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$141,513 pledged of $950,000 goal
$141,513 pledged of $950,000 goal

Tin Woodman

The Tin Woodman has, in my opinion, one of the most interesting stories of all the well-known Oz characters. He's a walking, talking soul-body thought experiment - an animated mechanical replacement for a flesh and blood man (or Baum's preferred label of "meat man"). Not an actual "replacement" though, because as the Oz books reveal, bits of the Tin Woodman's former meaty self, Nick Chopper, live on in a variety of interesting forms.

Nick who? Nick Chopper, the son of a "meat" woodman, follows in his father's footsteps (or, in this case, axe blows) and grows up to become a tree chopper himself. After falling in love with the wrong girl (don't they always?), Nick's cursed by the Wicked Witch of the East. Limb by limb, his enchanted axe chops off all of Nick’s... parts. Undeterred, Nick replaces the missing meat with shiny metal parts, until he is at last made entirely of tin.

Since there's no concept of death in Oz, those discarded meaty bits continued to live, even after being chopped off and replaced with metal. (In this sense, Oz truly is the original land of zombies). The Tin Woodman goes on later to meet his meat - encountering his discarded head and discovering a collection of former parts have reassembled and then reunited with his long lost love.

Wacked-out love stories aside, this ability to regenerate and persist in starfish-like fashion creates interesting possibilities for the Tin Woodman in our game. What if you could swap useless, weak or inferior bits for powerful, mechanical upgrades? How long would meaty "you" last before the urge for greater power, agility and speed transformed you into a mechanical super man? And what of your discarded fleshy bits? Might as well put them to use - perhaps to create an army of Meaty Me's?

When you next encounter the Tin Woodman (and his Nick Chopper sausage bits) in-game, expect to see this sort of swap and build mentality realized in the extreme. Until then, here's a lava-filled Tin Sausage Making Machine doing its thing to a cave full of Nomes. Chop, chop!

  • Image 290044 original


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    1. Kobi Eyal on July 14, 2013

      I'm sorry american, I've downgraded my pledge to 1$.
      I just don't like where this game is going, that's all.
      But I do wish you luck. I hope many other gamers would see the potential in your work.

    2. Vlada Kravtsova on July 12, 2013

      What a macabre, grotesque story. I had no idea about it – the Tin Woodman’s “spare” bits staying alive and getting together with his girlfriend.
      Isn’t it horrifyingly sad? He’s done so, so much to be with her, and yet he never got to do that. I also seem to vaguely remember that she kicked him out once she found out he was now made out of tin. Or is it just me making stuff up?
      In any case, unexpectedly gruesome.

    3. Shaun Huang on July 12, 2013

      and by 20th century, i meant 1939 cinema.

    4. Shaun Huang on July 12, 2013

      Now I will never look at the tin man the same way ever again.

      @Tyler: I actually think it might make for interesting progression if the tin man start out looking like something from the 20th century, then you progressively upgrade him into some ridiculous steam punk tin man. lol

    5. Gary Alan Henson on July 12, 2013

      This just keeps getting better!

      As part of the plot line, retreiving Nicks parts could form part of a quest, each part hidden and/or protected by some monster you have to overcome to get the part(s).

    6. Tyler Pendergast on July 12, 2013

      Loving the lore, but if that concept art is tin-man then I would rather have him be just a tad bit more resembling to the original. I see the fire symbol on his chest and stuff and it seems too industrial

    7. registradus on July 12, 2013

      Great concept.

    8. Antonio Santana on July 12, 2013

      Quite interesting thanks for that McGee, with all the lore of Oz you could end up making two or three sequels in the future. Don't worry about it we ALL well back you up as we are doing now.

    9. Cheshire Cat Asylum Krazie OotG on July 12, 2013

      AWESOME! This game really needs to be made! And I should start reading Baum's books!

    10. Stewart "Zoot" Wymer
      on July 12, 2013

      This update totally runs into the whole cyberpunk augmentation idea, expressed also quite evocatively in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Just goes to show that Baum was a visionary ahead of his time. I've not read the other Oz books but I did read about the Tin Woodsman's meat body wandering off in a Cracked article and I was like "Wow, that's a funky concept."

      I love how you're extending to encompass the rest of Baum's work and looking "under the hood" to the psychological ramifications. This is going to be a new expression of the Oz universe (a universe I admit I haven't properly explored) but I'll enjoy within this game. Now, if I could only afford the Tin Woodsman figurine, because he looks totally badass.

    11. LockVII on July 12, 2013

      @Nichole: Fair enough, i never read the books so when I heard Tinman's I was instantly reminded of FMA :) It is always something to look into though (reference-wise) if people wanted to or were interested in seeing how to that kind of a story/idea was done in other media/materials.

    12. Missing avatar

      Nichole on July 12, 2013

      @Vicki LockVII

      It should be the other way around. Al should remind you of the Tinman, seeing as the Oz books predate Full Metal Alchemist by quite a bit...

      On topic though, this incarnation of the tinman sounds eerie and intriguing.

    13. LockVII on July 12, 2013

      *edit: i just noticed i spelt "sould" instead of "soul" ^-^;

    14. LockVII on July 12, 2013

      Love the artwork, and I think it would be fantastic to meet all of Nick Choppers separate components (though maybe a taaaddd creepy, lol)
      The walking, talking, suit of tin/metal reminds me a lot of the anime, Full Metal Alchemist, where a sould gets trapped in a suit of armor, but his other self/real body lives on elsewhere :)
      Great concept though, can't wait for the game! :)