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Video Game / Bloodline

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"Ignorance is light falling into oblivion in the world of darkness...
...Oblivion is sense amidst fog...
...Fog is the fear of unknown hiding in shadow...
...Fear is the pain which burns the soul...
...Pain is the death that screams from afar...
...Death is the line of blood, which dribbles out of the past, intertwines with the present and drags into the future...
...And nobody is in power to stop it..."
Jim Card

Bloodline is a Czech horror action/quest game released in June 2005 by Zima Soft. The story is set in late 1960s and focuses on Jim Card, a former patient of a seemingly abandoned mental hospital in the middle of nowhere as he awakens with a severe amnesia and discovers he's not quite alone there. The gameplay combines elements of FPS and quest, having players to solve puzzles as they progress towards revealing what really happened in the hospital.

The game did not earn much popularity after the release, part of the reason being the conditions of the game's development, which in their turn affected the game's quality in a catastrophic way. As the result, it was berated by both professional reviewers and players, and sank into oblivion quickly.


Bloodline offers examples for tropes like:

  • Abandoned Hospital: The big first and the last part of the game. It also serves as the game's plot device.
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Jim sets up a container with a pile of burning clothes after he leaves the dissecting room. This trope is downplayed since Jim can easily pass the container, which leaves a good portion of the way unblocked, however, it might actually be effective holding out lesser monsters who seem unable to climb a half-foot tall step.
  • Amnesiac Hero: The protagonist remembers "nothing at all" right after awakening. However, he's able to recall his name once he reads it aloud on the patients list.
  • Berserk Button: Refuse to give the amulet back to Dr. Brown to break his innocent demeanor.
  • But Thou Must!: Played ridiculously in all of the dialogue. During the scenes players will be presented to choose a phrase to continue the conversation, except there's only one phrase at all, and often the player can't leave.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The amulet from Dr. Brown's cabinet is found early in the game and doesn't bear any significance until the second-to-last level. Also applies to several items, since many of them come into play much later than they're picked up.
    • Lampshaded by Jim, who, after using a seemingly worthless hair clip he picked up a minute ago, says "I told it would come in handy!"
  • Crusading Lawyer: The reason Jim got where he ended up.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: A glaring one. After the obviously hostile and adverse first encounter with Dr. Brown, Jim won't even try to stop him from opening the zombie-filled lockers (which he threatened to do seconds ago), despite him being apparently weak and defenseless, walking very sluggishly right past Jim's shoulder.
  • Determinator: Jim Card. Even upon tearing through many horrible monsters - and a few horrible puzzles, for that matter - he still seeks to bring the guilty ones to justice rather than simply leave the horror behind, as indicated in his conversations with Brown and Robertson.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Dr. Brown during his first encounter with Jim, as a part of his trying to guilt Jim into submission. Also see Villainous Breakdown for when it's averted minutes after.
  • Hospital Hottie: Averted. Have a look at Bloodline's nurses.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: In spite of being dressed in just a shirt with trousers, Jim carries a lot of weapons and items like it's nothing, even a large chest during one segment.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Jim when wielding any gun except the shotgun. Exaggerated, since the hitscan for guns is so much laser-precise that it's actually difficult to hit a moving enemy, and it might take as little as a pixel of it on the line of shot for hit to count.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Invoked by Jim after he sees Dr. Robertson electrocuted.
  • Lighthouse Point: One of the locations.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Played straight in the ending. Dr. Brown's ambiguous promise to take care of Jim makes it even more true.
  • Red Herring Twist: Early in the game Jim will get into a garage with a working ambulance car, and claim that he could drive off after opening the garage door. Doing that involves several actions, which ultimately result in garage door staying closed no matter what the player does, forcing him to continue their way through the hospital.
  • Secret Underground Passage: Several, namely in the lighthouse and in the gravedigger's house.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: While usually averted with Bloodline's intense background music, it's notably played straight in the room with cremation ovens. An unreasonably soothing organ plays during the encounter with Dr. Robertson as well.
  • The '60s: The game's setting. Specified so in the many notes players find, as well as indicated in wall posters, including "Psycho" (right in the hospital, no less) and Elvis Presley.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Jim, every time he collects a plot-relevant item or examines something.
  • Verbal Tic: Jim's "It will come in handy" phrase.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dr. Brown and Jim's first meeting. The moment Jim drops word of the amulet, Brown loses his composure quickly.