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This ‘Crusader Kings’ Player Made Virtual History With His Own Likeness

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This ‘Crusader Kings’ Player Made Virtual History With His Own Likeness

For many, the ruler creator in Crusader Kings III is a place to create genetically gifted kings and queens, reimagine beloved fictional characters, or construct the historically improbable for goofy challenge runs (or, to create genuine horrors). History teacher Lucas Busquet de Azevedo, on the other hand, was able to recreate himself, using the game's tools with impressive precision.

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When not teaching history, Busquet de Azevedo is part of two teams working on story-rich total conversion mods for Crusader Kings III. The first, ‘Godherja: The Dying World’, reflavours the medieval conflict into a dark fantasy world, replete with a magic system and a world-threatening storyline. Mingling both historical themes and fantasy is the ‘A Game of Thrones’ mod, which will see the continent of Westeros, along with its feuding families, transplanted into the game. Busquet de Azevedo credits his work modding character 'DNA' with teaching him to finesse the game’s ruler creation. “Just for the Godherja mod I must have done at least 300 DNAs[...] After doing so many DNAs you end up learning to memorise the sliders”

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Busquet de Azevedo’s in-game recreation of his own face is uncannily accurate, but with the Coat of Arms Designer mod, he was also able to use the custom heraldry for his surname. “I always liked the idea of using a Dynasty with my last name and adopting its historical heraldry. It's fun to see people with my last name all over the world,” he says. “Sometimes I like to follow the footsteps of my ancestors, starting to play in Normandy and immigrating to Spain after a few generations.”

Busquet de Azevedo next to his in-game character / Credit: Lucas Busquet de Azevedo, Paradox Interactive
Busquet de Azevedo next to his in-game character / Credit: Lucas Busquet de Azevedo, Paradox Interactive

There is one particular campaign that Busquet de Azevedo remembers fondly, however. Beginning from a position of little power, his crusading doppelganger's wife was kidnapped by a Viking chief almost immediately after giving birth to their first daughter. Building the resources to invade Sweden – and rescue his in-game wife – then became the goal of the campaign.

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“After seven or eight long years of campaigning, I managed to get the necessary amount to hire a large number of men and finally face the 'Villain' of my saga. During the conflict, I lost my eye, but I managed to save my wife and capture (and later execute) the Viking chief's younger brother,” Busquet de Azevedo says. Tragedy struck, however, when his wife died giving birth to the Viking chief’s son, leaving the Crusader Kings version of himself to die a few years later of a broken heart (or, more literally, of melancholy).

Busquet de Azevedo in-game / Credit: Paradox Interactive
Busquet de Azevedo in-game / Credit: Paradox Interactive

Tragedy is easy to come by in Crusader Kings – it’s a dramatic enough game without a 'Game of Thrones' conversion – but for Busquet de Azevedo, more than a strategy game, immersing himself in the narrative gets to be the point. “I generally play the game for the roleplay experience rather than just trying to min-max or conquer the entire known world,” he explains. “And at least to me the campaign felt like a book or movie with the protagonist (with my face) trying to save his beloved wife until they were tragically separated by fate again."

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This piece is part of a series exploring how people choose to play games their own way, via customisation, character choices, or other forms of inspiration. How they present their 'other me'. Read more: God of WarDestiny 2Dead By Daylight, Stardew Valley.

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This editorial content is supported by Philips OneBlade. Philips is committed to providing products that fit into every individual's life, to suit every personality's idea of style. Every one of us is unique, and every one of us feels comfortable and confident in different ways - and the flexibility of Philips OneBlade ensures that anyone can express themselves in a way that's all about them. Find more information here.

Featured Image Credit: Paradox Interactive, Lucas Busquet de Azevedo

Topics: Interview, Opinion, Philips

Ruth Cassidy

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