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Edgar Rice Burroughs Inspired Games?


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#1 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:38 PM

Aside from Jungle Hunt which is a rather obvious reference to Tarzan, are there any other games based on any fictional character by Edgar Rice Burroughs? I have always thought that his stories and the worlds he created lent themselves well to video games. There is even a game a little bit like Chess called Jetan (from the Mars series) which has seen computer versions, though nothing on classic systems that I know of and they are all 2 player AFAIK. I particularly thought the Kaldanes were perfect for video games because they can operate with or without a body (and the bodies walk around aimlessly without a head) and the heads are like skulls with spidery legs. The world of Pellucidar with its array of non-human intelligent creatures and its abundance of wildlife forever trying to kill men also lent itself well to video games. Of course, one problem has been the Burroughs family who has really guarded everything ERB. They have only allowed 2 books that take place in worlds created by him (both by John Eric Holmes) and a couple of comics. But if anyone happens to know of anything, particularly on a classic system that seems to have been inspired by any of the ERB series, I'd love to know. ERB died long before video games entered the home or arcade and IIRC, even before Tennis for Two (he died in 1950) and his books have long been out of print and that probably has something to do with it. The Tarzan books aside (I have read a few of them), I have read every single ERB book ever published.

#2 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:37 PM

Pitfall Harry makes a Tarzan yell in Pitfall!

 

There was an official Tarzan game for the Colecovision. Review: http://videogamecrit...?e=35034#rev764

 

Other than those two I don't know of any classic ERB games. (I'm not counting the games based on Disney's Tarzan movie.)



#3 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:17 PM

Burroughs licensed the Tarzan character and made an absolute fortune doing it. The first Tarzan book is actually pretty good, but he really milked that series. Despite his being a master story teller (nearly all the modern greats have praised him), he was never a gifted writer. I think Tarzan books show this the most. I think there are like 30 of them. He milked the Tarzan character/world for every last nickel he could get out of it. There were a few B-rate movies for some of his other series (Caspak and Pellucidar), but mostly all of the licensing was for Tarzan and most of that was while he was still alive. It is a shame because so much of what he wrote lends itself to video games, even Tarzan, at least in my imagination. I've actually been thinking about pulling out all my old notes, books and disks and trying to bring one of his worlds into a game. I've been thinking about the Kaldanes and a game with them. I am not particularly creative though.... I just love the idea of a skull with short little legs that can also hop on a headless body and take it over.

#4 KaeruYojimbo ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:18 PM

Aside from Jungle Hunt which is a rather obvious reference to Tarzan

 

Jungle King was even more obvious, so much so that the Burroughs family sued Taito and forced the change to Jungle Hunt.

 

I have to admit, the only experience I have with Burroughs' stuff are the old Hal Foster Tarzan comics, but your description of the Kaldanes reminds me of Headlander, at least in the general game mechanics (taking control of headless bodies).


Edited by KaeruYojimbo, Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:23 PM.


#5 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:38 PM

 

 
Jungle King was even more obvious, so much so that the Burroughs family sued Taito and forced the change to Jungle Hunt.
 
I have to admit, the only experience I have with Burroughs' stuff are the old Hal Foster Tarzan comics, but your description of the Kaldanes reminds me of Headlander, at least in the general game mechanics (taking control of headless bodies).


The brains (or heads) which is what they consider themselves and are mostly disconnected from the body (which is called a Rikor IIRC) and they fancy themselves the "Spocks" of their day and consider emotin and sentimentality to be useless. When they need to, they are able to attach themselves to the Rikors (which otherwise just walk around headless). It always seemed to be good stuff for a game. You could have to battle just the head and then you can also have to battle the body/head combination. They could sneak into small places where you cannot get to... I wish I was more creative....
I was hoping maybe there was some obscure game already out there.

#6 Duke75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:29 PM

Not 2600 but I had an idea for a Mount and Blade-type game or maybe an action-strategy inspired by the Mars books. Create a character who travels to Barsoom and starts putting together a warband to take on and bring to heel the various factions there, find someone to marry, and eventually work your way up to becoming Warlord of Mars. Tarzan would be a good character for an open world game - swing around the jungle, ride elephants, put together squads of apes and big cats and other animals, find random people that need help and beat up bad guys... There's tons of potential in Burroughs's work, especially since his writing was so action-packed.

 

The Colecovision game is pretty cool, though.


Edited by Duke75, Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:30 PM.


#7 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:58 PM

The Mars books could really use some new modern media, but the fact that the Disney film bomber hard probably means no one will touch them for another fifty years. Ah well, at least we have Star Wars.

#8 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:04 AM

There was an awesome text adventure that took place on Barsoom released for the CoCo by T&D subscription software. I had a lot of fun playing it. :)



#9 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:15 PM

The Mars books could really use some new modern media, but the fact that the Disney film bomber hard probably means no one will touch them for another fifty years. Ah well, at least we have Star Wars.


I haven't seen it, so I don't really know for sure, but it seems they took a LOT of creative license with the movie. There are aspects to the series that probably make it hard to bring it to the big screen in a way that does it justice.

We also just happen to be living during a period where things from more than 10 years ago are racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynist etc... and therefore offensive or problematic. I couldn't imagine a modern pearl clutcher making through any of his books without sperging out. They would change so much that it would be trash. Hell, Tarzan himself would be considered a super-villain in the current year. Anita Sarkesian would die of shock trying to read it :)

Other than that, I think it mostly ages well. If anyone were to try and modernize anything about any of the various series (or standalone books) would just ruin it trying to make it OK in the current climate. Hopefully this mania will pass and we will get good fiction again and maybe even a "good" modern fiction in an ERB world, or even a video game.




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