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VAMPIR~1

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is a 2004 action role-playing video game developed by Troika Games and published by Activision for Microsoft Windows. Set in White Wolf Publishing's World of Darkness, the game is based on White Wolf's role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade and follows a human who is killed and revived as a fledgling vampire. The game depicts the fledgling's journey through the early 21st-century Los Angeles to uncover the truth behind a recently discovered relic that heralds the end of all vampires.

Bloodlines is presented from first- and third-person perspectives. The player assigns their character to one of several vampire clans—each with unique powers, customizes their combat and dialog abilities and progresses through Bloodlines using violent and nonviolent methods. The selection of clan affects how the player is perceived in the game world, and which powers and abilities they possess; this opens up different avenues of exploration and methods of interacting with or manipulating other characters. The player is able to complete side missions away from the primary storyline by moving freely between the available hubs: Santa Monica, Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, and Chinatown.

Troika's 32-member team began development of Bloodlines in November 2001, as an indirect sequel to the previous year's Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption. Troika used Valve's Source game engine, then in development, which was being used for Valve's own Half-Life 2. The game's production was turbulent, as the design's scope exceeded the available resources, and the team were left without a producer for nearly a year until Activision appointed David Mullich to the role, where he found designs and levels unfinished or abandoned. After three years in development with no end in sight and running over budget, Activision set a strict deadline for completion, and Bloodlines was released incomplete in November 2004.

Released in competition with Half-Life 2 and several other titles, Bloodlines sold fewer than 80,000 copies during its initial release, which was considered a poor performance. It divided critics at the time; although they praised the game's writing and scale of choice, they criticized its technical flaws. It was Troika Games' last production before its failure in early 2005, when it was unable to secure additional projects. The game has a cult following as a rarely replicated example of gameplay and narrative, and contemporary reception recognises it as a flawed masterpiece. Since its original release, Bloodlines received post-release support from fans, supplying unofficial fixes and re-adding unused content. A sequel, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, is in development.

Plot[]

The game begins with the player character, an unnamed human, being killed and resurrected as a fledgling vampire. For this unauthorized act, the fledgling and their sire are brought before the Camarilla. The sire is executed by order of LaCroix; the fledgling is spared the same fate by the intervention of the anarch Nines Rodriguez, and employed by the prince.

LaCroix sends the fledgling to Santa Monica to help his ghoul, Mercurio, destroy a Sabbat warehouse. Following their success the fledgling travels to downtown Los Angeles, meeting separately with Nines, LaCroix, and Jack. LaCroix tasks the fledgling with investigating a docked ship, the Elizabeth Dane, for information about an Ankaran sarcophagus rumored to contain the body of an Antediluvian, one of the oldest and most powerful vampires, whose arrival would herald Gehenna, the vampire apocalypse. The fledgling discovers that the sarcophagus seems to have been opened from within.

Increased Sabbat activity coincides with the disappearance of the Malkavian chief, Alistair Grout. At Grout's mansion, the fledgling sees Nines leaving and discovers Grout's remains in the mansion with vampire hunter Grünfeld Bach, who denies involvement in Grout's death. Learning about Nines' presence at the mansion, LaCroix tells the other chiefs to approve Nines' execution. The fledgling is sent to the Museum of Natural History to recover the sarcophagus, but finds that it has been stolen. Jack later suggests to the fledgling that LaCroix wants the sarcophagus to drink the blood of the ancient within, gaining its power.

Believing that Gary, the Nosferatu chief, has stolen the sarcophagus, the fledgling is sent to Hollywood to find him; after locating a captured Nosferatu for Gary, he reveals that the sarcophagus was stolen by the Giovanni vampire clan. The fledgling infiltrates the Giovanni mansion and finds the sarcophagus guarded by the Kuei-Jin, who claim their leader, Ming-Xiao, has formed an alliance with LaCroix. The locked sarcophagus is returned to LaCroix's tower, and Beckett, a vampire scholar, tells the fledgling that the only person who can open it has been abducted by Bach to lure LaCroix. The fledgling kills Bach and learns that the sarcophagus' key has been stolen.

The fledgling returns to LaCroix, learning that the Sabbat tried to steal the sarcophagus to destroy it and prevent Gehenna, and kills the Sabbat leader to disperse his followers. The fledgling is met by Ming-Xiao, who offers to form an alliance. Ming-Xiao reveals that she has the key, and LaCroix killed Grout to prevent his powerful insight from unveiling LaCroix's plans; Ming-Xiao disguised herself as Nines at the mansion to frame him. Denying Ming-Xiao's claims, LaCroix rescinds the blood hunt on Nines and entrusts the fledgling with recruiting the anarchs to punish the Kuei-Jin for murdering Grout. The fledgling finds Nines hiding in Griffith Park, and they are then attacked by a werewolf and Nines is badly injured. The fledgling escapes with Jack, who reveals that LaCroix has issued an execution order on the fledgling for framing Nines on orders from Ming-Xiao.

The ending varies, depending on whom, if anyone, the fledgling allies with. If the fledgling supports LaCroix or Ming-Xiao, each sends the fledgling to kill the other. LaCroix opens the sarcophagus, to be killed with the fledgling by hidden explosives; Ming-Xiao betrays the fledgling, chaining them to the sarcophagus and sinking it in the ocean. Supporting the anarchs, or no one, makes the fledgling kill Ming-Xiao and maim LaCroix, who is killed after he opens the sarcophagus. If the fledgling opens the sarcophagus, they die in the explosion. If the fledgling is a Tremere, they kill Ming-Xiao; LaCroix is replaced by Tremere leader Maximillian Strauss, and the sarcophagus is stored. Each ending has Jack watching from afar with the mummy taken from the coffin and the enigmatic taxi driver who transports the fledgling between locations, who says, "The blood of Caine controls our fate ... Farewell, vampire."

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