It is currently Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:16 am

All times are UTC




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:21 am 
Offline
Canadian Pundit
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 8:25 am
Posts: 445
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thepal wrote:
They may be similar, and it might be derived from it. But it seems pretty obvious that the Coles in no way took that word into consideration while making the game. Since you were trying to discover the true region the game took place in, using facts the Coles never considered doesn't really make sense since they set the region.


If you read back over my previous posts, you'll see that I wasn't trying to discover the "true region" where the game takes place. On at least two occasions I wrote that I'm fully aware the game doesn't take place in the real world. I'm just engaging in a little idle speculation on what aspects of real world history and culture might have influenced it. I'm sure the Coles never put as much thought into it as I'm doing but ancient history is one of my hobbies. You wouldn't begrudge an occasionally-bombastic young man one of his hobbies, would you? :)

_________________
I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.
-- The man's prayer


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:17 pm 
Offline
Knight Status

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:24 pm
Posts: 296
There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when you're comparing fantasy worlds to the real world, at least in MY opinion.

The first thing is the most obvious: While we all know that it's just a fantasy world, we cannot claim that it doesn't have some basis on real world stuff. Needless to say, some fantasy worlds borrow more from the real world than others, such as QFG, which essentially are remakes, parodies of and general copies of real life cultures and regions. We all know that Spielburg is supposed to be a Germany like place, and that Shapier is supposed to a medieval Iraq/Persia type of place, and its obvious that QFG 3 takes place in an Ethopia-like country (remember, it's in EAST Fricana), and that QFG 4 is an East European setting and that QFG 5 is Ancient Greek. But there are some other things that need to be taken into consideration.

In Fantasy, there are never fully realistic ancient or medival cultures around. The ethics, lifestyle and politics are more based on our modern, contemporary views as to how things SHOULD have run, rather than what they were. Afterall, concepts of Human rights and laws of warfare and real justice and whatnot weren't really invented until the 19th century. I will not deny that some of these did exist in the Ancient World, such as the 'innocent until proven guilty' which originated with the Romans, and the first ever abolition of human slavery which happened a few centuries before the birth of Christ (now, I'm not entirely sure about this) in Persia. But these were exceptions to the rule, as the norms were very different.

One could argue that no one wants to pay too much attention to the pain, drudgery, hardship and other such stuff that most people went through back then and that they want to be spared these details. I suppose they do have a point, but how can one really justify any of that in a pre-industrial setting? Magic exists in these worlds, no doubts there, but how big a part do magicians play in those worlds? Are they rare, highly secretive and normally stand alongside rulers, generals and other important people and help them in managing troublesome affairs or winning dangerous wars? Magic may be universal, but other than casting spells and bewitching some people, as well as teleportation for a few select people, it doesn't play much of a role in peoples lives. They don't use magical portals with an exception of some highly important people, and others have to hoof it on foot, thus going through weeks or months of very uncomfortable, exhausting, troublesome and, in many instances, very dangerous trips on land. Or they could go at sea in ships that, if done REALISTICALLY, would be very crampt, dangerous to go around in, uncomfortable as well as other factors that make travel for things like pleasure to be out of the question.

Which brings me to one point that I really didn't like in QFG -- the inclusion of so called tourists. We never actually see tourists in Gloriana or on the adventures of our hero, but their existane is undenable because of the continous mention of them in the games and the manuals. Tourists in a pre-industrial setting are just... weird. While I will not deny that some kinds of tourism did exist, the kind that we know today did NOT exist back then. Some people visited the ruins of the Collosus on Rhodes for centuries after an earthquake destroyed him. But those were very exceptional, and only the richer people went for it. Other forms of tourism included religious pilgrimages, such as the Muslims going to Mecca and Christians/Jews visiting Jerusalem. But these happened because of the deep religious devotion that people held for these (and in the case of Muslims, they were required to go on Pilgrimage at least once in their lifetimes if they had the means to do so), and not because they wanted to take some time off 'away from it all'.

Issues of slavery are other things that are completely ignored. While slavery was banned under some Persian ruler a long time ago, but this was a very rare exception. Slavery was the norm throughout most of history and only became a political issue in the mid 18th century, and it was only in the 19th century that Western countries finally banned it and started to pressure other nations to ban slavery too. Whenever slavery is mentioned in Fantasy, they normally display the hero feeling bad in someway or another (unless the hero has an evil disposition, in that case he's either indifferent or enjoys watching others being tormented) and is ALWAYS opposed to by someone in some way or another, and if usually banned by many nations in the said fantasy world. Reality, however, is painfully different. While no one ever wanted to be a slave, and many slaves tried to escape or become free, abolition movements didn't exist, and many people would have thought of it as strange to want to ban slavery or improve the conditions of slaves.

And while on the topic of slavery, I'd like to bring up another subject that's fairly taboo in many places... sex slavery. OK, we all know the deal, we've seen movies and games and whatnot that have harlots and whores who seem to be very happy with their jobs and generally are content with their lot, and with that, we see the sterotypical despiction of royal/imperial harems as places were nubile, frivilous women wait to please the sultan or such. The reality of all these were very different. While there were high class prosititues, most people of this proffession were not only poor and pressed into it due to sheer desperation, but almost all brothels were run using slave women and girls; I say girls because not all of the people there were fully grown up! Many of them were young teenagers and some of them were pre-teens and pre-prebucent girls! I've played games were they show merry whores offering their services to you with all glee, but I seriously doubt I'll ever a 10 year old girl sold to a whore monger and forced to service grown men several times per day, as well as being mistreated, poorly fed and recieving very inadquate medical care. This sounds utterly disgusting, doesn't it? But the sick, horrid reality is that these were real, and they were not confined to ancient or medieval times. Japanese people used both women and girls as 'comfort women' to run their frontline brothels to service soldiers moving to and from the frontlines in World War 2, and there comes the fact that some contemporary brothels and red light districts in Thailand and other nations around it also have a major prositution problem, child prostitution included in it.

