Last weekend, I went on a mini-vacation with my husband, Jaron. For the most part, we lounged at the hotel and ate all sorts of body-destroying deliciousness. We did, however, spend one morning walking around a mall, shopping (but not buying). During this time, Jaron insisted on going into Game Stop. Despite my protests* I was whisked into the store.
After getting high scores on Wii Play Motion, watching several people play inFAMOUS 2, and glancing over hundreds of titles, Jaron and I eyed the used PSP games (we bought a PSP this year). That's when I saw this box art.
The art style and colors are what caught my eye--so I picked it up, and began to read.
"Drunk, despondent, and down on his luck, a spellsword mercenary named Crais Sewell reluctantly accepts a job from a young, cheerful troubadour named Sophie Rothorn. Their mission: to recover seven jewels scattered throughout the world of Iyar- for what reason, Sophie refuses to say. On their travels, Sophie and Crais meet Melrose, an eccentric mage with a penchant for dissection, Tinon, a tomboy who wields her magic a little too liberally, and Patty, a young woman with a good heart and a love for magical items disproportionate to her funds. As it becomes clear that Sophie's quest is not unrelated to a past Crais would prefer to forget, he faces a choice: Will he confront his past failures, and ultimately overcome them, or succumb to despair and misery? It is entirely possible that the fate of the world, or at least Crais's corner of it, may depend on his answer."
Now, let me put this into perspective here. I just finished writing a book about a mercenary acting as a bodyguard for a mysterious rich girl. I'll revise the above description to show you what exactly why I was so startled.
"Despondent and down on his luck, a mercenary named Octras reluctantly accepts a job from a young, mysterious girl named Tsira. The mission: to protect her as she heads south--for what reason, she refuses to say. On their travels, Tsira and Octras meet Shenra, a healer with a penchant for honesty, and Jake, a boy who wields his tongue a little too liberally, though he has a good heart and a love for swordplay disproportionate to his skills. As it becomes clear that Tsira's quest is not unrelated to a past Octras would prefer to forget, he faces a choice: Will he confront his past failures, and ultimately overcome them, or succumb to despair and misery? It is entirely possible that the fate of the world, or at least Octras's corner of it, may depend on his answer."
Anyway, I spent some time looking up this game, Mimana IYAR Chronicle, and as it turns out, the game isn't like my book beyond this snippet. And it's supposedly a failure. Its ratings are really low, the gameplay is considered tedious, and the story apparently falls flat. But it got my attention, so...
Similar stories could be applied to many of the ideas I (and my younger siblings) have come up with. The character Tibblz from my TimiThy story (you know, from the first grade) was almost a perfect match with J.K. Rowling's Tonks. My little brother thinks up Rowan of Fire, and next thing we know, we see Rowan of Rin at the library.**
We joke that someone with brain cameras is stealing our ideas, but honestly, is there anything original anymore? Has this ever happened to you?
*Going into a game store is exhausting in much the same way as going into a book store. It's partly because I want them all, and I know I can't afford any of them. I mean, we can afford like $50 a month for that stuff. That's only ONE game. And right now, we're waiting for Skyward Sword.
**Rowan of Rin has very little to do with my brother's idea, and was published before then, but I was just talking about the shock of finding a coincidental resemblance here. At the time we discovered the book, we freaked out. I was only ten.