Ethan is an architect with a wife and two sons. Two years prior to the main story, his elder son, Jason, dies in a car accident that leaves Ethan in a six-month coma. Now awake, Ethan remains depressed and stricken with grief. He suffers from agoraphobia and lives alone, estranged from his wife Grace Mars and distant from his other son, Shaun. Ethan soon discovers that Shaun may become the next victim of the Origami Killer, and is forced to go through five trials (danger, suffering, brutal suffering, murder and sacrifice).
Action Survivor: Ethan is an architect with no combat experience whatsoever' he doesn't get fighting scenes, he gets running away scenes and survival scenes.
Beard of Sorrow: After the death of his son, Jason, he puts down the shaving cream.
Big Damn Heroes: It's possible for him to save Madison from Scott Shelby in the final level by shooting him from behind just as he corners her and prepares to kill her.
Big "NO!": Yells out one of these just before Jason is run over by a car, and after Shaun has been taken.
Determinator: Becomes one if you have him complete all the trials.
Dirty Coward: If you don't do the trials. Best example, you can refuse to do the Lizard Trial, and use your two hands to help you and Madison escape, but you end up being shot in the arm instead. The game even calls you out on it with the door leading to freedom in the Butterfly trial being labeled "Coward", should you choose not to do the trial.
Made of Iron: Not to a great extent, but he can survive jumping from a motel roof with enough stamina left over to escape the police chasing him and survive a gunshot point blank to the stomach from the Origami Killer in the final level.
Papa Wolf: His thread of the story is his fight to save his living son, Shaun, from a serial killer. Get into it, and you'll see he'll go To Hell and Back to save his kid, to the point that he could easily be a reincarnation of Harry Mason. Invoked, since the entire point of the tests are to prove he's a father capable of giving his life to save his son.
Room Full of Crazy: In the worst ending, he commits suicide in a room full of Origami figures.
Split Personality: Suggested, but it's ultimately a trick of his own mind. It's resolved when Ethan finds out who the Origami Killer actually is. Towards the end of the game, he believes his "other self" is and is testing himself to see if he truly cares for his son. This is not true, but makes sense. The game certainly likes to play it up this way.
Trauma Conga Line: His son gets run over by a car, he ends up in a coma for six months, when he wakes up, his wife wants to divorce him, and his other son hates him. That's before the game even starts.
Would Hit a Girl: Throws a little black book towards Madison due to his anger over her being a journalist.
Played By: Judi Beecher (voice) & Jacqui Ainsley (motion capture)
"There has to be another way."
Madison is a young photojournalist living alone in the city. Suffering from chronic insomnia and nightmares, she occasionally checks into motels, as they are the only place she can properly sleep. She eventually finds herself involved in the latest Origami Killer case, conducting her own investigations.
Action Girl: And how. For your ordinary journalist, she does a pretty damn good job fending off serial killers.
Alone with the Psycho: In chronological order; she sneaks into Leland White's house only to end up trapped in the same building as a serial killer when White arrives home early; she pays a visit to Dr Baker, running the risk of being drugged and dissected; finally, she decides to investigate the Origami Killer's lair, only to be held at gunpoint by the man himself.
Beware the Nice Ones: Kind, compassionate, and more than willing to crush Paco's balls if he doesn't start talking.
The Combat Pragmatist: Most notably in her brawl with Dr Baker, in which she ends up fighting him with his own power tools.
Expy: Madison's jeans, printed biker jacket, affinity for motorcycles and general look is very reminiscent of Claire Redfield.
Florence Nightingale Effect: On just about every occasion she meets Ethan, he's been seriously injured and she has to bandage his wounds; this escalates into a desire to help him through the Origami Killer's trials and get the police off his back, to the point that she's willing to endanger her life if it means uncovering the clues, and finally ends in full-fledged romance. This can end in marriage if the player allows Ethan to forgive her for trying to write a story about him.
The Insomniac: The twist is that her insomnia fails if she's sleeping in a motel.
