Ōkami (2006)

by Ji-yeong
6 minutes read


Ōkami is an action-adventure game that combines Japanese mythology and folklore with innovative gameplay. Players control Amaterasu, the sun goddess, in a quest to bring light to the world, using the Celestial Brush to interact with the environment and solve puzzles.


Ōkami is a critically acclaimed action-adventure game developed by Clover Studio and published by Capcom. Set in a vibrant world inspired by Japanese mythology, it tells the story of Amaterasu, the sun goddess, who embarks on a journey to rid the land of darkness.


Ōkami, an action-adventure video game, was developed by Clover Studio and published by Capcom. Released for PlayStation 2 in 2006, it later saw releases on multiple platforms. The game’s title, a pun in Japanese, can mean either “great god” or “wolf”.

Set in a fictional version of classical Japan known as “Nippon”, Ōkami is a unique blend of Japanese mythology and folklore. The game’s narrative revolves around the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu, who descends to earth in the form of a white wolf to save the land from engulfing darkness.

The game begins with Nippon under the threat of an eight-headed demon, Orochi. A hundred years prior, a brave warrior named Nagi had sealed Orochi away, bringing peace to the land. However, a mysterious figure breaks Orochi’s seal, plunging Nippon into darkness once again.

Amaterasu, observing these events from the celestial plane, takes on the form of a white wolf and descends to earth. Guided by a tiny artist named Issun, Amaterasu embarks on a quest to restore life and color to the world.

The gameplay of Ōkami is a mix of action, platform, and puzzle gaming genres. One of the game’s most distinctive features is the Celestial Brush. This mechanic allows players to pause the game at any time and draw onto the screen. Depending on the symbols drawn, Amaterasu can perform miracles that aid in solving puzzles and defeating enemies.

As Amaterasu travels through Nippon, she encounters various characters from Japanese folklore. Each character has a unique story that intertwines with the main narrative, adding depth and richness to the game’s world.

Despite initial poor sales, Ōkami received critical acclaim, earning IGN’s 2006 Game of the Year. Its unique sumi-e-inspired cel-shaded visual style, engaging narrative, and innovative gameplay mechanics have cemented its status as one of the best video games ever made.

Ōkami is more than just a game; it’s a journey through a beautifully crafted world brimming with folklore and mythology. It’s a testament to the potential of video games as a form of art, telling a story that’s as captivating as the visuals that bring it to life.


Amaterasu (the protagonist), Issun (a wandering artist and Amaterasu’s guide), Susano (a descendant of a legendary hero), Orochi (an eight-headed demon), and other characters inspired by Japanese mythology.


Players control Amaterasu in a mixture of action, platform, and puzzle gaming. The Celestial Brush is used to perform miracles, such as creating wind or repairing bridges. Combat involves both physical attacks and brush techniques. The game emphasizes exploration and interaction with the environment.


Ōkami is a masterpiece of game design, artfully blending Japanese mythology with engaging gameplay. Its innovative Celestial Brush mechanic and stunning visual style make it a timeless classic that continues to captivate players.

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