La Aventura es La Aventura - Entrevista a Lorelei Shannon por Radiobuzz

Foto de Lorelei Shannon

Lorelei Shannon

Bio: No disponemos de biografía para este personaje

Juegos: King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh

Compañías: Sierra On-Line

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We are interviewing today to Lorelei Shannon, creator of three Sierra games. She was the co-leader, along with Roberta Williams, in the game "King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride", and also created "Pepper's Adventures in Time" and "Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh". This last one was the most famous title from Lorelei, an interactive movie that is completely disconnected from the first Phantasmagoria game. Lorelei got away from the basic "haunted mansion" story and create a new one, mixing gore, sex, violence, love and adventure. That deadly coctail is a "must have" for every adventurer. Along with the game, the controversy and the censorship came. Don't be afraid and enter the world of the Queen of Darkness, Lorelei Shannon.

Radiobuzz - Hello Lorelei, thanks for having us in your haunted mansion :]

Lorelei - Welcome. Enter at your own risk. <g>

Radiobuzz - Your game, Phantasmagoria 2, had so many sex and violence scenes that it got censored in a couple of countries. How do you feel about this€ Do you think it's understandable, or, in the contrary, they were alteringthe game and the story€

Lorelei - Well, as a writer, I object to any kind of censorship. The game was rated 17+, which pretty much says it all. I think it's ridiculous for any government to try to tell its adult citizens what they can and can't look at. Some governments banned the game altogether, believe it or not. There was nothing in PH2 that you couldn't see in an 'R' rated movie.

Radiobuzz - What do you think about the actors in Phantasmagoria 2€ Do you think they did a good job€

Lorelei - Yes, I think they all did a wonderful job. We were proud of all of our actors.

Radiobuzz - Jacob's Ladder appears to be a great influence for the game. What other movies, books or authors influenced the game€

Lorelei - The look of the movie was influenced somewhat by the movie 'Se7en,' and the artist Joel-Peter Witkin. Some of the other authors in my head at the time I was writing PH2 were Charles Beaumont, Shirley Jackson, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Radiobuzz - You said that the final story of the game it was just a part of the story you'd written. What things did the complete story offered€ Many players were disappointed with the ending of the game. Do you feel that these opinions would be different with the complete story€

« Personally, I'd be a little more concerned about my kids imitating some of the other scenes in that game, like stealing cars, shooting cops, and beating prostitutes to death. »

Lorelei - Yes, the game script was edited quite heavily due to budget constraints. There was originally a long, scary series of puzzles in the mental hospital which were entirely cut. The alien world was unfortunately chopped and the production was quick and hurried. I suspect that if we'd been able to finish the game as scripted, it would have had a much stronger ending. As for public opinion, who knows. The game was never going to please hardcore gaming fans. It's more of an interactive movie.

Radiobuzz - The title: "Puzzle of Flesh" it appears to refer the last puzzle of the game. The French version, for instance, had the title "Fatal Obsessions", that appears to have more sense with the game. Why "Puzzle of Flesh"€

Lorelei - The title 'Puzzle of Flesh' refers to the puzzle of who Curtis really is, and the fact that his flesh is not his own. I think 'Fatal Obsessions' is a lame title'sounds like a softcore porn movie on late-night cable TV. <g>

Radiobuzz - What do you think about the FMV adventures€ How risky was making one in those years€ Do you think that making one nowadays is just as risky as before€ If not, why do you think it isn't being used€

Lorelei - I think FMV has huge advantages for dramatic storytelling. Digital characters (with the exception of Smeagle in the Lord of the Rings series) just can't compare to human actors. I don't think it was particularly risky for us to use FMV at that time, as it was considered the 'latest big thing.' However, if we'd realized the shoot was going to last six months, we might have reconsidered. It was pretty expensive and grueling. I think it would be very risky to make a large FMV game now, due to prohibitive costs. Now digital characters and worlds are much cheaper to create than filming real ones.

Radiobuzz - Do you think that FMV media is good for transmiting fear€

Lorelei - I think it's good for transmitting fear in a reality-based, psychological horror game, because you need real actors for that. Obviously, you can transmit fear in an action-based, violent environment with digital characters quite effectively. The latest Doom installment scared the beans out of me. I love it!

Radiobuzz - You are not a director, and still, your movie [Phantasmagoria 2] is better that many new director's movies. What do you think about the Hollywood industry nowadays€ Specially the horror industry.

