6 Video Games Portraying Nepal That Will Make You Feel Like Home
Nepal is mostly used to flying under the global radar without attracting much attention on an international platform.
Maybe that’s the reason we tend to get so excited when we see our humble country portrayed in international movies and videogames. And the excitement prompts us to ask questions like:
So, keeping that in mind, Yeti Yap brings you a list of acclaimed videogames that find a space to fit the myriad culture and unique topography of Nepal.
With plenty of poorly built and not-at-all maintained topsy-turvy roads, it’s no surprise that extreme racing games look up to Nepal for thrilling racing tracks. I guess that’s one good thing to come out of our depressing road conditions.
Recently released on November 6, Dirt 5 features Nepal as one of the racing locations. Racing through the icy slippery tracks of Nepal, the gamers can see, snow-covered hills, prayer flags lined up around monasteries and Pagodas. Interestingly, players can even see cranes and dozers working in the background because road development in Nepal never stops, or rather never gets completed. *Ahem Ahem*
Besides featuring relatable scenes and iconic locations like Mustang, the game takes it a step further adding Nepali commentary with the commentator yelling prior to the race:
“Engine Garjida Cha, Hariyo Batti Balna Lagyo!”
Need for Seed 2
Another extreme racing game to be inspired by our extreme roads, Need for Speed 2, despite being a late 90’s game, portrays Nepal much better than Dirt 5 does. The only race course in Need for Speed 2 with a snowy setting, "Mystic Course" features Nepal. In a way, the course offers a full Nepali package with the race starting in an urban setting with stone paved road surrounded by New Road styled cement houses.
As the race progresses the location goes more remote with houses getting smaller and made out of mud. On the way, you will also be able to see some Pagodas, prayer flags (I know they’re getting clichéd) and giant bells dangling from giant gates to make you feel just home.
Far Cry 4
You probably already expected to see Far Cry on the list but we just couldn’t stop ourselves from talking about this iconic game. Beset on the fictional country of “Kyrat”, the game draws heavily from the topography of Nepal, capturing beautiful nuances like prayer flags (UGH!) swaying to rhythm of the wind, candid conversations in Nepali (and Hindi), verdant hills and snow-clad peaks among other intricate deatails. The game even features Mount Ama Dablam and the trekking route that leads to it.
Even the storyline for the game draws inspiration from actual Nepali history. In the game’s backstory, Pagan Min, the iconic antagonist, storms the royal palace, kills the royal heir and purges the Royal family. And the uncanny resemblance doesn’t stop there. The game’s plot revolves around the on-going civil war against the King of Kyrat. Sounds familiar?
To the game developer’s credits, Ubisoft sent their team to Nepal so that they could be as authentic as possible. And the effort certainly translates to the game’s realistic setting with mud-brick houses, Nepali appearing and sounding characters and signboards engraved in Devanagari script.
The second installment in the uncharted franchise, Uncharted: Among Thieves, leads the deviously charming Nathan Drake to an urban city in Nepal. The city is in its path to destruction turning Nepali urban styled houses into dust because of ….. a civil war. Again? Can't the game creators think of any other conflict befitting Nepal? *Sigh*
Well, Nathan, as he does, climbs through the billboards containing Devanagari scripts and uses familiar Newari Pati and shrines to dodge bullets. The game also gives you a glimpse of some of those big heavy Lakhey masks you can purchase in Thamel or Bhaktapur. Oh! And not to mention, more prayer flags.
Overwatch, an online multiplayer shooter game and one of the maps in the game features Nepal. Overwatch’s depiction of Nepal succeeds where Uncharted’s fail. Unlike the above game, there is no civil war and no rubble which allows the players to soak in the beautiful mud-based, wooden-roofed houses, the kind you can see in remote places of the country. The map is engulfed by mountains all around and the some parts of the map exude a very Durbar Square vibe.
If you ever wanted to go around Patan Durbar Square shooting futuristic weapons, we definitely recommend you play Overwatch. And most importantly, there are no prayer flags. WOOHOO! I don’t know about you but I count that as a win.
Spiderman Friend or Foe
If you’re an old timer like me, you probably played this game in your PC or your PS 2. No matter the device, the game was gold when we were kids. This game from 2007 is probably one of the oldest games to feature Nepal. Friend or Foe with its relatively inferior 2000’s graphics mostly has partially barren and partially lush landscapes, mud-based houses, waterfalls and rivers depicting Nepal.
Be that as it may, the nostalgia inducing game receives brownie points for not using any prayer flags to signify Nepal.
Did we miss your favorite game to depict Nepal? Let us know!