The Old Hunter is DLC of Bloodborne. As the titles sound I somehow believe the story took setting in one of Hunter Nightmare where Hunters and The Church starting develop the ‘Old Blood’ in the very beginning, which is the time when Laurence still comply master Willen to develop the ‘Old Blood’ so they can evolve, or atleast, connected to Great Ones. In this Hunter Nightmare you may visit some of same places in regular playthrough bloodborne, the different is, there’s still sun that rose in this place.
As for the story I grasp, I think it started when Master Willen order The Church and Hunters to took the Umblicial Cord, the Surrogate of Great Ones, in Befuddled Village which believed there’s Great One in there, the name is Kos, who worshipped by all the villager. The consequence of worshipping Kos is kinda gross because it made the villager become fishmen but somehow made them stronger than human being. The Church, either it leads by Laurence or Ludwig, and The Hunters, lead by Gehrman and his student, Maria, succed raided the village and murder every villager ruthlessly by drilled their skulls to make sure they can connect with Great Ones later. They also succed kill the Great Ones, Kos, and his child, Orphan of Kos, so they, which is Gehrman and Maria, succed get the Umblicial Cord from Kos.
Not every villager murdered actually because some of them become experimental in Research Hall so they can make contact with Great Ones. Maria, who feel guilt because her raid choose to became caretaker to every ‘patients’ in there as her redemption. Unfortunately the experiment totally failure. Most of them become insane or die. Maria choose to suicide in Astral Clocktower while keep the secret of the experiment, the villager who become Fishman, the Great One Kos and Great One Child, Orphan of Kos. While Gherman, who feel devastated by the death of his most ‘lovable’ student, choose to use Umblicial Cord by himself so he become Great Ones Moon Presence servant and had his own Hunter Dream and Nightmare, which make him survive the ‘Old Blood’. Laurence, Ludwig and other hunters who came back to Yharman with empty hand can’t handle the wild drive of ‘Old Blood’ and become beast.
My experience in this playthrough is fascinating, and still obviusly ‘challenging’. My favorite part is in boss battle, especially when fight Ludwig (The Accursed/Holly Blade) and Lady Maria. The theme song and mastering mechanism or pattern to defeat them is very interesting. Even though, there’s also frustating time, which I considered the most stressful moment while I play Bloodboren, that is when I fight Orphan of Kos. I almost lost count of how many death I had when that cunt rape me.
There’s no additional thing in story rather than explaining some things that already happen in lore, kind of prologue before Bloodborne start. But I think it definetly worth to play if you enjoy Bloodborne. The boss fight in this DLC is a pinnacle of the playthrough in my opinion.
I admit I’m too naive when think that I will understand the story while playthrough it. All my concentration goes to fight the annoying enemy, avoiding death trap, fight unforgiving monster with crazy damage and other unknown thing that lead me to painful death. In the beginning, it’s hard to grasp what’s happening in the world because every enemy, boss, even NPC (except : the Doll) at some point become heavily insane either to kill anyone or suicide with very implicit explanation. But in the end of gameplay, I starting understand the story from my perspective.
It started with the ‘blood’ that can cure every diseases and used by many people in Yharman. The ‘blood’ developed in Yharman by special Institute called Blood Ministration which founded by Laurence. However, most of people who use the ‘blood’ starting losing their sense and sanity. They even become blood thirsty alongside their physical appearance changes become a beast and starting attack innocent people. This phenomena is somewhat foreseen by Laurence master, Willem, who constantly remind his student with adage ‘Fear the old blood’. Willem understand that the ‘blood’ is not medicine, but a key for human to evolved become greater mankind which conquered by Great One or possibly become the Great One itself.
Laurence didn’t listen his master. He instead lead white-garbed ‘doctors’ and cooperate with Gehrman, who lead ‘black – garbed’ hunters, to ‘hunt’ the beast in Yharman so they can save the innocents. They develop the ‘blood’ so the doctors and hunters atleast can control the insanity of the blood and had the fairly power to defeat the beast.
Unfortunately, things not goes as Laurence and Gehrman expected. Laurence and his friend who support him can’t survive the wild drive of ‘Old Blood’ so they become beast. Gehrman also choose to succumb under Great Ones (somewhat equal to gods term in this game), which is Moon Presence, by using Umbilical Cords, the Surrogate of Great Ones. Moon Presence creating Hunters Nightmare and dreams so Gehrman can ‘manage’ the hunters for the hunt. Why the hunt important to Moon Presence? I just guessing it related to blood echoes that hunter got by defeating enemy and used for leveling or buying some items which is connected somehow to make Moon Presence stronger. Either way, he need hunter to defeat another Great Ones.
There’s three ending offered to player after you defeat all Great Ones except Moon Presence :
1. You choose to killed by Gehrman peacefully so you free from Nightmare hunters
2. You choose to kill Gehrman so Moon Presence make you as Gehrman substitute who will ‘manage’ other hunter via Nightmare and Hunter dreams
3. You choose to kill both Gehrman and Moon Presence so you become the new and the only one Great Ones. The third ending is considered as true ending.
There’s a lot of sub-plot in the story with each own lore which keep you interesting to play. Beside the challenging gameplay, the gothic setting, eerie and depressing atmosphere is presented spot on. Bloodborne is my first soulborne game and it succeed hook me to play the other souls game.