Play / Video Game
You may have noticed that I’m up to my neck in the Mass Effect series – and when I’m done, I tell myself I can do it again – since this game has the fabulous feature of offering dialogues that have consequences for what happens next.
I never wanted you to think that I was a model of seriousness, respectability and even less adult spirit – you can’t be surprised, can you?
So here I am, playing again, talking to other characters, and here’s the happiness-made-for-Altair thing.
Last time, I had passed by these characters saying to myself that I would come back: I did.
So in this amazing game, there are lots of different aliens – each with amazing features.
The ones that brought me back are called the Elcors.
The developers have dedicated several DLCs to them to deepen them- all of which are in the Legendary Edition released this spring – and all of which are truly legendary additions to these games.
The Elcors look like…what ? huge failed elephants without trunks ? – they are more peaceful than the most peaceful of bees and most importantly, the developers invented a totally beautiful way of talking for them.
They don’t manage to give intonations to their voices.
So, to compensate for this apparent indifference, before each sentence, they specify their intonation, their feeling.
This gives great finds like this one: Surprised: are you talking about us, Altair? Happy: that makes us very happy. Interested: we would love to continue working in the theatre.
Of course, the Elcors don’t talk about Altair yet – but they do have a flair for live performance and great theatre.
So they play Hamlet – yes, yours, ours, your Shakespeare’s Hamlet played by their aliens
“14 hours of an unforgettable experience.“
Unforgettable, that’s a given.
And here comes (again) a stupid idea: without going to 14 hours – that’s too much for me – it could be quite welcome to have on a stage, an actor who plays like Elcor.
Since the Elcors played Hamlet in their own way – it’s perfectly legitimate for a Shakespearean actor to play the Elcor way.
Let me stop you right there – I’m sure I know what you were thinking.
You thought: oh yeah? oh well, why not?
One second later: yes, but actually no, it’s really too heavy.
Am I right?
I am always right – in my games, I am always right.
And that’s right, done wrong this thing is the disaster of the century, the pathetic move of the one who wants to look young, to look hip, to look: hey guys I know your codes.
So this can only be considered perfectly well thought out – or thrown straight in the trash, no “maybe”, no “not bad” – top or eliminated.
The first thing to do is to do it without warning.
Second, without explaining the reference – who explains a joke and hopes it works ????
Finally, you have to place a line, just one, Elcor-style.
This will destabilize the classic viewer.
This will astonish the one who knows the Elcors – who will wonder for a second if he has not dreamed.
Especially if the actor then repeats his way of playing – it is like placing an Easter Egg in a play – a tribute, a wink.
The art will lie in choosing “the” right line.
If you want to be subtle and delicate, you’ll have to take a short line.
If you want to drive the audience crazy, you’ll have to take a long line and be particularly strong on the tones to be added.
If you want to? do the French girl, take the tirade of the Nose of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Because it sounds like it was written for Elcors, of course.
CYRANO: Ah no! young blade! That was a trifle short!
You might have said at least a hundred things
By varying the tone. . .like this, suppose,. . .
Aggressive: ‘Sir, if I had such a nose I’d amputate it!’
Friendly: ‘When you sup It must annoy you, dipping in your cup;
You need a drinking-bowl of special shape!’
Descriptive: ”Tis a rock!. . .a peak!. . .a cape! —
A cape, forsooth! ‘Tis a peninsular!’
Curious: ‘How serves that oblong capsular?
For scissor-sheath? Or pot to hold your ink?’
Gracious: ‘You love the little birds, I think?
I see you’ve managed with a fond research
To find their tiny claws a roomy perch!’
Truculent: ‘When you smoke your pipe. . .suppose
That the tobacco-smoke spouts from your nose–
Do not the neighbors, as the fumes rise higher,
Cry terror-struck: “The chimney is afire”?’
Considerate: ‘Take care,. . .your head bowed low
By such a weight. . .lest head o’er heels you go!’
Tender: ‘Pray get a small umbrella made,
Lest its bright color in the sun should fade!’
Pedantic: ‘That beast Aristophanes Names Hippocamelelephantoles
Must have possessed just such a solid lump
Of flesh and bone, beneath his forehead’s bump!’
Cavalier: ‘The last fashion, friend, that hook?
To hang your hat on? ‘Tis a useful crook!’
Emphatic: ‘No wind, O majestic nose,
Can give THEE cold!–save when the mistral blows!’
Dramatic: ‘When it bleeds, what a Red Sea!’
Admiring: ‘Sign for a perfumery!’
Lyric: ‘Is this a conch?. . .a Triton you?’
Simple: ‘When is the monument on view?’
Rustic: ‘That thing a nose? Marry-come-up!
‘Tis a dwarf pumpkin, or a prize turnip!’
Military: ‘Point against cavalry!’
Practical: ‘Put it in a lottery!
Assuredly ‘twould be the biggest prize!’
Or. . .parodying Pyramus’ sighs. . .
‘Behold the nose that mars the harmony
Of its master’s phiz! blushing its treachery!’
–Such, my dear sir, is what you might have said,
Had you of wit or letters the least jot:
But, O most lamentable man!–of wit
You never had an atom, and of letters
You have three letters only!–they spell Ass!
And–had you had the necessary wit,
To serve me all the pleasantries I quote
Before this noble audience. . .e’en so,
You would not have been let to utter one–
Nay, not the half or quarter of such jest!
I take them from myself all in good part,
But not from any other man that breathes!
This would require only a tiny transformation of the tirade – something like this – delivered in a perfectly monotone voice:
CYRANO: Exasperated – Ah no. young blade. That was a trifle short.
Thoughtful: You might have said at least a hundred things
Satisfied : By varying the tone. . .like this, suppose,. . / and so on, removing the exclamation marks of course.
I agree – it’s completely disrespectful – but … does it really matter?
In the meantime, if you want to see Hamlet again, go play Mass Effect – you can even listen to poetry. I’m just saying it – no more. But well, yes, still, I said it.
and…..well….I’m not saying I’m not tempted by a whole Elcor-style play – I’m not saying, that, because of course I am very tempted – but wow, that’s a real risk.
Featured Image : Mass Effect 3 – by BioWare –