Dr Nikola – likely inspiration for Blofeld
Art by Stanley Wood
Don't get me wrong, Ernst Stavro Blofeld is like the big brother I never had, but my favorite Bond villain is Auric Goldfinger – the cinematic version, of course, not the weirdo from the novel. Yet the book provides some insight into his character. According to Bond's thoughts, “...Goldfinger was an artist – a scientist in crime as great in his field as Cellini or Einstein in theirs.” Earlier in the novel, Goldfinger contemplates what will result from his raid on Fort Knox:
And then will come the applause, the applause for the the greatest extra-legal coup of all time. And Mr Bond, the world will rock with that applause for centuries.For all his wealth, Goldfinger realizes that he can't take it with him. Ultimately, Goldfinger wants to be remembered; this is his motive. As he states in the film:
Man has climbed Mount Everest, gone to the bottom of the ocean. He's fired rockets at the Moon, split the atom, achieved miracles in every field of human endeavor...except crime!He's cruel; he's crazy; he's a control freak. Additionally, he has a plan that Bond concedes is “inspired” and “brilliant.” More than greed, Goldfinger is driven by the desire to win – even if he has to cheat or murder thousands of innocents. This leads to his downfall. After the plan fails, a rational person might flee to some exotic corner of the world and live in low-key luxury. Goldfinger, on the other hand, has to confront Bond, the man who bested him. Thus, Goldfinger dies.
Also, four words not associated with Blofeld: Pussy Galore's Flying Circus.
Blofeld, incidentally, is not described in the James Bond 007 role-playing game. The game was published when ownership of Blofeld and SPECTRE was contested by Kevin McClory. Therefore the game describes an analogous organization – TAROT (Technological Accession, Revenge, and Organized Terrorism). Characters in the film series associated with SPECTRE (for example, Tetsuro Osato from You Only Live Twice ) are instead associated with TAROT. Instead of Blofeld, we have Karl Ferenc Skorpios, who is depicted with a greyhound, not a cat. We are told, “...Skorpios organized and Built TAROT, supposedly influenced by the old deck his mother handed down to him.” (Skorpios was born “to gypsy parents who performed in travelling carnival shows.”) TAROT has several subsections, “Each subsection and its leader are identified by a card from the tarot deck.” These are:
- Terrorism – The Tower (Leader: Achmal Al Korba)
- Blackmail – The Hanged Man (Leader: Giovanni Di Fortelli)
- Assassination – Death (Leader: Marcel Dupre)
- Kidnapping – Judgment (Leader: Boris Deminovitch)
- Robbery – Wheel of Fortune (Leader: Lady Victoria Lynn Richmond)
- Military Action & Operations – The Chariot (Leader: Major Nicholas Burke)
- Intelligence – The Hierophant (Leader: Nsei Mbenga)
- Research & Development – The Magician (Leader: Dr. Isa Nakahara)
- They “consider themselves to be so far beyond the average person that their desires and plans are always more important.”
- They have an “incredible capacity to respect their enemies.”
- They “are connoisseurs and men of exceptional taste.”
- They “prefer the complicated over the simple, especially when it comes to eliminating their adversaries.”
Chapter 13 of James Bond 007 is titled 'How to Use Non-Player Characters'. It describes various “caricature types” and provides a method for quickly generating these NPCs. For a given type – like 'Technicians' – two tables are provided, each requiring a 2D6 roll. The first table has eleven (i.e., 2 – 12) arrays of characteristic values. The second has eleven groups of skills (with listed skill levels). A roll on the first table, combined with a roll on the second, provides 121 distinct characteristic array / skill group combinations. (Of course, since the probability distribution is not flat, some combinations are more likely than others.) Just as there are three Player Character ranks (Rookie / Agent / “00”), there are corresponding ranks for opposing NPCs (Hood / Criminal / Mastermind). A choice of rank may modify the characteristic values and skill levels. For instance, the default rank for 'Civilians' is Criminal/Agent; a Hood/Rookie Civilian would subtract three from each characteristic and skill while a Mastermind/“00” Civilian would instead add three.
Here are some quickly generated Non-Player Characters:
Fellow Secret Agent
But Doctor Nicola inspired by 1898 portait of Anton Checkov.ReplyDelete
Actually, the first Dr Nikola book (with the frontispiece shown above) was published in 1895.Delete