|Appearances||Ao Oni series|
The Ao Oni or Aooni (青鬼 Ao Oni , lit. "Blue Demon"), also called the oni (鬼 Oni , lit. "Demon"), is the primary antagonist of Ao Oni. It is the main inhabitant of The Mansion, and the only enemy for most of each Version of the game.
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Ao Oni is a lavender-skinned humanoid creature with a large distorted head that vaguely resembles a human's. It sports large, glassy black eyes; a bent nose; and a tiny, featureless body. It always has the same bemused expression on its face. The back of the Oni's head is black, suggesting dim lighting or hair.
The Oni also takes a more threatening appearance, as shown in Takeshi's nightmare in Version 5, should you get the best ending. In the nightmare, the Oni's eyes are more similar in appearance and is baring its teeth. With its mouth open, the player can see that the Oni has sharp teeth as well as a pair of tusks.
The Oni is an enigmatic creature that lives in the abandoned mansion on the outskirts of a town in Japan. Not much is known about the Oni, but it lives with many creatures that resemble it. It is known to feed upon people. In Version 6 it has been shown that after the Oni kills, the victim becomes an Oni themselves.
One of the main elements of the game is the chase sequences. At certain times, the Oni will appear and head for Hiroshi, following him from room to room. The Oni moves only slightly slower than Hiroshi, making him somewhat easy to outrun. After the player evades the Oni long enough, the oni will cease chasing and disappear - only to reappear in an entirely different and unpredictable location in the mansion. In Version 1.0 it takes the longest to outrun him.
The main fright to these chases is the random and unexpected pattern of appearances the Oni will make over the course of the game, and the bizarreness of its appearance. Certain chase sequences are scripted chases, meaning they are part of the story, cannot be avoided, and will happen during every playthrough of the game. An example of this is when the Oni appears in the library after Hiroshi picks up the key on the table. All other chase sequences are random chases, meaning they are unpredictable and happen in a different order during every playthrough of the game. There are a large number of open doors and closets in the mansion that the oni has the ability to enter from, and the player must constantly be aware of these.
In Version 6, most chases last somewhere between eight and ten seconds. To outrun the Oni, you must evade him until the timer runs out, and then leave the room. In earlier versions, the Oni will instantly disappear when the timer runs out.
Oni (鬼) are a kind of yōkai from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demons, devils, ogres or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theatre. Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common. They are often depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths and carrying iron clubs, called kanabō (金棒). This image leads to the expression "oni with an iron club" (oni-ni-kanabō (鬼に金棒)), that is, to be invincible or undefeatable. It can also be used in the sense of "strong beyond strong," or having one's natural quality enhanced or supplemented by the use of some tool.