- SPOILER WARNING; it is assumed you have played the game before reading this page.
Mai Hasegawa, code-named Konoko, is the protagonist controlled by the player in the 2001 third-person action game Oni. She has black hair with purple highlights, and stands about five and a half feet tall. Her age is not given in the game's material. She works as a TCTF agent, a police officer who fights technological crime. She is one of only two prime Daodan symbiotes, giving her inhuman strength and stamina.
Mai's mother Jamie died while Mai was very young, perhaps while she was still an infant. As the manual indicates, Mai was then separated from her father at the age of 3. Because she did not think about her parents for so long, she seems to have forgotten about any life before she was brought to the TCTF.
When she was 7, the TCTF implanted in her a prototype Daodan Chrysalis developed by her father. Although this was done without her knowledge, she knows she is different from others somehow, as mentioned in the manual.
At the start of Oni, Konoko was working under the orders of Commander Griffin. She received mission data from Shinatama, an SLD, and her Chrysalis' development was monitored by the SLD as well as the scientists working for the TCTF, including Doctor Kerr. However, she had not been assigned any missions before the events of Oni.
After completing her training, Konoko was assigned her first mission: a rendezvous with an undercover TCTF operative working in a Syndicate warehouse. Upon discovering the agent's dead body, she found a datapad linking the warehouse to the Musashi Heavy Manufacturing Concern, a suspected Syndicate front.
Following the lead on Musashi, Konoko led a team to investigate the company, but were quickly ambushed by Syndicate forces. While Konoko and her team were trapped within the building, Syndicate forces under the command of Barabas attacked a nearby research facility.
Upon reaching the research facility, Konoko had her first battle with Barabas; however he and his boss Muro escaped. Konoko pursued Muro to the Vansam Regional Airport, during which time Muro found out about Konoko's neural link to Shinatama, and sent Barabas to abduct Shinatama from the TCTF Regional HQ.
Konoko managed to enter the TCTF Regional HQ as it fell under attack from Syndicate forces. Despite gaining assistance from the besieged TCTF personnel still alive after the attack, Konoko was unable to stop Barabas from capturing Shinatama, and fought him for a second time on the roof of the HQ, as Shinatama was carried away in a Syndicate helicopter.
When Shinatama was kidnapped from the TCTF HQ, Konoko decided to rescue Shinatama personally. Griffin ordered her to stand down, stating that he had already sent a strike team to retrieve Shinatama. Konoko disobeyed his orders and went to the Atmospheric Processor where Muro had taken Shinatama.
While Konoko was able to reach Shinatama, she had been badly damaged by Muro. It was at this time that Konoko learned from Shinatama that her actual name was Mai Hasegawa, and that the SLD had been constructed to monitor the development of a "Chrysalis" inside her. Griffin, fearful of Konoko's unstoppable development as a symbiote, ordered Shinatama's self-detonation in order to kill Konoko. After escaping from the blast, Konoko was declared a rogue agent by Griffin.
Konoko next went to the Regional State Building in order to gather information about her past, but the data was stolen by the ninja Mukade right before she could obtain it. Konoko pursued Mukade over the nearby rooftops before cornering him and recovering the disc.
When reading the contents of the disc, Konoko learned of her parents, particularly her mother Jamie Hasegawa – maiden name Kerr, thus making Doctor Kerr her uncle. Upon locating Kerr in a prison-like TCTF facility, he informed her about the nature of the Chrysalis and revealed that her brother was Muro. Shortly after this, Kerr gave his life to save Konoko's.
Looking for revenge, Konoko infiltrated TCTF Regional HQ and confronted Griffin, with the player choosing whether to kill him or spare him. She then traveled to Muro's Mountain Compound to determine what his plan was, and to stop it. Learning that he was about to send a signal for the world's ACCs to reverse their air-cleansing process, she could only think of one alternative: to sabotage the signal. Shortly after Konoko defeated Muro in combat, the ACCs received the faulty signal and many of them were destroyed.
At the end of Oni, the casualties are beginning to mount from the polluted air making its way into the cities, but Konoko looks forward to the use of her father's work, the Chrysalis, to save mankind from the crisis.
CHAPTER 08 . AN INNOCENT LIFE is where Konoko first learns her real name. It is spoken by Shinatama, but at that moment Konoko may not be able to absorb much of what Shinatama tells her.
CHAPTER 11 . DREAM DIVER is where Konoko learns most of the information about her parents, Jamie Kerr and Professor Hasegawa. She and her brother Muro are not referred to at all in Hasegawa's diary, except for the newspaper article headlined GRAD STUDENT DIES / MURDER OR MERCY: "Jamie Kerr Hasegawa, environmental activist, top grad student, mother of two".
