Alexander J. Mercer/ZEUS
"They call me a killer. A monster. A terrorist... I am all of these things."
The protagonist, a man who wakes up in the GENTEK morgue
with bizarre and horrifying powers
and no knowledge of events prior to that point, aside from his name and that he was once a scientist. Confused, enraged, and determined to reclaim his past, he sets out to do so by hunting down his old colleagues.
- Absurdly Sharp Claws: The first power Alex gained was four-fingered two-foot long talons.
- Ax-Crazy: it doesn't depend on whether you don't go after civilians or do, because either way, your target is going to be subjected to a lot of homicidal fury which usually ends in the victim killed gruesomely or being lunch.
- Aloof Big Brother: The real Alex only cared about Dana as a tool for his purposes. However, after Heller consumes Alex at the end of Prototype 2 and absorbs his memories, Dana can be heard remarking that they used to play games, skate, and watch scary movies together. So, apparently he wasn't always like this.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: No matter how much of a monster you play Alex as, the man whose form he took was worse.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: One of the most horrifying examples ever put into a game or comic.
- Anti-Hero: Initially a straight-up Villain Protagonist, but becomes this status by the end of the first game due to Character Development. Whether he's a Nominal Hero or an Unscrupulous Hero depends on how the actions of the player.
- Badass: He is the protagonist of a Spiritual Successor to The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction after all.
- Badass Bookworm: In addition to being a former scientist, he absorbs the knowledge of anyone he consumes, and he'll consume upwards of thirty scientists completing the Web of Intrigue - though he doesn't exercise it much.
- Becoming the Mask: Played with. The real Alex died; the player character is just The Virus using him as a mask. But the virus has some redeeming qualities and is fiercely protective of Dana.
- Berserk Button: Lots of things, but especially don't hurt his sister or throw innocent people into his path to save yourself.
- Big Bad Friend: In the second game, as his sister, Dana, finds out.
- Bigger Bad: It's revealed that the real Alex is not only responsible for the outbreak, he created the virus.
- Big Eater: Soldiers, civilians, infected, Hunters; he can and will absorb thousands of them alive (and in the humans' case, whole) throughout the game. One of the Achievements is even called Endless Hunger.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: The Blade power.
- Blood Knight: He actually seems excited at the prospect of fighting a whole pack of car-sized flesh monsters. The player will likely disagree.
- Body Surf: In his own way, it's entirely possible to go undetected in a military base or during a mission by stealthily consuming and stealing the identities of one soldier after another. This has nothing to do with the Body Surf power.
- Civvie Spandex: When not armored up he wears a shirt, hoodie, and jacket, jeans, and shoes.
- Combat Pragmatist: Fighting fair is hard when you can kill a person with one negligent gesture, so he doesn't bother.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Maybe it's a side-effect of eating all those soldiers.
- Combat Tentacles: The Whipfist, Tendril Barrage, and Critical Pain Devastators.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: His main distinguishing features are his unusually pale, creepy, reflective eyes.
- Dead All Along: The shapeshifter tearing up Manhattan searching for his memories is just the sentient Blacklight virus wearing Alex Mercer's corpse.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Courtesy of eating them and taking their form.
- Despair Event Horizon: The prequel comics reveal the reason for his Face-Heel Turn in Prototype 2 is because he lost all faith in humanity.
- Determinator: The Blackwatch only ever manage to slow him down, even once he becomes their biggest threat and they throw everything they've got at him. Not because of his powers; he's just straight up too angry to quit. Although being able to tear steel with his bare hands and survive rockets to the face doesn't hurt.
- Driven to Villainy: Nobody ever asked him whether he wanted the powers he has, or whether he wanted to be treated like a monster. That he acts like one is in some sense a function of his circumstances, at least at first. The trope is ultimately played straight, subverted, and inverted.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The only colours in his face are the red circles under his eyes; even his lips are pale. He looks like he last slept when he was dead.
- The Empath: In a very messed up way, he absorbs so many people that their screaming in his head forces him to develop a conscience. He is extremely unhappy about that.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For all that he was a gigantic douchebag, the original Alex seems to have genuinely cared for Dana.
- Even Evil Has Standards: As ruthless and violent as ZEUS is, even he was disgusted when he learned what his creator did.
- Extreme Melee Revenge: The default animation for consuming a Web of Intrigue Target sees Alex knock his victim to the ground, pin them, and then just punch them viciously, over and over until their faces cave in. It's so brutal it even sprays blood on the camera.
