Video Game / Blood Storm

After Time Killers faded into oblivion, Strata turned their attention to creating yet another Mortal Kombat killer. What they came up with was BloodStorm.

According to the needlessly complicated backstory, the world was destroyed in the so-called Mega War. The conflict radically altered the Earth’s geography, climate, and populace, creating a wide range of freaky transhumans. Eight provinces managed to contact each other, forming the Provincial Alliance. After several centuries of peace, the Alliance has begun to fall apart due to paranoia and infighting amongst the provinces. This comes to a head when the High Emperor, the Alliance’s leader, is assassinated. His successor will be chosen in the BloodStorm tournament, a battle between representatives of all eight provinces. Meanwhile, the true mastermind watches and waits.

To be fair, while BloodStorm is a fairly average (at best) fighter, it did have some innovative ideas for the time. Each successful fight nets the player one of their opponent’s moves; if said attack required a weapon, it would be added to their sprite. It also included a prototypical save feature, using player-created passwords to record progress and fighting stats. It was also the first weapon fighter to let players drop their weapons willingly, or even change them with another character’s (the change was mostly cosmetic, however). The game also boasted some rather clever ways of unlocking content, such as knocking down a part of the background to cover up a death trap.

That being said, the game more or less tried to be a Bloodier and Gorier rival to Mortal Kombat’s then-supremacy. Each character has the usual fatalities, but there was also a “Sunder” move that cut your opponent’s entire lower body off, leaving them sliding around on their entrails. The gameplay, sadly, was a lot closer to Time Killers, meaning limbs would be cut off at near-random, the specials were often clunky and non-responsive, and the actual combat tended to be slower and more forced than its contemporaries. Throw in the hype storm surrounding Mortal Kombat 3, Strata’s own financial woes (they closed down shortly after the game’s completion), and the fact that it never received a console port, and you have a forgotten relic of the arcade era.

