NPCs in the area
- Harrowed Hunter, at the shortcut leading back to the first lamp. He has a quest you can complete to obtain Simon's Bowblade and Bloodletter
( Note: It is not necessary to complete the quest line for these weapons. Killing this NPC will grant the Bowblade, while the key given through his quest line for the Bloodletter will be found later in the DLC)
- Brador, after the boss, in the cell that is accessed with Underground Cell Inner Chamber Key
- Old Hunter Yamamura, after the boss, in one of the cells accessed with the Underground Cell Key
- NPC Summon: Valtr (Next to the broken gate before Ludwig; the summon sign will disappear forever if Valtr dies in the forbidden woods, either by ranking him up or killing him.)
- NPC Summon: Old Hunter Henriett (will not be able to summon after Younger Madaras Twin)
- NPC Summon: Younger Madaras Twin (in the alcove the second bell axe monster comes out of)
- Ludwig, The Holy Blade at Underground Corpse Pile
- Laurence, The First Vicar in the Nightmare Cathedral
- Frenzied Coldblood (8)
- Delayed Molotov
- Eye Pendant
- Constable Set
- Firing Hammer Badge
- Butcher Set
- Amygdalan Arm
- Beasthunter Saif
- Beast Cutter
- Bloodletter (via Harrowed Hunter quest completion))
- Boom Hammer
- Church Pick
- Fist of Gratia
- Gatling Gun
- Holy Moonlight Sword
- Simon's Bowblade (if Harrowed Hunter is killed; Confirmed)
- Whirligig Saw
- Beast Patient
- Bloodsucking Beast
- Carrion Crow
- Eye Collector
- Blood Dobermann
- Blood-Starved Beast
- Nightmare Huntsman
- Beast Cutter Hunter
- Piercing Rifle Hunter
- Boom Hammer Hunter
- Saif Hunter
- Vicar of the Cosmos
- Changes with Timezones: ??
- Insight Gained:
You start the area in a slightly smaller version of Oedon Chapel. As you move forward from the lamp, to the right is a sealed door and straight ahead is your path. Come out of the chapel to find a broken, warped and overgrown version of Cathedral Ward. The overall geography is largely the same, but much has changed. To the left, where Eileen would be in your first encounter with her, you'll find a Frenzied Coldblood (8). To the right is your path and there are two branches. Head up the stairs first and encounter your first Old Hunter. This one carries a Beast Cutter and a Hunter's Pistol. Kill him, then head back down the stairs as you can't open the gate he is guarding yet.
Take the branching path that leads up to the side of the chapel. There are a couple of items up here, but take it slowly. If you pay attention, you will see two beasts start to move along the makeshift bridge way. Let them carry on, as another Hunter with a Beast cutter will come into view and kill them. Head up and take him on. Once he is done, you're again at two branching pathways. Take the right, first.
As you move up the path, you'll see down to the Cathedral Ward graveyard where two hunters should start massacring a large group of beasts. Pay attention though, as along this path, two Hunting Dogs will come for you. Kill these and slowly continue on. Another hunter lies in wait to ambush you. This one carries a Beasthunter Saif. Once he is down, you can continue on to skip the whole graveyard section. However it is worth venturing back.
If you venture back, the two hunters below should have dealt with all of the beasts and reset to their starting positions. You do not want to take these two on at the same time. One carries a Beast Cutter and the other wields a Boom Hammer to devastating effect. Bait them out one by one and get your parries in to deal with them as quickly as possible. Check around the area there are several Madman's Knowledge and some Blood Vials to be found.
