|“||Together, we form eight heads facing forward to an innovative horizon. We see limitations as a challenge and the impossible as a dare. We will push boundaries. We will pursue excellence. We will change the world. Orochi Group: We Will. Please enjoy your visit, and have a dynamic day.||„|
|~ An automated greeting to Orochi Tower's visitors|
The Orochi Group is a major multinational corporation in the urban fantasy MMORPG The Secret World. Often considered the largest and most powerful company on the planet, its currently operates as a major innovator in science and technology. Though its many subsidiaries allow the group controlling interests in many profitable fields and a good deal of influence on international politics, it initially appears to be a relative newcomer to the Secret World, especially in comparison to factions like the Illuminati and the Dragon. However, progressing through the game reveals that they are already delving into global conspiracies and highly unethical experimentation; what the Orochi Group lacks in experience, it makes up for in enthusiasm - dangerous, uninhibited enthusiasm.
Based in Tokyo, the Orochi Group has recently been the focus of considerable attention following a terrorist attack in the subways close to their headquarters. However, despite constant investigation from the player factions, the Group's relationship with the players themselves has swung from the amiable to the adversarial: sometimes, profitable alliances have been made, while other times, the group has all but declared war on the players and their faction.
The Eight Heads
Since its creation in the late 1940s, the Orochi Group has expanded its influence on the global market through its eight subsidiaries: Anansi Technologies, Faust Capital, Manticore Research Group, Plethron, QBL Media, Sycoil, Váli, and Zagan. Each of these daughter corporations furthers the Group's interests in a particular field of research, development and production, and each of them has something unpleasant going on behind the scenes.
Anansi Technologies leads the computing industry in the development of top-of-the-line software and hardware, producing operating systems, gaming consoles, multimedia players and mobile phones. However, conspiracy theorists insist that Anansi products monitor their users through keystroke logging, audio recording and GPS tracking; some even claim that there are ongoing attempts to brainwash customers through subliminal marketing. The former claim is later proved correct when players visit Anansi's Alpha level, only to discover that Anansi scientists have been monitoring their kills and statistics through their AEGIS devices. Anansi also has interests in virtual reality and artificial intelligence, having not only helped master software for Orochi's drone army, but also having spent considerable effort on producing a master computer capable of reasoning and innovating on its own.
Faust Capital is currently the largest financial institution in the world, covering investment banking, personal banking, insurance, and stock-market trading. Somehow, it has also managed to avoid every single major economic depression or recession in the last sixty years - though the Bees imply that there is actually some mystical process behind this. Faust accountants appear to suffer from serious workaholic tendencies, remaining at their desks even during the Tokyo disaster, seemingly oblivious to the fact that several of their number appear to have died of starvation. Furthermore, Faust's name isn't an accident: the company is actually run by Mephistopheles himself, still making Faustian Bargains for the good of the Orochi Group.
Manticore Research Group dominates the global market in aerospace, security and weapons development, building everything from civilian airliners to ICBMs. They also provide Orochi with much of their futuristic weaponry and technology, including the army of drones and mechs pitted against the players in Kaidan. Unknown to most of the Secret World, Manticore joins Sycoil in their attempts to harness the power of Anima, specifically for use in powering or creating weaponry: they have even managed to capture a tiny fragment of Agartha's legendary Guardian, allowing them to create a clone of this powerful entity - though they lack the means of controlling it, of course.
Plethron focuses on agricultural biotechnology, producing special genetically-engineered crops and pesticides in order to dramatically increase seasonal crop yield - making the group particularly celebrated in Third World nations. However, the conspiracy theories suggest that Plethron's GM crops have been specifically grown to alter human brain chemistry and encourage loyalty through addiction. Their ongoing attempts to create fireproof crops have met with failure, and while their efforts to create inexpensive protein bars from the giant locusts of Egypt initially proved successful, the mass breakout of locusts and insect golems on their Alpha Level have set their plans back by several years.
