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Video Game: Ōkami
aka: Okam I

Long ago, in The Time of Myths, the eight-headed serpent Orochi lorded over the village of Kamiki, demanding a sacrifice every year on the night of the full moon. During the weeks before the day on which the sacrifice was chosen, a large white wolf - dubbed Shiranui by the villagers - would be spotted roaming the outskirts of the village. Many of the villagers suspected that Shiranui was Orochi's familiar. One warrior, Nagi, made it his mission to slay the wolf, but every time they met Shiranui would manage to get away.

On the night of the 100th sacrifice, a maiden by the name of Nami - whom Nagi harbored strong feelings for - was selected to be offered to Orochi. Refusing to accept this, Nagi traveled to Orochi's cave to destroy the monster. However, Orochi proved to be far too strong for Nagi, and it appeared that he would kill the man.

But when Orochi was about to deal the final blow, a howl was heard. Shiranui appeared and fought Orochi in Nagi's place, proving an equal match for the serpent. In the end, the wolf gave her life so that Nagi could triumph. In Shiranui's honor, a shrine was constructed in Kamiki village and the sword that slew Orochi, dubbed Tsukuyomi, was sealed away in the snake's cave in order to prevent his revival. All the while, the villagers never realized that, in reality, the wolf was sun goddess Amaterasu in physical form.

100 years after these events an unnamed man, acting on his own curiosity, removes Tsukuyomi from Orochi's cave, allowing Orochi to revive himself and spread his influence over most of Nippon.

Sakuya, wood sprite and guardian of Kamiki village, realized that something needed to be done and revived Amaterasu's body so that she may defeat Orochi once more. However, both her weakening powers and Nippon's loss of faith in the gods has left Amaterasu greatly weakened. Adding the fact that Nagi's descendant, Susano, appears to be useless, it looks like it will be a severely uphill battle for Amaterasu to defeat Orochi...

And that's just the intro of the game.

Made by Clover Studios, this is an action/adventure game in the vein of The Legend of Zelda series, except using classic Japanese Mythology and folklore as the basis of its setting. Players take on the role of Amaterasu, a Physical Goddess who takes on the form of a white wolf to battle the forces of darkness that are sweeping across ancient Japan. She wields a magic paintbrush that can be used to alter reality and is accompanied by a tiny loudmouth named Issun. Amaterasu and Issun travel across Japan fighting evil, gaining new magical powers, meeting a cast of odd and eccentric characters, and living out the "true stories" behind many of Japan's most famous myths.

A sequel was released for Nintendo DS by the name of Ōkamiden, starring Amaterasu's son Chibiterasu.

In 2010, Amaterasu joined the playable roster of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Before that, in 2008, Yami showed up as the Final Boss of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.

In 2012, Capcom announced an HD version of the original game for the Playstation 3 supporting Move controls.


This game provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    #-C 
  • Abnormal Ammo: The only way to defeat the twin clockwork owls is to dizzy them and then shoot Oki at them.
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Onigiri-sensei averts this trope.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Sakuya and Rao.
  • Accidental Misnaming: That people forget or mess up Amaterasu's name is something of a Running Gag. While Issun's kind enough to think up a relatively cute, inoffensive nickname (Ammy, though he doesn't always use it), most people just end up calling her things like "Snowy" or "Fido".
  • Air Aided Acrobatics: With the added awesomeness of you controlling the wind.
  • Allergic to Evil: The whole world. Since evil is portrayed as contamination or pollution, everyone suffers. The most obvious example is the Blight which prostrates Sei-an City. And then there's the cursed zones caused by Orochi's evil, which are so powerful they can even drain Ammy's power out of her.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Of a sort. Part of the goal is to collect the powers of all the other brush gods that you lost from sleeping for 100 years. After that, you get to use them all yourself at any time.
  • Already Done for You: Waka restores the guardian sapling in N. Ryoshima Coast for you.
  • Anachronism Stew: "Ammy's a wolf, not a Speedboat!"
    • The whole game is riddled with it, since it meshes Shinto mythology with actual historical records, and then scrambles them out of chronology. Nagi, Nami, Sakuya, Amaterasu and Susano are kami (deities) related to the birth of the world; Queen Himiko is based on a semi-legendary shaman queen from the Yayoi Period from 3rd century BC; Okuni is based on the famous dancer who invented Kabuki, Izumo no Okuni; Gen is based off Hiraga Gennai, a Japanese inventor that created the Elekiter, which was a small box that uses the power of friction to generate electricity; the Kaguya subplot is taken from the 10th century Tale of the Bamboo Cutter; Waka (who speaks with a French accent) and Benkei are historical warriors from the late Heian Period (ca. 12th century) and the characters Issun, Rao, Mr and Mrs Cutter, Mr Flower, Orihime, Urashima and Momotarō are taken from latter Muromachi and Edo Period folk tales. Princess Fuse and the Satomi Warriors are from a 106 volume Japanese novel by Kyokutei Bakin.
  • Ancient Astronauts: The Japanese folk tale of Kaguya, a child found inside a bamboo shoot by a bamboo cutter, turns out to be the tale of an alien princess whose spaceship resembles a giant stalk of bamboo —as well as her suit, which comes complete with a clear glass helmet. Also, the Celestials and the forces of darkness also arrived on Nippon from another physical world, using the Ark of Yamato as a spaceship.
  • Androcles Lion: In Sasa Sanctuary, a man in one of the rooms is a hunter who is being served by a Sparrow girl. If you talk to him, he mentions that when he was a young man, he saved an injured sparrow. If you talk to the sparrow, she'll tell you (excitedly) that when she was a little girl, she was rescued by a hunter, and now that very same man is staying in the inn — so she's making sure he has everything he needs.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The New Game+ gives you the 'Karmic Transformers', which change Amaterasu into various other forms, such as her de-powered form (no red markings), the Amaterasu statue in Kamiki, Shiranui markings, and other breeds of dogs. There's even a photo-realistic style Amaterasu. Good for a change of pace on long journeys, indeed.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Played both ways - the game raised an eyebrow for the inclusion of a black "dot" underneath Amaterasu's tail (which, with the exception of one cutscene, is generally obscured by her tail anyway); other canine characters have a similar detail. But other species of animals (like horses and boars) are not depicted with any such visible ... things....
  • Anime Theme Song: Ayaka Hirahara on "Reset" during the ending credits. Doubles as a Cut Song in the Wii version, as it's still present in the Extras menu but the credits it appears in were left out.
    • Ends up completely cut out (save for the special "Thank You" version used before the last battle) in the HD version.
  • Anti-Climax: Yami's death. To be fair, it's not much of a downer after Issun's Crowning Moment Of Awesome / Heart Warming, but when you're used to seeing Stuff Blowing Up (either literally or at least florally) when you defeat a boss, watching this one just go ... "poof" in an explosion of kanji and a small cloud of smoke is quite a contrast.
  • Art Attacker: Amaterasu uses her tail as a brush to cast spells.
  • Art Initiates Life: Literally.
  • Artifact of Doom: The fox rods turn out to belong to Ninetails, the evil fox that is threatening Ryoshima coast.
  • Artistic License - Biology: The oni Blight creates a lot of Fridge Logic, and not just the kind that makes it even scarier.
  • Ascended Extra: Yami is the final boss in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, and the given explanation why all the characters in that game meet up together.
  • As Lethal as It Needs to Be: Amaterasu's Power Slash ability can cleanly cut trees, boulders and various minor demons in half, but when performed on friendly NPCs, it will simply knock them back.
  • Award Bait Song: "Reset"
  • Back for the Finale: During the final battle with Yami, using certain brush techniques will cause notable past characters linked to said brush technique to assist in attacking or support:
    • Using Crescent summons Nagi's spirit to slice Yami in half and expose the core for Ammy.
    • Using Veil of Mist, in addition to slowing time, causes Queen Himiko's spirit to appear overhead and restore solar energy.
    • Using Thunderstorm on the core calls forth the ghost of Real Rao who dishes the core multiple rapid slashes.
    • Using Blizzard on the core makes Oki somehow appear, despite the fact he isn't a spirit/dead. He dukes out a powerful blow from his sword.
  • Barrier Maiden: Sakuya, whose trees ward off evil, has been turned into Sealed Good in a Can. Only by rejuvenating the trees can the area's cursed zone be lifted. Later, the priestess in the Gale Shrine kept the area safe, but when an Oni nearly possessed her it was quickly becoming a cursed zone.
  • Badass Adorable: Issun; also Amaterasu, when she's not busy being a wolf.
  • Bamboo Technology: Kaguya came to earth in a giant bamboo spaceship.
  • Bathos: Done intentionally in the second (of three) battles with Orochi. Nagi tries to look awesome, but it's hard to take him seriously when he's dressed in women's clothing... and even harder when he falls flat on his face jumping into battle.
  • Batman Gambit: Queen Himiko lets Rao/Ninetails regain the Fox Rods, and thus ultimate power, in order to use that power to find Oni Island so Amaterasu can finish him off.
    • And Shiranui's plot to get Kutone glowing again to open the way to the Ark of Yamato and thus to Yami and the Celestial Plain (which involves a Stable Time Loop). And you have to admit that Orochi seemed Crazy-Prepared, too, waiting for one of Nagi's descendants to unwittingly pull Tsukuyomi out of Orochi's seal so he would curse the world, not to mention tempt said descendant so he could complete the blood pact and give the giant snake "dark powers beyond comprehension". And if that failed, well, he'd die and then subsequently release the souls of the four other major baddies to take over the world... AND Waka seemed to know exactly what was going on and was trying to set Amaterasu up to get her to the Celestial Plain, too. Really, when you think about it, this game's plot is a Gambit Pileup.
