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"You did enough to prove to the rest of us that you’re notable. Most of us want to kill you, do worse than kill you. Because you pose a threat, because you’re an X factor.”
"You'll get the hang of it eventually."
He's the wearer of iconic clothes, wielder of iconic weapons, and chronicler of iconic logs. He fears many things, but he'll cross those bridges when he comes to them.
Tropes associated with Jordan:
- Action Survivor
- Author Avatar
- Badass in a Nice Suit
- Captain Obvious: One example: "..if you see a bear, run, okay? You probably didn’t need me to tell you that, actually."
- Catch Phrase: "Tiger Stripes, give me strength..."
- Character Development: The entire story revolves around his development into a better person. By the time the story begins, Jordan's naive, terrible around girls, and hesitant to believe in any such thing as "Rapture." By Act III, he wants all these women to stop chasing him for long enough so that he can save the world. Then by Act IV, he's sick of himself, knows he's let everyone down, just wants the Fears to kill him already, but as long as he's still alive he intends on making things right.
- Cosmic Plaything: "Paul’s response? “DAMN! Dude, everything bad happens to you.” I.. concur."
- Dual Wielding: Swords Hammett and Hackett.
- First-Person Smartass
- Hero with Bad Publicity: As a result of Ignorance Is Bliss below, he gains the title of "terrorist." Who works for the bad guys. Though this bad publicity eventually transforms into very very good publicity by the time Act IV rolls around.
- Ignorance Is Bliss: In the "White Jester" arc in Act I, he's 'hired' to 'convert' a list of people in Spain. As far as he knows, 'convert' means kill, and that's the worst of his problems. He's hired to kill three very important figures in the up-and-coming Rapture rebellion movement.
- Little Hero, Big War: There seems to be a whole rebellion movement against the monsters of the apocalypse, and one can only imagine all the carnage going on with all their conflicts. But does Jordan get to see it? No way.
- One-Liner: Actually manages to give one, albeit an extremely strange and kinky one, during the climax of the "White Jester" arc.
- One of Us: Lampshaded heavily when he goes to a troper meet-up in apocalyptic Blackpool.
- Scarf of Asskicking: He wears a purple scarf, though he trades it for a blue one when he decides to make the most of the apocalypse at the end of Act III.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Well, until about halfway through the first act.
"I keep expecting to see the slender man in every one of these alleyways. I can never get used to being paranoid, can I? The dark alleyways and the streets filled with broken cars will always exist within me somewhere, wont they? I don’t want to be like this for the rest of my life. I don’t care which fate I have, I just want peace of mind again."
Donnie's a British girl Jordan meets out of happenstance. They stick together for a good portion of the apocalypse, suffering through a lot together and growing together and apart gradually. Donnie falls in love with Bones, and it really looks like the two will go well together until the Indisen slender man has Jordan kill Donnie.
Tropes applying to Donnie:
- Character Development: By the start of the story, Donnie is friendly to Jordan but a bit quiet otherwise. By Act III, she hates him and otherwise tries to be an all-around stronger individual.
- Climax Boss: Anna was this to her at the very climax of Act II. See also: Curbstomp Battle.
Danny’s really set on this. His girl was.. taken. Viciously. And he really wants to get back at the bastard who took her away from him. ...He says he’ll look for me in his travels, and that he’s sure “we’ll meet again on the battlefield.”
Danny is, for lack of a better word, a loner. He attempts to stay away from largely populated areas, but it never works out. Due to the murder of a loved one, he has set his sights on revenge. Little Danny Boy was first met July 4th in New Jersey, shooting off fireworks at the alleged murderer. He comes in and out of the logs a lot, always respectful of Jordan but possibly hiding some resentment. He dies fighting off The Ecclesiarchway on the final day.
Rauri "Fentzy" McGanna
“How patient do you want me to be? I’ve been waiting for months to find her, I’ve been trying my best, but it hasn’t even been my best or we’d have found her.”
“None of us said you had to be patient.”
“I CAN’T! I can’t. There’s too much going on. I..”
Fentzy's a girl Jordan has a crush on. She acts as the catalyst for a lot of Jordan's romantic development, even if she herself has better things to worry about. Like saving her sister from the Fears that took her.
