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GAF Plays: Blood

Every time this game is mentioned it becomes pretty clear that there is a reasonably sizable group of GAF-ers who hold it very dear, myself included. After the latest Blood-related thread I decided it was time to officially convene the Blood Appreciators Society and arrange our first event; GAF Plays: Blood.

Prologue



In an age and a region renowned for cruelty and violence, Caleb was legendary. Born in western Texas in 1847, he had sealed a reputation as a merciless gunfighter by the age of 17. But it was seven years later when he met Ophelia Price that his hunger for bloodshed took on a menacing new timbre.

She was already well beyond the bounds of sanity when he found her cowering in the charred ruins of the burned out homestead where her husband and child had perished only days before. It was neither her tattered beauty nor her plight that compelled Caleb to take her in, however-it was the words he picked out of her virtually incoherent mumblings.

He learned that her husband had attempted to rescind his membership of the dreaded Cult of Tchernobog and in return cultists had set fire to the house in the night. Ophelia was filled with rage-not at the cult but at her husband, whose cowardice she blamed for the death of her young son.

Ophelia was Caleb's doorway to the Cult and its dark purpose. He could not have known that in time he would come to love her, nor that their service to the Cult would find the two of them beloved among the Chosen, elite servants of the dreaming god Tchernobog, the One That Binds, Devourer of Souls.

In the Hall of the Epiphany, a temple that spans the chasm between the worlds, the four remaining Chosen stand at the forefront of a procession of worshippers. Tchernobog's presence is felt more than seen-the great, frigid weight of a hunger that spans millennia. He speaks in a cacophony of voices stolen from the dead, summoning the Chosen to the center of the sacrificial ring. They stand before the Dark God, united by a sudden, inexplicable sense of doom.

A wordless cry rises up from the seething shadows, one voice swallowed up by many until the hall resounds with them. The members of the procession behind the Chosen melt away in a gust of ethereal wind, extinguished like so many candle flames. There aren't even ashes to indicate they ever existed.

The Chosen look to one another in confusion and dread. They can already feel the ties that bind them to Tchernobog fraying. Why? How have we failed you?

But there is no answer other than the shattering scream that threatens to tear the universe to shreds. Darkness swells around them, swallows them. Their cold, abandoned souls fall through the abyss.

And they burn.

Caleb awakens in cold and damp in a body he no longer knows. It has long lain as a corpse that refused to rot, protected from putrefaction by some unearthly link to its master. The pain of protesting muscle and flesh invigorates and awakens him. He welcomes it. It distills his hate into the maelstrom raging in the center of his mind.

An agonizing cry breaks out of him, shattering the stone lid of the tomb in which he lies, knocking loose sediment, cobwebs, and the small, unnoticed creatures that have shared his grave with him. A single word rings out through the darkness, echoing Tchernobog's lingering howl: "Why?"




Gog.com: http://www.gog.com/gamecard/one_unit_whole_blood

Join Us...

So why should you join this cult and play a game from 1998? When there are so many amazing other choices out there?

Weapons

Blood has the best weapon selection of any FPS. It features direct hit-scan weapons like the tommygun and shotgun, projectile weapons like the napalm launcher and tesla cannon, and more... unusual weapons such as the voodoo doll or the life-leech.

It also has a selection of thrown weapons, including timed, remote and proximity detonated dynamite bundles, and a flaming can of hairspray which functions as an incendiary device. All explosives can be thrown or dropped once activated, and can be detonated with force.

Each weapon has both a primary and secondary fire mode. The latter is generally a big investment of ammunition which hits stupidly hard. Take the flare-gun alternate fire for example; it launches a corona of flares which spread out as they fly, igniting everything in their path. Fire too close to an obstacle however and you’ll be the one who gets grilled.

A discussion on the weapons in Blood isn’t complete without making mention of the excellent power-ups which compliment them; the reflective shots orb, which deflects enemy fire, and everyone’s favourite power-up of all time: guns-akimbo. Many a bloodbath match has come to an abrupt end because someone locked down the napalm-launcher and guns-akimbo right away.

Classic Horror Mystery Tour

While the story behind Blood is a fairly run-of-the-mill tale of revenge and the elder gods, the game features some of the most memorable levels you will see in an FPS. The train and carnival in the first episode are both great examples, as is the hellish hospital in episode three. It’s worth noting that these are all standard tropes from horror movies.

In addition to these horror-film staples are the direct homages littered throughout the game; such as a trip to the “Overlooked” Hotel, a sojourn to Camp Crystal Lake and Caleb’s dry quoting of the classic Jaws line “we’re going to need a bigger boat”.

The levels aren’t just there to be appreciated, either. They’re huge, living and breathing -- literally in at least one case. New paths are paved by blowing up half a building, or punching a hole in the side of a dam. There are secret tunnels and rooms everywhere, and on the hardest difficulty settings you will need to find all of them if you want to have any chance at all.

