A sprinkling of metal in your game

This week, I’m excited to talk about a board game that incorporates a couple of my favorite things: mythology and metal music.

If you’ve read my previous articles, you know I like games of all types. This week, I’m excited to talk about a board game that incorporates a couple of my favorite things: mythology and metal music. How do these two concepts come together to form a single entity of awesomeness? Just read on, my friend.

The Therion of today was founded by Christofer Johnsson in Sweden in 1987. It began as a death metal band called Blitzkrieg. It has had a few name changes and many lineup changes since its inception, but has remained successful in its genre. Called the “most adventurous metal band at present” by MusicMight.com, Therion blends the metal sound with orchestral music and vocals sung by traditional choirs. It’s a little different from your standard Iron Maiden or Metallica, but its sound is totally its own. Therion’s songs are influenced by various mythologies, as well as elements of magic and occultism. Its latest album, titled “Sitra Ahra” was released in

February 2010 and can be sampled online, then bought through their website www.megatherion.com, or through any other purveyors of good music.

Created in cooperation with the band by Paolo Vallerga from the well-known game developer Scribabs, its release date is yet unknown. However, a video featuring the band members as their game personas is slated for release in June 2011. Frontman Christofer Johnsson explained its conception, saying, “Paolo Vallerga approached the band at the show in Milano [Italy] last year with this great idea of making a fantasy board game based upon stage characters mixed with mythology. We instantly thought it was the coolest thing we’ve heard in ages and loved the idea.”

Unlike the “KISS on Tour” game of 1978, the game based around everyone’s favorite Swedish symphonic metal band has a plot line that exists beyond the members of Therion. Named “011,” the game is set in a town called Turin, which exists in an alternate, steampunk version of our world in 1811. Turin, as it happens, is a special place which has a lot of mystical energies surrounding it, due to its placement in both the black magic triangle, formed with London and San Francisco, and the white magic triangle, formed with Prague and Lyon.

The story starts at the end of a three-year winter called Fimbulvetr, which, according to Norse mythology, signifies the beginning of the Ragnarök, which is basically the end, and later rebirth, of the world after it gets submerged entirely in water. The Ragnarök will begin when Fenrir, the wolf, awakens from his slumber. Turin and the entire world is about to perish in a series of natural disasters, when suddenly, eight heroes appear from the North. One of these heroes is said to be the “chosen one,” who has the power to stop Fenrir and the Ragnarök. That’s where the players come in.

Each person plays as a character based on one of the band-members of Therion, but only one will have the power of the chosen one. They have to discover which player is it, compose the mystical song which will put Fenrir back to sleep, and find the Organ of Snorri, which is hidden in Turin, and is the only instrument able to withstand the magical song.

Sound too easy for you? What if we told you that halfway through, one of the players switches roles and starts to play on the side of Fenrir, attempting to identify and stop the chosen one before he has the chance to save Turin and the world? In doing so, the player will be granted eternal life after the Ragnarök.

“011” is unique because of the dynamic of play. All players start out hoping for the same goal—to save the world—with the understanding that there can be only one chosen one. Then, gameplay switches, offering another player a way to become a different kind of chosen one and a different way to win the game. ?