Okage: Shadow King
|Okage: Shadow King|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
Okage: Shadow King, known in Japan as Boku to Maō (ボクと魔王? Boku to Maō, literally "Me and the Devil King"), is a role-playing video game developed by Zener Works and co-developed and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released on March 15, 2001 in Japan, and October 1, 2001 in North America, exclusively for the PlayStation 2. The game was made available on the PlayStation 4 in March 2016 through the PlayStation Network, as well as being released in Europe for the first time.
In Okage: Shadow King, the player character Ari proceeds through the game by visiting towns, traveling across the overworld and exploring dungeons. The game contains warp pillars that can be used to quick travel to other locations once they have been discovered.
The combat is similar to that of many role-playing games, with characters having health points (HP) and magic points (MP). Battles generally commence when the player touches an enemy on the overworld. In addition to party members engaging in combat, Ari's shadow Stan, although not playable, may use powerful magic attacks on the enemy. Each fight is turned based, and a character can opt to wait in order to perform a more powerful combo attack with other characters. Characters have innate elements that are visible to the player during battle. This determines the types of spells they learn and what spells are strong against which enemies (for instance, lightning magic is strong against ice characters). If at any time during battle, Ari is defeated, it is game over, and the player must return to their last save.
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The story begins with an ordinary and overshadowed boy named Ari who lives in the village of Tenel. Ari is asked to pick up bread from the town bakery, where various people tell him that tonight is the night of the circus. At night, the circus finally comes to town and Ari goes to it, not before being stopped by his dad and forced to listen to his dad ramble on about a bottle he found. After Ari goes home after finding out the circus is over, his sister is attacked by a ghost and falls under a pig Latin curse. The family turns the bottle Ari's father found for help, performing a ritual to invoke the power sealed within the bottle. Upon opening the bottle, a "ghostly butler" named James comes out and tells the Ari's family about his master, the Great Evil King "Stanley Hihat Trinidad XIV" (or Stan for short). Stan promises to family to bring the sister to normal if one family member is selected to let Stan be apart of their shadow. A "Shadow Contest" occurs and to his shock, Ari wins. Ari allows his shadow to be possessed by Stan in order to break his sister's curse. Annie (the sister) is now cured but now has a pink shadow. That night, Ari ends up having a nightmare about Stan and wakes up crashing on the floor. Ari then leaves his house and finds that everything is normal, until Stan speaks and pops out of Ari's shadow. Stan then forces Ari to destroy Tenel, but no one seems to be scared of Stan, much to his anger. Ari and Stan hear about a treasure in the church basement that is being guarded by a ghost. They fight the ghost and get the treasure, which turns out to be a glass tube. After being praised by the villagers and Stan being laughed at again, Stan and Ari then obtain a "Map o' Evil Kings" from the circus ringmaster, Block. Stan calls James, who tells him that while he was trapped in the bottle, various people stole his powers and became false Evil Kings. Stan starts off on a journey to defeat these Evil Kings, reclaim his stolen powers and conquer the world, dragging Ari along with him.
In the city of Madril, Ari teams up with Rosalyn, a parasol wielding "hero", and defeats the Sewer Evil King, who reveals her pink shadow caused by Stan after opening his bottle 3 years ago, after a long argument they spent the night at a hotel. After another argument between Stan and Rosalyn, Rosalyn turns off the lights so Stan cannot appear. With Stan gone, Rosalyn tells Ari about a rumor that the Princess of the royal family is heading to a nearby town and that they should meet her so that she can punish Stan and leave Ari's shadow and bringing Rosalyn's shadow back to normal. Upon leaving town they meet up with the scientist Gutten Kisling, who joins Ari's team mainly because Rosalyn seems to attract ghosts. Eventually the trio enter the seaside town of Rashelo, where the Princess Marlene sailed to Aquatic Ruins to acquire "Heaven's Voice". However, the Princess is seized by the Bubble Evil King, a giant fish-monster. After being asked by her chamberlain Beiloune, the trio heads to the Aquatic Ruins and defeats the Evil King and rescues Marlene, Stan attempts to use his powers to possess her, but fails saying that she has no soul. She then slaps Ari (causing him to "take" 19 hp) and refers to him as an "offender". Ari and his friends return to Rashelo and give Marlene back to Beiloune.
