Thursday, August 4, 2011

Okamiden Diary Day 17

Little darling of mine, I can't for the life of me remember a sadder day
"Mother and Child Reunion," Paul Simon
I'm about 23 or 24 hours of play in, and I think I'm nearing the end, though I may be mistaken. (Also, I'm not really playing 80 or 90 minutes a day; I got large chunks in on the weekend, but smaller bits during the weekdays, and it averages out.)

A lot of really exciting stuff happened in today's play, but it was preceded by something less exciting but emotionally satisfying. I came into a room, and a demon sicced a  monster on me. It wasn't quite a boss battle, but it was tougher than most creatures. Anyway, once I finished, the demon thanked me, saying that the monster had been a pain in its side, and it was glad it was dead. That was a pleasant little twist. Yesterday, I said I didn't like boss battles for the sake of boss battles, but the demon's reaction turned a random fight into a memorable encounter.

Anyway, a ton of stuff happened afterward. Big stuff. Highly spoilery stuff. You've been warned.

The only real bad part of Okami was the beginning. Before you can begin playing, you need to sit through a 15 or 20 minute unskippable cut scene about events that happened 100 years before the game began; how everyone assumed that Shiranui, Chibiterasu's grand-sire, was evil until he sacrificed himself to save the hero Nagi from evil. Then they realized that he was actually an incarnation of Amaterasu. It's not a bad story, but it's never fun to do nothing whatsoever when playing a game.

Well, this part of the game takes place 100 years (and nine months) in the past, and we got to see this happen. Of course, Shiranui sacrificed himself trying to stop Akuro, this game's big bad, instead of Orochi, Okami's big bad. I'm not sure if this is because we've changed history, of the scrolls didn't quite have the full story. Either way, the wolf's sacrifice effective emotionally:

Poor Chibi. Sad little godling puppy.

Shiranui was unable to stop Akuro, but he was able to save his grandson and Nagi.

Then, soon afterward, we learn a nasty twist about who Akuro was. He's possessed Kuni, Chibi's first partner. (Or maybe created him as a vessel. I'm not totally clear.) And he explains how he's manipulated Chibi all along into killing the obstacles and acquiring the pieces he needs.

And then, Chibi summons help.
(Isshaku actually makes an appearance in Okami. He's that little blur in the bottom right of this picture.)

As I've said, it's tough to take good pictures of this game. I'll post a picture of Kagu which is, objectively crappy, but I like how the flash that unexpectedly went off makes it look like there's a spotlight behind her. It's appropriate for a child actress.

So this whole scene was effective. You have  pathos, betrayal, and the joy of seeing old friends. 

Tomorrow, I suspect, will be the final(?) showdown.

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