Ōkami’s Ammy facing evil, so that those she watches over don’t need to.
The name “Divine Retribution” not only sounds hardcore, but it’s also the name of the Ammy’s first Divine Instrument (a flaming reflector/shield also used as weapon) at the beginning of Ōkami.
Sometimes combat can be necessary, but who is wise enough to truly know how and what to fight for?
Thankfully Ōkami’s Ammy knows, and with the prayers of everyone who had witnessed her virtuous efforts, she was able to succeed.
Click on a picture to see it pop up in a “lightbox”. All fanarts shown are my personal favourites. (Featured art: Tsuta Ruins by Kalambo)
The first boss battle will be with the (demonic enemy) Spider Queen, and here you see a tactic well-worth using – running around her in circles, to prevent getting trampled.
The build-ups to the boss-battles in Ōkami were handled quite skilfully; long before and during the confrontation, the reason for the battle was always very clear and necessary.
Maybe it’s because I’m not a fan of spiders, or perhaps because the Spider Queen has humanoid hands instead of feet and is apparently a “Geisha Spider” as in… prostitute spider (??), but the moments leading up to that battle were especially memorable to me. The excellent soundtrack certainly helped set the creepy mood.
There were even moments of humor mixed in, which didn’t deter from the scale of the battle ahead.
Oh yeah… the eyeballs. If you haven’t played the game yet, the eyeballs will surely help make the battle memorable for you as well. Something for you to… look forward to!
Ammy and Tobi – by Aizumi Art
On Oni Island (near Nippon), Ammy was only allowed to proceed through the castle by completing the “Labyrinth of Torment”, of which Tobi (the demonically possessed
toilet paper and enemy) was the gatekeeper.
While a number of Ōkami’s players had sympathy for Tobi’s “plight”, I myself wasn’t especially moved – the “Labyrinth of Torment” was aptly named, and full of horrible things. Tobi was the labyrinth’s master, but yes – also the labyrinth’s slave.
After the player had reached the Moon Cave level, Ōkami intentionally had the demonic entities express themselves and their innermost desires and feelings, in ways mirroring those of everyday people. This progressed the enemy beyond the mindless “I’m evil and am going to crush you” rhetoric that players had experienced and come to expect from (the game’s) demons.
While I had mixed feelings at first about portraying representations and spawn of evil as something partially relatable, it made more sense to me later on, and I thought the whole thing was handled well.
This painting depicts Ammy’s continuing struggle with evil, without resorting to showing the graphic and confronting nature of the actual moment.
The Threat – by Yllya
One look at this artwork, and the viewer knows that Ammy (and Issun) are on their way to confront a powerful and destructive demonic entity. The scale and immensity of the conflict ahead are shown without the need for depicting direct combat.
It would probably be at this moment, when one might start having second thoughts, however Ammy’s stance remains strong.
Fight With Imps – by CanisAlbus
Anyway… this is a very dynamic drawing full of movement.
I’m not a fan of demons or imps, but I like the effort put into drawing their clothing, but also the way their spines protrude from the skin, the way their masks fold and the the way the scalp reacts to the horns growing from their skulls. Ammy’s dynamic pose and feral fierceness is excellent as well.
Ōkami’s battles always have lots of action and there are always new things to try out.
The only tiresome battle in my opinion, was against the demonic enemy Orochi. I don’t want to give too many details for those who haven’t played the game yet, but the already long battle will have to be fought more than once.
At least the battles are spaced well apart, allowing the purchasing of better weapons and defenses, as well as gaining more demon-thrashing experience!
Faith – by Username8985
A representation of one of the most emotional moments late in the game, so I won’t explain it in too much detail.
Once the player has made it this far into the game, he or she will likely be emotionally invested in the characters to the point where even a “hardened” gamer might feel a flutter in their chest – I certainly did.
The Japanese are good at not only making reliable and quality cars and electronics, but also at producing major “feels” – one of the reasons why I generally avoid watching their movies or Animé, heh. That, and all the exaggerated violence which is easy to find, but that seems to happen in pretty much every movie and animation anyway nowadays.
