A heavy, sealed sarcophagus unearthed in Turkey and shipped off on the Elizabeth Dane to L.A.'s Museum of Natural History for examination. Its actual content is a mystery, but rumors start springing up among Kindred that it may hold a slumbering elder vampire of considerable power.
- Ancient Evil: The various speculations on its content agree that it is likely something extremely dangerous, like a slumbering Antediluvian. It turns out to contain a much more mundane peril.
- Bloody Handprint: Is covered in them following its arrival in Santa Monica, with the entire crew of the ship having been massacred.
- Have a Nice Death: Opening the sarcophagus reveals a happy missive from Jack, complete with "Have a Nice Day" Smile.
- MacGuffin: Retrieving it and its key becomes the main mission of the player character following the Santa Monica hub.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Dr Johansen, the archeologist that brought the Sarcophagus to Los Angeles, believes it to be the repository of Messerach, an ancient Assyrian king said to have lived for several generations and to have sustained himself on blood. Johansen, unaware of the supernatural, speculates that the references to the improbable lifespan might simply have been born out of confusion between homonyms, and that Messerach may have indeed drank the blood of his enemies for the sake of intimidation, or out of an attempt to treat porphyria, an actual real life condition that might have inspired the myth of vampires. He turns out to be exactly right on at least one point: Messerach is a plain old mummy, as seen in the ending.
- Monster Progenitor: The main hypothesis among the Kindred is that it contains an old, low Generation vampire, possibly even an Antediluvian (one of the legendary founders of the clans).
- Schmuck Bait: Opening the sarcophagus is judged by most sane Kindred to be an incredibly bad idea, on account of the possibility of awakening a pissed off, hungry, all-powerful vampire, therefore dooming the entire city. Its actual content is merely fatal to anyone in the room, serving as a very literal bait to any vampire ambitious enough to open it.
- Shout-Out: The Apocalyptic Log left on the Elizabeth Dane detailing the progressive disappearance of the crew is an element directly lifted from Dracula.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Jack emptied the Sarcophagus of its occupant and crammed it full of C4, leaving a seconds-short timer to trigger the explosion upon its opening. LaCroix and/or the player character meet their end that way in the Anarch, Independent and LaCroix endings.
- Your Soul Is Mine: The main appeal of opening it, should the "elder vampire" hypothesis prove true: their blood and then their soul could be drained through the practice of Diablerie, thereby granting the perpetrator their power. Bruno Giovanni believes in a different version of this plan: he is convinced that the Sarcophagus contains an untold number of souls, an incredibly useful resource for his family's necromantic rituals.
The host of a late night radio call-in program on K.T.R.K., heard on all radios in your havens and around Los Angeles. Almost all of her callers are not quite right in the head, but sometimes Deb gets a caller whose theories are alarmingly accurate.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: During the last part of the game, one of her caller happens to be a Conspiracy Theorist who proceeds to blame everything happening in the city on a hidden vampire society, basically spelling out the main events of the story.
- Deadpan Snarker: Responds to all of her caller's crazy ideas with sarcasm.
- Hidden Depths: Deb can apparently speak fluent Italian and used to go yachting.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Since you never actually meet her, fan speculations abound about whether she's an ordinary human, a ghoul, or even a vampire. She at the very least seems suspiciously quick to shut down Andrei's ramblings about the coming apocalypse.
- Only Sane Man: Deb is very down-to-earth and quick witted, while most of her callers are blatantly lying, deranged, creepy, or any combination of the above.
- Parody Commercial: The commercials playing during the intermission are especially absurd and over-the-top.
- Attack of the Political Ad: The political ad is a succession of Insane Troll Logic-filled attacks.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Apparently, Friggin Chicken is just that ***-in' good.
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie: Several, including one for a Romantic Comedy between a banker and an ATM machine and one for a Cliché Storm action movie.
- Punny Name: On "the dead of night."
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Deb delivers one to a "writer":Deb: So if you haven't really written anything, how can you call yourself a writer? Because I once fixed my toilet doesn't make me a plumber, right?Roger: Well, you see...
Deb: Is there anyone in this city that doesn't call themselves a writer or actor or a director? Don't you think you're doing a disservice to those who actually make their living in those art forms by deeming yourself something you're not, or not even trained to do?
- The Tease: Debs likes to flirt and most of her lines are innuendo filled.
- The Voice: The player only hears her voice, never sees her.
The Fledgling's most mysterious ally, they periodically send you emails filled with cryptic chess metaphors and various warnings.
- Chess Motifs: Most of the emails use chess moves to describe the political game being played over the Fledgling's fate.
