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Aragami is an indie Dark Fantasy Stealth-Based Game released on October 4, 2016.

The country of Nisshoku has been defeated and overrun by Kaiho, the army of Light. The Shadow Empress, revered as a god by her people, has been sealed away in the city of Kyuryu. One night, one of the Empress's aides and a powerful sorceress in her own right succeeds in projecting herself out of the seal to summon a vengeful spirit who will help her free the Empress and take back their country.

Gameplay is inspired by Tenchu. It is entirely stealth based, as Aragami cannot take a single hit without dying. However, he is armed with the ability to teleport to any shadow in range, create his own shadows, and more. The game is also encouraged to be replayed multiple times due to its open-ended level design and numerous unlockable powers. Aragami can also blend into the shadows to hide, and the game can be beaten lethally or non-lethally.

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A Nintendo Switch version that includes the DLC came out on February 21, 2019.

The sequel, Aragami 2 was announced in 2020, and is set to release on September 17, 2021 for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.

Not to be confused with the 2003 movie Aragami.


Tropes

  • A God Am I: In the world of the game, exceptionally strong adepts are and have been worshipped as gods, and Yamiko the Shadow Empress especially is considered to be a goddess due to her immense power. During her fight she calls out Aragami for challenging her as she brought him back to life, stating that she is his goddess now.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Shinobu’s outfit in the DLC.
  • Accent Slip-Up: Yamiko occasionally talks in her gruffer real voice.
  • Affably Evil: The Shadow Empress is very pleasant and friendly to Aragami right up until he realises who he really is, and that she’s been playing him the whole time.
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  • Ambiguously Evil: The Alchemist from the Nightfall DLC. We don’t find out exactly what he wanted to do with Yamiko’s soul fragment, but considering the sinister vibe of his personal notes, and the fact that he felt the need to trick Hikaru and Sora into going to a secluded place with him to complete the transferral ritual, it was probably nothing good.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Whatever the Alchemist’s real deal is, anyone that proclaims that a dangerous forbidden technique is ‘only the beginning’ can’t be planning anything good.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Aragami was Kaiho's leader before his death.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Earning Kami, Yurei, and Oni seals gives you access to new skins for Aragami.
  • Animal Motifs: A few, mostly for Yamiko's old Dakudaga team, lampshaded in Hyo's notes: Yamiko being the Fox, Ryuta being the Dragon, and Orochi being the Snake.
    • Kitsune for the Shadow Empress, as indicated by the many statues seen throughout the game.
    • Aragami himself has some light associations with dragons, having the mark on one of his left gauntlet, and one variation of his shadow kills has him drag his enemy into the darkness with a shadow dragon. It's implied that this comes from Ryuta, as their armour is identical. It's further supported by his use of a technique during the final battle that Yamiko explicitly calls Ryuta's, where he summons a shadow dragon to defend himself.
    • Panthers for Hyo and Shinobu in the Nightfall DLC.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: As Yamiko is revived, Aragami asks what she'll do when she wins, pointing out that Nisshoku was completely destroyed and she has no one left.
    • After Aragami stabs Sora, he tries to reject Ryo's memories, unable to accept that he's spent the night fighting his own army and working to undo everything he accomplished in life. Sora asks him why he's still holding her, his defeated enemy, if he's not Ryo.
  • Art Shift: During flashbacks.
  • Asian Fox-Spirit: The statues that represent the Shadow Empress. The fact that Yamiko tells you she likes them is early Foreshadowing.
  • Back Stab: Some of the stealth kills Aragami can do.
  • Badass Bookworm: Captain Yuki, at least in the backstory. According to his chronicles, he was the one that infused the Kaiho army’s weapons with the Hikalcum ore that allows them to wield light essence without extensive training, and was also the first of the Kaiho leaders to get a knack for Life Essence.
  • Battle in the Rain: Sora's boss fight happens during a thunderstorm, complete with occasional lightning flashes that count as bright light across the entire map. Subverted in that she doesn't actually fight you there.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Yamiko is defeated, the world is saved from destruction, and Ryo/Aragami is at peace, but the Light army has been torn to pieces by their former general's own hand, every named character except Tsuyoshi's bird is dead, and the damage wreaked by Aragami is severe.
  • Blade Lock: Hyo and Hikaru during the climax of the Nightfall DLC.
  • Blank Slate: What aragami are. But not this one.
  • Boss Subtitles: All major characters, including the bosses, are introduced with these.
  • Casting a Shadow: Aragami can use the powers of shadows. He can teleport to shadows, create shadows to teleport to, blind hostiles temporarily, and make shadows swallow corpses or even living enemies.
