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Why Videogame Stories Are Awful
Transcript of Why Videogame Stories Are Awful
(1981) "Metroid" [NES]
Nintendo R&D1 (1986) "Resident Evil" Capcom (1996) "Grand Theft Auto III"
DMA Design (2001) "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas"
Rockstar North (2004) "Final Fantasy VII" [PSX]
Square PDD1 (1997) "Halo: Combat Evolved"
[Xbox] Bungie (2001) "World of Warcraft"
Blizzard (2004) "Medal of Honor"
DreamWorks Interactive (1999) "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare"
Infinity Ward (2007) "Boyz N the Hood"
John Singleton (1991) "Left 4 Dead" Turtle Rock (2008) "Space Invaders" Taito
(1979) "Wing Commander"
Origin Systems (1990) "The Lord of the Rings"
JRR Tolkein (1955) "Star Wars"
George Lucas (1977) "Aliens"
James Cameron (1986) "Saving Private Ryan"
Steven Speilberg (1998) "Scarface"
Brian De Palma (1983) "Dawn of the Dead"
George A. Romero (1978) Völsunga saga [Saga of the Völsungs] and
Nibelungenlied [Song of the Nibelungs]
(13th Century) "The Hero with a
Joseph Campbell (1949) "Kakushi toride no san akunin"
[The Hidden Fortress]
Akira Kurasawa (1958) "Flash Gordon" [13-part Serial]
Frederick Stephani (1936) "Lensman" series
E.E. 'Doc' Smith (1948-1960) "Alien"
Ridley Scott (1979) "Starship Troopers"
Robert A. Heinlein (1959) "Starship Troopers"
[Randall C. Reed] (1976) "Броненосец Потёмкин"
Sergei Eisenstein (1925) "Henry VI, Part 3"
William Shakespeare (1623) "Romeo and Juliet"
William Shakespeare (1597) "The Iliad" Homer
(8th Century BC) "The Last Man"
Mary Shelley (1826) "Scarface"
Howard Hawks (1932) "I Am Legend"
Richard Matheson (1954) "Night of the Living Dead"
George A. Romero (1974) Sigurd and Fafnir "Perseus and Andromeda"
Titian (1554-6) "Andromeda Chained
to the Rock" Rembrandt (1631) "Jatayu Vadham"
Raja Ravi Varma (1895) Ravana, Sita and
Jatayu The Story
Background: You get the phone call at 4 a.m. By 5:30 you're in the secret installation. The
commander explains tersely, "It's about the Slipgate device. Once we perfect these, we'll be able
to use them to transport people and cargo from one place to another instantly.
"An enemy codenamed Quake, is using his own slipgates to insert death squads inside our bases
to kill, steal, and kidnap.
"The hell of it is we have no idea where he's from. Our top scientists think Quake's not from
Earth, but another dimension. They say Quake's preparing to unleash his real army, whatever
"You're our best man. This is Operation Counterstrike and you're in charge. Find Quake, and
stop him ... or it ... You have full authority to requisition anything you need. If the eggheads are
right, all our lives are expendable."
Prelude to Destruction: While scouting the neighborhood, you hear shots back at the base.
Damn, that Quake bastard works fast! He heard about Operation Counterstrike, and hit first.
Racing back, you see the place is overrun. You are almost certainly the only survivor. Operation
Counterstrike is over. Except for you.
You know that the heart of the installation holds a slipgate. Since Quake's killers came through, it
is still set to his dimension. You can use it to get loose in his hometown. Maybe you can get to
the asshole personally. You pump a round into your shotgun, and get moving "The Well at the World's End"
William Morris (1896) "Quake"
id Software (1996) Linear versus Open Worlds Implicit narrative: what the player does Explicit narrative: what the game says Explicit depiction: what the painting shows Implicit depiction: what the viewer infers Funneling Breadcrumbing "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas"
Rockstar North (2004) "GoldenEye 007"
Rare (1997) "Ghosts'n Goblins" Capcom
[Tokuro Fujiwara] (1985) Dialogue Signs and Markers Weenie and Berms Journal Map Compass Guide Waypoints "Pokémon Emerald" [GBA]
GameFreak (2004) "Guild Wars"
AreaNet (2005) "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim"
Bethesda (2011) "Journey" [PS3]
Thatgamecompany (2012) "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion"
Bethesda (2006) "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City"
Rockstar North (2002) "Shadow of the Colossus"
Team Ico (2005) "The Legend of Zelda:
The Ocarina of Time" [N64]
Nintendo EAD (1998) "Castlevania:
Aria of Sorrow" [GBA]
Konami Toyko (2003) "Street Fighter II"
Capcom (1991) "The Way of the
Exploding Fist" Beam
[Gregg Barnett] (1985) Seven Stock Videogame Plots "Enter the Dragon"
Robert Clouse (1973) "Romeo and Juliet"
Royal Shakespeare Company
Baz Luhrmann (1996) "West Side Story" Robert Wise
and Jerome Robbins (1961) "Shichi no samurai"
Akira Kurosawa (1954) "The Magnificent Seven"
John Sturges (1960) "Battle Beyond the Stars"
Jimmy T. Murakami
[Produced by Roger Corman] (1980) Same Story, Same Plot Different Setting Same Plot Different Story,
Different Setting (Almost) Same Plot
Same Setting Different Story Story, Plot, Setting "Wong Fei-Hung's Battle With
Five Tigers In the Boxing Ring" (1958) Wuxia novels "Romance of the Three Kingdoms"
Luo Guanzhong (14th century)