Part 1: Episode I: BloodborneEpisode I: Bloodborne
New Music: Requiem
We begin our journey on horseback across a foul and dreary land.
A forbidden land where few dare tread for fear of the horrid beasts that stalk its wretched hills...
A most odious and cursed stretch of earth cloaked in a never ending murky night.
That name of that wretched place, you ask? Its spoken only in hushed tones among the degenerates and outcasts of society. Thats right... The forbidden land of...
...Wales. And on this night of all nights.
On that note, we begin our journey through Koudelka. Its 1898 and were on the road to a monastery in Wales on Halloween night. Whats the worst that could happen? There are no difficult settings or... really much of any options upon starting the game. So lets just jump right in, shall we?
Our horse mounted rider from the attract screen intro doesnt seem to be having much luck getting a hold of any candy trick-or-treating at the front gate. People were way stingier with their treats back in 1898.
Though to be fair, Id be kind of skeptical of a costume consisting of thigh high socks, a mini-skirt and a... green army jacket on your head? Thats not remotely how you wear a jacket. What are you even doing, lady?
Meet our protagonist, the titular Koudelka. Koudelka Istant. I... dont think the game actually gives her surname name outside the instruction manual. Seeing as the Jacket Head costume is a bust for any treats, its on to the trickery.
Like tossing a rope attached to a pipe and climbing up to the roof top for optimal TP distribution across the cheeky monastery. I looked it up. Apparently the patent for a toilet paper roll was made in 1883. No information when the first use of it to damage the property of a shitty neighbors house was committed. This could be a first happening tonight. Koudelka could become legend.
We get a nice overlook of what will be the primary setting of our adventure
Koudelka takes some time to admire her surroundings and perhaps regret her choice in clothing for this infiltration into this totally not haunted, cursed and/or hexed ancient Wales structure before doing the sensible thing and...
...almost immediately slipping to her death. 3D platforming has never been easy.
Our heroine just manages to grab onto a nearby window awning before tumbling into the bottomless depths of Tartarus located directly beneath all points in Wales. Unfortunately, she loses a pendant she was wearing in the process.
This definitely wont be important later in the game. Nothing has ever come of misplaced jewelry in the opening moments of a narrative. No sir. Unthinkable. Oh well. No use crying over lost pendants of hidden untapped power. Theres not going to be any entities opening portals to other time periods that itll be needed for here. Time travel doesnt crop up until the Shadow Hearts series.
Might as well just move on by kicking open the nearest window and begin our sneaking mission or... whatever the hell were doing here.
Unfortunately, it seems were not alone here. A gravely injured young man, with the same shitty hair cut every white guy in the 90s had at some point, is propped up near where Koudelka leaps into the room. The intruding woman creeps up to him, only...
Ugh.... Too early Angel. I'm not dead yet.
Id like to say Im at orange caution health but... thatd be a lie...
Not yet, but it looks like you're going to die soon.
<slowly raises gun with a shaky hand> Maybe... But you'll have to pardon me while I attend to some unfinished business first.
Business? What you can you possibly accomplish in your condition?
You can't even hold your gun steady.
Won't know unless I try.
That thing's not going to die unless I shoot it two or three times.
Hope so at least... Guy who sold me this said six bullets was more than enough to kill anything that moves... but I aint so sure anymore...
What are you even babbling about?
You should... really look behind you...
Tch. Like Id fall for that one.
No... you should really...
Lady... theres a warlwolf standing right behind you!
<motions with gun> A warlwolf!
...Are you... are you trying to say... werewo
Koudelka notices the interloper just in time to stab it with the knife she was going to use to gank the dying cowboy here. The beastman doesnt take kindly to getting shanked... Most, cursed monster or no, dont take kindly to that, in my experience.
The man tries to fire a shot at the werewolf while Koudelka is briefly out of commission, but misses his shot and immediately gives up trying to play the hero.
Here! Use this!
The man is too injured to make a shot at a seven foot tall monster man slowly trotting along just a couple paces away. But he has no problem winging his pistol 20 feet, straight over that same monster and into Koudelkas hand. Sure...
New Music: Waterfall (Theres like five music tracks in the game. So you should probably listen to the battle theme.)
Were now thrusted into the first bit of gameplay in Koudelka. Surprise! Its a JRPG despite all the survival horror trappings! Our enemy is this Werewolf which is really steamed Koudelka gut stabbed it during that last cutscene. Its a reasonable response, really. For all we know it was just going to politely ask her to step aside so it could finish off that injured man, whod killed his father outside a pub in Glasgow back in 95.
Were given exactly zero tutorial for combat. Not just because its an enemy thats all but impossible to defeat. Koudelka offers almost nothing in the way of explaining its mechanics in-game. There are mechanical explanation found in the instruction manual. Remember those? Oh... you dont have the manual handy, you say? Welp. Tough shit!
Were not going to get into the details of combat just yet. Mostly because this is a terrible place to do that and this enemy will die from three shots of Koudelkas newly gained revolver.
