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YMMV: Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Isaac a genuine friend that just wants to recover his old relationship with Ash? Or is he an obssesed vampire that embraced Ash just to force a relationship, whatever might be its nature, between them?
    • Is VV a gentle vampire too kindhearted to resort to the occasional violence she knows is vital to preserving the Masquerade, or is she a coward who emotionally manipulates young kindred into performing her dirty work for her?
    • Is Strauss a Reasonable Authority Figure or simply a Manipulative Bastard who understands you catch more flies with honey?
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • The final fight against Andrei the Tzimisce if you have the flamethrower.
    • The endgame. Assuming you were hoping to kill the Prince in something other than a cut scene.
  • Complete Monster: Andrei the Tzimisce, as Archbishop of the L.A. branch of the Sabbat, takes the Sabbat’s ideals of embracing their inner Beast and renouncing their humanity to a whole new level. Andrei lives in a house that he has decorated with body parts in order to make it resemble his ancestral estate. The walls are coated with bloodied human flesh and the furniture is made from bones and organs. Equal parts Evil Sorcerer and Mad Scientist, Andrei uses live people and vampires as materials in his construction of the monstrous abominations that serve as his soldiers. He then tests the killing capacity of these monsters by unleashing them on defenseless mortals, with his ultimate goal being to use them to wage war against the Camarilla. In particular he plans on wiping out the Nosferatu in order to "gouge out the eyes of the Camarilla." Also, should the player not send away their ghoul friend/lover, Heather Poe, then, upon reaching the Sabbat’s lair, the player will arrive just in time see Heather brutally murdered by Andrei’s goons.
  • Crazy Awesome: Malkavians. Especially the independent ending for a male Malkavian in full armor: a dude in a ridiculously fluffy white fur longcoat, a ridiculously tall Cat-in-the-Hat hat, and no shirt flips off Nines while Venture Tower burns in the background.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome: Jack in the Anarch and Independent ending. Sits in a garden chair in the Hollywood hills and enjoys the fireworks after having seen his plan reach fruition. Oh, and he's turned the most definitively non-vampiric occupant of the Ankharan Sarcophagus into his drinking buddy.
    • And also yourself in the independent ending. You single-handedly assault Chinatown and the Venture Tower, killing off Ming Xiao and handing LaCroix the key to the sarcophagus... Which turns out to contain half a ton of C4 that kills him in the greatest Karmic Death ever. You then nonchalantly walk out of town, flipping off Nines in the process when he tries to recruit you for his own purposes.
      • Meeting the cab driver near the end, who may or may not be Caine as a Malkavian. You become an instant Fan Boy as you realize exactly who he is. (Or you scream and panic while trying to claw your way out of the cab. It depends on how your conversations with Rosa and Skelter go down.)
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: The entire Malkavian route.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Using Dementation on Heather to convince her to pursue a normal life produces a rather sweet exchange.
    • When you talk to one of the thin bloods on the beach and give him the truth how his vampiric condition is probably permanent, he doesn't take the news too well. This is what the player can say to him.
      "The dead cannot live, but they can survive. Understand?"
    • Reuniting E and Lily is frigging adorable.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Pretty much the whole soundtrack.
  • Cult Classic: The bugginess of the game as it was originally released put a dent in its popularity, but a dedicated fanbase has grown over the years, especially in light of recent patches.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The game is a very complex, ambitious and non-linear action/RPG with an intriguing, atmospheric story and multiple ways to solve the majority of the quests... until its last act, in which it drops the RPG part and becomes a somewhat hack-fest against waves and waves of enemies and obnoxious boss battles. In fact, while it is perfectly possible to complete most of the game with a non combat oriented character who focuses on - say - stealth or diplomacy but isn't particularly good with guns and swords, in the last chapters such character will probably get his/her ass kicked.
    • On the other hand, if you've got maxed Celerity and invested a lot of points into Firearms you'll be essentially reenacting The Matrix.
  • Epileptic Trees: Notable for the contributing factors. Pretty-much all in-game signs point to the cab driver being Caine, but the developers, when questioned by fans, claim that there is no right answer, and the expanded-universe novel covering Gehenna puts Caine elsewhere. However, it's entirely possible he put himself there so Beckett would find him in a circumstance that would make him appear trustworthy, or...yeah, you can justify either point of view.
    • If you check out the folders associated with the game on your computer, all of the Cabbie's voice-files are sitting in a file labeled Caine. As for conflicting with the novel, it's worth noting that Caine is pretty much a vampiric God - disguising his appearance and seeming as if he were in two places at once would be child's play for him. If anything, it's possible that almost crossing paths with Beckett in LA is what prompted their later interaction in the novel...
