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Headscratchers: Prototype
A page for Prototype2 Headscratchers has been added at Headscratchers.Prototype2.

  • Flamethrowers. Why isn't the shady black-budget military program pulling out the banned weapons and simply burning Mercer to a writhing crisp?
    • You honestly think monsters which can shrug off tank shells and RPG's are going to be hurt by fire?
    • They have flamethrower tanks, don't they?
    • Nope. And using that in a vast urban center would probably be way too dangerous. Beside, what hint do you have that Mercer is vulnerable to fire?
    • Considering how often you turn their own weapons against them, it's probably so you aren't setting blocks of Manhattan ablaze. Of course, this doesn't stop them from having a nigh infinite supply of Helicopters, Gunships, and Tanks of various flavors for you to poach, not to mention the guns, grenade and rocket launchers you can nab too just in case flicking crap to death gets boring.
    • Blackwatch and the Marines had to deploy with what they have, not what they could be using. The US military doesn't have any flamethrowers in its arsenal in the first place.
      • The military in the alternate universe where Prototype is set is more likely to have flame throwers than the real one (especially Blackwatch, because of their general disregard for ethics and morality). Nothing in the game makes it seem like flamethrowers would be more effective against Mercer than anything else, though, or against the zombies (flaming zombies aren't very fun). Flamethrowers would cause more harm than they would be worth, and you probably couldn't give them to AI anyway if they were fighting multiple zombies, since they would be constantly setting each other on fire (which would probably be what would happen with real people, come to think of it).
    • And it would be fucking dangerous anyway. A rocket launcher is safer to use than a flamethrower.
    • Would flamethrowers even work on Mercer? He sets off a massive fuel explosion inside a US military base early on in the game, and is completely unscathed.
      • I doubt they hurt him at all, even less so than a bullet. After you take out a hive or a base, you can stand right in the middle of the burning wreckage.
      • And let's not forget he survived a freaking nuclear explosion.
      • Possibly it can hurt him but the creators overlooked it, James Heller in the sequel, for a few minutes, got crippled and visibly harmed by fire used by Blackwatch.
    • Actually, the US doesn't even HAVE flamethrowers anymore, and not for any sort of ethical reasons. They are hyper-specialized weapons that are only good for a very few situations, which there are better things for, like FAE and incendiary rocket launchers.
  • Why precisely does Mercer save New York? Isn't he supposed to be a sociopath?
    • Yep, but he was too close to the bomb for comfort. He doesn't so much save New York as he especially saves his ass.
      • Well, he could've just taken that helicopter and flown away from Manhattan and let the nuke do its job. Mercer is a sociopath, however, it seems Even Evil Has Standards in his case; he admits that what the real Mercer did was unforgivable, and shows outrage at Randall for letting things transpire the way they did. I guess he's a Sociopathic Hero, not an Omnicidal Maniac.
      • The big problem with flying away in a helicopter is how quickly he'd get shot down by the combat air patrols flying around the city.
      • Then explain why he could get out to sea with the nuke if there were air patrols still going on after the incident on the carrier. I doubt they'd let something escape to sea and possibly lose it because it could then turn and land at a different state.
      • The aircraft had evacuated the immediate area in anticipation of the nuclear detonation. If he'd tried to go further out, then he would eventually be shot down. Not to mention the fact that he couldn't have gotten very far with the nuke, considering there were only a few minutes left until detonation, and he would have had to take the time to load it onto a cart, attach that cart to the helicopter, lift off, and fly out. Mercer has a very small window in which he can fly as far out as possible to drop the nuke with the aircraft clearing the area.
      • The patrols would have ignored him if he had left. The carrier asked for any nearby helicopters to evacuate the injured. Mercer could easily have escaped under that pretext.
      • No, they wouldn't have ignored him, because the single biggest and most dangerous security threat in the entire city had been sighted on the deck of the aircraft carrier not moments before. If they challenged him for the day code, if he refused to land at set evacuation zones, or if he did anything deviant whatsoever to arouse suspicion, Blackwatch and the Marines wouldn't hesitate to blow him to hell. And again, Mercer doesn't have time to both dispose of the nuke and get to safety. Dana's safety overrides everything else in his eyes.
    • Well he might be doing it because he "still has a job to do" and didn't want anyone with important knowledge vaporized before he could consume them, that and his sister actually Mercer's sister is there and she's his only connection to humanity.
    • The ending shows that Mercer, actually the Blacklight Virus in his form, after absorbing the thoughts, memories, and pain of thousands of victims, has actually developed a conscience. He admits in the end that he's become something less and more than human.
    • Mercer's dialogue indicates that he has something resembling a conscience; part of the reason he was working with Karen was because he believed she could develop a cure to "stop the madness," he kills Greene to put an end to the Infected rampage, and in the mission where he has to destroy the Bloodtox blowers, he outright questions whether destroying them is the right thing to do. As early as the first mission, where he has to destroy several Blackwatch helicopters, he comments that "now I have to kill them, too" in a tone that sounds like he regrets having to do so, and in the mission where he has to destroy Taggart's escaping helicopters, Mercer expresses anger and regret over being forced to kill men who are just trying to escape and survive. There's definitely a conscience in there, somewhere.
    • There's also the fact that there is one very, extremely, critically important thing in Manhattan that ZEUS definitely and clearly cares about: Dana. He sure as shit isn't going to let the city get nuked if he can help it.
    • Or the "sociopath" thing could've described the real Alex Mercer, NOT the BLACKLIGHT one.
  • Modern artillery and aircraft can hit a target the size of a pinball from a few dozen of miles away. Why don't they never try that on, say, the hives that are popping all over the place. Also, when disguised as a military guy, you can call in a rain of fire on a Hive to destroy it instantly. SO WHY DON'T THEY DO THAT WITHOUT YOU TELLING THEM TO?
    • Presumably, they have been. Blackwatch might also have been saddled with rules of engagement and red tape that prevents them from calling in artillery strikes. Idiotic, I know, but that tends to happen with an incompetently run/corrupt military force.
      • The red areas move around, don't they? I'm guessing they are bombing the Hives, just not in front of the player.
      • They don't move around so much. And if you follow the progress of the infection after each key point of the story, it's made clear that the red zones don't move around so much as they expand from neighborhood to neighborhood. In other words, the military don't ever stop losing ground during the 18 days. The situation could only be reversed by the death of Green, and yet again Alex has to do all the job. Come on guys, a stationary One-Winged Angel with limited air defense? Just stop sending in the tanks, make those copters fly higher, and bomb the shit out of it. And since you don't care about property damage, just unload a MOAB.
      • Won't work. Have you actually tried calling artillery in on Greene? It has no effect on her at all. You have to get down low to target the base to expose her, and the only way to do that is with tanks and low-flying helicopters.
      • "Just unload a MOAB"? You can't just unload a MOAB on a minutes' notice. You'd need a dedicated B-52 bomber for that, and those don't just circle around the skies waiting for strike orders. Even if they had the pull to put one in the air (which I don't doubt) they'd have to have the bomb loaded, armed, and get the plane in the air, which would take a while.
      • Okay, so what about the thermobaric tank, the one that levels buildings in one shoot? Did they forgot they got this thing around? I mean, you see my point. Once we're outside gameplay conventions and limitations, the way Blackwatch acts in this particular fight is still fairly odd.
      • Thermoboric tanks? You mean the very rare special tanks which only appear twice in the entire game? One of which you hijack and destroy and they explicitly say is difficult to replace? Those tanks are in the same boat as the MOAB above; they can't just deploy them at the drop of a hat, and if they had more than a few of them, they'd be regularly deploying them against the Hives. Since they aren't, they probably don't have the capacity to do so.
      • I was under the impression that the Thermoboric tanks were made specifically for the purpose of destroying the Hives, and that only a very small number of them had been built. If that's the case, making them on such short notice is actually pretty impressive.
    • All artillery strikes are being relayed through specific Blackwatch officers (the ones you consume in the game). That kind of rear-echelon control would result in significant delays in deploying artillery by forward combat units. Also, Mercer might be unintentionally sabotaging the artillery attacks by killing these officers; the guys in the field might be calling in artillery constantly, but if the only guy on base authorized to approve the strikes is inexplicably missing....
  • On the subject of artillery strikes, unless I'm much mistaken, Alex isn't actually wearing any of the military uniforms as part of the disguise, he's merely rearranging his body to look like that. If that's the case, how is he calling in strikes? Is he also somehow morphing a radio transponder? If he can, it would also justify how he can hear military chatter from helicopters and such, but it's still weird and unexplained.
    • I always just figured that he ate one of the army's radios then never really digested it, so he could listen in on military channels whenever he wanted. The perfect place for a shapeshifter to store stuff would be inside his own body.
    • That's the most logical explanation right there. The first thing he does in the game is consume a Blackwatch soldier, after all. Consume him, grab his radio, use that to follow the military's transmissions. Since Mercer doesn't really have any internal organs in the traditional sense, he can just keep it somewhere inside him.
    • Actually, it's more likely the officer has a limited number of challenges and responses in his memory that allows him access to a fixed number of strikes - Mercer absorbs the memory for these codewords. Also, artillery in a city with as many tall obstacles as NYC would have to be carefully calculated - Only specific avenues of approach would allow the shells to actually reach their target and not blow up against buildings in the way. Blackwatch probably owns most, if not all of the points of origins of these artillery strikes.
    • Or perhaps after eating the Blackwatch soldier, the virus simply assumed that some humans have these transponders built right in, so it might as well make one. It didn't know any better at that point, after all. It's still assuming that clothing is part of a human body, too.
