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Five Sequels to the Dante's Inferno Video Game

04/11/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It's true. 'Inferno' is now a video game, with a brawny, armor-clad Dante as its protagonist....the game's creators say there's an audience for it. Their research showed that most people had heard of 'Inferno' but few knew what it was about. This, they say, gave them license to make a few improvements. In the video game Dante is no longer a reedy, introspective poet but a knight....fending off wave after wave of advancing demons with a mighty scythe. - The New York Times

Already finished the Dante's Inferno video game? Here are five more games based on classic literature that are guaranteed to put the gory back in allegory:

Paradise Lost - Based on John Milton's epic poem about the War in Heaven and the Fall of Man, published in 1667. Research showed that most people had heard of "Paradise Lost" from when they faked reading it in English Lit, but even those who got an A didn't know what it was about. In the video game, the fallen angel Satan leads wave after wave of demons against God, who must defend Himself using only His omnipotent power and a modified M-16. Milton himself appears in the game, not as a blind middle-aged poet but as a buff Adam in the Garden of Eden who tries to defend Eve from wave after wave of satanic serpents. Watch for an expansion pack, "Paradise Regained," in which Adam and Eve take back Eden--by force.

Pilgrim's Progress - Based on the book by John Bunyan, published in 1678. The title was familiar to many people, but few knew that the book is a religious allegory. Most were convinced that "Pilgrim's Progress" had something to do with The Mayflower. As a result, the game takes place not in Bunyan's allegorical landscape but at Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims' landing awakens wave after wave of vengeful cannibalistic forest trolls. The Pilgrims use rapid-fire plasma blunderbusses to defend themselves through several levels of gameplay, culminating in the bloodbath of the first Thanksgiving. Allegorical characters from Bunyan's book, including Hopeful, Evangelist, Goodwill, and Mr. Worldly Wiseman, appear alongside new characters such as Slaughter, Scalptaker, Badass Mofo, and Mr. Eviscerator. Bunyan himself appears in the game as a muscular axe-wielding giant called Paul.

Utopia - Based on the book by Sir Thomas More, published in 1516, which depicts an ideal society located on an island in the New World. Most people had heard of Utopia but only in the context of Todd Rundgren's backup band, and a handful expressed the opinion that Thomas More was a better James Bond than Sean Connery. In the game, Utopia is depicted as a peaceful, orderly society which players disrupt by inflicting bloody mayhem on wave after wave of understandably irate Utopians. Sir Thomas More appears as the "Man For All Seasons," sporting larger biceps and pectorals than are normally found on a scholar. The nickname refers to More's ability to kill people with either deadly blasts of his wintry breath or lethal bursts of solar energy that shoot out of his eyeballs.

New Atlantis - Based on the book by Sir Francis Bacon, published in 1624, which also depicts an ideal society located on an island. Most people were familiar with Atlantis the Lost Continent, but thought that New Atlantis referred to a luxury vacation resort in the Bahamas. In the video game, New Atlantis is a luxury vacation resort in the Bahamas, which is under constant attack by the mutant denizens of Old Atlantis. The Old Atlanteans covet New Atlantis because their own city lies in ruins on the ocean floor and doesn't offer 24-hour room service. These evil amphibians have power over the sea and use it to attack New Atlantis with wave after wave of waves, which the New Atlanteans fend off using a sensible system of breakwaters and jetties. Sir Francis Bacon appears in the game as an awesomely ripped lifeguard.

Everyman - Based on the 15th Century morality play. Gamers may play as every character, using weapons of every sort to battle wave after wave of every kind of enemy in order to win everything. Rated E for Everyone.