Video Game: Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption
To quote Wikipedia: "Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption is a PC role-playing game released on June 7, 2000 by Activision. The game follows the adventures of a French crusader, Christof Romuald
, through Prague and Vienna in the Dark Ages and modern-day London and New York City. The game is based on the pen-and-paper roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade
In short, you're a crusader who finds himself resting in Prague after being brutally stabbed on a battlefield somewhere. As you heal, you become friendly with Anezka, the cute nun who helped you recover, and take it upon yourself to protect her and her convent from the creatures of the night that threaten it. Vampires and monsters of misshapen flesh
walk the streets at night in Prague, but you are confident that with your trusty sword and faith in God, you can overcome any enemy.
It doesn't last. I mean, this wouldn't be a Vampire game without the protagonist becoming a bloodsucking monster at some point, now would it?
The game's whole story, crossing most of Europe and 800 years of history, culminating in an epic battle to prevent an apocalypse on January 1st, 2000, ultimately turns on Christof and the three things which drive him: his love for Anezka, his despair and rage over his condition, and his faith.
Can be bought from Good Old Games
This game contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Every female vampire who is not hostile to you. Anezka tries to be this, too, but doesn't really succeed.
- All There in the Manual: The manual contains a lot of information on Christof's backstory and the Old World of Darkness that never actually comes up during the course of the game.
- An Economy Is You: Justified. Of course the only businesses in town that are open in the middle of the night cater to vampires and/or nocturnal thugs; that's just good marketing.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Even the ones who DON'T advocate human sacrifice will treat you like garbage.
- Artificial Stupidity: Your allies' AI is only just good enough to keep them from using ALL of their own blood for disciplines. They tend to stink at any combat that requires a more complex plan than "shoot until it's dead." And even when shooting until dead, they don't ever take advantage of the automatic fire that their weapons may have, and may fire into walls. On the plus side, your enemies are no smarter.
- Back Tracking: Usually happens within city-levels you're already in.
- Badass Normal: Christof, initially. The Society Of Leopold's troopers might qualify for this too, given how well they perform compared to most mooks.
- Black Knight: The elite Teutonic Knights are imposing and wear black armor. They're also controlled by the vampires of Vienna.
- Black Magic: Almost all of the magic you can learn is designed to hurt other people. You can learn some things to heal or bolster yourself, but there are no disciplines you can learn that will help anyone but you.
- Subverted with two groups of disciplines used by humans (usable for player only in multiplayer mode). The first one is Holy Magic with some spells to heal the caster, others to inflict damage to vampires. The second group is a kind of more "neutral magic", with spells like one that turns the caster invisible.
- Blade on a Stick: Virstania takes you on with a halberd, which also happens to be Wilhelm's starting weapon.
- Blood Lust: This game is about VAMPIRES. What'd you expect?
- Blood Magic: All special abilities have a cost in your blood.
- Body Horror: If this game is anything to go by, Body Horror is the entire reason for Clan Tzimizce's existence.
- But Thou Must: Plot-wise, this game is completely linear. Making Christof act like a callous Jerk Ass and openly stating that you will not pursue Anezka won't keep you from running to her rescue anyway.
- Chainsaw Good: Oddly it does less damage than a lot of weapons.
- In the Modern age, it's the most damaging melee weapon, but it takes some time in order to work. The machete is weaker but faster.
- Which is pretty realistic; chainsaws inflict huge messy wounds on anything you hold them against, but are extremely unwieldy and in a quick impact they're little better than a spiked club.
- Chaste Hero: Good Christian that he is, Christof refuses to despoil a nun while he's alive. After he gets turned, he still doesn't respond to anyone's amorous advances, probably because he's too driven to care.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: The amulet of St. Jude, patron of lost causes.
