Bloodborne Guide – Forbidden Woods, Beat Iosefka, Shadow of Yharnam Boss Fight

How to get the Oedon Writhe rune, find the White Church attire and defeat the Shadow of Yharnam in Bloodborne for PS4.

Cathedral Ward

Recommended Videos

Following the boss fight against Vicar Amelia, head back to the Grand Cathedral lamp. Approach the altar and then watch the cut scene. If you do not do this, you won’t receive the password to open the Cathedral Ward door.

When you exit this room, kill the Axe Reaper and the five Gravekeepers standing on the steps below your hunter.  From here, go left and slaughter a Hound. With the monsters dead, go to the bottom of the stairs and interact with the lever that causes the gate to open.  There’s a graveyard close by and two Axe Reapers wandering about.  In most cases they split up and go off on their own, letting you kill them one-by-one, but if you wind up attracting both, try lure one away from the other by going back to the steps.

After killing the Axe Reapers, rummage through the bodies in this cemetery and take five Madman’s Knowledge. Now walk through the gate, which you’ll see on the opposite side of this creepy place.  Two additional Gravekeepers are on the right. One of them carries a flamethrower, while the other holds a magic lantern.  To make matters worse, you’ll spot a Crazed Crow in the right corner, close to a corpse containing Thick Coldblood.

On the left is yet another body, and it also has Thick Coldblood.  Finally, you will see a gate with a lever, but don’t worry about that for now. Dispose of the monsters and go right, walking down two sets of steps to discover a body with 12 Poison Knives.

Take the staircase on the left and you’ll see two more Gravekeepers.  This is where you’ll find a body containing Hunter Garb, Hunter Trousers, Hunter Gloves and a Top Hat.  If your hunter has on some old clothes, immediately switch.  In all fairness, though, the clothing at Hunter’s Dream is superior.

A word of caution while lifting these items off the corpse. Do so quickly and then retreat. Otherwise a portal suddenly opens and your hunter will fall into it.

Take the steps on the left. These will take you to the Chapel if you need to revisit Hunter’s Dream. If not, return to the gate where you killed that nasty Axe Reaper.

When you finish walking down the steps, go to the left corner and knock on the door. You’ll talk to a woman two times and tell her to go to that Chapel, which is where you should also go. When you get there, talk to this woman (she sits on a chair next to a lamp) and you’ll receive a Curtsy, as well as the Blood of Arianna. This not only improves your ability to recover stamina, but it also replenishes it.  If you want, walk across the street and speak to the man over there, but he has little to say.

Turn around and travel down the street. Be careful because a Henchman appears near the steps you walked down.  Kill it and then get ready to battle a Half-beast and a Henchman.  This might be the first time you encountered a Half-beast. If that is the case, it’s like a Henchman, except it possesses a longer reach and you’ll have trouble stunning it.

Along the way you’ll see two red lanterns, with some folks who don’t divulge much information.  Push forward to discover some steps.  When you reach them a mystery assailant will shoot your hunter.  Quickly look left and run into the alcove.  You’ll find a body with 18 Poison Knives.

Flee the alcove and go up the steps. Now go left and up more steps where you’ll encounter multiple Henchmen and one Half-beast. Since one of them has a firearm, kill these fools as fast as possible.

After killing all of the monsters, reach the top of the stairs and you’ll find two bodies, one of which rests on a ledge.  Unfortunately it’s not the only thing up there. You don’t necessarily have to kill these creatures, but instead go about your business in the quickest time possible. Grab the Thick Coldblood and two Blood Vials off the deceased and then look to your left to find a ladder.

Go up the ladder and look for a note on the right. The note says the following:

A watchman of Byrgenwerth guards the gate with a password, the sacred adage of the Grand Cathedral.

After reading the note, return to the gate with the lever close to the cemetery; the place where you fought two Axe Reapers.  Interact with the lever and the gate will open. Now walk down the steps and take care of the Axe Reaper standing by another gate. Look left of this gate and you’ll see a body with two Blood Stone Shards.

