The pre-order trailer for Toren feels like Christmas came early this year—like May 12th early, which is when Brazilian studio Swordtales will be launching the title on PC, Mac, and PS4.
For those who haven’t caught wind of Toren during its three year development period, it focuses on the tale of a tribal girl who must battle against a Tower of Babel-esque catastrophe. Set in a tower built to “pierce the heavens,” Toren follows the protagonist’s journey to escape from the divine punishment cast down on her people for their prideful monument.
You play as Moonchild, who is born a prisoner in the tower. Destined to climb the perilous structure, Moonchild faces epic puzzles and odds as she defies the gods who intend to keep her entrapped in the monumental prison at all costs. Beginning as an infant, Moonchild journeys through the ages, growing into a fierce woman by the end who climbs “to the top of this beautiful, yet treacherous environment, driven by the will to find [her] freedom.”
Swordtales’ cultural influences seem weaved into Toren‘s narrative—particularly in their depiction of Moonchild as an indigenous woman. Though Swordtales doesn’t give any specifics about her ethnicity, the protagonist seems fashioned after an archetypal tribal hero. Historically, native Brazilians have been known to be notoriously fierce warriors when it comes to independence and freedom. As brazil.org describes the history:
“The Portuguese had established a management culture of violent domination and abuse in [the colonization of] India. However, this did not go down well with Brazilian locals, who captured and ate their Portuguese ‘owners’ in complex ceremonies. This forced the Portuguese king to listen to the warnings of the indigenous folk and assume direct control.”
Unsurprisingly, the strong will of the native Brazilians kept them protected from modernity for centuries. In 2007 it was determined that, with a total of sixty-seven uncontacted indigenous tribes, Brazil surpassed New Guinea as the country harboring the largest population of uncontacted peoples.
No doubt playing on the myth of the Amazonian warrior princess, Toren explores an archetypal civilization that continues fighting to retain their liberty, even after catastrophe has struck. Battling a great and evil dragon, Moonchild is aided by all the typical characters of a heroic journey. A Wizard, who can come to her only in dreams, helps Moonchild understand the history of her people by providing visions of the lost civilization. Also, because the civilization was punished for their pride with “eternal sunlight” (which, to be honest, kind of sounds like Rio de Janeiro), Moonchild can also count on the aid of a great knight sent by the Sun to protect her.