The Werewolf itself might advance on Koudelkas position and take a swipe or, far more of a rude gesture, vomit green mist on her. Neither of these attacks do much more than 10-20 HP of damage while Koudelka has a health pool of 169 (nice) HP to tank any blows.
Well get into the specifics of combat next time. There are... kind of an absurd amount of mechanics to it for a JRPG that last all of 12-14 hours tops... Regardless, Koudelka manages to gun down the fearsome werewolf. Didnt even have to do a single Visceral Attack. What a crappy beastman.
No victory poses in this game. Just a sweeping shot of the one who dealt the last blow and a good look at Koudelkas costume. Well... as far as things with survival horror trappings, Ive seen much worse choices in casual wear. Looking at you, Jill Valentine.
Slaying the Werewolf earns Koudelka some Cheese! Two pieces, in fact. No, its not Cheese 2, the sequel to Cheese. Unfortunately. Anyway, we wont ask where a naked lycanthrope stored pieces of cheese on its person. Some questions are best left unanswered. Though, on top of our dairy earnings, Koudelka also learned Flare! Well get into what that means another time.
For now, were dropped into actual gameplay outside battle. Its static cinematic camera angles of 2D backgrounds with 3D models ala the Resident Evil and other survival horror clones of the PS1 era.
Tank Controls? You bet your ASS there are tank controls! All we can do right now is pivot Koudelka and lumber her over to the artists depiction of the injured man in the background. Lets see if hes bled out during that fight with the werewolf.
Well... hes no longer a 2D image and his polygonal model is still gyrating on the floor. Good enough for Koudelka. She turns to leave, but...
Hey, what about him?
<turns back> He's dead.
...Really? Thank you.
That warlwolf licked me good.
It is werewolf. Not warl... Why on earth do you keep saying it like... you know what? Forget it. I dont have time for this.
Ugh... So I guess... my time is up...
Guess so. <starts to walk away>
I'm not going to ask you to take me to heaven... but will you pray for me at least?
Are you out of your mind? Tch. There's no bloody way I'm going to pray for you. But... I guess I owe you because you saved me too.
Also Im keeping that gun since you clearly arent any good with it. So...
<walks over to the man and kneels down> Payback time.
Ergh... Angel... I dont need that kinda help...
Ugh... Just shut up and stay still.
Koudelka raises her arms and starts waving them over the dying man, causing a high pitched humming tone. Its a very strange way to give a hug.
<screams in pain and starts clutching his stomach>
Shut up! Keep it down!
<stops doing her magic and starts breathing heavily> OK...
<stands up> Lets go...
You owe me an ether for that. Or whatever they use in this godforsaken neck of the woods to restore MP.
<looks over himself confused>
Stand up or Ill leave you here!
What happened? It doesnt... it doesnt hurt anymore... Im cured!
Yeah? And? So I cured you. So what?
<looks up> You...? You cured me? B-But I was almost dead!
Tch. All your limbs were still attached. Dont be such a baby.
Im confused... so you... really are an angel?
Don't be foolish. Hah! Do you really think that there are angels on earth? I'm no angel. I'm just a medium with a little curing power. <turns to leave again>
Dont make it weird. Sheesh. Dont they have white magic in Wales?
I-I... I'm Edward J. Plunkett. I-I know I look pretty shady, but you don't look too wholesome yourself. I...
<turns back> No! I'm not like you and this is no place for people like you.
People like me? Whats that supposed to mean?
People that cant handle a Level 1 Werewolf.
I-It just got the jump on me, alright?
Why did you come here?
I heard a rumor.
I heard something in London. That the son of some rich family bought an old monastery. Spent a ton of money converting it into a house. I heard he brought quite a lot of harlots here. Seems like he was having a great time.
So you were here to rob the place?
I prefer calling it redistributing wealth between class divides.
So. Where is this monastery?
That's what I want to know! I came all this way to put a poor man's fear of God into this rich bastard! So far I haven't found anything. Then this monster attacked me. I-I almost got killed!
Yeah, I gathered that part.
If you'd come any later no doubt I'd have been singing hymns in his stomach right now.
<looks away and talks under her breath> I shouldn't have brought such a good horse. She's too fast.
Just ten... twenty minutes later and Id have avoided this whole dumb thing... <sigh>
Too bad you won't be hearing me singing those hymns. When I was a boy I was a pretty good soprano.
<turns to Edward> If you don't stop talking I'll leave you here! My name is Koudelka. And I'm only going to say this once... so don't forget. If you want to get out of here alive, I suggest you stick very close. Got it?!
Koudelka helps the newly restored Edward J. Plunket to his feet as he officially joins the party as our second of three total members of the group.
Charmed... Im sure...
<pulls hand away and dead ass stares him down>
I hope you enjoy a cast of characters that can barely tolerate each others bullshit! As well be getting a lot of that during this tale! Tune in next time for an overly elaborate battle system for a very short RPG, way too many esoteric stats and other odd fun as the exploration of this mansion begins! You ever seen a man haymaker a sentient table set? Stay tuned for that and more!
Video: Episode 1 Highlight Reel (You should watch this.)
Werewolf Battle Boom! Headshot City! Werewolves are straight bustas.