Cursed Mountain

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Cursed Mountain
Cursed Mountain.jpg
European box art
Developer(s) Sproing Interactive Media
Deep Silver Vienna
Publisher(s) Deep Silver
Distributor(s) Madman Entertainment[1]
Designer(s) Tobe Mayr
Christoph Quas
Georg Heinz
Composer(s) Darren Lambourne
Platform(s) Wii, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) Wii
  • EU August 21, 2009
  • UK September 4, 2009
Microsoft Windows
  • EU February 05, 2010[4]
Genre(s) Adventure, Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Optical disc

Cursed Mountain is a survival horror-adventure video game for the Wii developed by Sproing Interactive Media, in collaboration with, and published by Deep Silver Vienna. It was released on August 25, 2009, in North America. The game focuses on a mountaineer searching for his lost brother in the Himalayas.[5] A PC version of the game was released on February 5, 2010, in Europe. It is available globally via digital download on GamersGate.

Gameplay[edit]

Combat primarily consists of encounters with the angry souls of monks and climbers who are trapped in Bardo, a spiritual realm in between this life and the next. The player must stun the enemies and make gestures with the Wii Remote to free their souls. The game also makes use of other features of the Wii Remote, such as its built-in speaker.[6][7]

Plot[edit]

Cursed Mountain is set in the late 1980s, due to the lack of technology available in the time period. The entire course of the game takes place on a mountain in the Himalayas named Chomolonzo, which the natives call "the Sacred One". The storyline of the game is heavily influenced by Buddhism and Tibetan folklore.[6][7][8]

The Protagonist- Eric Simmons- is called to climb Chomolonzo- a mountain in the Himalayas that has never been summited and is steeped in folklore. The mountain is inhabited by Sherpas, who practice a subset of Buddhism and believe the mountain to be a Goddess. Eric's brother Frank has gone missing on Chomolonzo after being sent by Edward Bennett- a wealthy benefactor- to retrieve the Terma: a mythical artifact recently revealed to be atop the mountain. The myths of the Sherpas indicate the Terma is the key to immortality.

Eric proceeds through a series of villages and monasteries at the base of the mountain, all of which are abandoned. Eric finds himself being attacked by ghosts and the monk Thod-Pa shows Eric how to use the Third Eye: a technique that allows Eric to see and battle the ghosts. Eric learns that Frank found and activated the Terma and has unwittingly used it to pass into the Bardo- a purgatory between life, the afterlife, and reincarnation. Frank is trapped in the Bardo, unable to live or die, and the ghosts that have been rampaging the mountain escaped from the Bardo once Frank opened it.

Once Eric reaches the base camp for Bennett and his climbers, he finds Frank's climbing partner, Paul. Frank was undergoing tantric rituals with Mingma- the apprentice of the high priestess Jomo Menmo. The final ritual required Mingma and Frank to have sexual intercourse, but Mingma was unable to go through with it because she had fallen in love with Paul. Frank decides to climb Chomolonzo without completing the rituals, cursing their climb. Bennett kills Mingma and Paul, and is revealed by Eric to be a demon disguised as a man. Eric defeats Bennett using the Third Eye.

Salvaging climbing gear from base camp and oxygen tanks from the other stranded and dead climbing parties, Eric makes it to the top of Chomolonzo and finds Frank. Frank decides to pass through the Bardo into reincarnation rather than return to life, hoping that he makes better use of his next life. Frank dies, and Eric is left atop the mountain, alone and with limited supplies.

Development[edit]

Cursed Mountain was a collaborative development effort by 16 companies consisting of 236 people in 17 unique locations in 14 different countries.[9]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 69.43%[10]
Metacritic 67[11]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 7.5[12]
IGN 7.5/10[13]

N-Zone magazine gave the game a score of 82%. Praise was given to the game's pacing and atmosphere, with criticism aimed at the game's sometimes sluggish controls.[14] Blast magazine awarded the game a 7.7 out of 10, stating that the "story, setting and atmosphere are the keys to Cursed Mountain" while "the controls or pacing frustrate you a bit".[15] About.com was less enthusiastic, giving the game a 3 out of 5 and referring to the controls as "infuriating" and the finale as "laughably pretentious."[16] IGN and GameSpot both awarded the title a score of 7.5 praising the atmosphere and game play.

Koch Media, the owner of Deep Silver Vienna, closed the studio on January 30, 2010.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Aussie Distributor Goes Mad" (Press release). Madman Entertainment. July 16, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  2. ^ "Cursed Mountain Climbs Into Retail". Deep Silver. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  3. ^ Farrely, Steve (October 12, 2009). "This Week's Game Releases (October 12 - 18)". Ausgamers. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  4. ^ "GamersGate Cursed Mountain page". 
  5. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2008-07-30). "IGN: Scaling the Cursed Mountain". IGN. 
  6. ^ a b Casamassina, Matt (2008-11-05). "IGN: Cursed Mountain Preview". IGN. 
  7. ^ a b McInnis, Shaun (2008-11-11). "Cursed Mountain Updated Impressions". GameSpot. 
  8. ^ Fahey, Mike (2009-01-22). "Survival Horror: Cursed Mountain Screens Are Cursed, Mountainous". Kotaku. 
  9. ^ Casamassina, Matt (August 17, 2009). "GC 2009: 12 Companies Made Cursed Mountain". IGN. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  10. ^ "Cursed Mountain". GameRankings. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Cursed Mountain". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  12. ^ VanOrd, Kevin (27 August 2009). "Cursed Mountain Review". Gamespot. 
  13. ^ Casamassina, Matt. "Cursed Mountain". IGN. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  14. ^ http://gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=92659
  15. ^ http://blastmagazine.com/the-magazine/gaming/reviews/2009/09/cursed-mountain-review/
  16. ^ Herold, Charles. "Cursed Mountain - Game Review". About.com. 
  17. ^ "Koch Media closes Deep Silver Vienna". 

External links[edit]