Trying so hard to like Bloodborne. Or, why won't Vicar Amelia just die?

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Posted by Guybrush (191 posts) -

I have been playing Bloodborne on and off for 3 months now. It was my first venture into the Souls type games, but since then I have finished Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2 and am deep into Dark Souls 3.

I really love the setting, story and art style of Bloodborne. I like the ways it is different to the other Souls games. There's so much to like.

However, what is stopping is Vicar Amelia. I've tried so many times to beat her and just can't. This boss isn't that far into the game and I feel I shouldn't be having as much trouble as I am.

From my experience with the other Souls games, Vicar Amelia seems like a pretty terrible boss. She's huge, moves fast, her hair gets in the way of you view and her AI routines seem to be modelled on a 2 year old child throwing a tantrum. I understand that bosses are meant to be challenging, but this feels ridiculous.

Just when I think I'm finally getting close to beating her, this happens:

Should I take this as a sign to stop playing? Will I ever beat the Vicar?

I'm going to keep trying because I feel the game is worth it. But man if it isn't the most frustrated I've been at a game.

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#1 Posted by Cav829 (827 posts) -

Man, I'm sorry that happened to you, but damn is that hilarious.

You're almost there. Keep going. If she's too much, grind out say five levels and try again. Fire paper helps a lot against her and other beast types. The key to beating Amelia is to stay glued to her booty. While not the hardest boss in the game, she's definitely a bit of a gut check boss, so don't feel bad if it took you a bit to figure out how to fight her. And if all else fails, pm me and I'll jump into a game and help you beat her.

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#2 Posted by takayamasama (1546 posts) -

She is pretty rough, I found that I just had to go balls to the wall aggressive at her and try to murder her before she murdered me. The attempts where I tried to play calm and carefully never ended well.

That being said, if you don't manage or it starts dragging on you, don't feel bad if you stop. Personally I think everything after her just goes downhill. The games tone start to become really inconstant, the locals you go to aren't really interesting after the city, and it just kinda drags. The boss fights don't even really get that much more majestic/neat. It's my least favorite "Souls" game and a lot of that for me is just how "meh" the second half of the game is.

So if you beat her, fantastic, congrats and good luck moving forward! If you don't and call it there, I also 100% agree with that decision.

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#3 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

This takes me back. I remember having a pretty heated discussion about this boss on these very forums. I honestly don't get why some people think it is a difficult boss to beat. She has no outstanding abilities or strengths. She's probably a 2/5 in unpredictability, 3/5 in speed, 2/5 in damage and the only unique ability she has is healing, which can be 100% negated in several ways, one of which is just attacking her throughout the ability.

I have not died on this boss to date, though I stopped doing new Bloodborne runs.

This was my first time fighting her (blind run):

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The only other video I have fighting her is this one, where I am severely underleveled/underequipped:

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I think it must be one of those bosses that just don't click for one reason or another with some people. While I think most of Bloodborne's bosses are easy (mostly because healing is a non-issue, you can see I am not actually doing well at all in the video's, but can just heal the errors away), this one is probably close to #1 for me. What is it exactly you find so challenging about her? I'm sure there is something somewhere that if you changed your approach it suddenly clicked and you just blasted through it.

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#4 Posted by Guybrush (191 posts) -

@cav829: Thanks for the advice. I have been trying to stay behind her, but she turns around so quickly! I will keep going and try to level up some more. And thanks for your offer of support. That's one thing I am noticing; I've not seen a single summon sign for other players. I've only ever seen 1 NPC summon sign. Are they just not as common as in Dark Souls?

@takayamasama: After she has beaten me a few times I usually go in aggressively, but it never works out. I die way faster.

It's sad to hear the rest of the game doesn't hold up. I'd been seeing more and more people saying that Bloodborne was in fact their favourite of the Souls games. I will keep going. I need to beat her.

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#5 Edited by Captain_Insano (3498 posts) -

Bloodborne is a weird game. I had no problem with Vicar Aemilia (killed her second time - which you must hate me for saying), but a later boss that most people had no problem with, I gave up the game for 3 months because I got so frustrated.

Try summoning? If you're online and have a bell, you don't need an NPC. Hopefully some helpful human joins you

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#6 Posted by Guybrush (191 posts) -

@zevvion: Yeah, I have a friend who beat her first time and has no idea why I find it so hard. I think a lot of it could be luck? Watching your video, she really doesn't jump around as much as she does for me. She's all over the place when I try. Could it be something to do with my level of insight? If it's at a certain level does it not make enemies harder?

