Writing The Legend of Zelda, part 1

Spoilers for The Legend of Zelda (game series), The Godfather (film) and Bambi (inescapable childhood trauma-machine). Some years ago, a friend persuaded me to watch the original Hellsing anime. Japanese cartoons were new to me, and there was something very appealing about the fantastical action which Hellsing, Full Metal Alchemist and the rest brought to…

Writing Ori and the Blind Forest

Spoilers for Ori and the Blind Forest (game). Ori and the Blind Forest is a game in which one plays as a tiny cat-monster in his struggle against the twin perils of low gravity and high saturation. Pictured: the effect of sitting too near the screen when anything exciting happens.(Screenshot from 'Spongebob Squarepants') That does…

Writing Sekiro

Spoilers for the following games: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, mild spoilers for Dark Souls (series), Fallen London (formerly Echo Bazaar), and Cultist Simulator. Ninpou! Dark Souls Bunshin no Jutsu!(Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, official promotional material) I love Japanese food. There is something so fulfilling about a full Japanese meal: the flavours, textures, colours, the neatness…

Writing The Sexy Brutale

Spoilers for Undertale (game), The Sexy Brutale (game) and an absolute corker of a soundtrack. 'We didn't rig the roulette/ it was always turning/ whilst my mask was burning.('The Sexy Brutale', promotional material) On 7th December 2017, Tequila Works released a quirky murder mystery game set in a stable time loop, a story of subtle…

Writing Worlds of Darkness

Spoilers for all World of Darkness-related materials, primarily Old World of Darkness and Vampire: the Masquerade. 'It's not fan service, it's a gothic-punk indictment of the evils of fan service'.(Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines, promotional material) In 1991, White Wolf released the first edition of Vampire: the Masquerade (V:tM), a self-described gothic-punk roleplaying game of…

Writing Dune

Spoilers for Dune and all Dune-derived media (books, films, games, television series). In the grim darkness of the 23rd Millennium, there is only... wait, no, that's the other one. In 1965, Chilton Books, a publisher known for producing engineering manuals, published Dune, a science-fiction book which had originally appeared as a serial in the magazine…

Writing Hollow Knight

Spoilers for Hollow Knight and Mystical Ninja starring Goemon (computer games). Your evening's light entertainment. In one of my first posts I talked about the jarring writing in Team Cherry's Hollow Knight. Some people bristled at the notion, praising the high quality of the game's story, and thus missing the point. The story of Hollow…

Writing Good Places

Spoilers, AND I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW SPOILED THIS WILL BE SO GO WATCH IT IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY, for seasons 1 - 3 of The Good Place (television series). It's the most fun two adults can have on a sofa!(Ted Danson (left) as Michael and Kristen Bell (the other left) as Eleanor Shellstrop -…

Writing Nice and Accurate Prophecies

Spoilers for Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (book and television series). Pictured: The same man twice.(Good Omens, television series, promotional material) By their own admission, neither Gaiman nor Pratchett expected Good Omens to be as popular as it subsequently became. There is a nice and accurate reason why: it…

How to Invent a Religion: Part 4

A Day in the Life Theology describes what, in theory, believers of a religion ought to believe, for a given value of ought. In practice, however, members of all religions live lives at variance with what they claim to profess, from the evident truth that few people live up to their religious ideals and others…