Enter through the gate and deal with two Brutes and some Crazed Crows. If you look to the right and explore a bit, you’ll find a body with a Monocular. Now turn around and go left where another Crazed Crow awaits you arrival. Kill this enemy and then search the nearby body for three Blood Stone Shards.

Continue walking until you encounter the Reaper carrying a ball and chain. Don’t fight the Reaper for now. Instead, run past this enemy and kill the Imp handing out close to a rail.  Now you can show the Reaper you mean business, and look for the body carrying five Blood Stone Shards in this same area.

Go right and walk down the stairs on your left. You’ll step into a room with several vases; don’t bother breaking them because there are no goodies inside. Instead, walk to the end of this room and go right to see a chest. Open it and take the Tempering Blood Gemstone.  There’s a door near the chest, but it does not open.

Exit this area and once again go back to the cemetery where you killed those two Axe Reapers. To the left is a hallway, and going in here will put you on the same balcony you saw enemies standing on. Destroy these monsters and look for a casket. Break it and take the two Twin Blood Stone Shards off the body.  Continue exploring the balcony to find a body with 12 Shining Coins.

Look right and take the hallway. Providing you emerged victorious from the boss fight with Vicar Amelia and received the password by inspecting the altar, there’s a Hunter hanging out on a balcony. Explore a bit and you’ll score a Tempering Blood Gemstone from a body.

Walk over to this Hunter and he’ll provide new details about the plot. When he finishes speaking, check the steps on the right to find a body containing one Antidote. Walk down these steps and you’ll approach a door that requires the password. Walk through the now open door.

There’s a man sitting on a chair, so speak with him to earn Madman’s Knowledge.  From here, look right and take the stairs. When you reach the bottom of these steps, go through the entryway and then down another set of steps. This leads to the Forbidden Woods.

Forbidden Woods

Descend the steps, go left and walk until you come upon the Frenzied Henchman, which is basically a larger and more aggressive version of the standard issue Henchman. Thankfully the tips to kill it are the same, so use your firearm to stun the creature and then slash away.

Beyond where the Frenzied Henchman used to be are three paths. If you go right and travel up the hill you’ll see a body with one Twin Blood Stone Shard. From here, approach the middle of these paths and go towards the body. A Henchman will appear, and after killing it, loot the body for two Pebbles.

Avoid the path on the left, at least for the time being. Go forward up the hill. There’s a Brute up here, but you can sneak behind and kill this creature with minimal effort. When it’s dead, walk to the end to find two bodies with an Adept Blood Gemstone and a Madman’s Knowledge.

Return to the intersection where the three paths meet.  If you take the right one you’ll get the Forbidden Woods lamp. Nearby on the right is a cell.  You cannot open this, but there are two Crazed Crows lurking about. Make short work of the Crows and look for a body with three Antidotes.  Warning: do not try to access the area beyond this body. You cannot get there, and will fall.

Take the bridge close to the lamp and deal with the Henchmen, one of which has a firearm. Go left and there’s a headstone with a body right behind it. Loot the corpse and take a Twin Blood Stone Shard.

Go back to the main pathway but do not continue. There’s a trap here that activates if you walk in the middle of the road. Stick to the left as much as possible and you’ll avoid the big log. In fact, it won’t even appear if you take our advice.

Look right and there’s a Frenzied Henchman. Make him dead and then walk to the cliff edge.  Position the camera downward and hit the Henchmen with some Pebbles to attract some Hounds that immediately come after you. There’s a good chance one of these creatures will wander too close to the fire and die. If that does not happen, well, you need to kill two Hounds instead of one.

When the Hounds are gone, walk down the hill and you’ll see a body with a Thick Coldblood. Toss Pebbles to trick the Henchmen into approaching and then kill these enemies. Stick close to the body in this area to avoid attracting unnecessary attention from other monsters.

Return to the cliff edge and fall so you land on top of the nearest Henchman; there should be two remaining.  One of these enemies throws oil while the other carries a torch. Should your hunter get covered in oil, the monster with the torch can light him or her on fire; you’ll also take damage walking into fire in this area. If you get covered in oil, wait until the “oil icon” disappears from the screen.

After killing these Henchmen, look for some bodies at this location and pick up the two Blood Vials, 10 Quicksilver Bullets and one Twin Blood Stone Shard.

