Characters: Dead Island
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The Playable Characters
The player character of Dead Island is picked from one of four vacation-goers on the island of Banoi, with the additional option of a quarantined navy-man they meet in Riptide. Each character has a distinct preference in weapons and fighting styles based on their personal history. The four (later five) travel together as a group throughout the island of Banoi (later Palanai) trying to find a way to escape. Their shared immunity to the zombie infection make them go-to errand boys and protectors of many more vulnerable survivors.
Tropes exhibited by all playable characters:
- The Berserker: Riptide clarifies that the "Rage Mode" power-up is a side-effect of the zombie virus within them, which becomes more severe in that game. Exactly how this ability gives Logan and Purna infinite throwing knives and bullets respectively is not explained.
- Empowered Badass Normal: John counts more than the rest, due to being an expert martial artist and sailor before the outbreak, but the other four are total badasses by the end of the first game. In Riptide, everyone is forced to travel through storage facilities filled with chemical weapons and mutagens, causing the zombie virus to mutate and augment their Rage Mode and make them more explicitly invulnerable.
- Emergency Transformation: The player takes an additional dosage of mutagen to take on the drugged-up, insane, mutated Harlow in Riptide, giving them infinite Rage-Mode for a while. Thankfully, the heroes are able to handle the mutation better and the symptoms actually wear off.
- Good Is Not Soft: Xian and John, in contrast to the others, are essentially the Chinese embodyment of death and Wolverine, but very kind, caring, and helpful. Especially Xian, who can be heard expressing sympathy to special infected. Before killing them.
- Heroic Willpower: During the final boss of Riptide, everyone displays this when taking the mutagen and going berserk. Except possibly Sam B, who has no problem dealing with it.
- The Immune: It's the reason they do all the work. This turns out to have ramifications in Riptide.
- Jerkass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Everyone except Xian Mei and John Morgan. Sam B and Purna in particular are very rude and aggressive, and Logan is very gruff and coarse. All of them seem to care about other survivors and willingly help out, but those three will blow up at anyone who questions them or slows them down.
- Left Hanging: The end of Riptide shows the boat they escaped in, one week later, to be abandoned on deck. The camera then focuses on the handle of the door to the cabin, which turns. What exactly this means has left players and fans confused.
- Ambiguous Situation: The fact that Riptide was specifically denied to be "Dead Island 2" has left some believing that the 5 heroes will be back. The fact that Xian Mei appears alive and unmutated in Escape Dead Island, which takes place several months after Riptide, suggests at least some of the team survived the cliffhanger.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: This is what the ending seems to imply, possibly due to the extra dose of mutagen they took for the final boss (which they hoped wore off), but the whole thing is so quick and sudden that it's impossible to be sure if it isn't some trick being pulled on the player.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: If the above is correct.
- True Companions: Definitely so, by the end of the first game. In addition to this n the second game, there's also the group of survivors who you actually manage to shepherd through the entire game.
Voiced by Kim Mai GuestXian Mei was born and raised in China by her father, a Hong Kong police force chief inspector who taught Xian martial arts from a young age, and was murdered by a Triad enforcer. She decided to follow in her father's footsteps and joined the Hong Kong police force, where she was selected to join the first all-female anti-organised crime unit. However, the team and its members were commissioned by the police force for the PR boost rather than their skill. Xian was soon planted undercover at Royal Palms Resort as a receptionist, mostly because they had nothing better to do with her, and feels shame and disappointment that her potential is being wasted.
- Action Girl: Her bio describes her as "a passionate sportswoman" who is "quick on her feet."
- And then there's her in-game biography, which is totally different. The website and manual make her sound like an idealistic young girl who wants to travel the world. If you pick her off the character selection screen, you get the real story, told to you by Xian Mei herself.
- It's been noted that, being an undercover cop, the website is most likely telling the lie from her end, and playing as her reveals the truth about what she does.
- Badass: High stamina, expert in bladed weapons and several skills in poison, assassination, slicing off limbs and One-Hit Kill.
- Badass Bookworm: She is university educated, and scored the highest in her class.
- Bring It: When confronting a zombie with a knife Xian might do a cute little finger wag.
- Clothing Damage: Though it's a FPS game, cutscenes and artwork showcase that her skirt has pretty much been ripped to shreds due to the zombie event.
- Combat Medic: Her three major Survival skill tree abilities focus on using medkits more effectively.
- Combat Stilettos: Xian can actually learn a move that involves driving her high heels into a zombie's head.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Escape Dead Island has her dressed similar to her resort receptionist look, but with proper pants and combat boots. She's more snarky and standoffish, essentially uses Cliff as a patsy to accomplish her own ends (essentially rescue Rob and blow up the island) and rather than seek a cure for the virus destroy the labs it was created in (though she does give Cliff a chance to find a cure himself before blowing up the infected labs).
- Expy: Whether it's deliberate or not, her background is a lot like Chun Li's.
- Glass Cannon: Despite being a melee specialist, Xian has no defensive talents and her health pool grows more slowly than anyone else's. It is not unusual for even a high-level Xian to go down after two or three hits from a Thug or an infected with a weapon, which makes her the single worst character to play in single-player mode. On the plus side, her specialization in bladed weapons lets her attack quickly for high damage with very little drain in stamina, and in the late game she's absolutely devastating with a katana or Zed's Demise.
- Going Commando: Not entirely sure how someone found the time to discover it in-game, but apparently Xian isn't a fan of underwear. Needless to say, the link is NSFW.
- Hidden Depths: As well as her profile differing wildly from the one in game, the novel suggests she observes the tourists arriving in Banoi, feels sorry for singles and chats them up.
- I Owe You My Life: In Riptide, she'll sometimes say this when you tackle a zombie off of her. Along with "You shall die an honorable death/you will die with honor" (to zombies, not to the players), it makes her come as very refined even when fighting for her life.
- Knife Nut: Her Rage attack has her pulling out a knife to carve zombies up.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One early scene (see Tear Jerker) or hearing an infected for the first time will have her exclaim, "oh my god." Most players would be saying the same thing. Even if they are a hardcore atheist.
