From the Vault: Abandoned Stories
This is the dumping ground for CVRPG stories that will never be told in the comic. Sometimes it's because I couldn't get the art to work out. Sometimes it's because the plot-line has moved on and the story didn't happen. For whatever reason, these stories will now be shared here.
CVRPG vs. the DCU
This was a story I'd actually intended to tell between the first and second games. The reason it didn't get told then was because, halfway into the first game, I decided I had to tell the story of the heroes' first adventure (Year One).
Since then I tinkered with the idea of telling it later, but a couple of reasons stopped me there, too. For one, there's no convenient spot in the story structure (trust me, I have it laid out enough that there really isn't a spot, with the way I write these things). Also, I've never been able to get the art right for it.
Anyway, the jist of the story is this: while wandering in the woods one day, Darkmoon is hit in the head by a meteor. When he comes to, he thinks he's Batman. He then goes off on an adventure, getting all the other characters to join in on the parody fun:
- Princess would have been Robin (sort of like Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns).
- Katrina would have been Catwoman (no clue if she would have been heroic Catwoman or evil Catwoman).
- Angel would have been Nightwing (obviously).
- Alec would have been Batgirl (if it had followed Game One, we would have still been humping the "Alec as a Girl" jokes, which I haven't really done since).
In the end, Darkmoon would have come out of it before anything too stupid or dangerous happened. I think the plan originally was for it to have all been a dream (which is a real cop-out ending). However, in the last comic, the meteorite would have opened, and Alec would have picked up a green ring (hinting at Green Lantern). He would have taken a look at it, and then thrown it over his shoulder (too gaudy).
Honestly, that was as far as I plotted it out. It really would have been just a bunch of random comic book riffs, and lots of teasing of Alec. As it was, I realize another reason I never bothered with it was because it just wasn't very good. I'm sure I could have punched it up, but I dunno that it ever would have really fit in with the rest of the stories.
Dressing up Alec as Batgirl woulda been funny, though.
The Least Tactful Jokes Imaginable
At one point, the plan was for the entire party to go into Hell (which, depending on how I feel, may still happen at some point). Their reason was to... well crap, I actually don't know why. I think it had something to do with the Succubus storyline (which I'll discuss in a future installment).
Anyway, whatever the reason, they were going to go into Hell. There, they'd meet the Devil (for the first time), who'd be this amiable short dude... who was also black. There wasn't going to be anything too offensive there (I think we were just going to make him black because all the characters in the comic at that point were white).
While there, they'd take a tour of Hell, and at that point, the offensive jokes would come out. Jew jokes (which, as a Jew, I can make), Christian jokes (which everyone makes), jokes on rednecks, jokes on the rich -- we were planning to rip on everything.
At the end, we'd build to this comic where the crew addresses the audience, saying how sorry we were for all the jokes. We really didn't want to offend anyone (etc, etc). And we'd take everything back... except for the redneck jokes (drum riff).
For multiple reasons, this plot-line was doomed. For one, I'm just not that offensive (I like to think anyway). I may make the occasional off-color joke in the comic, but it's usually at the expense of the characters (Darkmoon, normally) and no one else. But, if I did a huge plot-line about it, that'd just be over the line (in case you ever wondered, the line is apparently in Hell).
Beyond that, however, the Succubus storyline didn't happen (which we'll discuss later). The Devil was revealed earlier, and was a different character. Blacula was included in a stroke of pure randomness, fulfilling the need for a non-Caucasian character.
And, to be fair, this is one of those bits that probably never would have been funny, which is really why it was scrapped.
Succubus's Special Boy-Toy
Succubus was originally going to have a very different role in the series. As she was originally envisioned, she would have served as a guide for the party as they traveled through the dream worlds. As I remember it, there was a vague plot-line for the first game where she sends them into the land of dreams for... some reason.
Now that I think of it, I think there might have been some peril in the dream lands, and the heroes aided her in defeating whatever it was... Obviously it wasn't that planned out.
While there, in the dream lands, Succubus would constantly be talking about her new boyfriend. It would be a running gag about how she finally found a man that can please her in every way she wanted.