    • Mercer storing the radio inside of him was what I always thought was going on. However, he could fairly easily make the transponder in the same way he makes his clothes. The engineering for a transponder might be hard, but the materials are relatively simple: copper wire, plastic or metal case (I'm not sure what the military would use for that), etc. If he could make the fabric for his clothes and even a gas mask for some of his disguises, a transponder would definitely be within the realm of possibility.
  • What is the deal with Cross? Putting aside the obvious answers (gameplay mechanics or Charles Atlas Superpowers), there's just no way that a normal human should be able to last more than a few seconds against Mercer, even with the armour preventing him from being consumed- so what's the deal? Powered Armour? Is he a prototype (ironically enough) or an improved version of the supersoldiers Alex fought later in the game? Has Word of God said anything about this?
    • He's just the most Bad Ass soldier in the entire world.
    • IIRC, he had his own version of the D-CODE DX-1118 variant, the one that was later used to make the supersoldiers. Blackwatch's original mission objective was to discover and test viruses for military application, after all. Plus, it's shown in a Web of Intrigue node that Cross actually killed the last Runner they encountered on his own, possibly implying that he really is Just That Good.
    • The big advantage Cross has is that he is armed with weapons well-suited to fight Mercer, and he's extremely well-trained and prepared to fight him. He's kind of like Batman with some prep time. That and, for all of Mercer's amazing powers, he's mostly just a raw fighter who swings away with blades and rock-fists. Cross is a skilled, prepared fighter who knows how to take him down and is armed with all the gear to do so.
      • That still doesn't make a great deal of sense. Even if Mercer is very far from reaching the pinnacle of his power at this point, he still already has access to attacks that crush tanks. One very single of those attacks should reduce Cross to paste, and he takes several of them to the face. It's made clear that Cross doesn't have a powered armor of any kind, and his only superhuman ability at this point is to be Made of Iron for no good reasons. No super agility of strength. So I would rule out any kind of experimental virus too.
      • None of the attacks Mercer has at that point can really crush tanks; at best, he'll have Musclemass, Claws, Whipfist, and Hammerfist, which can only whittle away at heavy armor. It isn't until he has the Blade power that he can cleave through tanks like they're made of paper. That said, trying to fight Cross with your melee weapons doesn't work; if you get too close to him and try to melee attack him, he whips out his electrostaff and beats the hell out of you. The only reliable way to hurt him is to shoot him, throw stuff at him, or air attack him. That's nothing that can't be explained by having very tough armor.
      • Well, it is possible to close in and hit him with a charged hammerfist attack during the reloading of his weapon. If this attack will not insta-crush a tank, it will do a number on it. I can take a lot, but Cross really bugs me out.
      • You can also nail him with a charged Whipfist attack while he's aiming and firing. Run, leap into the air, charge the whipfist while jumping, (his shots will miss because of the motion), then hit him with an attack that SHOULD, by all logic, bisect him.
    • Considering that by the time Alex fights Cross, he's consumed (probably) a few hundred soldiers (both Marines and Blackwatch), gaining their skills and experience, wouldn't that add up to a few hundred years of combat experience, actually making Alex more skilled than Cross?
      • Experience does not add up that way. Look at it this way; if you ate a couple hundred raw recruits, would you then have the skills and experience of a US Marine?
      • Nope, and beside, what good it will do to Mercer to have experience of a human way of battle, when he fights not like a human at all.
      • On the other hand, even raw recruits have some extra experience.
    • To their credit, the developers realized that it would be ridiculous to show Cross still being able to fight Alex evenly near the end of the game, when Alex has practically become a Physical God by that point. So they had the Supreme Hunter eat Cross off-screen and take his form for an unspecified portion of the game, likely when he first started "cooperating" with Alex.
      • I'm not entirely sure about that. Let's assume that the Supreme Hunter was generated when Alex injected Greene with the parasite, since that's the first time we see it. Alex rescued Dana immediately after the fight with the Supreme Hunter (who was regenerating immediately after the fight). When he drops her off at Ragland's, there's already a handily drawn map which shows the locations of the phones Cross leaves. I'd assume at least the first few phonecalls are from Cross, who at some later point is absorbed by the Supreme Hunter (I remember a scene where Randall is fleeing Manhattan Island, and we see Cross from a creature's point of view right before the scene cuts out. That same point of view is later seen when Hunter-Cross attacks Alex on the carrier, so maybe that's when Cross gets eaten).
      • No. When Randall escapes to the Reagan, we get the POV of an evolved infected that show us the fact that Cross (or whatever he is at this point) is infected (as "it" appears brightly colored, which screams "infected"). He could be just infected, no more, no less, or "it" could already be the supreme hunter at this point. No matter how hard you look, it's very unclear as to when the SH consumes Cross. We can just affirm that it was after Dana's rescue, for obvious reasons.
      • On New Game+, using Infected Vision during the boss fight with Cross shows him just as white as Mercer, before Mercer was infected with the parasite at all.
      • Infected Vision highlights any military units as well as Infected.
      • True, but I think this sequence is supposed to play as a call back of the sequence where you get the infected vision, where only the infected were highlighted.
      • It doesn't. Watch that scene again. Every single Blackwatch soldier there is highlighted, including Cross. Cross stands out the most because he's the closest, but all of them glow.
      • Go look at the difference between an infected civilian and an Evolved Infected/Hunter. The civilians have an orange tint to their glow, whereas the Evolved or Hunters are very white, like Alex himself. During the cutscene, Cross showed the same "white" glow that a true infected displays.
      • As to when the SH come into existence, I think it's fairly obvious that the SH is the parasite, or rather a heavily mutated version. One of the web targets explains that Mc Cullen was crazy to create such a thing, for it could be more dangerous than Mercer himself under some special circumstances.
      • There's also the point that "Cross" asks Mercer how he felt about killing the parasite, and how it was an intelligent, thinking entity. That would seem rather strange if one weren't taking into account that the person asking that question was the same parasite.
    • Cross is simply a Badass Normal. He's the Batman of this setting, and regularly kills Runners like Alex.
      • I don't think most runners are as powerful as Alex. Quite the opposite in fact. I don't think Mercer can even be qualified as a runner to begin with. But, since Cross loses anyway, that's kind of a moot point.
      • They do explicitly mention that Mercer is unique; they never had a male runner before. Also, in one of the WOI videos, I think McMullen says right out that Mercer seems to be unlike anything they ever encountered before.
      • Well, Greene and Mercer do have entirely different origins. While she produces the virus, her individuality is destroyed, sort of like a host cell for a normal virus, I guess. Mercer, on the other hand, is the virus who just happens to be pretending to be human, and I think the Runners the military refers to are actually normal women infected with Greene's virus and added to her Hive Mind. Alex's different origin readily explains his ridiculous healing factor, which nothing else in the game can match, at least.
      • Not to mention that Alex's virus is inactive within him; that is, he can't infect anyone else with the Blacklight virus, whereas Greene is (obviously) infected with the Redlight virus, an active virus that is extremely contagious. As far as I understand, when the Blacklight was unleashed, it pretty much killed everyone it touched, thanks to human-Alex making it ten times deadlier. He "survived" (read: his body was revived) because he was infected with the majority of the Blacklight virus, which then spent its time merrily working its way through his body, right up until the point where he jerks awake in the morgue and freaks out the scientists. And when he does wake up, his body is in perfect working order (except, you know, better). To me, that explains the healing factor. Look at the other Infected as compared to Alex. It's impossible to mistake them for normal people — they look terrible, covered in blood/infection. Alex, on the other hand, is fine. Granted, he's also a mutated sentient viral horror unlike anything the world has ever seen, but otherwise fine.
      • Also, I don't think Greene herself is part of the Hive Mind — well, she is, but she's controlling it, so there is individuality there. Greene doesn't lack individuality; she lacks humanity. Also, she fears Alex, something the Infected seem to lack the capacity to do, if the way they keep running at you after seeing dozens of others slaughtered is any indication.
    • I'm perfectly willing to pass Cross off as a variant of the same procedure that produced the D-Codes, just with less ridiculous musculature.
    • See, I understood that Cross was Greene's child, that Randall delivers. He isn't infectious, and what better way to keep your specimen happy than give him an important status? it would even explain his talk about the parasite, they made it USING him, and he's aware of it through the hive-mind.
  • General Randall was injured by Elizabeth Greene and had to cut off his own arm to prevent an infection, right? Blackwatch kills almost anyone who has had any remote contact with the virus; heck, they even killed the two doctors at the beginning who were in HAZMAT SUITS! How the hell is it that they didn't cap Randall, who was directly wounded by the SOURCE OF THE VIRUS?!
    • General Randall is head of Blackwatch.
      • He was just a high level grunt at the time. Besides that, the "cut off his own arm to stop the infection" should not by any account have worked, especially seeing how fast the virus spread, and to make matters worse, he cut his arm above the elbow joint, which is really hard to do and should have taken way too much time. Even in-universe, it's a case of Artistic License - Biology.
      • Considering the virus doesn't behave like any normal virus in the first place....
      • That and Elizabeth Greene has Redlight, not Blacklight, so it may not be as virulent or potent. I assumed they shot the doctors to prevent an information leak, not to prevent them becoming infected.
    • Also, it was 40 years prior to the game; maybe Blackwatch didn't think up their policy of "Repeatedly shoot anyone who had contact with the virus. And anyone else in the vicinity" until after Hope.
      • Could be; after all, they didn't know jack squat about the virus at the time.
      • Maybe the old virus was slower than the new virus and Greene had her virus upgraded by Gentek in the time between infecting his arm and her release.
      • Doesn't change the fact that once the virus is in the bloodstream, he should have been screwed no matter what.
      • Observed effects indicate that the Blacklight virus acts more like a parasite instead of a true virus. The fact that they could create a parasite from the virus indicates it doesn't act like any normal virus.
