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Blood (computer game)

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Blood
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Blood_logo.jpg
The box art from Blood

Developer(s) Monolith Productions
Publisher(s) GT Interactive
Release date(s) 1997
Genre First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: Mature (M)
Platform(s) PC
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Screenshot from blood showing map E4M6, The Ganglion Depths
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Another screenshot showing map E2M5, The Haunting

Blood is a PC game developed by Monolith Productions and distributed by GT Interactive in 1997, utilising the first Build engine from Ken Silverman to feature voxels. It is a first-player shooter game set in the late 1920s, with technology and weaponry of that era.

The game is set in the year 1928 and with its arsenal of curious weapons, numerous enemies, and liberal amounts of gore, it truly gives justice to its name. Disturbingly, for its time, human enemies would scream as they were set on fire or otherwise injured. However, this has now become commonplace in first-person shooters, and the sounds have lost some of their shock value. As well, the graphics are now almost a decade old and are very outdated and unrealistic compared to newer games, decaying the shock value even more. Despite popular criticisms, Blood was featured in GameSpy's list of underrated games.

A sequel to Blood, called Blood II: The Chosen was released a year after the first game. Featuring the advanced Monolith’s Lithtech 3D engine, Blood 2 was a huge step from the first installment in terms of graphics quality, but fell short in atmosphere and gameplay compared to the original. Besides Caleb, the game also features three new characters to choose from: Ophelia, Ishmael and Gabriella.

Contents

Story

The game's hero (better labelled an anti-hero) is a man named Caleb (voiced by Stephan Weyte). Once the top general of a cult called The Cabal, which worshipped the god Tchernobog (who in the credits is called "The Voice" and is played by Jason Hall, CEO of Monolith), he was cast down for his 'failures' in the god's name. Three of his major allies, one of which being his assumed lover Opheila Price, also died with him, all in the year 1851. Declaring "I live AGAIN!", he suddenly wakes from his grave 77 years later in 1928. He finds that all he wants now is vengeance against The Cabal for ruining his life. He therefore decides he will take it upon himself to eradicate his old masters, including the god Tchernobog himself.

Garbed in a dark robe and hat, with eyes glowing crimson, he immediately begins his quest of ridding the world from the minions of Tchernobog. Caleb is a cynical, sarcastic man with a bent towards sadism, taking pleasure in killing almost anything that impedes his quest in the slightest. This pleasure in pain takes away any consideration of Caleb as a true hero. However, he has a slight attitude change between Blood and its sequel. By Blood 2, 100 years after the events of the first game, Caleb has been forced to tolerate innocent bystanders a little more. However, he can still kill them in-game if he cares to.

Blood has four episodes filled with atmosphere, dark humour and periodic (occasionally parodic) references to other defining moments in horror games, films, or stories.

  • In the first episode, the player takes a train from "Miskatonic Station", an homage to Miskatonic University in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.
  • In a secret room in the first episode, Caleb finds Duke Nukem hanging upside down with blood dripping from his body. Upon pressing the 'use' key on Duke, Caleb swings his corpse from side to side and utters a Duke Nukem phrase in a cynical, sarcastic way; "Uhh, shake it, baby", somewhat similar to Duke's comment about the Doom space marine in Duke Nukem 3D.
  • In the second episode the frozen main character of the movie The Shining (Jack Nicholson) can be found standing on his knees holding an axe in a maze of shrubbery. Upon seeing him, Caleb utters a famous quote from the movie ("Here's Johnny!").

The weapons in Blood were fairly revolutionary, most having a secondary attack mode which was not common in computer games at the time. However, like most "new" features in Blood, this has been adopted by almost every new shooter game in the market.