Walk through the stone archway and before you head up the stairs, look to the left, there is an item there. Be careful though, on the floor is a pressure plate. If you stand on it a machine gun turret will shoot you. Head up the stairs to be ambushed by another hunter with a Saif and a shotgun. He'll attack you from the left if he's not already at the top of the stairs. There are also 3 dogs here. If you go to the left (where the Church Doctor would normally be in the normal Cathedral Ward), you can see there are a group of beasts on a rooftop. If you take these on, be prepared for a tough fight as a red-eyed variant of the boom hunter will drop down from the nearby tower and attack you. Red-eyed hunters are much stronger than normal hunters, do not respawn, and drop vermin when they die. Return to where the hunter with the gun ambushed you. To the right of the main staircase, take the stairs leading down, deal with the three beasts, carry on further down and deal with the Carrion Crows, then pull the lever to open the gate and your first shortcut. Return to the main path then carry on up to the next level, where two hunters will trigger a burning boulder to roll down at you. If you press hard to the either side of the stairs it will pass you by, all the while taking out the ambush from 6 beasts.
Carry on up the stairs to the doors of the Grand Cathedral. When you get close, the church bells will start to chime and the two hunters at the top of the stairs will run to the door. It will burst open and a Nightmare Executioner [need proper name] will burst out at them. It will kill them for you, then charge at you. He has the same moveset as the normal Executioners you find around Yharnam, however he's twice the size and twice as dangerous. A simple way to dispose of this enemy is to double back and guide a hunter into its path, goading the two to fight each other. The best option for this is the Boom Hammer hunter that drops onto the ledge overlooking the graveyard, due to his higher HP and proximity to the Executioner. Once either the Executioner or the hunter falls to the other, quickly step in and dispatch the weakened victor. Or, if you are having issues with him, you can just run straight past him, potentially while he is fighting the two hunters who open the door. He will lose interest fairly quickly once you break line-of-sight, or get far enough away from him. From there, he is fairly easy to sneak up behind for a backstab plus visceral attack. Once he is down, head into the Grand Cathedral. You'll see a creature lying on the altar, it won't aggro so go and take the Eye Pendant from its hand. There's nothing more to do here for now, so head out of the Grand Cathedral and immediately take a left into a cave in the wall. Note that after finding Laurence's Skull at the end of the Hunter's Nightmare area, before reaching the Research Hall, you can return to this room to fight a boss: Laurence, the First Vicar (the creature lying on the altar).
Follow the path down the cave until you exit at the bottom. DON'T run straight out. There is a Yharnamite at the end of the path with three turret guns that will fire in sequence straight down the middle of the path. To avoid the shots, wait until the middle gun has fired, then duck between cover on the LEFT side of the path. No fire is directed down the left of the path. Be careful though, halfway down the path, next to the Amygdala skull there is a pressure pad which will fire a hidden turret at you. When you can get close enough, attack the turrets to take them out of action, then kill the two Yharnhamites. Continue down the path to find three more Yharnamites and another Boom Hammer hunter. The Yharnamites will throw Delayed Molotovs at you, which have a several second fuse before they blow. Keep an eye on where they throw them in relation to you. You're going to want to pull the Boom Hammer hunter up to the area where the turrets are to have enough room to fight him effectively. Once they're all dealt with, there's a small section lower than the main path with an item and another Yharnamite.
Head into the darkened house (which you'll remember is the house that served as a shortcut to the Great Bridge in the main game). Two Yharnamites will walk up the stairs, so kill them. Head downstairs and another Yharnamite lies in wait. On the ground floor, you can pick up your own Boom Hammer, however you want to be fast, there are pots of gunpowder and a delayed molotov set as a trap, so get in, get the item and get out.
If you leave the building by the left door on the ground floor, you will ascend to where the Central Yharnam lamp would be found in the main game. Instead though, there is another hunter, this time with Beast Claws. He will semi-transform when he aggros to you. If you want to fight him, be aware that he is very fast, has tremendous reach and can combo you to death very easily. If you do kill him, you'll get the Firing Hammer Badge as your reward.
