Saturday, 25 November 2017

Fumito Ueda : Tsutomu Nihei : Fritz Lang

In expectation for Necromunda's re-release , I thought I would indulge myself in some beautiful but fictional built environments that in my mind link in part towards a hive like setting. I started by playing The Last Guardian by Fumito Ueda

 A vertical narrative journey that starts in the dark below and ends in up in the light above. The towering minarets put me in mind of  Necromundas Palatine hive spyres , i came away thinking about spire warfare ,as mentioned by Bruticus as a possible scenario for the new necromunda , a few years back on this blog.

I also couldn't help thinking about how high up the spires are on the palatine , twelve miles high in places, narratives of flying spyrers gusting winds and lack of oxygen all sprang to mind along with the notion that upspire nobles must know very little of those below in the almost mythical dark. I had fantasies of builders adorning the the spires in rivalry to other houses, and how workers might live on the outside of the walls , cantilevered on gothic pinnacles clinging to the underside of massive flying buttresses.. majestic windows housing nests of workers like bats in the belfry. 

 The last guardian

I found artworks of  Tsutomu Nihei    online a few years ago , and although intrigued by his bleak architectural style i never got around to reading his manga Blame! I recently made the effort after watching a netflix animated version of it  though. I was shocked at how many similar tropes to Necromunda were within Blame. A sprawling built environment with no natural light  built by AI aeons ago, fragments of distopic civilization that barely remembers its own history, struggling on in a never ending battle for resources.
 I felt reminded about the expansionist Terra and the dark age of technology. STC's and the war with AI.
The vast architectural  scope is similar to 40k  and borders on science fantasy as opposed to science ficton.
The manga style is minimalist black and white , and put me in mind of early 40k artworks by Pete Knifton,
Dave Gallagher and Gary Harrod.

 Pete Knifton,

Dave Gallagher

 Gary Harrod



Netflix Blame!

Finally I found a perfect version of  Fritz Langs Metropolis on you tube ,one that incorporates the 2010 missing reels , but also uses the original recreated orchestral score. along with English subs!

watching this movie in its entirety is demanding but worth it. This movie is the prototype for so much science fiction and distopian fiction . The parralels to the palatine are obvious , its class system being vertically stratified  a flood in the lower most levels and the serfs toil in thankless servitude in vast factories for the greedy elite, who indulge every whim in abject luxury high above the workers.. There is even hidden religious cults in lowest most regions of the original city.

I came away reminded that for me class division is a per-eminent reason I am drawn towards the myth of Necromunda.


  1. I can't get over how much of Blame! looks like Lebbeus Woods' drawings.

    1. Ah yeah, I totally missed that.. I think he studied architecture as well. They both put the built environment as the focal point. But woods's influence is pretty reaching so I wouldn't be surprised if its not a coincidence.

    2. Yeah, the built environment looks almost like a principle character in these (as it is/should be in Necromunda, really).

  2. This is wonderful! I love the idea of workers on the outside of the spire ... could almost imagine a spin-off of necromunda set not in the underhive, or the palatial courts of the nobility, but the rigger clans of the outer-spires. Something like gorka morka meets the dark eldar sky racing game, but with Necromunda spire terrain, gantries with infinite falls, and models outfitted with grappling hooks, suspensor harnesses, gas-bladders, etc.

    Blame really does look shockingly Woodsian, in the best way. Not exactly on topic but nothing is more 40k appropriate than Woods' concepts for the unfilmed Alien sequel set on a wooden cathedral planetoid satellite:

    1. Brings to mind those b&w images of skyscraper builders from the 20s/30's . I would play it ! rivet guns at the ready harpoons lances.. galvanic golden guilder guns, not to mention the ashsmog cleaners, water condensers , flying rats catchers. I have had a similar idea ever since the ygg game, but i never shared it as i thought it would make a cool book.. a story about the groups of survivors living in the eaves of great cathedrals, the rafta . fighting off bats and traversing the flying buttresses. it came to me after looking at pictures of the restoration/preservation of notre dame.. so many cool areas never seen by the public.. and all very 40k , just scale the thing up and a one buttress becomes a city.

      I love Vincent Ward’s Alien III , i read about years ago , i remember sending an email to the gaming group,gushing ! Have you seen his film the Navigator , when i watched it i couldn't help thinking about 40k and its tropes of ignorance and superstitious chimed with its characters.

  3. Just discovered your blog and am in awe, I like evrything I'm seeing here. ^^

  4. Aye up mate , glad you found it ! Been a fan of your work for ages. ;) the blog or the old blog opus maius usually comes and goes as inspiration and anxiety wax and wane. ;-)