Defending Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess’ Mysterious Mountain

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess Hero Image

Slowly but surely, the enigmatic Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess is revealing itself to us, only to pose new questions as we peel back the layers on this unique game. Recently, Capcom shared some new background details on the festering Seethe, creatures of lore who pose a threat to the Maiden, Yoshiro, and the villages she’s protecting. 

This past weekend at Summer Game Fest Play Days, I was among the first to try out a lengthy demo of Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess, before sitting down with some of the game’s creators to answer all of the “what did I just see?” types of questions which came tumbling forth. 

This special demo was set early in the game, in an area called Myoko Pass; the developers explained that we’ll be spending a lot of time in the mountainous region. “The story takes place and also concludes on Mount Kafuku” explained Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi. “Many of the Japanese folklore and mythologies have backgrounds where it takes place on mountains, and that’s where [we] got the inspiration.”

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess Screenshot

If you’ve seen a trailer for Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess, your reaction may have been along the lines of “this looks cool, but how, exactly, do you play it?” Fortunately, the game’s loop sets itself up early: taking control of masked guardian Soh, players earn crystals by purging defilement throughout the village (hold the B button down whenever you see something… disturbing). This often releases a villager in the process; crystals can be spent to assign them more martial roles to take on at night – when things go from weird to worse.  

You’ll need to balance building up your battalion with an even more important task: using crystals to clear a path through the defilement for Yoshiro, the maiden you’ve seen dancing in trailers, to proceed through the village towards a tainted Torii Gate – the titular Path of the Goddess. Soh’s crystal harvesting and direction of Yoshiro and the villagers takes place during several real-time minutes of daytime. Once night falls, it’s time to make the best of a perilous situation. 

As soon as it gets dark, the defiled Torii gate starts spitting forth pint-sized, almost cute enemies, based on Yokai of Japanese folklore, all making a beeline for Yoshiro. While they don’t move too quickly, they come in large numbers, and from multiple directions.  

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess Screenshot

Not a problem – Soh is a capable warrior who employs a graceful “Sword Dance” action system, inspired by traditional Kagura dance. The result evokes a sort of “Capoeira with blades” moveset. 

I directed Soh back and forth, elegantly slashing my way through dozens of monsters, occasionally pausing to direct my axe-wielding villagers to hold down choke points. While Yoshiro took a hit or two, generating all kinds of alarm on screen, she made it through the night. By sunrise, I had earned enough crystals to pave a path for Yoshiro all the way to the Torii gate, where she purged that part of the village of defilement. 

This opened up a tent, serving as a base from which to prepare for the next battle. Inside, Yoshiro presented Soh a Tsuba guard, granting a new power to battle the Seethe called Suzaku’s Flame, with the promise of more to come.  

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess Screenshot

Seeking a greater challenge, I next challenged a boss. Before heading off to battle, Yoshiro supplied a bounty of crystals, with which I trained a posse of four woodcutters to help even the odds.  Soon, Gakinyudo, a giant version of the mobs I had been facing in the village, came bursting into the clearing. I assigned three villagers to surround the abomination, reserving one to guard Yoshiro. We were dealing out significant damage when Gakinyudo summoned more tiny versions of itself to swarm the battlefield. 

That’s when Gakinyudo got the best of me, sending Soh sprawling to the earth. Interestingly, that’s not game over – Soh become a floating spirit, still able to direct villagers and keep the pressure on the beast. After a few agonizing seconds as a non-corporeal being, Soh respawned back on the battleground, sword in hand! This made it clear that, in a real way, Soh isn’t the main character, it’s Yoshiro; if she is slain, the mission has failed. 

This time, I made better use of Soh’s dodge roll, and before long, Gakinyudo was dispatched. Soh was rewarded with boons to his health, and even new roles to assign villagers, such as Archer, for the battles ahead.   

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess Screenshot

And there will be plenty more fights; this is a big mountain, and daylight is already burning. Fortunately, we won’t have to endure many more dark nights until we get our hands on Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess, something that the developers eagerly look forward to. 

“Having it on Game Pass on day one allows an opportunity for many people to want to challenge themselves to take on this new gaming genre, to experience this new gaming experience,” Director Shuichi Kawata told me. Producer Hirabayashi added, “When you first play it and then you progress through it at the beginning, it kind of takes a little bit of time to get used to it. But as you progress through it and beyond the very first difficulties, you really get the feeling of the new gaming experience that this game has to offer. So we are looking forward to that.” 

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess will be available on July 19 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and Windows PC, and Xbox Game Pass subscribers will be able to play the game from day one. In addition, this title is compatible with Xbox Play Anywhere, allowing cross-play and transfer of saved data between Xbox and Windows 10/11. 

Xbox Live
Xbox Play Anywhere

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess

CAPCOM CO., LTD.

160
$49.99
PC Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass
A new tale of the Kami awaits… Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess is a unique Japanese-inspired, single player Kagura Action Strategy game. The game takes place on a mountain covered by defilement. During the day, purify the villages and prepare yourself for sundown. During the night, protect the Maiden against the hordes of the Seethe. Repeat the day and night cycle until you cleanse the mountain of defilement and return peace to the land. ©CAPCOM KUNITSU-GAMI: PATH OF THE GODDESS is a trademark and/or registered trademark of CAPCOM CO., LTD. and/or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.