How Grief and a Deep Love of Games Is at the Centerpiece of Tales of Kenzera: Zau

Tales of Kenzera: Zau follows a young shaman named Zau who makes a deal with Kalunga, the God of Death, that in exchange for three great spirits, he’ll bring his father back to the realm of the living. Zuberi is the character you will play when you start the game, and he is gifted a book by his late father — this book is his father’s final way of connecting with him – and you’ll learn that it’s through the eyes of Zuberi that you will journey into the world.

“When I was clearing my father’s things after he passed away, there was this book that he left which contained his handwriting. And it meant so much to me. Because it felt as if I was looking at his handwriting, I could almost bring him back to life, imagining him, you know, writing it, and this essentially inspired how we get into this story.”

Telling this story within the metroidvania space, as Salim explains, is because the genre’s rules and structure behave a lot like grief. As a player, you’re thrown into this alien world that you can never prepare for. Yet the longer you stay in it – exploring its various dark and unknown corners at your own pace — you become more comfortable within it.

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