    • Who said Randall was infected by the virus? His arm may have simply been so badly mangled that he opted for field amputation. That and he might not really understand the virus by that point; he is, after all, just a high-level grunt. He could have simply panicked and lopped off the remains of his arm without thinking about it.
    • I simply assumed that Greene had bitten or scratched him shortly after Pariah's birth and, in a panic, Randall hacked off his own arm for fear of infection.
  • Just a very minor thing but — I can't help but feel the total lack of female doctors in this story is a bit sexist. Soldiers I can deal with, especially higher ups, but out of the dozens of doctors I ate so far in the game, not a single one is a woman.
    • Well, if you complete all the costume events, you get to eat Karen Parker, if that's any consolation.
    • Negatory. I just spotted and consumed a female WOI target. Not all of them are male.
    • There are fewer female WOI targets, that's true, and it's probably for the better considering that most of the WOI targets are Mad Scientists with a big M on the MAD.
    • There is exactly one female WOI target. I remember her distinctly because the brief period after I consumed her was the only time I disguised myself as a woman throughout the game.
    • Less than 10 voice actors were hired for WOI and there are over a hundred WOI segments. They were probably too lazy/cheap to hire more female voice actors, since the female WOI target doesn't even talk in her segment. Why they didn't have more female voice actors to begin with might be sexist, but I've rarely seen games with female soldiers.
    • Before complaining about sexism, think about the type of people in the game. Genetic science is overwhelmingly male dominated. The military, especially combat roles like infantry, armour and artillery are all men. Shady government agencies or the civilians working with Blackwatch might have more females, but we don't really interact with the governmental side of things. Most female doctors are General Practitioners, OB/GYNS or pediatricians, so since Mercer never gets a mission to devour the nearest childrens ward we have no reason to see them.
  • Why would Blackwatch keep Elizabeth Green (and all the experiments on The Virus) in New York City? Who in their right minds would think the largest and most populated city in the US would be the best place for studying an infectious, mutating virus that wiped out an entire town? It's like someone wanted an outbreak...
    • They were increasing its deadliness, so maybe they wanted an area they could secure and test their defense protocols in without worrying about infecting all the U.S. if it somehow did manage to get out and didn't want to send it out of the main area of the country. An island is the way to go for that, but assuming it did get out, how would they manage to record its effectiveness in the field properly with a small population? So it's killing several birds with one stone the Blackwatch way.
      • Remember, one of Randall's WOI monologues involves him saying that in order to defeat the virus, they have to experience it, not simply study it. Combined with his commentary that "we've been waiting for this for forty years" and it almost starts sounding like Randall really did want the virus to escape just so he could fight it. Yeah, it sounds insane, but Randall and most of Blackwatch already are insane.
      • To add insult to injury, they were really badly prepared. Blackwatch waited for the outbreak for 40 years? So what did they do during this time? Couch potatoes? Playing Wii Fit? Their "containment" of the outbreak sucks balls the size of Jupiter. As said before, they only somehow manage to prevent a major worldwide catastrophe because ZEUS is helping them (in a rather convoluted way, I agree). Without Alex, the armored hives could not have been destroyed, Bloostox could not have been deployed, Green would have submerged the island and nothing would have been able to stop her. They would have probably screwed themselves if they ever managed to kill Alex at any point before the end, because then, it would have been a Failure Is the Only Option.
      • Actually, if it weren't for Alex, they would have successfully deployed the Bloodtox across the entire city, purging the city's surface of Infected and ending the entire conflict. Greene would have never been released if it weren't for Alex's actions, and the original Alex ended up making the virus "ten times" more powerful, to a degree that made it virtually unmanageable. Considering what they were up against, Blackwatch actually did pretty well.
      • That could be discussed. They still fail to halt the virus when it's still limited to a small area or to even slow down the progression of the virus throughout the city, so they try and go for an Ass Pull with bloodtox when the situation is clearly out of control. Beside, while the surface deployment of bloodtox works pretty well, it is implied that it didn't do jack to the core of the infection, underground at the time.
      • Observation of the progression of the virus shows that Harlem was completely overrun at the beginning of the infection but was cleared to the point that the region is a fully controlled military zone by the last third of the game. Clearly, they are doing something right. And Bloodtox has no effect? Clearly you missed the fact that Greene threw enormous resources at the Bloodtox convoy, then dispatched an army of Hunters and a pair of Hydras to destroy the Bloodtox pump, and was forced to surface immediately afterward when it wasn't destroyed, which implies it did have a pretty serious effect on her. That's not exactly what one would call "didn't do jack".
      • True, but I was talking of the surface deployment, not the underground deployment. The bloodtox on the surface did kill some infected, but Greene was already one move ahead and had taken refuge in the underground, along with the strongest infected. It is clearly explained that without Alex helping, the bloodtox pump would have never reached Time Square for the final blow against the infected army.
      • Right. Greene is a smart, adaptive Eldritch Abomination who's adjusting her tactics and strategies to counter her opponent. That doesn't make Blackwatch incompetent. They just have no idea what they're fighting in the form of either Greene (who they admit that even after forty years of research is still a mystery) or Mercer. (As an aside, having replayed the mission where you escort the Bloodtox pump, I found the Blackwatch tanks took up most of the slack without much trouble. It isn't until you get to Times Square and you get mobbed by half the Infected in Manhattan that things get wooly.)
      • There's also the issue that we don't know what surface deployment of Bloodtox might have done, because Mercer sabotaged it. If they had managed to blanket the island with Bloodtox, then they could have easily moved the pump into the middle of the city without being threatened and safely delivered the Bloodtox into the sewers.
      • We're also forgetting the fact that the one who told Mercer to sabotage the Bloodtox was Cross himself. Which means an agent of Blackwatch arranged for Mercer to wipe out the Bloodtox blowers. The only rational explanation for him doing so is that it was part of a Batman Gambit to get Mercer to trust the "contact" so that he would end up protecting the Bloodtox pump. This is supported by the fact that once you're protecting the Bloodtox pump, the Blackwatch soldiers will ignore you during the fighting and only shoot the Infected. The only times they attack you are when there's no Infected nearby, and they'll stop shooting the second an Infected appears. It smacks of Blackwatch pretending they don't know why Mercer is there and they're just shooting at you to keep up the illusion that they're not actually manipulating you into doing their work for them.
      • My interpretation of the events is something like this: at some point during the "rescue Dana" chapter, Cross, a clever military tactician, comes to realize that the situation is becoming hopeless for Blackwatch. They take a battering from both the infected and Mercer, and both of those enemies grow stronger faster and faster. They can't really keep up, because of the logistics issues seen lower on this page, and because they were never prepared for this kind of enemy in the first place. The parasite failed to do anything to Mercer other than forcing him to keep a somewhat low profile for a few days, while the destruction of Green's armored hives didn't slow down the infection. So, Cross devised a Batman Gambit in order to either put Mercer on Blackwatch's side or to erase him once and for all. Giving Mercer true intel about his origins, informing him of Blackwatch's latest important meeting and how to reach it. It was truly a trap, what with the Bloodtox spread through the vents and the presence of D-codes, but it doesn't look like it too much from Mercer's point of view. If Alex is killed, dealing with the infected alone shall prove to be doable, especially with the deployment of the bloodtox all over the city. Since Mercer lives through the ambush, Cross uses his Plan B. Instead of having the bloodtox spread in the city, Mercer will personally escort the pump to Times Square and defeat Green. There, soldiers will conveniently forget about Alex because the High command knows perfectly that this time, Mercer is definitely on their side.
      • Though by this time Cross might have been consumed by the Supreme Hunter, so it was part of its plan to spread the infection at the expense of Greene.
      • Both the real Cross and the SH have good reasons to want Green dead. We may never know for sure when Cross was consumed. We can only say it was most definitely after the first telephonic contact, or else the SH would need some Flash-esque skill to regenerate AND take over the identity of Cross before Mercer reached Ragland's morgue.
    • Also, how is Bloodtox an Ass Pull? It's foreshadowed quite early on if you're hitting WOI targets with any regularity. It's no more of an Ass Pull than any of the other anti-viral weapons like the virus detectors, the UAV craft, the thermoboric tanks, or the supersoldiers.
      • Because they wait too damn long before using it. Bloodtox could have solved the problem way earlier, or at least slowed down the infected until they built an immunity.
      • "Because they wait too damn long before using it." That is not the definition of Ass Pull.
      • Getting a manufacturing facility for something even if you convert already existing chemical factories will still take a few days, especially if they're focusing on getting military bases/blockades up and running first. They also probably wanted to test their weapon on captured specimens of the new and improved x10 virus before actually deploying out in the field and risk it not working or making the infected even stronger.
      • Which incidentally, they managed to do with a pretty impressive Batman Gambit. Cross convinces Mercer to "sneak" into the Blackwatch base in order to find McMullen - except he's actually being lured there so he can be brought inside where they can hit him with both Bloodtox and the D-Codes at once and test their effectiveness. They even explicitly say right afterward that "Bloodtox effectiveness has been confirmed. Begin deployment immediately!"
      • Exactly. The issue regarding logistics makes military deployment difficult to do at the drop of a hat. Especially to a location like an island. Especially when that island is heavily urbanized. Especially when that island is in the middle of a quarantine and occupation. Especially when that island is a warzone. I can tell you from actual experience that the fact that Blackwatch was able to deploy that many troops and weapons to Manhattan inside of ten days with no prior warning is a really damned impressive example of their skill at logistics.
      • In response to the original point: The key word here is "containment." The Red Line was drawn around Manhattan, not within it. That means their #1 priority is to make it impossible to leave the island. And they succeed.
