Characters / Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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     Main Amnesia characters 

Daniel

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/amnesiaportraitsjpg_daniel.jpg
Voiced by: Richard Topping

The Player Character. At the start of the game, he only remembers his name and where he is from (London, Mayfair).
  • Abusive Father: The loading screens indicate he was raised by a particularly abusive father who would often kick him in the stomach.
  • Action Survivor
  • Amnesiac Hero: But of course. Though the "hero" part may be debatable.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain Between the two. He did terrible things to innocent victims for his own benefit unaware that some of his sacrifices were innocent. When he found himself murdering a young girl who couldn't possibly have deserved to die, he had a Heel Realization and resolved to atone.
  • And I Must Scream: His worst fear comes true should he fail in the end: trapped in the darkness he fears most forever.
  • The Atoner: His past self.
  • Audience Surrogate: As he has amnesia at the start of the game, it's his purpose to both find out who he is and what is going on.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: As a result of Alexander's training into the art of torture and ongoing psychological manipulation, Daniel ends up easily washing his hands and what's more, pre-emptively as he and Alexander go abduct the Zimmermans, a family of peasants near Castle Brennenburg, allegedly to complete the banishing ritual for the Shadow. Also a Kick the Dog moment as Daniel has reached the point where he does not care anymore whether his victims are criminals or innocent. Highlighted in Daniel's last sentence during the hallucinatory flashback: "We should have more than enough prisoners to finish the ritual now."
  • The Dog Bites Back: His entire mission against Alexander.
  • Doom Magnet: Literally. Everywhere he goes, the Shadow of the Orb chases him and gruesomely kills those he comes into contact with.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: While Daniel accidentally breaks an orb in Algeria, The Shadow gives him nightmares that enable him to repair it regardless.
  • Dreaming the Truth: After taking the broken orb back to England in tow, Daniel gets endless nightmares and bad dreams of a terrible voice beckoning him from beyond the void. These dreams enabled him to effortlessly repair the mystical relic, a feat which no one else known has ever accomplished.
  • Famous Last Words: For the Alexander ending. Aaah! NO! Arrrghh...AAH!
  • Heel Realization: He finally realized he was a monster after murdering a young girl (in his words, killing an innocent to save a murderer — himself — when once he would have killed a murderer to save an innocent), and it tore him up inside. Realizing that Alexander led him down this road filled him with murderous rage, but just knowing what he had done made him wish he had died or allowed the Shadow to take him, leaving him mentally incapable of carrying out his vengeance. Wanting to stop Alexander even so...well, just look at the title for the solution he chose.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Daniel is quite gifted with repairing Alexander's machines and mechanisms, or when the situation calls for it, sabotaging them.
  • Ghost Memory: After touching the mystical orb, Daniel keeps unlocking memories that are completely alien to him, even from those who have lived and died long before he was born.
  • Heroic Mime: Subverted, Daniel's diary entries are all narrated by himself and the player occasionally hears him mumble and ramble to himself during game play. The subversion comes when the player first encounters Agrippa, who seems to reply to speech from Daniel, but the player hears not a peep. Possibly explained in that Agrippa seems to possess Psychic Powers, and reads Daniel's mind in lieu of conversation.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the Agrippa ending he sends Agrippa through the gate to his and Alexander's world, leaving both himself and Alexander at the Shadow's mercy — and the Shadow has none. However, Agrippa is grateful and draws Daniel through to the other world after him, begging Weyer to help, and the last words of the game are his, reassuring Daniel that it will be all right.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Daniel, after being mentored by Baron Alexander in how to ward off the Shadow of the Orb. The sacrifices Daniel made were criminals at first...
    Baron Alexander: (While a torture victim pleads innocence and for his life) He is one of the wicked. Don't pay his lies any attention. [...] He set a man on fire. [...] We're dealing with monsters here.
  • Hiding Behind Religion: In one of his diary entries, Daniel says he is "thankful for God sending these monsters our way as they will serve as the instruments of my salvation," referring to the prisoners whom Alexander assures Daniel are all criminals and therefore may be freely tortured in order to harvest vitae.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Good grief is he ever. Not just naive and gullible, he honestly thinks Alexander is his best friend.