Walk along this route and you’ll enter a new area. Look right and walk through the tall grass into the secret location. Deal with the Imp first, then battle the Crazed Crows. On a side note, Imps now leave behind Twin Blood Stone Shards.

Leave the secret path and look for yellow flowers close to a hill. There’s a Frenzied Henchman behind these flowers. Kill him and inspect the burned house to find a body with three Beast Blood Pellets. If you take the path on the left, there’s another body, this one with Thick Coldblood.

Go left and take the six Quicksilver Bullets off the body. Look left to see a house and a red lantern. There’s a man inside, and if you speak to him he hands over a Tonsil Stone key that opens a new place by the Grand Cathedral.

Walk behind the house and there’s a Hound wandering about and multiple Hounds trapped inside cages. Slaughter the free Hound and from there, quickly kill the others. Walk to the end of these cages, take the path on the right and you’ll see a building.  Kill the Crazed Crow behind this place and the two Hounds you discover soon afterward.

Go to the house and take the ladder to access the roof. There are three Crazed Crows up here, but also a body containing plenty of attire for you to grab. In particular, White Church Garb, a White Church Hat, Surgical Long Gloves and White Church Trousers or Dress. You should put everything on because it will help you resist poison.

Return to where you killed the imprisoned hounds and go in the opposite direction. Walk into the cave and take the ramp down. When at the bottom, turn around and lift two Antidotes off a body. Now keep moving along this path and enter a corridor that leads to a room containing Reapers and Poison Worms.

This section is somewhat tricky. Worms are easy to kill but are small and at times difficult to see. To make matters worse, there’s a poison fog of sorts on the ground. Basically, put on that White Church attire you just grabbed.

Before doing anything, throw a pebble at the nearest Reaper. Wait until it gets close enough, then kill it without worrying about the poison nearby. Now go left and take the Frenzied Coldblood from a body. Two Reapers remain. One is on the left while the other is further away.

Stick to the cave wall so you can lock onto the Poison Worms surrounding the Reaper on the left. Pull out and toss a Molotov Cocktail, then kill them from a relative safe distance.

This Reaper is now aware of your presence, so throw Molotovs and Pebbles until you’re able to kill this enemy. Go to where it originally was (looks like an island) and then use Molotov Cocktails or Pebbles to trick the Poison Worms to leave the toxic fog, making them easier to kill.

Left of this small area is a spot unaffected by the fog. Go there and look for a body at the back of the wall. If there are no Poison Worms nearby, inspect the body and grab the Nourishing Blood Gemstone.

Make note of the cave near this body, but don’t go there yet. Go back to the cave entrance and walk to the middle of this area. Distract the Poison Worms in here and make short work of these pests.

Pan the camera and you’ll see an area glowing green. Approach and look right to take a Dirty Blood Gemstone off a body. Now walk to the far right to see another cave.  Just before this cave is a body and a Reaper. Kill it (and more Poison Worms if some remain) and loot this body for a Frenzied Coldblood. Now go into this tiny cave, travel left and go up the ladder.  When you reach the top there’s another ladder, and we want you to climb it as well.

You’ll enter a graveyard. Look left and loot the body for a Coldblood Dew. There’s also a contraption that when interacted with will open a gate in this area. This will take you to the beginning of Bloodborne. Go through the entryway and you wind up at Iosefka’s Clinic.

Tip: At this point, you may continue exploring the Forbidden Woods leading up to the boss fight against The Shadow of Yharnam, or you can take a little detour to Forsaken Cainhurst Castle. We’ll tell you how to reach the castle and defeat Martyr Logarius. If you don’t want to go there, proceed to the following paragraph.

Don’t enter the clinic yet. Instead walk to the far right and through the gate. Now take the steps on the left.  Kill the Infected and find the body close by with a Madman’s Knowledge. See the well? Look left and then ascend the ladder. Take care of the Crazed Crows to your right, and then the rest of these bothersome creatures on the other roof.

Continue along this roof and go into the building, making sure you don’t get sucked into the portal that suddenly appears near the entrance. Go left and prepare to square off against a Cranium Creature. Do not let it grab you. Aside from that, the monster is easy to kill.

