The world of Bloodborne is brimming with mysteries, hidden sidequests, items, and even NPCs. Such as the case with the consumable item called Vermin, which the developers added along with an NPC named Valtr in patch 1.07 for Bloodborne. However, Fromsoftware barely mentioned anything significant regarding the usage of this item other than advancement in rank within The League covenant.
Vermin Item Description
According to the Bloodborne item description, a Vermin is a centipede-like creature that League Hunters can find on successful cooperative hunts with other players. These vermins are only visible to League confederates, and are they are the root of all of man’s impurities. The League then assumed to find and destroy all of these vermins.
The description also mentioned that only those who choose to see the Vermin would see them, and these vermins provide them with eternal purpose.
While these descriptions are vague, much like the rest of the lore within Bloodborne, a few theories about the Vermin make a lot of sense. We will tackle those theories later on in this guide.
Where to Find These Vermin?
First, before you can find these Vermin, you have to talk to Valtr. Players can find Valtr inside the hut, right of the first lamp in the Forbidden Woods. Valtr will then ask you if you want to join the League; you have to say yes to this to continue his questline. After saying yes, Valtr will provide you with an Impurity Caryll Rune symbolizing the League.
With the Impurity Rune, you’ll be representing The League, and now you’re set to gather the Vermins. Here are a couple of ways to find these Vermins.
- You can obtain a Vermin through successful cooperative sessions as a Phantom. Keep in mind that you need to equip the Impurity rune, and the game will grant you a Vermin upon defeating the boss in the area.
- There are instances that if you’re not a member of The League, you may still be able to get a Vermin as a reward for completing the cooperative session. Note that this is not 100% guaranteed, unlike the 1st method.
- Accompanying other players in the Chalice Dungeon as a phantom will grant you a Vermin as well.
- Slaying Ludwig with Valtr as your summon provides one Vermin. You need to make sure that Valtr is alive until the end of the battle.
- Another boss that provides you with a Vermin is killing Laurence with Valtr as a summon again.
- There are three Old Hunters found in Hunter’s Nightmare that reward you each with a Vermin. One hunter that wields a Boom Hammer is at the rooftop access before getting to the Nightmare Grand Cathedral. The second hunter guards the Beasthunter Siaf, and the last hunter is at the Nightmare Church downstairs.
You don’t need to own the Old Hunter’s DLC to access this item; you only need to update your Bloodborne to at least patch 1.07. Then again, updating the game instantly upgrades it to patch 1.09, so you don’t have to worry about getting patch 1.07 specifically.
Valtr’s Questline: A Short and Weird Quest
Upon finding Valtr, he will ask you to join the League, and he’ll vaguely state that as a member of the League, you’ll need to squash all of the Vermins that you find. After joining the League, you will now be able to earn these Vermins.
You can squash one Vermin and then talk to Valtr afterward to unlock a few more dialogues; he will reward you with the League Staff and the League Oath (Gesture).
A hostile NPC will spawn next to the lamp upon receiving these rewards, using Madara’s Whistle. Killing the hostile NPC will grant you the Madara’s Whistle, which summons a poisonous snake to attack from the underground damaging yourself and your enemy in the process.
Gathering and destroying at least five Vermins will let you conclude the questline. Valtr will then reward you with a Master’s Iron Helm, which grants a reasonably fair resistance boost to your defense stats.
After finishing the questline and summoning Valtr, he will appear without the helm, revealing his face along with his long hair.
What Happens If You Attack Valtr?
Attacking Valtr will turn him hostile, and therefore his questline will instantly disappear. However, killing him will grant you a One-Eyed Iron helm. This One-Eyed Iron helm is similar to the Master’s Iron Helm, the only difference being the description.
There’s an easy way of killing Valtr; players can cheese Valtr by utilizing the elevator next to him. Trigger the elevator to go up, unlock the door on the opposite end of the elevator, attack him once, and run towards the outside. After running outside, quickly sprint back to the elevator and trigger the elevator to go down. This sequence will have Valtr chase you and fall to his death, quickly earning you the One-Eyed Iron Helm.
Theories About Vermin
The Vermin’s lore remains a mystery to most players of Bloodborne; At the same time, we do not have actual confirmation from FromSoftware about the origin and purpose of these Vermins. We do have a few clever theories, courtesy of a few Redditors.
This theory came from a deleted Reddit user. They stated that these Vermins came from a shared hallucination brought upon by the Impure Rune given by Valtr. The whole thing about Vermins being the root of every man’s impurity is crazy talk, and with the item description of Vermin stating that “Only the people who want to see them, can see them.” it certainly does prove a point.
Japanese Shinto Theory
Spiritual uncleanliness, defilement, corruption, Vilebloods, and vermins are related to Japanese Shinto beliefs. According to the idea, you gain a state of impurity through contact with a tsumi (Pollution) which can either be in the form of physical, moral, or spiritual. In Ancient Shinto, anything connected with death or the dead was pollution.
Well, how about that? It seems that Japanese Folklore regards centipedes as an impurity; being in contact with it also means that you’re polluting yourself.
This idea is also present at Fromsoftware’s next installment, Sekiro. There are instances of symbolic representation and even physical manifestations of these centipedes.
The idea of Vermins existing in the world of Bloodborne is through a hallucinatory state induced by the Rune. Thanks to a Redditor named boko03, this theory is an exciting way of interpreting these Vermins.
Boundless Purpose Theory
According to r/surray, the Vermins are not real and are once again only a self-induced hallucination brought upon by the Impurity Rune. Surray further elaborated this theory by saying that the players can choose to see the Vermins by equipping the Rune; hence the Rune grants the player Boundless Purpose. Man’s impurity is boundless, and it can never be rooted out.
This system of eternal purpose motivates hunters to fight a never-ending fight by providing members of the League a clear target (Vermins) to take their minds off the fact that they are killing what used to be former ordinary people. League hunters see vermin as something that fits their motivation to fight, and Valtr’s dialogue when he kills you further reinforces this theory.
Those are some of the theories that we have gathered so far; what did you think of those theories? Do you think these Vermins could be the same centipede creatures found in the Sekiro world? Please leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Vermin is definitely an odd item in the world of Bloodborne. FromSoft provided us with little to no context about its origins and what it actually does other than some vague description of what it MIGHT be. Hopefully, some of the theories from Reddit gave you an idea of what its purpose is in Bloodborne.