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Video Game / Vampires Dawn

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Born to kill.
Mocked by fate.
What is a human life worth
When it’s undead?

Vampires Dawn is a series of German independent games by Alexander 'Marlex' Koch. The first installment, developed with RPG Maker and released in 2001, is one of the most popular German RPG Maker games. Its English translation was finally released in 2012, and an English translation for the second game followed in 2016.

The series comprises these installments:

  • Vampires Dawn: Reign of Blood: An RPG developed on the RPG Maker 2000 and released in 2001.
  • Vampires Dawn II: Ancient Blood: An RPG developed on the RPG Maker 2003 and released in 2005. It's a direct sequel to Reign of Blood.
  • Vampires Dawn: Deceit of Heretics: A Mobile Phone Game released in 2007 and an official Prequel to Reign of Blood. The English version (including an emulator to play it on PC) can be downloaded for free here.
  • Vampires Dawn: Elemental Mage: A Puzzle Game for mobile phones.
  • Vampires Dawn: Battle Towers: Another mobile phone game released in 2008.
  • The Vampires Dawn Browser Game
  • Vampires Dawn 3: The Crimson Realm: In September 2012 a crowdfunding project was kicked off to fund its development, but it ended up raising less than a third of the required money. In 2018 a demo was released, followed by a new crowdfunding attempt which reached and exceeded its goal of 15.000 euros. The final version was released in May 2021.
  • A Novelization of Reign of Blood was published in October 2013, followed by one for Ancient Blood in March 2016.

In a World… where vampires used to roam the land freely and prey upon humans, a brave priest by the name of Vincent Weynard united humanity in a Holy Crusade, driving the bloodsucking monsters to near-extinction.

Reign of Blood starts 400 years later with a young warrior named Valnar. His girlfriend Aysha gets captured and butchered by a mysterious stranger. Awakening from unconsciousness later, Valnar is out for revenge. This makes him an easy target for the vampire Asgar, who seeks the blood of a human who slept with a vampire in order to revive the love of his life, a woman named Alaine, as a vampire with the help of a dark ritual.

Valnar soon wakes up as a vampire himself. Asgar and Alaine introduce the fledgling bloodsucker to his situation as one of the last remaining vampires in the world. Still dedicated to finding and avenging Aysha, Valnar convinces them to help him find out what really happened. And so, the three vampires venture forth into a world filled with monsters and strange people, solving mysteries and unraveling a net of intrigue and manipulation that goes far beyond the bizarre murder of Valnar's girlfriend.

Depending on the player's choices regarding Valnar's nature and relationship with Alaine, the game provides four different endings.

Ancient Blood picks up on the first game's Canon ending. It once again stars our trio of heroes, but also features a new human protagonist, a young woman named Nyria, who was confronted with vampires at a painfully early age. Asgar ends up being possessed by a ghostlike being that was sealed inside an ancient spellbook. He is then forced to perform an immensely powerful World Sundering ritual which transforms the world into the state it was long before the Holy Crusade.

The three vampires, now weakened, find themselves engaged in a three-way war over the dominance of nine castles in the world, whose dungeons each house one piece of a stone tablet that could create the most powerful spell in the world. Forced to either hire an army of mercenaries or create new vampires, they have to face both the Elras Mages, who created the tablet in the first place, and their eternal enemies, the Holy Clan Warriors, who attempt to prevent the tablet from being used. Meanwhile, Nyria is found by one of the Clan's warriors. Again, many questions are to be answered throughout the story and a net of betrayal and manipulative schemes make it difficult to trust anyone.

The Crimson Realm once again picks up directly after a certain ending of the previous game. This time, an extended cast of protagonists is introduced, each with their own motivation to get involved in the three-way war between Alaine, Asgar and the Holy Clan Warrior in getting control of the stone tablet fragments. Meanwhile, a fourth faction is lurking in the dark, seeking to reclaim their lost power...

The old website hosts the main trilogy of Vampires Dawn, plus Deceit of Heretics and several bonus content. A new website, launched in 2019, keeps track of the development of Vampires Dawn 3, and hosts the downloads for the main trilogy only.

Tropes present in the Vampires Dawn series:

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  • 100% Completion: Checking the menu will tell the player how many secrets are hidden inside the game and how many have already been found. Even a hidden item inside the drawer of an NPC's house counts as a secret. Good luck finding all of them without a guide or the RPG Maker.
  • Alignment-Based Endings: On a good vs. evil basis. See Multiple Endings below.
  • All Men Are Perverts:
    • The men in Lombar and in the brothel in Uruya provide enough examples.
    • Nyria is really popular with the (all male) Clan warriors. Her midriff baring armor probably doesn't hurt.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Elras and almost all vampires. Heavily implied to be caused by getting Drunk On Power, with a touch of Fantastic Racism against what now constitutes one's "lessers".
  • Arc Words: Semi-philosophical questions in blood writing will occasionally appear on the screen in particularly dramatic situations.
  • Artifact of Doom: What most people consider the stone tablet to be. Even our heroes have doubts whether to use it or not.
  • Beef Gate
    • A lot of great equipment, including some of the Vampire Weapons, is available in forests, mountains, dungeons or several other areas that are accessible from the world map as soon as you get the Bat Spell. If the enemies there didn't cut you to pieces you'd be able to get some of the strongest weapons in the game very early on.
    • Similarly, the red Elras Chests are non-combat Beef Gates. One Vampire Shield is hidden in a chest in Asgar's own castle, but you're unable to open the chest until you have much higher intelligence stats.
  • Behind the Black: The characters should have no problem seeing the entrances of secret passageways in walls. But because it's a top-down RPG the player needs Valnar to cast a certain spell (in Reign of Blood) or develop a skill (in Ancient Blood) to have arrows indicate the entrances.
  • Being Evil Sucks: While playing the game as a total bad guy is a lot of fun, don't expect to get any satisfying ending out of it. Unless you're playing Ancient Blood on Hard Mode.
  • Being Good Sucks: A few quests are longer and more troublesome on the good route, more importantly, it means missing out on all the practical and financial goodies that evil players get, as well as some of the game's best lines.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: While Good Valnar can try to keep human casualties limited, no vampire can do anything against the Soul Eating nature of their aura and spells and the playable vampires aren't exactly hesitant when it comes to killing or abusing humans should the need arise as part of the story. Asgar in particular loves doing it for fun. Their enemies are usually worse, though. The Elras are an altogether evil group, while the humans have a bit of a Knight Templar attitude. With Evil Valnar, it turns right into Evil Versus Evil territory.
  • Black Comedy: Asgar's favorite kind of humor. He even goes so far as to casually rank and criticize his victims' begging for their lives and screams of terror for originality or lack thereof.
  • Blessed with Suck: The vampires the cast create in II and III are essentially meant to be a type of Super-Soldier, with many benefits, but the higher their generation, the more the disadvantages outweigh the positives. III introduces a seventh-generation vampire who casually mentions that she will never again be able to leave her house, because even moonlight would be instantly fatal to her.
  • Blood Magic: Though it is a subcategory of magic, technically, ALL vampire magic is this, since they cast it from their blood pool.
  • Broken Bridge: While the progressively stronger enemies from dungeon to dungeon may seem like Beef Gates, practically every chapter of the storyline has a point where you simply can't progress unless you've done everything in order.
    • You can enter Shadow Forest as soon as you've eavesdropped on the knight in Uruya's brothel, which can be done as soon as you get the Bat Spell. But you won't be able to open the door in the cave before you get the key in Tradan.
    • Given enough grinding and listening to the old couple in Limm, you could fight your way through Abraxas's lair in the mountains as early as you please. Only to be stopped by a magically locked door, the key for which you only obtain after fighting Molona.
    • You'll never be able to meet the cult in Asdion before talking to the vampire on the jungle island. The cult leader then provides you with the item you need to find Abraxas's tower – which you weren't even able to see before, let alone enter.
  • Boring, but Practical: Never underestimate the damage done by the simple "bleeding wound" effect that is caused by the basic, 0-blood-cost "Bite" attack on enemies. It stays the whole fight and the damage it inflicts scales with the target's HP, so even on high levels, it's a great way to bring down an enemy, particularly those with great offensive power that leave you little time for anything but healing.
  • Boss Banter: Notably with Molona and Abraxas.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: The biggest Bonus Dungeon in the first game is a pyramid. Its boss is even called Pharaoh Ustra. That very same pyramid is a storyline dungeon in the second game.
  • The Cameo: The main characters of Dunkle Schatten, a previous Marlex game, show up briefly in Reign of Blood, and have a bigger cameo in Ancient Blood where The Hero of that game and his girlfriend celebrate their wedding, attended by the rest of the game's party members. Also, the protagonist of Unterwegs in Düsterburg has a cameo appearance in Thyrik in Ancient Blood.
  • Cannot Dream: Vampires don't dream. Ancient Blood turns this into a plot point when Valnar has strange visions at night.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The heroes aren't affected by fighting Molona in a cave full of lava at all, only noting once that it's getting warmer. Justified by them being vampires, as the issue is brought up much later in Ancient Blood again, where they once again visit a volcano and outright state that only their vampirism is keeping them from dying right then and there. Non-vampire party members (barring Nyria and Alex in Everlasting Blood) actually do die immediately upon entering the area.
  • Crapsack World: Pretty goddamn cynical on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. Few humans are genuinely good and pretty much all of them are powerless compared to vampires or Elras.
  • Creepy Cemetery:
    • Tradan in Reign of Blood has one.
    • A sidequest in Ancient Blood requires you to rid one of roaming skeletons.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Vampirism is pretty awesome in this universe. If you're lucky to be part of the first, second or third generation (as our heroes are), there's pretty much none of the typical vampire weaknesses to fear, not even sunlight. See Our Vampires Are Different below. The awesomeness soon vanishes from the fourth generation onward, though.
  • Damage Over Time: Walking in any desert without a cloak will have the characters lose HP every step they take.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Good!Valnar. Dressed in a black Badass Longcoat, wearing Cool Shades, white haired Bishōnen who uses Dark Magic and has become scarily good at decapitating people. Still one of the nicest people you'll meet in this world. He is a special case though, since usually in this world, Dark Is Evil. As is pretty much anything else, really.
  • Daywalking Vampire: All the earlier generations, as are our protagonists. As a third-generation vampire, Valnar finds the sun unpleasant, but can otherwise handle it. The fourth-generation vampires that show up in Ancient Blood can still survive it, but suffer a lot more under it, and it just gets worse from there on.
  • Death Is Cheap: The potential is there, though it's usually avoided. All Deaths Final applies for most of the first game, but by the second, it's been firmly established that dead vampires can theoretically be revived as often as they need to be. However, there are two caveats to this which preserve the drama. One, the resurrection must be performed by one of the living and the vampire's blood spirit must manifest itself close to the ritualist in the material world, which is a difficult skill to learn in the first place, but also, the longer the vampire has been dead the more their blood spirit tends to lose its power and mind, until manifestation is no longer feasible practically speaking. Two, Elras magic can absorb blood spirits for good, leading to being Killed Off for Real, so it's best not to be one while they are harvesting souls. Sometimes the Golden Ending also features elements of a Reset Button Ending, which plays this straight and can even bring back those whose blood spirit has been absorbed, but is usually not canon.
  • Dem Bones: Some of them work in Asgar's castle alongside some zombies.
  • Developer's Foresight: Almost every killable NPC in the games has at least two sets of dialogue to account for the vampires' behavior, regular and terrified (if The Masquerade is broken near them, usually by killing another person in front of them). In II, because of the Mind Reading feature, this number goes up to four by adding regular and terrified thoughts as well.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Because their aura hides their fangs and cold skin, vampires can walk among humans.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Occasionally as background sound.
  • Elemental Powers: Vampires are born with affinities towards certain kinds of spells.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies:
    • Some of them work in Asgar's castle alongside some skeletons.
    • You have to fight some in Tradan and they appear as random encounters in Tradan's crypt, but overall they have no bearing on the plot.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: In some areas even the grass is a random encounter.
  • Evil Feels Good: Both the Elras and most vampires seem to think this and the player might be tempted to agree.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Most bad guys in this (and Asgar) have an intense love for senseless slaughter, Evil Gloating and the classic Evil Laugh.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Vampires who die end up in the realm of Blood Wraiths, essentially an equivalent of hell specifically for blood-suckers where they suffer incredible physical pain just by being there, plus isolation, regret and madness for all eternity. Well, until they are sucked up to become a power source for Elras magic, anyway. Asgar sums it up like this before killing the first game's Big Bad:
    Asgar: You know what they say. Death is the end. But for a vampire, death is just the beginning... of eternal pain! *slice*
  • Fictional Currency: Filar. You need to sell silver or items in order to get them though.
  • Forced Transformation: The vampires have a spell that they can use to turn a human into a random useful object. It counts as an evil action, obviously.
  • Framing Device: The story of the games is told by a grandfather to his grandson.
  • Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire: Vampires in this game tend to get power hungry really quickly, so the heroes are an exception for even considering this trope.
  • Ghost Story: The Framing Device for the main games is a grandfather telling the story to his grandson.
  • Gold–Silver–Copper Standard: In order to get Filar you need to get Silver from your mines and sell it.
  • Golden Snitch:
    • In the first game, you can completely ignore Alaine's sympathy score. If you never flee a fight, she will stay by your side at the end, if you flee too often, she will leave you.
    • In the second game, if you lose the Battle in the Center of the Mind, your humanity score doesn't matter anymore, you'll always get the Evil end.
  • Good Is Impotent: The Royal Knights in the first game, the Holy Warrior Clan from the second.
  • Gorn: As much of it as possible in an RPG-Maker game. Well, it is a game about vampires.
  • Gradual Regeneration / Regenerating Health: As long as a character has more than one fourth of his MP left, they will regenerate some HP every few seconds (even if they are already dead) out of battle. How fast this happens depends on your healing rate, which can be increased by items or ghosts.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: The vampire trio are the main characters, but the RPG Maker engine allows for a fourth character slot to be filled by someone else from time to time:
    • Reign of Blood allows you to learn summoning magic which lets you summon skeletons, golems and even a demon.
    • The fourth slot in Ancient Blood can be filled with any Redshirt serving in your army, i.e. a human mercenary, a vampire (out of six types), or a werewolf.
  • Haunted Castle: Used as the party's base of operations in all three games. Asgar obtained it a long time ago by killing all the nobles within and turning them into undead guardians.
  • Healing Factor: Common to all vampires. As long as they have enough blood, it even works when they have fallen into torpor. In-game, this translates into regaining a few HP for every step you take. In Reign of Blood, Valnar could find some ghosts in the game that would improve the speed of this ability.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Many of them are outright bastards, but enough of them are warm and welcoming.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Impaling their heart will instantly paralyze a vampire. Abraxas uses this in Reign of Blood to use Aysha as bait for more vampires.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • In Reign of Blood, the Demon Summon counts, but it is anything but a Bragging Rights Reward, being immensely useful for only the last few battles in the game.
    • The Damnation Blade is given to Valnar very early in Ancient Blood. It barely has more strength than a rusty sword, but thanks to its Magikarp Power, it can be upgraded by finding special runes all over the world, eventually becoming more powerful than the Vampire Blade once all runes have been installed.
  • Karma Meter: Humanity. It can be raised by doing quests and prevented from sinking by only feeding on bottled blood, animals or in battle, while doing lots of evil stuff like stealing people's souls, turning them into objects, sucking them dry or turning them into vampires decreases it.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Looting every drawer in every house you find doesn't even lower your humanity score; it counts as a found secret.
  • Language of Magic: The language of the Elras mages in which all of their spells must be cast. In the second game, the Holy Warrior Clan is unable to use the stone tablet because they can't read it.
  • Last of His Kind: By the end of Reign of Blood, the heroes are the last remaining vampires in the world. You can change that in Ancient Blood by creating more vampires for your army if you want to.
  • Leave No Witnesses:
    • If an NPC sees you attacking another NPC you can't leave the area until you've killed them.
    • Abraxas averting this trope by letting Valnar live after their first encounter becomes a plot point in Reign of Blood.
  • Level Grinding: Present in both games. It's generally expected to level the party up a bit more before going after the next plot objective. However, it's not quite as bad since doing quests also gives a lot of XP. Particularly the second game has a fairly steady level curve that reaches all the way to the level cap due to providing quests for all level groups and pointing out which level they are best approached at in the questlog. Of course, you can still attempt them earlier and possibly even succeeed if you understand the combat mechanics well enough.
  • Lord British Postulate: The cameo characters from Marlex' own previous games as well as from friendly associated games by other developers usually enjoy complete protection. Valnar's party will simply refuse to turn them into vampires or objects or drain their blood. Subverted in that while II won't let you murder the Official Couple of Marlex' first work, Dark Shadows, the other party members from the game can in fact be killed by perfectly regular means. Going with the spirit of the trope, one Game Mod for II actually has an Easter Egg sidequest where you do track down aforementioned Official Couple during their honeymoon and slaughter them For the Evulz. This includes their unborn child, too, You Bastard!
  • The Lost Woods: Too many to list.
  • Mana Meter: Works in typical RPG fashion. In these games, mana represents the vampires' blood. Casting spells costs blood points, and if they suck an enemy for blood their mana meter fills up accordingly. If their mana/blood points fall below a certain percentage they will go berserk.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Many.
  • The Masquerade: People think vampires are extinct since the Holy Crusade. If you do anything obviously vampiric in public, the game will not let you progress until you kill all witnesses. In the second game, if you do that on an open street, bounty hunters will be put onto you. In addition, vampires have several abilities to help them stay unnoticed lore-wise, such as an illusionary aura that makes them seem warm to the touch, hides their fangs etc.
  • Money Spider:
  • Multiple Endings: Reign of Blood provides five different ones, depending on whether or not Valnar had a high humanity score and how nice he was to his would-be Love Interest. The fifth ending depends on whether or not a certain sidequest was finished and is basically a Sequel Hook version of the canon ending. Ancient Blood had six endings; one for good and one for evil for each of the three difficulty levels. Obviously, the descriptions below include heaviest spoilers!
    • Reign of Blood:
      • Evil/Alone: Being the last vampire in the world, Valnar decides to become an Evil Overlord and conquer the world. His attacks are deadly and efficient and the resulting despair causes humans to rally behind a brave young man who declares a new Holy Crusade against vampires.
      • Evil/With Alaine: Valnar and Alaine become a couple. Being the last vampires in the world, they decide to make new vampires and rule over humanity. However, eventually a conflict breaks out between them and they kill each other.
      • Good/Alone: Valnar, as the last vampire in the world, decides to commit Heroic Suicide to wipe out vampirekind once and for all, believing humanity to be better off for it.
      • Good/With Alaine: The canon ending. Valnar and Alaine become a couple and settle down among humans, following a Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire philosophy. They turn a girl named Jaina into a vampire to become their "daughter". If Strife the thief is alive by this point, this creates the plot bridge to Ancient Blood.
    • Ancient Blood:
      • Good/Easy: Valnar resists possession by Morlon. Our vampire trio defeats the Elras and, after some hesitation, they use the stone tablet. The spell returns them to their own world and basically fixes everything that went wrong, such as bringing Nyria back home. Asgar forsakes his claims on Alaine and instead surrounds himself with a harem of vampire ladies in his castle, while Valnar and Alaine return to live among humans.
      • Evil/Easy: Valnar is possessed by Morlon and sides with the Elras. Alaine and Asgar defeat the evil trio, but fall into a conflict over whether or not to use the tablet. The tablet is broken and the two become warlords, creating new vampires and taking up positions in castles, warring each other for all eternity. Meanwhile, Valnar is stuck in the realm of Blood Wraiths with Jaina. This is the canon ending leading into The Crimson Realm.
      • Good/Medium: Valnar resists possession by Morlon. The vampire trio kills the Elras, but while Alaine and Valnar decide not to use the tablet, Asgar wants to, forcing them to kill him. Thinking it's not worth the risk using it, Valnar and Alaine return to Asgar's castle and live there from then on. However, Morlon within Valnar has survived and as Valnar's willpower weakens, the Elras within him awakens one night and he beheads Alaine.
      • Evil/Medium: Valnar is possessed by Morlon and sides with the Elras. They completely wipe out vampires and the remains of the Clan. The Bad Guy Wins. Using the stone tablet, the Elras turn the entire world into their mad laboratory, hoarding humans like cattle to kill them in crazy experiments or just for fun. And yes, this involves the phrase: "Well, do we still have some infants left we could blow up?"