QBL Media supports developments in almost every form of informative or entertainment media, including television channels, movie studios, special effects studios, record labels, book publishers, newspapers, magazines, and even the occasional theme park. However, this all-encompassing grasp of media allows QBL to command vast influence on behalf of the group, even controlling the course of presidential elections and directing the opinions of entire countries - sometimes to the point of war. Players find themselves on the receiving end of this very influence when Samael uses QBL Media to frame them as the terrorists behind the Tokyo Incident.
Sycoil is an energy company initially concerned with developing safer methods of offshore oil drilling; since then, Sycoil has expanded its interests to almost all feasible sources of power, preparing alternate forms of energy to replace oil and coal. Unknown to most of the world, one of these energy sources in Anima: much of the group's covert efforts are focused on harnessing the lifeblood of the universe in much the same way as the civilizations of the Third Age had - even leading them to steal Third Age Custodians from Agartha. Unfortunately, this has also led to them to study the Filth as a possible source of energy as well, resulting in several fatalities. Outside the attempts to harness Anima and Anti-Anima, Sycoil is also a key partner in the Prometheus Initiative, an Orochi program established to harness the theoretically limitless energies produced by the Gaia Engines.
Vali is a major biotech firm specializing in genetic research, pharmaceutical development, and even the creation of biomechanical prostheses, gaining international acclaim for its creation of new drugs and vaccines. However, Vali also leads the Orochi Group in replicating the biological wonders of the Secret World: institutions such as Happy Smiles Kindergarten, Amity House, and the Nursery have been established across the world for the purposes of harnessing extrahuman potential - either capturing individuals with magical powers or forcing magical powers on unsuspecting individuals, most of them children. More disturbingly, Vali's Omega level has been attempting to gain access to Agartha by harvesting organs from a captive Bee-imbued agent and implanting them into their cyborgs.
Lastly, Zagan is a foodstuffs company well known for its line of packaged foods and beverages, and currently leads the market in providing nutritious GM products to the world; at present, Zagan is trying to perfect a form of vat-grown meat that will obviate the need for slaughtering animals. Like Plethron, however, Zagan also takes a great interest in brainwashing its customers, with particular focus on the mind-controlling spores of Cordyceps Unilateris. More disturbingly, their attempt to create vat-grown meat has resulted in a constantly-regenerating product that remains alive and conscious while Zagan scientists go about butchering it. Furthermore, their Alpha floor is currently engaged in a project to provide alternative foodstuffs for the major predators of the Secret World, while also studying the potential of these carnivores as foods in their own right: in one zone of the floor, wealthy businessmen enjoy gelatin flavored with the souls of the damned, while in another zone, vampires are driven to homicidal rage by chemical impurities in artificial blood.
Established in 1949 as an international investment group sponsoring technological and economic developments in the aftermath of World War II, the Tokyo-based corporation quickly proved a great success: attracting many great innovators in science and business, the Orochi Group flourished in the fertile economic conditions, and within a few short years of its establishment, the young corporation took to the global market with its eight subdivisions leading the way. However, this is only the official story behind the group; though most of the facts are fairly accurate, the true origins of the group lie in decisions made centuries earlier.
Behind the scenes, the group's founder was none other than Samael, the infamous fallen angel of legend. For countless eons prior to the beginning of the Fourth Age, Samael and his wife Lilith had plotted and fought their way across the millennia, seeking a means of taking over the world and achieving ultimate power. During the Third Age, the partners-in-crime found a possible means of achieving their ambitions: the Dreamers, cosmic entities kept dormant by the power of the Gaia Engines since the dawn of time; by seizing control of the Engines, it was believed that they could enslave the Dreamers and harness their reality-warping powers. Unfortunately, Lilith made the mistake of tampering too carelessly with the Engine that they had unearthed, and the Dreamers awoke from their slumber just long enough to obliterate human civilization, heralding the end of the Third Age.