  • Beary Funny: The sleepy bear who stands on various objects. Susano attacks him at one point, but all it does is wake him (very briefly) up.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Vine flowers that the player uses to jump around tend to be particularly egregious.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call Issun a bug, especially if you're Sakuya. He's a "wandering artist".
    • He doesn't like being reminded that he's a Poncle in general, considering they remain devoted to their role in life, and he's determined to try and run from destiny.
  • BFS:
    • The Glaives, particularly the Thunder Edge which is as large as Amaterasu herself.
    • Susano's sword and the Tsukuyomi also count.
    • Tachigami's, the guardian of Power Slash. He's barely the size of the thing's grip, and he still manages to swing the thing around.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Amaterasu again. She jumps up on Waka and licks his face at the end of the game.
  • Bigger Bad: Ninetails, the owl demons and Yami to original villain Orochi.
  • Big Heroic Run: Anytime "Giving Kushinada a Ride" plays, it'll always be during these moments.
  • Bishounen: Waka, the self-proclaimed "god's gift to man". Even if he doesn't have a mouth.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Again, Waka. All the freaking time.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Whenever you disarm Blight. Possibly justified since the blade itself is the actual adversary.
  • Bleak Level: Sei-an City under Blight, the sunken ship, Yoshpet Forest, and most of the dungeons.
  • Body Horror:
    • Evil Rao.
    • Blight, to an extent.
    • What you do to the Water Dragon while inside him.
  • Booze-Based Buff: Magical sake to boost attack or defense power is available from every vendor in the game.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy:
    • Very frequently, the Boss Room will contain exactly what you need to defeat said boss, even − especially! − if there is no reason for it to be here whatsoever. Against Orochi, there are finely disposed basins to pour the booze. Against Ninetails, the Twin Demons and Yami, there will be torches, waterfalls or thunderous clouds at your disposal all around the room.
    • As to Orochi: in the legends he loved two things; booze and maidens. The sacrificial maiden in the game was probably accompanied by a bottle (or keg, more likely) of sake. The basins might have been where the Sake was traditionally placed. As for Yami, that fight actually takes place on the deck (the top) of the Ark of Yamato. Also, there are Konohana Blossoms in the Spider Queen's boss chamber, as well as the various Bandit Spiders throughout the game. Which also have torches. At the bottom of random cavernous holes in the ground.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Dogu that you meet the first time in the past just before fighting Orochi, could qualify. They are very resilient, have some fast and varied attacks, and can do quite a bit of damage when you're not used to them. Of course they are even worse in the Ten Demonic Gates sidequest.
  • Boss Rush: It's almost a Capcom tradition — The Very Definitely Final Dungeon has no puzzles to solve or enemies to fight; just five rooms, each containing one of the bosses you beat beforehand.
  • Boss Subtitles: You get a shot of Issun's Bestiary scroll every time you fight a boss, as well as any time a new enemy makes its debut.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: See Infinity+1 Sword below.
  • Breath Weapon: Each of Orochi's heads has a different one.
  • Brick Joke:
    • A Poncle will offer to design a seal for you. If you accept, you don't see your seal design again until a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene right at the end of the credits. (This does not appear in the Wii version because the credits, including that scene, were cut out.)
    • An earlier one also appears, when you try to get into Orochi's lair you need to find a paper mask. After finding it, you can put any symbol you want on the mask. Once you reach Sei-an City and defeat Blight you'll see a little girl putting various drawings on the floors and walls. The first picture she does? The same symbol you put on your mask.
  • Broken Bridge: Real broken bridges, cursed zones, a huge rock blocking a path, a raised drawbridge...
  • Bullet Time: The Mist brush technique.
    • Lampshaded by the sheep when you learn the technique. He gets pummeled by every attack.
  • But Thou Must: Frequently lampshaded.
  • By the Eyes of the Blind: Only people with some spiritual sensitivity can see Amaterasu's Facial Markings, including the late priest of the Gale Shrine whose spirit has lost his physical sight. In addition, only Poncles still hold the ability to understand gods, which is how Issun is able to speak with her despite her apparent muteness.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Solar Discs, Ink, and Praise serve the functions of hit points, mana, and experience, respectively.
  • The Cameo: Not in the game, but Ammy herself in fellow Capcom published game Asura's Wrath. Considering both of these games are based on Asian Mythology, it makes sense.
  • Camera Abuse: Hasugami, one of the monkey gods, accidentally hits the "camera" and makes cracks appear on the screen before giving you his brush technique.
  • Canis Major: Ninetails, an enormous fox.
  • The Cape: Susano, after his level-up. And it is glorious.
  • Cape Wings: Waka's hat.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Averted. Amaterasu, though a wolf, never eats anything but Holy Bones, fruits and vegetables, or prepared foods. She doesn't even eat the fish from the various fishing games (though she can eat sashimi in a sidequest). And the wild critters of the woods have no fear of her.
  • The Catfish: Whopper, who ate the reflection of the moon, a "living sword" (i.e. swordfish), and the Legendary Marlin.
  • Cats Are Mean:
    • Amaterasu bonds with Kabegami by batting Issun around like a toy mouse.
    • Gekigami, a tiger, is a bigger offender in this department, briefly firing off his arrows at Amaterasu. Both cats, however, prove to be just as friendly and respectful as the other brush gods once all's said and done.
    • Try to bite a tiger and they'll take a good swipe at you.
  • Charged Attack: The glaives, in both primary and secondary versions.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: It's easy to dismiss Mushi's dog Hayabusa and Kokari's dog Ume as harmless side characters, until you're asked to locate the 8 Satomi Canine Warriors, where you learn that Hayabusa and Ume are two of the ones you're looking for.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Everywhere, including Sakuya's trees (even though she's the spirit of a peach tree).
  • Cherry Tapping: Killing enemies with the Golden Fury or Brown Rage techniques.
  • Chest Monster: On the sunken ship.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Ninetails. While Orochi's confined to the Moon Cave and Yami seems to be happy acting as a vague monster-spawning Ultimate Evil, Ninetails does everything in her power to make sure she and her stronghold are completely unassailable. It almost worked, too, as Amaterasu breached Oni Island with only minutes to spare.
    • Speaking of that subplot, Himiko, whose Thanatos Gambit beats out Ninetails in the end.
  • Chiaroscuro
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Issun. Heavy on the perv, light on the chivalry.
    Issun: The name's Issun. And by the way... it only looks like I'm staring at your melons.
  • City Guards: Sei-an's guards are never seen doing anything but staying put at their post or wandering around the city aimlessly. They certainly don't help you catch a certain infamous pickpocket, either.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: How the main character gets more powerful. Clapping gives Praise and with Praise the character can be upgraded. This is also how Ammy gets her second wind against the Final Boss.
  • Climax Boss: Whilst minor bosses are encountered throughout, each act has one of these; Orochi in Act 1, Ninetails in Act 2, and Yami in Act 3.
  • Clip Its Wings: Several enemy types are invulnerable, or at least much harder to attack, while flying, but you can use brush techniques to cut their wings off and/or knock them out of the air with gusts of wind.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Amaterasu herself doesn't seem totally in touch with events most of the time, and acts more like a dog than a goddess. Usually she's in the habit of taking naps or trying to play fetch with ancient and priceless artifacts during long conversation.
  • Collapsing Lair: The Moon Cave and the Water Dragon's body.
  • Combined Energy Attack: The collective power of prayer all over Nippon restores Amaterasu to full godhood.
  • Compressed Hair: Waka.
  • Constellations: Each of the 13 Brush Gods (who are all based on Eastern Zodiac plus a cat), hides themselves as constellations with missing stars in various locations. When you spot them, you need to fill in the missing stars to restore their powers and make them at your service. In order to summon each of the Celestial Brush Gods, Amaterasu must use her powers to complete the constellation associated with each brush god. There are fourteen in all, plus an enemy who is also summoned in a similar fashion.
  • Cool Gate: The Spirit Gate, Devil Gates, and Golden Gates.
  • Cool Old Guy: Onigiri Sensei, whose head turns upside down when he goes Bad Ass.
    • Also Mr. Orange, who has some mean dance moves.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Susano becomes convinced he's one. He's not really far off.
  • Crossover: Amaterasu is a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Yami is the final boss in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Susano ... eventually.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Every single one of Waka's prophecies, and most of his regular conversation too.
    • Subverted, in a way, since the important parts of his dialogue are highlighted in red font.
  • Cue the Sun: Not only can Amaterasu invoke this at will, it's how she defeats the Big Bad.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The silver demon Nechku doesn't stand a chance once Shiranui starts attacking him.