      • Good/Hard: Valnar resists possession by Morlon. The vampire trio kills the Elras, but Asgar cannot accept Valnar and Alaine's love for one another and tries to kill them, being subsequently slain himself. The two attempt to use the tablet to return to their own home. If Nyria is still alive by this point, she will attempt to stop them, being killed in the process. Valnar and Alaine arrive back in their own world, but Morlon is still strong within Valnar and he falls into a coma, struggling against the ghost. Alaine brings him home to their village house and refuses to feed so she can stay at his side until he wakes up. Days and weeks pass and eventually, Alaine's vampiric body falls into a blood frenzy, she slaughters and burns the whole village. Deciding she can only be with Valnar Together in Death now, she sets their house on fire, then lies down next to him in their bed. Naturally, Valnar does awaken from his coma the very moment before the burning roof comes down, killing them both.
      • Evil/Hard: Valnar is possessed by Morlon and sides with the Elras. They kill Asgar and Alaine. Except Valnar wasn't really possessed. He just allowed Morlon to take control because that allowed him to bypass the rule that vampires cannot kill their sires, allowing him to take revenge on his two "friends" for turning him into their vampire-slave. He forces Morlon out by sheer force of will and kills the Elras leaders. He then attempts to use the tablet. If Nyria is still alive, she will attempt to stop him and die. The tablet sends Valnar back in time during various events. He meets Asgar just as he is about to turn him into a vampire and kills him. Time is sent further back to a feast in his hometown where he first met his vampire-girlfriend Aysha/Molana. He shoos her away this time and meets a nice young woman on the feastgrounds who becomes his future wife. This eventually results in The Reveal that this variant of Valnar became the Grandfather telling the story.
  • Mummy: Random encounters in the pyramid.
  • Mystical White Hair: Many vampires gain this upon their transformation as sort of a magical form of Disease Bleach.
  • New Game Plus: Speeds up acquiring the Multiple Endings.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Aysha would've been fine in Reign of Blood had they just removed the sword and waited for her to regain consciousness. But since Valnar demands Asgar's spell, they end up having to kill the Ax-Crazy monster she becomes.
    • Turns out that simple iron bars aren't enough to keep one of the three Elras leaders imprisoned in Ancient Blood. Or to keep him from rampaging inside your castle afterwards, killing your trusted servant. Great idea, you three!
    • A rather literal example is the stone tablet in the second game. It broke, when Aaron tried to use it, and the whole world broke, when Ustra tried it again.
  • Off with His Head!: The only trustworthy way a vampire can be killed permanently. Everything else, he will just fall into torpor until his body has fully healed him, provided he has enough blood. Being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice in the heart is instantly paralyzing, though.
  • One Size Fits All: Helmets and armors.
  • One-Steve Limit: Zigzagged. There are no two characters with identical names, but it does come very close at times. Specifically, Nyria's mother in II is named Celen, while III features a core party member named Celene. Also, series mainstay Vincent is not identical with the major Deceit of Heretics character Vince. Amusingly, the latter two actually end up becoming allies, although by the time this happens, Vince has thankfully adopted a new name, the alias of Abraxas.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Opening an Elras chest requires a certain intelligence stat.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Some of them have Unfinished Business. Gameplay-wise, they only appear at night and give the player upgrades for spells. Strangely they don't appear in the second game. Maybe seeing them was one of the abilities lost from the PowerDrain.
  • Our Souls Are Different: Every enemy, no matter what kind, leaves a soul when he's defeated. In the first game, they can be traded for status upgrades, in the second for magic spells.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: A vampire's strengths and weaknesses depend on their generation. Valnar is a vampire of the third generation and automatically weaker than his Vampire Dad Asgar, who's a vampire of the second generation. The creation of the first generation of vampires is a major plot point in Reign of Blood.
  • Random Encounters: Played straight in the first game, averted in the second for most of the world, where enemies are visible on the map, but played straight for the World Map.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All vampires gain red eyes upon transformation. The red part increases in size if they are possessed by Shadow Ghosts.
  • Re Write: One of the rules first established by the Grandfather, that a vampire's mouth must be filled with garlic after they're decapitated or they'll resurrect, is completely ignored after that establishment scene for the rest of both games.
  • Save-Game Limits: Vampires Dawn is rather infamous for making saving possible only at certain plot moments or with one-use Saving Stones, presumably to prevent Save Scumming. However, an infinitely durable Saving Crystal can be obtained in both games, in the first it is the reward for the New Game Plus, in the second, it can be obtained with a special code at the "cheat tree" in the castle garden (or by choosing Easy difficulty).
  • Scary Scorpions: Random encounters in the pyramid.
  • Series Continuity Error: There are some minor ones throughout the series. For instance, in II, the vampires have befriended both the Children of the Apocalypse and the merchant family, even though saving the latter requires killing the former, and in III, it's claimed that Jayna was an orphan when Valnar and Alaine transformed her, even though in II, they learn of Jayna's location by talking to her mother.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The deserts around Lombar in Reign of Blood and around Erena and Castle Wharis in Ancient Blood.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A shady merchant in Ancient Blood, in Thyrik, sells a game guide to Unterwegs in Düsterburg.
    • In the same game you can buy coffins from a strange guy called Stan.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: About a 5, an open-world RPG. The map can be explored freely as soon as the player gets the Bat Spell.
  • Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: Type IV, healing and no rotting, provided they have enough blood.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The ice continent around Iranis in Reign of Blood and around Jhalum in Ancient Blood.
  • Spider-Sense: Vampires have a neat little ability that manifests in skulls appearing in the corner of the screen. It tells them when enemies in a region are too strong for them and can also warn them of particularly strong individuals (i.e. bosses).
  • Status Effects: Blindness, silence, berserk, confusion, sleep, petrification and poison work pretty much the way you expect. Additionally, bleeding makes the vampires lose blood/mana points every turn, sickness has them lose HP and blood both inside and outside of battle, and curse halves all of the character's stats and can only be healed when they enter one of the few churches in the game.
  • Sticky Fingers: A staple of the games. Whichever house you enter, you can check every piece of furniture and loot whatever you find. Most homeowners won't notice.
  • Take Your Time: The bosses will patiently wait for your arrival while you're exploring the world map.
  • Tears of Blood: What happens if a vampire cries.
  • Telepathy: Some vampires can read minds. In Reign of Blood only Asgar displays this power. By Ancient Blood Valnar is able to read the mind of every NPC the player talks to.
  • Timed Mission:
    • When the Crypt of Tradan starts collapsing, an invisible timer starts running and unless the party makes it out of the dungeon in time, it's game over. Luckily, the dungeon isn't a complicated maze and the timer doesn't count down during battles.
    • After getting the spell from Alyda at the beginning of Ancient Blood, Asgar must hurry back to the cave where Valnar and Alaine are Taken for Granite before a passerby smashes them to pieces.
    • Also in Ancient Blood, Alaine has a limited amount of time to return to the starting point of the realm of the Blood Wraiths before her soul is assimilated.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Elras mages' spell book.
  • Trauma Inn: Averted. Almost every town has an inn, but talking to the innkeepers will only result in Valnar saying that he doesn't like sleeping in beds. You can fully heal your HP in your coffin.
  • Underground Monkey
  • Unstoppable Rage: Vampires who don't have enough blood anymore will fall into a frenzy. Subverts the actual trope in that they don't become much stronger. They also can't be controlled by the player anymore and only attack with the default weapon attack command.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Vampires can survive on animal blood. Most of the vampires who survived the Holy Crusade did exactly that to remain hidden. Unfortunately, human blood tastes a lot better.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: One of the main selling points is being able to act like the most sociopathic, senselessly cruel evil monster imaginable. However...
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: A few. The more villagers you kill in Ancient Blood, the less taxes you receive. Also, early on, bounty hunters will probably tear you apart if you're seen. Most importantly, there's only a single evil ending in the series that could be called satisfying.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: All vampires eventually learn to turn into a bat and a wolf, though the wolf form was absent from the second game. Asgar also was born with the ability to turn into mist, which he was unable to regain in the second game.
  • Walking the Earth: Implied to be the fate of every vampire who doesn't want to become a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire or risk a new Holy Crusade by going on killing sprees.
  • Welcome to Corneria
  • When It Rains, It Pours: It frequently rains. It's used as a plot point at the beginning of Reign of Blood when the rain washes away all the blood Aysha lost during her abduction.
  • You All Look Familiar: Most NPCs. Especially in Reign of Blood which only uses standard RPG Maker sprites (with small modifications) to begin with.

