Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Easy or Normal?
Your game of Ni no Kuni begins—after installation and language selection, of course—with a choice of difficulty. Easy or Normal? If you want to play the game more like an uninterrupted movie where grinding is at a minimum, go with Easy. If you relish strategic combat and eventually want a challenge, try Normal instead. Make game go now!
The game begins with a small boy, Oliver, in a field, accompanied by an odd little creature with a giant nose. The two run afoul of some stampeding, hairy beasts, and as the dust settles, the first hints of story come into play. The boy is in another world. Cue the intro credits.
Take a step back in time. Oliver is getting groceries for his mother in the altogether less-fantastical world of Motorville. As soon as he sets foot outside Leila's Milk Bar he gets a call from his friend, Philip, who's waiting down the street. You can explore a little and talk to people, but eventually, you have to give in and approach Phil. He says he's got 'something' ready to go for a spin—but neither Philip nor Oliver are forthcoming on the details. After some ribbing—and a sidetrack to some sinister characters—you'll be free to wander around.
Motorville isn't all that interesting, as there are few places to explore and only two (Leila's Milk Bar and your own house) that you can actually enter. Feel free to talk to anyone you like—everybody's a little caught up with cars in this place—but eventually, you'll have to head south. Use the mini-map in the corner of the screen to guide yourself home, represented as a star. Once there you'll have a quick chat with Oliver's mom, then it's off to school—and another meeting with Phil, who confirms that tonight is the night to roll out whatever invention he's concocted.
Take a Spin and Meet the Lord High Lord of the Fairies
Cut to the evening. Mom is asleep, and it's time to roll. You'll gain access to the menu—use this opportunity to Save for your first time—then head downstairs and out the front door. (You can look around the house, if you want, but there's nothing to see.)
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- Follow the map east a block, then through an archway. A cutscene will kick in (featuring a girl you've yet to meet) and you'll discover that Philip's invention is none other than a custom-built car. What else would it be in Motorville? Take it for a spin!
- Run south to the star on the map to make sure the coast is clear. Oliver will run into a different girl who will beg him not to go . . . whatever that means. That's not enough to stop Phil, of course, and the trip goes ahead—though not without another quick intervention by outside forces, who are planning against Oliver. Soon his mom gets in on the act, as well, heading out of the house to look for him.
- The car test run starts out well enough, but the thing quickly crashes, plunging Oliver into a nearby creek. His mom pulls him out—but in the aftermath begins to struggle herself. It only gets worse from there. Days later, Oliver is in a bad sorts and weeping over an old doll, thinking of the past. This is normal enough, under the circumstances . . .
- Though it gets much stranger when the doll comes to life. Say hello to Drippy, Lord High Lord of the Fairies. After chastising Oliver for being a cry-baby, he reveals—in his boisterously obnoxious way—that he was sealed into the form of a doll by a man called the Dark Djinn, who threatens Drippy's world. Oliver is, in fact, the Pure-Hearted One, a person who can restore balance to the other world . . . and perhaps bring his mother back in the process.
- Go downstairs and into the living room. Check the chimney and Drippy will lug out the Wizard's Companion, one of the most important items you'll ever get. Write your name into it (you can give it any name you like) and the book will officially be yours.
Drippy's Gateway Stick
Next up, you need a wand to get to Drippy's world. He'll decide you need a stick, which seems easy enough.
- Follow him through the streets and talk to him to progress the story. He'll give you access to a Bottomless Bag in which you can store any items you find. Sweet. There's nothing on the west side of the street, so try the east. Drippy will change tactics and head back to the house while you keep looking outside.
- During your search, you'll be approached by the blue-haired girl from earlier in the week. Talk to her and she'll strangely apologize for not being able to save Oliver's mother before vanishing. Drippy will pop in, you'll have a quick conversation, and you'll find a wand where she was standing. You now have an Old Stick. Helpful.
- Drippy needs somewhere big to cast his Gateway spell with the stick. The town square sounds like a good spot. Head north and you'll bring up a menu for casting magic; at the moment your only choice is Gateway. Click it and Oliver will cast Gateway, bringing you to the intro movie. As Drippy would say, tidy.
Marissa Gison on April 07, 2013:
I know about Ni No Kuni, with a videogame I loved Studio Ghibli from Hayao Miyazaki with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,
Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service,
Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, The Cat Returns Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, Tales From Earthsea
And The Secret World of Arrietty.