Brutal Legend Could Have Featured Hip-Hip or Country Music

One of the games I’m really looking forward to this fall is Double Fine’s Brutal Legend. If you’ve been living under a rock somewhere and haven’t heard about it, Brutal Legend tells the story of Eddie Riggs, the “World’s Greatest Roadie,” who is transported into a world where he becomes a rock hero.

brutal_legend2Riggs uses the power of heavy metal to build and repair things throughout the world, as well as to vanquish his foes with a variety of axes, both with blades and strings.

It’s a game that features plenty of heavy metal, and even has Lemmy from Motorhead in a speaking role. Riggs, of course, is voiced by the inimitable Jack Black. In fact, Gamestop is offering an exclusive in-game Tenacious D guitar to people who pre-order the game.

However, it could have been very different, according to designer Tim Schafer. In an interview with Eurogamer, Schafer reveals that executives were pushing for Brutal Legend to be focused on hip-hop or country music, rather than heavy metal.

More from Tim after the break.

Apparently, the execs were convinced to do things Schafer’s way when they saw the success of Guitar Hero. I guess that’s yet another reason to be happy about Guitar Hero’s success. According to Schafer’s interview response,

“Yeah, when we were first pitching BrĂ¼tal Legend, it was before the first Guitar Hero game was announced and we were like, there’s this game in a heavy metal world, [and they said] ‘We like the game, but could we change it to be a hip-hop game, or maybe country music?’ There’s nothing against that music, but it doesn’t have a lore of heavy metal, in terms of a certain kind of mythology that leads to epic, medieval battles.

And then after Guitar Hero came out and [Black Sabbath's] Iron Man was one of the first songs on it, it seemed to expose a whole new generation to that kind of music, so by the time we were pitching the game for a second time there was a lot more interest in it being exactly what it is, which is a brutal heavy metal action-adventure.”

brutal_legend_3Can you imagine what could have been? A fantasy version of 50 Cent: Bulletproof, or a whimsical world with Toby Keith running amok? *shudder*

Schafer also addresses a major question I wondered about: How in the world did he settle on setting a game around a roadie? Says Schafer,

“I met a roadie years ago from Megadeth who had all these stories about the world of rock and roll, and the decadence and the excess of it were told from the perspective of a foot-soldier, a guy who has to come in, make sure everything still works and get the sound perfect and clean up afterwards. It’s still a really glamorous lifestyle, but told from a point of view people don’t usually hear. And also there’s a certain air of humility about them because they put on the show, they make the show work, but they don’t really get the applause. The applause goes to the rockstar, and after the applause has died, the roadie comes and cleans it all up, puts it in the truck and takes it to the next town.

So there’s something about that guy that just does the work behind the scenes and isn’t interested in taking much credit for it and can fix anything, can deal with unexpected situations. That was a fun character to drop into the most unexpected situation of all: being pulled back in time.”

Let’s face it, any game with Schafer at the helm is going to be a very interesting piece of work. We’ve seen this in the past, with titles like Grim Fandango and Psychonauts. Come October, we’ll get a chance to lay hands on Brutal Legend, and we’ll let you know what you can expect right here on Gaming Today.

If you want to check out some trailers for Brutal Legend, head over to FileFront.

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1 Comment on Brutal Legend Could Have Featured Hip-Hip or Country Music


On May 15, 2009 at 10:42 am

Hip hip music? Is it any good?