- Face Stealer: The basis of his 'consume and become' abilities, along with Brain Food.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: The real Alex sported glasses prior to his death; the virus doesn't need them.
- Freudian Excuse: In his character profile (and hinted at very obliquely in the game) is the story of Alex Mercer's horrible, poverty-stricken childhood being shipped around foster homes until his mother was released from jail. He would have preferred the foster homes, and eventually made his escape through his gift for science, viewing the high-profile job and excellent paycheck he received at GENTEK as owed to him by the world after his crappy life. When he learned that Blackwatch was going to purge the project, that was the final straw.
- From a Single Cell: Even after getting nuked, all he needs is a few scraps of his body and some biological matter and he's back in business.
- Hates Being Touched: Quite minor, and for one scene, but Alex's reaction to Karen's welcoming embrace is to freeze uncomfortably and then shrug her off. Understandably, nobody else ever even tries to approach him with affection and he never approaches anyone likewise — except once, with Dana, trying to comfort her.
- Hijacking Cthulhu: Is a viral abomination, but retains his human consciousness.
- Hurting Hero: He's clearly hurt by Dana's reaction upon seeing him killing a Blackwatch soldier, and then again to a greater (but more subtle) extent when he confesses that he can hear the voices of the people he's killed inside himself but believes that killing "feels right". He later apologises and she tentatively accepts him again right before a Leader Hunter bursts through her wall and kidnaps her.
- Identity Absorption: His baseline and most useful ability, though it's not without side effects such as developing a conscience.
- I'm a Humanitarian: He gains health, knowledge, powers, skills, disguises, and pieces of the Jigsaw Puzzle Plot by absorbing people.
- Immune to Bullets: Functionally if not completely. Unless you're playing on Hard, it takes a lot of massed gunfire to even come close to damaging him. In cutscenes, he's able to get up from being shot by five guys armed with assault rifles and doesn't appear to be any worse off for the favor.
- Instant Armor: The Armor power.
- In the Hood: He wears a hood for much of the game in his default form.
- Jerkass: Selfish, vicious, violent, devoid of tact, almost hilariously bad at showing or receiving affection, and either borders on or is actively sadistic depending on the player. The original Mercer went beyond "just" being a jerk, but his influence is likely at work.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Later, due to Character Development.
- Kill and Replace: Or Consume And Become, same difference.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Mess with Dana and you better have a way out of Manhattan, because no place on the island is safe. You're not even guaranteed safety if you escape.
- Lack of Empathy: The original Mercer "wasn't paid to feel." He didn't.
- Lightning Bruiser: The only thing in the game that can keep up with him is an attack helicopter, which he can kill in two hits. On the Infected side of things, Hunters and Leader Hunters are technically faster, but suffer in maneuverability.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: The Shield power.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Alex Mercer, at your service.
- Mind Hive: He keeps every one of his consumed victims' memories inside his head, and he says he can still hear them all screaming as he relives their deaths over and over and over.
- Monstrous Humanoid: After The Reveal, it is revealed that he is a human-shaped pile of The Virus that took the original Mercer's memories and form. You've been playing as The Virus all along, with it thinking that he was Mercer. However even after this revelation, he still shares Mercer's form and protectiveness of Dana despite him not really being her brother.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: The certificate is on the wall of his apartment. And boy was he evil. Good thing we don't play as the guy who earned the doctorate.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: The Musclemass power.
- Oh, Crap: Seeing the two pathologists who were examining him get executed by Blackwatch, getting his cover blown infiltrating a Blackwatch announcement, and an unexpected Infected attack disrupting his plan to "interrogate" McMullen. Although, being Alex, his version of that last one is a little more M-Rated: "SON OF A BITCH!"
- One-Man Army: Within the city are Blackwatch, a merciless paramilitary organization aided by the U.S. Military, and a virulent, devastating, Zombie Apocalypse causing virus, and both sides rightfully regard Alex Mercer as the single most dangerous thing there.
- Person of Mass Destruction: When his powers are fully upgraded, Alex can smash and slice his way through anything and anyone in his way.
- Power Fist: The Hammerfists power.
- Present Absence: Doctor Alexander Mercer's actions kick off the entire main plot and provide the motivations for at least two major characters, despite him being dead before the opening cutscene.
- Promotion to Parent: According to the backstory, Alex was actually more of a paternal figure to Dana than their actual mother ever was.
- Psychotic Smirk: Alex never really smiles, but he's prone to these from time to time. Specific (and creepy) examples are after he thinks he's beaten Cross and when he gets the drop on McMullen.
