LTTP: Blood | I want Jojo, I Want JoJo, I WANT JOJO!

Sep 11, 2011
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WHERE'S JOJO



Wanna see Jojo?! Just remember: if you see these guys, run!

•

Blood, for those who don't know, is Shadow Warrior's sister FPS built on the Buld engine and released in 1997. It's a lot different from its competitor, with less emphasis on silly John Woo fantasy action and more on brooding, challenging comedy-horror shooting. Having played the main episodes for both (still got the expansions for these + Douk and other '90s FPSes), I can't say for certain which one's better, just that Blood is the more unique of the two. Check out the wiki for technical details and stuff, this thread's for discussing the game's quality.

Every weapon in this game has a use. I'm not kidding—even the wimpy pitchfork you start with is fun to use, provided you like to conserve ammo in the first place. While it's true that the melee in Shadow Warrior is much better (the best of all the FPSes I've played aside from Jedi Outcast), the projectile arsenal in Blood is more diverse and has less overlap regarding utility. Like in Quake, certain enemies deserve certain solutions. Cultists and Fanatics (yellow and grey robes respectively) need the Tommy Gun's suppression fire for the most part, but can also be pitchfork'd in CQC or taken down with a shotgun alt-fire. A late-game mook, the Hellhound, really only dies with the aforementioned alt-fire or through a stream of the Tesla Cannon; otherwise, the damn dogs will throw fire at you without end. Since every enemy in Blood does a lot of damage either over time or very quickly, it's imperative that you clear them out in the correct order or you'll take too much damage in that situation. To this end, you'll have the standards plus three types of TNT, a Voodoo Doll, a Life Leech, an aerosol can/flamethrower, a Napalm Launcher, a Flare Gun...whew, I could go on! (Lotsa fire in this game).

Thankfully, your autorun speed's great, and the enemy AI itself is responsive enough that you can lead them around corners if the scenario demands it. This is also one of the earliest shooters to blend crouching behind cover and gung-ho circle-strafing very well, to the point that a new player's going to approach combat differently all the time. Early-game enemies, unfortunately, tend to rely on hitscan to kill you, which can be a big pain until you get used to it...assuming you even have the right items near the beginning of the game, which isn't the case. Here's an example I posted on /vr/:

One thing that sticks out is how the opening shareware maps handle Cultists compared to the first registered map. E2M1 gives curious players a shaded Voodoo Doll that, from a distance, lets them kill a Cultist or Fanatic with 4 stabs. This takes longer than a double-barrel blast to the face, and it's ammo-expensive for sure, but being able to flinch these guys while conserving other ammo is a godsend. Cultists and Fanatics have quicker firing reaction than Pigcops and even Ninjas, meaning that any advance with a pitchfork or shotgun can lead to a quick death. And when I'm trying to conserve TNT for zombie groups, the most viable option remaining are flares, which take enough time to make encounters tedious.

Really, the Voodoo Doll and the Tommy Gun make these Sergeant/Chaingunner-likes easier to deal with, though still challenging foes with advanced AI. E1M2 and E1M3, because they both lack the cover options in the opening map and forget to offer new players something to stun the guys with, are fucking frustrating, even when you know how to deal with crouching Cultists and far-off Fanatics. The nearly-instant hitscan attacks do more damage than Sergeants range around; if you run out of ammo, which can happen if you're having trouble finding secrets, good luck using melee on 'em. I'd say the shareware episode only gets better after getting the Tommy Gun, since its alt-fire grants players widespread stunlock at the price of ammo, which is plentiful.

In short, a couple of Blood's early maps give players undue reason to dislike the bread-and-butter mooks they'll have more fun with later.
So there's one example of how complex the enemy encounters and map designs can get in Blood.

Compared to Shadow Warrior, the level designs themselves can be less ambitious. There's so many secret compartments and effortless level progressions crammed into 3D Realms' game that Blood just cannot match as effectively. Even the combat stacks up well to what Monolith and Studio Q created. But there's no doubt Blood has more content and a more robust match of bestiary to player ability. Every episode starts out with a bang, either following that great first impression well or losing momentum. The shareware episode, I think, starts off great, dips for a bit, then returns with gusto; the fourth and final one expires just a couple maps before facing Tchernobog. I really love maps like The Great Temple, Lumber Mill, Monster Bait, and Fire and Brimstone all for their interconnections, supply of well-paced and difficult battles, and puzzles as well. On top of this, I've heard wondrous things about both Cryptic Passage and the Plasma Pak add-ons, the former of which was developed by Sunsoft (previously responsible for Douk's beach expansion) and the latter all new from Monolith; no doubt the lack of a firm deadline post-release meant these maps had more time to cook.