- Mission Control: Serves as this role first to Rob at the beginning of Escape Dead Island then to Cliff in the main game.
- The Mole: In Escape Dead Island it's left unclear whether she's working for the Chinese government, the evil Palm Garden Order that controls Geopharm, or some other secret organization, but she clearly knows more about the zombie outbreaks and the global conspiracy behind them than she let on in the first two games.
- No Respect Gal: Her back-story.
- Only Sane Woman/Token Good Teammate: In the cutscenes, Xian Mei comes across as the sanest and most idealistic of the four heroes. She disagrees with the other three's suggestions to abandon the other survivors and save themselves, agrees with Jin's desire to help everybody, and is the only person to sensibly point out that they have no reason not to trust The Voice, who's been completely helpful and non-threatening, while the others start screaming at the guy because he's an authority figure (Purna) or because they want to make their own way out (Logan). In the beginning of Act III she even gives a Rousing Speech to the other 3 characters to convince them to search for the vaccine and save the world instead of heading straight for the extraction point and just saving themselves.
- Overt Operative: Xian's cover is basically transparent. The rest of the survivors figure out something's up when they revisit the hotel in Act 2, although it's never followed up on.
- In the Dead Island eight-page promotional comic, Roger Howard discovers the hotel staff knew she was a cop from the moment she landed. In the novelization, Purna figures out Xian can't be an ordinary desk clerk pretty much immediately upon meeting her.
- Precision F-Strike: The game does not shy away from swearing, but Xian only does this twice: once after recovering when the kuru virus had made her into a Blood Knight that would have Johnny Gat propose, and to Serpo upon his admission of all the atrocities he is behind.
- The Hero: Moreso than Purna below, she was featured prominently in the first game and works to uncover the truth in the upcoming Escape Dead Island.
- The Smart Girl: When not expressing sympathy at the disaster she's this, in particularly in Henderson when she sounds like a tour guide.
Voiced by David KayeLogan is an ex-quarterback whose life was destroyed after he got into a nasty crash while street racing, killing his passenger and fracturing his knee. The combination of his crippling injury and the public turning on him ended his career and sent him on a downward spiral into depression. In an attempt to escape his personal demons and get away from the hell of his life back home, he took an endorsement job at the Royal Palms Resort.
- Action Survivor: While all the other player characters have actual combat training (a cop, a covert operative, an ex-soldier, and a rapper who grew up in a Had to Be Sharp environment) Logan's just an ex-football player caught in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. Doesn't stop him from hanging tough alongside the other badasses.
- The Alcoholic: The only hero to gain buffs from drinking whatever whiskey can be found around the island. Side-effects include booze induced strength and more health recovered.
- Broken Pedestal: His street racing accident did this for most of his fans, on account of killing an innocent woman and violating his contract's morals clause.
- Career-Ending Injury: in the backstory.
- Celebrity Survivor: Once a pro-quareterback, his leg injury prevented him from continuing his football career. Lucky for him, his name is still enough to stay in the celebrity life style.
- Human Pack Mule: The backpack should clue you in. As such, he's the only character who in cutscenes can pull plot-important items out of somewhere without looking ridiculous. And of course, one can only imagine that a Hyperspace Backpack must be exponentially more spacious than the Hyperspace Arsenal everyone else totes (hint: it's actually not).
- Improbable Aiming Skills/Precision-Guided Boomerang: With the Economical Throw and Boomerang talents, Logan has a high chance to injure multiple enemies with a single thrown weapon, doing splash damage on impact to anything nearby, and with the weapon returning to his hand afterward. This includes weapons like sticky-bomb knives that theoretically exploded on impact. Even at very low levels, his Fury attack also ricochets, letting him kill large crowds of Walkers or Infected with one or two thrown knives.
- Knife Nut: Pulls out a set of throwing knives for his Rage attack.
- Jack of All Stats/Master of None: Logan's Combat skill tree provides slight passive bonuses to using blunt weapons, sharp weapons, and firearms, without the additional levels of specialization that the other characters are offered. This makes him very well-rounded, but he doesn't have access to any of the higher-tier skills.
- Jerk Jock: To the point where it wound up destroying his career.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Heavily implied when he's the only one looking on at Yerema, who herself is looking to where Jin had fallen dead. He waits for some time before calling to her to get in the helicopter.
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: He has a special ability that causes thrown weapons to automatically return to his hand. In the first game this was a passive skill with a % chance of success, while in Riptide it's a default ability.
- Token White: Logan is the only Caucasian playable character in the original game. Riptide introduces John Morgan.
- Too Dumb to Live: Only in the novel. Novel!Logan habitually mixes painkillers, antidepressants, and hard liquor, to the point where his being alive at all is a minor miracle. (It's amazing that he was allowed to donate blood.)
Voiced by Phil LaMarrSam B is a rap star born and raised in New Orleans, growing up in a childhood racked with violence and poverty. Sam B wanted to be a rap artist since he was a small boy, but always remained small-time due to poor fortune. This all changed when he wrote a song as a joke one Halloween entitled "Who Do You Voodoo, Bitch?", and the song subsequently shot him into stardom after a surge of unexpected popularity. However, he is resentful that all of his other works are ignored and "Who Do You Voodoo, Bitch?" is all anyone remembers him for. This, combined with drugs, alcohol, bad business decisions, and his "friends" and advisors taking advantage of him, bruising his self-confidence and causing his career and personal life to fall apart. He booked a gig to play at a party at the Royal Palms Resort, seeing it as his last chance to rebuild his life and career.
- Angry Black Man: His rage skill tree heavily focuses on him drawing aggro from enemies and decreasing the amount of rage it takes for him to enter fury mode. He also has a few special abilities to support his rage skill, such as damage reduction or restored health per kill while in fury mode.
- The Big Easy: According to his in-game bio, he was born and raised in New Orleans, and you can hear it in his accent.
- The Big Guy: The largest player character. His team role as the tank suits him well.
- Celebrity Survivor: A rapper hired to play at the cruise in the first game. He was hoping that he'd be able to impress some Hollywood big shots there.