Ms. Fanservice: Her Motion Capture actress is a supermodel, and Madison is introduced in a scene which basically consists of her running around in her apartment while wearing only a tank top and panties.
Sanity Slippage: In the ending "Square One", in which her insomnia reaches critical levels and her nightmares turn into full-fledged halucinations.
Second Love: Depending on player choices she can become this to Ethan himself.
Shaking the Rump: Did this when Paco forces her to strip at gunpoint, but she does it to distract him so that she can club him with a lamp.
Show Some Leg: As she admits herself, she'll do anything to get the information she needs...
Jayden is an FBI profiler sent from Washington to support the police force with their investigation into the Origami Killer. Jayden possesses an apparatus which consists of experimental augmented reality glasses and a single right hand glove called ARI, or "Added Reality Interface". This allows him to rapidly investigate crime scenes and analyze evidence. He is also struggling with an addiction to the drug triptocaine, which helps him cope with the mental side effects of using ARI.
Brain Uploading: Implied during the "Uploaded" ending, which occurs if Jayden dies over the course of the investigation- but, ironically, not if he dies of an ARI overdose.
By-the-Book Cop: And he's a better man for it: he genuinely does good police work by sticking to the rules, while his unhinged partner Blake apparently makes a hobby of wiping his ass with a suspect's Miranda Rights.
Butt Monkey/The Chew Toy: Poor guy is already a drug addict and gets more bullying and disrespect from the police force than he deserves, and he always ends up in some seriously aggravating to painful situations. He even lampshades it himself at one point; reading his thoughts after he goes to interrogate Paco has him observe that he spent most of the investigation getting the shit kicked out of him. To cap it all, the only ending where his situation makes a definite improvement is the one where he fails to solve the case and resigns.
The Combat Pragmatist: As Jayden isn't exactly the most imposing member of the cast, he has to resort to a lot of dirty tricks to survive in hand-to-hand combat, especially in his second fight with Mad Jack.
Drugs Are Bad: Subverted; he uses Triptocaine to prevent over-exposure to the ARI. Norman gets killed by Triptocaine or ARI if he uses too much of either of the two. Makes for a bit of a Zig-Zagging Trope, considering how often his drug relapses interfere with his investigation, and how his use of it isn't exactly doing wonders for his health. See also Driven to Suicide.
Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: His east coast accent frequently tilts over into a childish rhotacism. "I wanna find da owigahmi kiwwuh JUST as much as you do!"
Sanity Slippage: As he starts overdoing ARI, he starts experiencing visions of the ARI officeworld even without his glasses on. This continues even if he succeeds in solving the puzzle and saving Shaun's life, and it's worsened to the point where he's hallucinating miniature tanks crawling over his desk.
Shower of Angst: In his suit. Justified by the fact that he was having some seriously disorienting and painful withdrawal symptoms at the time. The guy could barely stand upright at the time; taking off his clothes would have probably been extremely difficult.
Took a Level in Badass: And HOW! Norman gets his ass handed to him by Mad Jack and The Origami Killer in Fish Tank. Jump a few chapters later to round 2 with the killer in The Old Warehouse, and Jayden's fist-fighting him on even ground, bashing his head around like a pinata with a metal pipe, and can possibly get smashed in the face with a SLEDGEHAMMER AND SURVIVE!
Beware the Nice Ones: He's an easygoing, overweight private investigator who looks after babies, persuades liquor store robbers to put down the gun and leave without resorting to violence, and he makes a mean omelet. He will still kick your ass if you challenge him. Also, he turned out to be none other than the Origami Killer.
The Combat Pragmatist: Scott isn't very choosy on how he takes his opponents down; assuming he doesn't actually have a gun on him, he'll often resort to using anything that can be vaguely classified as a weapon: lamps, panes of glass, bottles, furniture, Samurai swords, bits of scrap metal... and that's when he's not just pummeling them into submission with his bare hands. This becomes even more obvious in the fight between him and Jayden on the conveyor belt, in which they end up attacking each other with just about anything in reach.
