Welcome to the Culture Corner
Welcome back to the Culture Corner with Tao Jones. If you’re new to the Culture Corner, this is a little column that is your guide to the world. It’s great to be a hero, but if you don’t understand what it is you’re trying to save, then it’s a little harder to appreciate it. That’s what I’m here for. Each column, I’m going to take a part of Chinese culture in our games and explain it in a little more depth.
Let’s step away from the big questions about how the universe works, what happens to you when you die, questions that can be answered with 42, that kind of thing. As you run around in the fields of ancient China, drenched in the blood of your enemies and sporting an oversized head, one question might occur to you. Why foxes? That’s a question that I’m sure a number of you are probably wondering about. Why are fox spirits running around practically every zone in the game? Where other fantasy games would use goblins, orcs, or psychotically aggressive fish-men, Zentia instead uses foxes. As you might guess, the answer is that foxes actually have a significant role in Chinese culture and mythology. People familiar with the Japanese kitsune fox spirits might already have some idea, but the Chinese ones, although similar, are different enough that it’s worth reading through
The thing to understand about foxes in the game is that these aren’t fox-like beings. They’re actual foxes. As you might remember from the last article, animals are considered to be sentient beings. Foxes are crafty, and believed to live for hundreds of years. Over that time, they can learn how to change shape and disguise themselves as humans. They’re still foxes, but someone who has learned how to do that is called a huli jing (???), or fox spirit, much like how someone who’s earned a PhD is called a doctor.
However, as Dr. Scruffles found out the hard way, being called a doctor does not grant a PhD.