- Drop the Hammer: His specialty is blunt weapons. On the character selection screen, he is depicted holding a sledgehammer (with a Tesla mod.)
- Ear Worm / Memetic Mutation: In-universe example with "Who Do You Voodoo, Bitch?"
- Good Old Fisticuffs: His Rage attack has him beating the undead up with his bare hands.
- Had to Be Sharp: Credits his survivability with having grew up learning to fight on the mean streets of N'Orleans.
- Hollywood Voodoo: His artist persona seems to be based on this. His name sounds suspiciously like "Samedi", in the opening cutscene of the first game he is performing his hit "Who Do You Voodoo, Bitch?" wearing a top hat, while Riptide promotional material includes a (live-action) music video named "No Room in Hell", in which he wears skull make-up. The voodoo elements of both songs are limited to references to zombies and name-dropping Baron Samedi.
- Horrorcore: Though it's never outright stated, it's pretty clear that his One-Hit Wonder falls squarely under this genre.
- Now followed up by "No Room in Hell", showing that he got typecasted into this genre.
- Large Ham: Probably the loudest of the PC's. Being a rapper and hip-hop star, he has a natural combination of uncouthness and gregariousness.
PVP, MOTHERFUCKERS! This is how we churn BUTTER, N'AWLINS STYLE!
- Chewing the Scenery: In Riptide, once some mutagens enhance his rage mode, making him even more berserk.
- Nice Hat: The "bayou witch doctor" top hat he wears while performing.
- One-Hit Wonder: Invoked In-Universe by "Who Do You Voodoo, Bitch?". Sam was an aspiring rapper who didn't make the charts until he churned out that song, which he had made as a joke. Of course, this one song happens to be the only one anyone wants to hear, and Sam's attempts to distance himself from it fail as he fades into semi-obscurity again after unsuccessfully trying to produce another hit.
- Papa Wolf: In the novel, he's particularly protective of Jin, acting as a surrogate father to her.
- Punny Name: Sam B. Zombie. Get it?
- In "Who Do You Voodoo," he also draws a deliberate line from his handle to Baron Samedi, the loa of the dead. The black top hat Sam wears on stage is one of Samedi's trademarks.
- Regenerating Health: He's the only character that has this, via his skill tree.
- Scary Black Man: Sam is easily the most aggressive of the four survivors, and the most inclined to leave others to their fate. He's also the easiest to get to see reason, though, which may count as a partial aversion. He also mellows a bit in Riptide.
- Sex, Drugs, and Rap: His in-game bio is essentially a by-the-numbers play on this trope: he generates one song that became extremely popular, spent more than he earned through partying and self-indulgence, realized he needed another hit, and fails to make another hit despite making several new songs.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Some TXT files have a good one that could have been his closing dialogue. It's essentially his musing over how extreme conditions bring out the integrity and strength of the best of people, and that seeing those gave him inspiration. Once he punches his way out of the zombie apocalypse, he'll have a song to sing.
Voiced by Peta JohnsonPurna is a former Sydney police officer. Embittered by harsh racism, sexism and rampant corruption in the force that prevented her from advancing her career and doing her job, she one day decided to take the law into her own hands, confronting a child molester who had used his wealth and connections to escape prosecution. The man laughed at her and pulled a gun on her, which she turned on him and shot him with. While it was correctly argued to be an act of legitimate self-defense, she was fired regardless. Bitter and cynical, and with no clear future left for her in Australia, she turned to working as a bodyguard for VIPs in dangerous places all over the world. She is hired as much for her looks as her skill with firearms.
- Action Girl: She's an ex-detective that had to work nearly thrice as hard as the men to get her position. Even after losing her job, she still works as a bodyguard, and is often hired for her skills.
- Angry Black Woman: Although a somewhat nuanced and not extremely egregious example. She shows an extremely poor attitude towards authority figures, but is reasonably tolerant of her three companions and is quite tender towards Jin.
- Australian Aborigines: She's half Koori on her mom's side. This is part of the reason why she was disrespected by other people on the force.
- Bodyguard Babe: Her current job, much to her chagrin.
- Combat and Support: Purna has a number of different auras that provide a flat multiplier to her teammates' stats, and you can pick talents that turn her Fury mode into a group-wide instant heal and short-term buff. In the early game, before you can find much in the way of guns, Purna's primary use to the group is as a force multiplier for the melee.
- Cowgirl Cop: The reason she was fired from the Sydney PD.
- Dummied Out: Purna's last name is Jackson, as given in some files that were removed.
- Glass Cannon: Like Xian, Purna is designed for pure offense. The closest thing she gets to a defensive skill is the near-100% heal from Guardian Angel.
- Groin Attack: She didn't kill the child molester she shot. She gelded him.
- Purna's in-game bio has her say specifically that she "just" blew the guy's balls off. In the novel, however, she killed him, and tells Logan and Sam without any hesitation that she enjoyed doing it.
- Also, she treats a drunk to this when he gropes her breasts in the intro sequence.
- The Gunslinger: Of the four, she's the most proficient with guns, and her Rage attack has her pulling out her gun (a revolver, of course) and firing on all zombies in sight, ammo not being an issue.
- The Hero: The intro narration of Riptide is told by her, and she seems to be the leader.
- Kick Chick: In addition to her gun skills, Purna has a number of skills in her fury and combat trees that focus on kicking enemies to death.
- Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Purna has a reputation as being an under-powered character because firearms and ammunition in both games are very scarce until you get through the opening levels. Once she has the chance to get a blue-quality shotgun or automatic rifle and slap on a shock, fire, or poison mod, an appropriately specialized Purna can stack her auras, damage multipliers, and rage mode together to become a one-woman apocalypse. The other characters have substantial advantages of their own, but as firearms take more precedence in the late game, no one else can match Purna's sheer damage output.
- Mini Dress Of Power: Judging by her pic in the bio.
- More Dakka: Her Rage attack.
- The Musketeer: While her main skill is with firearms, she also has some skills that boost her ability with melee weapons. At least one is specifically for blades, so it fits this trope.
