Thursday, April 12, 2007

Real-world equivalents in GE: part 4/4

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

And we finally come to the last of this series of posts.


[Did you see what the special posted "interruption" was all about? Leave me a note to tell me what you think - and don't forget to drop in at the official forums, too.]

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Practically the first quest a player takes in the game involves the Firearms Merchant of Cite de Reboldoeux: the Targan Najib Sharif, who asks you to investigate a mysterious box.

Out in the real world, "Najib" was the nickname of Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, the fourth and last President of the Communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Dr. Najibullah was also counted as the second President of the Republic of Afghanistan.

The RNPC's last name, "Sharif", may be derived from the traditional Arab title given to those who serve as protectors of a tribe and all of its assets, such as property and wells.

And that might have informed his characterization as someone who sells weapons.

At the next town, the Port of Coimbra, I'm sure a lot of people were simply pole-axed for a while when it came time to duel the Magic Items Merchant M'Boma for his card, as he was backed up by Claude Baudez. But did you know that someone carries this name out in the real world right now? Major General Edward Sam M'Boma is the current Chief of the Defense Staff of the African country of Sierra Leone.

When in the City of Auch, one cannot miss the great promenade with the arched steel-and-glass ceiling; if I remember correctly, this is the Grandice Arcade, named for the great Queen of Pioneers. Grandice, who now lives at the Ustiur Base Camp under the name "Grandma", won renown throughout the New World for her exploit of holding off monsters single-handedly for 30 minutes while the inhabitants of her settlement were evacuated to Cite de Reboldoeux.

Another famous character of this name, or similar to it, is the red-headed jewel thief Grandis Granva, from the Gainax anime series Fushigi no Umi no Nadia, or "Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water". Remember her? She led the Grandis Gang [composed of Hanson and Sanson, her henchmen] and even drove her own big yellow tank, called the "Gratan" [for "Grandis Tank"]. She went over to the side of the good guys and even nursed a futile crush on Captain Nemo [Eleusis Ra Alwar].

Also in Auch, those who wield rifles, pistols, and cannon buy their advanced weaponry from the Firearms Merchant in that city, Lorch Furuholnen. Out in the real world, he shares his first name of "Lorch" with towns in Hesse and in Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany, and one town in Enns, in Austria.

On the other hand, he shares his last name with Magne Furuholnen, who was the guitarist and keyboardist of the band A-Ha - best known for the hit single "Take On Me".

And finally, we have the one RNPC whom every single player wants to obtain - or, in her particular case, assemble: Catherine. Historically, she shares her name with several rulers: from Catherine de' Medici and Catherine of Aragon, to the two Russian tsarinas Catherine I, and Catherine the Great.

In addition, there's a somewhat gory legend attached to this name. Saint Catherine of Alexandria gave her name to the medieval instrument of death by torture, the Catherine wheel, which is now her symbol in saints' iconography. This particular Saint Catherine was supposed to have been executed on this device, originally called the "breaking wheel", but it broke when she touched it, perhaps as proof of her holiness. For all the details, you can start by viewing the Wikipedia article on this instrument.

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Some light-heartedness in the next few posts, so stay tuned! ^^

2 comments:

pinoygameguru said...

such a sweet blog. with ur permission, i linked ur site to mine.

NineMoons Family said...

thank you so much for the compliment!

and yeah, link away - i linked you here too ^^