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

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

Set in 2006, the game follows vampire hunters Michel and Albert as they journey to settle a 300-year conflict with Auguste, their creator and the leader of a vampiric army that has terrorized a French village.

WOW Entertainment, the developer of the House of the Dead series, collaborated with Sega and Namco on Vampire Night. They wanted to distinguish the game with a "cool" aesthetic, fast enemies, altered boss encounters, and other changes to the House of the Dead formula.

Vampire Night received mixed reviews upon release, with many critics noting its similarities to The House of the Dead 2.[1] Several of Vampire Night's gameplay mechanics would be used in The House of the Dead III and later House of the Dead sequels.

Plot

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 ago, the vampiric leader Auguste tired of immortality and created vampire hunters Michel and Albert to end his own life. However, fearing death, he stripped the hunters of their powers and enlisted his followers – Bathe'lemy, a knight; Guillaume, a mad scientist; Rauoul, a misanthropic fencer; and Diane, a mermaid and Auguste's lover – to stop them.

In 2006, Michel and Albert track Auguste's location to a castle located near a 19th century-era French village. Along the way, they rescue a young girl named Caroline from villagers who are under the influence of the vampiric Sarcoma. Bathe'lemy duels the hunters in the village square, but is defeated.

In the castle, Guillaume kidnaps Caroline and is pursued by the hunters to the rooftops. After a fight, he commits suicide out of refusal to be defeated by humans. Rauoul, seeking to avenge his lover Sophie's death, sacrifices his soul to become a vampire and fight the hunters. Upon defeat, he transforms back into a human; Michel urges Rauoul to "fight [his] soul once again". Diane attempts to waylay the hunters, rejecting Caroline's pleas for humans and vampires to compromise, but is also defeated; before dying, she reconsiders Caroline's idea and bids Auguste farewell.

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 the wind carries her summer hat away.

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 potentially awarded by rescuing villagers, finding life-up icons in destroyable 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

Bosses

Development

Arcade version

Inception and concept

Vampire Night director and planner Yoshinori Tomoyasu.

Yoshinori Tomoyasu, the planner of Sega WOW Entertainment, sought developing a game on Namco's PlayStation 2-based System 246 arcade hardware. He was then introduced to Namco president Masaya Nakamura by former Sega AM1 head Rikiya Nakagawa.[2] Ultimately, both companies collaborated: Sega would produce a game on the System 246 hardware, with Namco helping manufacture and distribute it.[3] In addition, Sega adopted Namco's practice of porting System 246 arcade titles to the PlayStation 2.[4]

Tomoyasu served as the director and planner of Vampire Night.[2] Takashi Oda, the director of the main House of the Dead series, was also involved in development.[5] The game was inspired by the 1999 science fiction film The Matrix. Although the vampire hunters were given more character than protagonists in the House of the Dead games, more focus was placed on the boss design.[2]

Gameplay

Concept art of a vampire enemy.

Tomoyasu altered The House of the Dead and The House of the Dead 2's civilian mechanic so that players must "[snipe]" small parasites from their bodies; shooting the civilian instead transforms them into a vampire enemy. To balance Vampire Night's difficulty, Tomoyasu removed life penalties from shooting civilians and increased the player's bullet count from 6 to 8.[2]

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 challenging. He envisioned that the attack gauge would help players see how close they were to successfully stopping a boss attack phase.[2] 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.

PlayStation 2 port

Tomoyasu and another director oversaw the development of Vampire Night's PlayStation 2 port. Due to the team's unfamiliarity with the System 246 hardware, the port required lots of "trial and error". There were ideas to add more enemies, levels, and branching paths in the port's Special Mode, but they could not be realized within the time allotted to port the game.[2]

Release

A PlayStation 2 port of the game with additional game modes was released in Japan on December 6, 2006.[6]

Trivia

  • During the stage 1 boss fight in the 2003 Namco rail shooter Time Crisis 3, there is a billboard that features Vampire Night and other Namco game titles. Like Vampire Night, Time Crisis 3 was a System 246 arcade release.[7]
  • Each level has an elemental/primal motif: air, earth, fire, darkness, water, and moon.

