This is not the first time we’ve written a Resonance post for Okami. Why, way back in 2013, I wrote about a rather interesting tune called Giant Monster in Wait. Three years later in 2016, Hatm0nster discussed Battle of Orochi II. There’s a good reason why Okami has gotten so much attention, for it is an uncommonly unique game with an equally amazing soundtrack that never fails to capture the emotion of the moment, whatever that might be. The newest song we will be covering is Kushi’s Ride, which first plays when you are taking Kushi to the Moon Cave to face the dreaded Orochi.
What makes this song really powerful is the fact that it only plays when the situation is at its most dire. It doesn’t just play when you’re rushing to face the powerful dragon Orochi, an intimidating feat indeed, but at other key events in the game, as well, such as the race to reach Oni Island before sundown when the island will change locations, thus preventing our heroes from ever reaching it again. Basically, this is the track that plays when the game wants you to know, without a doubt, that you better get moving. That you better take this situation seriously because things are about to get real. And take it seriously I did. I kind of have doubts that you will really run out of time if you don’t heed this song’s warning (I don’t think Oni Island will change places no matter how much you dilly dally, though I could be wrong). Nevertheless, I never took such a chance because the urgency in Kushi’s Ride is far too clear. Every time it plays, I take off for my destination with all due haste.
There is one more important quality, however, that I would be remiss not to point out. While this song is indeed an urgent call to hurry, what I think is more important is the sudden rush of bravery I feel whenever this music plays. The game makes it very clear just how powerful and feared the eight-headed dragon Orochi is that I felt genuinely nervous knowing I would have to face him eventually. Kushi’s Ride, however, ensured that, while I pondered the difficulties I would soon face, I had a distinct burst of courage that I knew would see me through the trial ahead. It is a song that says, sure, you’re running straight into the heart of danger, whether it be Orochi’s lair or the island of demons, but there’s no need to fear. What you’re doing is necessary, and the time for hesitation is over.
Video from Youtube User: gmaster2647
During my initial playthrough of Okami, one of the most memorable moments was when Kushi’s Ride played on our first dash to the Moon Cave. Just the music alone was enough to make me feel as if the events that would transpire next truly mattered. I was going to stop Orochi’s reign of terror. I was going to save Kushi from becoming just another sacrifice. In that moment, it was easy to forget I was playing a game, that the maiden and white wolf barreling bravely into danger were merely images on a screen. It is thanks to good music like this that we genuinely care about the games we play, making them more than mere entertainment, but something meaningful. Okami is an unforgettable experience, with a soundtrack that truly resonates with me like few others.
Image from Flickr User: Hallion