The next day however, Marlene flees somewhere according to Beiloune, which turns out to be Ari's house. While there, Marlene asks Stan if he truly believes him to be the true owner of Ari, they both have an argument which then leaves Marlene with 70% of Ari and Stan the other 30%. Later, the group decides to stay as Ari sees what activities his family is doing with the party, Ari's mom is teaching Marlene how to cook, Kisling is having a discussion with Ari's dad about toenails, and Rosalyn is with Annie, who tells Rosalyn that she shouldn't make a big of her shadow. That night, Ari wakes up to find Marlene who wants to find a "moonlight flower" to give to his mom as a thank you gift for teaching her how to cook, they eventually find it and they both head off to bed. After giving Ari's mom the flower and saying their goodbyes, Ari and the gang then head off to defeat more Evil Kings.
Returning to Madril, a strange corporation has been making underhanded deals and cheating townspeople out of their money and claiming that the heroes are working with the ghosts. Further investigation leads to an office building where a Chairman resides, he is then revealed as the Chairman Evil King. The trio attempt to confront him, but he escapes. They head to the Escapeless Abyss and defeat him. he then begins to tell the party about the entrance to the "Traverse Tunnel". After exiting the tunnel, the Party enter the Pospos snowfield, where they discover the Big Bull Evil King, a muscle-bound bull. He then escapes to the Big Tree Hole, where Ari and his friends counter him and beat him. After that, he joins Ari's group in hopes for fights. Back in Madril, the group encounters Linda, a singer Ari encountered earlier in the game. Marlene then meets Linda but is mad when she calls him "coach", she then interprets that Ari doesn't care about her and breaks down, leaving to the inn. Ari follows Rosalyn who tries to comfort the Princess, who says that she would like to be left alone for the day. The next day, the group finds that everyone is obsessed with Linda. After heading to the research center, Ari finds a group of singers who call her the "Teen Idol Evil King". The group confronts Linda and she escapes to the Sealed Cave in the Pospos Snowfield. On their way there, they encounter a strange man who floats and talks in rhymes and Shakespearean. He then reveals himself as the "Phantom Evil King" and flies off, much to Stan's anger. The group find Linda and beat her, who gives Ari the final piece to the glass tube which makes a "voice recorder". Marlene then enters the room saying that Ari is no longer her servant. Linda then asks about what part of Ari does she like, she then goes on to say that she likes his "large yellow eyes", which actually turns out to be Stan she's talking about. They then discuss about what to do next, and agree to head to the back of the Madril Sewer where the Sewer Evil King resided. Rosalyn then breaks down laughing due to Ari's misfortune which then causes everyone not taking it seriously (except Big Bull), Marlene then leaves telling Ari that he is now her servant for the rest of his life.
In the back of the sewer, Ari steps into a mysterious machine which seems to make him fade from existence. Everyone seems to have forgotten about him, and is ignoring the fact that he ever existed. Ari discovers that his condition is not unique; near the Pospos Snowfield, there is the town called Triste, and it is full of people like himself. Ari encounters Block, who tells him that if he can have a conversation with 20 people, then he'll be able to return Ari back to normal. After doing so, Block uses a magical spell and Ari returns to normal. Stan then pops out of Ari's shadow, confused but finally understanding. The Phantom Evil King appears and tells Ari to meet him at the gear tower, Stan also notes that the Phantom Evil King referred to Block as the Circus Leader Evil King, Block then tells Ari that he was a former Evil King and that he gave his power to the Sewer Evil King.
