Ori and the Blind Forest, a game made by Moon Studios, is filled with gorgeous visuals, beautiful music, and interesting gameplay. These attributes make it one of the best games on the Xbox One. But besides being a fantastic game to play through, Ori and the Blind Forest portrays ideas that make the total experience much deeper. Ori and the Blind Forest is a game that teaches anyone who plays it fundamental principles and lessons about nature.

Death in Ori and the Blind Forest

One of the most important parts of nature is the reciprocating relationship between life and death. Through its gameplay and story, Ori and the Blind Forest teaches players that life and death are inseparable and inevitable.

Within the first half-hour of gameplay, the player is introduced to the character of Naru. The player will connect with Naru and Ori as they live together in a blooming forest for many seasons. That is until the player experiences the heartbreaking death of Naru. Naru’s death is meant to have a huge emotional effect on Ori as a character, as well as on the player.

ori and the blind forest

The relationship between Naru and Ori is heartwarming.

This isn’t the only time death is shown in the game. We see Kuro the Owl experience the deaths of her babies. We are told of the near extinction of the spider-like Gumon clan. And we are shown a scene where Ori nearly dies in front of the Great Spirit Tree of Nibel. We are invited to have a feeling of sadness about death, but also feel acceptance when characters have passed on. Death is something all living things, human and animal alike, will have to witness at some point. And everyone will have to  gather the strength to keep living. Ori and the Blind Forest presents death in a way that makes the player really feel a sense of loss, but also gather the will to keep going and continue the story.

Animal Nature Is Not Evil in Ori and the Blind Forest

People can learn many things when observing the behavior of animals. Ori and the Blind Forest makes it abundantly clear that living creatures are never completely evil. Even the most vicious creatures in the animal kingdom don’t kill or destroy without a clear and just motivation behind their actions. In the game, Kuro the Owl is a dark creature that causes many of the hardships of other characters. However, it’s also shown that her actions are motivated by the loss of her young, a small group of baby owls that are killed before the events of the game. This causes Kuro’s sadness and rage. And those feelings cause her to wildly attack the Great Tree of Nibel, whose actions accidentally took her babies away from her. During the game, animals scattered in every area Ori explores have become corrupted because of Kuro’s actions. These animals will attack Ori not out of hatred towards him, but out of their need to survive in a forest that is becoming sick and losing its vitality. Yet the actions of Kuro and all the animals in the game aren’t pure evil. Instead, they’re desperate reactions to the hardships they have endured.

ori and the blind forest

Even the dark Kuro is responding to her natural instincts.

The Terrible Beauty of Nature in Ori and the Blind Forest

A characteristic portrayed in many wildlife television shows is the majestic yet ferocious persona of nature itself. Animals and natural events can have a frightening and destructive appearance, yet still can be seen as beautiful. This is shown in the section where Ori and her spirit friend Sein go to cleanse the waters of the forest of Nibel. Both Ori and Sein must escape from a giant tree that is rapidly filling with pure water rushing towards the sky. The visuals of the escape scene, in conjunction with the music, evoke a feeling of admiration and a sense of urgency to survive. This is very similar to viewing a giant thunderstorm and recognizing the awesome power and wonder of it, yet still wanting to stay a safe distance away. This section of the story shows that elements of nature can be powerfully scary and yet still maintain an element of beauty and majesty at the same time.

The Power of Nature in a Game

Ori and the Blind Forest is an E-rated game with a deep story and fun gameplay that offers so much more than is obvious at first glance. Playing the game can offer a new appreciation and understanding of nature, which can be applicable to all facets of our lives. While it may not be the same as a “National Geographic” special, Ori and the Blind Forest provides a unique experience with just as much genuine substance about nature.

This article was written by

Jakejames Lugo is a freelance writer who has worked in video game journalism for more than four years. He has worked with various websites including IGN, The Koalition, and Shifted2u. Jakejames loves playing games with a good story and a fun world to be immersed in.