    D-F 
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: After defeating the first forms of Yami, it grabs Amaterasu during her victory howl, draining her power. When that fails, it opts to instead block itself every time Amaterasu uses her Celestial Brush.
  • Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: Averted, in case you were wondering if Oina children (Lika and Otter Mask boy) already know how to shapeshift into their animal forms; they do (just cast Bloom and watch what happens). When Lika references "what kind of Oina" Oki wants her to become, this is meant spiritually, not physically.
  • Darkest Hour: First you have the tragic death of Queen Himiko and Race Against Time to reach Oni Island ... but the real one is the legendary Day of Darkness, a day-long solar eclipse occuring once every 100 years, which applies in every sense of the word considering that you're the sun god.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Technology, it seems. Ultimate Evil Yami is heavily implied to be the originator of technology and Lechku and Nechku are mechanical beings, but Waka's Tao Warriors use Magitek computers and helping a Mechanist with his invention strengthens Amaterasu with the Power of Lightning.
  • Dead All Along: Shortly after giving the Fox Rods to Rao, Amaterasu and Issun see an ominous vision of Ninetails attacking her. Naturally they go rushing to save her, where a spirit leads them to a secret tunnel directly to the Imperial palace — at which point it's revealed that "Rao" was actually Ninetails all along; the vision was something that happened a long time ago, and the real Rao is just a dessicated corpse you passed by in the secret tunnel.
  • Degraded Boss: The Bandit Spiders, which are optional minibosses found in holes scattered throughout the land. They are all upgrades of the first (main) boss.
    • Waka, Evil Rao, and Nagi in the last Black Devil Gate..
  • Demon Slaying: This is Amaterasu's mission, along with restoring Nippon to its former beauty.
  • Depower:
    • It's only natural after nearly dying and being Sealed Good in a Can for a hundred years ... or was that actually dying and being reincarnated from scratch using a stone statue for a body? It's not entirely clear.
    • Tube Foxes are capable of draining your ink supply until you're forced to fight them with nothing but claws and fangs.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Amaterasu comes perilously close to crossing it during the final Yami battle.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything
    • Look carefully at the scene shown to you by the Dragon Orb — where Rao is attacked and killed by Ninetails — it takes place at Ankoku Temple. Sure enough, if you look closely when in the hidden passage behind Ankoku Temple, near the entrance at the Temple side of it, there's a skeleton. It's Rao's.
    • Every member of the Oina tribe in Kamui has an animal form — even the merchants! Just cast Bloom on them and they'll transform for you.
    • When carrying either Susano, Kushi, or Nagi on your back, you can run around Kamiki Village and the villagers will comment about it.
  • Diagonal Cut: The training dummy in the Dojo falls apart with such a cut each time you complete an attack chain against it. Anything you can Power Slash will fall apart with a specific cut angle, regardless of the direction you drew the stroke (which can also be mildly diagonal).
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Inverted; you may be a god, but quite a few mortals manage to give you quite a thrashing.
    • Played straight with the last boss, though—few things are as satisfying as punching out some kind of unholy creature of pure darkness a fish-shaped... thing.. in a giant mecha.
  • Difficulty Spike: Ninetails is quite a bit more troublesome than any boss in the game so far. The trend continues afterward with Kamui and its much more ferocious enemies.
    • The first time Waka is fought might come as a bit of a shock to some players.
  • Disc One Final Boss/Disc One Final Dungeon: Despite being the apparent villain in the story, battling Orochi in the Moon Cave has you re-enact the legend 100 years ago, only for greater villains to appear later
  • Doomed by Canon: In-universe example — when Amaterasu and Issun wind up in Kamiki Village 100 years ago, they find themselves having to re-enact the very battle with Orochi as told in legend. Issun, remembering how this one ended with "Shiranui" dying, is very nervous about it. They defeat Orochi without incident but Shiranui appears in time to save Nagi from a falling boulder — and Shiranui, as we find out later, is already dying from a mortal wound inflicted elsewhere.
  • Double Jump: Acquired from the Ryoshima Dojo. At the Kamui Dojo, you can even upgrade it to make it damage enemies during battle.
  • The Dragon: All the big climactic bosses, but most notably Orochi and Ninetails.
  • Drunken Master: Mr. Orange, though Susano and even Amaterasu get a fighting edge by drinking special sake.
    • Parodied with Kusagami, the god of mist. When the god makes his entrance, a bunch of imps throw instruments at him. He takes a swig from the bottle of alcohol on his back, leaps into the air... and utterly fails to dodge any of them. Turns out that drinking doesn't make him a kung fu master, it just makes him drunk.
  • Dual Boss: The twin demon owls, Lechknu and Nechku. Then there's Waka, Rao, and Nagi if you try to banish that Devil Gate in Kamui's Bandit Spider cave.
  • Dual Wielding: Ammy can equip both a Main weapon and Sub weapon - note that rosary beads are the only ones still visible as a subweapon. Waka also fights with two blades: one of metal (wielded in a Reverse Grip, no less) and one of energy.
  • Dub Name Change: An odd example. The names in the US version were not exactly changed but those who had four syllables or more (except Amaterasu) were shortened. Izanagi becomes Nagi, Kushinada becomes Kushi, Ushiwaka becomes Waka, Tsuzurao becomes Rao, Okikurumi becomes Oki, etc.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: You do 99% of the work needed to slay Orochi, destroy Oni island, take down thousands of demons, restore beauty to Nippon, and master the powers of explosions, fire, wind and water. And most people will still call you demeaning nicknames until the finale.
    • They'll also take credit for your work, though Amaterasu does seem to be trying to make her contributions not so obvious.
    • Subverted in the final battle when, thanks to Issun's propaganda, everyone realizes she was a god all along, and blame themselves for her difficulty. In the end, it's their sincere gratitude that gives Amaterasu the strength to defeat Yami once and for all.
  • Dung Fu: The upgrade to the Golden Fury, "Brown Rage", which involves Amaterasu taking a dog-doo, followed by it, er... exploding on the enemy. Note that some of the Canine Warriors (notably Ume) are capable of using this against you. Then there's Hayubasa's hole-digging: Fall in one and he'll try to pee on you while you're stuck (which drains all you ink power).
  • Eastern Zodiac: The brush techniques are taught by the various members of said zodiac, with Amaterasu herself taking the role of the Dog. It also includes the Cat, and references the story about it being left out—see the entry on the Eastern Zodiac in Just So Story.
  • Edge Gravity: Generally speaking, Ammy won't accidentally fall off cliffs or edges of platforms; if you want to, you'll need to jump off.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Yami is explicitly described as being so alien it is never represented in human or animal shape.
  • Elemental Powers: Earth is Ammy's initial element, with unlockable minor control over others coming later.
    • The strongest weapons form a Power Trio of sorts, and allow you become an elemental source (e.g. fire can be drawn from Ammy instead of needing a torch). The three include the Solar Flare Reflector, Tundra Beads, and Thunder Edge Glaive.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Combined with Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, right before you put the final smackdown on the final boss. Note that you don't get any new gameplay abilities (you already have all the techniques you need to fight him), it is solely for narrative reasons.
  • End Game Results Screen: The player gets an overall ranking after the epilogue, with grading criteria including the number of continues used and the total amount of money collected. Getting the top rank in each category unlocks goodies for New Game+.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Rao, if Amaterasu's rapt attention is anything to go by.
    • Technically Amateratsu as a god is genderless, she was just assigned female pronouns in translation for simplicity since the English gender neutral, "it" doesn't work well. Note that her previous incarnation, Shiranui, is referred to with male pronouns, reflecting the translation confusion.
    • Given that most Westerners associate nuns/priestesses with being chaste and conservative in dress, and given that Rao is...er...the most buxom woman in the game, it's hard for anyone NOT to be slightly stunned by her appearance!
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Played straight with Waka with his Tao Troopers, who all adore him. Issun, though, can't stand him.
  • Evil Old Folks: Mr. and Mrs. Cutter. They're really a pair of monsters called Crow Tengu.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The Yoshpet Forest. Walls of poison spines that you only have the tiniest space to jump through unharmed (and it moves around on some!), cursed trees that target you with their toxic fruit, poisoned water that kills with one touch, icicles that are very good at falling on you, gigantic snowballs rolling downhill on top of you and even the air, being so toxic that you can only remain in the forest for five minutes at a time- what "isn't" trying to kill you in Yoshpet?
  • Evil Counterpart: Ninetails, an evil fox and the only opponent with his own version of the Celestial Brush.
  • Exposition Fairy: Issun Boshi.
  • Extra Eyes: A feature of some monsters.
  • Eye Scream:
    • In this game, door locks are sentient and The keyhole is their eye — you open them by shoving a key-shaped Exorcising Arrow in the eye. However, there is that small matter of how they happen to be demonic monsters. So it's totally okay. Note that the locks don't just sit there when you're running about; they taunt you (sticking their tongue out and laughing) if you try to open them by any other means. When you approach them with the key, however, watch how they sweat, panic, and struggle to avoid their ultimate fate. It almost makes you feel sad for having to exorcise them.
    • Amaterasu also defeats the Spider Queen by destroying her eight eyes.
  • Facial Markings: Amaterasu, though they're Invisible to Normals.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero:
    • Susano, though he ends up being a Real Ultimate Hero by flipping out and killing Orochi to save his Love Interest turned Damsel in Distress.
    • Nagi himself also serves this role, as when you first meet him in person, he's every bit as lazy and cowardly as Susano. And like Susano, he ends up being a Real Ultimate Hero when it's all over.
  • Famous Ancestor: Nagi to Susano, and Shiranui to Amaterasu. It also takes Issun by surprise when it's revealed that Ishaku was Shiranui's Celestial Envoy.
  • Fanservice: Sakuya's outfit and dialogue, as well as Rao's, are quite suggestive.
    • A subtle example that can easily be missed, but if one looks closely at the outfit Kushi wears when she goes after Orochi, they'll notice that it's see-through. And when you meet her ancestor Nami, she's bathing in the spring. Surprisingly enough, Issun will actually chew you out if you get close enough for her to spot you, though that's because you are trying to avoid exactly that.
    • Downplayed in another instance, where Sakuya's final form was originally going to be completely naked.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Twice, once when Amaterasu is shrunk and defeats the Blight inside the Emperor of Sei-An and when Amaterasu has to recover the Dragon Orb from inside the Water Dragon.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: There are brush techniques to bring day and night. The technique to call the sun is learned in the first hour of gameplay, the one to call the moon is learned only after about a dozen hours of gameplay.
  • Fastball Special:
    • Amaterasu gets to shoot Oki at the Twin Owls as a projectile weapon.
    • During the gameplay segments when the player controls a miniaturized Amaterasu, Issun teaches her how to command him to fly out and attack targets (and steal items). Later in the game you can pick up an accessory to use this skill at any time.
  • Fertile Blood: Crimson Helm is a bull-like youkai that was born from the blood of the Big Bad Orochi, after the hero Nagi beheaded it.
  • Fertile Paws: Amaterasu trails grass and flowers behind her whenever she's running or jumping. (In water, you get lily pad leaves and frogs). Sakuya also seems to generate cherry blossoms wherever she manifests.
  • Final Exam Boss: Yami. Be prepared to draw brush techniques that you probably haven't touched since the first dungeon, and in approximately the same order you originally acquired them. The twin demon owls Lechku and Nechku also qualify to a lesser extent, as all of their attacks have one specific counter.
  • Finishing Move: After you drain an enemy of its health, you can earn Demon Fangs by finishing them with a proper brush technique.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Amaterasu eventually learns to control all three. Also, the three ultimate weapons are perpetually lit up with their corresponding elements (reflector, rosary, and glaive, and in that order!), allowing you to use them as a source for the respective brush technique.
  • Fishing Minigame: Kokari lost his hook and line while fishing. How do you help him land the big one? The Rejuvenation brush technique! Note that in the Wii version the timed button press to yank the fish out of water is replaced by a motion waggle.
  • Fisticuffs Boss: The battle with Yami begins with Amaterasu's divine power being drained completely, reducing her to her basic wolf form with no special powers. The remainder of the battle consists of you slowly beating your own power out of the God of Darkness.
  • Follow the Leader: Come on, you don't see it? Silent protagonist, occasionally annoying sidekick, fish catching game, Barrier Maiden, fragments of extra life, Time Travel. If it wasn't for the importance of sake and Rao, people would mistake this for a Nintendo game. Amaterasu even has the same repertoire of equipment as Link. (Word of God is that the game was directly inspired by the Legend of Zelda series.).
  • Fog of Doom: The curse that is slowly killing the inhabitants of Sei-an City, caused by a demon inside the Emperor.
  • Fore Shadowing: During every encounter with Waka, the "half-baked prophet" will dish out vague predictions of events to come. There are also many clues given by the game itself, such as Orochi's spirit flying off after his defeat, and even minor ones like the Cutter house not being frozen by the cursed zone in Taka pass.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Much of the game subverts and references famous Japanese Mythology, folklore, and fairy tales - implying that parts were exaggerated, downplayed, or Lost in Imitation over the centuries.
    • Mythological Susano was a powerful warrior. Ōkami's Susano, not so much (until he slays Orochi).
    • The game's presentation of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, on the other hand, is almost entirely accurate...except for the fact that the "shining bamboo stalk" she was found in turned out to be an enormous spaceship shaped like a bamboo shoot.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: One of the earliest sidequests triggers this: in Shinshu Field, a priest asks Amaterasu to hunt down five criminal demons, each marked with a sacred arrow. As soon as the wolf exits the priest's house to start the search, night falls and the first criminal demon challenges her to a fight.
  • Friend to All Living Things: She is a benevolent goddess of the sun and addressed several times as "Mother to us all", so it should be expected.
  • Fungus Humongous: The mushrooms in the Tsuta Ruins start at a normal size, but with a bit of sunlight they become enormous.
  • Fusion Dance: The crab-like enemies Jiro and Saburo (described as the lost souls of lovers drowned at sea) can combine into a larger (and much more dangerous) shark enemy called Ichiro.

