Interview with Desi Cornerstone (Part 1)

It’s a cold day here in Seattle. I found out I was going to have a very special guest drop by to talk about her involvement in the upcoming Skullforge: The Hunt video games. I don’t get to do many interviews, so this particular one is special to me. Desinarious and I go way back, but we don’t get to talk much these days since she’s often busy and well, real life gets in the way. Growing up and all that. Luckily, we both had a little bit of time to sit down for an hour or so and chat about life, the game, and what comes next. I hope you enjoy it!

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James Garvin (Garv): It’s been a long time. Thanks for coming.

Desi Cornerstone (Desi): Thanks for havin’ me. What have you been up to all these years?

Garv: (laughs) I think that’s my question….

Desi: You’re a little slow on the questions.

Garv: Apparently.

Desi: So?

Garv: Oh yeah. Not much going on with me. Projects started and not finished. Lots of ideas for things that never really go anywhere. I started working on your story, but I’ve only done two parts so far. The third part is pretty challenging to write.

Desi: (sighs) I know. I read them. It’s strange reading about your life when someone else is telling the story.

Garv: Well, you could sit down with me like you’re doing now and I could get your side of the story….

Desi: Nah. Would take too long. Why are we sitting in the kitchen?

Garv: Oh, wife is upstairs playing Pokemon. I think it might be too distracting.

Desi: I vaguely know what that is. In my travels around your time, I believe I’ve seen mention of that from time to time.

Garv: It’s cute. You like cute things?

Desi: Not generally. I’ve been around a long time and haven’t had much time for cute.

Garv: (laughs) I thought that’s the main reason you’d have time for cute. Don’t you elves live long lives? Long life means more time for cute things!

Desi: So if you lived a long life you’d have time for cute things as well?

Garv: Hmmm…maybe.

Desi: Right. Are you going to get to the questions or are we just gonna sit here and talk about nothing?

Garv: Oh, right. I like going with the flow.

Desi: Of course you do. Which is why I don’t hang out with you so often.

Garv: Damn. Nothing wrong with casual conversation.

Desi: Again…getting distracted….

Garv: (sigh) Alright. So how did you get involved in this project?

Desi: You asked me.

Garv: Sure. You could have said, “No.”

Desi: I could have. Where’s the fun in that? Some stories should be told. Why did you choose this one? There are so many less depressing stories to tell.

Garv: I liked the idea of starting at the beginning. (laughs) Well, mostly at the beginning.

Desi: Yet, this isn’t really the beginning, either.

Garv: I know. It’s a continuation of a story I thought needed an ending.

Desi: (thinking) A happier ending would be better…but a conclusion is just as important. This isn’t really the real story, either. It’s like one of those, what do you call it, “movie adaptations”? Based on some true thing that has been manipulated to be entertaining.

Garv: The real story is kinda boring. Besides we have to give the players some kind of agency. I tried to keep you as you, even thought the player gets to choose how they move through the story.

Desi: It’s fake, so it’s not really me anyway.

Garv: Uh, why do you keep saying it’s fake?

Desi: (laughs) Because it is. Did those things in the game actually happen?

Garv: Not really.

Desi: So…fake. Nothing wrong with fake, but the players of the game should know that it’s based on some real things, but ultimately it’s just a game. Play and have fun.

Garv: You’re giving me a lot of grief today….

Desi: I’m not. Anyway, next question….

Garv: (flips through notes) What’s been your involvement so far with the production of the game?

Desi: Storytelling.

Garv: Care to elaborate?

Desi: I provide the true story and you do what you will with that information. I would hope you’d stay as true to the real story as possible, but I’m well aware of the realities of game making.

Garv: Hey, I think the base story is fascinating. It’s just boring by itself. This way we can spice it up a bit and allow the player to change parts of it. I think you’ll be proud of the final product.

Desi: Okay.

Garv: What do you think about modern society compared to the world when you were young? So much has changed since then.

Desi: People are basically the same, but society is a bit more organized than they were back then. There’s nothing that’s gonna change the human condition. People are people, but that’s what makes living so interesting. For all of the evil that men do, there’s just as much good.

Garv: That sounds uncharacteristically positive.

Desi: When you’ve lived as long as I have, it’s a thought to cling to.

Garv: I can’t even imagine what that’s like. Doesn’t all of the new technology seem strange to you?

Desi: Why would it? I watched it all progress naturally. I’ve seen the world get destroyed and remade. The fact that the world was able to recover is a testament of the resilience of nature and people in general. Technology of today isn’t much different to how magic progressed when I was younger.

Garv: That’s cool. What happened to magic, anyway? I noticed that you can use something like it, but in our world it’s been largely forgotten.

Desi: (laughing) I could talk about this for days, but after the world was destroyed and remade, magic lost it’s place. In today’s world, do you even need it?

Garv: I don’t know. Uh, I think it would be awesome. Can you imagine using spells to turn on lights, make cars fly, opening a bag of cookies…?

Desi: Yeah. I can definitely imagine. Can you imagine what war would be like if magic was also a factor?

Garv: You have a habit of taking the fun out of things.

Desi: I’m just providing perspective.

Garv: (stands up) You want some tea? Coffee?

Desi: Tea is fine.

Garv: (while making tea) One question I get a lot these days is how do you feel about how women are treated these days? Some say you stand for girl power or something like that.

