Playfulness in Marlowe’s works manifests itself as cruel humor, murderous practical jokes, a penchant for the outlandish and absurd, delight in role-playing, entire absorption in the game at hand and consequent indifference to what lies outside the boundaries of the game, radical insensitivity to human complexity and suffering, extreme but disciplined aggression, hostility to transcendence.
Stepehen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare
Out of all the promising Hyper Light Drifter merch, none so captivated me than the upcoming artbook. Months of teasing later, the beautiful little hardcover finally reached my doorstep (courtesy of @fangamer) and oh man, it’s a heavily packed book.
At 220+ pages, there’s plenty of art to gobble up. Sprites, cutscenes, backgrounds, it’s all here, including a number of designs that never made it to the final product. I’ve lamented whenever artbooks tend to skimp on older concept arts, so this is one department the HLD Artbook will not disappoint. There’s a lot of stuff left in the cutting room floor and they’re all interesting to look at, especially the ones that evolved into the final product (ahh, now we get definite confirmation that some of the South mini-bosses were indeed, the Kickstarter backer designs.)
My only major complaint is that the book lacks commentary. It credits who does what art, but never the details on Why They Did This, What Inspired Them, or Why This Was Cut, etc. The book is brimming with imagery for you to decipher and nothing else. It’s disappointing because I thrive on behind-the-scene trivia of the things I like, but the artbook opts to approach things as minimalistically as possible - the only wordy thing being Alx Preston’s foreword and a bunch of production notes - and heck, if that isn’t fitting within the context of Hyper Light Drifter’s world, then I don’t know what is.
I ordered the limited hardcover edition (which is sold out as of this writing - I have no clue if that one will ever restock) which comes with a white dust jacket and a Drifter bookmark. I’m tickled pink the tassel is the same color as Drifter’s skin. ;D There’s a softcover edition that is still up for purchase though over at Fangamer’s website.
All in all, I am super satisfied to own a copy of this book. Hyper Light Drifter has been something of a mental therapy for me the past year and I’m more than happy to continue my support for Heart Machine and his crew.
Also THIS IMAGE. WHAT IS IT!? IS IT A DREAM GUARDIAN IS HAVING!? IS IT A DREAM WHERE DRIFTER IS DEAD!? IS IT A CUTSCENE THAT WAS SUPPOSE TO PLAY AT THE BEGINNING WHEN GUARDIAN RESCUES DRIFTER?! NOTICE GUARDIAN IS MAKING THE SAME POSE HE DID AFTER HIS LATE WIFE AND CHILD DIED?! JUST…MY HEART. MY OTP HEART MAN!
Was talking to a library patron about our trips to Disney and somehow we got talking about bringing our books into the parks and how one time I was having my bag checked by a really cute Disney security guard and he pulled out the book I brought that day and we started talking about it since he read it and the guard next to him scoffed at bringing a book to Disney World and me and my cute guard both turned to him and said “what else are you going to do in the wait lines” :D