    Vampires Dawn: Reign of Blood 
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Summoning a demon to assist you in battle. It really gives you a distinct edge in Boss Battles, but using him (or any other summoned creature) regularly in dungeons is really just a waste of souls (which you already need for so many other things in the game).
  • Bad Moon Rising: The day the vampires first appeared, the so called "Moon of Death" appeared in the sky and it started raining blood.
  • Blatant Lies: When the narrator says that Asgar and Abraxas have never met before.
  • Betting Minigame: The only way to get the best helmet in the game.
  • Book Ends: In the beginning of the game, Valnar's descent into darkness begins when he is tricked by Asgar on the road north of Klennar. In the (canon) Good/With Alaine ending, Asgar does the exact same thing to Jayna in the exact same place, almost nostalgically noting the only difference being that she already is a vampire. Similarly, in the non-canon Evil/Solo Valnar ending, a blood text from the opening is repeated, but instead of 'Evil died for all eternity' it now says 'Humanity died for all eternity'.
  • Boring, but Practical: "Time Distortion" isn't a flashy spell that helps you fight enemies. But it's incredibly convenient not having to wait for nightfall to see ghosts or suck humans for blood.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The inability of vampires to attack their sires is used as the reason Valnar can't defend himself against Asgar. It comes back later when the trio fights Asgar's sire Abraxas.
  • Collapsing Lair: One of the main storyline dungeons, the Crypt of Tradan, starts collapsing and your party must flee before an invisible timer runs out.
  • Curse: One sidequest in Uruya involves a witch who cursed a man with eternal loneliness.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Asgar's ability to read minds and walk through walls could probably become handy to the player. He only uses it in a few cutscenes. The latter is justified by saying that he'd have to leave the other two behind. There's no excuse for his lack of mindreading.
  • Dark Is Evil: Having Valnar learn darkness-based spells decreases his humanity score.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While exploring the Lava Cave in Shadow Forest you encounter a group of royal knights trying to open a locked door. For the heinous crimes of interrupting them and being kind of rude they try to kill you. Just look at the dialog.
    Knight: What are you doing here? We are doing a knight's investigation right now... Go away!
    Asgar: Well, we are also looking for something...
    Knight: That doesn't interest me in the least! Get lost, or we are going to execute you in the name of the king!
    Valnar: In the name of the king? We don't care about the king!
    Alaine: YOU should better get lost!
    Knight: That's it! In the name of King Gerald, we are now imposing the death penalty on you!
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The boss of the magma caverns after the destruction of Tradan.
  • Eldritch Location: The ether world where you fight Asgar and, depending on the ending, Alaine at the end of the game.
  • Elemental Embodiment: A fire elemental lives in the mine near Isthar, and earth elementals serve as random encounters in the Lava Cave.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Asgar is introduced fawning over the then-human Alaine and musing on how her love makes him able to control his dark side, then another human interrupts him and he immediately proceeds to (mentally) call him a piece of worthless stinking cattle.
  • First-Episode Resurrection: The game only really starts when Asgar turns Valnar into a vampire. Alaine as well.
  • Hollywood Evolution: Alaine once refers to vampires as the next step of evolution to emphasize that Valnar is something better now.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first actual fight against Abraxas.
  • Infectious Insanity: Shannar's mayor believes this of everyone in his asylum. And he intends to do something about it.
  • Info Dump: The grandfather's explanation of how vampirism works in this story, what happened during the Holy Crusade etc. can be perceived as this.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Day and night actually affect the gameplay. You need to wait for darkness to suck humans for blood or transform them into objects. Ghost also only appear at night.
  • Jungle Japes: One of the last vampire hideouts is found on a jungle island.
  • Light Is Good: Having Valnar learn light-based spells inceases his humanity score.
  • Mini-Game: You can win prizes by scoring points in mini games at the fairground in Thessa.
  • Oculothorax: The Beholder, a random enemy in the Big Bad's dungeon.
  • No Ontological Inertia: A sidequest in Uruya requires you to help a man who was cursed by a witch with eternal loneliness. The only way to lift the curse is to kill the witch.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Asgar first sees Abraxas and realizes who he is.
  • One-Winged Angel: Both the Disc-One Final Boss and the Final Boss transform twice.
  • Pamphlet Shelf:
    • Played straight in some places where you can learn about the magic shrines. But mostly averted; Valnar will simply say that the books don't interest him.
    • Justified in the pyramid, as only a few scrolls haven't disintegrated in the last few centuries.
  • Party in My Pocket: Usually only Valnar is visible, no matter who else is in your party. In the first chapters, the player also gets to control Asgar and Vincent Weynard for a while.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • After triggering the Event Flag in Tradan's crypt, the city explodes and all hidden items in Tradan are inaccessible after that point.
    • Some event-only locations contain chests and ghost.
  • Public Execution: The fate of the inmates of Shannar's asylum.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Most vampires of course, but Reign of Blood provides the special twist that this applies to Alaine as well, despite the fact that she became a vampire at around the same time Valnar did.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Or rather a real vampire in this case, according to Asgar anyway. He forces Valnar to face a "baptism of fire" in Melsan.
  • Relationship Values: Gaining or losing Alaine's favor determines part of the endings.
  • Religion is Magic: Against vampires in the Holy Crusade. Or at least that's what Vincent Weynard wants us to believe.
  • Sand Worm: One of the side quests in Lombar includes finding and killing one of these.
  • Schmuck Bait: The glowing key at the end of the Tradan dungeon. You're required to take the bait in order to advance the story.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Picking up the key in the Tradan dungeon causes the structure to collapse.
  • Sequel Hook: One of the endings.
  • Sequence Breaking: Since you keep most items, you can skip most parts of the first Game in New Game Plus mode and go to Tranak followed by the final dungeon as soon as you get the Bat spell.
  • Something Only They Would Say: When Molona calls Alaine a whore it alerts the heroes that there's a connection between her and Abraxas.
  • Standard Royal Court: King Gerald and his council.
  • Starving Artist: One of the new residents of Shannar which you can find all over the world.
  • Straw Misogynist: The men in Lombar who hold the belief that women should Stay in the Kitchen.
  • Summon Magic: Vampires in the first game have the ability to temporarily summon a creature in exchange for souls. This includes Dem Bones, golems and a demon. They usually stay in the team just long enough for one fight.
  • Unproblematic Prostitution: The brothel in Uruya looks like a quite enjoyable place. With the exeption of some obvious sexism, but Uruya isn't the worst place for women in the Vampires Dawn world.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: You get a spell which allows you to instantly teleport to your castle and back. Not one NPC notices it, even if you do it right in front of their eyes. Nobody seems to care about the sudden nightfall or sunrise your Time Distortion spell causes either. Of course, there are regular mages in this world, so it's not like it proves you to be a vampire or anything. Near the end of the game, this becomes ridiculous if you use the spell before the fight against the Big Bad who normally punishes you for trying to run away.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Three times. The first two are a subversion. Abraxas's 16 floor tower doesn't everything to make the player believe they're facing off against the Final Boss. The lair of his Mysterious Employer has the strongest random encounters in the game. Then Asgar teleports you to an Eldritch Location to fight him.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The guards in Melsan are probably the first actual battle the player gets into after only fighting bears and goblins in the wild up to that point.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: Whatever happened to Valnar's prophetic nightmares of being turned into a vampire by Asgar? It has no impact on the story and is never brought up again.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Near the beginning of the game the player gets to play Vincent Weynard for a short chapter to see scenes from the beginning of the Holy Crusade.
  • Wicked Witch: The boss of a small sidequest in Uruya.

