6 Scenes Movies and Shows 'Borrowed' From Gaming
As we've mentioned several times before, modern Hollywood steals so much from video games that you would think they'd be better at adapting them. Unluckily for developers, but quite luckily for us as comedy writers desperate for content, the movie industry continues to rip off every golden idea that pops out of the game industry's shattered bricks, all while still not being able to produce anything better than Angry Birds 2 themselves. Look at how ...
Eleven From Stranger Things Was Teleported Right Out Of Beyond: Two Souls
Strangers Things is what happens when you write a script based solely on what you sort of remember from an '80s childhood. It incorporates countless references to the likes of The Goonies, Back To The Future, and even Alien. Eleven, a psychic girl, has been compared to characters from films like E.T. and Akira, but in truth she seems cut whole cloth from a video game, and not even an 8-bit one.
Ellen Page must've been too exhausted from protesting that her likeness appeared in The Last Of Us to notice that Stranger Things lifted an entire game character she played: Jodie in Beyond: Two Souls. For starters, Jodie and Eleven are both the result of horrific scientific experiments that left their mothers in a comatose state.
They were then put in the care of snazzily dressed but amoral government villains who vaguely resemble '90s character actors.
They're then subjected to similar neurological testing, right down to the weird sci-fi crown thingamajig.
Also, remember how Eleven has a nosebleed after using her powers, but they never explain it? Here's the explanation: Beyond: Two Souls did it as well!
By the end of both the game and the show's first season, the girls are running around sporting hospital gowns and buzz cuts.
The same can be said about their respective netherworlds, which both involve terrifying journeys through ominous portals ...
... to the same desolate, depressing land where it's always snowing:
And look, it's not a secret that the Duffer Brothers paid homage to so much '80s media that everyone who recorded a home video in 1986 has received at least one royalty check. They proudly admit to all of it. But not this. Maybe it's because the game only came out in 2013, and they're not allowed to reference anything more recent than Dragon's Lair.
An Indie Horror Flick Sneakily Gave Us The Wolfenstein Movie We Were Waiting For
For three decades, the Wolfenstein series has proved that shotgunning Nazis never goes out of style. And you'd think that with such massive success, Hollywood would be banging on its reinforced Gothic doors to make a movie. But it turns out they already have. And while the movie isn't called Wolfenstein, it sure talks like a Wolfenstein, walks like a Wolfenstein, and has a font like a Wolfenstein.
2018's Overlord is a video game movie in all but name. It might start as a regular behind-enemy-lines war movie, but before long it plunges brain-first into an occult Nazi zombie adventure akin to the old-school Wolfenstein games, down to the badass eye scar on its Nazi-killing machine.
Overlord's plot, about the Nazis creating an army of immortal uber-zombies to win the war, is lifted from not just one but two Wolfenstein plots ("Operation Eisenfaust" and "Operation Resurrection"). The zombie serum is even mined, like in in 2009's Wolfenstein, and both are ultimately destroyed by the badass protagonists for the same reason: They don't trust their side with it. (So badass). Speaking of mutant zombies, Overlord also borrows their mangled sneering-skull aesthetic from Return To Castle Wolfenstein:
Overlord even adheres to a lot of first-person shooter tropes. There's the tense creeping around through narrow corridors, revisiting the same levels (a Nazi castle, duh) under different circumstances and recurring boss fights that get harder every time. The only thing Overlord didn't learn from games is to keep everyone alive to leave room for the inevitable sequel. Then again, B.J. Blazkowicz took a nuke to the face and still came back, so anything's possible, really.
Stephen Chow's Journey To The West Borrowed From An Insane God Of War Clone
You probably don't remember Asura's Wrath, a 2013 game that tried to be an Asian-flavored God Of War. It follows the adventures of Asura as he uses his rage-fueled godly powers to fight blood dinosaurs, thwart angels with Buddha-shaped bazookas, and break the nose of a literal planet. It seems like a hard game to forget about, which is bad news for the team behind Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons, who hoped no one would notice that they ripped off one of the game's levels shot by bonkers shot.
While making Journey To The West, Kung Fu Hustle director Stephen Chow was probably prepared for people to compare it to other media based on the mythology in question, like Dragonball Z. But all the plagiarism accusations were pointed at Asura's Wrath, and for good reason. At one point in Journey To The West, a planet-sized Buddha appears out of nowhere In a pose very reminiscent to the golem-god Wyzen of the Seven Deities, who pops up in the stratosphere in Asura's Wrath.
