Ori, a human spirit
Ori, round 2 ! In the first article we went through Nibel and Niwen, now things are getting serious, it’s time to have a closer look at the hero, Ori, and their relationships with the NPCs. What does the game teach us about the little spirit ? A lot of good things ! Here we go.
In the small (yet slowly growing) pantheon of my favorite video games, there’s Ori, created by Austrian studio Moon Studios. Both games from the Ori franchise (Ori & the Blind Forest and Ori & the Will of the Wisps) are metroidvanias, like Guacamelee!, Axiom Verge (haven’t done it yet but I sure will !), Dandara… and of course Hollow Knight. The two franchises are constantly compared, not always in a very interesting way : for some it’s a bit of a war to know which game is the best. It’s a shame. The two games are diametrically opposed artistically (sometimes I think they’re in perfect opposition), but both are equally good (yet they don’t necessarily have the same strengths), because the quality and consistency of the artistic choices is at the same level in both franchises.
However, I will probably also talk about Hollow Knight in the articles about Ori, not to compare the games in terms of quality (like I just said, I don’t think it’s relevant), but because thinking about one highlights characteristics of the other. They kind of answer each other, and it’s always interesting to see how much artistic decisions make sense in relation to the story of a game.
You can imagine that I’m going to devote a few thousand words to the study of both soundtracks, written by English composer Gareth Coker ; this will be for later, I’ve already started it but it’s very long to write, since there should be a general article and then a focus on specific areas from the Ori universe. Plus I’m chatty when it comes to music. I mean, 10,000 words chatty. You know that (well, if you didn’t, now you do).
One of the key elements of the Ori games is the tension between the humanity and the spiritual nature of the little hero, so altruistic that they will sacrifice themselves for the sake of their family. But before studying the eponymous character (that will be for next article), we’ll start by looking at the world in which Ori evolves, a world in decline but nevertheless almost extravagant, given all that it offers.