      • He's the single most powerful vampire on the planet, besides the travelling issue, he could also very easily possess someone from halfways across the world and maintain it for long periods of time.
    • Some fans have suggested that Deb, from the radio show, is Kindred. This would explain a lot, since she'd probably be how the Camarilla (or the Anarchs) kept tabs on the various crazies—note her reactions to Andrei and that one Conspiracy Theorist who manages to figure everything out.
  • Fridge Brilliance: According to the tabletop Guide to the Anarchs sourcebook, published a couple years before Bloodlines, "Nines" is the name of a popular Anarch game that resembles paintball + tag + live ammunition.
  • Fridge Logic: Wouldn't the Sheriff turning into an enormous bat and flying around the tower constitute an equally enormous breach of the Masquerade?
    • LaCroix is about to achieve what he sees as ultimate power by cannibalizing a vampire that'll make him stronger than anyone in the Camarilla or Sabbat combined. At this point he probably just doesn't care. Besides, the Sheriff is the one responsible for doling out the punishments that the Prince assigns. Even if he wanted to, it would be hard for the Sheriff to chop his own head off.
  • Game Breaker:
    • Being a Malkavian. You begin with an inate bonus in Spotting. The three specific disciplines doesn't break the Masquerade when used outside and two of them are very very useful: Dementation allows to hypnotize most NPC (replacing a persuasion attempt in dialog, influencing quest-related NPC to do something stupid, or shortly freezing a single hostile NPC during a fight), and Obfuscate is basically a super enhanced stealth; those two disciplines combined make the stealth-based mission become a cakewalk (Obfuscate allows to cross the entire "Blood Hunt" level without fighting!). And what is the drawback of being a Malkavian? No actual stat penalties, but only hearing voices and having weird lines in dialogs.
      • For even more gamebreaking, you can play a Malkavian with a specific historynote  "Occult Nut", which has the advantage of greating more XP as quest reward and the drawback of limiting the highest charisma score to 3 instead of 5. So, with a maximum persuasion score of 8, a couple of dialog options would never be accessible, but this XP loss is largely compensated by the bonus XP granted by the mere possession of this backstory.
    • Celerity and Potence allow you to go into a Bullet Time massacre which, at high levels, gives you Nigh-Invulnerability simply because you'll have one hit killed everything before it can even reach you.
    • At higher levels, Fortitude makes you near invincible, especially if you have the body armor. With it, you can shrug off entire clips of Steyr Aug ammo and even normally hard-hitting bosses like Andrei's War Form and The Sheriff will barely hurt you.
    • The Flamethrower deals ridiculous damage with no firearms skill needed, and it stops non-monstrous bosses from attacking or using their defensive skills as long as they burn. Its only weakness is its lack of ammunition and the high cost of the fuel.
    • The Thaumaturgy Discipline, exclusive to the Tremere clan, is ridiculously powerful. Its starting ability, Blood Strike, is a homing projectile with a decent range that always damages, kills any non-boss in three or four hits, costs only one blood point, and - the kicker - restores two blood points to you after it damages most types of enemies. It's possible to wipe out an entire area with this ability and only end up with a net loss of one blood point. The second tier power, Blood Purge, affects almost all enemies, including several bosses. It costs only two blood points, and paralyzes enemies for several seconds by making them vomit blood. By the time they recover (assuming you haven't already killed them), the ability has long since recharged and can be used again.
    • The similarly functional (and Tremere and Ventrue exclusive) Trance skill, which only costs one blood, leaves your opponent completely defenseless for a good while, works on almost every boss, and will still daze them even if it fails! Not only can it be used to unload magazines of pain on bosses, it is also VERY useful for stealthy players.
    • The Punch Packing Pistol.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • You can get duplicates of skill books by selling them to a vendor and buying them back. Most books can raise your skills two levels, but only one at a time.
    • After the Point of No Return, the player character can only go to his/her haven, Vandal's bloodbank, Trip and Mercurio shops, and the two final levels. Except leaving the haven through the airvent instead of the door allows to still access the normal areas of the game.
      • It has been fixed by the Unofficial Patch.