- Pet the Dog: Some of her actions and attitudes through the storyline are quite questionable (to say the least), but she shows a soft spot when she comforts Jin after she's been captured and (it's implied) raped by the criminal gang that took over the Police Station.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: A lot of people complain about how fake Purna's Australian accent sounds, but her voice actress, Peta Johnson, is actually from Queensland.
- Throw Away Guns: It's common at mid- to high level for Purna to carry several loaded guns in order to maximize the amount of ammunition she's got at any given time. She can eventually take points in her Hail of Bullets skill to expand her carrying capacity, but it's still often very useful to double up on her weapons, as switching guns takes much less time than reloading them. It's easy to imagine she's doing a New York reload.
Voiced by Adam CroasdellThe new playable character, introduced in Riptide, John is a sergeant in the Australian Defense Force, third-generation career military, and a self-taught martial artist.
- Apocalyptic Log: Throughout the game you can snippets of a diary John wrote against orders where he describes the outbreak, reacts to the bombing of a village like a Collingwood fan after a loss and his capture after refusing to kill civilians and infection.
- Aussies with Artillery: No artillery, but he's in the Defense Force and the game takes place just off the coast of Australia.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Specializes in hand-to-hand combat.
- Expy: His pose with Wolverine Claws on the selection screen makes it explicit that he is modeled after Hugh Jackman.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: He was an expert martial artist before Riptide, and his skill tree allows him to augment his unarmed combat skills (which normally do piddly damage) to be a viable alternative to other weapons.
- I Have a Family: One of his diaries mentions that his wife and two young daughters lived in Palanoi and he has no idea where they are.
- Military Brat: A benign example. Morgan's grandfather was a World War II veteran who married a native, and his father reached the rank of sergeant-major in the ADF. John followed suit and enlisted as soon as he could.
- Mr. Exposition: John records a series of diaries describing the madness of his squad operating in Palanai and the events leading up to his infection and eventual capture by the army. Listening to them you really cannot blame Ryder White going off the deep end.
- Punched Across the Room: Morgan's unarmed attacks are strong enough to punt a zombie through the air and send it flying across the room.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Was the only soldier in his unit to speak out against the "solution" to the Banoi incident. This got him thrown in prison.
- Simple Staff: His fury is him swinging a staff against the undead.
- Stone Wall: John begins the game with the least health of any survivor, but at high levels, can be built up to have the most, along with talents that regenerate health after a kill and give him a chance to heal back up and keep fighting instead of dying upon taking a fatal hit. This is designed to help him get in close, where he's able to do the most damage.
NP Cs introduced in Dead Island
The Voice/Colonel Ryder White
Voiced by Joe HannaThe first person you "meet" in the game, The Voice contacts you through the hotel's intercom system and guides you to safety through the prologue level. Throughout the game, it's mentioned that he has been contacting the various groups of island survivors (most prominently John Sinamoi's group) in an attempt to coordinate a response to the zombie outbreak. When the players eventually succeed in making radio contact with him, he reveals his identity as Colonel Ryder White of the Banoi Island Defense Force, the leader of the military contingent sent to contain the outbreak on the island. He requests that they help him by retrieving a vaccine for the zombie infection before meeting him in person to escape the island. His primary motivation is to save his wife Emily, who has been infected by the zombie virus and is slowly turning into one of them.Ryder White serves as the protagonist of Dead Island: Ryder White, the second DLC for the game, which sheds new light on many aspects of the main campaign's plot.
- Anti-Villain: Subverted. He has the exact same goals as the Survivors: make an antidote out of the vaccine. Unfortunately Kevin/Charon manipulated the Survivors into thinking he was going to nuke the island and hoard the vaccine, and as a result the main campaign paints him as a monster. However, he never had any intention of harming the heroes, nor did he call down a nuke. Sadly, he loses his temper at the wrong moment, and in an act of desperation turns himself into the monstrous Final Boss without ever explaining himself.
- Badass Normal: Ryder White does not have the immunity to infection that the 4 heroes do as is clearly shown in the final battle, yet the DLC campaign shows that he managed to fight his way across the island alone without getting infected.
- Colonel Badass: Being the task force commander, Ryder could have easily tried to evacuate himself after his helicopter crashed. Instead, upon learning that contact with one of his teams was lost, he singlehandedly proceeds on foot through the heavily zombie-infected city to complete their mission objectives himself.
- Bullet Time: His Rage ability triggers this, and also gives him an infinite ammo super-pistol, similar to Purna's Rage ability.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Ryder's profile mentions that he was a member of the SASR, a.k.a. the Aussie version of the British SAS, and even fought in Iraq, East Timor, and Afghanistan.
- Mission Control
- This is done interestingly in Ryder White's campaign. Mission Control gives Ryder objectives over the radio, but Ryder is clearly the one in charge and issuing orders. It's an unusual dynamic that doesn't seem to have been done before in another game.
- Poor Communication Kills: If he had just told the Heroes that Kevin was The Voice/Charon all along, it might have gone a long way towards defusing the whole situation (assuming he could convince them to believe him, of course).
- Promoted to Playable: One of the pieces of downloadable content is a campaign that features him as the playable character.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The man went through sheer hell trying to cure his wife, but it turned out he was too late. Even then, he had the hope of producing a full antidote out of the vaccine, and thus shared his main goal with the heroes. Unfortunately, Poor Communication Kills and, well, that was pretty much the end of it.
- Tragic Monster: The DLC campaign certainly puts the final boss fight in a whole new light.
- Unwitting Pawn: It turns out he was never the Big Bad at all, and spent the entire outbreak simply fighting to survive just like the Heroes.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: He's the first (living) contact encountered in the game, and he communicates to the survivors through radios on the island while they try to reach him for salvation. Subverted in the Ryder White campaign, where it's revealed the Voice was Kevin impersonating Ryder all along.
JinA mechanic's daughter first encountered at the end of Act I while the heroes are looking for a mechanic to help them modify their armored truck so it will be capable of safely punching through the barricade blocking the way into town. She accompanies the four heroes for most of the game and serves as their sidekick of sorts. The players can store their excess inventory with her while she hangs around at the various game safehouses.