And the gag would have the big payoff in that it was a battery-operated boyfriend. Presumably it would have been ensouled or something, although no one but Succubus would have known this (remember, if it doesn't have a soul, it doesn't dream, and then Succubus doesn't get that aspect).
It was cheesy and silly, and really wasn't a necessary bit.
Succubus allowing them to travel, at will, through the dream worlds would have allowed the heroes to go anywhere, any when, as they liked. In the end, this wasn't a necessary power, as the heroes can use Angel for this (if it's needed).
Also, having things happening in the dream lands would have required Kirby showing up, and, if you recall, I made a one-off joke that Kirby would never show up in the comic again. Man, I really shot myself in the foot there.
As it was, there was no really compelling reason to do her plot-line, so it was scrapped.
CVRPG TV: Music Videos
When the comic was first thought up, one of the ideas was to eventually do animation. With Mab drawing the artwork, it seemed likely that, eventually, I'd be able to get enough character designs from her that I could create a set of animation stills that I could work with, arrange, rearrange, and generally use to make any kinds of videos I wanted.
With that idea in mind, we were planning to do music videos for the CVRPG characters. Each character, once a (week / month / whenever) would choose a song, and then a cool animated video would happen.
As I remember it, Darkmoon would have gone first. I think he was going to do "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, which would have proceeded with him rocking on stage, while Angel went around killing people in the audience -- remember, Angel originally had the Touch of Death.
Next up was Katrina. She would have done some obnoxious j-pop song, mostly to make Darkmoon suffer for the previous video.
Angel would have done a production of some ballet. Of course, he would have forgotten to wear his gloves, so over the course of the ballet, he would burn through a LOT of ballerinas. I remember that at the end, he'd take a bow, and the camera would do a pull-back to show bodies littered everywhere (Angel really wasn't a nice character back then).
Alec probably would have done George Michael's "Faith", being completely oblivious to any sexual lyrics/euphemisms the song has.
Princess... I think she would have rocked out to some chick rock song. I can't remember what. Interestingly, she wasn't supposed to fall for Alec, so I'm fairly certain this would have been some song from some lesbian songwriter (someone from the Lilith Tour, probably).
Bunny would have done "Misirlou" by Dick Dale. Just seeing Bunny rocking the guitar would have been classic.
I think Succubus was gonna do Nine Inch Nails's "Closer"... Actually, come to think of it, she would have started, and the song would get censored 15 seconds in due to the suggestive content, and Bunny would then do his song. Right.
Anyway, cool as the idea was, of course right now it'd be impossible. I don't have the artwork available to me to do this project. Additionally, time is now a factor (it wasn't then). I only have so much time to work on projects, and animation is a time-consuming art. It's fun, but too damn time consuming.
Additionally, really, I'd run into issues with using the music. I'm sure some artist or company somewhere would throw out a cease and desist order, and then want gobs of money for the videos. Bleh, too much hassle.
Angel's Original Back-story
Back, way back in the day, the Angel character had been a part of the RPG that CVRPG is based on. He appeared for all of three posts in one of the towns, and then the guy who was playing him (that Mab and I brought into the game) flaked out, and his character was abandoned. He did, however, have an interesting back-story that we were going to work into the comic.
At one point, the Angel was named Eden (yes, originally he had a name). He was a sex-crazed guy always looking to score -- which often got in the way of his performing his duties as an angel... so that part is still mostly intact.
The key difference was that originally Angel was the Angel of Death. Angels are all messengers now, and Death handles the death stuff, but at first Angel was supposed to have that task.
Unlike the current Angel, Eden never lost his job, never got a woman pregnant, and never ended up on the run from God. He just wandered off one day, and God found a suitable replacement.
As it was, this back-story was scrapped mostly because we could. He never got too established in game, and since we had time to think over the Angel character before we introduced him, we decided to eliminate the "Angel of Death" angle.
I mean, really, it's just too much like Kevin Smith's Dogma.
The one thing I was sad about was we were going to do a running gag where any time Angel touched someone with his hands, he killed him (the Angel of Death touch). It was going to put him in a lot of awkward situations.