- Chick Magnet: Christof. Many females comment on how handsome he is, while a few others outright try to seduce him.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Christof seems to have a mild case of this. I say "Mild" because he is focused enough on his objective of finding Anezka that he is willing to do some decidedly unheroic things to find her. You can make him grow out of it.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Touched on, in true W.O.D. fashion, when Christof pulls a silver cross on a vampire and it does nothing, because Christof lacks the depth of faith needed to make that trick work. Anezka has no such problem, though.
- Cloudcuckoolander - Dev/Null the Malkavian. He was actually trying to warn you about Pink the whole time.
- Crapsack World: It is a World of Darkness.
- Combat Tentacles: The Tzimisce.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Christof, if you allow it. Anezka, whether you allow it or not.
- Critical Existence Failure: All vampires, Christof included, turn to dust when the last hitpoint is gone. The worst they do before that is stagger a bit and gripe about needing blood.
- Cut Scene: Usually done for dialogue.
- Death Seeker: Luther. Some people don't take well to being Embraced by vampires, it seems.
- Degraded Boss: The Vozhd. You first meet a single one of these monsters while storming the castle of Vyserhad in Prague. Later, you faces three of them in the Cathedral of Flesh (though, this time you have guns for long-ranged battles).
- Dialogue Tree: Christof, when he's permitted to speak, may use these. Generally, conversation options don't do much besides affecting your Humanity score.
- Distressed Damsel: Anezka... In theory, at least.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: The game's title isn't an accident. "Redemption," of a sort, is possible, but Christof really has to work hard for it, and you as the player have to make sure to always make the "good" choice even when other choices seem more practical.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Averted with all the merchants you deal with, even the "Smithy" in Prague and "Weaponsmith" in Vienna give you their full names when you first meet them* . There are a few literal barkeeps in the game, but they're such minor characters that it's reasonable that Christof wouldn't ask them their names.
- Exposition Break: See "Cutscene." There's an especially big one at the end in the Hall of Flesh, where Anezka's memories are recorded.
- Five-Man Band: ...with Christof as The Hero, Wilhelm or Pink as The Lancer, Erik as The Big Guy, Samuel as The Smart Guy, and either Lily or Serena as The Chick. Five-Man Band is a bit of a misnomer, though, since you only ever have four people in the party at once.
- Flesh Golem: Schlachtas and War Ghouls. Both, of course, are Tzimisce's doing.
- Fore Shadowing: Dev/Null the Malkavian will tell you the entire plot of the game from the point where you meet him to the end... assuming you can understand a damn thing he says.
- Full-Frontal Assault: The Tzimisce in the Dark Ages wear concealing black robes. The ones in modern age? Are naked.
- Gatling Good: You can buy yourself a minigun. The ammo take up a lot of space, but nothing else in the game does as much damage in as short a time...
- Giant Space Flea From No Where: A single white werewolf will burst out from a large crate just outside the Tower of London. No explanation is given, and the coterie seems totally unfazed by this event. Luckily, it's the only one.
- Giant Spider: Ghoul Spiders meet in London's Tower and NY Sewers. They're also extremely creepy, as they make sinister, gargling noises as they descend from the ceiling, have creepy eyes and tend to get really close to attack. They also deal Poison damage.
- Going Through the Motions
- Gothic Punk: Again, it is the Old World of Darkness.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted. Christof starts with a sword, and the blood-draining Sword of Ainkurn is arguably the best weapon in the game, but any character can use any weapon that they have the strength to pick up, from poleaxes to gatling guns.
- Hide Your Children: Possibly justified because you're almost always out in the middle of the night, when any child that has even remotely responsible parents would be at home and in bed.
- Hit Points
- Hufflepuff House: The Ravnos are the only one of the 13 clans not to appear anywhere in the game. Around half of the others* only have one or two members in the game, although they are mostly either party-joinable or otherwise memorable. Surprisingly, the Camarilla also qualifies: Pink claims to work for them and Lily, Samuel, Dev/Null and Alexandra Ruthven are presumably notional members, but you never meet anyone significant in the Camarilla or have any real involvement with them despite them being the largest sect. However, all the clans and sects get the same amount of background info in the manual.