Enemies

As with the levels, the enemies in Blood are generally homages to tropes from horror films. The bread-and-butter enemies are cultists and zombies, who behave more or less as you’d imagine (though cultists do have an amusing habit of blowing themselves, and any nearby allies, up when they try to use dynamite).

In addition to these standard foot-soldiers however is a posse of ghouls who would be right at home partying down with Vincent Price; fire-breathing pitbulls, reanimated gargoyles, creatures from the black lagoon, dismembered hands which try to choke you to death, wraiths which shift in and out of our dimension and can only be damaged when they try to attack, and a few more surprises later in the game.

Unrivaled Combat

There are so many ways to kill in this game it’s almost disturbing.

For starters, there are multiple damage types and associated resistances. You might be totally sorted on fire protection but get slammed by a wraith because your spirit damage resistance is non-existent, or vice versa. It’s particularly interesting in bloodbath matches for obvious reasons; smart players remember resistance item locations and their corresponding weapons, control them and dominate.

Then there’s the potential for creating traps with remote and proximity detonators, which speaks for itself. And being able to drop a lit bundle of dynamite at your feet as you run around a corner makes pursuing an opponent in multiplayer a dangerous prospect.

It’s actually quite difficult to put into words, but basically you’ll rarely find yourself without a whole range of killing tools, and the enemy variation and level-design makes most of them genuinely useful for one purpose or another.

It’s also worth mentioning the... feedback the game gives you. Setting enemies alight causes them to burst into flames and run around screaming “ah it burns! OH GOD IT BURNS AH AHA AH AAAAAH”. Blowing dudes up yields epic gibbage, and there’s usually a good number of incidental destructible props which will shatter and fly about when you explode something.

And taking it even further is the announcer in bloodbath matches, who was apparently voiced by Jace Hall. There’s nothing like blowing up your friend and hearing Jace Hall yell “SODOMISED” at the top of his voice.

Cheesemints

So for fun I decided to make up some forced challenge modes so that people who played the game already have some motivation to get into it.

Challenges

Good? Bad? I’m the guy with the gun: Complete the game on Extra Crispy.
You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry: Kill every enemy in the game.
But you can’t hide: Find every secret in the game.
What is dead may never die: No quick-saving, you must complete each level in one sitting.
Texas Pitchfork Massacre: Kill a standard gargoyle with your pitchfork.
Expert Pitchfork Massacre: Kill a stone gargoyle with your pitchfork.
Arachnophobia: Kill a mother spider with hairspray.

Secret Levels

House of Horrors: Find the secret level in The Way of All Flesh.
Thin Ice: Find the secret level in Even Death May Die.
Catacombs: Find the secret level in Farewell to Arms
Mall of the Dead: Find the secret level in Dead Reckoning.
Forgotten Catacombs: Find the secret level in Post Mortem.
Dead Detective: Find every secret level in the game.

Easter Eggs

Quoth the Raven: Find the grave of emo-Caleb.
The Lady Doth Protest: Find a spot that won’t go away.
Simpsons Did It: Get prank called.
I Don’t Care: Find an orange jumpsuit.
Always Bet on Death: Find a dead American hero (either appearance).
Here’s Johnny: Find a man who died from exposure.
Spelling Bee: Find a gruesome murder from a misspelled movie.
Drop Dead, Fred: Find a killer’s coat-rack (either appearance).
The First Jace: Find a sporty disguise for a murderer.
Han Ordered First: Find the final resting place of a space Beast.
Clever Girl: Find a terrible lizard.

Random

I <3 Cultists: You may only heal by consuming the hearts of your enemies (no Doctor’s Bag)
Who do ya voodoo bitch: You may only use the primary fire of the voodoo doll, and must switch to it whenever you find one until it’s used up.
Demoman: You may only use explosives (including hairspray) and your pitchfork.
Sadomasochist: If you have the life-leech you must use it regardless of whether you have any ammunition for it.

If anyone thinks of others I’ll add them to the list. Obviously this is more of a merit system than anything else, though feel free to screenshot your level completion screens if you’re trying to get all kills or secrets, and likewise with secret levels. The easter eggs section will be interesting, if you think you’ve found one but aren’t sure then just spoiler tag it and ask the thread.

The Plan

Blood levels can be completed extremely quickly if you know them well, however this isn’t just for veterans. As such we’ll be aiming to play the first five episodes (i.e. no Cryptic Passage) over the next 5 weeks, starting on Wednesday the 8th of August. Each episode is roughly 10 levels, and the average level takes around 15 minutes to complete, so I’d expect no more than 30 minutes of time needed 5 out of 7 days a week for the next 5 weeks. Not too taxing at all.

