Some of the most beautiful art I have ever seen in a game is in Okami, or more specifically its HD remake. It’s an old game that I never got around to playing, even though I heard good things about it, and was blown away by its colors when it came out. Never had a game been released before it that used watercolors the way it did, and being taken into the ancient world of Nippon (Japan) made you feel like you were in the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s a game that puts you in the paws (not shoes) of Amaterasu, the sun goddess, who is called upon to rid the nation of an evil spirit named Orochi who has been reawakened. Using your Celestial Brush, you can recreate, destroy or design objects in each area to progress through the game. For example, if you need a bridge, you draw one, or if you need to smack an enemy before he defeats you, that can be done as well. You are the creator, and the game regards you as such.
Aside from the obvious point that you’re playing as a goddess that made me want to write an article on this game, there’s also the fact that many NPCs (non-playable characters) do not know who you are. They either see you as a dog, or just someone who is just like them. Sometimes it’s weird because you’re literally a dog walking around a village, yet the people talk to you like a regular person would. I mean, it’s a dog, what makes you think that it’s a person? I have to forget my logic and remind myself it’s just a game, but it’s funny how most of the time they don’t know they are talking to a goddess! Someone who has the power to shape the literal world they live in is standing in front of them. Some folks do recognize who you are, but not often, nor do they know the role you are playing in saving them. This reminded me of Jesus Christ, who walked upon the Earth yet so many knew not who He was (nor still is).
Amaterasu has the same issue many times, where his little pal who tags along named Issun tries to brag on who he is to people, but the goddess remains quiet and humble instead. This showed another characteristic of Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Son of God Almighty, who became a man and willingly submitted Himself many times even though He didn’t have to. There was a time when He stood before Pontius Pilate, who asked if He was a king. He could have told off Pontius and explained who He was, the Creator of the universe itself and how he should instead be bowing to Him, but instead He replied:
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Personally, I have been in a place in my life where I feel I am able to relate wisdom that I have learned to others. Whether it’s friends, family, members of my church or even someone online, I am able to impart what I know regarding certain areas in life (marriage, health, college, the bible, having a relationship with God) with confidence. I write that because there are moments in life where I can share something, but it could sound like I am trying to show off instead of being quiet and listening to others. There are even times where people give me advice on something that I have already accomplished (say, college as I have my Bachelor’s Degree already for years) and they talk to me as if I’m unfamiliar with the educational system, or having a stable relationship with God or my wife, etc. I have to ask God to humble me because the first thing that comes to my mind is “I have so much experience in that area, this person has no idea who they are talking to. I’ve already been there and done that years ago!”
Okami reminded me to humble myself, even if we are the ones that are right and the other person is wrong. Even if we have the right answer, sometimes the best thing to do is be silent or just nod and smile and keep going. Jesus Christ has helped me to die to myself in more ways than one, even when I don’t want to. Okami is all about recreating ugly things into something beautiful, just as God does with our own souls when we give them to Him.
He is the potter, we are the clay, and His plans for us are greater than we can ever imagine. His celestial brush paints a new picture every day for our lives, so long as we trust in Him, He will guide us through it all.