Explaining My Love For Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

  • Spoilers ahead
    To truly express my undying devotion to Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a monumental task. I love the story, I love the soundtrack, I love the visual style, I love the characters-I love damn near everything about it. It's a gentle game that touches on melancholic subject matter in such a masterful and utterly beautiful way, that I shed tears about it. Wrath of the White Witch is a game that makes me feel truly happy inside, something no other game can match.

    I feel I should start this herculean undertaking, by expressing my general thoughts of the game-if the first paragraph didn't give you enough of a primer already. I think Wrath of the White Witch's is an incredible experience. From top-to-bottom it's an extraordinary game that's ceaselessly spirited, empowered by the deft craftsmanship of Studio Ghibli.

    Playing as a thirteen year-old boy named Oliver, you embark on an adventure to save your mother in an alternate world where majestic facsimiles of real-world humans exist. Over in the real-world Oliver's mum Allies has a sudden heart attack after trying to save Oliver from drowning thanks to a spell unleashed by the titular White Witch. Obviously Devastated, and in a state of grieving isolation, Oliver sobs into a stuff doll that comes to life thanks to Oliver's sorrowful teardrops. Drippy then springs to life and reveals he can save Oliver's mother. Together, the two of you cross dimensions, buddy up with surly new allies, and beat brazen bosses-all in an attempt to restore life to Oliver's mom.

    This setup follows Studio Ghibli's beautiful formula, transporting ordinary characters into extraordinary worlds and situations. The lush landscapes across plentiful plains and terrains, makes Wrath of the White Witch a gorgeously picturesque game, brimming with various cultures and kingdoms adorning the breadth of your travels.

    The verdant hills and cheery blue skies of The Rolling Hills echo a lively naturalistic atmosphere, countering The Shimmering Sands, representing a sizeable desert where a puny kingdom nests next to a threadbare water source. Golden Grove sweeps you into a foreboding forest cluttered with creepy crawling critters, while Tombstone Trail’s eerie Halloween-like ghostliness and mysteriousness will make you feel unnerved as you tread through its precariously narrow ledges and bridges.

    Every kingdom has its own sense of place. Bustling market towns, regal palaces with flowing water fountains outside of them, a heavily guarded pig city that’s unwelcoming and dark, and a jolly little berg, where all the fairies hang their lantern nose rings-figuratively speaking.

    These kingdoms are garnished handsomely with gleaming and utterly bonkers personalities like a fatigued cat who is king of his realm, a gargantuan lady who won’t remove herself from her bed without being fed large helpings of food, and a dome-faced fairy Godmother who speaks with an upbeat Welsh dialect. There’s no shortage of fancy and delightful characters in Wrath of the White Witch, it’s constantly bursting with a charisma and energy that never ceases.

    Boss fights are brushed with a similar level deft design and imagination. A pig/tank hybrid, a genie-like boss who enters a cauldron to deal out hellacious attacks, a tricky underwater creature who launches its little urchins at you, a giant rat with a staff and ear rings, a fire-breathing dragon with a Skyrim-like helmet on its face, and a strange teeth-tailed Egyptian/serpent concoction. Suffices to say, Wrath of the White Witch puts the same amount of spirit and fervour into its bosses just like it does in every other aspect.

    Now it’s time for the reasons I will forever consider Wrath of the White Witch one of the greatest videogame experiences I’ve ever had. These come down to the main character Oliver and the phenomenal soundtrack. Both of these aspects are extremely resonant to me, they make me feel a sense of joy that I can’t begin to explain, even as tears are streaming down my face at the sheer heart the game showcases.

    Oliver is without a doubt in my mind-the greatest videogame child of all time. Oliver embodies what I think all children should-politeness, courageousness, a sweet uncertainty and naivety, a calm and lovable nature, a belief that there is good in everybody. His presence is an absolute pleasure to behold, making him the best kind of videogame protagonist.

    The bond between Oliver and his mother is one that truly cuts deep to my core. All the flashbacks with Oliver and Allie are backed by this beautiful piano melody In Loving Memory of Allie, and every time my waterworks turn on.

    One instance involves a crying young Oliver in his dungarees, sobbing because his friend Phillip was being mean to him. Oliver’s hysterical crying is such that it makes me blubber just like him. Then, Allie introduces the Drippy stuffed toy and tells Oliver to stop being a cry-baby bunting. Oliver initially thinks the toy is goofy, but then says it’s his friend.

    Later on, Pea, Oliver’s mysterious and angelic friend, shows Oliver a vision of all of the people he has helped by mending their broken hearts. His mom then appears and graciously commends him for healing their hearts-a scene of such joy and power that again gives me a rainfall from my tear ducts.

    Then end credits are also beautiful because of the soft, dreamy and blissful Kokoro No Kakara. The gentleness and sorrow from this stunning orchestral piece, matches sublimely with Oliver’s delicate and sweet characteristics.

    It’s hard to put into words how resonating Ni No Kuni is for me. It’s blissful, a game that demonstrates everything I love about life. Oliver exemplifies the characteristics I hold dear to my heart, his struggles hit home, and his friendliness reminds me of the sorts of people I want around me in my life. This game is majestic, it’s loveable, it’s relatable, it’s absolutely engrossing and endearing beyond measure. I’d like to believe this piece has shown you how much I value Wrath of the White Witch, and I value spending my time writing this up.

    Thank you for reading.

  • Great to read your thoughts. I wish I had a similar experience with it. I Would rather see a movie of it then what the game ended up being.

    One thing I really loved was the open world, really beautiful and evocative. Characters were pretty good too and some areas were pretty cool.

  • It basically becomes a movie once you get Wildwood and Catastroceros levelled up lol. I don't remember a ton about this game but I do remember those two and also that the vibes are next level. Music and locations made it for me. Ding Dong Dell is a place I want to live.