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Aoi Kurashiki
Santa
Aliases Silver *
Santa (サンタ) *
Student *
Gender Male
Age 15 *
24 *
(born c. 2003)
Status Alive
Hair color White
Eye color Blue
Relatives Unnamed parents (deceased)
Akane Kurashiki (sister)
Occupation Co-leader of Crash Keys
Stockbroker
Appearances 999
Virtue's Last Reward (indirectly mentioned)
Zero Time Dilemma (mentioned)
Voice Sean Chiplock (English)
Kishō Taniyama (Japanese)
"Didn't I tell you? I'm Santa Claus. It's time for me to go make a wish come true."
— Aoi, to the other players before leaving the Incinerator, and his final words before disappearing in 999

Aoi Kurashiki (倉式 葵 Kurashiki Aoi), also known by his codename Santa, is one of the nine players in the Nonary Game masterminded by Zero in Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. He claims he was kidnapped just like everyone else. Throughout the game, Aoi presents himself as a cocky, edgy, wild and indifferent young punk.

In reality, Aoi is the co-mastermind of the game, working alongside his sister, Akane Kurashiki. His bracelet number appears to be 3, although his true value is 0 - his sister's true value is also 0. This is confirmed in #9 and #46 of the 999 Q and A.

Snake's theory about Santa's true value being 0 is correct, but his theory that June's bracelet is 9 is a half-truth; it is indeed an upside down 9, but the true value of her bracelet is also 0.

There is a theory that Aoi's bracelet is 9, but this has never been officially proven. Given the combination that opens the safe/coffin (14383421) and multiplying it by 9 is 129450789. This could reveal the actual values of all the bracelets, as it is a sequence of numbers from 1 to 9, where 3 (Santa's number) and 6 (Akane's number) are replaced by other numbers, one could theorize his true value is 9. However, this has never been confirmed. Aoi's bracelet number could be seen as being both 0 and 9 at the same time like his sister's. Whether or not the true value is 0 or 9, the result is still the same because adding either number to other numbers doesn't change the digital root.

Appearance

SantaPast

15-year-old Aoi in 2018.

Aoi has white spiky hair adorned with two black headbands, blue eyes, and a slim build. It is possible he dyes/bleaches his hair white like Phi and that his natural hair color may be black or brown.

He wears a thin black scarf, white tank top, black pants, black arm warmers, and brand new black and silver boots. Like the other players, he wears a bracelet on his left wrist.

In the past, Aoi wore a dark private school uniform with a blue scarf, black pants, brown shoes, and a white messenger bag.

Personality

"The most dangerous. Like a lone wolf, he has no spirit of cooperation. Self-righteously does what he wants. As long as he's okay, that's all that matters to him; he doesn't care what happens to everyone else. He often is the voice of dissent, starting arguments and causing cracks in the tenuous group peace. However, because he is so rebellious, I'm sure once you get him on your side, he will be a great ally. If you are able to get him to be frank, you may even be able to find out about his secret past."
— Kotaro Uchikoshi [1]
JuneOkay

Aoi concerned about June's fever.

Although Aoi is usually rude, smug, arrogant, and cocky, he tends to be sarcastic and mysterious as well. When extremely agitated, he has the tendency to use profanity. This doesn't necessarily mean he lacks empathy or is cold, however. He keeps pushing forward and doesn't like dealing with indecisiveness. Aoi is also the most profane character in the game, and is second only to Dio in the series.

He is a lone wolf, and he has no spirit of cooperation, preferring to work by himself. He was very suspicious of the other players and didn't trust anyone, other than himself. At one point in the Nonary Game, he even advised Junpei to not trust the others in any circumstances whatsoever, saying that anyone could deceive him. Depending on the doors chosen, he strikes a small "friendship" during his nine hours with Junpei, presumably because he knows that Junpei will be the one to save his sister, and even gives Junpei a bookmark.

He describes himself as a "21st century guy" and says he has no reason to live by old-fashioned 20th century standards.

