The Snow Queen or, Ico the RPG

December 8, 2007

So I’m not allowed to start another game before I finish Geiger Counter or Transantiago. This doesn’t count as me starting another game. This is just a post describing a game that I might start after I finish one or both of the above games.

Adapted from the Project Gutenberg Etext of Hans Christian Anderson:

The walls of the palace were of driving snow, and the windows and doors of cutting winds. There were more than a hundred halls there, according as the snow was driven by the winds. The largest was many miles in extent; all were lighted up by the powerful Aurora Borealis, and all were so large, so empty, so icy cold, and so resplendent! Mirth never reigned there; vast, cold, and empty were the halls of the Snow Queen. In the middle of the empty, endless halls of snow was a frozen lake; it was cracked in a thousand pieces, but each piece was so like the other, that it seemed the work of a cunning artificer. In the middle of this lake sat the Snow Queen.

Little Kay was quite blue, yes nearly black with cold; but he did not observe it, for she had kissed away all feeling of cold from his body, and his heart was a lump of ice. He was dragging along some pointed flat pieces of ice, which he laid together in all possible ways, for he wanted to make something with them. Kay made all sorts of figures, the most complicated, for it was an ice-puzzle for the understanding. In his eyes the figures were extraordinarily beautiful, and of the utmost importance; for the bit of glass which was in his eye caused this. He found whole figures which represented a written word; but he never could manage to represent just the word he wanted — that word was “eternity”; and the Snow Queen had said, “If you can discover that figure, you shall be your own master, and I will make you a present of the whole world.” But he could not find it out.

“I am going now to warm lands,” said the Snow Queen. “I will just give them a coating of white, for that is as it ought to be; besides, it is good for the oranges and the grapes.” And then away she flew, and Kay sat quite alone in the empty halls of ice that were miles long, and looked at the blocks of ice, and thought and thought till his skull was almost cracked. There he sat quite benumbed and motionless; one would have imagined he was frozen to death.

Suddenly little Gerda stepped through the great portal into the palace. The gate was formed of cutting winds; but still the little maiden entered the vast, empty, cold halls. There she beheld Kay: she recognized him, flew to embrace him, and cried out, her arms firmly holding him the while, “Kay, sweet little Kay! Have I then found you at last?”

But he sat quite still, benumbed and cold. Then Gerda shed burning tears; and they fell on his bosom, they penetrated to his heart, and began to thaw the lumps of ice.

Hereupon Kay looked at her, “Gerda! Where have you been so long? And where have I been?” He looked round him. “How cold it is here!” said he. “How empty and cold!” And he held fast by Gerda, who wept.

But the Snow Queen might come back as soon as she liked. They took each other by the hand, and wandered forth, seeking a way out of the palace…

My preliminary thoughts on the design are posted HERE and HERE.

Plus, I just told Elizabeth: “I think, after finishing Geiger Counter, I will know how to write it; mapping out the rooms with cards and such. I could even make a big dungeon with rooms marked off and no description of what was in the rooms, like the World’s Blankest Dungeon. That kind of Prince of Persia-style play is totally something i’m capable of replicating. It’s like mixing Geiger Counter and Transantiago with the two-player stuff i’ve done.”

One Response to “The Snow Queen or, Ico the RPG”

  1. John Harper Says:

    I love the Snow Queen with a huge wintery love. Can’t wait to see the game. You are definitely the man for the job.


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