Video Game / Blood
Our "hero"

Caleb, Blood

"Looks like there's killing to do..."
Caleb, Blood II: The Chosen

In a region renowned for cruelty, Caleb was legendary. Born in western Texas in 1847, he had already acquired the reputation of a merciless gunfighter by the age of 17. His bloodthirstiness took on a menacing new timbre not long afterwards, when he entered the Cult of Tchernobog, but the real massacre started when he was betrayed and discarded by his master, the Dark God Tchernobog himself...

A 1997 First-Person Shooter from Monolith Productions, based on the Build engine, Blood was one of the most unusual shooters of its time. It featured a mix of horror and deadpan humor, a charismatic Anti-Hero, an arsenal of exotic weapons and, of course, lots and lots of the eponymous red liquid. Playing as Caleb, a former pet murderer of an evil deity who was betrayed and transformed into an undead monstrosity, you go on a quest to avenge/harvest the powers of your former True Companions who did not manage to rise again and use them to wreak all kinds of unholy hell upon Tchernobog.

In 1998, a sequel was created; Blood II: The Chosen. Running on the new LithTech engine developed in-house by Monolith, it took place exactly one century after the first game, featuring the Cabal's attempts to kill Caleb and take back the powers of Tchernobog, while Caleb's disuse of the dark god's powers accidentally summons abominations from another dimension. It was critically received as lacking the spirit or fun of the original game.

Both games and their expansions can now be purchased digitally from and Steam.

For tropes about blood, see Bloody Tropes.

Hold on tight, these tropes might get a little... bloody:

  • Abnormal Ammo: From the relatively-speaking mundane (pesticide grenades on the M16's attached grenade launcher in Blood II) to the freaky (trapped souls for the Life Leech in the first).
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: E3L3, "Raw Sewage", features an entire level of it. Before that, E2L2 "The Lumber Mill" has an absurdly spacious cesspool under a latrine. Blood II has the fifth level, "Steam Tunnels", one of the longest of the game.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: One of the weapons is a spray can, which can be combined with Caleb's trusty lighter for this effect, or lit on fire and thrown as an impromptu bomb.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: The secret level of the first episode, "House of Horrors", complete with a "fun" ride on a water slide, and caged enemies.
  • Anachronism Stew: Guessing when these games take place is a chore Blood II implies that Blood started out around 1928, but the presence of wall switches and outlets, jukeboxes and many other "modern" items stick out, plus the "Farewell To Arms" levels, that seems to take place during World War II.
    • Cryptic Passage takes place in the Carpathian Mountains of Europe... except that every sign you see is in English, and your trek down a river is on a 1970s Mississippi Queen-style riverboat. And again, evidence suggests the expansion is set in the 1930s but the technology seen (small communication radios, a motorized speedboat) is too recent for that.
    • Caleb uses an aerosol can and a Zippo lighter as weapons in the first game, even though neither existed in the 1920's. Neither did the jerry cans which the Napalm Launcher uses as ammo: they are a WWII era German invention, as their name implies. His shotgun of choice in the first game likewise appears to be a Rossi Overland, which didn't enter production until 1978, a full 50 years after when the game supposedly takes place.
    • For The Nightmare Levels expansion, Monolith had apparently completely forgotten the Chosen were originally from the 19th century. For example, sorority girls from The '50s in what's supposed to be the mid-1800s.
  • And I Must Scream: The Soul Drudges in the second game are living humans whose bodies are controlled by Bone Leeches but who are still conscious and aware of what they're doing. The leech forces its host to sew its mouth shut to keep it from screaming.
  • Attract Mode: there's a couple of demos playing on the title screen.
  • Badass Longcoat: Caleb. Ishmael also has some sort of long coat.
  • Bald of Evil: Ishmael is a straight example. Caleb is actually a case of Off-Model in the first game.explanation 
  • Ballistic Bone: Gargoyles fling them at you for a ranged attack.
