Oni2 talk:Truth Number Zero/French

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What follows is a detailed interpretation of Oni's plot, oriented towards the development of a sequel. It was mainly generated by me, but also incorporated ideas by Guido Codecasa and many others. The primary motivation is to build a consistent "whole" from the already-present content, with a strict minimum of new elements/characters/concepts, to avoid "aggravating" the plot (making it heavier).

The French version is HERE. The digest version is HERE.

General points

Alternative history

Oni's events belong to an "alternative history", which coincides with the real world until 2001 or so, but takes a very different course in the XXI century.

Phase technology

Apart from the usual cybernetic and biological technologies (SLD), Oni has so-called "phase" technologies, which have made it possible to develop non-conventional weapons and entities (force fields, invisibility, etc). The "Phase" can be seen as a parallel world (i.e. another version of planet Earth, with a different geography, other lifeforms, etc). Notably, Oni's "Screaming Cells" come from this world, as well as Mukade's "red ball" and, probably, the Daodan phenomenon. Oni's developers had plans of depicting this parallel world in a hypothetical "Oni 2", and among other things they considered a major confrontation with the Screamers.


"Bio-punk" is a nod to the cyberpunk culture (in particular to Ghost In The Shell, a major influence for Oni). In Oni, the emphasis is much less on man-made AI and cyberspace - and more on mutation (hyperevolution), man-machine hybrids, artificial organics subjected to pseudo-human learning and growth processes, etc. So, like GITS, but more "bio" rather than "cyber".


One of the central concepts in Oni (and the most innovative in my opinion) is the "Daodan Chrysalis": a kind of "smart cancer" or "benevolent tumor" that replaces damaged parts of the host organism with cloned and enhanced cells. These cells are more resilient, totipotent (i.e., they can transform at will into any organ tissue), and can receive a boost from an "aura" that permeates/surrounds the host organism. The nature of this aura is never made clear in Oni, but it can belong to an immaterial being (akin to the Screamers) that achieves a symbiosis with the human organism through the proxy of "daodanized" cells. We can say that the aura is at least powering (if it is a non-sentient entity), and maybe even coordinating (if sentient) the progress of the tumors/metastases through the organism - with the host's survival and integrity as a key priority.


Some of Oni's androids - like Shinatama - have human-like emotions and reactions, but it is important to note how the personality of such an android is built. Instead of a fake AI construct, an SLD's head contains synthetic tissue which mimics the functioning of a human brain. This brain-like structure is "imprinted" with "engrams" (some sort of elaborate encephalograms) coming from an actual human individual. In the case of Tankers, it is a wrestler who supplied the engrams for a whole army of androids. In Shinatama's case, the engrams are Konoko's, i.e., it is as if Shinatama's personality was cloned from Konoko's shortly after she arrived at the TCTF. Thus, initially, Shinatama is an image of Konoko as a child. Since that time, Shinatama and Konoko have been evolving separately as individuals, but they remain in close contact thanks to the "neural link" implanted by Griffin. The practical aspect of the "neural link" is that Konoko acts like an antenna, constantly sending to Shinatama some info about her surroundings and her internal status (both hers and the Daodan's). Shinatama (and Damocles) analyze this data in real time, and use it to provide Konoko with tactical instructions, and to inform (or misinform) Griffin and his team about the Daodan. But something else is happening as well: Shinatama sees through Konoko's eyes and receives upon her all the violence of Konoko's fighting experience, even though she started off as an innocent soul (a backup of child Konoko). It is as if she saw herself punching and shooting people, feeling all the pain and stress that come with it, unable to look away, unable to do anything to stop all this violence that is pouring at her.

Previous events

Conflicts and Bio-Crisis

At some point in the early XXI century, Oni's Earth apparently went through a world war (or a series of terror acts) with the use of biological weapons. (It is not clear if nuclear weapons exist, although we are aware of compact and powerful explosive devices, the Xiox.) This war, combined with pre-existing pollution, rendered a large part of the world uninhabitable, and the surviving population naturally gathered in cities where atmospheric decontamination processes are introduced. (Oni does not say if the BioCrisis is a relatively new situation or if it goes back to these times of global political turmoil.) At the end of Oni we are told that there are ~400 densely populated "regions", each of them depending on an Atmospheric Conversion Center like the one we see in Chapters 7 and 8. The centralization of the world population contributes to the emergence of a totalitarian government, the WCG.

