I’m not hating, but I think I speak for a lot of folks when I say I’ve been a little confused about why the latest Soulslike making headlines is about Pinocchio of all things, and now we finally have answers – and they’re surprisingly practical.
In case you missed it, Lies of P stole the show at Gamescom Opening Night Live this week thanks to a truly stunning new gameplay trailer. It looks a lot like Bloodborne but with enough of a twist – again, it’s about friggin’ Pinocchio – to stand out from the ever-expanding crowd of other Soulslikes. Most importantly, the world is absolutely gorgeous, the combat looks intense and varied, and early impressions are stellar.
Make no mistake, from what we’ve seen, I think Lies of P deserves every bit of attention it’s getting right now. That said, what’s with the Pinocchio thing? As someone who really only knows the character from the old Disney movie where he smokes that fat doob – er, cigar – it seems an odd choice. But apparently, the reason the developers chose Pinocchio is largely because the character and world are so universally recognized, and they figured they could benefit from that familiarity.
“We had to find a very well-known thing first, because this is our first Soulslike game, so we wanted to have the fanbase first,” Lies of P director Choi Ji-Won told IGN (opens in new tab) (we’ve lightly edited Ji-Won’s responses for clarity.) “So we came up with a well-known story first and then we gave our own twist on it.”
Ji-Won also explains that the version of Pinocchio that’s probably most well-known, at least in the West, is a lot more kid-friendly than the original story by Carlo Collodi on which it’s based.
“But also, when you think about Pinocchio, people will think about Disney, but Disney made Pinocchio a little childish, but actually if you look at the original Pinocchio story, it’s pretty dark and for adults.”
Can’t have a Dark Souls-like without the darkness, right?
And finally, the devs also picked Pinocchio because of the many different environments he finds himself in, which served as a useful template for Lies of P’s world, even if there’s no level that takes place inside a whale’s belly.
“And also Pinocchio has very diverse backgrounds,” Ji-Won adds. “Pinocchio starts at the house of Geppetto, and then he goes to the ocean, and he goes inside of the whale. So that’s how we found Pinocchio very attractive for our game.”
I was not expecting such pragmatic reasons for Pinocchio being the star of a Dark Souls-type game, but here we are.
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