It is impossible not to surrender to the charm of Ni no Kuni. Not only for his own successes, but for his way of bringing the talent of a Studio Ghibli to video games that has thrilled entire generations with that spatial touch of the most inspired Level 5. However, even before we knew the wrath of the White Witch On PS3, its delicious world was presented on a much more modest Nintendo DS machine but with a special claim: the copies included an authentic magic manual.
First things first: in September 2008, the project that will unite the talent of both studios was announced through Famitsu: Ni no Kuni: The Another World. An RPG for Nintendo DS that would commemorate the tenth anniversary of Level-5. Practically two years later, just a few months after its launch, two announcements will be made: its official name will become Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn and the following year it will be released on PS3 under the name Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Now, there were more than 350 reasons to prefer playing it on a laptop.
As we already saw in other games, such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone or later in Dragon Quest, rather than offering the same game adapted to two platforms, these were two games that share cinematics and history, but whose development adapts to the possibilities of each console. In fact, more than a port, both games can be considered two ways of experiencing that RPG with more than a year of difference.
And although there are changes regarding time travel, contextual elements or the presence of characters like Pea, Cassiopeia or Denny; The basis of the story and the protagonists is the same: after the loss of a loved one, the young Oliver He travels to another world that mixes fantasy and reality accompanied by a strange being. With the help of him, and that of other friends and beings that he will meet throughout the adventure, he will begin a journey to become a magician.
The attraction of the Sony desktop was its visual section, of course, and the truth is that even in its most recent versions for current systems it is a joy. Something so good that it would have been almost a sin not to get it out of Japan. The Nintendo DS version, however, was the priority for the studio due to several reasons:
– From the outset, the developers wanted to explore more and better the possibilities of those dual screens to offer unique elements to the player.
– In addition, it was a more comfortable system when it came to carrying out the essential elements of the RPG.
– And we are not going to deny it: the spectacular commercial success of that laptop, which continues to be among the best sellers today, played completely in its favor.
That said, the greatest attraction to get hold of Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn (or the Nintendo DS’s Ni No Kuni) was not only that it would arrive a year before its PS3 counterpart, but that the copies were accompanied by the Wizard’s Companion, an exquisite magic manual of seven chapters and 352 pages.
That was not an art book like those that accompany current collector’s editions, but a volume edited with very special care, with finishes that made it look like a volume from a fantasy world and full of illustrations, puzzles and clues with the special touch of Studio Ghibli.
And most important of all: as the protagonist of the adventure, in the Wizard’s Companion we discovered the clues or were proposed riddles that were given to us directly during the dialogues (referring to specific pages).
And, of course, the spells that we would later use in the game itself by making the traces with the stylus on the touch screen.
In addition, of course generous files and databases on everything related to this trip we are taking with Oliver. Some, in fact, never appeared in the PS3 version.
At this point it is worth making a distinction: in the West a Wizard’s Edition for PS3 was released Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch which included a copy of the Wizard’s Companion with changes from the one released in Japan.
Here you can see the similarities and differences between the two, but while in the PlayStation game it could be considered a guide, in the Nintendo DS game it was part of the identity of the game and a copy was included with each cartridge. What’s more, some puzzles were solved with the book in hand, making the game more special.
Logically, this book was also present within the PS3 game (and subsequent versions) since it began with a single spell and little by little we completed it as the adventure progressed. And although it is a huge detail, it is not exactly the same as having the Wizard’s Companion in the hands.
To the saga Ni No Kuni It continued to evolve, although without Studio Ghibli after its sequel. The last proposal was a Ni no Kuni Cross Worlds, launched in 2022 for Android, iOS and PC and which, despite its attractions, detaches itself from that artisanal charm of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. A game born when instruction manuals began to disappear and, instead of following the trend, its creators gave Nintendo DS players a genuine book of magic.