  • Batman Gambit: Tchernobog fully intended for Caleb to return from the grave and seek vengeance, gaining power with each kill he made along the way. The intent was to then take over Caleb's body and use the new power to take over all realities, though this fails, with Caleb killing him and going on his merry way. Gideon was supposed to have his own gambit in Blood 2, but most of that subplot was cut before the game's release, so now he just wants Caleb dead for reasons that don't quite get explained beyond a generic revenge for the death of Tchernobog.
  • BFG: Originally, the Tesla Cannon and the Life Leech were the 8-inch cannons of Blood. The expansion pack added an alternate fire mode to the Incinerator (the "Rolling Thunder") that made it into the new, ultimate BFG of Blood. Blood II added a new, literal BFG: the Singularity Generator.
  • Big Bad: In Blood, Tchernobog. Blood II has Gideon, though he's not the final boss.
  • Black and Gray Morality: More like Black and Blacker Morality. Caleb is only the "hero" because he's trying to avenge his fallen comrades and not trying to take over the world, and while he kills a whole lot of people over the course of both games, it just so happens that 99% of them are part of the cult.
  • Black Speech: The language of the Cabal, Domus Durbentia. It's a nasty-sounding bastard child of Latin and Sanskrit. In the first game, all cultists speak it, and in some levels you also hear ominous chanting in this language. In Blood II, only the Zealots and Ishmael still remember the language, though you occasionally can hear a (normally English-speaking) Fanatic spouting a familiar curse.
  • Blood Bath: A magazine ad for the game featured a man, presumably Caleb, in a bathtub full of blood with this tagline:
    Blood? You're soaking in it.
  • Bloody Handprint: On the game's box.
  • Boss Rush: Blood makes you re-fight the earlier bosses before Tchernobog finally shows himself. Blood II makes you fight undead versions of the other three Chosen before fighting the Ancient One.
  • Bottomless Pit: Played with. Some pits are designed to be totally un-survivable, as you'll die even if you land with Jump Boots active, which normally totally negate fall damage.
  • Bottomless Magazines: A classic example: while you do have ammo limits, the only weapon across either game with an actual reload animation that is not a single-shot weapon is the sawed-off shotgun. Even then, the animation is skipped in the first game when you have the Guns Akimbo powerup.
  • Call-Back: Blood II features ringing telephones that you can answer across some levels. One phone in the third level does the same Hugh Jass joke a phone in the third level of the first game did. An elevator in the first chapter also has elevator music remixed from the secret level of Blood's last retail episode.
  • Campfire Character Exploration: In Blood 2's expansion pack "The Nightmare Levels", on their way back to Earth from another dimension, the Chosen sit around a campfire and each one tells a story from his or her past. This leads to playing the four contained levels.
  • Cast from Hit Points: In the original game, the Life Leech will use HP as ammo if you run out of trapped souls.
  • Cherry Tapping: The pitchfork. Killing an opponent with it is sheer humiliation. Killing zombies with it is often necessary to save ammo.
  • Circus of Fear:
    • The Dark Carnival level in the first game, with the appropriate Creepy Circus Music (made especially creepy by the calls of the barkers and the laughter of children).
    • The circus Ishmael (who was the old Jojo The Idiot Circus Boy) escapes from in his backstory, as seen in The Nightmare Levels.
  • Cliffhanger: The four Chosen are left in an alternate reality at the end of Blood II, and make no real progress towards getting out in the expansion. The end text for Blood II even lampshaded this:
    "Does Caleb really close the rift? Does Ophelia get her two-minutes of gift? What the heck happened to Gabriel... er, Gabriella? What if Ishmael can't get home? And, where did he get those tattoos? Tune in next time on: As 'It burns, it burns'. Enjoy these answers and more soon... we promise."
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments: The first chapter of Blood II goes all out with this, with a laundromat and the surrounding area from level 2 being revisited twice before the chapter is over (to the point that, during your first visit, you can use noclip to get through the secret door you leave through during the second and completely skip everything between). On top of that, Chapter 2 begins with basically the same map Chapter 1 did, with Caleb even lampshading that the level ends the same way.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Considering CabalCo is essentially a public face for the evil, mystical cult of Tchernobog, Gideon couldn't be anything else.
  • Creepy Circus Music: "Dark Carnival".
  • Cult: The Cabal, the cult of Tchernobog.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Well, most of it is, but Tchernobog is technically a neutral force who assumes the personality traits of his host.
