|Ludwig the Accursed/Holy Blade|
His lower body is thin, apparently flayed and sports four asymmetrical but strong hooved legs, while his upper torso is a portrait of pure madness: between two long arms with large sharp tallons, protrudes a disproportionate hunch that shows a circular maw lined inside with irregular teeth and clusters of eyes, and his face; apparently blind from the right eye, is a melted visage of wrinkled skin and crooked teeth, stretched over an elongated head vaguely resembling that of a horse.
"Ludwig was the first of many Healing Church hunters to come, many of whom were clerics. As it was, clerics transformed into the most hideous beasts."
Ludwig was a hunter affiliated with the Healing Church. Under Ludwig's leadership, the Healing Church gained its own core of hunters, led by Ludwig himself under the patronage of the Healing Church. Ludwig trained his hunters to be "honorable spartans", and even trained ordinary Yharnamites as hunters, effectively uniting the populace and using it to combat the scourge.
Ludwig wielded a mystical greatsword, that he himself discovered, that allowed him to channel the "abyssal cosmos". Ludwig looked to the sword, and the tiny beings of light that surrounded it, for guidance, allowing Ludwig to empty his fears, even in the middle of a hunt.
Despite seemingly being respected, Ludwig had his detractors, who appear to have disagreed with his methods and not appreciated his hunters. These detractors dismissed Ludwig as a "beast-possessed degenerate", and Ludwig suffered much denigration at their hands.
At some point, Ludwig succumbed to the bloodlust and mutated into a horrifying beast, a terrible cross between horse, wolf and man. He was trapped in the Hunter's Nightmare, and completely lost himself to the blood.
Before entering the boss fight it is advised you summon Old Hunter Henriette. She can be summoned by the messengers under the Nightmare Church spawn lamp. It costs 1 insight each time you summon her so have your strategy ready beforehand.
Much like The One Reborn, Ludwig has limbs in a variety of locations, making it difficult to attack him. These flailing atrocities cause blunt damage when struck by them. A set of legs on his rear can kick at you should you try to attack from behind, while other arms scattered throughout will swipe at you when given the chance. His front is host to his two primary arms, which will perform wide, heavily damaging sweeps. A good place to start would be his left side, which has only a single frail appendage. If you stay too far away, he will occasionally spit a damaging fluid at you. You can boost your damage with Bolt Paper or the Empty Phantasm Shell,but Fire Paper is the best by a small margin.
When he screams and grips to the ceiling, it can be difficult to dodge, and watching the blood drip can be immensely demoralizing. It is best to dodge a small moment after his scream ends, as he will instantly yell again on his way down, allowing one to listen for his first scream to end so that they can time their dodge to avoid his attack.
A second phase begins when he sustains damage equivalent to 50% of his health, and he seemingly gives out and falls to the ground. A cutscene plays where he looks up and eyes his Holy Moonlight Sword with the more human-like side of his face, before saying "Aah, you were at my side all along." "My true mentor....my guiding moonlight". He then picks it up, and holds it in a stance, before resuming the fight under the name "Ludwig, the Holy Blade". In this phase, Ludwig swings at you with his sword, which has somehow grown in scale to match his size. He will also launch arcane attacks at you, ranging from relatively small AoE's to ranged waves of moonlight. Of note is a particular attack where Ludwig raises the Sword high over his head, charging it with arcane energy, before slamming onto the ground, releasing a massive blast that blankets the entire area in front of him. As this attack can potentially one-shot you, you can either attempt to stagger him during the charge-up sequence or run to the other side of the boss arena. The Executioners set is the best armour for the entire fight as it provides great blunt and arcane resistance. Equipping Arcane Lake runes is also highly recommended.
|Up on meeting||"Ahh, ahh, please... help us... Ah...|
An unsightly beast...
(Most likely these words were from the corpses nearby)
|"Aah, you were at my side, all along.|
My true mentor...
*pick up his Holy Moonlight Sword *
Talk to his head after battle while NOT wearing Church Hunter attire
|"Good hunter, have you seen the thread of light?|
Just a hair, a fleeting thing, yet I clung to it, steeped as I was in the stench of blood and beasts.
|Talk to his head after battle while wearing Church Hunter attire||"Good Hunter of the Church,|
Have you seen the light?
|(Answer yes)||"Ah, good...that is a relief.|
To know I did not suffer such denigration for nothing.
|(Answer no)||Oh, my.|
Just as I feared.
- Ludwig is no longer considered a beast in his 2nd phase, so serrated weapons will no longer get the bonus. It is obviously because his sentient sense has come back replacing his animalistic instinct He attacks The Hunter, possibly thinking the Hunter is a blood drunk hunter imprisoned in the nightmare.
- After the battle, you can find his severed head lying near the stairs. If you're wearing church-related attire, he will address you as a "good hunter of the church" and ask you if his Church Hunters are "the honorable spartans I hoped they would be." Answering "yes" will cause him to thank you for letting him know that he did not suffer for nothing. He then quietly dies and the Holy Moonlight Sword spawns on his corpse. Answering no will cause him to mope for a bit before dying.
- Alternatively, not wearing any church-related attire will cause him to ask tell you about a "thread of light" he once clung to. After his dialogue is finished, he will break out in a fit of bestial giggles and shrieks, with the occasional horse sound in between. Killing him is the only way to acquire the sword at this point, as his shrieks seem to have no end.
- For another way out, you can simply leave Ludwig's head untouched and leave the area and come back. Simon will kill him for you, and give you his Sword.
- While most beasts are wolflike or apelike in nature, Ludwig is horselike in his deformities, and the only beast to have such a unique appearance.
- Much like the Abhorrent Beast the Afflicted Beggar turns into, Ludwig still retains his cognitive functions and the ability to speak.
- The Guidance rune was discovered by Ludwig and is directly associated with him. There is also a theme regarding "rallying mechanics" and Ludwig himself. Since rallying is the act of recovering health by attacking, shortly after being attacked, this could perhaps be what ultimately fueled his bloodlust. Even the Holy Moonlight Sword itself possesses high "rally potential". It can also even be theorizedthat since Ludwig calls his sword, "My true mentor. My guiding Moonlight.", that the sword itself was that which transcribed the Guidance rune unto him.
- Ludwig is likely named after Ludwig Van Bethoven, the musical composer of the "Moonlight Sonata". The reasoning behind it must be due to Ludwig wielding the Holy Moonlight Sword.
- ↑ Sword Hunter Badge description from Bloodborne.