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Video Game: Nosferatu The Wrath Of Malachi
Nosferatu: The Wrath Of Malachi
is a Survival Horror First-Person Shooter
video game by the (since disbanded) Swedish developer group IdolFX, released for the PC in 2005.
The game is set in Transylvania in 1912. The English fencer James Patterson has arrived late (10:00 at night to be precise) to Castle Malachi, where his extended family is gathered for the wedding of his sister Rebecca to the son of the Count who lives in the Castle. He finds the Castle completely deserted, until happening upon Father Aville, the priest who was to conduct the wedding. The severely injured Aville tells him that the Castle is the lair of an army of Vampires and the family has been lured there so the Count can sacrifice them in a ritual of dark magic. Armed only with his prized Cane Sword and the Father's Crucifix, James must explore the haunted Castle, rescue his family, and stop the Count's plans.
Don't be fooled by the subpar graphics, simplistic gameplay, and occasional glitches - Nosferatu
is still very much a horror game, and a hard one at that. The Castle is randomly generated, with room layout, items, enemies, and family members being different with every different playthrough. Keeping track of supplies and ammunition is essential, as is knowing what items to use in which situations. As you progress through the different areas, you will find family members, who you must lead back to the Sanctuary, where each one will give you a different item. Just try not to let them die along the way. And as the in-game clock progresses, they'll start being sacrificed unless you can reach them in time.
Monsters are a constant presence, as they can appear almost anywhere and any one can kill you easily, making strategy with regards to aim, movement, positioning, and reloading essential. Although the graphics may not be very good, the gloomy atmosphere and creepy ambient music combined with the hideous bloodthirsty beasts jumping out from around every corner will make even the most hardened gamer jump out of their seat at least once.
Nosferatu: The Wrath Of Malachi contains examples of:
- Artificial Stupidity: Enemies have been known to do things like continuously run into walls or get stuck on objects. They also seem mostly incapable of opening doors.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The only way to hurt Malachi is to shoot him in the glowing golden orb in his ribcage.
- Badass: James Patterson himself. He fights off a whole army of zombies, vampires, ghosts, and demons all by himself.
- Badass Normal: And he's just a normal guy, armed with a sword and some ordinary guns.
- Badass Grandpa: Frank Patterson. He carries around a machine gun in his trunk. And his family photo shows him standing atop the carcass of an animal waving the gun in the air triumphantly.
- Bash Brothers: James and Wilfred. "Thanks, brother. I love you. But if you try and hold me to that statement, I'll deny it".
- Big Bad: The Count. But he's not the final boss...
- Bigger Bad: Lord Malachi, an ancient Vampire of incredible power and vast evil who the Count is trying to release from his Tomb.
- Big Fancy Castle: Castle Malachi is huge. There are storage rooms, dungeons, towers, bedrooms, cellars, latrines, guard quarters, chapels, sitting rooms, crypts, rooms with no apparent purpose, and then a bunch more of each, all stuck together seemingly at random.
- Bittersweet Ending: You killed Malachi and saved the world, but your sister is dead. And, depending on how badly you did, any number of your other family members could be dead as well.
- Blue Blood: Referred to by name. Apparently the ritual sacrifices have to be aristocrats.
- Boss Arena Idiocy: The way to beat the Foul Beast Vampire is to run into the tunnels. It will then run after you and park itself in front of the entrance you ran into, allowing you to run out another one and hit it with a Stake from behind.
- Isn't it convenient that the creature that can only be killed by the Sun at dawn is performing a ritual that must be done at dawn? And isn't even more convenient that he doesn't try to avoid the rays of sunlight?
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Greater Vampires have more detailed and unique designs than other enemies, do far more damage, and have far more health, but you'll find them lying around regular rooms, so you might not realise how tough they really are and how essential it is to Stake them while they're in the coffin.
- Demons. Really fast, really strong, soak up bullets like a sponge does water. One could be in any room. You'll learn to be very afraid when you see one. And then there are the times when you fight MORE THAN ONE AT ONCE.
- Canine Companion: Aunt Sophie's dog Buster will follow you around and fight off monsters once you free him.
