Adaptations and Tie-Ins

I might have to insist you make this argument, because (as the creator of the list) I can’t imagine adding historical fiction to this list unless it was based directly on specific written source material. (Simply drawing on historical narratives of a particular event for purposes of research and interpretation wouldn’t be enough.)

(Please note that pastiche doesn’t belong on this list either, unless it draws so heavily upon a particular work as to constitute a sort of adaptation rather than just drawing upon the motifs and tropes of an author or genre. Otherwise Tally Ho, Jolly Good, and Choice of Broadsides would all have to be there.)

1 Like

See, that’s part of when it becomes fuzzy! If I write a game based on the Epic of Gilgamesh, that’s clearly an adaptation, right? But if I write a game set in ancient Mesopotamia that’s not an adaptation. But if I write a game set in ancient Mesopotamia that’s drawing a lot of its cultural/style/premise details from that epic, it gets into a weird middle space. I think it mostly gets into weird corner cases in places where ‘pastiche’ and ‘in the style of texts from that time’ and ‘most of what we know about from that time is based on a few texts’ start overlapping.

…but then at that point I start muttering about how people tend to conflate Ovid’s take on myth with actual Greece-originating Greek myth and they should be more clear about their sources, and how in the modern world we distinguish ‘history’ and ‘myth’ more aggressively than is appropriate for some ancient sources and their aims. So it’s really only fuzzy, as lines go, in that there are places where historical fiction CAN overlap a lot with adaptation, depending on the sources for ‘history’ used, rather than any claim about historical fiction being generally in the same category as adaptation. If that makes sense?


Look man, I just recently found out that Aphrodite used to a goddess of war in addition to the rest of her portfolio, and now I’m just waiting for a game to give me that.

Apparently, the OG Aphrodite that was imported to Greece (Aphrodite Areias) stabbed people in the face, which was what helped make her super-popular with nearby Sparta, who now had a sexy goddess of fertility, fighting, and ffffffffffloving.


Aw heck now you have me thinking about a game that reverts Circe and Helen and some others to their full goddess versions, and it’s not like I have time to write it myself. Someone else is gonna have to do that one. (Maybe let me play Circe and any RO that I don’t pursue gets turned into a fun animal sidekick, I don’t know, there are lots of options.)

Yes, that makes perfect sense, thank you. (I wrote a paper on medieval hagiography once, and … well … I’ve read Herodotus. 'Nuff said!)

I actually considered including The Saga of Oedipus Rex in the original version of this list and hesitated because I wasn’t sure whether it should be taken as an adaptation of Sophocles or drawing upon mythological sources more generally. So there’s been some room for interpretation from the beginning. I have a pretty good idea where the line is drawn, I think, but I’m not sure I could communicate it to anyone else in precise terms.

Well, she did kinda set the Trojan War in motion, so I suppose it suits her.


Have you played An Odyssey: Echoes of War yet?

1 Like

It’s been on my to-read (to-play?) list, and clearly I should bump it higher!

They can’t. Not the originals anyway. It’s ironic that Disney who has been the force most against new works entering the public domain, almost certainly wouldn’t be the huge company they are today without them to have built many of their works on.

Anyways, you just have to be careful. If you use the original myths or fairy tales to write a book/game you’re fine, but you have to be careful not to use more recent adpation’s takes on it. For example you can write a little mermaid game based on the original fairy tale, but putting Sabastian in there would likely get you served a take down notice.

Aphrodite Areia. Popular in Sparta to probably to no one’s surprise :laughing: How about Ishtar? Why is there so little in games/fiction about her?

My intention was for its core storyline to be an adaption Sopholcles’ Oedipus Rex, (with a bit of inspiration from the Orestia as well in one of the offshoot storylines) but I did add and changed up some bits and pieces so does also draw on general mythology in Greece and Egypt in other parts as well.

1 Like

Probably because Mesopotamian myths aren’t really all that popular*. I mean, how many movies about the Epic of Gilgamesh are there, especially considering that’s the earliest work of literature we know of?

EDIT: Note we also have pretty much jack-all with Mesoamerican religions, even though the Aztecs believed that Earth itself was an otherwordly abomination that would eat everyone if it wasn’t kept sated with human sacrifices. That’s, like, prime horror game materail right there.

*possibly because every Abrahamic zealot would lose their shit if we rubbed it in their faces where they got the flood myth from

1 Like

Yeah I know. Variety’s the spice of life though right? :grinning: I mean I love Greek mythology, but sometimes seeing some other stuff would be good as well (and I’m not at all hypocritical here since so much of my stuff is greek myth inspired lol.)

Oh I looove Aztec mythology. I mean I’m glad I didn’t live in a world where I believed at any moment jaguars might rain from the sky to eat everyone, but it’s still fascinating.

Tezcatlipoca: “That was one time! ONE TIME!”

The other three were checks notes Tez turning everyone into monkeys and Quetz killing all of them, Tlaloc burning everyone, and Tez making Chalchiuhtlicue so sad she cried blood for 50 years and drowned everyone… in… tears… of blood…


Happy fun times all around? :grimacing:


Oh yeah, the Aztecs were obviously a barrel of laughs when it came to their world outlook :scream:

1 Like