Konoko is referred to as "Hasegawa, Mai" in a console there. The readout relates mostly to experiments performed on Mai at some point in time.
After scanning Mai, Kerr discloses that Muro, Mai's enemy, is indeed her brother. He does not, however, make any statement as to Hasegawa's fate or whereabouts, nor does Muro in their final confrontation.
- "Kono" means "this" in Japanese, and "ko" means child (or "great", "price", or "sin"!) (source). Hence, "Konoko" literally can mean "this child" to a Japanese speaker, and is often used in this manner.
- Although we don't know who in the TCTF would have given her this code name, her father was Japanese. Also, the game seems to take place in Japan, and Shinatama also has a Japanese name.
- Despite any "added value" we assign to Konoko's name, Brent Pease admitted HERE that he had no meaning in mind when he created the name.
- According to this site, "Mai" means 'dance' or 'linen robe'; most commonly, "mai" is used in everyday Japanese with the meaning "dance".
- See Konoko's armor for the evolution of her armored TCTF attire.
- See Konoko's gun for the different depictions of her handgun.
- See Konoko's outfits for a timeline of the clothes she wears in each level.
- See Category:Konoko model images for more images of her in-game models.
- See Category:Konoko images by Okita for Konoko's concept art.
- See Category:Konoko images by Lorraine for finished art of Konoko for promotional purposes.
- See Category:Konoko images by other official artists for additional contributions by other artists.
Even though Oni was inspired by Ghost in the Shell, Konoko seems to have been envisioned from the beginning as an aggressive, "gun in your face" action hero, unlike the impassive Motoko. An early story for the game explained Konoko's mindset this way: "Konoko vows to destroy the Syndicate that killed her parents." Over the course of the story, she feels more "betrayed", "guilty", angry and "paranoid" until she finally kills essentially everyone in the game. One hint at the earlier, unstable Konoko is found in her deranged look in the intro.
By contrast, the final game's Konoko is still highly emotional but is mostly in control of herself, even choosing to spare Griffin (if the player wishes) after all his crimes. She also makes wisecracks while under pressure. Instead of a violent ending driven by her paranoia and need for revenge, we have an emotionally ambiguous ending where Konoko stops Muro's plan with a desperate, destructive action, without showing much of her feelings.
Konoko was also stated in this development data to have an IQ of 203. While a high IQ is not mentioned in the final game, her behavior at times indicates that she is still very intelligent (examples given in the more detailed discussion HERE).
Design by Okita
Early versions of Konoko vary quite a bit, as concept artist Alex Okita was probably trying different things. We are not in possession of all the early concepts, but below are the ones we know of:
|Konoko's musculature and pose are quite reminiscent of the poster for the Ghost in the Shell movie (right), the inspiration for Oni. Unlike Motoko, Konoko is not wearing shades but rather has markings under her eyes, indicating she is a cyborg. (This was before Hardy LeBel's rewrite of the story.)
|A lost image which has been pieced together from the 1998 trailer. Vaguely reminiscent of some of the sexier representations of Motoko (as on right). A couple fan attempts at a reconstruction are here: 1, 2.
|The image in the left montage labeled "Alex Okita's" is not in our possession. The style is quite different from Okita's other drawings, but it's not the only work of his which varies in style from the others. Also, the design of the glove matches the Okita character sheet on the right, which is part of a series with the two below this.
|These images may have been provided to AIC for animating the intro and outro. The first outfit is very similar to the one in the intro, and the second outfit is worn in the outro.
|Looking more familiar. The Konoko on the left has a similar face and hairstyle to the model in the 1998 trailer. The one on the right is wearing the police uniform from Chapter 2.
Design by Lorraine
|Lorraine McLees, Bungie artist, remembers the slight tug of war between the Chicago and Bungie West [offices]: 'Their vision of (Konoko) was more overtly -blam!- than ours. We specifically didn't want her to be just another Lara Croft, so we'd go back and forth with the California office. They'd send Konoko designs back with a bare midriff and the bottom of her breasts exposed, and we'd go back and re-clothe her. The funny thing is that the more we tried to de--blam!-ize her, the more sexy she became.'"
—Bungie History: Oni, Bungie.net
Lorraine produced the sketches of Konoko on the right to show her mastery of various animé styles. While she was made the art director of marketing in June 1999, Okita's designs for Konoko were already well in use by that point (for instance, the Konoko in the intro is Okita's design). The in-game model also appears to be based on Okita's art rather than Lorraine's, which is not surprising when one considers that Okita was one of the 3D modeling artists.