Blood

aka: Horror 3D
Moby ID: 980
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Caleb was once a feared gunslinger, until he met a woman who was involved with a mysterious cult known as Cabal. Caleb, too, is sucked in, and soon becomes one of the Chosen - the most favored worshippers of the evil god Tchernobog. But one day, Tchernobog inexplicably kills the four Chosen, including Caleb. Mysteriously resurrected years later, Caleb is out to get revenge, and learn why his lord cast him down so abruptly.

Blood is a first-person shooter with horror elements, which uses the Build engine. Similarly to Duke Nukem 3D, the environment is interactive: many objects can be physically moved or affected in other ways. Destruction of landscapes is possible (although only in specific spots), with bullet holes being left by misplaced shots. The Build engine version is 2.5D, so there are rooms above rooms and puzzles which are based on this.

The game consists of four episodes, each containing a set of maps that have to be traversed by the protagonist in a specific order. The levels are usually realistic-looking structures, e.g. a carnival complete with twisted attractions, a city district, a moving train, etc.

Throughout the levels, Caleb will have to find keys (up to six in a level) and hit switches in order to work his way to the exit. On the way, he will meet a variety of enemies, such as zombies that tend to come back to life after killed, cultists armed with shotguns and tommy guns that shout in pseudo-Latin language, crawling hands that attempt to choke him, hell-hounds that can set him on fire with their breath, and many more. Boss battles await Caleb at the end of each episode.

To defend himself against this menace, Caleb utilizes a variety of weapons: a pitchfork; a flare gun that can set enemies on fire; a sawed-off shotgun; a tommy gun; a napalm launcher; TNT bundles which come in three different varieties; a home-made flamethrower made of an aerosol can; a tesla cannon that electrocutes enemies; a magical staff dubbed "Life Leech"; and a voodoo doll.

There are items to pick up strewn around. Unlike most other 3D shooters, the protagonist's health is not replenished via medikits, but by "Life Essences", heart-like power-ups randomly dropped by enemies upon their death. It is also possible to find armor, which comes in three different varieties - Physical, Fire, and Spiritual, each one defending Caleb from different attacks. There are also other power-ups: some (such as Jumping Shoes or Doctor's Bag) can be picked up and activated at any time, while others (such as Partial Invisibility) activate immediately when taken.

As the title implies, violent and gory imagery plays a significant role in the game. Enemies might explode when taken out; it is possible to kick severed heads; impaled victims can be found lying around; enemies die in different ways depending on how they are attacked and in which part of their body, etc.

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Credits (DOS version)

123 People (103 developers, 20 thanks) · View all

Game Designer
Project Manager
Build Engine, Editor, and Tools by
Additional Tools
Lead Programmer
Game Programming
Network Layer / Setup Program
Level Design
Additional Level Design
Lead Artist
Additional Artwork
Character Modelling
Sound Engine
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 25 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 146 ratings with 12 reviews)

This bloody little game makes an excellent multiplayer game.

The Good
Not much really. It has excellent controls and a good variety of weapons, which make it a truly excellent multiplayer game (also has some good multiplayer levels). It's not a good game mind you, it's just amazingly fun in multiplayer gaming.

The Bad
Blood has among the most terrible engines to date, filled with bugs and horribly slow (but what'd you expect from Ken Silverman, the man solely responsible for the catastrophe named Ken's Labyrinth?). It less than makes up for it with unbelievably terrible graphics, horrible one player experience, terrible sound effects and generally crappy gameplay.

And who the hell heard of raycasting in 1997, for Christ's sake?!

The Bottom Line
Blood is crap. One of the worst Doom clones ever to come out, it somehow makes up for it by being a great multiplayer game.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4536) · 2000

A decent doom clone with a neat story.

The Good
Great story. You are evil, fighting evil. Wonderful time period, so different from most games (old west, it seems). Horror based. Zombies (always a plus for me). Fighting cult members. What could be better?

There's a wide variety of weapons, most with dual fire modes.

