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Tropes relating to many characters
- Action Girl: Every female character except Madison.
- Badass: Mike and all the bosses.
- Boom, Headshot: How Mike executes most people during cutscenes.
- The Casanova: Every female character except Sis can be had sex with (or as the game calls it "romanced") by Mike.
- Damage-Sponge Boss / Contractual Boss Immunity / Just a Flesh Wound: This is played directly straight with the game's bosses. During a boss fight, the laws of biology and physics change and bosses health bar have to be whittled down. At the end of a boss, most of them (Omen, Brayko, Sis etc.) will lie there disarmed and stunned, but are not nearly as physically destroyed as you'd expect them to be. The Just A Flesh Wound part kicks in when these bosses can later, with a fully-repaired body, assist/re-meet you in later missions. Some bosses (i.e. most mini-bosses, Darcy, Parker and Marburg) will simply drop dead upon defeat however.
- Gambit Pileup: Every character in this game seems to hide a tremendous amount of backstory and secrets, which is inevitable in the intelligence world of mercenaries and criminals the game is set in.
- Karma Houdini: Besdides Darcy and Al-Bara (who ALWAYS die by the endgame independent of your choices), any character based on your actions came become this. There is one character, Hong Shi, who always becomes it in all playthrough.
Top secret government agency designed specifically to allow the United States government to carry out ultra-secret operations and deny their existence. The organization is deliberately designed from the ground up to avoid accountability and provide deniability.
- Government Agency of Fiction: Which is being watched by another secret agency so secret it's not even named!
- Government Conspiracy: Specifically to allow the US government to deny the existence of such agencies.
- Pretentious Latin Motto: Quo Nemo Sequi Potest. The loose translation is Where No One Can Follow.
- Right Hand Versus Left Hand:
- Part of how the organization creates deniability and prevents accountability is by ensuring that even the higher-ups don't know the full resources of the organization. When Mike goes rogue, this setup allows him and Mina to use Alpha Protocol safehouses, contacts and resources to fight against Halbech and Alpha Protocol. Marburg even states that Mike is still "operating under Alpha Protocol," despite ostensibly being rogue.
- We Are Everywhere: With our safehouses, money supplies, and contacts.
- Where The Hell Is Alpha Protocol?: No one except the higher-ups know exactly where AP is based. All personnel going into or out of the main facility are drugged unconscious for two days while being transported, and presumably change hands multiple times in transit. This becomes a key plot point at the climax, when Mike allows himself to be captured so his handler can tail him back to the facility to assault it.
- Voiced By: Josh Gilman
- Above the Influence: You can choose to act like this towards Madison, one of the possible love interests, if you want. The "love scene" begins if you have a high reputation with Madison and choose to talk to her and comfort her about recent events. But if you pick "let her sleep", it's this trope since Mike behaves like a gentleman and doesn't put the moves on her.
- Action Hero: The Commando background, especially if you keep building on the combat skills, use aggressive responses and ignore stealth and subtlety.
- Action Survivor: Recruit Mike is basically a guy fresh out of Langley and CIA training, and has to learn as he goes. Doesn't help that he gets betrayed at the end of his first mission.
- All-Loving Hero: Bizarrely enough, it's possible to play Mike to where he goes out of his way to make every major character like him at least to some degree and make him go through missions with as minimal casualties from both his allies and enemies as possible.
- And This Is For...: Mike takes out his frustrations on Leland/Westridge with such phrases as "This is for Mina! This is for Madison!" He always ends with "And that was for ruining my life!"
- Anti-Hero: Independently of play-style, Mike will always be a government agent with a license to kill, working for an accountability-free agency performing deeds the US government can't officially sanction. Just how he jumps off the slippery slope to get the job done is entirely up to the player.
- Arms Dealer: You can sell surplus weapons on the black market to unidentified buyers. In addition, several missions allow you to facilitate arms deals with your contacts and allies.
- The Atoner: If you let Madison die, Mike will be this. Also if you kill Sis and manage to make G22 your ally, although it will only be hinted at.
- Badass: All of the backgrounds, and the subsequent events of the game, make it clear that Mike is not a man to be trifled with.
- The Casanova: If you choose. There's even an achievement for being a Ladies' Man and screwing all four available girls in one playthrough.
- Celibate Hero: An equally valid choice. There's also an achievement for earning the affections of all four women and not sleeping with any of them.
- Deadpan Snarker: Appears to be Mike's default personality when he isn't manipulating people.
- Genius Bruiser: Made clear with just about all of the backgrounds, and particularly depending on your specializations. Thorton is fluent in several languages, an excellent shot and martial artist, and very technically-savvy.
- Guile Hero: The field agent background, especially if you keep playing to the background's starting skills like stealth, doing operations with as little fuss as possible, reading dossiers and using conversation properly.
- Guns Akimbo: When using sub-machineguns.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Can be emulated fairly effectively by consistently choosing the 'Aggressive' stance, unsurprisingly. With a good mixture of just plain jerk to go with it.
- Jerkass: Even when played as a good guy or a professional killer, Mike still snark to his heart's content during conversations where the player can't choose the tone. And if you decide to play him as a bastard, well, there is a reason why his most popular nickname is Dick Mike. For example, he can antagonize a normally sweet-natured and ordinary secretary so much, she'll bean him over the head with a statue and taze him before running off.
- Karma Houdini: Any crimes the player commits as Michael (i.e. harassing Madison, executing the wrong people and attacking civilian authorities) will never go punished, as Michael is always alive and off to continue his life by the game's ending.
- Made of Iron: Even with no armor, it's possible to increase Mike's endurance so that he can run up to baddies who will be emptying their clips at Mike only for him to knocking them down with his bare hands. This can be made all the more apparent if Mina is his handler.
- Manipulative Bastard: One of the reasons Mike was recruited by Alpha Protocol is his ability to manipulate people through conversation. Taken to its logical conclusion in the Thorton, Inc. ending, in which everyone up to and including Leland fall victim to his manipulations.
- Master Actor: Goes with the above trope. People rarely realizes he's putting up an act, which makes it all the more ironic for the player who knows full well the situation.
- Naïve Newcomer: The recruit background, for a certain level of 'naive'. Most of Alpha Protocol (barring Parker) rewards you for picking 'recruit' stances.
- Odd Friendship: Take your pick! In hindsight, some of the characters are very strange people to befriend, but Mike is perfectly capable of getting on all their good sides if he plays his cards right.
- Omnicidal Neutral: Potentially. The game allows you to piss off just about everyone you meet, although ironically the true Omnicidal ending where Mike takes down everyone responsible for the game's troubles is only available if you spare Shaheed.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: It's hinted in the beginning that the name Michael Thorton is just an alias given to him by Alpha Protocol.
- Overt Operative: He identifies himself as "Mike Thorton" to everyone he meets. (Although it's implied that that may not be his real name, it's still the name under which he is wanted by the U.S. government.)
