Bloodletting: Seductive Monstrosity and the Interplay between Waking and Dreaming in Bloodborne
Keywords:Monstrosity, Bloodborne, FromSoftware, Seduction, Gothic, Waking and Dreaming
FromSoftware, a Japanese game developer, displays perhaps their most gothic inspired creation in Bloodborne (2015). Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of the game, though drawing from several other key authors in the field, primarily pays homage to themes and concepts present in H. P. Lovecraft’s relatively niche oeuvre. The American gothic tradition thematically underscores various significant characteristics of the game, not only through the pervasive use of Lovecraftian imagery, but by incorporating the sense that the land itself is cursed, with hidden secrets and occult histories residing just below the surface. The gameplay mechanics in a FromSoftware title are intimately ligated to the lore, world building, ambiance, and the narrative structure—a structure known for being relatively loose and nonlinear. In Bloodborne, the player-character controls an avatar referred to as a “hunter” during their sojourn in the oneiric, perverse world called Yharnam. The various inhabits of Yharnam range from beastly in nature to unfathomable to the human mind, though they share the commonality of once being human prior to receiving blood ministration. This blood came from Eldritch Great Ones and was once hailed as a panacea before the terrifying side effects manifested. This article explores the gothic connection between seduction, monstrosity, and the dynamics of waking and dreaming in FromSoftware's Bloodborne.
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