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Buffy the Vampire influences to TLJ and Dreamfall

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#1 BummsGeordy

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:59

Hi!

(it's my first time post here - and my first post in english - so please be patient with me ;) )

 

In the past few Weeks I had the urge to replay The Longest Journey and Dreamfall - sort of an preparation for Dreamfall-Chapters. I had such fond memories of these games and I am really glad, that these memories still hold up to reality and that I backed the new game on kickstarter! :)

 

So - back to the topic:

 

In my replay of these games I noticed heavy parallels and/or nods to the TV Show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I don't know if this was discussed or if this is just know around the fan base, but I was really pleasantly surprised by this. It would be cool to collect some of the references here and to disscuss them.

 

BTVS is one of my most favorite shows ever (besides everything else from Joss whedon - whom I am a HUGE fan of, especially Firefly and BTVS) and it hit me with a stone, when I discovered, that one of my most favorite games series (TLJ and Dreamfall) has so much in common with the other stuff I love. Perhaps this is the reason WHY I like both of these things so much :)

 

- The Protagonis is a girl. It's not just girl - it is a strong female CHARAKTER that is real and that you can relate to. Sometimes they are self-refertential and sometimes they throw in some pop-cultural references.

- The name "Faith" (for the girl in Dreamfall) and the word-play with it parallels a similar thing to buffy. First: there is a character named "faith" in BTVS and secondly - the Sister of Buffy is named Dawn - and she is referenced in a dream sequence by  "be back before dawn" (before you know, that she exists) - which is almost the same thing, that happens in Dreamfall, where the white of the Kin says something like "Faith will lead you".

- Zoe discovers, that she has a sister, that she didn't know - exactly like Buffy ;)

- Zoe/April have some special power that they didn't wish for. They are normal human beings - that struggle and accept these powers and are helped by friends and the world around them, to help save the world

- Magic exists in both universes (TLJ and Buffy)

- there exist a guide/someone that always knows what to do: Buffy - Giles; TLJ - Cortez; Dreamfall - Olivia

 

 

and some more stuff. Which references did you spot?

 

and - A thing where I had to laugh: I watched the beginning of the Playthrough of Dreamfall by the Red-Thread-Team - and suddenly somebody starts to sing "where do we go from here" from the Buffy-Musical ;)

 

Is it just me - or are there some Buffy fans over there in Norway :D

 

(I really really love the Works of Joss Whedon - for they are character driven and tell personal stories mixed with fun. And he manages to create REAL human worlds (with BOTH men and women - and gay people) - just like the TLJ-Saga did. I think this is - besides the heart that was put into these creations - the reason, why TLJ and Dreamfall feel real to me) please Red-Thread-Games: don't screw this up. You could use themes from firefly this time :D (family, trust, faith,...) :)



#2 Tina

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:45

Yup, Ragnar is a Buffy fan :) I remember the singing from the livestream, but didn't know it was from something Buffy related.

 

However, I don't think the similarities you're pointing out are due to Ragnar thinking "oh, I want to do this because it's in Buffy/Joss Whedon did it", but rather due to general influences, inspiration and perhaps personality/mindset.


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#3 toremygg

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 12:19

Also, TLJ development stared (if I remember correctly) around the first season of Buffy, and Ragnar had ideas for the story before that, I believe.



#4 Lee-m

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 13:44

and from the new video, opening the portal by way of a slow ritual blood letting...thats lifted straight from Buffy. Glory killing/bleeding dawn to open the portal back to her home :)



#5 Brita

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 13:48

Balthazar in Buffy made me think of Alvin Peats.



#6 WorldsReunited

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 00:15

and from the new video, opening the portal by way of a slow ritual blood letting...thats lifted straight from Buffy. Glory killing/bleeding dawn to open the portal back to her home :)

 

I am a very slow watcher and I already got Joyce dead spoiled for me as well. :P  I should stop reading the internetz. 



#7 Lee-m

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:40

I am a very slow watcher and I already got Joyce dead spoiled for me as well. :P  I should stop reading the internetz. 

I have maximum respect for you as a long time TLJ poster, but slow ? you would have to be standing still not to know that. Plus its in the spoiler forum :)

Think of it as TLJ research to watch all Buffy.



#8 WorldsReunited

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:23

I have maximum respect for you as a long time TLJ poster, but slow ? you would have to be standing still not to know that. Plus its in the spoiler forum :)

Think of it as TLJ research to watch all Buffy.

 

Hehe, I only started watching Buffy 2/3 years ago and have taken breaks in between.  ;)  And yeah spoiler forum, I know, I know... but I was curious.  :P



#9 BummsGeordy

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:28

I have maximum respect for you as a long time TLJ poster, but slow ? you would have to be standing still not to know that. Plus its in the spoiler forum :)

Think of it as TLJ research to watch all Buffy.

 

Think of it as LIFE-research ;)

 

This show makes so many things right that are still often done wrong today :/ But - TLJ and Dreamfall are on the light side of the force :)

curious if and how they put some references in Chapters.

 

@WorldsReunited: you should watch this show till the end - it's worth it!



#10 Jana

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 21:35

Balthazar in Buffy made me think of Alvin Peats.

 

Oh, that's a good one.  :)

 

I'm a huge Buffy fan myself, actually watched the who series (on DVD) a couple of times and I could still recall some of the episode's dialogues by heart I guess.  :ph34r:

 

Looking for similarities, there are quite a few. But then, given when TLJ came out, some of the similarities I find are more with later episodes, so I guess many of the similarities are just coincidental given the similar theme.