I'm surprised at how great this game still looks, too. It was built to run on DOS, just like Shadow Warrior, and games like Quake had already come out with stunning lighting and effective use of polygonal environments (I'm playing through it right now, for that matter). But just as Shadow Warrior has exceptional lighting and some really varied Asiatic art design, Blood is full of menacing, labyrinthine levels with oddly animated enemies and voxel objects just about everywhere. There's some very cool uses for explosions, moving sectors, and polyobjects all throughout; even more surprising, the music's the best I've yet heard from a Build engine game. Quake might have CD-quality textures that couldn't be matched, but Blood's MIDI music is more melodic and well-developed than I've heard from most other shooters, a quality that Monolith kept all the way through No One Lives Forever. I haven't listened to the CD soundtrack much, and I don't plan on it—honestly, the CD music sounds too much like it's trying to sink below the game itself, which Quake, Douk, and Shadow Warrior's soundtracks all suffer from doing. What a shame.

If you want a tough-as-nails, mostly fair classic FPS that doesn't compromise, then Blood is for you. I'm not kidding when I say that modern shooters trying to learn from older ones still haven't replicated the emotions of gaiety and joy this game's given me. You can buy One Unit Whole Blood (contains the original episodes + expansions) off of GOG for just $6, which is a steal given how many hours you'll be playing this. There's a fuckton of cool secrets (even Super Secrets, like the creepy one in Ghost Town), a fictional Cultist language full of cool lines (GERO SHAY CRUOOOOOOOOO!), and plenty of humor to offset the bleak story premise and general amorality of Caleb, the man with the gun. But before you play, remember: there's not yet a source port prepared for this game. Sad story, I know. Monolith founder Jason Hall's been trying hard to convince Atari that a source code release will print nothing but money, yet nothing's come of it (at least he still has the source code!). I'm not here to talk about how Warner Bros. owns the copyright while Atari has the IP, though, because that's boring stuff that doesn't detract from how awesome this game still is to play. At worst, many players will want to use BMOUSE, a script built to make the crappy Build engine mouselook better (something EDuke32 already does, lol).

The Blood wiki community's boring, but regular discussions for this game pop up on /vr/ quite regularly. Give it a shot! I know DocSeuss is interested. If you want a streamlined way to play the main game, its expansions, and the fan community's numerous mods and map packs, try using this launcher with a GOG copy of One Unit Whole Blood.
 

DocSeuss

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I remember reading back in the day how much Old Man Murray hated Blood. At the same time, I know plenty of people consider it a classic. I remember hearing that Devolver Digital was interested in obtaining it for a Shadow Warrior-type resurrection.

I think I own it on GoG? Gonna have to check it out soon.
 

finley83

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I love this game, it's got one of the best weapon sets in any shooter. It's also ridiculously difficult, with higher difficulties practically impossible finish. Such is the Build engine, I guess.

Anyway, for anyone picking this up on GOG I have to recommend this awesome custom launcher which includes almost every notable custom map and mod ever made, alongside a fix for the mouselook that actually makes the game playable.
 
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Anyway, for anyone picking this up on GOG I have to recommend this awesome custom launcher which includes almost every notable custom map and mod ever made, alongside a fix for the mouselook that actually makes the game playable.
Ooh! Goodie, I'll add this to the OP.

Yeah, Blood is a difficult game. I'm not going to recommend players new to older FPSes give this a whack on Hard, as it lives up to that description.
 

feraltennisprodigy

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I'd pay top dollar for a Build engine collection for the new consoles. Blood, Duke 3D, Shadow Warrior and maybe some of the more obscure games.
 

Space A Cobra

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One of my favorite FPS titles of all time. Basically a horror version of Duke Nukem 3D that was actually better than Duke(Better than Shadow Warrior too). They did some cool stuff with the build engine too and even modified it to allow actual room over room design.

It's a shame they flubbed it so hard with the sequel... Pretty much killed the ip. =/
 

ichtyander

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A bloody damn fantastic shooter, one of my favorites. Used to know a whole lot of the dark gift language (cruo stragara na!). Blood actually introduced me to The Evil Dead trilogy as it borrows a lot from the movies and you can hear a lot of Ash's catchphrases like "Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun." or "This is my boomstick!". It has a classic horror b-movie thing going on which is great.

The weapon arsenal is very imaginative, especially the explosives. You've got several different types of dynamite, regular, remote detonated or proximity based, you can throw them or drop them where you stand and there's an aerosol can you use with a lighter as a makeshift flamethrower with an alternate attack to throw the whole can as a molotov. Blowing up stuff in this game feels fantastic.

That, and you can kick the severed zombie heads around. Used to play a bit of multiplayer with this one over dialup, heaps of fun.

Never cared for the sequel much. I'd love to see a modern remake by Flying Wild Hog.
 

jim-jam bongs

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Blood is a masterpiece. In addition to the great gameplay, it's a horror movie fan's dream when it comes to references. Off the top of my head: Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, The Shining and Jaws all get a nod.
 

TnK

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When I read the title, I was expecting it to be a play on words about JoJo, with Dio demanding JoJo's blood.

Only thing I remember about blood is watching someone play it when I was a kid, and the pitchfork.
 

mnannola

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I played so many 1 v 1 multiplayer matches over dial up with a buddy back in the day. The voodoo doll was one of a kind for pissing that person off.

I doubt a new blood in the same style would sell that well in today's realistic modern warfare FPS environment, but hell if I wouldn't throw some money at a kickstarter for it.
 

bobawesome

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When I read the title, I was expecting it to be a play on words about JoJo, with Dio demanding JoJo's blood.