107Degrees

Aoi being scientific.

Aoi is intelligent, having knowledge about quite a bit of science, as exhibited during the kitchen investigation room.

Aoi may be bisexual or pansexual, but it's ambiguous (see Trivia). However, his sexual orientation is never a point of conversation or relevant to being trapped in a life-or-death game.

Aoi is based on the "Enthusiasm" Enneagram of Personality. Its fear is based on being trapped in pain and deprivation and its desire is to be satisfied and content, much like how Aoi fears losing his sister.

It is not exactly clear how much of Aoi's smug and arrogant personality is a facade designed to conform to the vision Akane foresaw. However, he does show a similar personality in the flashbacks to 9 years prior.

Background

Childhood

Aoi was born into the Kurashiki family, which included his parents and sister Akane. His father had dual nationality and went back and forth between Japan and America frequently because of his work.

Aoi's parents died when he was about 8 years old in 2011. His father was sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit — the murder of a woman who was heavily implied to be Eric's mother (it is heavily implied that the true killer was Mira). In grief, his mother killed herself, leaving her children behind. Aoi was instead told that his parents died in an "accident" (possibly a car crash, but this is unconfirmed) and the two became orphans. This was all the result of a snail which indirectly killed Aoi's parents, as well as a taxi driver, a surgeon, and a young boy named Sean who a robot would be named after. It's possible that Aoi actually knew the truth of how their parents died but maintained the lie in an attempt to preserve Akane's innocence.

Since Aoi and Akane had no relatives to turn to in Japan, he became a guardian for his younger sister Akane and the two lived happily together. Aoi cared deeply for her and tried to give her the world, even if it meant he got nothing in return. Though the two were financially poor, they were happy together. Every year for Christmas, he would tell his sister to write a letter to Santa Claus asking for a gift or two that she wanted and he would send it to a fake address located in Europe. Before she could go to the mailbox to send it, Aoi would take the letter that came back marked "Unknown address" and read the list she wrote to Santa Claus that year. Using the money that he had saved up over the year, Aoi would use it to buy the present Akane had asked for. However, one year, Akane wrote that she wanted to have "things stay the way they are now", because she was happy.

First Nonary Game

Unfortunately for the two of them, shortly after receiving her letter, they were chosen and kidnapped by Cradle Pharmaceutical to participate in the First Nonary Game for scientific purposes after they passed a Ganzfeld Experiment test in one of Cradle's hospitals. Due to the fact that both he and Akane are wearing school uniforms in the First Nonary Game, it can be reasonably assumed that they were kidnapped either on their way to or from school. However, Akane was accidentally put on the Gigantic when she was supposed to go to Building Q in Nevada. During the First Nonary Game, he and the rest of the players received a four-leaf clover from a blind boy.

Although Aoi put in a lot of effort to ensure he and Akane survived the First Nonary game, it was in vain. In an incinerator, they were rescued by a detective who who found a vent and made a rope of bedsheets. After escaping and going back for a present she had received from Junpei, Akane was caught and thrown into the incinerator by Gentarou Hongou. The incinerator was launched into emergency mode, forcing Akane to ask for the future Junpei's help. These events nine years prior to the start of the Second Nonary Game would contribute to its creation. In the timeline in which Akane did not survive, Aoi saw her remains laying on the ground and screamed in grief.

After Akane was able to escape in another timeline, she reunited with her brother and proceeded to escape along with the other kids on the ship. Because Akane was only able to escape by enabling the Second Nonary Game, he agreed to help plan it to save his sister and avoid a time paradox.

Crash Keys

Sometime between 2018 and 2022, Akane got her brother Aoi to take stock from Cradle Pharmaceutical. Due to being an esper who saw through the eyes of Junpei 9 years in the future that Cradle Pharmaceutical would suddenly become a huge company, she told Aoi to buy stock in Cradle Pharmaceutical when they were cheap, so they made a ton of money when it was eventually listed on the stock exchange. Cradle became successful due to the drug Soporil. They took that money and invested in other stocks and increased their fortune. Before long they were millionaires and eventually formed an organization called Crash Keys to help with the execution of their plans some time between 2022 and 2028. It wasn't just the two of them doing everything as they had dozens of underlings working for them.