(EDIT: An alternative hypothesis is that the widespread pollution - BioCrisis -, population decline, and crackdown on technological crime are all more or less direct (and more or less covered-up) consequences of Phase tech. Once discovered/invented, the new phenomena quickly led to major industrial breakthroughs but, like every new technology, the processes were poorly mastered. Catastrophes of various scales may have occurred - both accidental and deliberate - and a more general/durable pollution problem may have emerged as a side effect of, e.g., mass production of Energy Cells.)

Toxin levels rising

There have also been "Freedom Riots" (briefly mentioned in a weapon's description), as well as more or less violent clashes between the WCG state and eco-activists, following the revelations/suspicions about the highly toxic areas surrounding the atmospheric processors. It is in the context of this struggle that Hasegawa and Jamie set off to "trespass" into one of these Zones, where Jamie (according to Hasegawa's record) is "hyper-infected" by the toxic environment and put out of her misery (shot) by Hasegawa himself. Through Jamie's death, this contamination plays a key role in the genesis of Hasegawa's Daodan project (a universal cure that is supposed to defend humans against even the most virulent toxins). And it is the Daodan project which, developed under the Syndicate's wing, eventually sets Oni's whole plot in motion.

(EDIT: Freedom Riots were apparently anti-WCG separatist movements that popped up either shortly after the WCG rose to power and "annexed 80% of the countries of the world", or a few years later, after the authoritarian rule became unbearable. As for the "Great Uprising", it looks like it designates the WCG's rise to power itself, i.e., unlike the "Freedom Riots", the Great Uprising is not an infamous rebellion, but rather the heroic establishment of the New World Order.)

Social model

The World Coalition Government

The WCG is a sort of political "merger" that has been established both to avoid future military conflicts on the collective territory and to solve long-lasting globalization issues (forced outsourcing/delocalization of production, mutual debt, etc), and also - possibly - to deal with the issue of pollution control on a global scale. The WCG apparently absorbed the so-called "rich" or "democratic" countries of the modern world, leaving out the Third-World countries, most of the Arab world and more generally any country that somehow stood its ground or wasn't worth annexing. Countries excluded from the WCG are heavily impacted by the ecological breakdown (BioCrisis - either the consequence of bio-warfare or a side effect of revolutionary technology). Meahwhile, in WCG-controlled territories, the population gathers in big cities (because is it easier to purify the air at the scale of a city than for a whole country) and evolves towards a totalitarian Big-Brother-like social model. Eventually WCG city-dwellers become oblivious of what's going on outside their custom-built areas of self-imposed confinement.

The pre-Muro Syndicate

The Network (and later Syndicate) is a criminal structure that emerged in the pre-WCG world and was consolidated/radicalized into a paramilitary organization in parallel with WCG's establishment. Operating both from WCG territories (underground facilities) and from outposts in renegade countries, the Syndicate took advantage of the increasingly strict legislation (of Phase tech but not only) and crafted a both fluid and reliable black market of illegal technology - also maintaining a stable flow of contraband (weapons and goods) from the WCG to the outcast territories and back (thus allowing renegade countries to survive even though they're left out of official trade channels and decontamination protocols). It is a somewhat improbable criminal monopoly - something like a big world-wide Mafia, very centralized and well-armed - and an appropriate counterpart to the totalitarian WCG. It has strict rules, corporate hierarchy, regular board meetings, etc - law within the outlaw. The two structures (Syndicate and WCG) show some mutual tolerance, since they actually feed on each other.

(EDIT: The growing (para)militarization of the Syndicate prior to Oni's events (and even prior to Muro's coup) can already be seen as a loss of balance. The WCG initially coexisted with a mostly "white-collar" Network, and the cops-and-criminals equilibrium was nothing like an all-out-war. However, as the BioCrisis progressed, the vital ACC installations became a self-sufficient justification of WCG rule, and the Syndicate (i.e., the semi-fake threat of illegal tech) became redundant. The TCTF got more resources and was greenlit to crack down on the Network - and this may have been one of the key reasons behind the transformation of the Network into the Syndicate. For an official ingame-data account of this transition, see HERE.)

