Back in 1995, I’m pretty sure no one honestly understood just how massive Xena: Warrior Princess would become. At that time I was merely a tiny five year old that enjoyed having a female heroine to watch outside of Power Rangers, but it was a show that embedded itself into my life and it’s become an important part of my past. More importantly, it’s still influential to me today, and I can’t think of anything else (entertainment wise) that has stuck with me so personally and emotionally.
I understand that this blog probably won’t attract many of my “gaming” readers, but there’s a plethora of Xena fans out there that may see this and think, “Maybe this is actually a pretty damn good idea!”
…At least I hope.
Nearly every Xena fan inwardly hopes for a Xena movie, me included. And we have had our hopes shot down (even though I know we’re all still hoping). And it made me wonder. What else could be created to satisfy our craving for this show?!
A video game.
Xena already has a place in the video game world. In 1999, the Playstation released a Xena game that tried to stick with a Xena-like story along with voice actors and plenty of fighting and Chakram action, but it fell under the mark with voice actors that were obviously not the real actors from the show. As a fan, it was enough to disappoint me. But it’s still enjoyable now with the nostalgic feeling it brings.
The Nintendo 64 game The Talisman of Fate was released in 1999 as well, offering an unique look into the Xenaverse with a fighting game that introduced all of the popular characters from the show. Not being a fan of fighting games (I’m the lame, spastic button presser), it became boring pretty quickly, but it was awesome just in the fact that it included so many characters that I loved. Plus nostalgia. I’m big on nostalgia.
A Gameboy Color game was released in 2001, and it sucks to say that I’ve never played it. But all of this just makes a point. Xena could find a place within the gaming industry if developers created a game worthy of the show. Which means…
1) INCLUDE THE ACTORS FROM THE SHOW! This is probably the most important “rule” to me. Voice acting has become big alongside the ability to make long, intricate, well-told games. There are many popular actors with “game” credits in their resume nowadays. Lucy Lawless recently voiced Seraphine in Hunted: The Demon’s Forge (which I plan to get my hands on) and honestly… she has the chops to turn anything into something brilliant. Duh. Ares would be a sore subject no matter what kind of project was created. The God of War made a huge impact with fans, primarily because Kevin Smith made that role. I could see allowing another actor to lend their voice to a virtual version of Ares, but it would have to be a convincing role.
2) Stay true to the television show. Every fan of the show knows that outside of fanfiction and our own tortured minds, Xena is dead. Although a game doesn’t necessarily have to focus on how she comes back to life, it should include some insight and definitely the huge scene that reunites Xena and Gabrielle in the living. There are so many things that can happen here and creativity would go a loooong way!
3) Create an open world experience that would introduce gamers to the exotic, beautiful aspects of the ancient world. With games like Skyrim out, you can’t tell me that it would be impossible to create gorgeous atmospheres to roam around in.
4) Switch viewpoints. If the game does center around bringing Xena back to life, then give the gamer the controls of Gabrielle as she struggles with her life without the Warrior Princess by her side. At least until Xena is truly back alive (although it would be wicked to control Xena within a limbo-type afterlife). Maybe we can find Akemi and smack her a few times as well.
5) I think about this and I giggle constantly since I keep returning to the thought of Dragon Age. Allow romance! I’m kind of in between serious and not-so-serious (especially if Ares just doesn’t hold the same impact in a game. I miss Kevin Smith.) about this subject, but it could possibly inject an interesting subplot. Same sex relationships have nearly become “the norm” in a video game, as long as the gamer has choices. I could see a triangle forming between Xena, Gabrielle, and Ares. Oh lord the drama and hilarity that would erupt!
Video games that focus on particular characters, especially characters from movies/television shows, seem to be pretty difficult to form while still sincerely staying true to the characters and vibe that the fans are used to. But to build a playable story that would satisfy our yearning for more things Xena? It would be amazing!
Xenites, let me know what you think! Do you think a Xena game could possibly work? Share your ideas and thoughts with me! Give me some details! Better yet, send this to other fans (even actors from the show) and see if we can push out some responses. Even if the possibility of a game is just completely impossible, it would still be fun to imagine (and maybe come up with even better ideas).