My family let me watch uncut Dirty Harry movies when I was 10/11, so I’m no stranger to movie/media violence; it’s just that the TV/movie violence shown especially in the recent years is so completely unnecessary most times and can even get perverse and twisted. Surely this has a demoralising effect on people, over time.
For someone as generally violence-averse as myself however, the violence in Ōkami didn’t feel unnecessary or overly emphasised. (In fact, Hideki Kamiya doesn’t even like horror games or graphic gore, to the point of feeling physically unwell if what he’s seeing becomes too repulsive). 1 https://www.siliconera.com/original-re2-director-hideki-kamiya-gives-his-thoughts-on-the-remake-in-final-discussion-video/
In contrast to Ōkami, I have witnessed a good number of video games where it seemed like the game’s main feature was violence and destruction, and often that wasn’t really what the game was supposed to be about.
I suppose a lot of the video game developers and movie producers will take the easy option of adding either unecessary puppies or violence, instead of actually creating worthy content. Ōkami certainly didn’t have to resort to such cheap measures, and it didn’t – Ōkami was packed so full of worthy content, to the point of me wondering how anyone could ever create a sequel to at least match the original, let alone exceed it.
…Well, if anyone can, then it’ll be the original creator(s) – no pressure, or anything.
First Encounter – by Jeneko
You might be wondering why “mysterious human(oid)” Waka is in this category, and the biggest reason why I included him here is because he’s a freak who may or may not be on Ammy’s side, as Issun has stated.
I don’t want to spoil things for anyone who doesn’t know the story yet, but the guy certainly has a lot of things that he needs to make right again.
To this day, I’m still not happy about him attacking Ammy. Waka is definitely not my favourite character. I do however like this fanart.
KNEEL! – by Teuerous
Speaking of jerks, here’s earthbound warrior Oki getting some much-needed retribution.
Did I already mention somewhere that I’m not a fan of Oki, or anyone who’s attacked fluffy furball Ammy? While Oki isn’t evil, he was extremely selfish and put many innocent lives at risk with his reckless actions – even leading to someone’s ultimate sacrifice.
In the end however, he at least started making the right choices, which led to him growing into a just and worthy warrior and guardian. Regardless, it would have been better had he learned by reading a clever book or something, rather than making a mess of things beforehand and others around him suffering from it.
Amaterasu vs The Spider Queen – by Avibroso
Another depiction of the (demonic enemy) “Geisha Spider” fight – quite an impressive scene, IMO.
The moments after the successful battle with the Spider Queen were also quite memorable. The Spider Queen was one of the first bosses shown in early Ōkami teaser videos, while the still incomplete game was being worked on by Clover Studio.
I wonder if some people there, were especially proud of this particular boss. Somehow it feels as though it received extra-special attention and care, hah.
Amaterasu – by Lycanium
Ammy about to beat up some wily demons wolfy-style – by hunting down and tearing them to pieces.
When looking at this cool drawing, I can’t help but be reminded from a time in my teenage life, when my family was renting a place fairly deep in the Australian country:
There was a young Kookaburra who would roost on the backyard’s clothes line (which was built with massive wooden fencing posts and steel cable), and he would stay there for about half an hour each day and just sing/laugh. We thought this was really nice, and would sometimes go out and watch him – he even seemed to enjoy the attention.
Eventually, my mother had decided to pick out the finest and smallest chicken necks (normally reserved for our dogs), wash them and give them to him. He would gratefully walk over and pick them up from the clothes line post, where my mother had put them. Then, he would firmly grip them in his beak, and smack them with great force against the post. When they were smashed up enough, he’d swallow them.
Kookaburras eat (deadly) snakes, so when catching one it obviously wouldn’t feel like being eaten and would bite back, so the Kookaburra would need to subdue and kill the snake first by bashing it against something hard.
Soon we noticed the Kookaburra growing bigger and stronger, and after about six months of feeding him every day, he had stopped coming to our backyard.
