The Nightmare Levels
Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: GT Interactive
Released: August, 1999
Genre: First Person Shooter
Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
Platforms: Windows 98.
ESRB Rating: M (animated blood and gore, animated violence)
The game takes place shortly after the ending of Blood II. Although never explicitly mentioned, Caleb succeeds in binding the realities and the Chosen are trying to find their way home to our reality. They stop to make a campfire and pass the time by telling scary stories, until suddenly Caleb disappears, and finds himself in each of the Chosen's tales.
In certain levels, the player has the ability to play as each of the Chosen within the context of the story, as each narrates his/her tale. Each level contains different weapons and abilities that cater to the Chosen's strength and weaknesses. For example, Ishmael and Ophelia's story have more magic weapons, while Caleb and Gabriella contain more firearms and ammo.
Like the Plasma Pak, the expansion pack released by Monolith Productions for Blood, the game includes new weapons, new enemies and new maps for BloodBath. This is the last offical Blood product and the last ever made by Monolith as there was no Blood III ever created, so this is where the canon ends. However, the Blood community to this day continues to make non-canon fan advancements to the Blood universe.
 New Chapter: Nightmare Levels
The Nightmare Levels
Meanwhile Caleb appears in the middle of the arctic north, just as he was describing. He navigates through the icy trenches, infested buildings, and a hedge maze, all while fighting his old enemies, the robed cultists. He comes to a safe shelter which hides a blue portal. Grumbling to himself, he enters it.Meanwhile at the campfire, it is Ophelia's turn to tell a story. She reveals her dark secret that she was once a sorority girl. The Cabal sent a horde of zombies into the campus to deal with a genius student who had invented a reanimation serum. As zombies are want to do, they headed for the nearest concentration of defenseless and scantily clad women - Ophelia's sorority house. At this time, Ophelia decided to reject her sisters and join the Cabal, but knew that they would never let her in if she was a sorority girl. While the zombies took care of the sorority girls, Ophelia had to get to an old photo album in the attice. The level begins as she breaks in through the basement. After destroying a Behemoth, a vortex appears and Caleb emerges. Confused, he looks around and deduces Ophelia's secret. Embarrassed, she feebly tries to dissuade Caleb. Before more words can be exchanged, Caleb disappears through another vortex.
Ishmael reveals that he too entered the Cabal under a secret. As an unemployed "evil cultist", he spent a long time playing "JoJo the Idiot Circus Boy" in the circus. At first, he took pride in his job, but after enduring disrespect and abuse from "bastard little dirt-throwers" he grew to dislike his job. After a year, Ishmael fell into despair, until one day, when Tchernobog spoke to him through a painting in his cage. The dark god commanded him to kill the mortals and come to his side. The level begins from there as Ishmael fights his way out of the circus, against the institution's clown guards. After raging through the freak shows and "Tunnel of Love" ride, Ishmael finds the parking lot and freedom. Caleb suddenly materializes and sees "JoJo" (apparently not recognizing him as Ishmael). He asks to see his tightrope act (a reference to Blood) before disappearing again.The others turn to Gabriella for her story. She simply states that one time she had to stay in a spooky mansion overnight. The others express disappointment, but she promises it is scarier if she goes over the details. The level involves her search through a large dark house near the bayou where she grew up. She fights many ghouls before finding a bedroom in which to sleep. Before she can rest, Caleb appears and angrily curses at these trips through time. He wonders where he's going to go next, since he's "all out of Chosen to visit". Once again he is sucked through a vortex.
Caleb finds himself in an old west church, likely a part of his past. He rampages his way out into a ghost town, finding cultists and Beta Reality creatures. Throughout his journey, he fights the forms of the three Undead Chosen, which culminates into a showdown in the streets and then a struggle with a Behemoth. Afterwards, he finds a long mining shaft which contains something not part of this world, and descends.
He appears in an underground tunnel full of Shikari. He ventures down a path of rock and lava to a giant stone arena containing a giant dog-like demon: the Nightmare (two at higher difficulty levels). Caleb defeats it, after which Gideon returns to his narration, describing the Chosen's many adventures ahead of them, and his contempt for them. However, somehow, Ishmael interrupts him, asking who has taken the last marshmallow. An annoyed Gabriella demands that they all shut up before she kills them both.