Only thing I remember about blood is watching someone play it when I was a kid, and the pitchfork.
I came here expecting something JoJo's Bizarre Adventure related as well.
 
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I just beat the original Quake (want my LTTP, guys?), and I gotta say, Quake somehow has better bosses than Blood. The first big bad you face, Cheogh, has a fairly repetitive attack pattern that forces circle-strafing for a tediously long period of time (given the weapons you have at the end of Episode 1). Then comes that spider I can't remember the name of, probably because its only attack is to generate more dumb spiders I can simply blow away...goes down quicker than the last guy. Cerberus at first seems really tough, but, as opposed to running around the main arena being shot at with missiles of fire, I just as easily glitched it into a corner and wasted all my explosives on the doggie. Tchernobog...IDK, he's got shit-loads of firepower, but he seemed so much more fragile than even the bosses I had to kill right before him. What a bummer...

Chton's kind of lame, but at least I got to exercise my jumping and strafing skills. The monster's got really good aim with his projectile attack, and getting hit means you're as good as dead. And though a bit anti-climactic, Shub-Niggurath's Pit oddly befits the Spider Mastermind of everything you face in Quake. It's as though the Death-Mother wasn't really expecting me to get this far, which explains the general lack of reinforcements and insta-kill traps ready for me. But killing her actually involved a puzzle, probably the most clever Romero came up with for his bosses. The Icon of Sin is as simple as activating a lift and firing through the hole, but figuring out exactly how to telefrag this one took a bit. When I beat the game, the mere sight of this plant-thing exploding, the Ranger's axe held high, the Shambler lying dead in my wake...it was pretty wizard. If anything, these two bosses were pretty decent, unlike the ones in Blood, and having three extra maps unhinged by the usual boss-stage formula meant better for the game as a whole.

I'm pretty sure Quake's as good as Blood in many ways. Sure, there aren't any alt-fires or clever quips, but it's just as challenging, is incredibly atmospheric (the whole of Episode 4 has to be Sandy's magnum opus), and has an ambient soundtrack that actually engages me.
 

Easy_D

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I forget who's holding this game's sourcecode hostage, but I do know that I dislike them.
Let's hope the good guys at Night Dive can save it somehow, they managed to secure the rights to No One Lives Forever and System Shock 2 after all. We need that fucking source port, it's a shame Dosbox can't run the game at full speeds at higher resolutions :(
 

finley83

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Devolver Digital tried to buy the rights a while back but said the asking price was ridiculous. It's not that the rights holders are unknown, it's that they don't seem to want to sell up.
 

Easy_D

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Devolver Digital tried to buy the rights a while back but said the asking price was ridiculous. It's not that the rights holders are unknown, it's that they don't seem to want to sell up.
I.E, are dicks.
 

Easy_D

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For what it's worth, Atari owns Blood, if GoG is anything to go by.
Can't the rights to the source code and the rights to license the actual game be held by different parties? It sucks so hard, it's the only Build engine game that's not had a source port. Way overdue :(
 
Sep 11, 2011
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Phew, the dust's settled...

One Unit Whole Blood's currently up for a half-off discount over at GOG for the summer sale. This means the original game + Cryptic Passages expansion + Plasma Pak for a dollar each, which is an incredible deal. There's no way Tchernobog Atari's gonna give this a larger hourly-sale discount, but feel free to wait; the summer sale ends on the 30th, we have half a month to worry.

There's also Shogo and Blood 2 for us Monolith fans to get half-off, assuming we're not just going to wait for a Blood source code release or the inevitable Night Dive edition of NOLF 1-2.
 

ElTopo

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I was tempted to start a Blood thread but I don't want to step on any toes.

For those interested, it's now on Steam.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/299030/

BUT it's still the original version running on Dosbox.

There have been so many petitions over the years for a source code release but all have been in vain. But I have been paying attention to the XLEngine which promises to have a Total Conversion of Blood with OpenGL support.

http://xlengine.com/
 
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I'm no fan of XL, and Jace's refusal to release the source code on the assumption that the fan community will butcher their source ports is silly too.

Anyone going to discuss Blood this time around?
 

Jazzkokehead

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This is one of the few old-school shooters I've never played, which I admittedly feel guilty about, but on the other hand, I hate the though of having to bend over backwards to get it running well on a modern system through DOSBox.
 

Night_Trekker

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Blood is the single best Build shooter, and it's one of the best FPSs of all time, maybe THE best.

Players today would just get angry that you can't/don't fine aim.
 

ElTopo

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This is one of the few old-school shooters I've never played, which I admittedly feel guilty about, but on the other hand, I hate the though of having to bend over backwards to get it running well on a modern system through DOSBox.
It rivals Duke 3D in a lot of ways. If you're into horror this game is a requirement to play. But if you just love shooters it's definitely worth checking out. For me it's my #1 or #2 favorite FPS of all time, I just cannot make up my mind as to which is better, Doom 2 or Blood. It's a very, very close.

I heard another programmer from Monolith has the Blood source code but will not release it until it's legally cleared. It's crazy that almost 20 years later we still don't have a source release.