Posted in NEWS
March 23, 2020

Twitter’s determined dog-petter thwarts game designer’s troll job

Twitter’s determined dog-petter thwarts game designer’s troll job

For more than a year, Tristan Cooper has catalogued which video games let a player characters pet NPC doggies. In February, Dan Marshall and Ben Ward launched In the Lair of the Clockwork God, a humorous point-and-click-adventure that contains a random encounter that deliberately means to frustrate Cooper’s efforts.

But Cooper prevailed! And (spoiler alert) In The Lair of the Clockwork God, you can pet the dog.

Marshall, who in 2017 made the outstanding sports satire Behold The Kickmen! hit Twitter this week in fist-shaking despair, cursing Cooper’s determination in giving his game’s dog a pat on the head. “The dog, and the convoluted difficulty in petting the dog, was entirely put into the game with the specific intention of trolling Can You Pet The Dog,” Marshall admitted.

Cooper didn’t take the bait! Or maybe he did? Either way, add another game to the list of titles where, yes, you may pet the dog.

Cooper is presently engaged with documenting which video games have waterfalls the player may peek behind. Marshall’s studio, Size Five Games, most recently published Devil’s Kiss. That’s billed as a prequel to the story in In The Lair of the Clockwork God, in which protagonists Dan and Ben “meet at high school and promptly uncover a vast, horny conspiracy involving some demons.”

Published at Sun, 22 Mar 2020 21:19:52 +0000

Castlevania could build towards the classic games in season 4 and beyond

With an art style that’s heavily inspired by anime, a Game of Thrones-y storytelling structure, lots and lots and lots violence, and 34 years of lore to mine from, Castlevania quickly became one of the best video game adaptations out there when it premiered on Netflix in 2017.

But instead of telling the story of the original 1986 Konami game, the first two seasons acted as a loose adaptation of the prequel game Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, which follows Trevor Belmont, an ancestor of the original game’s protagonist, Simon. Now that season 3 is out, having loosely adapted elements of both Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Curse of Darkness, the possibilities are endless for Castlevania once it returns for a season 4.

[Ed. note: this post contains major spoilers for Castlevania season 3.]

So far the series has loosely adapted Dracula’s Curse, focusing on the fight to defeat Dracula and how he wasn’t the only evil in the land. But what happens when Dracula dies? Turns out, a lot of blood, sex, and awkwardly long and static conversations. Now that everyone is looking for a new Game of Thrones, even Castlevania decided to split up its main cast in order to explore new lands and stories, but at the expense of overly long conversations that — due to the show being animated — felt static compared to the intense battle of wits of the HBO show. That being said, the expanded scope added mythology and philosophical discussions, and deepened the show’s exploration of faith and morality, all while still delivering kick-ass fight scenes. The gamble was worth it.

Though the show was already bleak, season 3 of Castlevania ended on a particularly melancholic note. Alucard, the son of Dracula, finds himself betrayed and taking a turn toward the evil, impaling-enthusiast side of his family. Trevor and Sypha travel through Europe, while Isaac moves toward the continent to get his revenge on his fellow devil forgemaster Hector who he sees as a traitor, and against the vampire sisters preparing to go to war and destroy mankind. And as for Dracula himself? Still dead, though barely, as the season ends with the mysterious Saint Germain closing a portal to hell, getting trapped in the Infinite Corridor in the process.

Like Thrones, Castlevania rolled out multiple stories that drifted further and further apart over the course of the season. Whenever season 4 comes out, there seem to be two paths it could take: either picking up with the threads of season 3, which would inevitably lead to an all-out war, or jump to a confrontation between Isaac and Hector as seen in Curse of Darkness, which would involve a major death, and the introduction of the personification of Death itself. The show could introduce the idea that Dracula always comes back to life by taking over other host bodies, as Curse of Darkness introduces the idea that a forgemaster’s body will be used to resurrect Vlad Tepes.

Another interesting possibility that’s hinted at this season is the Infinite Corridor. In the games, the corridor is an alternate realm that lets the user transport to different places in Dracula’s castle, but in the show it becomes a route to many other worlds separated by space and time. Since the Castlevania games span hundreds of years with many protagonists, this could be a way for the show to move past Trevor Belmont and explore his ancestors or even his descendents. In episode 5, Saint Germain experiences a weird dream involving the corridor, and is shown a vision of the future with a mech walking in a desert. Den of Geek theorized the moment might be a nod to the games Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow both set in 2035.

Season 3 seemed a bit more focused on the vampiric and demonic characters rather than the human ones, compared to previous seasons. Now that we already know there’s a way for Dracula to be brought back to life via magical hell portals, it seems like the opportune time to introduce the idea of the games that Dracula can be resurrected every 100 years. Following this thought, and given that the season ends with a vampire war about to break out, Castlevania could easily follow the games, jump forward in time, and bring Vlad Tepes back, which would mean a new Belmont protagonist, perhaps even the introduction to the original hero of the very first game, Simon Belmont.

And as producer Adi Shankar himself told Polygon back in 2017: “Ultimately the way I look at Castlevania is as a story about a family and multiple generations of this family. There are aspects from all the games that I have plans to include, assuming the audience still keeps showing up. I would love to continue this series and I would love to keep making seasons, keep telling stories in this universe.”

Published at Sun, 22 Mar 2020 18:54:13 +0000

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