  • Dead Character Walking: Blood has a glitch where, on occasion, enemies who are killed by being set on fire would continue to run around in their on-fire animation indefinitely, (usually) unable to damage you but also invulnerable to everything but splash damage.
  • Dead Man's Trigger Finger: Cultists who burn to death fire off their tommy guns in a short burst while their burning flesh falls from their bones.
  • Dead Weight: Bloated Butchers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Caleb, most definitely an undeadpan snarker.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: Ophelia, Ishmael, and Gabriel die alongside Caleb in Blood's intro. Caleb inexplicably comes back in the first game, and the other three are revived during the course of Blood II through use of the Singularity Generator. There's also Tchernobog, who due to the nature of his reincarnation, has died and come back at least 15 times before Caleb somehow permanently killed him.
  • Degraded Boss: The stone gargoyle, giant spider, and Cerberus are first introduced as end-episode bosses before becoming common enemies in later episodes.
  • Determinator: Even death didn't put Caleb down for good.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Singularity Generator manages to be unpredictable enough that it revives the rest of the Chosen, even turning the first one from a man to a woman. Once the scientists who created it have it working the way it should, Caleb bursts in, kills them, and steals it.
  • Difficulty Levels: Unlike many other Build engine games, Blood 1's difficulty levels don't just determine the placements and amount of enemies on each map, they also determine various properties and the vitality of monsters.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Tchernobog in the first game, the Ancient One and Gideon's second form in the second.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: "Ugh, I hate mimes."
  • Expansion Pack: Both games have seen one or two expansion packs after release.
    • Blood has Cryptic Passage and Plasma Pak. The former is a third-party expansion that adds a new "Cryptic Passage" episode and four multiplayer maps, while the latter adds another episode titled "Post Mortem" along with new multiplayer maps, new weapon modes, new enemies, and additional bug fixes.
    • Blood II: The Chosen has The Nightmare Levels expansion, which adds new single-player sequences, some extra multiplayer maps, extra options, and new bug fixes.
  • Exploding Barrels: Literal barrels, filled with TNT.
  • Eye Beams: Stone gargoyles have them. Tchernobog has a different variant: he can set things in his line of sight on fire.
  • Everything Fades: Cultist bodies in Blood disappear after a little while unless they're killed with some kind of fire damage. All gibs in Blood II disappear over a short period of time, save for the heads of gibbed corpses.
  • Evil Laugh: At least a third of Caleb's lines are various sinister laughs. He sometimes lets out a particularly awesome cackle when scoring a poly-kill.
  • The Faceless: Zealots in Blood II are this, by way of a Cool Mask which completely covers their heads, even the eyes. The game's manual suggests that they either no longer need their eyes to see, or the process of becoming a Zealot causes them to Go Mad from the Revelation and become afraid to see anything.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Gideon is reduced to nothing but his skull after he fights Caleb. At the beginning of the Nightmare Levels expansion it's revealed his soul was trapped within it. He's surprisingly not bitter about it, though, figuring he'll "serve as a muse to some unfortunate playwright" someday, and in the meantime deciding to narrate the continuing adventures of Caleb and company to the player.
  • Fiery Redhead: Ophelia Price.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Gideon serves the role of this for the Nightmare Levels expansion.
  • Fish People: The Gill Beasts, amphibious sea monsters that are very fast and dangerous underwater, but become slow, bipedal walkers on land.
  • Flipping the Bird: When they spot you, the Hands in Blood II will gleefully stop, "stand" on their wrists and give you the one-finger salute.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • A glitch in certain versions of Blood made it impossible to shake off Choking Hands once they've attached to you.
    • E4M5: Fire and Brimstone was also missing a key in one version of the game that prevented the player from finishing the level without cheats.
  • Gatling Good: The Minigun in the second game has the highest DPS potential of any bullet-firing weapon in the game. Gabriella has it as her Weapon of Choice. Extra Crispy turns the combat shotgun into one, with four barrels that revolve for a very fast rate of fire.
  • Gender Bender: Gabriel somehow gets brought back to life as a woman in Blood II.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom/Undeath: Even before their resurrection, all of the Chosen's eyes glowed a bright red.