Now in the Fourth Age, Samael had grown tired of searching for world domination through conquest; instead, he began a campaign of conquest through profit. Across the era, he served as a weapons dealer for humanity, encouraging their violent tendencies by providing the tools human being needed to inflict those tendencies on others. Though he lacked many of the resources he'd once possessed in the Third Age, Samael still had all the technical knowledge the previous Ages had left him with, and while the old technology could not be perfectly replicated without the physics of the time it had been created with, he was nonetheless able to provide suitable facsimiles for his customers; grateful for his support, the Fallen Angel's clients paid handsomely, and Samael quickly became rich.
As the world's economy changed, Samael began investing his wealth in the young corporations, sewing future profits along with future businesses of own. The creation of the Orochi Group was the logical conclusion of his economic conquest - a vast financial empire reaching every corner of the civilized world, invading regions previously dominated by the likes of the Illuminati, and though its forays into the Secret World were subtle and slow, its conquest of the mortal world was swift and ultimately absolute.
Within a few decades of its inception, the Orochi Group became a megacorporation: dictating the course of presidential elections and commanding the allegiance of senators and ministers all over world, its influence became all-encompassing and inescapable, drawing in billions of dollars a month via its eight immensely successful daughter corporations. Rival businesses tried time and again to sabotage the group's success, only to find themselves stymied not only by Orochi's security, but by their seemingly untouchable reputation: the Orochi Group enjoyed immense success in public relations with its generous donations to charity and revolutionary contributions to medicine, agriculture and energy, improving the quality of life for millions of people throughout the world.
By the 21st century, the group had ascended to such colossal heights that its headquarters dominated not only local business and sports teams, but also the skyline: today, the monolithic Orochi Tower stands as the tallest building in Tokyo, a fitting symbol of the biggest and most powerful corporation on Earth.
The Tokyo Incident
It was at this point that Samael chose to rest on his laurels: rather than using his influence to start a war or use his company as a staging ground for further takeovers, he instead chose to relax and enjoy the luxuries his vast fortune had afforded him. By now, he found the lifestyle of a corporate executive much more enjoy than his violent days in previous Ages, eventually inspiring him to go native on earth: going public as Orochi's newest CEO, Samuel Chandra, he settled easily into the role of an international celebrity. He also ushered Lilith into the company, dubbing her Lily Engel, chairwoman of Orochi's board of directors.
Unfortunately, Lilith had been under the impression that Samael was still planning for the eventual takeover of Earth, and was outraged to discover her husband had abandoned the goal that had inspired their marriage in the first place. Determined to continue their mission of conquest, she began secretly misusing her authority as chairwoman to command secret projects and direct official resources in illegitimate directions: the most prominent of these covert programs was the Prometheus Initiative, a project established by Samael in order to harness the limitless energies of the Gaia Engines; under Lilith's guidance, however, it was re-imagined as a gamble to enslave the Dreamers.
This in itself was bad enough, but Lilith's next gambit backfired: in her attempts to find loyal servitors to aid her quest, she had funded the creation of a cult known as the Morninglight, and conditioned them to worship the Dreamers yet obey her commands. Unfortunately, the Dreamers were able to secretly recondition the cult and turn them against her: the end result was the Tokyo Incident, a suicide bombing orchestrated by the Morninglight as an assassination attempt on Lilith. Though the bomb never reached Orochi Tower and Lilith survived unharmed, the device succeeded in unleashing the Filth on Tokyo, infecting thousands of people and killing thousands more.
Events Of The Game
Throughout The Secret World, the Orochi Group serves as both a reluctant ally and an opportunistic rival of the player, with Orochi bases and research teams found throughout every accessible zone in the game: in Solomon Island, Orochi researchers Blake and Radcliffe can be found studying the Fog surrounding the island and the zombie apocalypse that has overtaken the nearby towns; a secondary camp in the foothills of the Blue Mountain studies the emergence of the Filth in neighboring areas, commandeering the resources of the nearby CDC camp to that end. Meanwhile, Orochi forces in Egypt have established a major base within the ancient Atentist temple known as the Ankh, while a detachment or researchers sent deeper into the Valley of the Sun God have begun researching the Sentinels guarding the Black Pyramid. Finally, in Transylvania, Orochi operatives study the werewolves gathering around Harbaburestii, conduct kidnappings of local children throughout the Shadowy Forest, and manage the study of the Gaia Engine at the Breach and the experiments at the Nursery.
