Video gaming is a great platform with which to bring fantasy and mythology to life and the depiction of vampires is always a juicy topic. Enter the latest creature of the night: Jonathan Reid
1918 London is the stage for which this dark tale will unfold. The populous is crippled by the Spanish flu epidemic and it’s affecting more than the average joe. The disease has given rise to a new monstrosity in the form of the Skals, mutated vampires overcome by rage, violence and more than ravenous hunger. The Guard of Priwen is charged with roaming the streets and protecting people when and where they can from all manner of monsters, but it’s a sad state of affairs. As a Doctor, and a true vampire yourself, Jonathan Reid must uncover the source of this contagion and formulate a cure. Anyone who played “Life is Strange” will recognise developer DONTKNODs’ style as there are different methods to approach any given situation.
Every action has a consequence. Drink too much healthy blood will unlock and improve your awesome vampire abilities but will weaken the health of London society and earn you more enemies. If you must murder someone for XP, remember that everyone has a backstory and you must bear the burden of their final thoughts. While maintaining a good reputation, staying on the right side of the guard and repressing your own bloodlust, navigating your way through various social circles of humans, vampires and hunters is an important diplomatic tactic. Or you can just have fun with it, bite everyone in sight and rip your enemies to shreds with your nocturnal powers. What kind of Vampire will you be? Will you bath the streets in blood or play the pacifist and preserve human life?
When Vampyr was first announced at E3 it looked like a great game from the get go that we can all sink our teeth into. Yet Doctor Reid isn’t the first vampire on the game scene to add to the blood hungry mythos. They have been others a little less tame, much more gory and some not quite as attractive.
Bloody Mary from Infamous: Festival of Blood
Cole McGrath is a super hero, or villain depending on who’s holding the controller. Yet even at his best/worst he wasn’t prepared for his encounter with Bloody Mary and her brood in the stand alone expansion “Festival of Blood.” New Marais celebrates Pyre Night every year to commemorate the victory of Father Ignatius over the evil of Bloody Mary and her burning at the stake, destroying her forever. Or so they thought. In life Mary was a Governess who was struck down in her prime by the small pox. Near death, a handsome vampire named Marco was besmirched by Marys’ beauty and saved her with the dark gift. It was love at first bite and they happily drank their way across Europe. Until Father Ignatius staked Marco through the heart.
Outraged and thirsting for revenge, she chases the good priest across the globe, increasing her flock as she goes. With the aid of a custom made cross, Father Ignatius rallied the townsfolk of New Marais, ambushed the fiery redhead and burned her at the stake. Vampires aren’t that easy to get rid of. When Mary’s followers get there hands on Coles’ super charged electrolytes, its just the juice she needs to resurrect more powerful than ever. Unless Cole can defeat her before Dawn, she will have her revenge on the city, with a new super powered thrall in her envoy.
Lord Harkon from Skyrim: Dawnguard
One of the foundations of vampire mythology is that vampires hate the Sun. This is because the intense ultra-violet radiation of the suns rays will incinerate them to dust. Or perhaps becoming a vampire automatically makes you goth and having a healthy skin tone is just too conformist. Either way Lord Harkon of Skyrim however, has spent centuries devising a solution to the problem and has discovered how to be rid of daylight forever. He is one of the first vampires to ever walk the land of Tamriel, and is partly responsible for their existence. As a man he was a powerful king of untold wealth and stature, nothing could bring him down. Except perhaps the ageing process.
That was one battle he couldn’t win without some Daedric assistance. So he sacrificed 1000 innocents in the name of Molag Bal and was rewarded with vampiric unlife eternal for himself and his family. Even Death couldn’t touch him. Yet he still had one weakness: the infernal Sun. Now, with an elder scroll in his possession, he can begin his quest for Auriels’ Bow, the only thing that can blot out the “Eye of the dragon.” So single-minded in his objective to absolve himself of all weakness, he excludes all else. Even his wife and daughter have become mere pawns in his obsession and can be cast aside without a second thought. In his mission for true immortality, nothing is too extreme.
Christof from Vampire Redemption Masquerade
A crusader, a man of God, a soldier in Heavens cause, sworn to smite the forces of darkness wherever they dwell. To heal from injuries sustained in battle, he recovers quickly under the gentle ministrations of Sister Anezka. A love as strong as the foundations of the Earth formed quickly, yet their oaths and obligations to the Lord above would keep these two wayward souls forever apart. When it comes to battling the minions of Hell Chrisof is more than capable and gains the attention of the various vampire clans. Against his will he is ripped from his life in the light, his soul cursed into eternal damnation to prowl the night, stealing life giving blood from the very people he is honour bound to protect.
