Apparently I’m so creatively bankrupt that I must resort to a listicle… or I’m just lazy. Or maybe I genuinely want to share behind-the-scenes information with you guys? OR maybe a little of columns A, B and C. Well, on with the show.
#1: The Golden Tomb Puzzle
The various knights in the golden tomb were supposed to be based on the typing of my competitive Pokemon team, and the swords that defeated each knight were supposed to be based on the types that were supereffective against them. There was no way for this to work out so that each type had only one, exclusive counter, and non-Pokemon fans would have had to resort to trial and error anyway, so eventually it was warped into the version of the puzzle that you see today. I’m actually really proud of how the Golden Tomb puzzle worked out. It worked almost 100% correctly right from my first attempt, and I think it’s a fun, creative alternative for boring ol’ locked doors.
In case you are a Pokemon fan and want to take a guess, none of my competitive team shares a type with another ‘mon on the team. I use 2 RUs, 1 BL2, 1 NU, 1UU, and 1 NU that mega-evolves into an Uber.
#2: Speaking of Pokemon…
Some of you long-time HC fans might remember Viel, the trainer-type character who was supposed to be included in HC1. She was eventually cut, but I use the name Viel for all my Pokemon game characters. So if you see a “Viel” from Canada as a passerby when you’re online, there’s a good chance that’s going to be me.
Viel was supposed to start with two monsters, a lava snail called a Brimslug that relied on fire magic and a large, yeti-like creature that had some ice attacks but was mainly a brute force brawler. By completing quests on her relationship tiers, Viel would add two further monsters to her pool, and she could switch between monsters (and thus, flavour her special attacks differently) by using a “Switch to ____________” skill.
Viel was cut because I didn’t really have a place in the story for her, but the work that went into her was used all over the place in the game. Notably, the class-change function that I learned how to do for Viel ended up being used for the Phantom Knight class.
#3: Canon Immigrants (sorta)
The only franchise that has influenced HC as much as Pokemon is Dungeons and Dragons. In fact, the whole reason why Therese is the first character to join your party is because the Paladin is my #1 favourite D&D class, and I wanted to portray a Paladin who was kind of uptight and strict but not a complete asshole. Therese isn’t the only character influenced by D&D, as Bronwyn’s fighting style is based on my first 4thedition character. I wanted very badly to play a ranger, but the party I was joining already had a crowd-control damager (a warlock) and a single-target damager (an assassin). So, I focused on taking archery abilities that had disabling or DoT effects, and built this “control-type ranger”.
Meanwhile, Larelle is heavily based on a fantasy novel I tried to write quite some time ago. The character originally was a village witch who got into the dark arts because she was bored of rural life, and eventually fell in with a group of mercenaries before falling in love with a disgraced knight. The novel was really dark and serious because I started writing it right after I discovered the Song of Ice and Fire, and I got maybe a third of the novel finished before I gave up. Oh well.
Speaking of that shitty novel attempt, this isn’t the first time that I’ve played with the concept of giving dwarves non-Scottish accents. In said failed novel, Dwarven society was divided into clans that formed a senate and elected a high king, but in reality was controlled by massive mining and manufacturing guilds. Each clan of Dwarves had different American accents, because early 2000’s NoMoshing had no concept of subtlety.
That’s not to say I have a sense of subtlety now, of course.
#5: Spell Names
Not all the spell names are based on Dungeons and Dragons, either. Force Barrage is a psychic power from Dark Heresy, Murder of Crows comes from Bioshock Infinite, several attack spells are based on Diablo II and Warcraft III spells, several buff spells are based on MtG cards, and Hungry Wolf Rage is a reference to my favourite Duran Duran song. The reference you’re probably the least likely to get is Strobe Edge, which shares a name with my favourite shoujo manga.
And yeah, I read a lot of shoujo manga, especially highschool soap opera-type stuff. And I have zero shame about it, so nyaaaaah.
#6 More Dungeon Inspirations
I’ve already said elsewhere that the Giant’s Path was inspired by Mt Kolts from Final Fantasy 6, but that’s not all. I find myself heavily inspired by my all-time favourite levels in different video games. The Golden Tomb is partially based on the Treasury level of Super Castlevania IV, the Count’s Manor is partially based on Spookyraven Castle from Kingdom of Loathing, and the Mycon Cave was inspired by Vault 106 in Fallout 3.
Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ll have a more proper update on how progress is going next week, so see you then!