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Where Song comes from

  • PineBox
  • 12/06/2017 06:15 AM
This blog entry will not be about Chengdu, in Sichuan Province, China, which is where the protagonist of my game ‘Future Ghost’, Song Weiliang, is from. Instead, I want to write about his origin as a character within the real-world context that shaped him over time.

Song started out as a standard American-style superhero named the Doppelganger. When I was in primary school, I was an avid reader of these black-and-white omnibus reprints of DC comics we used to get in Australia back in the late 70s and early 80s. As a child, I played around with some childish ideas for my own superheroes to begin with, but the Doppelganger was my first “mature” effort. His super power was, as the name suggests, to copy the appearance of any person. He could also shoot energy beams from his hands, which were in some way related to the shapeshifting power.

A friend of mine also came up with his own hero, and we worked on stories for them under the team name of ‘Vendetta’. The Doppelganger, whose civilian name was ‘Alex’, was actually based on that friend of mine in some ways, not least of all his Asian background and appearance; his current incarnation as Song Weiliang even moreso.

That early collaborator is in fact my oldest close friend. We first met when we were 6 years old, and while adult life has seen us drift somewhat, we are still as close as ever whenever we manage to get together. He came with his family to suburban Melbourne, Australia, as a refugee following the Vietnam War, moving into my First Grade class and into a house just down the street from mine. This is the origin of Song’s backstory as a Chinese refugee following the Cultural Revolution, ending him up in the suburbs of Melbourne, just like my friend.

It was in the house of that friend where I was first introduced to Hong Kong’s kungfu cinema. Often, he and his dad would be watching a Jackie Chan movie or something more obscure when I dropped in, generally in the original Cantonese with only Chinese subtitles. It was a new world, one I’d only previously glimpsed in the Japanese TV series ‘Monkey’ with its hilarious English overdubbing and kungfu-style antics.

When we were in high school, the two of us signed up for karate as an after-school sport. It wasn't kungfu of course, but it was as close as we were going to get. My friend kept it up with the same sensei even in his university days, and took up rock climbing, while I worked on a horror-themed web comic and chased girls. He ended up single but strong as an ox, while I stayed skinny but had found the girl I’d end up marrying by the end of my first year out of university.

So that physical strength and dedication to a martial art also appear in Song.

At his wedding a few years back, the best man, a mutual friend to both of us, said in his speech that the groom was “Superman”, the embodiment of our friend’s long-time favourite superhero and the qualities of steadfastness, reliability, loyalty and so on for which he stands. Through the writing and development process for Song Weiliang in his current iteration, I’ve come to realise all over again that I too see my oldest friend that way. As a superhero.


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the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
Great read. :) Very heartfelt and it's awesome to know that he has such an impact on the character.

A+ Blog!
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