Weapons

  • Pitchfork: Your basic weapon, available from start. It does not consume ammunition. This is an extremely useful weapon against the axe-wielding zombies and other weak close-range fighters to save ammunition of better weapons.
  • Flare gun: It fires a flare that sticks to the targeted enemy and continually deals damage until it goes out. The secondary attack fires a star pattern of multiple flares which explode on contact. This is a very useful function for clearing crowded rooms.
  • Sawed-off shotgun: Primary attack fires one of two shotgun shells, while secondary attack discharges both barrels at once. Against Stone Beasts, especially with "Guns Akimbo", this is the best weapon for the job.
  • Tommy gun: Sprays bullets in rapid succession. The secondary attack fires faster and moves the gun from side to side, which is useful for clearing lines of enemies.
  • Napalm Cannon: This fires an explosive napalm fireball, equivalent to the rocket launcher of most other games. In the add-on packs, it has a secondary attack that shoots a bouncing ball of napalm that splits into several other balls upon impact which can clear enemies around corners well.
  • TNT: Throws a bundle of TNT that explodes on contact. Secondary function ignites the fuse and causes the bundle to explode after a few seconds, like an improvised grenade.
  • Proximity TNT: TNT bundle with a proximity device that detonates whenever a player (including the one who deployed the mine) or monster comes too close.
  • Remote TNT: TNT bundle with remote detonator that detonates at the player's will.
  • Aerosol can: An aerosol can that is used as a flamethrower (don't try this at home) with the help of a lighter. Secondary function lights the can and throws it like a Molotov cocktail.
  • Tesla Cannon: Fires a stream of electrical spheres in a straight line. The secondary attack charges a powerful shot with a large area damage. After the Voodoo doll nerf, the Tesla Cannon is the weapon that can kill a Stone Gargoyle the quickest. The secondary attack can stun enemies for a moment, including the mighty Cerberus boss.
  • Life Leech: A weapon in the form of a skull on a pole that shoots balls of fiery, astral death that home in on their target. Can use the player's life as ammunition when the ordinary ammo runs out. Secondary attack puts the Life Leech down and it acts as a sentry, attacking nearby enemies (Plasma-Pak only). It can also be used as a stepping stone to out of the way places. The Blood 2 Life Leech in addition can leech the hit points of its target, but the original Blood's version cannot, despite popular belief.
  • Voodoo doll: Pierces various places on a voodoo doll's body with a nail. Using it with no target in your sight causes the player to hurt himself. Torso hit causes medium damage to the target. Head hit causes temporary blindness. A hit in the crotch does extra damage. Secondary attack makes a sweeping motion with the hand across the doll, which depletes its energy to cause more damage as a last resort. Rather overpowered (it could kill most bosses in a couple of hits), the secondary attack was later toned down in the add-on pack.

Items

  • Life Essence: The Life Essence is a beating heart that will heal 20 points of health when taken. This can take the player to a maximum of 100 health. These can be found by killing some enemies, splattering certain corpses, or just looking around in some areas.
  • Medicine Pouch: Although made originally for the main game, they mainly appear in Cryptic Passage. They restore 50 points of health, up to a maximum of 100 points for the player. They are usually found laying around in various areas, often in less accessible areas than a Life Essence would be.
  • Life Seed: These items restore 100 points of a player's health, and can take them past to 200 points of health. These are not found often, and are primarily in secret areas, but they are very valuable and it is advised that players take the time to find them. They appear to be seeds at first glance, but if you watch them, they will open up and expose the eye within. Life Seeds can up the player's health to a maximum of 200.
  • Armour: there are three kinds of armours available; Fire, Body and Spirit. Finding an armor of the appropriate kind adds 100 worth of armour of that type to the player. The colours are blue for Body, red for Fire and green for Spirit. There is also the versatile Basic Armour, which adds 50 worth of armour to every kind. The valuable and life-preserving Super Armour completely fills up all kinds of armour to 200.
  • Death Mask: Looking much like a Baphomet icon, this special item renders the player invulnerable for a period of time. However two downsides exist: first, the player is still susceptible to physics, meaning he can be thrown off large elevations by nearby explosions, or other such moves; second, the Monolith team admits they forgot to include an unique palette change on the screen, so players can find the powerup wearing off without warning. However, if the Death Mask is being used with another powerup like reflective shots, it might be possible to see when it wears off a bit easier.
  • Guns Akimbo: Many players consider this to be one of the most unique powerups for a game of Blood's time. Picking this up allows the player to shortly wield two of any one handed weapon, allowing a more acclerated rate of fire against enemies. Such weapons affected include the Flare Gun, Shotgun, Tommy Gun, Napalm Launcher (in the Plasma Pak), Life Leech (in the Plasma Pak), and the Tesla Cannon (also in the Plasma Pak). This is ideal against any boss enemies, but sometimes the quicker consumption of ammo counterbalances its good effects.

Episodes and Levels

Episode 1: The Way of All Flesh

Level 1: Cradle to Grave - The first level in the game is centered around a graveyard/funeral home theme, and Caleb is introduced to the first of the Axe Zombies, Cultists, and Rats. He also finds his first TNT bundles, shotgun, and flare gun in this level, as well as possibly the Napalm Launcher (in a 'Super Secret' area). Caleb begins this level rising from his grave he was banished to in the intro movie of the game, and is ready to get revenge on Tchernobog and the Cabal.

Level 2: Wrong Side of the Tracks - The second level in the game is centered around first a rundown train track and train cars, and then diverts to a train station known as the "Miskatonic Station", the name based off the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. Caleb encounters his first Fanatics and Citizens here. He also comes upon the Tommy Gun, and various other weapons in this section, and gets his first encounter with a Life Seed here. Innocent bystanders also appear her in the registered version, but are already dead in shareware.

Level 3: Phantom Express - The third level is centered around a moving train outbound from the Miskatonic Station in the last level. Caleb must fight his way through and back over the length of the train, eliminating Cabal threats and find a means to stop the train so he can continue his mission. Trying to jump off the train usually leads to a quick and painful death.

