One of the biggest sources of inspiration known to man is mythology. Mythology (especially Greek and Roman) is a great material for those who are writing fantasy fiction, making movies or TV shows, or developing games.
A lot of today’s games are based on books or movies, but bear in mind that many of the most beloved hardcore video games have found their inspiration somewhere else. Games, such as Shadow of the Colossus, God of War, Smite or Age of Mythology found their inspiration in Japanese literature, Greek and Roman myths and Persian folklore.
Tolkien and Mythology
The work of J.R.R. Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (January 3, 1892 to September 2, 1973), without a doubt, had the most influence on the fantasy genre of video games and he is considered to be the father of the fantasy genre in any form of media today. Can we connect Tolkien and mythology? Yes we can. In creating languages and eventually a universe in which mythic archetypes and figures were grounded with histories and lives of their own Tolkien found his inspiration in English, Greek, Roman, Norse and Germanic mythology. Tolkien’s work largely based on myths has inspired the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing board game and overall growth of the fantasy genre in books, comics, movies, video and board games.
Greek and Roman mythologies have had a great influence on almost all forms of media. When it comes to video games, the developers are creating “god like” characters and giving them looks described in stories from Greek or Roman era. Two games, mostly influenced by a Greek mythology lately are God of War and Smite.
God of War tells the story of Kratos, a warrior that serves the Olympian gods. The game introduction video – an excellent short film inspired by the ancient artistic expression will immediately take you to the ancient times.
Smite is a game of combat between heroes based around gods from different mythologies, including Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Mayan, Norse, and Roman mythology. Each hero has abilities that are based on their unique descriptions in the mythology that he or she comes from.
When it comes to board games, every year in the German city of Essen the largest gathering of board game fans takes place. Spiel is the place where publishers present their new games, place where you can trade your games and fantasy figures with others. More than 100,000 visitors come to the fair every year. We have almost 10,000 new board games every year and a large number of them is based on mythology.
People who are into myth games and fantasy are usually into action figures and it is easy to understand why. If you analyze modern day action figures, you will notice that Greek and Roman mythology has had a great influence on them too. A lot of popular fantasy action figures based on characters from the video games or TV shows look a lot like Greek gods and goddesses.
Why is mythology so influential? The fact that stories told in Greek, Roman or Persian period endure for thousands of years, tells a lot about their quality. That is why it’s not surprising that the game developers, movie makers and fantasy world creators have found their inspiration in mythology.