BGI and other industries

Oni has large transnational companies (or rather "transregional" since it's all one country) that are monopolies - or quasi-monopolies in their respective technological domains. This is helped by how the governemnt itself is centralized, how the population is densely packed in city hubs, and how - somewhat paradoxically - some regions are relatively isolated (in terms of transportation) because of the environmental collapse. Some of these companies are transparent and serve the WCG, others have ties to the Syndicate and engage in contraband or worse. Thus, for instance, Vago Biotech (the lab in Chapter 3) is an example of a WCG-loyal company, whereas Musashi (Chapter 2), is clearly "joined at the hip" with the Syndicate (although we also see that Musashi is a disposable asset for the Strikers - they use it as a diversion, and nearly slaughter the science staff). We also know that Musashi belongs to a larger conglomerate, BGi - which was supposed to play a much larger part in final version of Oni, if it wasn't for development deadlines. Notably the player (as Konoko) was supposed to infiltrate BGi's HQ, fight the Iron Demon there, and then blow everything up, prior to Chapter 13 (i.e. between the acid bath and confronting Griffin).

The Syndicate/TCTF equilibrium

The public space in Oni cities is covered by a massive surveillance system (apart from the Big-Brother-like "WorldNet" system, the game mentions an array of drones patrolling the city from the air). Security agents guard regular installations, and extra crime-fighting muscle is provided by the Tech Crime Task Force. Officially the low-level TCTF agents follow some kind of due procedure (can't make a move on a suspicious facility without the proper intel), which is a big handicap when dealing with the much more flexible Syndicats. However, the TCTF also has paramilitary divisions (the "Lions" et the "Black Ops"), which can bypass the official procedure and perform armed raids on known Syndicate operations. It can be said that, after an "arms race" that lasted several years, the TCTF and the Syndicate (formerly Network) have achieved a new form of "dynamic equilibrium" between cops and criminals - with more muscle and violence than before the WCG. The "soft" branch of the TCTF fights against minor trafficking as best it can, and collects intel that allow bigger raids from time to time (with support from Lions and Black Ops). Moreover, this constant struggle against "tech crime" provides a permanent justification for "Big Brother". (EDIT: So perhaps the BioCrisis is not making crime redundant after all - BigBrother is harder to justify if dirty air is the only threat.)

The cohesion of the pre-Muro Syndicate

The Syndicate resolves internal conflicts and fights segregationism thanks to a centralized executive power and zero tolerance towards troublemakers. Thus the paramilitary force developed by the Syndicate serves not only for the tactical support of big smuggling operations, but also as an "internal deterrent", ensuring the cohesion of the Syndicate and the respect of the Council's authority.

The Council is not mentioned in Oni (just as there is no real description - apart from the entry at TCTF HQ - of what the Syndicate used to be like before Muro), but it is up to us to give a name to this executive organ, which we know must have existed. One naming possibility is "Hydra", which symbolizes the fact that intimidating or eliminating one of the Council's members is meaningless or dangerous - the rest of the Council will quickly identify the culprits and will dispose of them mercilessly.

In addition to the armed force, an important role was played by the assassins (forerunners of the Ninja that we see in Oni). The multiply redundant Council ("Hydra") could easily eliminate a single offending element, but not vice versa. Moreover, the WCG administration also made occasional use of these same assassins, when the rigidity of the system felt like too much of a constraint.

The BGi conglomerate was a titan-sized double agent: it filled the heavy-industry needs of the WCG, and at the same time provided most of the Syndicate's infrastructure and logistics.

An additional concept (not at all mentioned in Oni), is that of a "virtual government" called AVATARA, which is an anonymous gathering of influential WCG people, BGi executives, and maybe some major assassins. They do not really decide the fate of the world, but arrange more or less regular "round tables" (in cyberspace) to analyze the situation as well as discuss the possible courses of action.

The Daodan

First there was a renegade assassin (Mukade). He was a first-grade fighter and hacker, one of the best. He had access to AVATARA and was tied to BGI.

As an idealist, he was disappointed with the turn taken by the "struggle" between the WCG and Syndicate (primarily the completely frozen social model and the never-ending ecological crisis).

He started by distancing himself both from the WCG and the Syndicate, prepared to deal with the consequences of this move (like fighting off fellow assassins that would be sent after him).