- Polyglot: According to a background check Alpha Protocol did, Mike speaks fluent Farsi, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin (Chinese) and Japanese in addition to English. If you have the Tech Specialist background, Mike will also have a PhD in linguistics. About half of these languages will turn out to be highly useful.
- Sadist Show: Can have one, big time. For instance, if he gives Sergei to Brayko, one of the options is to enjoy watching Brayko slice Sergei up with a knife.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: The glasses the player can equip him with have a tendency to shine so much that they're opaque (except in Graybox and Moscow, where you need Sinister Shades to achieve this look).
- Science Hero: The tech specialist background, especially if you keep playing the role by picking the 'technical' skills and using lots of grenades.
- The Starscream: In the Thorton, Inc. ending, he takes down Alpha Protocol for Leland, then turns around and stabs Leland in the back, taking over Halbech and gaining effective control of the U.S. government.
- Take Over the World: If you choose the Thorton, Inc. ending by working with Leland and betraying him at the end.
- Technical Pacifist: Emphasis on the fist. Mike can potentially go through the entire game without killing anybody, but his nonlethal attacks, gadgets, and takedowns are quite brutal and painful. It is also difficult but possible to "ghost" through most of the game save for boss battles by avoiding combat and stealthing past everyone.
- Unwitting Pawn: Potentially as well, especially if you don't collect Surkov's data in the embassy that leads Mike to the fact that Surkov was the actual weapons dealer and he was sending Mike to kill Brakyo to eliminate competition. Leland makes an attempt to make Mike feel as if he's an unwitting pawn of Halbech's plan, though it generally falls flat.
- Villain Protagonist: You can play him this way if you like, killing defenseless people, egging on Heck's insanity, committing blackmail, facilitating arms deals with terrorists and joking about it, and, eventually, even selling out to Halbech...and possibly betraying them for his own ends.
- Voiced By: Adrienne Wilkinson
- Berserk Button: Do not murder civilians or American agents if you value her friendship.
- Double Agent: She's working for someone functioning as monitors and power checks on 'unaccountable' agencies like Alpha Protocol. Her dossier's secret fact implies it's the NSA.
- The Handler: She's responsible for getting Mike the intel he needs.
- Mission Control: She serves as this for most of the game.
- The Mole: She's actually an agent tasked with infiltrating Alpha Protocol and monitoring them for another agency so secret it remains unnamed. She says that for every "accountability-free" organization, there's someone like her to act as the actual watchdog of the group in case their underhanded dealings get too underhanded, which they have.
- In addition, Mina was the one who enacted Alpha Protocol status on Mike. She admits as much to Mike at the endgame, explaining that she needed him to go against Alpha Protocol and Halbech to expose them. As a result, Mina alone was responsible for Mike being "forced" to go rogue.
- NSA: Mina used to work for them before being recruited by Alpha Protocol. Unlocking her full dossier and Secret Fact reveals she's still loyal to the NSA and implies heavily that the NSA either is or is in cahoots with whoever is monitoring Alpha Protocol.
- Token Good Teammate: Mina is the most idealistic member of Alpha Protocol and hates it when you kill civilians or other American agents. Most of the other wet-workers are ambivalent at best about collateral damage (except for Heck, who loves it).
- UST: While Mike has multiple romance interests throughout the game, Mina is the one most consistently present; she's also rather flirty. Lampshaded in one of Thorton's responses to her email.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: She almost never leaves the Greybox. Mike actually instinctively checks his earpiece when she meets up with him in person.
- Voiced By: Gary Anthony Williams
- Da Chief: He's in charge of Alpha Protocol and he won't tolerate any bullshit on Mike's part.
- Ironic Hell: If Mike arrests him, the epilogue mentions that he is facing years of courtroom trials. Westridge joined Alpha Protocol so he could protect his country without being held accountable for using questionable methods.
- Jerkass: He constantly tries to get a rise out of Mike. Although it may be a facade that he uses to make Mike more prone to aggressive actions.
- Just Following Orders: He uses these words when you arrest him.
- Mission Control: Serves as this early in the game.
- Rush Boss: He packs a lot of fire power, but he doesn't have much damage resistance.
- The Spymaster: All of Alpha Protocol's agents report to him.
- True Final Boss: You only fight him if you're taking down Alpha Protocol for Leland or Shaheed.
- Unwitting Pawn: Since he was conditioned to never question his orders, he failed to realize that Leland was manipulating Alpha Protocol and the U.S. government.
- Voiced By: Andre Sogliuzzo
- Bash Brothers: If he and Mike get along.
- Boss Arena Idiocy: He leaves a sniper rifle in a guard tower with a good line of sight to his location. Justified, however, as it's perfectly in character for him to overlook that in his eagerness to kill Mike.
- Butt Monkey: Darcy getting insulted and humiliated by everyone is something of a Running Gag. He's also the only named character that Mike is forced to kill, although if you climb the tower opposite his and are using tranquilizer rounds, he becomes the only character that Mike is forced to incapacitate.
- Casanova Wannabe: Hits on Mina nonstop. It is definitely not reciprocated.
- Dirty Coward: If Mike fights him at the climax, Darcy talks about how badass he is before hiding in a guard tower and throwing grenades at the player, while sending waves of goons to fight and die to keep Mike busy. He even calls you out for being a coward if you try to run away.
- Jerk Ass: Sleazy and pushy towards Mina? Check. Serious inferiority complex towards Mike? Check. Yeah, this guy's a doozy.
- Kick the Dog: Beating up Mina in the final mission.
- Mission Control: For one mission.
- Story Overwrite: Darcy is the only character in the game you have to kill. Even if you finish his boss fight with a tranq round the game will ignore this and he'll count as dead.
- The Rival: If he and Mike hate each other. Mike even gets a handler-specific perk called "Who's the Better Agent?" in this case.
- Trap Master: His dossier states that since he lacks actual field experience, he primarily relies on setting traps and letting other soldiers take care of his enemies.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: If Darcy hates Mike, he'll send Mike an email after going rogue that essentially boils down to "I'm going to find you and kill you."
- Worthy Opponent: If he respects Mike, Darcy sends him an email that offers him a chance to surrender and be taken in alive and unharmed.
- Voiced By: Michael Bell
- Brilliant, but Lazy: According to his dossier, Parker was like this in his college days, never doing homework in classes and carefully calculating the minimum number of tests to take and effort to put into assignments in order to achieve a passing grade.
- The Chessmaster: Parker is an analyst, whose job it is to analyze a lot of variables in global politics and economy and create contingencies for how to deal with potential outcomes stemming from certain 'trigger events'. As it turns out, this made him the linchpin of Halbech's plan to increase global tensions into a new Cold War, and all of the events leading up to Mike going rogue and the subsequent operations Mike struggles against were 'trigger events' meticulously planned by Parker. Ironically, if Mike proves his calculations were wrong and spares Shaheed, spares and earns the friendship of Omen Deng, and secures Surkov as an ally, Parker will approve of Mike having outfoxed him.
