- 1 Facts
- 2 Added value
- 3 Alternative Explanations
- 4 Related
This encompasses Muro's sightings in CHAPTER 02 . ENGINES OF EVIL through CHAPTER 05 . HOT PURSUIT.
An innocent life
While Barabas has paid the ultimate price for stealing Mai's guardian angel, Shinatama ended up in Muro's hands, and was taken to an Atmospheric Conversion Center where, as we discover later, Muro had very specific business, unrelated to Shinatama whatsoever. Whatever he initially wanted with her, the only ingame episode featured in CHAPTER 07 . A FRIEND IN NEED, as Mai infiltrates the complex, is that of Shinatama's torture : Muro lets high voltage electricity from one of the ACC's generators through Shinatama's body, amused at the extent to which Shinatama feels pain. Muro is assisted by a comguy, but there is no mention made of Muro retrieving any information (e.g. about Mai's Daodan symbiosis), either downloading it from Shinatama's memory banks or extracting it verbally.
The electrocuted Shinatama is then left where she is, and discovered by Mai in CHAPTER 08 . AN INNOCENT LIFE. Later, Muro can be sighted running to leave the complex, following a course parallel to Mai's : he's accompanied by the same comguy who assisted Shinatama's torture.
A mission objective in CHAPTER 09 . TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES present Mukade as having been sent by Muro. The speech quote, however, only says : "Somebody knew I was going to be poking around in there and sent that hacker after me." So the mission objective appears as an attempt to rationalize the events, by assuming Mukade is acting under Muro's orders.
Mai meets up with Muro for a concluding battle atop his headquarters in the mountains, the nature of this battle differs depending on Mai's decision regarding the sparing/killing of Griffin in the previous mission.
Muro & friends
Had Konoko spared Griffin's life, Griffin returned the favor of being spared and arrived on the rooftops to join Mai in the fight against Muro and a group of his troops. Muro scorns at Mai for forgiving the man who used her, and also that she would be willing to fight for the inferior race (those not enhanced by the Daodan Chrysalis). Muro offers Mai to join him, stating that a better prospect lies with him. Mai refuses, and a grand battle occurs between the two teams.
Assuming that Mai chose to kill Griffin, Muro evolved into a towering muscular, horned form, upon the arrival of Mai in the final battle. In his enormous form, he was protected by his own equivalent of a force shield most of the time, and could also reach out over great distances with bolts of energy at his foes. His powers seemed to combine the attributes of both Mukade and Barabas being able to drain energy and heal, as well as slam the ground to generate shockwaves, and possessed horns from his head as well as spikes coming from his back. Muro's mutant form was enormous and heavy, possibly weighing an excess of one ton, and standing more than 3 meters in height. In this battle, he would fight Mai alone, in a one-on-one battle.
Wasn't Muro altruistic? As far as we know, he claimed he was.
- (Glorious, isn't it? This is the future.) Join me, or die like all the others, choking on dead air and foul water. I've accomplished everything our father dreamed of doing...
Whether he's offering to Mai alone to "join him", or has bigger plans, he takes the argument beyond his own person.
It's a "Come with me if you want to live" situation... He's crazy as f##k, but some kind of altruism is there.
And plotwise, Muro is more than just a bully. He is violent, sadistic, even, but paradoxically, he wasn't closing up on himself. STURMANDERUNG was a gift to the world. The gift of a maniac, but a gift nonetheless.
With Hasegawa out of the picture (more or less), Muro was officially supervising the Syndicate's scientific programme : he had a certain degree of "competence" as far as the Daodan project went and, in his way, was working towards mankind's salvation, or thought he was.
So, while Muro is best viewed as an embodiment of Mai's violent side, he's a bit more than that, technicaly.
- The way Mai feels Mukade may have an underlying physical reality (telepathy, pheromones), but it may also be a psychological effect. At that moment, Mai has to deal with primal, violent instincts. Her mind is set on hunting, chasing, tracking, killing the one who stole her memories. This "predator's craze" can lead to hallucinations (illusions of telepathy, or enhancement/alteration of actual connection), and the Daodan only enhances it.
- When Mai (cold-bloodedly?) kills Mukade, she denies the violent side of her (which Mukade claims is slated to take control of her). This feeds back onto her psychology, so she's less of a killer afterwards... then Kerr's death and Shinatama's zombification (and second death) set Mai's mind on murder again. If she kills Griffin in cold blood, the killer in her wakes up again, and comes back in the shape of Mutant Muro.
Thus the choice Mai faces in the Omega Bunker is her chance to confirm or withdraw the point she made when killing Mukade and denying her violent side. This leaves two open issues:
- The "right" choice seems to be not to kill Griffin, but doesn't it leave room for further temptation? What will become of Mai if she fails to contain her in a future, similar situation?
- The "wrong" choice alienates Mai deeply, but is that alienation irreversible? Does Mai redeem herself by defeating Mutant Muro (sort of like for Mukade), or is it too late for her to be "saved"? Is she condemned to be haunted by real and unreal violence forever? In her dreams, perhaps?
An alternative logical explanation would suggest that timing may have played a part in the formation of mutant Muro rather than his traditional form.
In the sense of timing, Mai had a greater period of time collecting the information, because Griffin was killed and otherwise would have provided some assistance in getting Mai to her drop zone in the Syndicate Base, having an estimate already of the location of the base from the tracking of Muro's aircraft. Griffin would also have been bringing his own strike force to assist Mai on the rooftop, as the alternate final battle in which Griffin was spared does show this. However, during the extra time for Mai to jack the data and the aircraft, Muro performed whatever tasks were neccessary, possibly self-inflicted trauma, to stimulate his final mutation upon Mai's arrival.
Muro may very well have literally have transformed, as elements of his transformation are shown in the cases of Mukade and Barabas. Barabas possessing the horned head and significantly tall stature, while Mukade demonstrated lightning-fast strikes and seemingly red aura of energy about him. Muro, however, evolved in this "extra time" to greater power that easily combined the two aforementioned attributes, supposedly demonstrating the "ultimate state" in evolution from the Daodan Chrysalis.