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Caleb, Blood

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...

A 1997 First-Person Shooter from Monolith Productions, based on the Build engine, Blood was one of the most unusual shooters of its time. It featured a mix of horror and deadpan humor, a charismatic Anti-Hero, an arsenal of exotic weapons and, of course, lots and lots of the eponymous red liquid. Playing as Caleb, a former pet murderer of an evil deity who was betrayed and transformed into an undead monstrosity, you go on a quest to avenge/harvest the powers of your former True Companions who did not manage to rise again and use them to wreak all kinds of unholy hell upon Tchernobog.


In 1998, a sequel was created; Blood II: The Chosen. Running on the new LithTech engine developed in-house by Monolith, it took place exactly one century after the first game, featuring the Cabal's attempts to kill Caleb and take back the powers of Tchernobog, while Caleb's disuse of the dark god's powers accidentally summons abominations from another dimension. Unfortunately, due to being rushed out the door, it released in a very poor state, and though it does have a following (including a very active modding community), it's rarely considered on par with the first.

Both games and their expansions can now be purchased digitally from and Steam. An Updated Re-release of the first Blood, subtitled Fresh Supply, has since released on GoG and Steam as well, courtesy of the folks at Nightdive Studios.


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).
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: E3L3, "Raw Sewage", features an entire level of it. Before that, E2L2 "The Lumber Mill" has an absurdly spacious cesspool under a latrine. Blood II likewise has C1L5, "Steam Tunnels", one of the longest of the game, and C2L3, "Sewage Treatment Plant", which is noticeably shorter but actually requires you to swim through part of it.
  • Achilles' Heel: In the first game for whatever reason the Tesla Cannon makes short work of both Hell Hounds and Cheogh / Stone Gargoyles. Shialnote  is incredibly allergic to napalm and fire / explosions in general. The Bloated Butchers are also severely allergic to fire.
  • 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).
  • Affably Evil: For an evil cultist, Ishmael seems to be quite "diplomatic" in his own way. He acts genuinely clever, polite and jovial, at least towards his fellow Chosen. Any insult towards him just slips off him like a glass sheet, and he's even capable of making fun of his own misery.
  • The Ageless: Caleb is this, according to the manual because of some unearthly link between him and Tchernobog. He can be killed as any other FPS protagonist can, but time certainly won't do it to him - given his listed year of birth as 1847, by the time of Blood II he's pushing a hundred and eighty years old.
  • The Alcoholic: Going by loading interstitials in Blood II and a few of his own lines from both games, Caleb has something of a drinking problem.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Caleb is about as ruthless and sadistic as one can get, and is only the "hero" because he's trying to avenge his fallen comrades and not trying to take over the world, and while he kills a whole lot of people over the course of both games, it just so happens that almost all of them are part of the Cabal.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Two of 'em in the first game and one in the second game's add-on:
    • E1M4 Dark Carnival is a depraved gory version of a classic amusement park run by Cabal with every single attraction being horrifically twisted. There's a freak show, a gargoyle carousel, a game where you kick disembodied zombie heads into a goal and a special feature "JoJo, the Idiot Circus Boy".
    • The secret level of the first episode, "House of Horrors", complete with a "fun" ride on a water slide, and caged enemies.
    • In the second game's expansion, Ishmael goes on a lengthy flashback narration of how once he was coerced to take the role of the aforementioned JoJo and then struggled his way out of the abuse. It takes place in a similar Dark Carnival and you, as Ishmael, have to slaughter your way through droves of cultists while occasionally visiting your fellow freaks and spout sarcastic comments about their demise.
  • 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.
  • And I Must Scream: The Soul Drudges in the second game are living humans whose bodies are controlled by Bone Leeches but who are still conscious and aware of what they're doing. The trope name is taken quite literally as the leech forces its host to sew its mouth shut to keep it from screaming in horror at what it's being forced to do.
  • Anti-Hero: Caleb, to borderline Villain Protagonist degrees. Sure, he's fighting against an evil cult, but it's for his own personal gains at worst and he's only barely better than said cult in terms of morality, having no problem with killing innocent bystanders that just happen to be in his line of fire.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Blood 2's civilians often don't react to the horrific things going on around them (including half a corpse sticking out of a public washing machine) as strongly as you think they would. The manual and guidebook suggest that it's learned helplessness in regards to CabalCo.'s takeover.
  • Attract Mode: There's a couple of demos playing on the title screen.
  • Badass Longcoat: Fitting a gunslinger and someone that probably needs deep pockets to be a walking army, Caleb wears a black one. In the second game, Ishmael, Gideon, and the new version of the Zealot also all get different varieties of long coat.
  • Bald of Evil: Ishmael is a straight example. Caleb is actually a case of Off-Model in the first game.explanation 
  • Ballistic Bone: Gargoyles fling them at you for a ranged attack.
  • Batman Gambit: Tchernobog fully intended for Caleb to return from the grave and seek vengeance, gaining power with each kill he made along the way. The intent was to then take over Caleb's body and use the new power to take over all realities, though this fails, with Caleb killing him and going on his merry way. Gideon was supposed to have his own gambit in Blood 2, but most of that subplot was cut before the game's release, so now he just wants Caleb dead for reasons that don't quite get explained beyond a generic revenge for the death of Tchernobog.
  • BFG: Originally, the Tesla Cannon and the Life Leech were the 8-inch cannons of Blood. The expansion pack added an alternate fire mode to the Incinerator (the "Rolling Thunder") that made it into the new, ultimate BFG of Blood. Blood II added a new, literal BFG: the Singularity Generator.
  • Big Bad: In Blood, Tchernobog. Blood II has Gideon, though he's not the final boss.
  • Black Speech: The language of the Cabal, Domus Durbentia. It's a nasty-sounding bastard child of Latin and Sanskrit. In the first game, all cultists speak it, and in some levels you also hear ominous chanting in this language. In Blood II, only the Zealots and Ishmael still remember the language, though you occasionally can hear a (normally English-speaking) Fanatic spouting a familiar curse.
  • Blackout Basement: "Love Canal" in Blood II has some extremely dark sections with bottomless pits on the floor; falling into one means instant death. The game is generous enough to give you a few flashlights before those sections, so don't waste the batteries.
  • Blood Bath: A magazine ad for the first game featured a man, presumably Caleb, in a bathtub full of blood with the tagline "you're soaking in it".
  • Bloody Handprint: On the game's box.
  • Blown Across the Room: Common result of unloading both barrels with the shotgun, or with a well-placed dynamite toss.
