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Do you consider this a lifting of your ideas?

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  • Do you consider this a lifting of your ideas?

    http://www.gamespot.com/features/6093288/p-8.html

    Salient part:

    Please understand that even though I've cracked a joke or two in the past, I have great respect for Blizzard as a developer, though every time the studio releases a new game, I find myself in a situation like this one. Back in 2002, after Warcraft III came out, I was discussing that game's single-player campaign with a colleague--specifically, the human campaign in which Prince Arthas recovers the "cursed runeblade Frostmourne" (a weapon that, according to the opening cutscene in the undead campaign, "steals souls,") to battle a great evil. The sword turns him into a cynical, white-haired antihero who indifferently butchers his enemies. Arthas then returns to his home kingdom, only to destroy it. If you're half the nerd that I am, you'll immediately recognize the obvious "inspiration" drawn from Michael Moorcock's Elric Saga novels, which starred one of fantasy fiction's most well-known antiheroes: Elric of Melnibonأ©. Elric was also a cynical, white-haired prince, who recovered a "runeblade" called "Stormbringer" (the twin of another runeblade called "Mournblade"), also to battle a great evil. This sword also stole the souls of its victims, and as part of his adventures, Elric also returned to his homeland and razed it to the ground. Now, my colleague isn't half the nerd that I am, and so, through no fault of his own, he knew absolutely nothing about Moorcock's Elric. So, he argued that whatever similarities I saw must have been due to a combination of sheer coincidence and Blizzard's own ability to craft an interesting story. We went back and forth for a few minutes, then I gave up, because I realized it was a pointless discussion.
    Blizzard is a video game company that made a game called Warcraft.
    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

  • #2
    Do you think the end of the saga will culminate in "Frostmourne" claiming "Prince Arthas" life? The ability of the "creator" to author an "interesting story" should be self evident to all!
    "But I'm tryin', Ringo, I'm trying real hard to be the shepard."

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    • #3
      Personally, I loved Diablo II.
      Have no interest in the Warcraft stuff.
      If the video game stories get converted to novels,
      I would be more concerned. Otherwise...
      Aren't all video game stories generic?
      To pinch off of MM, is having good taste in a source
      to pinch (or steal) from.
      \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
      Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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      • #4

        I... must... maintain... 8O
        I [broken link]told MM I'd lighten up, but he did say himself, "It's when people turn it into a business that it starts to get into rip off land." They don't actually call the hero Elric, but I think there's enough similarity to make the claim that this is a rip off.

        Looking forward to hearing what MM has to say about this one.
        Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 08:47 AM.
        "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
        --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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        • #5
          My nephew worked at vivendi and did QC on warcraft.I myself met a few of the programmers and testers at a drunken tequila party.While my recollection is a tad hazy I do recall going on about one of my pet drunk subjects i.e. the multiverse et al.They certainly knew who Mr.Moorcock was and more than a few had read Elric.
          However I think that in most fantasy inspired games a form of Stormbringer/Mournblade exists.In Capcoms Onimusha and Devil may Cry series threre is a sword that steals souls and in Morrowind(an absolute classic)a sword called a Daedric Claymore has more than a passing resemblance to Stormbringer.The similaritys in Warcraft are a bit silly though,and Frostmourne is more or less exactly like Stormbringer.Great game though,and also has the best Cinema CG of any game.
          Music is the Weapon-Fela Anikulapo Kuti

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          • #6
            XBOX Soul Caliber 2...

            whole game based on soul-stealing sword...Elric-like characters

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            • #7
              Yup. Mike's ideas are original enough to warrant the five finger discount!
              Clearly the least worthy proof of the value of his ideas.
              "But I'm tryin', Ringo, I'm trying real hard to be the shepard."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Diogenes
                However I think that in most fantasy inspired games a form of Stormbringer/Mournblade exists.
                Yeah, and they all came into existance after the 1965 publishing of Stormbringer, right? I agree there are no shortage of Elric rip offs; this is just one of the more blatant ones, IMHO.