  • Grand Theft Me: Tchernobog reincarnates by allowing someone to kill his current form and then taking over the body of the one who killed him. His new form often influences the direction the Cabal takes, considering it was formed in the first place so Tchernobog would always have a new body to reincarnate into; the Cabal became the religious cult it is in the first game after Tchernobog took the form of a monk. This was the basis for his plan in the first game, betraying Caleb so he would go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, killing scores of the cult and making himself powerful enough for Tchernobog to "throw open the door between the worlds and inherit the Earth" upon possessing him; somehow, however, Caleb doing exactly this only manages to give him the god's powers without the bit where Tchernobog takes control - presumably Caleb became even more powerful than Tchernobog expected.
  • The Grim Reaper: Phantasms, miniature Grim Reapers that are only vulnerable when they become corporeal. They often startle players by ambushing them with their persistent screaming and creepy smile.
  • Guide Dang It!: There is only one Death Ray in the second game, and it's very well-hidden. If you don't have a flashlight, you're not likely to find it without resorting to a guide.
  • Guns Akimbo: The first game featured it as a power-up that only worked for about a minute; the second game let you dual-wield certain weapons indefinitely by picking up a second one, at the cost of that weapon's alternate firing mode. The Extra Crispy mod removes the altfire restriction and increases the number of guns that can be held akimbo to such a degree, you'd be excused to mistake Caleb for a gunzerker.
  • Hearts Are Health: When most enemies die, sometimes they drop "life essences" in the shape of hearts, which restore 20-25 HP depending on the game. The Life Seed super health pickup in Blood II is also a heart, though it floats above a sigil.
  • Hellhounds: Regular ones, and the larger, twin-headed Cerberus. Both have fiery breath.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels:
    • The first game's, from easiest to hardest, are Still Kicking, Pink on the Inside, Lightly Broiled, Well Done, and Extra Crispy.
    • The second game has Genocide (easy), Homicide (normal) and Suicide (hard).
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In the ending of the first game's second episode, Caleb tears out and eats the heart of his fallen comrade while paraphrasing the Bible, something about eating the flesh of the son of man.
  • Interface Screw: Hands and Bone Leeches will cause the screen to darken the longer they're latched on, simulating asphyxiation. Thieves and red spiders make the screen blurry and distorted, while also messing with the health and ammo counters. Green spiders make the screen flicker for a fraction of a second.
  • Kill It with Fire: Usually the best way to get rid of strong enemies like the Bloated Butcher. For that, Blood has the flare gun, the spray can and the napalm cannon. Blood II sees the return of all of these, with the exception of the spray can, which gets replaced by the glitched and mostly useless Die Bug Die sprayer.
  • Kill It with Water: Hellhounds, spiders and gargoyles die instantly if submerged in any liquid.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: There's a phone call in the second level of Blood II in which a lady asks "Mr. Cal-Eeb" if he is or has ever been a character in a video game. Caleb replies "You've gotta be kidding" and hangs up.
  • Legacy Character:
    • The Nightmare Levels reveals that this was the case for "JoJo the Idiot Circus Boy", the main attraction of the first game's Dark Carnival; Ishmael states that he was once JoJo, and his "nightmare" takes the form of the day when he answered Tchernobog's call and left the circus.
    • In a sense, Tchernobog himself is this, although it's more like jacking a new body for the original to keep living with - the entire point of the Cabal, at least at first, was to always have people on standby to provide him with a new body if his current one ever dies. By the time of the first game, Tchernobog is into his sixteenth reincarnation, with plans to make Caleb number seventeen.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: There are no good guys. On one hand you have a cult trying to summon a dark god, murdering anyone they want to and experimenting on the rest. On the other side you have one of their failed projects, a sadistic revenant named Caleb who was one of those cultists and also is murdering anyone he feels like. At least Caleb is fighting to avenge his wife and best friends, and has a sense of humor (however dark it may be).
