Archive for July 17th, 2009

Sketch: Tales of Brave Ulysses

2009 Jul 17

Just a quick idea for a 2-player game that struck me.

One player plays Ulysses, who is trying to return home to his wife Penelope after the Trojan War. The other player plays everything that is trying to prevent Ulysses from returning home. The obstacles in Ulysses’ way take the form of 1) monsters, 2) temptations, or 3) things that are both monsters and temptations. For example, the cyclops are monsters, the cattle of Helios are a temptation to the starving sailors, and Circe is both a monster (witch) and a temptation (beautiful woman).

In a manner similar to Kazekami Kyoko Kills Kublai Khan, the players negotiate the obstacles between the two of them until Ulysses manages to overcome the obstacle or get away from it and continue his journey home.

The final obstacles take place on Ithaca and the last obstacle of all is, of course, Penelope herself, who can ultimately choose to accept or reject her returned husband.

Perhaps there is also some framing device by which Ulysses is always telling his story to someone who is listening to his tales — Penelope or Circe or Calypso or Nausicaa — in an attempt to gain their aid or acceptance.