Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How Capcom Turned Buddhist Mythology Into A Game About Planet-Splitting Battles

Asura's Wrath is an angry game based on an angry group of Buddhist demigods.

In the game you play as Asura, a god stripped of all of his powers out to save his daughter from the seven gods that betrayed him. As Asura grows angrier in the game he also grows more arms. That multitude of arms is an expression of the demigods anger, not his health or capabilities, Hiroshi Matsuyama, CEO and President of developer CyberConnect2, tells me.

Matsuyama says that the initial concept for Asura and his rage-powered abilities were based on Buddhist deities, ones that were known for their wrath and their anger.

"They had an affinity for their anger," he said.

In Buddhism there are legends of the Assura, a group of gods cast out from a Buddhist heaven because of their wrath, pride and bellicosity.

The Assura of legend are an entire group of low-ranking Hindu and Buddhist gods or demigods. These demigods, known to be obsessed with violence and anger, got drunk one day on a forbidden wine and were kicked off the mountain where the other gods lived. When they woke up they discovered their new home and have been fighting with the other gods since to return, according to legend.

Read more at Kotaku.

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