Legends, Myths, and Fairy Tales- what lore tickles your adventure bone?

Sinaz20Sinaz20 Telltale Alumni
edited August 2011 in Discuss
Hi everyone. I just wanted to spark a new conversation as some of us swirl visions of Daventry in the backs of our minds (while working on current projects.)

I have been thinking a lot about the source inspiration for the King's Quest games. Roberta Williams developed a rich world of twisted fairytales, classical myth, and fantasy conventions. She pulled from so many sources that by the end of the series, it really felt like she was running out of material. She had begun to dip into more contemporary literature like Lewis Carroll.

I want to know what kind of material interests you. What stories, myth, legend, or fairytales do you feel got left behind or went unexamined?

I'm trying to compile a lot of research material to build a reference library for the eventual team.

I recently finished reading The Once and Future King followed up by Le Morte d'Arthur and have been feeling, "well, now, there's a King's quest!" This has actually spurred me on to more medievalist self-study, as I've begun to read some historical essays concerning the lives and cultures around European medieval cities and castles. I'm also revisiting some of my Norse mythology studies.

I'm going to be reading through the complete works of the Brothers Grimm to freshen up on my fairytales.

Obviously The Lord of the Rings is topical, so I'd like to hear some opinion about the themes and setting of Middle Earth. Appropriate? Relevant? No, no, stay away?

King's Quest has mostly been centered on European folklore, later reaching out to the Arabian Nights tales and nonsense (as in surreal) literature. Are there any other ethnic folklores/literature that I should consider? Would these other folklores feel off brand? I am partial to Chinese and Japanese legend, but that just seems totally out of left field for a King's Quest game. What do you think?
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Comments

  • edited April 2011
    I do not feel like it HAS to draw only from European myths and legends. Daventry is certainly based around that, but most of the games involve the player character traveling to some other place that is very different from Daventry. I'm not expert of fairy tales, and can't think of specific examples of anything left out. Drawing from Greek mythology would be neat, which was already done somewhat in KQ6 with the minotaur. Maybe Gulliver's Travels would be a good source of inspiration. I've always loved the Sinbad movies by Ray Harryhausen (and all of his movies) and I feel those could be a good source for inspiration.
  • edited April 2011
    You might want to take a look at the Smax graphic novel by Alan Moore. Characters journey through a fantasy world that has every myth imaginable incorporated in it, up to and including adventure games. You could glean some inspiration I'm sure.

    Asian myth is an interesting idea - perhaps better saved for a sequel or a single episode though...the main setting of this first new proper KQ game in 17 years should probably be traditional "European" fantasy.

    In another Alan Moore comic series, Promethea, there is a brief cameo from The Pied Piper in which he is a complete badass, yet still completely consistent with the myth (not an American McGee situation). Maybe look for "edgy" angles like that from more traditional characters who are at first glance uninteresting.

    Certainly some things such as trolls from Norse mythology could be cool (they've been done already in some form throughout the series, but there's room to explore there).

    I definitely think you're on the right track with the stuff you're looking into, especially re-reading all of the Grimm stories. As I alluded to with the Pied Piper comment, see if there are versions you could incorporate closer to the "real" versions that might be more interesting than what we're used to.

    Try to watch Pinocchio if you haven't seen it in a while...really great aesthetic in addition to more superficial elements that you could take from that.

    Not a fan of incorporating any major elements from LotR, but that's me. I'd rather you draw from The Black Cauldron series (Chronicles of Prydain).
  • edited April 2011
    I'm not against branching out into mythology and folklore from other parts of the world, but I think that European stories should definitely take the center stage. Grimms' fairy tales and the Arabian Nights are both large collections of stories, and there are still many that haven't been incorporated into a KQ game.