    G-L 
  • Gambit Pileup: Go on, look at the spoiler under Xanatos Speed Chess.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation/Cutscene Power to the Max: Amaterasu can do several moves in cutscenes that aren't possible in actual gameplay.
  • Generation Xerox: You see that this is the case when you travel back to Kamiki Village 100 years ago.
  • Genre Blind:
    • Issun. "Flowers like this always have treasure inside!"
    • There's also the bit when you see a girl locked up and crying, facing away from our heroes. Issun, by this point, fully expects her to be a monster when she turns around. She's actually the very attractive and innocent Kaguya.
    • When you travel to Kamiki 100 years ago, Issun doesn't catch on until the sacrifical arrow appears. Despite a younger Sakuya (because of her undeveloped voice, she says Shakuya), a sprout where Konohana is supposed to be, everyone attacking Amaterasu and calling her Orochi's familiar Shiranui, and the local warrior calling himself Nagi.
  • Genre Shift: So, you're running about feudal Japan during the Age of Myths, hunting down the Man Behind the Man, and then... you end up fighting in a spaceship.
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: How you get Kokari to focus when he's too busy crying over his lost dog Ume.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • During the night of the Moon Festival, if you talk to Mr. Orange he'll note the suspicious absence of Kushi and Susano and hope that Kushi hasn't been possessed. Issun follows: "I don't think it's an evil spirit that's possessing her right now..."
    • One of the techniques you can buy from the dojo is "Golden Fury," which coaxes extra Demon Fangs out of enemies by... peeing on them. The upgrade is exploding dog turds.
    • In the Poncle village, behind a seemingly inconspicuous wall scroll is hidden a rather extensive study on how to draw the best parts of the female anatomy.
  • Go Back to the Source: The end had Amaterasu confront the ultimate darkness at the Ark of Yamato, the vessel from which all monsters arrived from the Celestial Realm.
  • A God Am I: A downplayed heroic example. Nagi declares himself the guardian deity of Kamiki Village. Fits only partially, since in Shinto local heroes are pretty much expected to become kami after death.
    • The Japanese kami is usually identified with the English deity, if only because it is a genderless word and applies to both Male and Female "celestial beings". Kami literally means top or above, and only figuratively does it apply to "celestial beings". Technically speaking, there is no such thing as god(s) in Shinto.
  • A God Is You: The player and Issun are no stranger to the fact that Amaterasu is the sun god, but being dead for 100 years has left Ammy with very little of her former power or glory.
  • God Is Good: No problem is too big or small to be tackled by Amaterasu, though she is far from an enabler. A big part of the game is helping other people to recognize their own hidden potential. Oh yeah, and she kills the ultimate evil in the universe, so there's that.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Averted throughout. You meet three female rulers in the game and all of them are resolute, wise, and noble.
  • God Test: Occurs repeatedly, since faith in the gods is at a low ebb. Amaterasu sometimes displays a wicked sense of humor in answering them.
  • God Was My Copilot: A rare protagonist example. Amaterasu is a sun goddess in the from of a white wolf. The player knows this from the beginning; however, most of the people she runs into don't and mistake her for a dog or normal wolf, as they can't see the flaming mirror or the unusual red markings.
  • Go for the Eye: The Spider Queen's only vulnerability. And there are eight of them. And the means for dealing with Lockjaws on doors.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: In addition to earning Praise with which she buys upgrades, Amaterasu becomes a full-fledged god again at the end of the game when Issun convinces the entire world to pray for her.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: See Crowning Moment of Heartwarming above.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: You have to steal Nami's robe while she bathes in order to disguise Nagi as the sacrificial maiden.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Tobi becomes a little flower for Amaterasu.
  • Gotta Catch Them All:
    • The Celestial Brush techniques, some of which need to be found before moving on to certain parts of the story.
    • Not mentioning treasures, animals to feed, fishes to catch, martial arts to learn, bestiary to complete, traveler scrolls to find— even if these are all optional, they're still things to catch for the poor completionist attempting them.
    • The worst offender is the collectable stray beads. Granted, it unlocks the String Of Beads weapon, but good luck finding all 100 without a guide.
  • Gratuitous English: In Japan, Germany, and France for Waka's speech.
  • Gratuitous French: Waka in the US version, ma chérie.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: When Amaterasu runs into the Boss Room of the Spider Queen, she stops in mid-air and it takes a moment of realization before she falls to the arena below.
  • Green Aesop: Being at one with nature means harmony for all.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Amaterasu uses Mr. Orange as a weapon against a trio of imps, and she later learns the technique to shoot Oki and Issun at enemies for damage.
  • Grim Up North: Kamui.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Several of the Stray Beads can only be found after completing the second-to-last area, but before entering The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, which is beyond the point of no return. Also, good luck finding all 100 without a guide.
    • Also, the last cherry tree is the one on Mr. Cherry's head.
    • The game (Wii version at least) never tells you how to use rapid fire beads properly when they're equipped as sub weapons (tapping Z only lets you fire one shot every few seconds, you have to switch to tapping C after the first shot to rapid-fire). You'll be forgiven if you spend the game only equipping shotgun beads if you could help it. Certain glaives equipped in the secondary slot can be charged as well, but holding Z does nothing.
    • The only hint that the Ice Storm brush technique is gained along with Blizzard is in the fight with Ninetails, who would occasionally use it when the player pulls up the brush screen. You can paint a "snowflake" (an X with a horizontal line through the middle) which causes ice shards to rain down and freeze multiple targets. The size of the drawing determines the strength of the attack and how many ink pots are consumed.
      • This one is especially nasty because up until that point, the "screen-filling attack" version of the brush techniques have all been upgrades that were the result of sidequests. If a player doesn't think to try what Ninetails did, or doesn't remember how it went, or thought that Ninetails was attempting to use Mist Warp before cancelling the brush screen, they may well spend hours searching Nippon in vain for a sidequest that isn't there.
    • Four separate side-quests in Sei-An city require you to chase down the thief Hayazo, but before you can chase him you have to find him hiding somewhere in the city. But he's not hiding behind a building or under a bridge; he's hiding inside a rock. The rock is entirely unremarkable and this hiding place isn't really hinted at, and how exactly he's hiding inside a seemingly solid rock is never addressed.
  • Hail Fire Peaks: Gangplank Galleon + Big Boo's Haunt = The cursed ship.
  • Half-Human Hybrids: Oki and the rest of the Oina tribe are part animal. This is never explained.
  • Half The Serpent He Used To Be: Vertically done to Orochi, twice.
  • Hammerspace: Where Amaterasu and her friends seem to keep their weapons (and other supplies) when not using them.
  • Harmless Freezing: It costs a little health and will slow you down, but being frozen solid doesn't hurt Amaterasu or other creatures all that much.
    • Fight Oki and say that again when he uses ice spears to combo you to death, seriously, fail to dodge one ice spear and you get hit by at least three of em.
  • Henohenomoheji: Distant NPCs have the henohenomoheji face in their thought bubbles.
  • Heroic Mime: Amaterasu, being a wolf, doesn't talk; she makes various wolfish noises and finds other ways to express her emotions instead.
    • Issun, Waka, and certain others can understand what she says. It's implied that she speaks telepatically, as she didn't bark or anything when Issune mentions that she said "Resolve". It's also implied that she says what you choose with yes/no choices.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shiranui.
  • Have You Seen My God?
  • Head Pet: Issun spends most of his time bouncing on Amaterasu's forehead or nose.
  • Heart Container: The Solar Fragments.
  • The Heartless: Subverted with Tobi, who just wants a good race. Actually, most of the oni (the imps, at least) are just a bunch of goofy guys. They may be serving up poor Kushi, but to them, it's just how they live. And imp merchants are always happy to do battle.. er, business.. with Amaterasu.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Issun.
  • Heroic Lineage: Susano.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Himiko
  • Hidden Elf Village: Subverted. The Poncles, who otherwise fit most of the trope, are probably the only ones who seem to care about, or even notice, the decline of the gods.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The exorcism slips produce increasingly large hemispheres of destruction. On a more literal note, the Cherry Bomb technique, especially Shiranui's
  • Holy Halo: The Flame Tablet, and later Amaterasu's fully powered form seems a lot like a sun's corona.
  • Hope Bringer: Amaterasu.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Zig-zagged with Issun, who is completely deceived by Ninetails and is suspicious of several sympathetic and noble characters (until he sees that they are beautiful women, that is). On the other hand, he was the first besides Sakuya to join Amaterasu.
    • To be fair, he was starting to get suspicious of the latter spoiler until Ammy took a good look at her and handed over the item in question.
    • Also out of all these people he mistakenly trusts, he never trusted Waka.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Orochi demands his sacrifice on Kamiki Village's annual Full Moon Festival; Yami attacks Amaterasu on the centennial solar eclipse. Justified in the latter case since a) she's the sun goddess and b) it's implied Yami has the power to bring this about.
  • Human Aliens: The Bamboo Princess, who even rides a bamboo rocket back home.
  • Humble Hero: Ammy. The office of Celestial Envoy exists so that someone will tell the world what she has done for them, since she won't do it herself.
  • 100% Completion: Oh dear. (See entry for Gotta Catch Them All.)
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Amaterasu can carry all of her weapons, consumable items, treasures, fish, scrolls, etc....in her inventory, despite not having pockets. Then again, she is a goddess.
  • Hypocrite: Issun lectures Kokari about shirking his duties because he might miss a great adventure, but Issun is currently on an adventure because he's shirking his duties.
  • I Have the High Ground: Waka. Constantly.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Susano admits to removing Tsukuyomi in order to disprove the legend of Nagi because he doesn't want to deal with all the "Descendant of Nagi" stuff. It didn't work.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Amaterasu can basically slay demons with mirrors and holy beads. Not by reflecting holy light or anything, just by whacking them senseless.
  • In a Single Bound: Waka again. (How else would he get the high ground?) Borders on Not Quite Flight.
  • Incendiary Exponent: The most powerful mirror, perpetually on fire and very useful to draw fire from if you don't have the Inferno attack.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Amaterasu must use the Magic Mallet from the original tale of Issun Boshi to shrink down and infiltrate the Imperial Palace. While shrunk, she is the same size as Issun himself!
  • Inescapable Ambush: Some battles, particularly boss fights and ones introducing you to new enemies, are impossible to get out of.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests
  • Infinite Ammo: After getting the Bead String technique, the secondary beads will always reload faster than you can shoot them so there's no pausing while they regenerate.
    • Inkfinity stones give you infinite ink for a while. The Bead Necklace gives your permenant infinite ink when equipped.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Collecting all the beads gives you an item that increases your attack power by a factor of ten, and gives you infinite ink and health- but since one bead is obtained by beating the Final Boss, you can't use it until the New Game+.
  • In-Series Nickname: Just about every character has their own nickname for Amaterasu. You get called (among other things) "Ammy", "furball", "Snowy", even "Fido" by various characters. Waka in particular rarely calls you by name, either, using "ma cherie" for Ammy and "my little bouncing friend" for Issun.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: The fourth form of the final boss, with energy whips for arms.
  • Instrument of Murder: Waka's flute turns into an energy sword, aptly named "Pillow Talk".
  • Intellectual Animal: Amaterasu. That being said, she's one of the few who can't talk. At least not to Muggles, anyway.
  • Interface Spoiler: You'll be surprised when you fight what seems to be the end boss and you only have 9 out of 14 Brush techniques, not to mention less than half of the equippable weapons.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Played with gleefully at the climax — Amaterasu loses Issun's company, then Waka, then all of the brush gods before she confronts Yami. After she has it apparently beaten, Issun reappears — but it's just a vision, and then Yami shows its true form, destroying all of Amaterasu's powers a second time and leaving her shivering and alone. But Issun has been busy telling the whole world what Amaterasu has done for them, and their gratitude restores her to full power and then some.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: There's a continuous day-night cycle, but you can change the time to morning or nightfall at any time with the appropriate brush techniques.
  • Invisible to Normals: Amaterasu's red markings and Divine Instruments are completely unseen by most humans—she's just a strangely intelligent white wolf/dog to them.
  • Invulnerable Civilians:
    • No one else will be attacked by a demon scroll. No one. (But some of them will get possessed/harassed by demons.)
    • They also never stay hurt if you screw around with your brush techniques. Even after getting blown up by a Cherry Bomb, they just get knocked out and respawn shortly afterwards.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: Fishing, digging for treasure, exterminating wanted lists, ferrying people around Sei-an City ... the list goes on.
  • It's Up to You: Nothing gets done without Amaterasu, apparently not even the laundry.
  • Jaw Drop: Done by Ammy upon seeing Shiranui in the present.
  • Jerkass Façade: Waka may seem a jerk, but in the end he is really Amaterasu's sincere helper.
  • Jiggle Physics: Rao and Sakuya.
  • Justified Save Point: The Celestial Mirrors.
  • King of All Cosmos: Amaterasu's wolflike behavior gets played for laughs here and there, including not five minutes after her initial revival, where Amaterasu decides to take a nap even as Sakuya is pleading for her help to save the land from a revived Orochi.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Swipe food, money, and treasure from people's pots, fields, and dresser drawers, but beware of Mushi's mother, who will defend her turnip field from hole-diggers like Amaterasu. By using Inferno, you can steal stuff faster and become a Pyro-kleptomaniac Hero.
  • Laser Blade: Waka's flute/laser sword, Pillow Talk.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • Stray Beads.
    • To unlock every Karmic Transformer, you have to get 4500+ praise. Good luck. However, you can do it in more than one playthrough on the Wii version. It gets very easy to keep track of once you don't have to spend it on everything.
      • Although to max out all attributes you can, you need 6020 praise which is actually pretty easy to get.
      • This is made all the harder by the beehive. The goddamn beehive. You have to push it up the hill on the other side of the forest to the sleeping bear. It's all but impossible because the thing will jerk randomly around whenever you try to push it, and will always ALWAYS try and go off the cliff when you're like three feet away from the bear. It will haunt your nightmares.
      • The Beehive requires use of an inkfinity stone or the Bead Neckless and Galestorm to keep it away from the edge.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Done exactly once during the entire game. One of the bonus bosses is "The Kusa Five," although you actually fight all of The Eight Canine Warriors. When Issun mentions this, Fuse says it's because even when they are separated, they fight as one. Then Issun says something to the effect of, "Then how come they didn't help us fight that Crimson Helm guy?" Fuse can't come up with anything to explain this save "Um..." before quickly moving to another topic.
    • In case you don't get the joke, the developer wanted to give the player an awesome boss battle, despite the fact that this didn't make much sense in the context of the story. So instead they explicitly pointed out how little this made sense.
  • The Legend of Chekhov: In-universe, Susano doesn't believe in the Legend of Nagi, while Issun doesn't believe the NPC who talks about Mermaid Springs in Taka Pass. Naturally, both are wrong.
  • Leitmotif: Just about every important character (Susano, Waka, Rao, Oki, etc.) has a theme song you'll hear repeatedly. Sakuya's melody in particular may as well be the leitmotif for the entire game considering how often it gets remixed (including the Final Boss music).
  • Le Parkour: Amasterasu starts off having a Wall Jump, and then gets a Double Jump, and a clinging to walls ability.
  • Lethal Chef: Ajimi the demon cook.
    "Introducing my grand masterpiece, Dungheap Slimeball Goulash. This will make the main course taste 1000 times better!"
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Most of Susano's character arc casts him in a comic relief role, and his cowardice is often played for laughs. When monsters threaten Kushi, however, all bets are off. The greatest example of this is when he's seen cowering outside Orochi's lair while Amaterasu goes in, but when Orochi is about to devour Kushi, he says without fear or hesitation: "Hold it right there, vile serpent." He then goes on to state that he requires help from nobody, and that all he needs to slay Orochi is his trusty wooden sword. Right before he uses said wooden sword to slice the last Orochi head in half lengthwise, unaided by Amaterasu.
  • Light 'em Up: Ammy, as befits the sun goddess. Note that there's only one opponent against which Sunrise is effectively weaponized — the Final Boss.
  • Living Statue: Amaterasu was revived from a stone statue. Get a Game Over, her body reverts back to a stone statue ... then shatters. Note that one of the Karmic Transformers is this statue.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: But at least the (PS2) mini-games do help pass the time a bit faster. They are not present in the remakes. And while at it, you can actually gain a Demon Fang, if you're lucky.
  • Loads And Loads Of Sidequests: The game has enough sidequests to double the total play time, which is already quite big with the main story alone. They can be anything, from making the biggest snowball or catching a huge fish, to a Nintendo Hard Multi-Mook Melee.
  • Long Speech Tea Time: Ammy tends to nod off and start dozing during long sequences of exposition, particularly with Waka. (No important Exposition is ever missed, of course, since Issun stays awake to hear it all and ask all the right questions.)
  • Lost Forever:
    • Anything in the Moon Cave or Oni Island. That dog and the crapload of clovers in ancient Kamiki Village. Except for that one dog (who counts towards the Animal Tome), the only things missed are extra Praise and Vendor Trash.
    • For those who want to fill their bestiary, one or two enemy types only show up in one area of the game (they're in the Doom Mirror family from when Amaterasu is shrunken in the Emperor's palace), and are absent from the arena-type locales where other seemingly limited-time-only enemies can appear.