      • There's also the issue that they were prepared to deal with Runner-style infections like they'd been fighting for forty years. However, the WOI memories lay it out very explicitly that the Blacklight virus under Greene's control is something else. One of the memories even explicitly says "We prepared for war with the wrong enemy."
      • Really, Blackwatch only looks incompetent if you think their goal was saving the city, which is really giving them too much credit. They put the Red Line around Manhattan and then seized control of all communication with the outside. One of the memories had a Blackwatch officer saying the Marines were going to take the fall after the city had burned to the ground. The way these things happened makes me think they had decided to destroy Manhattan from the start, and were just testing out their equipment and doing experiments on the infected while they waited for permission to nuke the island.
  • This is kind of a minor thing, but still a little distracting. One of the WOI cutscenes notes that Mercer may be able to imitate voices and mannerisms. This would make sense in many ways; for one thing, if he's disguising himself by turning himself into a perfect copy of the person he consumes, he should also be copying the larynx. But if you consume a female and shapeshift into her, Mercer's voice doesn't change at all; the grunts he makes when he jumps are unmistakeably male. Not a huge deal, as I said, but it did bug me.
    • I'd guess that when he's running around he just shapeshifts the outsides as masks instead of fully transforming into a perfect copy unless he needs to talk to someone disguised or pass an x-ray or something. Keeping his center mass as whatever he's made from would probably would take less concentration and be quicker to change into his combat skills from.
    • Mercer can mimic voices; just try out Patsy, or watch the opening cutscene. He just doesn't use female voices when he doesn't need to.
    • Same deal with Karen Parker's murder. If he can imitate voices muffled by a gasmask, he can probably imitate any kind of voice.
    • I know he's capable of it; the reason it bugged me was because it wasn't kept consistent. It does make sense that it might be more difficult to copy every aspect of the person, though.
      • Does Alex even care about disguising his voice? If he's doing something that involves him grunting, then he's not likely to be doing something a normal person is capable of anyway.
      • yeah besides it'd be weird having him grunt as all those different people.
  • How exactly does the infected vision work? Fair enough, it showed all infected, but when it came to military, sometimes they'd be all white, sometimes not a single flare. At times, even a mix of both. I can accept the possibility of them becoming dormant infected from all the raids against the Hives, but surely having half of your own men infected with Blackwatch screws up all the virus sensors as well as crippling them with Bloodtox?
    • Infected Vision reveals all military personnel once you've fully jacked into the Hive Mind after completing that one specific mission. Prior to then, you can only see the covertly infected, who apparently aren't infected enough to set off the alarms yet.
    • Yeah, it doesn't make a great deal of sense. Before it's fully unlocked, infected vision can somehow detect the virus in military personnels whose contamination level is so low that it doesn't set off the detectors, while said detectors are explicitly said to be extremely sensitive. Fully unlocked, it can just detect about anything that is a potential threat. That or everybody in the military, and the tanks, and the gunships, suddenly become infected following this mission.
      • Infected Vision started out as a way to see the infection in people by seeing the hive mind and filtering out the parts you don't need, then it shows you how the infected see the world once you're fully tapped into the Hive Mind, which makes it help you identify threats like an advanced targeting computer (military and infected targets). The detectors can detect infection and are sensitive, but you can't expect perfection from government work. They can't even detect the walking pile of infected flesh that is Alex in the time it takes him to run up to it and start hacking it.
      • Actually, they do start detecting you the second you enter their range. They just don't pin you down precisely for a few seconds. It's worth pointing out that when you're in the AOE of multiple detectors, they pick you up a lot faster, which makes sense if they're triangulating you.
  • Which virus is infecting the city? Elizabeth's Redlight or Alex's Blacklight? There's arguments for both:
    • Redlight: the city only started seeing Infected (other than Mercer) after Elizabeth is freed by Alex; the Infected prefer a red colour scheme, whereas Mercer prefers black with red highlights (colour scheme seems to be an odd point but it could be the reason for the names in the 1st place); the Hunters adapt to Alex's abilities, which shouldn't be possible within the same strain of the virus.
    • Blacklight: the military seem adamant that the whole thing (including the appearance of new Infected) is because of Mercer's presence (i.e. his very presence causes the virus to spread around the city); most of the WOI refers to Blacklight's infective capabilities, and suggest that the Infected in New York are infected with Blacklight; Mercer smashed the vial of Blacklight in Penn Station, suggesting that that specific event is the cause of the entire infection.
    • This particular troper has talked to Dennis Detwiller, and according to him, it's Redlight that's infecting the city. Blacklight burned itself out in Penn Station. Blackwatch quarantined the island by default, but the actual outbreak didn't occur until Greene got loose.
      • This also explains why Alex and Ragland needed the bodies from Penn Station to create a cure for the parasite, as opposed to any random infected schmuck off the steet. Only those bodies would have had Alex's strain of the virus, as opposed to Greene's.
    • Aren't there people walking around and coughing/vomiting before Elizabeth is freed? I believe those become normal (Blacklight) infected which are taken over by Greene's hive mind later because Mercer isn't acting like a Runner should and doesn't connect them all into a hive mind.
    • It's a case of both. Blacklight is simply an enhanced version of Redlight; Blacklight is released inside Penn Station, and thousands are infected by it. They don't end up like Mercer because Mercer basically fell down on top of the virus vial and the vast majority of it got into his bleeding, cooling corpse. After Greene is released, she takes control of the Blacklight virus released into the general population and improves on that. Mercer released the virus, but it is Greene that controls it.
    • Wasn't Redlight the original virus before Greene was infected? After that, it was mutated by her, producing Blacklight and other strains. The viruses produced by Alex and Greene are probably the same.
      • No, Greene (and the rest of Hope, Idaho) were infected with a virus called "Carnival II". Greene was the only survivor, whose body managed to adapt to the Carnival II virus and essentially become a virus-making factory. "Redlight" was one of these viruses, extracted from Greene. Mercer was later assigned to enhance the Redlight virus - increasing its potency by a factor of ten - which was then dubbed "Blacklight".
      • No, "Carnival II" was the codename of the project. The project was to try out the Redlight virus strand DX-1118 A (the first version of Redlight). Everybody but Greene died and she became the perfect host for the virus, enhancing it. Then, Blackwatch scientist took a sample of that enhanced virus (unnamed, but considering that the next named virus is DX-1118 C, the virus sampled from Greene is probably DX-1118 B), gave it to another team of scientist, including Mercer, who enhanced that virus, creating DX-1118 C, known as Blacklight. Then, Mercer released Blacklight shortly before his death which infects Mercer's corpse, creating ZEUS, the protagonist. Now from there on, there are three possibilities.
        1) Blacklight is the infection. However, Blacklight is stated to be ten times as deadly as Redlight, so Blacklight would just kill, not create something like the Infected. Not to mention that you don't see any Infected at the start of the game.
        2) A new Redlight strain created by Greene is the infection. This fits since there are no Infected before you release Greene, however this means that Mercer has nothing to do with the infection. However, this does not explain why Greene waited that long.
        3) The deadly Blacklight virus got released, rampaged a bit and was absorbed and enhanced by Greene (after all, it's just another Redlight strain which she can deal with no problem) to create the infection and the Hive Mind of the Infected with her as the Hive Queen. This is just a combination of the two which fits with what we see in the game. I like this version the best since it would explain everything, especially why Greene chose that moment to escape. There was already a major outbreak of Blacklight, so Greene could take over it and create the infection. - Nixitur
    • But that Penn Station, where Alex smashed a vial of Blacklight, was ground zero of the infection is made very clear. That Mercer himself caused the infection to begin with is one of the major plot twists.
      • And Blacklight is simply a much more dangerous version of the Redlight virus.
    • The impression I got after everything was that there are two separate outbreaks. The first is the Blacklight strain released in Penn Station. Alex made this strain super-deadly, ergo no mutants running around, just a lot of corpses and one really badass shapeshifter. Then Greene comes in with her Redlight strain, which causes the Zombie Apocalypse. All the hives and such are definitely Redlight at work, because Blacklight is just deadly.
    • Here's how it happened: Alex Mercer wanted to know precisely what the deal was with Greene and PARIAH, and after this security breach, the General ordered Blackwatch to purge all of Gentek's personnel. Mercer got out with a vial of the Blacklight variant he had enhanced, and was cornered in Penn Station and shot, but not before he broke the vial and infected the station. As far as we could tell, everyone in Penn station died then and there (99.999% mortality rate). The Blacklight construct wakes up, does some digging, and unwittingly frees Elizabeth Greene, who proceeds to spread the infection to the whole city. All this is said after you consume Greene. Now, the virus used in Hope was actually called Blacklight. Carnival II was just the name of the operation that the Government had started there (Carnival I was monkey tests that proved promising); Captain Cross also states that the name of the operation was REDLIGHT. The viruses infecting the city are variants of the same virus: DX-1118 A for the one in Hope (this might be the one codenamed "Redlight"); DX-1118 C (might be codenamed Blacklight) was the purpose of Alex's research: he was supposed to create a virus to actively mutate living organisms (like the mother of all viral vectors used today), but it seems that some of it was instead given increased lethality by Mercer, because another point of the project was to create a virus that would be customizable for specific ethnicities and racial types. In the end, since there are so many layers of lies to this conspiracy, some of the WOI characters say that the Hope experiment was meant as a human improvement experiment (based on what they saw with the chimps), while hers state that the main concern was for a very precise viral weapon.
    • I find it weird is it really unlikely that someone else in New York was or hadn't died recently enough for a Blacklight infection to reanimate them? If Alex's virus did get loose, statistically speaking he can't be the only one who's body's condition was prime for the transformation.
