While players can potentially encounter the Cleric Beast first, Father Gascoigne is the first boss players must beat to proceed through the game's critical path. A member of the Healing Church's hunters, like many others of Yharnam Gascoigne is slowly succumbing to the plague that turns people into mindless beasts. Gascoigne is thusly driven mad with bloodlust and attacks the player on sight.
Gascoigne has three different stages to his fight. During the first stage he functions similarly to the player, with a melee weapon and firearm equipped in each hand. He uses the Hunting Axe, though his moveset differs from the one the player can acquire. Many of his attacks are slow and can prove to be relatively easy to parry via shooting him with the firearm.
He will often chain many of his melee attacks while potentially finishing with a shot from his hunting pistol, and will frequently dash to avoid player attacks. After so much damage he will then extend his Hunting Axe into its alternate form, now resembling something closer to a Halberd. His attacks in this form more closely mirror the attacks players have access to via their own Hunting Axe; his melee attacks now deal more damage and have more range. He also has access to a charge attack where he'll spin his Hunting Axe in 720 degrees. Despite wielding his axe with both hands he still has access to his Hunting Pistol and will occasionally shoot at the player much like during the first stage.
Finally after sustaining more damage Gascoigne will transform into a beastly monster. Despite being of a larger form he is still extremely agile. He no longer uses the Hunting Axe and relies on his own claws to rapidly slash at the player; any attacks that knock the player to the ground are often followed up with a leap attack that will still deal damage even should the player still be stuck incapacitated on the ground. Parrying him amidst his flurry of claw attacks has a high success rate due to the sheer number of attacks that are available to be parried. Like all beasts in the game the transformed Gascoigne has an innate weakness to fire.
Because of his increased size and more animalistic attributes, the gravestones that litter the battle arena can prove to be a problem and may inadvertently have the player dashing against them by mistake leaving the player extremely vulnerable to attack. The gravestones can be destroyed by Gascoigne's attacks at least. There is a set of stairs that can be taken to a higher ground that has no such obstructions, though the overall size of the area is much tighter.
If players have access to the music box given to them by Gascoigne's daughter from the window behind the locked gate, it can be used to temporarily stun Gascoigne. Whilst in his human form he will begin to convulse and express pain, making him open to attack, including a visceral attack if players are able to unleash a charge attack from behind. It can be used up to three times before it will then trigger Gascoigne to then transform into his beast form regardless of his health. The music box can be used to stun the transformed Gascoigne only the one time before it loses its effect and becomes useless.
- His surname is pronounced as ''gas-gone''.
- Upon beating Gascoigne his Hunter's attire can be purchased from the Insight Shop back at the Hunter's Dream.
- Should the player die to Gascoigne, he will respond with ''Too proud to show your true face? A hunting sport it was'', though only for the first death.
- Players can choose to summon Gascoigne for assistance against the Cleric Beast fight so long as he hasn't already been killed. Originally there were two highlighted notes suggesting players to use their Beckoning Bell, each of which would summon Gascoigne should players ring the bell next to the note. Though once the Old Hunter Bell was patched in, he is much easier to locate - however he can only be summoned next to the fountain. He fights exactly like he does during the boss fight whilst still in his human form. If players journey towards where they'll meet Gascoigne as a boss--specifically the bridge that leads to the Tomb of Odeon--Gascoigne will immediately vanish from the player's world. He can be re-summoned so long as the Cleric Beast still lives. If players play the music box item while near the summoned Gascoigne he will respond with a grunt.