This page contains lore theories by Rakuyo. Please understand these are musings and interpretations by a player, and are not to be taken as official or representative of other's views.
Lore of the Darkbeasts
2. Blue Lightning
3. The Fake Sky of Bloodborne
4. Heavenly Bodies in Mythology
5. The Fake Sky of Anor Londo
6. The Nameless Sun God of Anor Londo
7. The Last Supper of Da Vinci – Bloodborne
8. The Blue Lightning of The Black Sun
9. The Power of Humanity
10. Humanity Gone Wild
Darkbeasts are a group of enemies typified by abundant screaming, dark / silver hair and an affinity to Bolt.
Known darkbeasts include Darkbeast Paarl, Loran Darkbeast, Abhorrent Beast and the Suspicious Beggar.
"Undead Darkbeast" is a term found on Beast Roar and Beast Claw and is analyzed at the end of the page.
Those that played Dark Souls games before have probably noticed a change in Lightning damage, now called Bolt.
In Bloodborne, electricity is blue instead of yellow and it has lost its tight connection to clerics and faith.
Clerics now use Arcane magic , while "Loran Clerics " employ pyromancy and Bolt is linked to "Darkbeasts" instead.
This color change appears to be no mere design choice, as Lightning Summoners of Fishing Hamlet still use yellow bolts.
Why did it change? In Dark Souls it is stated that Lightning is not mere electricity but the very manifestation of sunlight.
"In the war that marked the dawn of the Age of Fire, Gwyn wielded these rays of sunlight,
which remains fierce even as they fade." - Sunlight Spear
Gwyn, a Zeus like deity, known as "The Lord of Sunlight" - threw Sunlight Spears, the basis for all Lightning Spear Miracles.
If yellow Lightning first stemmed from the Sun , then a change in Lightning could indicate a change in the Sun.
Here's where things get risky, but I believe that in Bloodborne, much of the visible sky is artifice and that there is no Sun.
If you look at the "Sun " in Cathedral Ward, an impossible shadow reveals that this Sun can't be a star of our universe.
It isn't the only bizarre anomaly that may be found, even in the pre-Yahar'gul/pre-Nightmare part of Yharnam .
Furthermore the sky has patches that seem deliberately created to appear unnaturally gritty, static and painted on .
Bloodborne has an outstanding dev team, so I don't believe this is the result of laziness, but rather part of a dream narrative.
Many more details in Bloodborne, like cloud movement, defy explanation. Videos displaying such effects can be found here.
The Fake Sky of Bloodborne
Well known is that Bloodborne has 3 "Moon Phases ", but these phases are inconsistent across areas.
Touching Laurence's Skull triggers the "Night Phase" in all areas except the DLC, The Labyrinth and The Nightmare Frontier.
Defeating Rom triggers the Blood Moon Phase, but not so in Cainhurst, Hemwick, Old Yharnam or the Byrgenwerth area.
These areas keep their Night Phase. The Labyrinth and Nightmare areas also never get a Blood Moon Phase.
All moons exhibit strange traits, in Byrgenwerth, clouds can move behind the moon, as if it's hanging in Earth's atmosphere .
One can observe the same anomaly in Blood Moon Upper Cathedral Ward , and in Blood Moon Central Yharnam .
The Blood Moon has a different size and color in Yahar'gul in Upper Cathedral Ward , and in the Hunter's Dream .
Such differences in size and appearance aren't limited to the Blood Moon, they appear in the Night Moon as well .
Just by moving your character through the Forbidden Woods, you can witness the Moon changing its color and its size.
Near Valtr's hut, the Moon is actually quite large , but deeper into the Forbidden Woods it appears to have shrunk .
Another anomaly is that in the Forbidden Woods, the location of the Moon is opposite to that the pale Byrgenwerth Moon .
Bloodborne contains countless additional anomalies, like the phenomenon "merger " and "Cainhurst Snow".
I believe the Bloodborne universe follows profoundly different natural laws, or maybe the experience is really just a dream.
Heavenly Bodies in Mythology
In our world, a Moon that's bright white or yellow can only be the product of the Sun's rays, but that's not true in mythology.
In mythology, celestial bodies are often independent entities and they are governed by their own laws and/or a designated deity.
Such bodies may move across the sky because strange chariots pull them , or because they're locked in celestial spheres.
Celestial spheres are circular solids that move around the Earth . Ancient Greeks explained such movement with "aether".
Aether was the fifth element, the celestial substance that planets were made from, and which only ever moved in perfect circles.
It's possible that in Bloodborne the Moon is a luminous body in its own right, linked to a deity and subject to peculiar laws.
The Moon Presence, a hidden being which descends from the Moon , is most likely governing Bloodborne's fickle Moon.
Human rituals may "beckon the Moon " and it's this Blood Moon that's stated to play a role in the Scourge of Beasts.
"The Mensis ritual must be stopped, lest we all become beasts." - Yahar'gul, Unseen Village
One popular theory is that The Moon Presence is based on Lovecraft's Nyarlathotep , an evil god, adept at shapeshifting.
