Bloodborne: How To Beat Father Gascoigne

Bosses are the highlight of FromSoftware games. They’re a chance to prove your mettle and use everything you’ve learned to take down a tough foe. They are also infuriating if you just can’t quite get the hang of them. Each boss requires a different tactic, mastery of a different game mechanic.

Father Gascoigne is the second boss in Bloodborne, or the first if you didn’t stumble upon the Cleric Beast. This fight is designed to test you on the fundamentals of Bloodborne, so if you aren’t too sure what they are, you’ll struggle. Here’s everything you need to know to beat him.

Father Gascoigne is a hunter, like you. That means he’ll be coming at you with the same tools and weapons you have access to. This fight is designed to teach you about the basic Bloodborne mechanics and how they differ from previous Souls games. You can’t just dodge roll anymore, you need to parry and rally. Gascogine wields a Hunter Axe and a Hunter Blunderbuss. His fight has three stages.

Stage One – Axe and Gun

In this phase, he’ll use both his axe and gun in devastating combinations. If you charge straight at him he’ll shoot and stagger you, so approach from the sides or rear to land an uninterrupted hit. After a couple of blows, he’ll disengage and fire his gun, so don’t get greedy and make sure you dodge to the side or behind him, not straight back. The best thing to do in this stage is to stagger his attacks with a well-timed gunshot. This will allow you to do a visceral attack and do massive damage.

Stage Two – Transformed Axe

Once you get his health down by about a third he’ll transform his axe into its two-handed variation. In this phase, he’ll use large, sweeping attacks to try and keep you away from him. His range is pretty good and his front and side defense is great, so try and stay behind him to get your attacks in. Staggering him is still the best tactic here though. His attacks have a long and obvious wind-up, so exploit them and rip his guts out. Stay behind him or stagger him and you’ll get through this phase okay.

Stage Three – Beast Mode

Once you get him below half health, Gascoigne will transform into a rampaging beast. This is here to teach you that this game and its inhabitants are messed up. He’ll ditch his weapons entirely and transform into some sort of horrific werewolf, snarling, clawing, and kicking his way towards you. He is brutally fast in this mode and his claw attacks can combo you very easily, so watch out. He is especially susceptible to fire in this form, as all beasts are, so douse him and oil and throw some molotovs at him if you want an edge. He can still be staggered, although it’s a lot scarier trying to do it to a rampaging beast than a dude in a cloak.

General Tips

Be aware of your surroundings. Getting caught on the gravestones can get you killed, especially if you get stuck when trying to run from a beast combo. Try and stick to his back and sides, taking advantage of the rally mechanic to regain your lost health before you decide to break off and heal with a vial. Also, if you have the Tiny Music Box, it can be used to stun him three times in the fight, but this will make him transform earlier, so use it wisely.

Next: Bloodborne: Every Hunter Tool (& Where To Find Them)

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Issy is an avid film lover, writer, and game-player based in Leamington Spa, England. He combines his love of film and games in his writing, trying to find as many connections between the two mediums as possible. When he’s not writing, playing, or watching, Issy loves to DJ and look after his growing collection of houseplants, as they make him feel more adult.

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