  • Body Horror: Blood II's Soul Drudges and their advanced forms exhibit various levels of this. The human half of Gideon's arachnoid second form not only inverts his shoulder and elbow joints, but his heart has somehow migrated out of his chest and onto his back. He wasn't kidding when he called it "something unpleasant".
  • 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!"
  • Boom, Headshot!: Headshots exist as a mechanic in Blood II, but it's janky as hell. Sometimes you can 3-shot a human with a Beretta and he'll die before a single flinch, others you might as well be hitting them in the legs, and still others you actually can hit them in the legs and they'll die instantly.
  • Boss Rush: Blood makes you re-fight the earlier bosses before Tchernobog finally shows himself. Blood II makes you fight undead versions of the other three Chosen before fighting the Ancient One.
  • 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 ammo's brought down to a specific numbere.g. . In both games you can also "reload manually" by switching out and back.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the penultimate of The Nightmare Levels, one of the shot glasses you can pick up will cause Caleb to comment that "this is the best level I've been in".
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Literally in the case of the second game's shotgun - you first acquire it from an exhibit in the museum level.
  • Call-Back: Blood II features ringing telephones that you can answer across some levels. One phone in the third level does the same Hugh Jass joke a phone in the second level of the first game did. An elevator in the first chapter also has elevator music remixed from the secret level of Blood's last retail episode.
  • Campfire Character Exploration: In Blood II's expansion pack "The Nightmare Levels", on their way back to Earth from another dimension, the Chosen sit around a campfire and each one tells a story from his or her past. The first four of the expansion's six levels are played out as scary stories from their respective pasts.
  • Cast from Hit Points: In the original game, the Life Leech will use HP as ammo if you run out of trapped souls. Considering it also heals you for the damage you deal, it's not that bad a trade.
  • Cherry Tapping: The pitchfork. Killing an opponent with it is sheer humiliation. Killing zombies with it is often necessary to save ammo.
  • Circus of Fear:
    • The Dark Carnival level in the first game, with the appropriate Creepy Circus Music (made especially creepy by the calls of the barkers and the laughter of children).
    • The circus Ishmael (who was the old Jojo The Idiot Circus Boy) escapes from in his backstory, as seen in The Nightmare Levels.
  • Cliffhanger: The four Chosen are left in an alternate reality at the end of Blood II, and make no real progress towards getting out in the expansion. The end text for Blood II even lampshaded this:
    "Does Caleb really close the rift? Does Ophelia get her two-minutes of gift? What the heck happened to Gabriel... er, Gabriella? What if Ishmael can't get home? And, where did he get those tattoos? Tune in next time on: As 'It burns, it burns'. Enjoy these answers and more soon... we promise."
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments: Blood II goes all out with this, particularly with levels set on subway trains, of which there are three across the first half of the game (two each starting the first two chapters, then another one halfway through the second chapter), and two of which even play out and end the exact same way (Caleb murders everyone, gets to the front, then the train crashes into another one), with the only difference being in enemy types (only Cultists the first time, adding Fanatics and Drudge Lords the second). Most examples, however, are the result of trying to emulate a Hub Level-style system without actually having hub levels, such as the part of the city with a laundromat from level 2 (which you come back to twice, once after visiting a museum and crossing through some tenements, then once after a sewer system, the Center for Disease Management, and through an airship - you can even skip almost the entire chapter, straight from C1L2 to C1L11, by simply noclipping through some vents in the back of the laundromat) and the CabalCo headquarters way near the end (where you play through the level, find a locked door and sidetrack to a power station to open it, go back and progress further, find another locked door and sidetrack to the R&D section to look for a keycard, then go back a third time to finally find the real exit to the roof).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Considering CabalCo is essentially a public face for the evil, mystical cult of Tchernobog, Gideon couldn't be anything else.
  • Creepy Circus Music: "Dark Carnival", to match the equally creepy carnival. The MIDI equivalent is even more somber.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: The normal exit from "Sick Ward" (E3M4) is hooked up to a switch that immolates a cage full of civilians when thrown, and there's no way to get them out first. Many walkthroughs advise you to take the secret exit to "Catacombs" instead.
  • Cult: The Cabal, the cult of Tchernobog.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Well, most of it is, but Tchernobog is technically a neutral force who exists to separate and bind alternate realities. For the most part, Tchernobog's own will overpowers that of his new host, but there have been exceptions, such as his 5th incarnation being a Buddhist high priest who set Tchernobog to turn the Cabal into a religious cult, and the 16th incarnation, a truly evil and bitter man, turned him into the form we see him as in-game. Caleb as the 17th incarnation was another case, presumably becoming so powerful that there was no trace of Tchernobog left other than his powers and duties to bind and keep separate the realities.
  • Dead Character Walking: The first game has a glitch where, on occasion, enemies who are killed by being set on fire would continue to run around in their on-fire animation indefinitely, (usually) unable to damage you but also invulnerable to everything but splash damage.
  • Dead Weight: Bloated Butchers. They're more resilient and versatile with two ranged attacks, but they're also a lot slower and can be set on fire extremely easily with a quick spray of the Aerosol Flamethrower.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Caleb is more of an undeadpan snarker. The other Chosen get in on it as well, but not nearly to the same extent.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: Ophelia, Ishmael, and Gabriel die alongside Caleb in Blood's intro. Caleb inexplicably comes back in the first game, and the other three are revived during the course of Blood II through use of the Singularity Generator. There's also Tchernobog, who due to the nature of his reincarnation, had died and come back at least 15 times before Caleb somehow permanently killed him.
  • Degraded Boss: The first game follows the standard example for a Doom clone - the stone gargoyle, giant spider, and Cerberus are first introduced as end-episode bosses before becoming regular enemies (though not any weaker than their first appearance) in later episodes. The second mostly avoids this, with only the Behemoth from the end of chapter 2 appearing more than once afterwards.
  • Determinator: Even death didn't put Caleb down for good. Tchernobog, either, whose method of reincarnation meant that he came back from death sixteen times before, but when it came between him and Caleb he didn't stand a chance.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Singularity Generator manages to be unpredictable enough that it revives the rest of the Chosen, even turning one from a man to a woman. Once the scientists who created it have it working the way it should, Caleb bursts in, kills them, and steals it.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Due to the arc trajectory, necessary timing, and being just as easily able to kill the player as it is enemies, the basic TNT in Blood has a bit of a learning curve. When properly used, though, it's one of the most powerful, plentiful and versatile weapons in the game, capable of clearing whole rooms even around corners and at long distances.