Ari then reunites with his original party as they go to find Marlene, the group goes to Ari's house when they hear a woman screaming. They hurry to Ari's house and to everyone's horror, they see Marlene floating and being choked, while Beiloune stands in front of her. He then talks about the "classification system" and tells Marlene that he "created the perfect world for her" and why won't she live up to his expectations. Beiloune then explains that Ari's world was separated by the universe through "classification" to play the roles he gives people (example: Ari plays the role of a normal boy, Rosalyn plays the role of a Hero, Kisling plays the role of a scientist, Linda plays the role of a singer, etc.), he then says that Ari and the group are classified as "naive residents who don't think intelligently". Beiloune then explains about "deviants", people who break out of classification, he then reveals that Ari is the deviant of this world. He then transforms and flies into the sky with Marlene, who takes her soul and breaks it. It is revealed that "Princess" Marlene is actually just a doll made to look like the original Marlene, who disappeared a long time ago. Beiloune is actually her father and the creator of the world the game takes place in. He created the world to let his daughter have fun, but he lost her and became obsessed with the doll. He then blames Ari for being a deviant and plans to destroy the world that defied him and ruined his daughter's adventures. He also swears to Ari he will continue making more Evil Kings. After a long discussion in Ari's house, the group decides to beat the remaining Evil Kings, heading to the Deep Grave Pit in the Addashi Desert, Ari soon find the key to the Gear Tower, where they encounter the Phantom Evil King and beat him.
The group enters the portal at the middle of the Gear Tower and is transported to the Highland Village, before reaching the steps they encounter the Former Phantom Evil King who wishes to join the group not for hero or Evil King's sake but to wish to know about Ari's power, Stan says that he will follow all of his orders but then tells him that he follows no liege and his name, Epros. Talking to the villagers they mention something will happen at night. At sundown, Ari and the group decides to rest. However, late at night, Stan wakes Ari up and says he feels something is wrong and to wake the others up. They find that all the villagers doors won't open and a bloodstain on one of the walls. After searching they hear a scream and follow it. They find a house that was not there at day and enter it. There they encounter the Great Evil King Beiloune was creating, the Vampire Evil King. After beating him, Stan regains all of his power and when it looks like he is transforming, he still a shadow. Beiloune then appears and tells Stan that he secretly absorbed some of the Vampire Evil King's power so that Stan can't turn into a shadow, laughing he then says to meet him at his World Library.
Finally, at the World Library, Beiloune attempts to classify Rosalyn and Stan into hero and villain in order to make them destroy each other. Ari uses the Voice Recorder, which contains recorded memories of their true selves, to break the two free of Beiloune's classification. The heroes confront and defeat Beiloune, who had become a giant monster in order to destroy them. His defeat destroys the world's classification system, however crumbles the Library with it. Finally the group parts ways, Stan wanting to go and rule the world (but not before saying goodbye to Ari), Rosalyn chasing after him for not bringing her shadow back to normal, Epros planning to go back to the Gear Tower but not without Linda joining him, Kisling back to being a scientist, and Big Bull having an envision called the "Ox Hole" which he plans to make a training center for "macho men everywhere". After everyone is gone, Ari looks off into the distance, at night it shows Ari walking along a path when he encounters the Moonlight Flowers he picked with Marlene earlier in the game. Back in Triste, the destruction of Classification allow the people of Triste to be normal people again, the gatekeeper of Triste, KT, explores Triste and then stops in front of a house, as she leaves, she sees a girl with orange hair and a brown dress walk out, KT then enters the entrance of the Adashi Desert and disappears.
