Complete List of Berserk Influences on Bloodborne
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Complete List of Berserk Influences on Bloodborne

2012- 2015

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Next to Dark Souls, Bloodborne has the most well-known Berserk references. Berserk's influences on Bloodborne are present in the weapons, characters, monsters, and even symbols.

Dark Souls laid the foundation of avid gamers and ardent fans that truly believe in the creative genius of Hidetaka Miyazaki. However, a large section of the market is still yet to be reached, due to the perceived difficulty of the first two Souls games. This will change with the release of the game Bloodborne.

Bloodborne is the bridge that expanded the market of FromSoftware, from the early adopters to the new fans that will learn the challenge and the joy of playing a Miyazaki game.

Berserk and the Souls Games

The creator of Bloodborne, Hidetaka Miyazaki, is a huge Berserk fan, which he has acknowledged multiple times in interviews. Growing up in a home where video games were not allowed, reading mangas like Berserk and Devilman were among Miyazaki's favorite past time.

During the creation of the Souls games, Miyazaki expressed his admiration and homage to Berserk by placing several references to the manga, either through the monster designs, armor and weapon designs, characters, and even in the plot and story structure of his games.

We collected the Berserk references on all the Souls games and shared here all that is present in the game Bloodborne.

For every reference we included in the list, we also provided the chapter in the manga where you can find it and the background info that can give you more context.

Grading System - How Sure are We?

In addition, you can also see for each entry a verdict section, where we share if the inspiration is either:

  • Beyond Doubt
  • High Possibility
  • Similar

Influences on Bloodborne

Celestial Child and Demon Child

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 1
  • Chapter Name: The Black Swordsman
  • About: The Celestial Child is inspired by the Demon Child

In Bloodborne, the child of a Great One is called a Celestial Child. It is a slug-like creature that has a very striking similarity to the Demon Child in Berserk.

The screenshot above is what is typically shown when fans relate the two.

However, the similarity is even more obvious if you see the scene below where the Demon Child crawls in the pavement.

Messengers

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 10
  • Chapter Name: Sparks from a Sword Tip
  • About: The messengers in Bloodborne are inspired by the messengers in Berserk

The messengers in Bloodborne serve as NPCs that give you items, weapons, and later act as merchants. They look very similar to the messengers in Berserk.

They start few but later on grow in number as the game progresses. 

When they start to appear in a group, like above, they match the scene below.

Ludwig and Possessed Horse

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 17
  • Chapter Name: Night of Miracles
  • About: Ludwig is inspired by the Possessed Horse

Ludwig is one of the best bosses that ever appeared in a Souls game. What's even more interesting is that he is a horse, an animal that you will normally not consider as evil or monstrous or threatening. He could have been a random grotesque beast, but Miyazaki decided for him to become a horse. Why? Because of Berserk and the principle of hidden beauty.

In the scene below, the horse was possessed by an evil spirit and is about to do something to Farnese.

Not only is Ludwig a horse, but he looks exactly like the possessed horse above.

Irithyll Dogs and Possessed Dogs

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 17
  • Chapter Name: Night of Miracles
  • About: The dogs in Irithyll are inspired by the possessed dogs

The dogs in Irithyll are different from the other dogs in Bloodborne in that they have human faces. 

There are only a few of them in Irithyll, and the player might not notice them having a human skull.

Logarius' Wheel and Breaking Wheel

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 17
  • Chapter Name: To Holy Ground
  • About: The Logarious Wheel is inspired by the Breaking Wheel

The breaking wheel is a historical form of torture during the middle ages. However, it was never intended to be used as a weapon for battles. 

In the game, it is one of the weapons available for the player. This intent of usage is similar to what the executioner of Mozgus had when he fought Guts. Hence, we can conclude beyond doubt that this weapon took inspiration from Berserk, rather than in the middle age concept of this tool. And with Miyazaki, nothing is accidental. 

Brain of Mensis and Sea God's Heart

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 37
  • Chapter Name: Siren
  • About: The Brain of Mensis is inspired by the Sea God's Heart

The Brain of Mensis has a striking similarity with the Sea God's heart. 

The Brain of Mensis becomes harmless after being dropped from the tower. 

Watchdog of the Old Lords and Beast of Darkness

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 33
  • Chapter Name: A Howl from the Darkness
  • About: The Watchdog of the Old Lords is inspired by the Beast of Darkness

This is the first attempt in the Souls games to re-create the Beast of Darkness. They will succeed in creating a perfect replica later in Dark Souls III, with the Sulyvahn's Beast.

The Watchdog is one of the bosses found in the Chalice Dungeons. Unlike the Sulyvahn's Beast, its elemental attack is fire, instead of electric.

Hunter's Mark and Brand of Sacrifice

And finally, the best entry for Bloodborne. In terms of relevance, this is equal to the example I gave earlier regarding Gael and Guts in Dark Souls III. 

Miyazaki consciously and intentionally chose to pattern the Hunter's Mark after the Brand of Sacrifice. He didn't have to, but he did.

The mark in Berserk plays a significant role, as it is a constant reminder to Guts of what happened in the past during the eclipse. 

Berserk Influences on other Souls Games

If you would like to see how Bloodborne scored compared to the other Souls games when it comes to Berserk influences, see this full summary.

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