I am a big time fan boi of the God of War, a hack and slash action-adventure video game based on ancient Greek and Norse mytholo gies. The sheer weight of the sword of a Greek god that I got to wield and the truly momentous consequences of my actions (fighting titans and gods) were irresistible. The game was also my introduction to ancient western mythology.
Since my Playstation 2 days, I had always wondered if we would ever get our own God of War. Perhaps an adaptation of The Mahabharata: the epic good vs evil fight, shooting arrows in the battlefields of Kurukshetra, launching ‘brahmastras’. I didn’t get that. But this past month I stumbled upon something even better: Chronicles of The Himalayas.
Chronicles is a story driven, single-player, roleplaying game developed by Sroth Code Games that plays out in the Himalayas. Inspired by Himalayan cultures, mysteries and folklore, the game is the first project of its kind in Nepal. Immersing yourself in this hidden world will have you experiencing an extraordinary reality where folklore and magic come to life.
The game revolves around the adventures of the 15-year-old Pasang Kaji Sherpa, as he embarks on a quest to discover the whereabouts of the residents of a secret mountain village after they suddenly disappear—along with his father. Everyone but Pasang is gone. Now we, as Pasang, have to find them.
The demo version of the game that I got to try started with a simple task: Find the treasure chests, solve a puzzle, save a yeti. The game then greets us with a stunning open-world environment which looks inspired from Zelda: Oceanhorn. But for a Sherpa folklore inspired world, it packs all the local elements: the village has prayer flags running between houses and tin-covered roofs. According to the developers, everything in the game is referenced from Sherpa folklore. This game, if done right, could inspire a generation of popular culture icons who appear in our future movies and novels.
The game also has a small mini map at the bottom right corner of the screen to act as your guide. But how you explore the wilderness and complete the task, the game leaves that to you. This lack of direction does make you feel a little lost at times: what you’re supposed to do, where you’re supposed to go. And for the open world that it offers, there isn’t much to do.
As we leave the village, we are presented with an ancient sword and the action part of the game starts, as we are greeted by monsters that look like a dark version of Sully from Monsters Inc.
The game environment is where Chronicles really shines. Stupas placed throughout the map, Sherpa scriptures scribbled in monuments and the wilderness—they all make the experience unforgettable. It does feel like one heck of an adventure. Also, the soundtrack gives a mystical vibe, elevating the entire experience.
The demo has me excited for the complete version. According to the developers, the project will take an additional 3-4 months to complete; expect Chronicles of the Himalayas to hit the shelves (digital) coming June/July. My childhood hope is finally coming to life, and in ways I had never expected.