Bloodborne: A Song of Crows

Well now, after a couple solid outings, Phil and Kevin run into something that kinda, really don’t like. What ever will they do? Find out next time… I mean THIS time on PixelLit! The only show that reads videogame books so YOU don’t have to. Or do, I’m not your parent.

Phil 0:00
They are both floating through the air. Like the world's worst impression of a true and falcor I have ever seen.

Kevin Erhard 0:10
Hey everybody, welcome back to pixel let's My name is Kevin alongside my good friend Phil.

Phil 0:18
What the fuck did we just read?

Kevin Erhard 0:20
I don't know.

Phil 0:23
I don't have time. I don't have time for Hi everybody. I'm Phil like, what the fuck did we read?

Kevin Erhard 0:29
Alright, so on the literal level what we read was the third Bloodborne book Bloodborne a song of crows. I might have caught a Feast for Crows in the last episode, but that's, that's a game of thrones book not

Phil 0:45
right. Yeah. And I tell you, here's the thing. Here's the thing now you you know more than I do. So I was reading this, I was reading this at home. going alright, Kevin is going to need to help me here Kevin's gonna need to help me here. And, and and, and I tell you I think the the thing that I pointed out with the last book Volume Two was that whereas the first one had more of an action he it felt more like the video game. The second one bravely in my mind took a turn to be a more quiet personal sort of story. You know, that was just sit in that world. The kind of story you couldn't get out of the video game Not really, you know, which is fantastic. And now with this we've gone even further down that line. It is such a personal story as to be like it's the brain the the rantings of a madman is the only thing I can really describe as it there's they're they're very little monster edge.

Kevin Erhard 1:49
They went full of craft on this there is there is I would say zero real monster Miss in it.

Phil 1:58
Well, you got you got the one the one little centipede gentlemen do

Kevin Erhard 2:02
yes. And that's actually so here's the thing. I might end up being even more confused than you are because I know Bloodborne stuff.

Phil 2:14
Okay, so you because you have some context? It actually it actually makes it tougher you think it might take make it tougher for you to interpret this Yes,

Kevin Erhard 2:21
because the character that we're following is a character called Eileen, the crow. And her job in the Bloodborne context of the Bloodborne universes she is a group of hunters, that hunts hunters. Her entire job is to kill hunters who are about to flip over to the beastly side. Or have kind of gone mad that's that's her stick.

Phil 2:48
Okay, so she Eileen, the crow is the is the one who watches the watchmen. She

Kevin Erhard 2:56
is the one who watches the watchmen. Yes.

Phil 2:58
Okay. Okay, okay they I picked up a little bit on that you know the there's that kind of mournful Undertaker kind of vibe. Sure. To Eileen and it's it's very, very weird. And I guess this is kind of this feels based on that this feels like the story of Eileen kind of unwinding a bit and not in a good way like something in the brain is going by here.

Kevin Erhard 3:26
Yeah. I'm not sure when this and to basically repeat a motif that happens throughout this book. I don't know when this is.

Phil 3:38
Right. Right. And and spoiler alert, neither does it neither

Kevin Erhard 3:42
does Eileen. Now So in the first issue, and it's almost tough to differentiate these between issues because it is the previous two books are very clearly character arcs. Each issue kind of tells a different part of the story. But in this one, it's pretty much mashed into one juicy pulp. There is almost no differentiation between what's happening between from issue to issue

Phil 4:19
and and it could be happening in any order. The thing that the Eileen is kind of chorus seems to be when is this way is that what what Eileen says?

Kevin Erhard 4:31
She keeps asking when is this? When is this

Phil 4:35
when is this questioning? It's in fact the first two lines in the entire collection. And Eileen clearly doesn't know where you know, she they are when they know they don't even always know where they are, let alone what date what time it is. We get a lot of flashbacks, presumably flash forwards right and and it's and the funny thing is, is if you think as the reader that it's screwing with you It appears to be screwing with Aileen the grow even worse. Yes. Because

Kevin Erhard 5:14
she does not. She can't tell her story in any reasonable way. No. So one of the earliest images that we get is her basically doing the what you would expect somebody with a plague doctor mask to be doing, which is tending to the the corpses, right? Yes,

Phil 5:39
a big dam looks like a stream of corpses literally this long, drawn trench filled with with dozens if not hundreds of dead bodies,

Kevin Erhard 5:51
she has taken it upon herself to basically bury the dead. What because nobody else will.

Phil 5:56
Right, right. And just these these villages worth of dead. And just Eileen with her shovel, which is a lot of work, Eileen, and good for you, you know, good for you. That was a lot of work.

Kevin Erhard 6:11
Yeah. So I don't even really know how to approach it because the story is not linear. So there's really not much of a reason to talk about it right? linearly. It's very different.

