From Software have developed a wide universe of incredibly difficult games that are known as Soulsborne, named after the developers' own games like Demon Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne. The most recent release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice further evolved their own form and introduced another beautiful world full of frustratingly difficult yet rewarding battles.
Yet, we seem to keep finding ourselves back to the Victorian-inspired Bloodborne, which is full of interesting lore and includes a number of secrets and hidden areas, which have become a pre-requisite for any Soulsborne game. While Bloodborne may not hold as many secrets as the Dark Souls franchise, there are still a number of hidden areas fans might still not have found that we'll explore today.
10 HYPOGEAN GAOL
Over the years, From Software has become known for their brutal and grueling style of gameplay that requires the player to die... a lot. Of course, even dying is never that easy, as players of Sekiro discovered when Dragonrot began sweeping the countryside. Bloodborne's twist on death was a little different but proved to be very rewarding if it wasn't missed early in the game.
The Hypogean Gaol is a location in Yahar'gul that can only be reached at a specific time; after the sack-carrying Snatchers appear but before you enter Yahar'gul in the regular storyline. To access the Hypogean Gaol lamp and a very decent Blood Echo farming spot, players only had to get killed by a Snatcher to wake up in the secret prison.
9 ABANDONED OLD WORKSHOP
After the player's initial death at the beginning of the game, they will be transported to what could be considered the only safe place in the game, the Hunter's Dream. there they will meet the Doll and Gehrman the Hunter, who will drop an interesting clue in conversation about a secret above Oedon Chapel after you've killed the Blood-Starved Beast.
The actual location is found on the way to the locked Upper Cathedral Ward. When traversing downward through the inside of the tower after the elevator there are a series of jumps across wooden platforms to get to an open door, which takes you to the Abandoned Old Workshop, a Yharnam prototype for the Hunter's Dream that is full of lore and loot.
8 CAINHURST CASTLE
If you've met the NPC Arthur or seen some of the other clues in the game that point towards it, you may have heard of the Forsaken Cainhurst Castle. Arthur is an Executioner who is hunting for the Castle to take out the Queen of the Vilebloods (more on her later). However, reaching the Castle requires a few different actions that most players missed on their first playthrough.
First players must defeat Vicar Amelia, then find the secret entrance in Forbidden Woods that takes you to Iosefska's Clinic, where you can find the Cainhurst Summons. Then the player has to find the giant obelisk in Hemwick Charnel Lane just before the Witch's Abode to activate the carriage that takes you to the optional but important Forsaken Cainhurst Castle area.
7 ALTAR OF DESPAIR
The Alter of Despair can be a difficult place to find, as it requires not only the Upper Cathedral and Orphanage Keys, but a keen eye and a desire to smash windows as well. Following the boss fight with the Celestial Emissary, a lamp will be opened for Lumenflower Gardens. Behind this lamp is an odd pane of glass that players will be able to see slight movement behind.
Breaking this glass opens up the elevator to the Altar of Despair and another optional boss, Ebrietas, Daughter of the Cosmos. While not the most difficult boss in the game Ebrietas can prove challenging but drops a required chalice if players are hoping to clear out all of the Chalice Dungeons (more on them later).
6 BRAIN OF MENSIS
While exploring the frustrating Nightmare of Mensis level, your hunter is subjected to Frenzy attacks from a glowing room in the distant tower. After jumping through a hidden entrance, players have to cross a bridge of Brain Trusts (Winter Lanterns) and find a switch that drops the giant Brain of Mensis down into a deep dark hole that you can access through an elevator in Mergo's Loft.
It can be difficult to find the Brain of Mensis offline once you exit the elevator, as even with a torch equipped the room is shrouded in complete darkness. That makes the sudden appearance of the giant shattered brain out of the darkness in front of you all the more jarring. The secret here was to do the "Make Contact" gesture in front of its eye for over 30 seconds to get the final Moon rune.
5 VILEBLOOD QUEEN'S CHAMBER
The Executioner Arthur's quest to end Annalise the Vileblood Queen is entirely dependent on the player being able to discover her location, which can be a tricky place to find without trial and error, or this handy guide hear. Her location is found after defeating Logarius at Castle Cainhurst, which itself was a challenge to find.
Logarius drops a fairly unimpressive Crown of Illusions which should be the first clue that it has a different purpose than armor. With the Crown of Illusions equipped, players moving towards Logarius' throne will be transported to the Vileblood Queen's chamber, where they can join the Vileblood Covenant, learn a new gesture, and finish Arthur's questline.
4 SECRET BOSSES
While these aren't hidden areas per se, they do require a bit of extra effort to reach the game's secret endings. Throughout the main game, players can acquire up to four One Third of Umbilical consumables that don't reveal much about their purpose. Eating them before killing Gehrman will unlock the final fight with the Moon Presence, and a different ending for our hunter.
Likewise with the DLC The Old Hunters, players have to go through a few extra steps to fight the secret final boss Laurence, the First Vicar. Players will have to find both the Eye Pendant and Laurence's skull in the Research Hall, which will revive Laurence's fiery Cleric Beast form, which can be one of the hardest boss fights in the game.
3 CHALICE DUNGEONS
The existence of the Chalice Dungeons is no secret to players, as they surely received both ritual chalices and materials that were required to use on the altars in the Hunter's Dream. As is common with any Soulsborne, this procedure is never very clear, so it's understandable if some players didn't dive too far into the Chalice Dungeons.
The Chalice Dungeons offer players a whole underground world to explore full of new enemies, boss battles, and great pieces of loot. The Chalice Dungeons also flesh out the lore a bit more and even gave players a chance to face off against the real final boss, Yharnam, Pthumerian Queen, whose name alone teases importance to the lore of Bloodborne.
2 ILLUSORY WALLS
While the Dark Souls franchise was full of illusory walls that led to secret rooms full of treasure and vital shortcuts, the feature only appears in Bloodborne when players are exploring the Chalice Dungeons. And while some will only lead to loot rooms and deadly enemies, there are some illusory walls that will unlock deeper depths to the Chalice Dungeons.
These illusory walls are crucial in reaching the final Dungeon boss, the Pthumerian Queen, and they can be found fairly easy once the player knows what to look for. Basically an illusory wall appears on those walls that look like they should have a door, such as those with arches and no doors or blank wall panels when they should be textured or overgrown.
1 UNUSED CONTENT
Players have been exploring the data files of Bloodborne, which unlocked a ton of unused content that players have been able to access through the Chalice Dungeon using glyphs. This data revealed cut character models, beasts, and designs left over from early trailers and game designs that players could data mine and mod for use in the game.
Some of the unused content includes an alternative to the lamps called Warp Chairs, alternate dialogue for Father Gascoigne, alternate locations for bosses, unused armor sets, and unused boss designs including an available (but unfinished) fight with an alternate Moon Presence that can be accessed using a Chalice Dungeon glyph.