Second Nonary Game preparation

Knockout gas

Aoi, Akane and Crash Keys kidnap the participants with gaseous Soporil.

During the following years after the First Nonary Game, Aoi helped his sister Akane plan and prepare the Second Nonary Game. This was to get revenge on the Cradle Pharmaceutical executives and to have Junpei save Akane in the past.

In August and November 2027, he helped kidnap the participants to be in the game and brought them to Building Q in Nevada, as well as Teruaki Kubota, Nagisa Nijisaki and Kagechika Musashidou. Kubota and Nijisaki were forced to swallow bombs while they were unconscious.

Aoi wore a bracelet which had the number 3, which secretly functioned as a number 0 bracelet.

Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

Characters stairs 1

Aoi at the beginning of the Nonary Game.

The Nonary Game began when they set off an explosion in the lower decks of the ship. His mission was to ensure Junpei would save Akane since he was the only one who could, due to his relationship with her. Aoi would also act like a "bad guy" to hide his intentions. He apparently escaped from a room similar to the 3rd class cabin, although this could just be a lie, and met up with the other players at the central staircase. He was the first to run towards the numbered doors and finds both locked.

Suddenly, Zero started talking on the loud speaker. He told the players that they were participating in the Nonary Game and that they had a set of rules in their pockets. Junpei read out the rules, and Zero told them that they had 9 hours to escape. He flickered off the loudspeaker, leaving Aoi to use "language coarse enough to embarrass a sailor". The players started looking around the area for a way to escape, but found that they are sealed off with every door locked. The players, including Aoi, start arguing about their next course of action, but Junpei interrupts them and requests that they exchange information with each other. Seven suggested that they should choose codenames. Aoi decided to choose Santa for his codename while Akane chose June.

SantaTrap

Santa on the 9th Man's death.

Shortly after Teruaki Kubota introduced himself, he had taken hostage of Clover. Aoi watched as Kubota entered Door 5 by himself and died after realizing he was tricked by Hongou about the DEAD authentication. When the players decided to view what happened to Kubota, Aoi and the others were horrified by the gruesome remains of the tricked man. Akane soon became feverish, grieving on why Kubota had to die, with Junpei rushing to her side to comfort her.

The clock soon rang, signaling that it was 10 P.M. Aoi insisted on proceeding through the doors, but before they do, Snake used a braille message from Zero to explain to Aoi and the other players how the RED, DEAD, and bracelets work. With everyone better informed, they head towards the numbered doors. Aoi refused to go through Door 5, claiming that his new shoes would get dirty, though he said that to presumably prevent Akane from going through Door 5, since they would have to go through together.

If Junpei chooses Door 4

Cloverbook

A bookmark with a drawn clover.

Hongou, Snake, Clover, and Seven decided to go through Door 5 and Aoi, Junpei, Akane, and Lotus go through Door 4. Aoi and the others soon found themselves in the 2nd class cabin. Aoi soon asked Junpei if he could take a bookmark he found off his hands. Junpei questioned him at first but eventually relieved Aoi by taking the bookmark. Here, Aoi reveals his intense dislike of the words "hope", "faith", "love", "luck", and even "destiny". Afterwards, they managed to escape the cabin but discovered that they were in a kitchen.

HotStove

Aoi burns his hand on a hot stove.

