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Grim Fandango Novel  Open the jukebox 

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.