Gawain and the Green Knight reference in Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2, an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game) that I play has a very obvious reference to Gawain and the Green Knight in it that I thought I’d share.

To try and put things simply, the world of Guild Wars 2 is one of fantasy. One of the races is a plant humanoid type called Sylvari, a collectively inquisitive and adventurous race made entirely out of plant-material. If you make a character a Sylvari you have the option of doing a chain of quests called “Green Huntsman,” where you will learn about and fight a mysterious green Sylvari decked out in emerald green armor.

557px-Bercilak

Bercilak, as you eventually discover is the name of this evil brute, goes around challenging weak opponents to duels and killing them. You find him just as he’s about to execute another innocent Sylvari, challenging him to fight you instead. When you eventually succeed in destroying him, however, he revives and charges you once more. After several iterations of this Bercilak leaves, challenging you to a final duel a few days later. As you continue along the quest chain you find the blacksmith, Occam, who forged Bercilak’s emerald armor. Occam reveals to you that the armor is imbued with magic, resurrecting him from death.

Occam gives you the hammer he used to forge the armor, and with it you break the armor off of Bercilak before putting him down for good.

Another way of going about this quest is by requesting help from Gairwen, a Sylvari whose husband was killed defending her from Bercilak. He highly desires her, and if you convince her to help you she tempts him with a kiss before stealing his helmet, breaking the equipment’s magic and allowing you to fight the Green Knight normally.

Interestingly enough, this was actually my first real reference to the stoy of Gawain and the Green Knight. I had never read it before I played this story quest, and reading the original story made the quest that much more fascinating. The slight variations in the names and plot were fun to spot, and the quest remains one of my favorites.

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Mabinogi — Old and Modern

I am a gamer at heart, and thanks to a group of friends I have been trying all sorts of new styles and genres of games. A name I didn’t expect to hear on the “To Play” list my friends have concocted was “The Mabinogi.” I asked them what it was and was told that it’s more or less a “choose your own adventure” style game, a Role-playing game where you get to choose different professions and “lives” to cycle through. You make a character, dress them up how you like, and put them on any sort of adventure you can find.

The variety and story-telling aspect of the game struck me as familiar, and after looking up the description of “The Mabinogi” book that we’ll be reading in class, I can see where the creators of the game got the name. Both titles involve variety, story-telling, and adventure. I never would have recognized the real-life reference without this class, and I love discovering small little “easter eggs” in my life like that.

Here’s a description and trailer of the game for any interested.