This section contains plot spoilers.
- "I knew you weren't one of us!"
- ―Joseph trying to kill Kidman
Joseph Oda is a major character/tritagonist in The Evil Within, and a tritagonist/antagonist in The Assignment and a minor character in The Consequence. He is partners with Sebastian Castellanos and Juli Kidman.
Being a policeman, Joseph is seen wearing what appears to be the official KCPD detective uniform at all times. His and Sebastian's outfits are similar to each other, though Joseph's own tie and waistcoat aren't pinstriped, the former of which is neatly fixed and not hung sloppily like that of his partner. Joseph's uniform overall looks newer, or better-maintained. Unlike his two partners who came in bare-handed, Joseph wears black leather gloves.
Joseph is bespectacled, and as such is always seen wearing his grandfather's large-framed glasses which he is effectively blind without.
Despite being a second-generation Japanese-Canadian, Joseph bears a typical Asian appearance with very little Caucasian characteristics, though his skin tone is noticeably light.
Compared to his colleagues, Joseph is considerably more passive, observant and meticulous to a fault. He frequently takes notes whenever he sees something unusual, and would almost instantly know what notes to consult when he encounters their corresponding puzzle(s). On more than one occasion this habit of his has saved both his and Sebastian's lives.
Joseph is kind to others but hard on himself, and he doesn't give up on something once he has committed to it. When Sebastian looked like he was in danger of losing his badge, Joseph took the only choice he thought he had left and reported Sebastian to Internal Affairs.
Like Kidman, Joseph is steadfast and orderly yet this does not make him combative with his partner and close friend, Sebastian Castellanos who has shown flexibility in breaking the police guidelines to get results. He has shown considerable tolerance for Castellanos' ethically-sketchy behaviour due to his past tragedies, but it was his friend's alcoholism that finally caused Joseph to take litigation against Castellanos out of fear for his well-being. This saves both of their careers, but also puts a strain on their friendship.
Despite his noticeably more chipper personality compared to his partners, Joseph is especially vulnerable to feelings of guilt, as demonstrated when he briefly transforms and attacks his colleagues, and his descent into depression can be alarmingly fast whenever that happens. During his time within STEM, Joseph has displayed suicidal "episodes" and this becomes more apparent during his descent into a Haunted. Ruvik elaborates to Sebastian that Joseph couldn't live with himself after what he [Ruvik] made him do. Presumably this was attacking Kidman when he came close to fully transforming, and this exacerbated his bleak outlook of ever truly escaping.
When he became a Haunted, Joseph showed a level awareness regarding Kidman's true goal given to her by MOBIUS and attempted to stop her from obtaining "him" (whether this was referencing Sebastian or Leslie is unknown).
Details and more information (and corrections) needed.
Joseph was an officer at the Krimson City Police Department alongside Sebastian for several years. Eventually a new member of the force, Juli Kidman, was transferred to KCPD (secretly under orders from MOBIUS) and partnered with the two. She trained under Sebastian and during the time spent between the three of them at work, Sebastian wrote in his journal that Joseph had developed a crush on her, though Joseph himself has never mentioned it nor acted under the impression.
Joseph, along with Sebastian and Juli, were sent to Beacon Mental Hospital to investigate a case of mass homicide after the precinct loses contact with the previous dispatch. Upon arrival at the unusually vacant police checkpoint, Joseph and Sebastian heads inside to investigate further while Juli is posted at the door as backup. Upon entering the lobby, Joseph hears a sound coming from the CCTV room, where he discovers doctor Marcelo Jimenez alive, but traumatized. He then tries to stabilize the doctor while Sebastian goes to check the cameras, neither of them noticing the apparition of Ruvik, who teleports into the room behind their backs and proceeds to knock both of them out.
Despite both of them being in the building when Sebastian was knocked out, Joseph is taken elsewhere, and was not present when the hospital collapses during his partner's escape.
Later on during Chapter 5, Sebastian finds Joseph inside an abandoned hospital, unconscious, and hooked up to a strange bathtub of sorts. After being freed, Joseph seems to have no recollection of what happened during the last few hours and suffers from several bouts of nosebleeding before briefly going Haunted and attacks Sebastian. Due to him being freed prematurely, Ruvik's influence on his mind is only temporary and was fought off, Joseph afterwards returns to normal, though is understandably horrified. Sebastian assures him that he didn't mind, and the duo continues on.
The two eventually find Kidman trapped in a water chamber. Joseph rushes in to save her, but the duo finds themselves surrounded by a horde of the Haunted. After fighting his way past them, Sebastian finally manages to undo the water trap with Joseph's instructions, at which point both Juli and Joseph falls through an opening on the floor.