Often, Samael will covertly contact the players for trespassing on Orochi territory and attempting to steal Orochi files, though bargains made between the two generally ensure that the relationship between the corporation and the players' factions remain relatively cordial. However, during the player's second visit to Transylvania, players fall foul of Lilith while investigating the Nursery, permanently souring the relationship.
Doubly unfortunately, a visit to Tokyo allows the Black Signal to trick the players into believing that Lilith was behind the Tokyo bombing. In the ensuing attack on Orochi Tower, the players are formally warned by Samael that harming Lilith will result in them being subjected to the fall extent of the corporation's wrath - a warning that the players ignores; however, Lilith is able to convince the players to stand down just long enough to explain the truth - up until the Black Signal leads the Nephilim on an ambush on the penthouse in which Lilith ends up getting captured.
As a result, players find themselves the immediate target of Samael's vengeance, framed by QBL Media as one of the terrorists behind the Tokyo Incident - ensuring immediate and disastrous repercussions for the players' factions.
Notable Orochi Activities
|“|| Talk about opening Pandora's box. Okay, so as far as I know, it didn't start with our guys blowing a hole in the ground and going down into the dark... But I'm not saying it didn't make matters worse.
|~ Lisa Hui|
A notable focus of the Prometheus Initiative in the Valley of the Sun God, the Ankh was once a vast underground temple established by the Pharaoh Akhenaten during his mass-conversion of Egypt: worshiping one of the Dreamers as the sun god Aten, the infamous "Black Pharaoh" uncovered a wellspring of the Filth over the course of the Ankh's construction. Declaring it the condensed breath of his god, he ordered his followers to harvest, distill and even imbibe it - usually with horrific consequences. Though the temple was sealed by the Marya towards the end of Akhenaten's reign, the Orochi Group were able to excavate the ruins centuries later, bypassing the crumbling walkways through gantries and ladders, and establishing control centers at various points throughout the colossal shaft that formed the main body of the temple.
In their efforts to harness of the power of the Dreamers, the Group studied the Ankh at length, hoping to find a working Gaia Engine somewhere beneath the temple. Along the way, they experimented on the Filth and its many variants: the presence of infected test subjects at the Orochi camp suggests that individuals were being deliberately infected with strains of the Filth, sometimes to the extent of creating Bestial Filth and even Filth Shades. Of notable interest to the Group were the Atenist worshipers still entombed within the temple, either mummified in blasphemous rituals or left to wallow in the colossal lake of Filth at the bottom of the Ankh - many of them having transformed into colossal Shade Stalkers over the millennia; there were even biomechanical constructs, "machines of warped bone and sinew" still functional after eons of neglect.
However, as with all too many Orochi projects, the dig was compromised from within. An Orochi scientist by the name of Dr Klein had discovered a means of making himself immune to the Filth by exposing himself to minuscule doses of it at a time, gradually developing a tolerance to its effects; however, though it allowed him to avoid the gradual collapse into random mutations and insentience that most infectees suffered, it still allowed the Dreamers to influence him - without Klein ever becoming aware of it. With his sanity gradually unraveling into psychopathic megalomania, Klein obtained a magic staff from the Ankh's mummified high priest and used it to seize control of the temple's residents - both living and dead. Within hours, the Orochi forces stationed inside the Ankh were overrun and infected, before promptly being unleashed on the outside world.
By the time the players arrive in Egypt, only a handful of Orochi security personnel remain alive and uninfected. Having set up an encampment to the south of the Ankh, their lines of defense are the only thing protecting nearby Al-Merayah from the Filth infectees swarming in from the fallen base. Nonetheless, security chief Lisa Hui is able to direct the players towards the Ankh and a confrontation with Dr Klein himself.
