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> Lovecraft Influences in Games
Renee
post Aug 26 2018, 02:54 PM
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I finally sat down the other day and really read a Lovecraft story, Mammoth Cave, also known as The Beast in the Cave. Was surprised to learn he was only fourteen when he wrote this tale! blink.gif So I decided to make a thread listing a variety of Lovecraft influences in Bethesda games, and here it is. I'm sure these influences can be found in other games, as well as other media altogether, so feel free to add these as you'd like as well.

It struck me though. The Beast in the Cave features a pale-skinned creature with snow-white hair, which the protagonist kills toward the end of the tale. Before he killed this creature, he could only hear its footfalls (he was in total darkness), and apparently the creature alternated between walking on two feet, and walking on four feet. After killing it, he managed to find the tour guide he'd gotten separated from. He and the guide were then able to return to the creature, and were able to see it with a torch.

At the very end of the tale, the protagonist describes the creature he'd killed as having once been a MAN!!! ... There is an implication that this MAN once lived aboveground, perhaps. Because it's impossible for him to have been born underground.

And to me, this sounds like a reference to the falmer of Skyrim, who also once were an aboveground-living race, called snow elves.

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TheCheshireKhajiit
post Aug 26 2018, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE(Renee @ Aug 26 2018, 08:54 AM) *

I finally sat down the other day and really read a Lovecraft story, Mammoth Cave, also known as The Beast in the Cave. Was surprised to learn he was only fourteen when he wrote this tale! blink.gif So I decided to make a thread listing a variety of Lovecraft influences in Bethesda games, and here it is. I'm sure these influences can be found in other games, as well as other media altogether, so feel free to add these as you'd like as well.

It struck me though. The Beast in the Cave features a pale-skinned creature with snow-white hair, which the protagonist kills toward the end of the tale. Before he killed this creature, he could only hear its footfalls (he was in total darkness), and apparently the creature alternated between walking on two feet, and walking on four feet. After killing it, he managed to find the tour guide he'd gotten separated from. He and the guide were then able to return to the creature, and were able to see it with a torch.

At the very end of the tale, the protagonist describes the creature he'd killed as having once been a MAN!!! ... There is an implication that this MAN once lived aboveground, perhaps. Because it's impossible for him to have been born underground.

And to me, this sounds like a reference to the falmer of Skyrim, who also once were an aboveground-living race, called snow elves.

Yes!! Beth actually puts lots of Lovecraftian elements into their games. Oblivion and Fallout3 were rife with them. Notably, Oblivion had the “Shadow over Hackdirt” quest, and Fallout3 had all the stuff with Ug Qualtoth (Dunwich building, which is itself a Lovecraft reference).

Khajiit really likes Lovecraft’s work. He gets a bad wrap in modern society because he is seen as something of a racist.


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Lopov
post Aug 26 2018, 04:03 PM
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The Krivbeknih in Fallout 3 is like Lovecraft's Necronomicon in a way. ph34r.gif Except that you have an option to destroy the evil book in the game.


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TheCheshireKhajiit
post Aug 26 2018, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE(Lopov @ Aug 26 2018, 10:03 AM) *

The Krivbeknih in Fallout 3 is like Lovecraft's Necronomicon in a way. ph34r.gif Except that you have an option to destroy the evil book in the game.

Indeed! It is a reference to the Necronomicon.


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SubRosa
post Aug 26 2018, 04:09 PM
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Fallout 4 continues the Lovecraftian tradition with Dunwich Borers. Like the Dunwich Building in Fallout 3, it is filled with ghouls. As you go down you find clues to something terrible that happened there before the war. Finally down at the bottom you have a hallucination of a mass sacrifice. You find an altar there, and Kremvh's Tooth, a sacrificial blade of Ug-Qualtoth.


QUOTE(Lopov @ Aug 26 2018, 11:03 AM) *

The Krivbeknih in Fallout 3 is like Lovecraft's Necronomicon in a way. ph34r.gif Except that you have an option to destroy the evil book in the game.

But is it really destroyed. Or has it just been transported somewhere else, or is it just reforming itself even as we speak?

After all, that is not dead which can eternal lie... devilsmile.gif


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TheCheshireKhajiit
post Aug 26 2018, 04:13 PM
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Got a couple of full Lovecraftian games coming out:

http://frogwares.com/discover-the-sinking-city/

http://www.callofcthulhu-game.com/en


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haute ecole rider
post Aug 27 2018, 04:26 PM
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Hermaeous Mora always made me think of my own mental image of Cthulhu . . .

