We’ve already offered guides on how to successfully beat the Blood-Starved Beast and Vicar Amelia in Bloodborne, but many players may not have even seen those formidable foes. That’s because there’s a potentially punishing battle waiting just before Bloodborne expands to a more open world approach, and his name is Father Gascoigne.
At a glance, Father Gascoigne seems like a pushover, a human-sized enemy that’s on equal footing with the player’s own hunter. However, as is the case with Bloodborne and any game from From Software, looks can be very deceiving.
Because Father Gascoigne is a smaller, human-sized enemy he’s much quicker, which means players will need to have their fingers hovering over the dodge button at all times. His axe attacks can be brutal, and will oftentimes force players into a string of hits they can’t dodge out of or heal during. Not to mention, his blunderbuss shots, which will stagger players and leave them vulnerable at inopportune times.
But, there is a pretty simple way to beat Father Gascoigne – one that involves a general understanding of Bloodborne’s mechanics, specifically the concept of staggering. See, while past Souls games have used blocking and parrying as a key component, Bloodborne uses the player’s off-hand guns to stagger opponents. It does require some timing – basically right before an enemy attacks – but hitting an enemy with a gun will leave them vulnerable to a deadly visceral attack.
With that knowledge in mind, players should have little trouble with Father Gascoigne during the first half of the battle, provided they have fast reflexes. Any time the enemy hunter reels back for an attack, hit him with a gunshot and dive in for a visceral attack. Damage will vary based on weapon type and level, but each visceral attack should take off a decent chunk of Father Gascoigne’s health.
Even then, it’s important to treat the Bloodborne boss with care, as he can still occasionally get a hit before the stagger triggers. And there will be times when he doesn’t stagger at all, so be careful not to get too aggressive. Don’t stray too far, though, or else Father Gascoigne will use his blunderbuss to chip away at your health.
Once Father Gascoigne is close to death, things get interesting. What was once a grizzled old man eventually turns into a lumbering beast, and with that comes a new dynamic to the boss fight. Bloodborne always knows when to kick players when they are their most vulnerable, and Father Gascoigne hammers that home.
But, like with the Blood-Starved Beast fight – which actually comes later – Father Gascoigne actually has a pretty key weakness if players know it. At some point during players’ early explorations of Central Yharnam they should find a music box that seemingly has no use. It’s a popular Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls trick to introduce insignificant (at first) items and let players figure out they are actually quite useful. The music box is no different.
After Father Gascoigne transforms, all players need do is use the music box and that should render the lumbering beast ineffective. Get in quick and do as much damage as possible and Father Gascoigne should be done. After that, players can reap their Blood Echo reward and activate a new lantern checkpoint.
Without the right knowledge, the Father Gascoigne boss fight can be a challenging hurdle for Bloodborne players to overcome. It’s ultimately about understanding the game’s mechanics, which admittedly are not well communicated, and getting a fair bit of help from a seemingly insignificant item. However, once players survive the fight they will be better equipped for when Bloodborne really starts getting challenging.
What are some strategies you used for the Father Gascoigne boss fight in Bloodborne? Did the boss give you any trouble?