Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Spirit of the North

Go To

Spirit of the North is a 2019 adventure video game created by Infuse Studio for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

In this game that lacks dialogue or a conventional narrative, the player takes on the role of a (non-anthropomorphic) fox journeying through landscapes inspired by Iceland. The fox is occasionally accompanied by the translucent guardian of the Northern Lights, which also takes on the shape of a fox. The two travel through the remains of a lost civilization, putting lost souls to rest and ridding the world of a corrupting force that threatens to overwhelm everything.

Compare with Lost Ember, also featuring a canine guided through the ruins of a lost civilization by a point of light, except that one also includes possessing various animals to use their abilities and dialogue.


  • After the End: Without the guardian of the Northern Lights, a plague killed off the civilization whose remains you travel through. While the corruption sickens ordinary wildlife and snakes across the sky, the landscape is still able to support plant life and many areas are still breathable for the fox.
  • All There in the Manual: The game really insists on telling its story solely through images, so you will not learn what the name of anything is (for instance, the fox's abilities, but that's just one example) unless you do something like look at the trophy list.
    • The guardian is only revealed to be female in store descriptions.
  • Artistic License Biology: The fox barks and pants like a dog. Word of God states that they didn't have the budget to record an actual fox.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The fox becomes one of the seals containing the plague, thereby becoming another guardian of the Northern Lights, alongside the original one. They both run across the night sky, with their trails forming the aurora.
  • Astral Projection: The guardian of the Northern Lights is reduced to a little ball of light after lending the fox her powers. She keeps guiding the fox in that form.
    • One of the powers acquired by the fox is Spirit Form, allowing the fox to leave its physical body to reach places blocked by plague vines or where it has to hold down buttons.
    • The end of the game reveals that the guardian of the Northern Lights used to be a normal fox like the player character. Her physical body rests at the top of the mountain as one of the seals containing the plague, while her spirit wanders the land in search of another fox to be the other seal and rid the world of the plague.
  • Ball of Light Transformation: The guardian of the Northern Lights is reduced to a little ball of light after lending the fox her powers. She keeps guiding the fox in that form. After the fox purifies her of the plague, she returns to her full form, signifying the fox no longer needs her because it's become another Guardian.
  • Beautiful Void: Aside from the fox and its companion, the game is completely devoid of all other animal life, and all the humans are long dead. Even the landscape lacks any plants taller than the fox itself.
  • Context-Sensitive Button: In the PlayStation 4, the O button is alternately used to pick up things (the staves) or to bark at blue flower beds to charge the fox with power that can then be used to manipulate the environment to solve puzzles, or can be held down to Spirit Bark. On PC, this is fulfilled by the left mouse button.
  • Deity of Human Origin: At the end of the game, the fox ascends to become a second Guardian of the Northern Lights. It's implied the original one may have once been mortal as well.
  • Due to the Dead: The fox can return misplaced staves to their long-dead owners. Upon doing so, the soul of the deceased manifests to express gratitude to the fox.
  • Fantastic Foxes: The fox can commune with the souls of the deceased and the guardian of the Northern Lights (itself a fox), whose powers the fox becomes imbued with. Scandinavian folklore associates the aurora with the fox, who creates it by brushing its tail against the sky.
  • Festering Fungus: The plague manifests as white and red bulbs and black muck spotted with orchids, spewing red spores everywhere. When the fox dies in chapter 6, fungus and orchids rapidly grow out of its body.
  • Flash Step: Another one of the fox's powers is Spirit Dash, allowing it to teleport forward in the direction of the camera. Some puzzles require the use of it to get through timed doors and the like.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Blue is the color of the guardian of the Northern Lights and her powers, therefore good. Red is the color of the plague, therefore bad. This can also be seen in the murals, with the ones depicting favorable moments in the setting's history being blue, while those depicting catastrophes are red.
  • Human Cannonball: Vulpine cannonball to be precise; there are rings that when powered by auroral energy, launch the fox through the air.
  • Idle Animation: If left alone, the fox will sit down and eventually curl up to sleep.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In chapter 6, the guardian becomes corrupted by a trap in the Spirit Keep, turning her red and bouncing erratically. The fox has to follow her through the keep and eventually heal her in the spirit world.
  • Injured Player Character Stage: In chapter 1, the fox takes a nasty fall, breaking its foot. It has to limp through the rest of the level to reach a circle of steles where the guardian heals it by granting the fox her powers.
  • King in the Mountain: Some murals depict the guardian of the Northern Lights sleeping in a mountain as the civilization falls to the plague. When the guardian does emerge, her worshipers are long dead.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: At the end of chapter 2, the fox gains the Spirit Bark, a super-powerful bark that allows it to destroy the Plague Tethers.
  • Masculine Lines, Feminine Curves: While the gender of the player fox is unknown, the female guardian fox has thicker, curving markings compared to the player's thinner lines with sharper corners.
  • The Plague: When the Guardian of the Northern Lights isn't present at the top of her mountain, a red mist spews from it and covers the city in a red ash, causing its inhabitants to get sick and die. It also causes the growth of a red and black fungus over the ruins.
  • Power Glows: Auroral energy glows neon blue, the corruption glows red.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The game world is littered with ruins of a lost human civilization. While most are functional and could be identified as houses, temples, towers and cisterns, they are also filled with standing stones, buttons, revolving glyphs, jump gates and rolling boulders only operable by the guardian's aurora.
  • Scenery Porn: The world of the game is based on Iceland. The beauty and detail of the various areas is one of the main appeals of the game.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The guardian of the Northern Lights has been sleeping in an ice cave until awoken by an ordinary fox.
  • Silence is Golden: There's no talking in this game. Even control tutorials are done through pictograms instead of words. Justified as all the characters are animals or spirit animals.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The first area is a frigid mountain totally covered in snow, with the fox able to slide down sections of it thanks to the generous amounts of ice.
  • Spirit World: The fox enters the spirit world after seemingly dying to the corruption late in the game. It is a ghostly blue and incredibly lush valley not unlike The Other Rainforest, filled with trees in contrast to the barren landscape of the real world. The spirits the fox saved can be found throughout it.
  • Unlockable Content: You get five alternate pelt colors for the fox for returning all staves to their owners in a chapter.note 
  • Version-Exclusive Content: The enhanced edition includes two exclusive pelt colors each for PlayStation 5 (champagne and black marble) and Xbox (white marble and auburn), in addition to the vixen skin for both versions and PC.
  • Walk on Water: The guardian is capable of walking on water and on air. The player fox can also do so in Spirit Form.
  • Water-Geyser Volley: One area requires the fox to make use of geysers to reach high platforms so it can proceed with the adventure.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: Auroras are prominent throughout the game, with the guardian of the Northern Lights being something like an embodiment of the phenomenon. Additionally, the aurora appears to be some sort of purifying power, as it is only by wielding it that the fox can destroy the evil corrupting the land.