When exploring the freezer Aoi, Akane, and Junpei suddenly found themselves trapped inside it, with Lotus unable to help. Shivering, they quickly tried to find their way out. While Junpei was looking at a bag of dry ice, Aoi wondered why carbon dioxide never turned into a liquid. Akane mentioned that there was a kind of ice called Ice-9 that froze and melted at 96 degrees, which captured both Aoi's and Junpei's interest. She then started talking about how similar it was to how glycerin was first crystallized. Aoi suddenly suggested that they should get back to work before they freeze to death. Junpei made a "bomb" by filling a water bottle with crushed dry ice and tying it to the freezer door. It blew the ice off the handle and they all tumbled out, happy to be alive. Aoi and Lotus bickered for a bit more and before it got out of hand. Junpei soon found the Saturn key card and they managed to escape the kitchen.

Reunion

Hospital room view 2

The large hospital room.

They followed the exit and opened the double doors to find themselves in the large hospital room. There were three numbered doors (Door 3, Door 7, and Door 8) in the room. They examined the REDs and realized they were not functioning. They soon reunited with Snake's group and exchanged information. Afterwards, they went off to look for the missing RED parts.

During this time, Aoi went to one of the small rooms on C Deck, subdued Snake with gaseous Soporil, made him wear a ceremonial robe and had the kidnapped Nagisa Nijisaki wear Snake's clothing. Afterwards, Aoi presumably placed the RED parts back into the REDs. Due to his prosopagnosia and Nijisaki's clothing, Hongou soon killed Nijisaki under the assumption that he was Snake in order to eliminate a potential threat.

All the other players came back and saw that the parts were mysteriously put back in. Junpei noticed that Snake has not come back from his search so the players split up to find him. Clover was worried that something had happened to her brother. Afterwards, the players decided that they had to move on and Lotus proposed that for the most people to survive, one player had to sacrifice themselves. Akane harshly rejected the idea, but Hongou injected himself with liquid Soporil so they couldn't bring him along.

If Junpei chooses Door 3

Should Junpei choose Door 3, Aoi will say that that is impossible, as it would leave yet another person behind and asks him to choose again. If Junpei insists on Door 3 (a decision which, according to later dialogue, is motivated by the desire not to leave June), he will then trick Seven and June into authenticating, and finally scans it himself.

  • 7 + 6 + 5 = 18 = 1 + 8 = 9

This still isn't enough to make a digital root of 3, so Junpei says either Aoi, or Lotus and Clover could come with him.

  • 7 + 6 + 5 + 3 = 21 = 2 + 1 = 3

or

  • 7 + 6 + 5 + 8 + 4 = 30 = 3 + 0 = 3
Santa lotus race

Lotus drags Clover to Door 3 but loses.

At this point, Aoi, Clover and Lotus realize it's a potential life-or-death situation as to who scans their bracelets at the REDs next. A furious Aoi calls Junpei a "son of a bitch". Despite Lotus and Clover getting a running headstart, Aoi manages to pass them and scan his bracelet at the RED and says "This is insane! This isn't right!" Aoi enters Door 3 with Junpei, June, and Seven, and leaves the incredulous and desperate Clover and Lotus behind. Aoi calls Junpei a "son of a bitch" again, and explores the shower room with Junpei, June and Seven. There, they find Snake's exploded corpse.

Fortunately for Clover and Lotus, the group returns. A furious Lotus slaps Junpei hard across the face for what happened before.

If Junpei chooses Door 7

Aoi asked Junpei which door he wanted to go through and he picked Door 7. Aoi quickly mentioned that Akane had to go into Door 8 because that was the only way to split the six of them up evenly. While Akane and Junpei were scared about being separated, Seven reassured them that the two groups will meet back up somewhere. With that, Seven, Clover, and Junpei hurried through Door 7 and Aoi, Akane, and Lotus went through Door 8.

Aoi and his group escaped the laboratory at about the same time Junpei and his group escaped the operating room. They met inside of a long hallway and they followed it back to the hospital room.

If Junpei chooses Door 8

Aoi enters Door 7 with Akane and Seven, while Junpei, Clover and Lotus enter Door 8. They visit the Operating Room.