  • Difficulty Levels: Unlike many other Build engine games, Blood 1's difficulty levels don't just determine the placements and amount of enemies on each map, they also determine various properties and the vitality of monsters. Blood 2's, however, are more standard difficulty levels that primarily place more enemies and let them deal higher damage; the only noticeable difference is that your maximum health is also determined by difficulty, with the easiest allowing for 200 normal health and the hardest dropping you to just 50.
  • Easter Egg: In E1M2, "Wrong side of the Tracks", if the player decides to go down the train tracks at the end without entering the train, they'll eventually hear a train horn. Continue and eventually the player will be run over by an incoming train.
  • Early Game Hell: Brutally enforced. The first episode is considered the toughest episode of the game due to harsh enemy placements, a lack of resources, and the player first getting used to the game. Once the player manages to get to E1M3, things get notably easier, as they have acquired enough ammunition and weapons to stand a decent chance against the enemy hordes.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Tchernobog in the first game, the Ancient One and Gideon's second form in the second.
  • Elite Mooks: Prophets in Blood 2 are a lot tougher than regular CabalCo soldiers and are usually armed with heavy weapons.
  • Epic Fail: CabalCo attempted to make a really big gun that tears holes in the fabric of reality to kill things, with the intent to use it to kill Caleb. They instead somehow made a gun which tore holes in the fabric of reality to bring the other three Chosen back from the dead.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: "Ugh, I hate mimes."
  • Expansion Pack: Both games have seen one or two expansion packs after release.
    • Blood has Cryptic Passage and Plasma Pak. The former is a third-party expansion that adds a new "Cryptic Passage" episode and four multiplayer maps, while the latter adds another episode titled "Post Mortem" along with new multiplayer maps, new weapon modes, new enemies, and additional bug fixes.
    • Blood II: The Chosen has The Nightmare Levels expansion, which adds new single-player sequences, some extra multiplayer maps, two new weapons, extra options, and new bug fixes.
  • Exploding Barrels:
    • In Blood, there are barrels filled with TNT and labeled as such. You can explode them with bullets or your own bombs, or set them on fire for a delayed detonation.
    • In Blood II, certain objects like soda machines, washing machines, cars, fuel pumps and closed rusted barrels explode when damaged. For electric appliances it's mostly a visual effect, but for the others, expect some Splash Damage if you're close.
  • Eye Beams: Stone gargoyles have them, and they deal spirit armor damage. Tchernobog has a different variant, able to set things in his line of sight on fire.
  • Everything Fades: All gibs in Blood II disappear over a short period of time, save for the heads of gibbed corpses.
  • Evil Laugh: At least a third of Caleb's lines are various sinister laughs. He sometimes lets out a particularly awesome cackle when scoring a multi-kill or vandalizing the scenery with explosives.
  • Evil Is Visceral: Much of the Cabal's activities, as well as Caleb's more supernatural powers, seem to involve particularly messy Blood Magic drawn from the torture and butchering of human sacrifices. Slaughtered humans can be found throughout most Cabal facilities, with some even still being alive, often posed in a manner suggesting they were exsanguinated in some profane ritual. Additionally, blood splatters are commonly seen on walls or floors even before Caleb adds a fresh coating of Cabal guts to the mix, and Caleb himself will opine upon seeing a "Employees Must Wash Hands" sign that he likes having his hands coated in blood. And then there's everything to do with the level In The Flesh, which takes place almost entirely within a massive creature that seems to serve as a living gateway to Tchernobog's temple.
  • 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 Ultimate 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.
  • The Faceless: Zealots in Blood II are this, by way of a Cool Mask that completely covers their heads, even the eyes. The game's manual suggests that either they no longer need their eyes to see, or the process of becoming a Zealot causes them to Go Mad from the Revelation and become afraid to see anything.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Gideon is reduced to nothing but his skull after he fights Caleb. At the beginning of the Nightmare Levels expansion it's revealed his soul was trapped within it. He's surprisingly not bitter about it, figuring he'll "serve as a muse to some unfortunate playwright" someday, and in the meantime deciding to narrate the continuing adventures of Caleb and company to the player.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The four Chosen have this sort of dynamic in the second game as playable characters. Caleb and Gabriella serve as the Fighters, having the highest strength to give them the most health, the most ammo, and the strongest knife attacks, but with low intelligence giving them the least Focus, not even enough to use the Orb's secondary fire, the two otherwise only differing in that Caleb is faster in return for less damage resistance; Ishmael is the Mage, having the highest intelligence to give him far more Focus for using magical weapons with, but low strength giving him next to no ammo capacity and little health (particularly no ability to overheal); and Ophelia is the Thief, having low-to-middling strength and higher than average intelligence to give her more Focus than Caleb or Gabriella while also having more health and ammo than Ishmael. The Extra Crispy mod alters Caleb to have a bit more Focus in exchange for a bit less ammo capacity, while still being slower but more resistant than Ophelia, making him more of a Magic Knight.
  • First-Name Basis: Of the four Chosen, only Ophelia's last name, Price, is made known, and even then only the manual uses it. Everyone calls everyone by their first name, which includes Gideon in Blood II.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Gideon serves the role of this for the Nightmare Levels expansion.
  • Fish People: The Gill Beasts, amphibious sea monsters that are very fast and dangerous underwater, but become somewhat slow bipedal walkers on land.
  • Flare Gun: One of the earliest examples in video games, the Flare Gun takes up the standard pistol slot in the first game. On a per-shot basis, it's Caleb's second most effective incendiary weapon, and it's the best choice against foes that can Teleport Spam or turn intangible.
  • Flipping the Bird: When they spot you, the Hands in Blood II will gleefully stop, "stand" on their wrists and give you the one-finger salute before giving chase.
  • Foreshadowing: Even though he cast out the Chosen, Tchernobog provides Caleb with a vital hint for a puzzle in "Hallowed Grounds" (E1M5)—almost as if he wants Caleb to keep going.
    Tchernobog: You will know what to do when the time comes.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: A few in the first game. Installing the Plasma Pak fixes some of them.
    • A glitch in earlier builds made it impossible to shake off Choking Hands once they've attached to you.
    • E3M6: Monster Bait's exit door can be opened only once but closes after a while. If for whatever reason (perhaps you want to reveal some secret areas you missed) you don't immediately enter, you won't be able to proceed to the next level unless you cheat.
    • E4M5: Fire and Brimstone was also missing a key in one version of the game that prevented the player from finishing the level without cheats.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Tchernobog notes that whenever Caleb killed someone, he would grow more powerful, possibly even eclipsing Tchernobog himself. In-game, though, Caleb's strength and durability, like in most shooters, is strictly dependent on what weapons he's carrying and how much health he has. You can obtain health and ammo pickups by killing enemies, as well as powerups, but powerups are temporary, and Caleb certainly can't increase his health and ammo infinitely.
  • Gatling Good: The Vulcan Cannon in the second game has the highest DPS potential of any bullet-firing weapon in the game. Gabriella has it as her Weapon of Choice. Extra Crispy turns the combat shotgun into one, with four barrels that revolve for a very fast (for a shotgun) rate of fire.
  • Gender Flip: Gabriel somehow gets brought back to life as a woman in Blood II, evidently thanks to the Singularity Generator being just that unpredictable; her only comment is that it's "a long story", and she seems to be fine with it.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Even before their resurrection, all of the Chosen's eyes glowed a bright red.
  • Gothic Horror: The first game is of the Post-Victorian type (specifically, it takes place in 1928). In addition to having a Villain Protagonist (who's technically undead), the game has a rather dark and drab visual style, along with numerous classic horror story locations, such as haunted houses and cemeteries, an Amusement Park of Doom, and a Mad Scientist Laboratory.
  • Grand Theft Me: Tchernobog reincarnates by allowing someone to kill his current form and then taking over the body of the one who killed him. The Cabal was formed in the first place so Tchernobog would always have a new body to reincarnate into, becoming the religious cult it is in the first game after an early incarnation passed his religious tendencies onto Tchernobog. This was the basis for his plan in the first game, betraying Caleb so he would go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, killing scores of the cult and making himself powerful enough for Tchernobog to "throw open the door between the worlds and inherit the Earth" upon possessing him. However, Caleb presumably became even more powerful than even Tchernobog expected, as Caleb kills him, inheriting his powers and status as The One That Binds, without being possessed.
    • The cancelled Revelations expansion pack would have had this as part of the plot again, with the reveal that the possession actually was successful, and the player after the end of the original game was controlling Tchernobog-as-Caleb rather than Caleb himself—by way of the new big bad stealing Tchernobog's essence and leaving the player to control him in a boss fight between himself and Caleb. Notably, winning or losing in the resulting boss fight would have lead to an ending, since either way the player, controlling Tchernobog's essence, would still be around, regardless of who the host was. Just don't think too hard about all the havoc this twist would have played with the base game's plot and Caleb's characterization.
  • The Grim Reaper: Phantasms, miniature Grim Reapers that are only vulnerable when they become corporeal. They often startle players by ambushing them with their persistent screaming and creepy smile.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The button required to proceed further in Gothic Librarynote  is hidden on the far side of the fallen bookshelf in the "eye door" room. It's so poorly visible you may end up stuck in the level desperately searching for a way to proceed.
    • There is only one Death Ray in the second game, and it's very well-hidden. If you don't have a flashlight, you're not likely to find it without resorting to a guide.
  • Guns Akimbo: The first game featured it as a power-up that only worked for about a minute; the second game let you dual-wield certain weapons indefinitely by picking up a second one, at the cost of that weapon's alternate firing mode. The Extra Crispy mod removes the alt-fire restriction and increases the number of guns that can be held akimbo to such a degree, you'd be excused for mistaking Caleb for a gunzerker.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: The Beretta, MAC-10, M16 and Vulcan minigun all use the same ammunition. The M16's Grenade Launcher also shares ammo with the Die-Bug-Die pesticide spray, though the model at least is noticeably different from the real thing to account for this - you can see on the finished model used ingame that the grenade launcher looks noticeably different from a real M203, including the bulged-out portion at the rear, loads what look to actually be cans of pesticide through the muzzle rather than at the breech, and is taped to the M16's handguard where a real M203 has much more secure mounting clips that go around the barrel underneath the handguard.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Caleb is not a nice man by any stretch of the imagination, and even though he tears through the Cabal post-Disavowal (in order: to avenge his companions, prevent the Cabal from acquiring a powerful artifact, thwart their attempt at rebuilding with a new set of "Chosen", and defeat Gideon), that's about the extent of his "face"-turn. Even if you don't play the games as a mass-murdering asshole, Caleb is indifferent to other people at best.
  • 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. The Life Seed super health pickup in Blood II is also a heart, though it floats above a sigil.
  • Hellhounds: Regular ones, and the larger, twin-headed Cerberus. Both have fiery breath.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels:
    • The first game's, from easiest to hardest, are Still Kicking, Pink on the Inside, Lightly Broiled, Well Done, and Extra Crispy. Fresh Supply adds "Made to Order" to the mix, which is a difficulty mode designed to allow full customization of a ton of difficulty modifiers.
    • The second game has Genocide (easy), Homicide (normal) and Suicide (hard).
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In the ending of the first game's second episode, Caleb tears out and eats the heart of his fallen comrade while paraphrasing the Bible, something about eating "the flesh of the Son of Man". (He does apologize to said comrade before doing it, though.). Building off of that, it can be assumed that he also consumes any heart health pickups he happens upon.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Clicking on bottles of booze in the first game has Caleb mutter that he could use some.
  • I Need You Stronger: Why Tchernobog revived Caleb instead of immediately trying to take Caleb's body as his next vessel.
  • Interface Screw: Hands and Bone Leeches will cause the screen to darken the longer they're latched on, simulating asphyxiation. Thieves and red spiders make the screen blurry and distorted, while also messing with the health and ammo counters in the original game due to a glitch (Fresh Supply fixes that part). Green spiders make the screen flicker for a fraction of a second.
  • Just Train Wrong:
    • E1M3: The Phantom Express - just about the only thing right about it is that the train runs on tracks. Let's see: Absurdly spacious? Check. Exceeds every known loading gauge worldwide? Check. No doors on the car sides to actually board the train? Check. The tender having no water tank? Check. Walkways going all the way around the locomotive including its cab? Check. The steam engine having no actual boiler, just a furnace in an oversized cab without any front view windowsnote  and no discernible controlsnote  except a few switches only used to overheat the furnace and blow the whole engineering paradox up? Check, check, CHECK.
    • The subway trains in the second game only fare slightly better. The crowner is one train running right after another with just a two meter gap. That would spell disaster in real life once the front train would began braking - as the game perfectly demonstrates the other two times it reuses the subway map, both of which end with your train crashing into the one ahead of it.
  • Kill It with Fire: Usually the best way to get rid of strong enemies like the Bloated Butcher. For that, Blood has the flare gun, the spray can and the napalm cannon. Blood II sees the return of all of these, with the exception of the spray can, which gets replaced by the glitched and mostly useless DieBugDie sprayer.
  • Kill It with Water: Hellhounds, spiders and gargoyles die instantly if submerged in any liquid. Fresh Supply even grants an achievement for managing to dispatch a Hellhound by dunking it in the water.
  • Large and in Charge: Tchernobog is of course a huge demon god, but even Gideon, the leader of the Cabal in Blood II, looks to be a good 8 or 9 feet tall despite being a regular human.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: There's a phone call in the second level of Blood II in which a lady asks "Mr. Cal-Eeb" if he is or has ever been a character in a video game. Caleb replies "You've gotta be kidding" and hangs up.
  • Legacy Character:
    • The Nightmare Levels reveals that this was the case for "JoJo the Idiot Circus Boy", the main attraction of the first game's Dark Carnival; Ishmael states that he was once JoJo, and his "nightmare" takes the form of the day when he answered Tchernobog's call and left the circus.
    • In a sense, Tchernobog himself is this, although it's more like jacking a new body for the original to keep living with - the entire point of the Cabal, at least at first, was to always have people on standby to provide him with a new body if his current one ever dies. By the time of the first game, Tchernobog is into his sixteenth reincarnation, with plans to make Caleb number seventeen.
  • 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.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: As befitting a Doom clone, the original game is chock full of them. This game in particular takes it Up to Eleven, as, rather than Doom's two mutually-exclusive sets of three keys, Blood actually has six unique keys, and some of the larger levels actually require collecting all of them. Blood II dials it back, but still has some levels (particularly Cabalco's R&D wing and several of the Nightmare Levels) dedicated to hunting down several keys in sequence.
  • Locomotive Level: E1M3: The Phantom Express in the first game. Several ones in the second.
  • Loophole Abuse: The "Watch out for Pedestrians" achievement in Fresh Supply requires you to beat E3M1: Ghost Town without any innocents being killed. The game will award the achievement if you beat the level on "Made to Order" difficulty without NPCs, since there will be no innocents to be killed anyway.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Subverted. Caleb had quite the taste for bloodshed long before he met Ophelia or that she died; she just added fuel to the fire by dragging him into the Cabal.
    • Love Redeems: A minor example in Blood II, since he continues to be the murderous psychopath he's always been even after the "redemption". Caleb is initially only fighting the Cabal because they keep preventing him from killing Gideon, who he'd have been content to ignore if he hadn't pissed Caleb off by trying to kill him, and he doesn't give two shits about his status as the One That Binds following the death of Tchernobog or the ramifications such an attitude has on reality's continued existence. His priority more or less shifts over to rescuing Ophelia when he learns that she was brought back and hears she's being held at CabalCo's headquarters, and getting her back presumably plays a role in the other Chosen getting him to finally start doing his new job. Notably, Caleb stops snarking at Ishmael the very instant the latter tells him that Ophelia was brought back just like the other Chosen, and when Gideon interrupts their reunion, Caleb doesn't threaten him until he whisks Ophelia away, instead asking him to just leave them be for two minutes. Whatever his many, many other faults are, even when they're snarking at one another it's abundantly clear Caleb still loves Ophelia.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Plentiful. You can even attack the gibs.
  • MacGuffin: The backstory of the add-on Cryptic Passage has Caleb head out to find an ancient scroll, supposedly "capable of upsetting the balance of power in the otherworld". Not that it matters whatsoever what it is.
  • Made of Explodium: Even by GoldenEye-era FPS standards, some rather unusual things in the second game explode in a burst of flame when damaged enough, such as vending machines, refrigerators, and even some of the wooden desks in the CabalCo offices. This is, of course, assuming it's not a machine that bursts into Ludicrous Gibs when destroyed... or a corpse that explodes into a shower of metal parts, because this game is weird.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Starting point of the fourth episode. The second game also has CabalCo's Research & Development wing, in which you get to kill the Mad Scientist in question and steal the BFG he's tried to attack you with during various cutscenes across the game.
  • Mana Meter: Focus in Blood II, used to power supernatural weapons like the voodoo doll, Life Leech and The Orb. Interestingly, this caused a common belief that the Orb did not have a Secondary Fire mode - it does, but it takes more than 100 Focus, so only Ophelia and Ishmael can use it.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: Tchernobog (Чернобог) is a (German-style) rendering of the Russian for "Black God".
  • Mega-Corp: The Cabal becomes this between the two games, gaining control of pretty much everything on the planet by 2028.
  • Mirror Boss: In Blood 2, you fight zombie clones of the other 3 Chosen just before the final fight with the Ancient One.
  • Mistaken for Granite: There are gargoyle statues that sometimes turn into live gargoyles. Much Paranoia Fuel ensues when you realize even the ones that don't turn will still bleed when struck.
  • Mook Maker:
    • The Drudge Priest in Blood II sometimes spawns more Leeches as an attack, especially if you get close or attack the host's belly.
    • The giant spiders in the first game spawn smaller spiders to attack for them, as they can't attack directly.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: The Crystal Ball allows you to spy on other human players. Since there are none in singleplayer, the Crystal Ball is not present.
  • Muzzle Flashlight: Blood II has a few examples.
    • Bullet-based weapons emit a big circle of orange-ish light when fired, while others produce much more negligible but still useful flashes. Firing in the Air a Lot with the assault rifle is a passable way of going through a very dark section if your Ten-Second Flashlight runs out.
    • Thanks to the lighting mechanics of the LithTech engine, a flare makes for a fairly decent light source until it burns out, either on impact with a solid surface or after a while on an enemy. Said enemy can work as a living, moving lantern if you can get it to follow you.
  • Nerf: Several weapons and enemies didn't pass from the original to the sequel unchanged.
    • The Sawed-Off Shotgun lost all of its accuracy, fires and reloads more slowly, and requires a reload after every two shells even when paired up. As a mild compensation, it can be dual-wielded at will without a power-up, and though ammo is less common overall (particularly all but disappearing in the third chapter), Caleb's cap for it was increased by 50 shells. Extra Crispy allows you to use the double-barrel discharge with dual shotguns.
    • Soul Drudges, the substitute of the Zombies, are much slower and easier to juggle with your melee weapon.
    • Speaking of melee weapon, the pitchfork has been replaced by a much weaker knife that has little to no use outside of killing Soul Drudges and civilians or breaking containers without wasting ammo - and even the latter is a crapshoot, as some very strange objects blow up in a highly-damaging fireball when you break them.
    • The flare gun doesn't deal a continuous stream of damage; instead, it does so per tics. Alt-fire is completely useless, too, due to a bug which prevents it from igniting enemies (so much so that it was re-tooled in the Extra Crispy mod to fire a big shotgun-like cluster of primary fire flares). However, it can be dual wielded at will, flares are more common, and weak as the projectiles are, they burn underwater now and are far better than most video-game flares at actually providing illumination.
