A narrator in the shadow of Barcelona’s history, the dragon ...
Catalonia is an incubator for start-ups and the cradle of legends. A place where innovation lives side by side with tradition, the two structural pillars for Legends of Catalonia, a VR videogame promoted by the Catalan Tourism Agency, a public body whose purpose is to make the rest of the world more familiar with Catalonia.
Gone are the days of tourism books, brochures or adverts; the new era – digital and more sustainable – opens the doors to other ways of communicating and living. This is the premise which gave rise to Legends of Catalonia, a pioneering sensorial experience in which the player becomes an explorer of the past, present and future in a small land in southern Europe and of its centuries of history, culture and tradition. Some of the main ingredients are the hyperrealism of the settings that form an intrinsic part of Catalonia’s history and the protagonists, many of whom are recognised internationally: the Roca brothers, famous chefs; mountaineer Edurne Pasaban; and the former FC Barcelona captain, Carles Puyol. A 3D challenge, designed using the latest techniques, that filled the screens of the mythic Times Square in New York last November and which can now be experienced in the Tourist Information Office in La Roca Village.
The popular legend of Saint George is strong in Catalonia, where Sant Jordi is the patron saint, and references to this tale of the knight who saved the princess and slayed the dragon (from whose blood a rose bush grows) abound at different points in the videogame. For instance: there is a battle with the fantastical beast in La Seu Vella in Lleida; the former Barça captain wears knightly attire; the scaly nature of Gaudí’s architecture makes an appearance; and Herculean and gastronomic trials have to be passed in order to release six medals that give access to the medieval hero’s secret diary.
While Catalan tradition may revolve around this particular tale, there are many other legends expressed in this game. It is no coincidence, for example, that Montserrat Mountain was one of the settings chosen, as, aside from its striking natural beauty, it houses the mysterious apparition of La Moreneta, the black Virgin Mary. Another setting is the enigmatic Seu Vella in Lleida, the home of the Sant Drap, allegedly the baby Jesus’ first nappy. Then there is the fantasy that envelops the universe of Salvador Dalí, based in Cadaqués and the surrounding area.