I LIVE... AGAIN!!!
—Caleb, Blood II: The Chosen
In a region renowned for cruelty, Caleb was legendary. Born in western Texas in 1847, he got a reputation of a merciless gunfighter by the age of 17. His bloodthirstiness got on a menacing new timbre when he entered the Cult of Tchernobog. But the real massacre started when he was betrayed and discarded by his master, the Dark God Tchernobog himself...
A 1997 FPS based on a Build engine, Blood was one of the most unusual shooters of its time. It featured a mix of horror and deadpan humor, a charismatic Anti-Hero, an arsenal of exotic weapons and, of course, lots and lots of the eponymous red liquid. Playing as Caleb, a former pet murderer of an evil deity who was betrayed and transformed into an undead monstrosity, you go on a quest to avenge/harvest the powers of your former True Companions who did not manage to rise again and use them to wreak all kinds of unholy hell upon Tchernobog.
In 1998, a sequel was created: Blood II: The Chosen. Running on the new LithTech engine developed in-house by Monolith, it took place exactly one century after the first game, featuring the Cabal's attempts to kill Caleb and take back the powers of Tchernobog, while Caleb's disuse of the dark god's powers accidentally summons abominations from another dimension. It was critically received as lacking the spirit or fun of the original game.
For tropes about blood, see Bloody Tropes.
- Abnormal Ammo: From the relatively-speaking mundane (pesticide grenades on the M16's attached grenade launcher in Blood II) to the freaky (trapped souls for the Life Leech in the first).
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: "Ooh, what a wonderful smell I've discovered."
- Aerosol Flamethrower: One of the weapons is a spray can, which can be combined with Caleb's trusty lighter for this effect, or lit on fire and thrown as an impromptu bomb.
- Amusement Park of Doom: The secret level of the first episode "House of Horrors", complete with a "fun" ride on a water slide, and caged enemies.
- Anachronism Stew: For The Nightmare Levels expansion, Monolith had apparently completely forgotten the Chosen were originally from the 19th century.
- There's also the various Shout Outs, most of which in the first game are to things that wouldn't exist until decades after the events of the game, though that's more for Rule of Funny most of the time.
- For that matter, guessing WHEN these games takes place is a chore... Blood II implies that Blood started out around 1928, but the presence of wall switches and outlets, jukeboxes and many other "modern" items stick out. Plus, that one level that seems to take place during World War II.
- And I Must Scream: The Soul Drudges in the second game are living humans whose bodies are controlled by Bone Leeches but who are still conscious and aware of what they're doing. The leech forces its host to sew its mouth shut to keep it from screaming.
- Anti-Hero: Caleb is definitely this, being an undead revenant and a former basherboozook of an evil cult and all.
- Attract Mode: There's a couple of demos playing on the title screen.
- Badass: All four of the Chosen, most especially Caleb.
- Badass Longcoat: Caleb. Ishmael also has some sort of long coat.
- Ballistic Bone: Gargoyles fling them at you for a ranged attack.
- Batman Gambit: Tchernobog fully intended for Caleb to return from the grave and seek vengeance, gaining power with each kill he made along the way. The intent was to then take over Caleb's body and use the new power to take over all realities, though this fails when Caleb kills him. Gideon was supposed to have his own gambit in Blood II, but most of that that subplot beyond "kill Caleb" was cut before the game's release.
- BFG: Originally, the Tesla Cannon and the Life Leech were the 8-inch cannons of Blood. The expansion pack added an alternate fire mode to the Incinerator that made it into the new, ultimate BFG of Blood I. Blood II added a new, literal BFG, as in Doom, called the Singularity Generator.
- Big Bad: In Blood, Tcherno. Blood II has Gideon, though he's not the final boss.
- Black and Gray Morality: More like Black and Blacker Morality. Caleb is only the "hero" because he's trying to avenge his fallen comrades and not trying to take over the world.
- Blood Bath: A magazine ad for the game featured a man, presumably Caleb, in a bathtub full of blood with this tagline:
Blood? You're soaking in it.
- Bloody Handprint: On the game's box.
- Boss Rush: Blood makes you refight the earlier bosses before Tchernobog finally shows himself. Blood II makes you fight undead versions of the other three Chosen before fighting the Ancient One.
- Bottomless Magazines: The only weapon with an actual reload animation is the sawed-off shotgun, and even then said animation is skipped entirely in the first game when you have the Guns Akimbo powerup.