What I find hardest is trying to dodge her attacks. She always seems to clip me when I'm rolling. This is probably just poor timing on my part. I just can't get into the rhythm of her attacks.

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#7 Posted by hmoney001 (1249 posts) -

Just keep at it man. #GITGUD

Amelia is one of the harder beginning bosses.

Everyone has that one boss that destroys them over and over but once its clicks you will be like you are on top of the world.

I had such a hard time with Ludwig.

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#8 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

@guybrush: No, Insight doesn't make bosses harder. If she's jumping around you're too far away. If you're a melee character you want to be close at all times. If you watch my first video you'll see that I get hit by most of her attacks but she doesn't do that much damage so you can just heal. I had over half of my blood vials left after beating her even though I did pretty awful with dodging.

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#9 Edited by Y2Ken (2943 posts) -

She was a toughie the first time I played through, but now I feel super confident against her - which I think is often a self-fulfilling prophecy in Bloodborne. If you fight a lot of the bosses in an aggressive, confident fashion you'll often break them down pretty quickly.

I'd definitely recommend sticking with it - tonally and mechanically it might well be my favourite of the Fromsoft RPGs. Sounds like you're into it too, this boss aside, so I would certainly encourage you to keep trying. As a suggestion, have you visited a place called Hemwick? The path there is very close to the cathedral Amelia is in, but it's quite easy to miss it.

I'd recommend going through there first if you haven't, which will not only level you up a touch but will also get you access to the rune workshop in the Hunters' Dream, which lets you equip runes (the rough equivalent to rings in Dark Souls). Also when you actually fight Amelia, be sure to bring both Fire Paper and Numbing Mist - the first for bigger damage, the second to block her healing in the latter half of the fight.

As for the actual encounter itself, I find the key is to manage your distance. If you get too close or too far away she'll do more dangerous attacks. Try and hang at a short range away, dodge through or to the side of her attacks (aside the tantrum, which you'll need to back away from), and get in on her legs. You can break each of her limbs once - fairly quickly, too - allowing you to do a visceral attack for each of them. Hopefully one which doesn't kick you outside the map boundaries!

Good luck! You can do it.

EDIT: For what it's worth, here's my first successful fight against her, which hopefully showcases a little of what I was saying but in a way that's not a super clean attempt from someone who's done the fight a ton of times.

Loading Video...

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#10 Posted by Guybrush (191 posts) -

@y2ken: Thanks for the tips! I have not been to Hemwick. I will do that next, it could be a big help having runes.

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#11 Posted by Cav829 (827 posts) -

@guybrush:Yes, definitely do that area first. Good thinking, @y2ken.

NPC summon signs actually weren't even added to Bloodborne until the DLC. So you mostly have to rely on calling in other players to help.

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#12 Posted by Dregdon (26 posts) -

@cav829: This is not true there are npc signs in vanilla bloodborne they are just very infrequent compared to other souls games. Also summoning players does not happen through signs you just ring the bell and hope someone joins with no way of knowing what areas have people around the system is pretty terrible.

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#13 Posted by Cav829 (827 posts) -

@dregdon: Ah, for some reason I remembered NPC signs being added in the DLC. My bad. I did know the bell is how you summon other players. I don't think you're going to get much argument that the online aspects of Bloodborne were weaker than the other Souls games.

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#14 Posted by TheWildCard (694 posts) -

For what it's worth it's the hardest boss in the game. Easily the most frustrating boss for me on the first playthrough (well outside a bogus Chalice dungeon boss), and still took numerous tries on NG+.

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#15 Posted by Humanity (18720 posts) -

@guybrush: Just level up a bit, raise those stats, and pump that STR stat. Unless you are a Souls savant that nimbly dodges through all the attacks, leveling is what makes or breaks the game and Amelia is a sort of level-check situation.

It is a difficult boss early on but once you best her everything else (with a few exceptions) is not nearly as difficult.

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#16 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

@thewildcard: I'd argue she's one of the easiest. If you were to compare her to Gehrman, she ranks less on every front. Speed, damage, AoE are all much, much lower and she lacks any useful ability. You don't even have to do well to beat her if you have max vials. You can just tank hits and out-DPS her.

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#17 Edited by Milijango (204 posts) -

@cav829: Don't blame yourself for forgetting. There were only two - Gascoigne could help you for Cleric Beast, and Alfred could help you for Blood-starved. Now at least half of the bosses have summons, but I'm not sure if Vicar Amelia is one of them.

