For a long time after Lost went off the air in 2010, I wondered if we’d ever see a reboot or a revival. 12 years after its polarizing ending, there’s still no word on such a project (just give it time), but a new series has recently been credited with bringing back some of that same magic that changed television forever in 2004’s Yellowjackets. Showtime tells the story of a women’s soccer team whose plane crashes on an island before mystery and madness ensues. It’s a familiar setup for Lost fans like me, but even with its heavy-handed allusions to ABC’s serialized drama titan past, it’s not the post-Lost mystery box we’ve been without, because that’s a role that Fortnite already has. played well for years now
I think a lot of the Fortnite fandom missed out on Lost when it first aired because the community is getting younger. A show that started in 2004 makes it older than a significant number of Epic Battle Royale players, and these days its absence from Netflix, the streaming leader by far, means it continues to escape binge-watching today. day. But as a huge fan of both, the similarities are front and center, and growing in number. Note that to explain how they are alike, I’ll have to delve into Spoilers missed, so consider this your spoiler warning if it’s still on your Hulu watchlist..
a place of secrets
The obvious is that both stories take place on islands full of mystery, but it goes further. In Lost, the island is said to be somewhere in the South Pacific, at least based on the plane’s original path when it crashed. We later learn that the unnamed island in Lost actually moves, as a self-defense mechanism to protect its critical resources which we’ll cover later in this article. In Fortnite, the island also has a defense mechanism of last resort, as we saw at the end of Chapter 2 when the island flipped, end to end, to defend against the Cube Queen invasion. Both islands contain these safe deposit boxes because they have long been the object of the wishes of many different entities.
We’ve seen villains like Galactus and Cube Queen come to the Fortnite island in search of its heady power, while on Lost, groups like the Ancient Romans, the US military, and the DHARMA Initiative have set up camp there, all seeking to understand its curious properties. And speaking of Dharma…
Home of false power structures
In Lost, the DHARMA Initiative is a research group that was on the island decades before our cast of characters crashed there on Oceanic Flight 815. Fortnite has a clear analogy for DHARMA: the Imagined Order (IO). While the IO tends to be a bit easier to shoot, neither is the true native society of the island, with both ending up on their respective islands to study (and perhaps wield) their magical properties. For DHARMA, he understood that there was something special about the island and worked tirelessly for years to discover what made it so special, bringing experts to the island from various fields, including zoology, fertility, and even quantum physics.
In Fortnite, the IO isn’t all that scientific, but they’re still equipped with certified geniuses like Dr. Slone, who has proven time and time again to be as smart as he is cunning. Both groups plant their flags on their islands and act as if they own the place, and as a result neither have it very easy in those roles, with constant power struggles throwing both islands into chaos throughout the years. years.
Protecting an immense power
In the final episodes of Lost, we finally get to know why the island is so important. In the Heart of the island rests the Source, think of it as a light switch for everyone. If it went out, the world would end. it is a fragile object, so the island regularly finds protectors that are passed down from generation to generation to ensure that the light is never tampered with. It’s this same energy signature that so reliably attracts douchebags like Charles Widmore, which can make the role of protector difficult.
Fortnite’s analog in this regard is perhaps the strangest of all, and leads me to safely assume that Epic’s CCO, Donald Mustard, is a Lost fan. At the heart of the Fortnite island is Point Zero, which is, you guessed it, a life-giving source of energy that acts like a light switch. The Fortnite island seemingly exists outside of Earth, but it represents Reality Zero, the universe from which all others were born, including our own. If Zero Point was ever destroyed, all life in the omniverse would cease to exist, exactly like the Source in Lost.
Surprisingly, the similarities don’t end there. On Lost, we learn that the Smoke Monster we’ve seen for six seasons was once a man, forever changed into his ghostly form when his brother, Jacob (the island’s eventual reluctant protector), pushed him into the Source out of blinding rage. This short-sighted and angry act turned Jacob’s unnamed brother into the monstrous, but also somewhat misunderstood, Smoke Monster, who then spent centuries devising ways to get off the island. Doing so would require the Source at the Heart of the island to be destroyed, which meant that Jacob could never allow her to leave. This, in turn, caused the Smoke Monster to become increasingly devious, and eventually quite evil by the end.
Fortnite has its own metahumans seemingly imprisoned in The Seven. According to The Foundation (who I don’t think we can trust), The Seven’s goal is to end the Loop, but in Fortnite lore, as we now best understand it, destroying the Loop would likely require destroying Point Zero. These powerful masked figures have been portrayed as the heroes thus far, but I’m less sure than most that they’ll end up on the right side of the moral alignment. Can we come to understand that ending the Loop is exactly what all loopers should avoid? I think so.
“We have to go back!”
Beyond these unmistakable similarities, even more comparisons can be made. Both islands are home to a curious collection of fauna, with Lost’s off-season polar bears and the Smoke Monster serving as analogs to Fortnite’s dinosaurs. Both islands spark stories that go back to all life in the known world. Both islands have seen bombs go off on them resulting in very different worlds waiting for survivors when the dust cleared. Both islands have even traveled through time. Jonesy, as Jack Shephard, left the island, only to return later when he felt that those he left behind were in danger. Heck, even The Foundation statue is reminiscent of the Taweret statue that once stood tall long before plane crash survivors landed there.
Add all these similarities to the fact that Fortnite’s story is now dripping weeks and seasons at a time, and it’s clear that not only have video games found a way to tell serialized stories in new ways, but this game, in particular, is clearly inspired by the show that once majorly changed the way fans unravel a story with so many secrets. Today’s Fortnite story-obsessed fandom reminds me a lot of my days spent in Lostpedia. Throughout, Fortnite was inspired by and built on what Lost started over a decade ago.
In some ways, both of these stories are simply based on classic action-adventure tropes – fate vs. free will, light side vs. dark side, etc. – but the lines one can draw between Lost and Fortnite go deeper than that. genre tropes and remind me why I fell in love with Lost back then and explain part of why I love Fortnite today.
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