- Once you know the plot, and by paying attention to when the emails are sent, it is possible to deduce that they are talking about LaCroix's plan to comfort his power. On one side, you have LaCroix himself as black king, with Ming Xiao, his secret ally, as black queen, and Grout, a disposable underling, as black bishop. The other side is made up of LaCroix's disparate enemies: Nines as white king, Bach as white bishop and the Fledgling as a white pawn. Note that a pawn can be promoted if they reach the other side of the board, reflecting the player character's own From Nobody to Nightmare character arc.
- The Ghost: Similarly to Deb, the player never get the chance to interact with the Friend nor discover more about them. It's implied that he's either the Taxi Driver or Smiling Jack, but there's nothing concrete.
- The Omniscient: The Friend seems disturbingly knowledgeable about everything related to the main plot.
- Riddle for the Ages: Their identity is never established.
- Schmuck Bait: The final email simply repeats the game's Arc Words: "Don't open it."
A mysterious shopkeeper in Chinatown, peddling curiosities and trinkets- most of which seem to have very morbid origins and purposes in mind. He enlists your help — first in retrieving a pair of "envious eyes" from the corpse of a thief, then in delivering a Bad Luck Charm to a target's locker.
- All-Powerful Bystander: Implied. Nobody knows exactly what he is (save a Malkavian PC, who's too disturbed by the realization to say it outright) but he certainly isn't harmed by being shot at.
- Bazaar of the Bizarre: His shop. His rewards are artifacts rather than money. In The Final Nights, he'll actually sell them to you.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: A very creepy version.
- Collector of the Strange: Apart from selling the profoundly weird, he also collects it - including the eyeballs of a thief too greedy for his own good.
- Companion Cube: Cheerfully treats Lin's disembodied eyeballs as though they're still attached to their owner."Hello, Lin. Do you like it here?"
- Cryptic Conversation: A speciality of his.
- Deal with the Devil: Implies that some of his customers pay for his wares with their souls.
- Evil Old Folks: ...Probably. It's not clear what he is exactly, but he definitely appears to be an old man, and the quests he gives you are shady, to say the least.
- Mismatched Eyes: Probably as a Mark of the Supernatural or Red Right Hand clue.
- The Un-Reveal: Even though he displays a normal human aura if you use Auspex, he definitely isn't human - if you try to attack him, he just laughs at you and disappears in a puff of smoke. Just what the hell is he, exactly? You never find out.
- Vader Breath: He audibly huffs while talking to you.
The ghosts of an aggressive serial killer who haunts the old abandoned Ocean House Hotel, and the ghost of his wife (one of his victims).
- Apocalyptic Log: In the kitchen, you find a diary leading to the final seconds of the wife's life. Here is where you can learn the killer's name, Ed, and motivation.
- An Axe to Grind: The killer committed several murders with an axe in the hotel, including his family. When the PC explores the haunted hotel, the killer's ghost can be spotted several times - and he still has the axe.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: The killer, who killed his wife and kids and set fire to the hotel because he incorrectly believed that his wife was cheating on him.
- Driven to Suicide: While not out right stated, the killer had murdered his kids and then his wife, believing the wife was cheating on him with someone else. The last moments recorded in the diary have her hiding in fear in a bathroom after seeing him soaked in blood, but nothing is mentioned about the fire and the diary is found in the kitchen. He may have read it after killing her, found out he killed his family and others over a misunderstanding and set flame to the place choosing to die with his family.
- Expy: Of Jack and Wendy Torrance.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The whole killer's motivations seeming come from him believing his wife is cheating on him and the amulet she is wearing is a gift from her lover. In actuality it's from her mother, which he doesn't believe, leading to him snapping with the results shown.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Their entire level runs on this. The serial killer's ghost stalks you, but never directly fight you, only harming you through poltergeist-like activities such as falling elevators or flying objects, and doesn't even show up as a final boss at the end. If anything, it makes the level all the creepier.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: They both seem to be immaterial and can teleport or become invisible. The woman tries to help the PC (by showing the way), and the man tries to frighten and kill the PC.
- The Unfought: The whole haunted hotel sequence seems to build up tension which would culminate in a boss fight against the spectral axe killer... and then you find the top room, take the amulet, and leave. The end. You don't even get to see how the Voerman sisters get rid of the violent ghost if you give the amulet to Therese, only a quick line regarding exorcism.
- Woman in White: The wife of the serial killer, which is your guide at several places during the level.
A fiendish were-shark monster who preys upon the humans in Chinatown. Apparently works for the Kuei-jin, and killed Yukie's master at some point in the past.
- All There in the Manual: Although not stated in game, he's a Rokea (were-shark), more correctly a Same-Bito, the eastern version of the race, though he displays some traits usual to his kind.
- Arch-Enemy: Yukie has a personal hatred of him due to him killing her master, and the entire reason she can to LA was to kill him.
- Bonus Boss: One of the tougher examples in the game.