      • Alex's virus, the super-deadly one, was confined to Penn Station, and he fell right on top of the broken vial. The majority of the infection went to him. It's highly unlikely that Penn Station would have a second fresh dead person out in the open to infect.
    • It could also be that Mercer had the DNA makeup that allowed the virus to flourish in his body similar to how Greene survived. He could have designed the virus to react uniquely to his genes, but it is more likely a fluke. Also, who said the zombies wouldn't die? I figure that the monsters (except for the advanced infected) how just suffering from madness and mutation. That would explain the high amount of corpses spread in the red zones near the edges. The infected were transformed at the hive and wandered away. When they get to the outer edges of the zone, his or her body falls apart and they die. I figure the virus acts like rabies and leprosy but it works a lot faster.
  • I may have missed a WOI target, but what exactly happened in the Gentek building between Alex's great escape and his return to free Greene? How come that Greene, who proved to be manageable as a prisoner for forty years, suddenly goes berserk at that particular moment?
    • There's an infection growing outside the walls of Gentek inside the city with a Runner that is coming to meet her, she could probably feel that from the Infected Hive Mind thing they have.
    • Greene's been a manageable prisoner because she was "waiting" — presumably for someone like Mercer to come along.
      • Greene was infected just like everyone else at Hope, but the virus inside of her decided to hide and "wait" until a major outbreak occurred near to where she was being held. Mercer provided that. Wham, bam, opportunity, escape, infection, chaos, war. Remember, the virus is patient. It waited at Hope for four years until Blackwatch lowered their guard and dismissed the entire experiment, and then SURPRISE! It rose up and took over the town.
  • PARIAH is Greene's son. We all know that. But is the kid a mutant version of Jesus, or does he have a father?
    • Unknown.
    • Greene was implied to be pregnant before the infection. The virus was causing aberrant mutations in the fetuses of every pregnant woman in Hope.
      • PARIAH was the only survivor of the various Hope children who were born while the virus had control over the town. Every one of the Hope children was an apparent experiment caused by the REDLIGHT virus into creating something new - but PARIAH was the end result. No one has any idea what the fuck he actually is.
  • If Greene was able to take control of the rest of the Infected, why couldn't she control the protagonist? Is that explained somewhere in the Web of Intrigue?
    • Mercer isn't like the rest of the Infected. He's a pure strain, like Greene herself.
    • To a degree, she could - see the scene where Alex first meets her. However, the Blacklight virus that the original Mercer created is probably too different from the Redlight virus Greene controls to actually allow her direct control over his body, and as has already been shown in the game itself, Blacklight is readily adapting, presumably to the point that Greene can't control him.
    • This probably also explains why the Supreme Hunter, unlike other Hunters, could scheme against her since it was originally the sentient cancer parasite that infected Mercer.
  • After you consume Greene, why can't you use her powers to control the infected? They should have at least given you a "disguise" power that causes infected to ignore you, though it would make you crazy-easy to detect by the virus scanners. It would basically be the opposite of a Military Disguise.
    • Alex was probably worried that fully joining with the hive mind (or at least enough to control members of the infected) like Greene did would make him revert to a more runner like state, with spreading Blacklight across the earth becoming his new goal. Also, once Greene got eaten, I assume the Supreme Hunter took control of the infected.
    • Alex explicitly states that he's the only one who may have the capacity to control the infection; after Alex kills Greene, the infection begins to fall apart, and the total population of infected decreases (it drops from 80% total to 60% after you take out Greene). I'm assuming that he doesn't control the infection either because he cannot control them to the same degree as Greene, or as above, he is worried that tapping too deeply into the hive mind might overwhelm himself. Note that the only time he actually "joins" the hive mind, to actually get information, he does so very briefly, and even that results in Mercer having a serious head trip. I'm willing to bet that Mercer simply let the infection fall apart and allowed the military to mop them up.
      • He could be using his limited control to actively hinder and dismantle the horde.
  • What does Mercer's hair look like? I thought beating the game would have The Reveal.
    • There was a picture of him without a hood on the wall when he goes to his home before it blows up at 0:07-0:09. Now, however, he might not have hair, and there would be just a fleshy mass connecting the hood to his head. Just a thought.
      • Nah, I don't think so. After all, wouldn't that have been kind of a big tipoff to Blacklight Alex that he's not the real Mercer? Regardless, Alex's replications are perfect, right down to the genetic level. If he ever pulled back the hood, he'd have the original Mercer's hair.
      • Alex has short curly hair, in the game guide, only recommended if you have beaten the game or don't mind the spoilers you can see his picture along with all the previous character ideas, some of the powers that didn't make it too.
      • The camera isn't terribly flexible, but if you walk up to a wall and then turn around, you can see a close-up of his face. He has dark brown hair that's slightly visible falling atop his forehead.
  • Why can't Mercer fully absorb Hunters? He leaves their bodies and can't put on a Hunter disguise (be it helpful or not). Did Greene actually produce some sort of organism resistant to consumption? If so, it's irony that she was consumed herself eventually.
    • Presumably, Mercer can't absorb too much mass at one time. The Hunters mass a lot more than Mercer, so he probably just pulls a big, lethal chunk out of them, and leaves it at that.
    • The only reason Mercer would try a hunter disguise would be to try to fool the Infected, and since they're a hive mind, that wouldn't be effective.
      • Or, you know, to become immune to getting knocked down by rockets, to kill vehicles in a few swings, and to generally mess around with a slightly different fighting style.
      • Unless Mercer adds on a few extra tons of mass, he's not going to become immune to rocket attacks, and he can already kill vehicles in a few swings, especially after he gets the Blade power.
  • As Yahtzee so pointed out, Mercer's outrage at BLACKWATCH, Gentek, and himself and so on seem sort of moot when the player has been nudged to eat civilians (or even if they've been taking the Nice Guy route, kill with collateral damage).
    • Mercer is not actively and deliberately killing civilians. They're collateral damage, and as the game progresses, you see him really develop a moral standpoint. And besides, Mercer's own actions result in the deaths of only a few thousand civilians. The real Mercer's actions - and those of Blackwatch - resulted in the death of ten million people. Also, at no point does Mercer ever excuse himself from killing civilians. He wouldn't be in a situation where he's causing that much collateral damage if it weren't for them in the first place.
    • Of course he's deliberately killing civilians, we're his food. BLACKLIGHT isn't evil per se, but it is an immensely powerful and carnivorous animal, and we're its primary food source — that doesn't preclude it from feeling for us, or wanting to protect our species as a whole, but it does need to eat. Even if the military and REDLIGHT weren't tearing up the city, it would still need to kill to live — and I doubt it would see much wrong with that.
    • It's developed a conscience, so I doubt it would go around grabbing some civilian and gnawing on him/her. Not to mention we're not its food — we just provide extra mass.
    • Mercer may also be thinking in a very pragmatic sense here. He's sacrificing a few hundred or thousand civilians to save millions, and to prosecute the criminals behind the atrocity. He may not like it, but he has to do it to stop REDLIGHT and Blackwatch.
    • It should be noted that the game does seem to suffer from a very bad case of Gameplay and Story Segregation. It's really only during gameplay that Mercer acts like a monster, and that is something decided on by the player, not the story. During cutscenes, he acts like he's a hero, and since he never has to do anything explicitly evil during the course of the game, it is possible for him to never have "officially" killed an innocent person.
    • In-game, the only time Mercer ever actually asks that question is during the mission to sabotage the Bloodtox blowers, and he asks that question in regards to destroying the Bloodtox blowers themselves (an act that could potentially condemn everyone in Manhattan to death by the infected) and in the process, he's demanding to know if Cross believes that this is the right thing to do, because Mercer is making it very clear that he doesn't know whether he should or shouldn't be destroying the Bloodtox blowers, as the devices are probably going to save hundreds of thousands of lives if they do their work correctly. It's a lot more morally ambiguous than Yahtzee is making it out to be.
    • The "food" bit is illogical. Mercer regenerates without humans. Mercer can go a while without humans.
      • I can regenerate and go for a while without eating. That doesn't mean I don't need food.
      • You're human, and need water and nutrients and all that jazz to repair wounds. He's a fucking zombie-thing, and he could lurk in the ceilings making fun of the Marines after taking several armor-piercing rockets to the face until he was fine and dandy. (Yes, I am aware it violates biology.) He could have subsisted alone on birds and normal food and zombies. (The latter is entirely doable, by the way.) Anyway, the comics show that he only kills civilians when he needs to (for disguises and such).
    • To expand on the comic by Wildstorm: It's set in the early stages of infection, while the outbreak is still mostly contained and the general public and local law enforcement don't know anything. Two NYPD officers end up being trapped in an infected zone, and the army's orders are to kill any non-military personnel on sight. Just as the officers' car is about to be shot to pieces by a Blackwatch chopper, Alex deliberately leaps in front of the car, essentially tells the officers to get the hell out of there, and then darts off — thus distracting the Blackwatch soldiers from the pair, since "Zeus" is their top priority. Randall even takes note of what Alex has done, saying, "He's got some hero in him. That doesn't make me happy."
      Alex also takes the time to warn bystanders to run when Blackwatch/Marines show up to take him down (and he subsequently tears them apart), and when leaps into an office building (at night, when people aren't expected to be there) he yells at the janitors to get down just before a hail of gunfire follows him in. The only innocent person he consumes is another janitor on the way down the elevator, in order to avoid the Marines outside who are telling people to evacuate the premises.
      In short: Alex is specifically portrayed as not being a monster; any innocents who are killed are collateral damage, which he clearly tries to avoid, with Alex himself only consuming when absolute necessary for his own survival.
