Blood II: The Chosen
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|Blood II: The Chosen|
|Publisher(s)||GT Interactive Software|
|Designer(s)||James Wilson III|
Blood II: The Chosen is a first-person shooter computer game developed by Monolith Productions and distributed by GT Interactive. Unlike the first installment, Blood, which was set in 1928, it takes place in the year 2028, so in addition to conventional weapons and magical items also incorporates science-fictional technology. Much like its predecessor, the game contains excessive graphic violence and black humor.
In single player mode the player can choose their character among one of the four Chosen. However major plot holes occur if any other character than Caleb is selected: in-game cinematics are not shown and the story does not develop properly. Blood II gameplay is influenced by the choice of character at the start of the game because every Chosen has different marksmanship abilities, amount of maximum hit points and armor level. Caleb, the protagonist of the first Blood, is the most balanced character, being able to use both firearms and magical means with good efficiency.
The game is divided into chapters, each of which is accessible only if the previous one is completed. A total of 17 weapons (some of them usable in dual mode) are available to player, although he has only 10 positions at his disposal and thus must choose which weapons will be included in his arsenal. Most weapons also have a secondary fire mode, for example one that deals higher damage to hostile creatures but consumes more ammunition units. Several power-ups including invulnerability, stealth movement or increased firepower gives the player an advantage over enemies for a limited period of time.
Blood II is primarily focused on the single player experience, but also features a multiplayer mode. Instead of Deathmatch mode, authors decided to change the name to "Bloodbath" because it better reflects the game's title. Each player can choose one of the four Chosen to control during the match - Caleb, Gabriella, Ishmael and Ophelia. Since every character has different abilities, the weaponry they receive at the beginning of the game varies. Players can also customize their characters, giving a score from 1 to 5 to four different stats.
The game takes place in 2028. Caleb, the protagonist, has spent the last century since Blood searching for a way to resurrect his comrades, The Chosen, who were killed in the previous game by the Cabal, a cult dedicated to the worship of the evil god, Tchernobog. The Cabal, in the meantime, has spent the century since Tchernobog’s death by Caleb's hands turning the cult into a global mega-corporation called CabalCo, which uses its economic influence to control the world’s populace. This is all thanks to Gideon, the Cabal's current leader who has been raised to restore Tchernobog and destroy Caleb, now called the “Great Betrayer”.
The game begins with Caleb riding a CabalCo subway train, where he discovers that Gideon is the one driving, after Gideon orders his troops to attack. Ready for a fight, Caleb pursues him through the train, which Gideon rigs to crash before escaping. After he regains consciousness, Caleb continues to chase Gideon through the city of New Town, leading to a few short encounters. He later catches up to Gideon in a CabalCo-owned museum, but before they fight, Gideon's bodyguard fires an experimental weapon creating a dimensional rift. Failing to harm Caleb, it instead brings back Gabriella, one of The Chosen, prompting Gideon and his companions to retreat.
From this point on, Caleb begins encountering strange creatures and people infested with strange mind-controlling parasites as he continues to hunt Gideon; fighting through CabalCo housing, steam tunnels, disease labs, and even an air ship, before heading off to a Cabal controlled cathedral. Gideon is nowhere to be found and he is instead met with a giant of the creatures called the Naga, which Caleb defeats. Gabriella comes up from nearby subway tracks and probes Caleb about the creatures; Caleb has no good answer, and Gabriella expresses her doubts over Caleb's ability to handle this problem. Caleb tersely reassures her, and runs off to catch a train, which again crashes.
Caleb returns to his goal of killing Gideon, ignoring the creature problem, other than killing any encountered. After cornering Gideon in a CabalCo safe house, he is unexpectedly joined by Ishmael, another of The Chosen, after Gideon's bodyguard uses his weapon again. Gideon and his companions again escape, this time in a helicopter. After talking with Ishmael, Caleb fights his way through many CabalCo-owned institutions such as sewage and meat treatment plants and dams, as well as fighting through the subway system many times trying to get to the old underground.
Once there, he fights off a beast called a Behemoth and meets Ishmael again. During both encounters, Ishmael explains that the creatures are the inhabitants of an invading dimension, accessing our world through tears in reality left by the death of Tchernobog, who maintained the walls separating realities, which have finally broken down due to the Cabal's experiments. Only Caleb can stop the invasion from consuming our world, as he inherited Tchernobog’s power after killing the dark god. Caleb shrugs off Ishmael's concerns, not accepting his powers, and returns to hunting Gideon.
Just before he leaves, Ishmael explains the whereabouts of Ophelia – the final Chosen and Caleb's lover; she is at CabalCo headquarters in Gideon's temple, the epicentre of the rifts. Caleb proceeds there, and, after dealing with several Cabal-created obstructions such as a raised bridge, finds Ophelia. Gideon returns and carries Ophelia away before Caleb can rescue her. Angered, Caleb blasts his way through CabalCo's offices, electrical generation areas, CabalCo's R&D lab, and finally finds Gideon on the rooftops. After Caleb defeats Gideon, with Ophelia freed, Gideon retreats through a dimensional rift. Against Ophelia's advice, Caleb follows him through.
Caleb finds Gideon in an ancient temple, part of a large strange citadel, and faces his spider version. With Gideon dead, Caleb fights many of the otherworldly beings until he encounters three undead forms of his comrades. They introduce themselves as The Ancient One, the leader of the invasion. After clumsily explaining their plans, Caleb faces them, before falling and finding the being's true form. After defeating the squid-like creature, the real Chosen appear. Grudgingly, Caleb gives in to their wishes and re-binds the realities, and the four Chosen begin their long walk home.