  • Human Pet: Implied by Alexander that he belongs to the Shadow.
  • Hypno Trinket: Daniel's orb keeps enchanting him to hold it.
  • Identity Amnesia: Induced deliberately.
  • Idiot Hero: An interpretation giving how much of a dumbass he is around his abusive peers and the Baron.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A possible interpretation.
  • Large Ham: In his narrations.
  • Madness Mantra: Several! One within a semi-playable cutscene, "Paint the man, cut the lines!" — and the rest whenever his sanity becomes too low, which are usually denials, confusion, echoes from the past or very Lovecraftian ramblings about the progress of the Shadow.
  • Morality Pet: Though she never makes any actual appearance (which is probably fortunate), Daniel's chronically ill younger sister Hazel is a hint he had some redeeming features. He read books to her during her worst downturns in the hopes of helping her maintain the will to live, took the brunt of his father's rage to keep her safe, wished her goodbye before he left for Algeria, and her offscreen fate changes depending on whether the player ticks some invisible markers during the game. If Daniel is compassionate, she lived; if he's selfish, she died. His Heel Realization also hinged upon her — the little girl he murdered just before the game made him break down in regret because she reminded him of Hazel.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: What leads up to him drinking the Amnesia Potion.
  • Non-Action Guy: He used to be an archaeologist — and not the adventurer sort. The sort that researches things in books and has to carry a parasol in the desert to ward off heatstroke. With no memory and no weapons against a collection of hideously powerful monsters and a formless abomination whose presence tears apart reality, he may as well be a bug against a windshield. All he can do is run, hide and sometimes trick threats away, never directly attack them.
  • Primal Fear: His fear of the dark; if you stand in darkness, his Sanity Meter will drain. The Shadow engulfs him in absolute darkness in the Alexander ending...forever.
  • Pursued Protagonist
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
  • Redemption Quest
  • Resurrected for a Job: It's been theorized that the Shadow keeps on bringing him back to life until he's finally able to stop Alexander.
  • Redemption Earns Life In the revenge ending, Daniel despite his former-self's transgressions is forgiven by the Shadow and practically grants him safe passage out of the castle. There are no monsters or obstacles to contend with. Brennenburg collapses only once he's reached minimum safe distance.
  • Sanity Slippage: It's an actual game-play mechanic — Daniel's amnesiac mind is hanging by a thread that frays more and more with every horror he witnesses, and low enough levels see him begin hallucinating (both visually and aurally), losing control over his movements, and even outright collapsing in hysteria for several moments. But it was also the reason he drank the amnesia potion. He was physically abused as a child, and touching the Orb gave him visions which left him with "exhausting nightmares" that plagued him every time he slept. Everyone he went to for help was murdered by the Shadow (as he was guilt-stricken to learn), and knowledge of the Shadow itself focusing upon him didn't make his sleep easier. Under Alexander's tutelage, he was at first reluctant to harm a criminal even at Alexander's urging...but little by little gained more enjoyment out of the pain and death he inflicted. He devolved into a brutal sadist, but eventually hit a breaking point that brought some measure of clarity back to his mind and drank the amnesia potion to keep his crimes from tormenting him long enough to revenge himself on Alexander.
  • Unwitting Pawn: For Alexander.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Was a very decent (if terribly naive) young man, until he met Alexander.
  • Villain Protagonist: Temporarily and only in the flashbacks. Before the game starts, he has sacrificed many people, many probably innocent, to save his own skin — although he was never told they were. It's clear once you get to the end of the story that he regrets what he has done.
  • Taking You with Me: After realizing that Alexander had him murdering innocents this entire time, Daniel swears to end the treacherous baron before the Shadow claims him.
  • The Jinx: In London, he's being constantly followed by his Doom Magnet, The Shadow, while initially its leaving him unscathed, its still killing everyone he comes into contact with. Everyone.
  • The Watson: In flashbacks, he's the one asking questions to which Alexander provides answers, for benefit of both his current amnesiac self and the player.
  • Why Is It So Dark?: After an unexplained incident when he was a child, Daniel has a crippling phobia of darkness that he retains even after his memory loss. A flashback has past Daniel being very agitated about a dark tunnel even after being allowed to light his lantern, and as player character he will breathe hard, tremble and eventually begin to whimper if made to stand in darkness for too long.

