This guide is designed to help the players that are finding it difficult to beat Bloodborne: The Old Hunters‘ challenging boss: Laurence, the first vicar.
Now that Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC has finally arrived, it’s time for PS4 players all over the world to start throwing their controllers in rage again. Thankfully, it won’t be too difficult to defeat this boss, if you know what you’re doing. It might be easier if players first find the Holy Moonlight Sword which is available after beating the expansion’s first boss, Ludwig.
Laurence, the first vicar, can be found in Bloodborne‘s iconic Nightmare Cathedral after obtaining his skull. The skull can be found by activating the altar elevator to the Research Hall with the Eye Pendant. Ride the elevator down and exit on this floor but step on it again to send it back up. Then use the lever to bring another elevator containing an altar up. Laurence’s Skull is found here.
When you encounter Laurence, you’ll notice that he bares a lot of resemblance to the original game’s first boss, the Cleric Beast. Laurence is also on fire however and, besides that, he has a few new moves for you to worry about.
When the fight begins, you must immediately retreat because Laurence will open with a ground pound attack that will send out a wave of fire towards you. Similar to the Cleric Beast, Laurence a large beast arm to worry about on his left side. A good strategy would be to stay on his right side, next to his smaller arm, as he will often attack with the left arm. Regardless of your position, when Laurence lifts his beast arm, be sure to quickly evade. If you don’t, the boss will grab you and throw you, dealing out a lot of damage.
By staying at his side, you can usually get several hits in before Laurence can respond. When he looks like he is going to, or when your stamina is low, roll out and recover. Getting too far away will cause him to leap up into the air, similar to how the Cleric Beast did, and land right on your position. Therefore, if he leaps up, quickly roll forward out of the way. Then, when he lands, you may be able to land a few hits on his back.
The second phase of the fight begins when Laurence reaches around half health. Here his legs will become hacked off but, as with all Bloodborne bosses, he actually gets more powerful than before his injury. Now the beast has access to several new attacks, including vomiting lava from his mouth. He’ll use this to force the player back away as the attack doesn’t have much range but is very harmful to the touch. If you see him tilt his head back, make sure to back away immediately. It’s also possible to attack his sides as he is unable to move or attack whilst using this lava attack.
It’s important to keep your cool and not get greedy during the fight as Laurence has some very powerful attacks, such as a double swipe attack which does massive damage to the player and a 180 degree sweep of the field, where he will hit everything in front of or beside him with his giant arm. Both of these attacks are telegraphed with Laurence lifting his left arm in the air so they shouldn’t be too hard to avoid, provided that you are careful. It might be easier to cancel locking on to the boss in order to roll away easier.
Finally, at around 25% health, Laurence will begin crawling around the player in a circle. This isn’t too difficult to deal with, assuming that you don’t panic or take any big risks. Just keep attempting to stick to his right side and slowly decrease his health with safe attacks and he’ll be finished in no time.
Laurence, the first vicar, will be far from the last of the The Old Hunters’ bosses and his defeat will allow you to get the Beast’s Embrace rune, allowing for transformations into a ‘ghastly form’.
If you haven’t yet picked up Bloodborne‘s new and only expansion, you can do so on the PlayStation marketplace now or you can buy the Bloodborne: Game of the Year Edition to get a copy of the base game alongside The Old Hunters. Whilst exclusive to PlayStation, FromSoftware’s bestselling title is widely thought of as a game that makes the PS4 worth buying.
Considering the game’s wide success, it’s hard to believe that Sony believed they were taking a big risk in Bloodborne‘s development. In fact, the game has been so positively received that its combat has inspired some changes to Dark Souls 3’s combat system.
Bloodborne: The Old Hunters is available now for the PlayStation 4.