Sunday, March 19, 2017

Game Characters to Inspire the Rest of Us.

If you're around my age (32) you probably at least heard of Galerians. It was an old survival horror game (and those weren't super easy to come by, especially good ones, back then). If you were a fan, you probably even saw the DVD release. 

Yeah, I know. The backstory was actually cool enough for them to bundle and use as an animated film. Okay, it's not life-changing, but here is what was cool about the story:

The main characters have health issues. That doesn't happen super often in fiction, but this is more common in horror than most other genres. Rion, the main character, wakes up in a hospital with nothing known about anything other than he hears someone asking for help. In order to fight back against enemies, it requires you injecting yourself with various medications. It's clear they aren't healthy medications-it's just a tool to get enough psychic power to survive the onslaught. 

For people like me, who had run-ins with taking medicine to survive since being a teen, it meant a lot to see it in a protagonist when I played these games as a young girl. 

Rion also eventually knows he's marching to his demise. And it doesn't stop him. It doesn't even seem to slow him down because it's for the greater good. Selflessness like that is hard to write, hard to make work, and it does for this character, even being young, and in serious danger, and sick. 

If that's not enough reason for you to look for a vintage play-through of this intense game, you can get the DVD. It requires none of the gameplay frustration or investment, and it has a great soundtrack. 

A close second in terms of seeing something relatable and inspiring within horror is American McGee's Alice: The Madness Returns. 

*hands down, my favorite moment in this game* 

I once read a letter from a woman to the creators which was made public about how Alice's story inspired her to keep going. I know I keep saying it, but that is the gold in this genre. 

The main character is subject to all kinds of manipulative malice, and her tools of survival are channeling her own darkness and finding out the truth (ideas often still thought of as unacceptable in modern society, so that right there is really important). I found The Madness Returns to be a bit long, and it didn't give me any scares the way Galerians did a few times (might have been that I was an adult when I played this...), but it was not absent of fun at any of those moments. There was always something worth looking at onscreen, and if the triumph over dark and dismal interest you, you will love it. 

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