The following is part 3 of a 3 part analysis of the Bloodborne Story Trailer released by IGN. If you have not watched it yet, I highly recommend doing so before reading this. Also, if you are otherwise unfamiliar with what is known about the lore and story of Bloodborne so far, I recommend reading this overview before continuing.
Finding the Story
The following is the dialogue from the trailer:
Welcome home, good hunter. What is it you desire?Iosefka
Yharnam is the home of blood ministration. You need only to unravel its mystery. But where's an outsider like yourself to begin? Easy, with a bit of Yharnam blood of your own. Whatever happens, you may think it all a mere bad dream.Gascoigne
Long ago old Yharnam was overrun by the plague of beasts and left to rot and decay and now the only voices heard there are the howls of beasts.Shrine Woman
Our thirst for blood satiates us, soothes our fears but beware the frailty of man.Man in the Chair
The blood makes us human, makes us more than human, makes us human no more.Doll
Good hunter, your presence somehow soothes. What is it you desire? ...And so the hunt begins again.
So what is going on here? From a narrative standpoint, I believe that we (the protagonist) are looking back upon previous events, symbolized by the wall of pictures. Doll's dialogue frames these events, acting similar to an envelope verse in poetry. I think what occurs between her lines is what will help to understand what she means when she asks at both the start and the end, "what is it you desire?".
While the scenes don't necessarily follow a chronology (multiple momentary flashes of different locations support this disjointed timeline, as well as it being something remembered), I think the dialogue does. From a narrative perspective, this is the protagonist looking back upon the events that lead up to this moment at the picture wall. From a thematic standpoint, I think the different narrators serve to separate the different themes and concepts Bloodborne will explore.
Yharnam is the home of blood ministration. You need only to unravel its mystery. But where's an outsider like yourself to begin? Easy, with a bit of Yharnam blood of your own. Whatever happens, you may think it all a mere bad dream.
It starts with Iosefka, which we know occurs at the beginning. We are looking for the "curative blood" (as far as we can presume), and we meet Iosefka at the clinic. We are transfused, kicking off the story. In addition, we are tasked with "unraveling its mystery", with the "it" implied to be Yharnam. This also serves as a catalyst to explore the other themes and concepts.
Long ago old Yharnam was overrun by the plague of beasts and left to rot and decay and now the only voices heard there are the howls of beasts.
Gascoigne represents the Scourge turning men into beasts. He also comments on the situation in Yharnam. He makes it very clear that Yharnam is beyond saving, that Yharnam is "left to rot and decay, and now the only voices heard there are the howls of beasts". The last part poses an interesting question: Why are the characters who remain in Yharnam there? In Gascoigne's case, the trailer makes it very clear that he is beyond saving, but what about the others?
Our thirst for blood satiates us, soothes our fears but beware the frailty of man.
The Shrine Woman introduces the appeal of "the blood" (which I am assuming to be the Yharnam Blood we are transfused with at the start). It is something that is coveted, perhaps even lusted, after. It is "satiates us" and "soothes our fears". This language sounds like she is talking about something addictive, akin to a drug. However, unlike any drug I am aware of, she ends her section ominously,warning of the "frailty of man", with the video showing her shadow reel back, presumably undergoing transformation.
Man in the Chair
The blood makes us human, makes us more than human, makes us human no more.
Where the previous narrator describes the appeal of the blood (Yharnam Blood), the Man in the Chair looks to be describing the effects of the blood. I think the first statement indicates that the blood can cure ills (for which Yharnam is known), the second statement seems to indicate that the blood can grant superhuman strength or abilities, and the third statement is alluding to the blood causing the Scourge and turning men into beasts. I speculate that these three statements might even be an order of events from first to last, relating to either the amount of Yharnam blood someone has or the length of time the Yharnam blood has been inside them.
At this point we return to Doll at the Hunter's Refuge, which I also believe is the "home" she was welcoming us to at the beginning. Instead of welcoming us though, she remarks that "your presence somehow soothes". What this means, I honestly am not sure, although Yharnam blood is also described as soothing, which could mean nothing or anything. After this, however, she returns to the big question: What is it you desire? We came to Yharnam to cure ourselves. After receiving a transfusion that may have simultaneously cured us and given us the Scourge, we are tasked with unraveling Yharnam's mystery. In our quest to unravel the mystery of Yharnam, we encounter men becoming beasts, people (ourselves included) craving blood, and that this blood we crave can either make us human, superhuman, or a beast.
As unsatisfying as this might be, I don't think there is an answer to the question at this point, and I think that is the point. Our reason for coming to Yharnam is quickly put to the side as all these other elements come crashing in on us, leaving our head spinning, with our only choice being to carry on. This sentiment is echoed by the video, as the trailer then shows us in the grip of the Cleric Beast, presumably to be pummeled into a paste moments later. It is at this point where Doll comes in for the final line: And so the hunt begins again. Both mechanically and from a story perspective we do not die when we fail, but we return to the Dream Refuge. This trailer is showing just that. The player has failed against the Cleric Beast, and is looking back upon all that is happened. The Doll asks us what we want. We don't know anymore, but that doesn't matter. We pick up our saw cleaver, and begin the hunt again. You know, its just what hunters do.
Part 1 of the analysis transcribes the trailer, documenting every scene and when it occurred, including speculation about the potential importance or connections scene have. You can find part 1 here.
Part 2 of the analysis focuses on information and hints derived from the analysis in Part 1, highlighting and speculating on the importance of the new footage from this trailer. You can find Part 2 here.