Bloodborne: How To Get Every Umbilical Cord (& Beat The True Final Boss)
The umbilical cord is the tether by which all of us are born into this world – a universal personification of birth that transcends any cultural differences. In a game that thematically centers itself on the cycle of life and theme (a theme present in most of FromSoftware’s games,) it’s only fitting umbilical cords likewise play an integral role in Bloodborne’s narrative.
Described as “One Third of Umbilical Cord” in-game, Bloodborne’s hidden umbilical cords play a vital role in not only understanding the game’s lore, but fighting the actual final boss & triggering the true ending. While only three umbilical cords are needed to fight the final boss, there are four total to find hidden throughout Bloodborne.
Finding the Workshop’s Cord requires entering the Abandoned Old Workshop, an incredibly revealing area in regards to Bloodborne’s lore. The Workshop itself is only available after Hunters defeat the Blood-Starved Beast in Old Yharnam. Once the beast is killed, head to Cathedral Ward’s Oedon Chapel.
- Go through the right doorway and go up the elevator.
- Kill the Wheelchair Huntsman in the next room.
- Instead of entering the building, go around to the right.
- Drop onto the broken walkway below and follow the path into the building.
- To the left immediate left of the rickety bridge is a platform down below.
- Drop down.
- The fall is steep so heal before falling and after.
- Walk right off and land in front of the Workshop entrance.
Inside, Hunters will find an exact replica of the Hunter’s Dream complete with its own Doll. This Dream has been long abandoned however. The Workshop’s Cord can be found on the Memory Altar. Its description reads:
- “Every Great One loses its child, and then yearns for a surrogate. The Third Umbilical Cord precipitated the encounter with the pale moon, which beckoned the hunters and conceived the hunter’s dream.”
Along with the Workshop’s Cords, Hunters can find the Doll Set, Small Hair Ornament, and an Old Hunter Bone. The Small Hair Ornament in particular can be given to the real Doll in exchange for a Tear Stone and new dialogue.
Getting Arianna’s Cord isn’t as involved as the Workshop’s, but it’s still a bit of a process (and requires keeping Arianna alive after the fact.) Upon defeating three bosses or killing any boss from Cathedral Ward, Old Yharnam, Hemwick Charnel Lane, or Yahar’ Gul, Arianna can be directed from her home in Cathedral Ward to Oedon Chapel.
There, she’ll offer her blood to Hunters. Be careful, however. If Adella is also at Oedon Chapel, she’ll get jealous after Arianna gives away three vials of her blood, killing the woman by the time players next return. To keep Arianna alive, either avoid saving Adella or simply don’t accept her blood more than twice.
After Micolash is defeated near the end of the game, Arianna will leave Oedon Chapel and head to the aqueduct in Cathedral Ward where she’ll give birth. Kill both the baby and Arianna to receive the cord:
- “Every Great One loses its child, and then years for a surrogate, and Oedon, the formless Great One, is no different. To think, it was corrupted blood which began this eldritch liaison.”
Alternatively, Arianna can be sent to and killed at Iosefka’s Clinic. She won’t be able to give Hunters her blood, but she also isn’t at risk of dying at the hands of Adella (or the Suspicious Beggar.)
Iosefka’s Clinic plays a key role in what is arguably Bloodborne’s most morbid side quest. Running parallel to the Oedon Chapel questline, Hunters can send potential survivors to Iosefka’s Clinic for safety. Unfortunately, “Iosefka” is nothing but an imposter whose only motivation is experimenting on any NPCs you send her way.
While the clinic’s entrance is locked to players, it’s possible to enter through the back by cutting through the caverns in the Forbidden Woods. The fake Iosefka will drop her umbilical cord when killed, but only after Rom has been defeated and the Blood Moon has fallen over Yharnam. Iosefka’s cord reads:
- “Provost Willem sought the cord in order to elevate his being and thoughts to those of a Great One, by lining his brain with eyes. The only choice, he knew, if man were to ever match Their greatness.”
Iosfeka won’t be hostile during the Blood Moon, instead hunched over in pain on a table. Be wary of any Celestial Mobs in the vicinity, though, especially if any survivors were sent to the Clinic earlier in the game.
The only umbilical cord dropped by a boss, Mergo’s Cord is found by defeating Mergo’s Wet Nurse at the end of the Nightmare of Mensis – specifically past Mergo’s Loft. Despite being fought near the very end of the game, Mergo’s Wet Nurse is one of Bloodborne’s easiest bosses. Patiently dodge her telegraphs and she’ll go down in a few combos, dropping her cord:
- “Every Great One loses its child, and then yearns for a surrogate. This Cord granted Mensis audience with Mergo, but resulted in the stillbirth of their brains.”
It should be pointed out that Mergo’s Wet Nurse is a mandatory boss, meaning Mergo’s Cord will be the only umbilical cord players are guaranteed to have by the end of the game. Upon finding at least three umbilical cords, consume them and proceed through the story as normal. So long as three umbilical cords are consumed and Gehrman’s offer is refused, players will automatically transition into the true final boss & ending.
Showdown With Gehrman, The First Hunter
Before getting to the true final boss, Hunters need to face off against the First Hunter: Gehrman. An extremely aggressive boss, Gehrman is the hardest part of actually getting to the real ending. Keeping up with him requires understanding the parry mechanic and keeping on the offensive – Gehrman won’t slow down so keep on him.
Upon being killed, Gehrman does the Make Contact Gesture, heralding the true final boss’ coming. Keep in mind that the next fight will trigger immediately after Gehrman dies, with no opportunity to restock on Blood Vials, so be prepared for an uphill battle if you run out.
Descent Of The Moon Presence
Thankfully, the Moon Presence isn’t as difficult as Gehrman. The hardest part about the Moon Presence is making sure you still have enough Blood Vials on hand. The Moon Presence hits reasonably hard, but telegraphs all its attacks clearly and doesn’t have all too much health. Worst case scenario, players can just die to restock since they don’t need to fight Gehrman again. Kill the Moon Presence, sit back, and enjoy one of the strangest endings in video game history.
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