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Okage: Shadow King

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The game's North American cover art.

Okage: Shadow King is a 2001 JRPG developed by Zener Works and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2.

The game follows a 16 year old boy named Ari, who on the night of the circus, finds his little sister Annie cursed by a ghost. In hopes to help her, his dad releases an Evil King named Stan and his butler James who has been imprisoned for 300 years. 

This game, despite having low sales due to lack of U.S. advertising and being overshadowed by Dark Cloud and the 2002 releases of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X, as well as being criticized for it's battle system and load times (due to the game being on a blue bottomed CD-ROM), has a quite huge following. Though there are still no plans to make a second because Zener Works now creates mobile and handheld games.

The game was recently re-released on the PS4 PSN in North America on March 22, 2016 & for the first time in Europe on March 23,2016

Story

The story begins with an ordinary boy named Ari who lives in Tenel village. Ari is asked to pick up bread from the town bakery. At night, the circus comes to town and Ari goes to it. That same night, his sister is attacked by a ghost and falls under a pig latin curse. The family turns to a 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 promices 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.  The next day Ari and Stan attempt to destory Tenel, but no one is scared of Stan. They hear about a treasure in the church basement and go to get it, which turns out to be a glass tube. Stan and Ari then obtain a "Map o' Evil Kings" from a circus ringmaster, which shows the locations of other Evil Kings in the world. Stan realizes 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. Rosalyn turning off the lights so Stan cannot appear, 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. 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 defeating the evil king and rescuing Marlene, Stan attempts to use his powers to possess her, but fails saying that she has no soul. The Princess then flees somewhere accourding to Beiloune, which turns out to be Ari's house. While there, Marlene asks Stan if he truley 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 activites 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 Big Bull Evil King, a muscle-bound bull. He then escapes to the Big Tree Hole and the party beats 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 made when she calls him "coach", she then enterpreats 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 obssessed 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 reveales 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 servent. 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 recided. Rosalyn then breaks down laughting due to Ari's misfortune which then causes everyone not taking it seruously (except Big Bull), Marlene then leaves telling Ari that he is now her servent 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; there is the town of Triste is full of people like himself. By speaking up enough in other people's conversations (despite being "invisible"), the circus ringmaster Block is able to restore Ari into existence. 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 refered 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 seperated by the universe through "classifcation" 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, ect.), he then says that Ari and the group are classified as "naive resedents who don't think intelligently". Beiloune then explains about "deviants", people who break out of classifcation, he then reveales that Ari is the deviant. 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 Adashi Desert, Ari soons 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 the 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 then explores Triste then stops infront of a house, as she leaves, she sees a girl with orange hair and a brown dress walk out as KT enters the entrance of the Adashi Desert and dissapears. It then shows what happens to the other party members, Rosalyn is about to get in a fight with a blue hair 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 agress. In the end, Ari and Marlene hold hands as they enter Ari's house

Characters

  • Ari - 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 upgradeable, 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 - 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. Apparently, Hopkins also sealed Stan away into a bottle, which is found by Ari's father.
  • James - 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 - 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 - 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.
  • Beiloune - Marlene's butler. It is revealed at the end of the game that he is Marlene's father as well as the game's main antagonist. He has a massive 9999 HP and resides in the world library. He also uses a devastating spell called Channel. He also doesn't have any minions with him. But if underleveled, it may take multiple tries to defeat this massive boss.
  • Gutten Kisling - 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 forty-five-year-old Kisling seems to be quite intelligent, and he wields powerful offensive magic.
  • Big Bull - 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 - 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 - 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.​

​Trivia

  • ​The game's original title in Japan is Boku to Mao (ボクと魔王), which translates to: Me and Satan King (as called by in the Original Game Soundtrack) or Me and the Devil King.
    Derp

    The game's Japanese cover. Notice how Ari and Stan are apart of the background, instead of being the main part of the U.S. box. It also seems they are drawn the same way as the other characters, and the hill seems to be much larger, showing quite a lot of empty space between James and Kisling.

  • ​This game was never released in Europe due to low sales in North America (approx. 140k), however, the game was re-released in Japan under Sony's "The Best" brand.
  • There are a set of figures made around the time Okage got released. This set included Ari & Stan, Rosalyn, Big Bull, Linda, Marlene, and James.  However, a complete set of these figures can go up to $200.
  • There exists only one commercial for Okage: Shadow King which was only aired in Japan.
  • The game's narrator is J.S. Gilbert, who is also known for doing Sweet Tooth in Twisted Metal (2011) and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
    Okage Shadow King commercial00:15

    Okage Shadow King commercial

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