    • In the backstory, Nisshoku. With Yamiko as one of strongest Shadow adepts in the world.
  • Clothing Damage: The Shadow Empress's dress is in tatters when Aragami meets her.
  • The Corruption: One of the side effects of the Dangerous Forbidden Technique discovered by the sages and used by the leaders of Kaiho is that having a fragment of another person’s soul inside you can seriously cripple the spiritual balance between body and soul, potentially leading to death. Poor Captain Yuki is a prime example of the dangers of the soul in question within being a pissed-off shadow goddess trying to orchestrate her own resurrection.
  • Cradling Your Kill: When Aragami stabs Sora, he sees flashes of his memories as Ryo, which leads to him cradling her as they talk.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Trying to engage in a sword fight in-game is suicide, but Aragami gets into relatively drawn-out duels with each of the bosses during cutscenes.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Essentially the entire backstory of the game. Light and Shadow have been warring so long that both sides have committed atrocities in the name of revenge, and those atrocities inevitably gave rise to a new force bent on getting vengeance on them.
    Aragami/Ryo: "We're leaves trapped in a hurricane, Yamiko. A storm of vengeance. A cyclone of light and darkness that has been twirling since before you or I even existed. It has sucked us in, and now we're the ones making it spin."
  • Damsel in Distress: Yamiko and the Shadow Empress, though it crosses over with...
  • Damsel out of Distress: ...since Yamiko instigates and then continues to take an active role in her own rescue.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Sealing technique developed by the sage Tsuyoshi and the other masters due to the risks that came with using it. It was explicitly only employed against the Shadow Empress as a last resort.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Yamiko saw her parents killed in front of her, lived in a forest alone for years, and, when she attempted to avenge her parents, witnessed the death of her friends at the hands of those who killed her parents. This led her to lose it and become consumed by anger and hate to the point of going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and leveling the whole city, killing everyone in it.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Aragami, Yamiko, and the Shadow Empress who is also Yamiko are all powerful users of Shadow essence. This applies to Dakudaga, the organization Yamiko was a part of, and the entire country of Nisshoku as well. Though it turns out to be more a case of Dark Is Not That Much More Evil Than Light.
  • Dark Reprise: Call of Yamiko plays in the first and last level. The mood the second time around is very different.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Despite being a vengeful spirit and supposed blank slate, Aragami does make a few dry comments here and there.
  • Death from Above: Aragami can stealth kill hostiles when above them.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Inari and Mitsuki, Yamiko’s parents, were killed by light adepts in front of her when she was a child. She still cherishes the few keepsakes she has left of them.
  • Determinator: Hyo in the Nightfall DLC. The loss of his sect, being forced to go into hiding, the Shadow Empress being sealed, and a cursed wound actively draining his strength will not stop him. He will rescue Yamiko, or die trying. And he does.
  • Disney Death: Shinobu’s fate in the DLC. She is shot by one of Sora’s arrows, and falls into a river.
  • Dragons Up the Yin Yang: One of the attacks you can gain is the ability to summon a shadow dragon.
  • Drunk with Power: Going off of his chronicles, Hyo somewhat fell prey to this after Yamiko’s true powers awakened and she became the Shadow Empress, believing Nisshoku to be invincible and increasingly casually committing atrocities in his Guild’s name, including massacring the village that the original Kaiho founders hailed from.
  • Dual Wielding: Hikaru.
  • Due to the Dead: Averted in a conversation between two nooks guarding a Nisshoku graveyard, where they muse about defecating on their old enemy’s graves.
    • Played straight with the Mausoleum of the Fallen, which houses and honours the Kaiho’s dead. Nisshoku’s dead are also buried there… in the substantially less pristine Catacombs.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Played straight, then later deconstructed. Aragami agrees to spend his entire lifespan jailbreaking Yamiko minutes after meeting her. Justified because aragami are spirits of vengeance bound to serve their summoners. Except it turns out Yamiko actually Invoked this trope deliberately instead. When Aragami turns on her, he does so without any trouble, meaning everything he did for her was voluntary.
  • Dying as Yourself: Aragami regaining his memories of being Ryo just in time for the final battle against Yamiko, where he sacrifices himself once again in order to stop her threat to the world once and for all.
  • Elemental Powers: Much like Avatar: The Last Airbender, this is basis of the mystical abilities in the setting, with those that can utilise these abilities known as ‘Adepts’. According to the sage Tsuyoshi’s notes, there are seven ‘pure’ elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Light, Darkness/Shadow, and Life. There are also apparently hybrid elements.
  • Enemy Chatter: Throughout the game, you can hear the enemies talk to learn more about the setting.