I find the levels quite interesting and thematically varied. A mortuary and a train station are two of the earliest, and they're very well depicted.

And while I have to agree with Tomer that ray-casting in '97 is behind the times, the ray-cast graphics are an excellent example of what ray-casting can do.

Caleb's occasional comments are fun.

The Bad
Ray-casting in '97.

The creatures (especially the zombies) are a bit blocky and neon-esque in their bright colours.

The screen seems to flicker every once in a while. Dunno what that's about.

The Bottom Line
A good horror-based shooter.

DOS · by Jeff Sinasac (391) · 2001

(Review from 1997) Blood isn't for the squeamish, but it's devilishly fun.

The Good
(Like my Hexen review, this is an old review I've restored. It was written for a college mag a friend and I started in '96, so please don't go WTF when I make dated references.)

1997 has been a slow year for us gamers, maybe because we're all hotly anticipating ID's Quake II and other big names such as StarCraft . Yet I finally have a shooter to sink my teeth into, and be prepared for a shock: I like it better than Quake and I think its easily the best shoot 'em up since the legendary Doom. What interested me in Doom was its setting, I love horror and I love my blood and guts, so blasting hellish monsters appealed. Blood attracted my attention while walking through the game store because of its dark cover, simply showing a classic bloody hand print and a simple enough name.

That simple name tells you all you need to know about the game, there is blood. Lots and lots of Blood. This is easily the bloodiest game I've played, and while that means it isn't for the squeamish, it brings a lot of catharsis and excitement for someone who wants to blow off stress. In many ways the premise is similar to Doom, shooting zombies and hellish minions, but whats different is instead of being set in space, Blood is set in a strange, somewhat surreal version of the 1920's owned by an evil cult. The setting is awesome, and so is the main character, Caleb. Caleb is an undead cowboy who wants to kill a demon god. So yeah, basically his level of awesomeness is on that of Bruce Campbell. This makes him a compelling protagonist and his sick sense of humour is refreshing for those who like bleak and morbid humour.

Gameplay is much like Doom, but enhanced. I actually decided to pass up on Duke Nukem so I'm new to the Build engine. Many of the restraints of Doom are gone, rooms are more realistic with multiple levels, special walls that can be blown apart, and interactivity with objects. Various dark jokes can be found, but even better than the dark jokes, are various references and tributes to H.P. Lovecraft. As a fan of his writings and owing him thanks for my namesake "The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath," I always get a smile on my face when I find a tribute to his writings. The game also has various references to horror movies, and has a tributes and references to movies such as "The Evil Dead" and "The Exorcist." Finding these references are a joy for literature fans as well as horror movie fans.

Weapons range from dynamite, flare guns, Tommy guns (!), and my favourite, the voodoo doll. Did I mention this game was gory? Each weapon makes minced meat out of your foes in different ways, the flare gun will set them on fire and burn their flesh off. The Tommy guns will leave you with something resembling Swiss cheese. There are power ups that let you dual wield weapons and more. This adds for a lot of variety and fun with the weapons. The engine is great, and while I'm sure there have been games like this before, this is my first exposure to a shooter with such variety and interactive environments.

Each episode gets better and better, but that's what one would expect. The game is for hardcore shooter fans only, the difficulty is insane even on "Easy" mode for some. Blood brings back memories of the difficulty of playing "Thy Flesh Consumed" from Ultimate Doom on Ultra Violence. The games AI is also fierce and smart, as well as having great variety. Zombies are great at tricking you, they'll go down but sometimes get back up and follow you. On the harder difficulty levels, you'll learn to make sure to take their head off, that's the only way next to burning them or gibbing them to keep them down. The developers put great thought into the demonic enemies, and this spices up the encounters.

While not as intense as Quake, the multiplayer is fun. What makes it above average is simply the games twisted weapons and the fact that this has to be the only game where you can twist your foes head off with a voodoo doll, and some of the maps have traps that will give you a shock and an upper hand once you figure them out. If you have the game, feel free to set up a game with me.