Of Comic Titles and Lawsuits
So, long ago the comic was supposed to be a back and forth collaboration between myself and Mabby. Between the time that comic was thought up and the comic was actually started, however, DMFA grew to be a fairly substantial comic that has, more or less, become Mab's job. As such, she didn't really have time to work on the comic -- but since I wanted the story to be told so I could stop thinking about it (how so many of my projects go), I took up the mantle.
But, when it first started, originally there was going to be a long running gag... with the comic titles. They'd start off pretty normal, just little comments on the comic (a little like the credits section I do now), nothing major. But, since Mab and I would be doing them, back and forth, we'd eventually start having a conversation in the titles. Something along the lines of:
- Castlevania RPG: Darkmoon, again, acts like an idiot
- Castlevania RPG: As if that's any big surprise
- Castlevania RPG: Hey's he's your character
- Castlevania RPG: You wrote that last idiotic scene
- Castlevania RPG: I did, didn't I? Good on me
- Castlevania RPG: It's character assassination, I tell ya
Eventually, as the comics progressed, we were planning to do a mock lawsuit with Konami:
- Castlevania RPG: Konami isn't too happy with us
- Castlevania RPG: What does "cease and desist" mean?
- Castlevania RPG: Crap, maybe if we go all stealthy, they won't notice we're still alive
- CVRPG: Brand New Acronym, Same Great Flavor
- CVRPG: The new title makes us look like a completely different comic
- CVRPG: "Castlevania RPG"? Nope, never heard of it
And in the long run, the comic would have had it's name permanently changed to CVRPG (heck, if we're gonna do it, we're gonna do it and mean it).
So why didn't it happen? Well, with Mabby not being able to participate often, it didn't feel very funny doing it on my own. Part of the fun would have been the spontaneity of it. Doing it on my own wouldn't have been very improv.
Plus, I like the name Castlevania RPG. Yeah, it's a kinda fan-fic name, but it's a cool sounding name, too. Plus, it evokes exactly what the comic is: an RPG set in the video game world of Castlevania. Why mess with simplicity?
For a little while there was a plan in place to go back to the first Game (plus Year One) and explore the characters from an alternate perspective: following them on their rise in the Mirror Universe. Many situations would have been similar, but due to how quickly the evil Darkmoon took over in that universe (ensuring Dracula stayed dead back in Out of the Darkness), the games would have drastically diverged early on.
Now, there are a couple of reasons I finally scrapped this idea (which, up until very recently I was still toying with). For one, it really does feel we learned all we needed to about the Evil "Heroes" in Game Two -- we saw flashes of their past, and that was enough to motivate the story. Plus, as the characters wore on (as evidenced by Evil Darkmoon's return in Rift Wars) it just became obvious that the Evil ones worked better as foils to our heroes instead of the protagonists (anti-heroes) of their own game.
Plus, I simply ran out of places to comfortably shove in their story to the main arc, and with both DSWC Heroes and Villains running full-bore now, I don't have the time for yet another side arc.
And, let's face it, we already have one parallel story told from a slightly different perspective -- DSWC: Villains. There's no need for another one.
It's sad, though. I was gonna do a play on the Haunted Castle logo for this arc. I'll just have to try and find some other way to do that later...
The Tower of Eternity
A Darkmoon's Quest Expansion
Originally there had been plans to make a second part to the Darkmoon's Quest side-story. After the main game ended, there was going to be a second part, an expansion pack that took place in a tall, tall tower. As plotted, the tower that was eventually used for the Minotaur would have been the Tower of Eternity and Darkmoon would have had to venture through it for some reason or another.
One change that would have been implemented from the main "game" was that Darkmoon wouldn't have been the only controllable character. Alec and Angel would have participated in the adventure as well, and whoever was under the control of the "player" would have been the silent protagonist -- the other two would have had conversations in the background the whole time.
In the end I ditched the idea fro two reasons. For one, it just didn't seem to make sense to keep doing Darkmoon's Quest after it had already gone for 300 comics. The series already felt overly long, and I was starting to get bored with writing it.
Secondly, and really coming out of the first part, was just that I used up all the ideas and all the locations I had setup for the adventure to take place. It would have felt weird to graft it on at the late stage, and I just didn't know what to do with it beyond having a "Tower of Eternity". And so it was ditched.