  • Lightmare Fuel: The games can get genuinely scary. It doesn't stop Caleb from tossing out one-liners or references and going into cackling fits at almost everything, and making the player laugh in the process.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: As befitting a Doom clone, the original game is chock full of them. This game in particular takes it Up to Eleven, with some levels having all six keys in them.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Subverted. Caleb had quite the taste for bloodshed long before he met Ophelia or that she died; she just added fuel to the fire.
    • Love Redeems: In a sense (since he continues to be the murderous psychopath he's always been even after the "redemption"). Caleb is initially only fighting the Cabal in Blood II because they keep preventing him from killing Gideon, and he doesn't give two shits about his status as the One That Binds following the death of Tchernobog or the ramifications such an attitude has on reality's continued existence. He noticeably stops snarking at Ishmael the very instant he learns Ophelia was brought back just like the other Chosen, when he hears she's being held at CabalCo's headquarters his priority more or less entirely shifts to rescuing her, and getting her back presumably plays a role in the other Chosen getting him to finally start doing his new job.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Plentiful. You can even attack the gibs.
  • MacGuffin: The backstory of the add-on Cryptic Passage has Caleb head out to find an ancient scroll, supposedly "capable of upsetting the balance of power in the otherworld". Not that it matters whatsoever what it is.
  • Made of Explodium: Even by GoldenEye-era FPS standards, some rather unusual things in 2 explode in a burst of flame when damaged enough, such as vending machines and refrigerators. This is, of course, assuming it's not a machine that bursts into Ludicrous Gibs when destroyed... or a corpse that explodes into a shower of metal parts, because this game is weird.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Starting point of the fourth episode. There's also a level late in Blood II that qualifies, in which you get to kill the Mad Scientist in question and steal the BFG he's tried to attack you with during various cutscenes across the game.
  • Mana Meter: Focus in Blood II, used to power supernatural weapons like the voodoo doll, Life Leech and The Orb. Interestingly, this caused a common belief that the Orb did not have a Secondary Fire mode - it does, but it takes more than 100 Focus, which is the maximum amount that Caleb (and Gabriella) gets.
  • Man on Fire: The Flare Gun and Aerosol Flamethrower make Blood one of the masters of this trope.
  • Meaningful Name: Tchernobog (Чернобог) is a (German-style) rendering of the Russian for "Black God".
  • Mega Corp.: The Cabal becomes this between the two games, gaining control of pretty much everything on the planet by 2028.
  • Mistaken for Granite: There are gargoyle statues that sometimes turn into live gargoyles. Much Paranoia Fuel ensues when you realize even the ones that don't turn will still bleed when struck.
  • Mook Maker:
    • The Drudge Priest in Blood II sometimes spawns more Leeches as an attack.
    • The giant spiders in the first game spawn smaller spiders to attack for them, as they can't attack directly.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: The Crystal Ball allows you to spy on other human players. Since there are none in singleplayer, the Crystal Ball is not present.
  • Muzzle Flashlight: A few examples.
    • Bullet-based weapons emit a big circle of orange-ish light when fired, while others produce much more negligible but still useful flashes. Firing in the Air a Lot with the assault rifle is a passable way of going through a very dark section if your Ten-Second Flashlight runs out.
    • Thanks to the lighting mechanics of the LithTech engine, a flare makes for a fairly decent light source until it burns out, either on impact with a solid surface or after a while on an enemy. Said enemy can work as a living, moving lantern if you can get it to follow you.
  • Nerf: Several weapons and enemies didn't pass from the original to the sequel unchanged.
    • The Sawed-Off Shotgun lost all of its accuracy, and fires and reloads more slowly. As a mild compensation, it can be dual-wielded at will without a power-up (although a reload is still mandatory after two shots for each), and the ammo cap was increased by 50 shells.
    • Soul Drudges, the substitute of the Zombies, are much slower and easier to juggle with your melee weapon.
    • Speaking of melee weapon, the pitchfork has been replaced by a much weaker knife that has little to no use outside of killing Soul Drudges and breaking containers without wasting ammo.
    • The flare gun doesn't deal a continuous stream of damage; instead, it does so per tics. Alt-fire is completely useless, too. However, it can be dual wielded at will, flares are more common, and weak as the projectiles are, they burn underwater. See also Muzzle Flashlight above.
