The Inquirer reported recently to have overheard two Blizzard employees discussing Project Hydra at the 2007 Austin Games Developer Conference (AGDC)—event held on September 5.
Back on May 19, before Starcraft II was announced, 1up.com had reported to have seen a game titled “Medusa” on the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (WWI) schedule. Shortly after, as you may read on my newspost, an anonymous informant had told me via AOL chat that Medusa was the internal codename of Starcraft II. Few hours later his information held up, Blizzard announced Starcraft II. He told me of two other codenames, but after posting them I decided to edit, censor and withhold the information in case it was a fake leak. The censored codename you can read in the May 19 newspost was … “Hydra”. Four months forward, now The Inquirer reports to have overheard this codename too.
After Blizzcon, all Diablo fans at the Diablo3.com Forum (not owned by Blizzard) had come to agree that the anonymous informant and his “Hydra” leak was fake because no Diablo game was announced at Blizzcon 2007.
Now this Hydra codename comes back to haunt us. “Medusa” is a Greek mythology character, a gorgon. A female with serpent-like hairs whose stare would turn anyone who gazed into her eyes into stone.
The analogy fits right with Kerrigan the Queen of Blades whose motto was: “And my stare alone would reduce you to ashes”. Medusa was the codename for Starcraft II.
Hydra at first was thought to be in reference to a Starcraft unit, however, if we took it literally as a second Greek mythologic analogy, the Hydra was a many-headed serpent, guardian of the underwater entrance to the Underworld. This doesn’t really make any sense if it was a Diablo game. There is an analogy to that. In the Book of Revelations at the Bible the Beast is described as a “many-headed” dragon. The Beast is the Devil, which in spanish means “Diablo”.
With The Inquirer reporting to have overheard “Hydra” from some Blizzard employees at the AGDC event, it seems to confirm the May 19 leak as somewhat truthful. We have already seen many Next-Gen MMO job openings show up in the last 10 months.
Richard A. Knaak had said in our interview back on October 2006 that he didn’t write for a dead game, hinting a Diablo game was in development. And on his second book of the Diablo: The Sin War trilogy, Scales of the Serpent—he wrote a peculiar dedication … “To the loyal and patient fans of the World of Sanctuary”. Coincidence? Hints?
The third codename told to me made less sense now that Wrath of the Lich King has been announced, which takes place in Northrend. The codename was South Seas. However, Blizzcon 2007 withheld a lot of info. The event didn’t reveal details of half of Northrend’s zones such as the Sholazar Basin, Zul’Drak, Icecrown Glacier, Storm Peaks, Crystalsong Forest and Azjol-Nerub. We haven’t been told how players will reach Northrend on the Alliance and Horde sides.
The Behind the Scenes DVD that came along with the World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition showed a world map drawn on a whiteboard with Isle of Kezan (Undermine) as main transportation hub with boats and zeppelins going out to Booty Bay, Ratchet, Kul’Tiras and Valgarde (Northrend). White Wolf Publishing also published World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery early on 2006 with details of Isle of Kezan, confirming these transportation hubs. Will that still hold up or be retconned? Will South Seas be included in Wrath of the Lich King? After seeing Medusa and Hydra, the third codename, the DVD and the RPG book might reveal something we haven’t been told yet.
This is still speculation.
Something I just heard recently is Blizzard might be developing a new IP. There were two interviews in the past two years that have hinted the possibility of a new IP. One was with Bruce Hack – Head of VUGames – who said the following to GamesIndustry.biz on May 22, 2006:
let’s just take Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft, or Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft, or Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo, or Blizzard Entertainment’s Starcraft – they are the accountable unit for those IPs. By the way, any other IPs which they might invent, they would be accountable for exploiting.
Thanks to MMO-Champion for linking to Blizzplanet mentioning the May 19 article.