Omori is an astounding visual and listening experience. Released in 2020 after over six years of development, this sweet and dark role-playing video game quickly won the hearts of players.
The game follows the story of a young boy named Sunny and his dreamworld counterpart Omori. Throughout the game it reveals childhood memories between him and his friends, and the dark histories that lead them to the current day.
This game presents its story with elegance and care with a stunning and diverse soundtrack to match.
Game Overview and Themes
The game opens up in the world of whitespace– the divide between Sunny and Omori’s worlds. Blank and isolated, whitespace gives the player a moment of reflection and pause before entering and reentering the story.
The player is then introduced to the world of Omori. Which is bright, colorful and surrounded by loving friends and cute enemies. Throughout this side of the game, Omori faces his greatest fears with his friends by his side.
Omori’s soundtrack is light, airy and playful. It really leans into childhood nostalgia and curiosity.
Meanwhile Sunny’s world is grim, lonely, and lost. In the real world the divide between his friends is great. This side of the game is spent trying to mend the connections between him and his friends before Sunny moves away from his childhood home in three days.
Sunny’s soundtrack is mundane and grey. Both the sound and graphic design in this world captures emotions of uncertainty, fear, and regret unlike any other content I have experienced.
Went growing up, there is often times a wish to go back to the simpler days of childhood. Omori is a game that captures this unspoken emotion beautifully.
The juxtaposition between Sunny in the current world and Omori in a childhood state is the foundation of the game– the soundtrack follows suit with explorative, dynamic contrast.
A Deep Dive into the Soundtrack
Starting off with the opening track “White Space”, this is a simple, clean start to the experience. It gives no clues to the musical themes to come. It takes on a very classic 8-bit videogame sound. I think this track is a great, simple start to such a complex web of themes and experiences in Omori.
Looking at some of the tracks in Omori’s dream world, some of my favorites include “By Your Side.”, “Three Bar Logos” and “Chaos Assembly”.
“By Your Side.” is a sweet, delicate tune played when interacting with Omori’s sister Mari. Without flare or complexity, this song captures emotions of comfort and security.
It is easy to hear and see how much detail and care went into the production of this game. Each track has a purpose and emotion tied to it. The soundtrack holds such a complex variety of feelings in relatively simple sounds.
Another great example of this is “Three Bar Logos”. This one is played in special combat sequences and really captures feelings of fun and teamwork.
Most of the combat in the game is done in a team of four: Omori and his three friends Hero, Aubrey and Kel.
The player has to utilized each of their unique abilities to juggle between three emotion types: happy, sad and angry. I think all of the combat tracks do a great job of making combat interesting and support the theme of teamwork immensely.
“Chaos Assembly” is another great example of this. It ties in themes of upbeat teamwork with the underlying fear of combat. It pulls background from some of the darker tracks in the album that I will discuss more below.
Real World Soundtrack
Taking a look at some of the tracks in Sunny’s Realm, some of my distinct favorites are “Where We Used to Play”, “I Prefer My Pizza 90% Grease” and “Just Leave Me Alone”.
I am simply in love with “Where We Used to Play”. This track plays when walking around the hometown and childhood park of Sunny.
Although this track is just simple piano and delicate recorder, I think it is one of the best tracks on the soundtrack because it brings innate nostalgia to the listener. Especially in the context of Sunny’s world, this track is perfect.
“I Prefer My Pizza 90% Grease” is a joyful pocket in the midst of Sunny’s world. This track plays in Kel’s favorite pizza restaurant. It is a refreshing upbeat tune in the overarching uncertainty of Sunny’s world.
“Just Leave Me Alone” is one of the must distinct on the album.
I would define this 40 second track as a fusion of metal, hard rock and electronic grunge. It is loud and boisterous. It evokes feelings of unbridled frustration and chaotic fear, which is perfect for the context in the game. I won’t go into the context because it contains a minor spoiler, but this is a moment where the soundtrack truly shines. It makes a great moment in the story into something spectacular.
There are moments in the game where Omori is completely isolated from his friends, whitespace, dreamworld and real world. These moments are when he is confronting great fears or making a profound discovery.
This is where the soundtrack really shines.
“Acrophobia”, “Arachnophobia” and “Fade” are indescribably eerie. All three use simple sound techniques to build an inescapable atmosphere of isolation and fear.
They are each so distinct from any of the other tracks in the game and they appear at unexcepted moments throughout the experience.
These soundtracks are so desolate and dark that it innately makes the player miss the sounds and sights in both the dreamworld and real world.
Omori is an extraordinary video game experience with thoughtful creation and deliberate soundtrack.
In this blog I only mentioned a handful of the extraordinary work and dedication that went into making this soundtrack– They created a total of 179 unique tracks totally in at 3 hours and 45 minutes of listening.
In this blog I only discussed on tracks in part one of the Omori soundtrack. If you would like to listen to tracks off part two and part three, you can find them here.
Another component I really appreciated is there are many endings the player can have. It gives decisions made in the game gravity and an incentive to replay once completed.
Also, there is a wide variety of side quests within the game that add a lot of body and diversity to the game play. Omori has so much content and enriching character.
If you are interested in playing Omori, it is available for both the Nintendo Switch and desktop via Steam.