There’s a moment in the opening hour of Ni No Kuni that places the reality of Oliver’s journey in question. He suffers an unimaginable loss and his tears revive Mr. Drippy, Lord High Lord of the Fairies, who had been conveniently trapped in stuffed animal form all of these years. Shadar cursed Mr. Drippy to remain in doll form, the same Shadar who had taken over Mr. Drippy’s world, the same Shadar who had banished Alicia, Great Sage and soulmate to Oliver’s mom. To go with Mr. Drippy meant a chance for Oliver to not only save Mr. Drippy’s world but also do something about Oliver’s loss. As I watched this, I wondered if this was all real or if this was Oliver’s way of dealing with the tragedy.
After the jump, saying goodbye to Mr. Drippy
I’m no stranger to the power of stuffed animals. When I was a kid I had Pig. My mom bought him for me while we were on vacation at Cape Cod. He was in a bin along with other stuffed animals, including other pigs, but I focused in on him. I liked his jaunty red and white cap as well as his red vest. As are all parents, my mom was constantly bombarded with “can I have it” questions, so I was surprised when she actually said yes. I chalk it up to being on vacation, but whatever the reason, Pig was mine and I was his.
I carried Pig everywhere. His tail required multiple reattachment surgeries, likely due to me swinging him around by it, his ear got a hole in it, likely due to me biting it and his snappy red and white cap and red vest turned dull due to his many journeys.. Wherever I went, he went and when my world got turned inside out, he was there to absorb my tears. I still have him. He rests on a shelf in my closet alongside Henry, my wife’s stuffed animal from her childhood. Stuffed animal people gotta stick together.
If Pig had come to life to lead me on a fantastical journey in an alternate world filled with monsters and magic, I’d want him to be like Mr. Drippy. Mr. Drippy is gruff yet endearing, helpfully sarcastic with a slightly elevated sense of importance but at the same time, conscious of the fact that this is Oliver’s show. He has adorable idle animations, he has the ability to heal your party in battle and he looks fetching in a swimsuit or a little winter coat. If all AI companions were like Mr. Drippy I’d be much happier about being saddled with AI companions. Except for you, Keith David. Don’t ever change.
There comes a time in the game when it looks like you and Mr. Drippy are parting ways. I’ll admit that Oliver took it a lot better than I did. He realized it was the right thing to do. I kept trying to barge through Mr. Drippy’s throngs of admirers to shackle him to my side. Oliver understood that Mr. Drippy deserved to be with family, especially after all of those years imprisoned in doll form. I hemmed, I hawed and when I finally went to my ship and the game goaded me with a “Do you really want to abandon Mr. Drippy and maybe collapse into an emotional wreck you baby bunting, you?” (I’m paraphrasing here) I said no. I went back to get Mr. Drippy but he wouldn’t come. Defeated, I got on the ship. Spoiler alert — Mr. Drippy followed. Yes, he needed to be with family, but I was his family. Well not me, but Oliver. There’s a time to stop acting like a kid and a time for putting aside kid things and Ni No Kuni understand that those events don’t always go together.
Next week: all the glims!
Click here for the previous Ni No Kuni entry.
Brandon Cackowski-Schnell can’t think of a clever biography. He plays games and then he writes and podcasts about them. Insert joke here.