He is seen again when Sebastian follows down the hole and reunites with him and Juli. This is short-lived however, as Laura suddenly appears and separates the group by dragging them through the bloody stream they were treading on.
Sebastian finds Joseph unconscious on the ground inside some coastal ruins of a warehouse. He is helped up and assists Sebastian in killing the Haunted.
Once they get to the bridge connecting to the entrance to the graveyard, he witnesses a man being beheaded by a guillotine operated by two Haunted. He recklessly chases the enemies, thinking he can take them, but runs into a trap that destroys the bridge. The blast throws him to the other side and knocks him unconscious, leaving him defenseless as the two Haunted drag him to the guillotine. Sebastian saves him by sniping them from across the chasm. After being saved, Joseph regains consciousness and helps Sebastian cross the chasm by laying down a plank of wood as a catwalk. However, as soon as Sebastian crosses, Joseph announces that he should have let the two Haunted kill him before snatching Sebastian's revolver and holding it to his own head. After a tense face-off, Sebastian knocks Joseph to the ground and reclaims his gun. He seems upset about Joseph's suicide attempt, but does little to confront it and leaves Joseph to follow him to the graveyard.
Once they arrive at the graveyard, Joseph has an "episode" and Sebastian suggests resting in a nearby house. While he recovers, Joseph talks about why he had reported Sebastian, though it is not strictly explained through dialogue what he really means. He also tells Sebastian that the "accident" wasn't his fault.
After Joseph recovers, they progress to the graveyard, where he spots Kidman and Leslie entering a church. He takes a Sniper Rifle and covers Sebastian as he follows a Haunted through a maze like area. Soon, that Haunted releases a Guardian, Zehn. Zehn is then followed by his brother Neun. Sebastian must fight them on the ground as Joseph snipes them. After the battle with the Guardians, Joseph meets up with Sebastian near two statues of horses. After addressing his book he flips one of the horse's legs back, revealing a secret tunnel.
Joseph then helps Sebastian solve a sacrificial puzzle to get to the surface, but Sebastian and Joseph run into the church guard dog, The Sentinel, trapped in a cage. The animal is asleep and Joseph and Sebastian quietly sneak past it. After exiting the building and examining the lock, the Sentinel awakes and bursts through the wall. Sebastian and Joseph run, but the Sentinel leaps at Joseph, knocking his glasses off and leaving him unconscious. After Sebastian injures the Sentinel, he picks up Joseph and pushes him through the gate, where Joseph reveals that he lost his glasses, much to Sebastian's dismay. Sebastian goes back through the gate and grabs the glasses as Joseph attempts to act as a distraction by throwing bottles. Once he has his glasses, Joseph explains that it isn't so much about seeing as it is feeling normal.
After entering the Church, Joseph begins coughing again and sits to take a break. Leslie is heard yelling in a room below an altar and Sebastian talks to Joseph. Joseph talks about his mental degradation, and how afraid he is that some part of him wants to change into a Haunted. The conversation is cut off as a high-pitched tone sends both of them into headaches, with Joseph's being dangerously severe. In an attempt to relieve Joseph of the pain, Sebastian takes a healing syringe and stabs it into Joseph's back, which curiously leaves him unconscious just as Sebastian spots Ruvik on a chandelier. Ruvik begins levitating Sebastian and the furniture inside the Church, including the large statue on the altar under which Leslie was heard previously. Oddly, Joseph is seen still unconscious on the floor, unaffected by the changing gravity. Sebastian is then teleported to the area in which The Keeper is kept.
Joseph is once again reunited with Sebastian at the very start of Chapter 12. He's happy to say that he has had no more episodes while Sebastian says he wishes he could say the same. Joseph announces that he found transportation while pointing to a school bus. After being asked if it works he optimistically replies "there's only one way to find out" just as Kidman, chased by Heresy, appears from nowhere and frantically starts the bus, startling the duo. After getting away the bus is then attacked by Haunted. Joseph, Sebastian, and Kidman must then fight off the hordes of enemies. When they finish off the Haunted, Heresy appears again and Sebastian and Joseph finish it off.
Shortly after, Joseph is shot through the side by a sniper, alarming Sebastian. Kidman stops the bus, and Sebastian must go find first aid for him in a nearby ambulance. After he returns, Joseph is given first aid and quickly recovers, though the bus is then lifted by Ruvik and flung through a building where Joseph and Sebastian fall out. Kidman is then forced to continue through the building until finally stopping, the bus protruding from the side.