- I Fought the Law and the Law Won: An unusual case. Starting a brawl or trying to drink blood in public will call down infinite numbers of city guards/policemen down on you, but the real danger is not from their weapons. Instead, the danger is that every time you kill one, your Humanity score goes down by 5 points, and when it reaches 0 you get an automatic game-over.
- I Hate You, Vampire Dad: You can make Christof act like this.
- Immune to Bullets: Vampires aren't immune, but they are resistant. However, resistance alone isn't enough to stop the Society of Leopold from blowing you to bits with shotguns. Liberal application of More Dakka helps you kill enemy vampires as well.
- Invulnerable Civilians: Played straight for monsters, averted with players. There are a few events in Prague wherein monsters roaming the streets will cheerfully attack you, but ignore less well-armed citizens who happen to be in the same area. You, however, are free to murder the populace as you please, if you don't mind the drop in your humanity score.
- Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Oddly enough, 800-year old axes are worth about the same in the 20th century as they were in the 11th.
- Kiss of the Vampire: Biting someone results in an awful lot of grunting and moaning...
- Large Ham: Christof at times, as well as other characters. There's also a notable Ham-to-Ham Combat of epic proportions between Christof and Ahzra the Unliving near the beginning of the game.
- Locked Door: A common obstacle. Even more common are "doors" which are apparently just painted onto walls.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Seeing enemies explode into meat is fairly common.
- Meaningful Name: Vukodlak really earns his title, "The Defiler."
- Meaningful Echo: Two beautiful examples:
Christof: My lady, I pledge my arm to thy cause, for as long I draw breath and beyond...
- Well...what happens in a couple of hours? And another one...
Christof: (to Orsi) If Anezka has been harmed, I will destroy thee in the most painful manner possible, even if it takes a thousand years.
- A little less than a thousand years, but still... as for "the most painful manner possible"... well, yeah.
- More Dakka: In the portions of the game that take place in the middle ages, bows and crossbows are all you have in the ranged weapon department. But by the year 2000, assault rifles are surprisingly easy to come by.
- Morality Chain: Christof learns early that, if he wants to keep his humanity while bearing the curse of vampirism, he must choose something, some cause, that he can dedicate himself to to keep his sanity. Naturally, he chooses Anezka. Hence, the significance of Christof killing Anezka in the game's two bad endings.
- Multiple Endings: Which one you get depends on how high your humanity score is when you reach the end.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Expecially at a giant albino Ghoul Gator.
- Off with His Head!: It's possible to behead enemies while using a bladed weapon, causing them to die shortly after. This however, can also lead to creepy/hilarious situations, including those huge teutonic knights getting beheaded, running around for a while like chicken asking for reinforcements and then finally dropping dead while screaming "I'm Dying!".
- Oh, Crap: Christof first encounter with the Ghoul Rats.
- One-Gender Race: Most of the vampire clans you'll face will have only male mooks or, in case of Toreador and Dark Age Malcavians, female ones. There are some cases of The Smurfette Principle with Ecaterina (female Brujah), Virstania (female Tremere), Teta Kazi and Zeel (females Ventrues) and Libussa (female Tzimisce). The only Exceptions are the Cappadocian, as you'll find both men and women in their lair.
- One-Winged Angel: After the first beating, Vukodlak turns himself into a dragon-like monster named Zulo.
- Clipped Wing Angel: ...who is actually quite a bit easier to defeat than Vukodlak's humanoid form.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Pink thinks we have. Christof disagrees.
Pink: ...and some people still believe the world was created in seven days, even though men have walked on the moon!
Christof: The Lord completed his work in six days.
- Playing with Fire: Fire is a very effective way to deal with vampires, making weapons like the Fire Broadsword, the Fire Scimitar and the Flamethrowers very effective. Sadly, the Tremere (any of them) are aware of this trope, as they'll gladly turn your characters to charcoal with their spells.
