(This is part of my journey going playing through 2004’s Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
Here’s the situation. The contains-all-sorts-of-power sarcophagus has been found but I’m the sole possessor of the key to it. The Prince, the Chinese vampires, and apparently every other vampire in all of creation has declared a blood hunt for me due to being double-crossed. And now the TV is talking to me, because I’m a lunatic vampire who has conversations with the newscaster.
But seriously, between this bizarre conversation and an enemy who kicked through a wall and yelled “OH YEAHHH!” this game has delivered a lot of laugh-out-loud moments in these final sessions.
For the first real time in the game, I have an actual conversation with the cab driver as I try to figure out what to do next. Because Malkavians are a touch psychic, I start flipping out when I realize that this guy isn’t just a normal cabbie. I think it’s implied that he is Caine, the Original Vampire (OV).
Anyway, Caine the Cabbie lets me choose who I want to ally myself with in these final hours. I choose myself, because I’ve had it with all of the factions. That’s probably the most difficult choice I could make, because I have to fight through not one but two heavily armed fortresses, but I felt good with the decision.
The boss battle with the Chinese lady proved to be the hardest fight in the game. My problem was that I didn’t have many blood packs (health potions) left by the end, and it took many saves and reloads to squeak out a victory here.
Then it was over to the Prince’s highrise, where I had to mow down waves of campires (yes, campy vampires) like this guy up here. I mean, look at him. You can’t help but want to drive a stake through his heart, right?
The boss battle here is the Sheriff, who transforms into a gigantic bat (because vampires) and swoops around all annoying-like while I curse the day I dumped all my stat points into melee fighting. Well planned, Syp. Well planned.
Without his strong arm, the Prince is a pushover and I leave him heavily wounded — and with the key to the sarcophagus. I don’t want it, don’t want the power. I just want out of here.
He takes the key and laughing madly, opens the sarcophagus up to find…
…a bunch of C4 and a note from Jack. It was an assassination ruse all along, and the Prince finally meets his doom.
Me? I walk out of this town, done with its ugliness and dark souls. Time to hit the beach and take up knitting sweaters for orphaned kitty cats.
As the stinger, Jack and Caine watch the explosion from the tower while a happy mummy sits nearby. The final puppet masters of this game’s twisty-turny plot are revealed, and I have to say, it’s a pretty cool way to go out.
So final thoughts? Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines is a flawed, amazing cult RPG from the late Troika Games, and I really wish that it had done better to deserve more games from that studio. Some parts of it didn’t appeal to me, such as the infantile sex humor or occasional extreme gore, but the sheer emphasis on roleplaying, on a variety of solutions for different quests, and the deep story building that is done here deserves applause. And with that, I am gone as the dawn arrives.