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Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Food for Thought: THE OTHERWORLD

Last night, I was hooked on watching Pewdiepie's gameplay/walkthrough of Beyond: Two Souls.

(It happened because I was in the Cyberrr! room on iSketch and I wasn't sure if I liked the way the conversation was going, so I tried to cheer myself up. Nothing like Pewdiepie makes me laugh my arse off. Or makes me waste a whole evening I could have used to study.)

Beyond: T.S. is a game I've had my eyes on for quite a while. On the one hand I am desperate to buy it and on the other, I REALLY do not want to buy a whole new console for it. I'd say I'm not that much into games unless A. it's fantasy or sci-fi, B. the storyline is EPIC or C. it's The Legend of Zelda, then I'm HARDCORE. (As hardcore as I can be, heh) But I'm trying to keep my eyes off Xbox One, Wii U, Sony Vita, PS3 - because... well, I'll explain...

As it happens, I have five siblings and in childhood we each had our turn of wanting some game or another which is how we ended up with all of the following: N64, Sega Mega Drive, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 (-? why?), and then of course we still have our ancient Game Boy Colour, the old Game Boy advance, my brother's moderately aged DS Lite (Last year, I bought a gold limited edition Legend of Zelda DS with a Triforce on it, 'cause it was straining my eyes to play Game Boy Advance as it has no backlight. I WAS SO HAPPY, I. COULD. HAVE. CRIED.)

I don't know HOW my parents found the money for it, though I suppose, we all so far apart in age that by the time we had our 'I WANT THIS FOR CHRISTMAS!' stage, our parents had had enough time to save up. I guess. So sweet of them :3  Anyway, I just sold the broken DS Lite on eBay(!!) which someone used as a motherboard replacement, and I'm about to sell the Gamecube (never played), Mega Drive (why do we even have it?), PS2 games I never played (Crash freakin' Bandicoot? GET OUTTA HURR), and the old block Xbox (hardly works, but who knows.)

I've once again resorted to selling on eBay so I can buy my next installment of Uni books. Yeah, it's that bad. Though I must say, I do HAVE money, but as a thrift-crazy-saver-scrounger, I don't want to break into what I put aside for November. For a game. Honestly. No.

But after watching Pewd's videos I really ADORE Beyond, so I think I'll save up for it. I want to play it myself and make the choices he didn't. Some parts made me so sad, some parts were like YEAH, YOU GO GIRL!, same parts were like, shit, didn't see that coming! but also a lot of it was very, Ah, I knew that was gonna happen. Because, like films, it was sometimes predictable (tempted to give an example but meh, can't be arsed to be a Spoiler Brat today). It seems very much like a movie in it's camera angles and such, and of course real actors play the part so sometimes it felt... I dunno, almost, more dramatic than a game should be. SOme things were VERY convenient. But I loved it still, I loved the jumping back and forth at the different stages of the character's life, Jodie's character development is interesting, she was such a badass during combat, but ANYWEH.

I was astounded at how much it reminded me of Jade Empire, how your choices affect how the game unfolds, what abilities and upgrades are available to you, and ultimately, how the game ends. It also made me want to play Jade Empire all over again. I can tell you how many times I've played it start to finish.

Jade Empire is such a key, key influence for Out Of The Dust in so many ways, some are subtle (such a character I created called Sol, who I realised after, has his name inspired from my favourite manga Immortal Rain, and his character inspired by Jade Empire's Kang The Mad); and some are explicit (The song Metropolis from the J.E. soundtrack inspired Metropolis Romantis and Metropolis Paradis, but there is also a Metropolis in the actual Jade Empire game).

But what I love most is the WHAT IF factor.

Over and over, What if I did this? What if Jodie had said that? What if Karalan does this?

I'm at a stage in the book where the entire plot is pretty much mapped out, and just needs some ordering, filling out and cleaning up. When I was watching the videos last night, I thought, I love how Aiden is like Jodie's guidance system and guardian. I thought about the rare points in my book where Karalan is so helpless that she cries out for Pan to give her strength, and then of course, something unforeseen would always happen to get her out of the situation - much like Jodie and Aiden. That amused me for a while.

Then I thought about my Ether and compared it with the Infraworld. Of course, there is no sign of any souls or lost spirits or any sense at all that the Ether is an afterlife, but Karalan often assumed that it is, and feels that the 'dark energy' that the Orona are protecting her from have something to do with death.

Personally I think the Ether and Infraworld are nothing alike. The Infraworld seems very out of reach, mysterious, ominous, and it's laws are not properly understood... by me, anyway. But the Ether is entirely mouldable, it is both infinite and finite, full of paradoxes of space and time - and it has the similar uneasiness, but the assurance for Kar is that the Orona seem to know all of the laws of the Ether. Even though she knows they're protecting her from something in there, her confidence lies in the fact that THEY KNOW what the danger is, so she doesn't need to worry about it. If nobody knew, then she'd have a pretty damn good reason to be alarmed, wouldn't she!

*sighhh* I like just talking it over. If there's gonna be similarities between my work and others, better I know about it, right? The real danger is subconsciously putting something unoriginal in my work, I think. =O

I think I want to change the name for Out Of The Dust. It's too common. I put it into Google and there's already a book under that name, ironically it's the first thing that comes up. Damn. I'm gonna have to think of something else. O_O

Ashana Lian .

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