Note: This article contains some Bloodborne spoilers.
So, you finally beat Bloodborne. You hacked your way through Yharnam, decimated the game’s brutal bosses (maybe with a little bit of help), scaled Mergo’s Tower, and put down the Wet Nurse. The Gherman wants to talk to you. You engage in a brief conversation, and the final cinematic rolls. At this point, you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. If you can beat Bloodborne, you can do just about anything, right?
Just wait. Like Dark Souls, Bloodborne has more than one ending. Even worse, according to most fans, there’s only one ‘true’ ending, and you probably didn’t see it. That means you’re going to have to play the game again, right? After all, Bloodborne has tons of replay value: there’s the New Game Plus mode, which is so difficult that even From Software employees are having problems conquering it; you could try to beat the game without leveling, like one person did; or, if you’re impatient, you can just glitch your way to the end.
Here’s a better idea: get it right the first time. After defeating the Wet Nurse, you gain an item called “One Third of Umbilical Cord.” If you’ve been paying attention to item names and descriptions – which you should, because hints are hidden everywhere – that should raise a red flag. If you have one third of the item, well, where are the other two?
One of the pieces is hidden in the Abandoned Old Workshop, a hidden location in Cathedral Ward. Approach the Healing Church, but instead of using the door, veer right. You’ll drop down, wander a bit, and find a door. Enter it. You’ll be on top of a small platform; drop off to the left. If you do it right, you’ll land about halfway down. Drop again, and you’ll be in the Abandoned Old Workshop, home to the second umbilical cord piece.
The third and final piece of the umbilical cord involves Arianna, an NPC you meet earlier in the game. When you meet her, you can either send her to the cathedral or to Iosefka’s Clinic. If you did the former, return to the cathedral and follow Arianna’s blood trail. Kill the monster with her, and you’ll get your third piece of umbilical cord. If you sent Arianna to the clinic, either Arianna or Iosefka will drop the piece. Once you have all three sections of umbilical cord, eat them (gross), talk to the Gherman, and refuse his offer. Then, stay alive.
Apparently, some players – those who ignored NPCs, or did some events in the wrong order – won’t be able to get all three pieces of the umbilical cord; other players report that they were actually able to retrieve four pieces, although the ending wasn’t any different. If you find yourself stuck and unable to get the ‘true’ ending, then there’s not much you can do. Simply start a new game, and hope for the best.