Stray: All other video games inspired by Kowloon Fortress City


Stray, a recent indie game about a cat escaping from a cyberpunk city, has received stellar reviews and a lot of attention from both gamers and non-gamers. While its main character, the cat, certainly attracted a lot of attention, as well as the beautiful dystopian setting of the Fortress City. To media experts and cyberpunk lovers, the city may seem familiar. This is because the fortress city is based on the Kowloon fortress City that once existed in China.

Kowloon was once a military base, but has turned into a densely populated city. In fact, it was the most densely populated city in the world: more than 30 thousand people lived in skyscrapers that occupied only six to seven acres of land. Crime and the quality of life in the city deteriorated so much that this place was demolished in the 90s. However, he had a great influence on literature, cinema and video games, which means that Stray is not the only video game inspired by the city.

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Kowloon Gate

Kowloon’s Gate was a PS1 game that never left Japan, but became a cult hit set in the fortress city of Kowloon. It came out in 1997 and was loved for its excessive use of symbolism. As part of Kowloon , the game also drew symbols and inspiration from the New Testament , Carl Jung , Dante ‘s Hell , the cyberpunk genre and Gothic architecture . Critics, not without reason, called the game “esoteric”. It took some knowledge of Chinese history and philosophy to understand everything in the game.

Its esoteric nature and deep connection with Chinese philosophy probably led to the fact that “Kowloon Gate” was never sold outside Japan. The gameplay itself included puzzles, dungeons and battles with various spirits. The game’s director, Nakaji Kimura, was also the screenwriter of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne.

Shenmu 2

Shenmue 2 was created by Sega for the DreamCast and is a game in which players spend a lot of time in the fortress city of Kowloon. Unlike Kowloon’s Gate, the game was localized outside Japan and later became available on other consoles such as PS4, Xbox One, Xbox and Windows. The single-player game was partly a social and life simulator, and partly an action adventure.

Shenmue 2 not only goes to the fortress city of Kowloon, but also gets into the criminal environment that this city was famous for. The player must infiltrate a criminal organization in the city, and the rescue takes place on the roofs of skyscrapers. Roofs were a big part of Kowloon’s culture, as sunlight could not reach the lower levels of the city. Like Kowloon’s Gate, Shenmue 2 has become iconic.

Death grip

Released in 2007, Stranglehold was a third-person shooter that was actually a sequel to the action movie Hard Boiled. The game is about criminal syndicates in Hong Kong fighting for territory. Parts of the game take place in Kowloon. And again, as in Shenmue 2, the game focused on the criminal aspect of Kowloon.

Apart from the huge population density, Kowloon Fortress City was known for its crime. Kowloon’s reputation for criminal activity was what most Kowloon games drew inspiration from for their plot elements. Stranglehold has been released on PS3, Windows and Xbox 360.

Sense of duty: Secret operations

The most famous game that featured Kowloon Fortress City was Call of Duty: Black Ops. It was released in 2010 and received a lot of positive reviews, ensuring that to this day the game is still played due to the competitive multiplayer mode and zombie mode. Part of the campaign actually takes place in Kowloon City, and Kowloon is a multiplayer map released in DLC.

Just like in a real city, the map is filled with tall buildings, so a popular strategy is to camp on the roofs and shoot others with a sniper rifle. Like the Tramp, the buildings also used ziplines as an easy way to get from point A to point B.

Stray is currently available on PC, PS4 and PS5.


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