Basque is one of the oldest languages in the world and Larian Studio used it in one of the best role-playing games in history.
Larian Studio is a Belgian video game developer that became popular today with Baldur’s Gate 3, the third part of the legendary role-playing saga that took the world by storm and introduced many people to the game for the first time. Although RPGs or tabletop role-playing games never went away, no one can deny that games like Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons are having a good time.
Although Larian is known around the world thanks to the third part of Baldur’s Gate, the studio is not new to role-playing video games, in fact the Belgians have already signed two great games of the genre, as Divinity I and II, two offerings. Based on the final game. But today we want to tell you about the first part of Divinity, because Basque is used in the game.
Basque: one of the oldest and strangest languages in the world
Basque, or Basque, is the only surviving pre-Indo-European language in Europe that survived the Indo-European migration (4000 – 1000 BC). Since it is not related to the known languages of the world and its origin is unknown due to its antiquity, it is considered an independent language. It is mainly spoken in northern Spain, the Basque Country and Navarre, and also in southern France, in the French Basque Country. Due to immigration, small communities where this language is spoken in America are also known. In Spain, this language is the official language of the country, along with Castellano (Spanish), Galician, Catalan, Valencian, and Arans.
Basque is a language that has been studied for years because today it is rare, there are only a handful of languages that have survived like it in the world. It is also rare for a marginalized language to be recognized as an official language by the government.
A rare phenomenon that has been used for all kinds of research, including studying the brains of people from the Basque Country to understand how the bilingual brain works in two unrelated languages (Spanish-Basque). Also, compared to other languages, very few people know how to speak it, which is why Larian was rarely used in Divinity: Original Sin from 2014.
Divinity in Basque: Original Sin
In the middle of the play, we find ourselves in Hyperheim, a world of constant winter, ruled by the terrible king Boreas, the king of winter, after locking up the rest of the kings of the different seasons. Of course, the main mission will be to defeat King Bores, but as a good role playing game there are many other missions that can be done. And exploring Hiberheim one can find all sorts of ingredients with names in Basque.
In the world of Hyperheim, there are all kinds of elements that represent some aspect of nature and have the name “Uskaldun”. For example, the king of fire and summer is called Sua, which means “fire” in Spanish, on the other hand, the king of spring is called Luren, which means “on earth”, on the other hand, elemental. Autumn is called Tximista, which means lightning in Spanish. A somewhat curious choice to represent the kings of the day, but an undeniable proof of Basque use in the game.
But it doesn’t end there, there are other elements in the game that receive their names from the Basque language. In your mission to free three criminals from an ice prison, you’ll encounter a stone elemental named Aroka, Spanish for stone, an ice elemental called Antzigar, meaning frost, and a yeti named Hyzea, whose name means wind. It is also a Basque female name.
As you can see, many Basque words are used to describe all kinds of creatures, some of which are related to nature. In many video games it is common to use words in other languages, a clear example is the famous Japanese role-playing video game Saga Persona, but here they use words from the most spoken languages in the world. That’s why it’s so surprising that Larian uses Basque to name creatures in one of his video games; Maybe they wanted names in another language or someone from the studio knew the language. Regardless, it’s a body of study that represents Bask’s role in the world of video games today. In fact, they may have used it.
Divinity: Original Sin is still a great game.
The original Divinity may have been relegated to third place by its older brothers, Divinity II and Baldur’s Gate 3, but 10 years after its release, it’s still a fantastic game today. If you are interested in the game, you should know that Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition is available for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X|S, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, MacOS and Mac OS Classic.