- Clock King: He's obsessed with precision; pointing out that he actually has made quite a lot of mistakes is one way to bring him around.
- The Evil Genius: He made the calculations for Leland's plans.
- Heel–Face Turn: Mike can convince him to keep the Alpha Protocol data and walk away by keeping Shaheed alive (and thus messing up his calculations), by logically deducing how his calculations are flawed and how they can stick it all onto Halbech and set up shop again under a new name, or by naming Marburg as Madison's kidnapper/killer. In the latter case it becomes a case of Redemption Equals Death, as Marburg will kill him.
- Jerkass: He openly admits to viewing other people as expendable tools.
- Papa Wolf: He is Madison's father. If Mike provides proof that Marburg killed/threatened to kill Madison in Rome to Parker, he'll shoot Marburg at the endgame.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Very much a fan of this. If Mike asks him about the missile strike in Saudi Arabia, Parker dismisses it as a stupid idea and claims he wanted Mike detained and removed quietly upon returning to the US.
- Skippable Boss: There are three different ways to skip his boss battle, as outlined above.
- Smug Snake: He's smart, but not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Pointing out all the flaws in his grand scheme is one way to turn him.
- Worthy Opponent: Very subtly. He respects the hell out of Mike, in his own understated way, if the latter is also The Chessmaster.
An extremist Islamic terrorist faction that is responsible for the missile strike on the airliner that sets the entire plot in motion. What Al-Samad lacks in training they make up for with sophisticated technology and Sheikh Ali Shaheed's leadership and connections.
- Cannon Fodder: Most of the Al-Samad infantry are poorly-trained civilians armed with Cold War weapons.
- Elite Mooks: Shaheed's personal guards, however, are special-forces-trained elites armed with advanced weapons and armor, obvious by their bright red shemags.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Though they don't follow the same organizational doctrine as Al-Qaeda (the latter organization serves more as a facilitator for other militants) Al-Samad fills a similar role as the general extremist Islamic terrorist threat.
- Starter Villain: Al-Samad are mostly only fought in the first area of the game, though they can be encountered later on in Rome. They are nowhere near as dangerous as later badguys like the VCI, CSP, or Deus Vult and their security systems are very basic.
An Arms Dealer located in Saudi Arabia who is the supplier of Al-Samad. You don't need to deal with him, because you only need to investigate 2 of the 3 leads in Saudi Arabia and he is one of them. Nasri is a well-connected dealer with European connections; judging by his dossier, the CIA is aware of him, but intentionally lets him operate unimpeded since it lets them track down his clients.
- Arms Dealer: He's actually one of the guys Mike deals with on the Clearinghouse. Arrest/kill him and you can kiss his stock goodbye.
- No Sense of Humor: Nasri and his guards are intolerant of light attitudes.
- Empty Eyes: Played With: His right eye has an oddly distorted iris.
Sheikh Ali Shaheed
- Voiced By: Fred Tatasciore
- Affably Evil: Shaheed is unfailingly polite. In fact, he's a total stand-up guy, and would be outright heroic if it wasn't for that whole "killing innocent civilians" thing. Shaheed will never betray or lie to Mike, and ends up being his most useful ally if Mike's goal is to destroy the entire evil conspiracy behind the game's plot.
- Arab Oil Sheikh: Interestingly, however, the fact that he's an oil sheikh isn't very important to the plot; it's his missiles that are a problem and thus kick off the first act, not his oil.
- Arc Villain: Of the Saudia Arabia segment.
- Catch Phrase: "I am a man of my word."
- Defeat Means Friendship: Will join forces with Mike if he spares his life.
- Disney Villain Death: If Mike chooses to execute him in Saudi Arabia, he will do so by throwing him off a bridge.
- Face Death with Dignity: If he is executed during the endgame.
- I Gave My Word: See Catch Phrase. If he swears revenge against America, he will kill Americans. If he agrees to help Mike bring down Halbech, he'll do everything in his power to make it happen.
- Noble Demon: He's a terrorist who is quite happy to murder civilians with antiaircraft missiles. He's also a man of his word, and if you give him a fair hearing, will do everything in his power to help you bring down the guy manipulating both of you, even if it means his own death.
- Occupiers out of Our Country: His motivation; he wants the West out of Saudi Arabia.
- Unexplained Recovery: If you try to arrest Shaheed at the end of Operation Desert Spear, he will die in the missile strike sent to kill you. Apparently, Mike either didn't check his corpse well enough or the game is bugged at that point, because the ending will treat him as still alive.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shaheed was given the missiles he used to down the airliner by Halbech. Once he's used them for terrorism, he's a liability to be removed. Mike can also decide this and murder him after using him to gain information on Halbech.
Jibril Al-BaraThe supposed leader of the Al-Samad faction in Rome. As the dossier notes, Al-Bara is a practiced socialite who has a vast social network, but this is strangely at odds with his extremely high value on his own privacy. Early on in Rome, you lead a Sniper scoping mission to covertly track him down at his hotel, and once you spot him, it's up to you to either shoot this guy or let him live.
- Fall Guy: The CIA says he's Al-Samad. Interpol says he's clean. The game never gives a definitive answer one way or the other, but it's implied Halbech manipulated CIA data using Alpha Protocol so they could pin the Rome attack on him.
- Though Shaheed will accuse Mike Thorton of murdering Al-Samad if he kills him.
- Socialite: The second paragraph/entry of his dossier reads: "Al-Bara is a practiced socialite, and while he is difficult to track at most times, his gatherings attract many noteworthy figures in Europe and beyond, many of them well-connected. As much as harming Al-Bara would cause repercussions within Al-Samad, harming his guests may cause repercussions in public circles."
- Unwitting Pawn / You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Marburg disposes of Al-Bara if Thorton doesn't do so himself, which implies that they were connected.
- The Voiceless: Al-Bara and Mike never meet face-to-face, Mike only sees him through the scope of his rifle.
A major weapons and technology contractor for the US government. Halbech is responsible for a number of shady deals, and their CTO, Henry Leland, serves as the game's Big Bad. The missiles that Al-Samaad used on the airliner were Halbech technology, and they are eager to recover the evidence of what happened with their weapons.
- Arms Dealer: They are one of the largest weapons manufacturers in the United States.
- Bland-Name Product: Halbech's name looks like a portmanteau of the somewhat infamous real-world contractors Halliburton and Bechtel.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Many of their higher-ups are quite corrupt. You can uncover a number of incriminating emails discussing all manner of embarrassing or scandalous actions, such as rigging elections, war profiteering, faked piracy (lampshaded by Mike), tax fraud, accounting fraud, and coverups regarding industrial accidents.
