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[QUOTE] That's a nice D&D anecdote. Vagrant Story had a very South Asian look to the architecture in parts too. While it's true there are inspirations from those regions, it always felt to me that Vagrant Story was rather taking inspiration from "orientalism" (i.e. the European colonialist inspiration and integration of Eastern cultures into their art and folklore) rather than Eastern cultures themselves. I strongly recommend [URL=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orientalism_(book)]Edward Said's book on the topic;[/URL] it's an essential read for the critical understanding of orientalism and the perverse impact of the European colonization on popular culture and myths associated with Eastern cultures. In terms of architecture, Leamonde was based on Bordeaux and Lyon in France. They even travelled there for research. So how is Indivisible doing post-extension? Is it on its way to 1.5M after all? It's an interesting case study considering I don't think we have many examples of crowdfunding extensions yet. [/QUOTE] Thanks for your thoughtful response. Vagrant Story is clearly very French influenced to. And i think it's great that they actually visited those locations to inform the art direction on the game. I'm pretty sure the references to South East Asian culture were also informed by real experience and not distant orientalism. The connections to Balinese culture were confirmed for me by [URL=http://blog.weigy.com/2012/01/bali1/]an Indonesian friend of mine who is intimately familiar with Bali[/URL]. I grew up in Thailand which shares a lot of cultural heritage with Balinese and Indonesian culture so it's an aesthetic I'm familiar with too. From my experience people in Asia generally really like how Japanese games reference their cultures. The touches in Vagrant Story and other Squaresoft games are very authentic and considerate. For instance the Balinese chanting isn't there for a cheap, lazy "othering" effect, that's actually the sound that's used to announce the arrival of a celestial being in the play its from. I think most people who played the game probably just thought it was a really cool digitally altered voice sample. This is a far cry from say, Jade Empire where they hired a supposed language expert (who of course wasn't actually Chinese) to come up with a made up language that sounds like cat scratch and ching chong sounds. Like, they meant well, but it's just so embarassingly off base. Or when highly respected comics writer Grant Morisson was tasked to come up with a Chinese Super hero team he created, "Mother of Champions" who can " birth a litter of twenty-five genetically identical supersoldiers about every three days." Like, seriously, WTF?? [URL=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Ten](by the way the other heroes in that group are almost just as LOLsey) [/URL] I only bring those up cos they're actually somewhat lauded in the US, but to me they're hilariously alienating. Whereas there are decades worth of video games that reference a variety of cultures with more grace and authenticity, but they go less noticed because they're not so garish about it.
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