N is for Nexus

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The aim of my Blogging From A to Z Challenge is to find the origins of online games, some relatively modern and some with ancient roots. Gaming might well be a modern take on an art that is almost timeless – storytelling. A perfect excuse for a writer to delve a little deeper.

[Visit here for links to other A to Z participants.]

 

Game: NEXUS: The Kingdom of the Winds, alternately known as Nexus TK or simply Nexus, a pay to play MMORPG, is loosely based on Korean mythology and on a series of graphic novels by an artist named Kim Jin. Nexus is a classic 2D MMORPG famous for being the North American version of Baram, the world’s first MMORPG.

This is the first of the oriental games that I am looking at– here originating with Korean mythology.

Release Date: KOR: 5 April 1996; NA: 1998

Developer: NEXON Inc.

Genre/gameplay mechanics: distinguished from other MMORPGs by its 2D tile graphics, intense player involvement, a central storyline, and its manhwa-like style. Flexible character development system – four “basic” paths, four sub-paths each, plus a choice from three alignments symbolizing death, balance or life. Learn about moral virtues or obtain unique abilities. Player-run game through clans. Most players are known by others and are treated with a general amount of respect by the average player, so the fanbase community is solid.

Setting: Nexus is set in a land similar, geographically, to the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Other lands such as Han and Ilbon, though not present in the game itself, are often referenced. In addition to the three kingdoms, there are nine villages in which a player may live. Three exist for each kingdom, containing houses which players may rent for a fee. Homes may be customized as a player sees fit using “floor plans” offered for homes of different sizes.

Storytelling: Rich and well-developed – “At the heart of the stories lies the struggles of three kingdoms which fight to protect their lands from enemies across the seas or beyond the mountains. The heroes and adventures of Koguryo, Buya and Nagnang face threats from mythological and historical invaders who constantly attack the lands lead by King M’hul, Queen Lasahn and King ChaeRi respectively. Together, these three nations form a region of Asia called “The Kingdom of The Winds”. This is a place shrouded in myths and legends, a land where many heroes are born, rise to great heights and occasionally, fail.”

Releases + Expansions:

Development of Baram began in Korea in 1994 and the game was released on April 5, 1996. One year later, it also entered beta in the United States, going commercial in 1998.

In 2005, the US subsidiary of NEXON changed its name to Kru Interactive and took over running Nexus, Dark Ages, and Shattered Galaxy as an independent company’

Formats: Microsoft Windows

Origins (Chronological):

  1. Baramue Nara is the series of graphic novels by the artist named Kim Jin that is one of the origins. However, my internet surf failed to find more on what sounds like an interesting guy. Can anyone enlighten me?
  2. 1st century – The Three Kingdoms of Korea refers to the kingdoms of BaekjeSilla and Goguryeo. The latter was later known as Goryeo, from which the modern name Korea is derived. The Three Kingdoms period in Korea extends from the first century B.C.E. (specifically 57 B.C.E.) until Silla’s triumph over Goguryeo in 668, marking the beginning of the North and South States period.
  3. Korean mythology refers to stories passed down by word of mouth over thousands of years on the Korean Peninsula. These stories serve as creation myths about the world and origin myths about nature or the social world. The earliest Korean myths are rooted in Korean shamanism. Rituals that glorify shamanistic gods are central to the retelling of Korean shamanistic myths. Only a fraction of Korean myths believed to have existed in ancient times were ultimately documented by Confucian and Buddhist scholars, many of whom modified the stories to fit within their own belief systems. The gods and goddesses of Korea are the topic of this article on an underappreciated pantheon of deities.

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Recommendation: Well received on its initial release and with a staunch community, today the game looks outdated compared to modern games. Current reviews are sparse and moderate.

Alternative ‘N’ thoughts:

N is also for Narnia as in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, mentioned under my C post. Or N is for New Hope as in Star Wars and that will be under S. Plus N is for Neverending Story, a wonderful book by Michael Ende and a good film.

+ ‘N’ Games played: Neverwinter.

Enter this portal to reach other Worlds in my A2ZMMORPG

Hela da

 

 

Millie Burns: Dragon Writer

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For my 4th Post in the Indy Block Party, it is my pleasure to interview Millie Burns, author of ‘Return of the Crown’ and currently working on its sequel, ‘Zelera’s Revenge’. She has to be a Dragon Writer as she would surely find a place among the riders & harpers in Anna McCaffrey’s Pern series.  Enough of my musings, on to the interview.

