Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption
|Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption|
|Release date(s)||June 7, 2000|
Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption is a role-playing video game released for personal computers on June 7, 2000, by Activision. The game follows the adventures of a French crusader, Christof Romuald, through Prague and Vienna in the Dark Ages and modern-day London and New York City. The game is based on the tabletop role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade. The game's graphics were highly advanced for its time, including then-novel effects such as multiple shadows rendered dynamically from in-game light sources. Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption also includes a multiplayer game mode in which one player takes the role of the storyteller. The game itself is divided into two parts, one medieval and one modern, each of which play differently.
In the game's storyline, the protagonist Christof Romuald falls in love with Anezka, a nun who tends his wounds after he suffers an arrow wound in battle. At the insistence of the Archbishop of the city, Christof, not fully recovered, ventures into the Bonn silver mines (near Prague) to kill Ahzra The Unliving, a twisted Tzimisce Vampire. His glorious return to Prague doesn't go unnoticed by the local Vampire leaders, and soon he is "embraced" (turned into a Vampire) by Ecaterina The Wise, leader of the Brujah clan, to boost the ranks of Vampires in preparation for a brewing battle between Vampire clans. Having been made one of the undead, the passionate crusader has to realize that he deviated from his religious mission long ago; being only a mundane soldier, he was easy prey for the Vampires to be either killed or embraced. His rebellious nature, however, urges him to find a way to redeem his soul, perhaps by regaining his mortal state. But before long, in a move designed to torment Christof (in retaliation for dispatching Ahzra), the nun is kidnapped and turned into a ghoul, a servitor to Vampires addicted to Vampire blood. This changes Christof's part in the course of events, since he is now being wracked with guilt as he feels his affection towards Anezka led her down a path of sin. Christof swears to face the Vampires who took her and restore her Humanity.
In his quest, being a powerful Vampire, he must learn to conquer his dark side and gain experience with his new powers (Vampiric disciplines, similar to spells) to fight against a world of darkness that unfolds before him, as he learns more about this new world he is now a part of, while struggling to maintain his Humanity and the faith he once had as a holy knight.
In a climactic battle he is buried under tons of rubble, only to awaken centuries later in the modern world, uncovered by an archeological dig, and faced by a whole new series of challenges – including a fearsome new enemy whose actions may doom the entire world. Christof eventually finds the Vampires responsible for the kidnapping of his love only to find the pure woman of God that he fell in love with is now a twisted, violated creature of the night who shuns him as an emotional weakling, serving to an Infernalist Tzimisce plotting to avert Gehenna by destroying all the Antediluvians. The game sports three different possible outcomes, depending on certain choices in the game that affected Christof's Humanity level.
Twelve of the thirteen Vampire clans from the original game feature in Redemption. The only exception is clan Ravnos.
Besides the famous Christof Romuald, who also appears in White Wolf's Brujah clan novel, the following characters also feature:
Wilhem Streicher: A Brujah of the 10th Generation, he serves Ecaterina the Wise. He is a rather unusual Brujah, recognised by his calmness despite his action-oriented nature. He rejoins Christof in his adventures in New York. During the time of Christof's torpor from the Dark Ages to modern days Ecaterina and the Promethians have eventually joined the Sabbat, a Vampire sect that views mortals as simple cattle. Despite his allegiance determined by the relations of the Promethians with the Ventrue, Wilhem appears to have managed to preserve a good part of his humanity. He also teaches Christof the basics of being a Cainite during his first missions. To be noted about Wilhem that besides his standard Brujah disciplines of Potence, Presence and Celerity he also has knowledge of Protean.
Serena: Serena is the Childe of Garinol of Clan Cappadocian. Like all of her clan she has a corpse-like appearance, yet it is obvious that even if pale she retains her natural beauty. Serena is a scholar first and foremost and not really adept at combat, acting as a support character to the others using her supernatural senses, resilience and the powers over the dead to aid the party. Like all Cappadocians, she has their three basic disciplines: Auspex (supernatural senses), Fortitude (resilience) and Mortis (the power that grants her control over the dead). She will be able to raise killed enemies and summon spirits, rather useful abilities adding an additional group member. She acts as an advisor to Christof and probably has the best understanding of the pain that is in his heart. Her current location is unknown although it is probable that she died due to the extinction of the Cappadocian clan.
Erik: A giant and ancient Gangrel of the 7th Generation who was imprisoned at Ardan's Chantry and was being prepared to be turned into a gargoyle. He is rescued by Christof's coterie just before the final stage of transformation. He joins the group as to repay this "life boon". Erik, as most Gangrels, is physically stronger than vampires of other clans and possesses the Disciplines of Protean and Animalism (shapeshifting into a wolf, drawing out and quelling the beast). Rather moody but absolutely honorable and reliable, he fought alongside Christof until he met his tragic destiny within the Haus de Hexe.
Pink: A vampire who befriends Christof on his first night in London, claiming to be a Brujah. Pink sets Christof in the right direction for his quest of finding Anezka. He is later revealed to actually be an Assamite masquerading as a Brujah.
Lily: A Toreador singer who was kidnapped by Setites and blood-bound to become a prostitute. Christof and Pink rescue her (and eventually her Sire), making for an additional team member. She's not that powerful at first, starting off as barely a Neonate, but she has a lot of branches she can develop. She serves as an emotional foil to Christof.
Samuel: A Camarilla Nosferatu (who is still quite a charismatic fellow), Christof's group encounter him in New York cornered by Sabbat Nosferatu. After being rescued, he joins up with Christof's party despite Pink's protests.
Redemption received mixed reviews. Although hailed as an enjoyable game, its reception was affected by bugs and design flaws.
- Green, Jeff (April 1999) "Vampire The Masquerade: Redemption" Computer Gaming World Issue #177, p. 110, a software review