- Classic FPS Guns: The Flintlock Gun and Musket have to be loaded one shot at a time and do a lot of damage, the Revolver is weaker but fires multiple shots, the Machine Gun is exactly what it sounds like.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Almost all of them except the penultimate one are this to some extent. They system of having to track them down in a coffin after fighting them to kill them at least introduces some sort of strategy. The only non-final boss without a coffin, the Foul Beast Vampire, is also the only one to require a more complex strategy for the actual fight (you don't have to use it, but unless you have the Chalice, it's pretty much suicidal not to).
- Disc One Nuke: There's a hidden revolver in the very first room of the first major section of the game the player is going to enter, long before you can save a family member that will give you a revolver.
- Father Aville is one of the first family members you'll probably rescue. He gives you the chalice of holy water, which is arguably the most powerful weapon in the game. It hits in a wide arc, can kill almost anything in ONE HIT, and the only things in the entire game that are immune to it are the penultimate boss, gypsies and devil dogs, the latter two being arguably the weakest enemies in the game anyway. Even the bosses fall after just 2 or 3 hits. Not to mention it can be refilled indefinitely at any water trough.
- Distressed Damsel / Distressed Dude: Everyone who's not James or a monster.
- The most traditional example would be Rebecca, since the ultimate objective of the game is to rescue her from the Count before he can sacrifice her. Ironically, she's the only one you can't save.
- The Dragon: Desmodaui is supposedly the Count's right hand man.
- Dramatic Thunder: This is constant when you're outside.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: All Vampires who aren't monstrous and don't look like Orlok have this look.
- Emergency Weapon: The Cane Sword, the weakest weapon in the game. Once you get enough ammo, you're going to be using guns as much as possible, but the Sword still comes in handy if you're running low, the enemy is too close or weak enough that you don't want to waste bullets on them, or it's taking too long to reload.
- Encyclopedia Exposita: Father Aville's Encyclopedia Of The Undead.
- Escort Mission: The process of getting each family member back to the Sanctuary. Luckily, it's nowhere near as bad as other examples, since they're fast, fairly smart, and can defend themselves to a limited degree, and you never have to take them TOO far.
- Flunky Boss: The Moraie Succubus is surrounded by several monsters who can hurt you before, during, and after the fight with her. The Draija Succubus takes this up to eleven by making her fight you in a room that also contains a giant Portal that will continuously spawn Desmodiij until destroyed, which can often be more dangerous than her.
- Glass Cannon: Shadow Vampires are one of the strongest enemies in the game damage-wise, but go down in one zap from the Crucifix. To a lesser extent, Ghouls can dish out far more than they can take.
- Gothic Horror: The main theme of the game.
- Guide Dang It: You can actually carry multiple revolvers, flintlock pistols and muskets. This means you can, for example, carry 4 muskets and fire them all in rapid succession one after another, instead of reloading after one shot in the middle of combat. The game doesn't inform about this mechanic in any way whatsoever. The only clue you have is a tiny number next to weapon icon in the weapon selection screen, which can easily be mistaken for ammo count. Players unaware of this will be confused by their firearms mysteriously emptied or refilled after being selected.
- The Great Offscreen War: The Scripts Of Grimvald Vorius mention that Malachi was sealed away after an event known as "the Crimson Wars" centuries ago.
- Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: For the most part, bosses tend to be brought down pretty quickly by hitting them with Wooden Stakes over and over. They're probably less likely to kill you than the labyrinth of rooms infested with monsters.
- Haunted Castle: It's not so much "haunted" as it is "run by, inhabited by, infested with, and patrolled by undead monsters and demons" but same difference.
- Hell Gate: These are set up all around the Castle to summon Desmodiij from the Spirit World.
- Hell Hound: Devil Dogs might look like normal dogs (apart from the glowing eyes and giant fangs), but they're very tough and vicious, and are apparently supernatural in origin.
- Holy Burns Evil: All Vampires and Ghouls will back away if you wave around the Crucifix (which is also the only thing that can kill Shadow Vampires), while any enemy can be killed by splashing Holy Water on it.
- Horny Devils: A few bosses are referred to as Vampiric Succubi, but seem to just be female Vampires. (But then again, the ones you see have both captured and plan to sacrifice young men...)
- Hub Level: From the Courtyard, you can reach almost every area of the Castle, and most routes will take you back there eventually.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: "Easy", "Medium", and "Nightmare".