Pet the Dog: Many, many moments. A big one where he treats the wounds of a woman who has failed a suicide attempt and takes care of her baby, or the scene after the incident at the watch repair place where he comforts Lauren as she's crying in the rain over her son's death. Finding out the truth about him, though, leaves all these moments open to interpretation.
Private Detective: He spends most of his time investigating the Origami Killer. Subverted. He's using it as a cover to investigate his killings and destroy any evidence.
Amicable Exes: Almost. There aren't any fights or arguments witnessed in the game, but it's clear that on some level, she holds Ethan responsible for Jason's death.
What the Hell, Hero?: She flings one of these speeches at Ethan after Shaun's disappearance. It's clear she said it under stress, though, and she almost immediately apologises for it- before breaking down in tears.
It's Personal / Determinator: She is determined to discover the identity of the Origami Killer and has swore to kill him upon doing so. In the ending, "A Mother's Revenge", upon finding out that the Origami Killer is Scott, Lauren keeps her word.
Rescue Romance: If she lives long enough, her relationship with Scott can take a turn for the romantic, as he kisses her goodbye. If she lives to the end though, she will be less than forgiving upon finding the truth.
Show Some Leg: Subverted at the last minute in the level "Gordy Kramer's Party"; here, Lauren attempts to distract the stairway guards by performing a sexy dance. However, the guards are clearly under contractual obligation to not be Distracted by the Sexy, so at the end of the dance, Lauren pretends to faint from a drug overdose, drawing both guards away from the stairs and allowing Scott to sneak past them.
This Is Unforgivable!:This is her feelings toward Scott in every ending she is alive in. If he is alive, she shoots him. If he died, she spits on his grave.
Cowboy Cop: A deconstruction. Blake's disregard for standard police procedure hinder the case. He'll go so far as to kill an innocent man because he thinks he's the killer.
Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: In the ending "Uploaded," he ends up stealing Jayden's ARI glasses following his death; on his first use of them, he's confronted by a vision of Jayden wearing a Psychotic Smirk, implying that Blake is going to suffer just as badly as Jayden did- if not worse.
Jerkass Has a Point: Has his moments. He calls out Jayden if he's being too soft on not killing Nathaniel even though his life is on the line, and how the entire police force is entirely happy if the the suspect being claimed to be the Origami Killer is innocent or not.
Pet the Dog: Has his moments depending on how the player does in various situations. He saves Jayden from Korda if the player fails the QT Es, and respects Jayden's belief of never wanting to get used to killing if he shoots Nathaniel.
Karma Houdini: Aside from losing custody of his kids to foster parents the game doesn't bother to show him suffering any consequences for his actions.
Social Services Does Not Exist: It's a minor miracle that both of his children didn't die before the game even begins, seeing as how he has no problem kicking the boys out into the pouring rain and letting them play at the local construction site by themselves.
Ax-Crazy: Father or not, he still chases Ethan around through his house firing a shotgun at him over marijuana, laughing like a maniac and is eager to shoot him point blank in the face in the middle of his daughter's room.
Dirty Coward: As soon as Ethan has the advantage to shoot him he is reduced to a begging mess.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He may be an amoral drug dealer, but he does seem to care deeply about his two daughters, Sarah and Cindy.
Killer Cop: He's a retired police lieutenant before he becomes a killer in disguise of a private investigator.
Serial Killer: At least eight 10-13 year old children via drowning, by the start of the game. There's also Manfred, the Mooks he mows down in Kramer's mansion, Kramer himself (possibly), Lauren (possibly), Hassan (possibly), Shaun (possibly), Jayden (possibly), and Madison (possibly). He has a high body count.