Baron Alexander

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/amnesiaportraitsjpg_alexander.jpg
Voiced by: Sam A. Mowry

The main antagonist. Daniel gave himself the mission of murdering him, for good reason. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as he believes.
  • Affably Evil: It is worth noting that Alexander isn't simply evil. He's not insane, he's not sadistic, and he takes no joy in his tasks. In his notes, he expresses remorse for Daniel's corruption and the things he's done; he even seems a little shocked by Daniel's brutality.
  • And I Must Scream: In the Agrippa or Revenge endings.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: In the Alexander ending, he promises to celebrate Daniel's sacrifice, forever.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Played mostly straight — while the Baron does evil deeds, the why of it might gain him sympathy points. As revealed in a handful of notes, he's simply trying to get back home to his family.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the "Alexander" ending.
  • The Corrupter: The reason that Daniel became a monster was because Alexander manipulated his desperation and fear.
  • Encyclopaedic Knowledge: The baron is well-versed in worldly matters, described by Daniel as a true Renaissance Man. He has knowledge in many fields, including anatomy studies, alchemy, and botany, but even with his apparent Super Intelligence he couldn't figure how the mystical vitae works in relation to living organisms.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His motivation for all the things he's done is to get back to his family.
  • Evil Old Folks: And he is old. Much older than he looks.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is noticeably deeper than Daniel's, whose speech is more nervous and breathy.
  • Famous Last Words: No, you fool! You've ruined us! You've killed us both!
  • Have a Nice Death: Thank you, my friend. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten. You will be celebrated, forever!
  • Humanoid Abomination: Possibly. He's been around for a few centuries and comes from a different world. Examining his portraits with low sanity reveals how he might really look.
  • Kick the Dog: Or rather mercilessly perform vivisection on it with a dull saw and, in lieu of a eulogy, merely remark "What a mess." Ironically, the player audibly witnesses this gruesome scene in the Study long before learning about Alexander's habit of torturing humans.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He gets screwed over royally in the Agrippa/Revenge endings. by the man he thought to use and throw away.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Never My Fault: Yes, Alexander, only Daniel deserves to be consumed by the Shadow. You didn't do a thing except make him willing to torture and kill people, telling him it was to protect himself, to get your hands on a magic orb so you can return home and receive the alchemical fuel to perform the ritual. Daniel needs to be punished, but you're innocent as the sunrise.
  • Non-Action Big Bad
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • He researches every possible way to obtain vitae besides torturing and killing human beings, not because of any moral qualms, but because the tried-and-true method is such a time-consuming chore.
    • He doesn't abandon Daniel out of malice and he wasn't planning it from the start. He was even willing to take him to the other side with him. It was only after Daniel's corruption and subsequent breakdown that he locked Daniel out, fearing that he would disrupt the ritual or do something else stupid not that that stopped Daniel. However, while he regrets this turn of events, he doesn't go out of his way to incapacitate Daniel to drag him through the portal. He just leaves him behind.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's existed in this world for centuries and says outright that it isn't time that ages him.
  • Softspoken Sadist: He's not a sadist, but he inflicts pain with meticulous care and a soothing voice.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: One who complains at length about being forced to make do with clunky 19th Century technology using steam and water instead of the "harnessed lightning" and graceful mechanisms that exist in his own world.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: Despite all the ethically and morally abhorrent things Alexander has done over the years, he still feels geniune sadness and remorse in corrupting Daniel, and abandoning him to the approaching Shadow.
  • Torture Technician: His approach to torture is methodical and calculated, done with deliberate intent to cause maximum pain over time so he can extract more energy, and without a trace of sadistic pleasure.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Begs Daniel to stop disrupting the ritual that will send him home.
  • You Have Failed Me: Wilhelm and his men's incompetence in transporting the human prisoners had attracted the attention of the Sheriff of Königsberg who was killing Alexander's creations/gatherers and following the trail back. Furious, the baron poisons and locks them all in the wine cellar.