King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride

King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride

Lorelei - Why, thank you! <g> Much of the look and style of PH2 can be attributed to our excellent director, Andy Hoyos. Check him out: I think there's some wonderful horror being produced today, and some total crap, as always. Many of the really good horror movies are coming from independent filmmakers and studios. Among my recent favorites are 'The Attic Expeditions,' 'Monster Man,' 'Dead End,' 'Blood,' and 'Dead Birds.' Some of the worst things I've seen in recent history were 'Hide and Seek' and 'White Noise.' I love Rob Zombie's movies. 'House of 1000 Corpses' and 'The Devil's Rejects' were awesome.

Radiobuzz - Many japanese gore fans can't believe that Phantasmagoria 2 is an american game, and even less, created by a woman. What do you have to say to them€

Lorelei - Really€ That's funny, I hadn't heard that. I love J-horror. I owned DVDs of the Ringu series and Ju-On before anybody in this country ever heard of them. I guess it is kind of rare to have an American story-driven game that has so much sex and violence. There's a strange cultural phenomenon in this country that causes people to freak out over sex in games. Look how upset people got over the 'hot coffee' scenes in the latest Grand Theft Auto game. They were so upset over the idea that young people might imitate what they saw in the sex scenes. Personally, I'd be a little more concerned about my kids imitating some of the other scenes in that game, like stealing cars, shooting cops, and beating prostitutes to death. I find it interesting that some Japanese gore fans would find it hard to believe a woman wrote a story like this. So many of the traditional Japanese demons are female. You have to look out for us grrrlz, we're scarier than you think!

Radiobuzz - Today, where blood is a regular thing in many games, your work keeps creating some controversy, as the blood in Phantasmagoria 2 comes from the mind, and not from shooting people. What do you think about the violent scene in videogames€

Lorelei - I'm a little conflicted about violence in current games. I really enjoy violence in fantasy-based games like Doom and House of the Dead. But I'm extremely creeped-out by reality-based games that encourage players to commit reality-based violent acts, like the Grand Theft Auto series. Honestly, I think games like that are socially irresponsible. I don't believe in censorship, but I do believe that artists and creators should take a long, hard look at what they're putting out to the public before releasing it.

« It's funny'a lot of people saw more violence in PH2 than there really was. »
It's funny'a lot of people saw more violence in PH2 than there really was. Their minds were filling in the blanks in the most horrible ways! Sure, PH2 was violent, but at the heart of it, PH2 is a fantasy/science fiction game. I don't feel that it encourages anybody to go out and commit real acts of violence'it's about aliens and boogeymen, after all!

Radiobuzz - What do you think about the poor popularity of adventure games (compared to the populary that it had 10 years ago) nowadays€ Do you like to create more games€ How do you see the adventure games' future€

Lorelei - I think adventure games kind of got 'bumped' by first-person shooters and sports games. I suspect that as virtual reality, immersive technology gets better, people will want to have story-based games again.

Radiobuzz - What was your collaboration exactly in "King's Quest VII: The Princless Bride"€ The story doesn't seems to be the kind of tales you usually write. Do you think you can write "light" stories like the KQ7 or "Pepper's Adventures in Time" stories€

Lorelei - Roberta Williams and I came up with the story together, in long, entertaining brainstorming sessions. I wrote all the text and dialog. Actually, I do write children's stories, and fairly light mysteries. I have two young sons, ages 8 and 5, and I like to make up stories for them. I know a lot of horror writers, and most of us have an almost childlike sense of fun to go with our dark sides. I think it's because we get out so many of our negative emotions on the page.

Phantasmagoria 2: A puzzle of flesh

Phantasmagoria 2: A puzzle of flesh

Radiobuzz - You've already wrote several books and short tales. Are we ever going to see any of them in Spanish€

Lorelei - I hope so. If my distribution ever gets good, I'm sure you will. Right now I'm kind of a niche market. <g>

Radiobuzz - Another woman from Sierra that has her owns is Jane Jensen. Have you read any of her books€ What do you think about them€

Lorelei - Yes, I've read Jane's books. I think she's a onderful writer. My favorite is Millenium Rising. It's just such a rich story.

Radiobuzz - How was working in Sierra€ Do you have good memories€

Lorelei - I worked with a lot of fun, talented people there. And I loved living in Oakhurst, it was beautiful.

Radiobuzz - If there's one thing we can congratulate Ken Williams for, is for creating a school of new talent, but on the contrary, he's remembered for selling Sierra. You lived the last part of Sierra's Life, how it was€ Did you leave Sierra or did you get fired€

Lorelei - I'm prohibited from talking about the circumstances of my departure from Sierra by a legal agreement. No, really!