    Speaking of which, Valiento, ATMachine and I recently discovered that several characters and elements from the original series (i.e., Genesta, Lolotte) actually originated from several obscure fairy tales that were all from a single collection of fairy tales compiled by Andrew Lang. There are eleven other books by the same author. Some of the stories contained in them are very familiar (Rumpelstiltskin, The Three Little Pigs, etc.), while others are completely new to me. I'd be interested in seeing bits of these more obscure stories making an appearance. I'd also be interested to see some lesser-known mythical creatures from European folklore appear, and even something as small as a superstition about the supernatural could play a part in a puzzle (e.g., stepping into a fairy ring during a full moon, four-leaf clovers allow a person carrying it to see fairies and can also break enchantments). I'm sure the Rip Van Winkle story would also fit in fairly well.
  • Sinaz20Sinaz20 Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2011
    I should point out, that the purpose of this is not to cobble together pieces of other stories, but to expand our pool of literary knowledge and research. King's quest isn't about stapling the various stories together into a Frankentale. I don't want to convey such an idea as a strategy to designing the game.

    More so, I just want to see what kind of themes and styles you'd want to experience in a KQ game.

    So-- yeah, you're not going to riddle Gollum for the Ring, but riddling a creature for something is certainly on brand. There may be thematic elements or perhaps artifacts lifted out of such stories... Mythril anyone? A shattered sword needing to be mended?

    What I like about the Arthurian Legend, in particular, is the sense of building an ideology around virtue and questing for artifacts, also the incestuous nature of villainy and revenge in the stories. There's also the satire of questing for the sake of questing that comes up a lot in The Once and Future King.

    Andrew Lang is a great reference-- gonna have to try to find some collections to purchase.

    Sinbad is part of Arabian legend... well before Harryhausen. But yeah, again-- Arabian legend is a good source that had begun to be tapped by Roberta Williams.
  • edited April 2011
    As much as I love Lord of the Rings, I think that a Tolkein-inspired take on the standard fantasy creatures is very UN-King's Quest. There are really no instances in the series (aside from a few general character archetypes) that even approach Tolkein-esque material, so I'd stay away from Middle Earth as source material. It's not a direction that any game in the series has taken yet, and personally, I think any Tolkein references, even obscure ones, would feel very out of place. KQ was more the realm of fairy tales and mythology rather than the high fantasy of Tolkein.

    Concerning mythology, I think it's important to stick to the mythology of Western civilization. Classical myth has already been done to death in KQ games, but Norse mythology could fit, if done right. KQ6 had a touch of an Arabian Nights feel, but it was pretty much confined to character archetypes (genie/vizier) and Moorish architectural style. The game never delved into the realm of actual Arabian mythology, and the visual aesthetic and character archetypes were incorporated into a decidedly western setting. Anything that was more richly Arabian would probably feel out of place, and would be in danger of feeling like a retread of Quest For Glory II.
  • edited April 2011
    I wouldn't go near any of Tokein's works for King's Quest. King's Quest has always been built around well known general fairy tales and legends rather than from any specific literary work. I just pointed out Gulliver's travels as a source of inspiration for weird creatures and situations he finds himself in.
  • edited April 2011
    I'm against Tolkien lore as well. Tolkien lore is another level of fantasy that I don't believe King's Quest can really approach given that its own lore is now set and its own feel presented.

    I like the idea of incorporating elements of Norse mythology, though, as Lamb mentioned, if done correctly could be neat.
  • edited April 2011
    I also agree that drawing much inspiration from Tolkien would be bad for KQ. The Lord of the Rings has a very "high," melancholy tone in which the imminent passing of the heroic age, the time of elves and demigods, is always keenly felt. I'm not sure KQ should ever be so elegiac (although, admittedly, Roberta wanted to do something Tolkienesque with Mask of Eternity).

    In fact, King's Quest is an embodiment of much that JRR Tolkien hated about the fantasy of his era--e.g., there are diminutive, mischievous elves and winged fairy godmothers, the sort of simple characters and deus ex machinas the Victorians loved putting in children's tales and which Tolkien despised. In KQ the powers of good also invariably win out over evil, whereas Tolkien preferred to emphasize that even the biggest victories over the forces of darkness come only at a great price.

    That doesn't mean there can't be some more "adult" things done with the lore, though. For example, the KQ Companion and the KQ novels all make clear that fairies and elves can be evil, or at least chillingly indifferent to human sensibilities. Although good elves and fairies do exist, humans should approach any such encounter with great caution.

