Bloodborne is a game known for its difficulty and punishing combat mechanics. While most bosses in the game can be easily outmaneuvered once you learn to recognize their basic attack patterns, the Orphan of Kos stands out as perhaps the most difficult due to its relentless speed and a mechanics. Be warned, there be spoilers ahead.
The History Behind the Orphan Of Kos
The story begins long ago when Byrgenwerth scholars traveled to the small fishing town of Hamlet seeking out Eldritch truth. These scholars were accompanied by Hunters and found that the Hamlet had some inexplicable connection with the Great Ones. The scholars and Hunters sought out the knowledge that they believed was in the minds of the town’s populace, killing and torturing everyone who lived there in order to discover the truth from the brains of the villagers.
Such madness pushed the villagers to the extreme, and they prayed for the wrath of Mother Kos, which resulted in a terrible curse being struck down on the Hunters of Byrgenwerth, as well as their successors. The curse created the Hunter’s Nightmare, which is where the DLC takes place. This is a dream-world in which those who were consumed by the blood-lust were sent to hunt and kill forever. Only by uncovering the secret of these terrible sins can the curse be lifted.
Some differ in opinion regarding what should be done about the curse. Lady Maria and Brador believe the secret must be kept as penance for past sins, while Simon the Harrowed wishes to end the curse forever.
Where Do You Find the Orphan Of Kos?
Within the Nightmare, players may travel to the beach, where a washed-up corpse of the Great One Kos lies. As the Hunter discovers this scene, the Orphan emerges from within the corpse, crawling out to gaze upon the vast nightmare from which it was born.
The Orphan begins to cry and wail, as it charges at the Hunter without any prompt. If a player manages to kill the Orphan, a small, black phantom will be revealed over the corpse of Kos. Killing the phantom will then cause the Nightmare to dissipate, as the mist begins to fall away and the blackened moon gives way to a calm sunset.
The Orphan of Kos takes on the role of the true final boss of The Old Hunters DLC. As the newly born Great One, child of the deceased Great One Kos, and host of the Hunter’s Nightmare, the Orphan is the perfect boss end to our character’s long journey.
The Orphan of Kos appears as a tall, skeletal humanoid that bears a disturbing resemblance to our Hunter. During combat, it screams in what feels like unending agony. A pair of wings will emerge from its back during the second phase of the fight.
How To Defeat the Orphan of Kos
As with many bosses, the Orphan of Kos has two distinct phases. Unlike most bosses, however, it is not a permanent shift, but one that happens continuously throughout the fight and forces players to reevaluate their strategies.
The first phase involves the Orphan turning to the player and charging to attack. This occurs after you enter the area and observe the cutscene. Phase one Orphan has a significant amount of attacks with varying ranges and speeds.
Phase two occurs after some damage has been done, and leads to a physical transformation as the Orphan bites into the placenta-like weapon, enlarging it to provide longer and broader strikes. The Orphan's wings will also add mobility and speed, as well as an aerial slam.
Both of these changes make the boss slightly larger and thus easier to target, but also much faster, negating the theoretical benefit of its size. It also acquires a new set of moves. Despite its large size, the Orphan of Kos is most mobile at this point and requires careful maneuvering if you want to survive.
What makes the Orphan of Kos more difficult than any other boss is based on its design. In many ways, players need to contend with both the boss’ mechanics and the flaws of the game, which seem to have been used to make the fight more difficult. Spamming attacks when you're close to his torso might result in clipping into the Orphan's stomach or chest, and from there, the Orphan will combo the Hunter to death. Because of this, keep your attacks simple and avoid button mashing.
When the boss screams to summon Electricity, it is best to move back toward the entrance of the area. The resulting bolt of lightning on the ground will then radiate outwards and can be safely rolled through to avoid damage.
In the second phase of the fight, the watery area is a great place to move around. You cannot fall into the water, and unlike the sloping hills of the ground, this area is flat. As the boss moves between phases at will, it is often advisable to avoid the Corpse of Kos, as lightning often strikes it, which is difficult to avoid.
Note that the Orphan of Kos will transition back and forth between its two phases at will, and it will likely spam attacks or techniques that inflict the most damage. If you manage to block or avoid all damage during an attack, the Orphan may disregard that style entirely in favor of something else that is more effective.
With that in mind, players should note that the boss can be parried in both phases, so utilize defensive moves to avoid damage.
As with all bosses, instead of learning how to hit the Orphan, Hunters should be focused on how it attacks in order to avoid damage. Eventually, a Hunter can defeat the Orphan, but it will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination.
NG+ runs become particularly nasty later on. Unlike other bosses that scale up in damage and health but offer no change in mechanics in NG+ runs, such as Amygdala, the Orphan of Kos is a dangerous foe. It is advisable to stay healed throughout the fight since the Orphan can do a devastating amount of damage.
You can check out the playthrough below, which provides an example of an NG+ challenge. Note how despite having perfect timing and knowledge of the first phase of the fight, the second phase of the fight leaves the player scrambling as the Orphan of Kos uses its deadliest attacks. Despite making few mistakes, the player must use health items almost non-stop.
What Are The Rewards
Defeating the Orphan of Kos and slaying the black phantom will award you with the “Nightmare Slain,” completion of the DLC, and 60,000 Blood Echoes, which increase in number as NG+ levels go up as well.
Players are also awarded the Kos Parasite, which is a trick weapon. Three versions exist: Normal, Uncanny, or Lost. The only differences are the Gem Imprints and locations where they are found. Players receive the normal one after defeating the Orphan.
Finally, remember that this is the embodiment of everything the Hunter has worked towards in the story for The Old Hunters DLC, so be proud of your achievement once the Orphan of Kos finally goes down.