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Who Knew A Fighting Game Could Hold So Much Cultural Value

Who Knew A Fighting Game Could Hold So Much Cultural Value

Fighting games have always been about fast-paced action, thrilling combos, and the satisfaction of a hard-fought victory. From the early days of “Street Fighter” and “Mortal Kombat” to modern classics like “Tekken” and “Super Smash Bros.”, players are drawn to these games for their intense competition and adrenaline-pumping battles. However, there’s often criticism that these games need more depth in storytelling and cultural representation than only focusing more on combat.

Enter “Africa’s Legends Reawakening,” a game that embraces the adrenaline of traditional fighting games and elevates the genre with rich cultural elements and a meaningful storyline. It all begins when Tolo Sagala, the Malian warrior and leader of the Dogon tribe, emerges, awakened by a vision of universe-shattering destruction. Determined to battle the threatening entity, she rallies fierce warriors across Africa, ruthlessly destroying anyone in her path. 

From here, we see characters like Po Sagala, the original leader of the Dogon tribe and brother to Tolo, who being driven by an insatiable thirst for power, conspires against Tolo, and ends up disrupting the bonds of family. The game features a Descendant of the Nomadic Wodaabe tribe, Sundi whose journey takes a dark turn as he embraces his expanding knowledge of Dark magic. We also see The Prophetess who was born from false religion and teachings. She harbors a sinister goal – witnessing the earth’s demise while commanding humans with her telekinetic staff. Her destructive desires fuel a menacing presence.

Additionally, we witness Ol Moran, a young man residing in Kibera, Nairobi, who is unaware of his latent power. He is later discovered by Tolo Sagala who nurtures the potential within him. The fierce Malian warrior realizes his potential and passion and prepares to save the world. Transcending from obscurity, we set eyes on Forger, a character whose mysterious nature conceals a unique ability to perfectly replicate any wooden object. His enigmatic presence adds an intriguing layer to the unfolding narrative. Furthermore, the story sets its eyes on Wudeng, the formidable warlord hailing from South Sudan, who is a figure of both fear and awe across the African continent. With his bionic limbs and mastery over guns, Wudeng’s skill on the battlefield is unparalleled.

What sets this game apart is its deep integration of African culture into every aspect of its design. From the characters’ backstories to the arenas where they fight and the masquerades they fight, to the use of African proverbs and gems with African symbols, there’s a strong emphasis on celebrating the diverse heritage and traditions of Africa.

How the Game Works

Africa’s Legends Reawakening is a match-3 puzzle game where players strategically align three or more gems to create powerful combos and battle styles. The objective is to defeat opponents by forming combinations of gems that unleash unique attacks or abilities, all while racing against a ticking clock. Players must think quickly and plan their moves carefully, balancing speed and strategy. As players progress through the game, they encounter different challenges and obstacles that require strategic thinking to overcome. Matching gems can also trigger special abilities and power-ups, allowing players to defeat their opponents and complete missions in a matter of seconds.

Since the game follows the classic fighting game format, players get to choose any of the characters mentioned above and engage in battles against other players or AI opponents. Each character has a unique set of moves, special abilities, and fighting styles inspired by African martial arts, mythology, folklore, and gems. For instance, Po Sagala possesses a unique strength merging scientific knowledge with ancestral powers, the Forger can manipulate any wooden object, the Prophetess has cool telekinesis abilities, Wudeng is a warlord and master of guns, Sundi, a master of swords and fists, Ananse is a master at controlling minds, Tolo’s power abilities are enhanced with the Kanaga staff and can travel in and out of the spirit world and Ol Moran has insane lion strength and energy spears and shields. 

