The Enola Gay B-29 overflies Agrihan on a training flight from neighbouring Tinian, as Col. Saito walks towards his intelligence outpost on July 25, 1945 (Grigan, section i of Prologue). Island painting by Henry Fong.
A Hero's Last Moments epitaph to Col. Saito in the Maicho Shinbun of July 31, 1945. Epitaph, section ii of Prologue. Article translation into Japanese by Takako Kojima.
Nakagawa Corporation got its first major contract from China, to replace Chinese needletrade workers with robots. [Nakagawa Corp, section iii, Prologue] (Sweatshop workers by Henry Fong)
Stack of robot containers on the pier in the Agrihan Harbour, ready to be loaded on a ship bound to China. Nakaga Corporation, section iii of Prologue. (Henry Fong)
Nakagawa's robots in an open container. (Detail of container in Robots to China by Henry Fong).
Nakagawa Corp got its first major order worth $500,000,000 from China, announced in the Maicho Shinbun on March 14, 2010. Its robots would replace workers in the Chinese needle trade industry, making China even more competitive in the global market. (Two embedded paintings by Henry Fong, all Maicho Shinbun articles were translated into Japanese by Takako Kojima).
Newspaper announcement used in the Bot Colony cinematic trailer
KHT, Nakagawa Corp's arch-competitor, only learns about Nakagawa's fire fighting robots after these were installed by the Seoul fire-fighting department [KHT, section xi, Prologue]. Here, they're shown in Montreal, where the Bot Colony game was designed (Fire painting by Henry Fong).
Nakagawa Corp. found oil in the Marianas Trench in 2018 [Oil, #30], Its diver robots install subsea flowlines connected to the oil rig. (Water painting by Henry Fong). Story timeline:
- Jong Lee, a North Korean KHT diver. buries a direction finder between distinctive palm trees on the Agrihan beach, in preparation for the spy's arrival to the island.
- On Janurary 23, 2021, the spy retrieves the direction finder on occasion of a company picnic [Picnic, #10]. He meets Kazue Tamayama, who's responsible for new sensor testing. She reports to Masaya Kuranari, the manager of the Sensor Lab (Masaya's negatively portrayed in the Intruder 'training simulation').
- In early August, a North Korean vessel drops a minisub containing spy equipment and explosives near the Oil Rig.
- On August 8, 2021, the spy provides DI-42 with the direction finder that will locate the mini-sub.
- The spy programs DI-42 (diver robot) to retrieve the mini-sub and then erases its video memory.
Nakagawa robots replaced humans in various dangerous jobs. Here, mech-bots are engaging narco-trafficantes in Central America, (Opportunity in danger, section iv of Prologue]. (Henry Fong)
The spy visited the Mine on August 10, where he re-programmed the mining robots. (Mining robots on Mars by Henry Fong).
Nakagawa Corp saw robotic sensors as key to penetrating the home market, elderly care, etc. [Sensors, #28]. The elderly care segment was particularly attractive as Japan's population was aging. Jimmy, Masaya's domestic robot, is a precursor of the robot shown here.(Henry Fong: Old lady with robot)
The move of Nakagawa Corp to Agrihan makes the MAICHO SHINBUN of November 20, 2018. Nakagawa needed to expand, but also wanted to be outside the reach of KHT's spies. The Japanese company resorts to blackmail to lease Agrihan for 99 years from the United States (Agrihan, vi, Prologue).
Jeff Philips, a robot cognition specialist who occasionally dabbles in while collar crime investigations, gets the call from Nakagawa while working in his garage [Mission, #56, Part II]. Ogata offers him the mission to find the missing robots sensors on August 30, 2021. Jeff has to pass tests qualifying him for the mission (omitted in the book, but forming the core of the Intruder episode), flies through Tokyo on September 1st and meets with Ogata in the evening. Jeff lands in Agrihan the next day, on September 2, 2021. (Garage painting by Henry Fong)
The house of Masaya Kuranari overlooking New Nakagawa. Masaya is the head of Nakagawa's sensor lab [Sensors, #26]. Masaya's house serves as a training ground for Jeff Philips in Episode 1, Intruder. Jimmy, who is not featured in the novel, is Masaya Kuranari's domestic robot. Jeff practices remote controlling Jimmy to put in place objects disturbed by the spy while searching for a secret prototype chip. Jeff also practices carrying out a complex investigation - in preparation for his mission on Agrihan. Mayasa's wife, Ayame, and the two kids, Takeshi and Hideki - are game characters absent from the novel. (House design by Snezhan Bodurov, painting by Henry Fong)
One eye robot concept by Snezhan Bodurov, final robot design and rendering by Henry Fong. The robot is used in Hotel Reception painting.
Painting by Henry Fong. Volcano Hotel design and one-eye robot concept by Snezhan Bodurov, reception robot design by Henry Fong. Jeff Philips arrives at the hotel on September 2, 2021
Four-arm robotic bartender at the Volcano hotel bar (Henry Fong, cover of the hardcopy edition of Bot Colony, 4-arm robot design credit in Acknowledgements)
Soccer painting by Henry Fong. Kids play soccer on hover scooters that have some kind of anti-gravity device. A goalie bot in the foreground.
Kazue Tamayama tests the new touch sensor in the Sports Center (the new robot sensors motivate the game)- but the Sports Center is mostly featured in the novel (Touch, chapter 37).
Detail of Soccer, by Henry Fong. Story connection: Kazue Tamayama installs and tested the new sensor prototypes on robots. The smell sensor in Armory (Smell, chapter 32), the touch sensor in the Sports Center (Touch, chapter 37), and the taste sensor in the Restaurant (Taste, chapter 39)