|Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower|
|Affiliation|| Annalise, Queen of the Vilebloods (Distant Relative)
Gehrman, The First Hunter (Former Apprentice)
According to both her equipment and her weapon, Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower was a citizen of Cainhurst and is directly related to Queen Annalise. However, she was one of the first Hunters to join the nightly hunt, studying under Gehrman, The First Hunter. Despite being a citizen of Cainhurst, who relished in their extravagant uses of blood, she favored her Rakuyo, which required dexterity and skill rather than blood to wield effectively.
At an unknown point in time, Maria forfeited her beloved weapon, tossing it down a well when she could stomach it no longer, and disappeared mysteriously into the Hunter's Nightmare.
Gehrman held a curious mania about her, even after she disappeared. The Doll was based on her, down to her facial features, yet sadly lacked her personality, leaving him bitter.
Now, Maria resides in the Astral Clocktower, looking after the disfigured patients that reside there, and guarding the "secret" of the Nightmare, the entrance to the Fishing Hamlet, where the Orphan of Kos can be found. She sits in a chair, seemingly lifeless until the Hunter tries to touch her.
StrategyLady Maria begins the battle using her Rakuyo and Evelyn. She can also trick her weapon between the whole form (A double bladed sword) and the half form (A katana and dagger), for moveset changes and fluent combo weaving. When her health nears the halfway point she will back away quickly, then plunge her blades into her chest. Not only does this cause a large explosion but she also unlocks powerful new moves. Using her own blood, Maria enhances both the katana and dagger halves of her Rakuyo, as the blood seems to have solidified on the blade. At this point in time Maria is essentially dual wielding two oversized Chikage katanas in the tricked form (Covered in the user's blood). This will not only increase her damage, but also her attack range while adding residual blood damage. Because of the blood trail left in the air after each of her slashes it is possible to get hit TWICE. First taking blunt damage from the initial hit of her blades and blood damage from the following arc of her blood. When Lady Maria has one quarter of health left she levitates off the ground, causing another blood explosion. She has enhanced her Rakuyo again. This time with fire damage being added to her attacks. Her blades do not change whatsoever, and still remain how they were transformed in her second phase. The change can be seen in her attacks as every arc of blood left behind by her slashes metamorphose into a plume of fire. Now it is possible to get hit a maximum of THREE times at once. Blunt, Blood, and Fire damage.
The Cainhurst Set is one viable choice for fighting Lady Maria. The set's superior physical resistance hold up during the first half of the fight while the Cainhurst high blood resistance keeps it going for the second. Like the Living Failures, she does not have very high Arcane resistance, so the Holy Moonlight Sword's two-handed form is very effective.
Most of Maria's attacks can be avoided by dodging to her right side at the last second. Many of her moves require her to line up her attack first, giving The Hunter time to move or prepare. If not, a well timed dodge during one of her common attack windups can be a little more risky, but will still avoid The Hunter getting hit.
Maria can be staggered and knocked down like other hunters. The Augur of Ebrietas is useful for knocking her down briefly. Thus providing breathing room for the player.
Have a fast weapon and a firearm equipped. It is suggested to have the Clawmark runes equipped. Bolt Paper or Empty Phantasm Shell can be very effective in this fight. Don't use the Chikage or any other blood weapons, as Maria has high blood resistance.
In the first phase, stay far away from Maria. When she charges in to attack, take one of two actions. Either try to parry her, or dodge forward and slightly to the side. When parrying, note her weapons have a massive phantom hit box, and can stagger the player even if they parry correctly. Also, her attacks are fast, but have a large parry window. When dodging, not that dodging straight on will almost always result in being stun locked to death, especially in the later phases. After every dodge, attack one or twice, then create distance. On every successful parry, close in as fast as possible for either a combo or visceral. Her downed state is relatively quick, but even if the player misses, they may still get a four to five hit combo in. Try to keep a balance of normal attacks and parry attempts. She is not too dangerous in this phase, it's best to save vials and bullets for the next phases.