  • From what I understand Alex is now just a mass of biomass he doesn't need to "eat" in a strict sense, he only needs to sustain the biomass he's actively controlling. If it begins degenerating (which it probably was from all the fighting he was doing) then he'd have to "eat."
  • A bit of Fridge Logic I just noticed: the very first mission apparently takes place right before Mercer goes to confront Randall on the Reagan. At the end of that mission, he consumes a commander in Times Square as a tutorial for the Consume mechanic. So how come he's still disguised as Taggart when he boards the Reagan, when the Taggart disguise he earned at the end of the penultimate mission should've been overwritten by the new one?
    • Alex can disguise himself as anybody he likes. The "only one disguise" thing is game mechanics.
    • I was under the impression that the Taggart consume mission took place after the whole flashback sequence. They wouldn't have had time for the rooftop chat, otherwise.
    • Alternatively, the fact that Mercer can only have one disguise at a time is just a gameplay thing and the "Real" Mercer can change between any of his disguises at will.
      • Considering Mercer can restructure his genetics at will and has the memories of everyone consumed permanently added to his own, it doesn't seem unfair to say that he could recall any form with time and effort, but at the pace the player controls him, he can only manage the form of his most recent consumption on the fly.
      • It also makes sense from a gameplay perspective, because do you really want to have to cycle through more than one disguise? It's either a military disguise or it's not, and if it isn't, it's not exactly hard to get another one.
  • Anyone else annoyed that you can't eat supersoldiers outside of stealth consume?
    • They may have been deliberately built by Blackwatch to be resistant to being consumed.
      • In the Web of Intrigue, as well as on the soldiers themselves, you can see that their bones are reinforced with armor. A key part of Alex's consume process is that the victim needs to have their spine broken, i.e. be paralyzed (it's a plot point with the leaders, who have two spines to counter Alex). In short, they cannot be consumed because you cannot paralyze them.
    • You can use stealth on supersoldiers? I thought a key point of the supersoldiers was that they can see you all time, and entering line of sight of them results in instant beatings.
      • I'm just going with what the Prototype wiki told me...
      • I don't see how that's even possible. You so much as tap their detection radius and they automatically orient themselves in your direction. Plus they chase you.
      • There's a challenge where you team up with a pack of Hunters to fight Supersoldiers. The Supersoldiers ignore you until you either accept the challenge or start punching them. This troper has ambushed them there, and can confirm that stealth consume works. Sort of. You keep your current disguise, for some reason. And, yes, It Just Bugs Me! that you can't consume them except with stealth consume.
      • That would explain how it's possible. You certainly cannot pull that trick on an ordinary Supersoldier. The ones in the challenges are built without the detection radius. My guess would be that they didn't think anyone would try it, or simply forgot to turn that option off since it's supposed to be impossible to trick them like that.
  • What was the point of the unlockable scene with Karen Parker? The game barely acknowledges you even did it, I was expecting an Achievement, an extra Web of Intrigue or even a comment from Alex afterwards but nada... like it didn't even happen...
    • Sequel Hook. I call bull on the fact that they cut off that scene before she got eaten. Just watch, she shows up in the next game revealing that they had a bit of a talk.
    • Especially backed up by the fact you don't have a Karen Parker costume after that little scene...
    • According to the section of the official strategy guide that includes commentary by the creators, Karen is dead:
      Parker's Character Bio: Parker uses Alex's memories of her and his fragile emotional state to keep him in check, something which becomes more and more difficult to achieve as time goes on. Parker is interested only in saving herself, and understands Alex's odd predicament fully; she knows, for instance, that "Alex" is dead, and that the virus has replaced him. As such, she is both amazed and repulsed by the creature she is forced to work with. Eventually, that fear will cost her life.
      • This means she WILL die. It doesn't say when, nor if it was by Alex's hands. The way it's said could imply her survival, at least for now.
  • Alex. You just ate General Randall. He had the code to turn off the nuke. Why did you fly it out to sea?
    • Fan Wank: it was damaged in the massive battle beforehand.
    • I took it as him just bluffing, and the nuke actually had no way to turn it off.
    • Alternately, the bomb could have been deactivated before the final countdown initiated, causing the fail-safe timer to start. So when the boss battle took longer than it took to get back to the bomb, it was all he could do.
  • Why can Mercer survive a massive fuel explosion but can be killed by a few (thousand) bullets?
    • Game mechanics. Death of a Thousand Cuts, really.
    • Mercer is quite capable of surviving hefty trauma in a short period of time. He's not so much effective at withstanding prolonged, drawn-out trauma. Also, Mercer shows notable resistance to high temperatures, but piercing, penetrating blows dealt by kinetic force seem to deal more damage. In short, thermal energy != kinetic energy as far as Mercer is concerned.
    • Actually, I always took it as Blacklight-Alex not dying, but rather being overwhelmed and captured. The screen proclaims that "Alex Mercer is dead", but that doesn't have anything to do with Blacklight, does it? If the soldiers take you down, you're not dead in the conventional sense of the term; you're just at the mercy of Blackwatch, as you've been incapacitated. Which is to say that you're now their shiny new Liz Greene, strapped to a lab table by mad scientists and subjected to painful and degrading experiments for the rest of your life. Also, did I mention that you're immortal? And look what happened to Elizabeth Greene after only forty-odd years. Congratulations, you are now subject to the And I Must Scream variant of A Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Why is the Blade more effective at destroying tanks than Hammerfists? I don't know much about tanks, but I would imagine a huge metal vehicle can't easily be sliced up even by extremely dense bio-matter, but it could easily be flattened by the same. So why does the Hammerfist elbow drop do less damage to tanks than the Blade drop?
    • The Blade is the same amount of mass. But you know, Blade-shaped. Smaller surface area, I guess?
      • More or less. Being narrower and sharper means more force can be directed at the target over a smaller area, enabling greater penetration. The Hammerfists really are a poor choice to use against armor, as they spread their energy out over a much wider area than the Blade. Basic physics.
  • Was anyone else annoyed by how useless the civilian disguises were? I understand they're there as essentially free health packs but the disguises themselves are effectively pointless. Any time you have to disguise yourself for story purposes, it's a military disguise, the military disguises get access to all the things like artillery strikes and patsy, you can't combine offensive powers with disguises which is admittedly reasonable, but who doesn't want to play as a Blade-Armed Death Granny? Also, Alex consumes Elizabeth Greene and I don't get the option of running around as her? Total rip-off.
    • God knows I always wanted to use the power of accounting after I eat a civilian...
      • "Sir, we've spotted Mercer! He's — He's... ... ...uh, sir, he's recalculating the city's debt on the side of the Chrysler Building..."
    • Possibly because Alex doesn't care about the more mundane/nonlethal disguises/skills. It's the military he's trying to infiltrate, not the civilian population (who are largely irrelevant to him outside the player sending him on murder sprees), and he doesn't want accounting or flower-arranging or whatever, he wants what'll allow him to murder the crap out of Gentek. (It's possible to be a Death Granny, though, since Alex is perfectly capable of crushing human beings with his bare hands whatever shape he's in. Feel the arthritic wrath.) As to why you don't get a Greene disguise, with the disguise mechanic as it is in-game, it would create extra work for the devs for only a very short-lived benefit. Alex also might not want to take Greene's shape and use her powers for the same reason he doesn't try to control the Infected as mentioned above — because he's worried he'd lose what shreds of humanity he has.
      • Also, running around as Greene would be pointless; you're getting into disguise in order to disguise yourself. Diguising yourself as Greene is kind of like prancing around with a giant flashing "INFECTED!" sign on your head.
  • Why does doing blatantly impossible things (Say, running straight up a vertical wall at 60 miles per hour) only raise your 'suspicion' meter a little bit? You'd think Marines, or especially Blackwatch, would take notice that sort of thing.
    • I'll let the game answer that for you:
    • It does make more sense, though, once the Supersoldiers are brought into the fray. Some guy leaping tall buildings in a single bound? "IT'S SUPERMAN! IT'S SPIDER-MAN! IT'S — SHIT, IS IT MERCER?! IT'S... not clawing our arms off, it must be on our side! Whew. Weird how he's not wearing a uniform, though..."
    • Think about it this way. You're a Marine on patrol in a city that's being overrun by monsters straight out of a sci-fi horror flick. One of the monsters is an unkillable, shapeshifting, pissed-off psycho who has been murdering his way across the city, slain hundreds or thousands of other soldiers who have gotten in his way, can fly, run up walls, run faster than most cars, steal helicopters, transform into an armored battering ram on legs, and can kill tanks with a giant blade growing out of his arm. Also, he can take direct hits from Javelins, Hellfire rockets, and tank shells. This shapeshifting, unkillable badass just ran past you and didn't stop to try to kill you. You have an assault rifle. Are you seriously going to fuck with this guy, or are you going to thank the Random Number God that spared you from 99% certainty of a messy death?
      • Yeah, I'm going with Option #2. In all seriousness, though, that's my personal theory. They do notice you... but as long as you aren't actually attacking anything or anyone, they're willing to mostly ignore you in favour of surviving to the next paycheck. Seriously, tanks can't kill this guy — but all he's doing right now is leaving dents in the pavement. You know what? I think I'll let that slide.
      • Additionally, if Alex just ran past, it's pretty much a given that he went zooming past too quickly for the soldier to engage. It's debatable whether it's even worth the effort to call in his position, since Alex'll be gone so fast.
      • I always thought two things. One, people don't like to look up, so when they hear the sound of broken glass they will keep looking down to not get pieces on their eyes, and marines notice you, you can hear the audio of some saying things like "something catched my eye" or "go check that..."