    M-R 
  • Macguffin Delivery Service: After going into the bowels of the Water Dragon, and retrieving the precious Fox Rods, Rao appears and... convinces Amaterasu to give them to her.
  • Magical Gesture: Amaterasu seems to control the Celestial Brush with precise movements of her tailtip.
  • Mana Meter: Your Ink pot meter. It also recharges over time, as you frequently need your brush techniques to solve puzzles.
  • Mana Potion: The Ink Pot restores three ink uses.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Orochi, the villain responsible for the game's events, turns out to be a mere pawn; the game keeps going until you kill True-Orochi, Ninetails, and then true-mastermind Yami.
  • Male Gaze: Take a shot every time there's a lingering closeup of Rao's bust.
  • Mechanical Lifeform: The Final Boss.
  • Mega Neko: Kabegami is pretty big for a cat - almost as large as Amaterasu. The tigers and Gekigami also count (see Panthera Awesome below).
  • Metroidvania
  • Mind Screw: Amaterasu is saved, twice, mind you, by her past incarnation Shiranui who comes directly from the past to help her future self since she lost most of her power after being sealed in a statue. There are two versions of the same god in one place.
  • Mini-Boss: In order of appearance: Waka, the Satomi Canine Warriors, the Tube Foxes, Evil Rao, Oki, and Nagi. A Bandit Spider, almost a replica of the first boss, can also be fought three times (one in each of the Devil Gate grottos that house the very difficult Multi-Mook Melee matches). Lastly, judging from the tense music, the three big fish creatures that are captured at different points (Whopper, Cutlass Sword and Marlin) are minibosses as well.
  • Mini-Dungeon: There are two, and both of them are explored during the Sei-An arc of the game.
    • The Sunken Ship, which precedes the Imperial Palace and even has the ítem that allows Amaterasu to get access to it.
    • The Inside of the Water Dragon, on the other hand, is explored to get a magical Crystal Ball in order to give it to Queen Otohime and, right after its completion, a series of dramatic events occurs and leads to the entrance to Oni Island, the next main dungeon.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: A ton of Amaterasu fan art personifies her as a cute girl with white hair and dog ears.
  • The Mole: Rao is actually the Dark Lord Ninetails.
  • Monster Compendium: Issun builds a Bestiary scroll as you encounter more enemies.
  • Mood Whiplash: It's a terrifying, demonic, eight-headed—aww, look at that poor confused thunder head. Then you hear that voice...
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: Most enemies get one the first time you encounter them. The only exceptions are a few late-game mooks, which are typically variants of previously encountered ones anyway.
  • Moon Rabbit: To no Asian's surprise, the Rabbit zodiac gives moon related powers.
    • Kaguya-hime also appears to have rabbit ears, although due to the art style, it's not clear whether they're the real thing, or just unusual Idiot Hair.
  • Morphic Resonance: All Oina tribe members wear outfits that match the fur color of their animal form (or is it vice versa?).
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: Tsuzurao / Rao seems genuinely good at first. When she lets you get eaten by the sea dragon while she escapes easily, it leaves you a little suspicious, if amused. You get a bit more suspicious when you notice she is the only character to ever mention the Fox Rods as a means to defeat the demons. Then you learn the Fox Rods are an Artifact of Doom that belongs to the Evil Overlord and that all the demons are actively trying to get it back. And just after that, She appears totally out of nowhere in a place supposedly inaccessible to humans, trembles with anticipation when you say you found the object, and gazes upon it before leaving. But hey, she says she will use it to fight the demons and banish evil, so What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Rao, naturally, but Sakuya also —her personal motif is peaches, and her dress is both very low-cut and has an opening at the derriere so as to show how much she resembles a peach, herself. And that's just her weakened form. The form you'll see the most has her wearing a bra that shouldn't even be able to hold up those melons, and what looks like a belt with two tapestries hanging from it. Combine that with the fact that Sakuya's the only girl who retains importance throughout all 3 arcs (you'll want to get the free prizes from her tree), and Sakuya's the real Ms. Fanservice.
    • They planned on a third, even ''more'' revealing "costume" but nixed it.
    • Rao's theme deserves mention too, consisting primarally of a women sighing suggestively and some rather erotic sounding music. Bonus points for it playing every time you talk to her, even in non-scripted conversations.
    • And the Draconian dancers, who wear skirts and seashells on their boobs.
      • Note, they're not so much a Seashell Bra as much as they are seashell pasties.
  • Multiple Head Case: Orochi is an eight-headed beast with an epic entrance the first two times around (save for his Thunder head ruining the moment by obliviously looking around with a "?" over its head). Note that it seems the Fire head is the dominant one, as it's the only one that speaks, and it's the final one to go down.
  • Mundangerous: Amaterasu is a deity that can call the Sun, instantly repair broken objects, make withered plants live and much much more, and yet it is almost impossible for her to roll a sphere up a slight hill.
  • Mundane Utility: Phenomenal cosmic powers can be used for anything from saving the world to drying laundry. The Celestial Brush seems to work as an ordinary writing implement, too.
  • My Greatest Failure: Waka accidentally brought the oni to Earth when he was trying to help the Celestials flee from them.
  • Narrator All Along: Issun in the role of Celestial Envoy.
  • Nay-Theist: Susano, who at one point yells at the gods to stop "dogging his footsteps." The irony is that he says that in the presence of Amaterasu after she has saved his bacon yet again.
    • Except, you learn towards the end of Orochi's arc, if you talk with Susano in the Cave of Nagi during the Kamiki Festival, that he knew Ammy was a god the whole time. He was calling her out.
  • New Game+: You get to keep all of your weapons (save the Solar Flare, Tundra Beads and Thunder Edge), yen, consumable items, and Stray Beads. You also get "Karmic Transformers" if you want to play around with Ammy's appearance.
  • Nice Hat: Waka. Pity it's destroyed.
    • Orochi too, wears eight helmets on each of his heads, with a symbol and kanji of its element.
    • Most in the game, really. From fruits to animals to bits of buildings. Queen Himiko gets bonus points for a hat that's on fire.
  • The Nicknamer: Issun hardly ever calls anyone by his/her real name.
    • Then again, nobody calls Okami Amaterasu by her real name. Most of the people she comes across, unaware of her divinity, give her a common dog name. Fido, Snowy, etc.
  • No Body Left Behind: Enemies turn into flowers; justified as they're all monsters representing either literal or spiritual pollution, and Amaterasu purifies them.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Most cutscenes always show Ammy with the Divine Retribution reflector equipped, regardless of whether it's her current main weapon. This includes the cutscene immediately after obtaining the Solar Flare, despite that the Solar Flare gets equipped automatically. On the other hand, if you equip a Karmic Transformer in a New Game+, it is reflected in cutscenes....
  • Not Quite Dead: Orochi, even having his eight heads chopped off ''twice'' in the game's storyline.
  • Not Quite Flight: Waka can leap to great heights and glide/hover on the "wings" of his Nice Hat.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Averted, the Journal keeps track of major things you should remember.
  • Nobody Poops: ...Except Amaterasu and some of the Eight Canine Warriors, and even then it's not because they have to, but just because they can.
  • No-Gear Level: Your initial trip into Kusa Village: The air is cursed, brush techniques do nothing, and it drains your ink until you run out.
  • No Mouth: Every human and Poncle character, and some of the monsters. (It kinda explains why the "voice acting" sounds like it does...)
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits: There aren't many, but you'll know 'em when you see them.
  • Noob Cave: The River of the Heavens and Cave of Nagi function as this, featuring many tutorial obstacles and the first enemy battle in the game.
  • Nostalgic Narrator: Slightly subverted. While it may seem like there is an outside party telling the story, it turns out that the narrator is actually Issun as the Celestial Envoy.
  • NPC Roadblock: Himiko's palace guards block your way if you try to get in; you can only get past them by using Veil of Mist.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: If talked to at the Cave of Nagi during the festival, Susano lets slip he is aware of Amaterasu's divinity, possibly the entire time. How much else he is faking is left to interpretation.
    • At times, Ammy seems to use this to fool enemies, like Ninetails.
  • Obake: What with using the trappings of Japanese folklore.
  • Offscreen Teleportation:
    • All of the recurring travelers. How does a cute girl with a weird hat and her little sister reach Sei-an City before a physical god?
    • There's also the time a character says she wants to go someplace halfway across the continent, starts running, and has completely vanished by the time gameplay resumes in the same location.
    • Onigiri-sensei takes this trope Up to Eleven by managing to be virtually in three places at the same time. Go to Shinshū? He's here! Teleport to Ryōshima? Oh, he's here again! Teleport to Kamui? Good to see you!
    • Not to mention Komuso (the travelling monk), who shows up at Kamiki, Kusa and Sei-an, but even more impressively, at Sasa Sanctuary, which is supposedly an unreachable destination in-game but for those rare few who are favored by its inhabitants.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The Ark of Yamato.
  • Ominous Owl: Lechku and Nechku. The two Clockwork Twin owls with Hammerspace Nice Hats that control time and wear High-Class Glass. Seriously, these guys approach Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot territory.
    • Lechku is currently the image for this trope. These guys are trumped by Gekigami, the brush god of thunder - a huge and somewhat irritable tiger wielding a bow and lightning-bolts for arrows.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Present in the background music when facing the game's Final Boss.
