Okami (PS2)

nodle

Cheesemonger
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http://www.capcom.com/okami/

One of my favorite games ever. So fun to play, and just beautiful to look at. A must have! You are basically playing in a watercolor painting. The screen shots don't do it any justice.

Story:

The quiet village of Kamiki, filled with beautiful cherry trees, had a price to pay in order to maintain their peace. Each and every year a festival is held, during which a maiden must be sacrificed to the eight-headed serpent, Orochi, signalled by a white arrow being launched into the house of his chosen sacrifice. In the 100th year since Orochi's arrival, as the time for the sacrifice drew near, a pure white wolf the village dubbed "Shiranui" would appear and stalk the village's streets at night. A swordsman in the village, Nagi (Izanagi in the Japanese version), detested Shiranui, believing her to be one of Orochi's agents, and repeatedly tried to drive the wolf away. When the night of the festival finally arrived, Nagi's beloved, Nami (Izanami in the Japanese version) was chosen to be slain. Determined both to save the woman he loved and to put an end to the village's burden, Nagi went to Orochi's lair to slay the beast. Alas, he was defeated and about to be killed when Shiranui stepped in and took over the battle. Using strange skills, the wolf battled valiantly against Orochi, but still could not defeat the serpent.
Battered and beaten, Shiranui released a powerful howl the heavens. Strengthened by the howl, Nagi struggled to his feet and took up his sword once more, leaping onto Orochi and defeating the creature. Shiranui, filled with "poison" and fur dyed crimson with her own blood, was carried back to the village by Nagi where she was praised as Kamiki's savior - and then died. A shrine was built in the image and honor of Shiranui, and the sword that had saved the village was interred in the "Moon Cave" where the battle had taken place, and used to seal Orochi away. One hundred years of peace passed, and a man disturbs the sword at the "Moon Cave", unleashing Orochi, who is not quite as fictional as the intruder had believed. Orochi immediately begins covering the entire world in darkness and evil. In response, Sakuya the wood sprite, guardian of the village, goes to the shrine dedicated to Shiranui and brings the statue to life as Amaterasu, the ?kami, reincarnation of Shiranui and sun goddess incarnated in the form of a white wolf.

Amaterasu, the game's protagonist

Amaterasu, the game's protagonist

Amaterasu must search Nippon (commonly known as Japan) for the 13 brush spirits to gain the power to defeat Orochi and heal the land. Throughout the journey, Amaterasu is hounded by Waka, a strange but powerful individual that seems to have the gift of foresight, and further teases Amaterasu and Issun to his own mysterious ends.

The 100th anniversary of the original defeat of Orochi, celebrated now by a festival held at Kamiki village, is quickly approaching while Amaterasu is in the process of removing the curse from other parts of the land. Returning just in time for the night of the festival, events begin to unfold exactly as they did 100 years ago: Orochi summons an arrow to indicate the chosen sacrifice: Kushi, the sake maker in Kamiki and romantic interest of Susano, a descendant of the great warrior Nagi. It is discovered that Susano himself was the one who disturbed the sword to begin with, as he despised the pressure of being Nagi's descendant and did not believe that his ancestor really defeated an evil spirit. To stop the constant pressure to be a hero, he wanted to prove to the village that the story of Nagi was nothing but a myth and there was no evil serpent sealed by Nagi's sword. Susano pulled the legendary sword out, releasing Orochi into the world. As it was 100 years ago, both Amaterasu and Susano return to the Moon Cave to defeat Orochi again and rescue Kamiki; as Orochi finally dies, a black evil spirit is seen to rise from the body and drift northward, but not unnoticed by Amaterasu.

After leaving Kamiki again, Amaterasu continues to search for more brush techniques and to investigate the mysterious spirit that left Orochi's body. Along the way, she encounters two more similar spirit foes - Blight, which had taken residence inside the Emperor and caused him to breath out a strange mist that was slowly killing the people and lands nearby, and a Ninetails who had the same god powers as the gods and was sending evil spirits out from a mysterious island in order to try to take over the land. After both are defeated by Amaterasu, the same type of black spirit leaves the bodies and drifts northward. Following these spirits, Amaterasu is led to the snow-covered parts of the land. There, a village of humans that can assume animal forms is found and one gifted young girl has gone missing; without her prayer, an evil force would be unleashed upon the lands and the people implore Amaterasu to find her. Amaterasu discovers that the girl has fallen back through a doorway in time to 100 years prior in Kamiki Village, and to rescue her, Amaterasu must work with Shiranui and Nagi to defeat Orochi (as had originally been explained at the start of the story). Upon returning to the present, Amaterasu then proceeds to encounter two final evil beings, known as Lechku and Nechku, giant mechanical owls, which are the source of the evil threatening the village.

There, a legend of a mysterious "Ark of Yamato" is discovered. The Ark seems to have fallen from the heavens 200 years ago and crashed into a frozen lake (Laochi Lake), and opened up to reveal hordes of evil demons that immediately began to spread across the land. Some of these demons would go on to become Orochi, Blight, Lechku, Nechku and Ninetails, and thus the black forms seen heading northward after their defeat would be these demons returning to their point of origin. Further discovery indicates that before the Ark crashed, a race called Celestial Beings had found the Ark and thought it would usable for transporting around the Celestial Plains, but it was found out too late that the Ark already had residents, and was effectively a prison ship for the evil demons. All but one of the Celestial Beings were killed before the Ark crashed, the last one fleeing the destruction. Amaterasu, with the spiritual and physical help of many others guided by the encouragement of Issun, is able to defeat all the remaining demon foes, including those she previously fought before but have returned here.

It is finally revealed that Waka was the last member of the Moon Tribe and had known Amaterasu's spirit prior to the crash of the Ark, And the Ruler of Darkness, Yami, pictured as a fish in a giant, mechanical ball lies waiting for them in the Ark. And by guiding Amaterasu to the Ark and destruction of the evil spirits, Waka is finally able to return to the Celestial Plains alongside Amaterasu, using the freed Ark as their means of return.


 
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