Level 4: Dark Carnival - True to its name, the fourth level centers around a carnival theme with many parodical twists on normal carnival terms, as well as mimes, ratburgers, cupie dolls, the freak show, a cameo by Duke Nukem, a cameo by the Hell Hand, and even a chance to find the episode's secret level.

Secret Level: House of Horrors - Probably the most fitting type of carnival ride for the game. This entire secret level involves the house of horrors, the Spinebreaker ride, and several other assorted terrors awaiting Caleb, and even some of the Cabal themselves! Featured in Demo mode.

Level 5: Hallowed Ground - Appearing to be based around a Cabal-occupied holy ground and monastery, Caleb must fight off a large horde of Cabal loyalists, zombies and Gargoyles. Along the way, a droning message in the Cabal language echoes throughout the temple, annoying Caleb along the whole of the way.

Level 6: The Great Temple - A entrenched temple guarded by a Bone-Eel filled moat stands between Caleb and his first major challenge. He must first navigate the water to find the path to the temple doors. Once inside, he must evade several deadly traps, napalm firing walls being only one of many, and reach the top, where he will find a gateway leading him to...

Level 7: Altar of Stone - Caleb will finally reunite with one of his fellow chosen, but it will not be a joyful reunion, as Cheogh, an old antagonist of the Chosen, has a few words and actions of his own to add to the chaos. Caleb will have to be resourceful to defeat the Stone Gargoyle (or two in higher difficulties) and his minions.

Episode 2: Even Death May Die

Level 1: Shipwrecked - As the name implies, the first level of the second episode is focused around a wrecked, but still mostly standing ship in the artic north. Caleb has began his journey to find Shial, queen of the spiders after his victorious encounter with Cheogh in Episode 1. Caleb is introduced to the Gill Beasts and Spiders for the first time here, and also gains use of the Aerosol Can and other various weapons.

Level 2: The Lumber Mill - Again, the name implies exactly the level's focus, a lumber mill transformed into a crude human remains processing area by the Cabal, with many various gruesome sights, and many enemies afoot and aflight waiting to turn Caleb into another victim of the rampant chaos occurring. Caleb will more than likely start encountering the Bloated Butchers in this level as well.

Level 3: Rest for the Wicked - (description coming soon)

Level 4: The Overlooked Hotel - This level sees Caleb coming to an haunted hotel, with several nods to The Shining, including a frozen Jack Torrance in the garden maze. This level serves as a gateway to the secret level, Thin Ice as well as showing off some of the capacities of the improved Build engine.

Secret Level: Thin Ice - (description coming soon)

Level 5: The Haunting - (description coming soon)

Level 6: The Cold Rush - (description coming soon)

Level 7: Bowels of the Earth - (description coming soon)

Level 8: The Lair of Shial - (description coming soon)

Episode 3: Farewell to Arms

Level 1: Ghost Town - The beginning of the third episode takes Caleb into the heart of an abandoned town, with only a few stray citizens still trying to escape. Caleb will have his first encounters with the dreaded Hell Hounds here as well.

Level 2: The Siege - Continuing his quest deeping into the city, Caleb finds the city is now under siege completely, along with airbombings from overhead hitting various enemies and citizens. Caleb must proceed carefully through both the meat processing plant and the city hall up ahead and continue his quest into the unknown.

Level 3: Raw Sewage - (description coming soon)

Level 4: The Sick Ward - Caleb finds himself killing his way through a hospital, including patient rooms, a chapel, morgue, and an "assisted suicide" room.

Secret Level: Catacombs - (description coming soon)

Level 5: Spare Parts - (description coming soon)

Level 6: Monster Bait - (description coming soon)

Level 7: The Pit of Cerberus - (description coming soon)

Episode 4: Dead Reckoning

Level 1: Butchery Loves Company - This level appears to have a mad-scientist labortory and Frankenstein-equse theme to it, with many signs of butchered human remains, not limited to, but including human brains, severed heads, severed legs, and other various parts.

Level 2: Breeding Grounds - This level appears to focus around a aquatic breeding labortory, presumably one of the main locations where the Gill Beasts are formed. There are plenty of them to spare in this area for Caleb to watch out for, along with other threats.

Level 3: Charnel House - (description coming soon)

Level 4: Crystal Lake - Based around a forest rimmed lake and wooden cabins, this draws largely on references to the Friday the 13th series of films in which a lake of the same name appears. As Caleb roams the level, he may even hear the infamous sounds of Jason himself, or perhaps even discover his lone mask on one of the walls.

Secret Level: Mall of the Dead - This level pays homage to the film Dawn of the Dead with similar looping 'elevator music' and zombies attacking Caleb. Level 5: Fire and Brimstone - (description coming soon)

Level 6: The Ganglion Depths - (description coming soon)

Level 7: In The Flesh - (description coming soon)

Level 8: Hall of the Epiphany - (description coming soon)

Episode 5: Post Mortem (Requires Plasma Pak or One Unit Whole Blood)

Level 1: Welcome to Your Life - The first level of the expansion pack episode is centered around a department store that is being overtaken by several Cabal members, including the new Acolytes and Zealots.