To add insult to irony, Anezka is kidnapped by the Tzimisce, a clan of evil vampires that treat humans as slaves and blood banks. The Heart break was hard enough when he was alive. Loving from afar is hard to do when you know the one you desire is being tormented and possible fed from. A tale of tragedy and woe was never more tempered with righteous retribution, littered with words such as “thee” and “verily.” His faith in the Lord God was stout and true yet his devotion to his beloved will eclipse all faith. Though he has killed man and monster alike, he’s generally a nice guy for a vampire. Just don’t get between him and Anezka and you should be fine.
Kain from the Legacy of Kain series
The story of the vampire Kain and his rise to power has many twists and turns and surprises in between. In order to restore balance to the pillars of Nosgoth, Kain was tasked with hunting down and killing the guardians of the pillars, cleansing them of their corruption. Yet when Kain is called upon to sacrifice himself at the last second he didn’t exactly view this as a fair reward for his efforts and leaves the pillars to crumble into ruins becoming the seat of his new empire, from where he over rules the next 1000 years of darkness. Kill myself, rule the world as an immortal. Hmm, Decisions Decisions.
He goes mad with power, as you do, and will suffer no one being better than him, even his closest lieutenants. After dooming Nosgoth, conquering it and enduring the slow decay of the planet he decides it’s time to defy destiny and attempt as he puts it “a second throw of the dice.” With the wisdom of centuries and near infinite vampiric power, he travels back across the ages in an all or nothing attempt to rewrite his immutable history and reclaim the destiny cheated away from him, as the Scion of Balance. A master manipulator, hungry for revenge with a million reasons to hate humanity, can he truly be trusted to save it?
Spike from Buffy: Chaos Bleeds
Spike. AKA William the Bloody. Though only a mere century old, he has made quite a reputation for himself. Buffy: Chaos Bleeds is set perpendicular to season 5. Sporting his trademark long leather jacket and bleach blonde slicked back hair, he’s along for the ride as the Scooby gang work to reassemble the saviour Cassandra in a bid to foil the rise of the First Evil. Though technically evil the chip in his head, curtesy of secret government experimentation, effectively has him neutered, making him incapable of harming a human life. Demons however are an entirely different matter.
Spike loves violence, a lot, and if he wants to get his rocks of he is willing to risk a little hell wrath. To do his share to banish the first evil back to its home dimension, Spike must infiltrate the Initiative, the facility of his mutilation, and locate the leg of Cassandra and as a bonus put the smackdown on parallel zombified zombie versions of his captures. Though not imbued with supernatural teleportation or hypnosis, Spike finds that a flamethrower works just a well.
Eric Bane from Dark
Erik Bane is a new vampire for a contemporary age, providing a fresh perspective on on becoming a child of the night. Well, almost a child of the night. He is a freshly sired vampire and having his blood drained has left him with amnesia. Yet the change is not complete. He’s been infected by the bite but hasn’t fed from whoever bit him. If he wants to live eternal, he must track down the one blessed him with the dark embrace and taste of their blood. Otherwise he is cursed into mutating into a monstrous, mindless ghoul.
Being recently bitten he has yet to acquire all the mind control and invulnerability that develop over the centuries. Luckily for him, most raving nightclubs are a safe house for any vampire. Lacking the power of his elders, the shadows are Eriks’ best friend in his mission to meet his maker. If he can wrangle a few pints of blood from unsuspecting mortals he just may turn a few tables. Though he focuses mainly on stealth to achieve his objectives I still wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley.
Dracula from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
When discussing vampires, how can we forget about the original Prince of Darkness; Dracula. It is his story after all that gave birth to the inspiration behind which many modern vampires are based on. There are many reasons he is also the most famous and many of them relate to his cunning, his superiority, unsurpassable might and the terror he inspires. Castlevania successfully encapsulated all this and more. In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Dracula awakens after a long slumber to be greeted by his old frenemy, Zobek. In his hayday, Dracula was a living nightmare who could lay waste to an army single handed, command the forces of the hell and occasionally turn into a dragon.
No more. With Draculas powers dwindling, Satan plans to seize to oppurtunity to rise again, assault Heaven, enslave mankind and have his vengeance on both Zobek and Dracula for causing his downfall 1000 years prior. It’s a long story, a great story layered with love, loss, betrayal, but a very long one. Not many would even conceive of facing the fallen angel but if there’s anyone who can send Satan back to Hell my money is on Dracula. Dracula and Zobek are voiced by Robert Carlisle and Patrick Stewart which makes this game even more awesome.
Vampires have many awesome powers but which are your favourites? What more do you expect from Vampyr Doctor Jonathon Reid? Do you know of any other video game vampires that lurk in the shadows? Please free to subscribe and comment on YouTube.
Written by Richie Crossman