    Vampires Dawn II: Ancient Blood 
  • 0% Approval Rating: Averting this trope is the reasoning behind conquering the castles in not the corresponding cities. The people in this game aren't Apathetic Citizens and you need calm and happy tax payers after all.
  • All in a Row: A shift from the Party in My Pocket style of the first game.
  • A Taste of Power: Nyria's first playable fights have her around level 20, while the vampire trio is still somewhere around level 5. There is also the fact that Valnar and Alaine start the game off at level 50 and with a few spells, but you never get into any fights before they lose those powers.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Valnar vs. Morlon.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Jayna sees a butterfly just a few seconds before meeting her soon-to-be vampire parents Alaine and Valnar.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At the beginning of Ancient Blood, the Elras talk to an entity called Morlon several times without making it clear who they mean. In the end it is revealed that it is the third Elras leader, whose Shadow Ghost has been lying dormant within Valnar.
  • Children Are Innocent: Alaine refuses to let you turn kids into vampires. Killing them is just fine, though. It's implied this is also in part Pragmatic Villainy, since an Undead Child wouldn't make for a very good soldier, physiology-wise.
  • Coldblooded Torture: That torture chamber in Asgar's castle isn't just for decoration. Conquering some of the castles results in getting a prisoner who you're required to torture in order to get valuable information on Plot Coupons and secret locations.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Holy Warrior Clan doesn't stand a chance against the Elras and loses their castles in a very bloody fashion.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Only one of the first game's Multiple Endings is considered canon at the beginning of Ancient Blood: The one with a good-natured Valnar in a relationship with Alaine.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Twice within a few seconds in the second-to-last confrontation with the Elras leaders. The heads are Asmos's and Ronak's, much to Nyria's and the vampire trio's shock.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The enemies you encounter in dungeons are Made of Explodium when you defeat them.
  • Demonic Possession: The three leaders of the Elras Mages magically modified their souls to become "Shadow Ghosts" so they could travel freely and possess new bodies. They can only leave their host when it dies, though. Which makes vampires ideal hosts, since their bodies already are dead, so they can leave at any time.
  • Difficulty Levels: Easy, Normal and Hard. Of special note because of how many things they affect. It's not just the difficulty of fights, but also how saving is possible, blockades for spending skill points, riddles and hurdles...some quests might even have an entirely different course depending on the difficulty level. For instance: At one point, the trio find themselves in front of a secret door that won't open. On Easy, Valnar will simply fiddle with the door a bit more and it will open automatically. On Normal, they find a special spot that could open the door if some long object was inserted. So you explore the cave they're in a bit and find a long stick that can be used to open the door. On Hard, the slot is still there, but there's no stick in sight. Instead, you find a miniboss in the cave, whom you have to beat in order to use his trident to reach the spot.
  • Dirty Coward: Several humans once you make your intentions clear.
  • Disk One Nuke: You can find a magic sword in the very first cave you enter. Subverted since Asgar destroys it the instant you meet him again.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The nine pieces of the stone tablet. Of course you've Gotta Catch Them All.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: The girl in the brothel near Ghardon Valnar has sex with to get the blood for a spell they need to perform.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: The protagonists only create relatively weak 4th generation vampires for their army instead of the much more powerful 2nd generation vampires they could create if they wanted to, since the former present a lesser threat to their masters and the world.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery:
    • Bizarrely inverted. The endings tend more and more to the cynical side as difficulty increases, with the Good/Easy ending being happy to the point of appearing like a Fix Fic, while the Good/Difficult ending is downright depressing. (Actually, most of the endings are. As seen under Multiple Endings above, Good/Easy is the only one where none of the four main characters die.)
    • Played straight however, in that the Evil/Difficult ending is a Crowning Moment of Awesome, featuring The Hero soloing and backstabbing everyone, then travelling back in time to prevent him ever becoming a vampire, then followed by The Reveal.
  • Enemy Mine: Most of the plot of Ancient Blood could be described as this from Valnar and Alaine's point of view, seeing how they need to work with Asgar. A really odd example however occurs early on in the same game, where Asgar and Nyria team up. Surprisingly, they work rather well together. What makes it unusual is that they don't know yet that they're enemies.
  • Evolving Weapon: The Damnation Blade.
  • Eye Scream: At one point, the trio encounters an old man who just recently had his eyes gouged out. They can Mercy Kill him or leave him be. Leaving him alive results in Asgar praising Valnar for letting him suffer.
  • Fur Against Fang: Kind of averted, since werewolves are surprisingly irrelevant to the story and the vampires can actually find an amulet that allows them to mind-control any werewolf they encounter.
  • Game Mod: A (as of this writing) German-only creator-approved fan remake/remaster of the game exists, called Everlasting Blood. Among other things, it fully integrates Nyria into main and side plots as a fourth party member with her own story beats, allows (mostly) peaceful negotiations with the Holy Warrior Clan on a castle-by-castle basis, lets you ally with a small Elras splinter faction, reshuffles the main plot with a completely new conclusion that allows you to Earn Your Happy Ending if desired, skips the Prolonged Prologue and provides more Character Development, both for the original cast and also by introducing a couple more potentially recruitable supporting characters (including Alyda, the Hot Witch Asgar murders in the original game, and Shahiro, the first merchant he meets).
  • Happy Ending Override: Not even the canon ending of Reign of Blood brought Valnar and Alaine lasting happiness.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Vampire Weapons are only outclassed by a fully upgraded Damnation Blade.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: A recurring theme of Ancient Blood. Valnar has to kill Alaine to allow her to investigate the realm of Blood Wraiths, Alaine has to kill Valnar if he is possessed by Morlon, Raron has to kill his best friend in self-defense...
  • Knight in Shining Armor: What the Holy Warrior Clan sees itself as. In particular Nyria's supposed Love Interest Asmos. True to the world's dark tone, they all end up helplessly butchered by vampires and Elras.
  • Level Drain: Justified. The vampires start the game at the max level of the previous game and with a set of spells. Then a possessed Asgar drains Valnar and Alaine of all their power to fuel his ritual. When that isn't enough, he does the same to his own body as well.
  • Life Energy: The Elras mages' shadow ghosts drain their current host's energy in order to perform spells.
  • Loophole Abuse: One of the few actual weaknesses of vampires is the inability to harm their sire. In one of the endings Valnar allows Morlon to possess him in order to kill Asgar anyway.
  • MacGuffin: The stone tablet. Everybody wants it, it drives the plot forward, the heroes assemble its pieces, but the spell that's engraved in it doesn't have any bearing on the plot or its outcome. At all. The effect of the spell even changes from ending to ending.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: Three citizens of Melsan survived the World Sundering. Their talks of a white light and an unknown city lead everyone to believe they've consumed mushrooms and they're put into prison in Rynik.
