Ludwig, The Accursed (醜い獣、ルドウイーク Minikui kemono, Rudouīku lit. "Ludwig, the Unsightly/Hideous Beast") is a Boss in The Old Hunters Expansion for Bloodborne. He was also the founder of the Healing Church Workshop, and first hunter of the Church. He is also known under his official title; Ludwig, The Holy Blade (聖剣のルドウイーク Seiken no Rudouīku lit. "Ludwig, The Holy Blade"), and adopts this title in the second phase of his fight.
"Aah, you were at my side, all along.
My true mentor...
My guiding moonlight..."
The boss will only be fully visible after entering the room and initiating the cutscene. After the cutscene plays, the fight begins immediately.
This fight has two phases:
- Phase 1:
- Ludwig the Accursed is presented as a crawling beast which implements savage attacks, all the while roaring and screeching.
- Has several breakable body parts, the Head of which will open him up to a visceral attack.
- Phase 2: (75% Health)
- Ludwig gains a deadly spewing attack that deals Arcane damage. Has 2 variations, direct and spraying.
- Ludwig gains his deadliest attack in this form, a charge attack that he briefly signals by screaming.
- Phase 3: (50% Health
- Reaching around 50% health will start phase 2, initiating a cutscene where Ludwig becomes more composed, stands up and draws his sword.
- After the cutscene Ludwig the Holy Blade and the player are placed in set positions in the arena and the fight continues.
- Summoned players will not have their positions changed.
- Ludwig will now have a completely different set of moves and behave like a brand new boss.
- Will still have breakable body parts, with the bottom front part of the body being susceptible to visceral attacks.
- Phase 4: (25% Health)
- Ludwig can now raise his sword to the heavens. This will trigger a blast which is then followed by him flinging a massive shockwave at you.
"Ahh, ahh, please... help us... Ah...
An unsightly beast...
A great terror looms!
Ahh... Ludwig the Accursed is coming.
Have mercy... Have mercy upon us..."
NOTE: THE ABOVE DIALOG DOES NOT BELONG TO LUDWIG, BUT RATHER AN AS-YET-UNNAMED LIVING CORPSE. This character can survive the battle with Ludwig and may be spoken to afterward, though he will only further cackle maliciously.
"Aah, you were at my side, all along.
My true mentor...
My guiding moonlight..."
"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."
(He will then proceed to wail and howl wildly until you kill him, or speak to him while wearing Church Hunter attire.)
"Good Hunter of the Church,
Have you seen the light?
Are my Church Hunters the honorable spartans I hoped they would be?
Ah, good...that is a relief.
To know I did not suffer such denigration for nothing.
Thank you kindly. Now I may sleep in peace.
Even in this darkest of nights, I see...the moonlight..."
Just as I feared.
Then a beast-possessed degenerate was I, as my detractors made eminently clear
Does the nightmare never end?!"
- Holy Moonlight Sword
- Equip a chest piece from any clerical set, talk to his severed head near the stairs, and say "Yes"
- If you do not have any church related chest, or answer "No", you can simply kill him
- He's easily one of the most violent bosses in the game, leaving little to no space for you to breathe, which means most of the fight will consist of you crazily dodging him. Use the best stamina rune you have.
- (pro-tip) A common mistake is to focus on excessive dodging. Ludwig will just keep coming. Instead take the fight to him, he's easier to stun than most bosses and a lot of his attacks miss if you can get under him. Make good use of your rally potential.
- Staying under him is a more or less safe tactic as some of his attacks will usually miss you.
- His sides (mainly his left one) are quite vulnerable; some good hits there will make them bleed badly and the boss will be stunned for some seconds.
- Fire Paper and Bolt Paper largely deal the same amount of damage to Ludwig on a quality build character.
- Staggering him for a visceral attack always trigger the Blasting Zone attack, wether you perform the visceral or not (Needs confirmation)
- Ludwig does not take extra damage from Serrated.
- You can summon Valtr from the area in front of the boss room providing you have joined The League and you have the Impurity rune equipped. He wields the Whirlgig Saw. Valtr is particularly good at distracting Ludwig due to his ability to heal up to 5(? needs confirmation) times and thus survive for long time.
- You can also summon Old Hunter Henriet just below the stair turn left after the Defiled Church Lamp. She wields a Kirkhammer with the Repeating Pistol while wearing the Hunter attire with cape.
- You can also summon Confederate Younger Madaras Twin near the place where the Butcher Set is. You must have joined The League and have the Impurity rune equipped. He wields a Hunter's Axe and a Hunter's Blunderbuss.