  • Energy Bow: Of the physical bow, energy ammunition variety.
  • Ethereal White Dress: The projection that Yamiko sends to guide Aragami wears one, emphasising her mystical appearance and abilities.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Yamiko deeply cared for her parents, teammates and Hyo. In fact, it was the loss of her loved ones that really set her down the path of darkness.
  • Fantasy Metals: Hikalcum, a mysterious ore that can store and emit light essence. The Kaiho use it to great effect by infusing their army’s weapons with it, allowing even lowly nooks with no light essence affinity whatsoever to strike deadly blows against shadow adepts.
  • Fiery Redhead: Shinobu from the Nightfall DLC has bright red hair, and isn’t afraid to call out Hyo when he’s being reckless. As a bonus, she is also a fire adept, making her a literal fiery red head.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Aragami was Ryo, the first general of Kaiho. As an aragami, he is fighting Kaiho. Captain Hikaru and General Sora were his friends.
  • Flashback Echo: Throughout the game, Aragami gets brief flashes of memories from both Yamiko and a Light adept, Ryo, the first Kaiho general (Aragami in other words).
  • Flash Step: Sora does this in her boss level, moving between vantage points and keeping you from sneaking up on her.
  • Foreshadowing: All over the place.
    • Nine-tailed foxes in mythology are known for tricking people with illusions, often by turning into beautiful women. Guess what the Shadow Empress, represented by nine-tailed fox statues, spends most of the game doing.
    • You can hear guards talking about Captain Yuki's recent death in several levels. The timing isn't a coincidence. Yuki was one of the Kaiho officers who sealed the Shadow Empress away, and, like the other officers, he stole a piece of her soul during the sealing. It was released when he died, which is the reason Yamiko was able to project herself out of her seal and invoke Aragami. The sprite that follows Aragami around is a portion of Yamiko's soul.
    • Yamiko's voice slips into nearly a growl when Aragami obliquely accuses her of being weak. This is her actual voice rather than the illusion's.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Aragami is an exceptional swordsman, but you wouldn't know that if not for cutscenes.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Sora, who spends her boss level sniping at you from a distance and flash stepping away when you approach. Aragami doesn't actually catch up to her until the following level.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Double subverted for Hyo in the DLC. He manages to kill Yuki and release Yamiko’s soul fragment at the cost of a fatal injury, and so lies back with a smirk, ready to die… only for the Alchemist to once again try capturing the soul fragment, so Hyo is forced to get up again and try to kill him too. Then finally done for real when Hyo is decapitated by Hikaru at the end, but does at least seem content that he has given Yamiko a chance escape her imprisonment.
  • Great Bow: Sora wields one that she uses for melee as well.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The Light and Shadow adepts both have legitimate reasons to hate each other, and both sides have oppressed the other's people. Aragami sums it up pretty well when confronting Hikaru:
    Hikaru: Do you even know what you're setting free? You will unleash another war. Nisshoku's darkness will spread again... Thousands of innocents will perish. All because of you!
  • Ghost Amnesia: Aragami is actually the soul of Ryo, the first Kaiho general, who died when sealing away Yamiko the Shadow Empress. Yamiko summoned him as an aragami to set her free, and he has no memory of his past life, at least initially.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Aragami turns on Yamiko in the final level after remembering his real identity.
  • He Knows Too Much: One of the reasons Yamiko gives for wanting to kill Aragami is that he saw too many of her memories.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Captain Hikaru’s disposition is noted by several mooks to have worsened over time, especially since Yuki’s death. This is because he, like the other high-ranking members of Kaiho, have a piece of the Shadow Empress’s soul sealed inside him, and that dark presence is slowly but surely taking its toll on him.
  • Hero Antagonist: Hikaru and Sora, leaders of the Kaiho.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ryo, the original Kaiho general, died sealing the Shadow Empress. According to the DLC, this is because he took such a massive fragment of her soul within himself that his body couldn’t handle the strain.
    • And as Aragami, he pulls this off again in the final battle against Yamiko. He manages to finally kill her by tapping into the light essence power he used in life, knowing that since his body is made of shadows, the use of that technique will destroy him too.
  • Honor Before Reason: In the Nightfall DLC, Hyo is so determined to save Yaminko that he refuses to listen to Shinobu’s pragmatic counsel.
  • Hollywood Darkness: The majority of the game takes place in outdoor locations at night, but fortunately the moonlight has no problems illuminating everything in beautiful watercolour shades of blue and purple.
  • It's Probably Nothing: Being a stealth game, you get to hear a lot of this.
    Nothing but shadows.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: When Aragami enters the temple where the Shadow Empress is sealed, he asks Yamiko what he needs to do to free her. She never replies.
