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7 Tips for getting the best start in Ori and the Will of the Wisps

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Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of the most gorgeous games of this generation, but it can also be very tough. Here’s seven ways in which to put your best spirit foot forward when firing it up…
By Stephen FarrellyPublished on
If you haven’t heard, there’s a new spirit in town, and her name is Ori. She kicks ass and takes (odd) names while doing so. Her job: Protector and Sparky of the light. Part-time Cartographer, part-time Ninja and Parkour expert. Part-time Miner and part-time Seed, Food and Water gatherer. She’s a site Foreperson, a Moki Ambassador. She’s also an expert at Wheels, Cogs and Water Purification. Sometimes she dabbles in Pest-Control, while also seeking out lost Treasures and Items for those less fortunate. She has an adopted Owl sibling but they got separated in a fantasy-style shopping centre, and now she’s on the loose, tracking down her poor lost sister (or brother, it’s not entirely known, nor is it any of our business), and we’re here to help. But first, we’re gonna need some abilities, gear and friends.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is what’s commonly referred to as a “Metroidvania” gaming experience, which means you’ll be revisiting multiple areas, multiple times, and oft each with new abilities allowing you to reach previously unreachable spaces, thus opening up the game-world to you even more and, importantly, progressing both story and character. Here’s seven solid points to make sure you remain in good path-ahead stead. (Love us some alliteration.)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps spirit tree screenshot
YASSS, Spirit Tree in the HOUSE!!!

The Story Path is Your Friend Early on

While a handful of side-quests will give you boosts or even other unique abilities, the core to the game’s main progression remains in its main path. You’ll gain abilities needed to find those side-quests equally, making them essential. You don’t need to rush the game, but for at least its first quarter, we recommend avoiding any of the sidies (that’s what we call them, professionally), and focus on the main path. If you do so, you’ll wind up with Spirit Edge, Double-Jump and Dash -- all of which you’ll need from a base level to start accessing different parts of each biome.

It’s Okay to Farm Spirit Light

Once you open up the ability to Fast Travel, one of your best bets for arming yourself with skills and abilities is to gain Spirit Light -- this is the game’s economy you’ll spend with friendlies throughout the world. Sources of Spirit Light respawn upon each Fast Travel, and often within the world itself if you’ve been away from them long enough. It’s expenny to buy the things you need in Ori and the Will of the Wisps, even though everyone is relying on you to help them, so best to rort that system as best you can. You don’t want to be a Spirit out of <strike>coin</strike> Spirit Light, now do you?

These Spirit Shards are your Friend

Grab these as early on as you can. They’ll help with traversal and discovery.
The game doesn’t do the best job explaining to you that some of these upgrades actually forge your next path...
  • Sticky -- You’ll work out quickly that Ori can keep jumping on the same wall to maintain position, but it’s precarious. Once you purchase Sticky there’s no need to keep jumping at the wall; you just climb it. However, be aware Sticky can put you in sticky situations where you want off the wall immediately, Still, the pros far outweigh any cons.
  • Secret - This game is FULL of secrets. Purchasing this goodie means you’ll spend far less time searching the environment for them and potentially eating up either Energy or Health based on the impediments around you. Plus, you’re bound to find super-helpful dealies throughout.
  • Ultra Bash - The game doesn’t do the best job explaining to you that some of these upgrades actually forge your next path. In the form of Ultra Bash, which lets you break through rocks and walls, this is an ever-important tool to have. It also deals serious damage and damage of an AOE type. Get this as soon as you can, and you’ll be swimming in rewards.

Talk - We’re Living in a Society, People!

Friendly NPCs existed in The Blind of Forest, but they’re aplenty in Will of the Wisps. This means characters like Tokk, Opher, Lupo and the various Moki are there to help. Most of their advice, services or requests are locked to that location, but you’ll glean more from repeat interactions. Funnily enough, many of those will just be repeated word exchange, but every time you do something that changes the world around you, make sure to give them a revisit, you never know what information you might gain with a small check in.

Talk to Grom and Build Wellspring Glades as Quickly as You Can

Grom is a master builder and is a bit of a throwback to the Goron race in the Legend of Zelda series. He wants nothing more than to build out the Wellspring community, help the Moki and see the world around him change for the better. Gentrification aside, he’s only there for good; the caveat is that his Gorlek Ore supplier is nowhere to be seen. Not even answering her phone. But Gorlek Ore is everywhere… hidden. And, he’s stuck at his building site, which means you’re gonna take on both a mining and delivery task. But, building this community as quickly as you can reaps serious rewards. So that “Secret” skill we mentioned above, well, now it’s even more important.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps mini boss-battle
Do we need to call a bug guy?

Opher-ing Good Deals

Visit Opher often, and grab the skills that help and amplify your style of play. Ori is beautifully designed in that each environment beyond the dark ones offers a means of progression. Specifically water. Early on, if you don’t have the Water Breath skill, which is purchasable, you need to use the supplied Sonic-styled bubbles or air pockets to progress, but with enemies all around you, your window for survival is small. Get this and you’ll find numerous parts of the world you didn’t realise existed and when you get underwater dash, having the ability to combat the submersed enemies around you is only a bonus given success means both that they’re no longer there, but also that you got Spirit Light.

Think about Bash Offensively Alongside Traversal

Bash is one of the coolest ways to traverse the game. It’s also a necessary way to traverse, so it’s easy to get caught up in the direction of *that* arrow. But it’s easy to forget that there’s an offensive side to the ability. Whatever you want to jump towards, there’s a rear-end force added to it. This means using enemy projectiles against them is a good way to preserve energy, but be equally aware of what that tradeoff means in the scope of where your arrow is directed. The last thing you want is a crit hit on an enemy resulting in you hurtling into a thicket of Spirit-killing thorns.

/END

The final thought and point here, is to explore. Ori and the Will of the Wisps might look like a side-scrolling platformer, but it’s as much an open-world game as the likes of Subnautica or The Outer Wilds. The game’s ability to give the player a sense of growth and power is second to none, but you might find yourself lost if you don’t pay attention to all of the above. Explore. Experiment with skills and abilities. But most of all, use the world to your advantage -- that’s what it was designed for.
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