Oni

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The oni logo.gif
This is about the game. For the Japanese demon, see Oni. For the Halo entity, see ONI
Actually, the final logo looks more like ONi than ONi, but what the blam
To link to this page, use either [[ONi]] or {{Oni}}

The game was developed by Bungie West, a division of Bungie Studios, and released in January 2001. It was Bungie West's first and only game, as it was disbanded after Oni's release: some Oni developers went on to work on the Halo series, while others ended up at independent game studios (Wideload, Certain Affinity, etc).

Influences

A major influence of Oni's universe Masamune Shirow's manga series Ghost in the Shell (Konoko and Commander Griffin resemble Motoko Kusanagi and Daisuke Aramaki). Early development even presented Konoko as a cyborg (see: 1998#Trailer), which together with the tech-crime-fightning context amounted to near-plagiarism of GITS. The final version of Oni abandons the cyborg heroine and instead develops the original Daodan and SLD concepts.

Gameplay

Main article: Gameplay

The developers achieved a unique blend of third-person shooting and hand-to-hand combat, with full freedom of movement and a context-independent camera control. The complex melee component has flaws, but even so it makes for one of the most varied and rewarding gameplay experiences in the beat-them-up genre (see also: Lugaru, State of Emergency, ...). As for the gunplay, AI dodging skills were implemented, but not (yet?) set up in the final release, leaving it to the modders to reveal that part of Oni's potential (see: Anniversary Edition).

Hype

Main article (sorta): Genesis

The online hype was deeply rooted in the existing Bungie community, notably Marathon fans. As the Oni project gained popularity, a dedicated online community emerged in the form of Oni Central and its forum. Despite or maybe because of the game's late release and a number of canceled features, there were a number of promotional actions around and after the release: artwork by Lorraine Reyes McLees, 4-volume comic published by Dark Horse, ...