Sebastian and Joseph wake up as the bus which held Kidman falls to the ground. They both run up, worried for their companion, and set off through the hotel in an attempt to reach the bus. Sebastian enters a elevator shaft, but after making it through, the elevator breaks, separating Sebastian and Joseph. Joseph then tells him that he sees another way and will meet him on a lower level. Joseph is then later seen shooting at The Keeper and fleeing. The next time Joseph is encountered he enters a dumbwaiter just in time to escape the Keeper. He is next seen when Sebastian runs into Kidman at the playground, who is about to shoot Leslie. Sebastian intervenes, aiming the gun at Kidman and distracting her as Joseph hides behind cover. Joseph attempts to approach Leslie while Sebastian talks to Kidman, but Leslie abruptly screams, causing the high-pitched tone to return again and disrupt the environment by causing an earthquake as Leslie flees. Kidman begins shooting at Leslie, but Joseph is shot instead in the crossfire. He is last seen falling to the ground as Kidman chases after Leslie and Sebastian is transported again.
Joseph appears in The Assignment DLC as a companion and later an enemy boss.
Kidman first sees Joseph and Sebastian around the time Chapter 5 of the main story is taking place but is unable to communicate with them. After Ruvik confronts her, she briefly reunites with them after the two free her from the water chamber, but the ground beneath her and Joseph collapses.
She reunites with Joseph in a sewer, though as they attempt to find a way out amid an oncoming horde of Haunted, Kidman is warned in a vision by her boss that Joseph is dangerous. Her fears that Joseph would find out the truth about her come true when, after being separated from Sebastian, Joseph turns and attempts to kill her. They are transported to another location where Joseph steals and dismantles Kidman's gun. Without it, Kidman resorts to sneaking up to Joseph and striking him three times with found axes before he turns back to normal and falls defeated.
Juli Kidman encounters Joseph yet again in The Consequence. His reappearance surprises Kidman, who thought she had killed him earlier. Like in the main game, Juli seems to fatally shoot Joseph when he gets in the way of her trying to kill Leslie. However, Joseph seems to have survived as Juli encounters the bodies of everyone connected to the STEM later on. The bodies of Joseph, Juli and Sebastian still had a heartbeat while the deceased Marcelo and Oscar did not, implying that he is still alive.
Joseph is the only main character from the main game to be seen again in this DLC (other than the bonus boss fight against Sebastian). MOBIUS says that he's the only enemy sent into STEM in his normal body, while everyone else was sent in with the bodies of certain enemies. Joseph was sent back into STEM for their experiment, and it has been noted that he seems to turn into a Haunted at random intervals, displays suicidal tendencies, and has very unpredictable movements and behaviors.
The player controls a man sent into STEM to occupy the body of The Keeper. He must kill Haunted Joseph, along with every other boss in the game, in order to stop his daughter's memory loss inside of STEM. During his boss fight, Joseph announces himself by kicking open the doors and laughing maniacally as he scratches the side of his mutated face. When Joseph is beaten, his body burns away just like every other enemy The Keeper fights. However, he, along with the true forms of the other bosses, can be seen later on in one of the many rooms down a hallway before entering the Boss Battle area. All appear to be unconscious in their STEM tubs except for Joseph; his room seems to be empty. Using the Keeper's Memory Scanner, it is inferred that Joseph is not actually present in the tub; rather, he is a memory.
While viewing the final slide for the slide projector, it shows Joseph and Sebastian back when they were still KCPD detectives. Though he isn't in the game anywhere other than in the final picture slide, it is revealed by Kidman to Sebastian during the call that Joseph is somehow still alive, although it is a 'long story'. Kidman and Sebastian quickly end the conversation and Joseph is never brought up again.
Although Sebastian later accuses Kidman of killing Joseph, his body is absent from the bathtubs he and Sebastian were connected to. Kidman, upon instructing Sebastian to pretend to be dead within the bathtub, tells her unknown acquaintance to "leave that one, and those two" (in reference to Jimenez and Connelly, who are confirmed as dead.) Joseph being left out of the body count leads to heavy implications that he is not dead, but whether or not this is truly the case is left ambiguous.
In "The Consequence," Joseph's heartbeat can be heard while approaching his body in the STEM system; Connelly and Jimenez's heartbeats, in contrast, cannot be heard. John Johanas has confirmed that this does mean Joseph survived being shot by Kidman,  and thus Joseph is alive at the time of the final boss battle. At the end of "The Consequence," Joseph is seen being dragged away by two MOBIUS agents, and so while the implications point to him being alive, his fate has, once again, been left ambiguous.
In The Interlude, Issue 1, Sebastian is under the impression that Joseph was killed.
- "Krimson City needs more men like him on the force and it’s an honor to be working with him."
- ―Sebastian, writing about Joseph
Joseph Oda is Sebastian's steadfast partner, and the two have been working together for 9 years. They have opposing personalities, but the contrast works in their favor, although occasionally Joseph has to help keep Sebastian in line.