Walk into the next room and there’s a chest towards the right. Inside is a Communion rune that lets you hold three additional Blood Vials.  Exit this room and walk down the hallway in the other direction into another room.  Look left and you’ll see a hallway. Walk this way and you’ll kick off the fight with Iosefka. By all means proceed, but remember that killing Iosefka means you will no longer receive items from this character. Because, you know, she’s dead. If you wish to fight her, continue down this hallway and walk up the steps.

For this battle, bring a weapon that is quick and therefore easy to swing.  Hit Iosefka at least three times and then dodge right or left to avoid her tentacles.  It’s best to dodge as opposed to running away because she uses Blood Vials throughout the fight, and doing this ensures you are always in range to strike back when she finishes her own attacks. Providing you follow that advice you’ll kill her with little trouble. When she’s gone you receive the Oedon Write rune, which offers two Quicksilver Bullets after you pull off a visceral attack.

From here, return to the end of that hallway. Fling open the door and you’ll come upon a Cranium Creature. No need to draw its attention. Use stealth to creep behind the monster and nail it with a Charge Attack.  Gather the Cainhurst Summons from the table, then access the next door to return to the 1st Floor Sickroom lamp. When you get there, reach the Forbidden Woods lamp so you appear in the place where you killed the caged Hounds.

After passing these cages, turn right, move away from the house and head towards a huge boulder to the right. Kill the Henchman, look right and go inside of the house. Pick up the four Blue Elixir from the dead body over there, then leave the house and go left. Follow the path right, then check behind the home to your left for a Death Dealer. When you finish disposing of this nasty thing, there’s a body in the area with six Blood Vials.

If you explore the perimeter of this home you’ll discover an entryway.  Go in there and pick up the Beast Roar off the dead person.  Exit the house and walk straight ahead, making note of the roof with the Henchmen.  Kill these guys, then drop down onto the ledge. Definitely grab the 14 Molotov Cocktails off the body.

Fall into the water and defeat some Undead Crawlers.  Go all the way to the left and eliminate a Frenzied Henchman.  After his body disappears, take the two Twin Blood Stone Shards from the body nearby.

Look for a tunnel. Inside are two bodies with two Twin Blood Stone Shards.  At the end of this tunnel is a door. Enter and loot the body with three Pungent Blood Cocktails.

Move left, leave the home and you’ll see more Henchmen.  In addition, please make note of the wooden planks (traps) along the ground. Directly ahead is a house, so go in there, kill three Henchmen and pick up the four Pungent Blood Cocktails off the body.

Take down another Henchmen and then one more near the home to the right, then take five Blood Vials off the body close by.  While facing this dead person, do an about face and there’s a gateway made of stone.  Someone laid traps over there, so do not walk through the entrance. Instead, walk right of this and surprise, you’re back in the area where you dealt with the imprisoned Hounds.

Guide your hunter back to the fire where you dealt with some Henchmen.  Left of this area is a walkway that will take you behind some homes.  Slaughter the Henchman back there and go around to locate the door to the second home.  Go in there and loot the body to find six Beast Blood Pellets.

Now return to the aforementioned fire and take the left path so you’re back at the water. Take the water all the way down and then take the first left to kill more Henchmen.  Use the ramp to access the roof of one home and eliminate the gun-wielding Henchman.

Keep walking this way but be careful. All a sudden a series of cannonballs fly towards your character.  These are one-hit kills until you level up further, so avoid these projectiles.  Quickly run to the last home on the left, where you’ll kill a Frenzied Henchman and then locate a body with four Beast Blood Pellets; other homes contain enemies, so kill them if you wish.

When you finally make your way to the cannon, immediately slaughter the Henchman operating it and then go towards the home. On the right is a body with a Twin Blood Stone Shard.

Enter the house and then walk down the steps. Continue on this walkway to the left and then exit. From there, fall to the ledge and dispose of the Frenzied Henchman on the left. Now climb the ladder to the passageway. Take the wooden planks to the other side, locate the dead person and pick up eight Poison Knives. Go into the entryway and take three Poison Knives off the next body.