Tropes applying to Fentzy:
You always found the funny side to the chaotic eldritch, and I think I’m starting to get it.
Anna has been dubbed "Forsaken." No Fears are allowed to kill her, but they had their fun all the same. Anna is Jordan's ex-girlfriend, who he gets to see for the very first time during his first trip across America. He tries to help protect her from the apocalypse. Death catches up with her, though whether she's directly killed by a Fear or if she symbolically kills herself is up to the reader to decide. During the last act, Anna's body becomes the symbol of Jordan's guilt.
Tropes applying to Anna:
Eric "Bones" Taylor
“I’m a Knight of Xanadu. I have stared into The Pacific, I have learned the secrets of the eight and five, I have dueled the god Nyarlathotep many times, and I have seen.”
“SEEN WHAT, KNIGHT?”
Bones was one of Jordan's very best friends years ago. With the coming of the apocalypse, he seems to have become a more enigmatic figure, appearing in strange places with little explanation. He marks the arrival of the Knights of Xanadu. Nyarlathotep blinds him in late Act III, which has the adverse effects of making him even more eldritch than before— he turns out to grow up to be time-traveling Tiresias himself!
Tropes applying to Bones:
“We are the reason creatures developed the phenomenon known as ‘fear’ in the first place. To those who know of us, we are the night stars casting our terror from light years away. To those who directly encounter us, we are the monster you created in your daddy’s name.”
"Your human mind could never possibly comprehend the true complex nature of our relations, but unfortunately, the only human concept that comes close to matching it is a childish treehouse."
There is no happy ending.
There can be no Earth.
Jordan didn't even want to believe this thing existed, but it turns out its existence is unfathomably more terrifying than anyone could have expected. The slender man was trapped in the deepest level of the rabbit hole for the duration of the apocalypse, and after Xanadu tortured it relentlessly, it became The Beast, the embodiment of all that is terror and eldritch.
Tropes applying to The Beast:
- And I Must Scream: The Beast was tortured. It needed to scream, but it had no face. So it grew one.
- Badass in a Nice Suit
- Big Bad
- The Faceless: The Beast is frequently mentioned in the story, but never thoroughly described. The only characters that have even seen it are either insane, dead, or not willing to talk about it. The insane one simply said it looks "nothing like the slender man." Even when the narrator sees The Beast and has a conversation with it, he talks about what The Beast used to be without mentioning what it currently is.
- Mind Screw: Other than being its conventional actions, good luck understanding what's going on when Jordan meets The Beast on August 18th.
- The Slender Man Mythos
"The Rake" / The Anathema
‘Four come, four served, and kingdoms in between shall be take. Five weeks and two days after the four shadows, mankind shall face the true name of The Rake.’”
Not much is known about this one, though a lot of brutality is expected. Jordan killed all four of them in Act I. Though it turns out he had no idea what the real Rake was like. The Anathema is a living and breathing glitch, the distorted corpse of a scientist who discovered too much, breaking all the known rules and laws of our physics and acting against all nature.
Tropes applying to The Rake:
- Foreshadowing: Four egg sacs were found in Jordan's house, and one of them had already been opened. Simultaneously, one Rake had been killed.
- The Anathema spends its time either taking apart cars and rebuilding them for something, or catering to an oddity that can only be referred to as its "hive." It's all building up to something.
A man in a gas mask and skin-tight suit who controls all the zombies. He doesn't seem to want to fight anyone directly, but.. a lot
is unknown about him. Death himself. He only seems passive from time to time because he has to manage the lives and deaths of as much as possible, and during an apocalypse of all times. Though he does horrible things, and he has a lot of 'rule the world' hidden agendas.
Mistress is sitting atop the tallest booth in the marketplace— a makeshift throne for a makeshift God.
A girl in a wooden costume, looks like a bloodthirsty marionette. Controls people, victims are called "Puppets." Her real name is Rosa Syclus, and she represents the cycle of abuse and everything associated with it. She was originally a victim of The Beast before the apocalypse, and when he breaks out of his prison, she's the first person he hunts.