- Point of No Return: Whenever you move from one city to the next, there's no going back. Fortunately, there's generally no reason to go back, either.
- Point Build System
- Rail Roading: Various dialogue options let you argue against following the plot. In one instance, you can even argue with Ekaterina for carrying out the plot, and have her pull a one-eighty the moment you agree not to go along with the plot.
- RPGs Equal Combat
- Run Don't Walk
- Save Point: You can save anywhere, but there are still savepoints in your haven, vestiges of earlier versions of the game.
- Sanity Meter: Your Humanity score. When it's at or below 20, you can use the game's most powerful equipment, but if it goes to 0 you literally lose control of your character permanently. Game Over. There's also the Frenzy Meter, which will cause you to go berserk and possibly try to drain your allies' blood if it fills up.
- Save the Princess: You'll spend most of the game chasing after Anezka...
- Saving the World: ...but you'll end up doing this on the way. Hopefully.
- Scaled Up: Lucretia the Setite turns herself into a giant cobra for the second battle. It's actually pretty dangerous.
- Scripted Event
- Second Hour Superpower: Your vampiric abilities are only gained when you become a vampire, which is around the second level.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Although some vamps express interest in Christof, Christof cares for no one but Anezka.
- Sinister Scimitar: The Premysl Revenants mostly wield scimitars despite coming from Prague. Other examples include ghouls (both normal and lasombra ones) and Nosferatu mooks.
- Sinister Scythe: The Cappadocian vampires are armed with sickles.
- The Smurfette Principle: Any time there are more than two people in your party, one will be female. No exceptions.
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Pink
- Soul Jar: In London you have to kill the leader of the Setite vampires, and you need a certain heart artifact which contains her soul to vanquish her once and for all.
- Suicide by Sunlight: Luther.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Your vampire enemies will never have any problems grabbing you and draining your blood, even if you're wearing a neck protector specifically made to prevent this. And then there's the Tzimizce monsters that have a "bite your head off" instakill move as a standard attack...
- The Corrupter: Vukodlak is not named "The Defiler" for nothing. That said, nearly every vampire Christof talks to does this, to some extent. It is a World of Darkness, and all that.
- Warrior Monk: Crusader Christof most certainly is one at the start of the game. Whether or not he still is one at the end of the game is partially up to you.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The soldiers and scientists of the Society of Leopold appear to be this.
- Mercurio in the Dark Ages.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: You never learn exactly what happened to most of the vampires and people from Christof's early years. Though, in the case of your Cappadocian buddies, the answer is both obvious and horrible, given that clan's eventual fate...
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Etrius. You take him on in a two-round battle. In the first round, he is incorporeal and cannot be harmed. In the second round, he is not, enabling you to hit him. He also displays the ability to teleport at will, but doesn't use it in battle, again enabling you to hit him.
- Unusual Euphemism / Getting Crap Past the Radar: Pink's Cockney Rhyming Slang.
- Violence Is the Only Option: For the last time, it is a World of Darkness...
- Wooden Stake: Avaible as a weapon, it works like a dagger, deals pitiful damage but has a chance of impaling a vampire enemy in the heart, rendering him helpless for a while as you whale on him. Oddly, enough the same effect can be achieved with arrows and bolts (though it's rarer). Finally, the modern age brings up the a Stake Gun, which is a stake-shooting gun.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Christof's speaking style confuses people in the year 1999. This is often Played for Laughs.
Pink: We're gonna need some supplies. You can sell some of that old junk and get some REAL weapons.
Christof: We require an armorer and an alchemist.
: Er... something like that.
Christof: What manner of beast is this central computer, that it can besiege fortresses?
Lily: Wow, you've got a lot to learn.
- When Christof accuses a mugger of being "A common cutpurse" the man's reply is a baffled "What?"
- You All Meet in an Inn: The multiplayer scenario "To curse the darkness" starts the players off in a tavern.