Previously, I got talking about the plots in electronic games, and how they can be simplistic, amateurish, and mediocre. I could even call many of them lethargic. One of the clear ways you can determine this involves watching the many video game movie adaptations that had been made…if you can. Ask yourself, if “this” game were to be translated precisely onto the screen, would it be good? Even the games that claim to be “cinematic” would result in a movie that would’ve broken the spirit of Wall-E (plagiarizing that from another blog I wrote). Look no further than the movies of Uwe Boll. Imagine Metal Gear Solid or Indigo Prophecy as a movie. They’d be crap. As for pen & paper games, D&D is the only one that has made the transition, and the results were…insulting. It could be worse; did you ever see the Midnight movie? I’ll give credit to Vampire—they made a good series, albeit short-lived (and Underworld was good if you believe the accusations). Could Amethyst be adapted? My ego and blind ambition says yes, but that’s just me.
So I got to thinking…which games have I played do I think would make a good story if transitioned to a TV series of movie? Homeworld is basically Battlestar Galactica. Wing Commander IV IS a movie. Mass Effect 2 could work, but it would need help. Elements from Silent Hill 2 made it into the feature film, and I liked that one. Then I got to thinking…what about Drakengard?
Drakengard found only lackluster reviews upon its release. Only later did it achieve some of the attention, mostly through sites dumbfounded by the nature of its plot. If you think Dante’s Inferno was dark…let’s run down the facts. Two fantasy nations are at war, the Empire and the Union. The Empire makes a deal with outcast gods attempting to invade our world. These gods are kept out by a magical shield maintained by several seals across the land, one of which is a living person—your character Caim’s sister, Furiae, currently under protection in a castle run by the Union. Unable to exact their full power upon the world, the gods instead possess the body of an 8-year old girl, Manah. This girl becomes the de-facto leader of the Empire, and they go about trying to destroy these seals. Seems simple enough.
Magic comes way of a pact-bond with a magical force—an element or an actual creature. To gain this power, you must sacrifice part of yourself, usually an important part. Every playable character in the game reflects this. At the beginning, during a major battle between the warring kingdoms, Caim is severely injured, and to avoid death he makes a pact bond with a malicious and cold-hearted dragon named Angelus. Angelus constantly berates Caim and the human race during the course of the game. As for Caim, he becomes a mute…and a sociopath. Good match. Furiae undergoes significant hardships in her role, forcing her to abandon her marriage plans to Inuart, a bard who doesn’t take Furiae’s suffering so well.
In fact, after being captured, Inuart swears allegiance to the psychotic tween Manah and pact bonds with the dragon that killed Caim’s parents…of yeah, I should’ve mentioned that. Did I also mention we’re about an hour into the game? Inuart discards his lute (never trust a man with a lute) and captures Furiae after mortally injuring Caim and Angelus. Over the course of the story, Caim and Angelus fight the Empire singlehandedly, gathering allies along the way. I use the word “ally” sloppily. The first alternate playable character you encounter is an elf, Arioch, which had her family executed in front of her by hand of the Empire. Now, pact-bonded to fire & ice elementals that made her sacrifice her womb, she thinks of nothing else but killing children and eating them.
Yes, you read that right.
But don’t worry; Leone is there to protect the children. He’s a kind man that gave up is eyesight when pact-bonding with a fairy, a fairy who insults him incessantly. Leone’s family was also wiped out by the Empire, except he was away when it happened, as he was committing pedophilia around that time. That’s right (the US version tried to conceal this but didn’t do a very good job).
And then there is Seere, a playable character—also a six-year old boy…this is not going to go well. Seere bonded with a 100 foot golem; he’ll need it, especially since Seere’s sister is the psychotic Manah, currently wiping out all life on Earth. Awkward. The entire game involves your group going from seal to seal, trying to protect them from the attacks of the Empire. And you know what, you fail every time. No matter how good you do, every seal falls, leaving only Furiae.
By this point, I’ll remind something I said in a previous post, that Drakengard had five endings. You had to play through one to unlock another. In the first, you’re unable to save Furiae, and she is killed by Inuart in a moment of demonic-possessed rage, if you can believe that. Caim kills Inuart and finally squares off against the pubescent demon host, casting out the evil and saving the world. Angelus takes on the duty of being the new seal, keeping the gods out and returning life to normal. Not bad, and this is the canon ending endorsed for Drakengard 2 (Manah survived this ending to be a playable character in the sequel). That is the only happy ending.
The second deviates before Furiae’s death. Furiae is STILL killed, but Inuart is not. Get used to Furiae dying, by the way. Inuart takes her body to these seeds of destruction (basically giant pearls) that have fallen on the capital city as a precursor to the gods’ invasion. After placing her in a seed, Inuart is greeted by an angelic face of his love, only to be skewered by the abomination that actually emerges. Caim fights and kills his sister, only to see swarms of duplicates rising from the other seeds. Earth dead. Pinch Me.
The third ending is actually gloomier. Furiae isn’t killed by another’s hand; instead, she kills herself when the truth is revealed that she carries lustful feelings for Caim. Pedophilia? Check. Cannibalism? Check. Incest? Check. Angelus kills Manah but is possessed herself in the process. The dragon breaks her pact-bond with Caim. With the gods cast out with Manah’s death, dragons can now rise up to take their claim to the Earth. Caim is forced to kill Angelus, and then runs out to certain death as legions of dragons set fire to the world.
For the fourth, neither Inuart nor Furiae are killed by another’s hand. Hell no, they both die when the floating castle they are on explodes. This is moments after Seere’s golem squashes Manah. With the last seal gone, the gods invade (you finally see them). From the sky, they descend resembling…sigh…gigantic floating newborn babies with fully formed teeth and no eyes.
I shit…you not.
You spend about an hour cleaving through waves of cooing babies as they eat everything they see. Arioch gets killed thinking the gods are her children. Leone sacrifices himself to hold back the horde, leaving only you and Seere (there is priest that tags along but…he’s just not important). Seere’s pact-bond made him sacrifice his time, giving him eternal youth. Seere elects to sacrifice himself, using his power to entomb the mile-long pregnant woman that has appeared in the city (did I mention that?) as well as all the other gods in a gargantuan black pillar of frozen time. Caim and Angelus bob and weave through floating giant babies before finally letting Seere loose. He succeeds, saving the world….but not before Caim and Angelus are killed by the gods.
What’s even funnier is that in the fifth ending, Caim and Angelus survive that final bombing run. They and the androgynous pregnant mammoth are teleported to modern Tokyo where another final battle can occur. If you succeed, you soar over the city victorious…only to take two missiles in the rectum by a F16 fighter jet before the credits roll.
And I never even told you about the legions of enslaved children you have to kill on that one level. I get the impression the guys at Cavia may have some issues, perhaps involving pre-adolescents.