Reunion

The two groups escape their respective rooms and to their surprise, meet back in the hospital room. The players told a now-awake Hongou about what they went through and they planned their next course of action. Clover spoke up and wanted to check Door 3 to see if her brother was there. Hongou and Seven grudgingly followed her in to investigate. Meanwhile, Lotus wanted to see what their keys that they had found would open. Aoi went with Lotus to the Earth door and Akane and Junpei went down to the Saturn elevator. Aoi and Lotus find Door 1 behind the Earth door and quickly went back to the central staircase to share their news. Akane and Junpei had apparently found Door 6 after taking the elevator down to E Deck. The four of them head back to the hospital room to report their findings.

Shower-death

An explosive death in the shower room.

They walked into a dreadful room, with Hongou telling them that they had found what appeared to be Snake's corpse in the shower room, blown up like Kubota. The four decided to go look at his body but almost suffocated from the smell. They head back to the hospital and theorized how "Snake" (Nijisaki) might have died. Seven suggested that the culprits forced him to authenticate at the door, threw him in, and waited 9 seconds for the door to close. With no one else in the room to authenticate on the DEAD, the bomb in his body exploded. Hongou suggested that Zero was the murderer and Clover suggested Zero was actually one of the players. Shocked, Hongou told her that she had to be willing to trust the other players, as if they don't, they would be falling into Zero's trap.

With Clover convinced and another hour ticking by, they went to the Mercury elevators. Akane and Junpei checked where the elevator led to and it went down to the bottom deck, the home of Door 2. They went back up and gave everyone the news. This now gave the players three options in which doors to go through: Door 1, 2, or 6. Junpei came up with a voting system to see who goes into what door but had a plan to cheat the system to choose whatever door he wanted.

Safe / Zero Lost Ending

Aoi goes through Door 6 with Junpei, Ace, and Akane. They end up in the Steam engine room where Akane's fever returns, justifying that Junpei picked the wrong path. He is forced to watch his sister suffer in silence. Aoi tells Ace and Junpei about the rat experiment with morphogenetic fields.

Santa good bad

Aoi staring at a photo of his late sister.

Later, they find Aoi sitting on the stairs, looking at a picture. Aoi says that the picture is of his sister, and that she was "as cute as a button". After June jokingly asks if she was as tall as a button, Aoi talks about how he always brought her presents at Christmas because their parents died when they were young and that he had to be a father figure to her. One year, Aoi received a letter from his sister saying that she didn't want any Christmas gifts and instead asked for things to remain just as they have been, because she was happy. He then tells Junpei that she died 9 years ago, and Aoi also believes it is his fault his sister died. In actuality, Aoi lied about his sister's death in order to save her.

If this escape room is approached from another path, the conversation that takes place is instead a story told by Aoi about a white Santa and a black Santa and how the white one killed the black one which stained his clothes red. Aoi then ponders which of those Santas he is.

999Novel5

Aoi and Akane find the revolver, which Ace secretly takes.

After speaking about his sister, the group advances to the cargo room. While searching the room, Akane collapses. While talking to Junpei, Aoi suggests taking her to one of Ace's hospitals, revealing his knowledge of Ace's past. When Junpei asks how Aoi knew this, Aoi claims that Ace told him before (which is a lie - Ace would never reveal his background so easily).

They find two Door 9s in the Chapel. Aoi refuses to leave Akane behind and they decide to find the others. Upon reaching the central staircase, they learn from Seven and Lotus that Clover has vanished. They all break up to search for her, but Seven finds her dead in the 1st Class Cabin. After Junpei opens the safe in the room, he summons everyone to the Large Hospital Room.

June feverish hospital room

Aoi comforting his feverish sister.

There, he reveals Snake is still alive and Ace attempted to kill him. He also pretends to be Aoi in order to reveal that Ace has prosopagnosia. Although he denies it at first, Ace eventually admits to killing the Ninth Man, Clover and Guy X. He then holds Lotus at gunpoint to escape, threatening to kill her to escape. They attempt to follow him but Akane starts to feel sick. Aoi volunteers to stay with her until she feels better.

