Extra Punctuation

Extra Punctuation
The Theory That Will Tie All Video Game Stories Together

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw | 2 Sep 2014 16:00
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Dishonored Knife of Dunwall

Then I realized that Red must be a fossil fuel, derived from the long-decayed bodies of prehistoric dragons, demons and other supernatural beings. Such 'magical creatures' were once commonplace, coexisting with mankind with varying degrees of harmony. That was until the industrial revolution was sparked by the radical Mechanist order, spreading rapidly from its beginnings in Dunwall, a port city on the northwest coast of Albion. The subsequent decay of the natural world forced magical beings to scatter and go into hiding (some in isolated population centers like Greenvale, Bright Falls, and Silent Hill). There was, however, a major assault upon humanity by supernatural beings in 1999, which ended when their leaders, the vampires Kain and Demitri Maximoff, were killed by Julius Belmont. The defeated surviving minions were then exiled to Mars.

Let me assure you at this point that I'm not about to start writing fan fiction. Some of you may indeed be wondering why I've devoted so much thought to a concept that can't be worked into anything commercial without committing a hundred million copyright violations. The only excuse I can offer is that I find it great fun to think about, as an intellectual exercise, and that, I would hope, should be enough.

So I set myself a couple of rules for elaborating the unified game world further. Firstly, I'll assume that all 'fantasy' games are taking place on Earth in the distant past. Lordran, for example, was a kingdom that existed in eastern Europe long before known civilization. From here originated a species of ambulatory mushrooms, who fled Lordran and resettled in a new land near what we know as ancient Persia, a land they named the 'Mushroom Kingdom'. Etc, etc, etc.

Secondly, I'm not going to worry about incorporating future, science fiction settings, because almost all of them involve Earth having been destroyed or decimated, and that can happen at any time. I'm more interested in the history that created a shared world in the present day.

Kain from Legacy of Kain: Defiance

Thirdly, only stories that are unique to video games can be combined into the grand unification theory; games adapted from existing properties are not allowed, and any crossover must be reinterpreted. For example, I mentioned a war against demons in 1999, which is part of the backstory of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. But we can't mention Count Dracula, because he didn't originate in video games. Kain and Demitri Maximoff did, so we can attribute all of Count Dracula's actions in the Castlevania timeline to one or the other. Phew. And could Kain be the same entity as Cain, the First Vampire referenced in Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines? Why the fuck not?

Another example. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is based on concepts from Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, which we can't use. But the protagonist, Jack Walters, was an original character, making him fair game. Perhaps, in the unified world, it was not Innsmouth he visited, but Illsmouth, a town that would later be renamed Anchorhead. The fish-men that Walters battled were not Lovecraft's Deep Ones but the Gillmen, beings that would eventually be wiped out by XCOM during the 'Terror from the Deep' crisis. And the ancient dark God that the Gillmen served was not Cthulhu, but Giygas, implying that the Shoggoth that Walters fought in the gold refinery was actually Master Belch. Furthermore, could Giygas be the same being as Lavos? Or Mantorok, the corpse god? And what is the connection between Master Belch and the creature known as the Great Mighty Poo?

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