Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a fast-paced and exciting story-telling game for two or more players of all ages. The participants assume the roles of old, retired heroes who have lost most of their greatness (and parts of their wits), but whose minds are still filled with the thrilling adventures and wonderful journeys of their youths.

Look at them, how they sit there by the fire with the children spellbound all around them, each trying to convince the young that he is the greatest hero of them all, indeed the greatest hero of all time. As everybody knows, the egos of old heroes grow big at the same pace as their memories grow dim. A long time ago, they did things that are now the stuff of legend, but see how they argue over who really killed that dragon!

Adding a little bit to the story to make it more interesting for the children is of course necessary, indeed only natural. Listening to their arguments, it’s easy to believe that the purpose of telling stories is to show off and what actually happened isn’t as important as all that. It’s as if they are taking part in a story-telling game, where the goal is to win the attention of the children gathered around them.

Nostalgia is just such a game, a game in which you and your friends tell a story together, but you do it as if you were retired heroes and the story took place so long ago that nobody really remembers what happened. Vivid imagination and a silver tongue is a lot more useful than good recall.

The goal is to show off and boast, thus convincing everybody you deserve the undivided admiration of the younger generation. To do that you need the ability not only to highlight your own greatness, but also to make the others look bad if you get the chance. This is an ability that every human possesses, but which might be kept in check by social rules and proper upbringing. When playing Nostalgia, open those closed gates and let the primal need to boast flow freely. Let everybody know how wonderful you are!

So, let’s get started, it’s time for some Nostalgia!

Once upon a time…

“This part of the story, my children, took place many, many years before even your parents were born. We were returning home from a dangerous quest into the Eastern Empire. The Silent Sorcerer had hired us to steal the legendary Dark Sapphire, but as we made our way home, we were ambushed by Amazons. The road ran under a canopy of lush, green summer leaves and an idle melody from my Magic Flute followed a scattering of small birds as they were scared off by our approach. Then, like a bolt out of the blue, an arrow shot out from the green of the forest, killing my valiant squire on the spot!”

Raising his voice to a shout, the white-haired Arimax made a valiant attempt to stand up, to tower over the children who looked at him, wide-eyed with excitement and not a little fear. The old hero only managed to rise halfway out of his chair, but the sudden movement and the cry, made all but the bravest of the children flinch. One small boy started to cry. They all loved to be thrilled and scared like this, close to the fire, where no dangers were truly dangerous and the stories always ended happily.

However, the atmosphere Arimax had tried to build up was expertly ruined by a dry cough. It came from Olav, whose body had lost most of its strength, but whose voice was still as silvery as his hair.

“My dear Arimax, if all adventurers were as oblivious and naive as you, none of us would be sitting here today, telling stories, because those Amazons would’ve had us for dinner! I remember distinctly how I saw shadows moving among the trees just before the attack, and that I warned you that something was amiss.”
He turned a toothy grin towards the children. “As you might have heard, I grew up in the wilderness on the other side of the Red River, where a man can walk for days without encountering anything but monsters and villains. I’ve known how to survive in the woods since I was nine, when a boar as big as a house…”

Some of the older children exchanged looks, one of them even rolled her eyes; they had heard this bit many times before, but they pitied the old man whose pale eyes always glowed with pride when he spoke of his childhood.

However, not everyone around the fire was as forgiving as the children to let Olav repeat his story about how he single-handedly bested the boar at the tender age of nine. A resonant female voice belonging to Nelea, the legendary sorceress, interrupted the silver-haired hero.

“If you truly were as great as you claim, you wouldn’t have asked us to come along to help you find the Dark Sapphire, would you? You would easily have single-handedly defeated the horde of Amazons as well as later the Iron Guard of Chara. Spare us your empty boasting and let us instead focus on what really happened. You might not believe me, children, but in the old days, magic was a lot stronger in the world than it is now. It was my training as a sorceress that enabled me to shield us from the rain of arrows. The squire died because he panicked and didn’t follow my orders to stay under the protective spell.”

Commotion erupted around the fire as the remaining heroes and heroines shouted, tried to jump to their feet and generally made every effort they could to get their views across. Two of them seemed to be locked in a staring contest, a small, frail lady with a sparrow on her shoulder, waved her arms about her, and shouted, but her words were lost in the hubbub. Arimax coughed repeatedly and tried to explain that if it weren’t for the brave squire who sacrificed his own life, they would all be dead now.

The children watched all this with fascination, and even though nobody could tell exactly how it happened, in the end most of them favoured Nelea’s story with the spectacular magic shield, and they eagerly listened as she continued the story.
”As I just said, my miracle powers saved us from the deadly snake arrows. Since Amazons are afraid of moon magic, they soon gave up and disappeared among the trees. Only as the last one vanished out of sight did I notice that the saddlebag containing the Dark Sapphire was gone…”

The story about how Arimax, Olav, Nelea and the rest pursued the Amazons through the forest, over the Mountains of Madness, how they used sword and sorcery to overcome the Iron Guard of Chara, and how they finally used a sack made of troll hair to fish the Dark Sapphire from the Well of Wisdom, kept the children absorbed an entire evening.

The above fragment is enough to give you a feeling for what a game of Nostalgia can sound like and the core concept of the game, that is to assume the role of an old hero and tell stories of former greatness, to highlight your hero’s prominent role in the final triumph in order to bask in the radiance of the children’s admiring eyes.

Nostalgia is a game currently under development. It will likely be available in 2012. If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us!