Central Yharnam is the first “real” level you’ll enter in Bloodborne. Your proper introduction to the game and its world. And, as From Software RPGs are wont to do, it’s a rough one. Carts are broken. Trash and rubble are strewn about the streets. Everything is on fire. Regular people are hiding in their homes, refusing to interact with you beyond shouting out the window. And there’s a mob quite literally armed with torches and pitchforks, looking for the first sign of you. And they’ll probably get you. Multiple times, in fact.
As you come to grips with how Bloodborne works, and how the level is designed, you’ll make progress, killing off each member of this mob. You’ve probably heard them curse you before and after their deaths.
“You’re not wanted here!”
“This town’s finished…”
“This is all your fault!”
These amateur hunters, who have lost most of their humanity, and are becoming the very beasts they’ve been recruited to hunt, have placed the blame for what has happened to Yharnam on you. Who are you? You’re nobody. You’re a person who traveled to Yharnam with nothing but the clothes on your back, trying to seek a cure for an undisclosed illness. Yharnam’s Healing Church is known for its ability to cure any sickness with its blood transfusions. But in being cured, you’ve been enlisted, without any kind of warning or introduction, into the hunt; to spend your night hunting monsters in a city that is cursed with an endless night.
The fault for all of this has been placed onto your shoulders. This is all because of you. Not the Healing Church, whose lust for power and curiosity towards the cosmos introduced a wave of disease and a horde of Lovecraftian creatures running amok. It is not the fault of the people who run the show, because it never is. The hunt is now your burden.
If you’ve been watching the news, or looking at Twitter, or reading any op-eds recently, you’ll know that it’s cool to hate transgender people. Transphobia is extremely fashionable at the moment. And not just your average, run-of-the-mill hate, either, but the really fun kind: The Conspiracy Theory kind.
Despite an overwhelming amount of trans women relying on websites like GoFundMe to help stave off homelessness or to literally not die of illness, we are also a part of a shadowy cabal of anime supervillains capable of all sorts of evil things. Anything bad in the world is due to our influence. It can be small things, like ruining comic books and video games. It can be larger things, like ruining the careers and lives of “innocent” doctors and critics like Kenneth Zucker and Rebecca Tuvel with our frequent “witch hunts.” Hell, we got Donald Trump elected! We caused Brexit! “Identity Politics” and Proper Pronouns caused such a massive cultural shift that it could very well lead to the end of Western politics (and possibly civilization, too) as we know it. Apparently.
The world is a garbage fire, and we are the ones to blame. Again, it is not the fault of the people in charge, or their lust for power. It’s the fault of those who sought to seek a cure for their gender dysphoria, only to find themselves enlisted into a hunt of their own; a hunt where they are the prey.
It doesn’t matter how you finish Bloodborne. Regardless of how your character wakes up from the Hunter’s Dream, the hunt and the endless night continue, only without you. Your accomplishments and victories, in the end, don’t really mean a whole lot. They are meaningless and hollow to the world at large. The collective hate that Yharnam has is only reinforced as you progress. You can kill all of the gods, you can rescue every helpless civilian, you can explore the depths and get closer to the Eldritch Truth, you’ll still be public enemy #1.
Trans women do so much to try and convince the world that we’re not the monsters the media tells them we are. Skype debates. Youtube channels. Article after article citing an overwhelming number of scientific findings. Obnoxiously long threads on Twitter. You can try and change the minds of bigots all you want, they won’t listen. Go ahead, try to make someone who hates you for what you are see reason. You’ll get likened to a con artist like Rachel Dolezal, and Jesse Singal will write an article calling you a terrorist. It doesn’t work. Fighting can only help you in the short run.
And I hate to be so pessimistic, but this our current reality. Whether it’s the fictional world of Bloodborne, or our very real world, we are looked at as the carrier of society’s ills. Not to say that you should curl up into a ball and give up. You have to fight; it’s a situation that you are forced into. The combat of Bloodborne makes itself apparent pretty quickly that it’s an act of self-defense. Very true to life.
This world is a terrible place. It’s painful, it’s aggravating. It feels as though there’s no point, at times. But it’s the little things that make it worthwhile. It’s slaying the nightmares. It’s the friends and allies you make (and lose). It’s your personal accomplishments in an environment that wants to keep you in the margins and downplay your strengths. It’s what keeps your hunter going, and it’s what should keep you going, too. Yeah, I’m pessimistic, but I also believe that there has to be some ray of light at the end of all this.
You are not the accursed beast. You are wanted here. It’s not your fault.