I'm not implying that I want to see a completely dark and grim world, neither do I have any sick, perverted fantasies to live out on video games, but what I'm saying is that I'm tired of seeing highly unrealistic fantasy taking place. It's all a very complicated thing to deal with, and this is why I really don't like the Fantasy genre so much -- people simplify it to the very basics and generally pay lip service to any sense of realism and other factors that would really make a very interesting game or story. I don't want it all to be shiny and nice with some tiny little specks of dirt here and there. I would rather have a real balance to give it a feel that this is a believable world and not some wishful thinking of someone who wants a perfect world, or a world in which the problems and dangers can be solved by defeating the 'bad guys' with a few sword thrusts and heroic actions. It isn't as easy as one thinks...

Till next time stay cool  :smokin


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:16 pm 
Offline
The Winged Suricate
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 9:08 am
Posts: 238
Location: Here today...
If you want to read fantasy books that include realistic elements like the ones you mentioned, I would recommend the series "Sword of Truth" by Terry Goodkind. The author tends to preach a lot through the words of his protagonists, especially in the later books, when he takes himself too seriously, while the quality of the books deteriorates with every sequel... The problem is exactly the fact that the author sets his modern values and views in a pseudo-ancient world.
Nonetheless, it's still an entertaining read with a relatively high level of realism.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:18 am 
Offline
Knight Status

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:24 pm
Posts: 296
The Wheel of Time series is pretty good. I'm almost done with the first novel and I think that almost everything in it is pretty plausable and believeable. There are some things that make me think and doubt, but many of them are pretty small and not very significant.

Till next time stay cool :cool:


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:59 am 
Offline
Hero For Hire
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 5:58 am
Posts: 1081
Location: Texas
Charlemagne: The Burgomeister is actually another Slavic official, I do believe. In the same places they had Boyars as their noble governors (places like Novgorod or Kiev), the Burgomeister was like the sheriff, as Dmitri was in QFG4. So, once again, it's the Slavic influence in QFG4 that fuels many of the ideas the Coles had. While I'm not really sure how many of these things existed in Romania, this is still an iconic portrayal of a Romania-like area and the real-life historical titles like Boyar and Burgomeister were thrown in there to give it a hint of realism, just enough so that it pops off the screen in bas relief.

Paladinlover wrote:
QFG 3 takes place in an Ethopia-like country (remember, it's in EAST Fricana)

Actually I'd say that QFG3 has more of an Egyptian flair than an Ethiopian one. I'd imagine that Ethiopia is much more Southern than Tarna's location.

Paladinlover wrote:
Other forms of tourism included religious pilgrimages, such as the Muslims going to Mecca and Christians/Jews visiting Jerusalem. But these happened because of the deep religious devotion that people held for these (and in the case of Muslims, they were required to go on Pilgrimage at least once in their lifetimes if they had the means to do so), and not because they wanted to take some time off 'away from it all'.

Actually, as a matter of fact, that's exactly what many Christians did. Just because Jerusalem is a holy place doesn't mean that it was the ONLY holy place in the Christian canon. And though pilgrimages were for religious purposes, that wasn't necessarily why people went on them. Many times if they were mandated by a priest or just simply felt the desire to, people would make pilgrimages to saints' tombs, cathedrals like Canterbury, or other places. These usually served as their vacations. Sure, they were going on a holy trip, but it was also a way for them to get away from the drudgery of everyday life, see the countryside, and see a place where a saint was buried. Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales," for example, shows the signifigance of pilgrimage as a kind of vacation. It wasn't always 100% about religion, regardless of how important religion was back then. They don't have to go halfway across the world, but a week's or a month's pilgrimage to Canterbury should be just fine. It didn't cost an obscene amount of money and it was good for the mind, body, and soul. You couldn't beat it.

Perhaps in the sense of the Glorianian world, people would visit Speilburg to see Erana's Peace or Shapeir because of WIT. These places also speak of caravans and such. Perhaps the "tourists" were merchants in caravans or people who latched onto caravans for work in order to see the world. There are a myriad of logical ways you could explain away tourism. Mordavia would've been a hotspot pre-swamp because of Erana's Garden and the Dark One Caves and such. Silmaria is a freakin' port town. Anybody and everybody could go through there. Tarna's got the Pool of Peace, the Heart of the World, and many other magical wonders to see. If magic exists as prevelantly as it appears to in this world, why wouldn't it be like a kind of religion for some?

_________________
This is not how the world ends.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:42 am 
Offline
Saurus Salesman
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2002 3:18 pm
Posts: 3880
Location: South Africa (Bloemfontein)
Kurdt wrote:
Paladinlover wrote:
QFG 3 takes place in an Ethopia-like country (remember, it's in EAST Fricana)

Actually I'd say that QFG3 has more of an Egyptian flair than an Ethiopian one. I'd imagine that Ethiopia is much more Southern than Tarna's location.


