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| The subject of this article is non-canonical.|
While created as part of licensed material, it has not been confirmed as part of the "real" Buffyverse.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds was the fourth video game based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the first multiplatform one. This is also the first game to allow players to control characters other than Buffy, as well as incorporate multiplayer.
From the instruction manual: "When Buffy Summers discovers that an enemy from the past, Ethan Rayne, is at the center of a great struggle with The First, literally the first incarnation of evil the world has ever known, she and the gang must face an undead army of vampires, zombies, and demons to keep these nefarious villains from casting the world into permanent darkness."
The plot also involves different alternate realities bleeding into Buffy's own reality, leading to the reappearance of deceased enemies like Kakistos and the appearance of evil versions of allies, including a vampire Tara.
The story is set during the television series' fifth season, and is based on a lost episode of the fifth season finale. Due to certain plot points mentioned and character styles, it takes place sometime after "Forever" (as Buffy's mother's grave is seen), but presumably in-between "Intervention" and "Tough Love" (as Spike is on more-or-less good terms with the Scooby Gang and Tara is still sane). Dawn however is not mentioned at any point in the game. The game also includes many references to previous episodes of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, including Faith being in jail and Giles' days as Ripper. The game extends an idea from a previous game: that of bringing back dead characters (The Master returned in a previous game), by bringing back Sid the Dummy, Kakistos and Anya's former demon self, Anyanka.
The game opens up with a massive vampire invasion of the Magic Box, with Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Spike as the first line of defense. Tara and Anya have apparently been captured by them, so Buffy deploys Xander and Spike to look for them in the training room and basement, respectively, while she and Willow keep the vampires busy in the shop itself. Willow goes off to find a copy of Kraus's Compendium of Magical Combat, while Buffy kills a few vampires, and then goes after an escaping one that calls her "girly".
Meanwhile, Willow successfully locates Kraus's Compendium and learns how to cast fireballs and a miniature replica of the sun, which she uses to kill a few more vampires. Buffy returns, relieved to see that Willow is all right, and Willow wonders about Xander.
Xander is also having trouble in the training room with vampires. With the aid of a crossbow and battleaxe, he fights them off. As Tara and Anya are nowhere to be seen, he deduces that they are in the basement.
In the basement, Spike faces trouble in the form of vampires and zombies, and finds Tara and Anya locked in the book cage. Acquiring a key from a slain vampire, he frees them.
Upstairs, Xander emerges with the crossbow and battleaxe. After giving Buffy both weapons, he departs for the basement either to back Spike up or kill him (depending on whether or not he had rescued Anya and Tara), while Buffy and Willow fight off the remaining vampires. The last one warns them that Kakistos will destroy them soon, and Buffy calmly informs him that Kakistos is dead before staking him. Buffy proceeds to assure Willow that Kakistos is indeed dead, as she had seen Faith kill him with her own eyes. At that moment, Spike, Xander, Tara, and Anya emerge from the basement, and Spike sarcastically wishes them good night before leaving. Xander wonders aloud where the vampires came from, and Willow tells him that they mentioned Kakistos.
At that moment, Giles appears out of nowhere, states that Kakistos couldn't possibly be behind the invasion, and then tells them of some important news: he had just received a phone call from Wesley, who has informed him that Faith's prison cell in Los Angeles is empty. As Kakistos was the only thing that Faith ever feared, Buffy believes there is some kind of connection. Tara informs them that she and Willow could perform a spell to confirm Kakistos's death, but they would have to do so in the same place where he was killed. Giles decides to remain in touch with Wesley, and tells Anya to clean up the Magic Box for business tomorrow. Xander goes along with Willow and Tara to the factory in case they need his help, and Buffy goes out to patrol, focusing on the cemeteries.
After arriving in the Sunnydale Cemetery, Buffy encounters Sid, much to her surprise after his death four years ago. After Sid flirts with Buffy a bit, he reveals that he knows about Kakistos, and informs her of where he went. Buffy tells him that they would talk about what's happening later, and he runs off. After slaying some vampires and zombies, Buffy finds three pieces of a church sundial, which she returns and subsequently opens up a crypt where she locates a church key. After traveling through the church, Buffy enters the Sunnydale sewers, where she restores power to the area and reenters the cemetery. Ultimately, after burning down a giant spider web with a torch, Buffy encounters Kakistos. After the two banter a bit, Kakistos casts a spell that will eventually resurrect/reanimate all of the dead in the cemetery to buy himself some time to escape, and Buffy realizes with horror that that includes Joyce. In the confusion, Kakistos hops the fence, and Spike, noticing the commotion, emerges from his crypt and helps out. With Spike's help, Buffy beats back the zombies and breaks Kakistos's spell. Afterwards, Spike asks Buffy what's going on, and Buffy replies that she doesn't know, but will find out and deliver a serious beating to the one who is responsible.
Meanwhile, at the factory, Willow and Tara perform the spell as Xander watches, but all it produces is foul-smelling incense, even though they followed the ritual exactly. At that moment, Ethan emerges from the door behind him, and Willow immediately accuses him of the vampire attacks at the Magic Box and Kakistos's return, which he does not deny. At that moment, the factory morphs into a vampire-run slaughterhouse, complete with human cattle, though Ethan informs them that he is not behind the factory's alteration, only wanting "what he came for." He then sends out a pack of imp-like Bakemono that capture Tara, and escapes. Willow and Xander split up, Willow to track down Ethan and rescue Tara, and Xander to free the human prisoners in the factory.
After fighting through the factory, Xander gains a lighter from a dead vampire victim, and, after setting off the gas, ignites it and blows a hole in the wall. After rescuing all of the prisoners, Xander ponders over how Willow is faring.
Meanwhile, Willow telepathically tracks down a mystically-restrained Tara, and learns how to cast a homing missile-like energy spell and a force field. After facing off with Ethan and a small army of vampires, Willow rescues Tara, who is suffering from an injured shoulder, but is otherwise unhurt.
Back at the Magic Box, Buffy informs Giles and Anya that Spike is going around town, checking out some vampire hangouts in order to track down Kakistos, and informs them of Sid's return. Buffy states that both had made several cryptic comments about the goings-on tonight, and Giles reveals that he believes that they are dealing with an alternate reality version of Kakistos, using their research and their encounter with Willow's alternate-reality vampiric doppelgänger as evidence of dimensional bleed.
At that moment, Willow, Xander, and Tara return and inform them of what happened at the factory and their encounter with Ethan. Willow also expresses a belief that Ethan was testing her abilities, but she doesn't know why. They unanimously decide to return in the morning and start a search for Ethan. Willow, Xander, Tara, and Anya depart, while Giles goes down to the basement to file one last mail order. Buffy decides to wait and walk him home, believing it unwise for any of the Scoobies to be alone on the streets for the time being. At that moment, Kakistos, accompanied by two vampire lackeys, teleports in, explaining that he wants to see how Buffy would fare without her Watcher. Buffy tells him that Giles is fine and in the basement, and Kakistos reveals that something is down there with him before leaving.
After fighting more vampires, Buffy breaks into the book cage in the basement through a skylight, finding an injured Giles inside, having been chased into the cage by two gargoyles. Giles instructs her to find his copy of Bibeau's Compendium of Gorgons and Stone Demons (or, as Buffy says it, Bilbo's Compendium of Gore-things and Stone-whatchamacallits) in the shop so they could find out how to deal with the gargoyles. After doing so, Giles reveals that gargoyles are susceptible to Gorgon venom, a few samples of which are in the shop. A stake dipped in the venom is sufficient to dispatch them, but Giles warns Buffy to use the right venom; if she uses the wrong sample, the gargoyles will become invincible. Giles states that the venom reacts strongly to anything of gargoyle origin, and Buffy finds an amputated gargoyle claw. Finding that the green venom is Gorgon venom, Buffy infuses a stake with it, and uses it to slay the gargoyles. Giles limps into the basement, and Buffy helps him upstairs. After slaying another vampire, Faith walks right through the front door and offers a friendly greeting.
Buffy asks her how she is supposed to greet her after her body-swap attempt and the Los Angeles incident, and why she broke out of prison. Faith assures her that she hates being in prison, but didn't intend to leave just yet. Buffy asks why she did, and Faith reveals that Ethan is with her and can give all of the answers. Buffy begins to complain, but sets it aside and decides to take Giles to the hospital, planning to get answers from Ethan afterwards.
Willow, Xander, and Spike arrive in Giles's hospital room just as Buffy is beginning to beat up Ethan, something that Xander objects to, as Buffy had apparently promised not to do so until he got there. Buffy decides to let the beating commence now that they came, and demands answers from Ethan.
Ethan explains that, during his incarceration at the hands of the Initiative, he often prayed to the Lords of Chaos that he had worshiped for so long, but turned his devotion to the First when they ignored his pleas for aid. Faith asks what the First is, and Ethan tells her of the First's origins. Willow makes a crack about Ethan now working for "the thing that gave 'evil' it's capital 'E'", but Ethan reveals that it isn't that simple; while the First agreed to help Ethan escape, Ethan also wanted power rivaling that of a Lord of Chaos. As the First likes a challenge, they struck up a bargain. The First and Ethan decided to pit their five respective champions against each other. For his champions, Ethan chose the two Slayers (Buffy and Faith), a witch (Willow), and a vampire with "marvelous credentials" (Spike); while he initially chose Oz as his fifth, he decided to settle for Xander when he discovered that Oz has long since skipped town. If he wins, he gets the power he wants; if he loses, he will suffer eternal torment as the whipping-boy for the lowest toadies in the First's hell dimension. Buffy tells him that they would never help him, but it is soon revealed that they have no say in the matter as Ethan's five chosen champions are teleported out of the room one-by-one. Giles quickly informs Buffy that only Hope's Dagger can harm the First, and Buffy grabs Ethan just as she is teleported away, dragging him along for the ride.
Buffy and Ethan arrive in the dilapidated interiors of a Magic Box in an alternate reality version of Sunnydale where the demonic population have apparently taken over. Ethan reveals that they are in the First's reality, where it controls everything, and also reveals that Willow, Xander, Faith, and Spike have been scattered around. He gives Buffy a hand-made retrieval spell to warp them back to the Magic Box, and Buffy swears to kill him. Ethan calmly tells her to track down the others before they wind up dead.
After traveling through downtown Sunnydale, Buffy finds Willow locked in the upper rooms of Sun Cinema, Xander trapped in a warehouse, Faith sealed in the safe of the bank, and Spike calmly waiting for her in Willy's Bar. After transporting them back to the Magic Box, Buffy runs into Sid, and complains that he didn't explain things earlier. Sid reveals that the First knows that he is sneaking around, and that he had met the First years ago and angered it greatly. When the Scoobies had helped him break his demon curse, the First captured his soul and sealed it within a duplicate dummy body. After discovering Ethan's deal with the First, Sid snuck through the bleed to assist Buffy. Sid informs her that they have no choice but to fight for Ethan and hopefully survive, but Buffy realizes that there is another way; if they can destroy the First, they will all survive, and Ethan won't get his power. She asks him if he has ever heard of Hope's Dagger, and he has.
Back in the Magic Box, Sid and Buffy explain the origin of Hope's Dagger; it is a blade forged from the very first beam of light to shine upon the Earth in the twelfth century by Cassandra Rayne, Ethan's ancestor and, ironically, that time's Champion of the Powers That Be. She had fought the First with the dagger, but was struck down before she could deal the killing blow. However, as Hope's Dagger had rendered her immortal, the First dismembered her body and scattered the pieces all over the world the Scoobies are currently in, as well as hiding Hope's Dagger in the world as well. As Cassandra is spiritually linked with the dagger, they will be able to find it if they resurrect her. Willow asks how they will know where to start looking, and Sid reveals that he already knows where to find some; he has heard from "word in the shadows" that Cassandra's eyes are in the morgue at Sunnydale Hospital.
The Scoobies, Sid, and Ethan travel to the hospital, and Buffy and Sid go off to look for the eyes alone. After fighting several creatures, including mental patients, Sid uses the hospital records to find the eyes, and Buffy grabs them and meets up again with the others.
Xander suggests that Ethan should take the eyes, and he reluctantly does so. At that moment, the First appears and criticizes Buffy for thinking that they could do so without it knowing their every move. Sid notes that the First seems awfully eager to disrupt the contest for "a being that likes a wager", and it warns him not to test its patience, as he is not a part of the contest. The First states that he is only letting Sid live because it is savoring the nurturing of hope in his heart, and informs the Scoobies that the contest has begun before opening a portal, which Buffy, Willow, Xander, Faith, and Spike immediately run through, leaving Sid and Ethan alone in the hospital.
Xander arrives at the Sunnydale High School of this world (intact, apparently because the battle with the Mayor never took place). After dealing with monstrous plants and a demonic hall monitor, Xander acquires a magical top hat that dispenses rabbits, and uses it to disrupt the flow of magic between some pentagrams to bring down a force field to the gym; he finds pentagrams in the offices, outside the school, and in the library cage, and confronts Anyanka, whom he defeats, and acquires Cassandra's arm.
Faith arrives at the old quarry, where she fights her way through till she reaches the mansion and uses the chandelier to open a hole into a tunnel where she confronts and defeats Kakistos, acquiring Cassandra's leg in the process.
Meanwhile, Spike descends into the Initiative Base, where he encounters bio-mechanical demonoids, all resembling Forrest Gates. After acquiring EMP grenades, Spike manages to disable them, and ultimately uses the computer to shut them down permanently. Afterwards, Spike battles Adam and acquires Cassandra's other leg.
Meanwhile, at the Sunnydale Mall, Willow hacks into the computers, disables the security system, bribing a demon with cash and learning the possession and sonic blast spells in the process. After battling a vampiric Tara, Willow acquires Cassandra's other arm.
Finally, Buffy ventures into the Sunnydale Zoo, where she battles zombified animals and ultimately acquires a magical shield, which she uses to bypass a Bringer in the aquarium and encounters Giles, still in his Ripper years. Ripper proves to be highly proficient in magic, showing feats such as fireball projection, teleportation, force field generation, monster conjuration, duplication, and flight, but Buffy successfully defeats him and acquires Cassandra's torso.
The Scoobies return to the hospital and reassemble Cassandra, who leads them to the First's lair. Willow reveals her relation to Ethan, and both are disgusted with each other. Ethan complains about not getting his power, and Cassandra orders him to be quiet. Spike lends her a hand, knocking Ethan out with a single punch. Afterwards, Buffy introduces herself and explains their mission, and Cassandra reveals that she is no longer capable of wielding Hope's Dagger; only a Champion of the Powers or the Slayer can wield it, so Buffy must go it alone. At that moment, Ethan disappears, the First having plans for him, and Buffy enters the castle. After acquiring Hope's Dagger, Buffy encounters Ethan, under control of the First, and defeats him. At that moment, Cassandra appears and reveals that the First cannot be killed, but it has been dispersed across multiple realities and it will take centuries for it to reform. Both Buffy and Cassandra are unwilling to let Ethan die, so Cassandra uses the last of her power to heal him before ascending to Heaven. Afterwards, the other Scoobies arrive, and Willow senses the First's world unraveling. After a brief goodbye, Sid ascends to Heaven as well, and the Scoobies reappear at Giles' bed side.
Before the credits, Ethan is shown, still in the First's castle and apparently in pain. He collapses as the First snarls in anger, thus ending the game.
- Amber Benson: Tara Maclay
- Nicholas Brendon: Xander Harris
- Eliza Dushku: Faith Lehane
- Anthony Stewart Head: Rupert Giles, Ripper
- Giselle Loren: Buffy Summers, Anya Jenkins, Anyanka
- James Marsters: Spike
- Jeremy Roberts: Kakistos
- Robin Sachs: Ethan Rayne, The First
- Kari Wahlgren: Willow Rosenberg
- Joss Whedon: Himself
- Tom Wyner: Sid the Dummy
The main story mode features six playable characters. Other characters can be unlocked to use in the multiplayer mode, including Joss Whedon himself.
- Buffy Summers - Buffy is one of the strongest characters in the game. She is playable during the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, eleventh and twelfth levels.
- Willow Rosenberg - Willow is physically weak, but has the unique ability to use magic. She is playable during the first, third and tenth levels. She is also a non-playable ally during the first level.
- Xander Harris - Xander is moderately strong, and has a similar move-set to Spike. He is playable during the first, third and seventh levels.
- Spike - Spike is one of the strongest characters in the game. He is playable during the first and ninth levels. He is also a non-playable ally during the second level.
- Sid the Dummy - Sid is half the size of the other characters, and as such, many attacks do not hit him. He is playable only during the sixth level, where he also appears as a non-playable ally.
- Faith Lehane - Faith is one of the strongest characters in the game, and has a move-set similar to Buffy. She is playable only during the eighth level.
- Tara Maclay and Rupert Giles appear as non-playable allies during the third and fourth levels, respectively.
- Zombie soldiers
- Zombie gorillas
- Bat Beasts
- Psycho Patients
- Bio-mechanical demonoids
A number of boss battles also take place, in which the playable characters must defeat alternate versions of characters they have some connection to. These include:
- Anyanka (fought by Xander)
- Kakistos (fought by Faith)
- Adam (fought by Spike)
- Tara (fought by Willow)
- Giles (fought by Buffy)
- The First (fought by Buffy)
- As well as the single-player story mode, the game features several different multi-player games. These are:
- "Survival" - player-on-player combat
- "Bunny Catcher" - players compete to collect rabbits
- "Slayer Challenge" - a single player must defeat as many enemies as possible (additional players can take control of the enemies)
- "Domination" - players must compete to control magical pentagrams for as long as possible.
- At first, only one map (Sunnydale Zoo) and four characters (Buffy, Spike, Willow, Xander) are available. More become unlocked as one plays through the main, single-player game and finds secret areas.
