If you watch the intro (do it, do it now!), You'll notice that the title sequence starts in space. Theres a reason for that - the Olmecs (the bad-guys) are in fact a race of alien beings, who use solar energy to power super high-tech equipment, made out of gold, such as the eagle aircraft, to rule over South America, except they've forgotten it. or something, I can't quite remember.
|Olmec: Alien Mekon Types : Stat as Drow / Dark Elves|
South American Alien pyramids sound vaguely familiar? Well it could be you remember the writings of Ancient Alien funky mojo proponent, Erich Von Daniken. Unable to believe that anyone who isn't a modern white European was able to do anything remotely significant in terms of culture or structural engineering, Von D jets around the world claiming every ancient structure bigger than a mud-hut was built by aliens.
Mexican Zigurats? aliens
Nasca lines? aliens
Egyptian pyramids? aliens
Not only that, but all these ignorant people worshiped the aliens as gods....
|No, Erich, God was not an astronaut.|
Chariots of the Gods was first published in 1968. A film was made, with awesome music (tho' not up to Cities of Gold sing-a-long in a broom-cupboard level) and by the power of youtube you can watch it, it's fun romp with some killer imagery, as long as you remember it's as silly an idea as Uri Geller's spoonbending. I loved reading this stuff as a kid, aliens, exotic landscapes, unearthing ancient mysteries, the adventure and the hodgepodge of ancient art, so when the Mysterious Cities of Gold aired, I felt right at home.
And of course, this makes for cool D&D campaign background stuff. Hmm, prehistoric aliens with advanced technologies, leaving remnants of their ancient super-civilisation behind. Kinda reminds one of M A R Barkers Tekumel, where of course, the humans are the aliens. And I'm sure there is something Warhammerish about the idea...
|John Blanche illustration | Slann | AD&D stat as Bullywugs|
|Chariots of the Frogs | John Blanche Concept Art | Bullywugs|
|Alien Bullywug Overlords, 2nd compendium 1984 | Dave Andrews|
Although, of course, by the time the adventurous westerners of the Old World in a fantasy version of the 16th Century, discovered the Slann on their steamy tropical continent of Lustria, their warp-gates had long-since collapsed, sending raw-chaos material into the world, their empire had crumbled, and they had decayed into barbaric tribal ways, haunting the jungles that had overgrown their once mighty city-states. The Slann had long lost all grasp of their ancient technology, although others, of course, had not entirely forgotten...