Imagination and originality are often the two qualities required to spin a riveting work of fiction.
To an extent, the proof is in the pudding: inspiration for some of the greatest video game stories ever told have come from nothing but healthy grey matter, but that doesn't mean there's no value in borrowing from the greatest source material known to man - reality - as the basis for fantastical tales because, truth be told, fact often is stranger than fiction.
Team Ninja's hallmark of action-RPG excellence Nioh, for example, lifted the Far Eastern feats of Western Samurai William Adams straight from the history books to deliver its fable of Feudal Japan with embellishments in the form of mythical Kodama spirits, irate demons and mystical magic. That said, glamourised retellings of individuals that led exceptional lives is just one method of bringing specific real-life events to our attention.
For example, L.A. Noire's Cole Phelps never patrolled the streets of Los Angeles, but the cases presented to him were all based on real crimes, meticulously researched and recreated for our investigative pleasure.
Selfless feats of British spies in World War II, unsolved mysteries in the Russian wilderness and chilling explorations of, unfortunately, very real mental institutions: why delve into fiction when such extraordinary true stories like these exist?
The game: Thanks to a smart ad campaign highlighting the similarities between Team Ninja's action adventure and From Software's gothic fantasy Dark Souls, fans of the latter series looking for another fix, following its conclusion, elevated Nioh from curio status to hugely anticipated.
Forced into a trip to Japan to retrieve a precious possession stolen from him by a lackey of the English monarchy, set protagonist William soon finds himself in the thick of Feudal Japan, one that's besieged on all fronts by an invading force of demonic Yōkai.
The inspiration: Much of Nioh is fictional. For starters, demons don't exist, thank the stars, nor does the fancy magical substance, Amrita, central to Nioh's conflict.
William, on the other hand, was a very real person and did emigrate to Japan, though not to retrieve a magical Guardian Spirit. The real William Adams was one of few to survive the arduous expedition to the Far East and the first Englishman to do so.
Not only that, but he was one of, if not the first 'Western Samurai' in history and would become a close friend of Tokugawa Ieyasu, otherwise known as the man responsible for a unified Japan and the birth of the Edo period.