- Gone Horribly Right: Halbech's plan to start a global cold war, while bad enough, is horribly flawed and will inadvertently spark a third world war if left unchecked.
- Mega Corp.: Despite ostensibly being a weapons company, they do construction work and apparently have their own private army.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation
- War for Fun and Profit: They are trying to start a cold war to boost their profit margins.
- Voiced By: Fred Tatasciore
- Big Bad: He's behind just about every bad thing that happens in the game.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He has no problem with causing the deaths of thousands just to make a profit.
- Cruel Mercy: If Mike chooses to spare him in the normal ending, it's only so he can watch his beloved Halbech collapse from the scandal.
- Diabolical Mastermind
- Fashion-Victim Villain: Mike gets several chances to accuse Leland of being one.
- Faux Affably Evil: It just adds to his smugness.
- Genre Blindness: Seriously, if Mike agrees to join Halbech, how could he not see Mike's betrayal a mile away (if the player chooses to)?
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: He is almost always carrying a lit cigar. If Mike sides with him at the end and doesn't betray him, then he give Mike a cigar to signify Mike's Face–Heel Turn.
- Rush Boss: He goes down after a single punch if you can bypass the lock of the room that he is holed up in, but if he hits you with his rocket launcher...
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Believes that Halbech and its contracts are too important for the US to be allowed to fail, hence why he sets the entire plot in motion.
- Smug Snake: He thinks he's a devious mastermind, but he's really a total idiot. His plan to generate business by increasing global tensions is putting the world on the fast track to Armageddon, he exposes his own ignorance of Mike's resources and allies with his gloating, and you can play him like a trombone if you want to. And that tie ought to be declared a war crime.
Veterans' Combat Initiative/Deus Vult
The VCI is a private military firm made up of former soldiers with emphasis on recruiting troops either dishonorably discharged or otherwise unable to return to civilian life. The VCI handles a number of dirty jobs at the behest of Halbech.Deus Vult, on the other hand, consists entirely of military personnel and agents specifically loyal to Conrad Marburg, serving as his own personal agents and enforcers. Deus Vult was also a former iteration of Alpha Protocol, and Marburg was an agent of the organization. Though the VCI and Deus Vult are not the same organization, they tend to share resources, draw from the same pool of recruits, and both are under Marburg's control.
- Altum Videtur: Deus Vult is Latin for God Wills It.
- Axe Crazy: The VCI consist mostly of psychotic mercenaries.
- False Flag Operation: Deus Vult is deliberately framing Al-Samaad for the museum bombing.
- The Men in Black: Deus Vult rocks this look.
- The Remnant: Deus Vult was a former iteration of Alpha Protocol.
- Sociopathic Soldier: The VCI deliberately recruits soldiers that have been dishonorably discharged.
- Voiced By: Jim Cummings
- Aborted Arc:
- We never learn what the deal with this guy is. On one hand, he is unresponsive to the passphrase and he can be construed as a little bit too trustworthy to Mike, so perhaps he's just an Unwitting Pawn. On the other hand, he's packing a shotgun in his shop and does eventually get suspicious enough to draw a gun on Mike, and Leland will comment "You added an NSA agent to your body count in Rome" during a later lecture to Mike if you kill him. The latter detail makes the case he is an NSA agent, but still.
- Also, if you start the game as a veteran, this guy's face will appear on your PDA's screen in the beginning, but the veteran background doesn't seem to have any differences with regards to his proper appearance.
- Killing In Self Defense: If you make this guy too suspicious of you (before trying to kill him yourself), he'll Quick Draw a shotgun but be quickly counter-killed by Mike.
- Messy Hair / Nausea Fuel: This guy is unsanitary, and his opening scene shows him walking from the freezer and rubbing a gelato stick he was just eating on his head. As much a Deadpan Snarker as Mike is, there's a reason he stated after seeing this: "That is at least seven health code violations right there".
- His shop, though this is almost certainly just a method of deterring potentially suspicious customers, is awfully unsanitary. When Mike walks in, he states: "I think I got Salmonella by looking at this place. You, if you pay attention, can even notice flys in the background.
- No Name Given
- The Pig Pen: It's probably how he keeps people from snooping around.Mike: I think I just got Salmonella by looking at this place.
- Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: If you don't raise his suspicion, he'll reach under the counter and cordially state "Hey my friend!" — you, as you wait to see what's he drawing, can choose to shoot/spare him. If you shoot him, he dies. If you don't, he pulls out an ice cream cone and offers it to Mike.
- Trust Password / Spy Speak: As Mina tells Mike, there is a specific passphrase these NSA guys have to give to indicate that they're on the level. For some reason, this guy is unresponsive to it. Giving him the password means you don't raise his suspicion.
- Voiced By: Jim Cummings
- Affably Evil: He's very cordial for a ruthless murderer.
- Arc Villain: Of the Rome segment.
- Badass Grandpa: Sixty-five years old. Runs miles everyday, followed by an intense martial-arts regimen, and one of the toughest boss fights in the game.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He is always seen wearing a fancy suit.
- Berserk Button: He hates people who are "all talk." Naturally, a Suave Thorton is someone he despises absolutely. This is the key to convincing him to stay and fight so you can finish him off.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: In the mission to infiltrate his villa, after his men taze Mike at the end of the starting conversation, he asks them to beat Mike up and then leaves. Naturally, you turn the tables on them.
- Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: With the fingertips.
- Consummate Professional: He follows his orders to the letter and respects Mike if he does the same.
- Corporate Samurai: He's long since replaced his loyalty to the United States with his loyalty to Halbech.
- Creepy Monotone: Mild example of the type 5, passing over to Guttural Growler when he gets annoyed.
- The Dog Bites Back: By ruthlessly chasing down a certain type of dossier, you are able to find out who cut him loose and betrayed him during his Deus Vult days. It was Parker. You then have the option to tell him who it was during the endgame. The results are not pretty.
- The Dragon: To Leland. Marburg is his most physically skilled agent.
- Evil Counterpart: He used to be a member of Deus Vult, one of Alpha Protocol's previous incarnations, but the agency was compromised and he was unjustly declared a rogue agent. Can be directly referenced by Mike, if he has the dossier info revealing this and uses Suave responses to deliver "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Marburg in Rome.Mike: Poor Agent Marburg, believed dead, maybe wishing he was dead. Boo fucking hoo. And what has your life been since then? Setting bombs for Halbech, killing bystanders in a museum? How fucked up and empty do you have to be to lower yourself to that level? You don't even know what trust and loyalty are. Or does the fact that I didn't go that same route when I was abandoned really get under your skin, Conrad?Marburg: ...I will end you, Thorton.
- A Father to His Men: During his boss fight, if you kill his minions, he'll go berserk, lose his cool and charge straight at Mike to beat him down in melee.