Desi: (sighing) Women have historically had a very defined role in society. Even during my time. I’ll admit that we (women) enjoy more freedom to express ourselves now than we did back then. Even so, the challenges women face today are just as pronounced as they were back then. Probably even more so. Women back then had simple roles and weren’t given any real power. They didn’t ask for more, either. They were simply content to live and exist in the world they were given. These days, women want to, and need to, exist in society and they want to carve out their own freedoms and identity. There are still places in the world the old ways still rule, as well. Fighting against social or religious pressure is something many women do on a daily basic. I do what I can, but I’m no symbol. I do what I do and people can make their own judgement from there.

(pauses to think)

Maybe in another two or three hundred years women in some of these backwards thinking countries will gain the respect they deserve.

Garv: Good answer. I just noticed your English is quite good. How many languages do you speak?

Desi: Quite a few, though, many of them have been long forgotten…like my native language. As far as what relates to the world you’re in now, I speak English, Japanese, German, Italian, and I’m learning Korean.

Garv: Why Korean?

Desi: I spent some time wandering around the country and if I do it again, I want to be able to understand the locals a bit more.

Garv: I take it you travel a lot?

Desi: Yes. Understanding the world is important.

Garv: You’ve always traveled a lot, from what I can tell. Eh, why not settle down…raise a family?

Desi: Are you saying I should do that?

Garv: Considering some of the stories you’ve told me, I’m thinking you should. Would make life much simpler. Less conflict.

Desi: (smiling) You sound like my father. I find it funny that no matter the generation, fathers will always be fathers. Anyway, I do settle down sometimes.

Garv: Do you have any kids? Been married at any point?

Desi: No.

Garv: “No”, to which question?

Desi: Both.

Garv: I find it hard to believe that you’ve lived so many years and have never been married at least.

Desi: Who am I going to marry?

Garv: Uh, that’s my question. I don’t know everyone in your life.

Desi: Of course. I have no interest in doing anything romantic with anyone. I have friends and that’s enough.

Garv: I still find that hard to believe. (hands her a mug of tea)

Desi: It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. (takes a sip of tea) This is good. Cinnamon Apple?

Garv: Yeah. It’s the only thing we had. Glad you like it.

Desi: Not a bad choice. Next question.

Garv: How long have you lived up until this point?

Desi: A couple million years.

Garv: (chokes on coffee) Uh, I knew you’ve lived for a long time, but millions of years? That’s pretty insane. No one lives that long.

Desi: They must, because you and I are talking right now.

Garv: That doesn’t make any damn sense.

Desi: I didn’t think you’d be this surprised.

Garv: When someone says they’ve lived for millions of years, of course I’d be surprised.

Desi: Surely you’ve pieced together the timeline from when I was born until now. How many stories have I told you at this point?

Garv: I always figured there was some time warp stuff going on. You always talk about things I don’t fully get. Thinking about it, I suppose it makes sense. Damn, that’s a lot of years.

Desi: (sits silently) …

Garv: (visibly shocked) How the hell do you pass the time? We’re not even talking about thousands of years here.

Desi: Like I said, there were plenty of times when I settled down. The secret is I can cross dimensions and that helps make the time go by quickly.

Garv: That’s insane. You don’t look old at all. What’s your secret?

Desi: There’s no secret. Based on how my life turned out, I’ve been able to live a long time and probably will continue to live even longer.

Garv: You expect to die at some point?

Desi: I hope so.

Garv: That’s not an answer I expected.

Desi: Who wants to live forever?

Garv: (rubs his forehead) I don’t. I want to do my time and pass on like everyone else. Don’t tell me you’re one of those folks who’s out there searching for a way to die or something?

Desi: I’m not. Death will come when it does.

Garv: I know this may seem a little insensitive, but I always assumed your parents were still alive somewhere. The way you talk about them, makes me think they’re still alive.

Desi: (sips tea) They’re not. They’ve been dead for many years now. I just like to think they’re out there floating in the void somewhere.

Garv: I’m sorry to hear that. No…really.

Desi: Don’t worry about it. It’s just the cycle of life. They died of old age. It happens.

Garv: Still, considering everything that happened, I’m happy they were able to live out their lives. Did they ever get back together?

Desi: They didn’t. No one would have expected them to.

Garv: I suppose so. I wanted them to have a happy ending.

Desi: (looks down at her cup) They did.

(silence)

Garv: Sorry about that topic. (laughs) That got deep for some reason.

Desi: That’s okay.

Garv: (laughing) Changing things up, do you play games?

Desi: Sometimes. I’m not really a gamer.

Garv: Oh! That’s great. Do you own a current gen system? Like a PS4 or NS?

Desi: What’s a ‘NS’?

Garv: (laughing) A Nintendo Switch.

Desi: I see. I have a Nintendo Switch. It works best when traveling. Is Skullforge gonna be on the system?

Garv: I’d love to do that, but it really comes down to Nintendo. If ever they approve, it’ll be there.

Desi: I hope it does. Having to come here to try the game out isn’t ideal.

Garv: So what do you generally play on your Switch?

Desi: Not much. Puyo Tetris and recently Mario Deluxe. They’re games I can play to pass time. I want to try Shantae and Tales of Vesperia. Maybe I’ll get some time to play them soon.

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That concludes part one of my interview with Desi. We had a lot of fun chatting with her. We’ll have part two ready in the next couple of days. Stay tuned!