"Evil... as old as time, spreads like a plague, corrupting the hearts of men. For millennia, there have been those who have stood against it. A secret organization to protect mankind. They are the frontline in an unholy war. They are...the Darkwatch.
(sometimes subtitled Curse of the West
) is a Steam Punk First-Person Shooter Videogame
developed by Sammy Studios (now High Moon Studios, creators of Transformers: War for Cybertron
) and distributed by Capcom
in the US and Ubisoft
in the UK for the Playstation2 and Xbox
, and an age of darkness has come upon The Wild West
. You are Jericho Cross: Gunslinger
. Renegade. Outlaw
. Behind you lies a bloody trail of robbery and revenge
. Ahead of you lies one last train to rob
.Except Jericho couldn't have picked a worse train
. This one's owned by the Darkwatch, and the train's cargo is not gold, but a prison cell containing a powerful vampire lord named Lazarus Malkoth
, the original founder of the Darkwatch
. Young Gun
Darkwatch agent Cassidy Sharp tries to stop Jericho from blowing the cell open, but is too late, and Lazarus is freed—and with him comes a terrible curse, unleashing all manner of undead horrors on the Old West
.In the process, Jericho is bitten and begins to turn
. Now he must find the Darkwatch and help them hunt down and destroy Lazarus or be forever damned
Darkwatch provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The Darkwatch has been fighting vampires and zombies since the days of the Roman Empire. Promotional material includes images of Darkwatch Regulators from all across history, including both World Wars and the present day.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Things go to hell for the Darkwatch Citadel after Tala's Face-Heel Turn.
- Ancient Artifact: The Deadlight Prism, a glowing green orb that projects an aura of Hollywood Darkness around it.
- Anti-Hero: How far down the slippery slope he goes is your choice, but the fact remains that Jericho was a notorious outlaw and remains unafraid to let bullets do the talking.
- Applied Phlebotinum: How the Ghost Gates work.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Cassidy in the "good" ending.
- Back from the Dead: Cassidy after being killed early on in the game.
- Badass Longcoat: Jericho, who trades in his tan duster for a Darkwatch-issue black leather one.
- Badass Normal: Jericho, very briefly before he gets bitten.
- Body Armor as Hit Points: The "good" ability Mystic Armor invokes this.
- Boring but Practical: The Blackfish carbine, a powerful repeating rifle with a generous ammunition capacity. It's found at the beginning of the second mission and is common from then on. It can easily become a Sniper Rifle when combined with Vein-O-Vision, though it doesn't hit as hard as the actual Sniper Rifle.
- Big Bad: Lazarus, possibly of the entire setting.
- Bittersweet Ending / Downer Ending: Depending on how you play as Jericho.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: Though the actual Darkwatch logo is a sheriff's star with a cow skull emblazoned over it, it usually appears only once on a given object (gun, piece of clothing, building, train, what have you). Every other available spot will be occupied by a stylized cross. The Blackfish carbine uses one as its hammer. Hell, it's in the logo!
- Darkwatch Is Not Evil: But they're not too friendly and are fond of doing whatever it takes.
- Dead Weight: The fat zombies (Oozers) come at you with dual meat cleavers and explode violently on death, so keep your distance.
- Deflector Shields: The first vampiric power you obtain is the "Blood Shield." How it works is not explained, but you essentially have a ''Halo''-like regenerating shield on top of non-regenerating health.
- Double Jump: Another beneficial side-effect of Jericho's condition.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: General Clay Cartwright. He's fond of jabbing Jericho with his cane and blames him for Cassidy's death.
- Emergency Weapon: Every Darkwatch-issue weapon has wickedly-curved blades grafted on to it, expressly designed to cleave through the undead.
- Face-Heel Turn: Tala halfway through the game.
- Fanservice: A nude spread of Tala was printed in Playboy. For advertising purposes, of course.
- Final Battle: In a Pocket Dimension that may or may not be Hell.
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Found on most zombies, except the ones that don't have eyes.
- Guns Akimbo: The Warmonger pistols, a pair of small revolvers.
- Heal Thyself: Jericho can pick up canteens of blood to heal himself.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: A majority of the Darkwatch wears clothing made of black leather.
- Hellish Horse: Jericho's first (and only, if you're a nice guy) blood-suck victim is a horse, which then rises anew as his undead steed. It can be summoned and dismissed at will, and appears to feel no pain, as Jericho uses him to take cover from incoming fire during the horseback segments.
- Hell on Earth: Deadfall, the town Lazarus uses as his base of operations, has turned into this, complete with lava flowing through part of the town.
- Hangtown, earlier in the game, lacks the lava flows, but is still chock-full of the undead.
- I Can Rule Alone: In the bad ending, Jericho bites Tala and drains her of her blood.