The soundtrack is very moody. It sounds creepy and despite the dark humour that keeps the game from truly being 100% horror, the soundtrack has some very unique CD music that will send chills. The soundtrack stands out amongst other games like this, and some of the instruments used will raise an eyebrow, but in a good way. The rest of the game sounds great as well, there are tons of great screams and sound effects that compliment the brutal setting and make levels feel realistic. Monsters make various noises, both funny and scary. Much like "Evil Dead," the game is both scary and utterly hysterical. The developers have set up a great soundscape here.

The level design is great, and levels will take you through many dark and strange places. From a hilariously twisted carnival to a Frankenstein like laboratory filled with sick, acid vomiting zombies and severed and possessed hands seeking the first undead cowboys neck they can get a hold of. The soundscapes have sound effects that will keep you in the settings and they feel like real locations.

The Bad
The graphics, while not "bad," feel dated compared to Quake. The game uses sprites, and while the sprites are often detailed it can be jarring to switch from the smooth 3D world of Quake to the rough, heavily pixelated world of Blood. There are a few 3D models used for various objects in the world, but you'll sadly never see any 3D characters or weapons other than pickups. The upside however, assuming you can run it, is that Blood will run at massive resolutions. I played the game at 1024 x 768 and some of the games more impressive effects looked great.

As I said, the game is difficult. While I like this difficulty, there are times that it can be frustrating and sometimes I forgot to make a save and ended up returning halfway through a level. Others won't like this difficulty and if you aren't up for a brutish challenge, then you might want to avoid Blood.

Some of the level designs are somewhat obtuse and annoying. The heavy scripting usually works in the games favor, but other times it brings the game down. The game doesn't always tell you what to do or give you a clue of how to continue, and you'll be annoyed when you find out that you had to trigger some script or place dynamite in some strange place. Sometimes I got bored running in circles trying to trigger some stupid and needlessly cryptic event.

Sound Blaster fans beware, although the game supports the Sound Blaster line, there are various crashes that happened because of poor Sound Blaster integration. There's also stuttering at some times if you have a sound blaster and decide to use stereo sound or high number of voices. Hopefully this will be remedied, but only time will tell. Speaking of hardware issues, the year is 1997 and the game has no Windows 95 executable out of the box nor on the net. Anyone who is a long term gamer shouldn't have any trouble tinkering in Dos, and I know not everyone uses Windows, but I've gotten used to having Windows support and I felt that the game could've been optimized better for it.

The multiplayer only supports 8 players with no co-op. Maybe I've been spoiled by Quake, but I think that they could've upped the player cap to 16. 8 players is still great fun though, but those spoiled on Quake might like to double the player limit.

The music is good, but it does sometimes feel slow paced, and without the CD music it feels somewhat bland.

The Bottom Line
Blood is one of my favourite games of this year and easily the best shooter in years. I doubt it will replace Quake and the upcoming Quake II will likely muffle Blood, which is sad because the game is extremely fun. It is funny, it's creepy, and it pays great tribute to horror movies and literature as well as using a unique setting. If you like your guts, Blood delivers on that too. The unique weapons make multiplayer good enough to hold its own with Quake, and as always, Chie, Mike & I are always up for a good deathmatch on Saturdays, so feel free to bring your copy and play us. Blood isn't for the squeamish, but it's devilishly fun.

DOS · by Kaddy B. (777) · 2009

[ View all 12 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Blood Special Edition Gazzoid Sep 2, 2023
Cooperative Multiplayer And Wan Dec 20, 2015
Blood manual Judicator Aug 18, 2009
Blood ... for Mac? Dae (7217) Jun 2, 2008

Trivia

3dfx patch

Monolith released an alpha patch for Blood that provided 3DFX support. Unfortunately, being an alpha patch, it only works with version 1.0 of Blood, not One Unit Whole Blood. It is also incompatible with Voodoo Rush and Voodoo 2 chipsets.