    • The Voodoo Doll is much less harmful to anything you're targeting, and the secondary fire loses out to a double-barreled blast from the shotgun. Its ammo now recharges over time, though.
    • The Life Leech is a bit of a mixed bag. You have a lot more control over the length of the bursts and can even fire it automatically, it uses Focus (the same recharging "mana" pool the Orb and the Voodoo Doll feed off of) instead of the finite and rare Trapped Souls, and it doesn't hurt you if you run out of juice. On the other hand, the "turret" secondary fire is gone and replaced by a fairly useless Shockwave Stomp that costs all of Caleb's Focus and doesn't drain health from the people you hit with it, the projectiles are a lot weaker, slower and curve in weird ways that ruin any accuracy past close range, and to top it off, the firing animation isn't nearly as visually impressive. It's good utility if you're low on health and faced with melee-only enemies, but doesn't compare to the arsenal you're most likely used to by the time you get it near the end of the game.
    • The Napalm Launcher is one that got shafted the hardest, going from an aversion to Video Game Flamethrowers Suck, to now being a proud example of it. In II, it has a much slower firing rate in both modes, while the fireballs are much weaker (primary fire hurts less than a double shotgun blast - at least three shots are necessary to kill a basic enemy on Suicide difficulty), painfully slow, and don't set the target on fire. In early versions it was still worth keeping around because a bug refilled your ammo to full with each pickup, so it was still a spammable option, but now, after the fix that changed them to give only 10 shots per can, it's at best inventory filler.
    • The Tesla Cannon in the first game is best described as "assault rifle of electric death". In II, it took a good few steps back in functionality: each projectile costs double the ammo, they're fired at a slower rate (with a delay between pulling the trigger and the gun actually firing the first shot), travel more slowly, and are a lot weaker, while the secondary mode is extremely costly (at least four times the original's secondary) and only really usable against enemies that are slow or tend to stand still.
  • Nice Hat: What would a Wild West Gunslinger be without some snazzy headwear? Caleb wears a large black wide-brimmed cowboy hat with a black hat band around it.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Caleb is an immortal undead Wild West gunslinger.
  • Nintendo Hard: The first game isn't very balanced in the damage department, with even the weakest of mooks dealing absurd amounts of damage, not helped by the fact that the game has a wider variety of hitscan enemies than most other shooters of the mid-nineties. Don't feel bad about playing on the lowest difficulty setting your first time through (even though a glitch in some versions makes enemies deal even more damage on that difficulty). The second game is a little better, but the default difficulty, its equivalent to a normal difficulty, is still equivalent to the Harder Than Hard difficulty of many other FPS games.
  • Nominal Hero: Caleb's end goal of killing the Cabal and Tchernobog is a positive result for humanity, and that's... about the only heroic qualifier one could give him.
  • Non-Indicative Name: E1M5 is called "Hallowed Grounds" despite it being a large church dedicated to Tchernobog, and thus the opposite of a holy place.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find out exactly what the scroll in Cryptic Passage does or what's written on it, though the implication seems to be it's some kind of Tome of Eldritch Lore.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Cheogh, the first boss (a stone gargoyle). Is it "CHEE-og"? "Chee-off" "Choaf"? Something else?
  • Nostalgia Filter: Some of the phone calls.
    When I was young we didn't have any Life Leeches. We had to kill those Soul Drudges with our BARE HANDS! We had to bite their legs off and they'd keep comin' back. Did we even care? We liked it that way.
  • Nostalgia Level: The expansion to Blood II begins with Cold, Cold Grave, which combines at least three levels from Blood's Episode 2.
  • Not His Blood: Caleb alludes to this at the start of "The Sick Ward" (E3L4), which takes place in a hospital.
    "I'm here to donate some blood. Someone else's."
  • Not Quite Dead: The axe zombies. If damage past a certain threshold, but not enough for a One-Hit Kill, is dealt to them, they'll just be knocked to the ground.
  • Obvious Beta:
    • Sadly (or not), Blood II: The Chosen didn't quite have the quality of a retail game by the time it was released, and was never fully fixed. The game is rife with glitches and programming errors, such as:
      • Cultists, Fanatics and Prophets may die before flinching even once. It happens most often when you're shooting them in the head with a bullet-based weapon: the game does have headshot mechanics, but calling them "inconsistent" is putting it mildly.
      • Shooting a Prophet enough will make him switch to the knife for no reason. When using said knife, they'll first reach out to the target in a full two-second "grab" animation that doesn't hold the target in place, to only then deliver three measly stabs. It's ironic that the most dangerous Elite Mooks of the game can be made the easiest to kite by far.
      • Enemies tend to get frozen at the end of an attack/flinch animation if they can't see or get to the player by the end of it, instead of going idle or prowling the level.
      • The second sawn-off is held by a second right hand of Caleb's (the model isn't mirrored like the other dual-wielded guns). Extra Crispy fixes that.
      • The flare gun's secondary fire doesn't ignite enemies at all.
      • Behemoths can damage themselves with their own shockwaves by a tiny amount, but enough to make them pound the ground repeatedly for no reason, effectively committing suicide.
      • The other Chosen, despite being friendly in-story, have in-game entities that are hostile to Caleb. This in and of itself wouldn't be a problem, since they only show up in cutscenes where the cutscene logic takes priority and they won't do bad things to you, but it does become a problem if, in a double-instance of bugginess, the cutscene ends early for whatever reason. The end of Chapter One is a particularly infamous case, where Gabriella will promptly shoot you to death with a weapon you don't get until two chapters later.
      • Another issue with cutscenes is that Caleb can still be moved around by moving scenery objects depending on where you stand when you trigger them. Again, this normally isn't a problem - while the first time it can happen is in the second level, the worst that comes of it is Caleb sliding off-screen because the player went up a down escalator - it can spell death in the second chapter due to a sad combination of a cutscene beginning as the player is walking through a door they just opened, doors automatically closing themselves a few seconds after being opened, and doors being able to crush anything in their path, including between themselves and their frame while closing.
      • The first fight with Gideon often ends before you fully deplete his health. After the cutscene, you have around 20 seconds to free roam before the next level loads. In the second fight, he flinches with absolutely any damage you deal, and the minigun can lift him up into the air; upon death, his body may clip through the floor and drop to the lower boundaries of the level.
      • In the initial release, dropping weapons and standing on top of them nets you ammo for them like if you'd just picked them up for the first time.
      • Some enemies, like the third Soul Drudge in Love Canal, will be permanently stuck attacking the air (often several times faster than normal despite not corresponding to the animation playing) unless you shoot them.
