Playing With Titania: The Game Incarnations of the Fairy Queen
By: Markwin Allison, BA Creative Writing
University of the Philippines – Diliman
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the following pictures, and do not claim ownership of them
Arguably one of Shakespeare’s strongest female characters in his expansive repertoire of plays, Titania has captured the imagination of those who have encountered her in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a fairy queen, protective surrogate mother, dignified wife and the very personification of nature itself in the world of her respective play, Titania as a character is a force to be reckoned with. In spirit of her name (borrowed for the name applied to female Titans in Ovid’s Metamorphosis) her character exudes power, regality and ferocity, qualities seen in her many exchanges with Oberon and her courtship of Bottom. Her status as a fairy queen (if not the The Fairy Queen) has associated her image with that of magic, nature and the fay in general.
Taking these into consideration, it would seem that Titania has the potential to be a formidable and destructive entity and could potentially cause a tremendous amount of havoc, and conversely a lot of good if given the chance. This is why, to some game developers, her character was a natural choice to draw inspiration from and/or to create entities in their games that exuded the best of her character. As A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a common text discussed in most high schools, a handful of aspiring game developers would have encountered her character, which could very well be the reason for them taking the opportunity to include pieces in their games that echo or allude to her. Be it this reason or not, Titania has been a favorite character of game creators to draw from. Below are some examples of these — in the form of mostly video games and card games — as there will no doubt be countless more, ranging from the most direct appropriation to the most distant echoes.
I. Final Fantasy Legends II (1991)
In the Square Co.’s RPG Final Fantasy Legends II, released in 1991 for the Game Boy hand held console, there was character with the name Titania. She was the final form of the Sprite monster class, and had a game-sprite of a woman with fairy wings. Being a final form, she was a very powerful monster, having had access to a large number of skills and magic spells.
II. Star Fox (1993)
A planet in Nintendo’s Star Fox, released 1993 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, was named Titania. It was a red planet, that was said to have a vast and barren landscape, its atmosphere having been composed of black clouds and red dust thrown about by frequent ion storms. Though it was not like this since the beginning of time, but was once a prosperous and fertile world with a “progressive agrarian society” that was wiped out by an asteroid.
III. Final Fantasy XI (2003)
A fairy-like non-playable character named Titania will join and aid the team in Final Fantasy XI, released by Square in 2003 for the Playstation 2. She is said to fight alongside the allied forces and the main character, and was said to be accompanied by nine other fairies that heal all non-enemy characters.
IV. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (2005)
In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, released by Nintendo in 2005 for the Game Cube, a Paladin in the Greil Mercenaries was named Titania. She was a mother figure to many of the members of the Greil Mercenaries, even acting as Ike’s (the main character) main advisor. Although not the strongest of the Paladin class, she possessed a high magic stat.
V. Hex: Shards of Fate (2015)
Hex: Shards of Fate, a MMOTCG (massively multiplayer online trading card game) started in 2013 for PC, OS X and iOS, has a card named Titania’s Majesty. Its effect (as seen on the card) was considered by many players as too over powered, and was often requested to be banned in the meta-game due to this reason, which was later addressed by the makers of the game.
VI. Yu-Gi-Yoh (1999)
In the TCG (trading card game) Yu-Gi-Oh, one of the strongest plant type cards is named Tytannial, Princess Camillias. The name is a derivative of Titania, and the card depicts a woman who’s body is clad and even made up of flower petals. She has a very high attack power of 2800, and has a powerful effect of negating effects of other cards through the sacrifice of another plant monster. She also makes an appearance in a video game adaptation of Yu-G-Yoh entitled Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s World Championship 2009: Stardust Accelerator. In addition to this, the card is considered very rare.
VI. Magic the Gathering (1993)
There are many cards that contains the name Titania in the TCG Magic the Gathering. There is an actual lore of a character named Titania in the world of the card game, the card game’s Titania being a forest sorceress of a goddess-like status. All these cards are of the green mana color. The green colour in the card game represents the land type forest, and cards that embody ideas of growth, life, nature and its brute force.
VIII. Elemental Crash (2006)
In a card type board game entitled Elemental Clash, there is a card named Titania Queen of the Woods.
IX. Dungeons & Dragons (1997)
A Fey deity named Titania exists in the table top role playing game Dungeons & Dragons. She is a small fairy, having gossamer wings, pale skin and penetrating blue eyes. She carries a diamond tipped wand, and her symbol is a white diamond with a blue star in the center. She has a consort named Oberon who is also a Fey deity. She is said to be benevolent and merciful, but ruthless when angered.
X. Sword Art Online (2012)
Finally, although not technically a game of any sort but an anime, Sword Art Online contains a fictional video game world within it’s anime world named Alfheim Online, a virtual MMORPG game where players embody fay type characters. One of the main protagonists, Asuna, is virtually trapped in the game and is given the alias Titania, this alias of her’s being held captive by her real life ex-fiancé Nobuyuki who is under the alias Oberon.
These are for sure some few examples of how Titania has made her way into the realm of gaming, and also how Shakespeare has been carried over into the realm of the gamer. Considering how many people have played or are playing these games, and how games are such a commodity at present especially to the youth, really puts into perspective how much people come into contact with Shakespeare outside his plays, some even without realizing it. It also puts into perspective the transmediality of Shakespeare, how his presence pervades even this most unlikely of mediums. Although these Titanias are mere derivatives of Shakespeare’s, they have retained the idea of his creation and in turn perpetuates her and adds to the image attributed to her: An enchanted, powerful and feisty fairy queen of the forest, with the love of an earth mother but with the potential to destroy.
(My apologies for the multitude of Wiki pages, but they were quite comprehensive and trustworthy)
“Adressing Titania’s Mejesty.” Hex Shards of Fate. Hex Entertainment, 9 September 2015. 22 October 2015.
“Asuna ‘Light Flash, Titania, Berserker Healer’ Yuuki.” MyAnimeList. MyAnimeList LCC, n.d. Web. October 24 2010.
Magic: The Gathering. Wizard of the Coast LLC and Hasbro Inc., 1995. Web. 23 October 2015.
“Monster Evolution Chart.” Amuseum. Amuseum, n.d. Web. 22 October 2015.
“Plant.” Yu-Gi-Yoh Wiki. Wiki, n.d. Web. 22 October 2015.
“Titania (Dungeons and Dragons). DnD Wiki. Wiki, n.d. Web. October 23 2015.
“Titania.” FFXIclopedia. Wiki. n.d. Web. 22 October 2015.
“Titania.” Fire Emblem Wiki, n.d. Web. 23 October 2015.
“Titania, Queen of the Woods”. Elemental Clash. Elemental Clash, 20 May 2014. October 24 2015.
“Titania.” Starfox Wiki. Wiki, n.d. Web. 22 October 2015.
“Tytannial, Princess of Camillias.” Yu-Gi-Yoh Wiki. Wiki, n.d. Web. 22 October 2015.