    Two good 20th century book series to look at, in terms of the proper background for KQ, would be CS Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia and Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain, both of which were important inspirations to Roberta Williams.
  • edited April 2011
    ATMachine wrote: »
    Two good 20th century book series to look at, in terms of the proper background for KQ, would be CS Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia and Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain, both of which were important inspirations to Roberta Williams.

    I've mentioned the Chronicles of Prydain time and time again, so I'll go ahead and second this recommendation one more time. ;) Seriously, those books are great, and personally, I've never read any literature that reminded me more of a King's Quest game.
  • edited April 2011
    I really like the idea of incorporating elements of Arthurian legend into King's Quest. I'm actually really surprised that there weren't more obvious Arthurian references in the old King's Quest games, because, as you said, it seems like such a perfect fit for the series.

    The Brothers Grimm stories were obviously a huge part of the King's Quest world. And incorporating Norse mythology makes a lot of sense to me, since it's an extension of that same family of ancient Germanic religion and folklore.

    Greek mythology has always been a big part of the King's Quest world too. It's interesting to note, though, that most of the Greek influences in the earlier King's Quest games come from the Perseus myth in particular: KQ3 has Medusa, whose severed head Perseus needed in order to defeat the sea-monster Ceto and save Andromeda (who was being sacrificed to said monster just as Rosella was being sacrificed to the dragon); KQ2 has Pegasus, who was born from Medusa's dripping blood; and the single-eye-sharing witches in KQ4 are clearly inspired by the single-eye-sharing Graeae, whose eye Perseus held ransom in order to learn Medusa's location. And I think it's pretty clear that Roberta Williams was a big fan of the original Clash of the Titans movie, as her portrayals of these characters seem more influenced by that film's version of the Perseus story than, say, Ovid's. And I think Cedric was pretty clearly inspired by the robotic owl sidekick thing in that movie too. Obviously KQ6 incorporated other Greek myths as well -- the labyrinth and the minotaur from the Theseus and Minos stories, the very Greek-inspired Underword sequence, complete with Charon and the River Styx, etc. -- and so I'm not saying that all of your Greek mythology influences need to come from the Perseus story or from Clash of Titans, I'm just pointing things out.
  • edited April 2011
    You forgot Pandora's Box. And there WAS a mummy in there as well with hieroglyphics and ankhs everywhere. A bit of Egyptian lore as well?
  • edited April 2011
    And there WAS a mummy in there as well with hieroglyphics and ankhs everywhere. A bit of Egyptian lore as well?

    I always thought the mummy was more a nod to classic horror films than actual Egyptian lore. ;)
  • edited April 2011
    That's true.
  • edited April 2011
    Something, also, to keep in mind is to remember not to stick SO HARD to fitting a genre on King's Quest - what is important, really, is "story". The details are what flavor it, but the essence has always been on story - Sir Graham aids his ailing King in finding three lost treasure; King Graham searches a strange new land to save a fair maiden; Gwydion struggles to free himself from the yoke of oppression and find his way home; Rosella races against time to find a cure for her father..... The story can be simple, but strong.

    Mucking it up with TOO much lore, or literary reference, really strays away from King's Quest. The makeup of the world should have the weight of some reality, but also the whimsy of fantasy.


    Bt
  • edited April 2011
    Actual ancient Egyptian elements could work if done correctly. You'd probably want to stylize the designs so that they were more Egyptian-INSPIRED than incorporating real Egyptian mythology. The straight adaptation of real-world historical cultures really isn't something that has been done in any KQ game yet, though the subtle incorporation of design motifs and such shows up now and again.
  • edited April 2011
    Something, also, to keep in mind is to remember not to stick SO HARD to fitting a genre on King's Quest - what is important, really, is "story". The details are what flavor it, but the essence has always been on story - Sir Graham aids his ailing King in finding three lost treasure; King Graham searches a strange new land to save a fair maiden; Gwydion struggles to free himself from the yoke of oppression and find his way home; Rosella races against time to find a cure for her father..... The story can be simple, but strong.

