Mythologies Influence on Video Games

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Mythologies as we understand it is the study of myth and mythos. Many cultures have their own mythology, from the Greeks and Romans who share similar mythologies, to Ancient Babylon and Egypt. Mythology influences nearly every aspect of our lives. It can be found on our day to day currency, to the way companies present themselves with their logos and iconography. It comes as no surprise then, that the fastest growing form of the entertainment industry has deep roots in mythology. Some of the earliest games are built on and around mythologies. The Battle of Olympus is a 1988 side-scrolling action adventure game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The plot of the game revolves around a Greek named Orpheus. His love, Helene, was poisoned by a snake and died. Later Orpheus learns that Helene was actually taken by Hades, god of the underworld, to become his bride. Upon hearing this, Orpheus begins his journey to save Helene. The pretext of Orpheus's quest is the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. Elements of the quest are drawn from the stories of Heracles, Theseus and Perseus. Many characters, enemies, locations, and items are also based on Greek mythology. A more recent example of mythology showing its influence on the video game industry is the 2008 action-role-playing game Too Human. The game is a science-fictional futuristic retelling of Norse mythology that portrays the Æsir, the Norse gods, as cybernetically enhanced humans, tasked with protecting mankind from the onslaught of Loki's army of machines. The player takes the role of the Norse god Baldur, who is less cybernetic than the other gods, thus being "too human". Mythology’s influence on games runs the gamut, from role-playing games to first-person shooters. Yet, mythology... ... middle of paper ... ...tagonist throughout the majority of the Zelda series. Like Mordred, Ganondorf gains control of Hyrule in Link’s absence and plunges the land into chaos on strife. Unlike Mordred, Ganondorf is defeated and Link is usually spared Arthur’s fate. However, Arthur and Link share a similar destiny in that Arthur will rise again when the land needs him most, and with each entry into the Zelda series a new Link arises to battle the evil that threatens to engulf Hyrule. As time passes and more games are created, it is easy to see that mythology will always hold a strong relationship with the industry. Each year more games are created by people who want to tell interesting stories and by people who want to share the histories of cultures many have forgotten. Games are a part of our culture and through them mythology will always have an influence on future generations cultures.

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