272: Playing with Monsters

Playing with Monsters

Videogames are rife with monstrous creatures which we, as players, either defeat or control. Bryan Lufkin posits that the emotions involved in these horrific manifestations taps into an ancient human desire.

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there seems to be a much greater desire to kill the big things though as ive only seen 3 games where you can actually play as dragons (Reign of fire, Drakenguard, Lair) but there mustve been at least 30 or more where one of the main goals was just to kill the beasties. I do agree with the game meaning more if you understand all the purpose behind the imagray though as it can give to game more meaning, it can make it more emotional/atmospheric, or t can just be interesting like the rings in the main desert part of SOTC

I think that the Shin Megami Tensei games are better at depicting world mythology than Final Fantasy.

Shiva is a goddess of ice? WHAT?
Ifrit a minotaur-like creature? What?

They can use the name for whatever they want but it's far from accurate. At least in the SMT games, most gods looks like their real life art.

Wow... after a whole article talking about controling mythological creatures in gaming and the writer manages to not mention freaking PC turn-based fantasy strategy games not even once.

People are funny about things.

lomylithruldor:
I think that the Shin Megami Tensei games are better at depicting world mythology than Final Fantasy.

Shiva is a goddess of ice? WHAT?
Ifrit a minotaur-like creature? What?

They can use the name for whatever they want but it's far from accurate. At least in the SMT games, most gods looks like their real life art.

I know the Persona series now not only has names and artwork that seems more accurate, but it also has a brief description of the being, and generally the type of mythology that they would come from. Of course, I don't know exactly how accurate it all is, but if I have questions, I always have a place to start from.

vxicepickxv:

lomylithruldor:
I think that the Shin Megami Tensei games are better at depicting world mythology than Final Fantasy.

Shiva is a goddess of ice? WHAT?
Ifrit a minotaur-like creature? What?

They can use the name for whatever they want but it's far from accurate. At least in the SMT games, most gods looks like their real life art.

I know the Persona series now not only has names and artwork that seems more accurate, but it also has a brief description of the being, and generally the type of mythology that they would come from. Of course, I don't know exactly how accurate it all is, but if I have questions, I always have a place to start from.

Pretty much.

Abaddon in Final Fantasy: Probably a Frog or Slime creature
Abaddon in SMT: KING ABADDON THE DEVOURER!

lomylithruldor:
I think that the Shin Megami Tensei games are better at depicting world mythology than Final Fantasy.

Shiva is a goddess of ice? WHAT?
Ifrit a minotaur-like creature? What?

They can use the name for whatever they want but it's far from accurate. At least in the SMT games, most gods looks like their real life art.

okay Shiva's wrong but in FF Ifrit has always been a fire deamon in the style of a traditional devil.
Which is completely accurate,

Ifrit is a bastardising of Efreet in turn a bastardising of the Afreet cast of djinn who lived deep in the middle eastern deserts within columns of fire.

One of the Afreet was Azazel who rose to lead the Angels and was cast down for disobedience to lead the djinn as a Shaytan. Later Christians re-branded as Satan. He had long horns and goats legs and was typical of both Afreet and Shaytan fire Djinn.

The element encyclopaedia of magical creatures (published by harper) has almost two pages on types of Djinn. It is all told a fabulous book and even kept up to date with folk lore the latest version mentions Shaun of the deads zombies for example.

other FF creatures...

Abbadon is just an angel. in Revalation 20:2 he binds the devil for a thousand years so both SMT and FF are wrong. Abbadon as a devil is none canonical and originates with occult groups and as for the weirdness in final fantasy, god knows.

Bahamut is a giant fish that holds up kujata (a bull who in turn has the world growing on his back). It has the head of an elephant or hippo only Isa (or jesus) has ever seen the creature. Technically a dragon but not as we'd normally recognise them.

Sekhmet (one of the minotaur brothers in ff8 and appears in a few other ff's as a minotaur) is really a lion headed goddess and daughter of Ra.

While games do get a lot of monster references right they get a huge amount wrong. The curious thing is, why? there are plenty of monsters in history that fit the bill for the appearances of the misnamed game creatures and at least when someone legitimately searches for a monster online the game references would at least be useful.

Unrulyhandbag:

lomylithruldor:
I think that the Shin Megami Tensei games are better at depicting world mythology than Final Fantasy.

Shiva is a goddess of ice? WHAT?
Ifrit a minotaur-like creature? What?

They can use the name for whatever they want but it's far from accurate. At least in the SMT games, most gods looks like their real life art.

okay Shiva's wrong but in FF Ifrit has always been a fire deamon in the style of a traditional devil.
Which is completely accurate,

Ifrit is a bastardising of Efreet in turn a bastardising of the Afreet cast of djinn who lived deep in the middle eastern deserts within columns of fire.

One of the Afreet was Azazel who rose to lead the Angels and was cast down for disobedience to lead the djinn as a Shaytan. Later Christians re-branded as Satan. He had long horns and goats legs and was typical of both Afreet and Shaytan fire Djinn.