And yeah, I got a free copy of his works, and will have to read them again . . .


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ghastley
post Aug 27 2018, 05:42 PM
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My mental image has been totally ruined by this.


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TheCheshireKhajiit
post Aug 27 2018, 08:44 PM
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QUOTE(ghastley @ Aug 27 2018, 11:42 AM) *

My mental image has been totally ruined by this.

Wtf


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Renee
post Aug 27 2018, 09:06 PM
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I am reading The Amulet next, started reading it yesterday afternoon. smile.gif

I can't believe this guy's writing ability as a teenager. It just boggles me. I mean, he must have spent a LOT of time reading and writing. Some of the words he uses, and the way he uses them, make me want to break out a dictionary or encyclopedia. He didn't have to write in such a way, at such a young age. It's obvious to me he was aspiring to become the very BEST of his craft?

Going back to The Beast in the Cave though, at the very end, it's almost like he betrays his actual age by finally emoting, when the protagonist realizes he's killed a MAN!!! The way Lovecraft wrote that very last word displays all kinds of enthusiasm, more aptly-said from a teenager than an adult.

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TheCheshireKhajiit
post Aug 27 2018, 09:29 PM
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QUOTE(Renee @ Aug 27 2018, 03:06 PM) *

I am reading The Amulet next, started reading it yesterday afternoon. smile.gif

I can't believe this guy's writing ability as a teenager. It just boggles me. I mean, he must have spent a LOT of time reading and writing. Some of the words he uses, and the way he uses them, make me want to break out a dictionary or encyclopedia. He didn't have to write in such a way, at such a young age. It's obvious to me he was aspiring to become the very BEST of his craft?

Going back to The Beast in the Cave though, at the very end, it's almost like he betrays his actual age by finally emoting, when the protagonist realizes he's killed a MAN!!! The way Lovecraft wrote that very last word displays all kinds of enthusiasm, more aptly-said from a teenager than an adult.

Ya, he and Poe are probably Khajiit’s favorite authors.


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SubRosa
post Aug 27 2018, 10:03 PM
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QUOTE(Renee @ Aug 27 2018, 04:06 PM) *

I am reading The Amulet next, started reading it yesterday afternoon. smile.gif

I can't believe this guy's writing ability as a teenager. It just boggles me. I mean, he must have spent a LOT of time reading and writing. Some of the words he uses, and the way he uses them, make me want to break out a dictionary or encyclopedia. He didn't have to write in such a way, at such a young age. It's obvious to me he was aspiring to become the very BEST of his craft?

Going back to The Beast in the Cave though, at the very end, it's almost like he betrays his actual age by finally emoting, when the protagonist realizes he's killed a MAN!!! The way Lovecraft wrote that very last word displays all kinds of enthusiasm, more aptly-said from a teenager than an adult.

Lovecraft always tried to save that big reveal for the very end. At some times it even gets pretty convoluted as he dances around that big shocking Truth so he can save it for the finish. But mostly it creates a resounding finish. The HPLHS society has done a lot of his stories as radio dramas, and they did that to outstanding effect with their version of Shadow Over Innsmouth.

You will also notice that HP hates woodwind instruments, especially pipes and flutes. If there is evil afoot, you can bet it will be heralded by musical piping. Daemoniac piping. He loves daemoniac things. He must have had a daemoniac neighbor who played the recorder all night... laugh.gif

For some of HPL's greatest hits, I recommend the following stories:

At The Mountains of Madness (probably his longest, and my personal favorite)
The Call of Cthulhu
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (my second favorite)
The Color Out Of Space
Dreams In The Witch House (I love the HPLHS radio drama of this, and how they used quantum physics)
The Dunwich Horror
Haunter Of The Dark
Shadow Over Innsmouth
The Shadow Out Of Time
The Thing On The Doorstep
The Whisperer In Darkness
Herbert West - Reanimator

For some of his best B-sides (well, smaller stories):
Cool Air
From Beyond
The Hound
The Lurking Fear
The Nameless City (you can see an early form of a recurring idea in his fiction - that of the Hollow Earth and the nameless horrors dwelling within it)
Nyarlathotep
The Outsider
Pickman's Model
Rats In The Walls
The Shunned House
The Statement of Randolph Carter
The Unnamable


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Renee
post Aug 28 2018, 01:01 PM
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Ha! That's awesome. Thanks for making that list, SR.
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TheCheshireKhajiit
post Aug 28 2018, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE(Renee @ Aug 28 2018, 07:01 AM) *

Ha! That's awesome. Thanks for making that list, SR.

