Bloodborne Through the Deep Dream Generator Gets Pretty Cosmic

By Rich Stanton on at

Bloodborne is probably my favourite game ever made. I've written flowing panegyrics to Fromsoft's masterpiece, huge lore teardowns, a beginner's guide, explored the cut content, and delighted in the tributes of fellow players. It's a game that, once experienced, continues to live on in your mind for a long time, its ambiguities and visions seeming to morph as your understanding deepens. "Grant us eyes" say certain enlightened NPCs, wishing for the insight that will let them better comprehend the cosmos, and we acolytes repeat it.

The game's world is structured in a highly unusual way. Bloodborne has several locations and, not to put too fine a point on it, they all seem to be dreams or nightmares. You can inhabit the dreams of others in this universe, and certain life is powerful enough to create its own enveloping plane of consciousness. It was while in a half-awake state myself that I was browsing the Bloodborne subreddit, and noticed a post by user dat_picklepee sharing some Bloodborne images that they'd put through a deep dream generator. Now, their images are much better than anything I produced, but the idea immediately struck me as a good one.

(Image credit: dat_picklepee)

Just gorgeous isn't it. But that's only one of the many styles this very odd website lets you apply to any image, so of course while doing other things I've been steadily uploading whatever old Bloodborne screenshots I could find on my PC. And I had quite a lot!

This is the sunflower before the Astral Clocktower, the place where you fight The Living Failures. I suppose it's worth emphasising that the 'deep dream generator' has three different settings, only one of which really pertains to dreams. The 'deep dream' setting is built around an algorithm that tries to identify shapes and images in your original, then make visual associations. Which leads to stuff like this.

Full marks for the text / image combo here. This is probably the most Bloodborne-y result I got.

The other two settings are less to do with dreams and more about applying cool visual filters. This was where I ended up spending most of my time.

 My hunter in the Cainhurst Knight's set looking utterly hashtag swag.

The tortured, burning husk of Laurence, the first vicar.

The depths of the Fishing Hamlet.

Making Contact with the rotten Great One summoned and imprisoned by Mensis.

Ludwig the Accursed remembers, just for a moment, that he was once a hero.

This is the elevator up to the Research Hall, the statue on which I've always found fascinating. In my personal head-canon, this statue represents what happened with the Orphan of Kos and Master Willem.

 Another cheery scene from the Research Hall. This filter almost makes the game look like a wood carving.

The Astral Clocktower, in gaudy hues.

My hunter buffs his weapon as he approaches Ludwig the Accursed, charcoal style. I was in two minds about whether to crop the images or not, to remove the UI elements. In the end I decided I quite liked how they kept that link to the game, a reminder of the image's origin.

Ludwig again, taking a cubist-style greatsword to the knackers.

Exploring the river of blood in the Hunter's Nightmare. Damn son, I need to print out some of these for my walls.

A visceral attack in full effect.

A view from the Hunter's Nightmare.

Claude Monet never painted Bloodborne, but if he did...

A hunter face-off. This one made me think of a Tim Burton Bloodborne movie for some reason.

The altar of despair, where a ROM-like corpse lies while Ebriatas mourns it.

Ah, my favourite trick. Disguised as a bunch of messengers, just waiting for another hunter to walk by...

This one's so warped I can't quite make it out where the shot's from, though look at how gorgeously it brings out the trick weapon.

 Picasso was a big fan of the chalice dungeons.

I thought that recent Bloodborne comic book was rubbish. But I'd buy a whole book full of images like this.

The Orphan of Kos emerging from his dead mother's corpse. Bloodborne is a cheery game.

Jolly co-operation!

The corpse of Kos.

That's what we like to see. You can almost feel the blood whooshing around and back to Formless Oedon.

Overlooking the corpse of Kos, next to a grave with a single sunflower on it. I always think this was one of Lady Maria's final acts before, consumed by guilt, she took her own life.

The hunter meets the Moon Presence.

The Hunter's Dream.

"It always comes down to the hunter's helper to clear up after these sorts of messes."

The Moon Presence.

My brain right now: gotta play Bloodborne again. It really is the best. Thanks for checking out these silly images anyway, and thanks again to dat_picklepee for the inspiration. Do check out the deep dream generator yourself, and come to Mergo's Loft (Middle) at midnight tonight if you want an ass kicking.