The Nightmare Levels
The Nightmare Levels, released in August 1999, was an expansion pack for Blood II that provided background information on Caleb, Gabriella, Ishmael, and Ophelia, narrated by a deceased Gideon. As the Chosen continue to walk home to their world from the invading reality, they encounter a psychic beast known as the Nightmare that captures Caleb due to the Chosen attracting it by telling scary stories.
The player then has to relive some of the most horrific moments of the Chosen's lives - Caleb fighting the Cabal in the frozen north (Blood, episode two), the Cabal attack on Ophelia's sorority which led her to join, Ishmael's escape from his life as a circus freak into the Cabal, and Gabriella's spooky night in a haunted mansion.
Caleb pops in at the end of each of the other Chosen's stories, and tries to figure out what is going on. After Gabriella's nightmare, he is transported to a level resembling the old west, which he escapes back out into the otherworld. There he finds the Nightmare, surmises that it is the being responsible for his troubles, and slays it. Gideon finishes with an end narration, foretelling the Chosen's many adventures and conquests ahead of them.
The Nightmare Levels reintroduced the Robed Cultist enemies from the original game, added the Gremlins enemies and the Nightmare boss, CabalCo cultists re-skinned as killer clown guards, and two new weapons - the combat shotgun and the flayer. The game also added new multiplayer (BloodBath) models (CabalCo cultists, Soul Drudges, etc.) and modes (such as "Zombie Head Soccer"). Most of these features were created during the development of Blood II, but never made it into the final project until the release of the add-on.
Blood II: The Chosen was developed by Monolith Productions and featured Monolith's new fully 3D engine Lithtech, which was previously used in Shogo: Mobile Armor Division. The game was released on October 31, 1998 by GT Interactive, which was later purchased by Infogrames. An official expansion pack was released in August 1999 under the title of Blood II: The Chosen - The Nightmare Levels. As with Blood, a guide book was released for the game entitled Blood II: The Chosen Strategy Guide by Jamie Madigan.
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- Blood II: The Chosen computer game manual
- Monolith Productions. Blood II: The Chosen. PC. GT Interactive. Level/area: Voice files.
Gideon: Meanwhile I dragged the Cabal into the twenty first century, we've become a multi-million dollar corporate empire with our hands in everything from adult entertainment products to daytime television. But none of this compares to the power I will wield when I suck the marrow from Caleb's diseased bones and absorb the essences of Tchernobog.
- Monolith Productions. Blood II: The Chosen. PC. GT Interactive. Level/area: Lafayette Museum of Antiquities.
Gabriella: Caleb? What the hell is this? / Doctor: Hmm... that's unexpected, I guess I will have to recalibrate the singularity settings. / Gabriella: Caleb? / Caleb: Gabriel? / Gabriella: Gabriella, it's a long story. / Caleb: Save it for somebody who cares.
- Monolith Productions. Blood II: The Chosen. PC. GT Interactive. Level/area: Cabal Safehouse.
Ishmael: There is another reality forcing its way through the rifts, ancient and ravenous. It is neither good nor evil, it merely is, but it will devour us all mmm yes.
- Monolith Productions. Blood II: The Chosen. PC. GT Interactive. Level/area: The Underground.
Ishmael: Tchernobog's destruction opened many doors between the worlds. They can only be sealed by The One That Binds. That power lies within you. This reality will perish unless you restore it.
- Monolith Productions. Blood II: The Chosen. PC. GT Interactive. Level/area: Cabal CO Rooftops.
Gideon: It's is not over! You will never truly defeat me! / Caleb: Then I'll just have to keep on kicking your ass. / Ophelia Price: He wants you to follow him, you dumb bastard. / Caleb: Never said I was smart.
- Monolith Productions. Blood II: The Chosen. PC. GT Interactive. Level/area: Battle of the Chosen.
Ancient One: Insect, we are the Ancient One, bow done before us. / Caleb: Nah. / Ancient One: You are all that stands between us and the dominion? Pathetic. / Caleb: Oh, you're going to hurt my feelings. / Ancient One: All that is will no longer be, all that was has never been, all that was to come... oh... um... / Caleb: Well? / Ancient One: All that was to come will never happen. / Caleb: Enough talk, let's fight!
- Monolith Productions. Blood II: The Chosen. PC. GT Interactive. Level/area: The Ancient One.
Ishmael: It's not Caleb. You must seal the rifts and rebind the fabric of this reality before it tears itself apart, yes... / Caleb: I don't know nothing about this kind of stuff. / Ishmael: The power is within you, it is time you used it. / Caleb: Okay, just shut up, I need to focus.
- Monolith Productions. The Nightmare Levels. PC. GT Interactive. Level/area: Cold, Cold Grave.
Gideon: Oh yes, hello. Surely you'll remember me. The power-mad and vanglorious Gideon. Once upon a time I pretended to the throne of the gods. Well, I suppose I got my wish. My undying soul is bound to this cranial prison for all eternity, no thanks to Caleb and his Chosen Ones. Anyway, there's no sense being bitter about it. I imagine one day I'll serve as a muse to some unfortunate playwright who wanders this way. Until then, gentle player, I will amuse you... with this little anecdote. After defeating the Ancient One, the Chosen had a long walk home through the other world. They were able to handle the odd demon or two that came their way, but what they were not ready for was the powerful psychic terror that stalked the wastes -- the Nightmare. Fools that they were, the Chosen practically invited a visit from this devil when they decided to tell scary stories during one of their repasts. Little did they know that each one of them was about to be transported to their personal hells. Observe, and be entertained, dear player.
- LinuxLithTech, LithTech Mailing Lists, BluesNews, November 13, 1998
- "Blood 2 Modifications (Source Code & Tools!)". Monolith Productions. 1999. Archived from the original on 2000-08-31. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
- Blood 2 Desecrates GOG on shacknews.com by Alice O'Connor (Apr 29, 2010)
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