Omori | Good Morning

Amazing VGM: Good Morning (Omori)

And it looks like another year is coming to a close, another long, frustrating, arduous year. Oh, and I also played and beat Omori a few months ago. I’ve been planning to write a review of it for quite some time, but I kinda also have a shit ton of other games I need to write reviews for. To given the short version of my thoughts, it’s pretty much incredible, enough so that there were some points where I had to consider that it might replace EarthBound as my favorite game of all time. Just think about that… no other game has made me consider that, ever! It’s honestly a shame that this game did not catch on as much as Undertale did, because Omori is honestly a better game, and you all know how much I’ve fangirled over Undertale.

Anyway, I’m keeping with my tradition of ending out each year with an ending theme, I’m going with the more uplifting of Omori’s two ending themes, “Good Morning.” Also there will be spoilers because of the context this plays in.

I will be honest, I don’t find the track on its own especially impressive, more so than how well it fits and the context it’s used in. It plays over the image of Sunny looking out the window of his Mom’s car as they drive to his new home, signifying the end of this chapter of Sunny’s life and signifying new beginnings. The synth used for the melody brings to mind children’s toys, representing the past that Sunny is leaving behind after he’s finally come to terms with the trauma and guilt that’s plagued him for the past four years.

What is noteworthy is the song’s refrain is “one more day,” that comes directly after the Sunny has averted the suicide that happens in the bad ending, thus giving him one more day. The song’s title, “Good Morning” is also all the more meaningful considering it’s a morning that Sunny would not have otherwise gotten to see.

Also of note is that there are lyrics to it, but there isn’t anyone singing them. They instead just kinda display on screen to go along with the melody. There is a video of Bo en and the Omori team singing the lyrics, but the original arrangement doesn’t really lend itself to vocal accompaniment. Thankfully, this is where the fan arrangements come in. I naturally can’t cover every fan remix, as there is a fuck ton of them, but I can cover some of my personal faves.

The first of these comes from Pentapix, and I’ll be honest, I think this is what the original SHOULD have been. I personally find the original a bit too cherry for something that plays after you just left your friends behind after your told them you accidentally killed your sister and kept it a secret from them for four years and you’rr unsure if they’ll forgive you. This remix carries the entire emotional weight of the scenario. The sense of uncertainty and sentimentality, yet the small bit of encouragement and optimism that is necessary. It makes you feel like, despite the emotional pain you’re going through now, things may still get better, and the rest of your life is still ahead of you.

And that arrangement is just breathtaking, every little detail. Do I even need to explain it? You ARE listening to it right?

The next arrangement comes from Kamome Sano, and it’s an instrumental remix with the vocal done via voice synthesizer. Somehow, the robotic vocals add an even greater sense of emotion to this song. The arrangement is a really solid one that I’d probably find myself listening to more than the original, but I think it’s ill fitting for the game itself. Maybe it would fit more in a potential sequel where Sunny finally overcomes agoraphobia and runs a successful gaming blog and is also a girl now and oh shit this is just too on the nose!

Anyway, we now have an arrangement of an arrangement, from MegaBaz. This is a chiptune arrangement of Kamome Sano’s remix. Specifically, the instrumental is made using Konami’s VRC6 chip. This chips was only used in three official releases, those being Mouryou Senki Madara, Esper Dream 2, and the original Japanese version of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. I don’t really have much else to add that I didn’t already say about Kamome’s version, so I’ll just move on to the next one.

So, I’ll just say it. It’s the singing that really makes this one for me. Jami Lynne is very good at singing yes he is. I don’t think the instrumentation is an anything special, but it gets the job done. One other detail I like is the fact that this sounds like it could actually be Sunny’s voice, when all the other ones I covered have female singers. I also like how this arrangement just feels like the musical equivalent of a sunrise. I don’t know how to explain WHY it does, but it is appropriate.

This is one of the few versions I’ve seen to actually add additional lyrics to the song, albeit it at the mid point. These lyrics seem to directly refer to the averted suicide that Sunny avoids by you not getting the bad ending. This version feels particularly sentimental, and I think the slower and calmer pace really adds to that. Also a nice touch is that this is mostly done on piano, which is the instrument that has been used to to represent Sunny’s dead sister Mari. I think that based on all the arrangements of I’ve covered, this is the saddest, really representing the melancholic feeling of moving away from your friends, and all the memories you spent with them in the past few years.

And saving the best for last, by aka Smits, this version is a clever twist on the song in that it’s instead sung from Mari’s perspective. And instead of being a moody, contemplative piece about moving on from past regrets, it’s Mari reaching out from beyond the grave to encourage Sunny to let go of his guilt. When you think of the recurring guilt and despair faced by Sunny, thinking of the things said to him in his fight with Omori, it’s hard to not tear up when hearing it directly from Mari that she’ll always love him, and will always be by his side in his darkest moments.

And the arrangement is brilliant as well, using both the piano to represent Mari, but also adding in violins, to symbolize Sunny finally starting to overcome his guilt and trauma. It’s just, such a powerful arrangement of an already powerful piece of music.

Omori may be the most powerful game I’ve ever played, but part of this is because of how eerily similar Sunny’s entire character arc is to mine. I’ve joked about it before, but I’m not lying when I say that my own lived experience is frighteningly similar, though not a 1-1 match. To try and sum things up as quickly as possible, I to am a severe agoraphobe, to the point that I’m unable to finish college or work a typical job because of it. I have also lost a family member, given that my mom died of liver damage in 2012 due to her dangerous drinking habits, which she managed to keep a secret from me while I was growing up.

I know, this sounds like typical white girl Instagram emotional porn, but things get even more complicated from here. But afterwards, I’ve had to deal with the very real possibility that she may have molested me, and the ensuing trauma that comes from that while not being 100% sure due to the lack of a direct memory. Yet I’ve had recurring nightmares about her doing so for years, and having been talking to my therapist about this for months, and she says I’ve shown all the signs of a typical CSA survivor, and these repressed memories are common.

Despite this, there’s the ensuing sense of uncertainty, yet I clearly have all the trauma typical of someone who was molested, and there’s also the fact that my family cannot know about this because my dad would be completely destroyed by it. Chances are, my mom likely did it while heavily under the influence of alcohol, and that she never wanted any harm to befall me. I can fully tell that my mom struggled with a lot of her own mental issues as well, and lucky me, it looks like I inherited them.

But I’m going to stop this here because this is not a piece about my personal trauma, but it’s also why this game connects to me on such a level. The eventual review will have some very strong words in its favor. Anyway, it looks like it’s the start of a New Year, and it’s time to rise and shine!

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