— Detective Dao in Back to School
Khai Minh Dao (Vietnamese: Đào Minh Khải) is a character featured in Battlefield Hardline. A first-generation Vietnamese-American who hails from Orange County, California, Khai turned her back on the west coast and a rebellious youth to put a star on her chest. Rising quickly through the ranks, she's established herself to her fellow officers and the usual underworld suspects as a smart, able detective who isn't afraid to let her temper take over.
Captain Dawes partnered her with Nick Mendoza shortly after he became detective, thinking her to be better suited to the role than Stoddard, whom Nick was originally partnered with. She drives an unmarked black Police Interceptor while on duty with Mendoza.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early Life[edit | edit source]
— Nick in Episode 1.
Khai Minh Dao was born a first-generation Vietnamese-American in Orange County, California, USA. Khai was often rebellious in her youth, often getting the treatment of hating the west coast. In the years to follow, she became an officer in Miami's Police Department with Captain Dawes and Sergeant Stoddard.
In her service, she was known for her short-temper which Dawes would often ride her on. Prior to the events of Hardline, she shortly dated Tyson Latchford until he learned of her profession. She also let IT Analyst and Freelancer Marcus Boone go and have a second chance. Khai herself became corrupted after impressing Dawes and joined him and Stoddard to Preferred Outcomes.
Events of Hardline[edit | edit source]
— Khai to Dawes about Nick's last case.
After Stoddard and Mendoza's last case, Captain Dawes partners her up with new Vice Detective Nicholas Mendoza. The two were sent down to find Tyson Latchford to find evidence on the Hot Shot drugs that had taken over Miami.
Khai and Nick capture and wire "Tap" to Tyson's location. Lawrence Kent and his henchman attack the location as the duo are forced to fight their way to Tyson. It's later revealed that he was on webcam, and is hiding in another residence. The detectives make it to his location, but Khai is shot in the artery and is defended by Tyson and Mendoza until a SWAT team arrive.
After being attended for, Captain Dawes sends the detectives to bring in Leo Ray for protection and info. Leo, who wanted Dawes tries to leave until Khai assaults one of his henchmen and holds him at gunpoint for his bag. Hired thugs arrive and try to kill Leo as Khai reaches to Leo before Mendoza, brutally attacks him for insulting her. She and Nick deliver him to Dawes, as Nick lies of his Leo's injuries.
Captain Dawes sends them to the Everglades for cocaine being smuggled into planes and finds Remy Neltz, who has become successful. In the Everglades, they find more information and find Leo's dead body and hot shot information. Neltz escapes before telling them of his deal with Stoddard. Back in Miami, the detectives assault Neltz's hideout and have him at gunpoint. Stoddard murders him and gives Khai Neltz's money as Nick leaves in disgust.
Showing True Colors and Post 2015[edit | edit source]
— Khai after her betrayal.
Afterwards, Nick is convinced that it was just a test (of seeing if he was capable of stealing the money), but knows that Stoddard is dirty. Khai and Nick are sent back to Neltz's hideout where Nick finds a recording of the deal. Khai leads on an investigation of a truck as Nick finds and arrests Stoddard. Khai is surrounded by henchman as Nick and Stoddard are forced to rescue her.
After killing all thugs, Nick arrests Stoddard and gives Dawes the recording. Dawes destroys the recorder as Stoddard reveals his rescue to Nick. Khai reveals that she is corrupted by pointing her pistol at Nick, asking him why didn't he take the money. The trio put the blame of Neltz's missing money on Nick, who is sent to prison.
Khai would be a shareholder in Preferred Outcomes until an accident in Chicago, causing her to leave Preferred Outcomes, and later left the MPD with her reputation ruined. Stoddard would become her nemesis, and she would hold a personal vendetta against him. Khai would partner up with Tyson to ruin Dawes' reputation, and kill Stoddard.
Defeating Preferred Outcomes[edit | edit source]
— Khai to Mendoza (Glass Houses)
Three years later, Khai has left Vice and Preferred Outcomes due to her personal vendetta against Stoddard. Needing help to end Dawes, she gets Tyson and Tap (who is in prison) to break out Nick. While she calls her old friend, Boomer to get information from Dawes' associate Henry Kang.
After breaking him out, she sends Tyson and Nick to get Boomer from Kang. The trio kills Kang, ending his association with Dawes, but return covered in cocaine (due to Tyson trying to run away with it). Boomer finds info on Stoddard's meeting with Neil Roark at his residence, Khai and Nick go in and place her phone in Dawes' money, stealing it before he can. The duo also cost Roark's a million dollars of house destruction, which Nick replies with "he latterly lives in a glass house".