Phil 6:28
So here's one. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 6:30
Is it almost seems like it was going to almost seemed like it was going to transition into a mystery, like a murder mystery. And I got really excited for a moment I got

Phil 6:43
where it was going to

Kevin Erhard 6:44
Yeah, and then it did not

Phil 6:47
know. It was a mystery in many ways, but perhaps not a not a murder mystery. Yeah, what basically early on what I lean tends to, is the murder of a hunter who has been killed in a very ritualistic fashion. In trails spilled out and hung up on graves in a cemetery with its head severed, and a note placed in the hunters mouth. The note reads simply consciousness is a lake which to me felt a little What do you call it? What is that that time is a flat surface kind of thing? It's

Kevin Erhard 7:29
Yeah, yeah.

Phil 7:31
That's that immediately is what came to mind and based on the fact that we are going backwards and forwards in time throughout this book, that is almost certainly

Kevin Erhard 7:42
the point. Right? So she sees this note and then she immediately flashes back to what I assume is her childhood. where her and her friend are out on a frozen lake and her friend falls through the ice and dice we get some junji ito Uzu machi stuff happening here.

Phil 8:09
We get a flashback to and this this this kind of makes sense as far as flashbacks concerned. Eileen remembering a ritual what seems to be a ritual slaughter of a cow that has its n trails pulled out much in the same way that the highest hunters were right yeah. And and describes herself taking part in the whole thing refers to is we were doing this we were doing this and is this and it starts cutting back and forth between her friend who has fallen through the ice, the childhood friend and a member of the party that is circling the the dead cow with a torch and a mask on and that sort of thing taking part in the ritual. Presumably these are the same people that what I took from it was that Eileen saved this childhood friend and and at this childhood friend grew with her to take part in these these ritual sacrifices basically slaughtering the fatted calf basically.

Kevin Erhard 9:22
Yeah, I guess that's as good a interpretation as as any It was.

Phil 9:28
It was all I got. It's all right, God.

Kevin Erhard 9:33
There's a lot of brief words, there's a lot of brief images. And then we're in issue number two, which starts with Eileen, dreaming of herself, and what seems to be her decaying matter dripping onto herself as another version of herself. of what's above her.

Phil 10:03
Yes.

Kevin Erhard 10:03
Is that what you got from that?

Phil 10:06
Yeah, yeah, it was it was really interesting because in the in the previous issue at the very end she describes, hold on, I'm gonna find it because it's really really strange. That time it literally says Your time is water, it drowns the rats inside of me and the dead bodies rise up my throat. And, and she vomits in the street basically seems to be putting together the the notions of this person who she presumably saved who should be dead. She said she saw him die, but seems to be alive for some reason. And now she's having this. This vision vision of herself. Yeah, the weekend.

Kevin Erhard 11:00
rolling out of her eyes were vomit maggots something raining down on her and then she wakes up.

Phil 11:07
Yeah, and it has one of my favorite quotes in this entire series, by the way some serious grotesquerie. The meat is steered by 1000s of small enthusiastic, puppeteers talking about the movement of rotting flesh with maggots riving through it and it's like Holy fucking shit. That is horrifying and good

Kevin Erhard 11:32
there is some there's some weird little lines in this that I enjoyed when we got the neat little morsels of my concern was that there are way too few and far between

Phil 11:49
Yeah, yeah the writer we're getting to it but the the writer makes some choices here when we get into the third issue of this particular volume that I wasn't so sure about brave choices brave to be certain Well, yeah,

Kevin Erhard 12:03
because we have more no if they worked we get more flashbacks, more visuals, and eventually Eileen comes face to face with somebody who wears a mask on their face much like she does. And she shows that actually he has the head somehow the Hangout hunter that I guess it's the same head of the hunter I don't know the head has the symbol on it. That she remembers from her childhood with the ritual

Phil 12:38
and send

Kevin Erhard 12:38
a fight they fight Yeah,

Phil 12:41
and then they get down to fighting

Kevin Erhard 12:43
they get down to fight and there's more flashbacks during the fight Eileen is Eileen seems to be fighting to kill the other guy just seems to be fighting to fight and just knocks Eileen out and leaves her in the snow and leave right

Phil 12:57
yeah just yeah doesn't isn't even armed by the way isn't an art No. I liens got a couple of nasty looking heavy metal daggers and and he's just punching her. Yeah, leaves her in the snow. Presumably this person? Is someone from her past. And she assumably Yeah,

Kevin Erhard 13:21
yay, think. So here is my read on it so far. And it's as valid as literally any other read is that the kid that falls through the ice died. It right the kid fell through the eyes died. That was her childhood friend. But now she thinks her friend is actually still alive. And that the guy with a mask on is the childhood friend. Right?

