(Vampire Night, Sega Golden Gun, and others)
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 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.
The game was a collaboration between The House of the Dead developer WOW Entertainment, Sega, and Namco. 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. Several of Vampire Night's gameplay mechanics, including the "cancel" gauge for boss attack phases, would be used in The House of the Dead III and later House of the Dead sequels.
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 then 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.
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.
Inception and concept
Tomoyasu wanted to develop a game for the System 246, an arcade board by Namco. At the time, Sega did not use hardware by other companies. After Tomoyasu met then-Namco president Masaya Nakamura, Sega agreed to produce a System 246 game, with Namco manufacturing and distributing it.
Vampire Night was inspired by the 1999 science fiction film The Matrix. WOW Entertainment focused on creating unique bosses and player characters.
Unlike The House of the Dead's creatures, Vampire Night's vampires are fast-moving enemies. The game needed to be balanced around this; enemies always appear from a distance, and the player's gun holds eight bullets instead of six.
Tomoyasu created the boss "cancel" meter in response to The House of the Dead 2's bosses, which he found difficult. He wanted a visual for players to determine how close they are to evading attacks. The House of the Dead III and further games use this mechanic.
Originally, the player received a life penalty if they accidentally shot a villager instead of the Sarcoma. This was removed for better balance.
PlayStation 2 port
Development of the port was "painful"; WOW Entertainment was still unfamiliar with the System 246, and an audio bug was found shortly before the game's release. Ideas for new levels and enemies in the Special Mode were scrapped, as they were deemed unrealistic to fulfill.
A PlayStation 2 port of the game with additional game modes was released in Japan on December 6, 2006.
- 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.
- Each level has an elemental/primal motif: air, earth, fire, darkness, water, and moon.
|To view the Vampire Night gallery, click here.|
- "Vampire Night for PlayStation 2 (2001) MobyRank" (English). MobyGames. Retrieved on August 5, 2020.
- 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.
- 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”.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- "Namco System 246 Hardware (Namco)". System 16 - The Arcade Museum. Retrieved on July 29, 2020.