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Where To Begin
Its assumed here that you've been playing Vampire The Masqerade: Bloodlines and are not achieving the full potential of your vampire heritage. Or maybe you're just one of those gamers who want all the tips and cheats up front. Either way, we won't be going into the review or basic storyline of Vampire Masquerade here. That information can be found in another series.
In this article, we'll identify some groundbreaking tips that are absolutely essential if you want to succeed as a vampire. There will be information here that may spoil some of the "discovery" of the game, so keep that in mind as you proceed. We'll also be identifying some cheat codes that can be used in the event that you want to experience absolutely everything the game has to offer. It should be stressed however, that these are spoilers and really shouldn't be used until you have finished the game at least once. This game, after all, is an experience that should be felt as the developers intended - through the storyline without interruption or intervention. Then you can go back through with the codes and wreak vampire havoc and feel the power of immortality.
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Blood Is The Key
Now that you've joined the ranks of the undead, you need to understand the rules. For you, blood is the key to your survival. But its more than just the stuff of Hollywood movies. In this game, blood gives you power and helps you maintain respectability. By keeping your blood points high, you stay away from the bestial nature of the vampire - which is good, since if you run out of blood, you become a raving lunatic that the cops shoot on sight. All of your Disciplines or vampiric powers are fueled by blood. Its obviously important therefore, to find a steady supply without your true nature becoming public information. So where do you find a torrent of blood to stem the tide?
Well, for starters there are lonely people in bars that need your attention. No matter if you are playing a male or female vampire, you can become the epitome of seduction through careful placement of your talent points. Then when your skill is high enough, you will see one or two humans in each section of town (in the bars) that will be more than willing to become available at your request. Every time you go back to the same bar, they are there waiting to expose their necks for your pleasure. The caveat is that you don't ever want to drain them completely or they'll be permanently dead and your source will be gone. The good part is that since they become willing victims, no alarms are raised when you partake of their vital fluids.
But you can't just rely on these individuals. Thankfully there are other sources. In the basement of the hospital, there is a ghoulish human who enjoys selling blood to vampires - and yes, he does know you are one. Here you can purchase bags of the good stuff from the local blood bank. Kinda handy, huh?
There is also a young woman (or man, if you're playing a female vampire) who is sick in one of the hospital rooms. If your conversational skills are high enough, you'll get the opportunity to feed her some of your own essence. A while later, she'll show up and become your own personal ghoul. Yes, you get a permanent servant who will dress in various styles of attire for your pleasure and provide you a constant supply of blood. She will even bring in unsuspecting victims for you to take advantage of. Just don't drain her completely, or you lose your prize. Keep your eyes open, because there are plenty of cattle....ahem, humans to satisfy your needs. Oh, and if you are playing a Nosferatu, you may need to subsist on rats. But don't try this if you are one of the other clans, because it is considered vile, even by vampire standards.
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Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting
You've got your steady supply of blood worked out, but what do you do when challenged by enemies? You'll find that fighting in this game can be quite entertaining. Unlike the usual point-and-click attacks of some games, there actually are some differences in how you attack. There are a multitude of weapons, and each one has its benefits and drawbacks. You don't usually want to pull out a weapon and start swinging it around in public. But what you can do is find an empty apartment and practice. With guns, its obvious what the result is, so no sense in wasting the bullets. But you also get some interesting melee weapons, and you should get to know them well. The fireman's axe in particular, is a incredibly devastating weapon. In a hand-to-hand fight, this one can end it quickly. It works exceptionally well against other vampires.
One thing to note is that when you move your character in different directions while attacking, different things happen. For example, when you move sideways while striking with the axe, you get a different attack than when you just stand there and swing away. This is a great way to be a moving target as well as hit your enemy in unique ways. The AI of the game does pay attention, so if you keep attacking the same way, the enemy will be harder to kill. Make your combat unexpected by not doing the same thing over and over.
The next question is which weapon should you use in which scenario? To understand this, you need to understand how combat works in this game. Armor - in this game, clothing - provides defense or soak value. When an attack needs to get through armor, it has to get through the soak value. The better your armor is obviously, the higher your soak value. Vampires and other supernatural creatures can soak Lethal damage types as well, such as bullets. For that matter, bullets are considered Lethal damage to humans but only Bashing damage to vampires. And vampires reduce all Bashing damage by 50% after soak as well. Aggravated damage can only be soaked by Fortitude, so you may want to get that particular attribute higher for your own protection.