    • The Voodoo Doll is much less harmful to anything you're targeting, and the secondary fire loses out to a double-barreled blast from the shotgun. It now recharges over time, though.
    • The Life Leech is a bit of a mixed bag. You have a lot more control over the length of the bursts and can even fire it automatically, it uses Focus (the same recharging "mana" pool the Orb and the Voodoo Doll feed off of) instead of the finite and rare Trapped Souls, and it doesn't hurt you if you run out of juice. On the other hand, the "turret" secondary fire is gone and replaced by a fairly useless Shockwave Stomp that costs all of Caleb's Focus, the projectiles are a lot weaker, slower and curve in weird ways that ruin any accuracy past close range, and to top it off, the firing animation isn't nearly as visually impressive.
    • The Napalm Launcher is one that got shafted the hardest. In II, it has a much slower firing rate in both modes, while the fireballs are much weaker (primary fire hurts less than a double shotgun blast - at least three shots are necessary to kill a basic enemy on Suicide difficulty), painfully slow, and don't set the target on fire. In early versions it was still worthy to keep around because each gas can filled ammo reserves to max no matter what, so it was still a spammable option, but now, after the fix that changed them to give only 10 shots per can, it's at best inventory filler.
    • The Tesla Cannon in the first game is best described as "assault rifle of electric death". In II, it took a good few steps back in functionality: each projectile costs double the ammo, they're fired at a slower rate (with a delay between pulling the trigger and the gun actually firing the first shot), travel more slowly, and are a lot weaker, while the secondary mode is extremely costly (at least four times the original's secondary) and only really usable against enemies that are slow or tend to stand still.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Caleb is an immortal undead Wild West gunslinger.
  • Nintendo Hard: The first game isn't very balanced in the damage department, with even the weakest of mooks dealing absurd amounts of damage. Don't feel bad about playing on the lowest difficulty setting your first time through. The second game is a little better, but the default difficulty is still equivalent to the Harder Than Hard difficulty of many other FPS games.
  • No Name Given: Of the four Chosen, only Ophelia's last name, Price, is made known.
  • Nostalgia Level: The expansion to Blood II begins with Cold, Cold Grave, which combines at least three levels from Blood's Episode 2.
  • Not Quite Dead: The axe zombies. If damage past a certain threshold, but not enough for a One-Hit Kill, is dealt to them, they'll just be knocked to the ground.
  • Obvious Beta: Sadly (or not), Blood 2: The Chosen didn't quite have the quality of a retail game by the time it was released, and was never fully fixed. The game is rife with glitches and programming errors, such as:
    • Cultists, Fanatics and Prophets may die before flinching once.
    • Shooting a Prophet enough will make him switch to the knife for no reason. When using said knife, they'll first reach out to the target in a full two-second "grab" animation that doesn't hold the target in place, to only then deliver three measly stabs. It's ironic that the most dangerous Elite Mooks of the game are by far the easiest to kite.
    • Enemies tend to get frozen at the end of an attack/flinch animation if they can't see or get to the player by the end of it, instead of going idle or prowling the level.
    • The second sawn-off is held by a second right hand of Caleb's (the model isn't mirrored like the other dual wield guns).
    • The flare gun's secondary fire doesn't ignite enemies at all.
    • Behemoths can damage themselves with their own shockwaves by a tiny amount, but enough to make them pound the ground repeatedly for no reason, effectively committing suicide.
    • The cutscene at the end of Chapter One may end too early, and if it does, Gabriella will minigun you to death. You can kill her in return.
    • An early cutscene in Chapter Two can likewise end with the player finding out they somehow managed to die during it, due to a sad combination of doors being able to crush anything in their path, doors closing on their own a few seconds after being opened, and the cutscene in question starting up while the player is walking through a door.
    • The first fight with Gideon often ends before you fully deplete his health. After the cutscene, you have around 20 seconds to free roam before the next level loads. In the second fight, he flinches with absolutely any damage you deal, the minigun can lift him up into the air; upon death, his body may clip through the floor and drop to the lower boundaries of the level.
    • Dropping weapons and standing on top of them nets you ammo for them like if you'd just picked them up for the first time.