Rather than becoming a hermit, it is possible that he already envisioned founding a Fight Club in the wasteland (a concept that can be developed either in Oni 2 or in an epilogue - originally it appeared in Wasteland Flowers as Guido's idea).

The exact genesis of the Daodan project is unclear, just as the "true" circumstances of how Jamie Hasegawa died (i.e., the nature of the infection from the scratch - if Hasegawa's record is genuine - or whatever else may have happened to her). But, fundamentally, it was about Hasegawa meeting (and teaming up with) Mukade.

Hasegawa absolutely wanted to do something about the toxic "dead end" in which the world was headed at the time (and his determination was even more firm since the loss of Jamie).

Mukade shared these ideals but, having been part of the system, had a much more complete picture of it, with technical details and practical knowledge that Hasegawa lacked.

Conversely, Hasegawa (a biology expert) had the means, wits and motivation to create/develop the extraordinary entity that could shake every balance there was: the Daodan.

This is the time when Mukade provided Hasegawa with more or less specific "tips" for infiltrating/contaminating/alienating the Syndicate via the Daodan project and make it (the Syndicate) into a tool powerful enough to drive an even bigger change. It is also possible that the discovery of the Daodan entity (which triggers and oversees the "hyper-evolution" human cells) was partly due to Mukade himself (he has knowledge of more or less secret research projects - like the Screamers - and may have had "expert access" to transdimensional portals - that's assuming that the Daodan indeed originates from the "Phase").

The basic idea, for Hasegawa, was to work on the Chrysalis right under the Syndicate's nose until they take the bait of the "Universal Soldier" and take over the project. Next, plan A is that Muro (and/or Mai), a human weapon prototype, ends up escaping the Council's control and achieves a coup inside the Syndicate (an otherwise improbable feat).

Plan B is that Hasegawa would have subjected himself to the Daodan protocol, too, even before experimenting on his children, unbeknownst to his colleague and stepbrother Kerr: only Mukade knows.

To increase his chances as the new Syndicate's mastermind, Hasegawa also subjected himself to Mukade's "engrams". Normally only a blank brain can receive someone else's personality (this is how it happens for SLDs), but the advanced integration of Hasegawa's Chrysalis allowed his neurons to adapt to this second self. The drawback is the inevitable schizophrenia and the partial "loss of self", apart pro being eaten up by the Chrysalis as a regula symbiote. The advantage is that Hasegawa inherited Mukade's wisdom, his fighting techniques, his hacking skills, and his deep knowledge of the whole Syndicate/WCG/BGi system, which is essential if one wants to manipulate the system from the inside.

(EDIT: The chronology of the initial phase of the Daodan project - and how the "plan" emerged - is open to interpretation and subject to reshuffling. The Daodan may have been discovered in Hasegawa's legal lab - before he and Kerr became outlaws - or it may have been discovered already in Syndicate labs (with or without Mukade's help), or it may have been a pre-existing phenomenon - a well-kept secret, that Hasegawa became aware of after some preliminary research (again, either by himself or thanks to Mukade). Alternative stories of Daodan discovery include, and are not limited to: (a) "Screamer fishing" gone wrong, i.e., a Daodan was "hooked" out of the Phase instead of a Screamer and impacted a living cell; (b) computer-assisted design of a "quantum biocomputer"; (c) xenoforming of Earth biosphere by an "alien" race, whereby all the lifeforms xenoformed-so-far are already Daodan-enhanced - Hasegawa's challenge, then, was "just" to identify the Daodan and make it work for humans.)

The New Deal

It is plan A that worked (although plan B was activated too). Muro was raised as a human weapon, and the Syndicate (Council/Hydra) was too late in realizing that they could never control him.

New allegiances sprung up. Some were subjugated by Muro's charisma (he is the ultimate alpha male), others simply seized the opportunity to free themselves from the council's authority.

The Council convoked a plenary session that was supposed to vote the termination of the Daodan project, and it is at this moment that Muro struck, eliminating most of the conservative decision-makers and influencers.

A few Syndicate "bosses" (either cautious or lucky) survived the initial purge, but their troops and hired assassins were no match from Muro and the fanatic "Strikers" that assembled around him.