- Quest for Identity: His goal is to find out who he was before he lost his memory. Once he finds the truth, he immediately wishes he'd never learned it.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His other goal.
- Rogue Protagonist: In the sequel.
- Roof Hopping: Due to a combo of Le Parkour and In a Single Bound.
- Shapeshifting: The entire basis of his powers that don't revolve around eating people.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: He can scavenge guns from Blackwatch and the military, but most of his weapons come from transforming his arms.
- The Sociopath: Mercer is diagnosed a narcissist and a sociopath in one Web of Intrigue cutscene and the lack of a Karma Meter - along with the sheer scope for destruction that his powers have and the way they're fueled - means he'll be doing some awful things in the name of his goals. He rarely displays so much as a flicker of regret for the murder, mass-murder, mass-cannibalism, all kinds of destruction, collateral damage... However, subverted in that he does have regrets, even if only Dana and Cross ever see them. That diagnosis was more likely for the original Mercer.
- Spanner in the Works: It turns out that a super-strong shape-shifting man-eating psychopath with an intense hatred for Blackwatch tends to screw up their plans. Funny how that works.
- Spikes of Doom: The Claws' groundspike move, and the Groundspike Graveyard Devastator.
- The Stoic: Alex is normally a fairly calm person.
- Super Senses: Infected vision and Infrared vision.
- Super Strength: Alex at a base level will kill humans in one hit and can lift cars. If you stack Musclemass on top of that, Alex can pitch cars over a city block and gib people in one hit.
- Tranquil Fury: There are moments where the only thing that alerts you to the fact that he's very angry is the venom in his voice. One notable moment where he finally catches up with Karen Parker.
Alex: "I know.''
- Taking You with Me: It's revealed that the original Alex released Blacklight when he was cornered by the Blackwatch. it seems he didn't believe in half-measures - if he was going down, he was taking potentially the entire human race with him.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Alex is a guy who believes in being thorough. To the point of coating the ground, walls, and scenery with viscera in his, uh, enthusiasm.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Alex Mercer is hunting down the scientists behind the virus, including whoever caused the Penn Station outbreak. As it turns out, he's The Virus. And the man who designed it and caused the outbreak? Alex Mercer.
- Unstoppable Rage: His ground state of being. He's an angry, angry abomination against God, man, and nature.
- Unwitting Pawn: Every bad guy manipulates him for their own gain at one point or another. He doesn't like it.
- What Have I Become?: Word for word in his closing narration. His conclusion is that he is "less than human... but also something more."
- Wolverine Claws: The Claws power.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Several of his normal moves. One of the default consume animations is a chokeslam.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: You can't help but feel bad for Blacklight-Alex a lot of the time. Surprise! You died. Surprise! You have no memory. Surprise! You unleashed a plague onto Manhattan. Surprise! YOU DID IT TWICE. (Although only the first time was intentional.) Surprise! You're not really you! Surprise! YOU ARE THE VIRUS. Surprise! The original guy was evil! Surprise! You have a conscience now! Surprise! That means you feel like shit about everything! Surprise! Your not-sister's been kidnapped! Surprise! The city's going to be nuked! The guy just can't catch a break. Granted, this is later subverted by that very same conscience, which makes Alex decide that he doesn't want to make all of the people who get in his way die a horrible death because of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge after all. Just certain people.
- Younger Than They Look: Alex looks to be in his late twenties and indeed, the original Mercer was 29, but the viral copy is only 18 days old by the end of the game. He is, however, also ageless; he'll never look any older, either. As long as he keeps fed and whole, he could conceivably live forever.
- X Meets Y: In this interview , Dennis Detwiller resumes Alex in "What if Travis Bickle was The Thing (1982)?"
Alex in Prototype 2
Dana A. Mercer
"Someone's gotta know what the fuck is going on here."
Alex's younger sister and the first person he remembers after he awakes. A journalism student and spitfire with a sharp tongue and an inquisitive mind, she loves and idolises her older brother, despite not having seen him in five years, and acts as his intelligence gatherer and data analyst. Voiced by Lake Bell in the first game, and Lindsay Ames in the sequel.
- Code Name: "Athena" in Prototype 2.
- Distressed Damsel: A few missions revolve around rescuing her from peril. Pretty understandable, since she's not the one with superpowers.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: But only because she's always in the dark. She'd probably look normal in good light.
- In 2, she takes issue with being called "pasty".