It’s a good list, can confirm


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Lopov
post Aug 31 2018, 08:12 PM
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At the Mountains of Madness is my personal favorite too along with The Shadow over Innsmouth.

Of shorter ones I really like The Cats of Ulthar.

The only story which didn't interest me and at some points I needed to force myself to read it until the end, is The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath though the "surprise"at the end is worth reading it until the end.

This post has been edited by Lopov: Aug 31 2018, 08:13 PM


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SubRosa
post Oct 26 2018, 12:09 AM
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I recently started listening to the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast, or Podcraft. It is pretty good. The two people doing it are indie filmmakers, who among other things worked with The Hp Lovecraft Historical Society - or HPLHS in their movies Call of Cthulhu and Whisperer in Darkness. I remember them from the behind the scenes features (which are in some ways more fun the the actual films!). They have also done some of their own stuff.

I went back and started with their original podcasts, and have been working my way forward. They are examining all of Lovecraft's stories in they order they were written. I don't recommend doing it that way for someone new to Lovecraft, because his earliest works were pretty rough. It takes a while to get to the real gems. But as someone who is already familiar with Lovecraft's writing, it is really fascinating. It has given me a whole new appreciation for his work, as I am not only noticing the firsts (like the first time the Necronomicon is specifically mentioned), but also I am seeing common threads in his writing I never noticed before.

Each podcast takes one or two of Lovecraft's stories and basically walks through them, with a guest reader narrating certain parts. They talk about what is going on, tell some bad jokes, and sometimes have some really clever and insightful remarks. They also add in background like when the story was written, what was going on in Lovecraft's life at the time that might have influenced the story, and things like that. It is this latter stuff that has really added a whole new dimension for me.

Some of the readings are dodgy (not the best voice actors). Some are outstanding, especially when Andrew Leman from the HLPHS is doing them). I find I really enjoy the female readers. That in itself adds a whole new dimension to the stories, as Lovecraft was far from female friendly (there are almost never any female characters in his stories!). The stories they picked for a female reader were good choices though, as in these the protagonist is not named, or given any background or history (he does that a lot). So they could be anyone. I am sure Lovecraft would be rolling in his grave. But considering who he was, I think he would enjoy rolling in his grave... wink.gif


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TheCheshireKhajiit
post Oct 26 2018, 12:59 AM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Oct 25 2018, 06:09 PM) *

I recently started listening to the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast, or Podcraft. It is pretty good. The two people doing it are indie filmmakers, who among other things worked with The Hp Lovecraft Historical Society - or HPLHS in their movies Call of Cthulhu and Whisperer in Darkness. I remember them from the behind the scenes features (which are in some ways more fun the the actual films!). They have also done some of their own stuff.

I went back and started with their original podcasts, and have been working my way forward. They are examining all of Lovecraft's stories in they order they were written. I don't recommend doing it that way for someone new to Lovecraft, because his earliest works were pretty rough. It takes a while to get to the real gems. But as someone who is already familiar with Lovecraft's writing, it is really fascinating. It has given me a whole new appreciation for his work, as I am not only noticing the firsts (like the first time the Necronomicon is specifically mentioned), but also I am seeing common threads in his writing I never noticed before.

Each podcast takes one or two of Lovecraft's stories and basically walks through them, with a guest reader narrating certain parts. They talk about what is going on, tell some bad jokes, and sometimes have some really clever and insightful remarks. They also add in background like when the story was written, what was going on in Lovecraft's life at the time that might have influenced the story, and things like that. It is this latter stuff that has really added a whole new dimension for me.

Some of the readings are dodgy (not the best voice actors). Some are outstanding, especially when Andrew Leman from the HLPHS is doing them). I find I really enjoy the female readers. That in itself adds a whole new dimension to the stories, as Lovecraft was far from female friendly (there are almost never any female characters in his stories!). The stories they picked for a female reader were good choices though, as in these the protagonist is not named, or given any background or history (he does that a lot). So they could be anyone. I am sure Lovecraft would be rolling in his grave. But considering who he was, I think he would enjoy rolling in his grave... wink.gif

Khajiit has recently started listening to podcasts so this sounds right up his alley! Thanks for sharing!


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"Family is an odd thing, is it not? Defined by blood, separated by blood, joined by blood. In the end, it's all just blood."
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SubRosa
post Mar 15 2019, 11:36 PM
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Today is the anniversary of Lovecraft's death.

In his house in Providence
dead Lovecraft waits dreaming


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Renee
post Mar 16 2019, 01:05 PM
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And such a shame he was not to know of the recognition he'd gain over the next decades.
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