The Song Of The Sentinels
|“||Clearly we have had a major communication failure. The Prometheus Initiative directives were explicit for a reason. If I've told you people once, I've told you a thousand times: leave these matters to your elders and betters. For my part, I am not angry, just... disappointed.||„|
One of Orochi's most egregious blunders in Egypt involved their interactions with the Sentinels in the City of the Sun God. As Akhenaten's hidden capital, the City of the Sun God is well known as the resting place of the Black Pharaoh himself; following the end of his reign and the dismantling of the Atenist cult, his body was interred within a colossal Black Pyramid at the very heart of the city. Unfortunately, the power of the Dreamers offered the possibility of his resurrection, and the only thing currently preventing Akhenaten from rising again and releasing the Aten itself from captivity are the Sentinels that watch over the pyramid. Seven human souls bound to seven giant statues, they have been charged with the task of keeping the Black Pharaoh from escaping, their united Songs of magic producing a hymn capable of suppressing Akhenaten's power.
As such, the trouble began when an Orochi research team entered the area; having followed the Atenist pilgrims through the unearthed entrance to the city, they set up a base camp in the northeastern end of the city and went about collecting rare magical artifacts and Third Age technology for use in the Prometheus Initiative. Against the stern warnings of Samael, the team's ambitions quickly eclipsed any caution on their part, and they decided to target the Sentinels themselves for pillaging: either unaware of the direct role the Seven played in preventing a Dreamer-led apocalypse - or arbitrarily dismissing it as superstition - they actually went so far as to steal a Song from one of them. Though the exact Sentinel robbed by the research team is dependent on which of the Seven the player visits last, the results remain the same: the Atenists were able to break into the Pyramid and Akehnaten was released from his sarcophagus, beginning a chain reaction that would eventually led to the end of the world.
Seemingly oblivious to the consequences of their actions, the research team continued stealing artifacts. At some point during this time, the Sentinel Houy managed to contact some of the Orochi personnel and explain the situation to them, possibly in a desperate attempt to get them to return the Song; unfortunately, Houy's message only succeeded in driving the recipients of this message insane, as was the case with wetworks operative Mr Smythe - mentioned in the lore entry on the Sentinels. Doubly unfortunately, the Filth emanating from the Black Pyramid soon reached the camp: by the time the player arrives in the area, any Orochi personnel still among the living are hopelessly Filth-infected.
Fortunately, Samael is still monitoring the site and is able to aid the player in reclaiming the Song and ensuring that no Filth-infectees leave the area with Third Age tech. Unfortunately, Orochi reinforcements immediately exploit the player's battle with Akhenaten by stealing the Black Pharaoh's trident following his defeat.
The Virgula Divina Program
|“||We were doing the right thing. 400 years ago, these girls would have been burned at the stake. Forget 400 years ago, right now they'd be put on the talk show freak circus. I don't know which is worse. We were doing the right thing.||„|
|~ Morgan Britt's files|
A Vali-run recruitment program, Virgula Divinia was one of the biotech firm's many attempts at acquiring extrahuman individuals, this time with the specific intention of utilizing their powers for the Prometheus Initiative - presumably with the intention of unearthing and activating Gaia Engines. Situated in the Amity House research facility in London, the program drew test subjects from all over the world, including Callie James, a young pyromancer assigned to the program under the guise of being committed to a mental hospital (her magical awakening having been mistaken for mental illness by mundane health officials).
Over the course of the testing procedures, the recruits were subjected to grueling drug therapies and mind-numbing tests of psychic potential, eventually graded on their potential for "Virgula Divina." Scoring only an 8.3 on the scale, Callie was dismissed as a petty arsonist and thrown out of Amity House, the Vali scientists trusting that her publicly-declared status as a mental patient would prevent anyone from believing her if she tried to testify against them.
Though the Fog prevented Vali talent scouts from abducting Carter from Innsmouth Academy, the program nonetheless found a new star pupil in the form of the mysterious Emma Smith, a young girl capable of incredible feats of magic, including the power to project and manipulate raw Anima. With a Virgula Divina rating of 416.9, Emma was quickly re-assigned to the Prometheus Initiative's efforts in Transylvania and shipped out of Amity House as soon as her paperwork was processed.