Would Hurt a Child: He has killed almost a dozen children and has no intention of stopping any time soon.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Is the way he is all because his own father was a complete bastard who regularly abused him and his brother both physically and verbally and ultimately convinced him he was worthless, and then to top it all off was forced to watch his own brother drown and said dad refused to help him. And his mom, the nice parent, apparently contracted Alzheimer's and all but lost her mind so she couldn't take care of him anymore. And now he drowns children and puts their fathers through sadistic tests all in the deluded hope that they can save them and that the kids can have fathers that are worthwhile and will always be there for them, something he never had.
Dr. Adrian Baker, AKA Doctor Death
"Did your mother ever tell you about accepting gifts from strangers?"
Badass Grandpa: For a man his age, Baker shows a great deal of strength and resilience; not only is he able to knock out Madison (and another caller) with one swing of a baseball bat, but should Madison actually escape the operating table, the resulting fight shows that he's able to take quite a bit of punishment- and dish it out as well.
Hoist by His Own Petard: If Madison ends up fighting Baker, she finishes him off by stabbing him in the chest with the electric drill he was about to use on her at the start of her "operation."
I Love the Dead: Hinted at by the way he feels up Madison's corpse, should he succeed in killing her.
Mad Doctor: Addicted to performing surgical operations; unfortunately, since he's been struck from the medical register and no longer permitted to practise officially, he's resorted to kidnapping people and dissecting them with power tools.
Obviously Evil: Only an idiot would accept a drink from someone as creepy as Adrian Baker.
Skippable Boss: Madison only has to fight him if a) she accepts his drink, or b) if she gets caught while wandering around his house.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Should the second fight continue all the way to the end, Mad Jack is accidentally flattened by his own bulldozer.
Just Hit Him: While he does go after him with a pole and attempt to step on his head, Mad Jack does seem to enjoy throwing Jayden around in typical Giant Mook fashion, especially in their second fight.
Nonchalant Dodge: During their second battle, Jayden flings a metal box at Jack. In spite of being less than three feet away, Jack dodges it easily.
No Sell: Just about all of Jayden's attacks are given this kind of treatment during the second battle- even if the player completes the button sequences without fail. However, the most obvious example occurs in the latter stages of the fight, when a particularly desperate Jayden throws another bit of scrap metal at close range. Jack lets it bounce off his chest.
Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: At one point, Jayden attempts to beat Jack down with the front fender of a car; not only does Jack manage to soak up every single hit without even staggering, but he finishes off by snatching the fender out of the air in mid-swing and kicking Jayden in the stomach hard enough to send him tumbling for a few feet.
A classic version happens a little while later when Jayden attacks Jack with his bare hands; he lands at least two punches- both of which seem to hurt him more than Jack- and on the third, Jack grabs his arms and headbutts him.
Psychopathic Manchild: Most notably, he seems more interested in the cartoon playing on the plasma tv than the girls necking on the couch next to him.
Sarcastic Confession: Partial case in that while he's definitely lying (or at the very least taking wishful thinking to an insane degree) about being the Origami Killer, he's being perfectly honest when he says that he's bored and finds killing entertaining.
Mummies at the Dinner Table: White has killed at least five women, and put their taxidermied bodies on display in an upstairs room of his house. He holds regular conversations with them- mostly about what new "friends" he's going to make for them next.
Psychopathic Manchild: Upon realizing that Madison is inside his house, he treats the resulting hunt for her like a game of Hide and Seek, or Hot and Cold. Also, when chasing Madison around the corridors, he can be heard delivering his hammiest impersonation of the Big Bad Wolf.
Skippable Boss: The main objective of the level is to escape White's house alive; if actually fighting the knife-wielding psychpath doesn't appeal, then Madison can easily call the police from inside the house and wait until they arrest him, or just slip out the door without White noticing.
Taxidermy Is Creepy: Most definitely; quite apart from the fact that the inside of White's house is filled with stuffed animal heads and carcasses, he's also used his knowledge of taxidermy to preserve the bodies of his victims as dolls.
Villains Out Shopping: Once he returns home, White immediately sits down in front of the TV to watch some boxing.
You Look Familiar: He's voiced by the same actor as Scott Shelby. It does make sense, since the both of them are murderers.