean, does this crow have insight, does it know about the dream, was it a hunter once?
and over and over, when I think its a glitch. Of the hundreds of crows in the game, this one crow has a low detection box, or part of the code blurched.

Although to play devil's advocate to myself, one of the most legit detail concerns of hardcore lore fans is mistranslations. Lots of things get lost in translation, and not just Bill Murray's career. Apparently Rom the Vacuous Spider is better translated as Rom the Retarded spider, but it was changed because that's not a PC name in the West.
Also a lot of the hes and shes on item descriptions were gender neutral in the Japanese version, leaving it even more open to debate on who did what and who owned what.

Silvanus:

Silentpony:

Silvanus:
SNIP

I assumed that because a new grave is added to the Hunter's Dream if you 'wake up' that the other graves were those of hunters who also chose to wake up.

And I assumed that because the other named hunters know of the Dream, the only way they could and still be in the real world is to have woken up.

That's very possible. We just know so little. They certainly "woke up", but it's unclear how or why. I find it hard to believe they undertook similar contracts to that of the player Hunter-- I don't think there's any indication that the killing of Mergo is a cyclical affair, or that it happened before at all.

Hmmm...is there any indication in game that there have been other nightmare babies? Aergo, Bergo, Cergo, Dergo, etc...and now were're at Mergo?
If the Hunt only takes place on one night, then could the other hunters have fought their own nightmare baby, and just don't remember it? They remember the Dream and hunting, but not what they hunted, or the terrible secrets gathered during said hunt?

Silentpony:

To be fair, there are some details that I think don't mean anything or are glitches. For example, the Doll has eyes in the back of her eyes, and wild theories postulate that insight is just that - sight within. A second set of eyes.
with theories about pebbles being insight eyes ripped from skulls and drained, and skulls found in the fishing village with eyesockets hacked apart and yadda yadda.

For real, some people get carried away. I know the doll clips from a certain angle but trying to find a 'lore theory' about this or the pebbles in the game sound equally ridiculous. As for mistranslations, apparently Miyazaki is very nuanced in his use of language so no matter how good a job the translaters do you will never find the exact same association with certain words or expressions.

Silentpony:

Hmmm...is there any indication in game that there have been other nightmare babies? Aergo, Bergo, Cergo, Dergo, etc...and now were're at Mergo?
If the Hunt only takes place on one night, then could the other hunters have fought their own nightmare baby, and just don't remember it? They remember the Dream and hunting, but not what they hunted, or the terrible secrets gathered during said hunt?

Arianna becomes pregnant from Oedon(the formless great one) and eventually gives birth to a Celestial after you break Rom's seal and the red moon descends. At the same time you receive the note to ''find the nightmare newborn, and silence it's harrowing cry'' ie Mergo. So yeah, defintely during the night of the hunt more great ones are using humans as surrogates for their offspring.

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:
I submit From Software doesn't "write" its games with a very clear canon or cause-and-consequence train of events in mind. To me the games are impressionistic and deliberately vague and obfuscating in the interest of creating an oppressive atmosphere. Like nightmares.

See I hope not. To me, leaving it all vague and open to interpretation is lazy story-writing. In fact, its a lack of story-writing.

Just throw a bunch of weird squid monsters at the player, have a spooky lady say 'The world is not enough' and then a cat moos, and then we the player are left to try to understand what the hell is going on.

They're leaning kind of heavily on Lovecraft influence in the storytelling style.

The thing being that Lovecraft was a pioneer, a century(ish) ago. We've evolved a tad since then in our media. Lovecraft also didn't work in a audio-visual interactive media. He may have been sparse on the details, but in a videogame you're seeing, hearing, and interacting with the detail in front of your face. When everything is a vaguely presented web for the consumer to fill in, theres a certain stylistic consistency. When the details are all plain to see but the backdropping world building is randomly nebulous, it becomes a bit contradictory.

Silentpony:

Hmmm...is there any indication in game that there have been other nightmare babies? Aergo, Bergo, Cergo, Dergo, etc...and now were're at Mergo?
If the Hunt only takes place on one night, then could the other hunters have fought their own nightmare baby, and just don't remember it? They remember the Dream and hunting, but not what they hunted, or the terrible secrets gathered during said hunt?

Well, sure, it's possible, but the story doesn't give any indication that the killing of a Great One child has happened cyclically before.

In fact, I'd say it's very unlikely, because the Mensis Ritual-- which allows the Cult of Mensis (and the Hunter, who follows them) access to the Nightmare Frontier where Mergo waits-- happens in the waking world during the course of the game. That's not a cyclical event, because it takes place in the waking world-- the real world.

That's what allows Mensis and the player Hunter to get to the Frontier, and it takes place in the real world halfway through the game. Djura and Eileen (or other Hunters who may have dreamt) could not have traversed the Nightmare Frontier before us.

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