Shadow of Yharnam is the trifecta of pain and suffering wrapped in black cloaks that you'll encounter at the end of the Forbidden Woods zone. Unlike the majority of fights up until this point in Bloodborne, this match will be an all-out duel against three formidable foes at once – positioning and kiting will be keys to your success. It's a surprisingly nuanced fight, with multiple stages and a lot to consider.

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Each of the three enemies have vastly different movesets and equipment to one another, using them in tandem to bring about some lethal combos if allowed to gang up on you. The first wields a katana, and is often the most aggressive, constantly chasing you down to deliver some dangerous combos. The second uses a scimitar and candle – possibly the most dangerous of the three in a pinch. He will occasionally use the candle to blow fire at you, which can often finish your attempt then and there if you don't escape and pop Blood Vials with haste; do not let it hit you for extended periods. Thirdly, there's a mage that fires tracking fireballs to serve as little more than an annoyance.

There are three stages to the fight that are extremely important to pay attention to:

Stage 1: The three Shadows of Yharnam are utilising their standard attacks as mentioned above. The sword and scimitar types will aggressively pursue you, and the mage will relax in the centre of the arena casting fireballs at regular intervals.

Stage 2: Once one of the three enemies have been damaged beyond a certain threshold (around 20%), stage 2 will start. The mage will begin launching exploding fireballs into the air that can do heavy damage on hit, the scimitar wielder will light it on fire (providing an attack buff), and the sword wielder will become even more aggressive. All three will begin to extend their limbs further to attack from range, too, so be constantly aware.

Stage 3: It'll be down to a one-on-one fight when stage 3 starts. The last remaining shadow will gain the ability to summon enormous snakes from the bog surrounding the arena, which will attack you before disappearing. Certainly something to watch out for. It's possible to skip this phase entirely by finishing off the third opponent with constant attacks as soon as the second boss drops.

Recommendation: Deal with the sword wielder first, the candle user second, and the mage last. This allows you to skip Stage 3 entirely in most cases, as the final Shadow will be completely defenceless to close range attacks bar the occasional swing of a mace. Take care of the other two slowly and steadily, and then lay the smack down to quickly finish the fight.

In the early stage of the fight, it's of utmost importance to use the environment to your advantage. Try to position the giant gravestone near the right hand side of the battlefield between yourself and the mage, to help block some of the incoming fireballs. Kite the two melee users around the gravestone and arena in clockwise circles, rolling to dodge fireballs when needed and using the gravestone as cover to use Blood Vials when needed. You can either play defensively, swiping with your trick weapon whenever an opportunity presents itself, or take the riskier approach and try for a parry. It's certainly quite easy to parry the katana wielder and kill them speedily at the cost of some risks here and there.

The important thing to note here is that while the three Shadows of Yharnam progressively power up as the fight goes on, as soon as one is dead the battle as a whole will become much easier. Take your time, win the battle of attrition, and once you've made your first kill everything should become much more manageable. Then there's some space and time to pull off some heavily damaging attacks in quick succession.

Your rewards for victory are 20,460 Blood Echoes, two Insight points, and the Blood Rapture Caryll Rune. Congratulations, hunter!

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Have you beaten the Shadow of Yharnam yet? Do you have any tips to add? Take on three at once in the comments section below.