Although this expansion gives more storyline in one chapter than any of the original chapters of Blood II, it introduces several glaring omissions, inaccuracies, and continuity details. Some of these may be fabrications by the Nightmare, but some of them are blatant anachronisms. A possible explanation is that the original memories have faded too much, forcing the Nightmare to use images of the modern world to construct its imaginary world, in which the Chosen would relive their past.
- Gideon's skull, in which his spirit resides, is on top of a hill near some ruins, but Caleb defeated him inside a stone temple during Blood II: The Chosen.
- The urban backgrounds are in the 20th/21st century style.
- Ophelia would have gone to school around 1847. Typical attire for women of the period involved floor length dresses, petticoats and other Victorian wear. The girls in the sorority are wearing jeans and sweatshirts more common in the 1950s.
- Ophelia's tale is also supposed to take place before she met Caleb, and he is not supposed to know she was in a sorority, yet on the second floor of the house is a modern style dry-erase board with a message for Ophelia to "call Caleb."
- There is an modern lawnmower in a garden shed on campus.
- There are washing machines in the basement of the college.
- The dorm rooms usually contain computers.
- The dorm has electric lighting.
- Caleb appears in Ophelia's tale, but Ophelia recognizes him, so it can't be a flashback. However, Ophelia was not whisked away through a singularity at the beginning of her tale, so neither can it be real. Gabriella has a similar reaction to Caleb, referring to him as "you!"
- There are modern cars in the parking lot of the carnival. "JoJo's Big Adventure" must have taken place at least before 1847.
- Ishmael calls himself an unemployed "evil cultist", but is not part of the Cabal at the time of "JoJo's Big Adventure" (although he seems not to be surprised by Tchernobog's presence). He might be referring to another cult, but there is no evidence of this.
- All sorts of modern weapons and ammo can be found around the levels, even though they are supposed to take place in the distant past.
- Gideon's narrative is somehow interrupted by Ishmael and Gabriella. Though this is an attempt at humour by breaking the fourth wall, it is also inconsistent.
- Where did they get the weenies and marshmallows?
 New Weapons
- Flayer - A hook on a chain that creates tiny portals that hook into the victim's flesh and cause damage.
- Combat Shotgun - A single barreled shotgun with a tighter spread and less recoil than the Sawed-Off Shotgun, alternate fire shoots out a gas bomb.
 New Enemies
- Robed Cultist - Caleb's old enemy from Blood. Wields a shotgun.
- Gremlin - A small impish creature that throws dirt clods and taunts
- Clown Guard - A Blood II cultist with a different skin.
- The Nightmare - A large quadruped demon that resembles an undead dog. Final boss.
- Sorority Girl - An innocent with a different skin.
It should be noted that the gremlin, the brown-robed cultist, and the Nightmare were not developed exclusively for The Nightmare Levels. They can be seen in the original code for Blood II. There is an unused map in the game that features these three models, although they lacked any AI programming at that point.
 New Multiplayer Maps
 Critical Reception
The Nightmare Levels, although disliked by the mainstream press, was generally well received by Blood fans. Critics of Blood II were pleased to see a return of a more Gothic atmosphere and the much beloved Robed Cultists (which, if there had been time, would have been in Blood II proper), and those who enjoyed both games simply liked the look back. The new Combat Shotgun and was also liked by fans, with the the Flayer receiving a mixed reception. The expansion was criticized however for being short, consisting of only six single player levels. The Nightmare model and lack of a complex ending was also not well received.
 Full Credits
The credits for Blood II: The Nightmare Levels can be found: here.
See also Credits for Blood II
 See Also
- Cutscene Image Gallery: a gallery of cut scene shots, including those from The Nightmare Levels.
- "Nightmares for Ten Years" Blood Wiki banner for the game's tenth anniversary.
 External Links
- Planet Blood Nightmare Levels Feed Back Part 1
- Planet Blood Nightmare Levels Feed Back Part 2
- The Nightmare Levels on Wikipedia