People going through Ever Oasis may start to wonder what they’re working toward. After all, the game is darker than the advertising and hype suggests. Though, a game where there is only one oasis left in its world and chaos is constantly corrupting everyone and everything should suggest some sort of sadness, but still. This is a game that does a good job of containing everything within the main game. While it is sad to not have a new game plus or ample post game to look forward to, it makes sense.
Editor’s note: while there are no specific spoilers for Ever Oasis, there are some general references to themes and things that happen in the game.
If there’s anyone going into Ever Oasis should know, it is that this is a game about loss and recovery. It begins with the player watching as their home oasis and its chief, your brother, fall to Chaos. You can do nothing to stop it. Your only recourse, after coming to at the last oasis ever, is to partner up with Esna, the last water sprite, to make a new home for everyone who is lost. Your mission is to attempt to restore at least one segment of a dying world.
Throughout the adventure, we’re confronted with the harsh reality of Ever Oasis’ situation. The settlements for creatures like the Drauks, Serkahs, and Lagoras are small and pale in comparison to the one you are building with Esna. We hear about people who have nowhere left to go. We meet people who are close to being lost or are lost already. Even though there is hope in the home we are creating, we are constantly seeing situations where there is nothing we can do. We meet people we just can’t help.
Which makes it appropriate that Ever Oasis’ post game continues to be about recovery. After defeating the final boss and facing his most disheartening minion, we are treated to a scene that shows us all of our efforts did make a difference. We helped not only the people who live in our oasis, but around the entire desert. So, after the credits roll, we get a message about making our oasis a home for even more people. Over ten new villagers can come to your visit after doing your best to make it legendary. You can also find some new items from visiting merchants and complete your compendium.
Even though it is disheartening to not have some major post game or new game plus experience, there’s something about it that fits with Ever Oasis’ philosophy. Once you’ve beaten the game, you are placed in your oasis before you entered the final dungeon or took on the last fight. Your new story mission encourages you to live your life and make the most of it. You can visit Fountain Plaza to enter the last dungeon. You can do everything you may have missed, since there’s no way to miss anything.
It’s a fitting closure for a game where your goal was to provide a respite and restore a community. Ever Oasis provides you with a task at the outset. It then does everything it can to help you reach that goal by the time it ends. And, if you didn’t accomplish everything, that’s fine. It will plop you back at the point before the end, with easy access to a new dungeon and a handful of new villagers who will come and move to your oasis, provided you can make it attractive enough and win their trust. It’s all about making sure you can do it all.
Ever Oasis is available for the Nintendo 3DS.