|Also known as...||Deus Ex Machina|
|First Appearance||Maken X|
Maken (魔剣, Maken) is the titular silent protagonist of Maken X.
The Maken's physical form changes to become the weapons used by the currently controlled character. It is a grotesque, demon-like being at the core, with thin, moveable tentacles that build up its weapon-like shield around itself. Maken's golden eyes are shown to pass on to the person who is brainjacked, at least in regards to Kei Sagami.
As a silent protagonist, Maken does not have much of an identifiable personality. Like many other Atlus protagonists, Maken's personality is mainly built up by choices and responses from other people. The decisions it makes not only define it, but shape the future of the world.
In the manga, the Maken is shown to have a very simple mind. Jones, who programmed the brain of the Maken, is easily capable of manipulating it to his will. It hungers for strength beyond all else and resists its growing attachment to Kei.
Often referred to as the Maken, it is a life form that changes into a demon sword with the help of Fei Chao Lee's genes. It is a sentient weapon that can attack the Image, or soul, of a target. It uses the 'Brainjack' ability to overwrite the image of other people and possess them. However, this leaves its victims without a soul. The Brainjack ability also allows the Maken access to the memories of its host.
Even though the Maken is a man made object, it does have a mind and opinions of its own. Despite Kei Sagami being the female heroine, it is the Maken who is in control of the body and makes the decisions put to the player.
The Maken was developed by a small team under Chief Sagami at the developmental facility in Kanazawa, Japan. Upon awakening, Kei Sagami will ask that the Maken be given a name of its own choosing, which Peter Jones agrees to.
On the day of its awakening, the facility was attacked by Hakke Andrey. After the death of its original intended wielder, the Maken was taken by Kei Sagami in order to rescue her father from the attacker. Unfortunately, the Chief was successfully kidnapped. Andrey himself was defeated by the Maken in the process.
Following this, Fu Shou Lee asked the Maken to stop the Hakke from destroying the world and requests him to go to Moscow in order to retrieve Chief Sagami. To this end, the Maken brainjacks the captured Andrey, leaving Kei's body in the developmental facility.
The Maken takes a private flight to Moscow via the jumbo jet, the Ricondor. However, mid-flight the Ricondor is attacked and raided by the Sangyokai in order to stop the Maken. The jet is rendered in critical condition and cannot continue its journey for very long, forcing the Maken to transverse the jet and make his way to the emergency escape pod in the supply docks. Before evacuating the jet, the Maken has the option of brainjacking Gou Inaba and using his knowledge in flying aircraft to aid him in getting to Hong Kong, where it can then travel to Moscow. Otherwise, staying as Andrey will end up going to the Taj Mahal in India, which the Maken would have to partially transverse before going to Hong Kong. The person not brainjacked will presumably perish alongside the Ricondor and will no longer be accessible for the rest of the story.
Following the crash, the Maken ends up in the slums of Hong Kong, the home to the Sangyokai. While exploring Hong Kong, the Maken will eventually meet Fei Shan Lee, the sister to Fei Chao Lee and Fukenshi trainee. She requests the Maken to aid her by using her in order to defeat the Hakke Shajah, a Bollywood star who drains the life out of the populace of India using his songs. The Maken has the choice of accepting or refusing her request; accepting her request will allow the Maken to brainjack her while refusing her will make her ask it to change its mind, and will wait in the same room should the Maken reconsider. Attacking her should the Maken refuse will allow her to become vulnerable to being brainjacked, however the path to Shajah will be closed to the player.
The Maken then makes its way to Moscow where it meets Kati, the second in command of all Fukenshi, at the end of the stage. Kati reveals that Chief Sagami has been Brainjacked by Mr. Meteor, the mastermind behind the Hakke and the original artificial life form which the Maken was based on, in order to Brainjack the entire population of the world through Chief Sagami's knowledge on Image, essentially creating a world of the soulless. Being the mastermind of the Hakke, Kati explains that Mr. Meteor is also responsible for the large decline in the world population. Kati also requests the Maken to go further into Europe and assist the other Fukenshi in stopping the other Hakke from destroying its population.
During this time, the Maken must transverse through multiple European countries and cities. The Maken has the option of finding the other Fukenshi during several stages or ignoring them completely and just transverse the stage. Should the Maken meet with a Fukenshi, it has the option of assisting them take down the Hakke they are tasked with or refusing. Accepting their request will allow the Maken to Brainjack them and unlock several other European cities in order to fight the Fukenshi's corresponding Hakke. However unlike Fei Shan Lee, should the Maken refuse they will see this as a possibility that the Maken may assist the Hakke, and will then proceed to eliminate it. Beating them will allow them to be Brainjacked, however the route to the Hakke will become inaccessible, and thus impossible to brainjack. After every stage (or after every initial partial transversion of stages), Kei will talk to the Maken and ask about his opinions on humanity. Kei will also become weaker over time and will eventually lose consciousness, unable to converse with the Maken anymore. The choices the Maken makes during this phase, including helping the Fukenshi, defeating the Hakke and answering Kei's questions affects the possible route the player will take in the story.