Bloodborne bosses have massive movesets, move fast, and hit hard. They're pretty jarring coming off any other Souls game, but they're vulnerable to the kind of sustained offensives that aren't really possible in other games (because weapons are faster and use less stamina in general). With a big boss like Amelia you can target a limb to "break" it, causing her to take a lot more damage on that limb in future and forcing her into a wincing animation. You can go for another limb in that time and essentially catch her in a stunlock. The Saw Cleaver is great for this because it uses so little stamina for the amount of damage it deals. Damaged limbs will spurt blood every time she attacks, and play a chunkier sound when you hit them. Her roar "repairs" them, but that just means you can break them again.

Amelia's dirtiest trick is, as you've spotted, her heavily delayed swipes. They'll catch you at the end of your rolls, which means they deal extra damage (weird mechanic don't ask) and can kill you outright. She has too many permutations of that attack to learn in a hurry; either stick to her backside (she can damage you when she jumps back but none of her attacks there are lethal) or keep a moderate distance out in front of her. Dodge into the swipes to reduce the chance of getting hit, or dodge away to get out of their range entirely.

Keep at it. Post-Amelia is where the game is at its most original.

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#18 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1900 posts) -

Have you gone to Hemwick Charnel Lane yet? If not, you should go explore that area. Most people who run into a wall with Vicar Amelia do so because they are fighting her too early. Hemwick Charnel Lane is full of tier 2 upgrade material and beating the boss unlocks a major part of character customization, not to mention a fair number of Echos to level yourself with.

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#19 Edited by Guybrush (191 posts) -

I did it!

Thanks to everyone for their advice!

I went to Hemwick, got the rune tool, leveled up a few times, fortified my weapon and then beat Amelia on my first attempt! It was surprisingly easy...I don't know what I was having so much trouble with!

Now I can finally make some progress!

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#20 Posted by inevpatoria (7436 posts) -

@guybrush said:

Vicar Amelia seems like a pretty terrible boss. She's huge, moves fast, her hair gets in the way of you view and her AI routines seem to be modelled on a 2 year old child throwing a tantrum.

Well, this is essentially Bloodborne's modus operandi. If you don't like Vicar Amelia for the above reasons, you should probably know that it is only uphill from here.

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#21 Posted by Humanity (18720 posts) -

@guybrush: Leveling man, it makes a whole world of a difference once you do more damage and fights don't drag out way longer doesn't it?

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#22 Posted by Guybrush (191 posts) -

@humanity: Yeah, it was amazing how much difference it made. I think I only leveled up 4 times, but it helped a lot. Bring on the next boss!

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#23 Posted by dudeglove (13736 posts) -

Try playing without locking on? Souls games don't require strict locking on, and arguably the worst element of all these games has been the camera. It helps with dodging because, when locked on, you will dodge relative to your position to the enemy, whereas unlocked you will almost always dodge where you intend to.

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#24 Posted by Y2Ken (2943 posts) -

@guybrush: Great to hear it! A little levelling can go a long way. Weapon upgrades and gems even more so.

Good luck going forward! As I said in my initial post, you're in for one heck of a ride.

Just remember that dodge invincibility - getting used to dodging towards/through stuff is a big help, and something that took me a while to adapt to as a longtime shield user in the Souls games. As @dudeglove says sometimes unlocking in boss fights can be very useful (though you might need to lock on to quick-dodge, then unlock to swing). Also bear in mind that almost every enemy can be parried, including some bosses, and the ones who can't are often susceptible to stagger with enough damage to specific body parts.

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#25 Edited by NTM (11749 posts) -

Hm. I didn't have much of an issue with her, or any of the bosses really. I think I beat her my first or second time. Also, why not use summons (as in, NPC summon)? I don't remember exactly how you get them, but I know it's different from the Souls games, but they're there. If I remember correctly, the summon for Amelia is just to the right in the graveyard area before enemies come out, though you can just sprint past. Bloodborne is my third favorite Souls game (if I can call it that). I like Demon's and the first Dark Souls more, but Bloodborne is really good too. The thing I didn't like as much is that it felt like it didn't have as much in it, from length, and I wanted more variety in the areas you go to. As good as these games were, I don't really have any desire to do more playthroughs. I bought Demon's and Dark Souls on release, and played several hours of both, but never beat them, or really got that far at all. When DS3 came out though, and I didn't really have anything to play, I went through all of them back-to-back. I bought Scholar of the First Sin on PS4, Bloodborne and DS3 on PS4, and went through all of them, except that I fought and died on the final boss of three twice, so I stopped and haven't gone back. Three's my least favorite of the bunch. I just watched the endings on YouTube. At that point, I was kind of tired of playing them, but DS3 wasn't an especially great send-off to me.

