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|Location(s)||Green Demon Scrolls|
North Ryoshima Coast
Imps are followers of Orochi and are seen as cheeky and monkey-like musicians. For the most common types of Imps listed below, their masks display katakana symbols that rank their power according to the first line of the archaic Iroha poetic sequence:
i ro ha ni ho he toThe gatekeeper in the Moon Cave's sub-basement has the katakana チ for the syllable "chi", beginning the second line of the poem. The other non-combatant imps have the katakana リ for the syllable "ri" except for the merchants, who have the kanji 品 meaning "merchandise".
chi ri nu ru wo (etc.)
Amaterasu meets the first merchant imp in the mid/upper levels of the Moon Cave; like all the imps encountered outside of the Demon Scrolls, the merchant is fooled by her mask into thinking she is a fellow imp. The same is true of the merchant imp at the top level of the Moon Cave, where Amaterasu can do some last-minute shopping before confronting Orochi.
Two more merchant imps appear in two later dungeons: Oni Island and Wawku Shrine. Without her paper mask, they instantly recognize her as the sun god and make a short speech about being unafraid and willing to do battle, a "battle" consisting of normal sales interactions. Since Oni Island is a single-tour dungeons, it's unknown what became of the imp there afterward or if it was destroyed with Oni Island, although the Ōkami Official Complete Works shows an image of most of the game's merchants having a banquet together.
The imps make one final appearance during the end credits when Amaterasu strolls by a benign band of imp musicians partying (mimicking the group of imps in Hana Valley during the game).
Ōkami Official Complete Works entry
"They all started out looking much more distinct and unique, but settled into these current apearances through the effects of development. Personally, I though the Black Imp's appearance in the image scroll was very powerful. I remember thinking how unexpected the motions applied by Utsunomiya were to me.
This was the very first demon I designed. Physically, I based him on a monkey, and I have emotional stock in this guy since he and I went through a lot of trial and error together as my first demon. I tried to bring the influences from the Blue Demon depicted in the image scrolls from the Pearl Hermitage Archive of Daitokuji in Kyoto, since it was my first demon and I wanted a smooth transition for him." [Sawaki]
- Main article: Green Imp
In Ōkamiden, they're once again the weakest Imps, but they now attack with a large paddle or can throw fruit-like bombs at Chibiterasu if he is too far away.
- Main article: Red Imp
In Ōkamiden, they ride on tops and charge around the battlefield. Hitting the Imp enough will stun it and allow the destruction of its top. After that it's much weaker and uses attacks similar to those of the Green Imp.
- Main article: Yellow Imp
In Ōkamiden, they now wield a kendama toy with a skull attached to it which they can use to fly. They can also fire skulls from the toy to attack or just attack with the kendama. They are difficult to defeat when flying, as their projectiles can only be deflected back at them from the ground. If this is accomplished, however, they become stunned and easy to dispatch.
- Main article: Blue Imp
Blue Imps are the fourth kind of Imp encountered. They are first encountered in Kusa Village. They fly around on paper gliders and have only one attack, shooting blue projectiles from a flute in their mouths. They will crash if Power Slash or Galestorm is used on them, making them easier to attack. When they crash, they will get their head caught in the ground and will be immobile while they are trying to free it. However, once free, they will immediately become airborne by producing new kites. Their health is on par with Yellow Imps, but they are more vulnerable to attack.
In Ōkamiden they have the ability to burrow underground, instead of flying, and attack with bubbles or with sharp claws on the ends of their fingers. They are able to use different varieties of bubbles to attack: a red bubble is explosive and will damage Chibiterasu if he comes into contact with it. A blue bubble will trap Chibiterasu inside it and will cause him to constantly lose health until he breaks free. Blue Imps can be stunned using Cherry Bomb or, if they are using a bubble to float, with Power Slash.
- Main article: Black Imp
In Ōkamiden, they are scarecrow-like demons made of several floating pieces. They attack be sending pieces of themselves at Chibiterasu. Sending back the thrown pieces with Power Slash will stun them (although this does not work if the head is the part which is thrown), or, more effectively, they can be hit with Power Slash and then abruptly pulled back into one whole piece by Magnetism, which stuns them. Although encountered late, they are not necessarily the most difficult Imps as they can be stunned rather easily.
- The Imp merchants can be classified as having a neutral alignment as although they are inherently evil beings, they have no hostile intent and have no problems trading with Amaterasu (and later Chibiterasu).
- In the ending credits of Ōkami, a group of seemingly friendly Imps were seen playing their instruments in unison in a field of flowers.
- If left idle in battle for a while, Imps will slap their posteriors to taunt Amaterasu.
- Unlike most demons, Imps are more civilized, and are the only demons that actually talk.
- At the entrance to the Moon Cave, two Imp guards initially thought Amaterasu was a stray wolf, and gave her food. This might suggest that Imps have no real evil intentions toward animals.
- They are obviously not very bright, as when Amaterasu donned the Imp mask as a disguise, they believed her to be a fellow Imp, despite her lupine figure.
- Imps are based on the amanojaku of Japanese folklore.