Mento's Movie Magic: Video Game Homages To "Alien"

Dear Lord I need help with these names.

People on here often wonder why the video game industry takes strides to follow and show great deference to the movie industry, despite how well the former is doing compared to the latter - though I might've wanted to wait a few weeks after Transformers 3 and Deathly Hallows Part Deux stopped making mad ducats before throwing out unfounded factoids like that. The reason for this is because video games are inspired by movies. Almost entirely, in fact.*

Occasionally a video game will base itself on the original comic or book when a movie adaptation rolls around, as if to take some manner of literary high ground, but it's only because of that movie adaptation that the game exists at all more often than not. I might one day cover video games that are only inspired by literary sources, like Legend Entertainment's Xanth or Death Gate adventure games, but that sounds both interesting and a lot of hard work - hardly germane for this blog writer guy - so instead I threw something together about games that liberally borrow from Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror masterpiece Alien, because there's a lot of those and it was easy. *Cough*.

Ol' Claw Hammer Head is out of bounds. Too easy!

Rules: (Because I like rules? Back latent OCD tendencies, back I say!) The game has to be set in a claustrophobic, quite filthy and run-down spaceship. With a hostile alien on board. That part's important. I'm also focusing on games that use the horror beats, without too much in the way of gun-packed action scenes (because that's more Aliens. If I did games that borrow elements from Aliens we'll be here all week.) I'm also excluding all those games which are actually based on the Alien franchise, especially those where they fight their old friends the Predator. So no predatory aliens fighting alien predators, at least no famous ones. I'm also not going to do Dead Space. That game is taking a whole different "zombies but in space" direction and attempting to distance itself from the audacious Alien parroting that the original was happy enough to embrace. In fact, I'm just going to avoid games anyone has ever heard of. How about them apples?

* For an interesting take on this, and why video game storytelling in general is still kind of jank, listen to IT Crowd/Black Books creator Graham Linehan's theory on it.

The Orion Conspiracy

The Orion Conspiracy is an adventure game from small British development studio Divide By Zero, in a time where homegrown adventure games were the exception rather than the rule (Telltale Games, Wadjet Eye Games and the many other adventure game makers of today are hardly major studios and happy to carve out their own niche on Steam and other similar venues.) Divide By Zero are also responsible for the Gene Machine and the Innocent Until Caught games, which are quite a deal better than the Orion Conspiracy. As you might surmise from that last statement, this isn't a fantastic game.

12 Comments
13 Comments
Edited by Mento

Dear Lord I need help with these names.

People on here often wonder why the video game industry takes strides to follow and show great deference to the movie industry, despite how well the former is doing compared to the latter - though I might've wanted to wait a few weeks after Transformers 3 and Deathly Hallows Part Deux stopped making mad ducats before throwing out unfounded factoids like that. The reason for this is because video games are inspired by movies. Almost entirely, in fact.*

Occasionally a video game will base itself on the original comic or book when a movie adaptation rolls around, as if to take some manner of literary high ground, but it's only because of that movie adaptation that the game exists at all more often than not. I might one day cover video games that are only inspired by literary sources, like Legend Entertainment's Xanth or Death Gate adventure games, but that sounds both interesting and a lot of hard work - hardly germane for this blog writer guy - so instead I threw something together about games that liberally borrow from Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror masterpiece Alien, because there's a lot of those and it was easy. *Cough*.

Ol' Claw Hammer Head is out of bounds. Too easy!

Rules: (Because I like rules? Back latent OCD tendencies, back I say!) The game has to be set in a claustrophobic, quite filthy and run-down spaceship. With a hostile alien on board. That part's important. I'm also focusing on games that use the horror beats, without too much in the way of gun-packed action scenes (because that's more Aliens. If I did games that borrow elements from Aliens we'll be here all week.) I'm also excluding all those games which are actually based on the Alien franchise, especially those where they fight their old friends the Predator. So no predatory aliens fighting alien predators, at least no famous ones. I'm also not going to do Dead Space. That game is taking a whole different "zombies but in space" direction and attempting to distance itself from the audacious Alien parroting that the original was happy enough to embrace. In fact, I'm just going to avoid games anyone has ever heard of. How about them apples?