Eventually Aoi and Akane part and he heads to the Captain's Quarters. He pretends to be Zero and admits he lost the Nonary Game because he couldn't save his sister. Aoi then knocks out Junpei, Seven, and Lotus with Soporil, but it is unknown what he does with them.

True Ending

After they made their choices, Junpei picked Door 1, and Aoi accused him of switching his vote after seeing the results. Junpei showed him the papers, his trick already complete, and Aoi furiously snorted, telling him that he got lucky. Junpei, Clover, and Hongou went through Door 1, and Seven and Lotus joined Aoi and Akane to go through Door 6.

RevolverInCoffin

The revolver Aoi secretly takes.

Aoi and his group found their way through the steam engine room and the cargo room. While in the cargo room, Aoi secretly took the golden revolver from the coffin and stashed it in his pocket while no one else (Akane, Seven and Lotus) was looking.

After leaving the room, they reached a door, which turned out to be the chapel. The room contained two Door 9s and a coffin. Aoi, Seven, and Lotus could have escaped right then and there, but Aoi refused to leave Akane behind as Junpei still had to save her past self. They went back to the central staircase to get the other players and brought them down to the chapel.

June santa hostage 1

Aoi holds his sister at gunpoint.

In the chapel, they found that although there are two Door 9s, they cannot split themselves in a way for all of them to escape. Seven volunteered to sacrifice himself, but the other players harshly refused to leave him behind. Aoi spoke up and said that he also doesn't want to leave Seven by himself. He quickly pulled the revolver out of his pocket and held Akane hostage. He states that he doesn't care about Akane and will do anything to escape. He even fires the gun to scare the other players to do what he says. He also threatens to kill Clover for questioning him. He then forced Hongou and Lotus to authenticate and they quickly left through the big Door 9, leaving Junpei, Clover, and Seven with no apparent way out.

True end incinerator 4

Aoi in pain after being punched by Ace.

Aoi led his unwilling group into the incinerator when suddenly, Ace sucker-punched him in the stomach. Ace took the revolver and took Lotus hostage, dragging her towards the final "Door 9" and turning the tables against Aoi. Suddenly, Junpei and his group rushed into the incinerator. Hongou authenticates, and to his surprise, the door didn't open. He angrily tried a few more times, leaving him open for Seven to charge at. He was knocked to the floor by Seven's blow and painfully kneeled on the ground. Junpei got him to admit that he killed the other executives and made him realize, to his dismay, that he was being manipulated by Zero into killing them.

Junpei, thinking he knew everything, requested Aoi to admit that he was Zero. He calmly revealed himself to be Aoi Kurashiki and Zero's assistant but stated that he wasn't Zero. He told them that the main reason why they were there was to save his sister Akane. The other players looked around the room and saw that she had disappeared. Aoi took the revolver back from Ace and dragged him out of the incinerator, leaving the other players there. He then began the incineration process.

After saving Akane, the siblings left Building Q and placed the tied-up Hongou into an SUV that was left outside the facility. Aoi then drove a jeep through the desert with Akane, now that the Second Nonary Game fulfilled its purpose. Junpei, the others, and a hitchhiker they picked up named Alice planned on finding them, but to no avail.

It is unknown what happened to him after leaving Building Q, although he probably continued to work with Crash Keys.

Virtue's Last Reward

Aoi does not appear in Virtue's Last Reward and is not even mentioned in the dialogue by Akane, leading to the question of whether or not Aoi survived the Radical-6 outbreak. Question 10 of the the Q and A for VLR mentioned that the third game in the series would reveal what happened to Aoi in the Virtue's Last Reward timeline, but it does not, leaving his fate in that timeline unknown.

Another question from the same Q and A directly asks why he's not in the AB Project with Akane, the answer to which is simply "That's because...". This vague answer implies that he could've died in the outbreak.