      • Drudge Lords are elevated from a simple Giant Mook to a Demonic Spider because of the fact that, if you move out of sight while they're in the midst of their fireball attack, they will slide across the ground while continuing to throw fireballs. If you're just around the corner, it's frequently deadly. Conversely, if you move out of sight while they're preparing to throw fireballs, and then move yourself back in to their line of sight - such as, say, repeatedly moving back and forth between a Soul Drudge that's between you and the Drudge Lord - they will reset the animation, making them completely harmless until you're ready to deal with them. Also, if they change targets in the midst of their fireball attack, e.g. killing their initial target with the first fireball and still having two more to go, they can fire them off at extreme angles, at least slightly further than 90 degrees, without actually turning their bodies towards their new target.
      • Hostile entities are, for most intents and purposes, treated the same as the human player. Where they differ from a player is that they have no limit on how much they can fire their weapons. Where they are the same is that they still have an internal ammo stockpile - and can, as such, take ammo pickups before you have the chance to get them yourself. This is particularly pronounced in the third level of the expansion, where it is guaranteed that a Shikari will grab some of the ammo in a fenced-off area before you can get in.
    • The Fresh Supply remaster was released in a very, very broken state: enemy behavior is broken, some textures are glitching or missing, crashes, broken weapons (such as the Life Leech, which doesn't absorb the enemies' HP, and the Tesla Cannon, which shoots 4 projectiles instead of 5), low volume for some of Caleb's lines, unplayable multiplayer, missing graphical effects and so on. Thankfully, Nightdive managed to fix most of the bugs.
  • Odd Name Out: Caleb's, Ishmael's, and Gabriella's names all originate from the Bible, while Ophelia's comes from Hamlet.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Ominous Domus Durbentia Chanting, actually. Rather common in later levels of each episode.
  • One-Man Army: Caleb can take on the likes of axe-wielding zombies, crazed cultists, gargoyles, and Grim Reapers all by himself.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: One of the very few times Caleb stops his constant snarking is when he sees Ophelia's strung-up corpse in the first game. Then, he is just pissed. There's also a more minor example in the second game, where he has a joke or excuse lined up for everything Ishmael tells him about his responsibilities as the One that Binds - but not for the revelation that Ophelia was brought back to life the same as he and Gabriel(la) were. When Caleb finally finds her, he even asks Gideon to just leave him alone with her for a few minutes rather than threatening him like he does every other time the two converse.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: Flesh and stone versions, stone ones being larger, stronger, and much harder to kill, with one of them serving as the first episode's boss.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Notably, Blood is 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.
  • Palette Swap: Brown and black robed cultists. One official expansion went crazy with blue, green and maroon robed cultists.note  Besides that, red and green spiders and regular and stone gargoyles, though the latter two are also resized and use different attacks. Blood II has much less of this, focused mainly on Zealots (who come in dark green and later red variations) and, in The Nightmare Levels, clown guards who are nothing more than male Cultists with clown makeup and outfits instead of Cool Shades and business suits.
  • Personal Space Invader: Choking Hands. The sequel introduces Bone Leeches and Thieves.
  • Public Domain Character: Tchernobog (usually spelled without the T) is a "real" god from Slavic mythology, although very little is known about him other than that his name means "Black god" and there was another Slavic deity named Belobog ("White god"), although whether he was his Good Counterpart, brother, or even if the two were different facets of the same god is unknown. His appearance as a demon like God of Evil is likely based on his portrayal in Fantasia as a big black demon.
  • Ray Gun: The Cabalco Death Ray. It even looks like a '60s Sci-Fi B-movie prop you'd expect Little Green Men to tote.
    • Death Ray: As the name says, though it shoots hitscan Reflecting Lasers. However, no one is gonna deny the "death" part, as its DPS easily rivals the assault rifle's.
  • Real Is Brown: The first game uses mostly brown and grey shades, with some white in the second episode as it takes place up in the Arctic.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Caleb's. They're red and they glow!
  • Reference Overdosed: What Duke Nukem 3D was to pop culture in general, Blood was to horror movie buffs.
  • Revenge: Both ways. 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. The Extra Crispy mod for the second lets him start the campaign with one.
  • Scarab Power: In Blood 2, the armor pickups come in the form of scarab beetle talismans entitled the Ward (25 armor) and Necroward (a full 100).
  • Secondary Fire: One of the earliest PC first-person shooters to feature secondary fire for many of its weapons. 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.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Caleb inherited Tchernobog's role as the One That Binds. You know, Tchernobog—the dark god that betrayed the Chosen as part of a wider plan to unleash Hell on Earth. Caleb's peculiar response when informed of this implies that he isn't ignorant of his powers so much as unwilling to confront that Tchernobog still haunts him:
    Ishmael: [after Caleb gets snarky with him] That's not what I mean. You are the One that Binds; sooner or later, you'll have to face that.
    Caleb: I am denial. I'll face nothing.
  • 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.
  • Severed Head Sports: The game lets you kick zombie heads around. It even has a minigame in the fourth level and a deathmatch map dedicated to head football.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: The Ancient One attempts a variant of this on Caleb using undead copies of the Chosen. Caleb, who knows that it's not really his friends saying those things, isn't impressed.
  • 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.
  • Shareware: The first game, at least.
  • Shout-Out: Way way way too many to mention, mostly to horror classics such as Stephen King's books or A Nightmare on Elm Street, gothic literature... and Evil Dead for deadpan snarkery. See here for an extensive list.
  • Sinister Subway: Three levels in Blood II place Caleb on a subway train. Two of the three end with the train in question crashing.
  • Slasher Smile: Blood II's box art is a close-up of Caleb sporting one.
  • 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-Spoken Sadist: When he's not cackling like a madman or screaming in pain like most FPS protagonists do when they're hit, Caleb has a very quiet, grumbling, and almost monotone voice.
  • Soft Water: Provided the water is deep enough to slow your fall, landing in it will lead to no damage being taken.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Notably averted in the original game. While the shotgun and Tommy gun are typical, the pistol is a flare gun that shoots incendiary projectiles that set enemies on fire; the rocket launcher is replaced by a napalm gun that sets enemies on fire alongside the normal explosive damage, and there are bizarre weapons such as the hairspray and lighter, voodoo doll and the Life Leech staff. The second game pads the armory out with a few more of these, like a normal 9mm pistol, multiple varieties of bullet hoses (smaller machine pistols that can be paired up up through an assault rifle with underslung Grenade Launcher and then a multi-barreled monstrosity), and a sniper rifle, but otherwise keeps most of the bizarre weapons of the first game, or replaces them with equally-odd new ones, like a pesticide sprayer with a Zippo lighter attached to make it into an impromptu flamethrower. Even better, Blood 2 doesn't have assigned weapon slots, so you can customize your loadout by dropping weapons you don't want or need.