Ludwig's left and right sides can be injured individually and will take additional damage from all attacks thereafter; he will also be temporarily stunned when one side is injured allowing for a few more swings before he recovers. Unlike many other bosses Ludwig will not regenerate damaged limbs, so take full advantage of this and focus on one side for optimal damage or injure them sequentially to keep him immobilized. Repeated blows to the head during Phase 1 will stagger him, at which point you can perform a visceral attack on his face. If you have a Cannon, it cane be used with Bone Marrow Ash to attack Ludwig's head and stagger him very quickly. During Phase 2 Ludwig will stagger after sustaining enough damage, at which point a visceral attack be be initiated from the front of his torso. His sides can no longer be injured at this point., but breaking his super armor will still cause him to stumble. The transformed L2 attack of Whirligig Saw is supremely effective for quickly injuring Ludwig's legs, especially when augmented with Fire Paper; during Phase 2 it is one of the fastest and easiest ways to stagger him.
Phase #1: Ludwig, The Accursed
His first phase is easily the hardest part of his fight, as his fighting form is annoyingly random and un-organized. The first few tries against him should be used to study his movements, his timing and find open spots in his attacks. Once you've learned the timing of his attacks, you can take the fight to him. A general tip is to close in and get out quickly, never stay close to him for too long at a time. Both his sides are vulnerable for attacks, while placing yourself under him is generally a good strategy. (Aim for his back legs.)
- He has an attack where he leaps towards you and claws away with his right arm, this is a good chance to dodge under him and get a few hits in before retreating.
- He has two attacks that look largely the same when they start; one he jumps up and comes crashing down right away, while the other he lingers in the roof a little bit. A general tactic is that when he jumps up, you start to run in a direction, straight away from him. (This greatly minimizes the chance of being hit by him.)
- If you stay too close for too long, then he will do a few quick slashes before jumping away, this is a very dangerous move as it is fast, don't stay close to him for too long!
- He has two long range attacks, one that tracks your movement over a longer period of time and one which can be compared to a quick "shotgun blast". There is no need to bother trying to get close to him when he uses the quick blast, as it doesn't last long enough. However when he starts to charge the tracking one, start to circle around him on your right (his left) and get under him. (The long range attacks deals massive damage over several hits, being hit once or twice shouldn't be too harmful.)
- Never stay or attack while being directly behind him as he will knock you down with his hind legs. Approach his sides instead.
- It's highly recommended you summon Valtr, Master of the League for this fight, as he can hold the bosses attention and tank pretty much all of his attacks. Beware though, once he uses around 5 bloodvials, he will no longer heal himself.
Phase #2: Ludwig, The Holy Blade
Ludwig becomes more graceful and organized when he picks up his blade and enter his second phase, but don't be fooled, he is still very aggressive. His range is increased and he becomes harder to hit as he stands up more, limiting the area you can hit him in. The best way to approach him is to not wait for him to attack, but to close in on him right away. Dodge through his attacks, not away from them. Be aware as he fires energy waves from his slashes.
- He can slash twice, which will make both hits send out an energy wave towards you. You can dodge through these energy waves though, making it a good timing to close in on him.
- He has a larger charged version, be aware of this move as the reach and coverage of this move is huge. On top of that it can hit you several times if you stand to close to him. Best way to avoid this attack is to move to his left and dodge under his blade.
- He has a charged stab attack which is fairly easy to avoid by dodging to your right or left. (It really doesn't matter.)
- He has two Area of Effect (AoE) attacks which can be proven to be dangerous. The first can be identified by when he holds blade downwards to the ground. This is standard AoE that he has, nothing special to it and it can be avoided by simply dodging backwards. The second AoE can be identified by when he holds his blade upwards in the air and this attack is a "fake" of sorts. The attack starts with a standard AoE but he follows it up with a slash to the ground that greats a massive energy wave in-front of him that will linger for a bit. (This will most likely kill you if you are hit!) The best way to avoid this attack is to back off the moment he points his sword upwards, when the initial explosion happens, you should close in on him and circle around him. This will allow you to avoid his attack and deal a good amount of damage against him.
First phase: Ludwig, The Accursed
- Keep him locked on and walk left all the time to make dodging his combo starters easier. When he squirts go right of course but other than that moving left makes this fight easier.
- The main tactic is to get under his stomach while he is attacking and do 2-3 hits before dodge stepping away. If you keep moving to your left only really hard to dodge move is his nose charge attack: he walks towards you and pokes you high in the air if it connects. The only way to deal with it is to learn how to identify the attack early so you dodge left or right instead of towards his stomach.
