The Tzolkin Calendar
Among many amazing achievements of the Maya civilization, the Tzolkin calendar is one of the most intriguing. It was a 260 day calendar. Every day was described by numbers 1-13 (or galactic tones) and one of 20 name days (aspects of creation). It was used for religious purposes and also represented the cycle of history. Every number and name day had its own meaning that could be interpreted as the reason someone was born on a certain day. Some also believe that it can be used to determine the meaning of different periods in the history of the world. In Reef Shot the Tzolkin numbers and symbols were used to let the player go deeper into the beliefs of the Maya.
The 2012 Prophecy
Except from the Tzolkin, the Maya also used other calendars. One of them was the Haab. It was a 365 day calendar used by the state to run the country and collect taxes. But it is the so called Long Count that is believed to mark the end of the world. The Long Count identifies the date by counting the days passed since the mythical beginning of the Universe. The controversial matter of when the Maya believed the world really started has been researched many times. Some scholars agree that the mythical beginning was August 11, 3114 BC in the Gregorian calendar and according to them the end of the 12th Bak’tun (an important period in the Long Count) would be December 21, 2012 AD. Some say that will be the end of days. In Reef Shot, Scott and Renee, the main characters, try to find the answer and it is up to them – and the player – to uncover the truth and solve the mystery.
The Legend of El Dorado
In the 16th century, during the conquest of America, many conquistadors (Spanish conquerors) believed in El Dorado, the City of Gold. The name came from a tradition of covering the chief of one of the Indian tribes in gold dust during rituals – Spanish ‘el hombre dorado’ means ‘the golden man’. Later it lead to the creation of a legend of a city full of treasures. Many adventurers from different countries believed the tale – Gonzalo Pizarro, Lope de Aguirre, Phillip von Hutten, Sir Walter Raleigh and others. Many expeditions were sent to find the city. None of them succeeded. In Reef Shot you are the one solving the mystery of the legendary City of Gold.
Aguirre – the Mad Conquistador
In 1560 a Spanish conquistador Pedro de Ursúa called many adventurers to arms and led an expedition to El Dorado. One of his men was Lope de Aguirre, nicknamed “The Madman”, a fierce and ambitious soldier who assassinated Ursúa to take command of the conquistadors. He soon named himself the prince of Peru, Chile and Tierra Firme and started a bloody rebellion against the Spanish Crown which ended in 1561, when Aguirre was caught and executed. The events inspired many creators, most famously Werner Herzog and Carlos Saura who both directed films based on fictional versions of the story (Aguirre, the Wrath of God and El Dorado respectively). Although Aguirre seems to have been a dangerous and evil person, his determination and charisma inspired us too. In Reef Shot he is the conquistador who decided to chase the people of El Dorado across the Pacific after they had left the city.
Mayans in the Pacific
There is an island located in the Pacific called Robinson Crusoe Island. Some believe that one of many large rocks located there is in fact what’s left of a Mayan monument and that it hides a lot of secrets linked to the 2012 prophecy. That could mean that the Mayans reached the island to leave a message there regarding the end of their calendar. The story in Reef Shot is based on a concept that El Dorado was moved to Robinson Crusoe Island.