A Chance to Stop Hamlet from Screwing Up

You guys, I just found out about a video game being developed that takes place during the events of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It’s called Elsinore and you get to play as Ophelia, who must gather information and interact with other characters in order to prevent the tragic events of the story.

I am super excited about this, because as you know from my last 2016 Reading Challenge post, I ended up hating Hamlet the character. His moping was tolerable at first, and his philosophizing was thought-provoking. But then he unrepentantly murdered someone, which should be bad enough, but the reader knows Hamlet is seeking to avenge his father, plus it’s one of Shakespeare’s tragedies. There’s bound to be a body count, so the murder isn’t a big surprise. Hamlet murdering the wrong guy because he couldn’t be bothered to check behind the curtain is a bit tougher to forgive. As is his choice to punish Ophelia for his mother’s remarriage. As are pretty much all of his actions for the rest of the play.

I mean

Can you imagine if Hamlet’s mom divorced his dad, instead of remarrying after being widowed? The nunnery (aka brothel) talk would have increased exponentially for sure. 

That’s partly why I think it’s cool that the game’s playable character is Ophelia. She doesn’t get a very good deal in the original play. She mostly gets called a whore, and then she dies. It’s a terrible life. But now, she has a chance to solve everything and be someone who takes action. She’s also a character on the fringes of most of the action, which makes her the perfect character to explore the story, but I like the poetic justice of giving her a better role. Instead of being sad and drowning, she gets to be a badass detective. I approve.

From what I’ve read there will be complicated and numerous problems for her to solve in this game. It isn’t just about stopping Hamlet from killing Polonius, and subsequently a whole bunch of other characters. Apparently every action game-Ophelia takes will have a consequence. In a change from the play, Norwegian Prince Fortinbras, rather than being named Hamlet’s heir, is planning to invade Denmark, so there are some intense political ramifications if Ophelia makes the wrong choice.


A screen shot from the in-development game. I like this Ophelia much better than the drowned one. 

I don’t play a lot of video games, but I will probably check this one out. I will probably curse at Hamlet the whole time, that culpable whiner. I will eagerly seek out a chance to gain revenge upon him and foil all his plans – I mean, to save everyone. Yeah. It’s about saving everyone else.

Sorry. I just really didn’t like Hamlet.

While I was reading up on Elsinore, I came across another Hamlet-based game for your phone. It’s just called Hamlet and…it sounds hilarious. Maybe fun, but still ludicrous. In this version, Hamlet is a swashbuckling hero (!!!!) and actually cares about Ophelia, who is about to be married against her will to Claudius (in the play, he is Hamlet’s uncle / stepdad, and the new king of Denmark). Polonius is Claudius’ henchman, and turns out to be A WITHERED ALIEN OBSESSED WITH CHEMISTRY.

Other insane game plots include Hamlet and Ophelia being swallowed by a giant fish, but they are able to escape with the help of AN ELDERLY MAN LIVING IN THE FISH’S STOMACH, before they make it to Claudius’ castle and confront him. The best part: CLAUDIUS IS A WANNA-BE ROCK GOD AND HEROIC HAMLET RUINS HIS GUITAR SOLO.

You guys, I didn’t even explain it all. There’s also a giant octopus, exploding potions, Laertes as a giant, and a death machine. I’m so confused and intrigued. I lost control of caps, even, which is the typing equivalent of shouting with excitement and shock.

Damnit. I’m totally downloading this. I’ll let you know how it goes.




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