The Gatherers

Alexander's servants. They are deformed monstrosities that are after Daniel. They come in two varieties, Grunts and Brutes.

Kaernk

An invisible monster that lurks in water. Several appear in the flooded areas of the castle.
  • Delicious Distraction: Tossing things into the water will distract the Kaernk, as it moves to anything that makes a splash. Throwing corpse parts will distract it from you longer, as the Kaernk will spend a few seconds eating them.
  • Elite Mooks: There are two types of Kaernk: a smaller one that can be avoided by staying out of the water, and a larger variant that can grab you from the tables or crates you jump on.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Inverted, as the smaller Kaernk can be killed by smashing a large crate or barrel on top of it, leaving only its yellowish blood in the water.
  • Invisibility: The splashes it makes are the only way to see where it is.

Professor Herbert

Voiced by: Eric Newsome

Herbert was the leader of the ill-fated expedition in Algeria. Daniel was his research assistant.

Wilhelm of Gerich

Voiced by: Dan Zullo

A member of the Order of the Black Eagle. Became Alexander's servant in exchange for political power.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Agreed to kidnap countless men, women, and children for political advancement.
  • Came Back Wrong: It's implied after being poisoned by the baron, his remains and his men's, were the basis for new gatherers, to replace the ones he and his men's bumbling had cost Alexander.
  • Heel Realization: He realized as he died that he was a monster and deserved his fate.
  • Karmic Transformation: It is heavily implied that Wilhelm and his men became the Gatherers.
  • Noodle Incident: Wilhelm wrote that Alexander hired him because of the "follies of his past" instead of his competence as a soldier.
  • Posthumous Character
  • Talking to Himself: Dan Zullo, who voiced Wilhelm, also voices his men in the flashbacks.
  • Villainous B.S.O.D.: As he and his men are succumbing to the poisoned wine, he simply states (in an empty, emotionless voice) that they're doomed.
    Wilhelm: Accept it. We're not getting out of here alive.

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

Voiced by: Bill Corkery

The famed alchemist himself, friend of Daniel. Found in the castle as some sort of corpse-like body.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Agrippa's moral stance is unclear at best, highly dubious at worst. While he readily helps Daniel, he also used to be a friend of Alexander for some time. Whether he was aware of all of Alexander's felonies is unclear, yet he once casually remarks that the shards of a broken orb make great tools for torture: "They practically leak madness! Which is quite useful, I understand."
  • Agrippa Was an Alien Alchemist
  • And I Must Scream: His body can't move at all, and he has been there for a long time.
  • Big Good: The only one Daniel can really count on.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Played with. Agrippa begs Daniel to create a tonic that would allow him to survive decapitation and then to effectively behead him (he even exclaims: "Quickly! Off with the head!"). That being said, trapped as he is and utterly forsaken by Alexander, who intends to cross the interdimensional portal and leave this world for another one, Agrippa has very little to lose. Still he entrusts Daniel with his own head, and the player may very well feed Agrippa the tonic, cut off his head and then either let Alexander cross the portal or topple the pillars and prevent the portal from ever opening. Either way, Agrippa presumably does not survive.
  • Motor Mouth: Ironically. He seems very glad to have somebody to talk to at all, so he overdoes it a bit.
  • Psychic Powers: It's implied that whatever the gas-emitting device is that the player can choose to activate upon first encountering him allows him to read the minds of others and psychically project his voice.