Eventually the Maken will make his way to Lisbon, however entering Lisbon provides no point of return; meeting with any Fukenshi and Hakke in Europe will become inaccessible. At the harbour in Lisbon, the Maken will meet up with Kati and Kou Yamashiro, who travelled from the research institure in Kanazawa in order to meet the Maken. Typically, Kati will ask the Maken to go to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to confront the Hakke Youthfu, the oil king responsible for the oil crisis in the world. Kati explains that the oil crisis is creating a tension between China and the USA, explaining that the USA severely frowns upon China's monopolization of oil. The tension is so great that it could eventually spark into a war between the two superpowers, again reducing much of the human population, hence the urgence. However, Kou then urges the Maken to go to the Amazon in Brazil, where Dr. Guiness, a former colleague to Chief Sagami and leading professor in Image theories as well as former team member in developing the Maken itself resides. He explains that Kei's own Image is being merged with the Maken as time passes and eventually Kei's Image will become irretrievable. The Maken is given an option to support or refuse either or both requests, which heavily impacts the later routes. Regardless of the Maken's decision, Kati will say that her request is an imperative and can't be delayed. Kou concedes and asks the Maken to visit Dr. Guiness after he deals with Youthfu. Refusing one request will disgruntle the other character.
Alternatively, should the Maken defeat all of the Fukenshi in Europe and leave the Hakke alone, Kati will question if the Maken is siding with the Hakke. Should the Maken confirm this and refuse to visit Dr. Guiness, Kati will convince Kou that the Maken must be stopped should he wish to save Kei, to which he agrees to. Kati and Kou will have to be faced at the end of the stage as bosses but only allowing Kati to be brainjacked. Afterwards, the Maken makes its way to Mecca to meet with Youthfu.
The Maken has one of two choices at this point depending on its choices; either proceed to Mecca to confront Youthfu or visit Dr. Guiness in his lab within the Amazon.
Should the Maken make its way to Saudi Arabia, it will arrive in the desert palace which Youthfu resides. Youthfu is faced at the end of the level, but not before proclaiming that the Maken is too late in stopping the war, claiming that both the USA and China are advancing their forces with Japan being caught in the crossfire. However, if the Maken has fought Kati and Kou in Lisbon, Youthfu will instead try to recruit the Maken, claiming that justice is relative, about how one side calls the other side evil which leads a repeated history of war. Furthermore, he reveals that Kati intentionally allowed Chief Sagami to be Brainjacked in order to fuel the Maken to kill Mr. Meteor. Should the Maken refuse his invitation, he becomes confused as to what motivates the Maken and he is fought anyway. If the Maken accepts his invitation, Youthfu will send the Maken to the Kunlun Mountains, where Fu Shou Lee resides in order to overthrow him.
On any route apart from the Hakke route, the Maken has the option to visit Dr. Guiness in Brazil and/or go to the White House in the USA in order to convince the US President to stop the war. In the True Chaos route, the Maken makes its way to the US.
If the Maken decides to visit Dr. Guiness, the Maken will have to transverse the Amazon before reaching Dr. Guiness' lab. If Kati's request to go to Arabia is refused and the Maken has not stopped Youthfu, Kati appears outside of Dr. Guiness' lab to confront the Maken. Out of frustration, Kati is fought and defeated. Otherwise, Kati does not make an appearance in this level and the Maken proceeds. Within the lab, Kei's body along with the Maken is analyzed by Dr. Guiness. He then reveals that there is only one way to save Kei, and that is to do a reverse Brainjack. However, by doing a reverse Brainjack, the Maken will die, essentially acting as a sacrifice for Kei to live. The Maken's decision for this heavily impacts of the ending. Should the Maken refuse and fought Kati outside the lab, the Sangyokai raids Dr. Guiness' lab and kills him. If it accepts and hasn't went to Arabia, this locks the Maken into the Sacrificial route. Otherwise, Maken leaves to go to the USA to stop the President.
In the White House, the Maken enters its secret underground facility in order to meet with the President. However, the President is revealed to be the Hakke William, who reveals that the war is in fact entirely orchestrated. Should the player be in the True Chaos route, William speculates what the Maken's motivations might be, claiming that it and Mr. Meteor aren't completely different. After defeating William, the Maken makes its way to the Forbidden City in China to confront Mr. Meteor, who has Brainjacked the Chairman of China.
In the Sacrificial route, the Maken and Kou return to the Kanazawa Research Institute, however the plane containing Kei's body is hijacked by the Sangyokai. Mr. Meteor reveals that it stole Kei's body, and should the Maken wish to retrieve her, the Maken must confront it in the Forbidden City. To this end, Kou wields the Maken and makes his way through the Forbidden City.
