OMORI – What happened that night?

CW: Death, Murder, Suicide, Depression

On December 25th, 2020, OMORI released after over 6 years of waiting. I didn’t hear about OMORI ever to my knowledge until I saw it pop up on my friend’s recommends section of Steam. I picked it up because I saw OMOCAT worked on it, and it’s a really good game. I’m surprised I haven’t seen any big coverage for it. The game has been on my mind since finishing it, so I thought I’d do something different with more a fan theory. I will be spoiling the ending of the game in detail, so I highly recommend playing through the game first. It’s a very dark game, and this post will be pretty graphic and morbid. Images used here are from the official OMORI site and OMOCAT’s shop.

Despite Everything
Spoiler Warning for all of OMORI

OMORI‘s story contains a large amount of ambiguity, especially in relation to what when down on the night of Mari’s death. I have only finished the “good ending” route, so all of my information comes from there. During the final dream sequence of the game, we learn the events of that fateful night. Mari and Sonny practiced for their upcoming concert, and Basil hung out with them and took some pictures. At some point in the night, Mari and Sonny got into a fight, Sonny shoved Mari down the stairs, and her head struck the violin at the bottom. After bringing her to a bed, Basil suggests they hang her body to make it look like a suicide. They then do that. So the question is, who killed Mari?

While Basil and Sonny both contributed to Mari’s death, I think Basil actually killed Mari. There’s no decisive evidence in the game either way, so this is all speculation. The first and probably biggest clue is that Mari’s death was ruled a suicide. Clearly this did not happen, but it means that corners ruled that Mari died from being hanged, rather than from blunt trauma. It seems that her injuries from Sonny’s actions were so minor that they weren’t even cause for concern. We know there’s blood and hair on the broken violin, but it probably wasn’t a wound. Mari likely suffered a minor concussion causing her to black out. Even if Mari would’ve died from Sonny’s action, it’s pretty likely she could’ve been saved if they called paramedics instead of hanging her body.

Sonny’s dream interpretation of Basil also enforces the idea that he blames Basil for Mari’s death. To clarify, I’m going to refer to the events of the dream world as Sonny’s thoughts, and Omori is a character in that dream world representing Sonny. In the dream world, we see Basil play a less important role than the other friends before going missing and then fading from the memories of dream characters all together. This is likely a result of Basil constantly reminding Sonny of their actions that night. Sonny wants to remember Mari as a reliable loving sister. This is why Mari remains omnipresent throughout the dream world. Everywhere you go, Mari is right around there. After every tough stretch, Mari will be there to have a nice picnic. Sonny definitely struggles with the idea of maintaining his childhood fun and confronting what he and Basil did, which is why the characters still have to search for Basil. It’s not that wonderful summer without him, but Mari isn’t alive with him. At the end, we see Basil asking if Sonny will forgive him. Omori then goes onto murder Basil. It’d be odd for Sonny to attach so much animosity towards Basil unless Sonny thinks Basil killed Mari. Sonny wants to forgive Basil, but he doesn’t know if he can. Why else would Basil ask for forgiveness?

Now actually determining that Basil killed Mari kind of defeats the purpose of the game. The ambiguity is crucial to the plot actually working. The internal conflict works better because it’s dealing with the complex feeling of Sonny both not knowing if he or Basil killed Mari, and that Basil burdened him with hiding that truth forever. Sonny closes himself off from the world because of the guilt he feels, and he does not look to take responsibility for his actions until he sees how much harm concealing the truth has done to Aubrey. Even if the game leans heavily in favor of Basil actually being the killer, the game should be read both ways. Sonny blames himself for Mari’s death regardless of if Basil actually did it. Sonny still initiated the action, and no matter what Basil’s the one who forced him and Sonny to conceal the truth.

Give me a game of just this please? No murder, I just want friends

So that’s my theory, Basil killed Mari because that’s what it really looks like. It doesn’t matter cause that defeats the purpose of OMORI. Sonny and Basil share the burden of their horrific act, and they both need to take accountability for it. I might do another analysis of the game that’s more literary and less stream of consciousness theory, but we’ll see how I think.

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