- Infinity+1 Sword: It's only possible to get the Machine Gun late in the game. While individual shots do less damage than other guns, it has 31 bullets in a clip and fires extremely fast, and reloads quite quickly as well, allowing it to bring down any enemy with relative ease. Since you've been collecting ammo for it throughout the game, you're unlikely to run out, provided you don't use it excessively.
- It's All Upstairs from Here: Inside the Garrison, you climb up...and up...and up...The East Tower also features this, but it's much shorter, and you take a lift up half the way. The West Wing only has you visit one floor at a time, but since you're going to be going back and forth from it a lot, climbing up and down all those stairs can be tedious.
- Subverted with the Main Castle, since you're only required to climb about halfway up it.
- Kill It with Water: In terms of damage per hit, the Holy Water in the Chalice is the most powerful weapon in the game.
- Large And In Charge: The Count is nearly twice as tall as his minions.
- Lethal Joke Item: You start the game only with your fists. Most players will probably forget about this "weapon" in the first 10 seconds of the game, which is precisely how fast you will find the sword. Hilariously, the fists are actually the best way of killing single monsters throughout most of the game. Attacking with fists hits the monster so rapidly, that you will stun it faster than it can recover, so you can stun-lock and pummel it until it's dead. It isn't after late into the game until you start encountering rare monsters with which this tactic doesn't work, like Demons (they CAN actually recover fast enough to hit you between your punches), or Demodus (can simply fly out from your reach).
- Lightning Bruiser: Lesser Vampires' and Demon' blinding speed combined with their high damage is what makes them such a pain to deal with.
- Living Shadow: Shadow Vampires.
- Looks Like Orlok: Roughly half the Greater Vampires have this appearance, as does the Count.
- Made of Iron: Most monsters go down in a few shots with your weakest gun, but Demodus, Lesser Vampires, Demon, and Greater Vampires take quite a bit more punishment without stopping. And bosses take even more, in most fights they'll end up with at least four or five Wooden Stakes buried in their chest before they even flinch.
- Marathon Level: Almost every area is this to some degree, but the East Wing and Main Castle take the cake.
- The Medic: Dr. Amersfield will heal Father Aville if you bring him fast enough, and he'll heal you back to full health if you talk to him in the Sanctuary.
- Mook Maker: Portals will continuously spew out Desmodiij until you deactivate them (by hitting or shooting them).
- Mr. Exposition: As you explore the Castle, you find notes by someone named Grimvald Vorius, which conveniently explain the plot.
- Nice Hat: The gun-wielding enemies all wear cowboy hats for whatever reason.
- Uncle Andrew's top hat is quite posh, too.
- Night of the Living Mooks: We've got ghouls, ghosts, and more kinds of vampire than you can shake a stick at. Oh, and those corpses on the ground? They get up and attack you. But only sometimes.
- Nintendo Hard: Between the limited supplies, hordes of difficult enemies popping out of every shadow and hiding place, lengthy levels, and the fact that you can lose family members if you take too long, which loses you items and makes the final boss harder, you've got yourselves one hella tricky shooter.
- Non-Standard Game Over: If you get killed by the Count or Malachi you get a special cutscene saying that you were the last sacrifice needed to restore Malachi's powers, and now you will be absorbed into him as he is released to destroy the world.
- Noob Cave: The small crypts around the Courtyard provide enough items to start you off and easy practice in killing enemies (although they can still kill you if you're not careful).
- One-Hit Kill: Holy Water will kill any normal enemy in one hit.
- One Bullet Clips: Refreshingly averted. Reload the Revolver or Machine Gun and lose whatever ammo was already in there.
- One-Winged Angel: When you first see him, Lord Malachi looks like a large man encased in bone with a giant skull and set of bones attached to his back. When he wakes up, the bones expand and uncurl and he transforms into a giant skeletal horned demon dog thing.
- Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Ghouls are ugly cowled humanoid creatures who only appear in a few areas. They have less health than regular mooks, but have longer range and deal more damage. The Encyclopedia describes them as being related to Vampires, but weaker and dumber, and they eat flesh instead of drinking blood.
- Our Vampires Are Different: All Vampires are humanoid Undead who drink blood, are hurt by sunlight, and are repelled by holy relics and Garlic. But there's also a number of subtypes.
