Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a platforming computer game developed by Moon Studios for Windows PCs and Xbox One. It is a sequel to the 2015 game Ori and the Blind Forest. The development of the game was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017. The game was released for the Xbox One and Windows platforms on March 11, 2020. The release for Nintendo Switch took place on September 17, 2020. The game was released for Xbox Series X on November 10, 2020, concurrently with the launch of the console.
The story of the game is tied to a new adventure of the spirit of Ori outside the forest of Nibel, in the forest of Niven, in which the truth about the “lost” will be revealed, as well as about the true purpose of Ori.
From the egg of Kuro, saved by our heroes, the owlet Ku is born. Unfortunately, due to a defect in the wing, Ku cannot fly. To help, Ori comes up with the idea of tying Kuro’s feather to Ku’s deformed wing, allowing the owlet to finally fly. One day Ori and Ku decide to fly far, far from their homes, but, carried away, fall into a storm. Because of the strong wind, Ku loses its tied feather, and Ori is carried away in the other direction, as a result of which they fall in different parts of the Niven forest.
Ori’s search for Ku leads Ori to an inhabitant of the local swamps – a toad named Kvolok – who tells Ori that Ku fell in the Silent Forest, which turned into a desert graveyard of owls. Kvolok warns Ori that due to the unclean water, he will not be able to enter that part of the forest until he starts the water mill. He also gives Ori a light to guide him on his journey.
After running the mill, Ori hurries to the Silent Forest and finds Ku, but there they encounter an ugly, evil owl terrorizing the forest named Creek. Shout attacks and seriously injures Ku. After that, Kvolok tells Ori the sad story that once the local tree of spirits (“Spiritual Willow”) lost its lights, depriving the forest of its light, thereby making it vulnerable to corruption that killed all guardian spirits, as well as Crick’s parents … Kvolok invites Ori to find four more lights and combine them with what he gave him in the beginning to rebuild the forest.
Ultimately, Ori manages to do this and obtain the golden flame – Seir. Seir asks to take him to the Spiritual Willow. After Ori manages to do this, Seir revives Iva, but she says that her time has passed and that she can no longer carry the flame in herself. Iva asks Ori to merge with Seir in order to save Niven, but he will have to say goodbye to his former life, as this merger will lead to an irreversible rebirth.
Ori decides to merge with Seir to heal Niven, but Scream arrives and takes the flame. After defeating Shout, Ori again finds Seir and merges with him. This is witnessed by Naru and Gumo, who sailed to Niven in search of Ori and Ku. The fusion gives the forest energy and revives Ku, in addition to heal her wing. The cry of the last forces returns to his native nest, where he dies, huddled under the wings of the bodies of his parents.
Ku, Naru and Gumo together find the place where Ori fused with Seir and discover that a new Spirit Tree begins to grow on it. They continue life in a new place and take care of the tree. In the end, we are given to understand that the narrator all this time was Ori himself, who told us the story of his reincarnation into the Tree of Spirits. We also see how a leaf grows on the tree that Ori has become – a new guardian spirit – to start a new cycle.
The name of the game “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” is a play on words. In English, there is a word “will-oʼ-the-wisp”, which means “will-o’-fire”, which can also mean a ghostly dream, a deceptive hope. At the same time, in the name of the game, this combination is written separately, which can be translated as “the will of the lights, the desire of the lights, the testament of the lights”, which hints at the ending of the game.
As in the first part, the player will have to navigate platforms and solve puzzles. However, significant changes have been made to the game mechanics. So, the player can no longer save at any time during the game: instead, a system of frequent checkpoints is used. NPCs have appeared in the game, which give Ori optional side quests, or offer upgrades to abilities or items for a fee.
In the previous part, the combat mechanics were carried out at the expense of Sein’s attacks. In this part, Ori travels alone, so instead of Sein, he can simultaneously use up to three of 20 abilities, which the player can at any time reassign to three control buttons, for example, the sword of the guardian spirit, bow, hammer, lasso, shooting himself from any points and more. Ori can improve his passive abilities at the expense of the shards that he looks for during the game.