    • Some enemies, like the third Soul Drudge in Love Canal, will be permanently stuck attacking the air (often several times faster than normal despite not corresponding to the animation playing) unless you shoot them.
    • Drudge Lords will slide across the ground if they, for whatever reason, decide to do their fireball attack when you're out of sight. If you're just around the corner, it's frequently deadly.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Ominous Domus Durbentia Chanting, actually. Rather common in later levels of each episode.
  • One-Man Army: Caleb can take on the likes of axe-wielding zombies, crazed cultists, gargoyles, and Grim Reapers all by himself.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The one time Caleb stops his constant snarking is when he sees Ophelia's strung-up corpse in the first game. Then, he is just pissed.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: Flesh and stone versions, stone ones being larger and much harder to kill.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Notably, Blood is the Ur-Example of fast-running zombies in video games. The variations in both games also make use of axes and the like to attack you, rather than making do with their bare hands and teeth.
  • Oxygen Meter: Both games, though the first game makes you have to watch out if your screen starts going too dark rather than making it an actual visible meter. The second game makes it a visible meter, to go along with more enemy types that try to inflict extra damage by depleting it.
  • Palette Swap: Brown and black robed cultists. One official expansion went crazy with blue, green and maroon robed cultists.note  Besides that, red and green spiders and regular and stone gargoyles, though the latter two are also resized and use different attacks.
  • Personal Space Invader: Choking Hands. The sequel introduces Bone Leeches and Thieves.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The games feature lots of really good lines to use while dispatching someone, such as:
    "When you get to Hell, tell them I sent you; you'll get a group discount!"
    "I hope you weren't a procrastinator, 'cuz you just ran out of tomorrows."
    "Red is definitely your color!"
    "Time to open you up, and take a look inside..."
    "There are chunks of people like you in my stool!"
    "Get off my train!"
  • Ray Gun: The Cabalco Death Ray. It even looks like a '60s Sci-Fi B-movie prop you'd expect Little Green Men to tote.
    • Death Ray: As the name says, though it shoots hitscan Reflecting Lasers. However, no one is gonna deny the "death" part, as its DPS easily rivals the assault rifle's.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Caleb's. They're red and they glow!
  • Reference Overdosed: What Duke Nukem 3D was to pop culture in general, Blood was to horror movie buffs.
  • Revenge: Both ways. In the first game, Caleb's revenge on Tchernobog; in the second, the Cabal's revenge on Caleb for taking revenge on Tchernobog.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: Caleb's signature weapon throughout the series, even used as the Guns Akimbo icon in the first game.
  • Scarab Power: In Blood 2, the Ward and Necroward talismans, which provide protection from damage, are in the form of scarab beetles.
  • Secondary Fire: One of the earliest PC first-person shooters to feature secondary fire to many of its weapons. This feature also returns in the sequel.
  • Severed Head Sports: The game lets you kick zombie heads around. It even has a minigame in the fourth level and a deathmatch map dedicated to head football.
  • Shareware: The first game, at least.
  • Shout-Out: Way way way too many to mention, mostly to horror classics such as Stephen King's books or A Nightmare on Elm Street, gothic literature... and Evil Dead for deadpan snarkery. See here for an extensive list.
  • Sinister Subway: Three levels in Blood II place Caleb on a subway train. Two of the three end with the train in question crashing.
  • Slasher Smile: Blood II's box art is a close-up of Caleb sporting one.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: The whole concept of the games is based around this, constantly going between comedy and horror. Often both at the same time.
  • Soft Water: Provided the water is deep enough to slow your fall, landing in it will lead to no damage being taken.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Notably averted in the original game. While the shotgun and machine gun are typical, the pistol is a flare gun that shoots incendiary projectiles that set enemies on fire; the rocket launcher is replaced by a napalm gun that sets enemies on fire alongside the normal explosive damage, and there are bizarre weapons such as the hairspray and lighter, voodoo doll and the Life Leech staff. The second game pads the armory out with a few more of these, like a normal 9mm pistol and a sniper rifle, but otherwise keeps most of the bizarre weapons of the first game, or replaces them with equally-odd new ones, like a pesticide sprayer with a Zippo lighter attached to make it into an impromptu flamethrower. Even better, Blood 2 doesn't have assigned weapon slots, so you can customize your loadout by dropping weapons you don't want or need.