The exits on the right hand side of the darkened house bring out to the River of Blood [correct name needed]. Use the exit at the top of the stairs to get the Constable Gloves then drop down into the river. To the left is a bridge, and to the right are 7 Bloodlickers. Ignore the bloodlickers for now and make your way up the stairs on the side of the bridge, without aggroing the bloodlickers if possible. Run past them an up the stairs to the bridge. There are two Yharnhamites and two hunters on the bridge. The hunters are carrying the Saifs and shotguns. Run straight up the stairs and wail on the first hunter to the left. Once he is done, bait out the two Yharnamites then take out the remaining hunter. There will be one more Yharnhamite on the steps down on the other side of the bridge, but he can be ignored for now. Head over the bridge and you'll see a passage down a small slope. Before you go there, head left and up the hill to find Constable's Garb. Backtrack and head down the corridor. Halfway down you'll find the Harrowed Hunter. Speak to him and exhaust his dialogue, then head to the end of the corridor and open the door, which is the shortcut back to Oedon Chapel.
Returning back from the lamp to the river, re-clear the bridge and kill the molotov lobbing Yharnamite on the stair to the right. You now have some options. If you fight your way through the lickers to the left of the bridge, you can access a small optional cave with some valuable loot. As you fight through the blooklickers in the river, you'll find a madman's knowledge along the way, and as soon as you enter the cave you will encounter an enemy hunter with a Gatling gun, who drops the gun upon defeat. Within the cave itself you will find several blood stone chunks and a unique weapon called the amygdalan arm. These are guarded by the Gatling gun hunter, several red-eyed wolfmen, and a weakened version of the blood-starved beast boss. Note that defeating the Gatling gun hunter and other enemies within the cave can be difficult, so you may decide to skip this area, at least until you have a higher level. (Note that before I edited this paragraph, it said the cave is a one-way shortcut to a later area. I don't believe this is true, and couldn't find any corroborating info online. When I played through, it looked like the cave was just a dead end)
After exploring the cave, from the shortcut leading back to the Hunter's nightmare lantern, head into the river on the right side of the bridge. At the end of the river will be several bloodlickers, with a cave on the left serving as the path to the next area. If you don't want to fight the bloodlickers at the end of the river, you can wait for the first to join the rest of the group and then sprint past into the cave, but clearing them nets you the Constable Trousers. If you decide to take them on, your best bet is to hurry into the fight with the one leaving the cave before it joins the others. After you kill the first one the cave will be clear of enemies, so it can be used as a retreat point as you carefully attack the other three. This is probably necessary if you can't clear the remaining bloodlickers at range, as they are extremely difficult to kill without aggroing the entire group. With that being said, you can use pebbles to draw one a short distance without drawing aggro, which helps to provide a slight advantage.
To continue, head through the cave and you'll come out at more ruins. Two dogs will attack you. Go around the fallen spire and there'll be two crows on the ground and another Beast Cutter hunter. There will also be a crow lying in wait on a wooden beam above you. Head to the ladder on the left hand side of the area and climb up it. You'll be able to see a smaller raised section next to the fallen spire which has the Constable Garb on it. To reach it, find the gap in the fence, drop down to the beam the crow was sitting on and walk over carefully. Once you've picked it up, back track to the ladder again and this time drop off on the left side where there is a small plain area. Be careful though because a Red Eyed Saif Hunter is waiting for you. After you kill him, loot the beasthunter saif near the drop off, then drop down and kill the Yharmanite and dog before backtracking yet again. Once you make it back up the latter, your ready to press on over the hill.