Both then smack their oversized digits into the Earth to crush a very puny antagonist.
The heroes take on the same pose ...
... before meeting their meteoric doom with the same fiery defiance.
The similarities are so shocking that people started accusing the movie not just of paying homage, but outright stealing and reusing graphical assets. When confronted, at least the director's team didn't bother to grab their reading glasses and go "Oh yeah, this incredibly memorable heavenly pimp slap does look a bit like ours." Instead they blamed it on the gamer nerds in their VFX team. Except in another interview, the movie's co-director stated that both filmmakers had seen gameplay of Asura's Wrath before. And as we said, you're not likely to forget even a second of that ridiculous game.
Dr. Who Patterned A Villain After Bioshock Infinite
Dr. Who and Bioshock Infinite have a lot in common. Their stories about time travel initially appear to be carefully constructed, but on reflection, both are riddled with plot holes and mostly involve trying to save a spunky brunette from an existential crisis.
But in Season 10 of Dr. Who, the similarities move from circumstantial to "obviously jumped into a dimensional portal, stole an idea, and skipped back." It all has to do with the Master, the Doctor's nemesis who has a suitably sinister mustache ... sometimes. Or all the time. It's complicated, because due to reincarnation and time travel, he/she/they eventually become two people simultaneously: the Master and Missy. And what does this duo/solo/Timecop violation do when together? Mostly dress up in old-timey clothes, dance to gramophone versions of pop hits, and have cryptic conversations while finishing each other's sentences.
Which is actually good news for people who feel that Dr. Who is getting a bit stale. Now we can look forward to the next season, when the Doctor will be fighting deep-sea divers with drills for arms.
Even The Music Of Mass Effect Isn't Safe From TV's Grubby Paws
Not content to take just its robots and skylines, Hollywood will keep appropriating everything from Mass Effect until it's just the chassis of a spaceship placed on asteroid bricks. But at this point, what's even left to take? Cue ominous music.
Mass Effect 3's "Leaving Earth" is such a recognizable piece that you don't even have to be a gamer to recognize it. That's because TV seems to have made it a go-to musical sting denoting that "Oh, it's on -- and it's bad." As such, the track has been spread far and wide, from Daredevil Season 2 ...
... to this Key & Peele sketch.
Of course, that's how buying soundtracks in the music industry works. It's not like those shows made a ridiculously similar version of the song and passed it off as their own, right? For that we have to look at Mass Effect 2's "Suicide Mission," recorded by veteran video game musician Jack Wall:
Then, only a few months after the game's release, a very, very similar (but slightly sped up orchestral version) could be heard on the new Dr. Who soundtrack. Credited to that show's composer, Murray Gold.
Now, music sounding a bit the same is as old as bone drums, so it could be possible that two composers thought of exactly the same kind of music at almost exactly the same time. But Wall, at least, would disagree.
Instead of Dracula, Dracula Untold Copied Castlevania
Before Universal tried to drag the old carcass of its Monsters series into the 21st century, it dipped its toes in the unholy waters with Dracula Untold, the not-so-untold story of Dracula's origins. But to cater to these darn twitchy millennials, Universal decided to move away from the old Dracula archetype and make him more violent and sexy. Luckily for them, another franchise was already doing that.
Specifically Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow, released the previous year. Untold's Dracula mirrors Alucard, right down to his sanguine sartorial choices ...
... and his very fashionable fur-and-chains combo.
They even strike the same awkward pose while lounging atop of a pile of corpses:
Dracula Untold even transports a medieval Slavic tale all the way to a knockoff Mordor just to steal from Castlevania.
This is Untold's castle of bloody doom:
Which looks a lot like the titular Castlevania:
It also looks in no way like the actual castle our buddy Vlad lived in:
Also, like Alucard, this Dracula is given his vampiric powers by a pale ur-vampire.
Both properties even end the same, bringing the main character to modern times, their mentors lurking nearby, in order to set up a sequel.
Though considering how much of a flop the film was, the odds of resurrecting Dracula Untold are worse than resurrecting Dracula himself.
Tiagosvn would love to know of more instances of this phenomenon, so if you liked this article feel free to drop him a line and a follow on his Twitter.
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