Sunday, December 29, 2013

You Can't Do That On A Video Game Anymore

I've been playing a bit with Bloodhunt story these days and I've come to a sort of dilemma. My worry is about subtlety and theme. I have a first sketch of a side quest involving Prince Lacroix, Jeanette/Therese and a new character called "Leather-face" Nantes. The quest digs into Jeanette/Therese morality. In fact, it digs pretty deep into her split personality and some of the traumas that she inflicted to herself (and others). The story portrays some adult themes like drug dealing, blackmail, torture and murder. Of course, I assume Bloodhunt audience will be mature enough to play an adult video game (I mean adult in terms of story, not as adult in pornography). However, I'm portraying one of the most beloved characters in video game history. Even though I feel that Jeanette/Therese deserves this kind of character depth and layering, maybe the dirty theme overshadows the subtlety of the story.
So I thought you could be the judge and jury in this particular dilemma. Here's a brief summary of the quest. All suggestions and critique will be extremely appreciated.
We all know Jeanette and Therese. They are the two split personalities of the Malkavian owner of the Asylum club in Santa Monica. However, the Asylum hasn’t been always property of Jeanette/Therese. In the time of Bloodhunt (some years before Bloodlines) it was owned by a female Nosferatu called “Leather-face” Nantes. She is a clever entrepreneur running all business of the Asylum in the solitude of her office. She wears a mask made of human flesh (presumably from her former human lovers) to hide her horrendous face (even though she conserves the beautiful body of a professional ballet dancer). 
Prince Lacroix has asked you to investigate the Asylum in order to find a drug dealer who is selling vampire blood vials to mortals. Your first place to start investigating is Nantes office, but she is too upset dealing with the death threats of Jeanette and the political embargo that Therese has imposed to the Asylum. Nantes asks you to get rid of them both so she can help you out in your investigation. Of course, the matter should be addressed as clean as possible (the last thing that the Asylum needs is a public massacre).

Another front in your investigation is interrogating the Asylum clubbers until you find who sells the blood vials. The drug dealer is being paid by Jeanette, who is trying to teach Nantes a lesson for having a romantic affair with her sire. Jeanette has kidnapped and tortured her own sire, extracting his Malkavian blood in order to sell a psychotropic drug cocktail to the mortals of the Asylum. You can help Jeannette spread the blood vials between the clubbers of the Asylum. Also, you can find a depressed photographer of the Santa Monica newspaper in the bar of the Asylum. If you manage to convince him to sober up and get back to work, he will cover the blood vial junkies. The photographer gets the exclusive of his entire life. The Santa Monica newspaper prints the whole supernatural event, which automatically means the failure of your quest for Lacroix.

On the other hand, Therese knows nothing about the kidnapping and she is desperately searching for her sire, blaming Nantes for his sudden disappearance. Therese hired some private investigators that Jeanette killed before they found anything useful. Therese asks you to help her in the search for her sire. The corpses of the investigators can still be found near the sire hiding place, in the lower levels beneath the Asylum. After infinite tortures and suffering, the sire has turned into a crippled monster unable to communicate. You can kill him to give rest to his poor soul (+1 humanity point). This ends the blood vial issue. When you report back to Therese, you can point to Nantes as the kidnapper (even though there's no evidence of her implication). Therese will ask you to eliminate Nantes. If you kill Nantes, Therese will become the new owner of the Asylum.

Also, you can report to Therese that the evidences point to Jeanette. Confronting Jeanette and Therese in her own contradictions leads to a phsycological breakdown between the two personalities that will get rid of them both for a long time. Nantes continues as owner of the Asylum.
As you can see, the story allows you to help many sides in this conflict. The provisional title of Lacroix side quest is "Dealing with the Dealer". The side quest for Jeanette is titled "Blood Money". The Therese side quest is named "Sins of the Fathers". And Nantes quest is titled "Killing Two Birds".

2 comments:

  1. i really like this idea :) portraying jeanette and therese as completely different people with different agendas and knowledges, i feel really does flesh out the character,
    i also like how you've taken the iniative to add new characters and back stories for iconic vtmb things and people like the asylum and jeanette/therese. keep up the good work, cant wait to play this game! :)

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  2. Thanks a lot for your feedback, Falvillo. I'm really glad both new and old characters are fitting in :D

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