So I missed day two and we're actually on day 3; I can't even tell you how busy I am, like literally can't divulge my progress on the project completely eating my life, but that's also why I picked a 31-day review I wouldn't have to do any new research for! Labyrinth Mole for example only recently went viral again as a "hidden" enemy discovered years after Bloodborne's release, but we actually knew about it early enough that I included it in my original list of favorites!

The story goes that this beautiful creature was supposed to be cut from the game, but that the developers forgot to remove the code that can potentially spawn it in the procedurally generated Chalice Dungeons, thus narrowly preserving its "canon" presence in the final product, but as the single rarest creature in all of Bloodborne. Personally, I prefer to think that this otherwise humble, non-boss encounter just happens to be that obscure a creature in the setting, possibly only appearing in the dungeons because they're underground at all. The poor thing just wanted to burrow, and you went and built a roguelike in the middle of its habitat!

The Labyrinth Mole feels heavily inspired by a naked mole rat; it has a similar body and cute little legs, though the legs also look kind of boneless and squirmy, with short "branches" rather than actual toes or claws. Then you have the head, which is just a ring of pointed root-like tentacles with a second, even gooier mass of tendrils inside, and a "mouth" that just sort of looks like a mass of red gore in the center. If you look closely at the first screenshot up there, you can see the actual toothless, vertical mouth opening. There's something truly delightful it can do with its head, too, that we'll discuss shortly, but overall I love how this creature looks not just like a mole rat and maybe also a bit like a cuttlefish, but also like some kind of tuber. Like a giant carnivorous yam.

I must say that the concept art is even lovelier, with a saggier, more rotten quality to it and a finely wrinkled, translucent outer skin covered in pale clumps of hair. Texturing this detailed is present on many of the game's monsters, so I can't help but wonder if the mole's in-game model isn't actually still incomplete; that it would've been this scuzzy and fuzzy if they had gone through with its intended implementation. We can also see in the concept art that it was really named "Hole Digger," but "Labyrinth Mole" is what stuck. Both names are pretty good.

So, here's part of that thing I was saying about the head. When you get close enough to the yam, the tentacles can shoot halfway across the room and pull you completely inside, which is great enough, but what this gif doesn't show is that its head can actually pop out from either end. It doesn't have a front or back! It can eat and excrete in any direction! Did I also mention it spits poison? I mean, it spits something that poisons you, in any case. You HOPE it's just poison.


Perhaps this is all more naked mole rat influence, too, since another of their many, many weird characteristics is that compared to almost any other mammal, they are equally capable and comfortable walking forwards or backwards. And when they do need their teeth aiming the other way, they've got extra loose skin for the express purpose of more easily turning around in narrow passageways! There aren't any clear videos of this, unfortunately, but an actual naked mole rat can already create the illusion of pulling into its own flesh and popping out the other side.

Mole rats also adapted to live in what would be lethally toxic conditions to any other vertebrate, and while this isn't actually unusual for rodents and rodent-like creatures, such as lagomorphs, they also grow up eating their parent's droppings. Just thought I'd throw that in there for you.

There's also rather obvious "star nosed mole" influence in the design, one of the other coolest looking and oddest of all endothermic chordates. It's important to note that moles and mole rats are not even slightly related to one another, other than both being placental mammalia; mole rats are actual rodents and mostly eat vegetation, while star nosed moles are related to the common European and North American moles, which are basically their own thing and completely carnivorous. It bears mentioning that there are "moles" all around the world that look and act exactly like these moles, too, but are also unrelated - one is even a marsupial! - because there's just only so many efficient shapes for a tetrapod to live its whole life swimming through dirt and eating worms.

The only questions left by the Hole Mole, or perhaps Labyrinth Digger, are exactly where it was supposed to come from and where we were originally supposed to encounter it. The code doesn't designate it as any particular category of creature, despite there even being a special classification for slimy, tentacled, slug-like thingies, so it's entirely possible that it represents the corruption of an actual mole rat, mole or some other tunneling creature. Maybe not even necessarily a mammal or even vertebrate, since it looks boneless and grublike. Maybe not even an animal, since it has some plant-like aspects to its appearance, or maybe fungus-like. This is a setting in which I can fully believe anything from a human being to some moldy bread might have somehow turned into a giant man-eating squid-mole, and that's why the setting of Bloodborne is so widely recognized as a utopian fantasy.

When I set out to do this feature, I worried that it wouldn't have much point just because I already did a favorites list eons ago, but now I just wrote an entire full length article about one weird rat that isn't even supposed to exist, so I think we're good.