You have to check out a weapon's stats to judge whether its good in a certain scenario. As you can see from above, vampires and other supernaturals will be your toughest foes. But humans can still take you down if you don't watch out. You want to pay attention to the Lethality value, the Damage Type, and the Speed of each weapon. Bladed weapons usually do better against vampires than bullets do, and fire is by far the best. Blocking can be an effective tool in this game, but not being there when the attack happens is the best option. Yes, dodging actually works and can be very useful. There are also weapons that do Knockback too, so utilize those when the time feels right.
Lastly, there are certain Disciplines that can help out with your combat effectiveness. Some can make you completely invisible, allowing you to sneak up on your foe. Others give you more Strength or Dexterity, while still others enhance your defenses. Your Disciplines depend upon what clan you are a part of, so you'll want to choose wisely which clan to join at the beginning. This does not mean however that you have unlimited power to bend the world to your will. Disciplines all have a cost in blood points, so be selective in their use. It does no good to have the highest level in a Discipline if you don't have the blood points to utilize it.
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Not every encounter needs to be combative in nature. It behooves you to develop your conversational skills, because often enough you can learn more through seduction, intimidation, and influence. Conversational options become more available as your skill in these areas goes up. There is an aspect to the game that deals with moral choices as well, so you want to have as many options available to you as possible. This means you need to spend points in Seduction and Intimidation so that you can careful draw the answer out of your potential enemy rather than beat them to death in futility and anger. Careful thought and skill selection can really aid you at an opportune moment - more so than other RPG games you might have played in the past.
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Gimme The Codes
Now you've played through the entire game, explored all the complexities it has to offer, and you still hunger for more. Well thankfully, the developers have thrown in some Vampire Masquerade cheat codes that will allow you to literally become a god in the gameworld. Do not journey further unless you are really ready for some spoilers. The following codes will allow you to do just about anything in the game. To enable the cheats, you need to add a command line parameter to the game's starting executable, so that it is something like this - "C:\Vampire\Vampire.exe -console". Within the game, you can then press the tilde (~) key to type any of the following commands:
- giftxp # - Give yourself x amount of xp points
- impulse 101 - Give yourself all ammo, weapons and clothing types
- god - Turn on the God Mode (or use it again to turn it off)
- noclip - Turn on or off no clipping, which allows you to walk through everything
- give item_w_xxx - Give yourself a particular weapon
- give item_a_xxx - Give yourself a particular ammunition
- notarget - Change whether you are visible or invisible to enemies
- vstats get disciplinename 5 - maxes out the specified discipline, i.e. Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, etc
- cmdlist - get a list of all the available commands in the console
- Blood 500 - Grant yourself an infinite amount of blood points (you can adjust this number lower if you just want a small change)
- vstats get attribute 5 - maxes out the specified attribute, i.e. Dexterity, Strength, or Intelligence
- give item_g_bloodpack - Instant bloodpacks in your inventory
- give item_g_bluebloodpack - Instant blue bloodpacks in your inventory
- give item_g_eldervitaepack - Instant Elder Vitae bloodpacks in your inventory
- vstats get automatic_soak_successes 10 - This permanently increases each soak ability by 10
- vstats get automatic_str_successes 10 - This permanently increases your melee and unarmed abilities by 10
- money x - Instant breast augmentation size for the females, x being just how big or small
- give item_m_ - Give yourself more money
- quit - Leave the game and go to the desktop
- vchar_edit_histories 1 - Give your character a history during their creation
- give item_w_ - Give yourself a particular item from the list
There are other codes, which will show up when using the give or vchar commands within the console. The interface is very user-friendly, and using the console will definitely allow you to experience everything the game has to offer.
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Hopefully at this point you have played the game through its entirety and have had a lot of fun. This guide should have helped you catch up on anything you may have missed or give you a reason to go back through it again. Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines is a great game, and there's no reason to miss out on all its hidden secrets. By the end, you should be able to say you have finally explored your inner vampire.