This is from Shadow King, which was originally conceived as a Max Payne-ish action-adventure game for the PC. A bullish Victorian adventurer travels in time and returns to a world completely devoid of people - or so it seems at first. In this timeline, Dracula has driven the few remaining humans into hiding. Our hero wanders through a deserted, half-overgrown London, defending himself from hunting vampires while trying to find a way to repair what has befallen his world. Russ pulled out quite a different style for this one.
After leaving Eidos, we pitched it to Flextech, who liked it except they wanted it completely changed, so out went the vampires and in came some sort of plot about the world suffering an apocalypse in the middle of a Big Brother eviction night, and all the survivors were the rejected TV contestants. Or something. (It was 2000 and every hip dude in television could think of nothing but Nasty Nick.) Needless to say, Jamie and I decided to forego the pleasure of working on their reinterpretation, figuring that one day we may do it properly as a comic or a novel.
This snippet of script gives you some idea of the flavor:
Through falling snowflakes, an aerial view of London. Not the city we know, but a sprawl of fantastic Gothic edifices that stand, dark and silent, over streets white with frost and a sprinkling of snow.
Down, to find a single figure in the whole vast empty city. He’s curled up in an alleyway under a few sacks. JOHN SANGRAIL is big man, well-fed and full featured. He wears the fine clothes of a Victorian gentleman, only now they’re shabby and torn.
We watch as he sleeps fitfully. Our point-of-view drifting like a detached retina as the snow swirls past. We might be God looking down on him, or a guardian angel. Or his tormentor.
He tosses and turns, talking in his sleep.
SANGRAIL (softly but urgently)CUT TO a ball in the early 19th century. A woman turns, looks across the ballroom at us, and reacts in horror –
No, no. Something’s gone wrong.
SANGRAIL (V/O)An overhead drifting view of Napoleonic soldiers slogging along through the mud. Desaturated colors. The way the soldiers are walking is strange, stiff. Late afternoon sunlight casts long shadows ahead of them.
She could see me –
Something went wrong with the past.
Our POV tracks over the soldiers and down, turning so that we’re now facing the way they have come. An overcast sky and a long road stretching back to bleached-out sunset.
SANGAIL (V/O)The column goes marching inexorably past us, away from the sunset. Their collars are turned up, faces downcast. We know there’s something sinister about them, but we can’t see enough to be sure...
I know. I was there that day...
How could that be? I wasn’t born yet.
A figure appears in the middle distance, cresting the hill, striding confidently through the anonymous throng. His greatcoat flaps behind him in the wind. His peaked cap is like the one Napoleon wore. We can’t see his face yet, but he’s approaching at a swift relentless pace.
SANGRAIL (V/O)The figure looms towards us and into close-up. Closer, closer...
It was the day he came back.
SANGRAIL (V/O)And he lifts his head towards us and now we see the face under the peaked hat. A hollow-cheeked, sallow, dead white face with glistening fangs. SMASH CUT to
The monster ... the loup-garou. The day he returned from hell.
Sangrail sitting up, suddenly wide awake. For a instant, the vampire’s face lingers like an afterimage superimposed on Sangrail’s face.
In a panic, Sangrail slaps at his neck. He looks at his fingers - no blood. The vampires didn't find him in his sleep. Heart racing after the nightmare, he heaves a sigh and sits watching his breath steam in the cold air.