This is actually one more "beast" we're going to review, a DLC boss I thought I'd stop and tackle now that we've seen so many of the setting's major concepts. Ludwig was the first Hunter who worked directly for the Healing Church, a great warrior with a legendary sword who trained other hunters and even taught the citizens of Yharnam how to kill beasts. It's said that his sword was surrounded by "tiny beings of light" that he looked to for guidance - one of the first Hunters making contact with Messengers?


Members of the church itself saw Ludwig as a "beast possessed degenerate," and he certainly must have hopped himself up on a lot of Old Blood, because he wound up with the most gruesome and bizarre beast form you perhaps ever see in the game. He's more horse-based than wolf, his face a horrifying mashup of Hominid and Equine, his body twisted around like it was put through a vortex.

Ludwig's most unsettling feature is the secondary mouth in his torso; a giant, circular hole ringed with teeth, but also lined with dozens of eyeballs continuing deep into his body.

Most fascinating of all is the aftermath of your battle, when you can find Ludwig's severed head and actually speak to it. If you're dressed like a member of the church, he'll ask you if his Church Hunters are "the honorable spartans" he hoped they might be, and you can choose to let him die feeling better about his life or tell him the truth.

If he doesn't mistake you for one of his own, his dialog is deeply cryptic:

"Good hunter, have you seen the thread of light? Just a hair, a fleeting thing, yet I clung to it, steeped as I was in the stench of blood and beasts.

I never wanted to know, what it really was. Really, I didn't."

After this surreal and disquieting little diatribe, the horse-man head will start giggling, and it will actually never stop doing so until you kill it to retrieve his sword. It's a NICE sword, obviously, but don't you prefer the thought that a rotten mutilated piece of a guy who's part of a horse is just going to lie around laughing indefinitely? Don't you enjoy that knowledge? Isn't it more fun than just having a sword? Swords are overrated. Polluting the world with one more laughing bloody horse face is if anything UNDER-rated. DO THE MATH.