Death Wish

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Death Wish

Developer: Dustin "Bloatoid" Twiley

Publisher: ModDB

Designer: Dustin "Bloatoid" Twiley

Engine: Build Engine (Blood mod)

Version: 1.3

Released: October 31, 2011

Genre: First Person Shooter

Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Platforms: MS-DOS

UPC/A7: N/A

ISBN-10: N/A

Media: Download

"Caleb will need to muster all his strength to take down the mighty Tchernobog, who has managed to free himself from the grip of death. Death Wish is a new campaign for Blood with over 30 new levels, cut scenes, and more. All levels have been modified for Co-op play. The entire project was developed by a single mapper, ensuring consistency and quality."
--Official description

Death Wish is a add-on developed by Dustin "Bloatoid" Twiley, previous creator of Inherit the Earth (1999) and Hostile Takeover (2001), that adds an additional three episodes and over thirty new levels to Blood. The project was started in January of 2010 with the aim of it being completed by the years end. Development later expanded into 2011, with it finally being released on October 31, 2011.

The effort is distributed as a plain Zip archive file that simply holds a folder with all the files, with the user only needing to extract the files into their Blood directory. The author wanted it to be as easy as possible, especially since he was not trying to add any new textures or replace any sounds.

Details[edit]

Screamshot

The most notable new feature to be added as part of Death Wish are modified tomes that bring up messages when you collect them. There are several in each level, and they have special messages that reveal secrets, story elements, and sometimes nothing more than offhand Cultist comments. They are not always right in your path, but if a curious player starts searching every corner he should be able to find them all.

The release also comes with a fully developed walkthrough available in a plain text file. The walkthough is be separated into two parts, with the first part being a basic walkthrough that does not reveal any secrets or the secret level entrances, and the second revealing all. Also included is a commentary text file offering the creator's thoughts about the project.

Story[edit]

Tchernobog's human form is reborn from the opening cutscene

Death Wish begins with an introductory cut-scene depicting a narrated scroll, which explains that while Tchernobog's divine form was sent into The Void and the power of The One That Binds was inherited by Caleb after the god's defeat in The Hall of the Epiphany, the heart of his original human form lay hidden under a Stygian tower waiting for when he would need it again. Utilizing this fail-safe, the 16th incarnation of Tchernobog returns to this world and, no longer hindered by his multi-dimensional responsibilities, is able to acquire new power. He realizes though that he will only be a shadow of his former self as long as his divine form remains in The Void, so he seeks to reclaim it again, fully aware that Caleb would immediately sense such a disturbance.

The time period is never strictly stated, although it is said to be long after the events of Blood. The presence of computers, space technology, and references to CabalCo seem to hint that it is set either in the late 20th or early 21st century; as well as the statements of continuing dimensional decay, tying it together with the Blood II: The Chosen story line. Due to the fact that the add-on adds no new textures, for the sake of compatibility, some creative choices are used to make the 1920s styles work within this theme.

Episode 1: In Cold Blood[edit]

Episode 1: In Cold Blood


  • DWE1M1: Home Sweet Home
  • DWE1M2: Lost Highway
  • DWE1M3: Firebelly
  • DWE1M9: Spooky World (Secret Level)
  • DWE1M10: Ring of Fire (Transition Level)
  • DWE1M4: The Abyss
  • DWE1M5: Jigsaw
  • DWE1M6: What Lies Beneath
  • DWE1M7: Urban Decay
  • DWE1M8: Vertigo

Nipping this in the bud, Tchernobog sends a horde of zombies to Caleb's out-of-the-way retreat, killing his pet Hell Hound "Cujo" and enraging his former servant once again. As Caleb hunts after nearby Cabal patrols and the elusive skeletal figure of the resurrected ex-god, dodging their traps, he begins to find that various dimensional portals are starting to open. All heralded by shining coloured orbs, he learns from various Tomes that this indicates the binding of the dimensions is decaying. He fights through the mines and newly opened dimensional planes nearby (DWE1M1: Home Sweet Home), until he makes his way through the forest to an old automotive shipping route. Dodging traffic, and making his way through treacherous bridge-ways and dams (DWE1M2: Lost Highway), Caleb finally reaches a region whose cold icy exterior proves to be illusory, and finds himself fighting on all fronts inside a cultist-spectated arena showdown (DWE1M3: Firebelly). Afterwards, stumbling upon a cabal ran horror themed amusement park, with various attractions (DWE1M9: Spooky World). Only to return to the arena, this time covered in show, and fight in another spectated showdown (DWE1M10: Ring of Fire). He then precedes to start a descent down winding staircases to the "crimson river" (DWE1M4: The Abyss). Passing through the one safe way, Caleb is back onto higher ground, only to have to go down into the caves again (DWE1M5: Jigsaw), succeeding through a succession of key puzzles. Exploring a remote arctic outpost, Caleb has to face the horrors found hidden under the ice (DWE1M6: What Lies Beneath), before finally returning to civilization, jumping between rooftops and blasting through tenements and various businesses (DW1M7: Urban Decay). This time ascending, Caleb makes it up to the very heights of the city, and faces Tchernobog head on, only for the ex-god to spirit himself away through a dimensional disturbance after Caleb defeats his guardian Stone Gargoyle (DW1M8: Vertigo). The episode's epilogue describes how, holding a cultist at gunpoint, Caleb learns the truth of the ex-god's plans and why he led Caleb up to the far north: to keep him safely out of the way. Now realizing the actual extent of his quest, Caleb seeks out the talisman that brought his former master back to this world.