Edit - Never mind, you finally beat it. Something I suggest is finding a good farming area. I farmed enough that the final boss was one of the easiest bosses in the game, especially compared to the DLC bosses. The only boss I didn't beat because I didn't want to farm/grind anymore was Kos. An earlier area that I found that was good was in the Hemwick area just before the boss, and then later after (or perhaps before) you fight Micolash, where you can just back-stab normal enemies near two elevators, and get many... Souls. I totally forgot what they are called in Bloodborne. Blood Vials?

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#26 Edited by Rich666 (426 posts) -

Geez... If you're struggling this bad now, you're gonna hate the rest of the game. Amelia is one of the easier bosses in Bloodborne, so if she's giving you a hard time I really dont know what to say. By the way am I the only one who pictures this kid flipping out in his room? Sorry if that's rude... good luck.

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#27 Posted by Marco724 (156 posts) -

That video was amazing lol I would have been furious though. Something so great about these games to me is that a boss that is a pushover to one person can seem impossible to someone else depending on their play style, level, weapon, etc. I actually really liked fighting Vicar Amalia, at first I was under leveled and she could one shot me. Came back later and cut her down first try. If you keep at it you'll be able to get it done, fire papers and those throwables that prevent healing will help.

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#28 Posted by Humanity (18720 posts) -

@rich666: git gud kid lawlz sincerely - BloodborneNoScoper420

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#29 Posted by TOA_Doom (91 posts) -

This has always confused me...because you are not alone at all, plenty of people have had serious troubles with Amelia, it seems, but I just can't understand why. Her attacks are very predictable, and her healing was never an issue. And then if you use fire paper, the fight just becomes even easier. I've played through Bloodborne many times, various different builds, and I really do think Amelia is one of the easiest bosses in the game.

In general though, I love Bloodborne. It is my favorite souls game, personally, and I don't agree at all that it somehow goes downhill post-Amelia. It stays quite strong up until the end, and the DLC is incredible. The chalice dungeons suck, but you by no means have to do them. Anyway, you just need to keep trying. Go in stocked up on blood vials, and use fire paper. Beyond that you've just got to learn to dodge.

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#30 Posted by Dispossession (155 posts) -

Congrats man.

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#31 Posted by Guybrush (191 posts) -

@toa_doom: It does seem to be common for this game and the other Souls games, one boss could be easy for some and hard for others.

When I did eventually beat her, after having levelled up and upgraded my weapon, I found her no problem at all. If I had been that level the first time I faced her would I have beat her first or second time? Quite possibly.

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#32 Posted by Humanity (18720 posts) -

@toa_doom: It depends when you come to her. Like Guybrush noticed just a few levels made a world of difference. The fight isn't hard when you're dealing out moderate damage and not losing half your life bar with every hit. I had trouble with this boss because I breezed through the earlier parts, skimped on some exploration and was using the threaded cane which doesn't do that much damage compared to it's str based counterparts and also doesn't stagger bosses for the most part (I think there are a FEW exceptions). I mean I beat Gasciogne on my first try without using the music box because I kind of skipped that whole part. I also skipped the Cleric Beast. So then I came to Amelia and I was doing very little damage to her and she was doing a lot of damage to me, the fight would drag out for a really long time and I would eventually make one mistake too many. The fact that it was really difficult to knock her out of the healing phase with the cane didn't help things either. I went on to level up a bit, came back, and just like Guybrush found the fight to be a breeze.

OF course there are people out there who will be all like "yo man I beat her at Soul level 0 you just need to dodge better she's super easy bro" but for 95% of the remaining players it's just a matter of being properly equipped and leveled for the situation.

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#33 Posted by thomasnash (1106 posts) -

I had a lot of trouble with all of the early bosses. Cleric Beast was ok, but I struggled a lot against Gascoine, Blood-starved beast and Amelia all gave me a lot of trouble the first time around.

I don't necessarily agree with people who say that if you are struggling now the game is going to be tough for you though. I had significantly less trouble with the back half of the game.

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