Agreed. The Tarna part would be more Northern African and the Simbani part is more southern African... while the forest might be central African... but definitely not Ethiopian. The Coles admitted they never did much research around the location for QfG3. As they said... the language and cultures were more Jamaican than anything else. The simbani village came from a pic they've downloaded from the net which were of a Southern African village.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:05 am 
Offline
Knight Status
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 9:44 pm
Posts: 386
Location: Realm of Amber
PaladinLover -> you make a number of good points, however what you say mainly applies to fantasy computer games, and not to good fantasy books (as opposed to pulp :) ). For instance, Robin Hobb's works (Lifeship Trader cycle, in particular) deals extensively with the miseries of slavery.

I do agree that tourism as used in the QfG series (e.g. the FA's guide to wherever) is not very realistic. Yes, there were forms of tourism, as Blackthorne states, but nowhere near like that. Also, when going abroad rathr than to some semi-nearby city, tourists had a tendency of not coming back.

_________________
Image


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:30 pm 
Offline
Knight Status

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:24 pm
Posts: 296
Quote:
Actually, as a matter of fact, that's exactly what many Christians did. Just because Jerusalem is a holy place doesn't mean that it was the ONLY holy place in the Christian canon. And though pilgrimages were for religious purposes, that wasn't necessarily why people went on them.


I was using Jerusalem as an example. I never said that it was the ONLY place where Christians went to. The pilgrimage business in Medieval Europe was a huge deal and many people stood to make a lot of money out of it.

And yes, I am aware of the other factors behind traveling. Thomas Jefferson once stated to his nephew as to how traveling was troublesome, but otherwise would wizen someone up and make them more mature in the ways of the world. Even though he said this in the 18th century, I'm sure it would apply in case as well.

Quote:
Perhaps in the sense of the Glorianian world, people would visit Speilburg to see Erana's Peace or Shapeir because of WIT.


That I will agree. As you said, many people went on trips for many reasons, and even in Feudal Japan, many samurai went on 'warrior pilgrimages/journies' or something of that sort, but they didn't do this because of religious fervor (the Japanese were never a very religious people), but more of provening one's self against the world, and showing that they can handle hardship like the best of them. In the QFG 2 manual, they mention Liontaurs going to Shapeir every now and then for warrior proving stuff, this is another realistic factor, but again I can't say that this is tourism in the modern sense.

[quote][Perhaps the "tourists" were merchants in caravans or people who latched onto caravans for work in order to see the world. There are a myriad of logical ways you could explain away tourism. Mordavia would've been a hotspot pre-swamp because of Erana's Garden and the Dark One Caves and such. Silmaria is a freakin' port town. Anybody and everybody could go through there. Tarna's got the Pool of Peace, the Heart of the World, and many other magical wonders to see./quote]

Mercant caravans aren't a bunch of guys who travel to see the world. They're people who go to places to buy and sell stuff to earn a living. Seeing various exotic places along the way is just a pleasant side-effect. Yes, there were lots of really cool stuff in the QFG universe that would amaze people. But you must understand that the real world also has these sorts of stuff, yet back in the old days, people didn't go half-way across the world to see them! People were far more settled in those days than they are today.

But I'm not saying people don't travel to see these things... ADVENTURERS are big in QFG! After all, the hero is an adventurer, and while he sought to get glory and fame from his works, it meant he had to travel the world, see different stuff, and do all sorts of things.

The hero isn't the only adventurer in the world (They're mentioned every where in the game and the manuals for it), but he's just one of the more successful adventurers since he survived so many dangerous and done so many great deeds. I can see that it would be a very dangerous job being an adventure (especially if your fighting monsters and trying to get treasure in places where you could get killed). These adventurers could pass out as 'tourists' to the lands that they visit, but there are other implications in that regard, too.

I think I'll write another short essay on real world adventurers, but I don't think I have the energy for it right now, it's 12:30 in my part of the world and my bed beckons me to lie down on it. See you tommorrow!

Till next time stay cool  :smokin


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:39 am 
Offline
Royal Servant Status
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 92
Location: San Francisco, CA
and let's not forget that around 3400 BC was when the last remnants of liontaurs went extinct, so there's not plausible reason why Rakeesh should be running around in QG2, 3, and 5.
;)
Hehe just kidding guys, but serious, you're going to give yourself an ulcer trying to figure this stuff out...when I don't think the publishers even TRIED to make the time periods tie in with each other.

As a funny side story though, when I was in college & in the middle of history class and read the name "Suleiman", I immediately burst into a smile and was tempted to yell out: "SPEAK THE WORD OF POWER!!!" ;) ;)
:rollin  :rollin  :rollin
Hehe it was actually after that day of class I went home and tried to track down the Coles & found their Transolar Gaming site. What great people.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:11 am 
Offline
Peasant Status

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 1
Just a couple of points that were made I wanted to respond to-

>Which brings me to one point that I really didn't like in QFG -- the inclusion of so called tourists. We never actually see tourists in Gloriana or on the adventures of our hero, but their existane is undenable because of the continous mention of them in the games and the manuals. Tourists in a pre-industrial setting are just... weird. While I will not deny that some kinds of tourism did exist, the kind that we know today did NOT exist back then.

This is absolutely true, but what is required for tourism?  Money, leisure time, and a safe means of transport, also fast if you are covering long distances.

You don't have that in the real world centuries ago, but in the world of QFG, there is travel by flying carpet, and teleportation.  With those, tourism become a fair extrapolation.


