Friday, May 28, 2010

Alternate Islands: Other Ways to Get LOST

"Guys...Where are we?"
- Charlie Pace, Lost

Well that seemed to be the question, didn't it? Now that Lost has finished its sixth and final season we still may not have a definitive answer. No reason, then, not to go looking for alternatives...

I've already suggested that Lost had parallels with the lost world genre, but we needn't stop there. Here are two more alternative islands for Lost-like shennanigans, suitable for gaming.

"Do that good mischief, which may make this island thine for ever..."
- Caliban, The Tempest

"I'm not a big believer in... magic. But this place is different. It's special."
- John Locke (Terry O'Quinn)

Not long after their arrival on the island, the survivors of Oceanic 815 realize they're not alone. There's a group of "others"--a strange society supposedly descended from shipwrecked Italian sailors, and two supernatural beings: a monster that appears as a cloud of smoke, and an entity which appears as ghosts of the dead. These are said to to be the servants of the mysterious and sorcerous ruler of the island--Prospero. One is Caliban, the rapacious son of the witch from whom Prospero wrested the isle and its wellspring of magical energy. The other is Ariel, a spirit of the air, Prospero freed in exchange for service. Which is which remains a mystery, as the actions of both are ambiguous. Then, of course, there's beautiful Miranda, the ingenue and daughter of Prospero--or is all of that just an act?

For extra fun, this Lost in the Tempest, comes with the optional Forbidden Planet--er, Island--add-on, where the Ariel and Caliban are just two aspects of Prospero's psyche, given form by ancient alien technology. Or maybe all the non-crash survivors are the productions of a deranged reality-warping alien AI, fixated on Shakespeare?

"It's an island, where I live. So far as I know, it hasn't got a name."
- H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau

"You taste like fish biscuits."
- Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly)

Let's call this one: Island of Lost Souls.  Turns out Wells's novel was true, but not the whole story. The unorthodox (read: utterly insane) experiments of vivisection enthusiast Dr. Moreau only worked on the island, where certain "anomalies" subtley bent the laws of nature. We all know how that ended, so when DHARMA arrives in the seventies to follow-up on those anomalies (Magic? Alien Nanotech? Both?) , they find the island inhabited by the tribal "others"--beast-folk descended from Moreau's experiments. The war between DHARMA and the beast men leaves the island mostly uninhabited by humans until the faithful plane crash.

Did Wells tell us Moreau died? Like I said, that's not the whole story. Somehow, the doctor either evolved himself (or degenerated) into a inky swarm of some sort. Still intelligent, Moreau means to regain control of the island, and his rebellious creations. And then, with the crash survivors, he'll start a whole new set of experiments.

Of course, there are others: Lost on Skull Island, Lost on Monster Island, Lost on Mysterious Island, maybe even Lost on the Isle of Dread?


The Lord of Excess said...

Really good post. LOST is just way too ripe for RPG exploitation ... honestly I think that was one of the reasons I was drawn to it and enjoyed watching it. Good ideas all round!

Matthew Slepin said...

I love that first one. More interesting than the show turned out to be IMO.

Unknown said...

I love these ideas but I'm still enamored of the Lost-meets-Planetary Romance mashup you proposed earlier. I *really* want to give that a go.

I'm going to miss my weekly Lost watching. It was pretty much the only time I was able to sit down with the wife and watch TV.

Trey said...

Thanks, guys. Glad you liked it. Risus, I agree--the planetary romance idea was my favorite, as well.