Category: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Reading and I have always had a rather tumultuous relationship. Perhaps it was the ADHD that kept me from sitting still long enough to really get into it let alone remember what I just read, perhaps it was the dyslexia that made it difficult to put the sentences together the way they should be, but whatever the reason I just have always found reading to be difficult. Oh how I long for a time when I could sit up with a good book and actually engross myself in it, and while I keep trying these instances are few and far between.

The single most engaging book I have ever opened came into my life during my junior year of high school I had heard a friend mention this book that I had seen on my parents bookshelf  from time to time but never paid any attention to. I decided that it was time I pick it up and see what fun it had waiting for me. That night I began to read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. That night I finished reading The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. That night I fell in love with a man named Douglas.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy The Video Game

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.

So far I must say that Hothead Games is doing a damn fine job living up to the subtleties and fun of the guide. To look at the website for The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy we see that Hothead Games actually does get it. We aren’t going to go over the site with a fine tooth comb. Either you can pick out the fact that it is dripping with references to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or you can’t.

When I first saw this story published my knee jerk reaction was the think “Please don’t tarnish my beloved memory more than it already has been. But that’s not what Douglas Adams would have wanted. He wasn’t about pessimism. Okay well let’s be honest, he was. It’s how the Hitchhikers Guide got started. He wrote a series of short stories in which the earth blew up every time. In fact he devoted a rather endearing character to the philosophy of persistent pessimism. However I like to feel that it was a story of humanity surviving at all costs and ultimately finding some measure of peace and tranquility making sandwiches and winding digital watches. So instead of quoting Marvin and saying “Whatever it is I won’t enjoy it” I would rather say “I am hoping for something to do the ‘trilogy’ some significant justice and help it live on gloriously well past it’s intended life.”

This is really a very lofty task for Hothead though. I applaud them for having the fortitude to stand up and proudly declare “We got this!” Part of The Guide’s skill and humor came from Douglas Adams’ wonderful skills at the art of metaphor and his ability to not only conjure images of the obscure but deliver them in a simple, elegant and altogether marvelous way. This is something that no other medium can do with ease. While I am anxious to see what they come up with it’s the underlying narration that makes the Guide such a magnificent body of work.

Zaphod Beeblebrox

If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.

This does not rule out the characters. While yes the characters do already exist and have a veritable wealth of information and history to pull from it is ultimately how they interact with one another that makes them so wonderful. One aspect of the 2005 movie that struck me as well done was Mos Def as Ford Prefect. He really understood Ford to the point that when danger arose he knew to grab his  towel. He conveyed the oxymoronic “caring aloofness” that Ford seemed to have for those around him. One was never sure where they stood.

Then again there was the total disregard for anyone other than himself that was a typification of  narcissism. The President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox. In fact I’m not even sure narcissistic is the correct word. I’m sitting here rather flummoxed over the fact that Douglas Adams didn’t create a whole new word to describe Zaphod. He is virtually indescribable. Even his own therapist described him as “Zaphod’s  just this guy, you know.” He’s a man that firmly believes himself to be the center of the entire universe only to have it validated by the Total Perspective Vortex (even though it wasn’t real).

Which brings us to the other fantastic aspect of The Guide: the worlds. It wasn’t as simple as traversing from one planet to the other. Restaurant at the End of the Universe taught us that to go somewhere it doesn’t have to exist yet. Marvin was twice the age of the universe at the end as he witness Gods Final Message. Arthur and Zaphod were able to chase a chesterfield sofa across the plains of prehistoric Earth.  The Hitchhikers Guide excels in taking what you think you know about physics and saying “nope, we’re taking a sharp left turn with it and heading down this road for a bit.”

Also I want to see flight. Douglas was able to take the concept of flight and distill it to it’s simplest of functions. “There is an art, or rather a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” He said it, please implement it as the single most obnoxiously difficult aspect of the game but also the most gratifying when you can master it.

These are not aspects that will come easily for Hothead Games. There are bound to be some purists who will cry that it is wrong and horrible and a desecration of all things hoopy. But one of the things that made the movie watchable was the ability to walk away and say “This is certainly something I could have seen DNA write.”

If they use the preexisting characters or have the player create their own has yet to be seen. If we can create our own I do hope I have the option to put a bone in my beard. If they use preexisting characters then their interaction will be a crucial point for the entire game.

While the developers have been quiet about any and all news other than “it’s coming”,  until the New Hitchhikers Guide is updated we will assume that they are all missing and presumed fed…

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