Phil 13:51
And we do get and we do before the fight we do get this dream sequence vision of Eileen as a still a child but presumably a little older than when her friend fell through the ice, hunting deer and fires an arrow through the deer that goes through its neck. But the deer doesn't run it doesn't fall or anything it just its head is now replaced with the face of the boy who fell through the ice. And there's a lot of questions of guilt there. You know, you know something to do with this, this boy this this this childhood death leaving her on her current path in a way if it's true what you say now this is just the writer in me spitballing here, but it's true what you say that Eileen has taken upon herself the role of you know, cleansing the dead basically. You know, she she you know doesn't let anyone you know the Basically besmirch the idea of being a hunter by going mad or something along those lines, that it's and we also opened with her burying the dead. Rather than see them just rot in the streets. There's something about this friend of hers who fell through the ice if you're right, and that child did die. That this is the time that she couldn't retrieve the body. She couldn't help she couldn't save the child. And basically, From then on, use that as a mission to tend to the dead basically is there they wouldn't suffer the same indignities that are friended right. But again, that's just me spitballing here. Yeah. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 15:45
So we get so just as a little back background, and this is the this is the part where I guess the Bloodborne knowing helps. She arrives at a building the building is called Bergen worth and Bergen worth was where the study of blood the old blood first really took place.

Phil 16:09
Okay, so is this a this is a church building or

Kevin Erhard 16:13
no, no, no, this is not a church building. This is a this is a this is basically a college it's a university. It's all okay. It's the School of mensis I believe it's the School of Medicine Bergen worth college or something like that. Anyway, she's at Bergen worth the creature that she keeps seeing with the many eyes is a creature called ROM the vacuous spider

Phil 16:41
ROM they always had good damn names for those of you who are listening who who haven't read the comic or who are like me who haven't played the game, let me go ahead and describe ROM to you ROM is I wouldn't call ROM a spider. But you know, ROM has got kind of a long Weasley shaped kind of body with you know, dozens of long spidery legs admittedly a fuzzy top or a snow cover top it's kind of hard to say. And a head with one gaping razor fangs mouth and just dozens of black eyes like spiders I said there are there are admittedly spider is your qualities yeah

Kevin Erhard 17:33
spider

Phil 17:34
spider spider parallel you know spider proximate you know

Kevin Erhard 17:39
ROM at one point was a person and okay was granted eyes by the old gods

Phil 17:50
of yet and how yes yeah yeah yeah. Rom golly ROM one eyes he got his damn eyes he got his damn eyes. Yeah ami ROM ROM and I and I will say that that does seem to be a theme and in the book because we never get a look. We never get a good look at I liens eyes behind the the crow mask the the plague mask. Yes, she wears. It's just gaping black. But we do get flashbacks to the eyes of the childhood friend. There be wide open eyes as they drown. And then the other hunter that she fights who beats her up and leaves her in the snow wears a mask that's kind of like a plain, true cherubic, almost kind of mask, just a plain, boyish face, which which immediately calls to mind a comparison to the boy dying in the lake. And that person's eyes you can see as well. But you know, and then of course, we've got ROM here with mini mini mini super eyes, many eyes, many eyes, too many eyes. I'll say that I will I will go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe I can't speak for the old gods. I don't I don't claim to know, their business. The less said about them, the better.

Kevin Erhard 19:10
You know, they they often have a lot of eyes.

Phil 19:14
Yeah, they do. They do. And this one is this. this sucker is no exception. And it is is it walking out on the ocean.

Kevin Erhard 19:23
Sort of. Yeah, so in the game to get to ROM you actually have to jump into the lake. And when you do so you fall through it and into basically another dimension where you are now standing upon water in the midst in the midst of its water in literally every direction. And as far as you can see it is just kind of this whitish fog off in the distance and it extends infinitely in each direction. And the only thing there worldly Oh very basic. Yep, you're basically in this other worldly open water and the only thing there is you and ROM.

Phil 20:08
Oh, wow. And you have to fight ROM I assume

Kevin Erhard 20:10
Yes, you have to fight and kill ROM and ROMs little spider babies.

Phil 20:17
We don't do we don't I don't think we need ROM spider but

Kevin Erhard 20:20
we don't need ROM spider babies. But let me tell you, they are annoying because they they're mostly just a nuisance except one attack they have is an instant kill

Phil 20:32
of God.

Kevin Erhard 20:33
And it looks only slightly different than all their other attacks.

Phil 20:37
Geez, Jesus Christ. Yeah. Yeah, this is. And this is this brings me again to what is so interesting about these graphic novels for Bloodborne. Because the game that From Software made with blood borne is a combat game, period. There's no getting around it. There is lots of interesting lore that you can dig up if you're looking for it. But this is a fighting game. This is an action game.