  • Modular Epilogue: Small snippets of the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue describe the fate of every quest-giving NPC you encountered. Some of them have more than four different possible versions, depending on whether or not you completed the quest, killed the character before or after completing the quest, killed one of their loved ones or let everyone live.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: Some people believe that the ancient Elras tablet needs to be destroyed for this very reason. For example, this attitude is what gets Asmos's father Agaleo killed by Sir Aaron.
  • No Peripheral Vision: The skeletons which protect Asgar's castle in the interactive prolog only detect an intruder when he moves in or out of their line of sight.
  • One-Hit Kill: Nyria's signature move is a knife throw targeted at enemy vital spots. Unlike typical examples, it has an awfully good hit rate and no disadvantages other than that you'll have wasted a turn if it doesn't hit, since Nyria has no mana or blood points to begin with. It actually works pretty damn well in battle, so it's anything but a Useless Useful Spell. Exaggerated in the Everlasting Blood mod, where at level 70, she unlocks an area-of-effect version of the ability, trivializing most future battles against regular enemies.
  • One True Sequence: Despite its openness and the fact that it doesn't have nearly as many Broken Bridges as the first one, the game still expects you to explore the dungeons in a certain order, usually from easiest to hardest. It's not quite Sequence Breaking, as it doesn't allow you to skip parts of the game, but in some scenes the characters might apply knowledge which they only learn in a later cutscene:
    • After Jinnai explains how to use runes to create spells, he tells you about the magical barriers to the dungeons and the keys you need to unlock them. But you can conquer Castle Ardos and capture one of their mages before that. If you torture the mage, the vampires will request the location of the keys despite not knowing about them yet.
    • Similarly, the plot expects you to visit the pyramid before you torture Gorgoth. During this torture scene, the vampire trio talks about how they know that vampires make perfect hosts for shadow ghosts. If you visit the pyramid after this scene, this piece of information is suddenly a shocking revelation.
  • The Only One: After losing their castle and surviving the World Sundering Valnar and Alaine decide they need to stop who's responsible for this on the basis of being the only ones who can.
  • Ontological Mystery: Definitely takes the series into such a direction, with the heroes stranded in a strange new world, a much deeper exploration of vampirism and the reasons behind many of its curious traits, as well as a segmented reveal behind the backstory of the world and the events of the first game.
  • Parents in Distress: Nyria's mother had to be saved from a vampire by her daughter, who was just a girl at that time.
  • Production Throwback: In Thyrik in Ancient Blood, Valnar and Alaine can come upon a couple of portraits in one of the houses. They laugh at the silly, deformed artstyle, but also find it kind of cute since it reminds them of themselves. What do these portraits show? Their in-game map sprites from the first game.
  • Prolonged Prologue: Ancient Blood is right up there with Kingdom Hearts II in terms of prologue length. Watching Valnar and Alaine starting a new life, Jaina's and Nyria's backstory, Asgar's reappearance, the World Sundering spell, the heroes reclaiming the castle and getting acquainted with the new situation takes a while. It's even worse if you follow the traditional RPG routine of talking to everyone and searching everything, which a completionist will inevitably have to do given that all the prologue locations are inaccessible upon moving on.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: Valnar gets trapped inside his own mind and tries to escape the maze in front of him. At almost every intersection he's confronted with a tormenting vision of his regrets and worst fears. This includes Aysha telling him she never loved him, and Alaine returning to Asgar's side.
  • Quest for Identity: A small but significant portion of the plot is devoted to Alaine's quest to find out who she was before her memory loss and what kind of person she used to be.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: The cutscene of the Elras losing the tablet and eventually getting killed is shown many times in flashback, but the story is told by a different character each time. The versions differ, to say the least.
  • Relationship Values: Only in the Everlasting Blood Game Mod, where there is such a value for Valnar's relationship to Nyria. Get it high enough and Valnar can actually hook up with her in the epilogue, becoming Amicable Exes with Alaine.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The thief the trio chases from Syrahs to Mesdor wears a hood and is always referred to with male pronouns. "He" turns out to be female.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The three Elras leaders's Shadow Ghosts were sealed into their own magic book by Pharaoh Ustra.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Several people who tell the "Rashomon"-Style flashback cutscene, like Sir Aaron or Jinnai, are guilty of this.
  • Ship Tease: Nyria has some with Asmos, and maybe a little bit with Asgar during their strange little teamup.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: The party can use souls to develop a set of 18 skills, such as picking locks, getting a better Healing Factor, improving the blood yield when biting people and monsters, receiving more tax money, or learning ancient languages. Every skill can be upgraded twice, so there are 54 skills points in total. On Normal and Hard Mode though, the number of skill points than can be distributed is limited. However, by finding one of the very hidden Children of the Apocalypse leaders, the vampires can gain access to a magical device that lets them create more skill points by spending gathered souls.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: During the short period Nyria and Asgar work together, you can equip her anything you have in your inventory. Since the segment is near the beginning, that isn't much on a normal playthrough, in New Game Plus however, you can equip her with some of the best gear the game has to offer (which she normally has no access to), making it easy to rush through her story parts.
  • Taken for Granite: Valnar and Alaine early in the second game. They get better thanks to Asgar.
  • Time Travel: Averted. Even though the world changed to how it was several hundreds or thousands of years ago, it's clearly stated that it's still the present.
  • Twist Ending: Many of 'em. See Multiple Endings above, particularly the Normal/Good and Hard/Good endings.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Jona. Even though it's portrayed as Jayna's fault, training against an enemy that could One-Hit Kill her, wasn't a good idea to begin with.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The RPG suddenly gains some Strategy Game aspects when you're required to recruit troops, conquer castles and defend them.
  • Unobtanium: Kaldrium, the material the stone tablet is made of and which was mined by the Elras. Its rarity is the reason the tablet pieces need to be assembled and the Elras can't simply make another tablet.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Mercenaries are a lot cheaper when Valnar's level is below 10, so a player who starts buying mercs and conquering castles very early receives even more tax money, buys even more mercs and conquers even more castles. Leveling up too fast will increase mercenary prices exponentially, make conquering castles harder and you'll receive less taxes which makes it even harder to buy mercs, especially on hard mode. In New Game Plus you usually can conquer the whole world as soon as the castle fight becomes available, leaving you with even more money through taxes.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: The mercenaries and vampire companions one can pick up have weapon preferences. Mercenaries use sabers, the Vampire Warrior uses swords, the Vampire Mage uses staves, the Vampire Lord uses maces. Werewolves use their claws.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The game has a very extensive one, detailing the fate of every notable NPC the player meets, even if they're just random quest givers.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Asgar to Strife right after he has revived him. A little later, Jayna to Asgar, though he survives (barely).
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Among other things, the player uses souls to develop and upgrade certain skills. While most of them are either genuine skills or an advantage of a magical nature, they also include the ability to spot objects lying on the ground, and the ability to convincingly lie to people.

