We all love a good dose of Philippine mythology (so much that we made a quiz to match with your monster soulmate). But let’s face it, much of mainstream media highlights the more gruesome side of myths.
Thankfully, more recent works have gone beyond the frightening side of these nocturnal creatures: Animated series, graphic novels and even games are in the works. Homegrown indie role-playing game Balete City is one of those, and ICYMI, the devs just dropped a prototype preview.
A prototype is an early version of a game meant to showcase a sample of its concept, design and overall feel, and is used by devs to evaluate and evolve their ideas.
In Balete City, you play as Aki, a senior high school student trying to piece together the mystery of his brother’s death. As he ventures out, he discovers his hidden babaylan powers and encounters anomalies lurking in his world.
The video shows clips of stunning locations in the game, giving us a feel of the game’s open world. It also shows a bit of gameplay with the character planting seeds as the following line reads at the bottom of the screen: Wickedness is widespread [in] this world. Corrupt, greedy, selfish. Everyone says what you’ve sowed and planted is the same thing you will reap. Hopefully [by] sowing this seed, the mighty gods would have recognized and blessed humanity with peace.
You may be getting Grand Theft Auto or Assassin’s Creed vibes from the preview, and that’s because the devs are aiming for triple A-level production for this game. Triple A games are those with intensive graphics, quality animation and hours upon hours of content with their open world feature. Those games however require huge teams, and Balete City is currently in the hands of devs who work on the game only in their free time.
Niley Bacolcol, the creator of the game, says that Philippine mythology is “very underrated,” and hopes that the game would inspire others to create art that is “sariling atin,” something that showcases our rich Filipino culture.
“Today’s media has barely scratched the surface of the vastly rich culture of our mythology. These stories are in danger of being forgotten and are begging to be retold. Balete City aims to bring them to life and go beyond the dwendes, aswangs, kapres, and nuno sa punso,” he says in a #SeenOnScout feature.
‘Balete City RPG’ wants to show Philippine Mythology beyond “aswangs”
QUIZ: Which Philippine mythical monster is your actual soulmate?
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Still from Balete City prototype preview