Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

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DRW
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Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

Post by DRW » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:14 pm

Has anybody of you ever seen "Wizards of the Lost Kingdom"?

While the movie in itself is pretty crappy, I noticed one attribute that I haven't really found in any similar movie of that kind:
This movie is the most action adventure/RPG-like movie that I've ever encountered.

Many people assume that the movie "Legend" might have been the inspiration for "The Legend of Zelda". But in my opnion, in its whole, it's not very "Zelda"-like. When the action starts, they get immetiately to the bad guy's dungeon. There, they need to sneak around to avoid being detected. And the bad guy is defeated by directing sunlight into the lair.

But "Wizads of the Lost Kingdom" feels like a subset straight out of an 8 or 16 bit RPG:
  • The two main characters meet by one of them being cornered by enemies and in need of rescuing. The other one rescues him and they continue the journey together. Just like how the hero in "Final Fantasy Adventure" encounters the girl.
  • In one night scene the one main character resurrects some undead knights by a spell gone wrong and they have to fight the knights by luring them into the swamp. This could be a special boss battle after a "the day has ended, the heroes get some rest" cutscene.
  • Likewise, he fights a random enemy who was simply sent by the bad guy. That counts either as a boss battle or as some random overworld encounter.
  • In once scene the main character encounters some strange village where women distract him from his mission until the other guy comes to him and gets him out of the spell that he's in. RPGs also have small town-like areas, and this could be a sidequest.
  • They rescue a dwarf from monsters who then invites them to his house where they drink wine. Again: Battle with cutscene, then a house where you can stock items.
  • Shortly before the end, a mermaid creates a literal rainbow road over which they can cross the waterfalls to reach the otherwise unreachable castle. That's the most game-like thing in this movie.
  • And even the final opponent could come straight out of a videogame boss battle: He teleports along the area, shoots projectiles and has to be hit by the main character's own projectiles.
Did anybody here notice those connections too? And do you know other movies that feel like an adventure game?

I mean, when I watch stuff like "Lord of the Rings", it's fantasy. But it feels not at all like a fantasy videogame.
And even movies based on games often don't have that feel. The "Castlevania" animated TV show doesn't really feel like what you do in the game. The old 80s "Zelda" cartoon has the characters and sound effects, but it feels more like adventures that happen after the main game instead of being the adventure of the game itself.

But this movie here: It could be straight out of something like "Final Fantasy", "Zelda" or similar stuff. It really feels like you're watching an abridged version of the gameplay of an action RPG right down to the way NPCs are included into the plot, with random people who give you items or seductresses who try to keep you away from your mission without any apparent reason whatsoever.

Which is ironic since the movie came out in 1985 and therefore predates all of those games.
But it's also noteworthy that the movie is so obscure and crappy that it's unlikely that gaming companies got their ideas from it instead of Tolkien and DnD.

Or am I exaggerating here and many movies feel like games in the same way?
At least I know that I didn't feel the same way with "The Dark Crystal", "Beastmaster", "The Black Cauldron" or "Krull".
My game "City Trouble": www.denny-r-walter.de/city.htm

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Marscaleb
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Re: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

Post by Marscaleb » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:28 pm

If course I've seen it; it's part of the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes that I helped back on Kickstarter.
"Oh, the power came back on! Aw, but now all the sundials are blinking twelve o'clock."

The analogies toward video game adventures didn't stick out to me while I was watching it; it really just felt like a very generic fantasy adventure story. Sure, there are a dozen similarities I can find toward various video games, but it never felt to me like it was doing this more so than most other fantasy adventure stories, whether they be movies, books, shows, video games, or D&D Sessions.

I think if anything the movie just demonstrated what was common at the time. There are a number of fashions and trends in writing that tend to become more prevalent at various points in time. They rarely can be tracked back to any famous examples that started a trend, but because people usually try to make their stories "different." But there just tends to be commonalities that people just want to use.
What you're picking up on are probably just those; these were some elements that were just kinda popular at the time.

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DRW
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Re: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

Post by DRW » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:23 am

Marscaleb wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:28 pm
Sure, there are a dozen similarities I can find toward various video games, but it never felt to me like it was doing this more so than most other fantasy adventure stories

What you're picking up on are probably just those; these were some elements that were just kinda popular at the time.
Hmm. Maybe I'm indeed exaggerating the similarities. Let's try it the other way around then:
What other movies do you know that have those properties that I described as videogame RPG/adventure tropes?

Of course, I'm not talking about the general fantasy elements. Wizards, castles, captured maidens, those exist in all media. That's just standard fantasy fare.
But apart from those aesthetic choices, videogames have some properties that are rarer elsewhere.

Aquiring your party members by fighting off the enemies that surround them is one of the less obvious examples.

Some characters who put you through a test: Not your sensei who tests you in his dojo, but random characters along the way who won't let you pass unless you overcome their obstacle for no reason at all and who are never heard of afterwards, simply to provide a side quest. Isn't this mostly a videogame thing?

Areas that are literally inaccessible and you need a specific character to build you a way.
Justified in games because the georgraphy is pretty much built around the player character and his specific journey. But in a general fantasy story, one might ask how anybody in that castle ever gets to go outside if the castle is surrounded entirely by water.
And you need a bridge made out of a literal rainbow to reach it, and only a mermaid can create this bridge.
Mermaid --> rainbow is in itself one of those typical videogame non sequiturs.
And this mermaid, surprise, surprise, puts you through a test of character, despite not even knowing that you are out for the castle in the first place. Does she sit there all day and test random passengers? And what does she give them if they don't need a rainbow bridge because they just came this way by chance?

And a final battle straight out of a boss fight:
Am I mistaken or do fantasy stories never present a clear 1-on-1 final battle like in a martial arts movie?
Sauron is defeated by throwing the ring into the mountain.
Darkness is defeated by deflected sunlight.
Same for Dracula: First a chase scene and then the curtains are opened. (I would have hoped for a battle like Buffy vs. Angelus from "Buffy", season 2, episode 22.)
And even the wicked witch dies by accidentally pouring water over her.
Which fantasy movies actually have a straight final boss battle? The final battle in "Wizards of the Lost Kingdom" is something that you can actually find in a similar way in "Castlevania" or "Final Fantasy Adventure".
My game "City Trouble": www.denny-r-walter.de/city.htm

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