One of the core concepts to the entire Ao Oni genre is the monster chases. In scripted chases, the oni appears in a predetermined location and follows the player's movement. In random chases, the monster will emerge from a door, closet, hole in the floor, or other entrace, and chase the player. These encounters are unpredictable and keep the player actively engaged in watching the screen. The monster can travel with the player through rooms, passing through doors and hallways. The player can lose the monster by either outrunning it, or by hiding. The player can hide in a closet or lock himself in a cage. In games other than the original Ao Oni, other methods of hiding exist.The player might seem to outrun the oni at random times, but it is actually very simple. A chase lasts nine seconds. Each transition to a different room adds one second to the time. The easiest way to lose the monster is to let him chase the player around a table or a couch - count to ten, and then leave the room.
It has been confirmed that in Version 6 not all chases last 10 seconds, and may only last 5 seconds.
The player progresses through the game by solving puzzles and unlocking new areas. Usually areas are either unlocked by collecting the proper key, or by completing an event. For instance, collecting the Library Key allows Hiroshi to enter the library. Entering the Library, however, unlocks the door to the Bathroom. It is not explained why or how, but it is assumed that the oni has the ability to lock and unlock all doors in the house.Puzzles play an important role in Ao Oni games. The kinds of puzzles existing in the mansion are diverse and change drastically from version to version. Most involve some kind of code or cipher, and the end result is often entering a four-digit password to open a safe. For a full list of the puzzles and their solutions, go to puzzles .
RPG ElementsEditOne of the ironic points about the original game was the unused standard RPG elements. Since Version 1.0 , Hiroshi (and all other party members) have had the ability to level up, gain experience, and even "special" experience points. In none of the original games, however, does this ever happen. The ability to gather a party of four people is only fully demonstrated at the end of Version 5.2 .
The game lets you save and load to four different slots. Saving often is important in Ao Oni because of the chases. If the oni catches you in a chase, it is an instant game over - and you must restart from the beginning or load from your previous save.