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Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption

Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption weaves a millenial apocalypse and a chivalric romance into the backdrop of medieval Eastern Europe, and great cities of the modern age just before the 21st century, using the White Wolf vampire world inspired by Anne Rice (WP). It is a game with an emphasis on storytelling, whether automated or human. It suits gamers who look for more story in their action, and roleplaying storytellers who look for a solid 3D setting for their chronicles, whether scripted or live. V:tMR and its successor, V:tM Bloodlines, together boast an active, adept and longest-running modding and storytelling community in computer gaming.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption is a computer role-playing game released 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 pen-and-paper roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade.



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Plot

In the game's storyline, the crusader Christof falls in battle, and is left in the care of the convent in Prague. Anezka, a nun in the convent, tends Christof's wounds, and in a atmosphere charged with their compatibility, the closeness of the patient-healer relationship, overflowing sexual tension, and resulting temptation to break the rules of chastity and propriety of their Christian faith, they fall into a love that seems doomed from the start. Christof, not fully recovered, ventures into the Bonn Silver Mines (near Prague) to kill Ahzra the Unliving, a twisted Tzimisce (WP) vampire.

Christof Romuald embrace FMV

Christof is crestfallen as he realizes his crucifix will not aid him against the vampiric embrace of the ancient Brujah, Ecaterina. "Your faith died long ago" she says. She is correct, inasmuch as his faith is insufficient to gain the game's Faith-based powers against vampires. Nonetheless, Christof's faith does sustain him (assuming the player plays his dialogue choices that way) against many potential losses of his humanity. Screenshot from the game CGI of the embrace

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 (WP) clan, as 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. 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 life as human.

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.

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. 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 well doom the entire world. The game ends with three different CGI sequences, depending on certain dialogue choices in the game which affected Christof's humanity level either negatively or positively.

Twelve of the thirteen great vampire clans (from the original storytelling game) feature in Redemption, in one form or another. The exceptions are the absence of the gypsy Ravnos clan, and the addition of the Assamites.

Player characters

Besides the famous Christof Romuald who also appears in White Wolf's Brujah clan novel, the following characters also feature:

Anezka - Christof's heart is won by a nun of great character before his Embrace. But will all the trials and tribulations of his unlife, and hundreds of years of her imprisonment and corruption by his enemies, tear them apart?

Wilhem Streicher - a Brujah of the 10th Generation, possibly a Child of Ecaterina the Wise and her servant, 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, a discipline characteristic to the Gangrel Clan.

Serena - Serena is the Childe of Garinol of Clan Cappadocian (WP). 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. Also she acts as an advisor to Christof and probably has the best understanding of the pain that is in his heart.

Erik concept

"More animal than man", Christof is moved to say, upon introduction to the Gangrel Erik. This concept art, with the massive forearms ending in fingers like talons, is more true to this statement than the in-game character model

Erik - a giant Gangrel (WP) who is imprisoned at Ardan's Chantry and 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). A rather moody but absolutely honorable and reliable character, he will fight alongside Christof until he meets his tragic destiny upon his return to Prague from Vienna.

Pink - A Brujah (WP) who befriends Christof on his first night in London. Pink delights in Christof's naiivete of the modern world, and gives advice to Christof as he seeks Anezka and the end to Vukodlak. Pink is pursuing his own ends; only the Malkavian Dev/Null is able to see this, but his attempts to give Christof clues as to Pink's true nature are clouded by his madness.

Lily - A Toreador (WP) singer who was kidnapped by Setites (WP) and blood-bound to work in their London Brothel. The nature of her work there is not expounded on beyond Lily's statements about the Vampiric Kiss of blood drinking ("most mortals love the delirium that comes from being a blood donor to a vampire. especially the way I do it"). Christof and Pink rescue her (and eventually her Sire), making for an additional team member. She is not that powerful at first, starting off as barely a Neonate, but she has a lot of branches where she can develop. Like Serena before her, she seeks to alleve Christof's pain at his separation from Anezka.

Samuel - A Camarilla (WP) Nosferatu (WP) (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.

Gameplay

Main article: Gameplay

As the game progresses, third person combat replaces more of the character model and voice file 'movie' scenes and CGI that introduce the vampire world, but it remains true to or above the standard of roleplaying in computer games. The Storyteller mode in multiplayer allows full roleplaying, of course.

Modding

Nihilistic released a modding kit, including a level editor, shortly after the games release that was available for download. Modding communities were small and sporadic, but some large levels have been constructed, and various large modding projects were undertaken, including a Star Trek makeover (not completed), and "Vampires Gaze" (set in the Middle East), for which the modding community still exists (as of early 2010).

Reception

Redemption received mixed reviews.[1] 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. Although generally hailed as a good and enjoyable game by most critics, its reception was affected by bugs and design flaws.

Awards

Legacy

Another Vampire: The Masquerade videogame entitled Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was released in 2004.