- "DVD-style" extras can be unlocked by finding certain secret areas during the single-player game. These include interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and also the Chaos Bleeds tie-in comic book.
- Adam does appear notably as a boss in the Inititaive level, but has no voice actor or speaking lines.
A comic book prequel was published by Dark Horse. Its story was set just before the game (the comic's blurb confirms that it is set in season five) and established the idea that the walls between realities were dissolving and the realities were 'bleeding' into each other. The comic was also available in the game itself as an unlockable special feature. Additionally, the comic was reprinted as part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer 2005 Annual in Britain.
Like the game, the comic was written by Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski and featured art by veteran Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book artist Cliff Richards as well as cover art by J. Scott Campbell.
- Spin-off material such as this is not usually thought of as canonical by fans. Chaos Bleeds, however, is different to most spin-off material in that, despite Joss Whedon being involved in its development, it can not possibly be thought of as canonical due to its many contradictions to established Buffyverse canon.
- Joyce's grave is seen which places it after The Body, yet Dawn Summers is never shown or mentioned.
- In Dirty Girls, Spike does not recognize Faith as the only time they met before was when she was in Buffy's body, yet in this game set before Dirty Girls the two meet and interact.
- If this game takes place after The Body, which it must, then it would have to take place between Intervention and Tough Love as Tara has not yet been driven insane and Spike is on good terms with the Scooby gang. However, in Intervention, Spike was brutally tortured by Glory and was shown to still be recovering from his torture wounds in Tough Love. In this game, Spike has no such wounds.
- This game has to take place in at least Season 5 due to Joyce's grave. Spike's persona is more like his season 4 one, as he expresses a desire to kill Buffy and her friends once he gets the chip out of his head.
- Despite the presence of the chip in his head, Spike punches out Ethan to no ill effect.
- In Amends, Giles mentions that there is no way to hurt the First. He and others mention this many times in season 7 as well. In this game, however, Giles is aware of the Hope's Dagger, a weapon which can apparently harm the First, though not kill it.
- In the canonical Season Eight, Ethan Rayne is still in prison, while at the end of this game he is trapped in the First's castle.
- Faith is broken out of prison in this game; though it can be assumed that she returns to it after its events, no mention is made of her being free from prison at any time before when she does finally break out in Salvage.
- No mention is made of this encounter with the First by any member of the gang in season 7, Buffy only mentions having encountered it before in Amends, while Spike, Xander and Willow are not aware of it despite meeting it in this game.
- Cassandra mentions that it will take the First centuries to reform after its defeat, though at the end of the game it is implied that it has returned.
- At the end of the game Ethan Rayne says the phrase "From beneath you, it devours", which will recur throughout Season 7. It's the first time is heard, connecting with season 7 and The First as the main enemy of the season. However, in season 7, Buffy doesn't remember this.
- Vampires can be killed by impractical means in this game; including gunfire, drowning, being stabbed by a sword or even the head of a baseball bat. Spike can also die in the same way as the other player characters and won't turn to dust.
- The Bringers will drink Buffy's blood and turn to dust upon death like Vampires do, contrary to how they're portrayed in the show.
Similarities with the 2002 game
- The player characters have a power meter, very similar to the "slayer power" meter in the previous game. In this game, the power meter works the same across each character regardless of their supernatural classification (including the human Xander), save for Willow whose power meter accounts for her spell casting.
- Many of the demon enemies have sound effects reused from the previous game.
- The player can pick up mundane objects to use as weapons. Except in this game, the weapons will break into spikes rather than stakes which function similarly to its original form, and can be holstered.
- Players characters do not die when they're health bar is reduced to zero until their killed via a special attacks.
- Enemies will create energy spheres when they die, instead in this game the power spheres are blue while the health spheres remain pink.
- Holy Water and Hellfire vials return in the form as ammo and weapons in their own right. Elixirs have been replaced with First Aid kits.
- The player can carry up to 5 stakes at a time and every stakes has the same appearance as one of the three stake models in the previous game.
- The game continues the trend of having many doors that can't and never will be opened, despite half of the player characters being strong enough to break them down.
- "Just what a girl needs. A nice, long shaft. Wait . . . that didn't come out right."
- ―Buffy when picking up a spike.
- "Lucky must be my middle name. And also clumsy, so this will come in handy."
- ―Willow when finding a MediPak.
- "Locked out. Story of my life."
- ―Faith when encountering a locked door.
- "Stake. A vampire's last meal."
- ―Xander when picking up a stake.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds at the Internet Movie Database
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds at Wikipedia
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds at Eurocom
- Review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds at GameSpy.com
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds trailer