* For an interesting take on this, and why video game storytelling in general is still kind of jank, listen to IT Crowd/Black Books creator Graham Linehan's theory on it.

The Orion Conspiracy

The Orion Conspiracy is an adventure game from small British development studio Divide By Zero, in a time where homegrown adventure games were the exception rather than the rule (Telltale Games, Wadjet Eye Games and the many other adventure game makers of today are hardly major studios and happy to carve out their own niche on Steam and other similar venues.) Divide By Zero are also responsible for the Gene Machine and the Innocent Until Caught games, which are quite a deal better than the Orion Conspiracy. As you might surmise from that last statement, this isn't a fantastic game.

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Posted by Video_Game_King

Live a Live is a gem? It wasn't really that good. Hell, the name even sucks. I know what you're thinking, but break out the katakana tables, because I'm about to school your ass (or something). It's not pronounced with a short I, but with a long I. It's more like (A)live Alive, which is a really fucking stupid name.
 
Don't be ashamed of your title tendencies. I've written blogs based on very flimsy concepts, like how my next blog is based on both games having the word "Epic" in the title.

Posted by Spoonman671

Sir, I do not like your rules and I refuse to play by them.

Posted by Mento

@Video_Game_King: Well, it's something. How about a semi-precious rock? It can be the quartz or pyrite of unlocalized Squaresoft games.

Moderator
Posted by TeflonBilly

I remember getting a huge Alien vibe from the original Space Hulk on PC even though it has it's rooots in the Warhammer 40k universe (Which I had no knowledge of back in 93-94 or whatever)

Posted by Video_Game_King
@Mento
 
Eh, it's more like the flint of unlocalized Squaresoft games: easy to see why it's remembered, but still nothing special. If you want a sapphire or amethyst of unlocalized Squaresoft games, I'd go with Bahamut Lagoon or Seiken Densetsu 3. Also, as long as we're talking about semi-precious rocks and stones and shit, I might as well throw in Treasure Hunter G, the entire SaGa series, and most likely Treasure of the Rudras.
Edited by Mento

@TeflonBilly: Space Hulk I mentally filed as one of the many games that were inspired by the sequel, Aliens, instead. Which also includes Alien Breed, Alien Syndrome, Alien Swarm and pretty much any other FPS/TPS with aliens in them, whether they subtly use "Alien" in the title or not.

Space Hulk does do the dramatic tension better than most of those though. If the protagonists weren't all interchangeable space marines, you might even start to care about their well-being. Take note, Epic Games.

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Posted by TeflonBilly

Aliens was straight up shit blowing up all over the place. Even though you were decked out in space marine gear, Space Hulk was more Alien-esque as in creeping through corridors hoping not to bump into Gene-stealers. At least that's how I remember it.

The only tension that Epic Games needs to focus on is the sexual one between Dom and Marcus.

Posted by buzz_clik
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Posted by Mento

@buzz_clik: Definitely a good (and deliberate) example, I'm not familiar enough with the C64's library to have come up with that on my own. Though you might be the one to ask about another one: It was a similarly-themed C64 game with invading aliens on a ship where you had three protagonists, which are called out of stasis one after the other as the previous one dies to fix everything. It came with its own little humorous comic that depicted the plight of all three astronauts, with the first being an incompetent idiot and the last being an awesome hero type that saves the day once the first two are toast.

I should probably ask this in the "what is this game?" thread, huh.

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Posted by buzz_clik
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Posted by Mento

@buzz_clik: It is. Much gamer cred for figuring that out, considering the slim description I gave you and that it's apparently too obscure for a detailed wiki entry.

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Posted by buzz_clik

@Mento: Awesome! Up top. *hi5*

I had no idea that game came with a little comic, but I do know Space Doubt had a quirky sense of humour to it. This was the big hint, though, so your description served just fine.

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