January 12th, 2016
The Origins of the Law of Equivalent Exchange 

Sharp-eyed players who have a love of classic anime might recognize one of Merci, the Wizard's first upgrade descriptions. It's a line taken from the famous Japanese animated comic, Fullmetal Alchemist.

If you're not familiar with the books and animated series, it centers around an alternate universe where alchemy is the most advanced scientific discipline.

Today, we know alchemy as a precursor to modern chemistry and a pseudo-scientific and philosophical movement. Specifically, alchemy is the pursuit of transforming base metals into noble metals, like gold, and the ongoing mission to find elixirs to achieve eternal life.

The quote from Merci's upgrade comes from the core philosophical proposition in Fullmetal Alchemist. Here's the full quote:

"Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only truth."

To put it simply, you get out what you put into life.

Original Fullmetal Alchemist Intro

The Fullmetal Alchemist books themselves were a monster hit selling over 64 million copies and picking up many awards along the way. Despite lukewarm reception for the first installments, the series gathered momentum with critics citing the growing complexity as the reason it has become a fan favourite.

Check out more on the official Fullmetal Alchemist website.
December 18th, 2015
Liek Dis If You Cry Evry Tim 

If you're an Emo Werewolf fan, you'll be more than a little familiar with his first upgrade that increases Emo's base DPS by 100% called "Liek Dis If You Cry Evry Tim". The mistake-filled title is not a typo but a variation and reference to a popular meme.

Liek Dis If You Cry Evry Tim

The origins of the original "I Cri Evrytiem' is a 'copypasta', or 'copy and pasted story', that circulated on Tumblr before being adopted by internet culture. It's transition into a popular lexicon was due to its comedic use to convey an ironic sense of sadness.

A quick visit to KnowYourMeme.com gives more details explaining how it quickly gained popularity among the most active online communities. It spread through Blogspot, YouTube and onto Reddit by August 2011.

As anyone who has read comments sections online will attest, poor grammar and spelling abound. The use of "I Cri Evry Time" became a favourite way to respond to trolls who seem to take to supergluing their CAPS LOCK button down and hammering their keyboards to convey their distaste at whatever the target of their ire was at the time.

As an emotional teenager, Emo the Werewolf naturally adopts 'Cri' in his every day communications. Just don't expect a straight answer from him as to why.
December 9th, 2015
The Origins of Khouri, the Witch Doctor 

To say that the team at Codename is inspirational is more than just a charming way of saying we've assembled a team of kick-ass people to work on Crusaders. In artist Cory's case, he truly was an inspiration.

You may have noticed that there's one Crusader who happens to share a similar sounding name: Khouri, the Witch Doctor.

Khouri In-Game

When creating the various characters and backstories to the Crusaders in the game, we sometimes delve into our love of gaming for inspiration. It just so happened that Cory was undertaking a massive Diablo 3 campaign at the time and that passion for his favourite game seeped into the creative process in the studio.

The Office Witch Doctor

To describe Cory as a fan of the Diablo franchise would not do him justice. It would be similar to saying that teenage girls are just partial to Justin Bieber.

Cory's love affair with Diablo 1 started way back when it launched in 1996, then Diablo 2 in 2000 and then Diablo 3 in 2012. In total he's racked up 20 years of play. That dedication has paid off with his current main character being no less than a Level 70, Paragon 610 sporting all kinds of death-dealing voodoo paraphernalia.

Cory and his Diablo Companion

Just lately Cory has been playing Diablo on hardcore mode, a pursuit he describes as much more rewarding. The risk of losing all your progress keeps it far more exciting for this Sanctuary veteran.

It was around the time of the inception of Crusaders of the Lost Idols that the team were looking for inspiration to really differentiate the unique characters from one another.

While the team were creating concepts late into the night, their attention was drawn to Cory's exploits in Diablo 3 and that's how Khouri was delivered into this world of Crusaders of the Lost Idols.

Cory's Diablo Witch Doctor, 'Preyy'

Our Khouri is somewhat less terrifying than Cory's own creation in his favourite game but has become a firm fan favourite due to his contribution to the Crusade. Cory himself is also less terrifying and says he only practices his own dark arts on weekends which is a relief for the rest of the team.