This is, in a nutshell, the story of the "coup" that turned a mostly conservative Syndicate (committed to a stable coexistence with the WCG) into some much more unpredictable and radical ("TITAN"?).

Muro was still a teenage boy at this time, and Hasegawa secured his place as Muro's most infuential advisor. The first task was to suppress all resistance and rule out any resurgence of the "old Syndicate".

Hasegawa (helped by Mukade's engrams) suggested to resort to freelancers: a new generation of assassins and hackers who related to the "wind of change" embodied by Muro's coup (such as Kojiro).

Each of those neo-mercenaries who managed to eliminate one of Muro's major opponents gained access to Hasegawa's "circle of honor" and became a candidate for Daodan/Chrysalis implantation.

This is how a new technocratic and intellectual "core" assembled around Hasegawa. Meanwhile, Muro was continuing to redefine the moral identity of his growing army of "Strikers".

Muro's declared goal was Project STURMANDERUNG: a biological ultimatum to the WCG civilization and, eventually, a forced "hyperevolution" of Mankind (subjected to Muro's authority).

The cynicism of this project (deliberate pollution, anarchy/feudalism) is striking. Such a nightmarish scenario fits in well with Muro's megalomania, but not so much with the supposed altruism of his father! (Muro's "I've accomplished everything our father dreamed of doing." is also very disturbing in that respect, and can be resolved - as one possibility - through the "True Truth" hypothesis.)

During Oni

The "true Mukade" (who has also been called Old Man) stays in the shadows and is never seen. Either he doesn't do anything, or he moved to the wastelands and is busy assembling a "Fight Club" (which may later evolve into Phoenix in Oni2's plot).

One way or another, he is not interfering with the processes that he initiated (or helped to initiate) - that is, Muro's "New Deal" (radicalization of the Syndicats) as well as Mai being sheltered by the TCTF (and eventrually turned into a human weapon by Griffin, as insurance against Muro's Daodan threat).

The story of Mai's upbringing at the TCTF is relatively simple because it happens in a very conservative system (even if you take into account Griffin's cruel pragmatism and overzealousness).

Meanwhile, Muro is gradually repurposing the Syndicate, which is now no longer (or not only) an organized network of tech crime, and is geared towards megalomania and terrorism.

(We can say that Muro is to the Syndicate what Muro's Daodan is to Muro himself - he devours the Syndicate from within, imposing new motivations and levels of consciousness.)

Muro's Syndicate (which by the way no longer refers to itself as "Syndicate") gradually abandons secondary projects and focuses on STURMANDERUNG.

Apart from various low-level smuggling, freak projects like Deadly Brains ou Bertram Navarre's experiments become useless as STURMANDERUNG draws nigh.

The WCG becomes aware of this loss of balance, but does its best to conceal this apparently meaningless/insane radicalization of the Syndicate.

The TCTF continues staging (or faking) small-scale operations against "traditional" tech crime (smuggling, drugs, etc).

That way, the government is maintaining the illusion that Muro and his Strikers - even if they look and behave like maniacs - are still "doing business" like in the good old times of the Network.

BGi against Hasegawa and Muro

In reality, the only stronghold left from the old-school Network/Syndicate, at the time of Oni's events, is the BGi conglomerate along with its child companies (Musashi etc).

BGi, like the WCG, does not welcome the loss of balance brought about by Muro and his Strikers, and is planning to oppose/disrupt the STURMANDERUNG project at the best opportunity...

And then there is Hasegawa. With his scientific genius, the Daodan enhancement, Mukade's engrams and the neo-technocrats gathering around him, he has been providing the Strikers with unprecedented autonomy, i.e. he is capable of making BGI redundant in the logistics-and-infrastructure department. Therefore BGi hates both Muro the megalomaniac and Hasegawa the prodigy.

Muro controls the Strikers mainly through a constant reshuffling of the hierarchy throughout the network.

(This is how terrorist networks work in the modern world, whether there is a leader or not; Fight Club, too.)

When needed, Ninja can be used as a last resort to enforce the internal order (by intimidating or eliminating rogue elements). The Ninja are an army of androids (half-robots, half-SLDs - basically like cyborgs, but with artificially grown brains) imprinted with the "engrams" of Mukade/Hasegawa and sharing a collective consciousness. The also behave as antennas used for surveillance, thereby increasing Mukade/Hasegawa's awareness to practically omniscient/ubiquitous levels.