- Break the Cutie: Ignoring everyone's advice, she attempts to help the gangsters who have taken over the police station by giving them some food. They repay her kindness by capturing and (it's heavily implied) raping her. Afterwards she's heavily traumatized and also much more cynical, agreeing with Sam B, Logan, and Purna that everyone on the island can just go straight to hell (Xian Mei convinces the other 3 to save everyone after all, but Jin has simply stopped caring). To make things worse, she's later forced to mercy-kill her infected father. It's understandable she's more than a little bonkers by the time the final confrontation rolls around.
- Driven to Suicide: Jin is clearly on the edge of a total breakdown throughout the final stage in the prison, is visibly wracked with self-loathing after shooting her father, and her actions towards Ryder White are hard to interpret as anything other than a blatant suicide attempt.
- Human Pack Mule: About her only practical purpose in-game.
- The Load: Really, she never actually does anything to help the survivors. She doesn't drive, she doesn't fight. She can carry items for you, but you don't really need it. At her best moments she's useless, at her worst she is completely holding them back.
- Too Dumb to Live: Jin makes several inexcusably stupid decisions, like bringing supplies to the police station that is overrun with criminals, despite the main characters and even the criminals themselves warning everyone to stay away.
- Wrench Wench: Her outfit and the fact she's the daughter of a mechanic heavily imply this, although she doesn't do any repair work during the story itself.
John SinamoiA hotel lifeguard who took charge during the crisis and brought together all the survivors he could find in an attempt to save them from the zombie outbreak. Besides keeping his group of survivors alive, his main goal is to make contact with The Voice, who has promised to provide a means of escape from the island. He gives you the majority of the main quests for the first half of the game. He eventually manages to escape Banoi and reach the island of Amanai, only for that island to also fall prey to the zombie outbreak. Meeting up with a new band of survivors, he becomes their Mission Control, coordinating the team's efforts to combat the zombie hordes and secure supplies from rival scavengers.
- Badass Normal: His opening scene has him fighting a half a dozen zombies, and save you from the last one with a very accurate knife throw. And he doesn't have the fancy viral immunity the protagonists have, so a single bite would have resulted in his death.
- Gentle Giant: He's muscular, imposing, and sports rather intimidating tattoos. One survivor even says that he was afraid of going to the lifeguard tower because of Sinamoi's facial tattoos.
- Heroic BSOD: He likely suffered through one when he witness the survivors turn on and then kill a young girl because she was running a high fever and they suspected her having become infected. His voice even crackles under the pressure when telling the Heroes this, showing that Sinamoi is greatly affected by this. This also maybe the reason why What Happened to the Mouse? happens to him, because Sinamoi is too shell shocked to speak..
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite being by far the most prominent quest giver in the first half of the game, after Act III he completely disappears from the plot (you can go back to the starting map and revisit him, but he has nothing to say).
- Dead Island: Epidemic shows that he survived Banoi and managed to escape, only to end up on another zombie-infested tropical island.
Mother HelenA nun in the city of Moresby, she and several other survivors have taken refuge in the church. Throughout the second act, she gives out several missions.
- As the Good Book Says: Less in her dialogue and more in the missions. Practically every mission from around the church has some form of religious pun in it.
- The Fundamentalist: A benign example, she sees the outbreak as end of days and heavily invokes religion, constantly, her quests essentially setting things right for Judgment Day. Nonetheless she opens her church to survivors and outside of doing the Lord's work her sole focus is on helping anyone still alive.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Compares the crew to the Horsemen.
- Never Mess with Granny: Sure, she doesn't actually perform combat within the story, but considering the large amount of very dangerous weapons she hands out for doing chores, you have to figure that she hasn't survived on luck.
YeremaA member of one of the native tribes of Banoi, Yerema ran away from her village to attend school in Moresby, and has since returned home in the wake of the outbreak. She's crucial to the attempts to cure the disease that's turning people into zombies, as by the time you run into her, she's one of the only living uninfected members of her tribe.
- Abusive Parents: Her father treated her as nothing more than property, and before the outbreak, he sealed her up in the traditional burial ground of their people to starve to death. When he leads the other survivors there, he tries to kill her himself. The novelization reveals he had her ritually beaten and gang-raped by some of the tribesmen for daring to have left the tribe to seek an education in the city. This is how the initial outbreak occurred; her rapists became the first zombies, then her father had the tribe cannibalize them to become "immortal" and they went on to start the outbreak.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Looks down on her father's shamanistic beliefs and practices. Justified because it was his insistence on following the cannibalistic rituals they preached that led to the tribe becoming infected with the disease.
- Doom Magnet: People tend to die around her. A lot. Partially justified in that she's the source of the outbreak.
- Kick the Dog: Yerema's entire life sucks. Women in her tribe are considered possessions, to the point where her father traded her away to another man in order to settle a bet. She apparently bonds with Jin almost immediately, right in time for Jin to get shot dead.
- MacGuffin Girl/Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: It's heavily implied that Yerema is "special" and closely tied to the virus, with the possible implication she's a Typhoid Mary carrier of the virus or at least may hold the key to a cure. Her being a Typhoid Mary is made explicit/canon with the novelization and the Ryder White campaign; Charon manipulated the survivors to believe she was a cure holder when in fact she was the key to further weaponising the virus.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Starts the infection on the military vessel in Riptide by biting a guy who grabbed her!
- The Paranoiac: Claims that the doctor was going to drain her completely dry of blood in order to experiment with creating a cure when the survivors return and rescue her from his lab. It's unclear if she really believes this — perhaps due to the stress of her surroundings — or if she was lying or if it's somewhere between the two. The novelization implies she's lying.
- Stripperiffic: Yerema's wearing face paint, jewelry, and a brown bikini. To be fair, every member of her tribe that we see is wearing the same thing, including her father.
- Typhoid Mary: She's the source of the mutant kuru virons that create the infection. It's uncertain if she knows this or not, depending on how much she overheard the doctor reporting to Charon.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: She's taken away by the military in the intro of Riptide and plays no further role in the game. Unless one counts causing an outbreak on the vessel.