You'll come to a wide open area which appears to be devoid of enemies. It's not. When you step down into the area a Church Executioner will lumber into view. This one is carrying an enormous Church Cannon which he'll use to take potshots at you from a distance. The shots are easily dodged, but be mindful of where they'll land as they do AoE damage. While you're engaging the cannon wielding executioner, a second one will come in from a path to the left, carrying a blade. Neither of these enemies will chase you very far, and both will lose interest quickly after you break line-of-sight. An easy way to deal with them is to sprint past both of them, being careful to dodge the cannon fire, and hide somewhere behind them. Once they forget about you they will turn around, with their backs to you. At this point it is easy to sneak up behind them and use backstabs to take them down. The Butcher's Set is located behind where the axe executioner spawned and there's a Madman's Knowledge on the far side of the statue tower next to the Cannon Executioner. Head to the rear of the area where you'll find a locked gate, but a path to the left of the gate will allow you to continue. To the right of this gate there is a building with an open door. Head in hear to find the second area lamp, allowing you a quick run to the boss following a death. If you go down the stairs and out of the rear of the building you'll come across an area with a Twin Blood Stone Shard, a Wandering Madness (carrying two Blood Stone Chunks) and the summon sign for Old Hunter Henriet. There is also a red eyed hunter with a Beast Cutter here who will ambush you.
After you finish with the hunter and collect all the items on the upper level, you can drop down into the blood pit below to obtain 2 blood vials, 3 oil urns, and the Whirligig Saw. Two things are worth noting before you drop, however. The first is that the pit is littered with a large number of crows that can gang up on you if your not careful, and the second is that this area exits directly into the earlier area with the crows and the beast cutter hunter.
As you come up the slope you'll enter another cave-like area. Be wary of a sneaky trap here. There will be an item to the left hand side of the path. This is simply a Pebble, but when you pick it up you'll be attacked by an Eye Collector who will do her massively damaging gouge attack on you. She'll trigger if you just run past, but at least you'll be able to react in time. Once you've killed her, make sure you're at full health. When you carry on down the path you'll enter the boss room for Ludwig, The Holy Blade. If you're struggling with the boss, you can summon Valtr from the cave just before the boss room providing you meet his requirements. Once you beat the boss, make sure to talk to Ludwig's decapitated head, then attack it to get the Holy Moonlight Sword (or talk to him while wearing Church Attire and answer yes).
Before you progress to the Research Hall, make sure to reload the area as the Harrowed Hunter will appear over Ludwig's remains. If you didn't put Ludwig out of his misery, the Harrowed Hunter would do the job for you. Exhaust his dialogue then head out of the far end of the boss room and up a set of stairs. In the corridor ahead will be a Church Servant and a Wheelchair Mob. Take them both down and explore the area. You'll find the vast majority of the doors are locked and open ones are empty, but there are two NPCs in the area ( Old Hunter Yamamura & Brador) who are locked in cells. The key is found in the Research Hall, so it's worth revisiting the area later. In one of the open cells you'll find Fist Of Gratia on a rather large body.
Once you're done in this corridor, head up the stairs into a grand cathedral looking area filled with beds. As you come up the stairs you will see a woman praying at an altar ahead of you. DON'T approach yet. First, on one of the beds you'll find a Great One's Wisdom, then turn around to see three rats patrolling a darkened alcove. Kill them and grab the Blood Stone Chunk that they're guarding. Make sure you're at full health and you're ready, then approach the altar at the far end of the room.
As you approach, the woman at the altar will get up, but another hunter will run in from the side. This is a dangerous fight. The hunter uses a sword while the woman at the altar will spam you with magic from a distance and use the Threaded Cane when you get close to her. The best tactic is to pull the sword wielding hunter down the stairs and into the corridor you were just fighting in so you can kill her in a fair fight. Once she is down, head back up and deal with the altar woman. Once they're both down, head to the altar and interact with it. You'll use the Eye Pendant to gain access to The Research Hall. If, after activating the alter, you step off of it back onto the ground, the alter will rise up into the air, and a second altar will come up from below to take its place. On the second altar you will find Laurence's Skull. If you pull the lever and step onto the altar that had the skull, you can ride it down into the floor, where you will find a treasure chest containing the Church Cannon. Ride the altar back up, use the lever to bring the surgery altar back down, and ride it up into the Research Hall.
Alternatively, now that you have Laurence's Skull, you can return to the nightmare version of the Grand Cathedral (the room where you found the Eye Pendant) to challenge another boss, Laurence, the First Vicar.
(Work in progress!)