Friday, 4 February 2011

TEZCATLIPOCA - Legends to Transcribe into Game

There are a number of different Legends that involve TEZCATLIPOCA, so trying to find one distinct version that would fit transcription into a 'God Game' will be a case of assesing all the stories and picking one version I could possible 'adapt' and bend with the help of Artistic License.

Legend 1
Tezcatlipoca's ultimate trick was one he played on his fellow god Quetzalcoatl. After introducing Quetzalcoatl to drunkenness and other vices, he used his mirror to show Quetzalcoatl how weak and degraded he had become. Quetzalcoatl fled the world in shame, leaving it to Tezcatlipoca. He did, however, promise to return at the end of a 52-year cycle.

Legend 2
Legend said that he roamed the earth each night in the form of a skeleton whose ribs opened like doors. If a person met Tezcatlipoca and was bold enough to reach through those doors and seize his heart, the god would promise riches and power in order to be released. He would not keep his promises, though.

Legend 3
In one of the Aztec accounts of creation, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca joined forces to create the world. Before their act there was only the sea and the crocodilian earthmonster called Cipactli. To attract her, Tezcatlipoca used his foot as bait, and Cipactli ate it. The two gods then captured her, and distorted her to make the land from her body. After that, they created the people, and people had to offer sacrifices to comfort Cipactli for her sufferings. Because of this, Tezcatlipoca is depicted with a missing foot.

Legend 4
Another story of creation goes that Tezcatlipoca turned himself into the sun, but Quetzalcoatl couldn’t bear his enemy ruling the universe, so he knocked Tezcatlipoca out of the sky. Angered, Tezcatlipoca turned into a jaguar and destroyed the world. Quetzalcoatl replaced him and started the second age of the world and it became populated again. Tezcatlipoca overthrew Quetzalcoatl when he sent a great wind that devastated the world, and what people who survived were turned into monkeys. Tlaloc, the god of rain, became the sun, but Quetzalcoatl sent down fire which destroyed the world again, except for a few humans who survived who were turned into birds. Chalchihuitlicue the Water Goddess became the sun, but the world was destroyed by floods, with what people survived being turned into fish.

Legend 5
During the first world, the sun of earth, Tezcatlipoca ruled over a race of powerful giants who could pull up trees with their bare hands. Quetzalcoatl, however, struck Tezcatlipoca into the sea. When he arose from the sea, he transformed into a jaguar (seen today as Ursa Major) and the race of giants was devoured by a horde of jaguars.

Legend 6
Quetzalcoatl, the light one, and Tezcatlipoca, the dark one, looked down from their place in the sky and saw only water below.

A gigantic goddess floated upon the waters, eating everything with her many mouths.
The two gods saw that whatever they created was eaten by this monster. They knew they must stop her, so they transformed themselves into two huge serpents and descended into the water.
One of them grabbed the goddess by the arms while the other grabbed her around the legs, and before she could resist they pulled until she broke apart. Her head and shoulders became the earth and the lower part of her body the sky.
The other gods were angry at what the two had done and decided, as compensation for her dismemberment, to allow her to provide the necessities for people to survive; so from her hair they created trees, grass, and flowers; caves, fountains, and wells from her eyes; rivers from her mouth; hills and valleys from her nose; and mountains from her shoulders.
Still the goddess was often unhappy and the people could hear her crying in the night.
They knew she wept because of her thirst for human blood, and that she would not provide food from the soil until she drank.
So the gift of human hearts is given her. She who provides sustenance for human lives demands human lives for her own sustenance. So it has always been; so it will ever be.

Most of these myths, in fact every one of these consist of both Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl in a rivalry of sorts in relation to the worlds creation, each either varying in one particular scenario, or discussing the relationship between the two. It's clear to see that there is potential to adapt the 'creation' element of these Legends to a 'God Game' scenario, however, the case is which one to adapt. It's with this I ask whether I would be able to create and add my own artistic license and create a mixture of all the myths into one, clear narrative?


  1. Bob - don't lose sight of the prize here - you need to establish a game context - but ONLY because the context will give you the rules of your character design. This is a CHARACTER DESIGN gig - not a 'GAME DESIGN' gig - you should be looking at your ideas about the games in purely practical terms; there are no marks available to you for 'text based story ideas/synopsis' - it's not content - it's instructions. You need to get out of the habit of writing, and into the habit of thinking through drawing. A character design project will be characterised by lots and lots of drawing. I suspect you're putting it off - and using the research as a way to feel productive. Don't miss the point of your own research. I want to see some developmental drawings in your next post.

  2. Hi phill, just read your comment, Im just slightly confused because I was asked by alan to confirm a context featuring my character, that would fit into the context of a game. I found several, but I thought perhaps to make the overall context stronger, that I would be able to create a ctronger character, grounding it better in the game genre?

    I don't think Im actually putting it of, I just feel I need to get to nitty gritty things out of the way, as well as some influence maps in order to start creating the character to grasp a fuller sense of the character.

  3. it's a balance, Bob - the game context is required to create 'instructions' guiding your character design. My previous comment is born from experience of past students who dedicate weeks to generating complex gaming ideas - when they are not being assessed on 'game design', but rather character design. Think of it as more like a commissioning context; "Bob Sparks has been commissioned by xxx games to generate the character design for a 'God Game' based around the mythology of xxx. Bob Sparks will need to understand the conventions of God Games and the culture of mythology xxx to produce an innovative and appropriate character design"

    Alan is right - and so am I. There's a balance, and all the while you should be drawing - and thinking through drawing. Lots and lots of drawing. Why aren't you loving this opportunity to draw? I want to see you drawing!