Cultists

The strange language spoken by the cultists is supposed to be a combination of Latin and Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the ancient language of India, from which several modern languages of that region originated.

Cut features

One early feature that Q Studios was planning to add to Blood was the idea of "BloodLust". According to this feature, each time when the player killed a minion of the Dark God, his BloodLust meter climbed a notch. If his BloodLust climbed high enough, he metamorphosed into the Beast. As the Beast, he was supposed to be stronger and faster than a human, but he was also limited in his choice of weaponry. Of course, BloodLust waned with time--if the player did not kill frequently, he reverted to human form. This feature was not added to the final release of the game.

Death Mask

Death Mask, the power-up that makes you invincible for a short period of time, does not tint your view with color while active, so it's impossible to see when it runs out, which makes it somewhat less useful. The Monolith team admitted that they forgot to implement this.

Development

Apogee were the ones who started production on this game in 1994. The developers were Q Studios Corporation (an independent game development studio). In the short while they were working on it, they called it Horror 3D. After a while the rights for the game was sold to Monolith which completed the game and changed the name to Blood, which we're familiar with today.

Extras

Some versions of Blood came with a second CD that contained demos and the video for Love you to Death by the appropriately gloomy band Type O Negative.

German index

On June 28, 1997, Blood was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. The game group contains more information about what this means.

Inactivity

When you stand still for a few seconds, Caleb starts to sing lounge classics. Some of the songs he knows are My Way, Puttin' on the Ritz, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. There's No Business Like Show Business and Strangers in the Night.

References

  • The game contains easter eggs with references to Jack Nicholson, Duke Nukem and The Crow. The tips & tricks section contains information how to reach them.
  • In the level after the train level, you will able to see in the rest of the train, the clothes of Harrison Ford's charachter in The Fugitive
  • The cheat code for god mode in Blood is 'mpkfa', where 'mp' stands for Monolith productions and 'kfa' is taken from 'idkfa', the cheat code for all weapons in DOOM. It seems like Monolith was paying a tribute to DOOM.
  • In the first level of the third episode, there's a secret room which is based on the infamous "Sloth" murder from the movie Se7en. There are those goody-smelly Wunderbaum trees hanging on the ceiling and the word "Sloth" is written in blood just above the bed.
  • In the level "Crystal Lake" you can find several locations from the Friday The 13th horror movies. Indeed, the name of the level itself references Camp Crystal Lake, the setting of many films in the series.
  • There is one gag available only in the Blood shareware that did not make it to the retail version of the game. During the first mission (E1M1) on the second floor of the Mausoleum there is an embalming room with a conveyor belt and a furnace. Among the items in this room are the "drips" that one would find in a hospital. Some a filled with what can only be blood. In the shareware version if one activates the blood drip one hears Caleb draw a big slurp, and exclaim "Aaah, tastes like Kool-Aid." This line was dropped from the Retail version, most likely due to copyright issues. Thus when Caleb takes a drink we only hear the slurping sound effect, and the subsequent "Aaah."
  • Axe-wielding zombies say "Brains" or "More Brains" and there are dormant zombies found in metal drums. These are all references to the Return of the Living Dead films.
  • A sign in E1M1 says "Welcome to Morningside Funeral Home" with the Morningside crossed out with spraypaint and replaced with "HELL." The name "Morningside" is likely a reference to the antagonist's name from the Phantasm movies.
  • In E1M1, if you try to use the sink, Caleb says "out, out, damned spot!" It is a reference to Lady Macbeth washing her hands of blood in Shakespeare's play Macbeth.
  • In E1M2 the train station is called Central Miskatonic, a reference to H. P. Lovecraft's works.
  • The train in E1M3 has the name "Phantom 666" emblazoned on the side, a reference to the "Number of the Beast" 666 in Biblical prophecy.
  • When you have the Incinerator equipped, Caleb will occasionally remark "I love the smell of napalm in the morning," a reference to Apocalypse Now.
  • In E3M2, enter the wine cellar and Caleb will comment on a certain barrel "A cask of Amontillado!" Edgar Allen Poe wrote a short story with the same name. Destroy the barrel and you'll find several sawn off limbs and body parts inside.
  • In the secret level "Butchery Loves Company" you can find a hidden area with a Duke Nukem arcade machine. Caleb will remark "I don't have time to play with you," a corruption of one of Duke's many one-liners.
  • Caleb's opening line "I...live...AGAIN!" is lifted out of Army of Darkness.
  • One of the lines spoken by Caleb while massacring enemies is "Da-da-da-dat's all, folks!", a reference to the famous closing line from Warner Bros. cartoons, as delivered by Porky Pig.
  • And if you 'activate' Eric Draven's gravestone on the first level of Blood, Caleb will say 'Nevermore'. As in "Quoth the raven: 'nevermore' " of course, from Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven".
  • In one further piece of homage in this densely referential work, on the second page of the "default keys" reference, characters from Blood will comically re-enact gameplay from Pac-Man, Asteroids and Donkey Kong.

