In the run up to release, DokeV is consistently being compared to Pokémon. Capturing the attention of players with its bright colors, stunning graphics and almost epic battles, just how similar is it to the legendary Nintendo franchise?
Dokebi are inspired by Korean folklore
Pokémon are largely made-up creatures, and while some draw on the influence of folklore (such as Ninetales, Slowpoke, Psyduck, and even Gastly), largely they are entirely new creations.
With DokeV, Lead Producer Sang Young Kim has stated that the Dokebi of Pearl Abyss' game are entities inspired by creatures from Korean mythology and folklore - the Dokkaebi.
To create these monsters, developer Chang Kee Nam told us the team used many Korean folk tales as source material when designing the Dokebi. For example, in the trailer there's a pink anteater-like creature, that is really based on the pulgasari (bulgasari) -- an imaginative bear-like creature that eats iron.
Also in the trailer, the large bird flying in the sky is based on the concept of the Eoduksini, a type of yogwe (imaginary monster) in folk tales which represents darkness.
In folklore, the dokkaebi possess magical items. This includes the dokkaebi gamtu, a type of hat that grants invisibility. This has been interpreted in the game as becoming transparent when you fly in the sky with your umbrella, making you invisible to other people.
What are the Dokebi?
The Dokebi in DokeV are spiritual creatures found in Korean folklore, and exclusively so. This is vastly different to Pokémon, which tend not to have any connection to mystical creatures from various legends - although there are some exceptions, such as Honedge and Dhelmise.
In DokeV, the Dokebi feed on people's dreams, living alongside them, although many people are unable to see them.
Conversely, anyone can see Pokémon. Training them is another matter entirely!
Do we collect monsters in DokeV?
Unlike Pokémon, our goal is not to catch all monsters in DokeV. Instead, our goal is to free the dokebi under the control of a company that uses AI. Androids "capture" the dokebi, using them without their knowledge.
Therefore, your goal isn't to collect dokebi, but to come to their aid. Think Sonic the Hedgehog here, freeing the live animals from within their robot shells.
Gameplay revolves around finding clues in the world of DokeV, to determine which monster needs help, and then neutralising the android and stabilizing the dokebi inside. You'll use a vacuum cleaner to achieve this.
Some dokebi are relatively easy to obtain, while others will require meeting special conditions. Ultimately, a large part of the fun comes from meeting the dokebi and learning their story.
So while there are noticable similarities, and discussion around this online, DokeV and Pokémon are fundamentally different games, and the Dokebi are fundamentally different protagonists.
No release date has been stated for DokeV at the time of writing, with the game still in development. Stay tuned for more news!
As part of an interview with developers Pearl Abyss, we had the chance to learn a little more about the world of DokeV -- and in particular the extent of Korean culture influencing the game.
While Pearl Abyss' upcoming sandbox title DokeV is still in development, many are having fun online comparing it to Pokémon. But what is it really? Does the simple act of collecting monsters necessarily make a game Pokémon-like?