Bloodborne has already become one of the most notoriously difficult video games of the last decade. This is particularly true when it comes to the title’s boss fights, where strategy is vital to victory. The key to defeating Yharnam’s worst offerings is thorough planning and execution, such as the delicate timing needed to take down the Blood-Starved Beast.
The boss battle strategies, however, may not always be as obvious as it first seems – much like the bosses themselves. The likes of the DarkBeast Paarl and the Cleric Beast cut pretty mean figures against the rather vulnerable and all-too-soft player character, but looks can be deceiving. That’s certainly the case with one of the game’s optional bosses: the Witches of Hemwick.
The witches themselves should not cause much trouble, as long as the player is able to see through multiple levels of deception. The bosses can be found in Hemwick Graveyard, at the end of Hemwick Charnel Lane. There is an immediate bit of misdirection on show, as players will face a direct enemy as they enter the arena: scythe-wielding soot monsters. However, the real witches are much more discreet, appearing as hunch-backed hags. As players no doubt discovered with Father Gascoigne, looks can be deceiving.
Although the soot monsters can be attacked, they serve more as a distraction to players. Instead, a better strategy is to avoid them, and focus attention on the witches themselves. The scythe-wielders are slow-moving but can pack a punch if players get cornered by a group, so it is better to keep moving around the outskirt walls evading them. Players can use the broken bridge to their advantage by luring the monsters up to the bridge, and then jumping off. The monsters will have to walk back around to continue the chase.
The deception doesn’t end with the Soot Monsters themselves, as hunting down the Bloodborne witches has its own illusions. At first it appears that there is only one Witch of Hemwick, but don’t be deceived: there is a second, invisible witch. Regardless of which one is attacked, damage will be done – even if the boss life bar doesn’t go down. This is because the second life bar does not appear at first.
The witches will appear and reappear around the room, but a torch will enable the player to see the witches’ locations more clearly. Players should watch out for missile attacks that will bind their character in place, making them susceptible not only to the soot monsters but also to a devastating visceral attack.
Here comes the most critical part: the witches need to be dealt with in quick succession. A third witch can appear if players do not defeat both witches quickly enough. If that happens, it makes matters much tougher, as then all three witches must be defeated within about a minute. Otherwise, the witches can respawn, albeit with lower health.
When defeated, the witches will drop Bloodshot Eyeballs, which can be used in a number of the Hintertomb chalices, and the Witch’s Abode Lamp will also become available. Most importantly, however, defeating the boss opens up a hallway to access the Rune Workshop Tool, a useful function in the From Software-developed title.
If you found this helpful, and need some help with any other Bloodborne bosses, be sure to look at our other boss fight guides:
- How to beat the Cleric Beast
- How to beat the Father Gascoigne
- How to beat the Blood-Starved Beast
- How to beat Vicar Amelia
- How to beat DarkBeast Paarl
Bloodborne is out now for PS4.