Previously, I mentioned the scientific processes that Oro would need to keep himself biologically immortal. In a very complex nutshell, he would need to enter cryptobiosis, a physiological state that allows one to slow their metabolic processes to an almost complete standstill. To accomplish this, he would need to somehow produce enough of a sugar called trehalose in his body to begin a process called vitrification, turning himself into a glass-like substance by replacing all of the water in his system with the trehalose. As pointed out, there is plenty of evidence that confirms he goes through this, and you can read all about it here: https://manestreet.home.blog/2019/02/20/the-secret-to-oros-immortality/
However, in the several months I’ve been writing theories, there was something I realized about the audience I was writing for, something that my Elena, Necro, Chun-Li, and even the previous Oro theory all proved: very few of you care about science – everyone else cares about lore. The numbers I got were outstanding when it came to lore. The Truth About G and Q?, Karin is Ingrid, Necalli’s True Purpose, The Alex and Tom Hyper Bomb, and The Future of Ed and Falke all got far superior hits compared to my science-based ones.
That being said, to truly understand Oro’s immortality, I still feel the need to discuss two very important specimens, both of which have mastered biological immortality: selaginella lepidophylla, a type of spikemoss, and Turritopsis dohrnii, the immortal jellyfish.
Selaginella lepidophylla is classified as a “resurrection plant”, or a plant that can go months or years without water in a state of dessication. It uses vitrification to achieve this, shutting its metabolic systems down completely and entering a fragile state. The only way to bring it back to full health is by soaking it in water. As stated in the previous theory, this method is the one Oro would most likely use to become immortal. If you wanted to try this at home, here’s all you would have to do:
- Eat your weight in pure trehalose, or have auto-brewery syndrome.
- Don’t drink any liquid ever.
In a sense, you would basically be embalming yourself alive. Sound painful? It certainly would be. Plus, you would need a friend to put water back into your system to revive you. It’s far too inefficient. However, maybe the immortal jellyfish will have a better alternative? It’s able to revert back into a polyp through transdifferentiation, in which cells can transform into other cells without an intermediate state in-between. There isn’t much proof of Oro being able to do this. You could argue that perhaps Oro is using his missing arm’s cells to keep the rest of his body youthful. It’s possible, but there’s one thing wrong with this: his arm isn’t missing – it’s bound. He sealed his arm with magic to make it a fair fight for his opponents when they fight him. Oro can break the seal whenever he feels like it if he believes his opponent is powerful enough to warrant it (this was shown in the Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki comic series when he fought the titular character).
For regular people, however, transdifferentiation is surprisingly easy to do; in fact, you’re likely doing it right now, and didn’t even know you were doing it. You can thank several organs in your body, but your pancreas deserves the gold medal. Alpha pancreatic cells, which release the hormone glucagon (that helps raise blood sugar levels), have a remarkable ability to change into beta pancreatic cells, which produce insulin. In other words, your own body is doing what the immortal jellyfish does, just on a smaller basis.
The study of the processes of pancreatic transdifferentiation was a huge step in the creation of non-embryonic stem cells called Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, or iPSCs. If you wanted to become immortal, iPSCs would be your best chance to do it, specifically because they are non-embryonic. These cells would be derived from your own skin and blood, versus embryonic stem cells which would be derived from another’s, meaning the chance of rejection falls to nothing. Conceivably, all you would need to live forever are your own cells to replicate and transform into other cells, and that’s exactly what iPSCs do – they transform from skin cells to nerve cells, blood cells to muscle cells, or whatever else is needed to be regenerated.
“OK, NERD! ENOUGH WITH THE SCIENCE!!!,” you scream loudly into your computer/phone while shaking the screen violently. “I came here for the lore! Tell me! What is the REAL secret to Oro’s immortality???!!!”
Ok, fine. You want to know the real secret to his immortality?
HE’S DOING IT THE HARD WAY.
Oro doesn’t NEED to have any complex scientific methods or secret skills to allow him to prolong his life. Yes, based on the research I’ve done, the way I believe he does it is from him being able to turn himself into glass. That’s what Senjutsu taught him to do, among other extraordinary things, like telekinesis. However, he does it not because it’s the only way to do it, but because he CHOSE to do it. His immortality wasn’t the reason he pursued Senjutsu – it was a happy accident. What he craves most is knowledge, learning new ways to do things and make himself stronger.
The truth is, in the world of Street Fighter, if you are one of the strongest fighters, death isn’t even a factor!
M. Bison, the feared warlord of Shadaloo, had multiple bodies made to hold both his consciousness and his power. When his body was destroyed in the Cinematic Story Mode of Street Fighter 5, his consciousness and power remained. He became incorporeal, but his consciousness lived on.
Gill, the god-like leader of the Secret Society, harnesses not just the powers of fire and ice, but also the power of resurrection. If he is killed in battle, he can revive himself through sheer will alone.
Gen, master to Chun-Li, Yun, and Yang, was supposed to have died before the events of Street Fighter II of leukemia. He reappeared in Street Fighter IV, apparently cancer-free.
Gouken, Ryu and Ken’s teacher, was supposedly killed by Akuma before the events of Street Fighter II. Guess who came back without a scratch?
Even Charlie Nash, who was canonically dead in-story, came back to life in Street Fighter 5 with the assistance of Kolin.
In other words, Oro may be immortal, but he isn’t special. There are so many ways Oro could be killed and revived that a perpetual lifespan can be considered a disadvantage! Oro has apparently never died, so in his quest for knowledge, he has not been able to meet death like the others have. In not knowing what death is like, he can not study it, and therefore he can not conquer it; the best he can do is shut his metabolic processes down and put his body in suspended animation.
While Oro himself doesn’t know death, with his long lifespan, he can gain some knowledge by journeying around the world and learning what others do to fight it off or come back from it. In his travels, he learned of the Secret Society, the Satsui no Hado, the Mu no Ken, and Psycho Power. He must have learned how each of those dealt with or affected death. Oro is more than a Sennin – he’s a student of other arts. He could adopt techniques from others and either perfect them or transform them, or just take what he wanted from those powers and merge those skills with his own. Alternatively, it could be that everything he knows is all through the power of Senjutsu and hermitic living, and his formidable abilities are all of his own devising.
However, none of this matters. The others found ways to beat death at its own game. They faced it head on and won. For someone like Oro, what they did may be cheating (using the dark side of science, the dark side of religion, meditation, or just suddenly not dying anymore), but those fighters, having proved who they are in battle and showing the will to survive like they do, showed their ways of resurrection were far superior to Oro’s longevity.
Of course, there’s always stem cells.