Long ago, the demon Orochi terrorised a small Japanese village called Kamiki, claiming a maiden each year as a sacrifice to sate its hunger and as its price for not destroying the village. The maiden was chosen by a white arrow that flew from the demon's lair in the nearby Moon Cave and embedded itself in the maiden's home. On the night of its 100th sacrifice Orochi was defeated by the human warrior Nagi, who was assisted in the final battle by a mysterious white wolf that the local villagers had named Shiranui.
Nagi fought to protect a village girl he loved called Nami, who had been chosen by the white arrow, and to end the demon's reign of terror. Shiranui gave his all in the fight, saving Nagi from Orochi in the process but dying soon after the demon was slain. The villagers of Kamiki hailed the wolf as a saviour and built a shrine in his honour.
Now, 100 years later, a new darkness has spread across the land, threatening to consume the people in evil cursed zones. The tree sprite Sakuya, guardian of Kamiki, in a last desperate act has called upon the sun goddess, Amaterasu, to incarnate herself in the statue of Shiranui and drive the evil from the land.
This, as they say, is where you come in...
You must guide Amaterasu through the various lands of Nippon, helping people, restoring the land and driving out evil. You are aided by a small annoying creature who will, as is traditional in these games, point out the obvious, fill in the background and make annoying remarks. This one's called Issun and describes himself as a wandering artist.
Issun is searching for the secrets of the 13 mysterious celestial brush techniques that allow the wielder to alter the fabric of reality. It is said that Shiranui wielded all 13 of these techniques when he assisted Nagi in slaying Orochi. Needless to say, you also have to master these brush techniques to complete the game.
You have to master the art of war in order to fight the various imps, demons and creatures that stand in your way. You need to collect weapons, master fighting moves and power up yourself and the weapons in order to gain any sort of proficiency in the fighting sections of the game. And there will be many fights in this game, they are the principal ways of gaining the money you require to purchase equipment, scrolls and food - all of which you need to use in order to progress through the game's story.
Hand On Glaive
Wait a minute! A wolf using weapons and equipment? Celestial brushes I can accept, but a wolf that is able to wield a glaive, read a scroll and negotiate with merchants. That's pushing things a bit far isn't it?
Believe me, that's the least of your worries when it comes to suspending your disbelief. Just wait until you are using your brush to make a spout of saki in order to get a multi-headed demon drunk, so you can ring its bell and drop its shield. Who said all the originality had gone out of games?