Bastardising Mythology to suit your purposes...

Discussion in 'Historian's House' started by darkfox, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. darkfox

    darkfox New Member

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    Just started playing "Rise of the Argonaughts" on 360 and got annoyed.

    I don't mind creative license running away with mythology or accepted mythological fact, assuming that exists. I also understand that certain liberties need to be taken to make games, movies and books more interesting to todays generation.

    That being said. King Jason of Greece has a rather large buddy and I thought maybe they'd name him something like Colosus or the like. But no. Hercules. Really?

    I've seen this kind of thing far too often of late and it's begining to really annoy me. Mythology, in the most basic form, is where fantasy story telling began in my opinion. The story of Odeseus. Or how Zeus conquered the Titans. Achilles and his ankle. Paris and Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships. All of them are excellent stories and can be told with a little liberty, like the movie Troy.

    I litterally read the first chapter of a book I can't remember the title of where Thor and Hercules battled in the Roman Colliseum. If I hadn't borrowed it from the library, I might have just lit the thing on fire right there.

    Are we as a people so devoid of original concepts that we have to bastardise wonderful and ancient stories to make them more applicable to our generation?
     
  2. Jorick

    Jorick Well-Known Member

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    If you get right down to it, every modern story is a bastardization of mythology. Slaying a monster? Mythology had it first. Romance and relationships? Mythology had it first. Quest to save the world, magical weapons, gods, whatever; mythology had it all first.

    But creative license is just that: license to get creative. Mythology is a popular inspiration for stories, so of course there will be people who go straight to the source and use the actual characters from those stories. And who wants to read a rehash of a story they already know? Modernizing the language only does so much, so of course there have to be plot changes.

    That said, I also get what you're saying. If you're going to do a story so strictly set in mythology, don't screw with it too much. They're classic stories for a reason, leave them that way. If you want to write about your favorite mythological figures, put them in a new setting via magic or something so that you have free reign to add whatever you want. Turning an iconic figure like Hercules into a giant is just lame. Especially when there are already plenty of giant mythological creatures to fill the "massive beast" role.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I think the thing is these companies are not trying to retell mytholgy they are trying to make a "cool game" for the average casual game. The average casual game just likes big fights, simple stories and quick action - there is no time nor space for worldbuilding - infact if you look at most games there is pretty poor to pathetic world building going on and most talk scenes are only a few lines long.
    Thus they have to fall back on common understanding - everyone knows what a minotor is and who Hercules is (big guy really really strong) so beyond that the character needs no introduction.

    Personally I would like to see more creativity going on, but I just know we won't see it - its something that takes a lot of planning and effort and in the end probably won't make the company much more profit
     
  4. darkfox

    darkfox New Member

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    Creative license is totally fine with me. Writers use mythological events to catapult their ideas.

    However, when a video game studio makes a game they typically get a writter in on the process. Whether they've already created a world and basic premise or not, video game programmers typically can't write a well structured story. Most adventure games, and FPS games for that matter, have storylines and the vast majority are clearly written by someone who understands prose, placement and pacing.

    That being said, taking a Mythological character and placing them a thousand years after their story ends...just for the sake of "name brand recognition" drives me crazy. Writters should be way more creative than that, or at least tell us how this brute came to be called Hercules while still in Helenic Greece.
     
  5. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Hercules and Xena rofl...