    Vampires Dawn III: The Crimson Realm 
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Jayna joins for the final dungeon and may also be available for the final boss fight if the good ending option is chosen.
  • After the End: At the start of the game, humanity is at the brink of extinction, having been severely depopulated by the vampire wars between Asgar and Alaine, who kept draining them for food or turning them into soldiers. In a clever twist, in order to still have plenty of traditional RPG towns in spite of all this, many cities are now populated by vampiric deserters from these wars, who just came upon the borderline Ghost Town-like locations, killed or enslaved the few remaining humans and took over the houses as their own.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Asgar will always be a callous, cruel and completely selfish bastard. But a high-Humanity Asgar sees the benefits of Pragmatic Villainy, while with low Humanity, he eagerly takes a head-first dive into Evil Is Petty and Stupid Evil and never looks back. Basically, rather than his morality, the Karma Meter measures Asgar's level of self-control, his ability to rein in his megalomania and do something that could be interpreted as nice, simply because he realizes it'll benefit him more in the long run and that he is not, in fact, all-powerful and immune to consequence. Also, if his self-control is high, as shown in the second game's Golden Ending, his atrocities can be limited so long as he is otherwise distracted and entertained with pleasantries, while with low self-control, the atrocities are his chosen form of entertainment.
  • Artifact Title: The titular Crimson Realm isn't any more or less important to this installment than any of the previous games.
  • Ascended Extra: The Damnation Blade in the second game could become very powerful if fully upgraded, but had no story relevance. Now it's an Infinity +1 Sword with the ability to take away a vampire's natural abilities with a single strike. Later in the story, it starts being mass-produced.
  • Animesque: The new artstyle.
  • Brick Joke: All the way back in II, interacting with a random book case in Castle Ardos had Asgar toy with the idea of writing a book entitled Vampires Dawn, arguing that it would be sure to receive widespread acclaim, which Valnar expressed doubt about. Come the Golden Ending of III and Asgar does actually write the book. Sure enough, it turns out to be a bestseller, proving Valnar wrong. That's a Brick Joke sixteen years in the making!
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Frequently employed by both Asgar and the Elras mages to break and humiliate enemies and also just for their own amusement.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than even the preceding two games. The game starts with humanity already at the brink of extinction, out of the two surviving protagonists from the previous game, one has become a Shell-Shocked Veteran while the other Took a Level in Jerkass, you play as the Token Evil Teammate instead of The Hero and tropes such as Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil and Cold-Blooded Torture are more prominent in the narrative than ever before.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As the ending of the demo proves, even after all the years of fighting her, Asgar is still madly in love with Alaine, to the point of apparently performing a kind of Heroic Sacrifice for her without a moment of hesitation. Cruelly subverted by the end-point of the actual game, where his attitude has shifted to genuine hate and sadism combined with I Have You Now, My Pretty. His treatment of Celene, his Replacement Goldfish for her, is even worse.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Comes with the new art style. All the female vampires shown are quite busty and dressed either in very low-cut or extremely tight and form-fitting clothing. The male vampires, meanwhile seem to almost entirely have become a bunch of Bishōnen, often wearing very thin shirts showing off their bulging muscles underneath. Also, there are several scenes featuring naked women who barely manage to retain their modesty by covering their breasts with their arm. The latter becomes Fan Disservice in that Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil now appears as a recurring theme in the franchise for the first time, usually combined with those portraits, copious amounts of Cold-Blooded Torture and some use of the Sex Slave and Baby Factory tropes.
  • Human Sacrifice: The new skill system relies on an Elras machine which receives its power from performing these.
  • Karma Meter: Humanity, as always. In a twist on the previous formula, it does not range from between 100 and 0, but 100 and -100, since you are now playing as the Token Evil Teammate. The game kindly informs you that, since he's not a very nice guy in the first place, it's fine to be evil, But Not Too Evil, since you you need at least a humanity above -50 to get access to the good ending.
  • Limit Break: A new feature to the series. Characters who take damage in combat accumulate RP (Revenge Points) which can be used to fuel special attacks. For instance, Asgar's fully heals him and grants an attack boost on top, while Alaine's is a powerful armor-stripping melee attack.
  • Multiple Endings: Four, three of which depend on who survived the initial torture chamber scene and require at least some points on the Karma Meter (Humanity score must be higher than -50), plus an ending that is always accessible:
    • Universal ending: The Bad Guy Wins. Greatly resembles the previous game's Medium/Evil ending. Asgar fails to resist the Shadow Ghost, murders Jayna and subsequently the Elras manage to Take Over the World. The possessed Asgar, now an Elras lord, spends his time slowly driving humanity and vampirekind to extinction with various tortures and executions. The Narrator All Along is revealed to be Alaine. Asgar used magic to revive her as a human and turned her into a Sex Slave whom he regularly has impregnated by other humans so he can torment her by taking her children away from her.
    • Neither survived: Not Quite the Right Thing. Asgar commits Heroic Suicide to prevent the Shadow Ghost from controlling him, and the stone tablet is left to Jayna. She attempts to create a Golden Ending for everyone. Jayna and Nyria manage to attain a happy and peaceful life together, though Jayna chooses to remain a vampire. Valnar and Alaine enjoy marital bliss as humans. However, Jayna naively also revived Asgar as a vampire, who immediately goes back to his Evil Overlord ways and murders Valnar/Alaine in their sleep. The Narrator All Along is revealed to be Celene, who was also brought back to life as a human. To punish her for her "betrayal", Asgar keeps her imprisoned so he can torture her to the point of near-death and then heal her back to full health as often as he likes, which he intends to keep doing for at least a couple of decades. A patch later added a high-Humanity variant where Asgar spares Valnar and Alaine, feeling that Valnar's death would traumatize Alaine too much. However, he intends to keep stalking them from the shadows, eagerly awaiting a day when they break up so he can win Alaine back.
    • Alaine survived: Bittersweet Ending. Alaine comes out alive of the torture chamber, but further magical torture by the Elras eventually turns her into an Empty Shell. In the final battle, Jayna does not manage to free herself from the control of the Elras collar and is killed by Asgar. Asgar again commits Heroic Suicide in order to stave off the Shadow Ghost, begging Alaine to use the tablet to reverse everything that happened afterwards. However, she does not, and simply leaves. With the important Elras and vampire leaders dead, humanity manages to come Back from the Brink and successfully frees the world of monsters. However, they still don't know where the stone tablet is. The Narrator All Along is once again revealed to be Alaine, who is suffering from severe PTSD and was taken into custody by the knights. They are giving her frequent therapy sessions in the hopes of one day learning the tablet's location from her so they can destroy it for good. The Stinger shows that the Elras soulstone from the previous game has been broken, releasing them back into the world, but since the protagonistic vampires' blood spirits were not absorbed, their revival is also possible, making for a potential Sequel Hook.
    • Valnar survived: Golden Ending. This plays out like a combination of the two endings above. Valnar comes out alive of the torture chamber and receives the Empty Shell treatment, but once told a lie by Asgar that his help is needed to save Alaine, actually recovers his personality at a rapid rate. The group kill the Elras lords and Valnar kills Asgar before the Shadow Ghost can overtake him. Jayna and Valnar use the stone tablet together hoping to fix everything. Thankfully, his cynicism balances out her idealism, resulting in a mostly happy world without Elras or vampires. Jayna and Nyria and Valnar and Alaine get the same outcomes as in the second ending, except that Jayna is not a vampire and Valnar/Alaine are not murdered. Asgar is revealed to be only a harmlesss human now, who retained his memory of the previous timeline and became a bestselling novelist by telling the whole story in a book called Vampires Dawn. The Narrator All Along is revealed to be Aysha, of all people. She is working with Abraxas, who somehow was not only revived but also remained a vampire. He is convinced that Asgar's book is Based on a True Story and seeks him out, trying to obtain the artifacts spoken of in it. Asgar had hoped for this and offers to tell him everything in exchange for vampirism, but ends up Out-Gambitted and subjected to Cold-Blooded Torture himself for a change. As with the Alaine ending, the return of a villain from a previous game holds the potential for a Sequel Hook.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The creature Skyly, which is apparently a backer's fursona, serves as this for Ronak (who was Killed Off for Real in the previous game), being an anthropomorphic, monstrous entity that accepts Asgar as its master. That said, it is not used for comedy as much and has a lesser story prominence.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Asgar. He was never a nice guy in the first place, but by the time of the third game, much of his more playful and laid-back villainy is gone and instead, he has just become incredibly angry and impatient and developed a massive victim complex. While the player has the option of having him act mercifully during sidequests, the actual main story and endings scale back his already rare Even Evil Has Standards moments from the previous games, instead pushing the similarities between him and the villains, whose Evil Plan he comes to admire.

You are free to go, but if you do,
your soul will be mine!