Kevin Erhard 21:06
It's an action RPG.

Phil 21:08
Right? Right. And but the these graphic novels have basically taken this world and these creatures and that sort of thing. And ROM who in the game basically only exists as another horror to fight now plays this kind of different role much in the same way that what was the fucking nasty beast that was fought in?

Kevin Erhard 21:35
That was the blood starved beast.

Phil 21:39
The blood starved beast? Yes. They play they now while the blood star beast totally existed for combat in the first comic there. These are all you know, the they've taken them. And again, they're pulling a more of a Lovecraft here with this. You know, these are there they exist for far more than just fucking up.

Kevin Erhard 22:03
Yeah, there is signings, there's some sort of meaning being assigned some sort of semantic meaning assigned to them. Rom though I don't I don't know. I don't fucking know. At this point, I'm throwing my hands up because we roll into the third issue. And it there is there is zero dialogue. There's no writing, it's the entire issue or the entire issue. And let me tell you, Mr. cot, who, who wrote this? I have I have heaped praises on you for two podcasts now, as you have this is where you wed up your own ass.

Phil 22:50
Oh, so you're not impressed by that.

Kevin Erhard 22:53
I was impressed. But we get to issue three. And I'm like, Alright, we're gonna get something, you get nothing. You just get really dump heat in images over and over and over again. And the editor in me cringes, because I'm like, you could have gotten this effect in part of one issue. And guess what, you've already fucking done it. I was so annoyed by when we as I was flipping through. I was like, if I here's the thing, if I bought this, this comic when it came out, when I waited a month for it to come out. This just this issue and it's just this year, like I read the previous one, it was like, well, maybe the early in the crow Ark will turn around and issue three because I'm feeling it's um, it's it's teeter, it was already teetering for me for issue after issue too. And I wait a month and issue three comes out. And I flipped through that I would be furious.

Phil 23:57
This is this is the equivalent of in a in a in a for those of you who have been to grad school, maybe you went to grad school for writing. Or you took a class for writing you don't you know what, just school just college. And there was always you know, there are plenty of people in the class you're writing a novel or short story or something. And when someone if it feels like when someone loses the thread, and they aren't sure what to do next, they put in a dream sequence. And I blame I blame Twin Peaks for this. Yes. Twin Peaks Twin Peaks admittedly did it right Twin Peaks is but it open just like a lot of things. Twin Peaks open the door for a lot of far less talented people to come in and go for the lynching experience. I'm not as angry about this, this particular issue, but I also see absolutely where you're coming from. Let's just be real. Quick let's just go through the imagery as as it goes in this particular issue Sure. Starting starting from the beginning starting from the beginning we get eyes we see the reflection of Isley I lean in the eyes of what is it ROM,

Kevin Erhard 25:20
ROM. Rom. Yeah,

Phil 25:22
ROM and then the reflection of ROM in the eyes of presumably a crow and the reflections of the crows in the eyes of presumably Eileen The Crow and there are a couple of crows watching from a tree and we get a closer look and one of them appears to have picked out one of the eyes of the other one right. And this is why I'm glad that you said what you said when you explained ROM to me because then we see it in the crow floating in the waters of this lake and we get shots of the the What was the name of the building, it's called Bergen worth. Bergen worth we see Bergen worth and its giant dock or pier you know that's built into it that goes out to the lake so and the moon has split open in a very Georgia O'Keeffe kind of way if you want to say it's a lot of a lot of sphere splitting open the moon over the lake beautiful shots the artist remains I think we can both agree that even if this is a bit of to steeds, the artists

Kevin Erhard 26:32
so yeah, my criticism of this issue is is not for the artist ears the artists did an amazing job. My criticism, yeah, it remains completely leveled at the writer, Alice allez cot, who who outlines I would assume outline this arc

Phil 26:53
right right I know I wouldn't be it would be kind of hilarious depending on the kind of writer he was that like you just as writers we know writers

Kevin Erhard 27:04
we know all sorts of writers Yes.

Phil 27:06
And we know what kind of people are attracted to that lifestyle and and I can only I can imagine like them being overdue like it's due to the publisher now but the writer cannot get off the bottle and has been drunk for five weeks straight and the artist is just like fuck it I'll just go I'm gonna put some shit together man we're getting a dream sequence it's

Kevin Erhard 27:28
a dream sequence here we go

Phil 27:32
and now and Eileen The crow removes her mask to reveal that she's got another mask identical to the one she took off underneath

Kevin Erhard 27:43
which is also i don't know i feel like David Lynch has done that before too.

