How Capcom Turned Buddhist Mythology Into A Game About Planet-Splitting Battles

Asura's Wrath is an angry game based on an angry group of Buddhist demigods.

In the game you play as Asura, a god stripped of all of his powers out to save his daughter from the seven gods that betrayed him. As Asura grows angrier in the game he also grows more arms. That multitude of arms is an expression of the demigods anger, not his health or capabilities, Hiroshi Matsuyama, CEO and President of developer CyberConnect2, tells me.

"It's how he expresses his anger," Matsuyama said. "Even when he has no arms it doesn't mean he is a weak character. He's still very angry and very strong. He'll headbutt and kick and he'll use what ever he can to attack.

"It's all about the anger."

Matsuyama says that the initial concept for Asura and his rage-powered abilities were based on Buddhist deities, ones that were known for their wrath and their anger.

"They had an affinity for their anger," he said.

In Buddhism there are legends of the Assura, a group of gods cast out from a Buddhist heaven because of their wrath, pride and bellicosity.

The Assura of legend are an entire group of low-ranking Hindu and Buddhist gods or demigods. These demigods, known to be obsessed with violence and anger, got drunk one day on a forbidden wine and were kicked off the mountain where the other gods lived. When they woke up they discovered their new home and have been fighting with the other gods since to return, according to legend.

Because the Asura are unable to solve problems peacefully, that's led to a lot of in-fighting among the gods until one of the Asura married a full god and a tense peace was established.

But in the game it is a single god on a singular quest.

Matsuyama tells me that as Asura fights his way from enemy to enemy things won't necessarily get bigger, but they will get more over the top.

For instance, in the latest trailer released for the game we see Asura taking on his former master, a like-sized enemy. Their battle, though, takes them to the moon and around the planet.

"An enemy's size isn't a representation of his strength," Matsuyama said.

The god's journey will be a singular one. This is not a game that will offer any form of multiplayer. Instead, the developers tell me they are concentrating on delivering a deep story.

"We didn't find it difficult to decide to make it a single-player only game," Matsuyama said. "We think multiplayer and coop is great and like playing those as well. But we wanted to make sure this is single-player only because there are certain things you can only do in single player. We wanted to focus the player on Asura's story.

"This is a story that players will want to immerse themselves in, to become Asura."


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