In Bloodborne, Ludwig the Accursed is one of the main bosses in the Old Hunters DLC. With an impressive size, surprisingly fast attacks, and a boss theme that makes his fight definitely intimidating, Ludwig could be one of the hardest bosses in the game.
However, given the right conditions, defeating Ludwig can lead to the Sacred Moonlight Sword, one of the best weapons Bloodborne has to offer.
Who is Ludwig and where to find him
Bloodborne, like all games in the Souls series, is not very willing to talk about its history. Let’s start from the beginning: Ludwig was a zealous warrior who became the first hunter of the Healing Church. He founded the Healing Church Workshop (on which Hunter’s Dream is based) and is highly regarded by some NPCs in the main game (such as Herman himself). The hero who led this path became known as Ludwig, the Holy Blade, and the hunters who came after him also became known as the Holy Blades. Bloodborne takes place after Ludwig, but in The Old Hunters DLC we meet the pitiful creature he eventually became: Ludwig the Accursed.
To find and fight this legendary Igarnamite, you need to enter the Old Hunters DLC. To do this, go through the main story until you defeat the vicar Amelia in the cathedral branch. From here, return to the hunter’s dream to find an item called “Blood Drunk Hunter’s Eye”. After that, return to the cathedral compartment and exit through the left door to the cemetery. There should be some items in the graveyard hidden behind the grave, if you have already picked them up, go and stand in the same place. When you stand here, you will be lifted into the air by an invisible enemy, and if you have installed it, the DLC will begin.
In the DLC “Old Hunters” you will be greeted by a twisted version of the Cathedral Ward. Follow the usual path to Amelia’s Vicar boss room, but before entering the church, turn right into a dimly lit cave. Now follow this path, it’s relatively linear by souls standards, passing through a river of blood populated with terrifying insectoid enemies until you reach a ladder, climb it and keep moving forward. Eventually, you will come to another cave entrance, enter it to find a blood-drenched church, here you will find Ludwig.
How to defeat Ludwig the Damned
The Old Hunters expansion itself is infamous for being one step above the main game in terms of difficulty, with Ludwig the Accursed often considered one of the hardest bosses in the entire game. He deals huge damage and is incredibly aggressive, and in the middle of the fight he becomes a completely different opponent.
You will meet Ludwig the Damned in an area called “Underground Corpse Pile” at the very beginning of the DLC, very close to the Nightmare Church’s lamp. You’ll be thankful that the lamp is very close, because this boss (mandatory for completing the DLC) can be a serious obstacle on the way.
This is the real test of your mastery of the basics of combat in Bloodborne. Look and react, aim for weak spots (his limbs can be broken, as well as his head, which will enable a visceral attack), don’t be greedy. He has a deceptive mix of slow and telegraphed attacks with faster ones, but his wide, sweeping range means you can really get an advantage if you get under/behind him. But not at such a distance as to provoke a mule strike.
Take advantage of his weakness to shoot if you can, and watch for him to pause for a moment and scream. This is the signal for him to attack with a charge that is quite capable of hitting you with one shot.
Once you reduce his HP to half, will Ludwig take on a completely different form? He discovers the Sacred Moonlight Sword, communicates with it, and regains his sanity and composure. From now on, you fight with Ludwig, the Holy Blade, who stands up and fights with 3-4 blade strikes.
The main thing to remember is to stay close and dodge his fast, sweeping attacks, not to move away from them. As before, attack when you stun him (you can focus on certain sides to get a few stuns, or keep hitting the “broken” limb for extra damage), but don’t be greedy: he has several devastating AoE attacks at his disposal, which he signals by raising his blade.
How to get the Sacred Moonlight Sword
Tip: The reward for defeating Ludwig can be easily missed. After you defeat this enemy, his head will remain lying in a pool of blood in the boss arena. Talk to Ludwig for some interesting information, and eventually he will start making a horse-like scream. This scream won’t stop, so attack Ludwig’s head and he’ll throw the Sacred Moonlight Sword.
In its converted mode, the weapon makes heavy use of the often overlooked Arcane stat, and special moves allow the player to fire Arcane beams. Ranged damage is a huge plus in PvE (enemy AI usually means they just can’t handle it) and can be incredibly effective against human players as well.
And one last piece of advice: after winning the battle, put on your church robes and answer “Yes” to the question his disembodied head will ask you (“Are my church hunters the noble Spartans I hoped?”). Nothing will change and you’ll get the sword anyway, but that’s just a courtesy. Poor guy.
- Do not enter this fight in the early game
- Dodge his attacks instead of moving away from them
- Try to stay as close to his feet as possible.
- Try to hit each of his limbs
- use fire
- Beware of his cry
- Be very careful with his AoEs, they usually kill you in one hit