>Issues of slavery are other things that are completely ignored. While slavery was banned under some Persian ruler a long time ago, but this was a very rare exception. Slavery was the norm throughout most of history and only became a political issue in the mid 18th century, and it was only in the 19th century that Western countries finally banned it and started to pressure other nations to ban slavery too.

Now this is a bit too oversimplified and exaggerated. The truth is that slavery waxed and waned throughout history. Was slavery common? Yes, very much so. Was it the norm?  Not always.

One thing slavery needs is a method to recover slaves who escape. If a slave can get beyond the reach of the slaveowner, the slave is lost. That reach was measured by the government and how far its authority extended.

So in an empire, such as the Roman empire, slavery thrived. You might escape your owner, but your chances of getting beyond where authorities could reach was slim, and even if you could make it, you would be on the edge of civilization, with little chance to survive.

Contrast that to the feudal states which existed in Europe later; slavery faded, as it became possible to travel to a new realm within a short time, and rulers were less and less inclined to chase after escaped slaves for property owners that did not pay them taxes or owe them fealty.  Christianity also had an influence here, slowly working through the logic of St Paul's writings, moving from chattel slavery to serfdom, and then to freemen.  

With respect to slavery that we normally think of today, chattel slavery from Africa to the New World, it was initially objected to(at least in Europe) on moral grounds, but moral constraints were thrown off because of the sheer amount of money one could make engaging in slave trading.

With respect to QFG, Spielburg and Mordavia are feudal in nature, and with the lack of centralization in government, slavery is unlikely. Slavery would be most likely in QFG2, the liontaur city in QFG3, and QFG5. All of these are, of course, modeled on real world cultures which did have slaves.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:07 am 
Offline
Knight Status

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:24 pm
Posts: 296
Quote:
You don't have that in the real world centuries ago, but in the world of QFG, there is travel by flying carpet, and teleportation.  With those, tourism become a fair extrapolation.


You're both right AND wrong! You see, while there is indeed a fair amount of magical transportation, it is very rare, and very expensive to accomplish. In QFG 2, when you're talking to Abdulla Doo for the first time, he says that the Sultan made him 'wealthy beyond his wildest dreams' after he gave him the magic carpet as a gift. This implies that magic carpets are rare, and apparently very valuable if one possess them.

That's the first thing. The second thing is that magical ritual transporation, like the one's we've seen in QFG 3, 4 and 5, are difficult. It requires a fairly big ritual and lots of energy to accomplish, or so I can summise. In QFG 3, it took a whole ritual with very precise timing and work just to get four people (Uhura, Simba, Rakeesh, and the Hero) across. Do you really think it would be possible to do the same for hundreds, or possibly thousands of people per day? And at very frequent occurances? I don't think so. It would require too much on part of the wizard, and the potential for accidents are plenty. The same applies to the fourth and fifth games. At the end of the third game, they tried hard to teleport the hero into Mordavia directly, and they would have succeeded entirely if it weren't for the interferance of the Dark One's cave!

How much do you think it would have taken to teleport 500 people across? I'm sure you've been to an airport before, so think for one moment how much magical power would be require to teleport that much people and cargo across the world. IF you can imagine that, you'll quickly realize that it isn't as easy as you think it is.

So for all practical purposes, magical transport is only available for a few select people and under a few select circumstances, too.

Quote:
Contrast that to the feudal states which existed in Europe later; slavery faded, as it became possible to travel to a new realm within a short time, and rulers were less and less inclined to chase after escaped slaves for property owners that did not pay them taxes or owe them fealty.  Christianity also had an influence here, slowly working through the logic of St Paul's writings, moving from chattel slavery to serfdom, and then to freemen.  


You're refering only to western civilization, I'm refering to civilization as a whole. From the mesoamerican people of Central and South America, all the way to Japan, China and southeast asia.

Further more, our hero is a major adventurer that goes all over the world. He went all the from various European settings, to Middle Eastern, and even African. And that's just him, how many other adventurers had more milage?

And by the way, serfdom was not a Christian invention, or even done through Christianity. When the Roman Empire turned Christian after Constantine I, Slavery remained as it is for centuries. What brought about the end of chattel slavery as a norm was the customs of the various barbarian groups that took over. These people didn't have the same organizational skills of the Romans, and instead they implimented a system based on vassals and military service. We know this system as Feudalism, and BTW, it wasn't always 100% uniform as we know it. In some places over in the Scanadavian regions, Serfdom was rare, and most people were free, and the landowners could actually ELECT their king, and dispose of him in the event that he's incompetitant or they just don't like him anymore. Variations on this system were very different from place to place. It wasn't all black and white, and we know that.

Quote:
With respect to QFG, Spielburg and Mordavia are feudal in nature, and with the lack of centralization in government, slavery is unlikely. Slavery would be most likely in QFG2, the liontaur city in QFG3, and QFG5. All of these are, of course, modeled on real world cultures which did have slaves.


I wouldn't really call them feudal. Spielburg didn't seem to have any serfs, or anyone else who was bound to the land. The only farmer that we see was Heinrich, the centaur. Although I'm SURE that there must have been more farmers and possibly some herders who raise animals for food or other goods, but we don't see those due to the simplification of the game -- it would be a programming and artistic nightmare for the game makers if they were to show everything!!!

And you're right. In QFG 2, they make it clear that there are slaves. In fact, that woman you see near Zayisha was a slave, and they don't hide that fact. Also, we can assume that the women in the harem are all slaves, too. But they are apparently very well treated and are very friviouslous and flirtious, so they don't mind.

