Resonance: Battle of Orochi II

Ever since I made a certain deal with a friend of mine, the only game that’s been on my mind lately has been Okami. It’s a game that I’ve only played through once, despite how much I enjoyed it during my time with it. It’s actually another one of those games that I’ve been meaning to get back to for the longest time, but never have for one reason or another (you know how it is). Actually, it’s been so long that I’ve almost completely forgotten the game. The characters, the story beats, the music, it’s all gone. I did just recently remember one song from the game though. One so awesome that it was able to linger in this foggy memory of mine while all the rest faded completely. This song is: “Battle of Orochi II” and it’s absolutely magnificent!

(video from YouTube channel: gmaster2647)

Battle of Orochi plays during the fight with the song’s namesake villain: Orochi (an 8-headed snake/dragon/mountain/demon…thing). In the context of the story, it’s supposed to be a fight that should be near-impossible for your wolf-hero to win so the music is appropriately desperate. Orochi itself is aware of just how much more powerful it is than you are, and I think that carries a bit into the music as well. This is a song that paints a picture of a single points of light facing a titanic shadow, and the light is ever-so-close to being consumed by it. The actual fight vaguely comes to mind too, but I think the song is actually more involving than the on-screen action.

Something I’d forgotten about this theme is that it’s actually the theme for the second stage of the fight. The first stage sounds like this:

(video from YouTube channel: gmaster2647)

Same base, but very different. In the first stage of the fight, we’re a little more confident of our chances. We think that we know how to defeat this monster, so the fight isn’t yet carrying that desperate undertone to it.  The image I get from this one is of two evenly matched side; the shadow matched evenly with the light. Both sides believe they have the advantage, so both are holding back a little bit. It’s only when your trump card only succeeds in angering Orochi that things get desperate.

I think this theme’s strong resonance is due to how it hits you while you’re playing the game. When Orochi fails to die, but instead comes back in a much more maddened and aggressive state, you actually get to experience one those “OH CRUD” moments that are usually reserved for movies. That’s when the second phase music comes in to put an exclamation on point on just how serious/deadly your situation has become. It’s desperate, it’s thrilling, and talking about it has got me wanting to dive into it all the more now!

I think it’s finally time to go back!

What kind of image does this theme inspire for you? Have you had any game themes impact you in a similar way?

Image by Flickr user LinkWolfen (cc)