“Inferno” is now a video game, with a brawny, armor-clad Dante as its protagonist…The game’s creators say there’s an audience for it. Their research showed that most people had heard of “Inferno” but few knew what it was about. This, they say, gave them license to make a few improvements.
-The New York Times
MELVILLE’S “MOBY-DICK”: THE VIDEO GAME
TAGLINES: “Call me vengeance!” “Thar she blows—up!”
CHARACTER: You’re Ahab, Captain of the whaleship Pequod. Somebody’s stole your right leg, and possibly your manhood. Somebody’s gonna pay. You have a wife on shore, but she’s not even mentioned by name.
MISSION: Hunt down and destroy the great white whale, Moby- Dick. You will be aided in your quest by Ishmael the novice seaman, Queequeg the cannibal harpooner, and Starbuck the coffee maker. Sink anything that gets in your way—rival Japanese whalers, Greenpeace vessels, those Deadliest Catch guys.
WEAPONS: Shakespearean language, Biblical imagery, exploding harpoons. Your prosthetic leg can be upgraded to a machine gun, rocket launcher, or flamethrower.
POWER-UPS: The open sea, the company of men, spermaceti.
BOSS DEMON: Two hundred tons of raging Dick. Tip: get close and try a little tenderness.
HIDDEN LEVEL: What really goes on below deck between Ishmael and Queequeg.
CHEAT CODE: Ctrl-L unlocks the libido.
SOUNDTRACK: “Moby Dick,” by Led Zeppelin; “Nantucket Sleighride,” by Mountain; “In The Navy,” by The Village People.
RATING: C for Cetaceans.
Robert Brenner is a humorist, critic, and ventriloquist. His work has been published in New York Magazine, Open Salon (open.salon.com/blog/robert_brenner), and Happy.