Episode 2: Scar Trek[edit]

Episode 2: Scar Trek


  • DWE2M1: Armada
  • DWE2M2: Out to Launch
  • DWE2M3: Mothership
  • DWE2M4: Wierd Science
  • DWE2M10: Dread Faction (Secret Level)
  • DWE2M11: Behemoth (Transition Level)
  • DWE2M5: Grapes of Wrath
  • DWE2M6: Deep-Sixed
  • DWE2M7: Paradise Lost
  • DWE2M8: The Black Tower
  • DWE2M9: Legion

Knowing that fighting the ex-god without first destroying the source of his resurrection is pointless, Caleb follows a band of fleeing cultists to the dry wastelands and dark citadels that guard the black Stygian tower. To start off his journey, Caleb rides towards a Cabal caravan and makes his way aboard, using their napalm turrets to his own advantage, before riding to another car for the penultimate blast (DWE1M1: Armada). Extracting himself from the wreckage, Caleb fights through what at first appears to be a shipping lot, but actually conceals a secret CabalCo space program (DWE2M2: Out to Launch). Boarding the rocket, Caleb ascends to the Cabal mothership Monstromo, and, after making his way through the ship's decks and duct work, activates the self-destruct before racing to an escape pod (DWE1M3: Mothership). Following a rough landing, Caleb ascends up into a castle dungeon, wherein the Cabal has been experimenting with genetics, electricity and even teleportation (DWE1M4: Weird Science). Caleb makes his way through a zombie infested underground laboratory, run by rebel Cabal who wish to overthrow Tchernobog, first by boarding a cavern train (DWE2M10: Dread Faction). Returning to the castle, which has now been frozen, Caleb fights past a horde of Cabal and a Cerberus (DWE2M11: Behemoth). Escaping the facility, Caleb meanders through a winery, before finding a catacomb complex hidden nearby (DWE1M5: Grapes of Wrath). After finding five black chests in order to exit, Caleb comes across a ghost ship, whose haunted halls hides the keys he needs to progress further (DWE1M6: Deep-Sixed). Finally, Caleb begins to approach his objective, crossing through underground canals and high peaks (DWE2M7: Paradise Lost). Emerging out of the forest, Caleb ultimately reaches his goal: the Black Tower, but nothing is as simple as it appears (DWE2M8: The Black Tower). Making it into the tower's interior, past all the portals, hideaways and traps, Caleb locates the heart and destroys it as well as Tchernobog's defensive legion. Safe in the knowledge that his old enemy is once again mortal, Caleb begins his trek back to where it all began - the Hall of Epiphany.

Episode 3: War is Hell[edit]

Episode 3: War is Hell


  • DWE3M1: Whisper Peak
  • DWE3M2: The Room
  • DWE3M3: Shadehaven
  • DWE3M4: Bogey Beach
  • DWE3M9: Nightmare (Secret Level)
  • DWE3M10: Morning Gory (Transition Level)
  • DWE3M5: Duck and Cover
  • DWE3M6: Inferno
  • DWE3M7: Last Rites
  • DWE3M8: Dead End

Starting his hunt, Caleb begins to ascend up a lonely mountainside, sensing the accelerating decay of the dimensional boundaries as he goes. He knows that if he does not halt Tchernobog quickly, and so prevent him from reacquiring his divine form, the fate of everything will be in jeopardy. Caleb climbs the peaks into a nearby town, and begins making his way through its various buildings, tormented along the way by the spectre of his long dead lover Ophelia Price (DWE3M1: Whisper Peak). Entering into what appears to be a damned alternative version of a bank vault, Caleb finds himself sliding along in a delirium until he finally arrives into what at first appears to be an ordinary looking bedroom (DWE3M2: The Room), only for it to prove to be an inter-dimensional hub, also engulfing a nearby subway station. Passing through a magic door, Caleb reappears on the mountainside, and climbs through a temple up to its roof (DWE3M3: Shadehaven), wherein his further ascent is made more convenient through the acquisition of an aerial vehicle. Making a crash landing, Caleb emerges out onto a beach front, and so seeks out his needed keys through seaside attractions and a dimensionally unstable hotel (DWE3M4: Bogey Beach). Caleb ends up soaring into the night sky, and is once again in another nightmare sequence, revisiting locations from the previous two episodes, albeit dark and hellish (DWE3M9: Nightmare). Awakening back at the docks, Caleb battles a Cerberus, before taking a boat and sailing off (DWE3M10: Morning Gory). Sailing away, Caleb has little time to reflect before, predictably, the boat explodes, which proves to be only the first of many explosions, including an air strike ordered by Caleb himself (DWE3M5: Duck and Cover). Caleb is still not yet out of the heat however, being faced with a lava soaked complex, guarded finally by a sacrifice-hungry Cerberus no less, before having to crawl through the acidic insides of an all too familiar flesh temple (DWE3M6: Inferno). Escaping again on a river boat, Caleb visits more old territory, up into the ruins of the Hall of the Epiphany and faces the Choesn-in-training (DWE3M7: Last Rites). Travelling to a dimensional portal, Caleb finds that he is too late: Tchernobog's divine form has been brought back from the Void. However, this proves to be nothing that a little fire-power can not fix, as he kills both his reincarnation and then travels into the Void itself to expunge his presence once and for all (DWE3M8: Dead End). At peace with the world following his victory, Caleb has it in mind to return to the mountains, rebuilding his home and returning to a quiet life. After killing a few more stray cultists that is...