- Don't stay below him! Try to be under him only when he is attacking and get out once his combo ends. Check the attack descriptions to see when you can dodge step below him
- Safe timings to heal are rare. The best one is when he is squirting water and can't hit you. Other safe time is when he has charged or moved away from you so that you are behind him but not too close to trigger the mule kick. That way he has to turn around which gives enough time to heal once.
Second phase: Ludwig, The Holy Blade
- This one needs a lot of practice and is all about dodging. Fortunately there aren't too many combos to memorize. Unfortunately like Fume Knight in Dark Souls 2, you have to wait longer than normally before hitting the dodge button as he can delay some swings occasionally.
- Keep in mind Ludwig mostly does at least 3-4 swings before his combo is over. You have to concentrate on dodging them all individually and not just spam dodge.
- You can do 1-3 hits and then retreat depending on the opening but keep in mind when you stagger the boss a little KEEP ON HITTING! Few extra hits will grant you a chance to visceral attack. That is the most important thing in this phase: get a v. attack every time you can.
- Slowly approach him while dodging and let him come to you. Don't try forcing your way in to attack. Best openings are his poke and two approaching slashes. Wait for them.
- The super sword buff attack is not like any other attack in Bloodborne. When he lifts his hands and starts to charge it get as close as you can. You might get hit by the early AoE attack but you still have time to get up and react to the dangerous sword smash. Once he screams right before he drops the sword keep dodging left or right multiple times as the sword's effect lasts for a while. This is where staying close helps as he can't turn his sword while dropping it fast enough to catch you. If you are far away it will hit you and will kill you.
Whether you're bringing in Valtr or another player with you, co-op does not necessarily make this fight any easier, but it definitely makes it a lot less hectic.
Phase 1 - Ludwig, The Accursed
- As with the above strategies, pay close attention to his moves. When you walk into the boss room pick a direction, left or right and move diagonally forward. As soon as you hear him scream roll forward. He'll land on top of you but the iframes will keep you from taking damage
- Stick to his flank as if you get behind him you'll take damage from his kicking legs and if you get in front of him you'll just get headbutted. Ideally, attack him from both sides and you'll stagger him in no time
- If you take damage, heal up as quickly as possible. Ludwig has a couple of combos that can devastate your HP
- If you notice your co-op partner is in trouble, get in front of Ludwig, swipe at his head and fall back. He'll follow you pretty reliably, giving your partner a chance to heal and recover
- When Ludwig leaps up into the air, a slam down will soon follow. Start rolling as soon as he does this and keep rolling until he lands. He should miss you.
Phase 2 - Ludwig, The Holy Blade
- When the cutscene finishes, Ludwig will be sitting upright and be holding the Holy Moonlight Sword. He is incredibly dangerous in this phase as not only is he fast, he hits hard and he has a few attacks that you won't have encountered in Bloodborne.
- Take turns to bait his attacks. It's safest to attack him from the rear so take turns to be in front of him, holding his attention while the other gets to his rear legs and attacks
- For some reason, in the second phase he is weak to Bolt attacks [can someone confirm this?] so a Tonitrus, bolt paper or Tiny Tonitrus are well advised
- When he starts to charge his sword for either of his AoE attacks, back off slightly, but make sure to get in for a couple of hits while he recovers
- Both players should be very aware of the magic blast attack. If either of you are caught in it, there's a good chance it will kill you, so be on the look out for him raising the sword high above his head. When he does that, circle him and get behind him. It's a good window to do a large combo on him.
