A CineMORTic Experience?

by Dirk, Resident Antichrist

Greetings.

Yet another day at the office, and it strikes me that I have yet to write my bi-monthly movie-RPG review. The fact that it's also Thanksgiving and I haven't answered a single call in the last hour has nothing to do with it. Really.

In any case, I was going to rant on and on about how Starship Troopers slaughtered the book, but decided against it after being forewarded multiple emails that, in a nutshell, said exactly what I would have.

The fact that there will probably be a Starship Troopers RPG real soon also kinda negated the point of relating it to a game system, anyway. So instead of even commenting on that waste of money (Okay, I did like the action, but that was about it. Even that required you absolutely forget that it's supposed to be 400 or so years in the future, body armor should at least do some good against your own weapons, there's such a thing as "tactics," and infantry normally doesn't go into combat without any form of vehicular assistance. But I digress...), I'll just go on to say how much I enjoyed "Aliens: Resurrection", and how it was very much a Twilight:2000 game.

(I guess Dark Conspiracy or the original GDW-Traveller would probably be more appropriate, but hey, they all use the same system, and I just recently ran a TW2K campaign. I really need to stop throwing in all these side-notes. Ergh.)

Aliens 4 (fine, I said it, alright!? Sheesh...) had the good elements of both the original "Alien" (quite the psychological thriller) as well as its sequel "Aliens" (good action). Dunno about you, but the human traits the last alien had disturbed the Hell out of me (especially when it gets sucked out the hull breech. Kinda hokey-pokey, really, but it had its intended affect. On me and the person I saw it with, at least).

I could spend a good page or two talking about all the underlying meanings of the movie, but that's not what I'm here for. I'm here to compare it to a RPG system.

In this case, Twilight: 2000.

Why? Well, the guns fell right in to contemporary combat categories (grenades, lotsa rifles, a pistol here and there. The tasers were the only thing I considered even remotely "futuristic"), and the combat ran like a small-unit tactical combat situation...which is what combat in TW2K is all about. If you throw in elements of (the late) GDW's other two same-system games, Dark Conspiracy and Traveller (MegaTraveller actually, if I'm not mistaken), then it's a perfect match.

Beyond the action, the characters in the movie ran the gambit of PCs you tend to see in TW2K; macho gun-toting guys and gals, grease monkeys, civilian bystanders caught up in the action, big-brass getting stuck in the front lines, etc. The game system has very limited character concept rules, which leads to many stereotypical characters (as I've just mentioned) as well as good cannon fodder (the soldier who ended up sticking it out with the main characters is a good example; he played a fairly major part, but had absolutely no presence. The fact that he switched sides was even better...a good deal of TW2K PCs are Russkies fighting along side the Yanks).

Finally, if you take away all the wrapping, both the game and movie boil down to the same basic premise; survival in a world gone nuts. Whether it be aliens or marauders, Scientists of Spetznaz, it's all just a matter of stayin' alive (you can tell by the way I use my walk...uh...sorry.).

Until next time...

Dirk, Lord of His Own Backyard

(Well, it's been 2 hours now, and I've taken 1 call. Maybe I'll actually get some gaming stuff done today. Wahoo.)

[EdNote: The Twilight:2000 and other gaming links refer to various sites for those games on the web, chosen by editor's merit and whim as there doesn't seem to be any official site due to GDW's demise and Tantalus' refusal to (re)issue. Since I'm a fan of Dark Conspiracy, I'll also offer the additional Dark Conspiracy Webring URL...]


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j n m ( m n j )
"If I have another pigeon, I'm going to die." -- Princess Sterling.
"Have another pigeon, sis?" -- Prince Biff.
"If I have another pigeon, YOU're going to die." -- Princess Sterling to Prince Biff.
"Have another pigeon?" -- Prince Jack.