The Fake Sky of Anor Londo
The idea of the Sun being missing is strange, but From Software has used this idea before, in Dark Souls 1 .
There, in the monumental city of Anor Londo resided a deity known as Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight .
The player meets Gwynevere, but the benevolent deity turns out to be an illusion .
When she disappears, the sunlight of Anor Londo disappears with her .
The illusion of the princess is held intact by the only real deity left in Anor Londo, Gwyndolin, child of the Moon .
Gwyndolin, known as The Dark Sun, leads the Blades Of The Darkmoon, who hunt down any who tarnish the illusion .
His city of Anor Londo has interesting things in common with Yharnam, such as both being gothic megastructures .
Other details include two angels , a recurring pattern , anomalies , and a major cathedral .
Gwyndolyn could have been a forerunner of The Moon Presence , and the "Sun", and "day" may just be illusions.
The Nameless Sun God of Anor Londo
There's another Sun that's mysteriously missing in Dark Souls, namely Gwyn's eldest son , who's described as a sun god.
There was some falling-out between him and Gwyn which led to him being banished. The description of Sunlight Blade reads:
"When the eldest son was stripped of his
deific status, he left this on his father's
coffin, perhaps as a final farewell."
His banishment meant that he was literally stricken from history. His statues were removed and there's no further mention of him.
Gwyn's son is most likely "The Nameless King ", the lightning god who appears in DS3 as an optional boss.
The Nameless King is a former god of war, described as a traitor for joining sides with Gwyn's archenemies: The Dragons .
Bloodborne may have had such a deity of its own, and he may have vanished only recently. Here's what Alfred has to share:
"Well, once a group of young Byrgenwerth scholars discovered a holy medium deep within the tomb."
"This led to the founding of the Healing Church, and the establishment of blood healing".
"In this sense, everything sacred in Yharnam can be traced back to Byrgenwerth."
This medium may be the old man depicted on the grave that blocks the path from Cathedral Ward to Old Yharnam.
Possibly Oedon himself, he appears in several key locations like Cathedral Ward, the Nightmare Church and the Research Hall.
He also appears in the Church of the Good Chalice of Old Yharnam , this time with three women beside him.
Inspecting the embossment below him reveals a scene of a crowd gathered around a person lying down .
The tall man looking down on the man appears to have a vicious grin, like a Snatcher or a Primordial Serpent .
Those people around the dying man may not just be cramming for a look, they may be after his body, to drink his blood.
The Last Supper of Da Vinci - Bloodborne
What this carving displays could very well be Bloodborne's take on the story of Jesus Christ, particularly the last supper .
God sends down his own son, Jesus invites his Apostles to nourish themselves with his body (bread). Next he is brutally martyred.
More reason to think the old man is close to Jesus Christ, is how the scene reappears in Hemwick , in analogy to Pietà .
Pietà is Christian art depicting a dead Jesus being held by Mother Mary, at times accompanied by angels or Biblical characters.
(credit goes to Hauntedfrog and Slowscoper (reddit users) for pointing out the link between the Witch's Abode Statues and Pietà)
In analogy to Jesus Christ, "Apollo" was the deity of the Sun, prophecy, medicine, knowledge and light in classical antiquity.
Apollo was the son of Zeus, and brother to Artemis, goddess of the hunt and the Moon, a role found in The Moon Presence.
in Dark Souls, Messianism is associated with Fire, the chief cooperative covenants of which of are dedicated to Gwyn's son.
By contrast, Gwyn is Zeus , his missing eldest is Apollo , and his gender bending brother Gwyndolin is Artemis .
The old man is linked to fire, as his death shroud appears modelled after the lava of The Hunter's Nightmare .
Being veiled in lava could connect him with the fire linking Undead of DS1 and DS3 and DS2's Human Effigy .
Also tied to Pietà is Laurence, The First Vicar , whose burning form and clerical roots also hint at the Fire of Dark Souls.
Originally set to appear near Hemwick's Pietà was Vicar Amelia , a Cleric Beast that performs healing Miracles .
She bestows a radial Gold Blood Gem, which may be indicate an affinity to Gwyn , the gem assists in Beashunting.
One interpretation is that Kos is actually Leto, the mother of both Artemis and Apollo, who was born on the island of Kos.
Hera banned Leto from giving birth on terra firma, any place under the Sun, which may explain why Kos is in a Nightmare.
That myth then crosses with the Aztec myth about the creation of the fifth Sun, in which Leto is replaced by Chalchiuhtlicue.
Her son is Tecciztecatl "The Old Man in The Moon ", whose name means "From The Land of the Slug Shell ".
Tecciztecatl was destined to become the Sun, but lacking courage, was bested by Nanahuatzin "He Who is Full of Sores".
Nanahuatzin became the Sun. Tecciztecatl became a sun as well, but injured by the gods, he became the Moon instead.