Despite initially being optimistic about working with Joseph, Sebastian's slow descent into alcoholism has turned their partnership sour. Concerned with Sebastian’s safety, Joseph filled a report to Internal Affairs, which saved Sebastian his job, but created an emotional rift between them.
During the events of the game, Sebastian shows dedication in protecting Joseph, going so far as to put Joseph's well-being above his. Despite the events of the past, the friendship that the two have is still very apparent.
- "Joseph, as usual, tells me that I’m being oversensitive. I think he’s got a crush on her, maybe..."
- ―Sebastian, writing about how Joseph thinks he's being oversensitive about Kidman
In The Consequence, it shows that when Kidman was first being transferred to the KCPD, Joseph wasn't too thrilled that Sebastian wanted to train her. He was shown to not want to have to deal with her. However, after that, he grows more respect for her and possibly even develops a crush on her.
This is interesting due to the fact that in the memory that Juli sees, Sebastian is shown to really want her to come with them, but in the main game, it's shown that Sebastian thinks that dealing with her is babysitting duty and he starts to suspect's that she's hiding something. In the memory Joseph is seen not wanting to deal with her and bring her with them. This is different, as in the main game, he was accepting her and calling Sebastian oversensitive for saying that he thinks she's hiding something. This may be a mistake by the developers, or effects of the STEM on Juli's memories.
There is a segment after Juli and Joseph fall through the floor where he becomes a Haunted and Juli has to fight him. She has to attack him three times before he turns back into a normal person. He then drops to the ground (possibly dead or unconscious). She is shown to be upset about having to hurt him and says he should've just stayed out of the way.
After this Kidman is not seen physically interacting with Joseph until he and Sebastian find her leading Leslie through a park. She ends up accidentally shooting Joseph instead of Leslie when the earthquake happens, and she doesn't stay behind to apologize for what she's done but rather she immediately runs after Leslie.
Thus it can be said that they have a rather complicated relationship, because Juli puts her job first.
Their relationship is not heavily explored, though it can be assumed they were on good terms. However, they both seemed much more susceptible to Ruvik's influence than Sebastian or Kidman.
The interaction between these two has been brief (when he tries to reach Leslie but is shot by Kidman), so their relationship is unknown.
- "Will you be able to live with yourself knowing what I'm going to make you do? Poor little Joseph couldn't..."
- ―Ruvik talking about Joseph to Sebastian
Though they're never seen interacting on screen, there's implications that can be used to figure out what their relationship is like. Ruvik seems to treat Joseph as if he's a pawn in his plans. Like Connelly, Joseph appears to be much more susceptible to Ruvik's influence than Sebastian or Juli. However, he is not as susceptible as Connelly, as he is seen fighting against the urges to turn into a Haunted. Ruvik also taunts Sebastian by mentioning Joseph, and how he can't live with himself because of what Ruvik made him do (turning and attempting to kill Kidman). It can also be said that he used Joseph as an example to show Juli that the people you trust can turn on you in an instant.
- Joseph was named after the Japanese daimyō Oda Nobunaga.
- The Art of The Evil Within reveals a plethora of background information on Joseph. However, none of this information is mentioned in the game and is thus most likely not considered canon.
- He is married with one daughter.
- He is from Toronto and is a second-generation Japanese Canadian.
- Joseph's family line is descended from a clan of ninjas.
- His glasses are a keepsake from his grandfather.
- There is something special about his glasses.
- For breakfast he eats buttered toast with nori.
- He only speaks a little Japanese.
- He does not appear to have a handwritten signature. Instead, he uses the Oda (織田) seal.
- Like Juli Kidman, Joseph was originally supposed to be a slightly-older prisoner being escorted by Sebastian, until his artist Ikumi Nakamura changed this and instead made him a KCPD detective. His visuals went through at least one more iteration, before being given his signature glasses, and aged-down into the character seen in-game.
- Although his glasses are knocked off near the end of Chapter 6 by the Sentinel, Joseph never loses them again in equally chaotic situations, if not worse, including being blown off the bridge earlier in the same chapter, being violently knocked off a high ledge in Chapter 5, and surviving a massive bus crash in Chapter 12.
- Should Sebastian fail to rescue Joseph during the guillotine sequence in Chapter 5, he will regain consciousness just as he is placed onto the device, only for the blade to come down and decapitate him instantly, netting a game over.
- According to a Tweet by character designer Ikumi Nakamura, Joseph was originally supposed to be killed off about halfway through the plot before the decision was revised on account of her protests. Joseph's Canadian ancestry was based on Nakamura's first English teacher, according to the same post.
- Nakamura have also expressed a desire to make Joseph the central protagonist of a story expansion, though this never came to pass.
The Evil Within 2
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