Grim Fandango Remastered

The Writing of Grim Fandango

So, I do loves me some video games. And video games occasionally deliver some truly stellar story-telling – none more so than the best adventure games.

Little history here: point-and-click adventures were a crazy popular genre, back when I was a kid. They were all about the story – you played a character, who could walk around and talk to other characters and whose entire mission was to solve some puzzle, advance the plot, and experience the story. The best of these games are legends in their own right, beloved by gamers everywhere and thought of fondly even now, years later.

Some of the absolute best were created by Tim Schafer when he was working at LucasArts, and his best was Grim Fandango.

Rift swords

Take Sword, Add Protrusions

There must be some kind of law about fantasy swords in video games. There’s a recipe to them, if you know what I mean. It’s not enough for a sword to be a long piece of sharp metal. It’s got to have… extra stuff, extra colors, extra everything! Presumably this is because normal swords are boring, or something.

I can’t quite fathom why various different blades designed purely to kill people real good might be considered boring, but there you have it.

Buster sword

Video Games Swordfighting Fun

You know, I spend a lot of time talking about movie swordplay, but do you know what’s really awesome? Video game swordfighting. For pure silliness, you just can’t beat the balls-out crazy that usually goes into game combat. Movies can get away with their silliness because of the requirements of story and characterization and all that, but games? Oh man, they’re on another level. There is almostĀ nothing about video game swordplay that makes sense from the perspective of true swordplay.

The Swordplay of Legend of Zelda

So, as some of you other gamers may know, Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 is running now. For those of you who DON’T know, it’s basically like the Olympics for video gamers. Look it up on if you’re curious. It’s a marathon livestream of gaming speedruns through various popular games.

I’ve been watching it a LOT. Did I mention that I really love video games? I also get a lot of enjoyment of watching other people play games as well, especially speedrunners who play at a truly terrifying level of skill. One of the best runs this year is a run of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – done while blindfolded! Amazing! And it got me thinking about the swordplay that we see in the Legend of Zelda.