Ni No Kuni for DS: How Level 5 Added Magic to Every Copy
The charm of Ni no Kuni is hard to resist, especially with the talent of Studio Ghibli and Level 5. Before the release of “The Wrath of the White Witch” on PS3, the game made an appearance on the more modest Nintendo DS. What made this version so special was that each copy included its own authentic magic manual.
In September 2008, Famitsu announced “Ni no Kuni: The Another World,” an RPG for Nintendo DS to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Level-5. Two years later, the official name was changed to “Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn” and then released on PS3 as “Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.” The DS version provided a unique experience with over 350 reasons to prefer playing it on a laptop.
These two games shared cinematics and history, but the development adapted to the possibilities of each console, offering a different experience for players.
The Nintendo DS version had its own unique features. The developers wanted to explore and enhance the possibilities of the dual screens and offer unique elements to the players. The commercial success of the DS also played a significant role in making it a priority for the studio.
A special feature of “Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn” was the inclusion of the Wizard’s Companion, a magic manual with seven chapters and 352 pages. This was not just an art book but a carefully crafted volume filled with illustrations, puzzles, and clues with the special touch of Studio Ghibli.
The Wizard’s Companion also contained clues and riddles that were directly referenced during dialogues, as well as spells that players could use in the game by tracing them with the stylus on the touch screen. Some content in the Wizard’s Companion never appeared in the PS3 version, making it even more special for DS players.
The Western release of “Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch” for PS3 included a Wizard’s Companion with changes from the one released in Japan. While the PS3 edition had similarities, the Wizard’s Companion was a part of the identity of the Nintendo DS game and was included with each cartridge.
The book continued to be present in subsequent versions of the game, but having the physical Wizard’s Companion in hand provided a unique and special experience for Nintendo DS players.
Despite the evolution of the Ni No Kuni saga, the special charm of “Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn” will always be remembered as a game with a genuine book of magic that was a unique and cherished addition to the Nintendo DS version.
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