  • Kill 'Em All: There is a seal you can earn in each chapter by killing every one of the hostile mooks. Also, the game ends with this for every named character except Kibo/Kurosu.
  • Laser Blade: All of Kaiho's swords.
  • Light 'em Up: The Kaiho Light adepts can use the powers of light.
  • Light Is Good / Light Is Not Good: Kaiho used their Light essence powers to battle the Shadow Empress and Nisshoku. These same powers were used to ruthlessly kill Yamiko's parents.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Yamiko became the Shadow Empress at a young age, but she did not seem to be happy. Every time Hyo, her father figure, asked her if she was happy about being their Empress, she would only reply that she was fine. Hyo noted that Yamiko had been like this ever since the death of her friends.
  • Mad Scientist: A mystical variant with the Alchemist, one of the masters Tsuyoshi created the Sealing Technique with. Upon setting up shop in Kyuryu, the Alchemist drains the life out of nearby plants in order to create a truly massive tree to house his laboratory. A letter from Sora to Hikaru also notes that while he is respected for his genius, there are rumours he has carried out horrific experiments for his research. It’s also all but outright stated that the Alchemist had been intentionally worsening Yuki’s condition for his own ends.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Yamiko makes good use of Aragami’s lack of memories and her friendly demeanour to play him like a fiddle, particularly when it comes to keeping him from questioning the flashes of memory he keeps having from his life as Ryo.
  • Meaningful Name: Hikaru = light.
    • Ryuta and Orochi, associated with dragons and snakes respectively.
    • Yamiko = dark child.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Kurosu/Kibo, a raven you free early on in the game that can scout the level and show how far away your objective is. You can upgrade him to show the locations of scrolls.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Aragami says this about him and Yamiko. Both of them were motivated by revenge for the deaths of their respective parents, which started them on their paths in life. He wonders if he could have ended up twisted like her if he didn't have his friends by his side at the start. Before Aragami moves to kill Yamiko, he wishes that there was another way to end all of the fighting, and in her last moment Yamiko herself admits that she also wishes the same thing. After their deaths, both Aragami and Yamiko leave something behind, Yamiko leaving her doll next to Aragami's sword from his days as Ryo.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Aragami can be killed by a single hit of intensely bright light. Since even the weakest mooks you fight have weaponized light magic, this means any hit you take is your last.
  • Pacifist Run: There is a seal you can earn in each chapter by not killing any of the mooks. Dialogue in the last level confirms that this isn't canon, however.
  • Parental Substitute: Hyo was this to Yamiko after he found her.
  • Physical God: The Shadow Empress. It's mentioned that there are other Adepts out there that are so powerful that they are worshipped as gods.
  • Plot Coupon: The six talismans required to free the Shadow Empress.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: Kurosu, who shows you objective markers and the locations of shrines and scrolls after you collect him. The talisman you pick up in the next level will also see a lot of use in luring guards out of position.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Played for laughs, and a narrow aversion of the ‘forgot to mention’ variety, with Yamiko casually dropping in conversation that Aragami will evaporate at dawn, triggering a “Wait, What?” From Aragami.
    Yamiko: Oh! Didn’t I tell you? Your body is made of shadows. If a ray of sunlight touches it…
    Aragami: At this point I’m just glad you told me at all.
  • Posthumous Character: Captain Yuki, who died a little before the events of the game. However, the player can find several scrolls that were written by him that detail the founding of the Kaiho army.
    • We finally get to see him in person in the DLC, but unfortunately by that stage he is already at death’s door and too weak to speak.
  • Power Tattoo: All Kaiho members seem to have these.
  • Puzzle Boss: Captain Hikaru.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Aragami, at least in looks, appropriately fits his description of 'vengeful spirit'. It's implied that the appearance of his red and black armor comes from Ryuta, one of Yamiko's former team mates who was killed.
  • Red Baron: Yamiko the Shadow Empress.
  • Red Herring: A few cutscenes imply that Aragami might actually be Yamiko's dead friend, Ryuta, due to their visual similarities and shared techniques, with Aragami even calling attention to it. By the end of the game, it becomes clear that this is not the case.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Aragami, who pulls a Heel–Face Turn in the final level after discovering the truth. He's still an aragami, however, and dies when the sun rises.
  • Revenge: Why Yamiko summoned Aragami: to free her, and to get revenge on Kaiho for what they did to her and her people.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Yamiko and her team were defeated when trying to avenge Yamiko's parents. Yamiko saw her friends die to those who killed her parents, which awakened her powers and caused her go berserk and kill everyone in the enemy city.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Yamiko the Shadow Empress. It took the sacrifice of Ryo to seal her in the first place.