- Bullfight Boss: While he's much faster and more agile than most examples, the best way to deal with him is to trick him into charging over to the liquid nitrogen tanks in the fish warehouse, then shooting them up to freeze him in place for a while, opening him up to be whaled on. You can also avoid his attacks by simply backing away every time he runs up and swipes at you, while repeatedly blasting him with a shotgun (at least until you back yourself into a wall).
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Has the second greatest number of health points, right after Ming Xiao's battle form. Unlike many examples, he hits like a truck.
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Especially weresharks.
- Improbable Weapon User: He'll throw frozen fish at you if you're not in the range of his claws.
- Laughing Mad: Once he confronts you in the warehouse, he laughs a lot.
- Meaningful Name: His name comes from the Smooth Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna Zygaena).
- Motor Mouth: When you talk to him in the restaurant, he'll talk like a salesman, because he thinks or wants you to assume that he thinks that you want to hire him.
- No-Sell: Trying to use Dementation or Dominate on him during conversation; using the former just confuses him, using the latter makes him think you're trying to intimidate him.
- One-Winged Angel: As soon as the battle begins he sheds his human form and takes his Warform. This also is very typical for Rokea, who prefer their Warforms outside of absolute necessity. In fact, given that he's first encountered in a Masquerade zone, as opposed to Elysium, it's very possible to just knife him in his puny human form if you figure out who he is early enough.
- Psycho for Hire: He kills people for money, and pretending you want to hire him is part of how you lure him out. His dialogue before his boss fight tells you that he actually took a contract on you, and that he was luring you out.
- Shark Man/Youkai: He's modeled after the Samebito, a shark demon.
A werewolf inhabiting Griffith Park, of indeterminate age and gender, and the last 'boss' you encounter before the endgame. When its habitat is set on fire during a peace summit with Nines, it gets somewhat cross, and you just so happen to be the closest available outlet for its rage. Lucky you.
- Advancing Boss of Doom: Fortunately for you, the Griffith Park observatory is right next by and it can't fit through the doors.
- Anti-Villain: Its forest was torched and there are two vampires at the observatory. It's easy to see how it came to the conclusion that the vamps were trying to start trouble.
- Barrier-Busting Blow: Unfortunately for you, it doesn't need doors. Hope you weren't hiding in the bathroom.
- Berserk Button: Burning down a forest. Almost all Garou are In Harmony with Nature, and if a vampire is involved, they won't even bother to ask why.
- The Dreaded: Nines is terrified of the prospect of facing one. Although, as later events show, he handled the other werewolf that came after him well enough.
- Fur Against Fang: An individual battle, though as Nines reveals it's endemic to the setting. Staying in its territory was crazy, which was why nobody expected him to be hiding there.
- Guide Dang It!: It is actually possible to defeat it, though it requires activating a series of switches you probably won't be looking for in your mad dash to escape and then using yourself as bait to catch it between the observatory's shutters.
- Hold the Line: Well, not so much 'hold the line' as 'run away from the big bad line that wants to tear you to pieces', but you have four minutes in which you need to stay alive before the tram returns.
- Implacable Man: It cannot be bargained with. It cannot be reasoned with. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. Or escape. Or use an out-of-the-way, scripted event to deal with it.
- "Instant Death" Radius: Even a Fortitude-equipped clan like Gangrel or Ventrue won't take much more than four to five blows before they're dust.
- The Juggernaut: Oh yes. It even shrugs off the game's console commands, and can destroy scenery.
- Lightning Bruiser: It runs faster than you do (unless you have Celerity), it takes no damage from any of your attacks, and it sure as hell hits harder than you. Any attempt to fight head-on is futile.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Classic Werewolf: The Apocalypse Garou in Crinos, acting like they typically do against vampires.
- Nigh Invulnerable: The game is coded so you can't hurt it. Though Nines certainly could, and you can inflict an instant kill on it yourself by figuring out a puzzle.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Actually killing it reveals it stays in Crinos, which means it's actually a Metis, one of the weakest kinds of Werewolf and also explaining why it's not part of a pack. Same goes for the one killed by Nines. This is mostly in line with their respective power levels in the World of Darkness games.
- No-Sell: Melee attacks are suicide, guns are worthless, Obfuscate is pointless, and offensive disciplines like Dementation, Animalism, and Thaumaturgy can only make it pause, briefly.
- Puzzle Boss: The point isn't to fight it so much as to figure out how to keep yourself alive until the time runs out. Or how to trap it and crush it.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Defied; you have the option to suggest simply telling the Werewolves you aren't responsible for lighting a fire on their territory to Nines, but he immediately clarifies that this won't work; Werewolves hate vampires way too much to care about such details, let alone listen about any explanation you might have.
- There Was a Door: To its credit, it will try to use doors whenever possible. But if it loses track of you while inside the observatory, it'll come crashing in through the ceiling the next time you see it.
- The Voiceless: It has no voiced lines at all, unless you count the blood-curdling howl. Diplomacy probably wouldn't work on it anyway.