  • One Time Dungeon: The Moon Cave dungeon cannot be accessed again once your defeat Orochi and leave it. There is also Oni Island, the whole "miniature" sequence, the Sea Dragon's body and Past Kamiki. Fortunately for you, most of the potentially Lost Forever items in these places are mere Vendor Trash. Exceptions include the dog in Past Kamiki (who counts towards your Animal Tome completion), and a few Doom Mirrors exclusive to the Imperial Palace. Fortunately, missing out on them doesn't deny you any tangible rewards (just true 100% Completion).
  • One Wolf Army: Amaterasu may be cute and fluffy to humans, but she mows down scores of demons over the course of the game, all by herself.
  • Only Idiots May Pass: You have to accept a scenario, Rao's deception in order to get the shrinking mallet. You have to kill the Water Dragon to get the Dragon Orb. This may or may not be justified, depending on if you interpret things as Ammy knowing the future and choosing the hard but correct path, or Ammy being foolish.
  • Only Six Faces: Or rather only 8 generic NPC types − little boy, little girl, ordinary man, woman, fat man, fat woman, old man and old woman. And dogs. Each character of the same type has the exact same animations and reactions.
  • Orochi: He appears here as an eight-headed serpent wearing elemental symbols on his heads and a mountain on his back.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The extinct Celestials were very angelic, they had halos, yellow wings on their head, and lived a perfect life in a utopia. Four of them are seen in the game as ghosts.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Turns out they're an underwater-dwelling people whose leader turns into a giant dragon.
  • Out-Gambitted: Himiko to Ninetails, by way of Thanatos Gambit.
  • The Overworld: The Shinshu and Ryoshima plains.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Literally, and you even get to draw your own symbol on it. Issun notes that, really, only Imps (who wear masks themselves) would ever be fooled by it (Imps are not particularly bright...)
  • The Paragon: Amaterasu.
  • Pause Scumming: Since Blockhead Grande has eight weak points to remember, which must be struck precisely and in order (and change randomly after each try), many players consider the best way to do it is to pause and write them down as each one is revealed (or record it on a camera).
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Rao. Justified because she's Ninetails in disguise, and the hair hides Ninetails' missing eye. The real Rao has both eyes showing.
  • Perfect Pacifist People: The Celestials, a race of angelic (they have wings on their head) beings that were driven into extinction by Orochi and his Demons. Some of their ghosts appear in the game.
  • Physical God: Shiranui, Amaterasu's past self (or father, if the sequel is to be believed). Amaterasu is... actually slightly less of one, at least not until the New Game+, and only in the sense that a bonus item grants you unlimited resources. You never get the same powers as Shiranui as seen in the actual gameplay.
  • Platforming Pocket Pal: Issun.
  • Playing with Fire: The Inferno series of brush powers. Also, the ultimate Reflector weapon is always on fire.
  • Plot-Induced Stupidity: Amaterasu can sense evil but fails to recognize Rao as the evil Ninetails fox and hands over the Fox Rods without question. Although this may actually not have been stupid based on something Waka says later. He notes that Himiko was resigned to her fate, as Amaterasu already knew, implying that the only way for her to successfully spy out the location of Oni Island was for her to die in that manner, which in turn implies that Amaterasu actually knew what Rao was when she handed over the Fox Rods.
    • It's implied that, yes, Amaterasu was aware of Rao's nature, but the player isn't because, even they play as Amaterasu, they're supposed to be following Issun's recounting of the story anyways, and Issun was duped harder than anyone.
  • Plot Lock: You can't fix the Broken Bridge between Agata Forest and Taka Pass, even though Amaterasu can paint them good as new everywhere else, perhaps due to the raging river that washed the original away.
  • Plucky Girl: Kushi. She actually runs off to face Orochi herself, armed with nothing but her faith in Susano and her best sake.
  • Point of No Return: Boarding the Ark of Yamato. Issun will also squeak up just before a boss battle, asking Ammy (and the player) if she's ready to go on.
  • Portal Pool: Mermaid Springs
  • Portal to the Past: Hidden in Yoshpet forest is a gate that connects to Kamiki Village of 100 years ago.
  • Power Up Letdown: Not all of the bonus brush techniques you can get in sidequests turn out to be as useful in combat as they sound. Especially since some of them only have effects on certain enemies (like using Deluge on a Great Tengu).
    • Considering all the awesome powers your past self Shiranui demonstrated, you'd think that you'd also get to use them when your Eleventh Hour Superpowers activate during the final phase of the final boss, but nope, all you get is a fancy glow.
  • Power-Up Magnet: The Golden Lucky Cat item attracts loose money, Solar energy, ink pots, and Demon Fangs.
  • Pre-Order Bonus
  • Press X to Not Die: While there's no penalty for failing them though other than starting over, a few cut scenes require you use brush techniques (mainly the Power Slash) during them.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Oki.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Amaterasu's weapons are based on the Imperial Regalia of Japan, aka the "Treasures of Amaterasu". The Mirror (Reflectors), Jewel (Rosaries), and Sword (Glaives)
  • Pun:
    Waka: Oui! This is how I get my point across, pun intended...
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Susano likes to do this a lot when he's attacking stuff:
  • Punny Name:
    • For a Japanese pun, "Okami" can mean either "wolf" or "great god". Not to mention that the title can be used as part of an alternate spelling for Amaterasu in Japanese, as well as referencing the kind of paper used in woodcut artwork, which is basically what the game is built on.
    • A lot of character names, too. Some of them got translated (Mr. Orange, for instance), some didn't (Kiba the Demon Fang merchant, say).
  • Puzzle Boss: All of them. Much like any Zelda game, your most recently-acquired brush technique will prove vital to stunning/damaging or otherwise battling each major boss. (For instance, if you're not a pro at the brush technique Veil of Mist by the time you beat Blight, you're in for a tough battle. Hint: Slash his swords when he throws them.) Midbosses (like Waka), on the other hand, are more action-oriented.
  • Puzzle Pan
  • Rainbow Speak: Anything highlighted in bright red is definitely something important.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Waka. How he manages to keep it hidden under his hat is a mystery.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: When Amaterasu uses Golden Fury, she hikes her leg up in a way that most people associate with male dogs. This confuses some people and is used as evidence to support the theory that Amaterasu is using a male wolf vessel, not transforming into a wolf. In real life, whether a wolf hikes its leg or not is dependent on whether they are trying to show dominance — some female dogs hike their leg, too.
  • Reality Warper: Amaterasu. Not many people can control day and night, cause flowers to bloom, trees to sprout, or the skies to rain or burn on command.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Waka. It's not entirely clear just how old he is (longer than 200 years, for sure), only that he originated from the Celestial Plain like Amaterasu.
  • Recurring Boss: Besides the Boss Rush at the end, Orochi is fought twice, the second time in a stronger state, before the Boss Rush. Ninetails plays with this; you fight the Tube Foxes, then Ninetails itself disguised as Rao, then Ninetails's complete form combined with the Tube Foxes. After permanently killing them, Ninetails reverts to its true form - a more-or-less ordinary (but large) old fox, which you then kill. That's three fights with Ninetails and the Tube Foxes in a row, and the last of them has two forms. Then you refight the complete Ninetails in the Boss Rush.
  • Recurring Riff: Amaterasu's leitmotif, encountered in various forms throughout the game as The Sun Rises, Reset, the Ida Race theme and Cherry Blossom Storm. It also doubles as Sakuya's theme.
  • Recurring Traveller: Several characters over the course of Ammy's journey. The wandering priest Komuso, the quarreling sisters, the little fisher boy, the frightened archer...
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The reveal that "Rao" is actually Ninetails begins with a glowing red eye.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Literally as a mini-boss. The red one uses fire, has a pair of spiked clubs and is the less popular. The blue one uses ice, a pair of hook-swords and has a "more-beautiful" mask.
    • Also, note the colors of Evil Rao's prayer beads and the real Rao's.
  • Refusal of the Call:
    • Susano is revealed to have removed Tsukiyomi from the cave in order to prove that what happened 100 years ago wasn't really true so that he didn't have to carry Nagi's title.
    • Issun. Issun ran away from his village so that he wouldn't have to become a celestial envoy.
    • A recurring theme in the game is people discovering (often after a few unsubtle divine hints) their true calling in life.
  • Regenerating Mana: The Ink meter gradual refills itself.
  • Reverse Grip: Waka holds his normal sword this way.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Bloom, a brush technique to which most friendly characters respond positively, harms or kills certain enemies, including Yami.
  • Rousing Speech: Several. But the most unforgettable and some of the most heartwarming in any video game are the final speeches given by everyone, especially Issun, when they help Amaterasu restore her powers to their prime by praying for her.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • You as Amaterasu can rewrite reality with your paint brush: bloom trees, make fountains appear, draw burning infinity symbols, lightning bolts, and ice storms, and put three Cherry Bombs on the screen at once, provided you get the right upgrades.
    • The brush gods qualify as well, often crossing over with Rule of Funny. Take, for example, Kasugami the drunken Bullet Time kung-fu sheep who grants you Veil of Mist.
  • Run Don't Walk: A wolfy run is Amaterasu's default speed, but one puzzle requires her to stealthily walk up, grab something, and walk away again.