There’s a man in the corner on the right. Speak with this guy and tell him to go to the chapel; he puts two Pungent Blood Cocktails in your virtual pocket.  Turn around and go back to the final gear, the fall to the platform to take a Cannon off the corpse.  Fall yet again, go to the middle of this area and then take the small ramp.  There’s a Mutant Henchman here. It is like a regular Henchman, except it possesses additional health, mutates when it’s near death and tries to poison your hunter. Sometimes you will encounter these creatures after they mutated.

Loot the corpse nearby to score a Madman’s Knowledge and then walk to the other side of this place.  In the next room is a lift but it doesn’t work, so take the bridge instead, where you battle another one of those Mutant Henchman.

Cross the bridge and look for a ramp that leads to a home on the right.  Take this ramp and enter the house, then walk onto the lift.  Walk up some steps and loot the body for four Antidotes, open the gate and walk back to the place with the Forbidden Woods lamp.

Take the lift down, leave the home and now walk up the hill on the left.  Pick up the Twin Blood Stone Shard off the corpse, then descend the hill and take the walkway to discover a corpse with a Frenzied Coldblood.

Exploring this path leads you to some Snake Clusters, a new enemy.  Although they have the ability to inflict poison, these relatively low level critters are susceptible to your standard attacks, so kill them quickly and search the corpse nearby for six Shining Coins.  Check behind the body and there are some more Snake Clusters.

We hope you like battling Snake Clusters, because there are even more as you push onward, but there’s also a corpse with a Twin Blood Stone Shard. Look right and you’ll find more enemies, along with two corpses, one with two Twin Blood Stone Shards and another with a Madman’s Knowledge.

Approach the flames and take care of the Mutant Henchman and Snake Clusters.  Pass the fire and dispose of more Snake Clusters, then search the body to find a Twin Blood Stone Shard. Go left so your character circles around, kill the Snake Cluster and take the middle path.

If you explore to the right a bit, there are Mutant Henchman and Snake Clusters standing close to a body.  Kill the monsters and pick up two Twin Blood Stone Shards.  Continue moving and you’ll quickly encounter two Giant Snake Clusters, but don’t fight just yet. Move right to find weaker Snake Clusters and a body containing a Twin Blood Stone Shard.

When you’re ready to tackle the Giant Snake Cluster, run up to one of these creatures, attack and then dodge backwards.  In addition to their melee attacks, Giant Snake Clusters spew venom that you’ll need to dodge. At least on the positive side, these monsters don’t have much health and it won’t take long to kill either foe.

After killing one Giant Snake Cluster, head right to find a body with a Thick Coldblood. Now go left to deal with the other Giant Snake Cluster, which has four Snake Clusters for protection. Best case scenario, you put the fire between your hunter and the monsters, and the Snake Clusters stupidly wander into the flames.  If that does not work, a Molotov Cocktail or some Pebbles will at least separate the Snake Clusters from the big one.

Along this middle path, the game throws all manner of baddies your way, from Giant Snake Clusters and Mutant Henchmen to Crazed Pigs.  Do your business and approach the end of the water, then kill the final Crazed Pig and go left until you approach a cave.

When inside, go left up the hill and take the Madman’s Knowledge off the body. Kill the Cranium Creatures and then grab the Anti-Clockwise Metamorphosis rune nearby; this will boost your hunter’s stamina. Before battling another Mutant Cranium Creature, check the area for a body and pick up another Madman’s Knowledge. Towards the end of the cave is fourth Mutant Cranium Creature by our count, and another Madman’s Knowledge.

Exit this cave and cross the water to dry land.  Walk up the hill to your hunter’s right and kill the Mutant Henchman. Continue along this path into the building and use the lift to revisit the room and unlock the shortcut.

Head outside and go to the water. Take the walkway left and you’ll see some big tree roots.  Pass between these tree roots and the water and you’ll encounter Undead Crawlers. Destroy the monsters and pick up a Dissipating Lake rune from the nearby dead person. This item will reduce your bolt damage by five percent.