    • Of course, the REAL answer is that, if your suspicion meter was increased by using all of your cool abilities (running up walls, sprinting 80 miles per hour, flying, etc.), you would either be in a state of constantly alerting the military and evading strike teams (which would be extremely annoying), or you would be forced not to use those powers at all (which would be incredibly lame and make traveling from place to place a major pain). So the game designers cut you a break, implausible though it may be.
  • Does Mercer actually have Alex Mercer's memories? I seem to recall him having to find out about details of his life from other sources. It seems to me he only thinks he's Alex Mercer because the doctors at the beginning of the game said he was Alex Mercer and he heard them.
    • Memories are likely mostly there. They're simply unrecoverable without proper stimulus.
    • And, you know, the fact that he was wearing Alex Mercer's skin. I'm not sure about all of the memories, though; the virus took over Alex's body, yes, but Alex was already dead — and likely had been for quite a bit by the time Blacklight finished reanimating him. Considering people who are dead for only seven minutes sustain brain damage even if they're revived; Alex would be no exception, and he was certainly dead for over seven minutes. The resulting brain damage may have erased some memories, so to speak — Blacklight repaired the brain damage, but couldn't recover Alex's memories in full. Or maybe not at all. He never has flashbacks to Alex's life, after all. Then again, it might be because he didn't really consume Alex, just hijacked his body.
      • He does have flashbacks to Alex's life. Like the time he went to Alex's apartment and memories started flooding back.
      • Hell, I forgot about that. Well, they're few and far between, regardless.
      • Alex requires stimuli to trigger memories. He can't remember them normally; he needs to have an item or person or place connected to Alex's memories in order to remember anything; this is why Blackwatch had Cross specifically bring up a memory of Penn Station in order to cause him pain and disorientation as he remembered.
    • Alex Mercer might have landed on the spilt Blacklight vial after being shot. The virus kept him alive while turning his body into itself and suppressing his memories. So the real Mercer possibly never died.
      • In his narration, Alex says that "Alex" is just the role he plays because the real person died and he has no identity other than that of the virus. He also never claims that the people he absorbs live on in some way, using the words 'consume' and 'kill' et cetera interchangeably, i.e. "The people I've killed[/consumed] - they're in me. I can hear them, see the things they've done." Not sure whether or not we should take him at his word, but it seems like he'd know best.
  • There should be no way the virus can save Alex from the pain he should have felt from falling practically thousands of feet from the air, even from the very top of the Empire State Building to sea level.
    • The virus can differentiate tissue on a cellular level. Worst case scenario, remove a few sensory nerves for a few seconds and then put them back.
    • Mercer is a mass of constantly shifting biomass that can consume entire bodies, read genetic memory, withstand direct hits from tanks and artillery, and create bladed weapons capable of slicing through tanks. Why are you assuming anything about his biology? For shit's sake, he can freely change shape and his body structure at will; it would probably be trivially easy for him to simply shut off any pain receptors in his body, or simply remove them altogether. He could easily just go "Okay, I'm falling. Turn off the pain receptors.... Impact! Okay, rearrange my nervous system, and let's go."
      • Heck, maybe he doesn't feel pain at all. Considering what he goes through, if he could turn off all pain, it'd be better for him. Even if you ignore the damage, being shot with a tank shell would be excruciating. He doesn't really react to being shot or anything unless he's standing still, and it's just a little flinch anyway.
      • That little flinch? That can't even be attributed to pain either - It's just the bullet MAKING him move. I mean, think about it. Imagine shooting a high-penetration bullet at one of those hanging inn signs you see in real life. Even if it goes right through, the force of the bullet would make it swing at least a bit. This is exactly what happens to Alex too.
      • I don't know... Can a 500+ pound man be moved by a bullet? What about that parasite he had. He runs into Ragland's autopsy room in obvious pain. He throws up and falls unconscious. He even grabs his arms in pain when he is in low health and his vision becomes more gray and blurred if the camera is anything to go by. I assume that he probably would become like Heller and be completely immune to bullets by the second game, but you never get to test that since the last battle has no guns. He probably feels pain, but he can repair damage at his whim. However, I don't know how to explain the ending where he gets shot in the eye and he walks around with a hole in his head. Maybe he deadened the nerves in that area.
  • Why does Blacklight Alex care about Dana anyway? Blacklight in and of itself has no personality, just the personality of those it absorbs. By the time it first met Dana, the only people it had as a base were the real Alex Mercer, who didn't care about anyone but himself, and 2 Blackwatch soldiers, whose mission was to capture Dana.
    • Because she's his sister and she cares about him. Dana is literally the only person who helps him just because she wants to, without any agenda of her own. Blacklight Alex may not have cared that much originally, since she was just a source of information, but as he gets more human-ish, he gets attached to the one person who never betrayed him or attacked him or hated him for what he was. I imagine it was nice to speak with anyone whose reaction wasn't "OH GOD, KILL IT! KILL IT DEAD!" but "Are you okay?" Alternatively, one or both of those Blackwatch troops believed that little sisters should be cared for and protected, and Alex inherited that belief when he absorbed them.
      • That, and he probably got a lot of it from everybody else he's been eating save for the more insane WOI targets and the completely unhinged members of Blackwatch.
  • So was that nuke at the end of the game set off by Blackwatch or the U.S. government? If the U.S. government set off the nuke, then what exactly is stopping them from just firing another nuke at Manhattan? If Blackwatch did it, then where the fuck did a private corporation get a nuke? Did the U.S. seriously have no problem with letting Blackwatch destroy Manhattan? Plus, why did they put them in charge of the containment operation in the first place? They caused it, they should all be arrested, not given the opportunity to control most of Manhattan.
    • Whoever controls Blackwatch is a higher authority than the American government; so high that "you'd have to look down to see the President". The conspiracy runs deeper than Blackwatch itself. Deep enough to build a town solely to test the biological weapon from hell on its inhabitants and bomb it to dust when it got out of hand. Deep enough to throw billions of dollars into the Manhattan outbreak and then nuke it once they're done. They had the nuke, and after it failed, the infection was contained anyway, so there was no need to try it again.
      • ...Blackwatch is part of the US government. GENTEK is just on their payroll.
    • As for what is stopping them from throwing another nuke - Zeus is. He'd already demonstrated that he cared about people and that he's the very last... being you want to mess with, even if you're an all-powerful governmental cabal.
    • Also, after the incident on the aircraft carrier, Blackwatch's organizational structure was in complete tatters. Most of their men and their entire leadership are wiped out, and the Marines have taken over containment/security within the city. By the time Blackwatch recovers its bearings, the situation on Manhattan has been contained and they can't justify dropping another nuke - especially after one has already gone off.
  • I know Blackwatch has some major Stupid Evil tendencies, but why don't they start to evacuate civilians instead of quarantining? They have viral detectors that would make for a simple checkpoint. If they don't set it off, they get ferried across. If they do, they get attacked. If they end up on the ship, another viral detector scuttles the boat to prevent infected from leaving. Doing so would remove a food source for Mercer and reduce the amount of potential infected they'd have to fight. Heck after evacuating everyone, they could glass the city and be proclaimed heroes for eliminating the infection.
    • This is the very definition of the wrong thing to do in a viral outbreak. The virus is extremely virulent with a long incubation period. There is no way to be sure that every civilian is clean short of meticulous blood tests. Those viral detectors would not detect trace amounts of the virus in people. Removing civilians also wouldn't do away with a food source for Mercer, not significantly anyway. He feeds on anybody, and if you move his food, he'll just go looking for other sources. I'd say military bases and hives would fill that need nicely.
    • Greene is deliberately infecting civilians and military personnel with a form of the virus that cannot be detected by the scanners. Blackwatch knows that Redlight is smart, adaptable, and capable of such subtlety. They're not going to allow anyone out of the quarantine zone, because if even a single bit of the Redlight virus gets out, that's it for North and South America.
    • Not to mention that Blackwatch is more interested in covering up everything than in actually saving civilians. Even if they had the technology to detect any strain of Redlight, evacuating civilians would mean that it would be impossible to cover up this incident and it wouldn't be long before the stories about Hope, Idaho would be found out.
  • One thing that always confuses me is the default WOI consume animation. McMullen shows later on that if the brain is destroyed or damaged, Mercer isn't getting those memories. So... Doesn't anyone else feel it's a bit... counterintuitive to, for people he's eating exclusively to get info of, give five world-class blows to the head/face? Surely given his strength, that would utterly pulp the gray matter.
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation aside, it really depends on what's causing the head trauma. Guns, tanks, other infected damage the body? Unusable. Alex punching and absorbing the body at the same time? Perfectly fine. I always assumed him punching those few times was to get to the brain easier as I mostly saw it on WOI targets.
    • He's just softening up the crunchy shell to get to the chewy filling.
  • Mercer's vast powers cannot destroy a hive. Instead he has to commandeer personnel and an armored vehicle — which repeatedly failed to destroy Mercer, I should point out — in order to do it. If they really want that Hive demolished and have a tanker and tank present, why the hell aren't they doing it? Right after I took one down, I overheard a Blackwatch soldier: "Why don't you do your job and let us do ours?", which seemed so apropos that I could swear it was intended. Why indeed?
    • They're trying to destroy the hive. The problem is that, unlike Mercer, the Marines and Blackwatch have this unfortunate condition known as "being mortal." And the Infected have this annoying capacity to rip apart tanks with their bare hands. They're trying to clear the areas around the hives so they can then focus fire on the hive to minimize casualties. Mercer can use military hardware to take down the hives because he doesn't have to worry about the infected mobbing him; if he loses a tank, he can just get a new one. If the Marines lose a tank, they're dead. The problem, of course, is that they can't win that way, which is outright stated by Taggart when you consume him.
      • It can still be done in under 3 minutes using nothing but military means while swarmed with the same infected. The 'unfortunate condition' here is Artificial Stupidity.