    • Hiding in a certain place during the final boss battle will cause Chiropteran Behemoth to glitch out and stay floating in one place, allowing you to just shoot it until it dies.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: If you look on Simon Milligan's computer when you come to deal with him for Pisha, you discover that they were planning on shooting the next episode in the zombie-filled graveyard in Hollywood.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: You can tell E after rescuing Lilly "Vampires in love, you two make a great airport paperback"
    • One radio commercial is for a "Frankenstein" game parodying VtM: Bloodlines (down to being created by Troika themselves!). One of the gamelines in the New World of Darkness is Promethean: The Created, which is, at its most basic, exactly such a thing.
  • Memetic Mutation: Discussion on Bloodlines online will eventually lead to someone saying "Time to re-install," with a demotivational poster explaining it perfectly: "Bloodlines: Everytime you mention it, someone WILL install it."
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Think you can breeze through the haunted hotel level because you're a big, scary vampire? You're wrong.
    • Near the end of the game, you essentially have to run through hostile territory to get to the cab driver you've been relying on to drive you around through the whole game, so he can take you to safety. If you play as a Malkavian (the insane seers), as soon as you get inside all of your dialogue options are along the lines of "Oh no." You're simply met with a cold stare, and all you can do is scream and beg to be let out as you realize you're being driven around by Caine, the First Vampire, and have been this whole time.
  • Player Punch: Heather Poe's fate, which is unavoidable, but only if you picked the less-moral option before.
  • Scrappy Level: Friggin' sewers... Not only are they the worst kind of Marathon Level, one which comes on the heels of a whole other level with its own boss fight, not only are they an unintuitive maze, and not only are there Goddamn Bats every few feet, Demonic Spiders every few yards, and Degraded Bosses in the same dungeon where they appear as proper boss fights, but there is no opportunity to replenish your blood supply through any of it, short of a rapidly-dwindling supply of rats. If you don't have either Pisha's blood-collection artifact or a generous supply of blood packs, you're going to be in a lot of trouble, very fast, especially if you're a Ventrue, who can't even use the rats. (There are a couple of points at which you can leave the sewers to heal your wounds and replenish your supplies, but when the big selling point of a level is that you can get the fuck away from it, you know you've got a rare vintage of scrappiness). The sewers are also a Scrappy Level from a narrative point of view, since they constitute a dramatic end to the majority of the story- and character-based portions of the game, and an equally dramatic beginning to its long, slow, agonizing slide into endless combat, which continues without relief (except for Chinatown, which itself is the shortest and least open of the main hubs) to the very end.
    • The museum level as well. It's starts off rather simple until you get to the lower levels. Now you've got cameras that sound alarms if you get caught in their paths. You can disable the cameras by using the computer in the security booth, but there's a guard inside. If you don't have any Disciplines to incapacitate him without killing him, you're going to have a hell of a time trying to manuever around the cameras and the guards patrolling the area.
    • Also the Elizabeth Dane if you're not a Nosferatu or a Malkavian (hence gifted with Obfuscate). Sure, you can still massacre anyone, but you get penalized.
      • The Dane is not so bad if you are halfway decent in Persuasion and Hacking (which you should be anyway). You can persuade the first guard to give you the police report and call away another guard, then you just need to sneak into the cabin, hack the doors and the cameras, take the ledger and off you go. Without even coming close to another guard.
      • Even without Obfuscate if you managed to persuade the first guard but screw up (i.e. take too long and the guard is back at his post) you can just run right by him, pistols aren't going to drop you that fast and you can still avoid killing anyone.
    • Defending the graveyard from a zombie horde. There are literally hundreds of zombies, they take forever to kill, and the two gates you have to defend are very far apart, and you automatically fail if even one zombie breaks through. Let's just say that many players take up Romero's offer to get him a hooker just to avoid the sheer pain of the graveyard level.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The main menu sounds almost like an instrumental version of "Angel" by Massive Attack.
  • Tear Jerker: Quite a few. One section of the Fun With Pestilence quest in particular: "I'm a friend of Paul's. He just wanted me to come and check up on you."
  • Ugly Cute: Of all things, Mitnick the hacker Nosferatu. Unlike the other members of the clan, he looks like a perfectly normal 20-something aside from pointed ears and baldness. Some dialogue implies that Mitnick somehow became more attractive after becoming a Nosferatu.
    • Which raises the question of how ugly he must have been before he was turned.
    • Even the other male Nosferatu don't look horrible, with a hood they could easily live in LA. The male PC Nosferatu is arguably the ugliest of them. However, the FEMALE Nosferatu (PC or NPC) are utterly horrific.
    • With the possible exception of Imalia, who's just bald and a funny colour.
  • Wangst: Mocked; when switching from the Camarilla to the Anarchs, you can tell Damsel, "I hate my parents and I want a divorce."

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