    S-Z 
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Averted. All the time. And it was good.
  • Scenery Porn: The Game, brought to you by Clover!
  • Seashell Bra: The pretty Draconian dancers have seashell stick-ons.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Orochi. Also Yami. Lechku and Nechku too.
    • The owls are actually statues that Lechku and Nechku are trapped in, so they could be considered sealed evil in a weaponized can.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Amaterasu starts as one before being released by Sakuya... who herself becomes one shortly afterwards.
  • Secret A.I. Moves:
    • Shiranui is capable of using upgraded version of Ammy's Celestial Brush Techniques, as well as an attack that turns Shiranui into a blazing fireball that tears enemies to shreds. You never get these techniques, not even when Ammy returns to full godhood.
    • Did Ninetails just draw three intersecting lines to summon a blizzard when you can't? (Actually, you can. It's the only advanced scroll technique that doesn't require completing a sidequest to earn, but nobody tells you about it.)
  • Sequel Hook: At the closing of the game, the narrator Issun says "I'll tell you the rest of the story some other time." Years later (and despite the closure of Clover Studios), there is Ōkamiden.
  • Sequential Boss: The Final Boss has a grand total of five forms before he's finally beaten.
  • Serious Business: Some people (Ida, Hayate and Tobi) like footraces. They like them so much, they are willing to give up a family heirloom, their career, or even their life in order to race.
    • Late in the game, Kai even challenges you to a race through Yoshpet because she's obsessed with finding out whether or not Ammy is faster than her.
  • She's a Wolfess in Japan: Amaterasu is clearly defined as being female in the Japanese game. She's referred to as a goddess, a mother, and, when she encounters a blind man able to perceive the true form of those he "sees," a beautiful maiden. The American box and documentation carefully skirt the issue of Amaterasu's gender, trying to remain neutral — though this doesn't stop some characters from using gendered references anyway (like Susano calling Ammy a "brother", or Waka constantly referring to Ammy as "ma chérie", i.e. "my girl").
    • However, the mention of the blind man perceiving her as a beautiful maiden is a spiritual thing and still present in the western release, which confirms her female gender. He sees Issun as a booger. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Shielded Core Boss
    • To damage Crimson Helm, you have to attack him until his armor falls off, then (after putting out his flames via Gale) you can inflict real damage.
    • All Ogre-type enemies (Bud Ogres, Chimera, Igloo Turtles). Keep attacking them to stun them, then use a brush technique to open their core to damage before they get back up.
  • Shock and Awe: The most powerful glaive, from which you can draw lightning if you don't want to do That One Sidequest.
  • Shout-Out:
    • For starters, there are some to other Clover games, like Viewtiful Joe and God Hand. Amaterasu's ink-less kicks are just like John Talbain's. Also, when Amaterasu is shrunk by the Magic Mallet, the Imperial Palace guards are identical to Colossi from Shadow of the Colossus, down to the ominous shining eyes.
    • And Mrs. Orange makes her Cherry Cakes using the Shun Goku Satsu. With a Marvel vs Capcom 3 lampshading years later:
    Issun: Hey, that demon guy's attack looked just like Mrs. Orange making cherry cakes! That's crazy!
    • The Dojo Master's transformation from doddering old man to able trainer is done pose for pose in the exact same manner as Joe's transformation into Viewtiful Joe.
    • Shortly before your first fight with him, Waka shouts "Let's rock, baby!" The second time you fight him, he shouts "Just go for it!"
    • One of Tama's explosives is dubbed the "Midnight Wonder Boy", an allusion to "Midnight Thunder Boy", the name of a chapter in Viewtiful Joe, which introduced Alastor.
    • One of the kimono designs you can create is a letter V, which is referred to as the "henshin" pattern.
      "Isn't it viewtiful?"
    • Waka's design was evidently inspired by Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. And as per Word of God, his mannerisms of using a flute and sword is based on another Tatsunoko show, Yattodetaman.
    • To The Legend of Zelda, notable for managing to make more and less blatant allusions to the featured gimmick of pretty much every single Zelda release where one is present:
      • To explore the ocean, you sail around on a talking animal, or hop on a lily pad and blow yourself around with gusts of air.
      • To help cure a diseased individual, you have to enter the man's body by shrinking to minuscule size.
      • To infiltrate a lair, you have to disguise yourself by wearing a mask...
      • And indeed, time-travel is invoked at some point.
      • The fight with the Spider Queen is extremely reminiscent of the Kalle Demos fight in The Wind Waker. The boss's abdomen is a giant carnivorous flower that contains the character you have been looking for, and she must be damaged by opening the flower and attacking the core before it closes around you. The main difference is that with Kalle Demos, Link had to cut down the vines holding up the flower. The Spider Queen must be made vulnerable by creating vines.
    • Although most of the game makes references to Japanese mythology, the concept of an ancient wolf bringing the sun into the sky was also part of Norse mythology.
  • Shown Their Work: To an extent, most of the elements of this game come from Japanese Mythology, and there are several moments in the main plot line alluding to it, up to and including Orochi's weakness for sake. While there are moments in the game where they don't seem to do their research, they still at least tried to emulate the entirety of Japanese Mythology.
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: The director admitted that the Zelda series is the inspiration for this game.
  • Single-Use Shield
    • By racking up long attack chains, Ammy earns levels of "godhood" in battle - an invisible barrier that can block up to three hits from enemies. There are also items (Traveler's Charm and Godly Charm) that can bestow/recharge this barrier immediately.
    • During the battle against Crimson Helm in the Gale Shrine, the eight Satomi Power Orbs surround you and each one will absorb one hit for free. Combined with the godhood barrier, this can make you invincible against up to eleven attacks.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Issun, who is convinced he is far more talented and attractive than he actually is. (To his credit, all the other Poncles consider him the best artist from their village.)
  • Snakes Are Evil: Yup, that's Orochi!
  • Some Dexterity Required: The game is more forgiving of blemishes and errors with some brushstrokes than others. A simple straight line, for example, can be a tricky thing to draw in the Wii version.
    • Many of the more advanced technique upgrades like Fireburst (infinity symbol) and Icestorm (three intersecting lines). Drawing the girl's designs in Seian City is also quite frustrating. (It helps to know a thing or two about Calligraphy.) The game is also kinda picky about what counts as a 5 pointed star... Like real picky.
    • This is also subverted with some of the brushstrokes. If it requires several straight lines (i.e. Veil of Mist and Deluge), then you can draw them wherever you want. In other words, you can just move your brush in a straight line while releasing the paint button to create gaps. It's much easier to invoke Veil of Mist by painting "- -" instead of "=". The game seems to recognize straight brush lines better if you hold the Z button while painting, which forces you to draw straight lines.
  • Sound of No Damage: A metallic clang accompanied by two kanji (translating as "useless") any time your attack was ineffective — do note that the appearance of the kanji is the more important part.
  • Sound Test: Among the extras unlocked for beating the game is the game's entire soundtrack. And it's huge.
  • Speaking Simlish: The voice clips are based on actual Japanese speakers, but chopped up and mixed in various ways. Every (important) character has their own unique sound of voice, too.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Shinshuu or Shinshu?
    • The name of the Twin Demons is also uncertain. The US version has Lechku and Nechku, the European version has Rechiku and Nechiku; but if you can read Japanese, you can go to the artwork bonus section and see that their image writes them as Moshirechiku and Kotanechiku. But again, since the Ainu language has no formal writing of its own, there can probably be several orthographs.
  • Sphere of Power: Dragon Orb, Satomi Power Orbs, Queen Himiko's Crystal Ball, those stray beads. And Yami.
  • Spinning Piledriver: Deflecting certain attacks with a reflector equipped as a sub-weapon results in this. It works against goblins, wheels and tengu.
  • Spontaneous Generation: According to his backstory, sub-boss Crimson Helm spontaneously sprung from the spilled blood of Orochi, a bigger bad.
  • Stable Time Loop: Judging by the third Story Arc of the game, it wasn't actually Shiranui who originally defeated Orochi 100 years ago — it was you. Shiranui was apparently busy elsewhere saving you from the twin owls of Wawku Shrine, though at the cost of a mortal wound, perhaps knowing you could handle Orochi by yourself.
    • According to Issun's version of the legend of Nagi, Nagi dressed himself up as a maiden before leaving to slay Orochi. Strange that you never heard this particular detail before ... it's exactly what you do to him after accidentally knocking him out in a fight.
  • Stepford Smiler: Rao
  • Sticks to the Back: All of Amaterasu's weapons float above her back or around her neck. Susano doesn't appear to have anything holding that BFS to his back, either.
  • Stock Animal Diet: Amaterasu loves (holy) bones. Cats will eat only fish; dogs will eat only red meat; birds will only eat seeds.
  • Story to Gameplay Ratio: This game has more cutscenes than Metal Gear Solid 4, but fortunately, they're all skippable in the New Game+ (and Wii version).
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Rao. Even the mother goddess, the origin of all, from whom all that is good arose, is stunned by her... beauty.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In the second half of the game, each time you have to rush back to some place before it's too late, the most simple solution is to use Mermaid's pools or Mirrors to teleport directly to that place and waste no time, but Issun won't allow you, because he has no idea where you might be thinking of warping off to (and on a technical level, there are certain events that need to occur along the route).
  • Sudden Humility: Invoked when Amaterasu is shrunk to the same minuscule size as Issun. When a human foot nearly stomps on both of them, Issun doesn't fail to drop "Do you understand how I feel now?" We don't get to know how she felt about the "experience" though...
