Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Blade Runner "expanded"

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!
Also, a list of Todd's's weapon training history states that he has been trained on the M41A Pulse Rifle and USCM (United States Colonial Marines) Smartgun - weapons which featured in the movie Aliens - and would imply that the movies co exist within the same "universe".

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.
Ridley Scott, director of both movies, even stated that he almost called Weyland's company "Weyland Tyrell" for Prometheus!
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.
And if that little lot doesn't open up opportunities for gaming in my fave sci-fi environments, among the garbage on the waste disposal planet "Arcadia 234in 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!!


  1. Fascinating stuff, Greg. I can see so many possibilities for gaming here and so many stories you can tell. I look forward to seeing where you take this.

    1. Glad you approve of my musings Bryan - I'll try and follow up this post with a "gaming related" sequel.

  2. This sounds really interesting. You've mentioned quite a few of my favourite movies in there, so it'll be fun to see what happens.

    1. Thanks Roy, hopefully I'll get some games played before too long, and the AAR's should give a better taste of what I'm after :-)

    2. You should be able to delete below comments, as you're the blog's owner. I've done similar on my own blog in the past.

      Click 'delete' against the comment to be removed.
      tick the box stating "Remove Forever?"
      then click the [Delete Comment] button.

      That removes things on my blog, so should work here, too.

    3. Thanks Roy, it was the "Remove Forever?" bit that I'd not done.
      All sorted now ta, and my blogging proficiency level has increased by one point! :-)

  3. Some great movies there buddy and some brilliant ideas, love the oblique connections that have been built up between the different franchises

    1. I was gob(bo) smacked when I found the inter-woven plot threads Andy.... especially when it was the sort of thing I intended doing.
      It kinda makes the campaign "legitimate" :-)

  4. I was amazed at the many coss-overs that you've connected together. It wouldn;t surprise me now if you found others ones too. It all makes for a more coherent campaign world = looking forward to seeing where you go with this theme.

    1. Thanks Joe, the Blade Runner setting really appealed as a gaming theme, but the "find the replicant, retire the replicant, repeat" would soon lose its shine.
      The 'expanded' theme opens up a whole host of gaming possibilities, and allows me to be a real "rules tart", using different sets for the various kinds of action :-)