Apart from the Ninja (as mentioned previously), Hasegawa(Mukade) surrounds himself with "neo-technocrats": a few expert hackers and killers who have earned their rank by tracking down the "old Syndicate" and are now candidates for Daodan implantation.

In addition to the Daodan project, Hasegawa/Mukade&Co may be developing some advanced technology (WMC cannon - possibly -, Mukade's gadgets).

All this - the emergent technocracy and the Ninja army - puts BGi in a precarious situation, without any guarantee of stability.

(and of course there is Muro's megalomania and STURMANDERUNG, which goes against common sense and would mean the triumph of anarchy)

Faced with this situation, BGi reluctantly makes a pact with the WCG, and receives "carte blanche" to contain the threat represented both by human hyperevolution (Daodan) and by the impending bio-terrorist ultimatum (STURMANDERUNG). In this context, BGi secretly develops heavy weapons, cyborgs and robots that are more than a match for Strikers, and an Iron Demon that is capable - at least in theory - of kicking Mutant Muro's ass.

The True Truth

Muro's "New Deal" (a megalomaniac radicalization of the Syndicate) is part of the "big change" intended by Mukade's and Hasegawa's plan (or contingency). It is a necessary sacrifice.

Violence begets violence, therefore Muro and the Strikers (maniacs attracted by his charisma) achieve mutual alienation (the Strikers' insanity feeds on Muro's and vice versa).

Muro is lost as an individual (sacrificed). Mais meanwhile the global network of organized crime has been irreversibly destroyed.

The next step of the plan is that the doomday pollution surge, for which STURMANDERUNG was built and which drives Muro and the Strikers so much, will not happen.

At worst/least, the signal sent by STURMANDERUNG array of satellites will not trigger an "inversion" of the aircleaning processes at the ACCs, therefor there will be no dramatic extra poisoning.

At best/most, Hasegawa/Mukade et his Ninja will have performed "constructive sabotage" on the ACCs which, once triggered by the STURMANDERUNG signal, will improve the efficiency of the ACCs instead.

Muro and his Strikers will find themselves royally duped. Terroris wannabes who thought they had the ultimate bomb, and in the end have nothing to threaten people with.

Hasegawa/Mukade and the Ninja will simply disappear, as well as most of the technocrats, after sabotaging most of the Syndicate's infrastructure.

Working in the shadows, the Ninja will eliminate the die-hards (Muro and his generals), and the rest of the Strikers will be left to themselves.

(and of course Chrysalises won't actually have been implanted to anyone yet, apart from Barabas, maybe Kojiro and a few others...)

Assuming that Hasegawa/Mukade was aware of the BGi-WCG pact, there may have been a plan of coordinating BGi and Ninja actions - bringing down the full force of BGi's troops and tech upon Muro and the Strikers.

With Muro out of the picture, the plan is that Hasegawa (possibly with help from the "true Mukade") will go take care of the WCG next.

Organized crime has been dismantled. The bioterrotist threat has also been eliminated. The environment is also healing by itself (Hasegawa has either improved the ACCs or is planning to do so).

All this has the effect of destabilizing the "Big Brother"-state that is the WCG and paves the way for an evolution (or revolution) of the social model and of the totalitarian system. Hasegawa/Mukade will soak up wisdom for as long as necessary, and then take action - infiltrating, manimulating, eliminating if necessary - just like what the Daodan Chrysalis is doing to the organism of Hasegawa/Mukade himself.

The big fuck-up

Unlike Muro (or Mai), Hasegawa has practically "mastered" his Daodan symbiosis (or at least come to terms with it), thanks in part to the widom he inherited from the "true Mukade".

(however, his identity/personality/sanity is being challenged both by the hyperevolution and by Mukade's engrams: he is doubly alienated)

Nonetheless, he has remained "human enough" to long for Jamie and to arrange a face-to-face meeting Mai, instead of ignoring her.

It was a very bad idea.

The objective goal of the Rooftops episode was of course to analyze Mai (gone rogue by then) and see if she was a threat.