The Maken transverses the Forbidden City, and eventually enters an alternate dimension where Mr. Meteor resides in. The final boss differs between endings, including whether the Maken fights Mr. Meteor or not. Typically, the Maken confronts Mr. Meteor, who uses the Chairman's body to wield itself as a sword. After its defeat, Mr. Meteor transforms itself into the Chinese creator god, Pangu. Even so, the Maken defeats Pangu, which reverts back into Mr. Meteor and shortly afterwards dissipates in its sword form. The ending is played out afterwards.
Should the Maken completely ignore the visit to Dr. Guiness and makes stopping Mr. Meteor its only priority, the Maken is locked onto the Fukenshi route. Before the Maken faces Mr. Meteor, Kou instead appears outside of the room Mr. Meteor dwells in and serves as the final boss. He confronts the Maken in anger for not saving Kei, but is ultimately no match for the Maken. Kei's Image is completely absorbed by the Maken.
Should the Maken decide not to sacrifice itself and refused to help the Fukenshi, Mr. Meteor will instead offer a truce between the Maken as it views the Maken helping people in its own way, very much similar to how Mr. Meteor claims to be helping humans. Should the Maken refuse this offer, Mr. Meteor will point out its foolishness and the fight between the Maken and Mr. Meteor plays accordingly and locks the Maken in the Saving Sagami ending. Otherwise, Mr. Meteor will give the Maken information as to how to save Kei, locking the Maken in the Saving Kei ending.
In the Hakke route, the Maken instead makes its way to the Kunlun Mountains in order to face Fu Shou Lee. After defeating several Fukenshi in training and arriving in its inner shrine, the Maken confronts Fu Shou Lee, who is disappointed in the Maken.
In the Saving Sagami ending, everyone Brainjacked by Mr. Meteor retains their image. However Kei's Image is absorbed by the Maken completely. Chief Sagami regains consciousness in Kanazawa and shortly Kei as well, much to everyone's surprise. However, Sagami notes on inspection that it is actually the Maken within Kei's body, as the Maken leaves the room.
In the Saving Kei ending, the Maken returns to Kanazawa Research Institute. Using the information from the Maken, Peter Jones and Anne Miller separate Kei's Image from the Maken and revives Kei. However, Kei is disappointed in the Maken in saving her over saving her father.
In the Sacrificial ending, Kou arrives to the room Mr. Meteor resides in, and witnesses Kei's body stuck within a crystal. Kou initiates the reverse brainjacking by throwing the Maken at Kei, who is then freed from the crystal and defeats Mr. Meteor upon receiving the Maken's powers. After the battle, the Maken sword body starts to crumble, and upon learning why from Kou, Kei tearfully thanks the Maken and promises not to forget its sacrifice.
In the Fukenshi ending, the war comes to a halt. Within the White House, several members question if the US can ever trust China again despite the ceasefire. However, the President claims that the "devil" who was controlling China is now gone, and requests he be left alone. The President is revealed to be holding onto the sword form of the Maken, hence revealing that the Maken has Brainjacked the President and is in control of one of the world's greatest superpowers.
In the Hakke ending, Anne and Jones are seen talking to each other in the research institute, revealing that the war between China and the US has started. Their conversation runs short as both seemingly drop dead (heavily implied to have been a mass Brainjacking by either Mr. Meteor or the Maken), before the Chairman of China, being Brainjacked by Mr. Meteor, appears in the monitor in front of them. It proclaims about establishing a new order by controlling human throughts and only allowing a select few live in the world. Kei is seen being completely absorbed by the Maken, who struggles to get out.
In the True Chaos ending, Fu Shou Lee comments that while the Maken has defeated Mr. Meteor like it was intended, he failed to save Kei who is revealed to be important in restoring the world. Along with defeating the Fukenshi, he states that it is up to the Maken in restoring the world, as essentially it now has the power of both order and chaos.
The Good ending is unlocked if the Maken helps all the Fukenshi and agrees with Kou to save Kei. Upon defeating Mr. Meteor, Chief Sagami is revived and separates Kei's Image with the Maken as the Maken returns to the research institute, saving her in the process. As Kei and Kou celebrate, Jones asks the Chief about what will happen to the Maken now that it has served its purpose. The Chief states that since the Maken has defeated Mr. Meteor and has a mind of its own, the Maken has potential to become even more dangerous than Mr. Meteor was, revealing his intent to seal the Maken.
A 'True' Good ending is available if the Maken achieves all the criteria in the Good ending, but also if it acts humane, agrees to Kei's questions and shares her point of view of humanity. Before Kei loses her consciousness prior to arriving in Lisbon, she will promise the Maken to go around the world with it after the crisis is over. After the Good ending, an epilogue plays out after the credits in which Kei meets an isolated Maken, unsealing it to fulfil their promise together.