It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response... Shall we continue?
Blade Runner is one of my all time favourite sci-fi films - along with Event Horizon and the Alien series, and the upcoming release of the much anticipated Blade Runner 2 has re-ignited my interest in gaming the genre.
Yes, I do like the Star Wars and Star Trek (and similar) space opera settings, but somehow, the "future noir" portrayal appeals the most - and imagine my surprise when I started digging around and discovered that the 1998 film Soldier is effectively a prequel of sorts to 1982's Blade Runner!
Writer David Peoples has claimed that the 'replacement' soldiers of this movie are examples of the engineered life forms (Replicants) seen in Blade Runner and Todd's service record, displayed on a computer screen (and tattoos), includes the battles of Tannhauser Gate and Shoulder of Orion (referred to in the replicant Roy Batty's "Tears in the rain" speech in his final scene in Blade Runner)...... past missions also include the "Nibian Moon" and "Antares Maelstrom" which
are, of course, places referred to in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, but let's ignore that for now!
Then there's the android "synthetics" in Alien, its sequels, and its pseudo-prequel Prometheus (I haven't seen Covenant yet, so no spoilers PLEASE) A feature on the Prometheus Blu-ray Disc implies that those androids were an evolution of Blade Runner's replicants -- Peter Weyland, the shady, tech millionaire from the Alien franchise, was a friend and apprentice to Eldon Tyrell, the shady, tech millionaire from Blade Runner.
But, connecting these two movies opens up a whole other universe of possibilities. I've already acknowledged the fact that the Alien movies take place in the same reality as the Predator ones -- not just from the regrettable Alien Vs. Predator crossover series, but also from the end of Predator 2, when Harrigan sees a Xenomorph skull among the Predators' trophies.
Arcadia 234" in Soldier, is not only a spinner from Blade Runner, but also a piece of the "Lewis & Clark", the space ship from Event Horizon!
Yes, I've been googling around, but there's also plenty of literature to provide even more inspiration and depth to the gaming environment - Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" was the inspiration for the film, but of course there are quite a lot of differences - for example the Tyrell Corporation was the Rosen Corporation in the novel, and Rachael and Pris are identical but in the film, they are not.
These and other differences are easily exploited to expand the background material, eg.... The Rosen Corporation becomes a rival to Tyrell, and identification or even "identity theft" becomes a possible plot twist when dealing with replicants.
I have two of the K.W.Jeter novels (The Edge Of Human and Replicant Night) yet to read, but the third (Eye and Talon) is proving hard to find at a sensible price - and I've just dusted off my copy of Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual........ with a view to running some games involving genetically engineered marines hunting down xenomorphs among the claustrophobic confines of space ship corridors (now where did that idea come from?!)
So, if you see an AAR on the blog under the title "Blade Runner" and think "Oh no it's not", you'll know where I'm coming from - and it just might be one of the off-world colonies!!