Living Failures

General Info
hp.jpg blood_echoes.jpg Location Drops
20,646 22,000 Research Hall Astral Clocktower Key
physical_DEF.jpg VS_blunt.jpg VS_thrust.jpg --
239 273 102 --
blood_DEF.jpg arcane_DEF.jpg fire_atk.jpg bolt_DEF.jpg
171 256 92 71
slow_poison_RES.jpg rapid_poison_RES.jpg VS_beasts.jpg VS_kin.jpg
250 180 No Yes

Living Failures is a Boss in Bloodborne. This was added with The Old Hunters DLC.

Living Failures General Information

The Living Failures are massive, slender, alien-like creatures. They are light bluish in color and their arms are curiously elastic. Although having a humanoid stature, they are severely deformed. Their heads are extremely large and misshaped, appearing to fold over itself and connect to its shoulders. It lacks any recognizable facial features. As they cast Arcane attacks, they get two glowing dot eyes, however these float in front of their face and are not physically connected to their head. Their arms are extremely long, almost being able to touch the floor in a standing position. They have large hands, each with 6 fingers. Altogether, it is approximately 2.5 times as taller than the Hunter. They strongly resemble the Celestial Emissary boss found in the Orphanage as well as the Enlarged Head Patients found throughout the Research Hall.

In order to get to the Living Failures, the Hunter must go through the Research Hall and rotate the stairs to gain access to the door that leads to Lumenwood Gardens.

Lumenwood Gardens, the boss arena, is shaped like an octagon with a large lumenflower tree in the middle. This tree is useful for blocking the projectiles that the boss uses.

When first entering the arena, only one Living Failure will be present. After a few seconds, another one will appear. This pattern will continue until a maximum of 4 are in the arena. When one dies, another will spawn to take its place.
Although there are four Living Failure at any given time, they all draw from the same health pool. However, if an individual is damaged enough it can still die.

  • Living Failures self-organize, there will always be two that perform melee attacks, and two that cast arcane attacks.
    • The melee ones will usually follow you around, though allowing them to attack and dodging out of the way will slow them down greatly.
    • The casters can perform 2 different arcane attacks: Magic Orb and Homing Bolts.
    • The casters only perform melee if the player is in close proximity. They can either use Headbutts, flailing their arms (twice) or slams
    • During phase 2 slams can be accompanied by an arcane explosion.

This boss has two phases:

  • Phase 1:
    • The Living Failures will start spawning one by one as the fight progresses, until all four are present.
    • They will use abilities depending on their type (melee or caster), targeting the player.
  • Phase 2:
    • When the boss is at about 60% health, phase two will start.
    • All of the Living Failures will stop and raise their hands toward the sky, using the Meteor Storm ability.
    • The room will get dark and the sky will turn into the cosmos, after which blue meteors will rain down on the field.
      • The Failures will not retaliate when attacked during this. (Stunning one without killing it may take it out of the "cast")
      • Killing a Living Failure during this attack will still make a new one spawn, which will attack you normally.
      • If obtained earlier, the Loch Shield is especially helpful during this phase, as it boasts a high arcane resistance. When equipped and blocking, the player can survive multiple meteor strikes with little damage taken, as long as the player have enough stamina.
    • The boss will now have access to this attack and can perform it any time during the remainder of the fight.
      • The attack does not require any specific amount of Living Failures, as long as one is alive the boss can perform this attack.

You can summon Yamamura for this fight. (Must be killed in his cell to do this)