He is mentioned in the Secret Archives for the Treatment Center as an "arrogant, uncooperative young man" who was a veteran of previous Nonary Games.

Zero Time Dilemma

In the Decontamination Room, Junpei asks Akane how Santa/Aoi is doing, but she doesn't say.

The "Crash Keys" secret file implies that he helped Akane and the others from the outside while they were investigating Dcom or trapped in the Underground Shelter (or both) during the events of Zero Time Dilemma.

In CQD-END: 2, Delta notifies Akane of an unidentified religious fanatic who had killed all of mankind in the future that existed after all the people who were trapped in the Underground Shelter escaped. After the events in Zero Time Dilemma, Crash Keys, Akane and Aoi particular, devote their work into stopping this mysterious person. After joining Crash Keys to assist Akane and Aoi, Junpei makes plans to invite Aoi to his and Akane's wedding, which is planned to happen after the religious fanatic is stopped.

He is also symbolized by a white sack on the slot machine in the Rec Room, a reference to Santa Claus' sack of presents.

Quotes

  • "Hey, what the hell do you think you're doing!?" (to Kubota after he grabs Clover)
  • "He... he blew up..." (seeing the 9th Man's bloody corpse)
  • "Fuck! I've had enough of this crap! How long are we gonna pussyfoot around like this?! We've only got 8 hours until this time limit Zero was going on about is up! Let's get goin' already! Go! Go!"
  • "I'm not gonna screw up like that! I'm gettin' outta here alive!"
  • "What's so goddamn funny!? What the fuck!?" (to Light)
  • "If it is, then it's a pretty fucked up experiment! I mean, c'mon! A guy's dead!"
  • "I dunno who the hell this Zero asshole is, but I know for sure he's gotta be pretty fucked up in the head to do all this."
  • "Hey man, I just bought these shoes. If you think I'm getting some creepy dude's blood all over 'em, you got another think comin'." (to Junpei)
  • "You know what I hate most in the world? I got 4 things: Hope, Faith, Love, and Luck. Damn straight."
  • "Hey, you old bag! I just found the perfect thing for a woman in her 40s!" (to Lotus, who punches him after this)
  • "Nah. C'mon man, that's just silly. Maybe back in the Dark Ages that kinda crap scared people, but this is the 21st century, and I'm a 21st century guy." (Junpei asks Aoi if he's worried about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse)
  • "...The lady has spoken. We'd better get back to work before we really piss her off. I don't want her beating me up."
  • "HAHAHAHA! Are you serious!? Telepathy? Who do you think we are? Kids from the 70s? I can't believe someone would actually do serious research on something like that."
  • "I might go by the name Santa right now, but I didn't grow up in Iceland. I freakin' hate the cold."
  • "Hey! No more screwin' around you two! Break time's over. Especially for you, lady. You've just been sitting on that fat ass of yours while we were freezing to death. Yeah, yeah, how about you put all that energy into something besides bitching. Let's go!"
  • "Hermes, herpes, whatever."
  • "Oh, yes, what an excellent idea! We just wasted a bunch of time looking for some piece of electronic junk, now let's waste some more by looking for a couple of idiots!" (after Clover and Snake disappear)
  • "Look, if you trust anybody in this game, you're gonna lose. You've gotta be careful. The person you trust the most could turn out to be the one who stabs you in the back."
  • "Look, Ace! It's some kind of snowman secret meeting!"
  • "What kind of an idiot are you? It's a hellish inferno in there. Of course it's going to be hot." (when Junpei touches furnace doors when it's on)
  • "Have you ever heard the story of the 2 Santa Clauses? It goes that a long time ago, there were 2 Santas... One of 'em wore white, and the other one wore black. The white Santa gave presents to good kids. And the black Santa played tricks on bad kids. They went on like that for a while, but eventually the black Santa's tricks started to get worse and worse. Pretty soon, the white Santa couldn't stand it anymore... And he stabbed the black Santa to death. When he stabbed the other Santa, the white Santa got blood all over his clothes. And that's why, these days, his clothes are red. You could say that red is all that's left of the black Santa. I wonder... which Santa I am. The white Santa or the black Santa..."
  • "Man, the guy on this card is one good-looking son-of-a-bitch! Way more class than that other chump..." (examining card headshots)
  • "Game over." (to Junpei, using a voice changer, after Akane dies in the Safe ending)
  • "No. You misunderstand. You haven't lost. I... have lost." (to Junpei, using a voice changer, after Akane dies in the Safe ending)
  • "What the hell is that shit? I've got no idea-- Shut up! Just SHUT UP, you stupid bitch! You want me to put a bullet in your fucking head?!" (to Clover)
  • "Sure, I was helping Zero out, but I'm really more of an... assistant. Like a secretary. But an assistant's only an assistant. I didn't come up with all this. All I did was follow Zero's orders."

