Dumas’ Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, is one of history’s greatest fictional accounts of vengeance ever told. That is a fact. Volumes could be filled with critical acclaim the literary masterpiece has had the good fortune of amassing through nearly two centuries, but readers familiar with the tale are already well aware. The text has been translated many times over, enacted on stage to satiate the thespians, abridged for various age groups, auditorially spoken for the blind, transcribed to braille for the deaf, & adapted for motion picture on screens big and small. These reimaginings have all had varying degrees of success for different reasons.
Gankutsuoo, literally The King of the Cave, was a Japanese anime miniseries which put a futuristic and mystical spin on the fiction, appealing to animation fans in ways which reading the original text’s thousands of pages never would. Kevin Reynold’s 2002 film starring Jim Caviezel condensed the story and altered some fairly large arcs, making the 2-hour experience more palatable for the movie going public at large. History shows that a story worth remembering is one not only worthy of preservation but restoration. As creative art evolves, it is difficult to imagine a scenario whereby some of these classics would not. And after 30+ years of video games, the sole adaption of this story in game happens to be a hidden-object genre template with a title attached, a mortifying testament of homage.
Cash-grabs like such are terrible, but would it be possible to create something good?
Conveying the intricate emotions which several days of reading invokes would be an immeasurably difficult task. Yet, if the game aimed to do something else, it would be successful. Recreating some of the action would be splendidly entertaining. Fighting pirates on the beach, diving for treasure, rescuing the princess, dueling with Morcerf. Alternatively, focus could be placed on other characters. Play as Albert, chasing tail through the streets of Paris. Or slaughter a kingdom by Mondego’s lead. Include resource management or a societal class rank. Hell, mix up the endings. Play as Villefort, beat the game, and conclude with a bonus round of “How many peasants can France guillotine?” sponsored by Emperor Napoleon.
The wealth of material which can be manipulated or spun off, even episodically is immense. The story remains ripe for the plucking.
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