Both a sore covered god becoming the Sun, or a maimed sun becoming the Moon, may explain the Nightmare Sun .
Nanahuatzin is regarded as an aspect of Xolotl, the god of fire, lightning, death, deformities and the guardian of the Sun.
It's these themes that much remind of Dark Souls, of Gwyn , The Soul of Cinder and The Chosen Undead .
The Chosen Undead is the closest that Dark Souls has to a messiah, and he may have been revered in this fashion .
The old man, who's always shrouded and "bandaged ", also blocks the path to burned down Old Yharnam .
The Blue Lightning of The Black Sun
What this means for the world is that it is left in eternal night, under the rule of darkness and the Moon.
This could be what is sometimes called "The Eldritch Truth" the reality that Rom and The Moon Presence seek to obscure.
Those acquainted with this truth can choose to adept to reality by embracing a new Sun, a Dark Sun .
The darkness flowing from this theoretical "Dark Sun" could be formed into lightning, just like the rays of a Sun of Fire.
It only slightly alters the lightning, which is a derivative, giving it a dark blue color instead of the conventional bright yellow.
This Dark Sun may be Oedon, or some alien darkness, but it could also be the darkness found within one's own Humanity.
The Power of Humanity
More evidence to support this may be found in Yahar'gul, the birthplace of the Tonitrus and the Tiny Tonitrus .
Yahar'gul is a very dark place. It's the capital of the School of Mensis and their deranged philosophies.
Hunters of Yahar'gul are technologically adapt and favor weapons like Tonitrus, Rifle Spear and Beast Claw .
The Tonitrus itself displays the 3 holes, which may be symbolic of Formless Oedon .
Oedon is associated with quicksilver, marking him as a god of magic, while his affinity with Odin marks him as a god of wisdom.
The encounter with the Suspicious Beggar reveals that Darkbeasts are intelligent, rational and capable of speech.
The form of the Abhorrent Beast , though feral, is fundamentally human and one can still notice his very human face .
Darkbeast Paarl is likewise feral but he retains his human skull and teeth . His intelligence may not be at all diminished.
Inherent to Dark Souls lore is the idea that humanity is fundamentally dark, and that we are all to face this timeless curse.
What such human beasts represent, is the ability of that darkness to grow and break the limits of our personal power.
For humans do long for such things, they long for an inner darkness, one strong enough to overcome the constraints of morality.
With such darkness, men may truly become giants, and may even challenge the gods, a conclusion to be feared nonetheless.
Humanity Gone Wild
"Undead Darkbeast" is a term read on Beast Claw , and Beast Roar , items tied to the Beast's Embrace form .
"Borrow the strength of the terrible undead darkbeasts, to blast foes back with the force of a roaring beast." - Beast Roar
"The long bones of an undead darkbeast... The bones are still alive, and grant a spurt of beastly power." - Beast Claw
The Beast's Embrace form carries traits that can be "borrowed from Undead Darkbeasts", yet the form has no direct link to Bolt.
It's possible that "Undead Darkbeasts" refers to a larger group of beings than just the Bolt using lycanthropes.
Every Beast in Bloodborne may be in essence a Darkbeast, linked not so much to Bolt, but to the Dark of Dark Souls.
My own theory, which I present under Blood Lore is that The Beast Scourge is actually an outbreak of spiritual possession.
The Beast's Embrace form has very unusual traits , otherwise found only on Cleric Beasts , and on "Manus".
Manus is the primordial ancestor of Humanity, said to have let his "Humanity go wild", after which he assumed a feral form .
His feral state appropriated an abnormally large left arm , also seen on Cleric Beasts and the Beast's Embrace form .
A monstrous left arm is found on Huntsmen as well , and Manus' "red eyes on horns" can also be seen on Cleric Beast .
The Prowling Magus of DS2, a goat headed warlock with wildly grown, gem inlaid horns may have served as a missing link.
The sorcerer led a congregation in Tseldora . He was therefore a cleric, and could thereby have inspired the Cleric Beast .
Manus was forever in search of his Broken Pendant. Both Cleric Beasts, Amelia , and Laurence , hold a cryptic pendant.
Yharnam's werewolves may be a reiteration of Manus' metamorphosis, the loss of his mind and the "going wild" of his Humanity.
Another Manus trait can be found on Bloodletting Beast, as its awkwardly split back greatly resembles Manus' head .
Bloodletting Beast shares the manlike traits of a Darkbeast, and has Abhorrent Beast's signature "stretch punch ".
Another manlike Beast is Gascoigne , who also uses the same dark transformation mist as The Afflicted Beggar .
Both Gascoigne and Bloodletting Beast have an unexplained resistance to Bolt, which may evidence their Darkbeast kinship.
Gascoigne's dark transformation mist is identical to Numbing Mist . The Moon Presence summons Numbing Mist .
The Moon Presence, already linked to lycanthropy by its connection to the Moon, could be behind all Beast transformation.
The Abhorrent Beast Gallery is available on a different page, here.