Ghost of Tsushima

Video Games / Poetry

If you don’t like Japan and Samurai, this is not for you at all.
Ghost of Tsushima is a game based on that – and a totally amazing game …..
The idea is this: the grandson of Genghis Khan has decided to gain a foothold in Japan to conquer that empire.
He has prepared for this: he has learned the language and customs – he knows which villages to destroy, which to keep – he knows the Samurai, their codes of honor, their fighting techniques.
He arrives with a horde.
They gain a foothold on the island of Tsushima.
And so it begins:

This, this is a wonder – an opening like that ? for a game ?

Frankly, the shot on the horde waiting in the junks – the night on the sea – we have a small remember of the armies of Mordor, it is magnificent.

But this time, the villain is not an eye in a tower.
He is a character absolutely perfect in his role – and perfectly staged from the start.
Silence – indifference – efficiency.
A rock against which you and your character will break.

In less than ten minutes, the 80 Samurai are swept away.
Two will remain: your character, left for dead on the battlefield, and his uncle, captured and held by the Mongols.

Ghost of Tsushima

You will have to repel the invasion on your own – almost.
But you are a Samurai.
You have a code of honor to respect.

And that’s where this game gets particularly interesting and particularly clever – since you’ll have to seriously ask yourself what it means: honor.

Strictly speaking, if you apply it – then your character will die and the Mongols will win.
What will you do?
How much will you cheat this code?
How do you reconcile your actions with being a Samurai?

And there are still people who tell you that video games are stupid and mind-numbing things – it’s still incredible-
This is a game where you have to think about your morality.
And an absolutely splendid game with that.

In fact, their mechanics are a bit like Assassin’s Creed – but you’re not an Assassin to begin with – you’ll see how you’ll slide into the camp of the Assassins, men without honor, men who play to win by any means.
Early in the game, you’ll learn what your character thinks about honor as a young man. This will be your guide to action.

And the pearl – for me who takes the eye of an eagle looking for pearls (is there such a thing as an eagle trained to find pearls?) – this game contains a pearl for Altair – but a pure jewel.

In this game you will be able to compose Haikus.
I have put here a compilation of different Haikus composed by one player :

All right, there are limitations to your creativity – no : guides for your creativity – but they will still be your choices and your poems, yes, to you, by you, the player turned Samurai.

And we should pretend it doesn’t exist?
Come on.
Of course we have to pretend it exists, because it does.

Ghost of Tsushima

Can you imagine that? The face of the morons who know everything? Combining a video game and poetry on a stage? But it’s too good not to do it.
Resume the visuals
Take back the music
Putting on stage these Haikus – and others of course –
Once again, the theatre filled with people, to see this.

And besides, I’m being reasonable – because the ending of this game – so the ending… it’s pure French tragedy – I don’t see how you can make it any worse, the bit about the choices being all horrible – it’s almost crying instead of playing. From there to associate it with a beautiful horrible tragedy, there is only a tiny step that I will cross … almost without realizing it.

In a word, this game is a perfect opportunity to put on a stage this so strange soul of Japan, which impresses so many people.
A perfect opportunity to combine – once again – the epic dimension with poetry.
No – opportunities like this should not be missed.

It is for games like this that Altair makes sense – and is not just another kind of theatre.

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Featured Image : from Ghost of Tsushima – a game by Sucker Punch Productions, published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. 2020

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