    • Sealed Evil In A Sixpack: As the game goes on, it’s revealed that the sealing is more akin to this. The Talismans you spend most of the game gathering contain pieces of her soul, in addition to all of the Kaiho leaders having a piece sealed inside them as well.
  • Shadow Walker: The "Shadow Leap" ability allows the player to teleport using shadowed areas.
  • Shout-Out: At one point, Yamiko (taking the form of a blue ball of light) says “Hey! Listen!”
  • Simple Staff: Captain Yuki’s weapon of choice, as shown in flashbacks.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Before Yamiko was the Shadow Empress, she was just a young girl with a tragic past who had lost her parents and best friends to Light adepts. She became the Shadow Empress in order to prevent what happened to her from happening to others. However, by the time of the game, she uses and manipulates Ryo-as-Aragami into killing his own friends and men, mocking and laughing at Sora's dead body after she is released. In the end, despite her noble intentions, she became the same destructive evil force she believes the Light armies to be.
  • Soul Jar: In his notes, the sage Tsuyoshi discusses how he and some other sages discovered a way to transfer pieces of souls into other beings or inanimate objects. In the end, they realised that the technique was too dangerous, and it became a forbidden technique. It's the key to how the Shadow Empress was sealed away.
  • Sword Beam: If someone has a sword, they can fire sword beams. Aragami is no exception.
  • Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly: Chapter 6.
  • Stealth Run: There is a seal you can earn in each chapter by not being detected.
  • The Stoic: Being a vengeful spirit without memories, Aragami doesn’t express much in the way of emotion. This changes once he regains his memories of being Ryo, and is appropriately grief stricken and horrified at the realisation he has spent the entire night killing his own men and friends to free his worst enemy.
  • Taking You with Me: Hikaru at the end of the Boss Battle tries this. It doesn't work.
  • Tragic Villain: Yamiko, by her memories that Aragami sees: After her parents were brutally murdered by Light adepts, she spent years living in the wilderness out of fear that said murderers were waiting for her to return. She finally returns to civilization and makes friends, only for them to die to the same Light adepts that killed her parents. Hyo muses in his chronicles that part of her died that day.
    • Aragami. After sacrificing his life to seal away a Physical God, he's dragged back to life without his memories by the same person he died to defeat, told he's a spirit of vengeance whose only reason for existing is to undo his life's work before dying come sunrise, and tricked into killing his own soldiers and friends while thinking all the while that they're his enemies. When he discovers the truth, he succeeds in killing the Shadow Empress for good, but his army has still been decimated, Hikaru and Sora are still dead, and he dies in the process as well.
  • Visible Invisibility: As long as he isn't directly in someone's line of sight, Aragami is invisible to hostiles when he stays still in shadows. There is also a skill that lets Aragami be invisible outside of shadows for a limited amount of time.
  • Visible Silence: Aragami often. Other characters do it too.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: At the very end, Yamiko seems to have a moment where she ceases trying to desperately attack Aragami and quietly admits that she wishes there was another way.
  • Villain Protagonist: Yamiko and Aragami for the majority of the game. Yamiko dupes Aragami into massacring his own men, pushing one of his friends to suicide, and killing the current Kaiho general, who it's heavily implied he was in a relationship with before his death.
  • Weakened by the Light: Aragami gets weaker when in bright light. He loses energy and if it is all gone, he can't use his powers and has to recharge in shadows.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: During Aragami’s final confrontation with Yamiko, she elects to play a ‘game’ with him instead of just blasting him out of existence with her powers (there is even a moment where she almost does so in a fit of anger after he says she was only Hyo’s tool). She claims that she does so because he did save her, and it would be too easy to just kill him… but it’s implied that the real reason is because he resembles her dead teammate Ryuta too much for her to bring herself to do it.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Aragami/Ryo is able to defeat and kill Yamiko by himself at the end of the game (when previously it took four people using a Dangerous Forbidden Technique to merely seal her) because she’s not at full power, since he still holds a portion of her soul.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Yamiko. By the end of it, Aragami states that he pities her and feels partially responsible for turning her into the vicious Evil Sorcerer she is now.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: The wound that Tsuyoshi gave Hyo during the war is represented by some nasty looking glowing green veins travelling up his arm, shoulder and neck. Not only has it greatly weakened him, but it is also gradually killing him, something Shinobu is only able to slightly delay with her limited experience with life essence.
  • You All Look Familiar: Except for some different clothing colors, every archer and every melee enemy is identical.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Aragami only last for the night they're invoked, dissipating when the sun rises.

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