Jin Sakai the ‘Ghost of Tsushima‘ is making his way to the neighbouring Iki island. He will face the Mongol invaders there just as he did on his home island. It’s unlikely that the series will end there even if Jin’s story does. It’s a franchise kind of world, baby. So, what options are there for a full sequel and would they be any good?
The Second Invasion
Let’s get the most obvious option out of the way first. The Mongols launched a second invasion of Japan, including Tsushima and Iki islands, ~ten years after the first. It isn’t outlandish to imagine that a certain former Samurai might well be lying in wait for them. Knowing full well that they will come calling once more. I’m sure he would have prepared some new tricks to kick the Mongols back into the sea.
Sucker Punch have done a big chunk of the work already to make that game a reality. It’s easy to see why this would be an attractive option for them, if not the most exciting. They already have a map built, the gameplay foundations are in place and it looks absolutely gorgeous already. There’s room for improvement, there always is, so this approach would certainly tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people. Myself included.
Ghost of the Song
Having battled with the Mongols for several decades, things took a bit of a turn for the worse from the perspective of the Southern Song Dynasty in the 1270’s. In 1271 Kublai Khan declared the Yuan Dynasty’s creation with himself as Emperor. In 1276, the Song’s capital of Lin’an – now known as Hangzhou – fell. Before the decade was out, the Southern Song had been obliterated completely. All of China fell under Mongol rule under Kublai’s Yuan Dynasty.
I can imagine Jin arriving in southern China just as Lin’an falls. I can see him struggling desperately to help marshal resistance to the overwhelming force of Kublai’s armies as the Song crumbles around him. He will no doubt deal many mortal, damaging blows to the Mongol’s using all he’s learned from his prior encounters but it won’t be enough to turn the tide. A lone warrior can only do so much.
There are other options too, Jin Sakai isn’t the only person capable of becoming a Ghost. A humble peasant might swear vengeance against the Mongols after seeing his home looted and his crops razed. A Military Officer in the Song army might discover a newfound resolve as he watches the prestige of the Imperial Capital dissipate into the heavens with the columns of black smoke that billow up from the city.
Ghost of Kashmir
The Kashmir Valley is sandwiched between the Great Himalayas on one side and the Lesser Himalayan Pir Panjal Range on the other. A striking location to say the least. One that we don’t often see a lot of in video games. There’s a good breadth of terrain and environments that could make for an excellent setting. From Glaciers and mountain lakes to undulating hills and tropical conditions.
In 1254-1255 Kashmiri’s revolted against Mongolian rule. Möngke Khan sent two of his generals and a new darugachi (administrator) to the region to put down the rebellion. In such an interesting time and place, there must be a tale to tell here. Of a Ghost that haunts the valley, claiming the lives of unsuspecting invaders who do not belong…
Ghost of Subutai
Batu Khan was nominally in charge of the Mongol invasions of Russia and Central Europe, with several other ‘Princes of the Blood’ a part of the campaigns. However it was Subutai, who had served as one of Genghis Khan’s most impressive generals, who masterminded the campaigns. In addition to his military opponents he also had to contend with the egos and politics of the Mongol princes. Despite these challenges Subutai, and the armies under his command, conquered the Russian kingdoms and crushed Polish and Hungarian armies in the field – at Legnica and Mohi respectively.
Europe at this time was a fractious place, a patchwork of Duchies, Principalities and petty Kingdoms. There were countless wars, rivalries and feuds in progress; not to mention a few crusades called under the orders of the Catholic Church and its Popes. Into this mess stepped one of the most disciplined and well led armies the world has ever seen.
Subutai promises to be an imposing and overwhelming enemy to face. Central Europe is an interesting setting too. With its patchwork of kingdoms who suddenly realise that they need to put aside their differences and face the existential threat barrelling over the Steppe towards them. Some of whom will realise this far quicker than the others. Plenty of room then for a Ghost to slip through and cause some mayhem.
Those are just a few ideas for settings I’ve had, there are plenty more I could have picked. Assuming, of course, that Sucker Punch wants to continue using the Mongols as antagonists in their settings they are positively spoiled for choice. There are plenty of other options for antagonists too should they wish to. Where would you like to see the franchise go? Do you want to see Jin Sakai’s journey continue or move on to that of someone else?
Let me know in the comments or on the socials! You’ll find me @APTSnack on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and in the Out of Lives Discord.