- Et Tu, Brute?: Definitely her reaction in the second game when Alex imprisons her inside a bank vault with Amaya.]]
- I Have No Brother: Tells Heller to kill Alex after finding out he had Galloway kidnap Amaya, as he is no longer her brother, and explicitly tells Alex as he stuffs her and Amaya in a bank vault that Alex is "dead now."
- I Take Offense to That Last One: In Prototype 2, a bunch of drunken soldiers call her and Heller up and insult them, calling Dana a "pasty hacker cunt." Afterwards, Dana grips that she's "not pasty."
- Intrepid Reporter: Only a student, but according to her character profile, she's naturally inclined this way.
- Lady Swears A Lot: Though the entire game is hardly stingy with the F-bombs, she swears as often as the soldiers do.
- Mission Control: You get most of the story missions for the first part of the game from her. Continues this tradition with Heller in the sequel after Guerra dies, for approximately the second half of the game.
- Morality Pet: The only living being that Alex gives a damn about aside from himself. Also one of very few people in the game on speaking terms with stuff like ethics and sanity. Likewise, She is Heller's only friend and the only person he makes an effort to be nice to after Guerra's death.
- Now What?: How she ends the second game. "What do we do now?"
- Parental Substitute: Her character profile explains that this is the reason she trusts her older brother so absolutely; never knowing her father, Alex was the closest thing she had to a stable parental figure. Knowing this makes everything revealed about her brother roughly a bazillion times more depressing.
- Heller tries to convince her to take Amaya in if Heller is somehow not around. Though Dana's flustered, she and Amaya get along very well, and Amaya runs towards Dana when Heller's infection freaks out Amaya.
- Plucky Girl: Not that it does her any good given the setting, but this college-age girl with no combat training and no superpowers insults the Blackwatch to their faces and actually headbutts one who put his hands on her. That Alex splatted the guy a second later in no way lessens her sheer chutzpah. On the optimism count, she never turns her back on her brother, always helping him even when he's just gotten through explaining that he eats people, in the sincere belief that he's still in there somewhere and knows what's right. She's wrong on both counts — about her real brother. Her fake one, oddly enough, is less of a bastard and genuinely cares.
- Far less optimistic in the sequel, considering what her fake brother becomes. Still ends up relatively okay, though.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Sports one in the second game.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Rescued while unconscious, not seen again for the rest of the game.
- She does show up in the sequel, however, as "Athena", Heller's contact and second Mission Control.
Alex's ex-girlfriend and a scientist like him; her picture still hangs on the wall of his apartment. She helps him create a cure for the virus ravaging Manhattan. One of the viruses, anyway. Specifically, Alex himself; Karen was (possibly) forced into working for Blackwatch and the "cure" turns out to be a parasite designed to kill him. Voiced by Vanessa Marshall
- Killed Off for Real: Not explicitly done ingame (though heavily implied), but in promotional materials for the sequel, they reveal that Mercer killed her.
Doctor Bradley Ragland
"My medical opinion's not for sale."
A pathologist who knows some uncomfortable secrets, content to run the morgue in a teaching hospital in New York. He once worked for GENTEK, but quit on ethical grounds some time ago. Dana sends Alex to him in the hopes that he can cure the parasite. Voiced by Phil La Marr
Director Raymond McMullen
"I want it on a slab. I need to know what makes it tick."
The Director of Research at GENTEK; Alex's ex-boss, who knows more of Blackwatch's secrets than is healthy due to his insatiable scientific curiosity. This fascination extends to Alex's abilities and eventually leads to his death
. Voiced by Paul Guilfoyle.
- Go Out with a Smile: He smirks at Alex just before blowing his own brain out.
- Mad Scientist: A subdued one, but he really wants to learn about The Virus, to the point that his curiosity gets him in trouble with Blackwatch because he keeps finding out things that they don't think he should know.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Yes, another one. He's evil.
Captain Robert Cross
Soldier: Is it true that he caught the last Runner on his own?
: Not caught. Killed.
- Discussing Cross
A highly skilled and dedicated member of Blackwatch who believes wholeheartedly in what they claim to fight for: protecting the American people from the threat presented by the virus, whatever it takes. He has a reputation for surviving and winning battles with even the most powerful infected creatures. Voiced by Jeffrey Pierce.
- Arm Cannon: Sports an arm-mounted grenade launcher.
- Badass Normal: He fights Alex Mercer to a very close loss and walks away alive thanks to being Crazy-Prepared.
- Crazy-Prepared: He uses Alex's flashbacks against him. Unfortunately, it doesn't save him from the Supreme Hunter.