It then shows what happens to the other party members, Rosalyn is about to get in a fight with a blue haired man before he is squashed by Big Bull, as Rosalyn leaves she sees the girl from Triste, she then turns around and goes the other way. Epros and Linda have joined Block's circus along with the Sewer Evil King. And Kisling has a long drawn out discussion with the Chairman Evil King. Ari returns home to find two kids telling him that today is the day of the Tenel festival, Ari goes to see his dad and tells him to leave the stories for him and tell him later and he should pick up the lunches that his mother made for the festival. Ari then goes over to his house when he is stopped by Annie, who tells him that she saw a girl come here and ask where Ari's house was, when she finishes, Ari is running over to his house. His mom then tells him he has a guest and it turns out to be the real Marlene that Beiloune had lost. The real Marlene asks Ari's mom is she can help with the lunches and she agrees. In the end, Ari and Marlene hold hands as they enter Ari's house
- Ari (ルカ? Ruka): The main protagonist of the game. A quiet, 16-year-old boy with an overshadowed destiny. His shadow is so thin, that most people ignore him and it is what enables Stan to take him as his slave. Seems to be without note, but he reluctantly takes on the responsibility of being enslaved by the Evil King Stan in order to save his sister from the ghost's curse—and once that's done, to save the world from the Fake Evil Kings and restore Stan's true power. In the beginning of the story, his weapon is a branch. He obtains a sword, which is upgradable, as he progresses through the game. In the Japanese version, his eyes are wide open. They were toned down in the US version.
- Lord Stanley Hihat Trinidad XIV (スタンリーハイハットトリニダード14世? Sutanrī Haihatto Torinidādo Jūyonsei), better known as Evil King Stan, or just Stan, possesses Ari's shadow to appear in this world. He is short-tempered and has a childish personality, but has moments where he picks up on things that even the other group members miss. He has built his identity on being evil and desires to be feared by the world as the Great Evil King. He claims to be the reincarnation of, and therefore the heir to, the Great Evil King Gohma, who was defeated by the Great Hero Hopkins three hundred years previous to the story. Hopkins also sealed Stan away into a bottle, which is found by Ari's father.
- James (ジェームス? Jēmusu) is the cheerful ghost butler to the Evil King Stan. He is seen quite a few times in the game, mostly with just info on things you should know about, but he is often too preoccupied with something (or someone) else to follow his "almighty" master's orders.
- Rosalyn (ロザリー? Rozarī) is a 22-year-old heroine, a master of the rapier and the reluctant devotee of the parasol. She and Stan have a history of conflict which began upon releasing him from his bottle three years previous to the game's beginning; Stan took over her shadow for just long enough to insult her figure and her to threaten to kill herself (thus killing him), before he retreated back into the bottle.
Rosalyn used to be an elite hero and was at the top of her class, but ever since her shadow became pink she has been a laughing stock and forced to hide her shameful shadow under a parasol. She never forgave Stan for this mockery and has been hunting for him since. She feels she needs to prove her strength and skill as an expert swordswoman and caster of spells. She is also a magnet for ghosts.
- Princess Marlene (マルレイン? Marurein): As a spoiled princess, she is snobbish and pompous before truly getting to know Ari and his family. Later in the game the player finds out that the Marlene they know is actually a doll, and that the real Marlene's body is trapped elsewhere in the world of her father's creation. She also seems to be Ari's love interest, as they areseen holding hands in the ending.
- Gutten Kisling (グッテン･キスリング? Gutten Kisuringu): An extremely eccentric scientist who has devoted his life to the ghost research, while enjoying such hobbies as stalking pretty girls and collecting toenail clippings. Upon meeting the party, he is enticed by Rosalyn's ability to attract ghosts and joins the quest without a single party member's approval. Despite his behavior, the 45-year-old Kisling seems to be quite intelligent, and he wields powerful offensive magic.
- Big Bull (ビッグブル? Biggu Buru): Formerly the "Big Bull Evil King", a fighter with great physical strength who loves exercise and battle. He excitedly joins Ari's party to help defeat the other evil kings after he, himself, is defeated. His dream is to someday open his own athletic gym. His idiotic and unwitting personality disagrees with Rosalyn and Stan but he's too cheerful and loving of the party to notice or care. He has a crush on Linda.
- Linda (リンダ? Rinda): She is an aspiring singer from Madril who unfortunately lacks talent so later uses Stan's stolen power to become the "Teen Idol Evil King" and loved by her brainwashed fans. Though she is somewhat subdued when Ari first meets her, after she joins the party her truly cheery and very bubbly personality comes out. initially, she seemed to have a crush on Ari, but it is later discovered that she actually had a crush on Stan who just happened to have the "dorky" "doll", Ari, attached to him. Further down the line, Linda's crush on Stan seems to fade in favor of one blossoming for the reluctant Epros. She attacks using her microphone as a weapon and supports the party with magical chants.
