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

posted by Sinaz20 on - last edited - Viewed by 611 users

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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  • 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?

  • @MusicallyInspired said: 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. ;)

  • 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

  • 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.

  • @Blackthorne519 said: 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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    Sinaz20 Telltale Staff

    @Valiento said:
    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:

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