When I made a month-long review series of Elden Ring in 2022, it was kind of a disappointment; worth it for a few gems, but all throughout, I kept feeling like maybe it should have been a single, shorter article, and that for a 31-day series, I really should have just revisited Bloodborne. I first shared my thoughts on the game the very year it came out, in a "top 31" of my favorite creatures all on a single page...but eight years later, it remains one of the most influential and critically praised console titles of our time, the most played Playstation 4 title, the only reason some people (including us) even have a playstation 4, and still more popular than any playstation-exclusive title to come since.

It also continues to have a selection of monsters that may be rivaled by plenty of games both before and since, but certainly never wholly surpassed. In terms of horror, beauty, imagination, style, personality, story context and in-game execution, Bloodborne has a virtually perfect bestiary, missing nothing of importance and failing nowhere of note. Far too good, in any case, to be left with only a couple of condensed 2015 article posts. Have any of my opinions changed in those eight years? Probably not, to be honest, but did I in fact always have more to say? Probably YES.


Naturally, we're going to begin with the perfect, precious angels known as the Messengers. All throughout your whimsical, wonderful adventures through this marvelous and magical land, you'll find these positively darling little innocent sweetiehearts frolicking wherever the veil between our world and the realm of The Nightmare is at its thinnest. Why did they even call it that if it's a realm filled with your best and most delightful tiny friends in all the world?! Maybe you aren't familiar enough with Bloodborne to know whether I'm goofing or not, but I assure you, there are NO goofs to be found here. They look like tiny, pale, withered corpses, and maybe some people would call them "disturbing," but the Messengers are a strictly benevolent force as far as the player is concerned; they hand us our weapons, they hold up the lanterns we depend on to save our progress, they visibly IDOLIZE us, and they can sometimes be seen throwing happy little parties to celebrate our progress. To most who've played the game, the only real horror of the messengers is that we can't reach into the screen to pat their little heads for doing such a good job.

...You can, however, dress up the messengers in various hats, so, that's something! It's an almost tonally dissonant splash of humor in an otherwise oppressively threatening world, the closest thing in the game to having your own little Disney animal mascots by your side, but in just the way you would expect from a Fromsoft horror title...and that's not to say there's nothing actually menacing about them, per se, or at least, about the reasons they may exist.

Messengers look very much like shrunken, malformed human beings. White as chalk, with nearly skeletal little bodies and oversized heads, their designs could easily pass for the restless ghosts of infants, but the leading theory is that they're the forms taken either by the souls of dead hunters themselves, or simply little remnants of the memories of hunters, broken fragments or degraded reflections of their presence in the realm of The Dream.

Also curious ar the statues of Messengers in certain locales...some of which are even partially transformed into beasts! Does this happen?! I have a feeling it does, and that the results have been quite possibly right under our noses, but we'll have to go over that in an upcoming entry.

Why so many "theories" about a game from 2015? Like most of the Souls series, Bloodborne follows an overwhelming "show, don't tell" philosophy in which scattered dialog and item descriptions offer only faint crumbs of context. We can tell when something has meaning, but we aren't always given that meaning directly, and are left to put the clues together however we prefer.