- Defiant to the End: When he is about to be killed by the Supreme Hunter, he did not meet his end like a coward, instead readying himself and even intimidating the creature as it charges at him. Bad. Ass.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Since Operation Firebreak was not what he signed on for, he pulls a Heel-Face Turn and tries to help Alex take down Blackwatch.
- Good Is Not Nice: Cross might be significantly less insane than the rest of his division, but he's Blackwatch to the core. He'll throw men at Mercer to whittle him down, speak worryingly casually about helping Mercer eat his superiors, and while 'allied' with Alex tries pretty hard to get him killed. All for the greater good, but yeesh.
- Guile Hero Antagonist: It may be a bit of a stretch to call him a hero at first, but he does manage to nearly defeat the Villain Protagonist Alex simply by talking to him and triggering his memories.
- Heel Face Door Slam: Cross gets eaten by the Supreme Hunter well before he and Alex can stop Blackwatch.
- Heel-Face Turn: Caused by the General's plan to nuke Manhattan.
- Inspector Javert: He's the soldier specifically tasked to capture Alex Mercer, but the motives for his Stern Chase initially avoid sympathy as they are dictated by Blackwatch. True to the trope description, he redeems himself when he teams up with Alex to stop Blackwatch from nuking Manhattan.
- Lightning Bruiser: Though the shock baton admittedly represents much of his damage potential, this man can dodge every blow Mercer throws at him so long as he isn't setting up for an attack with his arm-mounted grenade launcher.
- Manipulative Bastard: A close examination of Cross's late-game actions reveals that he plays Mercer like a fiddle.
- Not What I Signed On For: Which prompts his Heel-Face Turn.
- Shock and Awe: He carries around an electric baton that can seriously hurt Mercer.
General Peter Randall
The current leader of Blackwatch, directing their movements in Manhattan. He has been in the organisation long enough to remember Hope, Idaho, and the methods used to contain it. Voiced by Gordon Clapp.
- Armies Are Evil
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Not really. It's expected, since he's been fighting the virus virtually for his entire career and it was because of his orders and determination that Hope's infection didn't spread, but that was forty years ago when he had both arms. And indeed, when Alex finds him, he doesn't even go down with a fight.
- Cutscene Boss: When Alex finally catches the bastard, he grabs Randall, yells at him, and throws him down before casually eating him in a cutscene. Considering Alex's power by that point, the alternative was probably a Zero-Effort Boss.
- General Ripper: Randall wants to fight the virus however he can. If that means shooting innocent people, sending his men to die in a hopeless war, slicing his own infected arm off with a butcher's knife, nuking Manhattan and blaming the United States Marine Corps, or putting the virus in a position where it would do a huge amount of damage when it escaped to learn how to engage it properly, he will do it.
- The Unfought: You don't really fight him, but you automatically gain his memory node after the the cutscene.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He says outright that he believes all casualties of any outbreak and resultant purge are "sacrificial lambs" necessary to learn how to fight the infection and "save the world" and may or may not have deliberately engineered the catastrophe that was the Manhattan outbreak, just to learn how to fight the virus on a larger scale. That this outlook and method are balls crazy and result in things like nuking Manhattan only after Greene is dead and the infection is weakening (because she couldn't then be retrieved for further study) seems not to occur to him.
Colonel Ian Taggart
The leader of the Marines in Manhattan and Randall's second-in-command. Voiced by Richard McGonagle.
Greene: The reason.
Alex: For what?
The last surviving inhabitant of Hope, Idaho, a town that was destroyed after being used as a testing ground for a biological weapon, to prevent the disease from spreading. She appears 'burnt out' and catatonic after forty years of experimentation by GENTEK. There is almost certainly no remnant of 'Elizabeth Greene' left; all that remains is the virus in an empty human host. Unfortunately, it is both intelligent and very patient. Voiced by Kari Wahlgren
- Brown Eyes: A subversion of the usual symbolism. Greene is not in the least bit down-to-earth or stable.
- Cute Bruiser: Though the 'cute' part is up for debate, she hits Alex once and he's smashed across the room. This is a guy who weighs hundreds of pounds slapped aside like a cardboard cutout.
- Decoy Damsel: GENTEK thinks they've contained her, and they're wrong. She's just waiting patiently to unleash the Zombie Apocalypse.
- Disc One Final Boss: Her death doesn't end the game or the infection, though it does slow the infection quite a lot.