Shareware

The shareware version of the game contains many things that are not present in the full version, such as mushrooms that cause you to become delirious. The shareware levels are also slightly different in the full version. For example: E1M2 has been updated to include civilians which are not present in the shareware.

Tchernobog

The name Tchernobog means black god (crno bog) in Slavic dialect. It is a pagan deity dated from ancient 12th century Slavic religion.

Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart required special editions of this game to be made before they would sell it. Identical to the original game in most aspects, they toned down the gore and removed any nudity.

Information also contributed by 88 49, B14ck W01f, bächtërmän, ClydeFrog, Corn Popper, Emepol, Goteki45, JudgeDeadd, Maw, MDMaster, Michael Palomino, Pseudo_Intellectual, Roger Wilco, Scott Monster, WildKard and Xoleras

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Related Sites +

  • Blood - Coming from 3D Realms
    game development page at the Apogee/3D Realms website, snapshot from 1996 preserved by the Wayback Machine
  • Blood Cheats
    from 3D Gamers
  • Blood Pool
    Ring of sites dedicated to Blood. Some may be down but there are many still working.
  • Blood Wiki
    The Blood Wiki, a wiki devoted to the first-person shooter game Blood, its sequel Blood II: The Chosen, and their respective expansion packs. Also available is information on the various mods, fan projects, development details, and the fictional world in which Caleb and the others live in.
  • Control Z's Blood Site
    A good Fan Site for Blood
  • Crapshoot
    A humorous review on PC Gamer
  • Crudux Cruo
    A fan site that contains custom level reviews, a "Blood Bank", and links to other sites. In the cultist language "Crudux Cruo" means "Fresh Blood."
  • Deathmask.net
    A personal fan-page that contains some downloads and other things relating to Blood. It also hosts the famous "Build on XP" tutorial.
  • PlanetBlood
    Featuring downloads, reviews, hosted sites, fan fiction/art... just about everything that has to do with Blood 1 and 2. The perfect site for any Bloodite.
  • Purgatory
    The site of a large, four-episode Total Conversion for Blood.
  • The 13th Realm
    A Blood total-conversion that aims to include more "traditional" horror elements in Blood's levels.
  • The Official Blood Homepage
    official website of the game from 1997, preserved by the Wayback Machine
  • The Postmortem
    Sort of a monument-like fansite built for Blood and Blood II: The Chosen to keep it's soul alive for the next generation of Bloodites.
  • Zaphod's Blood Page
    One of the oldest existing fansites for Blood, Zaphod's contains screenshots, custom maps, and some hints and tips.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 980
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Accatone.

Additional contributors: Kate Jones, Xantheous, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Frenkel, retinadesgastada, Dae, Maw, Havoc Crow, oct, Patrick Bregger, MrFlibble.

Game added March 6, 2000. Last modified March 5, 2024.