  • To keep the battle simple, focus on one individual at a time. Killing it will cause it respawn elsewhere, giving you a few precious moments having to deal with only 3 of them.
  • Meteors can be easily avoided. If the you run counter-clockwise, they will be safe. Likewise, using the Lumenwood tree as cover will protect you from any damage. If both of these cannot be done, the Loch Shield can be used to absorb a large amount of the damage, giving you the opportunity to relocate to a safer position. Another easy way to avoid the meteors is to run into the doorway of the opposite side of where you enter the boss room. It's very difficult for them to hit you there.
  • Always try to attack whichever Failure is the most isolated. Usually, the 2 melee Failures will follow you while the casters keep their distance. This makes the casters easier targets, especially since the time it takes for them to channel their spells leave them defenseless.
  • Summoning Yamamura can make the fight a whole lot more managable, since he can distract, and counter the failures. You can both use him to distract two or more of the failures, so you only have to take care of two of them, or you can have him distract them, while you sneak up behind them, and backstab+visceral them (Keep in mind, that while Yamamura can heal, and take a bunch of damage, leaving him to three or four of the failures alone for too long, will result in him dying). If you treat Yamamura with somewhat care, he has enough health and healing, to last the whole battle. So make sure to check out how to unlock him, it's quite easy!
  • Avoid being surrounded at all costs. Try to keep in mind the relative position of each Failure, as it is easy to lose track. This leads to occasions where you would dodge away from one's attack, directly into another's that was out of sight.
  • The meteor spell that they cast always comes from the same location. This location is from the sky, past the balcony at the far end of the arena when looking from the entrance and to the right.
  • The meteor attack presents a very large opening for backstabs, but be cautious whether or not you'll be safe from the meteors. However, the visceral animation grants a brief window of invincibility, so use that to your advantage.
  • Other opportunities for backstabs are after they perform a Headbutt, during their spawn animation, and when the casters channel their arcane attacks.
  • The sides of a Failure are a good place to attack, as you will be safe from their Headbutt and Slams. The back would be optimal, but it is extremely difficult to stick there, especially while playing solo. Keep in mind that you can still be hit by Flailing and Swipes.
  • Using a heavy, hard hitting weapon like Kirkhammer or Whirligig Saw and using a hit 'n' run tactic by using the running R2 attack is very effective. It staggers the Failures and interrupts their attacks. This can also be accomplished by performing a jumping attack with a large weapon. If you see 3-4 Failures close to each other, you can fairly safely hit them all and do massive damage to the shared health bar.
  • They are weak to Bolt, so equip an appropriate Gem Stone or have Bolt Paper ready.
  • Because of this, the Tonitrus is very effective in this fight.
  • Rule of thumb for counter shotting is that when they swing their arms left (your right) they always swing them back right (your left). That second swing is very easy to parry.
  • After killing a Failure, while the death animation is still playing you can usually get a single attack in, which is helpful if you've been attacked but can still recover health.
  • The Shaman Bone causes the Living Failure to turn against one of the others for a duration of time. This allows you to reposition or heal as 2 out of 4 of them will be occupied.
  • Triggering a death animation on one of the Living Failures immediately triggers the spawn animation for another somewhere in the arena. The animation has the Living Failure begin in a fetal position and slowly raises to a stand. During this animation, it has no means to defend itself allowing for easy damage or backstabbing.
    • Using the upgraded Whirligig Saw's L2 during this animation will almost always guarantee a kill before the living failure can attack. If done early enough, this will prevent more than 2 Living Failures from spawning, and you'll only have to worry if the second one tries to engage in physical attacks.
    • The Living Failures have a specific spawning rotation, at four different corners of the arena, in a counter-clockwise order, starting with the left corner near the door (from where you enter)
      • If you are quick enough and have enough damage it's possible to simply camp a single spawn point without allowing the boss to do anything at all, killing the new spawn repeatedly
  • Rapid Poison:
    • Rapid poison is a major weakness of this boss but it works weirdly. It seems that when Rapid Poison triggers it drains HP from the common health pool and not from any individual Failure. So basicly Rapid Poison can't kill any single Failure but can deal the final blow to the whole boss fight, killing all Failures.
    • If a player doesn't kill any individual Failure, they can't enter the second phase and summon meteors. So with Rapid Poison via top tier Dirty Gems players can kill the boss without ever seeing the phase two. Best dirty gems can be farmed from Wrathful Stingers in the chalice dungeons.
    • It takes around 7-8 hits with a weapon that has Dirty Bloodgems on it to cause Rapid Poison but these hits can be done to any Failure, not just one. For example 6 hits to melee Failure and then hitting a magic caster triggers the Rapid Poison.




Attack Name Attack Description & Counter
Swipes Heavily telegraphed arms swipes. Usually done in two series of swipes. Remember to dodge both of them. Can follow up with a double hands slam.
Flailing The Failure will flail it's arms attacking around them. Can be done twice if player is close enough. (Imagine that you're pretending that your arms are entirely numb and you try to turn your torso from right to left and back. That is basically what happens here.)
Headbutt The Failure slams its head directly down in front of it. Close range attack. Deals heavy damage. Subtlety telegraphed, be ready to dodge at a moment's notice.
Frontal Slam Similar to the Headbutt, except that both arms also slam down. After meteor rain they can follow up with an explosion around the arms (similar to a Magic Orb hitting a surface). This has a very long recovery time, leaving it open to backstabs
Astral Orb Takes time to cast and moves slowly in a very low arc (almost a straight line). Only real danger is that it explodes upon impact when it hits ground or walls.
Cosmic Missiles Failure cast a floating orb over its head that shoots 6 slowly moving homing bolts. Player can use the giant sunflower to block them or just dodge them all. Can be interrupted by staggering or backstabbing while the orb is forming.
Meteor Swarm All Failures stop, lift their hands, transform the sky to look like space and summon a rain of meteors. They come only from one direction so spot them and get behind the giant sunflower. Failures won't attack you. Running in anti-clockwise circles around the arena works just as well to escape the meteors. Additionally, hugging the Doorway opposite to the one you entered through will ensure that none of the meteors hit you.