The element encyclopaedia of magical creatures (published by harper) has almost two pages on types of Djinn. It is all told a fabulous book and even kept up to date with folk lore the latest version mentions Shaun of the deads zombies for example.

other FF creatures...

Abbadon is just an angel. in Revalation 20:2 he binds the devil for a thousand years so both SMT and FF are wrong. Abbadon as a devil is none canonical and originates with occult groups and as for the weirdness in final fantasy, god knows.

Bahamut is a giant fish that holds up kujata (a bull who in turn has the world growing on his back). It has the head of an elephant or hippo only Isa (or jesus) has ever seen the creature. Technically a dragon but not as we'd normally recognise them.

Sekhmet (one of the minotaur brothers in ff8 and appears in a few other ff's as a minotaur) is really a lion headed goddess and daughter of Ra.

While games do get a lot of monster references right they get a huge amount wrong. The curious thing is, why? there are plenty of monsters in history that fit the bill for the appearances of the misnamed game creatures and at least when someone legitimately searches for a monster online the game references would at least be useful.

From what I understand, jinns have a body of smokeless flame and efreets are only cunning jinns. Never saw anything about difference in appearance (except sometimes the jinns will be blue while the efreets will be red).

To continue on that thread, FFVIII's Quetzalcoatl is far from a feathered snake. Maybe Tlaloc would have been a better choice for a thunder god.

Ixion was a king and the first to commit kin-slaying in Greek mythology. He was not a weird looking unicorn.

Asura in FFIV is pretty much the opposite of what Asuras are. They are supposed to be sinful deities. Deva should have been a more appropriate term (even if Shiva is a Deva).

Odin is borderline I think. He's got his 2 eyes, mostly fights with a sword, has no connection to magic or wisdom and no crows, but at least he's got sleipnir and he sometimes have Gungnir.

But yeah, none of these compare to Shiva. There's absolutely nothing between them. One is the Destroyer and the other is a goddess of ice?

Play Pokemon, control God.

Spacewolf:
there seems to be a much greater desire to kill the big things though as ive only seen 3 games where you can actually play as dragons (Reign of fire, Drakenguard, Lair) but there mustve been at least 30 or more where one of the main goals was just to kill the beasties. I do agree with the game meaning more if you understand all the purpose behind the imagray though as it can give to game more meaning, it can make it more emotional/atmospheric, or t can just be interesting like the rings in the main desert part of SOTC

As a fan of dragons, I've searched far and beyond for games where you play as dragons and I can stand that there's not too much. And from this small list, it's even harder to find quality ones.
(You can add "The I of the Dragon" to your list. And some few arcade games.)

darkszero:

Spacewolf:
there seems to be a much greater desire to kill the big things though as ive only seen 3 games where you can actually play as dragons (Reign of fire, Drakenguard, Lair) but there mustve been at least 30 or more where one of the main goals was just to kill the beasties. I do agree with the game meaning more if you understand all the purpose behind the imagray though as it can give to game more meaning, it can make it more emotional/atmospheric, or t can just be interesting like the rings in the main desert part of SOTC

As a fan of dragons, I've searched far and beyond for games where you play as dragons and I can stand that there's not too much. And from this small list, it's even harder to find quality ones.
(You can add "The I of the Dragon" to your list. And some few arcade games.)

Yea i forgot that one i lost interest after the mission where you become the little dinosaur as i had no idea what i was supposed to be doing

This article isn't attracting a lot of discussion, but I got a lot out of it; it contained links to a lot of cool and often unfamiliar sites around the world, and I learned a good deal. Good job.

darkszero:

Spacewolf:
there seems to be a much greater desire to kill the big things though as ive only seen 3 games where you can actually play as dragons (Reign of fire, Drakenguard, Lair) but there mustve been at least 30 or more where one of the main goals was just to kill the beasties. I do agree with the game meaning more if you understand all the purpose behind the imagray though as it can give to game more meaning, it can make it more emotional/atmospheric, or t can just be interesting like the rings in the main desert part of SOTC

As a fan of dragons, I've searched far and beyond for games where you play as dragons and I can stand that there's not too much. And from this small list, it's even harder to find quality ones.
(You can add "The I of the Dragon" to your list. And some few arcade games.)

I know, right? I'm getting sick of games like dragon age (and, potentially, Skyrim) where dragons are supposedly a big part of the game but are really just put in as another thing to kill. It makes me sad, especially considering that in many other mediums the "Dragons are the good guys" concept has really caught on. Literature: There's the dragon-riders of Pern, the Kolmar series, the Temeraire series, basically anything written by Weis and Hickman, etc.; and film has things like Dragonheart and How to Train Your Dragon. But for some reason, this trend seems to have missed games, and I'd really like to know why. :(

Wow, for some reason I failed to realize this was old. NECRO, I CHOOSE YOU.

 

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