More Vampire Diaries (of 1996)

The Vampire Diaries video game, 1996, HER Interactive
1996, HER Interactive
My previous post focused on the style and mechanics of the 1996 Vampire Diaries PC game, so today I'll be explaining its plot for those who are curious about the story. It's only loosely based on the books.

The game begins with Elena attending a gallery opening just after returning from her European vacation. She sees nearly everyone in town there, including Bonnie, Caroline, Aunt Judith, Margaret, Mrs. Flowers, Damon, and a couple of new characters. Matt and Meredith are mentioned, but don't appear in the game.

Stefan Salvatore from the Vampire Diaries PC game
Game-version Stefan isn't much help.
At the end of the party, Elena's little sister, Margaret, is attacked. The next stop is the hospital, where we learn that Margaret has a sketchy neck wound and is stable but comatose. That's where Elena meets Stefan Salvatore, a dreamy physician's assistant who tells her all about psychic wounds and ancient evil, then sends her out alone to deal with those.

After talking to people around town and doing some research, Elena learns of a spell that will destroy the bad guy before he gains any more power. She finds the ingredients, sometimes by doing secondary quests like finding Bonnie's missing runestone or comforting a ghost. The best part of these missions is visiting the library, where Elena reads up on runes and rituals among bookshelves full of titles like Melancholy Meat Eaters and The Unofficial Book of Coffee Cups.

After a late-night graveyard encounter, Mrs. Flowers appears with the final ingredient and Elena heads off to a secret tomb to perform the spell. The villain turns out to be the new gallery's owner, who flies into the tomb in the shape of an owl and explains that he just killed Caroline. When he goes for Elena he's distracted by Stefan, and assuming the player clicks quickly enough, he's burned up by Elena's spell.

Stefan and Elena have one more scene that gives the player a final choice. If Elena declares her eternal love, the game ends with Stefan biting and presumably turning her. She can also ask him to give her time to think things over, which seems more reasonable in a version of the world where she had a handful of barely-romantic conversations with the guy, her best frenemy is dead, and her kid sister is still languishing in a hospital bed.

In the Vampire Diaries PC game, Elena Gilbert decides to try immortal life with a guy she met a few days earlier.

If you're thinking this all sounds like a shocking lack of Damon, you're right. There are plenty of things about the game that don't make sense if you put much thought into them, but the biggest one is why the most popular Vampire Diaries character gets no love.

Damon Salvatore from the Vampire Diaries PC game
Someone thought this looked like Damon.
He's introduced as Damon Smith (an alias briefly used in the books), and then Stefan runs him out of the hospital. Assuming the player picks the right options, Stefan mentions their relationship as well as his suspicion that Damon is the attacker. For some reason, he's a new teacher at the high school, too.

Damon's other main scene only triggers if he catches Elena breaking into the school at night. For me, that ended with him showing fang and then game over, as if a reasonable Vampire Diaries ending should have one-third of the love triangle getting murderous at the heroine.

I'd like to say that I'd probably have enjoyed this when it first came out, but I'm not sure the story would have worked for me even back then.

3 comments:

  1. i looked fo this game for a long time, bt couldnt find it! i wish you had posted a video playthrough so i could at least see the game, thanks for posting the story though. im a HUGE tvd fan, and tha ancient man is in no way the sexy damon we know! thats just too funny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was playing it on an old, borrowed laptop that had no way for me to video capture. At one point there were a few "let's play" videos of the first few scenes on YouTube, so you might be able to hunt those down.

      The gameplay mostly involved traveling to various places on the map to trigger events and clicking around the scene backgrounds to find information or collect items.

      Delete
  2. perhaps they put damon at the end because they planned to make a sequel?

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