Phil 27:48
I if he hasn't been plenty of other people have then we get we get a lot of we get let's see 16 boxes per page here on a couple of pages with the moon either rising or going into the lake depending on how you look at it the eyes of ROM I liens profile floating up out of the lake again. And then finally this full two page shot of Eileen floating on our back underneath the gargantuan ROM the spider. They are both floating through the air. Like the world's worst impression of a Trejo and falcor I have ever seen.

Kevin Erhard 28:35
Rom would make a shitty falcor

Phil 28:38
Oh, terrible falcor I just Yeah, I don't think I don't think Ron would know how to pronounce a tres name, it probably be more something like that would be the best pour Rob can manage. It's a great shot. And there they are flying in the air. And then we get another quick succession of boxes, the eyes of ROM and then Eileen slowly floating back down into the lake, where she stands, like you said, happens in the game standing on the lake in now as an adult standing in front of her childhood friend. Yep. Who is a child? As the title suggests,

Kevin Erhard 29:24
yes. And then the child runs away. And then yeah, she watches the child run and then she turns around again and there's ROM floating like a cloud in front of her

Phil 29:37
just hanging hanging up. I'm wrong. I hang out with the old guys. I don't mean to brag I'm just

Kevin Erhard 29:44
and then she walks back to Bergen worth after having a brief flashback to the the ceremony from when she was a child. And this

Phil 29:55
is and this is the part that does indeed piss me off, though. So Kevin, do Want to tell tell our audience what the final sentence is what the final page of this booking the final page is?

Kevin Erhard 30:07
It's all black and it's just the text you are granted eyes

Phil 30:12
fuck you fuck you like we get it we get it your metaphor is sound it is it is it is not just sound it is over egged consider this pudding egg and then some it is just like, oh my god, man. We got no eyes. I got no face. I got no eyes got no face. Here's this thing with a whole bunch of eyes. Here's this thing with a whole bunch of eyes and we're floating. We're floating. We're flying. We're flying. And Oops, I'm down on the lake. And oops, I still got no eyes. And Oops, I'm granted eyes. The End The End

Kevin Erhard 30:49
that is yet. That is the that is that is the end of the third issue in this four issue or an issue. And I am. I am. Yeah, I was. I was fine. I was I was fine. I was fine until I realized about three pages in we're like there's gonna be there's nothing there's this is just a dream sequence, isn't it? This is 22 pages of dream sequence. You got to be kidding me. Yeah, it was a tire

Phil 31:25
issue. Which is just, it's just I don't know, man. It's you could do more than that beautifully

Kevin Erhard 31:32
illustrated. Again, briefly illustrate artists colorists, the the lines, the inking knocked out of the park. But yeah, the writer Mr. Caught. I'm just I'm just I loved the first two books.

Phil 31:54
We've had nothing but good things to

Kevin Erhard 31:55
say nothing but good things to say. He had they had nice little humor. This feels like it's one idea drawn out to its longest possible length and then quadrupled. Yeah,

Phil 32:13
yeah. It was just like, because here's the thing. It's not. It's not that what you said what the writer has to say here. We didn't need to be said or or didn't require saying in any way shape or form. It's just there were way better methods of doing it. And it feels a little too up your own ass. Yeah. When you're just when you do it this way.

Kevin Erhard 32:42
Yeah, I know. You've you've drunk your own Kool Aid at this at this point. Yeah, this is this is a little drink your own Kool Aid moment. This is a little precious. And yes. I personally would have loved if this was if maybe we spend the first issue establishing Eileen is having a little bit of trouble remembering things in the order that they happened. Right. This turns into a true murder mystery.

Phil 33:14
I would have been way more interested. I

Kevin Erhard 33:16
would have been way more interesting. It actually would have been very interesting in the vein of True Detective, if you remember. Yeah. You saw the first season of True Detective, right? I did. Yeah. Absolute. Basically, Matthew McConaughey, his character, Matthew McConaughey, his character has trouble remembering things, or perceiving time kind of in the proper order. Right. Right. And that's where his line times a flat circle comes from.

Phil 33:44
So well they did say that they

Kevin Erhard 33:46
Yeah, forgot about Yeah, that was that was that was he's he's in the car. And he says something like time is a flat circle. But yeah, so and True Detective. It's a story told mostly out of order until until it gets towards the end where things kind of start falling into place. But yeah, it feels like it feels like that there was it was they were just going for something really artistic. Yeah, early, artsy. But it just didn't. It didn't nail the fundamentals of telling a story. In any telling a story, either through plot or character or thematically. I don't think it really nails it on any on any level.