- Call Back: Blood II features ringing telephones that you can answer. One phone in the third level does the same Hugh Jass joke a phone in the third level of the first game did. An elevator in the first chapter also has elevator music remixed from the secret level of Blood's last retail episode.
- Cast from Hit Points: The Life Leech in Blood I would use HP as ammo if you run out of trapped souls.
- Cherry Tapping: The pitchfork. Killing an opponent with it is sheer humiliation. Killing zombies with it is often necessary to save ammo.
- Circus of Fear: The Dark Carnival levels in the first game, with the appropriate Creepy Circus Music (made especially creepy by the calls of the barkers and the laughter of children).
- Cliff Hanger: The four Chosen are left in an alternate reality at the end of Blood II, and make no real progress towards getting out in the expansion. The end text for Blood II even lampshaded this:
"Does Caleb really close the rift? Does Ophelia get her two-minutes of gift? What the heck happened to Gabriel... er, Gabriella? What if Ishmael can't get home? And, where did he get those tattoos? Tune in next time on: As 'It burns, it burns'. Enjoy these answers and more soon... we promise."
- Copy and Paste Environments: The first chapter of Blood II goes all out with this, with a laundromat and the surrounding area from level 2 being revisited twice before the chapter is over. On top of that, Chapter 2 begins with basically the same map Chapter 1 did.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Considering CabalCo is essentially a public face for the evil, mystical cult of Tchernobog, Gideon couldn't be anything else.
- Cult: The Cabal and, to a lesser degree, CabalCo 100 years later.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Well, most of it is, but Tchernobog is technically a neutral force who assumes the personality traits of his host.
- Dead Character Walking: Blood has a glitch where, on occasion, enemies who are killed by being set on fire would continue to run around in their on-fire animation indefinitely, unable to damage you but also invulnerable to everything but splash damage.
- Deadpan Snarker: Caleb, most definitely.
- Dead Weight: Bloated Butchers.
- Death Is Not Permanent: Ophelia, Ishmael and Gabriel die alongside Caleb in Blood's intro. Caleb inexplicably comes back in the first game, and the other three are revived during the course of Blood II through use of the Singularity Generator. There's also Tchernobog, who due to the nature of his reincarnation, has died and come back at least 15 times before Caleb permanently killed him.
- Degraded Boss: The stone gargoyle, giant spider and Cerberus are first introduced as end-episode bosses before becoming common enemies in later episodes.
- Another interesting variant: there are also smaller, more common versions of those three bosses. Normal gargoyles are around from the beginning, while smaller spiders and hellhounds are sequentially introduced in the later episodes.
- Determinator: Even death did not put Caleb down for good.
- Nor Tchernobog, whose method of reincarnation technically means Caleb is Tchernobog now.
- Didn't See That Coming: The Singularity Generator manages to be unpredictable enough that it revives the rest of the Chosen, even turning the first one from a man to a woman. By the time the scientists who created it have it working the way it should, Caleb bursts in, kills them, and steals it.
- Difficulty Levels: Unlike many other Build engine games, Blood I's difficulty levels don't just determine the placements and amount of enemies on each map, they also determine various properties and the vitality of monsters.
- Best example is the brown-robed Cultist. On the first difficulty level, they have 40 HP, no ability to toss dynamite sticks and terrible accuracy, so bad they can miss you with their shotguns up to five times in a row at point blank range if they really suck on that playthrough. On the second difficulty, they get 60 HP, still no dynamite sticks, and slightly less sucky accuracy. On the third, they have 80 HP, will toss single sticks of dynamite which do moderate damage, and have average accuracy (sometimes hitting and other times missing at close range). On the fourth, they are 100 HP tough, have good accuracy, and will toss full TNT bundles. Fifth difficulty? 125 HP, TNT bundles, and the ability to almost perfectly hit you with their shotguns, even across large open areas.
- Eldritch Abomination: Tchernobog in the first game, the Ancient One and Gideon's second form in the second.
- Everyone Hates Mimes: "Ugh, I hate mimes."
- Evil Laugh: At least a third of Caleb's lines are various sinister laughs.
- Exploding Barrels: Literal barrels, filled with TNT.
- Eye Beams: Stone gargoyles have them.
- Tchernobog has a different variant: he can set things in his line of sight on fire.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Gideon is reduced to nothing but his skull after he fights Caleb. At the beginning of the Nightmare Levels expansion, he reveals his soul was trapped within it. He's surprisingly not bitter about it though.
- Fiery Redhead: Ophelia Price.
- First-Person Shooter
- Flipping the Bird: When they spot you, the Hands in Blood II will gleefully stop, "stand" on their wrists and give you the one-finger salute.