  • Sugar Bowl: Once you erase major threats, Nippon is a near utopia where everyone is nice, life is slow, simple and peaceful, kings are generous and benevolent, landscapes are heavenly and preserved, war and misery do not exist, and the most dangerous people you will meet are Bratty Half Pints, Jerks With A Heart Of Gold and Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains. Including the minor yōkai!
  • Surprise Creepy: Several locations, particularly the Sunken Ship. Brrr..
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: They even glow. It's your clue to bomb them. Though a few bombable walls don't do this, mostly ones concealing Stray Beads.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "It only looks like I'm staring at your melons".
  • Take Up My Sword: Mushi's dog Hayabusa isn't the real Hayabusa. The real one died some time ago, but warned the current Hayabusa to save Mushi from getting killed by a white arrow he saw in a vision.
  • Take Your Time: Played straight with just one exception: Oni Island before the next day arrives and it moves to a new location. Wait too long, and you'll have to start over.
  • Taking the Bullet
    • Shiranui saves Oki from a fatal blow from the Twin Demons of the Wawku Shrine.
    • As the solar eclipse drains Amaterasu of her power, Waka protects her from the Final Boss.
  • Taking You with Me: Cursed Fish, when low on health, will tackle Amaterasu and then explode.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: You earn Praise from animals by feeding them the food they like.
  • Tennis Boss: Just about any time an enemy throws a projectile at you, you can knock it straight back at them with a Power Slash. Note that this is virtually required on some bosses, who are otherwise invulnerable to direct attack.
  • Thanatos Gambit: How Himiko deals with Ninetails.
  • That's No Moon: When Susano unintentionally frees Orochi, he seemingly removes a sword from a commemorative zen garden, only for the reveal that the "garden" is Orochi.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The Final Boss battle is between Amaterasu, the Goddess of the Sun, and Yami, the Lord of Darkness. Guess what the theme is called, "The Sun Rises".
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: Found mostly in Sasa Sanctuary and used in puzzles involving the Waterspout technique.
  • This Was His True Form: Without his other tails, Ninetails is revealed to be a weak, old, one-eyed fox.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: At least Waka, Blight, Evil Rao and Nagi think so.
  • Time Stands Still: Bringing up the Brush screen causes time to effectively stop so you can draw brushstrokes (mostly) unhindered. Gold Demon Lechku also has this ability.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Susano.
    • Averted with Orochi. He gets cool golden armor...but that's about it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: "Giant flowers like this always have treasures!" Said while ignoring the fact that said giant flower had eight giant eyeballs. Yeah, way to go, Issun...
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The Day of Darkness, a solar eclipse that occurs only once every 100 years, and lasts for a full day.
  • Training Dummy: Seen in the dojo.
  • Tron Lines: The Ark of Yamato.
  • True Sight: Several characters (mostly those with great spiritual power) are able to see Amaterasu's true form.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Averted. While the tutorial message on a Save Point tells you to keep multiple saves in case you get stuck (implying a Sierra title), it's actually impossible to become "stuck" anywhere. But you might want to use a separate save file after the clearly-noted Point of No Return anyway.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: You'd think the people of modern Kamiki would worry more at the sight of a giant white wolf prowling around their village, like the people of Kamiki 100 years ago did. Then again, a good number of them think that Amaterasu's some kind of "dog". A dog which is allowed to carry money and go shopping on its own.
  • Updated Re-release: Originally on the PS2, the game was ported to the Wii, and then a downloadable HD version made for the PS3.
  • Urine Trouble: "Golden Fury" makes enemies drop Demon Fangs for free. Note that if you fall into one of Hayubasa's holes, he'll do this on you (draining your Ink power).
  • Use Your Head: There's a reason she's called hard-headed Ammy...
  • Vendor Trash: Well over half of the treasures that you find. They're registered permanently in your Treasure Tome, but the only other thing you can do with it is sell them. Even Issun tells you that the only thing you should do with them is sell them to interested mortals.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: But you run into so many Disc One Final Dungeons that you despair of ever finishing the game. Then you have the real Very Definitely Final Dungeon the Ark of Yamato, a spaceship bedecked with Tron Lines. In Ancient Japan. Not to mention you are warned by the only speech bubble painted entirely red in the whole game before entering it that you are right before the point of no return. If the Boss Rush doesn't clue you in, that should.
  • Verbal Backpedaling: When Susano claims he needs to go "train", he sometimes lets slip that he's actually just trying to run away in shame.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Ark of Yamato. You can tell because it's a ominous hovering megabase said to contain the monster behind all the monsters.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Priestess Rao stores her prayer slips here, apparently.
  • Victory Fakeout: There's one during the Final Boss battle (wait, what's Issun doing here? Didn't he stay behind?)
  • Videogame Caring Potential: Feeding kittens? Adorable.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: Setting them on fire? Priceless. This game excels in both tropes. You can watch Amaterasu feed bunnies and kittens, help someone find their rabbit, or grow clovers to make things pretty. Also, you can tackle, blow up, douse, cut, freeze, turn into snowmen, blow away, shock and bite anyone from the cute dancers to main heroes.
  • Violation of Common Sense: As Issun will regularly tell you: when in doubt, jump off an apparently endless cliff leap before you think.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The entire Oina tribe can transform into animal forms. The first one you meet, Oki, even does this during battle — I Am Not Left-Handed indeed.
  • Warp Whistle: The Mermaid Pools allow you to warp between them with coins (or a certain brush technique), and you can get another brush technique allowing you to warp between certain overworld save points.
  • Walk on Water: Made possible by the Water Tablet. Otherwise Amaterasu will drown (Non Lethal Bottomless Pit style) if you can't get her out of water in a set time.
  • Wall Jump
  • Wakeup Call Boss: Waka is the first actual boss battle you fight.
  • Water Is Air: The underwater Dragon Palace retains all of your above ground movement mechanics, including a few pools that you can swim around and drown in, as well as a chest that requires you to jump around a few pillars instead of just swimming up.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Waka.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Orochi's vulnerability to sake (or rather, being drunk), Yami's vulnerability to certain brush techniques Bloom, in Stage 1, and Sunlight, in the last stage. Other minor minions have similar weaksauce weaknesses, some of which can be exploited immediately after you kill them to gain Demon Fangs.
  • Weaponized Animal:
    • Amaterasu can wield various weapons which hover over her back. She starts out with a flaming mirror, but can also use other mirrors, swords, or rosaries (which are used like a whip or shot like bullets.)
    • Oki also wields a sword, which hovers over his back when he is in wolf form, like Amaterasu.
  • Weapon of Choice: Three classes/elements exist:
  • Weird Moon: When Amaterasu and Issun go through a Portal to the Past, the first sign that things are different is that the moon is full again. Amaterasu can also invoke this at will once she gets the Crescent technique, which baffles and confuses any bystanders.
    • Also of note is the arena in which you battle Ninetails, in which the moon is red and covered with 9 dark streaks, symbolizing her influence over it.
  • When Trees Attack: Certain trees lob pollen spheres at Ammy. Not terribly dangerous, but certainly distracting (and a little scary the first time it happens).
  • White Shirt of Death: Shiranui's white fur ends up stained pretty badly (in cutscene illustrations).
  • Wild Card: It's really hard to tell whose side Waka is on for most of the game. Subverted when it turns out he's been running a big ol' Batman Gambit for Team Good all along.
  • Wolfpack Boss: A literal canine example if you return to Kusa Village late in the game and accept Princess Fuse's offer to face the "Kusa 5". There's also the battle against the Tube Foxes.
  • World-Healing Wave: Bloom a Guardian Sapling, and Scenery Porn ensues.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: What happens to Nippon when Orochi is released.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Ninetails has to do some quick thinking when her initial plan of getting Amaterasu devoured by the Water Dragon doesn't quite pan out.
  • X Meets Y: One could very well say that this game is "Hayao Miyazaki meets Zelda".
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Issun ends up becoming Ammy's Celestial Envoy, despite his resistance.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Issun doesn't want to, at least. The celestials killed by Yami also apparently have no chance of ever returning to the celestial realm.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Mr. Orange's first response to Amaterasu was along the lines of, "Hey, you look kinda like Shiranui — only not as smart."
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Three times, to the point that after finally beating the very final boss you will probably suspect (and hope?) there is more. It's not that surprising at the first act's ending, as defeating its boss only gives you the first of five "Glaive" weapons, but by the second act you can have all but one brush technique and fight what definitely looks like a final boss. Considering you're looking at about 10 hours per act as a minimum first time, it can be exhausting to learn you've got another entire act to do.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Justified with the Celestial Brush techniques. You need to find the correct god and release/rejuvenate it before you can use its technique. (Which means if you start a New Game+, you have to redo all of those subquests again.)

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alternative title(s): Okami
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