Harry Potter is the publishing phenomenon of the last decade, but before the world became obsessed by wizards, magic, and being angry with me for broadcasting plot details in advance of sequels, a different mania gripped the nation: heroin-fever.
That's right. Irvine Welsh was to the last generation of readers what J. K. Rowling is to the current one, and Trainspotting, a rip-roaring tapestry of life in Scotland's skag-soaked capital city, is his undisputed masterpiece. Who could possibly forget the exploits of the incorrigible Renton and his gang - Sickboy, Spud and Begbie?
Nobody ever made a video game based on either the novel or the film, which is astonishing given the popularity of the franchise. You could argue that the subject matter just isn't appropriate for a medium enjoyed primarily by children, but since I spent much of yesterday evening immolating Liberty City hotdog vendors that argument clearly holds no water.
No. The truth is, novel-conversions are all too rare, and few developers have the creative vision to rip-off books instead of films. It can be done, though, and Trainspotting is the perfect video game template, as this selection of mini-game concepts demonstrates.
Renton's Suppository Bog-Dive
You silly billy. You've accidentally sent out a couple of anal suppositories in a shipment of slurry, and if you don't retrieve them soon you'll contract a terrible dose of flu. There's no option: down the toilet you go in search of the bottom-pills. This mini-game is pretty much the same as the underwater sections in Tomb Raider, except instead of swimming through spring water in a cave, you're swimming through human waste in a public toilet.
Begbie's Big Friday Fight Night
It's Friday night. You're out on the town, but all of your friends are pansies and you're bored. It's time to shake things up a bit with your favourite pastime: fighting! Get things going by tossing an empty glass from the mezzanine floor and causing as much damage as you can, Burnout-style. Then, when everybody's good and riled, wade in there and start panelling aw they wee hing-oots.
Pit-Bullseye with Sickboy and Friends
It's Thursday afternoon. You're in the park. There's nothing else for it but to shoot as many dogs in the testicles as you can before the timer runs out. Every successful hit induces the target to turn on his owner, mauling him savagely. Combos are available for owners with more than one dog, and if you somehow manage to set a dog onto a member of the emergency services or that nondy wee soap-dodger Renton, you get an extra life.
Gies a go then!
Spud's Poo Faux Pas
It was a fun night, but the consequences are stark: the bed is full of human waste. What's worse, you're not at home. Using all the cunning and vigour you can muster in your still-inebriated state, you have to escape from the building with the soiled sheets. Due to the mind-bending effects of the various substances you took the night before, the experience is very much like Portal, with GLADOS's voice replaced by that of a hallucinated Debbie Harry. Your mother-in-law is the final boss, and if you lose, everybody in the level gets covered in faeces.
Aww, gonnae no dae that big man!