KevinOne of the inmates on the island prison, incarcerated for an unknown crime.
- Badass Bookworm: Sure, he literally writes himself off as not being one of "the badasses" at the endgame, but he managed to escape alive from the three-way battle between Titus's crew, a group of other prisoners, and the undead to then rescue the protagonists from the elevator.
- In Ryder White's campaign, it's heavily implied that he killed a Thug and tossed its body into the sewers just prior to you reaching his control room.
- Consummate Liar: He plays every major character in the game like a cheap fiddle. He impersonates Ryder White to manipulate the 4 Heroes into doing his work for him, and lies to the Heroes and Ryder about Dr. West's compound being a vaccine for the virus, when in fact it's actually a super-powered version of the original virus that creates uber-zombies.
- Non-Action Big Bad: It's heavily implied that he's Charon, the hacker-for-hire who has worked for everyone from Al-Qaeda to the Yakuza. This is confirmed in the Ryder White DLC, where Kevin is revealed as the true identity of The Voice and the true villain of the entire game.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Escape Dead Island reveals that the virus killed his father. So he perfected it, seeks to destroy those who created it then unleash it on the whole world.
- Sequel Hook: At the very end of the game, just before fading to credits, he gives a sinister smile when looking at Yerema (who's heavily hinted to be a Typhoid Mary carrier for the zombie virus) and promising the heroes that "the world will never be the same again". Of course, it's not followed up on in Riptide as he and Yerema are dragged off and detained by the military.
- Becomes Fridge Brilliance, when you remember that Riptide is not Dead Island 2...he's still a Sequel Hook...just not for this game!
- The Smart Guy: He's all right with hacking doors that use electronic locks, but considering that the only two groups he spent any visible length of time with were maximum-security prison inmates and the four protagonists, he's basically the tech-savvy one by default.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He's quickly taken away by the military in the intro of Riptide, so whatever plan he had cooking doesn't pan out in the game.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Escape from Dead Island presents him as this, but it's unclear whether it's sincere or simply more manipulation on his part.
JasonAn insane hostile survivor leaving in a shack next to Overpass Camp.
- Bonus Boss: Lives in an area involved in absolutely none of the main quests; it is possible to reach Overpass Camp without aggroing him, anyway.
- Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: Downplayed. He wears a hockey mask and attacks with a machete, but there is a lootable chainsaw in his shack.
- King Mook: He looks quite similar to regular zombies (the hockey mask isn't unique to him), but he is one of the toughest enemies of the game.
- Lightning Bruiser: Runs faster than the protagonists when they sprint, can one-hit-kill them, and has more health than any enemies except the Banoi Butcher and the final boss.
- Machete Mayhem: His weapon.
- Mêlée à Trois: While hostile to the player characters, he is fighting a groupe of Walkers when you meet him.
- Shout-Out: He is an insane killer named Jason, wearing a hockey mask and wielding a machete. He also keeps a chainsaw in his shack.
Roger HowardA reporter who came to Banoi to investigate illegal logging, and ended up getting a lot more than he expected. He has a wife and son (Karen and Jakob), and the recordings he leaves that the protagonists can find are often addressed to them as a last will and testament.
- Badass Normal: He manages to travel virtually the same path as the protagonists, without their immunity. He even makes it to the prison island, but by then has been infected, succumbs, and is killed.
- Hope Spot: One recording is made as he is holed up in a small store, with the undead swarming outside. He knows that the door won't hold, and says goodbye to his wife and son, apologizing that he wasn't home as much as he ought to have been. And then... they leave, apparently having detected better prey. In fact, he escapes his apparent death in virtually all the logs, which tend to end in curses or screams of the undead. And then the player finds the last two audio logs in the prison, the last of which having been recorded after he'd turned and contains the voices of the guards who had to shoot him.
NP Cs introduced in Dead Island: Riptide
Colonel Sam HardyThe Colonel in charge of the military contingency that picks up the heroes at the beginning of the game. He's essentially the Palanai counterpart to Ryder White, although his role in the story is completely different. After his ship is overrun by zombies in the first chapter, Colonel Hardy ends up shipwrecked along with the heroes, and travels with them in an attempt to escape the island.
- Just Following Orders: The reason he gives for his treatment of the main cast at the beginning of the game. The survivors don't really see things his way...Hardy: "I'm a soldier. I follow orders."Logan: "Here's an order: Go fuck yourself."
- Killed Off for Real: With the five immune to back him up, he tried to intimidate a lower ranking soldier to rescue all the survivors. Unfortunately, the soldier deferred to his standing orders and shot Hardy.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He repeatedly tries to treat the immune decently when they're taken prisoner, expresses relief when they survive the crash, and along with Harlow does his best to lead the survivors safely.
- Too Dumb to Live: Sure, Xian Mei will consider his final act of trying to climb onto a chopper while a soldier repeatedly ordered him off as this, but under the circumstances it was a gamble that might have been worth making, even if it was desperate.
Frank SerpoA representative of the shadowy Consortium that seems to be somehow manipulating the zombie outbreaks for their own ends, Serpo has authority over all government activity on Palanai, including bossing around the island's military contingent.
- Big Bad Wannabe: If not for the fact that he has the entire local military in his pocket he'd probably be long dead by the time the survivors reach Henderson.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Dirty Coward: It quickly becomes clear that saving his own ass is his top priority. Near the end of the game he even shoots one of his own men to serve as a distraction for the zombies after the heroes crash his helicopter.
- Eaten Alive: After successfully avoiding the consequences for his actions for nearly the entire game his karma finally catches up to him and he is abandoned by the survivors who leave him to be a snack for the approaching hordes of zombies.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He shows no remorse for his actions and doesn't really seem to care how many people die so long as it suits his goals.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: He alternates rapidly throughout most of his appearances between being genuinely helpful and backstabbing someone.
- Irony: His death is ironic considering he left his pilot as a distraction to the zombies.