Phil 34:37
No, it's this one. Whereas and we're and we've still got an issue. But there's still an issue to go. But right now, I will just say that. What seems to have happened is the first volume the first storyline, because they're all self contained storylines, which I still think is a great idea. Yeah. The first Volume is a little more grounded. It still has the strange fourth wall breaking sort of thing, the existential anx all of that stuff. But when you get down to it it's it's a it's a really deep sword and sorcery kind of thing. Yeah. You know, when you get down to it what is happening is we are running from a big goddamn monster, and eventually we're going to have to have a throwdown with this thing. Yeah. And all along the way. We're getting angsty the

Kevin Erhard 35:31
hunter the hunter has his MacGuffin that he is he is carrying across the wastelands of yharnam. And there's a monster on their tail. there's a there's a dragon following them. That's pretty much Yeah, yeah. Like you said sword and sorcery.

Phil 35:47
Yeah, Grendel's mother is coming after them. And they got to be ready, that's all. And you get some cool set pieces. And that's it made me think a lot of Robert E. Howard or Conan the Barbarian. Okay. Yeah. If anybody here likes the idea of just good old fashioned sword and sorcery pulp, and you haven't read any Robert E. Howard, do yourself a favor. It's really solid. It's not without its problems. You know, those old pulp writers always are, but at least this guy never tried to start his own goddamn religion. You know, so at least there's that. But any case, it starts out with that the second volume is a more personal story. And it gets a little more ethereal, a little more thoughtful and personal. And, and tragic, that sort of thing. There's no real splatterhouse combat speak.

Kevin Erhard 36:40
It's also it's also a little bit more of it has more plot. The second one has a second volume has a lot more plot when the first one does. Yeah,

Phil 36:50
yeah. And then with this one, it feels like we've gotten completely out of it. And it's just become a, there isn't much in the way of plot at all. It's a very introspective character piece, which has its place, which can be very, very good. But I think part of the reason that it's disappointing beyond it being a little a little overwrought, let's be honest. Yeah, it's a little a little too. I don't know, I can't I feel real bad. I can't speak for this writer. But it feels like a little too. I'm clapping myself on the back here as I write this,

Kevin Erhard 37:31
this is the Obama This is like the Obama metal meme of, of Obama giving himself a medal, you know?

Phil 37:41
Right. And I think it's, it's, it's extra frustrating because as Kevin pointed out, it started to feel like we were getting kind of a murder mystery thing, which is super appropriate for the character right? And, and could be a really interesting turn Warhammer. Bring up Warhammer for the 1,000th time on my black library. They do all their fiction. They've been doing fiction for the Warhammer universes since the early 80s, late 70s, something like that for a very long time anyway. And they recently came out with entire A few years ago, they came out with an entire imprint that was just dedicated to horror. Now, the Warhammer whether it's 40k or fantasy, there's lots of room for horror in there, but they've never really, they've never they've never like focused on the spooky stuff all by itself right for an entire series. And they've certainly never done an entire imprint in their publishing house dedicated to just that. And then not long after that they came out with an entire imprint dedicated to mystery. So you've got an entire series of books and short stories that are detective stories and murder mysteries and shit like that set in the 40k or age of Sigmar universe and that shit so cool. Cool. And that's what a clever idea, you know, because that's, that's such a neat idea. And that's immediately when I started to think about when I was thinking those terms where it's like, oh, yeah, this could be like he's like, think about that. Like you got a Sherlock Holmes story in the midst of this horrifying you know, lovecraftian universe that could be that could be Navy. That could be really neat. And and it's not our job to say what a writer should have written. You know, you write your own thing booboo, but that would have been better.

Kevin Erhard 39:47
That would have been really cool.

With her tremendous disappointment. We will With all that in mind with all that in mind, we move on to issue four. Yes. Which starts again, with a phrase that I have started to shudder at when I see Eileen saying, When is this and like, I don't care Eileen anymore? I don't. I've no, you have driven when is this as a metaphorical and introspective character device, that phrase has has is gone. I don't care. When this is just tell me what are you doing? Right? Whenever you are, whenever you are just telling me what you're doing instead,

Phil 40:39
that's just it. That's the problem. You know, it's like, it'd be one thing. If I lean the Crow was a character that was super well fleshed out in the video game. Sure. And but I've never played this game, but I know that she wasn't well fleshed out just in the video game, not in any easy sense of the word. Like, not in a way that you would be like, well, I wonder what she's up to right now. She's having an existential breakdown. That's interesting. No, no, we don't know enough. Like, we don't know enough about her and where she is and what she's doing. We don't have excuse me drops. We don't have the ground. It's not grounded. enough for us to pull the fucking tablecloth out from under Sure. There is you have to start in some level of reality. Before you can go into all of this. Where am I? What's happening? Who am I? How is this all working? You can just go straight into that or it's meaningless. It doesn't mean anything.

Kevin Erhard 41:46
Yeah, it's not being compared. There's no comparison point.