Tropes applying to The Harlequin:
- Advancing Boss of Doom: When Jordan tried to challenge her, it started off as a "playful game of hide and seek" and quickly became a deadly game of cat and mouse, except the cat was on fire.
- Dark Action Girl
- Victory Fakeout: Jordan thought he defeated her by shoving her into an unnaturally hot oven. Just as he was about to leave, he hears the oven being opened from the inside.
"He’s one of The Musicians, inventors of sound and the great misdirect known as language. They don’t talk to commoners like you much. Then again, they’re usually too busy crafting worlds of music and rivers of cacophony."
Two men dressed up as The Blues Brothers.
They always look blurry, and they're always in the distance. They create sound, create life out of sound, and obfuscate everything in your perception. The modern manifestation of Ptah, Phanes, and Seppo Ilmarinen, The Musicians are world-creating gods who still aren't sure whether they want to directly interfere with affairs.
Tropes applying to The Musicians:
- Mind Screw: Their goddamn modus operandi.
- Sheathe Your Sword: When Jordan takes them on directly in "The Battle of Dominiere," this is how he winds up doing it.
A little boy who's always a little too cold. He sings nursery rhymes to keep himself warm. Not much is known about him. And not much is revealed.
A tall figure in a medieval plague doctor costume. Not much is known about him, but he seems to evoke eldritch illnesses. Has followers.
Tropes applying to The Beacon:
- Nightmare Face: Its mask was taken off in Sanctuary Francisco, revealing a very.. disturbing sight.
"YOUR JUDGEMENT HAS COME."
No one is sure what he looks like, but the ones who have seen him have not lived to tell the tale. He judges entire cultures and punishes only single individuals for it.
Black birds. Just fully black birds. No beaks. Instead there is a gaping hole where a beak should be. Definitely not crows. Not anymore at least. I’m seeing black hands on the car, are these even birds anymore. ...Maybe I should be freaking out more, but I’m just..in awe at these things. They’re like..indescribable. I don’t know if that’s good or what.
A convocation of birds. They fly around, either becoming lightning, carrying people and cars off to who-knows-where, or they fly so fast that they morph cities and landscapes into their own realms of terror.
Not much is known about this virus, but hosts seem to have their faces contorted into a living, breathing Guy Fawkes mask. Can spread by mere touch. "Brothers" with The Devil, a late-stage character who helps the Fears pull together.
Tropes applying to The Host:
"It moves like a ninja of the apocalypse, and its eyes burn your mind to look at. We thought it was just a regular dog, but no. ..It tore us apart. Our plans shattered apart. Hell, it left a lot of us with nothing but minor injuries. That’s what scares us the most. What the hell is it trying to do, y’know?”
A rather large black dog with eyes that pierce the night. It's said to merely bite
people and then run off. Most of the details on this creature are unknown. When it's damaged, it goes to the people it has bitten and uses their flesh as replacements for its lost limbs. In Act IV, it takes Anna's entire body and spends the act stalking the protagonists in an endlessly laughing body.
Tropes applying to The Omen:
Shadows on the wall. They don't seem hostile. Most is unknown. They are fragments of Rapture itself, a part of the holy trinity that is the granddaddy of eldritch abominations.
“Father Tiresias chooses his names wisely. He has power over title and memory, and over the course of his long life, he has sought for power over time.
“He has lived a long life, if you can even call it a life for him. He has long since struggled to maintain order throughout, which is why, when his great tragedy overcame, he retreated to the secure world of books, where there is nothing but order, where there is nothing but memory, where there is nothing but time.”
Tiresias looks like an old blind man and is always seen around books. Not much is known about him, though with the apocalypse, he's been trapped in his eldritch library and seems to want to help
people. He's Bones from the future. And he's killed by The Ecclesiarchway.
Tropes applying to Tiresias:
So what are you, the one running all the experiments in the background, the one behind all this?
“You mean, am I your God?”
“You can call me whatever you want, Jordan. I’m just a girl who got lucky too. All I know is all I do; I’m a parasite, much like you.”
