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Let us settle this once and for all. Who shall live and who shall die.

Flyer

Vampire Night (ヴァンパイアナイト Vanpaia Naito?) is a horror-themed rail shooting game developed by Sega WOW Entertainment (formerly Sega AM1) and published by Namco in 2000. Originally released to arcades, it was ported to the Playstation 2 in December 2001.

Set in an alternate universe, centuries after a conflict between humans and vampires, the game follows vampire hunters Michel and Albert as they battle the forces of Count Auguste.

Jointly developed by Sega, WOW Entertainment, and Namco, Vampire Night draws heavy influence from The House of the Dead; many of the same gameplay mechanics (such as branching paths and civilians) are present.

Plot

Setting

Vampire Night takes place in an alternate version of France in 2006, when progress looks stuck in the late 19th century. The first two chapters take place in French villages, while the remaining four take place in the castle of Count Auguste.

Each level has an elemental motif: snow, stone, fire, darkness, water, and moon.

Characters

The main antagonist is Count Auguste, the leader of the vampires, who tires of immortality and creates vampire hunters Michel and Albert -- the protagonists -- to end his life. Auguste soon fears death, stripping the hunters of their powers and sending his loyal followers to kill them.

The members of Auguste's court include Bathe'lemy, a knight who is curious about death; Guillaume, a former scientist who conducted cruel human experiments; Raoul, a fencer who seeks avenging his love interest by killing humans; and Diane, a mermaid who became a vampire after falling in love with Auguste.

Accompanying Michel and Albert on their journey is Caroline, a young girl whose village was ravaged by vampires.

Synopsis

300 years ago in a battle against the Vampire Hunters, Auguste desired to end his life. When he began to fear death, however, the Vampire Hunters lost their strength since Michel and Albert were merely shadows created by Auguste to kill himself. Now, 300 years later, Auguste wished to end the battle once and for all...

The Past II

300 years after a battle between humans and vampires, Count Auguste tires of immortality and wishes to end his own life. He creates vampire hunters Michel and Albert to achieve this, but grows fearful of death and enlists his followers to stop them.

In 2006, Michel and Albert travel through France to Auguste's castle. They rescue a young girl, Caroline, from villagers under the influence of the vampiric parasite Sarcoma. A knight serving under Auguste named Bathe'lemy duels the hunters in the city square, but is defeated.

In the castle, Caroline is kidnapped by the mad scientist Guillaume, who battles the hunters on a rooftop; upon defeat, he refuses to be killed by humans and commits suicide. Later, fencer Raoul challenges the hunters, seeking revenge on humanity after the death of his lover Sophie. Raoul sacrifices his soul to become a vampire, but upon defeat becomes human again; Michel urges him to "live life as a human" and to "fight [his] soul once again".

Auguste's lover, the mermaid Diane, insists that she stop the hunters. Caroline begs that a compromise be reached between humans and vampires, which Diane rejects. Diane transforms into a vampire, but is ultimately defeated; before dying, she considers Caroline's idea as a possibility.

Michel and Albert confront Auguste, who transforms into his vampire form to do battle. Although Auguste is killed, the hunters -- their mission completed -- let the rising sun end their own lives as well.

Six months later, Caroline pays her respects the vampire hunters' graves, stating that "[her] heart shall remember all.... That day, that moment, and what happened". The game ends as her summer hat gets carried away by the wind.

Gameplay

Vampire Night recycles numerous gameplay mechanics from the House of the Dead games. Players shoot approaching enemies with a light gun and reload by shooting outside the screen. The guns can shoot up to 8 bullets before reloading. Damage from enemies removes a life; losing them all results in a game over. Bonus lives are awarded by rescuing villagers, finding life-up icons in destructable objects, or earning a good ranking at the end of a level. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 also have branching paths, where the player's actions alter the route through the levels.

Villagers behave similarly to the civilians from the House of the Dead series in that they often award bonus lives, but are under the influence of the Sarcoma parasite. The player must shoot the Sarcoma in order to rescue them; failure results in the villager becoming a vampire enemy but there is no life penalty.

Enemy health is measured by health bars that appear over their bodies. Every enemy has a weak point that must be shot to kill them quicker. Bosses have health bars as well as a "cancel" meter, which must be depleted quickly in order to stop attacks.

Chapters

Development

Inception and concept

Yoshinori Tomoyasu, the planner of Sega WOW Entertainment, wanted to develop a game on Namco's PlayStation 2-based System 246 arcade hardware.[1] Former Sega AM1 head Rikiya Nakagawa introduced him to Namco president Masaya Nakamura.[1] Ultimately, both companies collaborated: Sega would produce a game on the System 246 hardware, with Namco helping manufacture and distribute it.[2] In addition, Sega adopted Namco's practice of porting System 246 arcade titles to the PlayStation 2.[3]

Tomoyasu served as the director and planner of Vampire Night.[1] Takashi Oda, the director of the main House of the Dead series, was also involved in development.[4] The game was inspired by the 1999 science fiction film The Matrix.[1] Although the vampire hunters were given more character than protagonists in the House of the Dead games, more focus was placed on boss design.[1]

Gameplay

Tomoyasu brought back the civilian mechanic from The House of the Dead and The House of the Dead 2, but modified it so that players must "[snipe]" small parasites from their bodies; failure to do so results in the civilian turning into a vampire enemy. To balance the difficulty, Tomoyasu removed the life penalty for accidentally shooting a civilian.[1]

Unlike the first two House of the Dead games, the player's guns have 8 bullets instead of 6; this was another attempt to balance the difficulty, as Tomoyasu has described Vampire Night as "[requiring] rapid fire".[1]

The "attack gauge" mechanic initially did not exist in development, but Tomoyasu created it because he thought The House of the Dead 2's bosses were quite difficult. He envisioned that the attack gauge would help players see how close they were to successfully stopping a boss phase.[1] Since the release of Vampire Night, Tomoyasu's concept has been used in further House of the Dead games, beginning with The House of the Dead III in 2002.

Gallery

Arcade flyers

Game covers

Game discs

Magazine articles

Promotional advertising

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Game Watch - "Vampire Night" Developer Interview
  2. https://www.ign.com/articles/2001/02/15/one-tiny-new-detail-on-vampire-night
  3. https://www.ign.com/articles/2001/02/14/namco-and-sega-join-hands-on-arcades
  4. The Website of the Dead's Exclusive Interview with Takashi Oda

External Links

veVN logocontent
Protagonists
MichelAlbertCarolineGaston
Antagonists/Bosses
Bathe'lemyGuillaumeRaoulDianeAuguste
Enemies
HemavoraGeomigeVelocipherGriffaerFercisMorletDumurIgnisVotrocheCirvergCermittNeriphorPetrovuhMorcielMalglaceSarcoma
Chapters
Scarlet Snow PreludeSword Dance SonataBurning RhapsodyPhantasma ConcertoVinculum NocturneMoonlight Symphony
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