However, we could still hear him in the trees surrounding our property, eventually with more Kookaburras joining him. Perhaps it’s overly romantic to think this, but we said to ourselves and still believe to this day, that once he was strong enough, he went out on his own and had started his own family.
This drawing reminds me of that time, for reasons probably more obvious to you now.
It’s not a big stretch of the imagination, for the next moment from this drawing, showing Ammy with the demons firmly in her mouth and smashing them against something hard, until they’re nice and mushy.
I still have pictures of the Kookaburra, but this was twenty years ago and they’re tucked away somewhere. Once I find the pictures, they’ll be posted here.
The Fall of Oni Island – by TaintedDNA
Ammy about to dish out some serious smiting on (demonic enemy) “Ninetails” – I don’t know why so many people remember that particular boss as the best one in the game, it was certainly very challenging and I was glad when the battle was over and won (although there wasn’t time to “celebrate”).
The plot twists and turns surrounding Ninetails were however quite memorable, so maybe that was it. I’ll certainly never forget those… I won’t spoil it. You’ll know once you’ve played.
By the way, is it me or is that massive sword slightly bent? I’m guessing the bending was probably due to Ammy repeatedly bashing the Tsumugari (sword/glaive) over Ninetails’ hard skull, rather than the artist running out of paper. (Just a thought: all those tails must be comfortable for Ninetails to sleep on and make an excellent pillow, and even bed!)
Reset – by Sarn Elyren
In my planned “Battles Worth Fighting – Wounds of Combat” post (to be posted in a few weeks), I write about Ammy being taunted by Ninetails in the “Battle of Ninetails” painting. However, I didn’t go into further details about the effects Ninetails’ evil actions and character may have had on Ammy, but this fanart painting seems to show those effects quite clearly.
When an evil and murdering demon taunts and pushes Ammy far enough, then she might just start taking things a bit personal. I’m certain, Ammy pounding that evil demon into the ground will make her feel better though.
Cruel – by BossTurp
The cruel Mrs. Cutter trying to cut some tasty flesh off Ammy. The divine retribution will have to wait until later.
It was quite a surprising moment when this happened – everyone had been so friendly before (well, except for “everyday human” Mushi’s Momma after getting her turnips dug up, heh). How dare someone not melt when coming face-to-face with Ammy’s cuteness!
Speaking of which, I must say that most people in the game really are quite welcoming when you think about it. How often have players sent Ammy into peoples’ homes and smashed up their pottery, robbed their drawers and ate all their food as the home owners slept or just sat and watched?!
I suppose that if a person (such as Amaterasu in her human form) had burst in and done all that, the home owners may have reacted quite differently. Being a beautiful and fluffy cute wolf clearly does have its advantages, I see.
While playing Ōkami, there was one time where after entering a nice room and smashing open a whole bunch of baskets, pocketing the treasures and afterwards listening to the characters in the room who just silently watched, the treasures’ owners mentioned that the chests were placed there as a gift and to feel free to take their contents. (The sparrows’ baskets of treasure are a reference to the traditional Japanese fable of The Tongue-Cut Sparrow).
That moment certainly caught my attention… I guess talking first would have been nicer, before smashing everything up to look for things to take.
Mindless (Water Dragon) – by MayhWolf
The rampaging Water Dragon of Ryoshima Coast, about to give Ammy a hard time.
I probably won’t spoil things for newcomers too much, if I reveal that the water dragon technically doesn’t fully belong in this category – he is not evil.
However, not being evil still doesn’t make ones’ destruction of things “okay” – as Ōkami’s story progresses, the water dragon’s behaviour certainly becomes understandable though. His story is one of great bravery, duty and sacrifice.
The water dragon may not be evil – but in an indirect way, Ammy is still confronting evil in this moment, so that’s why I added this impressive fanart here.
Things will get more serious and violent in my planned “Battles Worth Fighting – Wounds of Combat” post, but Ammy will surely come out all right.
Well, that’s enough confronting evil for today! The next post will show art that’s been made to inspire positive feelings – a good respite after dealing with nasty things.
Do you have suggestions, would like to recommend some art or submit your own? Then feel free to get in touch or just leave comments, below: