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Video Game / Red Embrace: Hollywood

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"Remember, you can be anything - because you're already dead."

It's 1996. Cobain is dead, heroin is chic, and in glittering Los Angeles a newly-turned vampire has been plunged into a shadowy underworld on the brink of civil war, whose inhabitants, split between three houses - the romantic Iscari, the prophetic Golgotha, and the hot-blooded Mavvar - are as dangerous to each other politically as they are physically. The problem, though, is that the bite was never meant for you - and your sire is nowhere to be found. With your life reluctantly spared in exchange for their loyalty to the city's current regent, Saorise Locke, your only hope is to take her advice and reach out to one of the elder vampires in your orbit: Heath, Saorise's fellow Iscari and loyal retainer, a matinee idol taken before his time; Randal, Mavvar rabble-rouser and outspoken opponent of Saorise and her rule; and Markus, a Golgotha mercenary whose loyalties are as mysterious as his motives. Even so, Hollywood is at its most dangerous by night, and coming face to face with uncomfortable truths may be the only way to survive...


If this sounds like a familiar premise, it should. RE:H is as much a love letter to Bloodlines as it is an experimental departure from Argent Games' history of relatively linear Boys' Love games, and is probably better described as a Visual Novel with relationship paths (romance optional), as well as a meditation on fame, power, and escapism. It was released on August 31, 2019. Available for purchase on Steam and


REH provides examples of:

  • All for Nothing: But Saorise and Randall go to elaborate lengths to try to avert a full scale war. Markus correctly notes this was a lost cause from the beginning. Vampires are violent territorial creatures and they probably should have just gone to war immediately versus letting tensions simmer.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All of the endings are this or outright Downer Ending. The war is unavoidable between the various vampire factions and one side has to win or another. Even the Golden Ending where you rule over Hollywood has resulted in many vampires dying for almost no reason.
    • Saorise wins has a return to the status quo where she institutes her harsh rules working to preserve The Masquerade as well as Vampire Population Control.
    • Randal wins has the Mavarr run wild across the city and kill or create wherever they want. They have freedom but it's the freedom to raise hell.
    • Andrei wins has him implement arcane and draconian rules while prepping for the day that The Masquerade will be broken and it will become The Unmasqued World.
    • You becoming leader determines whether or not you can rule as a tyrant or as a hero.
      • All of your romances have good and bad qualities. Some can end absolutely horrifyingly, though.
  • Cult of Personality: What the Mavvar rebellion has turned into, in spite of Randal's best efforts. He's not handling it well.
  • Darker and Edgier: When compared to the original, largely unrelated Red Embrace.
  • Expy: Each of the Houses is a stand in for one of Vampire: The Masquerade's clans.
    • House Iscari is a Composite Character of both the Ventrue and Toreador. They are the beautiful and high class vampires.
    • House Golgotha is one for the Malkavians. They are insane prophets.
    • House Mavvar is one for the Brujah. They are angry and rebellious anarchists.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The vampire bite effectively turns some humans into drug addicts that will do anything to get bitten regularly. Averted in that some vampires continue to take drugs like heroin and blood laced with narcotics. Like Heath.
  • Fan Disservice: Regardless of MC's relationship with each guy or the choices they make, every possible ending could be described as bittersweet at best.
    • To say nothing of the NSFW scenes. Heath's infamously takes place in an alleyway next to a dumpster after he's shot up (with or without the MC). Markus' takes place in spite of the fact that he's sex-repulsed and going through with it primarily because MC wants to, and while Randal's is the most relatively "normal" of the three, his self-loathing and conviction that he'll be sullying the main character's "purity" result in a scene so rough that the player has the option to respond to it as a sexual assault - to say nothing of all the subtext that becomes unmissable once you've played through his SE...
  • Gainax Ending: Markus's SE in particular.
  • Gothic Punk: Hollywood is full of superficial, vain, and corrupt individuals that are scrambling over one another for meaningless fame. This is contrasted to the vampires who are battling it out over what is implied to be a meaningless war.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Present on certain Golgotha - Markus and Andrei in particular.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The conflict between the Iscari and the Mavvar over who will rule this city is between two vampires who aren't particularly good or bad. They're also both willing to use extreme and underhanded methods to get what they want. The Golgotha appear to be more sinister but really just want to prepare for when the world finds out about vampires.
  • Guide Dang It!: Managing each of the factions can be difficult, especially if aiming for a leader variant ending.
  • Hobbes Was Right: Markus makes it clear that everyone you meet in Los Angeles' vampire world has an agenda and will attempt to use you for their own ends. He literally says, "Trust no one [including himself]." He also comments on that being a paradox.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: The motivation for numerous characters. Heath, Lazarus, and Markus all turn out to fit this.
  • In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves:
    • Vampire and human culture are surprisingly similar.
    • Markus takes notes of this several times in-universe.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Not just pleasant, but addictive for the humans who are fed on, leading to a thriving subculture of Voluntary Vampire Victim.
  • Masquerade: One exists in the setting and you have to preserve it.
  • Noodle Incident: Markus is blacklisted by most painters in Los Angeles because of an incident with a serviceman, an oversized vibrator, a chicken and a can of tuna.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Saorise tries to reach out to Markus and Andrei several times. This actually undermines her position as she is only respected as long as she uses brute force to keep the other houses in line.
  • Pastiche: Of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines.
  • The Renfield: David can potentially serve as one of these to you. He is eager to be told what to do and enjoys the bite as a way to simply out of regular life. Several other humans serve as this, being called blood pets.
  • Romantic Vampire Boy: Many of the lead characters. Heath fits this to a T.
  • Shout-Out: So many to Vampire: The Masquerade -- Bloodlines. So many.
    • A no-nonsense businesswoman is called "Queen Bitch" by a man named Randal. A Golgotha can even call him Vandal.
    • The only words your sire ever speaks to you in the prologue are:
    "I want to show you something..."
    • Your driver is an almost-silent man whose origins nobody knows. Heath lampshades this.
      • In the Golgotha ending, a vampiric cab driver appears. The main character reflects on whether or not cab driving is a normal career choice for LA vampires.
    • The leader of the Golgotha is a man named Andrei.
    • When Markus explains how vampires respond to the blood of other vampires, a disappointed player character can say "I hoped it would create some kind of bond thing." Markus makes fun of the idea, calling it overly romantic.
    • There's a sewer level. The person responsible for the discord inside does questionable things with people's flesh.
    • One of the clubs has art very reminiscent of a church, along with a female bartender with a British accent.
  • Slave to PR: In spite of disagreeing ideologically, Saorise and Randal have a certain degree of respect for one another, but their followers refuse to stand for anything less than the destruction of the other side, and neither can afford the appearance of "weakness" in front of their allies. It's all but outright stated that this is the entirety of what's keeping the civil war going.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The game bases itself heavily on this, from the gameplay mechanics to each of its characters.
  • Take That, Audience!: The game's genesis as an "anti-otome", as well as a "Does fake love make you less lonely?" sign when playing as a Golgotha. Basically, there's a bit of Take That, Us as well as the game is based around the principle of critiquing the kind of people who play romance visual novels centered around creatures of the night as well as romanticizing such creatures.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Several jokes are made at the expense of the player, commenting on the kind of people who would follow a protagonist through such a dark adventure as well as seek romance among dangerous supernatural killers.
  • Vampire Monarch: Saorise is the ruler of Los Angeles' vampires and the head of House Iscari in the city. She is losing ground to the Mavvar, however.
  • Vampire Variety Pack: Each vampiric house has its own set of particular strengths and weaknesses.


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