    Mucking it up with TOO much lore, or literary reference, really strays away from King's Quest. The makeup of the world should have the weight of some reality, but also the whimsy of fantasy.


    Bt

    Good points, Bt. But you really have to be careful when you say the emphasis is on story. I wouldn't necessarily agree with that, but I get what you are trying to say. The stories are simple, straightforward, and powerful, and not bogged down by ridiculous lore indulgences. There's a HUGE difference between a KQ story, and say...Gabriel Knight 2. ;) Fan games like KQ2+ and TSL have shown just how awkward the KQ world becomes when you try to add too much backstory to it. These characters have to remain archtetypes. They aren't real, and they shouldn't be treated as such. It's the same with the lands and their "histories." KQ6 is just about as deep as any KQ game should ever go in terms of backstory, and even that felt like it was too much at times.
  • edited April 2011
    I've always had an interest in Arthurian legends, as well as Greek, and to a lesser extent, Roman mythology. King's Quest 6 was my first KQ game, and I liked the Arabian vibe of the Isle of the Crown, and the Greek influences on the Winged Ones. When I played KQ7 I liked how the first area you start in seemed like it was ripped straight out of the American Southwest.

    As others have said, I don't believe that Tolkien-esque lore really fits with King's Quest. I know that I personally feel as if Tolkien's works have become the standard for most fantasy settings. It really feels overused.

    You mention Asian mythology...I don't have much experience with it, and as you say, it seems a little strange given KQ's previous settings, but I think if it's done right it could work out nicely. Every KQ game has taken us to a new setting, why couldn't there be one that's based on Asian mythology? Yes, this is something of a cliche in games, but it's an interesting thought at least.
  • edited April 2011
    Personally, I think any kind of East Asian setting would be a major no-no for a KQ game. However, I think an Asian character could work--like maybe a traveling merchant "from distant lands," and perhaps he could send you on a quest that was somehow related to Asian mythology. Given the predominantly Western settings and mythology of the series, the only way East Asian stuff would fit is if it were treated as some kind of exotic "other" in the context of the game itself.
  • edited April 2011
    I don't know KQ8 moved towards Babylonian/Mesopotamian mythological inspirtation (Dimension of Death, Sun Mask ('Mask of Eternity'), Bull-headed underworld god, etc)...

    Who knows what Roberta would have done if she had been given a chance at another game?

    Their actually already a couple of allusions to 'Asian' themed fairy tales in the games already! The nightengales for example, the Mechanical Nightingale especially is based on The Nightengale (a story by Hans Christian Anderson). The caged nightengale is more of an allusion to the The Nightengale a story collected by Andrew Lang in one of his Fairy Books.

    Albeit they have each been reinterpreted into middle-eastern, and westernized lands... :p

    Actually in the Barren Region in KQ8, there is alot of Tibeten/Nepal/Himalyan (East Asian), as well as Siberian/Northern China (and border of East Russian/North-East Asian) influence surrounding the Hillmen. Actually some of the music in the Barren Regions associated with the Hillmen has an Eastern Asian flare to it. The gongs near the Stone of Order as well.

    There is actually even an optional 'great wall' in one section of the Barren Region, guarded by a lone Hillmen that can be explored (but serves little purpose except to find an extra potion or two).

    The Weirdlings themselves live in Mongolian-style yurts and are shown to have Mongolian style shamanism. Also as I recall the music style played near their village is Eastern Asian in origin. Some aspects such as their clothing resembles the clothing worn by the Sherpa people of Nepal.
  • Sinaz20Sinaz20 Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2011
    Valiento wrote: »
    Their actually already a couple of allusions to Eastern Asian fairy tales in the games already! The nightengales for example, the Mechanical Nightengale especially is based on The Nightengale (a story by Hans Christian Anderson). The caged nightengale is more of an allusion to the The Nightengale a story collected by Andrew Lang in one of his Fairy Books.
    I'm not following you here-- did you mean Eastern European? Cause Hans Christian Andersen and nightingales are pretty far removed from East Asia. :confused:
  • edited April 2011
    Considering that The Nightengale both the HC Anderson version and the the story collected by Andrew Lang in the Yellow Fairy Book are both set in China and concern a Chinese Emperor it's more about asian culture than European.

