Stay awhile and listen, hear my tale, the tale of some jerk who’s been LPing almost as long as LPing has been a thing despite having started as, essentially, a typical Youtube idiot. The tale of a game I played, I failed, I abandoned. A game I found again, I finished again, I will LP again.
Yes, that’s only going to make sense to like two people at most. Just roll with it.
Blood II: The Chosen is the 1998 sequel to the 1997 cult-classic Blood, a first-person shooter on Duke Nukem 3D’s Build engine. What Duke 3D was to general pop culture and action movies, Blood was to horror, particularly the Evil Dead trilogy. As typical for a Doom clone, its plot was simple - Caleb, one of the four “Chosen” among a cult known as the Cabal, was betrayed and cast out by the very dark god the Cabal worshipped, Tchernobog, only to reawaken sometime around 1928, at which point he cut a bloody swathe through every single person in the cult in a quest for revenge, ultimately reaching and then murdering the dark god himself.
Blood II was a step forward in the technology front, running on Monolith Production’s new in-house 3D game engine LithTech, the second game to release on the engine after Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, which came out about two months prior on September 30th; its demo released on October 31st, 1998, with the full release following on November 20th - just one day after the massive hit that was Half-Life. Its story is a bit more integrated into the gameplay, but is still rather simple: it’s now 2028, a century since the death of Tchernobog, and Caleb is now the possessor of his powers as the One That Binds. Unfortunately, Caleb either hasn’t realized this, or has but doesn’t give two shits, leading to reality as we know it slowly beginning to unbind itself and merge with another reality (referred to as “the Otherworld” in the manual and cutscenes in the expansion, otherwise imaginatively referred to in some sources as “Reality Beta”). Meanwhile, the Cabal has regrouped since the sound thrashing Caleb gave it, restructuring itself as a business that has its hands in everything from television and food production to weapons research and development, CabalCo. With almost unlimited funds to do what it wishes and power over everything it sets its sights on, the current CEO, Gideon, has but a single goal - kill Caleb and reclaim the power of the One That Binds.
I originally attempted this game back in early 2009, way back when the “old guard” were people that had only been doing it for about a year and a half and there were actual, viable video host options that were not Youtube; it wasn’t the first game I tried, but it was the one that more or less set in stone the way I would be doing LPs for a few years afterwards - subtitled commentary that was barely coherent with its constant arbitrary switches between being an in-character monologue and out-of-universe observations, with occasional random interludes by shit from Adult Swim, peppered with sadism and an inability to get more than halfway through a game before losing interest because it was too hard or hardware issues forced a hiatus as I called it to try to convince myself I would eventually come back and finish it, honest. I’ve long since moved on from that sort of thing (well, mostly… wait, 90% of what I’ve done since then has been Postal 2-related… I at least actually finished one or two LPs?), but for this LP I’m going to be at least glancing in the general direction of the old basics. I’m not going back to subtitled commentary, but I am going to try to be a little quieter than usual during actual gameplay because Caleb is the sort of mid-90s protagonist that was as fun to listen to as he was to play as. I’ve also got access to quite a bit of material regarding the development and cut content for the game thanks to the Blood Wiki, so I’m going to be digging into as much of that as I can bear - seems an appropriate way to handle a game celebrating its 20th anniversary. As such, guests are highly unlikely, except maybe for a bonus video showing off the other Chosen, since you can play as all four in singleplayer as well as the long-defunct multiplayer, and they all have aspects that let them play a little differently to make up for the lack of cutscenes when you’re not playing as Caleb. As well, one difference from my first attempt at this game is that videos are going to consist of just one level, regardless of the level’s length, so expect to see some videos going up two or three at a time because a decent amount of them won’t last five minutes even with everything I’m adding to pad them out. Depending on how fast I’m able to put videos together I’m going to shoot for two updates a week, Tuesdays primarily (since that’s when the game’s 20th anniversary falls) and trying to get more out on Fridays (since that’s when November 20th fell in 1998, and it lines up with my usual tendency to update on Friday afternoons anyway).
With all that, let us allow the festival of blood to begin…