Phil 41:51
No, exactly. Exactly. As far as we know, this is just what it is. Her that's this is, as far as we know, this is just what I liens life is. And if that's the case, it's not very interesting, right to us as the reader.

Kevin Erhard 42:04
And what's interesting about her in the game, is that she has a very distinctive accent. She is the only person that sounds I guess she's Scottish. She has issues a Scottish accent in the game. And one of her her trademark things that she says to you is a hunter must hunt. But you but even in the game you never get any hint that this is that she's really having the existential crisis that you would you would think about I even looked up her floor just just because I was like, This is weird. This This is weird. It was a weird pairing to use Eileen, the crow for this particular story.

Phil 42:58
Right? Because it doesn't seem to connect

Kevin Erhard 43:00
doesn't seem to connect with anything that you really talk to her about in the game. She is the only character one of the only characters that is distinctly not from yharnam and they referenced that in this book that she is from somewhere else. She used to take part in the ceremonies when she was a kid that it's not a yharnam thing she's not from here and that's

Phil 43:26
kind of cool because then that that now that you say that these flashbacks to her taking part in this bloody ritual sacrifice sort of thing does smack of if she's an outsider and what we know about the yharnam world like it does have that feeling of like the Catholic Church of England versus the pagan rites right of the people outside you know the Scots yes you know that that kind of thing the the Celts, right. The pics you know it right, it has that and I like that. I where's that story? I really loved that story. I would have loved a flashback story of you know her coming of age and you know why she left there and all that that would be fucking cool shit. Yeah, it would be damn it.

Kevin Erhard 44:19
So we don't get that we get

Phil 44:21
no

no we don't.

Kevin Erhard 44:32
We get her returning back to yharnam. She leaves Bergen worth. She goes back to yharnam. And this this, this final issue is probably the one that is told the most in the most linear format, where she returns to yharnam. She basically returns to the house. I believe it's supposed to be the house that she sees in the beginning of the dead hunter think, Okay, I think she's returned to the House of the Dead Hunter. And as she is looking for this masked person who may or may not be her childhood friends all grown up, and kind of basically her lingering guilt over not being able to save her childhood friends. So she gets out onto the roof. And I'm, it may seem like I'm blowing through this, but there is basically one large draw let one large illustration per page. Right? She gets out

Phil 45:38
onto get to a certain point,

Kevin Erhard 45:40
yeah, she gets out onto the roof and sees this person. And she has she has another series of flashbacks, the drowning and all that. And she just says I let go. And this Yeah, character.

Phil 45:55
It's it's really interesting because she's on the roof. And this character that the masked man that she's been, you know, dealing with, she drops her weapons, you know, and just reaches out to this person. Kind of the same gesture that she did in the last issue when she saw the little boy

Kevin Erhard 46:12
who fell into the lake, right? She reaches out and the person just falls backwards off the roof. And she steps forward and she looks down and there's the basically there's the body lying on the snow. So she returns back down. And she sees the imprint and there's no body and it starts to snow. And she lays down in the hole that was left and

Phil 46:46
fills all fills it completely. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 46:50
Yeah. So basically, it kind of comes full circle. And that's the thing is, I don't know, I don't necessarily know how to read it. I don't think that that masked person was ever there. I think it was just a visual manifestation of her grief. Coming back. Yeah. Over the over not being able to save her friend as a kid. And yeah, the imprint on the ground. There is the reason why there is no footsteps around it is because she actually fell she drew herself off the building out of their own grave. Yeah. And is laying there in the snow. And clearly it didn't kill her because I'm assuming this is before the events of the game, as well, everything else.

Phil 47:42
Does theory is kind of the final panel. Is her on her back being covered in snow. And there's there's kind of a splash of blood or something like that. But yeah, it's not clear.

Kevin Erhard 47:52
It's not totally clear.

Phil 47:54
It also doesn't seem like it. Was it a two story drop? I don't think that's killing these hunters don't unless that was a much taller building at the same debate. And I really think it was like two storeys tall.

Kevin Erhard 48:06
That was it. Yeah. Yeah. And I actually didn't notice that the first time is there is a little bit of a pool of blood underneath her. Yeah. Which kind of does does lead credence to the idea that there was never any person, she threw herself off the building.

Phil 48:22
Right. Right. And I happen to agree, I think I think you're right, I think cuz there is a line when she sees him first in this final issue. She sees him in the house. And there's a it's a pretty good line as a whole in the shape of grief. And so yeah, I think that does suggest that as just as you say that he's some sort of manifestation of old errors and old grief and you know, the things that we can't let go of, which is a very worthwhile thing to tell a story about. But my my my grief against this particular storyline still stands.