Level 2: They Are Here - Appearing to center around a shopping center and a processing facility of sorts, Caleb must continue his quest to investigate the recent Cabal uprisings. However, he will soon begin to encounter the many different pods the Cabal have began growing from the earth, and in addition, he will have a close and personal encounter with himself, in one form or another.

Level 3: Public Storage - (description coming soon)

Level 4: Aqueducts - (description coming soon)

Secret Level: Forgotten Catacombs - (description coming soon)

Level 5: The Ruined Temple - (description coming soon)

Level 6: Forbidden Rituals - (description coming soon)

Level 7: The Dungeon - (description coming soon)

Level 8: Beauty and the Beast - (description coming soon)

Episode 6: Cryptic Passage (Requires Cryptic Passage add-on or One Unit Whole Blood)

Level 1: Boat Docks - Having caught wind of the news of the ancient scroll, Caleb has set out to retrieve it for his own dark needs. He arrives on the Boat Docks, which later merge into a large cave, a cabin, a large lighthouse, and the fun doesn't seem to end, for many of his old Cabal enemies are trying to prevent him from attaining the scroll.

Level 2: Opera House - In tradition to the late 20s-early 30s era, this level is mostly focused around a large opera house, appearantly preparing to show The Phantom of the Opera (called "The Phantasm of the Opera" in the game). Caleb will find he might have several interesting things to say, in addition to his many Cabal foes, as well as the large spiders in the basement of the opera house.

Level 3: Gothic Library - (description coming soon)

Level 4: Lost Monastery - (description coming soon)

Level 5: Steamboat - (description coming soon)

Level 6: Graveyard - (description coming soon)

Secret Level: Boggy Creak - Caleb finds himself in a gloomy swamp, riding among the river on a boat where the Grim Reaper is the captain. The boat will lead to an abandoned house with spiders in its basehome (a homage to Arachnophobia) and a mysterious pathway.

Level 7: Mountain Pass - (description coming soon)

Level 8: Abysmal Mine - (description coming soon)

Level 9: Castle - (description coming soon)

Enemies, Bosses and other characters

Harmless Creatures

Citizens - Citizens are shirtless, rag-wearing people who are unlucky enough to get caught in the crossfire of conflicts between Caleb and the Cabal. Caleb begins finding them on "Wrong Side of the Tracks" in the first episode of the registered version. They cannot attack, nor are they any threat. In all actuality, they serve as a distraction to enemies, as Caleb's foes will attack nearby citizens before attacking the player, unless he shoots at the foe in the middle of the hunt. Some citizens can also drop vital keys, and an example of this is in the second level of episode 4. Citizens can be killed in just about any manner the game will permit.

Mimes - Mimes only appear on two levels, both of which are in the first episode. They make their homes in level 4: "Dark Carnival", and the secret level: "House of Horrors". They are much like common mimes, acting like they are in the invisible box. Caleb openly expresses great hatred for these people, and will usually kill them after exhausting any possible purpose they serve (some are stepping stones to secret places). In fact, one secret room has a dozen or so mimes blocking a Life Seed, which have to be killed to reach it. Unlike citizens, they do not drop keys.

Corpses - Corpses (occasionally zombies disguised as corpses) are found in various locations in the game. Some simply lie on the ground, others are nailed to walls. They will occasionally drop Life Essence, so make sure you splatter them all.

"Nuisance Enemies"

Aside from the normal monsters you meet throughout the game, smaller nuisance monsters also appear to annoy and harass the player, hence the nickname. Several of these nuisance monsters are listed below:

Bats - Bats are the weakest of all enemies in the game, but they can be very annoying, especially in swarms. They fly around, chirping and swooping down on the player, and are rarely a direct threat. However, they often attempt to swarm when the player is trying to attack other monsters, and can prove a fatal distraction. As well, if the player is using an explosive weapon such as the Napalm Launcher and attempts to shoot a bat in frustration at close range, the results could be deadly. The pitchfork, Tommy gun, or shotgun are ideal against these creatures.

Rats - Slightly stronger than bats, rats are much better at dealing damage directly to the player. Like their flying cousins, they will swarm the player in groups. They are often found around rotten corpses, and due to their ability to deal a reasonable amount of damage, should not be ignored except in the most dire of circumstances. The Tommy gun or shotgun are good defences, as is standing on the creatures. The pitchfork will not work as effectively, since the reach of their bite is farther than the pitchfork and you will be placing yourself at risk.

Bone Eels - Like their real-world companions, these Eels are found exclusively in water. Fast but weak, they are cousins to the Gill Beast. (described below) As many other nuisance enemies, they mainly attack in mobs and can be deadly in higher numbers, especially to an unskilled player. A few shotgun blasts will usually do them in, even on higher difficulty levels.

