European box art
|Developer(s)||Sproing Interactive Media|
Deep Silver Vienna
|Platform(s)||Wii, Microsoft Windows|
|Genre(s)||Survival horror, Action-adventure|
Cursed Mountain is a survival horror action-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. A Microsoft Windows version of the game was released on February 5, 2010, in Europe.
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.
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.
Mountineer 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 went missing on Chomolonzo after being sent by Edward Bennett, a wealthy expedition organiser, 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 decided 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 makes his final goodbyes for Frank before he is to be buried along with the Terma, before Eric soberly descents back down the mountain.
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Cursed Mountain was a collaborative development effort by 16 companies consisting of 236 people in 17 unique locations in 14 different countries.
The Wii version received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. N-Zone gave praise to the game's pacing and atmosphere, with criticism aimed at the game's sometimes sluggish controls. Blast Magazine said that the "story, setting and atmosphere are the keys to Cursed Mountain" while "the controls or pacing frustrate you a bit". About.com was less enthusiastic, referring to the controls as "infuriating" and the finale as "laughably pretentious."
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- Wolinsky, David (September 7, 2009). "Cursed Mountain". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on September 10, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
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- Normandin, Marc (September 1, 2009). "Cursed Mountain review". Blast Magazine.
- Herold, Charles (2009). "Cursed Mountain - Game Review". About.com. Archived from the original on January 28, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2016.