Moveset without Holy Blade (First Phase)
|Attack Name||Attack Description & Counter|
|Jumping Hand Slam||Usually the first attack he does. Jumps towards you and smashes the floor. Only the hand does damage to you. Easily dodged towards him and gives an opening for 1-2 attacks.|
|Powerful Left Hand Slash||Single left hand slash. Dodge towards and below him to give a few hits.|
|Left/Right Slash to combo||Faster slash that leads to a combo. Dodge normally below his stomach and hit him if you manage to stay there while he moves.|
|Bite to a combo||Snaps his jaws towards you and starts slashing with his hands. Best way to exploit this move is to keep circling him to your left and dodge the bite little left and towards him to get a chance to go below him and get some free hits if you manage to stay below him while he moves around.|
|Nose poke charge||Boss walks towards you and pokes with his head you upwards and flying if you get hit. If you avoid the poke he might continue with different combo. Best way to avoid the poke is to circle him and dodge the poke slightly left and towards him and yet again get below his stomach to attack.|
|Jumping Body Slam
|Jumps high in the air and comes crashing down. Walk towards him or sideways. Listen to his scream while he jumps. When the scream is about to end hit the dodge button to avoid getting hit.|
|Delayed Jumping Body Slam||Boss stays airborne for a while before coming crashing down. Once you hear water/blood dripping down start to spam dodge button and moving away to avoid getting hit.|
|Mule Kick||If you stay behind him too long he will do a powerful two legged kick like a horse or a donkey. Just stay away from that nasty place. Seriously.|
|Water Spray||His other head squirts liquids to you. Keep dodging right and you are OK.|
|Charge||Paws the floor and charges at you dealing heavy damage. Very similar to the charge of Watchdog of the Old Lords. Dodge left once he starts to move towards you. Keeping an eye on his "normal" head helps. Hit dodge button when he slightly yanks the head down. That is when the charge begins.|
Moveset with Holy Blade (Second Phase)
|Attack Name||Attack Description & Counter|
|Two Approaching Side Slashes
(can do only one if you are far away)
|Lowers the blade to his right side slowly and then slashes the ground on his right side (your left) moving forward. Continues with the similar slash on the other side. Dodge the first slash towards him to get close. In there you can either hit once with a fast weapon and then dodge or concentrate only on dodging the second hit and then attack.|
|2 retreating slashes to smash and slash||When close to him he two hands the blade, lifts it up to his left side (your right) pointing it towards the roof and then slashes two times while backing off. Then he over head smashes the blade in front of him and continues with a single slash. When you see the starting pose just keep dodging backwards and concentrate on dodging the smash for sure.|
|Single left hand slash, pause, second left slash to two heavy smashes||Very dangerous combo. Does a single left hand slash that is easy to dodge and for a while it looks like that was it but then continues with the second left slash and two devastating smashes. The most important thing is to learn how to identify the combo early. Dodging it is pretty simple when you know what he is doing.|
|Sword trust (poke)||A single sword poke. Quite fast but can be used to dodge towards him and attack|
|Two projectile slashes||Swings the sword twice to create two projectiles traveling towards you. Don't try to dodge towards him and attack. Just dodge left or right twice.|
|Heavy projectile||Stops for a little charge and then swings the sword once to create one wide projectile. Don't try to dodge towards him to attack. Just dodge left or right.|
|Ground Flash AoE||When you are near him he stops, lifts the handle of the sword up, points the dangerous end down and pushes the sword on the ground creating an explosion. Just dodge a few times away from him. You can shoot him during the slow attack for free.|
|Blasting Zone||He slowly lifts the sword in front of his face (like in the cutscene), buffs it creating a low damage blast that staggers, lifts the sword above his head, screams and smashes the sword in front of him creating a massive and long lasting shockwave. Once this attack is used the first time he can do it again after couple of minutes. To dodge this you need to be prepared. Once you see it is coming get near him or in the best case scenario behind him to avoid the smash complitely. Don't mind about the first blast just get near him. If you have no time to get behind him keep walking sideways and wait for his scream. Once you hear the scream smash dodge button multiple times to left/right to avoid the sword and to get away from the explosion.|
- New dialogue will be triggered upon speaking to him after his defeat while wearing the chest piece from either the Executioner's, White Church, Black Church, Gascoigne's, Tomb Prospector or Choir Sets
- Ludwig was named after Ludwig Von Beethoven, the composer of Moonlight Sonata, suggesting Ludwig's affinity with the Moon.
- Blasting Zone attack is very similar to one of the Limit Breaks of Squall in Final Fantasy VIII.
- His Arcane magic is atypically green, instead of the usual blue.
- There is a glitch where after defeating Ludwig's first phase, the PREY SLAUGHTERED will appear and after watching the cutscene, he will freeze up and just die. No second phase at all with this glitch. Mostly happens when Co-op with other hunters.
- On the way from Nightmare Church lantern to Ludwig's boss room there is a barely alive corpse banging a gate. This enemy drops 5 Blood Vials every time you kill it. Great way to safe your echoes if you are having a hard time beating this boss
- Judging from the way he hold his sword, Ludwig appears to be left-handed.
- It is possible to lose your Blood Echos if you die right as Ludwig's first phase is over. Even though your health is zero the cutscene will still play and then when his second phase starts it will display that YOU DIED. You will come back to the boss area and your echos are no where to be found.
- Lore theories can be found under "From Berserk To Bloodborne".