The Odd Origins Of The Battle Royale Genre

The Odd Origins Of The Battle Royale Genre

The Battle Royale genre has grown into such an incomprehensible hodgepodge that even Superman has traded saving people for guns to get his murder on. No, really.

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Though that'll probably come as more of the natural evolution and less of a shock for fans of Zack Snyder's Superman, for most of us, that feels like the final stage of Battle Royale madness. But, as it turns out, the genre has never really been any less crazy. While most of Fortnite's player base probably thinks the genre took its inspiration from The Hunger Games, it actually got inspired by a different film, adapted from a manga, which adapted a novel by author Koushun Takami:

Ohta Publishing

Adapted from a radio play, adapted from cave drawings, adapted from--

Takami published the original novel back in '99 after the original draft ironically lost a competition, one that we need to believe was composed of 99 other entries. It tells the bleak tale of a fascist government that forces teenagers to play a game of "murder all of your friends" just to literally oppress an entire demographic.

That's a pretty stark contrast to Jesus dressed up a Chicken carrying Easter Bunny's baby:

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Christ the Respawner

The weirdness doesn't end there, as this story of an origin behind an origin inside an origin still has a few more origins camping out of sight until the most powerful one shows a weakness. The very name of the genre comes from one of the most classical sources of writing inspiration: Wrestling. Yes, after failing to write a detective horror novel as he'd originally intended, friend's pointed out that Takami had created a teen murder edition of the Royal Rumble, so he decided to aspects like ganging up or in-ring betrayal to the novel. Pretty good idea, as no way the novel would end up dumber than what it was based on.

To cap it all off, the novel also took inspiration from The Long Walk, a book by Stephen King where a fascist government forces people to go on a ... yearly walking contest?! Don't let that premise fool you. It's still a bleak and brutal book, though nothing compared to what it ended up creating:

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Sup, dog?

Top Image: Epic Games

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