Stay in the water and kill a Crazed Pig and three Undead Crawlers.  Look left to find a body and a Sharp Blood Gemstone.  Pass through the two fires and head to the junction.  There are two choices here. Left is the boss battle, and right will lead you to a gate.  Go right, take out the Mutant Henchman and pick up the Clockwise Metamorphosis rune from the body to boost your hunter’s maximum HP five percent.  As for that boss we just mentioned, it’s time to meet the Shadow of Yharnam.

Boss Fight with the Shadow of Yharnam

  • Beat the Shadow of Yharnam to receive Blood Rapture.

Three powerful clerics make up the villainous Shadow of Yharnam, and each one of these guys have unique attacks. One of them hurls fireballs towards your hunter. Sometimes it’s one fireball that travels in a straight line. Other times the attack will unleash three fireballs that form a sort of cone at the front of the creature.

With the second cleric, this enemy carries a sword and pulls off standard attacks. The third and final cleric, meanwhile, has both a sword and a candle. Not only does it strike with the blade, but also fire.

Here’s the good news. Move around as much as possible and you shouldn’t have much trouble dodging whatever the enemies throw at you. In fact, you don’t even need to target them, and if you choose to, we strongly advise you focus all of your attention towards the guy throwing fireballs so you don’t get hit unexpectedly. Do that and it’s relatively easy to stay alive.

Now for the bad news. Should you kill one of these clerics, the remaining ones become stronger. The best-case scenario is to whittle away all three of their health bars and quickly slaughter them.

Not doing this has consequences, especially if you allow one cleric to power up. Take the fireball-throwing cleric, for example. If  you give him a chance to grow stronger, one of his arms morphs into a snake and he can now unleash a giant snake attack. Bottom line, you don’t need that in your life.

Granted, it’s tough attacking each cleric just enough so they all have roughly the same amount of health, but follow this pattern when having trouble. First go after the fireball cleric. From there, attack the one with the sword and candle. Finally, kill the sword-wielding one. You’ll have a much easier time avoiding the latter’s sword attacks, but don’t let him fully power up, otherwise he brings two large snakes to the fight.

Regardless of the order you choose, keep moving while at the same time staying just close enough to get in some hits when there’s an opening, especially when you possess stamina.  The more stamina you have, the more attacks you’ll be able to land before having to make a quick retreat and repeat the process over again. If you don’t have at least half of your stamina bar, things will be difficult.

In addition, you’ll achieve greater success using weapons that let you strike as fast as possible. Heavier weapons deal more damage, yes, but these items take longer to swing, and in many cases you’ll get attacked beforehand. You can still defeat the boss that way, but you’ll have our sympathies.

With the three clerics deceased, you’ll receive the Blood Rapture rune for the trouble. You’ll definitely want to equip this rune, since it restores 200 HP when you land critical strikes, also known as visceral attacks. This will prove useful where you’re headed.

With the rune in your possession, walk over and interact with the Forbidden Grave lamp, then walk through the entryway and follow the path ahead.  Keep a close eye on the brick wall to the right because a Tree Mutant is about to attempt a sneak attack. Fortunately it’s pretty low level, and you won’t have much trouble stunning this adversary with your firearm and then hacking it to pieces.

After killing the monster, push onward and look left to see a corpse with Madman’s Knowledge. Finally, walk up to and interact with the Byrgenwerth lamp, which allows you to gain access to Byrgenwerth.

Trouble beating Bloodborne? Return to Prima’s free walkthrough. When you are ready to continue playing, go to part 7 to find the Lunarium Key and defeat Rom, the Vacuous Spider boss.

Prima Games is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article All EA FC 24 TOTS Live Players (Leaked)
EA FC 24 TOTS Live Players
Read Article EA Has Ended Support For Battlefield 2042
Battlefield 2042
Read Article Destiny 3 Possibly In Development According to Reputable Leaker
D2 Hunter
Related Content
Read Article All EA FC 24 TOTS Live Players (Leaked)
EA FC 24 TOTS Live Players
Read Article EA Has Ended Support For Battlefield 2042
Battlefield 2042
Read Article Destiny 3 Possibly In Development According to Reputable Leaker
D2 Hunter
Prima Games Staff
The staff at Prima Games.