Radiobuzz - We saw in Sierra that the girls could write better than many man. And also, that most of the "girl's stories" were in fact obscure and mysterious. Today, that light has worn out. Do you think we have returned to the period in where the woman were something "weird" in videogames€

Lorelei - Well, I don't think that game designers' personalities are as prominent as they were ten years ago. People are more aware of game companies than individual designers. I don't think anybody feels that the game world is just for guys anymore. If you go to any of the big game conventions, you see a lot of women, and not just the bikini-clad cuties at the company booths. <g>

Radiobuzz - Recently, we've found out that Dean Erikson, Gabriel in Gabriel Knight 2, is an real-estate salesman. Do you know what the actors in Phantasmagoria 2 are doing€

Lorelei - Unfortunately, I don't. I do see Monique Parent in a lot of movies, though. She's such a sweetie! I hope all the actors from PH2 are well and happy.

Radiobuzz - Did you met your husband in Sierra€ Was sierra a love-nest or something like that€ considering Jane Jensen and Robert Holmes, Lori Ann and Corey Cole, Ken and Roberta Williams...

Lorelei - No, I met my husband at a science fiction convention in Phoenix, Arizona. We were married the year before we moved to Oakhurst and started at Sierra. I guess Sierra Oakhurst was sort of a love nest. <g> It was a small, isolated town, and everyone knew everyone else, so romances were bound to happen.

« I suspect that as virtual reality, immersive technology gets better, people will want to have story-based games again. »

Radiobuzz - Your website is a real labyrinth. Did you designed it€

Lorelei - My website was designed by my dear friend Bridget McKenna. She's currently publishing a wonderful online magazine:

Radiobuzz - Judging by your photos, texts and your car, one can guess that you are attracted to everything related with gothic and shocking things. Has it always been that way€ Did you ever recieve a complain from regular people/family members€ What do your little two monsters think€

Lorelei - Yes, I've always been morbid. Although I never knew him, my mom says my dad was the same way. Of course, she didn't help anything. I grew up reading Edward Gorey, Charles Addams, Gahan Wilson, and Edgar Allan Poe. Nobody in my family has ever complained about my gothiness, so to speak. I get the occasional rude comment from strangers, but I could care less. I do what makes me happy. Seattle is a very accepting place. For the most part, people are very cool about my appearance. My kids like some spooky things, too. My oldest boy wants to be a mad scientist when he grows up. My younger one wants to be a ghostbuster. I don't know if they'll be as goth as I am or not. As long as they're happy, I'm happy. I think I scare the local PTA, but my kids' teachers love me because I get involved in their education. They don't care what I look like as long as I help the boys with their homework and volunteer in the school garden'

Radiobuzz - Are you really not Lorelei Shannon, the bondage queen€ C'mon, just admit it ;].

Lorelei - Well, not publicly. <g>

Radiobuzz - Is "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" a parody of your personality€ The original movie is excellent...

Lorelei - Actually Elvira predates me, so I may be a parody of Cassandra Peterson. <g> I loved the Elvira movie, too. That rat with a Mohawk just rules. I've always loved Elvira, she has such a great sense of humor. I think the world needs more late-night horror hosts, and fewer infomercials.

Phantasmagoria 2: A puzzle of flesh

Phantasmagoria 2: A puzzle of flesh

Radiobuzz - How's Rosie (the rat that played Blob in Phantasmagoria 2)€

Lorelei - Rosie passed out of this world and into Rat Heaven at the ripe old age of five (which is pretty darned ancient for a rat). She was a great pet, and a fine little actress. She was so good she earned the name 'one-take Rosie' from the crew!

Radiobuzz - How's your job at Real Networks€

Lorelei - Fine. I really love working with Rhapsody, Real's music player. I've discovered more excellent bands this past year than I can count! Everybody should go check out Unknown Hinson, Jinx Titanic, E.J. Wells, Deadbolt, and The Handsome Family.

Radiobuzz - Do you have any other project besides writing your novels€

Lorelei - Well, I'm currently editing a book on hearses and their owners. Also working on a short film, just for fun. And then there's the ongoing, never-ending restoration of Annabel Lee, my beautiful '47 Cadillac hearse. A few years back I started the Rain City Hearse Club, which is loads of fun. Check us out at

Radiobuzz - Any last words to your fans before your execution€

Lorelei - I'll be back to haunt you' <g>

Radiobuzz - Well, I guess that was all. We wish you the best on your current projects and with your family. We also thank you for your patience and your time. Now, if you tell me how to get out of here...

Lorelei - My pleasure. Thanks for your interest. As for getting out... BWAH ha ha ha haaaaaa!


Entrevista realizada por Radiobuzz

Publicado el 25 de agosto de 2005

© 2005 La Aventura es La Aventura

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