Bucky the Vampire Slayer
The Many Adventures of the Hero of Time
Before CVRPG went hand-drawn, there was an idea to do a hand-drawn story following around Bucky, our clucking hero. Bucky is a fan-favorite, so the notion of giving him his own story made sense at the time, plus actually following him for a long length of story seemed like an interesting idea.
A few things stopped this, though. For one, I already had a lot of side-arcs going, and this didn't seem to fit into the grand scheme, all told. This is especially true any time DSWC is running (since DSWC itself is two different halves running concurrently, Heroes and Villains). Space-wise, I just wasn't sure how to place Bucky in the grand scheme.
Additionally, after the notion was first thought up, I went and did a few little arcs with Bucky, and I always ran into the same issue: a silent protagonist makes a terrible lead in a comic. Sure, this kind of character can work in a video game since you're supposed to put yourself in their shows, but for a comic, where everyone talks? Not so much.
In the end, CVRPG jumped to the future and I just had to let this idea go.
Peril of the Four Sword
The Planned Conclusion for the CVRPG Universe
Along with Bucky the Vampire Slayer, another idea came about around the same time that would have followed Link on one last adventure. In this case, we would have gone to Link's future, following the old zombie through an adventure in time and space dealing with Ganon at different eras after the big bad boss corrupted the Four Sword.
This one was actually an intriguing idea, one I had a umber of notes for. It would have started with a young man, a warrior, being called into the cave of the Master Sword. We would have followed him in as he quested for the sword to defeat an evil spreading across the land. When he touched the sword, though, instead of claiming the sword for his use, the sword would have claimed him, sucking him in. We then would have jumped to a different era, with a you mage following a similar path -- into the cave, and them absorbed by the sword. Finally we would have moved over to our Link, the far future, playing it down-low. When evil spread across his era, he, too, would have gone to the sword (which was right where he evidently left it all those years ago). But, because of his age and all the power he wielded, the sword would have been unable to claim him and he would have pulled it free.
From there, he'd have the voices of the other two Links (because of course they, too, were Links) talking to him through the blade. He would have had to collect magic items to first use the sword to travel to their eras (via their own shadow-force), and then later find a way to drag them to his era to fight beside him. And there would have been a fourth Link, someone mysteriously hiding in the blade, someone Link would actually know but never suspected was a destined hero.
It was a complex story, and I kept sitting on the ideas for the longest time because I really didn't want to give up on it. I finally let it go, though for a few reasons that all finally built up. For one, Link moved over to DSWC once CVRPG jumped to the future. He's gotten plenty of time in the sun and it didn't seem like I really needed to do one more big arc to send him off.
Additionally, the time jumping story was done to great length with Alec in Game IV. I planned each of these arcs separately, so it wasn't like I stole the ideas for that plot from this game... but in retrospect they felt very similar, and if I had done both a lot of the surprise of it would have been lost at this point.
Plus, the comic would have been sprite based, and I've moved on from that for all but DSWC. I didn't really relish the idea of going back and doing yet another sprite-based comic. Sure, I could have hand-drawn it, but somehow that felt wrong. Link is sprite-based for me, and my favorite Zelda games are the hand-held and old-school console versions. Any other style wouldn't have felt like Link.
Finally, in my head this was going to be the last CVRPG arc. I have a different ending in mind at this point, one that I feel really sends CVRPG off properly, and to do this idea after that would blunt the impact. No, just not doing it seems better.
Still... this would have been it's own epic little story.
DSWC: Original Heroes and Original Villains
A DSWC Distant Prequel
At one point I really wanted to try and get DSWC and CVRPG to hit as many different kinds of sequels and prequels as I could (midquels, interquels, etc...). One kind is the "distant" which is spiritually related to the main story but set far in the past or future. For DSWC I was going to do this by using Cassandra Belmont and Jennifer Baldwin (first seen in Alec's Adventure through Time, the main storyline of CVRPG IV). These two heroes were set hundreds of years in the past, so they could act functionally as prequel heroes for DSWC. I mean, they had a good dynamic, and it's not like a DSWC story is hard to write: start with Castlevania, sprinkle on dick jokes, simmer and serve.
