‘Balete City: The Video Game’ turns Philippine Mythology into Fantasy RPG

It’s a new step towards giving our culture a new sense of pride as Philippine mythology will shine in the spotlight with this new video game. Our Filipino stories deserve more respect and I personally hope to see justice given to it. Whenever we bring mythology to our TVs as the center of the story, the usual teleseryes tend to be more of rip-offs from foreign franchises but our beloved childhood fantasy creatures like the engkantada, babaylankibaan, mangagagatoks, and engkantos are rarely the star of the show. It’s time we change that.

As Philippine literature, graphic novels, and local films grows to learn more about Philippine’s rich mythology, it appears as Filipino game developers have just stepped up their game.

Reports of Niley Bacolcol, a 27-year-old game creator and creative designer has envisioned creating a 3D world that shouts “Philippines!” starting from mainly the concept, to the sound effects, and then the graphics.

Initially, he worked on Balete High, a digital graphic novel which follows the same themes of Philippine folklore and mythology as the Balete City game. Currently, he already found the time to continue his project and expanded it to be: Balete City: The Video Game, a one-of-a-kind Filipino-themed 3D fantasy game whose main focus is on Philippine culture, beliefs, and mythology.

“I had the chance to work with the T’boli group for my undergraduate thesis; I was exposed to the vast and wonderful world of the tribe’s spirits, beliefs, and mythology. From there, a fire to discover more sparked inside my heart,” he shares with Esquire Philippines.

Recently Irene Villamor’s movie, Ulan, has brought the ancient mythology of the Philippines to modern times. Now, the new fantasy RPG by Bacolcol will bring to light a few creatures many of us seem to be forgetting about.

“As I dove deep into the rich culture, I was saddened by the fact that these beautiful stories and magnificent characters were almost forgotten or practically unheard of to most Filipinos. Years went by before I found a chance to start a project that could help promote these forgotten beliefs to the general public,” Bacolcol shares.

The focus of the Balete City fantasy game will focus on a senior high school in Balete City. It will be fixated mainly on quests or adventures and expeditions that the players will continue to explore. It is reported that Balete City is also a third-person RPG game with an open world. With it relying on quests as you play it, the background stories, gameplay, sceneries, storyline, characters are heavily based on how the Philippines looks like and how our mythology stories are told. Apart from this, it would look familiar as the art is well-crafted and pleasingly realistic. You can see so much of the heart of the work put into creating the design of it as a game’s art will entail the quality of experience for those who will be playing it.

Here’s a video preview of the game in action:

Are you excited to play this new Filipino-based fantasy game? Tell us in the comments!






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