By Rick Curtiss, dramaturg
(Warning: The following blog post contains extreme video game references. Viewer discretion is advised.)
The Winter’s Tale is a divided piece. One half is a court room drama. One half is a really good episode of Saved by the Bell. This duality can make The Winter’s Tale hard to approach.
Lucky for us, Shakespeare provided some clues that help tie the two sides together. He calls these clues–
—The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal!
The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal is a collection of small character based stories that happen between acts. Unlike a traditional narratives The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal consists of “what if” scenarios set during a contrived fighting tournament.
The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal is often overlooked because of its difficulty to obtain. It was broken into pieces and scattered to eight locations: a meadow, desert, jungle cave, underwater, ice, lava, and castle in the clouds.
I interviewed the cast members of The Winters Tale in order to fill in the missing pieces, and using 3D modeling technology, I was able to recreate how The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal was performed in Shakespeare’s time!
The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal
By William Shakespeare
Intro: Years after a terrible betrayal, King Polixines of Bohemia, and King Leontes of Sicilia decided that things must be settled once and for all. Rather than risk thousands of lives in war, they decided to hold a battle royal tournament to determine who is the ultimate champion.
Intro: King of Sicilia, Leontes hopes to win the tournament and finally find peace for his troubled mind.
Ending: Having defeated Darkpocolypse X, Leontes saves the world, but returns to Sicilia still haunted by his past.
Style: A master of the Sicilian sword, Leontes uses strength and speed to subdue his enemies.
Tremor Cordis – A flurry of dancing sword strikes that cut through the arguments of his enemies.
King’s Assault – Flip forward and strike down unruly subjects who dare question your authority
Sicilian Spin – Passed down for generations, this move protects all sides from potential cuckolders
Justice – Parry then strike – setting right the wrongs
Super Move: Too Hot, Too Hot – Inner rage and suspicion spill out of you in a shower of energy blades.
Intro: King of Bohemia, and organizer of the tournament, Polixenes hopes to win the favor of his people, his friends, and most importantly his son.
Ending: Having saved the world by defeating Darkpocolypse X, Polixenes renown encircles the globe, but having to disgrace Florizel in order to get there, Polixenes wonders, was it worth it?
Style: One of the last practitioners of the Bohemian mystic arts, Polixenes uses cunning, speed, and distance to overpower his foes.
Regal Blast – A blast of energy that takes time to reach its full potential. It is said that only Royal bloodlines can use it
Clandestine Blast – Sneak in a clandestine shot while remaining hidden.
Kings Retreat – Blast into the air when you want to get out of Sicilia fast
Royal Guard – Defend against all attacks, friend or foe
Special Move: Bohemian Rhapsody – Funnel all the joy of Bohemia into a beam of light destroy your enemies
Intro: The tournament was designed to see who was the strongest man. Paulina was going to make sure it was a women.
Ending: Defeat Darkpocolyse, check. Save the world, check. Unite the kingdoms, check. Avenge husband, check. All in a days work.
Style: Trained in the Sicilian sword, Paulina’s adept skill can overpower any man, even the King.
Tremor Cordis – A flurry of dancing sword strikes, taught by the King, used to protect the queen
Hath Fury – Cuts through anyone standing in her way
Sicilian Spin – Passed down for generations, this move protects all sides from potential liars
Piercing Tongue – A strike that drives directly at the heart of the enemy
Super Move: Stand Betwixt – A cascade of righteous anger is unleashed that not even the king can stand against
Intro: Torn between the country of his birth and his new home, Camillo fights hoping to unite the land he once lost.
Ending: Battle weary after his fight with Darkpocolypse X, Camillo is glad to know that the world is safe, and hopes that one day he can see Sicilia again.
Style: Foregoing either Bohemia or Sicily, Camillo prefers to let his fists do the talking and the speed to escape if necessary.
Dedicated Strike – Focus energy and release it in one decisive moment
The Head that Aches – Leap into the air and crush the foes of your master
Weather the Storm – A furry of punches reminiscent of Bohemian storms
Fighter’s retreat – Leap past your enemy or strike them from behind, the fighter that learns to run away lives to fight another day
Super Move: True Subject – The memory of Sicilia inspires Camillo to pummel his foes into submission
Check back next time for Part 2…