1.   When did your love of Dragons begin?

I’ve been a lover of fantasy type stories for as long as I can remember.  A couple of my favorite dragons come from both movies and novels.  I fell in love with Scarlet the dragon in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.  I loved Draco from the movie Dragonheart, voiced by Sean Connery.  Both those dragons are noble but also have a great sense of humor.  I also have a special place in my heart for the Luck Dragon in the Neverending Story.  I think I’m a little like Hagrid, if I met someone down at the pub, who had an egg…well, let’s just say I’d need to fireproof my house!

2.  Dragons have had bad press ever since St George claimed to be the hero. Some of us suspect that the truth was perverted. Your dragons are a noble breed. What is their version of the truth?

Ena teases that she’d like to eat some of my human characters, but really she loves sheep!  She’ll settle for a cow or a couple goats, but roasted leg of lamb is snout licking delish to her!  She tries very hard not to take too much from any single farmer, and occasionally feels a little guilt at stealing from them.  Her anger with humankind stems from people killing dragons for their skins, their blood, and their hearts.  All the parts of the dragon have very magical properties.  I can’t blame her for being suspicious of humans, and Zelera did steal one of her eggs.

3.   Do you plot your books or are they quests as they unfold?                        

I start with a rough outline.  A beginning, a few things I want to happen in the middle, and an end.  But here’s the deal.  While my story will look similar to the outline when I’m finished, it tends to be a half-step off to the side in places.  Which is delightful.  Most times when I divert from course, it’s a huge improvement from where I started.  I still have about 20,000 words left in my WIP (at least that’s what I think I have left) and I’d like to say I know where I’m going with it, but those darn characters often rebel, and, well, I guess I’m a pushover as an author, ’cause I let them take the wheel at times. 

 

4.   How do you find your inspiration?

I think all my writing is just an extension of the world around me.  (Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I do actually have a dragon).  Just joshing.  I have always had an overactive imagination, or maybe for me, it is just the right amount of energy with a sense of wonder.  “What if” is a favorite question of mine.    

 

5.   World creation is an essential part of fantasy. What is your approach to making your world believable as well as fantastical?

I want people to be able to see the world, so they can partake in the adventure.  So I make much of my world filled with scenery that is common to ours.  I use creatures common in our mythology (and when I say ours, I mean it, the whole world’s.  I’m not picky!)  I may take liberties with said characters and their abilities, but I try to base them on available folklore : )  Then I try to paint out my magical elements in a way that they can be seen, felt, smelt and tasted (very sensory driven). 

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6.   What’s the BEST writing advice you have ever received?           

Write every single day.  Some days I wonder though, doesn’t signing your name on a credit card slip or the bottom of a check count?  Sigh, no?  Life can get in the way once in a while, but I just keep chugging along!

7.   What are your aim and ambition in writing?

I think knowing my story really entertained someone, that’s the greatest feeling in the world.  I have a neighbor girl, who showed up on my doorstep one afternoon.  She held my book out towards me in trembling hands, she couldn’t even find her voice to ask for an autograph.  It made my heart melt! 

I also sponsored a writing contest at my daughter’s elementary school last year, and chose a winner from each grade level.  Every child’s story was published in an anthology I put together.  This year, a mom came up to me, just thanking me profusely for inspiring her daughter.  Her daughter wrote an article for the little neighborhood newspaper, and has begun an outline for a book series (she’s in fourth grade this year).  So, outside of pleasing the characters in my head that have stories they want to share, I hope that I can continue helping foster a love of creative writing in the next generation!

So, my aim and ambition are to keep getting better, and keep having fun writing, so I can share my joy of fantasy and adventure with others. 

I’d like to give a big thank you to Roland, for stepping up to interview me, as my next door neighbor seems to be AWOL. 

 

It has been my pleasure Millie to learn about your writing world. Many thanks for taking time out to talk with everyone.

Further Author information at: http://burnsmillie.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Further Book information at: http://returnofthecrown.com/

 

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For other Indie Block Party participants visit: http://scotzig.com/2013/07/08/indie-block-party/

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