Development[edit]

Death Wish logo

"I stopped messing with Blood [after Inherit the Earth] and moved on to editing Unreal maps and making board games for a while, returning to make Death Wish years later. Before I started I played through the entire game a few times so it was fresh in my mind, then dove into the mapedit files of all the original game's maps to reverse engineer all the tricks I liked. Originally I was only going to do the first episode, but I got such positive feedback that I decided to keep going. If you want to read about those levels in-depth you can check out the text file included in the download. I had to use some awful software to get the movies to work, the audio to which I recorded in my car with an iPhone."
--Dustin Twiley, January 19, 2016

v1.2

  • Cutscene paths changed from C:\blood\ to C:\ in DW.ini
  • Some mission music rearranged
  • Enemy/respawn alterations throughout entire map set
  • Large reduction of Acolytes in favor of other enemy types
  • Some altered respawn arrangement
  • Miscellaneous textures aligned and altered
  • Many areas now favor enemy difficulty over increased numbers
  • Bugs and "traps" in co-op fixed

v1.1

  • Actor error from e1m3 that some people are having resolved
  • False keydrop in e2m3 fixed in single-player mode
  • e2m7 door toggle fixed for lower difficulty settings
  • README expanded to include info on running Death Wish on the GOG.com version of Blood
  • README expanded to include info on bMouse for mouselook

v1.0 Original Release

v1.4[edit]

"I currently have an updated version of Death Wish sitting on my hard drive. It has 2 new secret levels (hos-e1m1 & hos-e1m2 from hostile takeover, heavily modified to bring them up to "Death Wish standards") along with transitional maps. Little fixes have been added to all the maps along with rebalanced health drops and new architecture where sector limits allow. I was waiting for a chance to re-record audio with good equipment and redraw the movie art before releasing, but with my indie game schedule it's hard to find time."
--Dustin Twiley, January 19, 2016

"Glad you enjoyed the expansion — the latest version (not released yet) has a better health balance along with a few more levels. I've been waiting for a time when I can redo the cinematics to release the update but I've been pretty busy running my own gamedev company lately. It's hard to pin down how long it took to create the maps since I'd do a first draft then revisit each one later on adding details. I think when you complete a map and take some time apart it's easier to see what needs tinkering. Episode 1 levels needed the most work since I started with those after a long absence from mapping for Blood. By the time I got to Episode 3 I wasn't making a lot of mistakes so I guess those went the quickest. I guess each level took about 3–4 weeks minimum depending on how much free time I had after I got out of work. Mapping goes WAY faster after memorizing the soundFX numbers, how to set up common special effects, etc."
--Dustin Twiley, March 3, 2016

To be released October 2017 as announced on May 2, 2017.

Critical Reception[edit]

The game was well received in the Blood community, and one of the most anticipated events of 2011. It was in particular praised for its architecture, pacing and plain creativity. Some quibbles were made about its difficulty and pacing, particularly in terms of the author's affection for the usage of Ackolytes, which lead to that enemy variety being made less common in later versions. Still, reception has been almost universally complimentary, offering up a brand new challenge to Blood players thirsty for new content after almost fifteen years since the game's release.

"Death Wish is the perfect add-on for a hardened Bloodite, or Build engine fan, with no end of novel architecture, amazing interactivity, in-game cinematics and challenging fire-fights. If however, you are just getting your hands bloody or are a more casual player, I would suggest perhaps waiting on it or giving it a miss, or else face no end of frustrating deaths - most likely at the hands of the eventually quite tiresome Tchernobog heralded traps, poisonous secret areas and endless zombies hoards. If you think you are ready, then give it a go. As Tchernobog says several times within, 'Let the bloodbath begin!'"
--Graham "Gideon" Wilson, Blood Wiki

External links[edit]