Quote:
Hehe just kidding guys, but serious, you're going to give yourself an ulcer trying to figure this stuff out...when I don't think the publishers even TRIED to make the time periods tie in with each other.


Most game makers don't go into such details, and QFG is not intended to be a true fantasy world, but more of a parody of the real world that we live in. Also, you're right about the time periods not existing over there, but I do have a problem with QFG 5, which really falls out of the line of the other games in the series, but that's a discussion for another time.

I'm in the middle of creating fantasy worlds to write stories in, and the single biggest thing I want to make is realism and believablity. I've done a lot of reading about people who complain about the lack of realism in stories, games and other such stuff, and I do my own research and more or less join the bandwagon. I have no intention of doing total crap like some fantasy games in the genre, neither do I intend to use inheritly contradictory technology and concepts and ideas that would really destroy all the 'fantasy' feel of a game that many Role Players would noramally not give a damn about.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Hello?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:05 am 
Offline
Peasant Status

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 4:45 am
Posts: 1
I think you guys are missing some basic truths about fantasy.

First of all, "when" is entirely irrelevant.  Most here have acknowledged that certain game aspects are based loosely on certain time periods in our own history.  However no one has yet to explain why they then make the leap to assuming that this means all historical data must be accurate and consistent with an actual time period.

Think Star Wars.  It takes place a long time ago, right?  And yet it has robots and lasers and stuff we haven't even fully developed yet.  And they have humans... who speak English!  How is this possible?  Because it's a fantasy.  Not only a fantasy place (meaning not a real place), but also a fantasy time (meaning not a real time), with its own fantasy history and fantasy culture that is not ours, no matter how much its Creator based it on ours.

The bottom line is that the locales and times that the QFGs were based on are not actual historical ones... they are based on places and times that exist in our minds, places and times that we as a culture have built in our collective consciousness through legend, myth, and storytelling.

The fantasy world of flying carpets and Genies in the lamp and dervishes in the desert existing in the collective consciousness of many cultures before QFG2 was ever made.  QFG2 was first and foremost based on that collection of myths and fantasies and stories and legends that we already all held in our minds, not an "actual" place and time.   Those myths, in turn, were based on various actual similar times and places, but not one in particular.

Charlemagne, how could you, or anyone, not immediately recognize Mordavia as Transylvania?  How?  Of course it's Transylvania!... but not the "real" Transylvania, not even based on the "real" Transylvania, rather based on the image of Transylvania that a 50s horror-movie buff might hold in his head, including Polish names and Russian words and vampires and werewolves... even though neither monsters nor Polish and Russian language necessarily existed in the "real" Transylvania during any particular time.  Those things could very well exist, however, in the not-perfectly-educated imagination of a horror movie buff, or in a fictional place called Mordavia that might be based on such an imagination.

Why don't these worlds have slaves?  Because the imaginary worlds we all hold in our heads, before QFG even existed, didn't have slaves.  They just had philosophers in white robes and olive leaf crowns walking amongst the columns or whatever.

_________________
--The Yar


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Hello?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:31 am 
Offline
Canadian Pundit
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 8:25 am
Posts: 445
Location: Ontario, Canada
Quote:
First of all, "when" is entirely irrelevant.  Most here have acknowledged that certain game aspects are based loosely on certain time periods in our own history.  However no one has yet to explain why they then make the leap to assuming that this means all historical data must be accurate and consistent with an actual time period.


Ah! This brings us back to one of my early points. If the creators didn't mean for QFG2 to represent a specific time period, then why did they use real, historical names? It's easy enough to make up fantasy names and characters after the fashion of Tolkien or ancient Germany or the Arabian Nights, but they didn't do that for some of the key characters, did they? They chose Caliph Harun Ar-Rashid and King Solomon. To me, that gives the game a degree of historicity that isn't warranted. That was why I "made the leap" to assuming that the game was at least consistent with history.

In most respects, though, the game didn't really deviate from the "lazy mediaeval" genre that I mentioned earlier. In classic "high fantasy" everything from ancient Greek gods to the longbow is fair game; a span of about 2000 years. In this case, with an Oriental flavour.

Quote:
Think Star Wars.  It takes place a long time ago, right?  And yet it has robots and lasers and stuff we haven't even fully developed yet.  And they have humans... who speak English!  How is this possible?  Because it's a fantasy.  Not only a fantasy place (meaning not a real place), but also a fantasy time (meaning not a real time), with its own fantasy history and fantasy culture that is not ours, no matter how much its Creator based it on ours.


Hmm. Not sure how to respond to this. I guess I think that because "space opera" fantasy is so completely removed from traditional fantasy comparisons of this type are essentially meaningless. Fantasy of the type seen in QFG2 is meant to evoke a "place", or at least a cultural milieu. I could definitely see you drawing comparisons between the themes presented in Star Wars and QFG2, though.

Quote:
The bottom line is that the locales and times that the QFGs were based on are not actual historical ones... they are based on places and times that exist in our minds, places and times that we as a culture have built in our collective consciousness through legend, myth, and storytelling.