Having said that, let’s keep tagging any potential spoilers so that people don’t have to worry about sharing their experiences even if they’re lagging behind the pack a bit.

So who’s in?
 

Odrion

Banned
So do I just need the Gog version to play it properly on modern computers? Or should I use some sort of ZDoomesque shell?
 

Semblance

shhh Graham I'm still compiling this Radiant map
Well, shit, jim-jam. I'll play some come the 8th. Why not. It's been a good minute since I've heard a zombie yell out Ohhhhh! after some buckshot to the chest.
 
Well, shit, jim-jam. I'll play some come the 8th. Why not. It's been a good minute since I've heard a zombie yell out Ohhhhh! after some buckshot to the chest.

a friend of mine actually used to have "AAAAAH IT BURNS" as his ringtone. awkward.

but yeah, the sound is incredible. my favourite part is probably all the supremely unhinged things caleb says when you're killing stuff, or when he just starts cackling uncontrollably at the gibs falling around him.
 

Takuan

Member
Could never get mouse look working properly for this. Would've loved to have taken this online and relive the memories of alt-fire flare gun.
 

Maxrunner

Member
I actually managed to kill one of the axe zombies from the train and then throw the tnt and bring them back to the train.....how i laugh hard with this game, and then there was that hidden circus level....
 
Do we have a thread talking about what went wrong with Blood 2, and why it went wrong so badly?

(Blood 1 is amazing and beautiful, but damn is it hard!)
 

Raide

Member
Do we have a thread talking about what went wrong with Blood 2, and why it went wrong so badly?

(Blood 1 is amazing and beautiful, but damn is it hard!)

What went wrong? Game was just a poor shooter compared to Blood 1. Dark humour was pretty much missing and combat was constantly semi-auto weapons.
 
alrighty, it looks like there are a handful of participants! hopefully we'll pick up a few extras as we go.

Do we have a thread talking about what went wrong with Blood 2, and why it went wrong so badly?

(Blood 1 is amazing and beautiful, but damn is it hard!)

in my humble opinion blood 2 is one of those games which is nowhere near as bad as the vitriolic criticisms it suffers would indicate. it's just mediocre and seriously buggy; it has some great locations and weapons, and the whole cabal corp thing, where the cult has become a powerful corporate entity, was reasonably clever satire for the time.

as for why it went wrong, well, it's probably mostly technological. the lithtech engine was a mere infant when it was first used, which is the main reason that blood 2 is so freaking janky. fast-forward a couple of years to when they released no one lives forever on an updated and far more stable version of lithtech and you can see the type of game blood 2 might have been had the circumstances been kinder.
 
Thanks for this, great OP, never played it but will once exams are over!

Man, the last old PC game that I never played at its time was Deus Ex, hope this holds up as well.
 
it's funny, I was wondering about all the "it's so hard" comments until I gave it some thought and realised that I was exactly the same way when I first played it 15 years ago. perhaps I'll make some videos while I'm playing to help out the new folks.

Thanks for this, great OP, never played it but will once exams are over!

Man, the last old PC game that I never played at its time was Deus Ex, hope this holds up as well.

better in some respects, actually. it's a very classic style shooter so it remains quite fresh, if only because there aren't many of those around these days. it's basically a really slick action fps with heaps of content and extremely fun combat, and those never go out of style.
 

KareBear

Member
Im in,I played through Blood and both its expansions for the first time in april and I really enjoyed it.Ill do so again for this,however leaving out Cryptic Passage is folly as its a lot better than the other expansion.Its absolutely essential if your going to play Blood.
 

Ifrit

Member
I'm waiting for whatever happens with the source code to replay and finish it, I have only played the first 3 episodes so far, so there's a still a lot of content to look forward to
 
It is really difficult to start with (playing on default difficulty) - you start with a pitchfork and even the zombies do a fair whack of damage, then you're up against machine guns almost instantly - you get a flare gun but almost no flares and the hidden "guns akimbo" in the first area is more of a hindrance than a help. When you go through the doors from the graveyard into the church, you're fucked unless you've found the TNT and already pretty much mastered it.
 

Karak

Member
Wow looks like the guy is thinking of returning to Blood. Saw the news on Bluesnews. Awesome!

Love this game.
 

Easy_D

never left the stone age
Is there a proper mouse aim mod? The one I used for Duke was awesome.

I always roll with One Unit Whole Mod. Sets the game up with WSAD+mouselook and you dont have to do a thing. (Also includes buttloads of fan made levels/campaigns)

Edit: Also, people, multiple saves is a must. You're likely to put yourself in a tight corner if it's your first time.
 
R

Rösti

Unconfirmed Member
Good memories from this game. Nice level design, great enemies to fight and a good dose of humour. I like the Camp Crystal level: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB1x3OSybgg

Crystal Lake on highest difficulty level (Extra Crispy) is a nightmare. I don't know the exact number, but hands present in the first house, as seen in the video, are probably above ten and can be... well, handful. And the fat zombies are even worse.

