Saturday, September 4, 2010

Spiritual Warfare (NES)

Did anyone ever own the Christian NES game Spiritual Warfare when it first came out? It can now be played for free on the Wisdom Tree Games website. I messed around with it a little bit earlier, the game is very similar to the original Zelda. The plot is essentially that the people in a certain town have been possessed by demons and you must go around and, as it were, 'deliver them'- this is done by attacking them, and then destroying the demon as it flies out from them. Extra points are gained by answering Scriptural questions, so the game has an educative side to it but this probably restricts the audience the game can demand. For Nes the graphics are acceptable. I wonder how the game develops, does the game have much of a developing plot? I would be interested to hear.

Since the NES era there has been very little in the way of explicitly Christian gaming, isn't that odd? Was the audience more Christian?

I think Christian themed games deserve support from Catholics. As a young, unconverted, lad I wonder what I would have made of these games? When I was about 6, to my shame, I often purchased games based on the box! Spiritual Warfare's front cover would have appealed to me ;) It looks a little like Wizard and Warriors, with a tough looking character on the front. I wonder if the back would have put me off with all talk about religion. But then, surely, the company would want to make known the fact that the game was Christian to the presumably Christian parents trying to foist this game on their beloved child they nobly wished to catechise.

My dream however would be a fantasy RPG game that essentially looks at a world where the people in some way live according to an existentialist philosophy that does not explain the fragmentation and wickedness in the world. The main character discovers a secret, persecuted sect that holds a revelation that explains the fragmentation. Most modern RPGs seem to work the other way round!

Move straight over to 16 Bit Catholic to catch a review of Spiritual Warfare. I think he comes to the same conclusions as my first impressions. I wonder if anyone out there has actually completed this game though? I would love to hear if the plot develops in any way.


dustin (The Boston Celtics fan) said...

That guy is showing a LOT of leg. Very immodest for a Christian game!!! LOL

Jokes aside, if it had gameplay mechanics nearly as solid as Zelda, I think it would be fun to play. If the NES version of Batman was able to grab me for a weekend, I think Spiritual Warfare would have held me for at least the afternoon.

I do like your RPG idea. A good Christian game wouldn't have to shove religion down your throat, but simply immerse the player in a world that subscribes to real Catholicism.

Miles Mariae said...

Exactly. The triumphing philosophy would be the Catholic worldview. That way the game would be a positive critique of our ailing world rather than a preachy retreat that is really only there to edify the converted.

Essentially, we are talking about what Tolkien did with the novel- the only difference I think for today would be that the game would have to start out, as it were, in 'Mordor' but the residents of 'mordor' view it as as a paradise!

Tolkien wrote at the time during which Christian civilisation was expiring and his setting fitted that, now that we are starting off from neo paganism.

dustin (The Boston Celtics fan) said...

Posted a review of the game at my site (no cheap plus here). It actually wasn't that bad. A few things were broken (absolutely no narration or plot, bombs taking too long to explode), but I enjoyed playing it. Thanks so much for the tip!