Games and mythology have long had a close relationship. Alive with betrayal, magic, gods and heroes as they are, there’s a lot to draw from. For everyone who ever decried society’s media as proof of its moral collapse, a quick browse through Homer’s Odyssey or the Norse Prose Edda make most modern misanthropy look like Animal Crossing by comparison. You can run down cyclists in GTA? Bruh. Odin made the world out of his murdered rival’s skull, and Prometheus got his regenerating liver pecked out by an hangry eagle forever. The ancient imagination was basically 95 percent debauchery and 5 percent arguing about triangles.
Indian myths though, despite their richness, have generally been underrepresented in games. Final Fantasy based a bunch of its summons from Hindu deities, and Asura’s Wrath blended elements of Hinduism and Buddhism with Sci-Fi, but neither embraced the feel of Indian folklore, music and architecture in quite the same way as Raji: An Ancient Epic.
Brand New Ancients
Created by Nodding Heads Games, a studio based in Pune, India, Raji is an isometric action adventure game with a focus on ‘gritty and fluid’ combat. Think Hyper Light Drifter’s movement mixed with the weighty deliberation of Dark Souls. You play as the titular Raji, a young girl on a quest to save her captive brother from the demonic realm.
From the moment she wakes in the trailer below, it’s apparent how much of Raji’s character shines through her every tentative step. The citar music seems to stir her from a decades long slumber as she stumbles through the dilapidated sky temple, its crumbling stonework alive with lush flora, afloat in an ocean of clouds. She can also absolutely kick demon butt when needed, judging by the combat shown later on.
Raji: An Ancient Epic launches on Kickstarter November 8th, and you can check out more screenshots and artwork from the game here and support it on Thunderclap if you’re so inclined. Personally, my Kickstarter wish list just got a little bigger. Financial stability, eh? That’s the real myth. Thanks. I’ll be here all night.