- Game Breaking Bug: A glitch in certain versions of Blood had the Choking Hands not getting off no matter what is done.
- E4M5: Fire and Brimstone was also missing a key in one version of the game that prevented the player from finishing the level without cheats.
- Game Mod: User levels exist, with the usual variety of quality. The most stand out one is Bloody Pulp Fiction, which is 3 episodes long and has cutscenes with a complete story, pitting Caleb against the remains of the Cabal in the 1990's.
- Gender Bender: Gabriel somehow gets brought back to life as a woman in Blood II.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom/Undeath: Even before their resurrection, all of the Chosen's eyes glowed a bright red.
- Grand Theft Me: Tchernobog reincarnates by allowing someone to kill his current form and then taking over the body of the one who killed him. His new form often influences the direction the Cabal takes, such as a monk turning it into a religious cult.
- Guns Akimbo: The first game featured it as a power-up that only worked for about a minute; the second game let you dual-wield certain weapons indefinitely by picking up a second one, at the cost of the alternate firing mode.
- Hellhounds: Regular ones, and Cerberus. Both have fiery breath.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Still Kicking (easiest), Pink on the Inside, Lightly Broiled, Well Done and Extra Crispy (hardest).
- The second game has Genocide, Homicide and Suicide.
- Interface Screw: If the poisonous spiders bite you, the visuals become all distorted and blurry, more so the more Caleb gets bitten. It gets to the point that the HUD even lies to you about how much health and ammo you currently have while you're poisoned.
- When your breath runs out from staying underwater too long, the screen begins to darken slightly. When the Choking Hands are choking you, the screen darkens very quickly. In addition, the Hand blocks your view of the HUD while choking you.
- The Ishmael: Gideon serves the role of this for the Nightmare Levels expansion.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: There's a phone call in the second level of Blood II in which a lady asks "Mr. Cal-Eeb" if he is or has ever been a character in a video game. Caleb replies "You've gotta be kidding" and hangs up.
- Legacy Character: "JoJo the Idiot Circus Boy", the main attraction of the first game's Dark Carnival. Ishmael in The Nightmare Levels states that he was once JoJo before he left and joined the Cabal.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: There are no good guys. On one hand, you have a cult trying to summon a dark god, murdering anyone they want to and experimenting on the rest. On the other side, you have one of their failed projects, a sadistic revenant named Caleb who was one of those cultists and also is murdering anyone he feels like. At least Caleb is fighting to avenge his wife and best friend and has a sense of humor.
- Lock and Key Puzzle: The game is chock full of them. Some levels have all six keys in them.
- Love Makes You Evil: Subverted. Caleb had quite the taste for bloodshed long before he met Ophelia or that she died; she just added fuel to the fire.
- Love Redeems: Caleb is initially only fighting the Cabal in Blood II because they keep preventing him from killing Gideon. His priority shifts to rescuing Ophelia once he learns she's being held at CabalCo's headquarters.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Plentiful. You can even attack the gibs.
- Kill It with Fire: Usually, the best way to get rid of strong enemies like the Bloated Butcher. For that, Blood has the flare gun, the spray can and the napalm cannon. Blood II sees the return of all of these, with the exception of the spray can, which gets replaced by the Die Bug Die sprayer.
- Kill It with Water: Hellhounds die instantly if submerged in any liquid.
- Made of Explodium: Even by regular FPS standards, some rather unusual things in Blood II explode in a burst of flame when damaged enough, such as vending machines and refrigerators.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: Starting point of the fourth episode. There's also a level late in Blood II that qualifies, if only because you get to kill the Mad Scientist in question and steal the BFG he's been working on.
- Mana Meter: Focus in Blood II, used to power supernatural weapons like the voodoo doll, Life Leech and The Orb.
- Man On Fire: The Flare Gun and Aerosol Flamethrower make Blood one of the masters of this trope.
- Meaningful Name: Tchernobog (Чернобог) is a (German-style) rendering of the Russian for "Black God".
- Mega Corp: The Cabal becomes this between the two games, gaining control of pretty much everything on the planet.
- Mistaken for Granite: There are gargoyle statues that sometimes turn into live gargoyles. Much Paranoia Fuel ensues.
- Mook Maker: The Drudge Priest in Blood II is the final stage of evolution for a human taken over by a Bone Leech. Shooting the bloated stomach of the original host often rains more bone leeches on you.
- The giant spiders in the first game spawn smaller spiders to attack for them, as they can't attack directly.