Hell Hands - Hell Hands are essentially leftover parts from zombies. They resemble Thing of The Addams Family, except with a major attitude problem. They spend their time walking along the ground saying things like, "I'll swallow your soul!" (an homage to Army of Darkness) although one would wonder how, considering their lack of vocal cords. At close range, they can leap and attach themselves to the player's neck, sucking your life. The player must then hit the "use" key repeatedly to shake them off. On harder skill levels, it is advisable to save before facing them, because it is extremely difficult to detach them without losing at least a hundred health in the process. They are comparable in health to the Rats. TNT is the best weapon to use on the things, especially when they attempt to mob you. It is possible to pitchfork them without getting choked, but it is a tricky endeavour.

Chrysalis Pods - An enemy that was exclusively seen in the "Plasma Pak" expansion, the Chrysalis Pods were green, podded plants. They grow in various environments throughout the Post Mortem area, attacking by spitting a vile fluid that deals splash damage as well as regular damage. Also, they have prehensile roots that can hit nearby foes. A well placed TNT bundle or napalm ball will usually destroy them.

Magma Pods - Similar in shape to the Chrysalis Pods, and also exclusive to the Plasma Pak, these orange-brown pods have roots that go down all the way to the bowels of the earth. They have the ability to spew explosive napalm balls which will set fire to anything nearby, including the player. This ability makes them easily the most dangerous nuisance enemy, since they, like the fearsome Hellhounds (described below) can set the player on fire. Like the Chrysalis Pods, a few napalm shots can usually dispose of them, however the fact that they generally live on lava or magma floors gives it a slightly higher degree of difficulty.

Lil' Caleb - Another tribute to Army of Darkness, seen only in the Plasma Pak. This enemy occasionally spawns when you approach a mirror and break it. Miniature Calebs will emerge from the shards wielding tiny shotguns, and will attack. Compared to most enemies, they are very weak and not particularly dangerous. Some players even find it entertaining to fight them. They can be set ablaze, but they seem to grow to full size (likely an oversight by the programmers) when they catch on fire. Even on harder skill levels, it only takes two shotgun shells to kill one.

Axe Zombies

Axe zombies are the first type of enemy faced in Blood. Upon discovering the player, they will moan, "Brains!" or "More brains!" at you. Rather lacking in intelligence, they will run after you relentlessly in attempt to dismember you with their axe. Borderline nuisance enemies, they are quite weak alone and on easier difficulty settings. However, in packs (especially on higher skill levels) they can be quite deadly. Occasionally, they will be buried in the ground as normal corpses are, and will pull themselves up and attack you. Some will even at first appear to be laying on the ground, as if they were already dead, and will get up and attack the player when they draw near.

To illustrate how their resilience changes between difficulties: three pitchfork stabs will slay them on the easiest setting, and you can knock them down easily. On the hardest setting, no less than nine stabs will kill them, and you will rarely knock them down. Difficult as it is, some players have make a kind of art out of pitchforking zombies to death, in order to show off or save ammo. Recoil and strafe (moving backwards and sideways as you strike, respectively) stabbing are useful techniques. Their health is slightly greater than that of Cultists (described below), as it will take two flares to kill them on the hardest skill. Aside from pitchforks, they are vulnerable to explosives, and their heads can be shot off and afterwards kicked around. The napalm cannon is useful on closely knit groups. And finally, when killed via the voodoo doll, they will disintegrate in place and crumble to ashes or nothingness.

Cabal Loyalists

One of the most common types of enemies in the game is the cabal loyalist. Fiercely faithful to the god Tchernobog, they take sadistic delight in killing any who oppose their god or their Cabal. Caleb will fight hundreds, if not thousands of them during the game. An interesting note is that Cultists fight very well in the water, and players are discouraged from fighting them in aquatic environments. The alternate fire of the Life Leech or TNT bundles are excellent for destroying them when they attempt to fight from the water. The Cultists come in four flavours, described below in order of their appearance in the game.

Brown-robed: The most common type of Cabal loyalist, the brown-robed Cultist wields a shotgun much like Caleb's. Though they will only use one barrel at a time (unlike Caleb, who can use both at once), they are accurate and deadly. On the highest skill levels, they pose a serious problem as they will congregate in groups out of the player's immediate range. With this strategy they can easily destroy an unarmored player before he or she can react. In addition, they will throw TNT from skill level 3 and up. At skill levels 4 and 5, they can throw full TNT bundles. However, they are very vulnerable to fire and will almost always die when set on fire before the fire burns out, even on the harder difficulties. This is only one of many ways to dispose of them, however.

Black-robed: The black-robed variety have been nicknamed Cabal Fanatics due to their greater loyalty to Tchernobog. They are similar in intelligence and tactics to the original cultist, but use Tommy guns instead of shotguns and they will not throw TNT. They are somewhat harder to fight than than your average cultist because the Tommy gun gives them the ability to fire constantly, unlike the shotgun. They are deadly accurate and will fire in groups at range.