But then I realized I wanted DSWC to have a specific number of comics. Once I settled on the number (1000 exactly for each side, Heroes and Villains), I ran into the issue of how to set this story up and still keep to that number. I did think about using different numbering for them, or making them their own "side arcs" in the system separate from the main DSWC.
Eventually, though, I just realized I didn't have a good spot to do the full arc. Instead, Cassie and Jenny showed up in the early going of DSWC III, fulfilling my intent with them even if they didn't get to be a proper distant prequel (Cornell shows up, traveling through time, which violates the spirit of the rule for me even if it might still count). The ladies got to show up one more time and I moved on with my writing.
DSWC: Symphony of Blood
A DSWC Retelling of Konami's Properties
Speaking of cancelled DSWC prequels, this mini-series would have been a retelling of the two official Richter titles -- Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night. I even made a bunch of sprites for it (which is why Alucard has a decent selection now). I was all prepared to set this whole arc up but, like with the other prequel idea I had, I just didn't know where to put it properly in the archive. I was mulling over when to do this for a long while -- the plan I nearly settled on was to do it between DSWC II and DSWC III.
The thing was, though (and this is why I cancelled it), I really didn't want to spend a long time away from the main series of DSWC comics telling a story readers had already largely seen before (since they likely had played the games already and were very familiar with the stories). It didn't make a lot of sense, from that perspective, to spend 100 to 150 comics on this arc when I could just get back to the main story and finish it up in style.
Still, I'm a little sad about this one. The story would have shown the games but with Cornell hanging around as well -- remember, Cornell isn't normally a part of Richter's stories but because of the reboot to DSWC continuity (one that Cornell was protected from because he and Richter were sitting outside of reality at the time), Cornell had to exist, and thus previously exist, in all Richter stories. I really messed up continuity in some pretty major ways.
Even the lure of showing Cornell bumming around where he wasn't supposed to be didn't make this prequel any better of an idea, though, so onto the trash heap it went.
DSWC: Orlox vs. the Elves
A DSWC Midquel
Finally, one more story was scrapped for a lack of great ideas. If you've read DSWC Villains you probably know that Orlox and Link go off to fight Elves shortly before the Villains #400 mark. They defeat the main army of Elven evil but, at the end of the arc, the Elven King shows up and it looks like there's going to be a big battle... but that battle never happens.
Originally the plan was to do a midquel that starred Olrox and show his big fight with the elves. Then I got distracted, other stuff came up, and I eventually just ignored it. There's one comic referencing it later, near the end point for the first DSWC game (around comic #500 in Villains) and then the matter was dropped.
Doing something like this was much harder than some of the other proposed sequel/prequel ideas because there wasn't a Heroes side of the story to tell -- it was all Olrox, all the time. I would have had to do something else parallel to it (due to the rules of Heroes and Villains comics) and I never came up with a good idea for what... so I had to ditch it.
Really, though, I didn't have much story to go with this idea so scrapping it wasn't a huge loss.
DSWC: A Final Fantasy
A DSWC Side-Story
This was one more idea I was toying with. Throughout DSWC (and, for a few comics, Bunny Tales), I've used the same Final Fantasy crew for a selection of random comics. The thought here was to give them their own big story so they could have their own quest.
Why didn't I end up doing this? Well, really, because this was the whole idea. I didn't have a big plot planned for it so it's not like there was a story here that needed to be told. I also used up a lot of good riffs on Final Fantasy over in Bunny Tales. This would have just felt like I was spinning my wheels. No need to do that.
CVRPG: Shore Leave
Angel's Grand Adventure (?)
Traditionally I will do little half-stories in-between the main titles of CVRPG. This was going to be a nice little aside here, following Angel as he goes to a pleasure planet and is constantly cock-blocked by one adventure or another.
To be honest, I didn't want to give up on this story idea as I thought that following Angel around for a while as he tries to be a hero could have been a lot of fun. The problem is that as we reach the end of CVRPG I'm just running out of strips I can make before my numbers are up. The main archive is going to go up to comic #4000 and the total archive will be 800 strips total. With everything planned out the way I have it, there's just no room to slot Angel's adventure in at this point, so I just had to let it go.
We can, however, imagine what would have been...