I couldn't disagree more. :) The locations, eras and cultures of QFG2 are based on real ones; the stories from the the Thousand and One Nights came from real places and people, and were filtered through their cultural lenses. How can you claim that the Ottoman Empire or the Abbasid Caliphate are simply mental constructs? I agree that aspects of both have been assimilated into the Western collective consciousness as being "Eastern" and "Oriental", but my mother has taught English to several Turkish men who, I'm sure, would be quite happy to refute your claim that the Ottoman Empire didn't exist in detail. :lol

Quote:
The fantasy world of flying carpets and Genies in the lamp and dervishes in the desert existing in the collective consciousness of many cultures before QFG2 was ever made.  QFG2 was first and foremost based on that collection of myths and fantasies and stories and legends that we already all held in our minds, not an "actual" place and time.   Those myths, in turn, were based on various actual similar times and places, but not one in particular.


At least on this we're in agreement. Most of the cultural motifs of QFG2 are found in the Thousand and One Nights and mediaeval Muslim artistic tradition.

Quote:
Charlemagne, how could you, or anyone, not immediately recognize Mordavia as Transylvania?  How?  Of course it's Transylvania!... but not the "real" Transylvania, not even based on the "real" Transylvania, rather based on the image of Transylvania that a 50s horror-movie buff might hold in his head, including Polish names and Russian words and vampires and werewolves... even though neither monsters nor Polish and Russian language necessarily existed in the "real" Transylvania during any particular time.  Those things could very well exist, however, in the not-perfectly-educated imagination of a horror movie buff, or in a fictional place called Mordavia that might be based on such an imagination.


Of course I immediately thought of Transylvania! :lol I then almost immediately rejected it for the reasons I've already stated. I've known several Romanians over the years and they all sounded Italian when they speak English, not Slavic. Oooh, I can't resist the urge to do a bit of a language study. Let's just look at greetings and farewells in several langauges:

Greeting
Romanian: ce faci
Italian: ciao
Russian: здравствулте (zdrastvetya; formal) or Привет (privyet; informal)
German: Guten Tag

Farewell
Romanian: la revedere
Italian: arrivederci
Russian: До свидания (do svedanya)
German Auf Wiedersehen

Romanian doesn't sound very Slavic, does it?

I guess what this really comes down to is me being both a student of history and a perfectionist. I'm sure that to a "50's horror movie buff" Mordavia is "Transylvania". However, because I know where Transylvania is and some of its history and people it seems completely wrong as a real-world analogue to Mordavia. I still think eastern Poland makes for a better fit. I'm sure they had legends of werewolves and vampires there too, you know. :)

Quote:
Why don't these worlds have slaves?  Because the imaginary worlds we all hold in our heads, before QFG even existed, didn't have slaves.  They just had philosophers in white robes and olive leaf crowns walking amongst the columns or whatever.


That's pretty funny! :lol
And welcome to the forums, by the way. That's probably the most impressive introduction I've seen. :D

_________________
I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.
-- The man's prayer


Last edited by Charlemagne on Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:19 am 
Offline
Royal Vizier Status
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:37 am
Posts: 2298
Location: Central New York
Why use real names?  Simply to pay homage to the era(s) that inspired the Fantasy world.

Bt

_________________
You've got to be crazy; you gotta have a real need.  You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you're on the street, you got to be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Hello?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:28 am 
Offline
Defense Minister Status
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 2:54 pm
Posts: 736
Location: Kolding, Denmark
Quote:
Think Star Wars.  It takes place a long time ago, right?  And yet it has robots and lasers and stuff we haven't even fully developed yet.  And they have humans... who speak English!  How is this possible?  Because it's a fantasy.  Not only a fantasy place (meaning not a real place), but also a fantasy time (meaning not a real time), with its own fantasy history and fantasy culture that is not ours, no matter how much its Creator based it on ours.


Yes, but it's also in a galaxy far, far away. Since we haven't visited any planets that far away, we don't know if there's another humanoid species with highly advanced technology. Plus, the language they speak is not explicitly defined as English, so it could actually be a different language that just sounds exactly like English.

_________________
Pidgeot
-----
Every error you find is the last one.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:11 pm 
Offline
Knight Status

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:24 pm
Posts: 296
Quote:
Yes, but it's also in a galaxy far, far away. Since we haven't visited any planets that far away, we don't know if there's another humanoid species with highly advanced technology. Plus, the language they speak is not explicitly defined as English, so it could actually be a different language that just sounds exactly like English.


I think I once heard them call the 'English' language in Star Wars to be 'Basic' or 'Galactic basic' or something to that effect.

Quote:
Ah! This brings us back to one of my early points. If the creators didn't mean for QFG2 to represent a specific time period, then why did they use real, historical names? It's easy enough to make up fantasy names and characters after the fashion of Tolkien or ancient Germany or the Arabian Nights, but they didn't do that for some of the key characters, did they? They chose Caliph Harun Ar-Rashid and King Solomon. To me, that gives the game a degree of historicity that isn't warranted. That was why I "made the leap" to assuming that the game was at least consistent with history.


One of the grips that I have with Fantasy writers and role players is the apparent bashing of using real life names and instead using 'fantasy' names. Never mind the fact that many of those supposed 'fantasy' names are directly from real life (take 'Conan' for example, there are quite a bit of people who had that name BEFORE the novels were written), or a variety of others. It seems to be that the rule of having 'no real life names' should properly be interpreted 'no well known real life names' and some obscure sounding real life names are OK. That's only one small part of a very large diatribe I have against the RPG community.

Quote:
In most respects, though, the game didn't really deviate from the "lazy mediaeval" genre that I mentioned earlier. In classic "high fantasy" everything from ancient Greek gods to the longbow is fair game; a span of about 2000 years. In this case, with an Oriental flavour.