Trivia

  • Just like his sister, Aoi has lived an extremely overburdening and difficult life and he never seems to be able to catch a break; he is always working hard suffering from or planning something and doesn't seem to have much time for freedom.
    • As a young child, he lost both of his parents to a series of events he had no hand in, was forced to become a sort of foster parent to Akane, and worked tirelessly to bring her spirits up during Christmas.
    • He was kidnapped and forced to play in the First Nonary Game, where he lost his sister in a timeline.
    • He had to dedicate nine years of his youthfulness to engineering and orchestrating the Second Nonary Game in order to save her.
    • After the Second Nonary Game, he either continued on with Crash Keys, and presumably had to help Akane with orchestrating the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition, or died in the Radical-6 apocalypse.
    • He is probably tasked with pursuing the fanatic after the events of ZTD.
  • His English and Japanese aliases are identical. Santa (サンタ) is derived from the Japanese word "san" (三), which means "three". Also, Santa makes several references during the game to himself being Santa Claus.
  • His real name, Aoi (葵), means "hollyhock", a plant which was historically the symbol of the Tokugawa shogunate in the form of the triple-leaf "mitsuba aoi". His name is also a homonym for aoi (青い), "blue".
  • Aoi always goes through a numbered door with Akane to maintain the guise that his bracelet number is 3 and his sister's is 6. Because Aoi and Akane's bracelets both secretly function as 0, their bracelet values have no affect because neither 0 or 9 affect the digital root.
  • In the 2nd class cabin, Aoi says he dislikes the number 4 because "it's a half-ass number - not the best or the worst." He then says "9 is a way better number. So what if it's last place, right? At least it's not some lameass middle number." This foreshadows his involvement in the Nonary Game, a game related to the number nine.
SantaWarning

Aoi foreshadowing June's involvement.

  • When Junpei and June are searching for Snake, they have the option to speak to him. If they do, he ominously tells Junpei that "The person you trust the most could turn out to be the one that stabs you in the back.", which foreshadows June's involvement in creating the Second Nonary Game.
  • He is familiar with the video game Donkey Kong, as seen in the steam engine room.
  • The director of the Zero Escape series, Kotaro Uchikoshi, has heavily implied that Aoi might be bisexual or pansexual. The first occurrence was in a 999 Q and A session where he said, "Does Aoi even like girls? I have to start considering from that." The second was on Twitter where he said, "[Aoi] might be able to love both male and female."[2] If Aoi is bisexual/pansexual, then he would be the first and only (known) LGBT character in the Zero Escape series. When asked again, Seven was suggested as Aoi's partner.[3]
    • In the steam engine room, Aoi implies an interest in Clover when he perversely says, "Oh man, Junpei, I can't believe I missed something so important! Look at those stairs... Look at them carefully! That gap! That height! That angle! It's perfect! Whatever, just bring Clover here, right now! Tell her she needs to walk up and down these stairs!"
  • In the character popularity polls, Aoi ranks #5 in Japan and #3 in the United States.

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