 

Yes, themes, I think that's where most of the similarities are. Twin worlds - the "normal" world and the paranormal world, having a secret gift, now knowing who to talk to, being chosen, not knowing how to deal with the responsability, 

 

Also, watching how the character grow and evolve is also a big common theme. Also, it's a bit far-fetched, but Crow and Xander play a bit of a similar role sometimes. Xander is the only friend without special powers and he's still there, trying to be supportive and occasionally make a mess.

 

An interesting thing is to see what happened to April after TLJ and what it lead to in Dreamfall. It's not exactly like in Buffy, that's where it gets a bit blurry, but I can definitely see a few similarities. They both learned something incredible and had the ride of their life (April during TLJ, learning about the twin worls, her adventures in Arcadia, saving the world - Buffy with Angel, having to kill him to save the world) and had to give up a lot for that. April though she lost her friends and could never come back home and then learnt she wasn't become the next guardian and was left with literally nothing.  Similarly for Buffy when she killed Angel to save the world, everything stopped making sense. As a consequence both were "f*** my power, I'm doing something else" and disappeared. Ok, while for Buffy it was a season break and another episode, whereas April was doing something else entirely during some years and Dreamfall, so that's the part that's different.

 

But then another similarity. When April then learns about Zoe, she's like "Oh, have I been replaced? That's the new 'chosen one', let her save the world". Buffy had similar moments with Faith. (yes, you also already noticed, the same word game is also in TLJ/Dreamfall)

 

As said, I thank many of those similarities might be coincidental due to similar themes. And because they're powerful and emotional - Joss Whedon is really good at finding and exploiting these things. So is Ragnar. :)


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#11 WorldsReunited

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 13:19

Think of it as LIFE-research ;)

 

This show makes so many things right that are still often done wrong today :/ But - TLJ and Dreamfall are on the light side of the force :)

curious if and how they put some references in Chapters.

 

@WorldsReunited: you should watch this show till the end - it's worth it!

 

I'm on it!  ;)



#12 Celshui

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 16:41

The voice of April in the Spanish version of TLJ is played by the same actress that dubs Buffy in Spanish, if that works as a connection ;)


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#13 wandrew

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 02:46

Definitely does. Does Ragnar know?

 

*tries to work out some way to incorporate this into the wiki*



#14 Valiah

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:57

It's funny, when I tell people about TLJ/dreamfall/TSW, I will usually say that Ragnar Tørnquist is like the Joss Whedon of video games. Both write very relatable characters, have strong female leads and excel at blending humor with darkness.

But does one man have to be inspired by another to also write strong female characters? I would hope not. While there certainly are similar themes I feel this stems from the writers of these stories having similar values rather than drawing direct inspiration from one another.
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#15 Valiah

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 20:30

On a random side note... I also see similar parallels between TLJ/dreamfall and the works of Neil Gaiman... Gaiman also writes strong female characters, his stories usually start out in our world and follows a protagonist that discovers some parallel world/alternate reality. Like TLJ/Dreamfall his stories tend to incorporate dreams and mythology. And like Ragnar and Joss, he tends to write darker stories liberally sprinkled with humor. Again there might not be direct references in game, more a case of great minds think alike.

I have wet dreams about a collaborative work between these three geniuses.

Edit: I don't know about TLJ, but when I did my literary research for TSW I found several articles where Ragnar stated he had drawn some inspiration from Neil Gaiman and the Sandman comics in particular.
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#16 Vainamoinen

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 21:22

The Protagonis is a girl. It's not just girl - it is a strong female CHARAKTER that is real and that you can relate to.

In a perfect world, this shouldn't be a heavy parallel to anything. The truth is that strong female protagonist characters - emphasis on character - are now pretty common in literature, rather frequent in movies and TV series but still VERY scarce in video games. However Joss Whedon may portray the situation back then, he wasn't going against the tide so much with Buffy, a female main character and particularly the entire setting of the series. FunCom certainly was.


Zoe discovers, that she has a sister, that she didn't know - exactly like Buffy ;)

That's not a Whedonism. That's a Lucasism, a prrrrretty obvious one even. As both Ragnar as well as Joss are heavily influenced by Star Wars, the similarity shouldn't surprise. ;)

Hey Ubisoft, you can keep your "seamless vast online GTA in space" to yourselves. Signed, one of the greatest Beyond Good & Evil fans alive.


#17 Valiah

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 05:27

While searching for something else I did stumble upon this quote by Ragnar which seems pretty relevant to the discussion here...

Ragnar: Hard to list them all, but with TLJ I was heavily influenced by Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Sandman, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing... Stephen King, HP Lovecraft, of course. Joss Whedon and Buffy/Angel. Myths and legends, Norwegian fairy-tales and nature. Tons of books, comics, TV shows, movies. Games: Day of the Tentacle, Gabriel Knight. [Ragnar's AMA]

 

Edit: He also mentions being inspired by Joss WHedon (and Neil Gaiman) in this interview:

 

 

Ragnar: My influences were many, but the key ones were the Vertigo comic-books, primarily Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Books of Magic... The TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, of course; Joss Whedon’s writing was a massive influence on me at the time, and still is. He’s one of the finest writers around. [adventuregamers.com article]

 

And Vain, I agree completely.. Strong female characters shouldn't have to be a parallel to anything else. Yet while there certainly are plenty of examples these days, it's still far from the norm and somethign Joss WHedon in particular is well known for. 


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