However, as is often the case with Orochi Group programs, Amity House quickly fell victim to the results of its own experiments; by the time Templar players arrive at the facility, it's effectively deserted.
|“||Her power output... it's beyond our charts! There's no ceiling, or I can't gauge it. She's breaking through!||„|
|~ Witnesses to Emma's breakthrough|
The logical conclusion of the Prometheus Initiative, the Breach is the end result of the Orochi Group's attempts to unearth a working Gaia Engine. Having been scouring the globe ever since the program's inception, research teams located several possible sources in New England and Egypt, though the presence of the Fog or the Atenists made safe retrieval an unlikely prospect at best. Eventually, Prometheus Initiative scientists in Transylvania finally discovered a working Gaia Engine buried deep in the Carpathian Mountains, the likely source of a Filth well polluting the nearby Roman baths.
Soon after, Emma Smith was sent in, accompanied by her foster parents and a security detachment led by Dragan Dzoavich. Through forced application of Emma's powers, the Orochi forces were able to burrow deep into the earth, breaching the core of the mountain and unearthing the Engine - creating the rift in reality commonly known as the Breach. Immediately following the excavation, the presence of the imprisoned Dreamer and the Gaia Engine quickly began to warp reality in the surrounding area, delaying the Orochi researchers' attempts to secure the Engine as they went about navigating the distorted gravity zones. Against all expectations, they were able to establish a control center at the Breach without exposing themselves to the Filth, and in an uncharacteristic display of competence, they didn't attempt to tamper with the Engine itself.
Unfortunately, Lilith chose that moment to make her move: having been acquiring forces exclusively loyal to her, she had gathered an army of her vampire offspring in order to claim the Gaia Engine. Overrunning the Orochi defenses at the Breach, the vampires established a garrison in the area to protect the Engine while the rest of the army went about seizing control of the surrounding area. Fortunately, Emma had been removed from the site by her foster parents and relocated to their disguised laboratory, where the three of them went about re-evaluating the situation. By the time the army reaches the secluded cabin where the laboratory is concealed, the Smiths have long since been evacuated, and Emma herself has vanished under her own power.
|“||Why the children? Are we explorers of science, or are we bogeymen? Yes.||„|
|~ Dr Schreber|
Perhaps the most infamous of all the Orochi operations in Transylvania, the Nursery was a research facility established to study the effects of supernatural power on human test subjects - most commonly children. Theorizing that children possessed a physical and mental plasticity that would allow them greater extrahuman potential than their adult counterparts, chief scientist Dr Schreber made exclusive use of prepubescent subjects in his experiments, requiring Orochi security teams to frequently abduct children from nearby settlements and groups, most commonly the Romani dwelling in the Shadowy Forest.
Throughout the buildup to Issue #7, children are kidnapped and transported to way-stations like the Hatchet Falls Facility, before being conveyed out of the forest and into the Carpathian Mountains; concealed within the dam at Lake Solomonari and well beyond the reach of most potential rescuers, the Nursery was the final destination of these children - in many cases, quite literally. Though none of the test subjects were deliberately abused outside of the experiments, countless children died over the course of the trials, and dozens more were transformed beyond all recognition by forced application of supernatural phenomena. Indeed, the surviving children were so altered by their experiences that the facility had to make use of robotic nannies to ensure the safety of their human staff members.
More disturbingly, Dr Schreber's warped philosophy actually garnered practical results: over the course of his experiments, he discovered unique applications for ghosts, demonic possession, parasitic fungi, and even the Filth when combined with child rest subjects. He even created a new form of werecreature, having recognized that individuals exposed to the lycanthropic virus only become werewolves due to millennia of folklore influencing their subconscious: children, too young to have fallen under this peer-pressure-like influence, could take on forms restrained only by their imagination - though the nature of the virus still left them feral and bloodthirsty. It is one of these werechildren, having escaped from the Nursery and made it as far as Harbaburesti, that ultimately prompts the player to investigate.