- Non-Action Big Bad: All he really does is order most people around and smooth talks others, but he's still the reason things go south in Riptide.
- The Sociopath: He shot his pilot to distract the infected while he escaped,He shows absolutely no remorse for the experiments that lead up to the devastation of the outbreak on Palanai and finally doesn't give a shit at how many lives he ruins or causes the death of as long as it leads to his personal goals coming close to fruition.
- Villainous Breakdown: Suffers a short one after the protagonists leave him on Palanoi to the mercy of the undead.
Harlow JordanThe first person the Heroes meet after being shipwrecked on Palanai, Harlow is a reporter for the World Health Organization and the unofficial leader of the Paradise survivor camp. She travels alongside the Heroes for most of the game and has a central role in Riptide's plot.
- Action Girl: She can handle herself pretty well in a fight. Just look at her boss battle.
- Ambiguously Jewish: If you check Harlow's bio in the Crew screen, it lists her as a former member of the Israel Defense Forces (as is, to be fair, any Israeli who's older than twenty-one). That and her occasional hint of an accent are the only clues you'd get as to why she's a badass and where she's from.
- Big Damn Heroes: Does this after the cannibal doctor torches Paradise. She attempts this again after finding out details of the infection, becoming infected herself then doing whatever it takes to stop it from spreading.
- I Did What I Had to Do: It's kind of hard to argue against trying to keep the infection from spreading off the island, and when the survivors do she forces the issue by attacking them.
- Psycho Serum: She injects herself with an experimental mutagen at the end of the game to kill off the survivors. The fight afterwards is completely one-sided... until the players inject some of the same stuff into themselves and overpower her.
- Shoot the Dog: When Wayne becomes infected she pushes him into the tunnels where chemicals are causing the kuru virus to mutate from the very real zombification into the Nightmare Fuel that had swept Banoi and Palanai, to find out more about it. She tries to justify this after the survivors kill him, and then there's the trope above.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Turns on the Heroes in order to prevent them from spreading the infection outside the island. Frank Serpo claims she's secretly a terrorist and mercenary, but there's nothing to indicate that he's trustworthy, and quite a lot to indicate that he's not.
- She only saves Wayne on the way to Henderson because she wants to see what happens to an infected host upon exposure to the chemicals in the tunnel system.
Markus VillaA strange man who may be able to help the survivors by providing a way to Henderson.
- I'm a Humanitarian: He thinks eating the immune survivors will somehow save the island from the Zombie Apocalypse.
- Lost Forever: It's fairly easy to progress to the next plot point without taking revenge on Markus for his actions thanks to the game placing the "next story point" location near a couple of regularly-used merchant NPCs, especially if you're playing solo. Doing so will cause you to miss the revenge sidequest and cause Markus to disappear from the plot altogether.
- Machete Mayhem: The only weapon he uses during the one time he fights. Its no match for whatever the player uses to finish him off.
- Mad Scientist: The collectible documents reveal he was Dr. Kessler's partner and probably the best scientist that was studying the zombie outbreak. Although he's clearly snapped, this does make you wonder if his plan to gain the survivors' immunity by eating them was really as crazy as it sounds.
- Molotov Cocktail: He uses this to burn Paradise to the ground.
- The Unfought: If the player fails to complete the sidequest that involves tracking him down before progressing with the game after the cutscene where he sets Paradise on fire, he disappears from the main story and his fate is left unknown.
- Ungrateful Bastard: After saving his life and helping him out he demands the immune survivors offer their flesh to be eaten in the hopes that it will save everyone from the virus. Then he throws a Molotov at them and burns up one of the only safe havens they had at that point.
Dr. KesslerA doctor holed up in his laboratory on the edge of the jungle. After clearing out some of his assistants who fell prey to the virus and recovering some chemical samples for him he examines the player and gives them advice about their condition.
Characters Introduced in Escape Dead Island
Cliff CaboThe son of a famous media mogul, Cliff wants little more than to get his father's attention. When he learns how desperate his father is to learn what happened on and around Banoi, Cliff "borrows" a boat and sails out to the island chain.
- Intrepid Reporter: If Frank West was younger and had a rich, distant dad, he'd be Cliff.
- Mind Screw: Cliff opens the first level of the game by taking his sailboat's boom to the face. The game treats his head trauma as an excuse to get extensively surreal.
- Unreliable Narrator: It's anyone's guess whether anything after the first level actually happened.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Cliff's entire motivation for going to Banoi in the first place is to make his father notice him. At one point, he hallucinates a radio broadcast that concerns his sister, and how she has a better relationship with their father than he does.
Linda WilliamsOne of Cliff's friends.
- Dead All Along: Pretty much everything Linda says after she's bitten is a voice in Cliff's head. It appears she's dead for most of the game, but there's a line of dialogue during the final level that suggests Faith managed to save her after all.
- Intrepid Reporter: She wants to be a famous journalist, so she was remarkably easy to persuade to come along on Cliff's little adventure.
- Black Best Friend: Well, east Indian maybe.
Faith KimballA scientist who was offered a blank check by Geopharm's CEO to work on health research.
- Apocalyptic Log: You can find several video logs recorded by Faith as you work your way through the staff village.
- Hot Scientist: She's brilliant, and was given a blank check for research by the CEO of Geopharm.
RobAn associate of Xian Mei's, Rob went missing two days before the outbreak on Banoi.
- Expy: He's HUNK with a sword.
WalkerThe most common zombie as well as the weakest. They movie slow and don't deal as much damage as the other zombies, but often appear in large groups that can overwhelm their prey more easily.
- Fan Disservice: They tend to be dressed in revealing swimwear... and are also missing large chunks of flesh in various places... one wonders how some of them can even manage to stay standing...
- Mook Chivalry: A rather nasty aversion. As soon as one of them grabs you every other one within 30 feet or so will gleefully mob rush you without hesitation. God help you if an Infected is nearby when this happens.
- Press X to Not Die: The only advantage Walkers have over the elite zombies is a grapple attack that can hold the player in place for a few seconds. If the survivor fails the button prompt they lose health and stay trapped.