    But yes the authors/editor were certainly European themselves!

    BTW nightingales range from Europe to Asia naturally actually.

    Also, I can't think of any classic fairytales concerning nightingales that don't relate to China or the Chinese emperors. It seems to be a common trope. I guess there is Oscar Wilde's The nightingale and the Rose which didn't have a specific setting.

    Still, I don't understand how the Emperor of China and nightingales came to be associated with each other in the fairy tales... But still understanding and knowledge of the original stories is important to picking up on the references in the games! In some cases knowledge of the original tales is the key to solving the puzzles!
  • Sinaz20Sinaz20 Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2011
    Valiento wrote: »
    Considering that The Nightengale both the HC Anderson version and the the story collected by Andrew Lang in the Yellow Fairy Book are both set in China and concern a Chinese Emperor it's more about asian culture than European.

    But yes the authors/editor were certainly European themselves!
    Ah. Obviously I'm not familiar with this one.

    Thanks.
  • edited April 2011
    No problem!

    I'd certainly recommend reading the Anderson's fairy tales, Icebella and the melting of her heart for example in KQ5 was inspired by Anderson's 'The Snow Queen'.

    Aesop is also a good source for many of the classic fairy tales.

    Another great fairy tale collection is Vikram and the Vampire from India. Basically IIRC the story correctly it's basically like 1001 Nights. Vikram is carried away to be killed by a vampire but tricks the creature into sparing through telling various stories.

    Of course Rudyard Kipling is often credited with having added important works to the world's library of fairy tales as well.

    Washington Irving and some of the American Tall Tales could even be sources of inspiration as well. There are quite a few native American tales that could be good inspiration as well. The 'Fill' bowl in KQ1 for example comes from a classic North American Tall Tall/Folktale called 'Fill, Bowl! Fill!' about a man named Jack.

    Roberta also looked to classic literature and horror such as the appearance of Count Dracula in KQ2, Abdul Alhazred in KQ6, and the Headless Horseman in KQ7 (from an American folktale by Irving).
  • edited April 2011
    Hans Christian Anderson's Nightengale story may be about a Chinese Emperor, but that doesn't make it a Chinese folktale.

    Anderson (and any Western author from that time period) would have approached the subject of a Far Eastern setting from an Orientalist perspective--meaning he would be using it with the intent of focusing on the exotic qualities of the non-Western culture. Those types of stories were fantastical escapism for Europeans, specifically because of how different the Eastern cultures seemed, and they were oftentimes extremely exaggerated and stereotyped as a result.
  • edited April 2011
    I never said The Nightengale by HC Anderson was a Chinese folktale. I cant't speak for the other story collected by Andrew Lang however. I don't know where his story originated from or if he wrote it himself. The main point is the nightingales were a reference to those particular stories but reinterpreted and stripped of the 'Asian' motifs.

    In fact if Roberta had utilized 'Asian' themes in her series more than likely she would have been inspired by orientalism herself (as it itself is much part of 19th century fairy tales as some of the other themes she utilized). She is in-fact not Chinese herself! She sort of went that way with the Nepal/Tibetan/Mongolian inspired stuff in KQ8.

    The allusions to Alladin story in the games are also from a fairy tale set in China as well! Which also appeared in one of the Andrew Lang fairy books, originally from 1001 nights.
  • edited April 2011
    Right. I guess what I meant was that I feel like Orientalized interpretations of Asian subject matter would fit the KQ universe far better than straight-up Jade Empire-esque Asian mythology. :)
  • edited April 2011
    I'm not entirely sure I'd call Jade Empire strictly 'Chinese' either, sure it's loosely based on elements from the ancient Chinese novel Outlaws in the Marsh and may contains elements from other Chinese legends, it's also very much contains aspects of westernized themes and Asian kung fu movies. Some of it pretty 'Orientalized' as well, and even a bit of steam punk. But I'd agree something like that wouldn't fit KQ.

