John Romero’s real gangster gran is in Empire Of Sin

Romero Games celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday with an ode to one seriously badass mother in their upcoming tactical gangster game Empire Of Sin. John Romero’s actual great grandmother Elvira Duarte was apparently a brothel owner who they’re making an homage to as one of the game’s crime bosses. Despite being of advanced age, she’s got a pretty gnarly special ability, they say in a new developer video.

The real Elvira was quite a character, according to John Romero. “She used to walk around with a green parrot on her shoulder and smoke cigarettes,” he says. “She would tell jokes with the parrot answering her all in Spanish.” Looks like Elvira’s character in game will favor bullets over birds but the character screen in the video shows that she does get a reference to her brothel ownership in the form of a reduced cost to upgrade brothel security.

Elvira isn’t a joke in combat though, the Romeros say. Her special ability Devil’s Breath lets her “blow a cloud of psychotropic smoke” into enemies’ faces, turning them into an ally for several turns. At the end of their usefulness, they die. Elvira doesn’t play.

Even last year, Alice Bee said that Empire Of Sin is looking so good it should be illegal. I do enjoy some tactics ’em upping and a glossy gangster story in Chicago is just my slice of drama, so this is one I’ll be looking forward to.

Romero Games’ tactical 20s game is planned to release sometime this autumn, though we don’t yet know the exact date. It’s possible we may hear more on Empire Of Sin when its publisher Paradox Interactive participates in the indie studio showcase Guerrilla Collective in early June.

You can find and wishlist Empire Of Sin on Steam until then.

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