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 tinyloudmouth 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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Constellations: Each of the 13 Brush Gods (who are all based on Eastern Zodiacplus 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 make themselves known.
Disney Death: Waka's attempt to fight the Final Boss doesn't go so well, and he's taken out by the boss's energy beams.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 thenYami 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
"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.
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.)
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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...)
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)