Notes & Trivia

  • The theme of Living Failure loosely resembles Seath's theme from King's Field, as well as Mars, Bringer of War by Gustav Holst.
  • Killing the boss at the very second a Living Failure is spawning can sometimes leave that Failure alive to walk around, attack and perform all of the boss's abilities, even the Meteor Storm. (it will have a set amount of health, though not visible when damaging it)
  • Killing a Failure while is is casting arcane missiles can leave a black blotch in the sky with no projectiles coming from it.
  • Their meteors (or comets, as they look like they're made of ice) can produce very tiny snowflake crystals. Extreme close-up required.

    • 01 Feb 2017 13:24  

      If the player attacks a failure enough that they get staggered out of the "praise the sun" comet casting animation, they WILL resume attacking normally, even if the comets are still falling. A backstab-visceral will usually kill one, but in case it doesn't, be aware of this. Also be aware of the fact that any failures that spawn during or after the cast will not join in the casting animation, and will attack normally, which can make hiding in the doorway or behind the lumenwood more tricky.

      • 21 Jan 2017 15:29  

        I beat them very simple. Just avoid the Missles and hit them.... If you have a large Weapon try to lure them togather, each one you hit get seperate Damage. if you hit 3 at once = triple Damage XD
        If they cast Meteor run to the big closed door in the right side. (the Meteors always come from the right, seen as the way you came in.)

        • 14 Jan 2017 19:35  

          Something odd happened to me, I fought the boss and died losing 160k echoes that at the moment it is a pretty significant loss to me, I came back and entered the boss fight but the sign with my echoes wasn't anywhere, so I figured I had to kill the boss to get them back, I killed it but still no sight of my echoes, is this a known bug or something?

          • 05 Jan 2017 15:00  

            Rapid poison tips on this page are false. I had a crescent damp blood gem with rapid poison +10 in this fight and it did nothing. DO NOT let this "tip" fool you like it did me.

            • 26 Dec 2016 07:40  

              I had great success with the Beast Claw. I'm running a quality build with 30 Str 25 Skl. I have beast claw at +10 and gemmed for pure physical and the thing absolutely destroys the failures. Get behind one, mash R1 until it dies. The kicker is that as long as you stay hyper aggressive, your beasthood meter keeps rising and by the time they started with the meteor attack I was at 100% beasthood and killing them off with 3-4 R1 hits (couple of seconds with this strike speed). If you have the beast embrace carryll rune, just jump attack to get in close, circle around and rip them to shreds.

              • Individual health?23 Sep 2016 10:09  

                When I fought this boss, I noticed that the melee types had a much larger health pool than the casters, and what took roughly 8 hits on the melee ones, took about 4 on the casters. Can someone confirm?

                • Bolt/Shaman Bone Blade Strategy18 Sep 2016 18:09  

                  I found a really easy way to beat this boss: hit the casters with Shaman Bone Blades, then run around and get the others to line up and hit them with the Tiny Tonitrus, before going at them with the regular Tonitrus. To deal with the Meteors, just figure out where the light's coming from then skirt around the other side of the Lumenwood Tree.

                  • *****ing blue ***** faggot *****es15 Sep 2016 19:06  

                    All they do is chase swing their dumb ***** arms and stomp magic and shoot it all together. ***** this rng ***** niglet bull*****. They all want to chase and spam their dumb swing look at me be a dumb ***** attack.

                    • Meteor Attack05 Jul 2016 08:57  

                      Just fought them, and they used the meteor attack once way before 50% health (maybe 80 or 90%, it was really close to the beginning), but started using it more frequently (probably three or four times) past 50%. I'm on NG+ if that makes any difference. Also seems worth noting that all of the meteors come from one direction and you have time to get on the opposite side of the tree, giving you a good chance to hit a Failure.

                      • Awesome Boss05 Jul 2016 08:57  

                        If anyone is interested here is a video if you want to see the boss <br/>(sorry for the possible profanity, this game gets the better of me) <br/>

                        • Meteors05 Jul 2016 08:57  

                          If the meteors are giving you problems, the easiest way to get past it is to get to the nearest failure and backstab him. You are invincible for the entire attack and by the time you finish, the meteor attack will be almost done (one or two meteors left). The boss is cake if you parry, and even easier if you have the rune that heals for viscerals (i believe the rune is glitched for this fight. Instead of healing a little, it fully heals for viscerals). Good luck!

                          • Strategy05 Jul 2016 08:57  

                            Easiest thing to do is parrying the ones that melee you, and as soon as they enter meteor mode backstabbing the more you can while avoiding meteors. They're not that challenging for a bossfight.

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