So, adventure game masters Telltale Games have signed a deal with Universal Pictures which will see them bringing their Monkey Island making skills to both Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. Naturally, this news made all of us - but especially Jurassic Park obsessive Meiks - do a little cry of joy.
But it also made us greedy. There are plenty of other classic, geek-friendly films in Universal's back-catalogue just begging for the adventure game treatment. From comedy to horror, the line-up is bulging with potentially storming Telltale adaptations. So we wrote down a few, and came up with ideas on how they would work. Here are our musings and demands.
Army of Darkness
Snappy one-liners, goofball comedy, slapstick violence. Are we describing the make-up of Telltale Games or Bruce Campbell here? Both, which is why Evil Dead 3 would make for killer adaptation material.
Get Bruce in to voice a new, expanded script, pad out the story around Ash earning the trust of AoD's primitive screwheads, as well as his quest for the Necronomicon, and you've pretty much got the game half-built. Round off with a few of Telltale's trademark action mini-games based around holding off the Deadite siege, and there you have it. Army of Darkness: The Adventure Game. Done.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Bizarre situations, surreal comic dialogue, mis-matched buddies. It's the Bruce Campbell comparison all over again. Let's follow Raul Duke and Dr. Gonzo through those messed up days in Vegas with no greater goal than to survive and try to make some sort of sense of it all.
Puzzles could be compounded by disjointed narrative (which would be ideal for Telltale's traditional episodic structure). Lengthy black-outs would have to be negotiated and their events worked out and dealt with through the surreal evidence at hand. Chemicals would have to be carefully combined and injested in the right order to allow our protagonists to get through their varying trials in a semi-functional state, lest they fail even the simplest of tasks through physical and mental collapse. If ever a property was suited to the adventure game's predilection for turning even the simplest errands into complex and abstract ordeals, it's Fear and Loathing.
Any classic monster movie
Because we need to revisit Universal's classic 1930s horror heyday in a way that doesn't have the word 'Helsing' in the title. Given the less gratuitous tone and the concentration on atmosphere back then, an adventure would be a perfect fit. Dracula would work really well if it followed Renfield's whole journey from England to Transylvania, and then switched perspective to Harker and Van Helsing back in England. But we really want Frankenstein.
The first half of the game should follow Victor Frankenstein as he researches reanimation and experiments with perfecting the process (and after all, every game needs a grave-robbing mini-game, right?), and the second half should concentrate on the creature's journey through the countryside. With multiple endings depending on whether you took a friendly, aggressive or evasive approach to the oppressive locals, it should even be possible to avoid the climactic windmill barbecue altogether and have the creature survive (because his death by angry mob still makes us cry like little girls).
More Terry Gilliam, more disjointed surrealism, but once again, the film in question is a perfect fit for an adventure game. You've got a very strange stranger in a strange land as a protagonist (two strange lands in fact, given that he's never sure which time period, if either, is real). You've got a huge mystery which concerns a traditional (ish) detective story, the very nature of the story's settings and the protagonist's own, personal existential breakdown. You've got beautiful, affecting, and often twisted imagery that's perfect for the video game format. And you've got the hilarity of a mental Brad Pitt leaping around and honking like a shit-throwing chimp. This game needs to be made yesterday. No pun or existential time travel confusion intended.