  • Steam Vent Obstacle: Blood II's obligatory sewer level consists near-entirely of finding switches to turn off a series of steam vents blocking you from crossing a bridge to the exit.
  • Take That!: Blood riffs on Duke Nukem 3D and its "doomed space marine" secret by stringing up Duke's own corpse in a hidden room at the Dark Carnival, with Caleb mimicking Duke's "shake it baby" line when you interact with it.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight:
    • The original Blood has the "Beast Vision", a magical set of glasses with funky lenses that lets you see enemies clearly in the dark and runs out in less than a minute if left on continuously.
    • Blood II includes a set of crappy Night-Vision Goggles that lasts exactly 50 seconds, and an angle-head flashlight that dies after 100 seconds (one minute and forty seconds) of use.
      • Inverted in the Extra Crispy Game Mod for Blood II, that makes the flashlight as close to infinite as possible, like the searchlight from Unreal. The Night-Vision Goggles are also altered to run much longer, though they can deplete noticeably with prolonged use.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Choking Hands and, in the second game, Bone Leeches will actually obscure the HUD when doing their thing.
  • Updated Re-release: One Unit Whole Blood, which contains all six episodes and extra features.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Not a spell, despite the series involving magic. The Night-Vision Goggles in II paint enemies in a nice bright green hue, but they paint all of the surroundings with a dark green that, in a game where it's already dark and hard to see, makes it damn near impossible to see anything.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Where do we begin?
    • The most cruel ones may be unarmed civilians that will sometimes drop health if you kill them, or must be killed because they carry a key.
    • There's also head-soccer: in Blood, you can randomly decapitate zombies on kill and kick their heads around (it's even used as a carnival game in the first game's Dark Carnival level). Blood II expands this so you can kick the head and various other gibs of any humanoid enemy around.
    • Caleb hates mimes with a passion. In fact, other than their use as impromptu platforms to reach secrets, mimes exist in this game only to be brutally killed. Even the help screen of the registered version shows a mime getting killed by some monsters!
    Caleb: [after killing one mime] "Ugh, I hate mimes."
    [after killing a few more] "Oh, I shouldn't have done that... Wait, I'm evil! I can kill whoever I want!" [maniacal giggling]
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Zig-zagged.
    • The first game's Aerosol Flamethrower is tricky to ignite enemies for long periods with, but when you manage that, use the "Molotov Cocktail" Secondary Fire or generally against more flammable enemies like Bloated Butchers, it's quite devastating. The Die Bug Die bug spray replacing it in II is short-ranged, slow-firing and all around worthless, only serving to check how much spray ammo you have for the assault rifle's Grenade Launcher secondary.
    • The aerosol can's closest working simile, the secondary fire on the 12 Gauge Shredder from the Extra Crispy mod, lobs an arcing stream of fireballs that ignite any patch of the surface they hit on impact, dealing very good Damage Over Time to whatever stays within its area of effect, making for good area denial. However, the fire doesn't stick to enemies, so it's impractical against tough and fast enemies like Shikaris.
    • The napalm launcher is a cannon of fiery murder in Blood, and the secondary mode can clear out rooms in seconds. It got badly emasculated for Blood II (more details in the Nerf section above), only toting the largest Splash Damage radius in the game to its favor. Extra Crispy buffed it back to a decent level, but also altered its ammo consumption so that Caleb only has 25 shots on a full reserve.
  • Villain Protagonist: Caleb, who's not above killing bystanders that gets in his way.
  • Voodoo Doll: One of Caleb's many weapons. It seems to have the ability to hurt whatever is in front of him when he stabs it, instead of being keyed to a specific individual like many other such dolls. Attacking with it when there are no enemies in the crosshair instead deals very slight damage to Caleb.
  • Water Is Air: Mostly averted; Caleb can swim really quickly, and there's relatively clear view even in the sewers, but sounds are very distorted underwater.
  • Weaponized Offspring: Shial spawns regular spiders as its only attack.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: Bloated Butchers (the fat zombies).

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