Bloodborne Has The Most Brilliant NPC In Soulslike History, Hidetaka Miyazaki Won’t Take Credit For It

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FromSoftware’s 2015 gothic masterpiece, Bloodborne, enchanted players with the beautiful world of Yharnam, teeming with grotesque characters and intriguing lore. The game released exclusively on PS4, where it remains to this day, despite overwhelming pleas to release an updated version on PS5 and PC.

One particular figure of interest in the game is The Doll, a mysterious porcelain construct residing in the Hunter’s Dream. In an interview, game director Hidetaka Miyazaki shared some fascinating insight on the creative process behind The Doll.

Miyazaki Wasn’t The One To Implement The Idea

Miyazaki had a rough idea, but it was Masaru Yamamuru who implemented The Doll's mechanics in the game. Image credit: The New Yorker
Miyazaki had a rough idea, but it was Masaru Yamamura who implemented The Doll’s mechanics in the game. Image credit: The New Yorker

Speaking with Future Press, Miyazaki acknowledged The Doll’s ability to react to gestures and her “oddly soothing” presence. When asked about the creator of the idea, he said:

“I think that sprang out from my assorted ramblings on the forum, but it was [Masaru] Yamamura, one of the designers, who actually implemented it. That was a pretty busy period during development, I think, but he managed to make the time to do it and tell me, ‘Hey, Miyazaki, check out this thing I made.’ I gave him the OK for that immediately, of course.”

Miyazaki’s humble attribution of the gesture interaction to Masaru Yamamura aside, this seemingly minor detail speaks volumes about The Doll’s intended role. In a world ravaged by madness and violence, the Doll offers a fleeting moment of human connection, a reminder of a gentler reality that may have existed before Yharnam’s decline. Miyazaki confessed,

Ever since the Demon’s Souls days, I’ve always had problems coming up with heroines for our games, but I really like that doll, including her design. Hopefully, the gamers who play it will think the same way.”

Miyazaki is evidently grateful for the Doll’s presence in Bloodborne, admitting that writing female characters has always been tough for him.

The Doll’s Role in Bloodborne

The Doll is a benevolent, gentle, but mysterious NPC in Bloodborne. Image credit: FromSoftware
The Doll is a benevolent, gentle, but mysterious NPC in Bloodborne. Image credit: FromSoftware

The Doll is first seen in the Hunter’s Dream as an inanimate porcelain doll. Later in the game, she’s reanimated and serves as the central hub for player progression, allowing hunters to level up after slaying beasts and consuming Blood Echoes.

While speculation about her true origin is a point of debate, it’s widely believed that she is a creation of Gehrman, made to resemble Lady Maria, a student he was fond of who went missing. Gehrman crafted the Doll as a perfect replica of Maria to keep him company and assist the hunters who entered the Hunter’s Dream.

The Doll’s interactions with the Hunter are marked by both respect and a subtle fondness. Her soft-spoken demeanor and obedient gestures indicate a deep regard for the Hunter. However, the Doll grapples with the authenticity of her own emotions, conflicted by whether they’re real or artificial.

The Doll shows unwavering support to the Hunter. Image credit: FromSoftware
The Doll shows unwavering support to the Hunter. Image credit: FromSoftware

Despite this uncertainty, the Doll possesses unwavering loyalty to the Hunter. She wholeheartedly accepts her role as a guide and caretaker within the Hunter’s Dream. This dedication is evident in every Bloodborne ending, where she either continues to serve the Hunter or wishes them good luck.

Ultimately, the beauty of the Doll lies in her soothing, gentle nature amongst the beautifully horrifying Yharnam. Moreover, it stands as a testament to the incredibly creative developers at FromSoftware. Whether it’s a hilarious recurring character like Patches, or a poignant entity like The Doll, no one does NPCs better than them.

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