External links

  • The New Planet Vampire. Not only one of the most prolific per capita modding communities in gaming, but one that so very appropriately could be said to have died and risen again from the ashes of WONnet
  • YouTube search; many videos
  • Tunngle, the most widely-used host of multiplayer V:tMR games
  • The New Planet Vampire. Not only one of the most prolific per capita modding communities in gaming, but one that so very appropriately could be said to have died and risen again from the ashes of WONnet
  • Within the Darkness mods and skinpacks. Within the Darkness is worth mentioning especially, as it has so very few links to it, and is the only mod to feature even a reasonable facsimile of White Wolf's version of Werewolves and the Fey. It (also?) lacks WODmod's tortuously low starting statistics and giddy heights of demi-god-dom at the highest levels
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption page at the World of Darkness Wiki
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption at The Unofficial White Wolf Wiki: World of Darkness, Old World of Darkness, Age of Sorrows, Trinity Universe, Card Games and Board Games, Scion and Sword & Sorcery
  • Vampire: The Masquerade Game Guide by Doug Radcliffe. Designed By: Val Prusmack. Link to a very good guide that is tragically flawed by GameSpot's buggy links. Just hit the Back button and then re-click the link enough times, and eventually you can navigate it all. Eventually it will all be recorded here, but until then, and for the original source, the link should be retained. alternate link
  • Walkthroughs at GameFaqs. So short a list, it inspired the making of this Wiki. Decent quality though
  • Vampire forums. Main page with links to many forums including V:tMR and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
  • Gamebanshee. Uniquely, for other sites, lists Disciplines, and many other game elements in common with other sites, quite well
  • Console codes
  • The Old Planet Vampire. The behemoth that is GameSpy, the new planetvampire either wishes to or thinks it politic to thank for their hosting. I neither have to nor want to. They sold Quake that nurtured them and gave them strength, all the way down the dirty river, and I will never forget. A corporate cesspool of soulless lawyers and sold-out stooges on a par with Steam
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption (Video Game 2000) Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
  • Activision
  • Moby Games
  • GameSpot Atypically for reviews of the game, Gamespot savaged every aspect of Vampire other than its graphics and its graphics, albeit with some criticism of its graphics. However, GS as a whole still gave it a 6.8, and the reader's poll gives it a 8.0. More importantly, GS has some links to screenshots and gameplay videos
  • Vampire the Masquerade Redemption - Part 1: Intro (No Commentary) SerialHypocrite. Walkthrough on YouTube

Featured article

Featured articles:

Storyteller

"To really understand Redemption, you have to think of it as a PC storytelling tool,
and not as a game in itself." - Jay Turner, GamePro
[2]

Jumping section:

As players in Vampire cannot jump in the usual sense, it is safe to call a particular type of Storyteller-assisted movement Jumping. The Storyteller head itself can, of course, right click on the normal "walkable" ground and instantly teleport there. However, right clicking on impassable ground can often lead to the Storyteller Head embedded (but not inextricably) in the surface. This can be avoided by holding down the 'Alt' key while right clicking.

Possessed NPC stats

Storyteller mode in multiplayer: the Human NPC "Teutonic Captain" is Possessed by the game creator, who enters dialogue that shows up on the game chat. Possession also gives access to NPCs' stats, as shown

This second mode of movement can also be used while a player or NPC is Possessed by the Storyteller, and will move them anywhere the game creator desires. This is often the best way to unite latecomers to a game with the main party, particularly in Leaves of Three (Leaves of Three is run backwards with respect to the original single-player scenario, and the exit points were never rearranged. Teleporting the entire party back to rendezvous at the 'entrance' will not bring them back to the safe start, free of enemies, but in fact teleport them right into the middle of whatever enemies are at the 'back door' of the area).

This is also a premier tool for level editors; the Storyteller Head itself is poorly suited for precise placement tasks, with its idle movement and large size. Being able to move scenery (Props) around with Alt + Right click makes for less time spent in trial and error.

Jumping works very well in conjunction with the Actor Pane button "Select Actor"


Armor and Shields

Medieval armor has a more equal spread of protection; leather armor even has bonuses against the uncommon damage types such as electrical. Modern armor has large bonuses to the Bashing damage type of modern guns, and may be lacking in protection from Aggravated or even Lethal damage. Medieval Helms in particular are unequivocally superior to modern helmets, and there are no modern equivalents of the hand and arm protection afforded by Gauntlets, unless one counts Leather Gloves.

The best basic armor (assuming strength requirement is not a factor) in Medieval times is Platemail. Tailored Armor is the best armor in normal times. Both cost the same (and the same as the Amulets of Discipline, Blood, and Serenity). The choice between Platemail and Tailored armor in multiplayer is equivocal. Platemail offers greater Aggravated damage protection, and a better balance overall between Lethal and Bashing damage, while Tailored Armor has the highest total protection, no strength requirement and a bonus of 80 to the Bashing damage type of modern guns. In single player, however, only Blessed or Unholy armor are carried into the modern age, so this is only an applicable choice if the player is pursuing, or stuck with, the Evil Ending.

The best basic shield in Medieval times is Great Shield; it has the same illustration as Norman Shield. Riot shield is the only shield available in modern times, and is unequivocally the best shield in the game (if elemental etc damage types are not considered) with no strength requirement, the same Lethal and Aggravated protection, and +60 protection instead of +30 to the Bashing damage type of modern guns.

Medieval shields are not carried with Christoph to modern times unless they are the magically "insulated" shields that protect against Fire, Cold, Electrical, or Sun, or Holy or Unholy shields.

Riot Shield is a very rare ware for Otto in his London East Side van (it is possible, but not confirmed, that it is not on Otto's ware list at all) and an uncommon one for the New York weapons merchant in his dockside warehouse, and the modern Generic Weapons Merchant in multiplayer. Saving, and then reloading multiple times, can access such items easily in single player; multiplayer players must wait for the chronicle to advance or add the item with the Storyteller or console commands.

Only Unholy armor and shields protect against the Faith damage of Holy Water and human 'spells' and Holy weapons.


Citations

  • Green, Jeff (April 1999) "Vampire The Masquerade: Redemption" Computer Gaming World Issue #177, p.110, a software review

[3]

  1. Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption (pc: 2000): Reviews
  2. Jay Turner, GamePro
  3. Includes VtMR content deleted from Wikipedia. Includes content currently on Wikipedia.


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