Unfortunately, Schreber's experiments with the Filth proved his undoing. Exposed to a minute dose of what he referred to as "The Zero Point Pathogen," he quickly devolved into paranoia, unleashing the test subjects on the Nursery in a fit of insanity. By the time players arrive at the Nursery, the entire facility has been overrun.
|“||I feel like I should apologize to my Bee subject. But he doesn't talk anymore. Or can't. Don't know his name. Never looked. Couldn't look. Can't face those eyes anymore. The eyes, Keyes!||„|
|~ Dr Walter Neff in his final report|
Bee-imbued agents like the players are not an anomaly within the Secret World, nor have they gone unnoticed by Orochi researchers. Recognizing the tactical and strategic value of Bee-imbued agents, having seen the other major factions employing them for long enough, Vali established a program to harness the power of the Bees for their own ends - with particular emphasis on their ability to traverse Agartha, the hollow earth connecting all possible areas and realities accessible only to those blessed by Gaia. Unlike the other major factions of the game, however, Orochi had no access to Bee-touched individuals of its own, so they had to improvise: making use of connections at the infamous prison known only as the Hive, Vali scientists were able to buy a single Bee-touched prisoner from one of the wardens.
With typical ruthlessness and typically over-complicated plans in mind, they began systematically vivisecting the prisoner for organs, implanting the extracted tissue samples in the latest generation of Manticore cyborgs: these cybernetic organisms were hoped to be the first in a series of explorers that would allow the Orochi access to Agartha and all it offered, from instantaneous travel across the world to rare and powerful artifacts from past Ages. Unfortunately, though the prisoner's nature as a Bee allowed him to return from death in the event that an operation went wrong, the grafted organs immediately vanished the moment prisoner died, forcing the scientists to keep him alive even as they stripped more and more flesh from his new body. Worse still, anesthetic had no effect on the captive Bee, requiring surgeons to leave him awake and screaming while they operated.
Ultimately, the cyborg recipients of the grafts were catastrophic failures: model after model suffered critical malfunctions, either reverting to catatonic comas, flying into homicidal rage at the slightest provocation, or simply breaking down after being hit with anything heavier than a feather. More to the point, even if a grafted model could be perfected, Vali's plans for an army of cyborgs quickly proved unfeasible: with only one Bee on offer and only so much tissue they could harvest until he died all over again, Orochi executives chose to pull the plug on the program; funding for Project Odyssey was cut and efforts reapplied to Samael's new Mitsubachi program.
During the attack on Orochi Tower in Issue #11, players can visit Vali's Omega level and find the capture Bee still kept on life-support, the long-abandoned cyborg recipients of his flesh still waiting patiently for orders. Killing the last of them proves too much of a shock for the prisoner's distended nervous system, and he dies - only to reappear in the central chamber, catatonic and unresponsive.
|“||Did you really think you were the only one who could cheat death? Did you think your organization was the only one that could find those individuals whose lips taste of honey? Allow me to introduce you to the Mitsubachi.||„|
The Mitsubachi are the Orochi Group's answer to the player characters: following the colossal failure of Project Odyssey, Samael himself decided on a much simpler and elegant plan of recruiting Bee-imbued individuals in much the same way as the other factions did. Though his talent scouts did not have the same range or infrastructure as those of the Illuminati or the Dragon, Samael made up for the limited number of recruits with sheer persuasion: few of the recruited Bees were able to resist his overtures for long, ultimately joining the first unit of what was to become known as the Mitusbachi - Japanese for "honeybee," appropriately enough.
However, the Mitsubachi were also granted more mobility than other Bees: most Bee-imbued agents rely on Gaia's pre-established system of Anima wells in order to teleport or return to the dead, finding themselves immediately transported back to the nearest well at the moment of expiration. However, Samael commissioned a specially-designed set of portable Anima wells from Sycoil: though there were some teething problems early in development, such as subjects materializing without their skin, this eventually proved to be one of Orochi's greatest success stories, allowing their elite forces greater mobility than any other Bee-imbued agent in the game.
