Now that Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom has been released and been around for a week, it feels like a good time to explore some of the deeper themes. The game clearly has some ties to the original Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, but the greatest connections are the repeating themes. While we are not following the exact same paths and this is an original story, many of the same sorts of plot points appear. These connections act as defining points of sorts, giving people an opportunity to see commonalities without having the same story retold. It is an interesting way to frame things.
Editor’s note: spoilers lay ahead for both Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. (Images that do not show spoilers are being used intentionally.)
Let’s go ahead and start with one of the biggest reveals that comes as Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom draws to a close. It is Roland’s identity and why he is here. The heart of the Ni no Kuni series is that there is another world that is connected to our own. Roland is spirited away here after the bomb hits the unknown, modern city. Just as Oliver had a counterpart in the original game, the villain Shadar, Roland’s is the Doloran, the villain who is going to each nation and taking their kingsbonds. This is why Roland is brought to the other world. It is the connection between the two that makes it happen. Naturally, Doloran tries to exploit this and use it to convince Roland to come to his side, suggesting their alliance and success could cause both of their kingdoms and lives to be restored to their former glory.
Okay, next up is Lofty! This is another interesting callback. He is unusual for a Kingsmaker. He is rather small and tiny, accompanies the group at all times and has a rather unique accent. He sort of sounds and looks like the fairies from the original Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, right? That is because, like Drippy, he actually is a fairy! The other Kingsmakers are people who willingly sacrificed themselves to fuse with a great beast, and he is not. That explains the Welsh accent!
There is even the concept that the villains may have good intentions, but are executing their plans in the absolute worst way. Shadar wanted to bring an end to war in Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, something that is Evan’s exact goal in unifying all the kingdoms in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. In the first game, Cassiopea, the White Witch, cast Ashes of Resurrection in the hopes of resurrecting her kingdom of Nazcaa and people. This of course went wrong, and led to her wanting to destroy the current world and create a new one. Doloran lost his entire kingdom of Allegoria as a result of falling in love with his kingsmaker, Alisandra, and is attempting to revive, restore and reawaken what was lost by taking the kingsbonds to bring Alisandra and Allegoria back. In each instance, we have villains who were ordinary people who suffered and are trying to get back what they once had, but are failing and hurting others in the process.
And what about the element of time travel? In the original Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Oliver learns the spell Breach Time and uses that to travel into the past. While our party never travels through time, there is an instance of time travel present. Ferdinand, the great king that united the world in the legend Boddly spoke of, is actually Evan’s son. She is a seer, as well as a librarian. The young boy that Evan keeps speaking with after major events in his dreams is this Ferdinand, a young man born with the ability to send his mind through time. The wisdom he shares with Evan is Evan’s own, passed down to him. He is using these opportunities to learn from his father, see things as they happened and become a better king.
Having these returning concepts may be a comfort to people playing Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. It is tying things back to elements that set this series apart. By having a protagonist tied to an antagonist, we get to see how people with similar backgrounds, but different situations, can live their lives. Keeping fairies on hand encourages its fantastic nature. Having villains we can sympathize with makes it easier to understand motives. And as for time travel, well, it is an interesting way to offer a greater view of this unusual world. Keeping these themes is a good way to make a name for itself.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is available for the PlayStation 4 and PC.