Ori And The Will Of The Wisps’ Story Was Reverse-Engineered From The Final Boss Fight

Shriek is a great antagonist. She’s scary to look at, she kills without remorse, and she has a tragic backstory that makes you sympathize with her so much you just wanna give her a hug before she claws your eyes out.

And she’s also the whole reason why Ori and the Will of the Wisps became a game in the first place.

If it wasn’t for Shriek, the Ori sequel would have no story, according to Moon Studios art director Jeremy Gritton.

“Moon is a very open studio. You don’t get put in a box and told, ‘You do this thing.’” Gritton said in a recent interview with TheGamer. “I had been doing some simple sketches for bosses, and I had this idea for a petrified owl that would walk on its wings. Its wings would be hardened like they were calcified and twisted into these stilts, and it would try to stomp on Ori.

“I had drawn a storyboard for the sequence, and the team was excited, so I worked with an animator and we made a sequence that showed that storyboard in an animatic. By the time everybody had seen that we were thinking ‘Ok, this is really cool, we want to develop this.’”

But rather than make Shriek just this random boss that Ori had to defeat, she became a central character in the game’s plot. “With Shriek, the idea for that character was actually born from the idea of the boss fight, and reverse-engineering it from there in terms of the story.”

Shriek appears again and again throughout Ori and the Will of the Wisps’ story. A terrifying figure that sets herself up as the main antagonist from the very beginning, you actually learn about Shriek’s tragic past as you continue playing. Spoilers for those who haven’t yet played it, but Shriek turns out to be an ugly duckling figure, born with hideously disfigured wings that led to her being shunned by the rest of her kind.

Defeating Shriek to bring light back to the forest is the central arc of Will of the Wisps, and one that wouldn’t have existed at all without those original boss-fight sketches.

We’ve got some other neat tidbits about Ori, such as how Moon Studios wants Ori in Smash and how there was a lot of cut content from the final games. Go check ‘em out.

NEXT: Metroidvania Brawler FIST Lets You Play As An Angry Bunny With A Mechanical Fist

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Actually a collective of 6 hamsters piloting a human-shaped robot, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. Passionate about gaming from a young age, those hamsters would probably have taken over the world by now if they didn’t vastly prefer playing and writing about video games instead.

The hamsters are so far into their long-con that they’ve managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and used that to convince the fine editors at TheGamer that they can write “gud werds,” when in reality they just have a very sophisticated spellchecker program installed in the robot’s central processing unit.

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