Savior of the Universe: Flash AhhhhAAA!

  • I am looking for individuals with an interest in developing theme and opening a Flash Gordon Mu*. All equal co-staff along with myself. Some primary direction, either pre Gordon influence on Mongo or post overthrow of the tyrant. Focus on the various peoples of the planet Mongo and inter relationships from alliances to open war far. Retro Sci-Fi a must! Ray guns and space ships that look like pneumatic tubes with needle noses, mingled with savage world primitives from Ape Men to dragons and flying pterodactyls.

    Interest in determining a good system, potentially coding if one likes, theme developers, plot runners, story tellers, and all that. All these things I could do myself given enough time, but I just have a preference to find good contributors and staff now willing to make this a good group project. And I'm lazy at my age, I'd prefer to bounce ideas around, get excited off the creations and contributions of others, and enjoy an environment of creative feedback with constructive criticism.

    Its a good sci-fi environment with unlimited potential for action, it ranges from PvE to PvP amongst the kingdoms with even a good mix of L&L for those who wish the social life while war rages across the planet.

    There is a lot of potential here, in a setting developed, re-developed, visualized and re-envisioned for over 70 decades that is still going strong as a weekly strip; ie there is a ton of room to play and update it to work in a Mu* setting, taking good elements already there, adding our own as needed.

    A good handful of collaborators, five or six of us, could make a vibrant active place with potential for fun on many levels; whereas in the hands of one seems destined to fail. One can do it, but a tyrant does not a game make; ie Ming the Merciless.

  • I wish you luck! Something different is awesome.

    Also, will this be canon for you?

  • Pitcrew

    +1 for the Defenders of the Earth, it was my favorite cartoon as a child.
    Also while I do not have the time to staff etc, I will look forward to more news on this project as I would play it in a heartbeat.

  • @Bobotron Defenders would be fun, but a group of friends could probably OTT that group endlessly on any of the multi-genre crossover comic places too.

    I'm looking at Mongo itself and the people there; from the people of Frigia to Gundar and the desert tribes; from King Jugrid and the Lion Men to Queen Undina and the people under the Sea of Mystery. Battles against hawk men, shark men, ape men, snow giants, myriad dragons, terra worms, Ming loyalists, the dark dimension.

    Not to set any of that. Just inspiration, room to update.

    More Alex Raymond era Mongo. Though Mandrake would be pretty awesome and more people may be familiar with Phantom.

  • I am potentially interested in being involved in this project.

  • @fatefan Potential is good. Then I am not the little red rooster (hen), because I'd look at the wheat field and decide to go see what I could microwave instead.

    I can get a wikidot forum setup, you could check in there and see if or how you might like to contribute. If that could work, drop me a message there (ARaymond1934). Quick link to get to my wikidot profile is the history on: the wiki. Not much there, just a scratch on the surface; like a small layer of ice on top of the ocean, and just a scratch on that ice to realize its a deep ocean under the surface.

    Anyone else interested can contact there too (or chat here, or use the e-mail provided). If the forums there work for all interested, I can easily give access to help get the project moving more at least.

    @ThatGuyThere If it moves forward from what little has been touched on it, I'll be sure to post some updates. Hopefully the sort that at least will continue the interest to play.

  • @AlexRaymond
    I don't know enough about Flash Gordon to help (and I'm shoulders-deep in finishing up my own project), but I wish you luck. There needs to be more different and honestly unique stuff here. And if this allows for general Pew Pew Rayguns and Space Mad Science guys, as long as they fit the Flash Gordon universe, then you should be square. :D

  • Is there a good wiki or other site with a font of information on the setting?

    I'm totally intrigued by this game, but my knowledge is limited to SAM JONES and BRIAN BLESSED. I'd totally like to see a writeup on the general structure of the universe and cultural stuff on the various alien types.

  • I'd say if you can track this down, it might help. The key I think is there is a lot of conflating of information from the books, comics, tv shows and movie and determining what is 'canon' or what you'd use for your game. Luckily, I think the Mongoverse is interesting enough that you can play around with that a lot.

  • @Ghost
    There are a couple sources of information out there. The Flash Wiki ( has lots of topics covered, but very limited information, whereas old Wikipedia ( has a few topics with lots of information and it includes separation between Raymond's version, and other versions. The Flash Wiki is lacking this, I think it went up around the time of the Sci Fi Chan series, and was never touched again. The comic strip still runs (, and their site contains the 1996 run through present (still weekly).

    If I could find more information, would be good to cut and paste. I don't think its out there. Plus what @Ataru indicated. Its interesting enough that it can be played around with quite a lot.

    In fact that is more spot on what I was thinking. There are a few basics that carry over throughout the genre of Flash.

    Mongo is a feudal realm of mixed technology, primitive to highly advanced (atomic retro advanced). The realms are all ruled by Kings/Queens. The main realms are: Arboria (Prince Barin, Timothy Dalton and Richard O'Brien), Sky City (Hawkmen, Brian Blessed), Nascent City or Ming's City and Palace, and at least two other big ones not in most movies, Frigia the snow realm, and the Land of the Lion men.

    I think they can be expanded; take the Lion Men, they just live in tents and fly Sky Gyro aircraft things originally. In the later run (Jeff, on the comic strip website), they have bigger structures and more underground areas where the resistance gathers safely.

    There is a bit of work to bring it up to date (ideologically, but keeping atomic retro sci fi feel), and a lot of realms to explore. The basics are always there, mentioned above, but there is so much more room. They always show other races on the planet from various lizard men to saurens (dinosaur features ones), and other odd aliens as background. Almost a determination process, where a few individuals would be better to make, vote, approve adding something versus one persons view of what this could be, and in realizing the depth of work to make it breathing, living, cohesive is what led me to advertise on the boards here.

    An individual would be swamped, but a few individuals taking an area each. Working a little, getting feed back, seeing the other areas and balancing it out as they go, would do wonders to complete the setting.

    And at the heart, it is settling on exactly the focus of play on a regular basis. An arc to overthrow Ming is good, but been done, and will end sooner than it began, but some system of sustainable play would be good (ie, start with Ming, but overthrow and move into feudal rule and who actually rules the planet). All things group worthy.

    Maybe I'll just put thoughts up here for input and write to the wiki as decisions or some consensus comes up. I have ideas that would be fun for updating each realm, but its limited to my thoughts and as already scene, everyone has a different take on Flash; from Defenders of Earth to the Sam Jones movie.

  • Also,

    You can watch the original movie serial (which is a lot of fun, if dated) here. (Youtube Link)

    The follow-ups are also available on the Internet Archive, as well as radio dramas.

    The recent Dynamite comic series was excellent. And the crossover with Prince Valiant and the Phantom wacky good fun.

  • Thoughts ..

    The basis of Flash Gordon: Three humans become embroiled in a large scale war of succession on planet Mongo. The realms and individuals live a in a highly feudal, highly advanced, but an merciless overload has arisen to control this populace using fear, terror and more technology. One realm stands in rebellion, the humans side with this cause due to their spirit of freedom. 80 years of comics, spin-offs, series, movies proceed in telling this, retailing this, continuing this. Even now Ming sometimes is in power, and sometimes the good guys are in charge, it goes back and forth. They’ve gone on to explore the Universe, returned to Earth, defended Earth from Ming, returned to Mongo and mostly stay embroiled in Mongo politics (or feudalism).

    Key Elements (should be part of any Mu* based on Flash Gordon):
    Atomic Age Technology: Ray guns, thought projectors, robotics, tractor sleds, sky sleds, frictionless monorails, atomics and radium are primary sources of energy.
    Action: Each panel is literally the conclusion of last weeks action with a slight break then the next threat emerges in the final panels, rinse repeat. This is centered around the conflict between Ming/Ming Loyalists and Rebels mostly, sometimes Ming is exchanged for Alien threat de jour. This ranges from rescuing allies, fighting off infiltrators, being attacked by troops, running from threats, escaping some trap or another, and facing the savage world of scary monsters and plants and environments between all the beautiful high tech cities.
    Feudalism: There is a large focus on the kings and queens and disputes. From personal vendetta to the battle of heroes (ie when two troops meet, its expected the big heavies will have a personal fight at some point before or during the battle) it is the necessity for the action itself.
    Exotics: From various races to plants to the background, its not just flat plans, bland streets.

    What I think would work as a basis for the theme:
    It is Pre-Flash era on the planet Mongo. Ming is a tyrant, and either he took over Mongo from beyond, or rose to power from within. Not so important as he controls the planet. It is a rogue planet floating through space, most of the exotics are just various species and amusements he has picked up along the way. Some of the cultures thrive and flourish, and have done so for who knows how long, enough to be established culturally in their own realms/kingdoms. Others are primitive and stay that way Ape Men, Shark Men, Dwarves, Giants. The various dragons and beasts were curiosities but helps keep the people focused in cities for control, but also makes the more nomadic/primitive people tougher for surviving these hostilities.

    The focus of play:
    Players are the active agents of either Loyalists or Rebellion. They actively take on missions against the other side with a wide range of objects (hit targets/locations, sabotage, disrupt society, kidnap/hostage/rescue, raid, attack locations or groups, take prisoners, gather intel). Routinely this involves traveling through primitive lands, stealthly, using survival skills and dealing with the ‘natural’ threats of the planet. Being close to the heels of each other and chasing or giving chase through these exotic locals is part of these missions, from chases or dog fights in air sleds, to dealing with dinosaur like predators in intriguing forests. Atomic Sci Fi (Mad Science) is a part of this, from disrupting power sources, to new devices to divert attention or dismantle tech threats to simply increasing efficiency in the realms themselves.

    Area of play:
    I think, and this may be too ambitious (the focus might be as well), the five or six major realms should be open and allow for Loyalists/Rebels to join in. They can participate in local politics and swaying their region more towards rebellion or Ming, all while serving as agents for the totality of the Rebellion, maybe led by Prince Barin, or Ming and his allies and conducting missions as noted in the focus of play. Just the exotics of each location offers various appeal to various players and each comes with its own set of unique challenges as well as different backdrops for the potential missions and adventures the players can have within the focus of play.

    That’s me, I could be off if that would garner interest from others, I could be missing points to ponder. But settling focus/area would be a good lead into the areas and developing them beyond the comics or movies even, a lot of that dependent on establishing a canon.

  • With respect, I think having the default setting as a prequel is a bit of a mistake, for two reasons.

    First, if you remove earthers from the equation, you make the game harder for casuals to really sink their teeth into it. It's easier to imagine Indiana Jones with a ray gun or Sam Spade in space than it is playing a prince of the Arboreans. Yeah, you definitely can do that, especially with a roster, but with a setting that is so niche, setting the narrative buy-in low is probably a better way to get people with character generation and out on the grid.

    Yes, that takes a little fudging, but hey, maybe Mongo settled into a 'counter-earth' orbit or something.

    Second, I'd suggest saying that Flash bought it. He took a ray gun blast or just went missing and other heroes from both worlds have stepped up to fight Ming and his forces. That lets the PCs be heroes, without the players knowing, from the start, that their stories are less important than the official one.

  • Admin

    @Collective said in Savior of the Universe: Flash AhhhhAAA!:

    Second, I'd suggest saying that Flash bought it. He took a ray gun blast or just went missing and other heroes from both worlds have stepped up to fight Ming and his forces. That lets the PCs be heroes, without the players knowing, from the start, that their stories are less important than the official one.

    Yeah, this, absolutely. I played on a setting derived from novels and it was frustrating since everything - from prophecies to power levels to politics - was completely dominated by book characters. Keep them in the background as much as possible - perhaps turn them into objectives, milestones or even antagonists for the stories you tell, but don't shackle your PCs.

    ... And for all that is holy, don't turn Flash himself into a playable character and hand him to a friend. Don't do that.

  • Exactly why a collaboration would be better than me trying to solo this!

    The secondary thought to pre-Flash was post overthrow of Ming somehow. But what @collective just said, that’s a brilliant idea.

    Fudging is fine, really it's Flash Gordon, the only canon really is atomic space age feudalism; I keep saying feudal, lost more recent strips has them wearing the outfits from Prince Valiant it seems, but it works with the setting. There would need to be regardless to make it work, but the near earth orbit of Mongo to include room for Humans and human potential is great.

    And agreed @Arkandel , I am opposed to taking FCs in an FC light canon, and having them played, by friends or otherwise. I don’t want to recreate Flash and his stories, I don’t want to ever railroad or steal light from the players. I want them to shine, to be the FCs. This was my lean towards pre-flash, it could avoid the canon all together, the players could make the FCs of the Mu*, and defeat or be defeated by Ming. But @collective hit something I missed, the human interaction is a big key element that can’t be missed.

    I like more heroes from earth stepping up, but I’m not looking for Mandrake or Phantom, or a King’s characters crossover (Defenders). Indie and Sam Spade are great, even a Dick Tracy tie in would be good, most probably don’t (?) realize the level of space tie in that came later in his run, first wife a moon person, his granddaughter Honeymoon being part alien (moon people). This level of crossover seems good for the many multi-verse/genre/comic cross-over places and a core group of people with this level of interest.

    I like Flash taking the raygun, clean and simple, he failed, Ming is still kicking it, still interested in taking over earth, to destroy it, spare a few amusements for the collection, move on. Mongo has settled into an orbit somewhere near the asteroid belt. The time period is moved up to say mid 50s, but some tech has been reversed, earth can send up rockets, but it's costly. There is no fighting on Mongo Tuesday, dancing at the club back in Manhattan on Friday. Not opposed to an Earth location being available, just trying to keep it from earth social play.

    What if, Flash overthrew Ming once, returned to Earth, learned of Ming’s return. Launched a mission and established a base for Humans to try and oppose (or somesuch). Or, basically a human realm on Mongo, any human worthy of the program to help the cause or the planet is launched to it, spends a year or two in space, and then joins the cause planetside? They would need all sorts of able bodies, scientists, fighters, historians, laborers, etc.; just a human with some noteworthy profession. Players could opt in as a spin off of the others like Mandrake or Dick Tracy? And have reason to be there, or choose a local for some exotic flavor. The earth side would be more military base 50s era than feudal kingdom, would need military leader types too.

  • Pitcrew

    I'd have legend say that Flash took a ray gun to the chest, but the truth is that either he's trapped/kidnapped, or braaaaainwashed by Ming.

    Save the Flash, Save the Universe!

    ... except when they save him it turns out he's just too fucked up to be of any use. >.>

  • Flash is currently in Boston, going on adventures with Marky Mark and his talking bear.

  • Just for clarification, I didn't actually mean that players would literally play Indy or Sam Spade. Just that elevator pitches that involve daring adventurer treasure hunters and dogged detectives are more familiar to most potential players than Hawkmen and such.

  • Besides, if Flash Gordon is /actually/ dead, you miss the chance for your, "GORDON IS ALIVE?!" jokes.

  • @Collective Sorry didn't mean to imply you did, just a few here and elsewhere recall Defenders, namely Mandrake. Don't want to imply that possibility.

    And Gordon shot but whereabots unknown is good. Creates a fun edge I think for play. Going to run with it ... fake news blurb

Log in to reply