In Issue #11, the Mitsubachi are deployed against the players during their final assault on the Penthouse. Though they are tough, determined and effectively unkillable opponents, their Anima wells still serve as an Achilles heel that the players can exploit: while the wells cannot be easily destroyed, the doors leading to them can be locked, effectively trapping the Mitsubachi inside until they can break through. Following the arrival of reinforcements from the lower levels, Samael's Mitsubachi are temporarily overwhelmed by the combined forces of the Jingu Clan, the House In Exile and the Korinto Kai, allowing players to hurry on ahead to confront Lilith. When they return, they find that the allied forces have successfully disabled the portable Anima wells, forcing the Mitsubachi to resurrect outside the building - leaving the way clear for the players' escape.
As a global megacorporation with fingers in every single conceivable pie on the planet, the Orochi Group is able to command a seemingly impossible array of resources and powers, eclipsing even the scope of groups like the Illuminati and the Templars. Like many typical megacorporations in fiction, the group has an army at its disposal, consisting not only of dedicated professionals armed with highly-advanced weaponry and equipment, but also the Orochi's own line of robot warriors. Along with humanoid drones specializing in riot suppression, unarmed combat, bladed melee, ranged combat, and even aerial bombardment, the security forces also include units of specially-designed tanks, spider-like artillery mechs, and even massive scorpion mechas capable of tearing through reinforced steel doors.
Orochi's unique weaponry and machinery is due entirely to Samael and Lilith's knowledge of Third Age technology, allowing them a technical headstart over the rest of the world. Though most of the technology is only on display at Tokyo and in remote facilities like the Nursery, the group's forces in Kaidan can be easily replenished due to the presence of the Manufactory: a colossal underground factory hidden deep beneath Orochi Tower, the Manufactory constantly churns out fresh drones, tanks and mechs for use against the players. Unfortunately, the Black Signal's technopathic abilities allow him to seize control of the entire facility and its army with relative ease.
Of course, the group's power is not limited to technological might; indeed, their global expansion also allows them access to impressive political and legal resources. Throughout the game, Illuminati executives express irritation at the fact that for every government official they can influence, the Orochi Group commands ten; with this in mind, along with QBL Media's proficiency in directing international politics, Orochi have it in their power to easily escape the consequences of their actions. Samael himself is well-versed in the contracts and treaties that bind the Secret World, and can readily make use of them in order to force the player to comply with his demands.
Lastly, though many Orochi scientists and soldiers alike demonstrate low opinions of magic - apparently finding it too exclusive or difficult for their tastes - the Group does employ mages in their ranks: quite apart from the supernatural prodigies acquired in the Rising Star programs and the Mitsubachi recruitment drive, many Orochi security operatives are taught how to utilize basic spells, allowing them to enhance their combat effectiveness to a degree.
- '蛇' (hebi) means a serpent in Kanji Japanese.
- The Orochi Group draws its name from Yamata No Orochi, a legendary eight-headed dragon in Japanese mythology; appropriately enough, the Group possesses eight subsidiaries often referred to as its heads.
- The eight daughter corporations also possess meaningful names that hint at their true natures: Anansi is also the name of a West-African trickster god known for deceit and cunning; Faust is a reference to the classic tale of the sorcerer who bargained with the Devil for power; Zagan is one of the presidents of Hell in Ars Goetica, well-known for his ability to turn wine into water; Vali refers to one of two figures in Norse Mythology, both named Vali - the former being born and grown to maturity in a matter of days solely to bring Hodr to justice, the latter being a son of Loki transformed into a wolf as punishment for orchestrating the murder of Baldur; Plethron means an over-abundance (likely reference to their mass fuel costs); It is unknown what Q.B.L. stands for but the abbreviations when read as one word, form the word "quibble" - to fight over petty issues; Though it is pronounced "Psy-Coil" spelt out Sycoil is simply "Sick-Oil".