Song of Nunu is a ‘warm, wholesome story’ that will melt the Freljord’s secrets, devs say

From snowballing ideas to a heartwarming adventure: Inside Song of Nunu with Raúl Rubio and Rowan Parker.
Nunu and Willump playing together in Tequila Works and Riot Forge game Song of Nunu.
Image via Tequila Works and Riot Forge

The highly anticipated Riot Forge and Tequila Works game Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story is generating excitement among fans for its unique narrative and heartwarming adventure. 

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The latest trailer released yesterday has awoken League of Legends fans who had gone into hibernation after last year’s announcement that promised the game to be released in 2022. But it seems like the frost is slowly melting and the heartwarming story of Nunu and Willump’s friendship will soon be fully revealed. 

During this year’s Gamescom, Dot Esports gained deeper insights into the game’s development and themes by speaking with Raúl Rubio, CEO and creative director at Tequila Works, and Rowan Parker, creative director of Riot Forge.

Song of Nunu will offer a different experience that expands beyond the borders of League’s gameplay as the game’s core mechanics will revolve around the synergy between Nunu and Willump’s abilities, which players will have the chance to combine in new, creative, and strategic ways. As the title suggests, Song of Nunu weaves music into its core gameplay, drawing inspiration from Nunu’s nomadic tribe, the Notai, who communicate through songs. Nunu’s magical flute will serve players as a gameplay element, linked to his pre-existing lore and providing further insight into his past. Thus, the soundtrack is expected to play a pivotal role in enhancing the emotional depth of the story—an especially heartwarming piece is expected to be the song Nunu’s mother, Laica, taught to the little boy.

As underlined by Rubio, discovery and exploration are key aspects of Song of Nunu’s gameplay, while the narrative aspect of the game will focus more on delivering a warm and intimate adventure that explores the themes of friendship, family, and grief. “Even compared to previous Forge games, this game is just very chill,” Parker told Dot Esports. “You go on an adventure with your best friend, and we hope that we can really tug people’s heartstrings and give them the warm, wholesome story we intended.”

The immersive journey through the Freljord will take players through the Bridge of Sorrows above the Howling Abyss, which players will recognize from their ARAM games, and the Frostguard Citadel, a location familiar to lore enthusiasts. The journey will surely provide the chance to meet many Freljordian champions, explore local flora and fauna, and possibly meet known characters, like the Frostguards—or the Watchers frozen down in the abyss. 

Throughout our interview, Rubio and Parker emphasized the game’s departure from the traditional gameplay experienced by League players on Summoners Rift, with Song of Nunu instead focused on delivering an intimate and emotionally impactful narrative with the help of intriguing new ways of clearing obstacles. The boy and the Yeti were in fact chosen by Tequila Works for their narrative potential rather than their popularity, as also emphasized by Parker, thus allowing for a more profound exploration of their personalities and bringing out the unwavering joy of exploring new places with your friend. “Runterra is full of mighty champions,” Rubio said. “I mean super powerful heroes. But these two, they’re the only ones who are always having a lot of fun. I mean, they’re always having the time of their lives. And again, for Nunu, everything is an adventure because he’s just so innocent.”

While Nunu and Willump are the main characters, other League champions are sure to appear in Song of Nunu. Crucial to the story’s development is the Ice Witch Lissandra, for example, whose relationship with Nunu will lead to the boy meeting Willump, as lore enthusiasts know. But the game will provide unique opportunities to delve into the deeper layers of these relationships, often only hinted at in League’s lore. 

Related: Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story: Release date, story, and more

The game’s narrative structure, as Rubio suggested, forms a triangle between these three Freljordian champions and is centered around the theme of loss, thus intricately weaving the stories of Nunu, Willump, and Lissandra together. “I think you need all of them, the three of them, to understand, to have the full picture of how you see life itself,” Rubio said. “It’s a very deep story and probably it’s going to be an emotional one, but at the same time, the vehicle I think is perfect because you can totally connect with all of them.”

The game will dive deeper into the stories of these champions than any other media has before, with Rubio even hinting at some possible details being shared on the War of the Three Sisters—which undoubtedly will excite some lore enthusiasts.

“What is public is really just the tip of the iceberg,” Parker said, urging fans who want to know more about the Freljord and its champions to try the game. And while fans await the title’s official release date, the insights from Tequila Works’ CEO and Riot Forge’s creative director have given a persuasive glimpse into the world of Song of Nunu, offering assurance that it will be a “chill” journey worth experiencing.

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Author
Cecilia Ciocchetti
Freelance writer mainly focusing on the League of Legends and VALORANT esports scenes. Sometimes at events interviewing professionals of the scene, from players to the talented people working behind the curtains. You can reach out to me via Twitter.