How VALORANT devs drew on Indian mythology to create Harbor

Harbor is the newest agent making his way onto the VALORANT competitive scene, bringing a wave of meta-changing abilities and an interesting backstory. 

The Indian mythology-inspired agent looks to add to a culturally diverse selection of characters in VALORANT

In the past, Riot has focused on bringing an interesting and in-depth backstory to each and every character they implement into the game—and, of course, this time around Harbor is no different.

In a Twitch stream on Oct. 17, the Riot team behind Harbor sunk their teeth into his background and culture. According to Ryan Clements, who’s a part of VALORANT’s narrative team, the devs “weren’t interested in the Western concept of an adventurer and treasure hunter” when they were building Agent 21’s story.

Instead, the devs “wanted something that felt right for engaging from India,” Clements said, and so they leaned “into this special operative, military guy that is an expert and has integrity.”

Clements continued: “When you look at Indian myth and Indian literature, their heroes are much more multifaceted than traditional Hollywood action heroes… You have this amazing tradition that we wanted to honor and celebrate.” 

The VALORANT character developer expressed admiration for India’s history and culture. “It should be celebrated and looked at when it comes to how we create agents and we represent all of the players around the world.”

“It was more of a matter of when are we going to make an Indian agent not if we’re going to make one,” the Riot Games story developer added.

The developers went as far as to hire academic consultants to ensure they did the character and culture justice, so the team could “learn and know more to respect the culture and the history and the players themselves.” 

Their end goal was to appreciate the culture of VALORANT players and staff who have an Indian background, ensuring “when they’re picking this agent they are seeing parts of their culture represented in them.”

Harbor is set to join the VALORANT roster in the next big title update.

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