                Look, a soul-sucking sword is a great idea! Who wouldn't wish they had come up with it first? Fact is, MM did come up with it first. But that's not what makes this particular game bug me; what bugs me is the almost complete retelling of the Elric od Melnibonأ© story.

                ...specifically, the human campaign in which Prince Arthas recovers the "cursed runeblade Frostmourne" (a weapon that, according to the opening cutscene in the undead campaign, "steals souls,")... The sword turns him into a cynical, white-haired antihero who indifferently butchers his enemies. Arthas then returns to his home kingdom, only to destroy it.
                Voice of Blizzard Game Exec: "Yeah, okay, but we didn't have him duel his cousin or kill his lover or anything, geez!"
                "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
                  Voice of Blizzard Game Exec: "Yeah, okay, but we didn't have him duel his cousin or kill his lover or anything, geez!"
                  Shallow comfort to be sure.
                  At least Jim Starlin had the decency to substitute the hell sword with a "soul gem" for Adam Warlock. Jeez.
                  "But I'm tryin', Ringo, I'm trying real hard to be the shepard."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've played WC3 and i knew what would happen from the start when he was going for Frostmourne and everybody told him not to.. :/

                    There was also a whole bunch of RT strategy games using a hero
                    named either Arthas or Artas or Artos etc. Which i thought made them just corny and silly...

                    I think the ripp-off is not even slight in it's intentions. But i think it's a homage in a way.. An unannounced one at that. They should at least announce it! Right?. But they wont i guess...

                    This kinda rippoffing is like the alien genre, i'll give you that..
                    Just imagine what will happen if the Elric movie is a boxoffice hit?
                    The horror of showbizz..

                    "Burn Hollywood! Burn!"

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                    • #11
                      The above post was by me! /\
                      I
                      I

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                      • #12
                        I'm guessing it will be a box office hit.
                        Even if LOTR didn't come out, I think people
                        would have liked it.
                        But since there is LOTR,
                        it will be a hit with ease!
                        I think it's in good hands.

                        It won't be a Dungeons and Dragons, which I
                        haven't seen, that's for sure.

                        ___________________
                        It will be good as The Sword and the Sorcerer!
                        \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                        Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I too owned and played WCIII and I did notice the similarities to Elric. If I had any doubts at all the name "Frostmourn" swiftly ended them. I guess I wouldn't mind ripoffs so much if they weren't so obvious. I mean... if it were a female hero with a whip named "Deathwhisper" that stole a person's "mana" (magic energy) with a chip on her shoulder... that's all inspired by Elric... but it isn't nearly so obvious.

                          Thanos

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                          • #14
                            Adam Warlocks Soul Gem

                            Originally posted by bluekachina
                            Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
                            Voice of Blizzard Game Exec: "Yeah, okay, but we didn't have him duel his cousin or kill his lover or anything, geez!"
                            Shallow comfort to be sure.
                            At least Jim Starlin had the decency to substitute the hell sword with a "soul gem" for Adam Warlock. Jeez.
                            I think the soul gem was around before Starlin started writing Warlock it was given to him by the high evolutionary I think.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yup - the High Evolutionary gives it to him right at the end of Marvel Premiere #1 "The Power of Warlock" (1971) - I was just digging this out the other day! I'm gonna have to search the rest of the series to see how it was developed. It's on my current reading list, which means it's in a comic box next to my computer in my office.

                              If I may say so, I think Stormbringer and Arioch both are borrowing from the ideas surrounding the Xtian notion of Hell and Lucifer. I think Moorcock calls Stormbringer a hell-sword several times. Arioch is like a "son of the morning" version of Lucifer, and beautiful archangel before the fall. Lucifer tempts you to evil, and steals your soul away to hell. What Moorcock brings to the game is the conflation of some of these ideas into the powers of a sword. But then again, maybe that's not exactly unlike trapping a genie in a bottle.

                              Once you know enough mythology and fantasy fiction, a lot of it is very much alike. The real power comes in the author's ability to tell the story well.

                              Michael is an excellent storyteller.

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