Frenzy is a mechanic of Bloodborne.
It fills up like a bleed or poison meter, and it lowers both your damage intake and output.
Frenzy works similarly to bleed in Dark Souls. When the Frenzy meter is filled, a large amount of the player's health is lost instantly. However, unlike the Bleed status, Frenzy will continue building up once you receive it. Because of this, you don't necessarily need to keep getting hit to Frenzy; simply getting hit once or twice can cause it. It will eventually cap and stop building up. (needs testing whether Frenzy build-up stacks or if the timer is reset on each hit). It is speculated that Frenzy is the result of the Hunter being forced to process information incomprehensible to humans, such as information about the Great Ones, Eldritch Truth, or Cosmos.
Some enemies in Bloodborne inflict Frenzy. They are:
- Amygdala and Lesser Amygdala causes frenzy with its "blue light" grab attack.
- The red cross wielding enemies in the Cathedral Ward cause frenzy with their attacks.
- Fly-like enemies in Byrgenwerth. Their grab attack causes Frenzy.
- The very deformed Goliath Pigs breath causes Frenzy
- Winter Lanterns cause frenzy in line of sight, and also during grab attacks.
- The orange light from Brain of Mensis at the start of Nightmare of Mensis causes Frenzy buildup when the player is "seen" by it.
- Ebrietas, Daughter of the Cosmos spit attack.
- The Celestial Larvae causes frenzy.
- The Bloodletter weapon causes frenzy buildup on yourself and nearby enemies when performing its L2 attack in trick mode.
- Having Insight reduces your frenzy resistance, the more insight, the lower the resistance.
- Each Insight tends to subtract 4-6 points of Frenzy RES.
- The Deep Sea Rune will increase frenzy resistance.
- Sedatives will clear all frenzy buildup.
- Blue Elixir will reduce the line of sight on some frenzy enemies, and can be a great help at the start of Nightmare of Mensis. (needs confirmation)
- You are immune to frenzy's damage if it activates during a visceral attack.
- Running away after defeating the enemy will not stop the frenzy build up; it's recommended to heal to full health in case the meter threatens to fill completely.
- It is speculated that Frenzy is when the Player Character (herein PC) is forced to process information pertaining to The Great Ones or Eldritch Truth, which results in them briefly going insane, or rather, to briefly experience a Frenzy that is physically painful. The reason for this speculation is the various sources that inflict Frenzy and their meaning/interaction with the PC in the game.
- Winter Lanterns have a head composed of what appear to be dead messengers, and wear a bloody variant of the Doll Set. The Messengers and, more importantly, the Doll are some of the very few entities to assist you throughout the game, while the latter outright helps you the most throughout the game. When the PC is suddenly confronted with the fact that variants of these entities, that are most likely related to their helpful counterparts, are trying to kill them, the are unable to process the information, or rather, cannot process it, but are forced to try anyway, resulting in Frenzy. This is shown the most predominantly out of all the Frenzy buildups, as you consistently try to look away from the Brain Trusts, hide from them, whatever the PC does the bottom line is that they do not look at them, after all, then they'd be forced to process unwanted, and even denied, information.
- Amygdala and Lesser Amygdala's "blue light" grab attack forces the PC to interact face to face with a Great One, something related to the Eldritch Truth, which by nature is incomprehensible to humans. The result of this is Frenzy.
- Ebrietas, Celestial Larvae, and Maneater Boar can cause frenzy by vomiting on the PC. The reason for the first two inflicting Frenzy is because of their status as a Great One, and as such they are related to the Eldritch Truth and Cosmos which are incomprehensible to humans, ergo, Frenzy. The reason for the Boar is speculated.
- The Gardens of Eyes at Byrgenwerth, transformed people who came into contact with the Eldritch Truth at Byrgenwerth, also cause frenzy buildup, though most players assume it is due to the PC back being stabbed, the Garden of Eyes is also whispering a high pitched screech into the PCs ear as they are doing this, which is the true cause of the Frenzy buildup. The initial damage is from the stabs to the back.
- The speculation of Frenzy's initially purposed meaning earlier in this section is reinforced through the mechanic of Insight. Insight is the amount of knowledge the PC has about the world around them, and is the result of the PC slowly learning, discovering and processing information pertaining to the Great Ones and the Eldritch Truth. Frenzy is the result of the PC forced to process the aforementioned information through various methods. Furthermore, the more Insight you have, the lower your resistance to Frenzy is, which when explained is because the PC is able to comprehend some aspects of the Eldritch Truth and great Ones, but not much, which simply leaves them with more questions, and so they go insane even more quickly as a result of this.