Alundra: Shadow in the Dreamscape
Written by Estrelita Farr
Ah, the sweet taste of finishing a long project. Alundra was one of those projects that took a long time to finish due to numerous delays. I mean, it took me one whole year before I could even start properly on writing!
Of course, I blame the PS3 and online games for that. xP
The main Alundra soundtrack used while writing this novelisation are Meia’s Dream and Dreamwalker (OC Remix). :D
Why choose Alundra for a novelisation? Why not other games?
I did consider quite a number of old games I wanted to novelise, but I finally settled with Alundra. It’s a fun game, a change from the turn-based RPG I used to play then, and some of its really confusing puzzles really stuck in my mind. The biggest nightmare for me at the time was the spirit puzzle in Lars’ crypt… as a kid, how was I supposed to know I was supposed to pray to the spirits in the order of their seniority? Maybe I’m just a blur-case. xP
I do like stories where dreams play big a role in the storyline (in this case, the dreamwalking ability and the nightmares that plagued the villagers), but the main reasons why I chose this game was because 1) it’s a PSX game so it’s easy to emulate on my laptop, and 2) it’s an action-RPG, so its storyline is shorter than normal RPGs and therefore should take less time to finish than BoF3… or so I thought. Turns out it was harder to write than BoF3. x_x
What are the challenges of writing Alundra?
Did you have to say challenges? The path of writing this novelisation is riddled with challenges! When I was planning to write this, I never thought I’d face so many!
Alundra was one of those games with storylines that somehow don’t quite match up with my logical side. There were quite a number of scenes that made me scratch my head and say, “Hey, that doesn’t really make sense!” or “Why on earth did they do that?” Each time I meet one of those, my hand itched to fix it… that’s why you see a lot of scene overhauls in this novelisation. o_o
- Beginning, upon the ship to Inoa. Why are there seagulls on the ship? Seagulls don’t follow ships because they gather places with food such as ports.
- Before Kline’s nightmare. After Kline tries to kill Alundra, our hero goes outside and bumps into Septimus, who so happens to be taking a leisurely stroll outside your house… especially since Lutas’ wife screamed right after seeing Kline peeping in through the window (Lutas mentions it if you talk to him the next day), wouldn’t at least some people be alerted that Kline is running wild? Too strange a coincidence, if you ask me.
- Why go to the desert shrine when there’s no storyline purpose there? Solely for extra game time?
Another challenge I had was there is no pre-written game script. I thought it might cause some problems since I was used to writing BoF3 with a game script, but it wasn’t too bad playing the game for the script then using them to write. But in the end, because of the above challenge (total scene overhaul), I didn’t really use much of the game script anyway. o_o
Yet another challenge I had was the story timeline (when the war with Melzas occurred). According to the game, fifty years ago was the time when the king decreed that all idol worshipping was banned and all statues were destroyed… but, somewhere along the line, it was also mentioned that Melzas was a thousand-year-old demon. Since the lake shrine was just to the northeast of Inoa, I thought fifty years was too short because the old would still remember the war with Melzas. If they still remember the war, wouldn’t they listen more closely to Alundra and Meia when they tried to warn the people about the supposed god they were praying to? I chose to make it a thousand years instead of fifty years, because then there would be generations and generations of villagers worshipping Melzas, and you know people tend to resist change when their ancestors have done it for a long time. xP
And, of course, the last challenge I had was… after writing that poem thingy for the war a thousand years ago against Melzas (in the prologue), I was stuck for a long time when trying to write the poem thingy in the epilogue corresponding to Alundra’s adventure. Next time, no more poem thingies for me!
But despite the challenges, in the end it looks like this novelisation turned out well, even if it was delayed countless times. :D
Will there be other novelisations in future?
Of course! In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been writing Legend of Legaia while posting weekly chapters on FF (dot) net. I wish I could say I’m almost done with it, but sadly, I got tied up with online games as well… and a few other hurdles in writing the novelisation. x_x
Legend of Legaia is a typical RPG game, with all the traditional elements of an RPG with a battle system that I quite like. It is set in a world where there are creatures called the Seru, which will give humans extraordinary powers when merged with them. The world thrived with the power of the Seru for a long time. Then one day ten years ago, the Mist came out of nowhere and engulfed the earth, rendering all unworn Seru attack humans with crazed aggressiveness, and all humans wearing Seru will turn into a zombie-like mindless monster. Not good times, definitely.
One main reason why I chose this game is because… the main protagonist is a blue-haired guy. xP
Special thanks to all readers and reviewers out there!
Without you awesome people, I wouldn't have finished this novelisation. :D
Thanks for your support, everyone!
Added 16 Sep 2018: Special afterword for readers of Archive of Our Own!
Hello, AO3 readers! You may not know, but I originally posted this story over at FanFiction (dot) net way back in 2011 when I completed it. And today (16 Sep 2018), I decided to post it here at AO3! Do note I did so without changing any of the writing, except for some spelling and grammatical errors; it's so that I can look back and see how much I've grown as a writer since then. :)
Alundra: Shadow in the Dreamscape is still one of my favourite stories and I still read it every now and then, even though I wrote it myself! Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this story as much as I've enjoyed writing (and re-reading) it. :D
Also, in the above afterword (which was also written back in 2011, by the way), I mentioned I was working on a Legend of Legaia novelisation... which, sadly, isn't in the works anymore, due to various reasons. I wanted to mention that in this updated afterword so that people won't be expecting it to come out anytime soon. I may still work on it in future, who knows? We shall see!