- Epros (エプロス? Epurosu): Using Stan's power, he is known as the "Phantom Evil King" and throws playing cards and casts magic to attack his enemies. He is sophisticated and well dressed, though his interests in magic and the "truth" of the world, as well as his ability to float about and his strange speech pattern make him as peculiar as the rest of the cast. He always speaks in rhyme and with Shakespearean words, which confuses the team and annoys Stan to no end. Like the other "Evil King" party members, Epros joins the group after he is defeated, late in the game. Epros is the main love interest of Linda, but only after she gets over Stan.
Development and release
The Okage: Shadow King soundtrack was released on July 17, 2001 in Japan only. The soundtrack was composed by a band known as peak a soul+, consisting of Jun-Ichi Doi, Takimitsu Kajikawa, Yoshikazu Kawatani, Yasutaka Kume, Toshiaki Murata, and Kazuhide Toda. The ending song "Higher Breath" was sung by Yurica Nagasawa. The soundtrack also refers to Boku to Maō as "Me and Satan King".
|Okage: Shadow King Original Soundtrack|
|3.||"Theme of Tenell"|
|4.||"Theme of Tenell R"|
|5.||"Theme of Madril"|
|6.||"Theme of Madril R"|
|7.||"Theme of Lischero"|
|8.||"Theme of Lischero R"|
|9.||"Theme of Highland Village"|
|10.||"Theme of Highland Village R"|
|11.||"Theme of Triste"|
|12.||"Forest of Wilkur"|
|13.||"Islands of Wap Wap"|
|14.||"Plains of Lumille"|
|19.||"Ruins of Aqua"|
|21.||"Big Tree Hole"|
|23.||"Deep Grave Pit"|
|25.||"Out of Acknowledge"|
|26.||"Home Sweet Home"|
|27.||"At the Bar"|
|30.||"Fight of the Church Basement"|
|32.||"Normal Battle (Disadvantage Ver.)"|
|33.||"Evil King Battle"|
|34.||"Evil King Battle (Disadvantage Ver.)"|
|35.||"Vampire Evil King Battle"|
|36.||"Vampire Evil King Battle (Disadvantage Ver.)"|
|37.||"The Last Battle"|
|38.||"The Last Battle (Disadvantage Ver.)"|
|45.||"Melody from the Box"|
|46.||"The President Evil King"|
|53.||"Dance with Merle"|
|56.||"Festa de Tenell"|
As well as the soundtrack, figures based on Okage have been released. The six-figure set includes Ari and Stan, Rosalyn, James, Marlene, Big Bull, and Linda. It included the three ghost types featured in the game, as well as Gears so that the characters can stand straight. There was also a promotional contest for a can opener shaped like Stan, very few images of the actual can opener exist however. An official Strategy guide was also published (this version is much different than its North American counterpart). All of these were only available in Japan. In North America, Prima Games published the strategy guide.
- "Okage: Shadow King for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- EGM staff (December 2001). "Okage: Shadow King". Electronic Gaming Monthly: 244.
- "プレイステーション2 - ボクと魔王". Famitsu. 915: 87. June 30, 2006.
- "Okage: Shadow King". Game Informer (103): 106. November 2001.
- Star Dingo (October 2, 2001). "Okage: Shadow King Review for PS2 on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on February 9, 2005. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Dodson, Joe (October 19, 2001). "Okage: Shadow King Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Fielder, Joe (October 1, 2001). "Okage: Shadow King Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- D'Aprile, Jason (October 22, 2001). "Okage: Shadow King [date mislabeled as "January 22, 2001"]". GameSpy. Archived from the original on February 17, 2005. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- The Badger (October 10, 2001). "Okage: Shadow King Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on March 9, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Zdyrko, David (October 15, 2001). "Okage: Shadow King". IGN. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- "Okage: Shadow King". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 170. December 2001.
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