Ever since Bloodborne leaked onto the Internet as Project Beast, players have speculated it was possible to transform into something monstrous. Sadly, that wasn’t possible in Bloodborne. With The Old Hunters DLC...well, it’s complicated.

Warning: Some may consider what’s ahead to be a spoiler.

Patricia wrote about the never-ending transformation theories within the Bloodborne community last April, when it was unclear if players simply hadn’t cracked the code. From Software’s Souls games, which Bloodborne directly pulls from, often hides secrets for people to discover days, weeks, or even years later.

But there was nothing more to find, unfortunately. While it was possible to temporarily become a hunter with beastly arms capable of increased damage, that was about it. You weren’t about to stomp around as a Blood-Starved Beast.

Things are a little different in the game’s new (and only) DLC, The Old Hunters.

GameSpot published a video walkthrough of what’s changed, but in short, acquiring a Beast Embrace rune lets players become a more beastly beast, in addition to providing players with new story details and another set of moves.

Let’s go over how to get the ball rolling on this:

  • Defeat Ludwig, the DLC’s first boss.
  • Kill the Healing Church hunters guarding the entryway to the next area.
  • Head up to the next section, aka the Research Lab.
  • Warp back to the previous lamp, then return to where the hunters were.
  • Pick up an item called Laurence’s Skull from the table.


Who’s Laurence? Bloodborne lore fiends will remember Laurence was a scholar of Byrgenwerth, a school studying the Great Ones. One of Bloodborne’s earliest cut scenes depicts the moment Laurence defects and betrays Byrgenwerth:

Now, let’s take a closer look at what the skull says:

“Skull of Laurence, first vicar of the Healing Church. In reality he became the first cleric beast, and his human skull only exists within the Nightmare.

The skull is a symbol of Laurence’s past, and what he failed to protect. He is destined to seek his skull, but even if he found it, it could never restore his memories.”


The cleric beast is the first boss you fight in Bloodborneh—he’s on the bridge.

As I was researching this, I noticed one theory that kept popping up. The cut scene above is triggered by hovering your hand near a beastly skull, but it’s not explained why the skull is there or why it holds such an important memory.


You were on the money, AlekTrev006 of GameFAQs. Bloodborne lore for $200!

To progress in The Old Hunters, you need to stumble upon a familiar scene in the Cathedral Ward. A beast quite like Vicar Amelia is draped against the altar, clutching an item that allows you access to the Research Lab after Ludwig.


Picking up the item doesn’t do anything. No matter what you do, the creature stays put—until you have Laurence’s Skull. How come? Well, that’s Laurence!


Ding ding ding.

Upon beating him (it?), players gain access to the Beast’s Embrace:


It doesn’t mean you can become a vicar, sadly, but it does give you a new look:

And, as mentioned earlier, some rad attacks:


This seems to bring closure to an important Bloodborne plot thread (and gameplay theory!), but given that folks have only been digging into the DLC for less than 24 hours, chances are there’s more to be discovered very soon.

You can reach the author of this post at patrick.klepek@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.