- Demodus are the only non-humanoid Vampires, being effectively giant mutant demon Vampire Bats. According to the Encyclopedia Of The Undead, they behave basically like normal Vampire Bats, except that they try to kill you.
- Desmodiij are related to Demodus, and look like Bat-Human hybrids. They're weak and not very intelligent, and are the most common enemy in the game. They can be summoned from the Spirit World en masse by Portals.
- Shadow Vampires are extremely old Vampires who have withered away to the point where they are nothing more than incorporeal presences wreathed in black cloth. They cannot be hurt by material weapons, only by Holy ones.
- Lesser Vampires are created by the Greater ones as servants, and retain some level of individual thought. They can take quite a bit of damage.
- Greater Vampires are much more powerful than the rest. Crosses don't affect them and it takes a lot to kill them. They must sleep in coffins, and will be killed instantly if a Wooden Stake is thrust through their heart while in their coffin.
- It seems that it is possible for Vampires to gain additional abilities than this. All the bosses can take far more punishment and can turn into swarms of Bats and regenerate in their coffins, where they can only be killed with a Wooden Stake, while the Count is so powerful that he can only be killed by the rays of the Sun at dawn. Then there's Malachi...
- The Power of the Sun: Sunlight plays an important part of the ritual. Fortunately, it's also the Count's Weaksauce Weakness...
- Puzzle Boss: The Count is immune to all your weapons. The only way to kill him is to pull all the levers scattered around the room to open up the roof, then lead him into the sunlight coming down through the hole.
- Quintessential British Gentleman: Uncle Andrew and Grandfather Frank both dress and talk like this.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: The Revolver reloads faster then the Flintlock or Musket and can shoot 5 times before reloading. However, each shot only does a third of the damage, so this is kind of subverted. Not that it makes it any less useful.
- Rule of Fun: Why does the lair of a bunch of Vampires have Wooden Stakes lying around everywhere? Why can gun ammunition and boxes that heal you be found consistently scattered around on the floor and in chests? Why are your family members conveniently spaced out throughout the Castle in random rooms instead of locked up or dead? Why do they have things like guns, potions, and garlic in the trunks they took to a wedding? You won't care because you'll be too busy being terrified.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Every single family member, even the dog, can be rescued. Every one except Rebecca, who's also literally sacrificial.
- Scare Chord: The soundtrack of this game turns scare chords into an art form. Easily half the music features them in some way.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Malachi, a Vampire Lord of great power and pure evil, was sealed inside a magic Tomb underneath the Castle centuries ago. The Count's objective is to release him.
- Sequential Boss: The final battle makes you fight the Count, and then Lord Malachi immediately after.
- Sinister Scythe: There's a type of enemy that wields these, giving them an annoyingly long reach.
- Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Any time you find a whole load of health and ammunition in a single room, be afraid of what's coming next.
- Swiss-Army Weapon: The Crucifix is the best example. It repels Vampires and Ghouls, kills Shadow Vampires, turns water into Holy Water, and even provides a bit of light. Wooden Stakes are also an example, since you can light them on fire to turn them into Torches.
- Timed Mission: Father Aville will die if you don't bring Dr. Amersfield within half an hour. On a larger scale, once the in-game clock reaches midnight, more monsters spawn and they all get stronger. After that, your family members start dying one by one unless you reach them in time.
- Überwald: Transylvania? Check. Ominous castle on a mountaintop? Check. Thunderstorm at night? Check. Vampires? CHECK.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Count's Domain. More specifically, Malachi's Grave Tomb.
- Violent Glaswegian: Gregory. While everybody else will act scared and call for help when monsters are in the room, he shouts "foul creatures, come and get it!" and starts punching them.
- Virgin Sacrifice: The Count needs to sacrifice a virgin aristocrat (i.e. Rebecca) at dawn to unseal Malachi. He succeeds.
- Warmup Boss: The first boss, the Desmodaui Vampire, has no enemies around him, is quite slow and weak and doesn't take much to bring down, and his coffin is right next to the area where you fight him.
- Warp Zone: There's a portal in the basement of the main castle that lets you skip the entire castle and go straight to the Count's chambers on the top floor. However, you do need to explore the castle to find the last 2 family members, as the Count's chambers can't be opened until all the family members are accounted for.
- Weakened by the Light: All Vampires are hurt by sunlight. In fact, it's the only thing that can hurt the Count.