First of all: Genoa does not appear in the game. It is not found on the map, nor is it mentioned. So why am I writing about Genoa in the Terraeterno book?
Of course, this does not come entirely out of nowhere, because the very important Christopher Columbus, who appears in the game, was in the service of Spain, but was born in Genoa. This statement can be viewed as controversial, but there are various sources that confirm this place of birth. I don’t want to go any deeper into the further course of his young life and use this place on the one hand as a stopover and mission giver for Ark, as well as for an additional, own storyline with its own characters. We meet Columbus’ wife Valeria, General Angelo Delvecchio, his brother and soldier Giacomo Delvecchio, the real figure of Admiral Andrea Doria, as well as the Doge Paolo di Campofregoso and his advisor Prospero Spinola.
I felt the need to integrate an additional location in today’s Italy, which is also well integrated into the Terranigma story. The first chapter “FILII MARIS” takes place during Ark’s time in Tibet and introduces the new characters.
Here is an excerpt:
“Giacomo, how nice to see you again”, says Angelo and presses his brother, who is about a head smaller, to his chest.
“The firstborn Genoa has returned. Oh, gods, how did we deserve it?“, jokes Giacomo with a big grin and pats his older brother vigorously on the shoulder.
“I will probably only be able to take my well-deserved retirement as soon as I no longer have to explain the difference between Primitivo and Lambrusco to you. I will probably have to live forever.”
“I see you came back in a good mood. Otherwise not your way. Corsica must have gone well”, says Giacomo.
“My first training mission. The guys on the island did well. Something could really come of this. Well, no blood, not a single dead person, no coffins to be loaded from the ship. I think I could get used to that.”
“Where is the heroism then? But I can already see that age makes us calmer.”
“… or that too. Don’t fall asleep, big man. Well, I’ll let you move on. If you want to have your nap today, you should quickly get your wait at the doge over with. You know who it is this time? ”, asks Giacomo.
“I suppose a Campofregoso.”
“It’s always a Campofregoso. At least, most of the time.”
“Ah, of course”, says Angelo, touching his forehead.
“Don’t think that I won’t notice if you want to kid me by playing the clueless”, says Giacomo with a raised index finger. “I’m also learning and seeing through your old man’s tricks.”
“I’m not as smart as I look, after all, I’m a Delvecchio. I will, however, take your newly acquired intelligence into account with great care. Now excuse me little man, I’m expected in the palazzo”, Angelo says politely goodbye.
Giacomo pats his shoulder again with his fist and pulls away beaming with joy. Angelo Delvecchio has returned, but before he can do his duty to the Doge, the ruler of the city who changes every two years, he is stopped again by a familiar face. This time it is that of a woman whose facial features are the exact opposite of the joyful lightness of his brother. Angelo bows his head and looks under the silk, light blue headscarf.
She pulls down the cloth and her warm, brown eyes speak of cold sadness.
“So you still recognize me?”
Another incentive for the genoa section was to integrate a vocal performance or an opera. At first I wanted to use the song Pearls by Ilaria Graziano for this, the text of which fits perfectly with the emotional state of Columbus’ wife. Unfortunately the style and the instruments used did not really match the time, which is why I reuse the lyrics in a letter instead and use the opera singing from FF VI as a piece of music. “Aria di Mezzo Carattere”, a great work by Grand Master Nubou Uematsu. All of this would of course not be heard in a final book version, but so far the book has been read with accompanying music.
Here is a variant of “Aria di Mezzo Carattere”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGl4FqUeFS0
I couldn’t find the version I preferred on youtube in a hurry.
And here is the original inspiration for Valeria Columbus from Pearls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lp9SiOML5Y
Back to the book. The performance will take place in the Palazzo Doria Tursi. The chapter LACRIMOSA tells of an evening of art, of seeing and being seen, the encounter between Valeria and Ark and a painful revelation from Fyda, which tests the further fate and the relationship between Fyda, Elle and Ark.
Sources of inspiration and research
There are actually fewer books, films and games about Genoa than I would like. Somehow everything revolves around Rome and Venice and I even strongly assume that a large part of the non-European world does not know anything about the existence of Genoa. One more reason to create your own storyline that cannot be found in Terranigma.
In the end I found what I was looking for and with Franz Kurwoski’s “but Genoa was mightier” I found a very extensive book about the history of this once mighty sea power. The book begins archaeologically around 200,000 BC and continues on to deal with every single war and conflict since the first Punic War in 264 BC. The focus is on Genoa’s later conflicts with Pisa, Venice, France and the Holy Roman Empire. Genoa’s history is peppered with countless spectacular battles on land and especially at sea, wars and alliances with all powers of earlier times, intrigues and seizures of power and outstanding personalities such as Admiral Andrea Doria. Anyone who is not deterred by a detailed historical description including the specification of the exact number of troops and contract payments will find the Bible of Genoa with this book.
Extract from a Terraeterno chapter:
Heroes and legends, angels and gods, kings and emperors, they all adorn the high walls and wide ceilings and look today at the battle of two men who fight their weapons not in their hands but on their pointed tongues. The leading doge advisor, Prospero Spinola, is on a higher step than Admiral Andrea Doria, whose lower rank cannot make him contest eye level. Doria’s already gray hair, his generally calm demeanor as well as his melancholy way of looking at the events testify to his many years of experience in politics and war. Today, however, he seeks a man who is neither blessed by one nor the other with experience or even just the necessary instinct. A man who, despite his unmistakably inadequate aptitude, holds one of the highest offices in the republic and knows and feeds off this imbalance even without shame.
“I really don’t ask much of you when the lives of two deserving sons of Genoa are unlawfully deprived of their freedom”, says Doria.
“Is that really what they are? Earned? Earned in the sense that an admiral like you deserves, I believe. Are we not talking about a renegade seafarer and a general who prefers personal favors to orders from the Doge?”
“A seafarer who also gives us a new trade route to the west and has thus considerably weakened our competitors in the east. Let it be said without our contribution. A general who stands up for every Genoese, no matter how far he is and how long he is away. The morale of our armed forces is stronger than ever because of him.”
“And yet it remains a disobedience that Delvecchio committed. When an individual raises his rights above those of the other, morality is at stake. You won’t see it any differently in your fleet, I would like to think.”
“I have to agree with you Spinola. One more reason to come to his aid in case of need and to impose a just punishment on him after his return home.”
“And what need is that supposed to be? Let me guess, yes I remember his younger brother’s visit, what was his name? Gian … Gio … well he didn’t make a great impression. He was rowdy and ungrateful. I hope that you will not attach more to his word than is absolutely necessary. “
“Giacomo Delvecchio is in no way inferior to his brother in strength and bravery. Quite a few give him the nickname Leonidas. “
“Leonidas, don’t let me laugh. Maybe a lion cub, old enough to roar and still clumsy on its soft paws for a long time.”
“He makes up for his lack of experience with additional passion. If he knows his brother is captive in Castile, I will believe him. “
“A rumor that has no basis whatsoever. Angelo Delvecchio could be anywhere. Perhaps he is zealous for the famous Venetian looking for his salvation in the Far East, where he breeds strong horses with the wild.”
“We both know that he went ashore in Barcelona.”
“Should we now ask every Catalan brothel about our word-breaking generals?”