The Mermaid Princess is encountered in the airship during the "Mermaid Princess" chapter. She is the boss form of Clara.
Rule of Rose
Before the boss battle, Clara is seen being led miserably into a bedroom by Hoffman. The battle occurs in a room with a bed looking very similar, if not, the same as the one on Hoffman's study, where the scene after the battle takes place; this may be another hint at Clara's backstory.
A pair of feet attached to a long rope are viewed at the head of the bed. The rope is attached to a strange, pulley-like mechanism which starts to spin, and the Mermaid Princess is then lifted up from the bed via the rope.
The boss appears to very much resemble Clara in a horrific mermaid form. Her mermaid-like appearance is possibly the possible sexual abuse as perceived by Jennifer, who, at the time of her experiencing the traumatic event, could not understand what was going on. The boss is topless and unlike Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Clara is not even given a clam-shell bra or any bra of sorts.
She appears to have slits and stitches all over her body, which could possibly represent mental scarring, self-mutilation, or suicidal ideation; she also has very long nails. She has red gills on the sides of her torso. On her abdomen area, there is one long vertical slit which seems to be stitched or stabled shut, possibly hinting at a c-section or abortion from Hoffman.
She is bound by a rope, which could symbolize Clara's inability to be free and escape the orphanage and her sexual abuse by Hoffman. The rope may also symbolize Clara's wish to "keep her legs together"; or even to not have a human reproductive system for Hoffman to violate in the first place, which may be why she and Diana had dreamt of becoming mermaids.
Her attacks consist of swinging her arms in order to hit anyone in the way, and vomiting a toxic, green substance on the floor. The amount of health she has left sometimes determines the spill of the vomit. The vomiting could be interpreted as a case of morning sickness, a result of pregnancy, from the possible sexual abuse she suffered from Hoffman. It could also be interpreted as a representation of bulimia, a mental illness that is very commonly co-morbid with depression and anxiety. During the battle, Clara's laughter can be heard, which morphs into screaming and crying, resembling mood swings.
Some useful preparations before fighting her:
- The player should stock up on as much health items as possible before entering the room - if needed, have Brown search for them since there are some in the chapter.
- If you're playing on an emulator, consider using a widescreen hack. The extra field-of-view on the left and right side of the screen can help immensely when figuring out where Clara drop next. Also, consider using save states.
- It is recommended to use the Meat Cleaver, a weapon found just before the boss battle. It takes about 30 slices with the Meat Cleaver to defeat Clara. Only successful hits are indicated by blood splatters. If playing on an extra new game, then use one of the Master weapons.
Clara is somewhat infamous to players of the game as being one of the harder bosses, even to the point of ragequit. As there is no difficulty level in the game, the requirements to defeat her are the same for every player. This battle can also be considered an endurance test. It should not take more than about 10 minutes. 5-10 minutes should be the average length of the battle.
- At the very beginning, it is recommended to place Brown in a corner and tell him to stay so that he won't become a distraction during the fight.
- It is recommended Jennifer is always constantly moving around in the center of the room in a somewhat small circle (this ensures Clara will always appear on-screen), watching for Clara to drop down, or else Clara may drop down on Jennifer and injure her if Jennifer stands still.
- Listen to Clara's scream to know when she is about to drop down. As soon as Clara comes down, rush to her and hit her as many times as possible with the cleaver as quickly as possible (max is 4), then immediately rush away to avoid an attack. It does not really matter if Jennifer attacks from the side, front or back.
- If Clara drops down near the bed, do not attack her because it is more difficult to do so.
- Don't rush to her if she drops down too far away, as Jennifer will most likely be vomited or hit.
- If Jennifer is in Clara's vomit, she should wait until it disappears or else she may be damaged trying to escape.
- If Jennifer is knocked down, immediately get back up by wiggling the analog stick.
- Video strategies are here and here.