- On the other hand, Leland states that Marburg is downright rotten at inspiring loyalty in his subordinates (and Madison seems to reinforce it). He may be protective of the people under his command, but they don't seem to return the favour much.
- I Gave My Word: Used very darkly at the end of the Rome mission. If you choose to go after the bomb, Marburg will appear with a still-live Madison, and kill her in front of your eyes. There is no apparent benefit or logic to it in the least since his plan has already failed, and a professional Mike will lampshade this, and Marburg's reply is essentially that he said he'd kill her if you went for the bomb and you did.
- Guide Dang It: It's extremely tough to provoke Marburg mid-game into attacking you so you can kill him.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Is extremely easy to goad or get to like you by staying on one way of talking. Also trusts Leland and thinks Halbech is genuinely better than the government. His dossier even states that he's quite poor when it comes to choosing employees, assuming professionalism and loyalty but never tests for it.
- It's Personal: If you kill his men. Also if you out Parker as his former handler.
- Karma Houdini: If you fail to provoke him in Rome or get him and Parker to fight, Marburg will escape during the final mission.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: The main reason he's survived for so long is the fact that he never fights to the death and will retreat if he needs to. Of course, with enough taunting, he'll make an exception for Mike.
- Meaningful Name: Konrad von Marburg was a 13th century German inquisitor renown for his sadism and for more or less single-handedly making the Inquisition fall out of favour in Germany. The game's Marburg is similar in that he's willing to go extraordinary lengths for the causes he believes in, not to mention it implies his name is possibly a given alias, like Mike's.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Marburg approves of Mike having this attitude, even if it means the two of you are at odds because of it. Marburg is implied to have been the same way before Deus Vult threw him to the wolves, and has now merely switched his blind loyalty to Halbech and Leland.Marburg: Reports place you as someone loyal to your country, and who believes in carrying out your orders.
Mike: Is that so odd?
Marburg: (+1 Approval) In this day and age... Yes. But not to me.
- Not So Different: He at one point refers to Mike as "me, twenty years ago". If you're a primarily Suave Mike, you can throw it right back in his face. After all, while Mike and Marburg have similar pasts and were given similar raw deals, they reacted differently: Mike is still trying to take down corruption, while Marburg has resorted to blowing up innocent people in museums.
- OOC Is Serious Business: If Mike reveals Parker cut him loose during the endgame, he'll confront the character about it. Marburg acts extremely awkwardly and even openly snarks about the situation — the other party doesn't pick up on any of it however.
- Out, Damned Spot!: He wears black gloves at all times. If Mike has accumulated enough of his dossier before meeting him, he can accuse him of wearing them in a feeble attempt to keep the blood off of his hands.
- Sadistic Choice: Stop the bombing, or save Madison. Pick one, Mike.
- Scare Chord: One plays every time he appears.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If you don't out him to Parker and have his dossier and high reputation with him, Mike can make him do this in the endings. He chooses to do this by showing up as you're about to arrest Leland (who is gloating about how he still has an ace up his sleeve) before shaking his head and walking off.
- Skippable Boss: Not in Rome, but in the final mission. If you persuade him that Halbech will screw him over eventually, he'll just walk away.
- Smart People Know Latin: Conrad definitely shows himself to be of above-average intelligence throughout the game and the name of his organization is Deus Vult, Latin for God Wills It. It also doubles as his personal catch-phrase according to the dossier.
- Straight Gay: Implied, since his villa is full of classical nude males and if you chose Madison as your handler (rather than Mina or SIE), Madison mentions that she's never seen Marburg entertain any female guests.
- We Can Rule Together: If he likes Mike, he'll leave a recommendation with his superiors to hire you and tries to offer you a job himself (at that point, you won't accept no matter what). Leland's decision to give you the same offer in the endgame is completely unaffected by his opinion, giving you an indication of just how much Leland respects his opinion.
- Wicked Cultured: Judging by the mission where you must infiltrate his villa, he is quite taken with both classical music and neoclassic art.
- Worthy Opponent: While Mike doesn't reciprocate, he views Thorton as this if you get a high enough reputation with him. He even expresses admiration at points when fighting him, such as commenting on Thorton's resilience if you take a great deal of damage. The achievement for this is even called something along the lines of "Respected Adversary".
- Voiced By: Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
- Action Girl: Probably the most badass girl in the game.
- All Amazons Want Hercules: She really loves it when Mike acts all tough and domineering.
- BFG: She wields an M-60. It pumps out enough bullets that Mike assumes that SIE is actually an army when he first hears it.
- Blood Knight: She enjoys combat, and chides you if you leave guards alive instead of shooting them when she's your ally. She's also sexually aroused by violence.
- Boobs of Steel: Easily the most violent person in the game.
- Boisterous Bruiser: She loves fighting.
- Bonus Boss: There are two opportunities to fight her in the Leningradski Station mission. Beating her increases your rep with her.
- Combat Sadomasochist: If you shoot her full of holes when you first meet her, she emails you to say how much she enjoys pressing the wounds you gave her.
- Cool Shades: She wears sunglasses all the time.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: Fighting her at the end of the first mission she appears in allows you to gain another reputation point with her.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: A really, really big honking gun. An M-60 to be precise.
- Hired Guns: She works for just about everyone who pays her. She also has no problems with betraying an employer the moment they stop paying her.
- In Love with Your Carnage: She goes from being quite appreciative to being outright sexually aroused by Mike's violent rampages if he tends to kill many of his opponents.
- More Dakka: Her solution to most threats is to pump them full of bullets.
- Nice Hat: Wears a rather nifty beret.
- The Not-Love Interest: Sort of. You can romance her and even have a romance scene just before your last mission begins. But she's the only female character that can join you on the last mission who won't be waiting for Mike on the boat, no matter what you do.
- Statuesque Stunner: SIE is an even 6 feet.
- Sunglasses at Night: She even wears sunglasses during the nighttime assault on Brayko's mansion.
- The Rival:
- Of Conrad Marburg. Despite both working for VCI there's no love lost between these two, with Marburg's cold professionalism clashing with SIE's more... enthusiastic approach.
- Romantically, Mina stands out. SIE and Mina hate each other.
Madison Saint James
- Voiced By: Colleen O'Shaughnessey
- But Now I Must Go: No matter what, she won't be around after Rome, either dead or having left Mike out of guilt.
- Damsel in Distress: She gets kidnapped by Marburg at the end of the Rome arc.
- Did Not Get the Girl: No matter what happens, Madison will leave Mike at the end of the Rome mission.
- Morality Pet: To her father, Alan Parker. She might just be the only person he cares about.
- Nom de Mom: Saint James is her mother's maiden name. Otherwise she'd be Madison Parker.
- Screw This I'm Outta Here: If she hates or fears Mike, then she'll eventually brain him with a statue and zap him with a shock trap before running away.
- Vasquez Always Dies: Inverted, she's far and away the least tough and most traditionally feminine of the four love interests. She's also by far the most likely to die, although whether it's her or lots of innocent people who die is your choice.
