The Hunter in Bloodborne has their hands full handling all the monsters in Yharnam, and Amygdala is one of the most imposing in the game. Unfortunately, there is almost no information on who or what this creature is. U/Rakuyo_Lorehunter on Reddit speculates that Amygdala could be related to Stinkhorns in their appearance, or to Kali because of its limbs.
Another theory is that "In Greek, the name of this beast translates to tonsil in English. The tonsils basically act as an immune defense storage to prevent infections from the things you eat and breathe. They also look like the head of the Amygdala creature in the game. So, this boss, and similar creatures act as tonsils; they exist to protect the nightmare from infections (like the Hunter)."
What matters is that Amygdala is an optional boss and is similar to those enemies who like to use portals to grab our dear Hunter, and can be found in the Nightmare Frontier. Known among the inhabitants of Yharnam as "Lord Amygdala", as stated by Patches the Spider.
Where To Find Amygdala
Amygdala cannot be found randomly in the world, but instead requires deliberate steps to uncover. First, an NPC voiced by Patches will grant a Hunter the Tonsil Stone by speaking with them after the death of Rom, the Vacuous Spider. Players may have also noticed that upon killing Rom, Lesser Amygdala in the Cathedral Ward suddenly become visible, and also triggers the Blood Moon.
Rom can be located at Moonside Lake through the Lunarium in Byrgenwerth College, or sometimes in the Lower Pthumeru Chalice, or finally in the Phtumeru Ihyll Root Chalice.
The rock is styled after the head of Amygdala and is used to gain access to the Nightmare Frontier. Inside the Nightmare, Amygdala awaits atop a tower until the player gets close, whereby the invisibly is removed and the battle can begin.
How To Defeat Amygdala
Let us always keep in mind that these games were almost sequels to the Dark Souls series, and as such, modeled after the brutality and difficulty we see there. Defeating Amygdala requires a deep understanding of every possible attack that can come your way, and how to counter them over and over until the brief windows appear for you to strike.
Amygdala is naturally weak to Arcane, Fire, and Bolt damage, but resistant to Blunt damage. Although Amygdala has a lower health pool than other bosses, this is made up for by the inconvenient fact that only its head and front limbs take damage from physical attacked. Attacking the rest of the body does little damage and prolongs the fight considerably, unless one uses elemental damage.
As such, one strategy for dealing damage is to use a strong ranged weapon to its head. The type of weapon chosen is largely up to player preference, so long as the head can be reliably hit. Evelyn, Executioner’s Gloves, Repeating pistols, Ludwig’s Rifle, or Hunter’s Pistol are all fine choices among others, as it is more important to not sustain heavy damage and consistently be able to hit the target when available.
Once a Hunter actually gets into battle with Amygdala, they will notice that the monster has a number of lighter toned or glowing spots on what can best be described as its numerous forearms, biceps and triceps. These are all weak spots to strike if the opportunity presents itself, often best chosen if the head is too far to safely hit.
Like all bosses in Bloodborne or similar Dark Souls games, one needs to know where it is safest to stand and move. In the case of Amygdala, a player is often safe beneath its massive torso. There, the limbs have a hard time reaching you. Being directly in front of Amygdala is problematic because of her dangerous frontal attacks.
From time to time, Amygdala will leap up and come crashing down, so one needs to be aware when that occurs and begin dodging away. If Amygdala crashes down on you, it can spell doom in a single hit.
Once a Hunter has inflicted enough damage, Amygdala will tear off two of her limbs and use them as weapons, further extending her frontal reach, but making it all the more favorable to move directly beneath her torso.
Following this pattern will eventually make Amygdala drop, so keep at it. Once a player has defeated Amygdala a few times, subsequent fights in NG+ are rather easy. Although her health pool and damage scale up quickly, the mechanics stay the same and can be exploited without the need for variation.
For those who prefer to tackle this challenge with only melee weapons, check out this short video below. The mechanics remain unchanged, but one needs to position themselves in a way so that they can attack following an attack animation by Amygdala.
As with all bosses in Bloodborne, there are often many different methods to overcome a challenge. The strategy presented above is one of many, with a focus on situational awareness and dodging, which are key skills to hone in the game.
The following two strategies work as well, though some are more technical, or have high requirements in certain aspects of the Hunters level progression:
Follow the tail, always looking to position yourself behind Amygdala and to learn where the leap will land, striking immediately after the animation. This allows for melee weapons to be used but relies much more on dodging the fatal leap attack more often.
A Call Beyond – This item is devastating against Amygdala but has an arcane requirement of 40 and uses a great deal of Quicksilver bullets. As the weapon requires time to charge, one must have enough space between themselves and the boss, aiming of course for the head.
The following is the entire move set for the boss, and knowing what can possibly come your way makes the fight much easier:
- Stomp: Roll away from the legs when this occurs
- Exploding Laser: This is tricky, as the first blue laser does no damage, but is followed up by a series of explosions that follow the path of the laser
- Acid Discharge: Amygdala shakes its head, sending a pool of acid onto the ground. The surface area increases greatly after Amygdala has torn off its limbs
- Low Arm Swing: A far-reaching frontal attack
- Flailing Combo: One of the few attacks to hit beneath the torso and is thus dangerous. This can even hit players standing too close to the rear legs, so dodge away
- Forward Palm Thrust: Another strong frontal attack. Phase two brings the addition of magic spheres at the end to watch for
- Arm Smash: Yet another strong frontal attack
- Jump: As stated, a giant leap up and massive damage when landing. Attempt to roll away from the starting point to end up beneath the torso but not in a danger zone.
What Do You Get For Defeating Amygdala
Finding Amygdala and defeating the boss grant a total of six Insight, 21,000 Blood Echoes on a Normal Game playthrough (NG), 145,866 for NG+, 160,453 for NG++, 182,333 for NG+3, 213,800, for NG+4 , and this continues scaling on further play through difficulties.
Players are also awarded an Ailing Loran Chalice, and a Great Pthumeru Ihyll Chalice when fought in Defiled Chalice.
As far as optional boss encounters go in Bloodborne, Amygdala becomes one of the easiest on repeat fights later on. The intimidation comes at first by its massive frame and charge at the start of the fight, but soon becomes routine on subsequent attempts.