July 25, 2021

Video: "Kingdom of Death", Auday Hussein's Gilgamesh-inspired Amiga game

Back in the 1990s, Iraqi programmer and designer Auday Hussein worked on an Amiga adaptation of the Mesopotamian epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest surviving work of literature. He was kind enough to talk me through this amazing project earlier this year, discussing his first experiments with the MSX and Amiga, what it was like learning about programming in Baghdad during the rule of the Ba'ath Party, the challenges of visualising the Gilgamesh universe, and the possibility of releasing the partly completed game today.

Hussein also shared a video of the game, which now has the working title "Kingdom of Death". It's a beautiful and atmospheric action-adventure set in the underworld, with a wonderful monster bestiary and thoughtful puzzles tied to cuneiform inscriptions. You can read much more in the full feature, but here's the video by itself if you'd rather cut to the chase.

An excerpt from the article, for context: "It's a 2D platform adventure with a musclebound, sword-wielding hero, a vast menagerie of monsters and intricate, cavernous environments. It takes inspiration from a multitude of non-Mesopotamian sources, including Shadow of the Beast, Zelda and David Joiner's 1987 RPG Fairy Tale Adventure, and is "more free, more open" than the Gilgamesh narrative, with puzzles that pull you deeper into the setting."

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