- Super Drowning Skills: Depending on the level the player is at its possible for them to be knocked into a shallow pool of water and die in just a couple of seconds.
InfectedThe least durable type of zombie, but also the fastest. They deal high damage and often attack in groups similar to Walkers.
- Fragile Speedster: A couple hits will put one down... if they don't kill you first.
- Off with His Head!: Probably the best way to kill them is to decapitate them with a single well-timed blade slash. The game will even encourage players to do this by offering an achivement for killing 5 infected in a row with one attack.
- Screaming Zombie: Holy crap... the moment you hear this, run.
- Unstoppable Rage: Their psychotic fury is truly terrifying to behold
- Ax-Crazy: It is heavily implied from the last of Roger Howard's diaries that the virus causes it's victim's to degenerate into a feral state due to neural degeneration
ThugTall, muscular zombies that can send survivors flying with a single punch. They're the unfortunate end result of what happens when guys who were really big when they were alive fall victim to the virus. They move extremely slow and rely solely on brute strength.
- Battle Cry: If you hear a really loud roar... keep moving.
- Determinator: Short of a dying or ramming them with a vehicle, they can't be reliably knocked down like the other zombies.
- One reliable to deal with them alone is by breaking their arms. They'll keep coming at you though, attacking with head butts while their arms flail around limply.
- Mighty Glacier: They move slow, but can deal a lot of damage with just a single hit.
- Punched Across the Room: Any blow they land will send you flying.
SuiciderPainfully self-aware zombies whose only form of attack is to blow themselves up next to a survivor and kill them with the resulting blast. Luckily, they can also harm other zombies this way.
- Action Bomb: The only way they can attack is with a self-destructive explosion.
- And I Must Scream: Making them quite possibly the most tragic type of zombie in the game.
- Body Horror: Probably the worst case out of all the zombies...
- Glass Cannon: It's the only zombie who can one shot the players, but a couple decent attacks from a distance will easily dispose of them.
- Hell Is That Noise: When you hear a raspy, creepy voice calling for help that signifies one is nearby, don't run, odds are you'll get too close in a bid to escape.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: If the survivor has a gun they basically serve as a "wipe out this zombie horde" button. Boom.
- Made of Explodium: Their bodies have some built up gases inside which causes the explosion. If you manage to get close to one without it blowing up first, you can hear some cries of pain coming from them, suggesting they're not very happy in the situation they're in.
- One-Hit Kill: If a survivor is too close when one goes off it kills them instantly.
- Taking You with Me: If you're unlucky enough to kill one while standing too close to it...
RamHuge zombies strapped inside straightjackets. As their name implies, they attempt to rush the player with a powerful charging attack.
- Attack Its Weak Point: It only takes one point of damage unless you attack the exposed flesh on its back.
- Bullfight Boss: Dodge. Attack. Dodge. Repeat until it goes down.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Any survivor hit by its charge is knocked off their feet, which makes them a huge pain to deal with when there are large groups of other zombies nearby.
- Ramming Always Works: Works for it, apparently.
FloaterBloated zombies found near water that can spit a strange type of slime at survivors to damage them from afar.
- Breath Weapon: Nasty acid slime stuff.
- Dead Weight: Much like a Boomer. They even use similar attacks!
- Fan Disservice: Maybe even worse than the Walkers. This thing is almost naked like most of the other zombies, but as its name implies, it's fat and bloated. Also, its skin is transparent and its guts spill out when it dies. Lovely.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Their long range attack.
ButcherOne of the strongest types of zombies in the game. Butchers move fast and deal heavy damage with the sharpened, exposed bone on their arm stumps, which can make them a pain to deal with when other zombies are nearby.
- Autocannibalism: Its heavily implied that the reason it has arm stubs is because it ate its own hands sometime during or after infection.
- Bald of Evil
- Improbable Weapon User: Uses its own arm bones as weapons.
- Lightning Bruiser: Like Infected, they sprint at you and can deal a huge amount of damage in a short span of time. Unlike Infected, though, they have a lot of health and can't be stunned, save for with elemental effects or knockdown modifications like the Magic Wand.
DrownerA common type of zombie introduced in Riptide that lays face-down in water, waiting for victims.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Drowner is a Walker on the Infected's pure adrenaline high. It is capable of running in waist-deep water fast enough to catch up with a boat unless you engage the turbo boost.
- Playing Possum: You'd think a water-logged body floating face down in the river would be a long dead corpse. Some of them really are corpses but most are just Drowners playing dead.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: However the Kuru virus mutated them they now have the ability to survive while floating face down in large bodies of water. They won't even try to attack unless the player gets really close to them.
GrenadierA zombified scientist in a hazmat suit who pelts targets with bloody, explosive chunks of his own body.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The Grenadier has a tank on the back of its hazmat which will explode and kill it if shot at.
- Body Horror: Not only is the guy flinging weaponized tumors at you, but imagine becoming one. Every Grenadier seems to have been the result of someone's moon suit tearing or proving insufficient.
- Hazmat Suit
WrestlerA huge, lumbering zombie with a massive, mutated arm that he slams into the ground to create a powerful area-of-effect attack.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Like the Ram, it takes more damage when attacking its back.
- Mighty Glacier: You can kite a Wrestler around more or less forever, but if it hits you, you'll be knocked over.
- Punched Across the Room: Its punches can knock the survivors to the ground.
- The Right Hand of Doom: It has a very large right arm that it use to attack.
ScreamerAn emaciated zombie with claw-like hands, the Screamer races directly at survivors and attacks with a disorienting, well, scream.
- Enemy Summoner: Its screams can also alert a bunch of zombies.
- Interface Screw: Their scream blurs the player's screen and takes away their ability to fight and use medkits for a few seconds. It can even cause them to trip and fall backwards while they are trying to get away.
- Lightning Bruiser: It can move fast, and if it manages to melee you during a stun, it can drop an equal-level Xian or Purna in seconds.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Its scream causes the players to temporarily cover their ears preventing them from fighting back.
- Shout-Out: Its design is clearly based on a similar creature encountered near the beginning of Space Quest IV.