Download the Grim Fandango Novel by Charles Frederick (MeddlingMonk)
PDF Format, 2.9MB, August 2008
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Many computer games acquire a following. Fans seem driven to expand on the
games they love. For some, this may involve mods (for the games that allow
that). Others do artwork, or music. Others write stories. Some attempt to
write novels based on the games, but sadly many fan novelizations of games
are little more than transcripts. There is at least one that isn't.
First appearing in installments on the now-defunct website Glottis' Garage,
the Grim Fandango novel by MeddlingMonk was initially well received.
Although still sought after, it has become increasingly hard to find. Now, a
thorough revision of the novel has been completed to be hosted here. Many
plot points are developed more fully and the entire text has been tweaked to
become more textured, more adult. If the game was intended to reflect film
noir, then the novel is meant to key off of the writings of Dashiell
Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald.
Although adapted from an episodic game, the Grim Fandango novel presents a
continuous story, filling in the gaps using hints from the game itself
(including unused elements found in the game's data) or by using reasonable
extrapolations. The result has given some readers the eerie feeling--despite
knowing better--that it is the game that is the adaptation. If Tim Schafer
had been a hardboiled novelist rather than a game designer, he might have
come up with something like this.