Each battle in Okami, whether it be caused by a scripted trigger, a devil gate, or a demon scroll, includes a predetermined selection of enemies. While the enemies spawn in random locations within the battle barrier, we can still construct set strategies for each fight to defeat every enemy quickly and efficiently.
- Divine Instrument (DI) - Ammy's basic attack in general. In most categories, Reflectors or Glaives are used, while Rosaries are rarely used as the main weapon.
- When using glaives, it is often preferred to use charged aerial glaive attacks, as the landing hitbox has 4 hits dealing multiplied damage. This can be combo'd into a sub-weapon attack. Reflectors are generally better used on the ground, as their aerial attack stalls Ammy and has poor range.
- Sub-weapon (SW) - Ammy's secondary attack. In categories which use a SW, the Life Beads (from Crimson Helm) or Tundra Beads (purchased for NG+ saves) are used due to their extremely high burst damage at close range.
- Power Slash (PS) - As a responsive brush technique able to deal damage to multiple targets at once, PS sees a great deal of use in all categories. It is also the most common Floral Finisher by far, for NG AB and Top Dog.
- Cherry Bomb (CB) - A more challenging brush power which deals massive damage to adjacent targets. CB's see a great deal of use, especially against single targets. Many enemies which are immune or resistant to PS can be damaged or made vulnerable by CB. The primary downside is the skill required to consistently hit a moving target with the potentially-delayed explosion.
- Exorcism Slips (Small/Medium/Large) (S/M/L Slips or ExS/M/L) - Battle items which hit all targets in the battle regardless of distance or visibility. Many enemies can be hit by slips even when immune to all other sources of damage, though some enemies are not damaged by them until made vulnerable some other way. They are used pervasively in runs, limited primarily by their scarcity in NG.
- Steel Fist Sake (SFS) - A battle item which significantly increases the damage of DI, SW, and CB, but not PS. These see a great deal of use when slips are not efficient or effective. SFS + CB's is an extremely common strategy in NG runs.
- Gold Dust - An optional item which permanently increases the power of most weapons by about 30-40%. In categories where slips and SFS are more scarce, such as NG AB or Top Dog, gold dust sees limited use. It can be acquired from many sources, but is usually purchased in Agata Forest, as that is the cheapest and fastest source.
- Inkfinity Stone - A battle item which grants unlimited ink for 60 seconds, not including cutscenes. Used in and out of fights when a large number of brush techniques are used.
- Ink Praise Upgrade - In and out of battle, using praise to upgrade Ammy's ink capacity can be used to refill when low or empty on ink. This can be used as a substitute for Inkfinity Stones in some cases.
- String of Beads - A NG+ exclusive reward for collecting all 100 Stray beads, this Holy Artifact grants a 10x damage multiplier, invincibility, and unlimited ink, making most fights in NG+ runs trivial.
- Clearing the results screen - When both normal and boss fights end, the results screen can be cleared roughly 1 second faster by pressing the pause or bark buttons, depending on the version. Runners generally mash the button to clear as soon as possible.
- Building Dash - At the end of most fights, there is some downtime before the results screen clears. During this time, you can dash in circles to build gold dash. If the fight ends with a cutscene, you can jump before the cutscene starts to store Ammy's dash.
- Miscellaneous Techniques
- Covering with Ink - Both NPC's and enemies can be covered with ink by drawing a single stroke over them, as long as that stroke isn't straight and horizontal enough to be recognized as Power Slash. Usually a short up/down stroke is used. This causes many enemies to start a special animation where they shake off the ink. In battle, this is only really useful against Yellow Imps, where it prevents them from digging underground immediately, and makes them vulnerable to Cherry Bomb. It can also be used on Mushi's Mom when digging the turnips, as it provides an equal 4 second stall to PS'ing the pot on her head.
- Dot Trees - Bloom gives Ammy the ability to grow trees by drawing a dot on Bloom-able ground. This consumes one ink pot, and up to 3 trees can be grown at once. They disappear after a few seconds. When they grow, the trees will deal a small amount of damage to enemies on top of them. The trees also have solid collision, and can be air-tackle-bounced off of. This technique is almost useless, though it does allow you to instantly stun enemy cherry blossoms without having to reflect their fruit.
- Ink Bullet - The Snarling Beast, Seven Strike, and Eighth Wonder grant Ammy this Brush Technique when they are equipped. By drawing dots on enemies, they will be hit for a tiny amount of damage. Multiple bullets can be drawn, increasing the ink cost. Because of the extremely low damage output, this technique is virtually useless, except for being the fastest way of hitting Orochi in the Moon Cave at the very start of the fight. This saves a fraction of a second compared with PS to start the cutscene where Orochi loses his invincible barrier.
During all battles, except boss battles, Ammy is trapped by a cylindrical wall of infinite height. The diameter of the cylinder is constant within a battle. For any individual battle, the diameter is predetermined, but different battles (e.g. from different Demon Scrolls) may have different diameters.
For battles triggered via Demon Scroll specifically, the barrier will have glowing cracks at ground level. If one of these cracks is hit 5 times, it will turn into a hole in the barrier which can be walked/jumped through to escape the battle. When this happens, the battle ends and the scroll reappears. When a battle is escaped this way, Ammy's level of Godhood is set to -1. Since Demon Scrolls are almost never required or intentionally initiated in runs, runners try to escape them immediately.