Here are also a development page by 3D Realms, updates between June 1996 and December 1996, courtesy of Archive.org:

http://web.archive.org/web/19961222182534/www.3drealms.com/catalog/blood/

I'd link to the official homepage of the game, but it contains Robots.txt and cannot be crawled.
 

DrFunk

not licensed in your state
Will play

I have the original, big box, redbook audio version

but! I'm gonna buy the GOG version when I get homeeee

Also, INCREDIBLE MUSIC
 
Rösti;40690478 said:
Good memories from this game. Nice level design, great enemies to fight and a good dose of humour. I like the Camp Crystal level: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB1x3OSybgg

Crystal Lake on highest difficulty level (Extra Crispy) is a nightmare. I don't know the exact number, but hands present in the first house, as seen in the video, are probably above ten and can be... well, handful. And the fat zombies are even worse.

haha I love that level. there's something ultra-satisfying about throwing a lit can of hairspray into those rooms and hearing all the hands let out their little flaming death-squawk one at a time.

the last section
where you're on the raft and the lake you're floating on has about 1k fish-monsters in it
is insanely fun. underwater circle-strafing, hot damn.
 

Raptomex

Member
Great game. Do they have anything similar to EDuke32 for this game? I have EDuke and something for Shadow Warrior, even Redneck Rampage. If I can get something for Blood that would be golden.
 
Rösti;40690478 said:
Good memories from this game. Nice level design, great enemies to fight and a good dose of humour. I like the Camp Crystal level: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB1x3OSybgg

That looks terrific. I played the demo when I was a kid and it didn't leave a huge impression, so no purchase. I will be picking it up now though, but I hope there is an option to turn off the main character commentary. One-liner-fests are ok some of the time, but I would rather at least attempt to take the horror seriously.
 
That looks terrific. I played the demo when I was a kid and it didn't leave a huge impression, so no purchase. I will be picking it up now though, but I hope there is an option to turn off the main character commentary. One-liner-fests are ok some of the time, but I would rather at least attempt to take the horror seriously.

I could be mistaken but I think you can turn the voice down/off in the menu, much like with Duke and Lo Wang.
 
I am not liking this game's absurdly hard opening stage. Default difficulty level. Nightmarish.

little trick; the graveyard area will hurt a lot if you run down and open the gate right away. usually I like to run down and get the cultists' attention then run back up the stairs and count to five.

thing is, the gate can't be opened from the other side. so the cultists will all rush for you and end up milling about in front of it. assuming you picked up the hidden tnt crate in the first room, I think you can figure out what to do next.
 

Combichristoffersen

Combovers don't work when there is no hair
Best FPS ever? Best FPS ever.

in my humble opinion blood 2 is one of those games which is nowhere near as bad as the vitriolic criticisms it suffers would indicate. it's just mediocre and seriously buggy; it has some great locations and weapons, and the whole cabal corp thing, where the cult has become a powerful corporate entity, was reasonably clever satire for the time.

as for why it went wrong, well, it's probably mostly technological. the lithtech engine was a mere infant when it was first used, which is the main reason that blood 2 is so freaking janky. fast-forward a couple of years to when they released no one lives forever on an updated and far more stable version of lithtech and you can see the type of game blood 2 might have been had the circumstances been kinder.

Actually, the only thing I'll never hold against Blood 2 is the engine. I never experienced any game-breaking bugs when playing it, and the graphics were pretty darn good for the time. Other than that, Blood 2 is just shit. Complete lack of dark humour, Caleb seems like far more of a dislikeable sociopath than he did in the first game, Gideon is a shitty antagonist (and at the end of the game you get a suddenly; Necron moment with that Lovecraftian final boss) and the game just isn't any fun to play at all.
 
Actually, the only thing I'll never hold against Blood 2 is the engine. I never experienced any game-breaking bugs when playing it, and the graphics were pretty darn good for the time. Other than that, Blood 2 is just shit. Complete lack of dark humour, Caleb seems like far more of a dislikeable sociopath than he did in the first game, Gideon is a shitty antagonist (and at the end of the game you get a suddenly; Necron moment with that Lovecraftian final boss) and the game just isn't any fun to play at all.

you know it's funny, after I made the post you quoted I reinstalled it and made it as far as the museum before the va for that OMG CRAAAAAZY SCIENCE GUY just disgusted me too much to continue. I still think that it has some redeeming features but they're pretty hard to find in the bucket of shit that is the rest of the game.
 
Just finished the first episode. I love the carnival level and its secret level.
Playing with keyboard only and no mid level saving.
Now I'm in the mood for some Blood.



Works well with Blood (the game).
 
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