(a threat for STURMANDERUNG - both for the fake project led by Muro and for the actual "anti-sabotage" intended by Hasegawa)
(and, more generally, a threat to society and mankind; one should not let a rogue symbiote run around the city unchecked.)

But Hasegawa also considered the idea (bad idea!) to save Mai from the spiral of violence that had already "swallowed" Muro.

During the rooftops faceoff, Hasegawa tried - first of all - to find out if Mai was ready to hear the truth about the Daodan.

  1. If she was ready, the wouldn't fight: he would tell her everything or at least advise her appropriately.
  2. If she wasn't ready, he would fight her and lose (play dead). The CD and Kerr would take care of the rest.

She wasn't ready. Once he understood it, he intimidated her, then fought and lost according to plan (2).

His big mistake, then, was to not play dead, for the (bad!) reason that he had sensed Mai's doubts following his defeat.

The will to save Mai came back, and he went for Mai's mercy, not clearly doing (1) or (2) any more.

Mai reacted in an unpredictable and cruel manner (possibly the Daodan was protecting her from too many doubts and new emotions), and killed Mukade.

The rest is history. No one informed Mai about STURMANDERUNG's counter-sabotage, and no one stopped her from blowing up Atmospheric Processors all around the world.

Thus the crucial part of Hasegawa/Mukade's plan failed thoroughly, mainly because of this face-to-face meeting on the rooftops.

Left for dead by Mai, Hasegawa either recovered on his own, or was picked up and revived by his acolytes (Kojiro & Co). Even if he actually died, the acolytes would be able to impersonate him later.

(as for the "true Mukade", in my opinion it looks best - cleanest - if he keeps his distance during all these events)

BGi's fiasco

BGi's army was developed to contain the threat of the STURMANDERUNG project and the emergence of Mutant Muro. Unbeknownst to Griffin, the BGi forces would have hit Muro and the Strikers (at the Mountain Compound or elsewhere) just before he'd execute his plan. However, when Mai goes rogue and escapes Griffin's control, she also becomes a threat in BGi's jurisdiction (before that - i.e., on her first day out - they were merely observing her from afar).

BGi troops make several attempts to eliminate rogue Mai, starting in Chapter 7 (Atmospheric Processor), then on the Rooftops, and finally after Chapter 13: after Mai comes crashing into TCTF HQ, knocks everyone out and follows Griffin into the Omega Bunker. As she walks out of the bunker the BGi army is here, and is determined to leave Mai no chance of survival, terminate her and then go take care of the real problem (Muro and the Strikers).

However, Mai's "badassitude" by that time is "over 9000", so she cuts through the BGi forces (killing or disabling many), steals one of their transports, follows the lead to their HQ (one of the "ghost chapters" initially planned by Bungie) and disrupts their military infrastructure - and only then flies off to the mountains (also using a BGi transport?) to confront Muro on her own.

Thus Mai has truly messed everything up - Hasegawa's "true plan" is ruined and BGi (which was supposed to counter Muro and the Strikers) is crippled as well. As if this wasn't enough, she doesn't as much stop Muro as she wreaks havoc herself, by blowing up the worlds Atmospheric Processors, polluting hundreds of cities/megapolises and killing millions (billions?) of people. Atta girl...

(EDIT: An alternative chronology of the BGi encounters in the final act - more consistent with our knowledge of pre-beta Oni - is as follows: after jumping in the acid at the end of Chapter 12, the traumatized Konoko does not go in hiding for "over 48 hours", licking her wounds and gathering her strength before confronting Griffin; instead she is captured by BGi and taken to their regional HQ, but escapes confinement, and "blows everything up" - this establishes her as the #1 threat, and all the remaining BGi forces are instructed to converge on her rather than on Muro's Mountain Compound; stealing a stealth aircraft from BGi HQ, Konoko reaches the roof of TCTF HQ, confronts Griffin etc; upon exiting the Omega bunker, she needs to fight her way through BGi troops - disabling many units and killing several commanders - then uses a BGi aircraft to fly to the Mountain Compound; BGi rigged the aircraft to self-destruct in mid-air - hence Konoko's theatrical entrance; although in disarray, some BGi troops may still attempt to raid the Compound at the same time as Konoko, but with their depleted forces they cannot fight on two sides against both Muro's Strikers and Konoko; once Konoko blows up the ACCs, the remaining BGi troops are ordered to stand down and Konoko is confronted by officials - "better late than never"...)

