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Zong is a first-person VR novel that takes you on a journey through ancient Eastern history and culture. As an interstellar traveler, you find yourself in the world of Zong, which is currently in a dire situation under the grips of the Five Clans of Corruption. You will be completing missions to save ancient civilization from the corruptive forces and transmit important learnings to earth, while being guided by Zong's spiritual leaders, the four Supreme Commanders. As you progress through the game, you will encounter various challenges that require strategy, skill, and wit. Get ready to cast spells, summon magical creatures, solve puzzles, collect rare items, and more!

LV1 - The Centiwell
As the player, you will enter Zong as your true self on human earth, and meet one of the four Supreme Commanders in the Cave of Centiwell. Sol sees your appearance and senses the human aura from you, he then quickly stamps Zong's Imprint on your finger. Zong's Imprint connects humans and Zong for information exchange. Only with Zong's Imprint can Zong's beings hear the voices of humans, and only with the Imprint can humans move freely in the world of Zong. Sol tells you that the current time and space is Era of Anima Gravis...

LV2 - Cliffside Tiger
When Sol and you walk out of the secret passageway of Centiwell, a dangerous cliff appears in front of you. Sol tells you that this place is called "Boreas Gorge". Standing on the edge of the cliff, Sol notices that there is an Osteospectral Tiger nearby. He tells you to pay attention to your own safety, because the Osteospectral Tiger would attack humans from the earth...

LV3 - The Captives
Sol snaps his fingers and recites the Mantra Karida, an old wooden bridge connecting the cliffs on both sides appearing in front of you. Sol tells you that this bridge is called "Bridge of Atomos". Those who have committed wrongs in the dimension of Zong—commonly referred to as the Captives of Zong—are hung by their ankles underneath the bridge, facing into the abyss below, as a stern reprimand of their egregious offenses. Even though living beings native to Zong can traverse the bridge with ease, a foreign being such as yourself will weigh it down significantly, alerting the Captives of Zong of your presence. They will flock to attack you once they become aware of you...

LV4 - Papaver Rhoeas
After defeating Captives under the bridge, you arrive at the Dent Area. Surprisingly, thousands of flowers fall from the sky in an instant. The information shows that the flower in the sky is called Papaver Rhoeas. Soon, Ves appears in the glowing light of Papver Rhoeas...

LV5 - Jade Burial Suit
After you break the Flower Ledge, you start taking a flower raft with Ves and Sol to traverse in the river. Suddenly, a huge crucible slowly appears in the center of Boreas Gorge. Sol looks a little surprised. He tells you that this crucible was used to make Jade Burial Suits. A Jade Burial Suit is created by stringing precious jade stones from Lake Li’er with the Golden Strings from Zong's Canaries, which are then fused together with the flames of burning Papaver Rhoeas. Creating and offering Jade Suits in sacrifices is one of the highest forms of memorial ceremonies in Zong. Jade Suits can be used to honor Commanders who have perished. Depending on the circumstances of a Commander’s passing, such as location or cause of death, a Jade Suit can be burned, worn, submerged, or catapulted during their memorial ceremony...

LV6 - Mount of Simian
After you collect Jade Burial Suit in LV5, you approach ahead with Sol and Ves together on the flower raft. The gloomy wind in Boreas Gorge is fierce, and an ape statue appears in front of you. Simian was a Zong Commander whose true form was an ape. Known for his exceptional valor and benevolence, Simian would come to any living being or Commander’s rescue if they’re at risk of being harmed by vicious forces. Simian’s offsprings have formed a close bond with each other; they live in harmony and leave their mortal coil in pairs. After Simian passed away, each of his offsprings retrieved a mouthful of white soil at the peak of Mount Almitas. They sculpted the soil after Simian’s image on top of the mountain where Simian last appeared. The mountain was therefore named Mount Simian...

  • Yingran Zhao
  • Yingran Zhao
  • Yingran Zhao
  • Soham Girde
    Key Programmers
  • Mangirish Naik
    Key Programmers
  • Idan Dvir
    Key Programmers
  • Ahmed Elwardy
    Key Programmers
  • Pengyu Mao
    Programming Consultant
  • Evelyn Minhui Xiang
    Assistant Producers
  • Claudia Qing Cai
    Assistant Producers
  • Blake Nischwitz
    Environment Artists
  • Srinivas Jalakam
    Environment Artists
  • Katia Cervera
    Environment Artists
  • Vikram Heirangkhongjam
    Modeling Artists
  • Tugba Yaman
    Modeling Artists
  • Rita Gada
    Rigging Artists
  • Tugba Yaman
    Rigging Artists
  • Sudesh Fadkale
    Animation Artists
  • Tugba Yaman
    Animation Artists
  • Arbaz Shaikh
    Animation Artists
  • Shahzeb Khan
    Concept Artists
  • Moon Arun
    Concept Artists
  • Gourab Das
    Lighting Artist
  • Julian Zhao
    Sound Designer
  • Arthur Peiyao Wang
  • Mina Bradley
    Script Translator (English)
  • Ashimi Kayoko
    Script Translator (Japanese)
  • Hao Bai
    Voice Actor (Sol)
  • Project Type:
    Virtual Reality, Game, Interactive Film
  • Genres:
    Action, Adventure, RPG, Visual Novel, History, Fiction
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 40 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 30, 2024
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Yingran Zhao

Born and raised in the Three Gorges reservoir region in southern China, Yingran drew inspiration from her hometown when designing the gameplay for Zong. Before officially launching game development, Yingran had spent five years creating Zong's lore, weaving ancient eastern mythology and philosophy into her unique and immersive storytelling.

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Director Statement

The virtuous find paradise wherever they are, guided by gratitude for their ancestors afar.