    On the opposite end I think visting a Chinese inspired land and cultures inspired from a combination of fairy tales and myths from western and from around the world adjusted to fit into that land's back history wouldn't be all that bad. The myths need to be obvious enough that they can be picked out by those who read fairy tales, even if they add a new twists to the theme. I'd say think how The Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood, a Japanese film, adapted Shakespeare's Macbeth into the world of the Samurai!

    Think how KQ7 had an area that was more or less inspired by American southwest and northern Mexico, Aztec or Mayan. But adapted in several ideas from other cultural folk tales. The Jackalope for example being from American Urban Legend.

    Or how the Swamp in KQ8 took partial inspiration from a Louisiana bayou, but other more fantastical things were adapted into it.

    There are also quite a few actual Asian fairy tales and folktales that could be fun if adapted into the kQ world in some way. They could easily be adapted to fit whatever land the designers come up with, as they share many of the common themes of fairy tales/folk tales from around the world.

    For example there is one that is similar to Tom Thumb in which a one inch boy leaves his family to become a warrior, carrying only a needle as a sword. He proves his courage to a warlord, defeats a demon by causing the creature to step on his needle hurting it and causing it to flee in pain. Ultimately he marries the warlords beautiful daughter!
  • edited April 2011
    Personally I feel all the stars are in alignment for a blending of the Mesoamerican mythologies into King's Quest.
  • edited April 2011
    The essential connection or linchpin could be the idea that the king and the land are one.

    The Mesoamerican civilizations had this idea in common with the Arthurian legends (on which King's Quest draws), though from an angle sufficiently different to challenge Graham's notions (or those of whoever is the protagonist), considering the sacrificial twist. And simply stated, this is also where the series started in the first place, with both Daventry and the old king ailing. It would be an appropriate theme to resume and re-establish the series.

    More on my thinking regarding the Mesoamerican mythologies: The Telltale engine has been shown to be well suited for depicting colourful worlds and characters. The treatment of this theme in the Cryo game Beyond Atlantis was aesthetically amazing and would be something for the designers and artists to definitely look at in terms of seeing how instantly appealing yet intriguingly different this subject can be.

    And whatever our attitude to this, we will clearly be seeing a lot of films and books and games on Mesoamerican (and particularly Mayan) themes in the near future. King's Quest might as well tap into the zeitgeist and make one of the rare contributions that people will want to play long after 2012 has gone. For that, of course, it needs more than a surface understanding and plundering of these myths. Again, Beyond Atlantis is a wonderful example of how to do it right.

    About the other suggestions: I can see a resurgence of interest in Asian mythologies in the next five years, but likely only after the Maya wave has started to pass. I can also see King's Quest one day moving on to explore that area, but not yet. The time is not right - it would be too much of a leap. It would be doable after a Mesoamerican-themed instalment (in fact, I feel this would be a very strong trajectory for the series to follow), but my own feeling is that reversing this order would not work.

    Regarding the Tolkien question, I agree with the consensus here. That wave has already crested and that type of straight fantasy would not have worked for King's Quest, anyway. More generally, King's Quest needs to do something new at this point - something it has not yet done. And much as I love the familiar myths explored in the existing games, it would be mighty disappointing to get a simple rehash of the Greek gods or European fairy tales.
  • Sinaz20Sinaz20 Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2011
    Personally I feel all the stars are in alignment for a blending of the Mesoamerican mythologies into King's Quest.

    At first, I was like, meh. But then, I thought it's not too far off of including Egyptian and Arabian mythology.

    I'd be interested to see what other people think about this.
  • edited April 2011
    Sinaz20 wrote: »
    At first, I was like, meh. But then, I thought it's not too far off of including Egyptian and Arabian mythology.

    I'd be interested to see what other people think about this.