- Trigger Volumes - Throughout the game are battles initiated when Ammy comes into contact with some volume of space in a map. These zones are generally called "trigger volumes", and come in a variety of shapes. Most trigger volumes for battles are cylinders, with a defined top and bottom, meaning they can be avoided by going around, above, or below them. Most casually-required battles are initiated via trigger volume. Many of these battles first trigger a cutscene, which is followed by a battle. This includes those which introduce new enemies, such as the Ubume Fight in Ryoshima Coast. Others immediately initiate the battle when the trigger volume is entered, such as with the repeat Yellow Imp and Campfire Fights in Hana Valley. For the latter type, the trigger volume is always smaller than the size of the battle barrier itself. Each trigger volume is associated with a specific selection of enemies.
- Demon Scrolls - Present in many maps, Demon Scrolls will randomly wander within a cylindrical boundary, which corresponds to the size of the Battle Barrier. If it is nighttime or Ammy is in a dungeon, and Ammy doesn't have the Peace Bell artifact equipped, demon scrolls will chase Ammy as soon as she enters the boundary. They will cease chasing the instant Ammy leaves. Demon Scrolls are never required for progression, outside of grinding Yen or completing Wanted List sidequests, so they are usually avoided by minimizing time spent in their boundary.
- The root locations of Demon Scrolls on each map is set per map, with additional scrolls appearing at night on over-world maps. The scrolls will wander randomly, but never past their respective boundaries, as mentioned above. For any given scroll, there is a set selection of enemies which it contains. In certain cases, the exact selection may change after certain story events or due to Wanted List sidequests.
- Demon scrolls come in different colors depending on location. Early-game locations contain green scrolls, which can be temporarily immobilized by PS, though this usually isn't worth the time it takes. Ryoshima and North Ryo have red scrolls which can are immune to base PS, but are affected by PS2. Late game areas have gold scrolls which require PS3 to stun. Inside dungeons, regardless of early/late game, there are blue scrolls which are not affected by PS at all.
- Devil Gates - These are essentially small trigger volumes demarcated by cursed gates. They are easy to see and avoid, but are sometimes required or necessary to defeat. Almost all Devil Gates have some specific over-world change associated with beating them, such as opening a Mermaid Spring or revealing a cursed patch.
- Boss Battles - Bosses are always triggered via cutscene and take place in closed arena maps, instead of having Battle Barriers. These arenas can only be escaped by defeating the boss.
Besides boss battles, all battles have a set selection of enemies, but those enemies spawn randomly at any position within the battle barrier. Enemies can even spawn inside each other. The overall distribution of enemies at the start of a battle is sometimes referred to as the "spread". If enemies spawn far apart or off-screen, it can be difficult or impossible to hit multiple enemies with PS or CB, losing time.
At the end of all battles, you are given a grade on both time and damage to beat the battle, as well as an overall grade which is the rounded-down average of those two. Generally, the time grade is fairly forgiving, and following established speed strats will earn a perfect grade for time. The damage grade will only be perfect if Ammy isn't damaged at all during the battle, except during the Yami fight which allows Ammy to be hit a few times and retain a perfect grade. Because the overall grade is rounded down, you will only receive an overall perfect grade if you take no damage.
The overall grade determines the bonus yen multiplier received at the end of the fight. At max (cherry blossom grade), the bonus is 100%, meaning Ammy's net earnings are double what she picks up in the battle itself. At the second highest grade (green tree) the bonus is 70%. The bonus decreases further with lower grades.
Each type of enemy drops a specific amount of yen when it dies. If an enemy dies while Ammy has full ink, it will drop an additional 100 yen. Only yen collected before the battle results appear will count toward the bonus, but Ammy can still pick up any remaining yen on the ground during and after the results overlay.
This table shows the base amount of yen dropped by the types of enemies typically encountered in runs, before any bonuses:
For the full list, see Enemy Data.
Bosses, as well as certain story encounters such as Waka, do not drop Yen directly. Instead, the battle ends as soon as the final blow is dealt, followed by a cutscene, followed by a separate results screen on the scroll transition. Each such fight gives a set base reward, along with the same bonus multiplier available for regular fights. In practice, one can get double these values on almost all of these fights, with the exception of Orochi, who is difficult to beat without taking damage in many cases.
|Orochi (Moon Cave)||10,000|
|Lechku & Nechku||80,000|
|Ark Bosses (Each)||40,000|
Vulnerability and Invincibility
Various enemies can become more or less susceptible to damage depending on their state. For example, Red Imps become completely invincible when they guard with their instruments. Many enemies can turn gray if their attacks are avoided or if they are hit enough times, which makes them take extra damage. Some enemies, such as Red and Blue Ogres, have partial invincibility, which can be bypassed
Each type enemy has a set amount of health, and there is no RNG in damage dealt, so we can plan combinations of attacks to most quickly defeat each type of enemy. Note that the order of attacks sometimes matters, due to triggering vulnerability or invincibility. Here are some examples:
- Green Imp - 2 PS's / PS, DI / DI, PS
- Red Imp - PS to force guard, PS to break guard, DI, PS
- Wanted List Red Imp - DI until it guards, 3 PS's
- Yellow Imp - Ink, CB, DI, PS