After Nick and Boomer get the bot from the Mojave Desert, the group prepare to head to Proffered Outcomes HQ. Stoddard ambushes their hideout but is killed in the process. The group head and break into the HQ, and break open the vault. Tyson is injured from a trap in the vault as the group nearly escape to Dawes' location in Santa Rosita.
Dawes' End[edit | edit source]
— Khai last words to Nick before leaving (Legacy).
Nick heads to Santa Rosita (Dawes' hideout), as he orders Khai to find Tyson, a black market "doctor" to mend his wounds. Khai reluctantly agrees with Tyson's words, the group say goodbye to Mendoza and float away in the ocean as he heads to his former employer. In the end, Nick exacts his revenge on Dawes and gains his fortune.
Personality[edit | edit source]
— Khai in Gator Bait.
Khai is an intelligent, independent, witted and skilled detective in Miami's Police Department. That being said, she was mainly known for being a "hot headed" by cops and criminals, making others not be on her bad side. Quick to be short-tempered, when coming to her reputation, she is very protective and if said negative became impulsive and furious. Shown when Leo Ray insulted her privileges and assaulted him with a trash can.
Despite her overlooked quality, she could be caring and empathetic, as shown when she gave Boomer a second chance when she arrested him, coming back to help Nick from Roark's forces, and mending Tyson after he was injured. She even told Mendoza that she wasn't "always the type who fucked over her partner". She has told Nick also she changed to show off to Captain Dawes, as meaning she disobeyed normal procedure to impress him, following her becoming a member of corruption.
Her relationship with Tyson Latchford has been explored that they were once a couple in history, but it broke off when both parties learned of their profession. Despite years apart, and him being a criminal, the duo still shows signs of affection and caring of each other, as shown when Khai called him "baby" when he was injured in Episode 9.
— Khai in Glass Houses
While not heavily explored, Khai's motivation to seek revenge against Dawes, integrity as a police officer and her corruption are all central themes in her character development on each subsequent episodes. Her interactions with Mendoza imply that she wasn't a corrupted officer, to begin with, and suggests she too, may have had similar values and beliefs that Mendoza holds as a police officer. Consequently, this may have caused Khai to regret her act of betrayal towards Mendoza, question her integrity and ultimately decided to break him out of prison with Tyson. There are several interactions and dossier from the game that points towards this. Firstly, when Mendoza asks what did Dawes and Stoddard do to her, Khai responds with "I want him ruined. Because that's he does. He ruins people". Secondly, her authority as a police officer had been questioned several times in the earlier episodes by Leo and the hoodlums, causing Khai to respond aggressively to the former. Later on in the game, a dossier found on Dawes' private estate also indicates that Khai was placed under scrutiny following her departure from Preferred Outcomes, presumably as a way to keep her silent about Dawes and Stoddard's corruption, Mendoza later chimed in by saying that Khai wouldn't agree to Dawes' methods of using mercenaries as a mean of private law enforcement. These interactions all suggest that Khai was forced into corruption out of fear that Stoddard and Dawes would set her up and frame or use her as a scapegoat if she didn't cave in, just as how Mendoza was; coupled with the fact that Khai attempted to put her corrupted past behind by leaving Preferred Outcomes and breaking ties with Dawes and Stoddard strengthens the fact even more.
Nearing the end of the game, however, Khai eventually realizes that seeking for revenge against Dawes came at a high price, a wounded Tyson and the status of her badge. While still adamant about finishing the job with Mendoza, she initially attempted to convince him to let go of the revenge, advising him that the plan is no longer worth it. However, knowing that the conflict Mendoza and Dawes are strictly personal and that Mendoza is determined to see it off, she respects his decisions and wishes him the best of luck.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Back to School
- Checking Out
- Gator Bait
- Case Closed
- Out of Business
- Glass Houses
- Sovereign Land
- Independence Day
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Khai is trained in the Israeli martial art Krav Maga, referring to karate as "mystical bullshit".
- Additionally, she is shown to be only character in the game to use hand-to-hand combat on a few occasions to take down enemies.
- Her given name "Khai Minh", rearranged as Minh Khải in Vietnamese name order, means intelligence and energetics, and her last name "Dao" (Đào) is a Vietnamese surname.
- Khai has "Candy Crush Saga" on her phone, as revealed in Glass Houses, as she called it that "candy game".
Gallery[edit | edit source]