Phase two will start when she stabs herself, imbuing her weapons with blood. When she stabs herself, don't try to attack. The buff animation ends with a massive AoE that hits hard. Instead, use the time to heal and buff. From now on, stay very close to her. All of her attacks now have a massive blood extension that has a massive range, capable of spanning half the length of the room. Dodge forward and sideways, giving her extra space. She will be more aggressive in this stage. Parrying is more difficult now, because her attacks are sharper. It is still very possible. Keep trying to parry, as she throws long combos which are parry farms. There won't be many opportunities to heal, so prioritize staying alive over offense. Note, she will use charge attacks in this phase more frequently. When she does, get behind her and punish. Don't try to use a charged attack, there won't be enough time. Also note that her charged attacks have a very wide reach in terms of distance and behind her, even in the first phase.
Phase three starts when she floats up in the air and seems to suck all the blood splattered on the floor and walls into a vortex. Again, back off, heal, and buff. There won't be many opportunities to heal, so getting blood bullets and healing is recommended. Her attacks now do blood and fire damage. Maria also gains a new attack as well. Sometimes she will momentarily cross her arms then lunge forward, staggering the player if they are too close. She will not hesitate to run up and perform her OWN visceral attack. Maria's is unique unlike the other parry animations in the game as she appears to hug the player before ripping her arm out of their chest.
To finish the fight as fast as possible, use any remaining bullets. Keep close to her sides, and dodge frequently. This phase shouldn't last long as both participants will be attacking like crazy.
Overall, Maria fights like an experienced PVP fighter. Stay fast, parry often, and punish at every given opportunity.
|Click to see dialogue|
- The Cainhurst Set is a good Attire to wear in the fight against Maria, due to her high Blood damage.
- After defeating Lady Maria, her Set, becomes available at the Insight Bath Messenger.
- The weapon wielded by Maria, the Rakuyo, is hidden away at the bottom of a well in the Fishing Hamlet.
- Maria drops the Celestial Dial when slain in combat. It allows access to the secret hidden by the Astral Clocktower.
- Her voice actress is Evetta Muradasilova, the same woman that voices the Doll in the Hunter's Dream.
- Lady Maria bears a striking resemblance to the Doll, whom was presumably modelled after her by Gehrman, interestingly enough even the lumenflower broche on her neck is present in the Doll's attire, as well as flowery patterns on the Doll's clothing, which makes it obvious that Maria had a taken a liking to the flower.
- The animation of Lady Maria dying after she gets defeated is very similar to the animation for Gehrman. Both of them reach up toward the sky right before collapsing in a plume of white dust.
- The Maria Hunter Set worn by Lady Maria has the highest Blood Defense in the entire game, it is superior to the Cainhurst Set and Knight Set in that regard, this is only logical as it was likely made in Cainhurst, just like both other sets.
- Another interesting thing that ties a link between Cainhurst and her Set is that the trousers she wears have a pattern and overall look similar to the Male version of the Knight's Trousers, and Maria wears a black tie on her hair in the same fashion as the Male version of the Knight's Wig. Additionally, her garb dons a cape that only covers her left side, with a small chain around it, just like the Cainhurst Set and Knight Set.
- The massive internal clock in the arena of Lady Maria's battle holds familiar etches around the perimeter. On closer inspection, the symbols etched around the clock are Caryll Runes. Some are recognizable, while others are rune symbols that have never been seen before.
- It is possible that the design of the Rakuyo can be based off the hands of a clock. It can be split into two halves, one longer than the other for an hour and minute hand. Some of the battle stances made by Lady Maria also resemble certain positions on a clock for telling time.
- The version of the Rakuyo wielded by Lady Maria is different from the one that is available to the player. The player can wield the original Rakuyo, one that focused on skill and not on the power of blood as Maria was not fond of Blood Blades despite being related to Annalise. However, it is implied she could not bear its sight at a certain point in time and cast it down a well, replacing it then with a Blood Bladed Rakuyo, which is the one the players face against. This decision is unclear regarding its motivations, but it is possible she craved for more power, whether or not her intentions were pure.
- Some theories also state that she was part of the slaughter in the Fishing Hamlet, and as the old hunters departed the scene of their killing, she cast the blade she used into the well out of disgust. Due to the implication that the village and inhabitants were pulled into the Nightmare when the curse was triggered, it could be that the blade acquired is the real blade, and the one she uses in the fight is a Nightmare variant.
- She has a special Visceral Attack animation, in which she will hug the player character and put them into a position that looks as though she is whispering something in their ear before removing her hand from their chest.