Bloodborne’s Eileen the Crow is one of the most mysterious NPCs in an already super mysterious game. She’s also one of the most important, though, as you’ll see if you dive into her hidden depths with us.
If you’re just starting to find your bearings in the dark and foreboding world of Yharnam, you may have stumbled across a figure clad in a beak mask and feathery outfit and wondered who the heck she is. This is Eileen the Crow, and she’s your key to joining a new covenant, completing an intriguing sidequest and obtaining one of the game’s best weapons, the Blade of Mercy. Let’s make her acquaintance, then.
Who Is Eileen The Crow And Where Does She Come From?
Eileen the Crow is a ‘Hunter of Hunters,’ an elite assassin sworn to put corrupted hunters out of their misery. Whenever the bloodlust of the eternal beast hunt becomes too much to bear, and a hunter loses themselves, she descends and takes them down. That’s the idea, anyway. She’s a foreigner to Yharnam, like the player, and at the time we meet her, she’s been performing this role for far too long, and is no longer up to the task alone. That’s where you come in.
How Do You Follow Her Questline?
Eileen’s Bloodborne questline is one that can easily be missed, if you don’t proceed in a certain order. You first meet her in a hidden area in Central Yharnam, in the rafters of the building that leads into the sewers (just after the persnickety old lady NPC in her home; break the barrels on the right before the staircase). In this initial encounter, you’ll only get a Gesture and 4 of the Bold Hunter's Mark item, and it’s not necessary to meet her here for her quest to progress.
Her second location is the crucial one: From the Cathedral Ward lamp, take the front entrance and immediately turn to the railing on your left. She’ll be here after you’ve opened two gates in this area (the main one and the smaller one that leads back to the Cathedral Ward), and this is where you must speak to her to advance her quest.
She’ll tell you not to go to the Tomb of Oedon (the graveyard where you fought Father Gascoigne) because she’s got business with a rogue hunter there. That’s where you must go, though, because the aging Eileen will likely be defeated by Henryk without your help. She’ll appear shortly after you engage the hunter in battle, thanking you for your aid after he’s killed.
After this event, Eileen will appear again at the top of the steps to the Grand Cathedral (where you fought Vicar Amelia). Her appearance here is triggered by defeating Rom, the Vacuous Spider, and this is the end of the line for Eileen.
She’s taken on a hunter out of her league and lays grievously injured. The Bloody Crow of Cainhurst is her attacker, and he awaits inside the Cathedral. He’s a darn tough fight, too, so good luck with that one (try exploiting the fact that he keeps his Chikage in two-handed form a lot of the time, draining his health).
Triumph over this hunter, and report back to Eileen. She’ll thank you again, and finally confess that she isn’t cut out for this life anymore. She’ll offer you the chance to take over, giving you the rune for the Hunter of Hunters covenant (which is focused on PvP and invasions, if that’s your bag) and the Crow Hunter Badge. What does the badge unlock in the store? The Crowfeather Set and the excellent Blade of Mercy.
As an interesting sidenote, Eileen the Crow herself can also be your opponent in the cathedral battle. If you speak to her on the rafters of Central Yharnam or by the railing outside Cathedral Ward and then don’t help her with Henryk, your final battle of the questline will instead be a vengeful Eileen. If you didn’t speak to her at all before the boss battle with Rom, The Vacuous Spider, she simply won’t appear at all that playthrough.
How Do You Get The Blade Of Mercy Early In Bloodborne?
The questline is all well and good, but that’s quite late in the game to be getting a brand-new weapon, isn’t it? You don’t want to start farming for more upgrade materials, after all. Luckily, there’s a trick to get the Crow Hunter Badge early.
If you’re not too focused on following the questline to completion, Eileen will also drop the badge when she’s killed. This means that you’ll get it if she’s killed by Henryk (you have to be present at the battle, though), or if you kill her yourself. As such, you can grab the badge as early as Central Yharnam, where you first meet her.
That’s quite a task, though, as she’s a very tough opponent early in the game. The good news is that first meeting place is in the rafters, meaning there’s a steep drop you can use to your advantage.
Behind those barrels in the rafters, you’ll find Eileen. What you want to do is hit her a couple of times to turn her hostile, and then run back into the main room and stand just off to the left, on one of the beams. If you’ve done this correctly, she’ll come barrelling after you, only to fall through the gap (plan where you’re going to stand out here before you go to talk to her). The drop probably won’t kill her outright, but she’ll take such damage that you shouldn’t have much trouble finishing her off with Molotov Cocktails or simple shots from your gun.
Be wary about engaging her directly unless she’s really close to succumbing, though, because she’s generally far too strong for you to take on this early. The other thing to remember is that you don’t get the weapon (or the Crowfeather Set) outright but must buy it after attaining the badge. The Blade of Mercy costs 40,000 Blood Echoes, which is also a very tall order early on.
What’s So Good About The Blade Of Mercy?
It’s absolutely worth the effort, though. The Blade of Mercy has been a favorite of Bloodborne fans since the game’s release, and rightly so. It’s one of the best Skill-based weapons, boasting the highest scaling possible with that stat (rated S). It takes the form of a small, curved blade, which splits into two when its ‘tricked’ form is activated.
You can think of the Blade of Mercy as a similar weapon to the Dual Blades of Monster Hunter: it isn’t about single, heavy hits, but quick, fluid flurries. It’s particularly frightening in PvP (which is appropriate, for the Hunter of Hunters covenant), but can certainly tenderize the game’s enemies just fine too.
The blade’s in-game description states that it’s most effective in swift attacks, such as after quick-stepping, and that’s to be taken literally. There’s a nice damage multiplier on attacks performed after dodging, and that’s exactly how you’ll want to use it. It struggles to stun enemies, so concentrate on dodging around their attacks (it's a very close-range weapon, so there'll be a lot of that involved) and gracefully unleashing your own in response. Its damage output may but a little lacking early on, but keep it upgraded as high as you can as soon as you can and it’ll pay dividends.
This is the essence of Bloodborne’s aggressive combat style in a nutshell, and it’s easy to see why the weapon’s such a favorite. By extension, this is the essence of Eileen herself: she offers short, sharp and intense encounters through her questline, and some of the most memorable experiences the game has to offer.