Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Prophets: Magus & Muhammad

Yet again, we're dealing with another fanatical attack against free speech...Yet again, political cartoonists are the "offenders" for depicting Muhammad...And yet again, people are dead in the streets for being brave enough to express opinions, even under the threat of violence. Blind sensitivity and petty self righteousness made them resort to violence over a cartoon...How cowardly and pathetic. Is their ideology so weak they cannot defend it with reason and logic? They make me sick.

This is a blog about games, so I'm not going to get too political about things, but acts of violence such as this effect us all whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Matt Stone and Trey Parker famously had to censor their depiction of the religious figure in South Park, The Onion made one of my favorite satirical pieces of all time about the issue, and the recent blow up with Bill Maher, Sam Harris and Ben Affleck only further pushes a narrative that we need to talk about Islam.

I wanted to see if this issue had any parallels to the gaming industry. Have there been any threats against developers for depicting the historical figure? The first thing I came across was an internet flash fighting game that depicted both God and Muhammad. The Daily Mail only shows a picture of God in the article about the game being taken offline. The next thing was a complete shock to me. I found out that one of my favorite video game characters of all time may actually be based on the prophet, Magus. 

Chrono Trigger's complex anti-hero has much in common with the Islamic prophet. 

  • Muhammad founded Islam in the early 600s AD/ Magus became leader of the Mystics around the same time
  • Muhammad founded the first Islamic State, Medina/ Magus founded the first home for the Mystics, Medina Village
  • Magus' theme song, "The Black Wind Howls" and his quote, "The black wind among you will shortly perish" may be a reference to a middle eastern omen about death
  • Both Muhammad and Magus are referred to as "The Prophet". Magus' ending for the game is even titled "What the Prophet Seeks"

I had absolutely no idea. It's incredible that you can love something so much and spend so much time with something (I've played it 3 times) and not know such an interesting fact about it. I think it's pretty safe to say that the writers of Chrono Trigger took some inspiration for this iconic character and I'm glad they did. It's crazy to think that not only have I seen a depiction of Muhammad...I've played one. 

My thoughts go out to France and all of those involved in the tragedy today. Let's find justice and peace, not fear. 

Like always, Thanks for reading...

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