This article explains how to survive Ludwig the Accursed in Bloodborne: The New Hunters.
As soon as the boss fight begins, Ludwig will likely rear up slightly on his hind legs then leap forward, slamming his arm down hard in front of him - one of his most devastating moves. Be ready to dodge left immediately, moving around to his right-hand side.
This lunge is one of two moves that Ludwig will use to close any distance between you - the other being an incredibly swift forward rush (accompanied by a blood curdling scream) that can do serious damage. It's also tough to avoid if you're a little too close when the attack begins.
At close range, Ludwig favours a series of slashes using his raised right arm, which he'll often string into a multi-swipe combo. As with most of his attacks, it's a real health drainer, so you absolutely don't want to be pinned in a corner when it's unleashed. Your safest bet here is to keep in close and dodge under his raised arm, just prior to the first swipe. Ludwig will also attempt to nudge you with the head to his left from time to time - but this won't inflict much damage.
Additionally, Ludwig will intermittently leap high into the air before slamming back down. When this happens, quickly put some distance between you and your target, and keep moving to avoid being squashed flat. If you're far enough back when the move begins, you should be able to gauge his landing zone. If you're too close, however, you'll likely lose your lock-on - and sight of your target.
Your best strategy against Ludwig is to move in close and position yourself on his right-hand side, just beyond his arm. From here, you can unleash a flurry of blows to his stomach and sides. Even better, if you're positioned perfectly, his claws will struggle to hit you, giving you plenty of space to attack. You should, however, expect him to try and stomp on you or leap into the air to escape your assault - so be ready to dodge clear.
Once you've depleted Ludwig's health by around a third, he'll add a new move to his repertoire, breathing mysterious white fire from his maw. He'll do this from left to right (in which case, you can either hang back as far as possible or to run anti-clockwise around him to avoid the fire) or he'll breathe an easy-to-dodge blast straight ahead.
When Ludwig's health is down to half, the battle changes considerably. After the cutscene, Ludwig unsheathes a giant, magical sword and his feral attacks will cease. Instead, he'll slash his sword diagonally, firing green, easily-avoidable projectiles toward you, or unleash a horizontal sweep which of light which can be much tougher to dodge.
Your goal during this part of the fight is to slip around his sword attacks and close in on your now-upright target. From here, you can focus your attacks on his legs. Up close, however, Ludwig gains additional moves: he'll continually slash his sword around, repeatedly slam it into the ground, and lunge forward with a fast, powerful jab - so you'll need to stay vigilant and dodge as necessary.
On occasion too, Ludwig will pause his assault and lift his sword high into the air. You've got a reasonable opening here to run in and lay on damage, but be warned: after a few moments, Ludwig will slam his sword into the earth, blasting out a devastating green shockwave that can do serious damage and knock you off your feet.
Needless to say, you'll find the fight much easier - and the openings for attack much larger - if you bring a few NPC friends or real-life chums along to help. Stay in close, continuing to unleash hell on his ankles and, eventually, Ludwig will go down.
After the battle is over, you'll receive Vermin and the Guidance rune, and a lamp will appear in the centre of the room. Light the lamp then warp back to the Hunter's Dream. Spend your hard-earned Blood Echoes and, when you're ready to continue, use the Hunter's Nightmare headstone to return to the newly-unlocked Underground Corpse Pile location.
Back in the cavern, you'll see that Ludwig's disembodied head now lies on the ground, to the left of the large stone staircase. If you don some religious attire (such as the Black Church set) and speak with him, you'll receive the powerful Holy Moonlight Sword. Don't worry if you're not suitably equipped just yet though: Ludwig will automatically expire a little later in the game, enabling you to collect the sword from his corpse.
- Our walkthrough continues with a step-by-step guide to surviving Bloodborne's Underground Cells section.
- Return to the index page for more entries in our Bloodborne: The Old Hunters walkthrough.