  • Steam Vent Obstacle: Blood II's obligatory sewer level consists near-entirely of finding switches to turn off a series of steam vents blocking you from crossing a bridge to the exit.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: "I must stop this train!" How? Just disable the safety clamps and rise the boiler temperature to critical level so it blows up.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Hellhounds die instantly when submerged in water, likely from snuffing out their vital fire abilities.
  • Take That!: Blood riffs on Duke Nukem 3D and its "doomed space marine" secret by stringing up Duke's own corpse in a hidden room at the Dark Carnival, with Caleb mockingly mimicking Duke's "shake it baby" line when you interact with it.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight:
    • The original Blood has the "Beast Vision", a magical set of glasses with funky lenses that lets you see enemies clearly in the dark and runs out in less than a minute if left on continuously.
    • Blood II includes a set of crappy Night-Vision Goggles that lasts exactly 50 seconds, and an angle-head flashlight that dies after 100 seconds (one minute and forty seconds) of use.
      • Inverted in the Extra Crispy Game Mod for Blood II, that makes the flashlight as close to infinite as possible, like the searchlight from Unreal. The NVGs are also altered to run much longer, though they still deplete noticeably with prolonged use.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Choking Hands and, in the second game, Bone Leeches will actually obscure the HUD when doing their thing.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Upon entering the final boss's chamber in Cryptic Passage:
    Caleb: "This looks...extraordinarily bad."
  • Updated Re-release:
    • One Unit Whole Blood, which contains all six episodes of the first game (original 4 episodes + Cryptic Passage + Plasma Pak) and extra features.
    • Fresh Supply contains everything the OUWB pack does, but also ports the game to the Kex engine, letting it run natively on modern Windows/Mac/Linux systems for the first time, as well as optionally adding other graphical improvements such as ambient occlusion and "true" 3D aim.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Not a spell, despite the series involving magic. The Night-Vision Goggles in II paint enemies in a nice bright green hue, but they paint all of the surroundings with a dark green that, in a game where it's already dark and hard to see, makes it damn near impossible to see anything. Even worse is that this is still an upgrade over the Beast Vision glasses from the original game, which highlighted enemies in full-brightness regardless of how dark their surroundings were, but did nothing to cut through that darkness in those surroundings. It's more of a tool for taking out nuisance enemies in an environment where they're difficult to see than it is an actual navigation tool.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Where do we begin?
    • The most cruelty possible may involve unarmed civilians that will sometimes drop health if you kill them, or on some occasions must be killed because they carry a key.
    • There's also head-soccer: in Blood, you can randomly decapitate zombies on a kill and kick their heads around (it's even used as a carnival game to unlock a secret in the first game's Dark Carnival level). Blood II expands this so you can kick the head and various other gibs of any humanoid enemy around and adds it as a multiplayer mode.
    • Caleb hates mimes with a passion. In fact, other than their use as impromptu platforms to reach secrets, mimes exist in this game only to be brutally killed. Even the help screen of the registered version shows a mime getting killed by some monsters!
    Caleb: [after killing one mime] "Ugh, I hate mimes."
    [after killing a few more] "Oh, I shouldn't have done that... Wait, I'm evil! I can kill whoever I want!" [maniacal giggling]
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Zig-zagged.
    • The first game's Aerosol Flamethrower is tricky to ignite enemies for long periods with, but when you manage that, use the "Molotov Cocktail" Secondary Fire or generally against more flammable enemies like Bloated Butchers, it's quite devastating. The Die Bug Die bug spray replacing it in II is short-ranged, slow-firing and all around worthless, only serving to check how much spray ammo you have for the assault rifle's Grenade Launcher secondary - a function which itself was rendered unnecessary in a patch that added a second ammo counter for your spray ammo when you have the assault rifle equipped.
    • The aerosol can's closest working simile, the secondary fire on the 12 Gauge Shredder from the Extra Crispy mod, lobs an arcing stream of fireballs that ignite any patch of the surface they hit on impact, dealing very good Damage Over Time to whatever stays within its area of effect, making for good area denial. However, the fire doesn't stick to enemies, so it's impractical against tough and fast enemies like Shikaris.
    • The napalm launcher is a cannon of fiery murder in Blood, and the secondary mode can clear out rooms in seconds. It got badly emasculated for Blood II, only toting the largest Splash Damage radius in the game to its favor. Extra Crispy buffed it back to a decent level, but also altered its ammo consumption so that Caleb only has 25 shots on a full reserve.
  • Villain Ball: Tchernobog's plan for Caleb was to have him grow more powerful so that Tchernobog could defeat him and absorb his power, apparently not considering that a) Caleb was completely loyal to Tchernobog beforehand, and b) if Caleb's power is enough to potentially threaten him, maybe Tchernobog shouldn't make absolutely sure that Caleb will now be trying to kill him.
  • Villain Protagonist: Caleb, who's not above killing bystanders that get in his way.
  • Violation of Common Sense: To get a certain secret you have to jump off a speeding train and onto a secret door along the outer wall. Unless you're perfect at it, you'll either take a good chunk of damage from landing or outright die.
  • Voice of the Legion: The ominous Domus Durbentia chanting in E1M7: The Great Temple is apparently spoken by one.
  • 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 damagethe doll even wiggles when you poke it there, and you can hear Caleb chuckling quietly.
  • Vulnerable Civilians: The "innocents" in the first game do little more than run around in a panic and tend to show up in close proximity to cultists, making it difficult to either avoid shooting/blowing them up by accident or take out the cultists in time (assuming that you aren't actively gunning for the civilians, anyway). Civilians in the second game tend to stay put, but are equally defenseless.
  • 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.
  • Weaponized Offspring: Shial spawns regular spiders as its only attack.
  • Womb Level: E4M7 "In The Flesh" takes place inside some giant monster, which includes eyes and mouths on the walls, pools of bile, columns of rib like bone which you use as platforms, and a four-chambered heart at the end where you have to get past the beating walls that act like crushers.
  • Word Salad Title: E4M6 is called "The Ganglion Depths". The ganglion being a part of the brain. What this had to do with the level (which is just a huge temple) is a mystery, although it might be foreshadowing for the next level, "In The Flesh".
  • You Are Too Late: The first game begins with Caleb tearing across the countryside in search of Ophelia and Gabriel(la), who (unlike Ishmael) were taken alive. He doesn't reach either of them in time.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: Bloated Butchers (the fat zombies).

Alternative Title(s): Blood II The Chosen