Ways of Playing: Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou


[TW: There is some strobing and flashing in this video.] 

Welcome to episode 2 of Ways of Playing! Continuing my investigation into the works of Osamu Sato and OutSide Games, this episode takes a somewhat truncated look at their first ever release. Metaphysical questions abound in this atmospheric 1994 adventure game about self-actualization and spiritual growth. Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou draws from an indulgent mix of aesthetic, literary and religious influences, as well as an impish (maybe even downright mean) sense of humour to bring its themes home. Considering how much there is to discover in this game, I only hope I did it justice. 

Apologies for some inconsistencies with the audio! You may notice that for a few minutes I sound like I’m in a tunnel, but at least I managed to line that up with footage of me walking through a tunnel. Maybe it works out.

Apologies also for very probably butchering some names.

A nice, brief compilation of additional info on the game, including excerpts from the in-game lore book, can be found here.

Here is a version of the history of Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess. Note the segments in which Amaterasu bites the Magatama, as well as her brother’s sword, and forms new gods out of the pieces.