It’s nice to see our little red dot being represented in mainstream media more often these days. Following Overwatch’s addition of Singaporean character ‘Echo’ who voices “alamak!” and “jialat!” in game, we will now get to see the terrifying creatures we spun tales about—those that we never expected to grace our screens.
Yes, I’m talking about the familiar eerie Pontianak that lies in wait under the shady banana tree, the Jiangshi springing back to life, and the lesser-known Komodo Wizard, a cross between a Komodo Lizard and a wizard. Singaporean game developer Andrew Teo developed Ghostlore as a personal project back in 2019, with the intention to bring a piece of Southeast Asia to gamers.
“I feel that Southeast Asia is a bit underrepresented in most fantasy stories and I want to create something a bit more local and close to home,” said the 32-year-old programmer.
Ghostlore is a single-player fantasy action role-playing game (RPG) that satisfies both the need for horror and fantasy.
In the demo, players will take on their first assignment—to investigate Moguis (the Cantonese Chinese term for evil spirits) and destroy a Rafflesia flower to protect the town of Seaport. As some of you might’ve guessed, Seaport is actually representative of Singapore, and even comes with its own version of the Merlion statue.
Along the way, players will have to take on the three aforementioned spiritual creatures. Singaporean players might also recognise the familiar call of Koel Birds in the mornings weaved into the soundscape of Ghostlore.
Other recognisable elements that hit close to home for Singaporeans are durians which players can wield to fend off enemies, as well as products that are—some might say—uniquely Singaporean. This includes Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa, Brand’s Essence of Chicken and Tiger Balm.
That’s not the end of Singaporean representation. Teo also plans to feature local cuisine in future versions of the game.
“One thing a Singapore inspired game would not be complete without is food. I’m planning to feature local cuisine and the players must hunt for missing ingredients like pandan leaves, curry leaves and the likes in order to make these dishes,” he said.
There is currently no fixed release date for the full game but we will hopefully get to try it by the end of the year, depending on how fast Teo can work on it.
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