Kevin Erhard 49:05
Yeah, no, I agree. I think this could have been told in a it could have been told in a much more focused way or there could have been more interesting through lines. I think it was, it was bold to kind of decide to experiment with this particular idea over the course of four issues of economic hedge just don't necessarily agree with the approach or the fact that it was a was stretched out for so long.

Phil 49:41
Yeah, I will absolutely give credit to the writer in terms of you made a choice. You tried something different that's always worth doing, especially when you've got two storylines already under your belt here with this series. So you got it, you're on your third one things are going well. So it's like, Okay, let's try something out. You know and and that's, that's a good thing to try something out. But the problem with this one is that it was all one note it was all the surreal and all the weird, and it wasn't grounded in anything. It didn't give us up. I'll tell you what you me and the fiance went to a movie. This past weekend. We went to see, Zola Have you? Do you know what I'm talking about?

Kevin Erhard 50:31
Yeah, I know. I know of the story. Yeah.

Phil 50:35
Yeah. First and foremost. procesal. It was fucking excellent. It was super weird. It was very surreal. It dealt with the notions of, you know, the What do you call it? The untrustworthy narrator. And he said, she said and this and just surreal, everything. But it so it had all these bizarre moments that made you go because it was for those of you don't know, it's a movie that's based on 148 long Twitter thread. And so it's like, there gonna be a lot of moments in something like that where you go What the fuck that couldn't have happened. And and there are plenty of moments in there like that. And it and it and it question your question. You know, the story they're telling you and the visuals they're giving you all the time. And, and but it's but it's still grounded in a real world with people that you believe that, that you, you have some sort you yourself as the reader have something that you can compare it to right, you can relate with it you can believe now? Do we as readers of Bloodborne of all things? Are we going to have a whole shit ton of things in common with these people? No, but that's not what I'm talking about. No, no. It's about giving us some level of reality to work with first, before everything goes off the hinges before everything goes off the rails. Even a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas pulled that off. Like like this can be done. You can have your surrealist bombshells storyline, but it's still needed if they were he fucked up is that it just it wasn't grounded in anything to begin with. We were on a cloud to begin with. Yep. So it Yeah, I think it's disappointing. But I will say we've built up a lot of goodwill with these storylines so far that I'm still looking forward to the night. Yeah,

Kevin Erhard 52:38
yeah, I'm still looking at the next one. Is the veil torn asunder? I believe.

Phil 52:44
Yes. Yeah. And veils. And this is the final final one final one. Wow,

Kevin Erhard 52:49
we are just tearing through this. These Bloodborne books. But yeah, you know, it's funny. I Bloodborne I feel like is such a, it's such a rich little worlds. That it seems like there could be more there could be more to it. There could be Yeah. When you talk about Warhammer 40k, and how basically, you could spend your entire life just reading Warhammer. Yeah, stuff.

Phil 53:20
Like, there's so much times that I've considered it.

Kevin Erhard 53:24
There is so much Warhammer stuff from the indie games and video games. And there's, there's, there's the tabletop stuff. There are the novels, there's everything. You could just

Phil 53:37
audio dramas, they've got everything, you could

Kevin Erhard 53:40
just do Warhammer. And that is pretty fascinating. And I feel like there's other properties that occasionally could benefit from I know, it's it's almost overly capitalistic, and I don't I don't like it in that sense. You know, it's like, it's like, oh, Prophet. We could we could we could mine this this thing dry, you know? And I don't. I'm not trying to think of it like that. And I'm thinking of it more like, hey, it would be cool just to have more stuff in this universe. something

Phil 54:14
to be said for a universe that you can get lost in. Yes. You know, Five Nights at Freddys proof that?

Kevin Erhard 54:21
Yeah, five nights is about animatronics stuffed with the dead bodies of kids. Right?

Phil 54:29
Right. No and present, you know, on its face. Just a little scare game. You know that. That's all there is to it. But there's so much lore filled into that thing that people like that's their whole thing. I've got friends who are not gamers, but love the matpat videos. When he comes out with a law they know him backwards and forwards. They know it all by heart, and they've never even played a five nights at freddy's game. They just love that fucking universe and all the mystery behind it stuff and I think you're right Bloodborne has a lot of room for that and

Kevin Erhard 55:07
all the all that naff money being funneled right into your least favorite Republican senators.

Unknown Speaker 55:15
Hey, we

Phil 55:16
can still be topical.

Kevin Erhard 55:21
That wraps it up for this evening. Thank you all for listening. If you want more from us, please go ahead and leave a five star rating if you're listening on Apple podcasts, or whatever rating if you're listening on another platform that gives ratings I don't think almost any of them do but who knows, leave a five star rating if you're if you're on Apple, follow us on Twitter at pixel lit pied and that about does it. Thank you so much for listening

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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