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- Estimated trophy difficulty: 3/10 with a guide, 6/10 without one. [Platinum Difficulty Rating]
- Offline trophies: 37 (24, 8, 4, 1)
- Online trophies: 0
- Approximate amount of time to Platinum: 20 hours with a guide, 30-50 hours without. [Estimated Time to Platinum]
- Minimum number of playthroughs: 1 + Level Select clean-up
- Number of missable trophies: 24, but Level Select is available. The highly missable trophies to watch out for are: “Meet me there” , Parley , How could I forget? , Black Rattlers , The enemy of my enemy , Detective , & Face the music .
- Glitched trophies: The game has many bugs and glitches, including a game-breaking one in Scene 07. See glitch warning below.
- Does difficulty affect trophies?: No difficulty levels available.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong, developed by Big Bad Wolf Studios (creator of the recent, highly-reviewed episodic game The Council) and published by Nacon, is a very unique title when compared to the others in the Vampire: The Masquerade series and the greater World of Darkness universe in general. This is especially true when compared to both Bloodlines and the –of New York VN series. In overall style and gameplay, Swansong appears to be a mix of elements from both, their RPGs and VNs. Like in RPGs, you control your character; explore and interact with the world around you; have character customization like Attributes, Skills and Abilities, Traits; and more. And like VNs, the game is heavily story-based and is primarily told in dialogue (the vast majority of the game is spent simply talking to people), with multiple dialogue options and several decisions that lead to different outcomes, and, eventually, different endings.
Overall, while Swansong's greater story setting and world information fits in quite nicely into the World of Darkness framework, it's a completely unrelated story to any of the other previous titles.
Throughout the game, you will take turns playing 3 different characters: Emem, a female Toreador who dislikes the Court and can be brash; Galeb, the Ventrue protector of the Camarilla (the main group of vampires in Boston); and Leysha, a mother and Malkavian seer whose visions are important to the Camarilla's leader, Prince Hazel. Each has their own tale to tell, but how they act and respond to the world around them, and whether they survive, thrive, or fall, is entirely up to you.
GLITCH WARNING: Due to the fact that there are numerous glitches in this game, they are too many to be named here, so please see the V:TM-Swansong's Master List of Glitches thread for a complete list. Most are merely inconvenient and can usually be solved by closing and restarting the game, but there is 1 particularly bad glitch that is game-breaking. Scene 07: Red Salon may glitch out towards the end and prevent you from continuing with the Scene. See the linked thread or The right dose for more details about this glitch.
Swansong's gameplay is split rather equally between exploration and dialogue scenes. The only thing close to combat that exists here are "Confrontations", which is just basically a conversation with correct and incorrect answers, most of which have serious consequences for winning and losing (see Polite conversation for more). As a game without combat or platforming, the controls are simple enough to understand. Each character has certain Disciplines that give them in-world powers that affect exploration, but most of your abilities are dialogue-based.
Each character has their own Attributes, Disciplines, Talents, and Traits, all of which offer new options in dialogue; for example, having points in Persuasion, Intimidation, and more, all give you unique opportunities in conversations, Confrontations, and in the game as a whole. In addition, during your introduction to the game, you will be able to choose between a few pre-made playstyles (Investigator, Jack-of-all-Trades, or Veteran) and "free", which lets you choose whatever you want to do with your 130 starting XP points.
When you first begin, for the duration of Scene 01, the game will automatically switch between the 3 playable characters. After that, the game gives you the option of which Scenes to do in what order. Once you've completed all 3 characters' first individual scenes, the game returns to the 3-in-1 for Scene 05, but from that point on, all Scenes will be purely individual ones.
This is the breakdown for all Scenes (aka Chapters) in the order this Guide follows:
- Scene 01: All – Prince's Quarters
- Scene 04: Emem – "Unknown" (Jefferson Library)
- Scene 02: Galeb – Moore's Apartment
- Scene 03: Leysha – Loft
- Scene 05: All – Prince's Quarters
- Scene 08: Emem – Anarch Domain
- Scene 06: Galeb – Long Island
- Scene 07: Leysha – Red Salon
- Scene 10 Part 1: Leysha – S.A.D. Base
- Scene 11 Part 1: Emem – S.A.D. Base
- Scene 09 Part 1: Galeb – S.A.D. Base
- Scene 11 Part 2: Emem – S.A.D. Base
- Scene 09 Part 2: Galeb – S.A.D. Base
- Scene 10 Part 2: Leysha – S.A.D. Base
- Scene 11 Part 3: Emem – S.A.D. Base
- Scene 10 Part 3: Leysha – S.A.D. Base
- Scene 09 Part 3: Galeb – S.A.D. Base
- Scene 12: All – Epilogue
(The Scenes marked "All" are the ones in which the game will decide which character you play and when.)