G22A secretive organization that has been labelled a terrorist group by most government agencies, G22's precise goals and motivations are largely unknown. It is indicated that the organization seeks to guide and control various factors from behind the scenes, and has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo as this makes prediction of trends and control of change much easier. G22 is also implied to be created from the remnants of another previous iteration of Alpha Protocol, known as G19.
- The Conspiracy: They seem to be part of one.
- Creepy Monotone: All G22 agents' voices are deliberately masked and turned into electronic monotones.
- Faceless Goons: With the exception of SIS and Albatross, all of their members wear futuristic helmets.
- Glass Cannon: G22 troops pack a wallop but are not very durable.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: G22 agents' goggles allow them to see everything in extremely high resolution, making them the hardest troops to sneak past. However, flashbangs are very effective on them thanks to the sensitive nature of the goggles.
- Highly Conspicuous Uniform/Highly Visible Ninja: Glowing blue goggles. Black helmets. Bright red jumpsuits with black armor. Though it does disguise the identities of their agents.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Averted; despite favouring this colour scheme they are actually the closest to True Neutral around.
- The Remnant: G22 is apparently descended from G19, a former iteration of Alpha Protocol.
- Unknown Rival: As Mike's interrogation goes on, it becomes clear that Halbech has no idea that G22 even exists. (Naturally, Mike can turn this to his advantage if he makes the right calls.)
- Voiced By: Robert Clotworthy
- Badass in a Nice Suit: It's implied that he can kick ass when he needs to.
- The Handler: He's Mike's liaison with G22.
- Nice Guy: Albatross is about as virtuous that a leader of a shadowy organization can get.
- Papa Wolf: Let's just say that if Mike kills Sis, he doesn't take it lightly. He'll assault Alpha Protocol in the endgame just to kill Mike.
- Overprotective Dad: He really doesn't like Mike asking questions about Sis and her locket.
- The Spook: Good luck learning anything about him.
- The Spymaster: He has command of an entire cell of G22 agents.
- Status Quo Is God: His objective. Assisting Mike is one way to ensure that.
- Stealth Expert: Having him as a handler gives Mike bonuses related to stealth.
- The Stoic: He never shows any overt emotion. The reputation change notifications are the only way the player can tell how he feels about Mike.
- Undying Loyalty: To Sis. As he puts it himself, if Mike spares her, "You've already repaid me in the only currency I value."
- Voice with an Internet Connection: On only two occasions, both of which require you to make specific choices, do he and Mike meet face-to-face; most of their interactions (including their first ones) are through video conferences. The first time is in "Contact Albatross" in the Moscow hub, attained only if you spare Sis. The second possible time is during "Assault Brayko's Mansion", if you opt for his help and if you choose to try to rescue him.
Albatross' personal bodyguard, a young, mute, purple-haired girl who is incredibly lethal in a gunfight and steadfastly loyal to Albatross. The only major female character who Mike can't romance. Sis reacts well to Mike being nice to her, particularly in regards to her locket and her past, and is ambivalent otherwise.
- Action Girl: Is quite capable of kicking ass.
- Badass Adorable: See above.
- Cute Mute: She is incapable of speaking.
- Guns Akimbo: Specifically with revolvers. The drawback is the fact that it takes her a while to reload.
- Memento MacGuffin: Her locket, though it is unclear just what it is a memento of.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Averted in a rather nasty fashion. If you kill Sis on the yacht and then, before doing any other missions, turn on the TV to check the news report, it turns out that since nobody knew who Sis was and the circumstances of her death were unclear, she was mistaken for a teenage prostitute lured into a snuff film! No wonder Albatross hates your guts for it.
- Goth Ninja Bodyguard
- Pants-Positive Safety: Carries one revolver tucked in her back pocket, and the other tucked in the front of her pants.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Pink ones.
- Pretty in Mink: Her jacket has a fur-trimmed hood.
- Silent Snarker: Combined with a glare that could strip paint and set off fire alarms.
- Undying Loyalty: To Albatross. In exchange, he's something of a father figure to her.
- Waif-Fu: Despite her preferring to stick to her revolvers, closing to melee with her is a bad idea. That flip-kick hurts.
Russian MafiaThe Russian Mafia in Moscow served as the buyers and primary transporters of the Halbech missiles used in the airliner attack, and come under Mike's investigation when he follows the money trail to Moscow.
- The Mafiya: Goes without saying.
- Zerg Rush: Mafia criminals aren't that great in terms of combat ability, but there's a lot of them in every mission where you fight them, and they're surprisingly decent hand-to-hand fighters.
- Voiced By: Kristoffer Tabori
- Arms Dealer: If spoken to before the train mission, he'll give Mike a request to reroute a weapons shipment to his own allies for money. Besides this, he is also an arms dealer to Mike himself.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: As his dossier explains, he's got a University degree in Physics and Philosophy.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Mike can pull this off to him.
- Knowledge Broker / The Informant: This guy is an extremely effective information seller, even selling clearinghouse intel in the other cities. In fact, when you first meet him, if Moscow isn't the only city you've visited, he'll point out he's familiar with your adventures in those cities.
- Voiced By: Chris Edgerly
- Arc Villain: Of the Moscow segment.
- Arms Dealer: Surkov is willing to supply Mike with some very high-end weaponry if they reach an agreement, including the best assault armor in the game.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: If Mike gives him to Brayko. There's a Gory Discretion Shot, but according to the news reports, he clearly had one.
- Just a Flesh Wound: Aggressive Mike can shoot him in the leg at the end of the Embassy mission, which will cause him to limp from then on (although he survives without bleeding out somehow — presumably emergency services got to the scene shortly after). If you follow Moscow to the end and don't take his deal or give him to Brayko in the last mission, Mike will shoot him in the other leg and use the fact he's bleeding out as leverage to get his evidence.
- The Mafiya: He used to be a major crime lord.
- Manipulative Bastard: You come to Moscow, more or less looking for him. He sends you to kill or be killed by his competition/former protégé.
- Oh Crap!: If Mike doesn't kill Brayko, instead bringing him out to deal with Surkov, he is shocked that neither of you are dead and the fact that Brayko now wants a "chat" between him and his knife...
- Retired Monster: Except not really.
- Smug Snake: He'd be a much better liar if he could stop himself from smirking whenever he does.
- The Starscream: If you trust him too much, he basically becomes a new Leland, according to the newscast that explains the consequences of your choices in the game.
- The Unfought: Unlike Brayko, he doesn't directly fight Thorton, his dragon, Championchik, makes the mistake of thinking that Mike won't bring a gun to a boxing match, and he can be negotiated with after only dealing with a few of his Mooks. He'll also make the same mistake with Brayko and end up winning "Gold Medal in Dying".