All these fighting techniques or special abilities are fueled by the gems and there are seven unique gems. Each gem has its special abilities and the characters it works specially for. We have the Red Gem which deals 3 damages, gives 5 score points skill, and works specially for Wudeng. Purple Gem deals 1 damage, gives 10 score points, pauses the timer for 8 seconds, allows players to have another turn, and works specially for Sundi. Green Gem increases players’ health points and time by 1, gives 5 score points and specially works for the Forger. Blue Gem deals 1 damage, increases the players’ shield by 1, gives 5 score points, and specially works for Ol Moran. Each Yellow Gem deals 1 piercing damage, gives 5 score points, and specially works for Po Sagala. Orange Gem deals 2 damages, reduces the opponent’s shield by 1, gives 5 score points, and specially works for the Prophetess. Lastly, each Rainbow Gem deals 1 damage, charges players special moves by 1/9, gives 10 score points, and works specially for Tolo Sagala and Ananse.

What’s more, the game features various modes, including one-on-one battles and challenges against masquerades in the Spirit Temple or against a single player or AI. There is another mode called The Room, a space where players can connect, and invite their friends online to play together.

The Significance of the Gems’ Symbols

A standout feature in “Africa’s Legends Reawakening” is the use of Adinkra symbols, which play a crucial role in the game’s mechanics and aesthetics. Originating from the Akan people of Ghana, these symbols represent various concepts and philosophical ideas. In the game, players match these gems embedded with Adinkra symbols, granting their characters special powers or augmenting their abilities during battles.

This innovative mechanic adds a strategic layer to the game, encouraging players to think critically about which symbols to use and how to leverage their effects in combat. It also serves as a unique way to incorporate traditional African symbolism into the gameplay, allowing players to learn about these culturally significant icons while enjoying the action.

The game features the Gye Nyame symbol embedded in the rainbow gem. It means “except God” which allows players to fully charge and unleash their special move. The rainbow gem is the go-to gem when you want to utterly destroy your opponent.

Next, we have the Adinkrahene symbol embedded in the green gem. The symbol stands for authority, leadership, and charisma. The green gem is the go-to gem when you want to increase your time and points.

Down the line, we have the Dwennemmen symbol embedded in the red gem. The symbol, Ram’s horns, stands for strength (body, mind, and soul), wisdom, humility, and learning. The red gem is your advantage when you want to launch a full attack or charge at your opponent.

Also, we have the Epa symbol embedded in the orange gem. The symbol, Handcuffs, means law and justice. This gem is your go-to gem when you want to disable the shields of your opponent to establish that there is no escape from law and justice.

Another symbol to look out for is the Mmere Dane symbol embedded in the purple gem. The symbol means time changes and stands for the temporariness of good times. This gem shows that time is key to perfection and gives players another chance to make another move.

A different symbol to know is the Sepow, the executioner’s knife embedded in the yellow gem. It is a symbol of justice which features a small but sharp knife. It deals one damage to the opponent and completely ignores the opponent’s shield.

One more symbol to be aware of is Wawa Aba embedded in the blue gem. It means the seed of the Wawa tree and symbolizes toughness and perseverance. The blue gem becomes an advantage when you want to shield yourself against an opponent’s attack.

The Broader Narrative

Beyond the combat, “Africa’s Legends Reawakening” tells a compelling story that weaves the various characters and their journeys together. The narrative explores themes of unity, resilience, and the eternal struggle between good and evil, resonating with audiences on a deeper level. This narrative focus is what elevates “Africa’s Legends Reawakening” from a typical fighting game to a rich storytelling experience. By providing context and depth to the characters, the game fosters a sense of immersion and emotional investment that is often lacking in other fighting games.

The Impact of Cultural Representation

Ultimately, “Africa’s Legends Reawakening” is more than just a fighting game; it’s a celebration of African culture and a platform for promoting cultural understanding. By featuring a diverse cast of characters and incorporating elements like African symbols, masquerades, and proverbs, the game invites players from around the world to engage with African heritage in a meaningful way.

As the gaming industry continues to evolve, there’s a growing demand for games that offer more than just entertainment. “Africa’s Legends Reawakening” meets this demand by providing a compelling premise, engaging gameplay, and a powerful message about the importance of cultural representation. It’s a reminder that even in a genre as action-packed as fighting games, there’s room for stories that connect us to our roots and expand our horizons. Check out Africa’s Legends Reawakening here: Android (Africa’s Legends (BETA) – Apps on Google Play) and iOS (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/africas-legends/id1644697335 )