Cloud-Save Method: For the Platinum, you would need to play through at least twice, but this can be greatly shortened by using a specific cloud-save method and redo each major decision, choosing the opposite of your choices during your first run. First, you'll need to turn off your auto-upload to the cloud. When the time calls for it, you'll: 1) Save and quit the game, 2) upload your save to the cloud, 3) go back in and make whatever choice to get the trophy, then 4) quit the game and re-download the save, and finally 5) go back and choose the next decision. Rinse and repeat as needed.
SPOILER WARNING: The trophy descriptions contain quite a few spoilers, especially those for the important decisions made throughout the game.
DLC ITEMS: There are 3 DLC items you can buy, all of which can be purchased individually or as part of the Primogen Edition. #1: is an outfit pack with 1 for each character (equipable via Menu > Settings > Bonuses), #2: A piece of gear for each character, which you'll get after Scene 01. #3 is the Victoria Ash DLC; this introduces an extra NPC character to the game for you to meet, who gives you a quest to do that is otherwise not present in the game. You'll meet her periodically throughout the game with your first meeting coming in the very first Scene. She's not involved in any trophy though, but it's a nice, small addition that gives you a handful of extra story about the rest of the world outside just the Boston Camarilla where you're based.
Step 0: Play blindly. (Optional)
If you have the time and want to truly experience this amazing game and get the real challenge of solving the puzzles on your own, which I highly recommend, then complete a playthrough blindly without a guide. While this will add on several hours to the Platinum time, once you complete the game for the first time, you can use Skip (hold ) to skip all dialogue and cutscenes. Between that and Level Select further shortening necessary clean-up, it's absolutely worth playing for real, on your own. However, I would suggest noting down the important decisions you've made so that you can get the alternative choice's trophy later on.
PS: If you want to solve puzzles yourself, a notebook is really handy to use, as this game has a lot to keep track of, and many subtle clues or codes hidden everywhere.
Step 1: Play the game as you please, but either use the cloud-save method to get multiple decision trophies in one go, or leave it for a second playthrough.
Play the game however you want to, making whatever choices you want to, whether that's in your attributes or skills, or in conversations. If you're going to skip doing the save method and instead leave alt routes for the clean-up or a second playthrough, just make sure to note down or remember which decisions you made so that you can quickly make the opposite choices later on.
Make sure you don't miss any Safe Zones for “Meet me there” , as it is the easiest to miss but hardest to clean up.
You should also keep the 3 trophies relating to maxing out a Skill's level and a Discipline's level in mind. You only need to max one of each, though, so getting these shouldn't be too difficult.
By the end of this step, you should have earned:
A gathering of beasts
“Are you scared now? You should be.”
World of Darkness
Road of the Beast
’Proper’ vampires frown on this
You are what you eat
“Meet me there”
Mom of the Year
How could I forget?
The right dose
The enemy of my enemy
A hard pill to swallow
I never want to see you again
Don’t pet the dog
For the dead travel fast
Face the music
Eat the liches
“You’ve gone too far”
My flesh and blood
“My time has come”
“Let us show them the power of immortality”
Step 2: Get the individual bad Leysha endings as well as the game's Bad Ending.
Now that you've completed your first playthrough and gotten the game's main, good ending, it's time to get the few trophies for bad individual endings as well as the game's overall Bad Ending.
You'll need to start by using Level Select to go to Scene 10 Part 3: Leysha – S.A.D. Base, where you'll have to do 2 different bad endings in a row to get the Despair has its own calms and From one prison to another trophies.
Then, for the Bad Ending for “We will never forget them” , all 3 have to die. The fastest way to get them is by:
- Starting at Scene 10 Part 2: get Leysha's death via the Werewolf,
- Continue to Scene 11 Part 3: Emem's death via S.A.D. soldiers, and
- Finish with Scene 09 Part 3: Galeb's death via losing the Confrontation. (See the trophy for a complete walkthrough.)
By the end of this step, you will have earned:
Despair has its own calms
From one prison to another
“We will never forget them”
Step 3: Clean-up using Level Select.
Once you're completely done with the game the first time and have earned Swansong , you now have access to all levels via Level Select. If you missed any alternative decisions & routes, and/or did not use the cloud save-method, then now's the time to use Level Select to go back to the relevant important choices and this time go the other way. If there are any at all, those should hopefully be the only trophies left to earn, but if for whatever reason you missed some others, such as Safe Zones, you can also do those via Level Select.