That's one of my problems with fantasy. Many people assume that a 'sword is just a sword' and that the various variations that existed throughout history are meaningless. I've seen RPGs who's weapon shops are filled with everything from stone and bone spears, to Reniannce (misspelt) era two handed swords, and having everything from Roman gladiuses and Arab scimitars in between.

And the hugest problem I have is the apparent inclusion of shipboard cannons. Cannons? Aren't guns supposed to ruin the fantasy theme? Or does that only apply to handheld firearms? That's a major problem. In real life, cannons on board ships did not EFFECTIVELY exist until the 16th century, and even then, ancient galley tactics were still the norm. One of the reasons the English defeated the Spanish Armada back in 1588 is because they had better cannons, and above all, they KNEW how to use them. Cannons had been land based weapons ever since the early 14th century but did not become really effective until the late 15th century. The capture of Constainople by the Turks is a prime example of just how cannons changed the face of warfare forever.

Fantasy writers and role players pay lip service to all this. Armor and weapons were normally made in response to something, and not out sheer desire for something else. During the Roman era, maces existed, but they were very rare for the one reason is that there was no need for an armor bashing weapon at that time, and if you had yourself a medieval soldier using Roman era equipment on a 14th century battlefield, I seriously doubt he'll last long since his equipment is NOT suited for that kind of fighting.

It's all FAR more complicated than you think. Because of this, some unrealism and anachronisms are needed to maintain the fantasy theme, but I'm sick and tired of seeing people stretch it beyond reasonable limits. I'm willing to accept that maybe fantasy farmers use better farming methods to produce more food, but why is it that famine is practically non-existant? Or disease is simply a 'condition' that some players get when fighting some enemies and not a fact of life AND war! Remember this: up to World War 2, more soldiers died because of diease and not enemy action. During the American Civil War 2/3 of all deaths were not battle related. Also, after long marches and moves, some (read many) soldiers are really fatigued after all that and would need some R&R if they're really to get into fighting shape for that siege/battle.

I would just love it for once if people cared for these 'little' details.

Quote:

The fantasy world of flying carpets and Genies in the lamp and dervishes in the desert existing in the collective consciousness of many cultures before QFG2 was ever made.  QFG2 was first and foremost based on that collection of myths and fantasies and stories and legends that we already all held in our minds, not an "actual" place and time.   Those myths, in turn, were based on various actual similar times and places, but not one in particular.


It's not supposed to be an actual time or place. But the setting it has is based on the 1001 nights that are told as stories. My problem with it, is that if you want to produce a game or story, even if it is in a fantasy setting, you shouldn't be lead to believe that anything goes, or that just because it is fantasy, you can have a 100% utopian land with no problems that can't be solved by a sword thrust or magic spell. That's just plain childish, and I think it's time we moved on to settings of increasing complexity. We have enough experiance to do so and we should. It would be better for all people involved.

Quote:

Why don't these worlds have slaves?  Because the imaginary worlds we all hold in our heads, before QFG even existed, didn't have slaves.  They just had philosophers in white robes and olive leaf crowns walking amongst the columns or whatever.


I know they're imaginary worlds, but I think we should grow up from that point. Of course, we will always have silly stories and bizzare settings that don't make sense -- not everything can be art, after all! :)

P.S. Welcome to the forums! :D


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:01 pm 
Offline
Saurus Salesman
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2002 3:18 pm
Posts: 3880
Location: South Africa (Bloemfontein)
You mean, for example, how paladins are made saints in stories, but in reality they were nothing more than barbarians who used their own religion and their own ideas of what is right and wrong as an excuse for plundering and killing??


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 7:39 pm 
Offline
Canadian Pundit
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 8:25 am
Posts: 445
Location: Ontario, Canada
I guess it depends on what kind of "paladin" you're talking about. The paladins of legend were the 12 knights of Charlemagne's court. I don't know of any real-life people who called themselves paladins, but if you're referring to the military-religious orders that operated during the middle ages, such as the Knights Templar, I tend to agree with you.

_________________
I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.
-- The man's prayer


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:17 pm 
Offline
Knight Status
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 9:44 pm
Posts: 386
Location: Realm of Amber
I'd agree with PaladinLover's view of teleportation. The Wizard character doesn't even learn a teleport spell (and he does learn various destructive spells so arguably that's easier, and then I'm not even counting ThermoBlast which I always considered some sort of joke). Short-range TP is common (kobold, Erasmus and Erana can all do it) but long-range isn't, and I believe that Kreesha (who can do it) is substantially more powerful than the Hero, at least in that area.

A somewhat harder case could be made for the world of Ultima, which has teleport gates (moongates) all over the place, but the populace in general never uses them. Reasons for that could be superstition, or the fact that the gates are somewhat unreliable.

Regarding slavery, it could be argued that some of the locations (in particular, Shapeir and Tarna) in fact do have slaves, only this isn't an important part of the story and was left out to appeal to younger audiences. I'm not going to agree that the slaves "don't seem to mind", it could well be that they have no choice and simply make the best of it.

I think the issue isn't as black-and-white between fantasy and reality, as Yar seems to state. Rather, the best fantasy stories manage 'suspension of disbelief' which tends to require at least some semblance to reality. I've yet to play a computer RPG that manages SoD (even if in tabletop RPG it's relatively common), and very few adventure games manage it (though the Death Lord scene from KQVI instantly comes to mind).

Also note that fantasy relies heavily on fact, and many mythical stories were widely believed to be factual in earlier days. Recommended literature is the horror novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, which starts out as a historical account from cited sources, and ends as fantasy - and even the author is no longer sure where the line lies, as he states in his afterword.