- Night of the Living Mooks: Zombies. Lots of 'em.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Caleb is an immortal undead Old West gunslinger.
- No Name Given: Of the four Chosen, only Ophelia's last name (Price) is made known.
- Nostalgia Level: The expansion to Blood II begins with Cold, Cold Grave, which combines at least three levels from Blood's Episode 2.
- Not Quite Dead: The axe zombies. If damage past a certain threshold, but not enough for a One-Hit Kill, is dealt to them, they'll just be knocked to the ground.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Common in later levels of each episode.
- One-Man Army: Caleb.
- Our Gargoyles Rock: Flesh and stone versions, stones being much harder to kill.
- Oxygen Meter: Both games, though it's only visible in the second game, considering all the Goddamn Bats that try to kill you by depleting it.
- Palette Swap: Brown and black robed cultists. One official expansion went crazy with blue, green and maroon robed cultists. Besides that, red and green spiders and regular and stone gargoyles (though spiders and gargoyles are also resized and use different attacks).
- Personal Space Invader: Bone Leeches, Thieves and Hands.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner" The games feature lots of really good lines to use while dispatching someone, such as:
- When you get to Hell, tell them I sent you; you'll get a group discount!
- I hope you weren't a procrastinator, 'cuz you just ran out of tomorrows.
- Red is definitely your color!
- Time to open you up, and take a look inside...
- There are chunks of people like you in my stool!
- Get off my train!
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: They're red and they glow!
- Retcon: Blood II and its expansion seem to ignore much of the first game's details.
- Blood II says Blood took place in 1928, yet one level takes place during WWII as France is being bombed by German war planes. There are also light switches, wall outlets and jukeboxes everywhere.
- Caleb looks like a 70-year old man in Blood II. Going by much of the backstory, he should look rather young.
- Nightmare Levels sticks Ophelia in a 1950's college dormitory. Caleb met her in 1864!
- Despite the Cabal having all but been wiped out by Caleb previously (between Blood and Blood II expansion packs), they are now the major world superpower and continue to exist without their god.
- Revenge: Both ways: the first game, Caleb's revenge on Tchernobog; the second game, the Cabal's revenge on Caleb.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: Caleb's signature weapon throughout the series, even used as the Guns Akimbo icon.
- Shareware: The first game, at least.
- Shout-Out: Way way way too many to mention, mostly to horror classics such as Stephen King's books or A Nightmare on Elm Street, gothic literature... and Army of Darkness for deadpan snarkery.
- See here for an extensive list.
- Sinister Subway: Three levels in Blood II place Caleb on a subway train. Two of the three end with the train in question crashing.
- Slasher Smile: Blood II's box art is a close-up of Caleb sporting one.
- Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: The whole concept of the games is based around this, constantly going between comedy and horror. Often both at the same time.
- Soft Water: Provided the water is deep enough to slow your fall, landing in it will lead to no damage being taken.
- Standard FPS Guns: Notably averted. While the shotgun and machine gun are typical, the pistol is a flare gun that shoots incendiary projectiles that set enemies on fire; the rocket launcher is replaced by a napalm gun, and there are bizarre weapons such as the hairspray and lighter, voodoo doll and the Life Leech staff.
- Sadly, not the case in Blood II, which padded out the weapons with a lot of standard-issue FPS guns and weakening the more flavorful original weapons. Part of the reason why Blood II was widely panned.
- Take That: Blood riffs on Duke Nukem 3D by stringing up Duke's own corpse in a hidden room at the Dark Carnival.
- Tethercat Principle: There's no indication of what Caleb does in the century between the two games, but considering he starts the second game carrying a pistol and a knife, one can assume it's pretty much all the same stuff he was doing while under the player's control.
- Updated Rerelease: One Unit Whole Blood, which contains all six episodes and extra features.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Where, oh just where do we begin? The most cruel ones may be unarmed civilians that will sometimes drop health if you kill them, or must be killed as they carry a key. There's also head-soccer: in Blood, you could decapitate zombies and kick their heads around (it was even used as a carnival game in the first game's Dark Carnival level). Blood II expands this so you can kick the head of any humanoid enemy around.
- Caleb hates mimes with a passion. In fact, mimes in this game exist only to be used as platforms and to be brutally killed. Even the help screen of the registered version shows a mime getting killed by some monsters!
Caleb: [after killing one mime] Ugh, I hate mimes.
- Water Is Air: Mostly averted: Caleb can swim really quickly, and there's relatively clear view even in the sewers, but sounds are very distorted underwater.