Green-robed: The green-robed Acolytes are exclusive to the Plasma Pak and are considered to be easier than other types. They are Cultists-in-training, not yet trusted to wear the brown robes of a loyalist. They lack hitscan weapons (weapons which generate instant hits as opposed to projectiles) and despite appearing to wield a gun, will only fling TNT sticks or bundles at the player.

Blue-robed: The blue-robed Zealot is the most dangerous of all cultists. Even more loyal than the Fanatic, the Zealot has been entrusted with a Tesla Cannon and electricity-resistant armor. They have proven their worth to the Cabal in combat and as such should be treated with caution and respect. Exclusive to the Plasma Pak, they appear very frequently within. Players are advised not to strafe as they will fire erratically and randomly, making strafing useless. Also, Tesla Cannons are useless due to their armor.

Red-robed: See Priests/Stone Beasts, described below.

Gill Beasts

Storywise, not much is known as to why these great beasts exist. Perhaps Tchernobog created them to protect his waters or guard his underwater treasures where even Cultists would not go. Either way, these fishlike leviathans are dangerous on land or water. They are extremely dangerous in their natural aquatic environment, moving with speed and grace, one and a half times as fast as the player can swim. Fortunately, they are not as suited to land as to water, and when walking, act more like Axe Zombies with more health. Gill Beasts attack by biting the player, and are intelligent enough to act as a group to bring Caleb down. Underwater, they will attempt to surround Caleb and block his path. This adds the danger of asphyxiation to their biting attacks. The shotgun's alternate fire combined with strafing and constant motion (Especially with the "Guns Akimbo" power-up) is an effective way to get rid of them. Against groups, using the Life Leech is suggested, especially putting it down when using the Plasma Pak. TNT can be tossed to assist in weeding out the groups.

Bloated Butchers

These fat, undead characters are tougher, but slower than the regular zombies. They possess three ways of attacking you: at long range, they will throw cleavers at you; at mid-range they will projectile vomit a caustic substance at you (with a characteristic 'vomit' sound) and when at melee distance, they will swing their cleavers. Explosives and incendiary weapons work well against the Bloated Butchers. On higher skill levels, it tends to take many shots to kill them, especially using the Tommy Gun or Shotgun. When killed via the Voodoo doll, their skin will split open from the head, leaving behind a skeleton that will crumble to the ground.

Flesh Gargoyles

Like their stone brethren (described below), flesh gargoyles can sometimes appear to be dormant statues. Make a move near them, however, and they'll wake from their sleep and attack you. They are a fleshy color, with large, clumsy wings that lend themselves to an erratic flight style. They tend to growl often, and don't speak. Their attack varies between flinging bones at Caleb to slashing with claws at close range. They are best dealt with by a direct shot from the Napalm Cannon or a few Tesla Cannon blasts. The pitchfork can kill them, but it isn't recommended. For reasons unknown, they will drown instantly if you lead them into water, unless the statue was already underwater when you awakened it.

Spiders

Despite their small size, Blood's spiders are in no way mere nuisances. Depending on their species, their bite can cause either delirium or blindness. The smaller, reddish brown spider will give the player a sense of delirium, the screen swaying back and forth and tilting. (Almost as though Caleb was intoxicated or high.) The second spider, which is larger and green-colored will also bite you, causing the screen to dim. Both of these effects are accumulative (but temporary), meaning that with multiple spider bites a player could become totally blind, delirious or both. The third type of spider is the giant mother spider, detailed below.

The red spider is considered more dangerous because its bite makes fighting much more difficult. While the player can still aim despite a dimmed screen, the tilting view produced by the red spiders can make the player miss an attack or dodge badly.

Spiders are relatively weak, and a well-placed TNT bundle can take care of a mob of them quickly. They also die instantly when they are lured into water. Due to a possible oversight by programmers, Mother Spiders that are underwater can create other spiders that can survive in the water.

Hellhounds

According to the manual, Hellhounds are the children of Cerberus. True to their demonic nature, they are considered the most dangerous of non-boss enemies in the game. They begin to appear from the third episode and onwards, as well as in Cryptic Passage. They attack by biting the player or breathing a stream of fire, similar to Caleb's aerosol can. This fire can set Caleb or other nearby creatures aflame, dealing continuous damage. Unless the victim can reach water in time, they will die. Caleb can and will fall victim to this, so players are advised to remember where water is when fighting Hellhounds. Being creatures of a fiery nature, they will drown instantly if lured into water. The Tesla Cannon is the best weapon to use against them. Conversely, attempting to pitchfork them is inviting death.

Phantasms

Phantasms are a unique and dangerous creature appearing in later episodes. They resemble the Grim Reaper in slightly off-white clothes. They carry, as the Reaper normally does, a scythe. Normally, Phantasms are spectral in nature - they cannot be damaged in this state, and they do not block the movement of Caleb or other creatures. Only when they attempt to do damage will they become tangible, and players are advised to beware them in this state. They can blast Caleb with "spectre missiles" from a distance, or can swoop in close to slash at the player.

Phantasms are extremely dangerous to fight, not only because of their intangibility but also because they are nigh-invulnerable to most weaponry. The Life Leech and Voodoo Doll are useless, as are the Tesla Cannon, TNT and Napalm Launcher. Only the Pitchfork, Flare Gun, Shotgun and Tommy Gun can do any real damage to them in their solid state. The best way to deal with them is the shotgun with "Guns Akimbo" and alternate fire, as it will cause a knockback effect, leaving them unable to slash at you. Fighting groups of them is very dangerous and difficult to do, because when you blast one another will press into the space it leaves and attack while you reload.

Cheogh/Stone Gargoyles

Cheogh is the first boss of Blood, and is made out as the leader and ruler of all the Gargoyles Caleb fights throughout the game. However regardless of his position he is about impossible to tell from normal Stone Gargoyles and most players consider the other Stone Gargoyles to be the same foe as Cheogh, or simply 'clones' of Cheogh. The original Cheogh himself appears at the last level of the first episode, "Altar of Stone", and on the hardest skills is strangely accompanied by a second Stone Gargoyle. The real Cheogh is supposably resurrected in the final level, "Hall of the Epiphany" and attacks you as the first of a gauntlet of bosses guarding Tchernobog himself.

Other Stone Gargoyle/Cheogh clones are littered all over the levels in the later episodes of Blood and its add-on, Cryptic Passage. Again, they attack identically to their original counterpart, shooting eye lasers that are sometimes "smart-fired" or calculated to intercept the path of its enemy's current movement, which makes circle-strafing not so effective as in other games. They can also rake at the player with their claws, doing severe damage if they connect. The best tactic in fighting Cheogh/Stone Gargoyles is to keep below their eye level, usually by crouching and firing. This makes it nearly impossible for them to shoot you, and makes it hard for them to get within the right position to scratch you. Another quirk is that much like the traditional fictional Gargoyle, some of them begin as sleeping stone statues littered around the levels, and will awaken if either pushed, their vicinity is compromised, or the player picks up an important item, such as a key and such.

Storywise, Cheogh holds an undeniable hatred of humans, as well as Caleb and the other Chosen, and only out of respect for Tchernobog keeps his urges to kill them in check, at least until Tchernobog cast the Chosen and Caleb down for their supposed 'failure' in the opening movie of Blood. Cheogh, realizing he now has all rights against the Chosen, swoops in and flies away with Opheila, Caleb's assumed love interest in the series, and at the end of 'Altar of Stone', she is found sacrificed on a bloody altar, and Cheogh emerges to face Caleb, but fails to kill him, and in the Episode 1 end movie, Caleb puts his shotgun to Cheogh's head and blows his brains out. As for his supposed 'reincarnation' at the Hall of the Epiphany, there's no real story about it; he just fights you to the death.

Shial/Mother Spider

Shial is the central mother of the various green and brown/red spiders Caleb faces throughout Blood. She is the boss of the second episode, and she too is believed to have 'clones' created of her, as on the hardest skill levels, like Cheogh, she is flanked by a second mother spider. Shial and all other mother spiders are dangerous on the fact they can quickly and effectively create swarms of the smaller spiders to eat the player to death. It is unknown if Shial and the other mother spiders actually attack the player directly, but the artwork files supplied with the game feature several pictures of Shial's underbelly as if on the player's face, with the fangs in different positions, insinuating that it is at least possible for Shial to attack personally. Shial is the only type of spider that can enter the water and survive.

There are an estimated dozen or more mother spiders in the entirety of Blood and its mythos. They appear also in Cryptic Passage, an add-on for Blood. Also, Shial, like Cheogh and the original Cerberus, is supposedly resurrected in the final level of the original game, "The Hall of the Epiphany" as the second of four bosses in a gauntlet of foes Caleb much face to stop Tchernobog himself.

Storywise not a great deal is known on her attitude or characteristics, but the game manual states she lives in the frozen north within the bowels of the Earth ( the final level of Episode 2, "The Lair of Shial", and the level prior, "Bowels of the Earth" is enough proof of this). It is also known that in the intro movie of Blood that she comes down from above and captures Gabriel (who is reincarnated as Gabriella in Blood 2: The Chosen), and later cocoons her in a large mass of web. In the ending movie of episode 2, Caleb squashes Shial for good with a final stomp, and then proceeds to rip out the already dead Gabriel's heart and drink it, gaining her power for Caleb to use in later battles.

Cerberus

Cerberus is one of Blood's third major boss. Somewhat akin to its Greek counterpart, the Cerberus in Blood has multiple heads. However, unlike Greek Cerberus, this version has only two heads; each must be destroyed to defeat the beast. This Cerberus can breathe burning balls of explosive napalm or bite into its enemies. It's believed to be the source of the Hellhound enemy of other levels in Blood.

There are believed to be five Cerberus bosses in the entirety of the game and its mythos. One is Episode 3's final boss. One is found on the hardest skill levels in the second to last level of Episode 4: "In The Flesh". One of them also guards Tchernobog in the final level of Episode 4: "Hall of the Epiphany". Also, in the mission pack Cryptic Passage, two Cerberuses attack you in the final level: "Castle" at the end as the end bosses.

Storywise, he is the loyal pet of Tchernobog, and second in command of the entire Cabal now with the casting-down of Caleb and the Chosen. He also briefly appears in the intro movie with two or so of his Hellhound children, supposedly setting Ishmael ablaze. It is assumed this was how Ishmael met his demise, if not already, but perhaps later on, as the end movie has no real reference to Ishmael or his death, and just shows us Caleb stuffing Cerberus's corpse with several Remote TNT bundles and then blowing him apart in large chunks of flesh.

Priests/Stone Beasts

The Priests and the Stone Beasts are exclusive to the Blood expansion pack "Plasma Pak" and appear in the episode "Post Mortem" as the final bosses (altough the beasts appear on the status bar in the original). In the level "Beauty and the Beast", there are four Priests, which the manual states are supposed to be the replacements for Caleb and the other 3 fallen Chosen members. They fight much like the common shotgun-wielding cultists, except with much more vitality than the average cultist as well as toting a rapid-fire shotgun. In addition, when killed, they morph into the Stone Beasts.

The Stone Beasts are considered a nightmare to some Blood players, especially in groups, possessing a cheap and powerful stomp that can shake the screen and do severe damage to the player at close range, in addition to ignoring their armour completely. Many experts tend to use the Akimbo Shotguns' alt-fire mode on them as they try to stomp to blast them back, sent into a state of pain, halting the stomp. However taking on more than 2 Stone Beasts at once is almost guarenteed suicide on the hardest difficulty levels.

Tchernobog

Tchernobog is Blood's final boss. The name is likely to have been inspired by the Slavic god Chernobog. He appears in "The Hall of the Epiphany", the final level of the fourth episode of Blood. His form resembles a sort of minotaur-like skeleton which still appears to have some chunks of flesh still attached onto it. His attacks are all fire/explosive based, and he can light the player on fire in a similar manner to how an Archvile in Doom can hit a player with its attack by being in its sights, although in Tchernobog's case, it is more like being set on fire by a Hellhound or Aerosol can, and not a focused explosion like the Archvile. He also shoots blue flames that appear like vaporous trails at first, but explode like stronger Napalm blasts when they actually detonate. Many believe the Tesla Cannon and the Napalm Launcher, with guns Akimbo is the best way to defeat him on any skill level. The Tommy Gun also works very well.

Tchernobog is known by a multitude of names: 'The Dreaming God', 'The Devourer of Souls', and 'The One that Binds'. He is also said to be the force of creation that effectively keeps the fabric of all realms in check. If he were to ever be deceased for an extended period of time, the aether of the many parallel universes and alternate realities would begin to crumble, merging into one, causing a mass cataclysm, as the later events of Blood 2: The Chosen would show us.

Blood 2 reveals more of his history, and we begin to learn that Tchernobog was never intended to be an evil force in nature. It is also shown that his personality and disposition are affected by the body he inhabits. Tchernobog is actually in his 16th reincarnation during the first game, and Gideon (the main antagonist of Blood 2) aims to become the 17th. We also learn that Tchernobog was channelled into the body of a hateful and angry man, making him into the evil cult leader we know him for in the games. We also learn that his 5th reincarnation was a Buddhist monk. This change to his personality caused the Cabal (the main group of foes in the Blood games) to become a purely religious sect, and only the most pure members were allowed to remain. It is unknown exactly why Tchernobog required reincarnations in the first place, and some speculate his original body was somehow destroyed, and no one knows what his true form once looked like.

Miscellanous

In addition to the common secret places found in traditional FPS levels, Blood adds the idea of Super Secrets, or very hard to reach or spot secrets which usually merit large rewards for finding them. The game does not usually immediately inform the player of finding a super secret except for unique messages given in a few special cases, but will do so at the level intermission screen.

Blood versions, expansions, and sequels

  • Blood (original uncensored edition)
  • Blood (censored edition)
  • One Unit Whole Blood (Includes Blood, Plasma Pak, and Cryptic Passage)

Add-ons:

  • Plasma Pak (Included in One Unit Whole Blood)
  • Cryptic Passage (Included in One Unit Whole Blood)

Blood 2:

  • Blood 2: The Chosen

Add-ons:

  • Blood 2: Nightmare Levels

Copyrights and Ownership
Monolith sold the rights to GT Interactive who published the games, which was purchased by Infogrames which has since been renamed to Atari.

Trivia

  • The name of one of the episodes, Even Death May Die, is an excerpt from Necronomicon.

External links

de:Blood

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