Tochmarc Emire

Might as well come clean now: for the last week or so I’ve been working on an entry for TIGSource’s Demake contest. I’m not anymore; I decided to call it quits last night. I hadn’t posted about it because I was taking kind of an unusual approach to the theme, in the spirit of this idea:

Arne said: It would be interesting to tackle a franchise or movie setting rather than a game. Like, you’re pretending to do an unauthorized E.T. game for the Atari 2600, before the official game comes out. Would make an interesting competition I think. ‘Unauthorized movie game done in the mid 80’s’. Then you’ll have to be creative and show that movie games can be great and represent the soul of the movie, even with ‘primitive’ graphics. It doesn’t take long before total immersion kicks in, regardless of gfx, if the game is well made. I could imagine that it’s possible to do an Alien game which is very scary. There was one for the C64 but I never played it.

My idea was to make an adaptation of an old Irish Legend, Tochmarc Emire, in the style of a SNES jRPG. jRPGs have always been heavily inspired by world mythology; long story short, I thought it might be interesting to reverse that and retell one of these legends in a style inspired by jRPGs.

Turns out there are a lot of interesting connections – to name just a few: Cúchulainn is 16 when the events in the story take place, his life is driven by a prophesy, in battle he can enter a trance called the ríastrad which gives him superhuman strength and stamina, he’s trained by a powerful warrior from a distant land, he eventually has to fight to the death against his best friend and foster-brother… I could go on, but the point is that the legend lends itself really well to the jRPG structure.

By far the most interesting connection, though, is the music – This post on Game|Life goes into a great deal of detail on the connection between Irish Traditional music and Video Game music – in particular, RPG music. In fact, there’s actually an album of Nobuo Uematsu’s music from Final Fantasy IV arranged like Irish Trad music (Celtic Moon). One of the big things I wanted to do with this project was to explore that connection a bit more, and I’d actually selected a load of my favorite trad songs as the game’s soundtrack. It’s probably not the sorta thing I’d usually do, but I figured given the contest’s “bootleg” nature I might get away with it.

..You know what? I was going to upload them with the game anyway, so I might as well share a few examples here:

Breton Tune [STEAMPACKET]:
(for a town)
Rockfield [Lúnasa]:
(for the bosses)
Wandering Fish [KiLA]:
(for the world map)

Well, anyway. That’s all put to one side. I could sorta justify taking one week out to work on it, but I can’t justify two weeks. And anyway, I totally underestimated how long it was going to take. It’s not even close to finished as it stands. So that’s it – another project scrapped.

* 2 Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Verious on September 4th, 2008

    That’s too bad it was scrapped, it sounds like an interesting premise.

  2. SubIgnition on March 7th, 2009

    I think the music samples fit perfectly! It’s a real shame you couldn’t make this, it sounds like it would be an absolutely amazing game if done properly.

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