    There's no particular reason for any mythos to be excluded as long as can be twisted around to make some sort of logical sense. There's nothing in particular that should preclude, say, a ziggurat temple in KQ.
  • Sinaz20Sinaz20 Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2011
    KuroShiro wrote: »
    There's no particular reason for any mythos to be excluded as long as can be twisted around to make some sort of logical sense. There's nothing in particular that should preclude, say, a ziggurat temple in KQ.

    Well, I'd be wary of just dropping some mesoamerican architecture in for the sake of differentiation.

    What about mayan and aztec mythology?

    The bits I'd be more interested in would be the mythical themes, gods, and beasts... and how they would fit in a King's Quest game.
  • edited April 2011
    I was thinking of the gods in particular. It would be hard to find greater mythical figures than the likes of the Feathered Serpent, Quetzalcoatl.

    If anyone is interested, I could obtain and post images from a few popular culture (entertainment) interpretations of this theme that I found particularly evocative.

    Just let me know.
  • Sinaz20Sinaz20 Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2011
    Post away.

    I remember a design challenge on conceptart.org around a mayan or aztec god. It produced some awesome art. I'll have to see if I can dig that thread up.
  • edited April 2011
    I like that King's Quest games were always a pastiche of elements from various sources: Little Red Riding Hood, mermaids and Neptune, a genie and flying carpet, Dracula, a witch and ghosts all in the same world. The references seemed haphazard, and the delight came from discovering the familiar, so to speak.

    While I like the idea of drawing elements from non-Western mythology and fairy tales -- Japanese and Meso-American both sound appealing to me -- I think you should keep in mind that the further afield you go, the less recognizable they will be to players. So I wouldn't go overboard in incorporating too many details from any particular theme but rather balance them with more familiar references as well.
  • edited April 2011
    Sinaz20 wrote: »
    Well, I'd be wary of just dropping some mesoamerican architecture in for the sake of differentiation.

    Ziggurats are from Mesopotamia, not Mesoamerica. Look it up. :)
  • edited April 2011
    thom-22 wrote: »
    I like that King's Quest games were always a pastiche of elements from various sources: Little Red Riding Hood, mermaids and Neptune, a genie and flying carpet, Dracula, a witch and ghosts all in the same world. The references seemed haphazard, and the delight came from discovering the familiar, so to speak.

    While I like the idea of drawing elements from non-Western mythology and fairy tales -- Japanese and Meso-American both sound appealing to me -- I think you should keep in mind that the further afield you go, the less recognizable they will be to players. So I wouldn't go overboard in incorporating too many details from any particular theme but rather balance them with more familiar references as well.

    Less recognizable to who?
  • edited April 2011
    Lambonius wrote: »
    Ziggurats are from Mesopotamia, not Mesoamerica. Look it up. :)

    Ziggurats existed in both Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica. The "Tower of Babel" was supposedly conceived as one, then you have definite real ones such as
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Ancient_ziggurat_at_Ali_Air_Base_Iraq_2005.jpg
  • Sinaz20Sinaz20 Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2011
    DAISHI wrote: »
    Ziggurats existed in both Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica. The "Tower of Babel" was supposedly conceived as one, then you have definite real ones such as
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Ancient_ziggurat_at_Ali_Air_Base_Iraq_2005.jpg

    They also existed in Los Angeles circa 2019...

    Ziggur-whaaaat??
  • edited April 2011
    DAISHI wrote: »
    Less recognizable to who?

    This is a big issue. I agree that what made the references great to me in the early games was their familiarity. If you don't catch the reference, it could come across as out of place. If I didn't know the story of rumplestiltskin, the gnome in KQ1 and the spinning wheel in KQ5 would have been out of place. There are many many more examples of this throughout. At the end of the day you have to ask the question, "who is the game marketed to?" I think the references used should be familiar to that group. You can't please everyone. For me, as a kid I would have never gotten into KQ if I didn't know the references to fairy tales...etc. Now as an adult I feel as though if I am less familiar with something it will inspire me to learn something new. I am more open to almost any form of legend/myth/fairy tale from almost any part of the world, but I would not have been 20 years ago.

    Also, stay away from Tolkien/Lord of the Rings.
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