In regions renowned for cruelty, Caleb was legendary. Born in western Texas in 1847, he had already acquired the reputation of a ruthless gunslinger by the age of 17. His bloodthirstiness took on a menacing new timbre not long afterwards, when he entered the Cult of Tchernobog, but the real massacre started when he was betrayed and discarded by his master, the Dark God Tchernobog himself...
Blood is a videogame series created by Monolith Productions. It's composed mainly of First-Person Shooters that follow the story of Caleb, a former member of the Cult of Tchernobog, as he seeks revenge for the deaths of his friends at the hands of said evil entity. The games that compose the series are the following:
For tropes about blood, see Bloody Tropes.
Hold on tight, these tropes might get a little... bloody:
- Abnormal Ammo: From the relatively-speaking mundane (pesticide grenades on the M16's attached grenade launcher in Blood II) to the freaky (trapped souls for the Life Leech in the first).
- Aerosol Flamethrower: One of the weapons is a spray can, which can be combined with Caleb's trusty lighter for this effect, or lit on fire and thrown as an impromptu grenade (or like a Molotov Cocktail).
- Ambiguous Time Period: Guessing when these games take place is a chore:
- Blood II implies that Blood started out around 1928, but the presence of wall switches and outlets, jukeboxes and many other "modern" items stick out, plus the "Farewell To Arms" levels, that seems to take place during World War II.
- Cryptic Passage takes place in the Carpathian Mountains of Europe... except that every sign you see is in English, and your trek down a river is on a 1970s Mississippi Queen-style riverboat. And again, evidence suggests the expansion is set in the 1930s but the technology seen (small communication radios, a motorized speedboat) is too recent for that.
- Caleb uses an aerosol can and a Zippo lighter as weapons in the first game, even though neither existed in the 1920s. Neither did the jerry cans which the Napalm Launcher uses as ammo: they are a WWII-era German invention, as their name implies. His shotgun of choice in the first game likewise appears to be a Rossi Overland, which didn't enter production until 1978, a full 50 years after when the game supposedly takes place - although that could be an intentional example if its use is a reference to The Untouchables, which gave Sean Connery's character the same weapon despite being set in the same 1920s time-frame.
- For The Nightmare Levels expansion, Monolith had apparently completely forgotten the Chosen were originally from the 19th century. Even ignoring the reuse of modern weapons from the base game, there's things like sorority girls from The '50s, widespread use of electric lighting, a combat shotgun from The '80s, computers from The '90s, and very modern-looking skyline textures and car models, in what's supposed to be the mid-1800s.
- Blown Across the Room: A common result of unloading both barrels with the shotgun, or with a well-placed dynamite toss.
- Bond One-Liner: The games feature lots of really good lines to use while dispatching someone, such as:"When you get to Hell, tell them I sent you; you'll get a group discount!"
"I hope you weren't a procrastinator, 'cuz you just ran out of tomorrows."
"Red is definitely your color!"
"Time to open you up, and take a look inside..."
"There are chunks of people like you in my stool!"
"Get off my train!"
- Bottomless Pits: Played with. Some pits are designed to be totally un-survivable, as you'll die even if you land with Jump Boots active, which normally totally negate fall damage.
- Bottomless Magazines: Zig-zagged. While you do have ammo limits, the sawed-off shotgun in both games has an actual reload mechanic. The first game is only particularly notable for this because, while several other games on the Build engine had one gun that had to be reloaded after every couple of shots, Blood tracks how many shots had been fired rather than simply triggering the animation whenever its ammo's brought down to a specific number.e.g. In both games you can also "reload manually" by switching out and back.
- Cherry Tapping: The pitchfork. Killing an opponent with it is sheer humiliation. Killing zombies with it is often necessary to save ammo.
- Crapsack World: Even before the Cabal started burning everything down, this was a terrible place to live; things can only be said to be "better" by the time of the second game due to Gideon keeping a very tight leash on his cultists.
- Emergency Weapon: The pitchfork will be your best friend against lone zombies or for rushing an unaware cultist and stun-locking him, saving valuable ammo for tougher and/or more numerous foes. Being a pitchfork, its range is reasonable once you get used to it and each of its four prongs has its own little hitbox for added realism.
- Evil Versus Evil: Caleb is as pitch black as you can get with a protagonist, being a murderous Sadist who originally worked for the Cult of Tchernobog and was their strongest member. He's cruel, violent, laughs maniacally about the carnage he causes and literally drinks blood and eats human hearts to heal himself, but he has a strong relationship with his friends and clearly loves Ophelia, with his rampage in the first game being motivated by their death at the hands of the Cabal. The Cabal, meanwhile, are even worse, being a global organization of insane murderers, kidnapping and butchering entire towns by themselves all in attempt to appease the Unseen Evil, Tchernobog. It's a Villain Protagonist against a Religion of Evil, though Caleb manages to still come out on top if only because of how insanely violent and despicable the cult really is.