Salmacis is some sort of water virus— as far as we know— that 'eats' all of a body of water and replaces it with itself. Note: Humans are mostly water. Human 'members' of the Hive Mind
are referred to as "The Camper." Salmacis seems helpful towards the protagonists, and forms a romantic attatchment to Jordan. Salmacis turns out to be— or perhaps becomes— the substance of life, itself. And even when she dies in Act IV, she's not really all that dead.
Tropes applying to Salmacis:
“Of course, Xanadu’s not just a city, not just a world, not just a dimension; Xanadu lives. Xanadu flows. And if you ever left, it’d be because Xanadu wanted you to. It’d be at a means Xanadu provided for you. So if someone left, theyd.. well. They were said to have come out not human anymore. Shadows of their former selves, really.”
Paradise beyond the Door, the land down the rabbit hole. Xanadu is an impossible universes of every remote wonder and terrifying Hell one could ever imagine. The only way to get there is to go through a Door. If you go far enough 'down a rabbit hole,' you'll find Xanadu actually starts to make sense. Xanadu is Rapture itself, one element of the holy trinity that is the granddaddy of eldritch abominations.
Tropes applying to Xanadu:
The Rapture Creatures
“Your planet will find itself segmented, with demented skies and an awful lot of Dogscape.”
“Rapture is coming, children. Rapture is coming. Do not fear it, for fear does not exist in Rapture. Fear is not feared in Rapture.”
The insect messiah is a man-sized cockroach with Jesus Christ's head. He doesn't say much beyond "We're going to Rapture!"
Tropes applying to Cockroach Jesus:
"We’re children of the rabbit holes, and of.. well, I’m not at liberty to say. But of course, you don’t understand what I mean, do you? You haven’t enough knowledge.”
As Salmacis calls it, "Individualistic Sentience." Seems to be Camper who have suddenly gotten a will of their own. They're the remains of ancient Xanadian culture and society, forced into a sort of parasitic slavery by Rapture itself while also becoming one of the holy trinity of the granddaddy of eldritch abominations.
They look like The Victims, except they never move unless you do. When you do, they multiply in numbers. Basically just a Victim after it's been forced back into a Door, though this is never actually said in the narrative.
The Sadface Man
A man in a theatrical sad mask, only spotted in Xanadu. Very hostile. He's a man named Omega who wants to help Jordan prepare for preventing Rapture.
A world of naked submissive women, all the exact same. They love Jordan, though they hate all other girls. They seem to be hiding many things.
The Seven Ciphers
Seven gargantuan creatures in progressively deeper and deeper realms of Xanadu. Defeating each gives the protagonists a riddle to solve, solving each riddle does something crazier and crazier to the world above.
Tropes associated with the Seven Ciphers:
- Attack Its Weak Point: All the Cipher battles involve this explicitly somewhere.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: The Grand Gtheru is, at first, just another little eyestalk alone on a stage. But then it rises up and becomes a disturbing sight.
- Barrier Change Boss: The Grand Gtheru is this.
- Boss Battle: They are loving homages to everything about boss battles, as well as being epic fights, themselves.
- Braggart Boss: The Realm King is definitely this, cavaliers!
- Damage-Sponge Boss: All the Cipher battles involve some kind of this.
- Marathon Boss: In homage to the Temple Guardians of Metroid Prime 2, all the Cipher battles take at least one hour to defeat.
The Seven Knights of Xanadu
"“Well, Cockroach Jesus appeared to me on the first day and informed me I was to be a Knight of Xanadu. He let me know that this is a very noble profession, that I was to be one of the only seven Knights on Earth. Our fight was with the prophesied ones... and we were to take them on ‘wielding instruments of plastic and colors of five.’”
Seven chosen warriors, trained to be masters of navigating Xanadu's impossible labyrinths, destined to fight the protagonists— in Guitar Hero.
Tropes applying to the Knights:
The Seven Beacons of the Terminal Coming
Seven Xanadian hospitals (basically video game dungeons, complete with boss battles) scattered throughout the eldritch universe that The Lamb must "deliver" (basically beat). When The Lamb turns out to be Cockroach Jesus, it's up to the protagonist to subvert the dungeons and prevent him from finishing any of them!