Was King Arthur real? Or fiction? Or a combination of both? What about Robin Hood? King Solomon? What about Theseus? The line is hard to draw. Unicorn horns exist, even if they come from narwhals rather than unicorns.

Regarding real names or fantasy names, I believe a name should be part of the world's atmosphere, so for instance a Roman character should be named Marcus rather than Mark. However, this should not be taken to extremes - Isaac Asimov wrote a good treatise on how using strange words for (among others) distance and time does not make your story better, it merely makes it incomprehensible.

Star Wars is a case of its own. It has the feel of a fantasy story, with swordplay and magic and a clear distinction between Good and Evil. Yet it is futuristic. I would say it's one of the few succesful scifi/fantasy hybrids (a popular field in which most authors fall severely flat unless they're named Zelazny). If one were to replace the words 'long time ago' with 'long time in the future', that would not significantly impact the story.

RPGs, and in particular computer RPGs, get it totally wrong, of course. For instance there's a constant need of upgrades for weapons, resulting in weird things like Gold Swords and the Adamantium Torus of Cloud Smiting. This is more than a little silly. Computer RPGs often feel no real need to accomodate logic (other silliness includes unrelated monsters standing still in dungeon rooms, or elementary problems such as a broken bridge that for some reason no NPC ever found worthy of fixing). Reality checks should be more common.

Fantasy writers do tend to do a better job (possibly discounting most pulp fantasy and most novels based on D&D).

_________________
Image


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:02 pm 
Offline
Knight Status

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:24 pm
Posts: 296
Quote:

You mean, for example, how paladins are made saints in stories, but in reality they were nothing more than barbarians who used their own religion and their own ideas of what is right and wrong as an excuse for plundering and killing??


Real-life Paladins were not barbarians who used their religion and ideas to torment other people. A real life Paladin was any one of the 12 peers in King Charlamagne court back in the 8th century. Also, another MODERN definition of a Paladin is simply a staunched supporter of a cause and what not.

Quote:

I guess it depends on what kind of "paladin" you're talking about. The paladins of legend were the 12 knights of Charlemagne's court. I don't know of any real-life people who called themselves paladins, but if you're referring to the military-religious orders that operated during the middle ages, such as the Knights Templar, I tend to agree with you.


Well, I do know that there was a Paladin called Orlando (at least I THINK that was his name) who helped defeat Muslim invaders at the battle of Tours and drove them out of France. He also hated Muslims with a passion and was very religious.

Quote:
I'd agree with PaladinLover's view of teleportation. The Wizard character doesn't even learn a teleport spell (and he does learn various destructive spells so arguably that's easier, and then I'm not even counting ThermoBlast which I always considered some sort of joke). Short-range TP is common (kobold, Erasmus and Erana can all do it) but long-range isn't, and I believe that Kreesha (who can do it) is substantially more powerful than the Hero, at least in that area.


Well, Erasmus did teleport the Hero from Mordavia to Silmaria, but he wasn't able to do that until weeks after the Dark One had been defeated. All the negative magical energy and other magical turbulance had hindered his ability to even clearly SEE the hero, let alone cast the spell to teleport him half-way across the world. Also, Ad Avis and Katrina did it, but it required a whole ritual, just in QFG 3 with Kreesha.

Quote:
A somewhat harder case could be made for the world of Ultima, which has teleport gates (moongates) all over the place, but the populace in general never uses them. Reasons for that could be superstition, or the fact that the gates are somewhat unreliable.


Its been a very long time since I decided to play most of the older Ultima games, but from what I remember, it required a ritual of some sort in the 9th game, and were unreliable in the 7th game BEFORE you solved the problem with the magical ether that was hindering all magic and causing all wizards to go loony. Also, the moon gates might not have been suitable for large scale transport, but I'm not sure of that at all. I guess I'll have to agree with the superstition point that you pointed out.

Quote:
Regarding slavery, it could be argued that some of the locations (in particular, Shapeir and Tarna) in fact do have slaves, only this isn't an important part of the story and was left out to appeal to younger audiences. I'm not going to agree that the slaves "don't seem to mind", it could well be that they have no choice and simply make the best of it.


I know that, and I guess you're right about them being left out for story reasons, but I really hate it when some slaves are brought up in some stories, they either go so over dramatic with them, or simply mention them and then ignore them completely. The 2nd thing is pretty OK, after all, the characters shouldn't really be caring so much for farm slaves or domestic slaves serving food or keeping their masters house in good condition, anyway. There's no need to gross over these facts, but simply to acknowledge them and to show that the world has some believable aspects in it.

Quote:
Fantasy writers do tend to do a better job (possibly discounting most pulp fantasy and most novels based on D&D).


I fully agree with you. Robert Jordan is a great fantasy author, and so are many others that I've heard about. But RPGs and books based on RPGs are pretty weird and childish. I've seen a lot of RPG websites who go to great lengths to claim how 'mature' their games are and yet frequently have many behavioral problems, and there comes the fact that many of their games and role playing sessions are just too boring to really spend months on end playing.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 7:37 am 
Offline
Saurus Salesman
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2002 3:18 pm
Posts: 3880
Location: South Africa (Bloemfontein)
I think your entire argument proofed that Paladins simply followed their own ideals. Imagine a normal guy (a farmer or something of that time) who didn't exactly agree with their ideals and religion, but was a good man... imagine how petrified he probably were of these people.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group