- Hard Mode Mook: A variant: the appearance of boss enemies as Degraded Bosses depends on the difficulty level.
- Hearts Are Health: When most enemies die, sometimes they drop "life essences" in the shape of hearts, although thanks to the series tone, it's obviously the bloody and anatomically correct heart instead of the cartoony ones. And due to Caleb indulging in cannibalism, he presumably eats it and restores 20-25 HP depending on the game.
- Lightmare Fuel: The games can get genuinely scary. It doesn't stop Caleb from tossing out hilarious one-liners and pop culture references, dropping very appropriate sarcastic comments and going into cackling fits at almost everything, and making the player laugh in the process.
- Man on Fire: The Flare Gun and Aerosol Flamethrower make Blood one of the masters of this trope. It's not just men either: gargoyles, rats, spiders, disembodied animated hands and otherworldly beings can and do become living fireballs should you attack them with enough incendiary hardware.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Ominous Domus Durbentia Chanting, actually. Rather common in later levels of each episode.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Notably, the Ur-Example of fast-running zombies in video games. The ones in the first game are mostly the typical flesh-eating zombie (since their battle cries involve calling for brains), with the manual's explanation for the Choking Hands and a later level in the game (a Frankenstein-style Mad Scientist Laboratory opening the fourth episode) also implying some degree of artificiality; those in the second are bog-standard parasitic zombies, created when a creature from another reality, a bone leech, takes over a human host, with stronger forms coming about as the leech has had time to evolve. The variations in both games also make use of axes and the like to attack you, rather than making do with their bare hands and teeth.
- Oxygen Meter: Both games, though the first game makes you have to watch out if your screen starts going too dark rather than making it an actual visible meter. The second game makes it a visible meter, to go along with more enemy types that try to inflict extra damage by depleting it.
- Reference Overdosed: What Duke Nukem 3D was to pop culture in general, Blood was to horror movie buffs.
- Revenge: A common theme. The first game is all about Caleb's quest for revenge against Tchernobog; in the second, the main theme is the Cabal seeking revenge on Caleb for taking revenge on Tchernobog.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: Caleb's signature weapon throughout the series, even used as the Guns Akimbo icon in the first game.
- Secondary Fire: One of the earliest PC first-person shooters to feature secondary fire for many of its weapons. (With Unreal being the Trope Codifier) This feature also returns in the sequel, where everything except the Singularity Generator (which had its secondary fire mode removed in a patch) and, depending on your character, the Orb (which requires more Focus than two of the characters can have) has an alternate fire mode.
- Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: When fighting large crowds it is quite common that some enemies hit each other with their attacks and immediately turn on each other. In the finale it is even possible to turn Cerberus and Tchernobog onto each other and Cerberus is actually capable of beating Tchernobog for you.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: In the first game, between its damage output, available ammo and being the most adequate gun for most situations, the humble Sawn-Off Shotgun will be the one weapon you're certain to get the most mileage out of. Conversely, enemies that wield a shotgun tend to be the most dangerous in a group. The gun itself is mostly unchanged for the sequel, losing only its accuracy but retaining its power... but enemies don't make use of it anymore, which sounds great since you won't get a faceful of buckshot at any point, but also means you simply can't make use of it for large chunks of the game because those enemies were its biggest source of ammo.
- Shout-Out: Too many, to the point it has a page.
- Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: The whole concept of the games is based around this, constantly going between comedy and horror. Often both at the same time.
- Soft Water: Provided the water is deep enough to slow your fall, landing in it will lead to no damage being taken.
- Voodoo Doll: One of Caleb's many weapons. It seems to have the ability to hurt whatever is in front of him when he stabs it, instead of being keyed to a specific individual like many other such dolls. Attacking with it when there are no enemies in the crosshair instead deals very slight damage to Caleb. While the player has no control over where Caleb chooses to stab it when attacking, it also deals locational damage based on his choice, even in the first game (at least against other players in multiplayer), where stabs to its eyes gradually darken the target's vision, stabs to the shoulder may make them lower their weapon, and stabs to the groin deal a lot of damage – the doll even wiggles when you poke it there, and you can hear Caleb chuckling quietly.
- Water Is Air: Mostly averted; Caleb can swim really quickly, and there's relatively clear view even in the sewers, but sounds are very distorted underwater.