Gallery

Arcade flyers

Game covers

Game discs

Magazine articles

Promotional advertising

References

  1. "Vampire Night for PlayStation 2 (2001) MobyRank" (English). MobyGames. Retrieved on August 5, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Kawamoto, Masumi (December 28, 2001). "特別インタビュー" (Japanese). GAME Watch. Archived from the original on April 22, 2020. Retrieved on May 21, 2020.
  3. IGN Staff (February 15, 2001). "One Tiny New Detail on Vampire Night" (English). IGN. Archived from the original on April 22, 2020. “Sega will be developing the Vampire Night game using Namco's PS2-based System 246 arcade hardware. Namco, in addition to supplying the base hardware, will manufacture the game and distribute it to arcades. All this is part of an arcade partnership deal between the two companies that was announced last year.”
  4. IGN Staff (February 13, 2001). "Namco and Sega Join Hands on Arcades" (English). IGN. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013. “In the future, Sega plans to further adopt Namco's program, in which games that are developed on Namco's proprietary System 246 -- which is compatible with PlayStation 2 -- will then most likely be ported to PS2 sometime in the future. Using this system [requires] less programming in required for porting, and therefore costs less for both developer and publisher... Sega plans to bolster its profitable arcade game operations and increase supply of software for PlayStation 2.”
  5. Kori (September 7, 2012). "Website of the Dead’s Exclusive Interview with Takashi Oda" (English). The Website of the Dead. Archived from the original on April 19, 2020. “Other than The House of the Dead, I have worked on mostly arcade shooters like “Vampire Night” and “Rambo”.”
  6. Yukiyoshi Ike Sato (May 17, 2006). "Vampire Night release date set" (English). GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 22, 2020. “On Monday, Namco revealed that it will release Vampire Night for the PS2 on December 6 in Japan. The game will have new features such as a training mode and a new mode, that includes its own set of side quests and the ability to customize character parameters with items.”
  7. "Namco System 246 Hardware (Namco)". System 16 - The Arcade Museum. Retrieved on July 29, 2020.

External links

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Protagonists
MichelAlbertCarolineGaston
Antagonists/Bosses
Bathe'lemyGuillaumeRauoulDianeAuguste
Vampires
HemavoraGeomigeVelocipherGriffaerFercisMorletDumurIgnisVotrocheCirvergCermittNeriphorPetrovuhMorcielMalglaceSarcoma
Chapters
Scarlet Snow PreludeSword Dance SonataBurning RhapsodyPhantasma ConcertoVinculum NocturneMoonlight Symphony
Other pages
Lore (CastleVillageHandgunHunter's Files )
Vampire Night Perfect GuideSpecial Mode (Mission FilesTraining ModeShop )
veThe House of the Dead games
Main series The House of the Dead (Remake)2 (Remake)III4 (Special)Scarlet Dawn
Spin-offs Zombie RevengeThe Typing of the Dead (2Overkill)The Pinball of the DeadEnglish of the DeadEX slot machineThe House of the Dead: Overkill (Extended Cut)Loving DeadsDarts of the DeadScarlet Dawn (Battle GenesisTHE ATTRACTION)Reels
Prototypes The House of the Dead (arcade prototypeSega Saturn prototype)2 (Original Sin prototype)Scarlet Dawn (location test builds)
Compilations 2 & 3 Return
Mobile games MobileNightmareZombie Utsu: Flick of the DeadOverkill: The Lost Reels
Non-HOD games Vampire NightSega Golden GunSonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Gameplay mechanics Bonus itemsBranching pathsCiviliansHealthWeak points
Developers SegaSega AM1NamcoForever EntertainmentMegaPixel StudioTA Publishing
Staff Takashi OdaRikiya NakagawaBenjamin AnseaumeZbigniew Dębicki
Other content Hiiro SumomoReferences in popular cultureUnused content
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