- Walking Spoiler
An extremely experienced ex-boxer turned mercenary who works as the lead bodyguard for Surkov.
- Badass: His dossier describes him as being an Olympic boxer with an amazingly impressive record. Also, as much as an invoking of Too Dumb to Live as it is, the fact that this guy had the courage to charge at Mike unarmed is pretty badass of him.
- The Brute: His only job appears to be enforcement.
- The Dragon: Surkov's most trusted bodyguard, and the only named one.
- Final Boss: If done to it's fullest extent, then he is this for the Moscow segment.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: As we learn in his dossier, part of the reason Surkov employed this guy is due to his image as an elite boxer.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: If you fight this son-of-a-bitch, he fearlessly battles Mike entirely unarmed. Entirely. His massive health bar and high level of resistance compensate for this. In fact, if you (you will need high-ranked Martial Arts skills to do so) take this guy out only with your martial arts skills, the end-of-mission-report (and Mike's after dialogue) is different.
- Take That: If you get Brayko to slice this guy up, he'll hilariously comment: "Your bodyguard is busy winning gold medal in dying."
- Voiced By: Matt Yang King
- Addiction Powered: In his boss battle, he can snort some cocaine to make himself a bulletproof murder machine. Of course, having Heck poison said cocaine will make him much easier to deal with.
- Affably Evil: When he's not high and/or trying to kill you, he's actually pretty amiable in a curt, obscenity-punctuated way.
- Ax-Crazy: Brayko loves cutting people up...
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Is apparently a relatively successful gangster in spite of (or perhaps as a result of) his mental instability. His dossier notes that he's cunning enough to rise above the position of a street thug and brutal enough to get what he wants.
- Cluster F-Bomb: He uses at least two "fucks" a sentence.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: While infiltrating his mansion he'll capture Mike's handler and have himself a good time with his knife.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: This is the guy who, if Mike accepts help from G22, will manage to capture and interrogate Albatross, of all people.
- Disco Dan: Replace the disco with 80s hairband rock, and you've got a winner.
- The Dog Bites Back: It's possible to let Brayko deal with Surkov after the latter tries to frame him for dealing with Halbech.
- Guns Akimbo: Uses two SMGs in his fight.
- Immune to Drugs: If left alive, his arrest report states that he has enough cocaine in his blood to make "a baleen whale see Jesus". Similarly, coke spiked with rat poison will simply debilitate him slightly.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: To quote Mike: "I wonder how many gay cheetahs had to die to make that jacket?"Brayko: Who in the fuck are you? Where did you come from? And where the fuck are my guards?!Thorton: I told you guards to go home and go to bed. Your jacket was so loud they couldn't sleep.Brayko: What the fuck did you say!?Thorton: Oh, so you can't hear me over your jacket, either? No wonder it was so easy to sneak in here.
- Amusingly, this is the one stance out of three that doesn't reduce your reputation with him.
- Knife Nut: He's infamous for slowly killing his enemies with knives.
- Leitmotif: His Boss Battle features Autograph's "Turn Up the Radio" as background music. You're not likely to forget this music in a hurry.
- The Mafiya: He's a major figure in Russian organized crime.
- Personal Arcade: He has a literal whole arcade in his mansion.
- Super Serum: He hasn't had coke this good since grade school! Though Heck can poison it for you.
- Voiced By: Courtenay Taylor
- Deadpan Snarker: She loves trading barbs with Mike.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Inverted. When you first meet her she's flirty and extroverted, but as you get closer she actually becomes more chill and her affect becomes shallower. By the time you meet her before the final mission and when you meet her in the interrogation room, the joking demeanor is entirely gone and she seems like a rather melancholy person. This isn't her giving Mike the cold shoulder, it's because she trusts him enough to show him her actual personality.
- Dragon Their Feet: If Mike tries to spare Leland in the ending and doesn't know her true profession, she shoots Mike. Fortunately, he either convinces her to kill Leland instead or Mina or Heck shoots her dead.
- Friendly Sniper: Was the one who actually shot Sung.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Invokes this in one of her emails. (There's no indication that she's actually interested in girls, however.)
- High-Heel–Face Turn: Not only is she the least evil of Halbech's crew, and a potential Love Interest, but she's also the easiest of his minions to turn to Mike's side.
- Hitman with a Heart: She goes to great lengths to avoid killing anyone she's not being paid to kill.
- Hot Scoop: Mike can think so; Heck certainly does.
- Intrepid Reporter: Her profession; she also enjoys a chance to get her hands on evidence of Halbech's dirty deeds. Subverted. She uses her reporter status as a cover for her... other career. And there's no indication that she ever runs an expose on anything Halbech does; she is, after all, on their payroll.
- Though it should be noted that, cover or not, she is apparently one of the most well-known photojournalists in the world and her work has appeared in Time. She also get's annoyed if you slight her journalistic credentials and is very flattered if you complement them, implying that they mean more than just a cover to her. Her work for Halbech is as a contractor, she outright states that she hates their guts and at the end she suspects they're going to betray her.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: If you choose to execute her for the assassination (attempt) on Sung.
- The Mole: She works with Mike in Taipei, and happily helps him track down Omen Deng...who is not Ronald Sung's assassin and is, in fact, working to prevent the assassination. She also uses him to acquire inside information on Halbech.
- Plucky Girl: No matter how messed up things get, she still remains optimistic about her chances.
- Punch Clock Villain: She hates Leland and Halbech and only works for them for the money.
- Walking Spoiler: To the extent where even saying that she's a Walking Spoiler is kind of a spoiler. To sum it up: Just about everything you think you know about her before the final mission is not entirely true.
- Voiced By: Nolan North
- Ax-Crazy: He has a disturbing fondness for killing people in inventive ways.
- Bad Boss: The first time you see him, he's openly torturing his aide Wen Shu for the location of his keys (which happen to be in a bowl on a nearby drawer). He also pins the assassination attempt in Taipei on Wen and leaves him for the local cops.
- Berserk Button: Never call him Steve.Steven: Be with ya in a sec, buddy! Oh, and call me "Steve" again and I'll cut off your fingers with cigar clippers.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Heck is extremely silly. He's also probably one of the most dangerous men alive and easily the most mysterious of the characters.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: You'd think something like being completely out of one's gourd would make a person less effective as a spy - until you met Heck. His help comes with the trouble of putting up with his, uh, quirks, but it's usually worthwhile in ways you could never have predicted. For instance! Say you need to obtain several pounds of high quality cocaine, spike it with rat poison, and ship it to a specific location in Russia on short notice with no questions asked. Heck's the man to get that done.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: In your first conversation with him, he'll cheerfully ramble away about everything except the questions you just asked unless you humour him, and it's always hard to tell just how serious he's being about anything.
- Confusion Fu: He claims to have built his own "fighting style" based on swift and unpredictable strikes, but it seems more likely that what makes him effective is his lack of formal training, combined with his crazy and willingness to use anything and everything.