This game contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The handbook contains a frankly insane amount of backstory for the game, the characters, and even the bosses. None of this matters in the game itself.
  • An Ice Person: Freon.
  • Assimilation Plot: Talon's ending. This is far from the worst ending possible.
  • Ax-Crazy: Hellhound. His ending, in its entirely: HELLHOUND TAKES CHARGE! SCORCH RULES! THE PLANET BURNS!
  • Black Market: Razor rises to power in his homeland through setting up illegal trade networks.
  • Blow You Away: Tempest.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tempest, initially, seems like one of the less morally-warped fighters, concerned mostly with avenging her father's death and ensuring his peace stays in place. Then it turns out that she is her father's killer and the mastermind who unleashed Necron. Ironically, this ensures that her ending is one of the few "good" ones, as the whole planet unites against her, leading to her defeat and execution.
  • Bonus Boss: Quite a lot.
  • The Chessmaster: Necron.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Razor endured this at the hands of both Tempest's guards and Talon's scientists. Suffice to say by the time the tournament comes around, he's still pretty miffed about it.
  • Conspicuous CG: Chainsaw and Necron stand out horribly next to the more cartoony characters.
    • Some stage backgrounds also fall victim to this, Obsel being the most notable.
  • Crapsack World
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: One stage allows you to uppercut someone into a ceiling full of these.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Tremor.
  • Evil Laugh: Everyone belts one out when they win the second round. Even Tremor, the only unambiguously heroic character in the whole cast.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Most of the playable characters are exceedingly wicked. They're fighting not only against each other, but also against Nekron, the mastermind behind the tournament.
  • Finishing Move: Each regular character had three: a Decapitation, a Sunder, and a regular Fatality. The Decapitation and Sunder moves could be performed at any time, but had a very small hit radius, and the Sunder only worked against a stunned enemy (and would only do normal damage otherwise).
    • The playable boss characters lacked character-specific Fatalities, only having a Decapitation and Sunder each. Their Decapitation and Sunder also lacked special names.
    • A Sunder was not a true finisher, however, merely doing a lot of damage but not guaranteeing a one-hit kill like the others. If your opponent still had life after a Sunder, they could still fight, but as nothing more than a torso and head. They could even still potentially win the match if they had attacks that didn't require arms or legs (like eyebeams).
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Tremor has quite frankly had enough of the other fighters' bickering leaving the earth to suffer, and since they wouldn't listen to reason before, he's gonna preach to them now with his fists.
  • Genghis Gambit: Not done intentionally, but is a side effect of Tempest and Razor's endings. Tempest unites the provinces against her by accidentally letting slip that she started the whole mess, while Razor unites the provinces against Cyberia when he wins.
  • Green Aesop: Tremor tries to give these to the provinces, but they don’t give a damn about what he has to say. When he becomes High Emperor, he forces them to listen... and ends up solving all the world’s problems.
  • Gorn: Let's just say the budget didn't go to ironing out the gameplay.
    • It doesn't even wait for the game to start and has plenty of gore in the attract mode.
  • Guide Dang It: Just try to find all the Agents of Necron without a guide. Or figure out all the cheat codes. Or your move inputs. Or just about anything.
  • Guilty Pleasure
  • Head Swap: The seven Bonus Bosses plus mandatory sub-boss Sin are just the main cast with different colors and heads. Furthermore, Hellhound and Freon are actually just head swaps of each other, but with slightly different standing poses. Blood and Shadow take it one step further by not only being head swaps of Hellhound and Freon (and so head swaps of each other), they even have the exact same moveset. Finally, the various "big head" codes let you play as versions of the normal characters with a different name and a comical oversized head.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Exaggerated with Blood, a secret character who basically has an ever-gushing blood fountain where his head should be. (He can still be decapitated, however)
  • Hive Mind: The entirety of Cyberia is this way, with Talon as the main consciousness. Win, and he links up with everyone else.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Fallout.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Males born in Obsel have their feet cut off at birth, are used for breeding purposes, and when their usefulness ends, they're dinner.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Two of the stage fatalities work this way. One sticks the opponent to a spiked wall, the other dumps them onto a massive stalagmite.
  • Lady Land: Obsel. For bonus points, spell that backwards.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Freon, who's just trying to make peace with Scorch. This is a losing proposition, however; the leader of Scorch (to the extent that the kingdom has one) is the Ax-Crazy Hellhound, who delights in murdering his diplomats at the peace conferences. His ending subverts this, as humanity is still conquered and enslaved by the Ice People.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: Just glancing at the screenshots and character names would give one the impression that Rob Liefeld was behind this game.
    • The genocidal, revenge-driven criminal Razor qualifies, mostly because he has a grudge against a far worse enemy and his objectives don't require anyone else to be crushed under his heel.
    • Subverted with Tremor, the only unambiguously good character (though he still causes just as much bloodshed in-game as any of the other characters and definitely still looks the part at least.)
  • Playing with Fire: Hellhound.
  • Playing with Syringes: Cyberian scientists turned Razor into a cyborg as part of their experiments.
  • Power Copying / Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Possibly one of the first fighting games to use this.
  • Power Fist: Each character comes with their own gauntlets, which basically work in this way.
  • Refuge in Audacity: LIMBLESS VICTORY!! (Difficult, but possible thanks to attacks like eye beams and shoulder cannons)
    • One of the secret characters is named Blood, who explodes out of one of your defeated opponents and has a blood geyser for a head.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: The High Emperor's daughter, Tempest, was his assassin. When she wins, she accidentally reveals this fact, and the rest of the planet unites to hunt her down and execute her.
    • Out-of-universe: Daniel Pesina, actor who portrayed a lot of male characters in Mortal Kombat I and II appeared in BloodStorm ad dressed like Johnny Cage. He was fired from Midway and Johnny Cage was turned into a Butt Monkey until Mortal Kombat's Continuity Reboot
  • Ring Out: Possible on the Subterra stage. Both sides are wide open, and falling in leads to an Impaled with Extreme Prejudice moment.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The very minute Razor wins, he launches a full-on offensive on Cyberia. Turns out nobody else liked them, and the planetwide genocidal rage unites humanity more than ever.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Fallout's ending has him win the tournament, but then give the finger to the other provinces and return to the Wastelands, leaving the world to tear itself apart.
  • Secret Character: Sin, found by entering a specific Trash Talk code to be exact .
    • Hidden bosses Golem, Ratchet, Crainiac, Dementia, and Wraith are also playable via Trash Talk codes.
    • All the characters except for Shadow are playable via Password codes, though the two main bosses are bugged, and change into Freon after only one match.
  • Snap Back: When a character loses a limb or even their HEAD, they are automatically fixed by the time the next round starts. In Talon and Razor's case the former can at least be handwaved by the fact that their limbs are robotic and in theory more easily replaceable. Everyone else? ...Eh, don't think about it too hard.
  • Sequel Hook: For a sequel that never happened.
  • Shout-Out/Take That: A lot of the Trash Talk codes throw in references, flattering and unflattering, to various targets. 'Sushi-X rules this game!', 'Who cares where Goro is?', 'Dont wizz on the electric fence', 'Eat my shorts' and 'I fart in your general direction' are just a few of the references in the game. Seeing them all might take some effort.
    • One of the Big Head codes gives you a character named SENLIEB, with the body of Hellhound but the oversized head of then-senator (and anti-violence advocate) Joe Lieberman.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Razor's power of authority may come from a shady and dubious trading network, and his motivations are less than altruistic, he's still one of the nicer contestants. Helps that he and Tremor have the only endings remotely resembling a "good" ending, aside from Tempest whose ending is good for everyone but her.
  • Straw Feminist: Mirage.
  • Villain Protagonist: Every single character in this game is a megalomaniacal, power-hungry Caligula in the making. Except for Tremor, Razor, and Fallout. And Fallout isn't much better.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Talon, initially, would kidnap and perform horrific experiments on "bios" to try to cure the flesh-rotting plague ravaging Cyberia. However, as time went by, and he replaced more and more of his brain with circuitry, he became an unfeeling murderer instead intent on dominating all life.

Alternative Title(s): Bloodstorm