"A quiet boy whose existence seems overshadowed. Father is an assistant manager of Tenel Village. Mother is a housewife. Seems to be without note, but..." - In-game bio
Ari is the protagonist and controllable character in Okage Shadow King. His shadow becomes possessed by Stan which sets his adventure in motion.
An inversion of typical hero archetypes, Ari is a nondescript boy whom others describe as being gloomy, or the type to blend into the background.
It's exactly his quiet, solitary nature that makes him a perfect empty vessel for Stan, who speaks for or over Ari, when not criticizing him or praising him for subservience.
His actions and motivations are often wildly misinterpreted, even if he's candid about what they are, and many people confuse his thoughts and opinions with Stan's. Despite having dialogue options to be cheerful or sarcastic rather than remaining quiet, other characters frequently ignore what he has to say regardless. These options do give insight into Ari's personality however, which reveal peppiness, a desire to help and be accepted, occasional bitterness, and above all, a very dry wit.
Ari is an unassertive and nondescript teenage boy whose most notable quality is how unremarkable he is. Despite his efforts, he's often overlooked by many around him if not outright ignored.
His lineage is one of adventurers, with his Grandfather having once been widely renowned for his journeys in his youth. When she was a girl, Ari's Mother went on her own adventure as well which is how she came to meet Ari's Father. While not directly stated, it's implied that Ari descends from the legendary hero Hopkins and legendary scholar Pollack as there are graves describing the two in their family cemetery.
He grew up with his family on a significantly larger estate than his peers on the outskirts of Tenel. Even having its own courtyard with a full fountain and private cemetery, their property is larger than both the Town Hall and Tenel Church combined. Although perhaps once great, the mansion appears to be in relative disrepair or disuse as sheets cover most of their furniture and entire rooms are boarded up.
Like his home, the fame and prestige of previous generations in his family has dwindled. Ari is unpopular and not well respected by the townspeople, often being disregarded by others, bullied by peers, or chastised by adults for his unassertive nature.
Ari's only childhood friend is a tomboy named Julia. Julia is described as his friend and later claims to have had a crush on him for his controllable, weak-willed disposition. However, her domineering personality and flippant disregard for what Ari has to say, suggest that her interest in him is actually self-serving.
His pretty and popular little sister Annie only helps to eclipse her passive older brother both socially as well as with their parents. While Annie sneaks out to meet boys, Ari is forced to pick up her slack and miss out on social events while doing chores for his mother or indulging his father's longwinded archaeological speeches.
His life changes course when his sister is attacked by a ghost while on a date and is cursed to speak exclusively in Pig Latin. To cure her, Ari's family appeals to a mystical presence trapped in a jar Ari's father recently acquired. After completing a ceremony in their basement, a demon butler named James appears and explains that his master, the Evil King Stan needs to possess a human shadow as his vessel in order to help Annie. Ghostly servants assess the group's shadows and select Ari as the ideal host.
Stan is released and informs Ari that, as his vessel, he is now his slave and has no choice but to help him establish worldwide dominion. To Stan's dismay, his plot and evil influence are not taken seriously. Ari's parents, grateful for curing Annie, welcome him as a friend of the family. Stan amuses the townspeople who view him as a joke or magic trick and Ari's new "comedy act" results in an uptick in popularity.
This motivates Stan to demonstrate his power but in doing so, unintentionally does good deeds which garners praise for Ari rather than himself, frustrating him further. Stan realizes that his powers have been weakened and learns they were stolen by other so-called Evil Kings. With this in mind, Stan reevaluates his plans and enlists Ari to subjugate rival Evil Kings on their path to world supremacy.
Listed below are Ari's specials. The * indicates that Ari begins with this special. The -------- indicates that this special is learned at a predetermined point in the game. The X indicates Stan will use this special at a random time. Otherwise, the number indicates what level Ari will learn the spell at.
- [*] Overdrive - Intensifies offensive ability (1 Ally).
- 15% HP cost.
- [*] Decoy - All enemies attack Ari (Self).
- No cost.
- [Lvl 4] Mend - Restores 30 HP (1 Ally).
- 4 LP cost.
- [Lvl 8] Night - Casts sleep spell (Enemy Group).
- 1 LP cost.
- [Lvl 12] Blaze Sword - Flaming blade they'll not soon forget (1 Enemy).
- 5% HP cost.
- [Lvl 20] Heal - Restores 80 HP (1 ally).
- 8 LP cost.
- [Lvl 24] Blizzard Sword - Freezes enemies in interesting poses (1 Enemy).
- 5% HP cost.
- [Lvl 32] Revive - Recover from KO (1 Ally).
- 10 LP cost.
- [Lvl 36] Lightning Sword - Lightning edge illuminates opponents (1 Enemy).
- 5% HP cost.
- [Lvl 40] Slumber - Casts sleep spell, strong (1 Enemy).
- 3 LP cost.
- [Lvl 45] Restore - Fully restores HP (1 Ally).
- 12 LP cost.
- [Lvl 52] Life Spark - Revives ally and fully restores HP (1 Ally).
- 20 LP cost.
- [--------] Friendly Thunder - Attribute neutral attack Level 1 (All Enemies).
- 20% HP cost.
- [--------] Friendly Blizzard - Attribute neutral attack Level 2 (All Enemies).
- 40% HP cost.
- [--------] Friendly Inferno - Attribute neutral attack Level 3 (All Enemies).
- 60% HP cost.
- [X] Burning Devil - Fiendish Fire Assault (All Enemies).
- No cost.
- [X] Raging Devil - Rain of Flames on Enemies (All Enemies).
- No cost.
- [X] Crushing Devil - Crushing Fire Assault (1 Enemy).
- No cost.
- In the Japanese version, Ari is named Ruka and his eyes are wide open. This was toned down in the western release.