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

posted by Sinaz20 on - last edited - Viewed by 1.3K 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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  • @Sinaz20 said: 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.

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    Sinaz20 Telltale Staff

    @KuroShiro said: 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.

  • 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.

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    Sinaz20 Telltale Staff

    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.

  • 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.

  • @Sinaz20 said: 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. :)

  • @thom-22 said: 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?

  • @Lambonius said: 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

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    Sinaz20 Telltale Staff

    @DAISHI said: 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??

  • @DAISHI said: 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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