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Miscellaneous

Minor bug fix

A new upload has been made for Knight of the Blue Surcoate. All things considered, this wasn't a very disappointing bug. Once you beat the end boss, you should just be able to keep exploring until you're ready to go through the last doors in the Netherworld castle, finding the secrets of the game. Unfortunately, what this bug did is this; you could really only explore the Netherworld, which is just two maps. Once you leave, the bug triggers the ending automatically. Like I said, it's not a serious bug. It prematurely triggers the ending AFTER the end boss and slightly messes up character positioning and BGM. It doesn't really break anything major, but it will prevent you from finding game secrets.

Miscellaneous

What Night for a Knight.

So, I had to talk about this somewhere. I didn't want to flood the event of the moment info with a wall of text, so I decided that a blog was the perfect place to talk about it.

The original tale is an old Irish story called Orlando agus Mheloira. It is a late legend of King Arthur, but the story doesn't focus on him, but rather it is an adventure/love-story about Arthur's daughter; possibly the only story to portray a daughter of Arthur. It is also insanely, ridiculously, stupidly obscure. When I decided to make a game based on this it was to bring attention to the story. It is one of my favorite Arthurian tales, if not my absolute favorite, and I knew how ridiculously hard it was to find this story. Of course, when I went Googling the actual text, I started to appreciate just how hard this story was to find. In fact, it seemed I was going to have to find the actual book I'd read it in. It shouldn't be too hard, right? The book I read it in was a collection of Arthurian Tales called "The Lost Legends of King Arthur" by John Matthews. I knew John Matthews. He and his wife, Caitlin are both professors of mythology specializing in British (encompassing all of the islands, not just England and Wales) legend. He frequented an Arthurian club I used to moderate. When I was looking for old Arthurian legends I hadn't read, he personally recommended this book to me! This shouldn't be a difficult thing. I knew the name of the book. I knew the name of the author.

Well, it so happens that I didn't remember the exact name, and John has written 150 books on the subject of King Arthur alone. I knew his wife didn't co-write it so that narrowed it down tremendously, but he wrote a lot of collections under a lot of similar names. I finally found a 1946 research paper by Dr. A. M. E. Draak (I'm fairly certain that that's pronounced like Drake.) that gives a full summary of The Knight of the Blue Surcoate. Now, the story itself is in Gaelic, and unless there's anyone willing to translate, I don't think I'll be reading this version, but the summary, that tells the full story, mind, gives me nothing but the Gaelic names, which are unpronounceable to a native English speaker. It is also too thin on details for me to tell an accurate retelling, but I was on the right track. It was only a couple of hours after finding this that I managed to find the specific book that I was looking for by John Matthews in a digital library, and the pdf was available to check out. I still have it in fact. I've still got a week to return it. There's another story in it I'd like to grab for the future.

Now, that's a lot of backstory for this blog, so it's time for me to get into it.

So, in the tale of Orlando and Melora, one of the key villains is none other than Merlin himself. Personally, I never had a problem with this since the story wasn't really about him or Arthur, or the story we all know of the Holy Grail, The Lady of the Lake, Mordred's betrayal, etcetera. Merlin wasn't even the main villain. So, for this game, I've done something interesting. I have bent over backward to make him...not the villain. Oh, he still does the bad thing, but this time, it's not because he prefers a nefarious knight over the heroes as it is in the story, but in this game, it's because he's been manipulated. In the process, this makes the main villain a bit worse than he actually was in the story, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I've been thinking that there's nothing really wrong with Merlin being the villain in this story. It's not a canon tale, Merlin's barely in it, it didn't bother me before, but now I seem intent on fixing the slander of Merlin.

And that's it. Slander. That is not my word. That word came from someone else. I did not have an issue with the "slander" of Merlin. That is a phrase that a very good friend of mine used, and it stuck with me. And I came to realize why I was making several of the changes I was making when I included a certain character amongst the Knights of the Round Table. Tegau Eurfon. Who is Tegau Eurfon? Another story, probably more obscure even than this one, but she's a canon character in the Arthurian legends. Her story, as barely known as it is, is considered to be part of the central story of King Arthur. Tegau Eurfon is the only female Knight of the Round Table. She is the only woman with the right to sit with at the Round Table with her fellow knights. She is the only woman to quest and defend the realm with the other Knights of the Round Table, and she is the favorite character of a very good friend of mine. In fact, I'd have never heard of her, otherwise.

In that Arthurian club, I talked about earlier; it was run by a friend from Singapore. She'd probably give full details of who she is because that's just her, but I will only give her first name; Karen. She is a neurophysicist (at the top of her field) and she is also, on the side, an expert in Arthurian lore. She is Chinese but clings to her 14 percent English DNA and proudly declares it for all to hear and read. She has traveled England many times and has even taken selfies with celebrated Arthurian scholar Geoffrey Ashe (there was a vicious rumor about his death--which was false, though, given his age, it wasn't a bad guess--and she was rather broken up about it.). It was her that insisted that the legend of Orlando and Melora unjustly slandered Merlin.

I suddenly realize that many of the story decisions I'm making for this game are based on Karen's opinions. So, I suppose I should explain Tegau Eurfon. If you Google "Tegau Eurfon", you'll find the following: "The wife of Caradoc Briefbras in Welsh tradition. She had three treasures: a mantle, a cup, and a carving knife." (R. Coghlan) This isn't really a whole lot. "Briefbras" (Short arm) is a French mistranslation of the Welsh "Vreichvras"(Strong-arm). When Caradoc's mother caused a serpent to attack him, Tegau Eurfon helped to rescue him, but in the process, she was bitten in the breast. Rather than let the venom kill her, she chose to amputate the breast. By way of thanks, Caradoc made for a prosthetic made of gold (Eurfon means "Golden-breast".). Cretien renames her Guiner in Perceval. Unfortunately, any story you'll find will downplay her importance significantly (especially when one considers that Caradoc wasn't just a character in Arthurian legends. He was an actual person, which can't be said for certain of many Arthurian characters.).

Now, if I keep going, I'll start getting into the old discussions that I had with Karen and then this just going to keep going on and on. I simply wrote this because I found a bit illuminating how some of my more interesting ideas for the few departures in this story aren't originally mine and I didn't even realize it.
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