The after-Oni

Mai's actions decimate the population of WCG megapolises and aggravate the pollution in the short and middle term, except in the few cities (if any) whose ACCs were spared. Intact cities (if any) must now deal with an enormous inflow of refiugees, as well as Striker attacks. Strikers no longer have the means to terrorize the WCG or bargain with it (the Daodan's secret has seemingly disappeared with Hasegawa and his acolytes - or at least it's not available to Strikers). So instead the Strikers are trying - more or less successfully - to take over cities, hi-jack air cleaning facilities, intercept humanitarian convoys, etc.

BGi acknowledges its own failure in dealing with the Daodan problem and averting the ecological disaster, and refocus on humanitarian aid and disaster relief. Heavy industry and high tech are atapded to the new world, and optimized to suit the needs of the surviving population. The more cunning/competent Strikers change sides and join the WCG-BGI, and this new conglomerate will eventually evolve into the META utopia. META is controlles by ex-members of the WCG-BGi elite and by Hasegawa's "technocrats" (let - or not - by Hasegawa himself or by one of his acolytes). This utopian society - starting with its leaders and masterminds - is "Daodan-enhanced", so its long-term goal is to achieve a "hyperevolution" of society, gradually replacing all the "weak links" with something fluid and totipotent, somewhat "alien"/unearthly, but which somehow will still be "an expression of mankind's true nature" - a process echoing what the Daodan does to an individual, but transposed on the scale of a whole civilization.

(EDIT: In other words, the aftermath of STURMANDERUNG is very different both from the pre-Oni status quo and from the "counter-sabotaged" outcome planned by Hasegawa/Mukade. All the factions (including "Hasegawa&Co") must adapt to this dramatic turn of events, and find new ways out of the crisis - which is perhaps even worse than what Muro's STURMANDERUNG was supposed to accomplish.)

As for Mai, she doesn't easily find her place in the immediate after-Oni. She gradually realizes the dramatic impact of her actions (primarily the decision to blow up the Atmospheric Processors, which spreads toxic waste - byproducts of air cleaning - in and around most of WCG's megapolises, sealing the fate of millions if not billions of human beings). Initially she believes that the Chrysalis will provide an answer to the crisis, i.e. that mankind with find one way or another to overcome the catastrophe (either by actually using the Daodan on a "general availability" scale, or through some kind of metaphrorical evolution: "we have been taken out of our comfort zone, and whatever happens next can only be for the better"). But, one after another, her hopes turn into disillusionment. No other Chrysalis will be implanted in the immediate aftermath (Hasegawa has disappeared with the inception/implantation secret, and what's left of the WCG would have deemed the Chrysalises dangerous/impossible to mass-produce and monitor anyway). Also, Mai is quickly designated (rightfully) as the sole responsible for the Cataclysm, and finds that she isn't welcome anywhere.

(EDIT: Before the world leaders decide to lay the whole blame on Mai, there may be a short period - a few months? - where the government "lets her be" and even grants her some privileges, like visiting Muro (or Muro's remains) in a high-security prison (or grave). C.f. "Wasteland Flowers" and derivatives thereof.)

Wandering at the edge of civilization, she tries to serve a good cause, by fending off some Striker attacks on life-support convoys, but even there she is face with misunderstanding and violence (as soon as people realize who she is). She is also struggling harder and harder against the "second nature" imposed by the nearly-fully-integrated Chrysalis. Eventually she goes into exile, haunted by Shinatama's ghost and general guilt about the Cataclysm that she brought about. Comes a moment when she encounters the Old Man (true Mukade?) and his "Fight Club", or speaks to some other characters (ghosts or physical) who "help" her realize how absurd her situation is, and how her decision to "blow everything up" was (probably) just a jolt of her Daodan alter-ego - in other words, she sealed the fate of mankind on a whim.

Suicidal insanity ensues, but the Chrysalis makes suicide impossible, so instead it all ends in stupor and a "hard reset" of both the body and the spirit: a coma followed by amnesia and nearly full "latency" (i.e. Konoko's body is fully transformed, but the Daodan - aura - practically vanishes from it, remaining in "deep standby").

More, later...