The Orphan of Kos is considered one of the toughest bosses not just in Bloodborne but of any Soulslike game. The final boss of The Old Hunters DLC, he’s found at the end of the Fishing Hamlet in the Hunter’s Nightmare. This boss is considered the ultimate test for players, and even the best are likely to struggle for a long while, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t beaten him yet.
A humanoid child of a Great One named Kos, the Orphan met its end when a group of Hunters and Byrgenwerth scholars, led by Gehrman and Lady Maria, attacked a Fishing Hamlet, experimenting on the inhabitants and desecrating the Great One’s corpse. As punishment for their actions, a curse was placed upon those responsible, whereby, when they and their successors died, they were condemned to the Hunter’s Nightmare. Only by finding and killing the Orphan to reunite it with its mother can the Nightmare end and the blood-drunk hunters find peace.
Unlike most other bosses, the Orphan of Kos has two phases. The first starts with him turning around and immediately attacking. The Orphan’s attacks are powerful, wild and unrelenting, using its sharpened placenta as a weapon, swinging it at you in several combos. These include a slash which you should dodge to the left, a plunge which requires you to dodge backwards, firing a blood-orb to be dodged sideways, a leaping slam in which you roll forward to get behind him and the yoyo-like placenta spin, which you need to dodge forward.
The second phase will begin after taking down half his health bar, when he transforms to seemingly grow wings, among other features. In addition to becoming far more aggressive, he gains new move sets that should be avoided by trying to stay at mid-range. These include blood-scatter shots that need to be dodged forward, a repeating swing that you need to dodge backward, a blood explosion in which to keep clear of the Orphan and calling down a lightning attack across most of the arena.
Since the Orphan is a highly aggressive boss, players will need to also play aggressively. There won’t be very many chances to get hits in against this boss, so players could use a fast weapon and quickly close in to attack him after dodging his attacks. Using slow, heavy weapons is a viable strategy for those patient enough, but it requires excellent timing and luck. It’s possible to parry the Orphan in both phases, opening the way for a visceral attack, but this can be incredibly difficult due to his agility and erratic behavior. Unless you’re quick on the draw with a firearm, it might be best to use the Loch Shield to mitigate damage from attacks that are very hard to dodge. This shield can be found in a hard-to-reach location within the Research Hall.
While the Orphan has no clear exploits when fighting him, he is vulnerable to blood, fire and bolt-based attacks, so carrying around some fire paper or bolt paper can add a bit of extra damage when getting some hits in. When fighting him in his second phase, avoid the beach and fight him in the water as the terrain is more even. This is also useful for when he summons electricity by screeching, so try to keep away from the corpse of Kos in the center of the arena.
Overall, players will need to rely on all the skills they’ve built up over the course of the entire game and its DLC, but even this might not be enough for your first try. Don’t let this boss discourage you and keep trying, but if you’ve lost multiple attempts in a row, it might be best to take a break. Orphan of Kos is a truly punishing boss, and taking some time to clear your head after a few frustrating runs might be what you need to claim victory.
After defeating the Orphan, players will be rewarded with 60,000 Blood Echoes and the Kos Parasite trick weapon. However, to get the achievement and finish the DLC, return to the Great One corpse at the center and attack a dark shade standing there. This will show a cutscene where his spirit is freed, and the curse of the Nightmare is lifted. Returning to the Doll in the Hunter’s Dream afterward will lead to extra dialogue, confirming that Gehrman played a part in the atrocity and that it weighed heavily on his conscience.
The Orphan of Kos is a brutal challenge for even the most skilled players, but this foe must be vanquished to end Bloodborne's long nightmare.