- I Do Not Drink Wine: Jericho attempts to drink some stream water early on, but immediately throws it back up.
- The Immodest Orgasm: Tala in the "Prom Night" cutscene. Jericho is still fully dressed. Kiss of the Vampire comes into play, which turns out to be a really bad idea.
- Injun Country: One or two levels. The zombified braves come at you with throwing axes and the like.
- Karma Meter: Depending on if you choose the good or evil options at certain points, Jericho will either learn good spells or evil spells (and be yelled at by Cassidy).
- Large Ham: Lazarus just loves to chew up the scenery. Lampshaded in the first chapter after the first fight against Lazarus by the subtitles reading "Triumphant laughter that swells to over-the-top laughter."
- Mad Scientist: You speak to one between missions; he issues you your secondary Weapon of Choice. You always start with the Redeemer.
- Meaningful Name: Lazarus gained his immortality by coming Back from the Dead.
- Nice Hat: Jericho wears a black-with-white-trim hat with a low crown and a very wide brim, resembling a priest's hat or quake hat. The Regulators all wear your standard ten-gallon hat—in black, of course.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Chapter 2's opening text, "Nice going, outlaw. Your soul is slipping away, and Hell's own horsemen nip at your heels."
- Night of the Living Mooks: Of all shapes and sizes and a variety of armaments: guns are no exception.
- Soul Jar: Occasionally Jericho comes across a damned soul that Lazarus has left nearly totally drained. You have the option to free them and send them to Fluffy Cloud Heaven, or consume what remains.
- Spin Attack: In one trailer, Jericho leaps into the air, firing two Redeemers wildly into a pack of zombies. You can only use one Redeemer in the game.
- Spirit Advisor: Cassidy after she is killed early in the game.
- Spy Catsuit: Cassidy and Tala both wear form-fitting catsuits made of black leather.
- Standard FPS Guns: Creepy Cool Crosses, blades/studs and nifty Steam Punk modifications aside, the line-up is as follows: Revolver, Dual smaller revolvers, Repeating Rifle, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Rocket Launcher and dynamite double-shot crossbow. It's like if Trigun and Gungrave combined with each other and was in the past instead of the future.
- Steam Punk: The Darkwatch makes use of advanced weaponry, up to and including steam-powered, Gatling gun-mounted dune buggies.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Rocket launchers weren't exactly standard issue at the time, so what did the Darkwatch do? Stuff a bunch of explosives into a naval signal flare launcher! They added a studded maul to one end for good measure. More ordinarily, Jericho can throw sticks of lit dynamite at opponents. Used in one trailer to impressive effect. Oh, and the double-crossbow that shoots bolts with dynamite stuck on 'em.
- Suck Out the Poison: What Jericho does to Lazarus' still-living victims if you choose to be good. Otherwise...
- Suicide Attack: The TNT Zombies.
- Suicide Is Painless: You know all those people who flee the infected city? If you follow them, you will see them run into piles of fire and kill themselves.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: How many shots can you fit in a revolver? Six? Eight? Maybe ten if you're using a small cartridge? How about twenty-four via an under-slung helical magazine? Ladies and gents, The Redeemer, pictured above.
- Traintop Battle: But of course.
- Unflinching Faith In The Brakes: After tossing a stick of dynamite into a pack of zombies, does he walk away? No. He just stares down the ensuing explosion while his tattered duster billows.
- Vein-O-Vision: Jericho can use his vampire sight to easily spot the undead.
- Videogame Cruelty Potential: In Hangtown, the other agents are shooting everyone as a precaution to the undead uprising. You can come across a lone uninfected survivor in an alley who begs for you not to tell the other agents. Just as you get out of the alleyway, an agent comes up to you and asks if you found anybody. You can either tell him no and let the guy live, or tell them you saw someone and they go in and kill them. For added cruelty, you can say no (which Cassidy will praise you for), then go back into the alley and kill him yourself (and get chewed out by Cassidy).
- Weaksauce Weakness: Although sunlight doesn't harm him directly, standing in it will drain Jericho's Blood Shield and prevent him from using any abilities, including his Double Jump. Invoked in Cartwright's test and in the level where you retrieve the Deadlight Prism (standing within its aura allows Jericho to use his powers).
- We Can Rule Together: If you're good, Tala offers this to Jericho during the final boss fight against her. Bullets deliver your answer. If not, you fight Cassidy instead and Jericho bites Tala to death anyway.
- What the Hell, Hero?: How Cassidy reacts if you have Jericho choose to do evil things.
- The Wild West: Where the game is set.
- Winged Humanoid: Lazarus and later Tala.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: The Undead Ryders.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The Curse of the West. If Jericho can destroy Lazarus and win back his humanity, he may prevent this from spreading.
- Zombie Puke Attack: Oozers, which are fat zombies that launch their puke at you.