- Hive Queen: Without a Runner like Greene or other directing force such as the Supreme Hunter or Alex, the lesser Infected remain mindless shambling zombies. However, with a Runner, it can think...
- Humanoid Abomination: She still looks like a 19-year-old girl. She and Alex share many similarities (strong, fast, resilient, power over the virus) but aren't quite the same. Only Greene was once human.
- It Can Think: And it is patient. If it's four years or forty years, the virus will wait in dormancy as long as it takes an opportunity to present itself, and during all that time, it plans. One mission revolves around Greene using infected people who haven't started showing symptoms as unwitting spies, their connection to the Hive Mind allowing her to receive information from them. After she dies, the outbreak loses its momentum almost completely.
- Latex Space Suit: Her clothing is outright modelled on fetish clothing and wet-suits, resulting in a skin-tight latex body suit with a lot of straps in weird places.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: In her boss fight, one of her attacks is a scream that sucks the colour from the screen and sends shockwaves over the battlefield that will knock you down to critical health if you don't move your butt.
- Not So Different: From Alex. This is especially played up when Alex takes her place in the sequel.
- Older Than They Look: She looks nineteen. She's actually over fifty.
- One-Winged Angel: Though it's possible she could have [[spoiler:taken Alex in melee given the strength she demonstrates in the cutscenes, instead she dons a giant fleshy mass as armor and starts tearing everything around her apart. It takes a lot to bring her down.
- Plaguemaster: The virus spreads on everything she touches, and the Hunters, Leader Hunters, and Hydras are her creations.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Or an observation cell. Then Alex accidentally lets her out. To be fair, she clearly could have left at any time, given the state of the room.
- Walking Wasteland: Everywhere she goes, the infection emerges, and her children follow.
- The Virus: By some quirk of biology, her body was mutated by the original strain to create viruses; hundreds of them. Every single one displays very strange properties. Gentek's reason for holding her is to examine and try to manipulate the strains into doing useful things, such as enhancing human attributes, killing people in specific ways very very rapidly, strengthening immune systems, or eradicating cancer, among other purposes. She's insanely valuable to Blackwatch because she is the only living subject to display the ability.
- Voice of the Legion: After she speaks, her words are repeated in multiple whispers.
The Supreme Hunter
After Alex removes the parasite, he attempts to kill Greene by using it on her, but her body rejects it. The result combines Mercer's and Greene's DNA and becomes something new: a creature with characteristics of both the Redlight and Blacklight viruses. It is not
happy with its 'father' for attempting to destroy it.
- Evil Counterpart: To Alex - roughly humanoid, just as smart (or smarter), same powers, and an independent entity, born from the virus and Elizabeth Greene but not under her thrall, just like Alex. Unlike him, it wants to control and spread the disease and it isn't even a little bit human.
- Kill and Replace: Cross.
- Self-Made Orphan: First, it doesn't seem terribly distressed about Alex killing and absorbing Greene, its genetic 'mother'. Second, its purpose in life is to kill and devour Alex — implied to be at least in part because it resents him for not letting himself be eaten alive.
- Humanoid Abomination: Especially when it consumes and replaces Cross.
Of all the children born during Hope, Idaho's infection, only one did not suffer fatal defects within months of birth. Codenamed PARIAH by the military, the surviving child was forcibly separated from his mother, Elizabeth Greene, and moved to a secure facility for study and containment. He never appears in the game, but plays a fairly large part in the Web of Intrigue.
- Bishonen Line: PARIAH shows no sign at all of infection with the virus, and yet McMullen theorises that he could bring about the end of life as we know it.
- Blessed with Suck: Seems to kill anything he touches. As a result, he is kept either in a sealed cell or a courtyard surrounded by snipers and barbed wire.
- Creepy Child: There are three pictures of him. One is him playing with a ball, one is him playing with blocks, and the third is him standing beside a mutilated corpse with a handful of blood. What is this kid?
- Person of Mass Destruction: It's theorized by NPCs that if Alex Mercer and PARIAH ever came in contact with each other, the results could be beyond catastrophic.
- Super Prototype: In a way, Alex is the production model of what PARIAH is naturally, and probably isn't even as good. His powers were artificially activated, whereas PARIAH's are natural; PARIAH is everything the virus is meant to be.
- Older Than They Look: He must be at least forty, but he looks no older than six or seven.
- Sequel Hook: Averted in the second game; the sequel doesn't involve Alex looking for him. He is mentioned once as the assignment of Agent Barnes Griffin, and otherwise seems to have no bearing on events. But he's still out there...