- Conspiracy Theorist: And he's right about most of them.
- Crazy Awesome: It's never made clear whether Heck really is a highly-trained secret agent, or just some random guy who decided being an espionage operative would be neat and started acting like one, successfully integrating into the profession on the basis of sheer unrelenting batshit insanity. Both are equally possible, but the man's abilities and effectiveness are undeniable.
- Crazy-Prepared: That gatling gun mounted on a subway car? He built that years ago, just in case.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: The game's parody character who's also a complete lunatic and a sadist.
- Improbable Weapon User: Supposedly. Although never seen using anything more outlandish than a minigun, he claims to have once decapitated someone with a soccer ball and his dossier credits him with having choked a Vatican intelligence agent to death with Communion wafers and killed a Triad gangster with a ten-speed bike (which was found lodged in the victim's abdomen).
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: "Sounds like you need to tie this Omen guy to a chair and give him the bees."
- Kill It with Fire: "And then, I set him on fire, just to make sure he got the point."
- Motor Mouth: Especially in writing.
- One-Man Army: Particularly if he is your handler for the assault on Alpha Protocol. The other potential handlers bring some backup: SIE brings VCI troops, while Albatross sends in G22 and Sis. Heck inflicts the same damage by himself with only the helicopter crew as his backup.
- Operation Blank: "I name all the operations that go down in Taipei, even the ones that aren't mine. Operation Latex Turtle, Operation Angry Bees, Operation YEEEEAAAAAHHHHHH! Heh. That was a good one."
- Overt Operative: "Yeah, I work for a division of the CIA that doesn't officially exist - super secret. They just kind of turn me loose and let me go nuts."
- Plot Armor: He is the only major character who cannot be killed over the course of the game, under any circumstances. There's a good reason for this: the endgame of Alpha Protocol requires that at least one person be available to "spring Mike loose" before a strapped-to-the-table-Mike can be given a lethal injection. All of the other possible "handlers" can be killed at various points; the fact that Steven Heck cannot be killed ensures that at least one person will be always available to make winning the game possible.
- Power Born of Madness: Being crazy makes him into the ultimate superspy.
- Psycho for Hire: Amongst other services, Heck also sometimes hires himself out as an assassin and offers backup in at least one mission.
- Reality Is Out to Lunch: He's the parody character, so his attachment to the plot can be less realistic than the other characters'.
- The Mole: Evidence points very strongly to him being Halbech's enigmatic collaborator in Taipei, and the one responsible for orchestrating the assassination attempt. When questioned about it, Chris Avellone just said it does sound like the sort of thing Heck would do.
- The Spook: Is he really a super-spy, or just a gifted (and crazy) amateur? Even after collecting his entire dossier (plus the secret fact), you can't be sure either way.
- Three-Way Sex: "Mike, I have something very important to tell you. I just had sex. With two women. At the same time. Hells yeah."
- One of Mike's possible responses is telling him 300 pound women don't really count as two.
- Wild Card: Of all the characters and factions of the game, Heck is the most unpredictable, chiefly because he's insane and has no explicable loyalties. And yet should you gain his trust he'll never betray you - his lack of loyalties means he also has no hidden agenda and won't sell you out no matter what. He'll only backstab you if you antagonize him.
- Voiced By: James Hong
- Affably Evil
- Blackmail: Hong Shi's remaining men are unaware of the real reason his lieutenants and rank-and-file defected, nor are they aware of the fact that Shi was the one who tortured his second-in-command to death. Thorton can either attain some intel or extort money if he confronts Shi with this info and obtains it, but this will cut off his support in the final Taipei mission.
- Badass Grandpa: His dossier lists him as age 72, and yet he is still feared and venerable a leader.
- Bad Boss: He killed his defector ("needle-nose pliers were involved") after he spoke out against the Al-Samad affiliation.
- Combat and Support: If you're relationship is high enough with him and if you don't blackmail him, some of his men will grant you support in the final Taipei mission.
- Covert Group with Mundane Front: The restaraunt you meet him in is actually a front corporation for the Triad (whether or not the clientele themselves know this is unclear).
- Even Evil Has Standards: The refusal of the defectors (whom for all intents and purposes are still a criminal organization) to be allied with Al-Samad highlights the sharp contrast in the morality between them and Shi.
- Karma Houdini: The worst you can do to him is blackmail him into giving you money or intel to keep the proof of how his men didn't defect over money to yourself. You can't kill or arrest him, and you cannot leak the data to his own men yourself.
- Though Leland indicates that Thorton's mission in the Taipei slums led to Taipei's police launching a crackdown against the Triads. Not to mention that his power had been rather weakened by the loss of such a large part of his organization.
- The Triads and the Tongs: His organization.
- Voiced By: Ron Yuan
- Affably Evil: Subverted - he's a good guy.
- Badass: Aside from being a hell of a boss (second only to a Brayko you're not optimized to screw over), see Badass Cape...and Shoot the Dog.
- Badass Cape: He's almost always seen wearing a kickass cloak of some sorts.
- The Coats Are Off: He dramatically throws off his cape before fighting you.
- Commissar Cap: He wears one.
- Cowardly Boss: The first part of his fight involves you chasing him through the scaffolding of a statue.
- Deep Cover Agent: He killed his own brother to maintain his cover.
- Famous-Named Foreigner: If the name Deng sounds familiar...
- The Ghost: His initial dossier info as well as Hong Shi's brief description of him point him to being an enigmatic man of mystery.
- Government Agency of Fiction: There is no (known) real-life organization that is or that clearly serves the same role as the Chinese Secret Police.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Dude, check out that awesome cape.
- Inspector Javert: His "villainy" is actually his attempt to stop Mike from killing Sung.
- Let's You and Him Fight: It's never explicitly clarified whether or not the setup between Deng and Thorton was orchestrated by Halbech/Scarlet or just a coincidence, but both of them were falsely led to believe the other was the assassin, and ended with their fight at the memorial hall.
- Then again, Deng states upon defeat if you don't execute him that "[his] sources were clear; Michael Thorton has come to Taipei, to assassinate President Sung", which implies that it was orchestrated.
- Meaningful Name: "Omen" (which is actually an assumed name) is a reference to the case that made his career. His real name means "Division Hand."
- Parental Substitute: Sung is the father he never had, which is why he's trying to save him.
- The Quiet One: Deng is very quiet and soft-spoken (his loudest grunts are only heard during combat) and speaks brusquely and cryptically.
- Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Both Deng and Mike are trying to prevent Sung's assassination, but neither of them realizes this in time.
- Shoot the Dog: He had his brother arrested and executed for conspiring against China to maintain his own cover.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: His primary weapon is a shotgun. You can get it if you kill him.
- The Stoic: It is impossible to piss him off and the only ways to improve your reputation with him are to not resist when he first meets you and by deducing that he is a double agent.