Johann Weyer

Agrippa's greatest pupil, who eventually went on to become an even greater alchemist. He was able to master the power of the Orb, and used it to travel to the other world.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Accomplished this long before the game even began. He seems to be very powerful now; making use of many Orbs without incurring the wrath of their guardians, and capable of freely transporting objects, messages, and creatures to (and possibly from) our world.
  • The Ghost: We never see or even hear him, but he plays a pretty big part in the Backstory. And he's present, though still unseen and unheard, in the ending where Daniel tosses Agrippa's head into the portal.
  • Undying Loyalty: To his mentor, Agrippa. He refused to have any dealings with Alexander until the latter freed Agrippa, and the same seems to apply to Daniel — for helping Agrippa (and at his stern insistence), Weyer is willing to help Daniel.
  • Weyer Was an Alien Alchemist

The Shadow of the Orb

A mysterious, eldritch entity that chases Daniel throughout the game, seeking to punish him for defiling an ancient artifact.

     Justine characters 

The nameless protagonist of Justine

Voiced by: Emily Corkery

The Player Character of Justine. A girl given an amnesia potion like Daniel and forced to escape Justine's trap-ridden dungeon for Justine's entertainment.

Justine

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/justineportraitspng_justine.png
Voiced by: Emily Corkery

The main antagonist of the DLC of the same name. Trying to escape from her dungeon slowly reveals the details of Justine's life and how she set up her torture dungeon. She is revealed to be the Player Character at the end of the game.

Aloïs Racine

Voiced by: Scotty Campbell

The first of the three suitors encountered in Justine. He was one of three men Justine was romantically involved with. Over time, she tortured them all and blinded one of them, and warped them into insane shells of their former selves. He was (if the sounds in his cell are to be believed) a racquet-ball player. Once a very soft-spoken person, he now attacks in the same way. He is the first man you must escape from/avoid in the trial, found in the first area of the cells.

Basile Giroux

Voiced by: Jon St. John

The second of the three suitors. Basile is very different from Alois and Malo. He is angry, violent, and swears like a sailor. He is, bizarrely, the Only Sane Man of the three men, having kept one thing in mind after this ordeal — revenge — and thereby kept his mind. Possibly was a carpenter before being mutilated by Justine. He is found in the underground storage area beneath the library.

Malo De Vigny

Voiced by: Jeff Buchanan

The third and final of the suitors. Malo is unique among the suitors; he is totally insane. He was a violinist before the cabinet was created. He is also much stronger than he looks; capable of tearing down doors with ease and One Hit Killing you in a flash. He is located in the flooded basement, which makes evading him difficult. He can find you even if he can't see you...though he claims he can.

Monsieur Florbelle

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/justineportraitsjpg_father.jpg

The late-father of the main antagonist of the DLC of the same name.
  • Can't Catch Up: Florbelle keeps instilling into Justine and reminding her often of her late-mother's "blinding" beauty. This implants the Inferiority Superiority Complex into the young girl.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Sectioning away a minor with worsening mental health disorders, refusing to allow her a normal healthy childhood, subjecting them to tests that cause further distress... wasn't really in either party's best interest.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Before the events of the game, Justine dug up his body and hung it upside down from the ceiling in the family Crypt, then thoughtfully attached a phonograph to his remains.
  • Last-Name Basis
  • For Science!: One of the driving motives behind his 'curious' experiments.
  • Mad Scientist: Well, a psychologist who devotes himself to the study of the psyche and developing human mind. Monsieur Florbelle's methods however, are questionable at best.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He realized his tests had achieved nothing but a huge rift to grow between his increasingly-unstable daughter and himself. Florbelle could no longer justify his research and now needed to mend his relationship with his daughter. But Florbelle never had the chance and Justine murdered him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Of French aristocracy, Monsieur Florbelle was the one who pulled strings to allow his old acquaintance Herbert, passage into Algeria, for the expedition predating the events of the Dark Descent.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He genuinely wants to find out why some people are born with mental illnesses or sociopathic tendencies and find ways to treat them.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent