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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (Windows)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Trivia

Bugs and patches

Troika did not learn its lesson from The Temple of Elemental Evil (see the trivia section). Once again, serious problems and bugs have been left unattended for too long, until a fan, dan_upright, jumped in with his own fixes in an unofficial patch. The releases of unofficial patches were then continued by Werner Spahl until most bugs were fixed. In the final two weeks of Troika's existence, several employees volunteered to help finish with patch 1.2.

Because of the "beta" state this game was left in even after patch 1.2. Several unofficial patches have been released for Bloodlines. There were two lines of fanpatches, the original "unofficial" patch by Wesp which does not only fix bugs, but also adds adds new weapons, disciplines, occult items, quest items, and action sequences, based on content left over from development hidden in the installed game files.

Another fanpatch, the "true patch" was started by Acrimonious and Tessera, previously known for creating nude patches for various games, on the Tessmage.com forums with assistance by several forum members. It is intended to be a true patch to the official 1.2 version, only fixing bugs found in the original game or the official 1.2 patch. There was a huge flamewar between the Tessera and Wesp, eventually leading into Tessera shutting down his website.

Character creation

The game was supposed to have a fourth character creation mode which would enable you to add a history to your character rather than setting the various attributes by hand. It's still in the final version of the game although it's disabled by default. The choice of history has a large impact on the game, as it basically gives players a bonus effect in certain areas and a negative effect in others. Visit the "Tips & Tricks" section where the actual unlocking process is explained.

Development

Bloodlines is the second game to use Valve's Source engine, after Half-Life 2. Valve did not want another game to display the new source engine prior to Half-Life 2, so when Bloodlines went gold on October 4, 2004, Troika worked on a patch that was integrated into the duplication master prior to shipping on November 16th. Work on the multiplayer was halted for some time during development, with the intention of picking it up later, which is what happened. However, the multiplayer gameplay never really came together and it was dropped a couple of months before shipping.

German version

In the German version, the decapitation during the intro was removed.

Misc

  • In the beginning of the game, when you need to get the astrolite, look around the house on the beach. There is a game paused on the TV that shows one of the large monsters from in the sewers later on in the game along with a vampire who is re-loading an Anaconda.
  • When you use a pass card to open a hatch that leads to Nosferatu hide-out (after the long sewer dungeon), take a close look at the computer. On the right side, there is a message that looks very similar to the common Windows' "Fatal Error" screens. It says the following:

    SLOW

    A fatal error has occurred. You should be panicking now. Your system will now explode. It is now safe to go to your happy place. Press any key to help others learn to read. Press Ctrl+Ctrl+Ctrl to donate money to me, you know the computers will soon take over, why fight it?
  • If you visit Mercurio just before the final showdown you will learn what exactly Camarilla (one of the factions in the game) thinks of Troika Games' leading developers.
  • After you find the man beheaded in the building across the Last Round bar you might want to take his head and try to score in a nearby basketball ring. If you do so the applause will be heard.

References

  • There are a number of references to find throughout the game; many to movies. One is the book "the art of the quickdraw by Ned Nederlander". Ned Nederlander is the character played by Martin Short in the movie The Three Amigos, who is said to be the fastest draw in the world.
  • One reference in the game is when you talk to the food critic in Hollywood. If you are Malkavian, you can convince him that he is eating maggots. This is a reference to the movie The Lost Boys, in which a group of teenage vampires convinces a man that the rice he is eating is actually maggots. When you speak to the food critic and convince him, there is even a line of dialogue saying how that "happened in a movie once".
  • In Hollywood, look at the commercial above Isaac Abram's jewelry store. It says: "Play Troika Games!". Troika is the developer of this game.
  • During your computer-hacking side-quest (received from the computer geek at Nosferatu hideout), you'll come across the password Gil Bates. Gil Bates is one of the central characters of Arcanum, another RPG by Troika. On the other side, Gil Bates himself is a parody on... well, you figure out that one.
  • The NPC Romero, whom you meet at the cemetery in Hollywood, is named after George A. Romero, the father of the Zombie movie genre. Why? You'll have to accept Romero's quest in order to find out.
  • Another NPC, the Nosferatu hacker Mitnick, is named after Kevin Mitnick who in the early to mid 90s was one of the most notorious and wanted hackers in the US.
  • The news broadcast that can be heard when switching on the TV in the the player's haven contains a reference to famous horror author H. P. Lovecraft. The anchorman speaks of a squid-like creature found at the shore of Providence, Rhode Island. This is an obvious nod to Lovecraft's birthplace and his Cthulhu myth.
  • Some time later in the game you might learn from the TV a shocking news of EU collapse. Quite interesting is that the end of EU was one of the reasons behind the nuclear war in Fallout, game developed by Black Isle, the former employees of which constituted the major part of Troika Games.
  • If you hack in to one of the computers in the Internet Cafe, you'll find a reference to the "Chocula" clan. For those that don't know, "Count Chocula" was a cartoon vampire spokesman for Chocolate cereal.
  • In most of the dance bars, you'll see a dance icon. The symbol is pointing gesture made famous by John Travolta in the movie Saturday Night Fever.
  • This game is highly infested with all sorts of allusions to all kinds of movies. Clan Nosferatu's network system "Schrecknet", for instance, hints to German actor Max Schreck who played the original Nosferatu in the ground breaking German silent movie Nosferatu - Eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau . This is even more interesting because Clan Nosferatu's whole look is heavily influenced by Max Schreck's outfit. Could he have been the first Nosferatu? Check out Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire (2000) and judge for yourself...
  • An easier one of many literary half-quotes to be found in Vampire: Bloodlines: The quest received right at the game's beginning "Wherefore art thou Mercurio" is obviously derived from the more famous original "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" (Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Act II., scene 2). Note that one of Romeo and Juliet's main characters is appropriately named Mercutio.
  • Look for this pop culture reference during Phat Larry's side quest. In the parking garage, you overhear two thugs talking. "Do you like John Woo? Bullet in the head, son!" The other thug responds, "I don't get it." John Woo, is arguably Hong Kong's most famous director. With films such as, The Killer, Hard-Boiled, and Bullet in the Head.
  • In the arcade over at the beach, there are three games: Pitfall, River Raid, and Call of Duty. They were all released by Activision as is this game. In fact, an emulator was in the works so you could play River Raid and Pitfall, but it was eventually dropped due to time constraints

Soundtrack

A release exclusive to Best Buy included the following soundtrack:
  1. Bloodlines - Ministry
  2. Come Alive - Daniel Ash
  3. Cain - Tiamat
  4. Swamped - Lacuna Coil
  5. Isolated - Chiasm
  6. Needle's Eye - Die My Darling
  7. Pound - Aerial2012
  8. Lecher Bitch - Genitorturers
  9. Smaller God - Darling Violetta
  10. Swamped (Video) - Lacuna Coil

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2004 – Best PC Role-Playing Game of the Year
    • 2004 – Best PC Story of the Year
  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 2005 (Issue #249) – RPG of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2004 – Best Level of the Year (PC) (for the Ocean House Hotel)
Information also contributed by Apogee IV, Boris Stovich, Little Yoda, MasterMegid, Scott Monster, SimonG, St. Martyne, tata_lu_stefan_cel_mare, Terrence Bosky, Unicorn Lynx, worldwideweird

Contributed by Sciere (268235) on Nov 28, 2004. [revised by : Patrick Bregger (115631)]. -- edit trivia