      • You, the player, controlling Alex Mercer, can do that. The Marines ''can't'. The Marines go in and are bogged down by fighting hundreds or thousands of infected, suffer casualties, and generally become incapable of focusing on the objective because they're focused on keeping their fellow troops alive and simply surviving. Whereas Alex Mercer can wade through the infected and focus fire on the target without having to worry about the thousands of infected humans and Hunters trying to kill him.
      • You don't state a good case for the training and coordination a military unit is supposed to have. The player, using no abilities that the marines don't have, can do their job quickly and efficiently, long before collecting any of the weapon and vehicle skills.
      • The player can do what the military cannot because the player does not have any of the countless issues that the military would be dealing with. The player does not have to deal with chaotic communications, confused command, unclear orders, confusion as to who is where and doing what, logistics issues, fear and panic within their own units, wounded personnel, the massive issues inherent to civilian presence, and the even greater problems arising from the fact that the military is under Blackwatch's command, along with a slew of other issues that can and will realistically bog down any military operation, particularly in a crowded area surrounded by literally hundreds of thousands of hostiles using tactics and weapons they are not trained to combat. The player doesn't have to worry about chain of command or confusion on the radio, they don't have to worry about casualties (civilian or otherwise), logistics are a non-issue, and they don't have to worry about coordination or friendly forces. (Look into the Battle of Tarawa in '03, and you'll see a similar command/equipment/coordination clusterfuck that happened which paralyzed operations, and this was with relatively light resistance.) This frees up the player to storm in and destroy the target.
      • Chain of command, logistic issues, wounded personnel, are you kidding me?! What in the merciful hell do logistic issues have to do with the inability of a helicopter or a tank to blow up a freaking Hive that stands right there under their very noses?! That's right, despite the hellish nightmare of radio confusion (BTW, where does it go when the next bastard decides to summon a Strike Team on my head, uh?) they somehow managed to reach the Hive and even to start blasting at it. Their weapons simply inexplicably stop working until you commandeer them. What you described applies to the incidents with the Thermobaric Tank and the Bloodtox Pump. Here, however, is a clear example of Gameplay and Story Segregation.
      • Imagine you're a marine driving a tank. A pair of Hunters and about 40 Infected are barreling down on you and the marines near you. Destroying the hive won't save you from them, you need to get rid of them before you can blow the hive up. It fails spectacularly when the infected keep coming. Mercer can just backhand them and proceed towards the hive. He's fucking damn near indestructible, the Marines aren't.
      • Those issues have much to do with their inability. Tanks, half the time, are trying to keep monsters from destroying them while firing on Hives. Helicopters are providing fire support to ground teams during the same. Helicopters and tanks can destroy a Hive, but unlike you, they have other concerns besides the single-minded completion of a goal. You can sit there and fire as fast as the game will allow you, but the tank and helicopter crews aren't so lucky.
      • Also, there's the possibility that, as a similar virus, Blacklight instinctively knows precisely where to shoot to bring down a hive. A handful of precise strikes will do much more damage than a hundred random ones.
      • (BTW, where does it go when the next bastard decides to summon a Strike Team on my head, uh?) Reserved radio channels for strike team deployment, obviously. Which will likely make communication even worse, if entire radio channels are tied up to deploy strike teams specifically to target Mercer.
    • Incidentally, Mercer's vast powers can destroy a hive, and a hell of a lot quicker than tanks can at that. Jump up top, do Groundspike Devastator two or three times, hive is rubble. Tanks and helicopters are there when you don't have the health to do it yourself.
  • Why didn't the Blackwatch unload a few truckloads worth of VX into Manhattan as soon as it became apparent that the virus had been released? Sure, it wouldn't have killed any of the infected (probably), but it would have killed anyone not infected, thus giving it nowhere to spread to, making their job significantly easier.
    • Because the reason Greene was even imprisoned there in the first place was that, if she ever got out, they could see the effects of the virus on a larger, more densely populated region. Yes, that's goddamn crazy. Blackwatch, as it happens, is goddamn crazy.
    • They didn't even consider a nuclear response until after Greene was dead. Why would they bother with VX prior to that? Blackwatch wants to fight the infection on the ground to see how the infection works and to test their weapons on it.
      • Hold on. To deal with probably THE most dangerous viral outbreak anywhere, you would unleash another bioweapon? You know, one that could MAKE THINGS WORSE? If Greene manages to adapt to the virus, rendering it useless, then we're probably F***ed. That's assuming that she just adapts to it, and doesn't take any inspiration from the attack.
      • VX is a neurotoxin, not a virus.
  • "Base Interior Neutralized" Alright, so I can go outside and throw trucks at the building — while doors slide open and squads of paramilitary pour out. What, what? If the interior is neutralized, where are they coming from? Spontaneous generation? Suspended animation in some isolated cubbyhole not technically the 'interior'? Thanks for the extra EP, but breaks from reality like this leave me scratching my head as to why they bothered to set this on Earth in the first place — you can put a humanoid skeletal hierarchy in any arbitrary model and give it any arbitrary name for the same gameplay, after all.
    • From the way it looks, clearing out the "interior" of the base means you assault and destroy the motor pool/maintenance area and munitions/fuel dump. You don't clear out the barracks, admin area/other storage area/mess hall, or any of the other facilities the base will have, just the largest storage area they have inside the base. That leaves plenty of troops inside the base to emerge after wiping out the motor pool.
  • Alright, let's manage this disguise as a marine! Hordes of infected are coming this way! Damn, I don't have a gun! Oh well, my temporary allies are holding up pretty well, and I think I'll grab and throw this trash can that was knocked over in the chaos to help out and OW! Why the hell are you shooting at me now! It's a trash can! I haven't even thrown it yet! It's not an impossible physical feat to lift a freakin' trash can!
    • They're probably under orders to shoot anyone acting strangely. With hundreds/thousands of marines being killed by a man eating shape shifter, I imagine everyone is a bit twitchy.
    • Yeah, pretty much. A Marine picking up a trash can isn't impossible, but it's going to draw some attention. Keep in mind that by that point in the game, the military is opening fire on their own men because someone pointed them out and accused them of being Mercer. Calling the military twitchy and terrified of potential infiltration is a massive understatement.
    • Marines don't typically use trashcans to beat their enemies down. The fact that you're unarmed in the first place in the middle of a warzone should raise a lot more eyebrows than it does.
    • OP here, and I can understand how throwing a trash can is bizarre behavior, but so is me, disguised as a Marine, flooring infected with single punches. I'm clearly not a super soldier, so why shoot me when I throw a trash can (Which is even less suspicious then attacking them head on. It's keeping distance between myself and the enemy, making it seem like I'm afraid of getting up close to them, like everyone else.) But not when I run into a crowd of infected and punch them all out (When they should realize that if I was a normal human, I'd have died in a messy mauling.) Do they automatically assume I'm some sort of Badass Normal?
      • Using trash cans as weapons is against Army regs. You don't fuck with the Army regs. Fighting unarmed, on the other hand, is admissible.
      • In addition to above, a trash can would be such a stupidly ineffective weapon for Regular Joe the Marine, who probably couldn't throw it hard enough or fast enough to accomplish anything significant, or rearm himself quickly afterwards. I mean, exactly how much good does it do you to knock one zombie off its feet (and okay, maybe break something) when six others are grabbing for you? And you're suddenly out of trash cans. Shoot.
    • I'm almost certain I've consumed either around or in front of Blackwatch without arousing suspicion. This mechanic was so inconsistently in forced that the game could have done without it. Either we're truly suppose to develop a sense of fighting and fleeting from the giant military machine or we should have to deal with military members that we deliberately pick fights with and during story specific points.
    • For the trash can thing, I'd guess it's a bug in the mechanic that gets the military alarmed when you pick up objects that normal humans shouldn't be able to (like cars). I've also consumed when supposedly being watched by the military, and not always have them go into alarm. What might've happened is whichever soldier was "watching" you coincidentally looked away the second the consume animation started or his field of vision was blocked by a roaming zombie. If you wanted an "in-story" reason, they're too preoccupied with the general chaos to look too carefully at the weird new guy as long as he isn't sprouting giant arm-blades. But I've had the marines say comments like "you must be suicidal" while running around disguised and unarmed.
  • Why does the military fight you even if you're just trying to help them kill infected? It's like they're jealous that I'm so much better at killing mutant zombie monsters than their incompetent dumbasses are.
    • ...Because you are also infected. Uninfected people can't shapeshift or manifest tentacles. Also, you know, there is that thing where you keep storming into their bases and eating their troops and blowing up their tanks and stealing their helicopters and sabotaging their virus detectors and proving yourself an enemy at all times in every possible way.
    • Plus, they're under orders to kill you. You've been marked as an enemy and the entire outbreak is being blamed on you. Not to mention many of your objectives in the game involve you destroying military targets. When you attack the military they, shockingly, shoot back.
      • Except they mostly leave you alone when you blow your cover without doing anything overtly hostile, such as running and jumping at impossible speeds.
      • Well, you're not being overtly hostile then, are you? Probably not worth riling you up. When you start tearing into things, all bets are off.
      • They don't leave Mercer alone if his cover is blown. If you hang around an area after triggering an alert, military will swarm the area and try to murderate your shapeshifting ass.
  • Why do so many people say that Blacklight Alex has no conscience? He released Elizabeth Greene because he thought she was being wrongly held (it was misguided, but he still thought her capture was wrong). He clearly cared about Alex Mercer's sister. He didn't kill the doctor when it would've been very easy to do (consuming him would've given him the medical knowledge he needed). He had obvious ethical concerns about nuking New York City, and stopped the bomb when simply running away would've been easier. At the end, he even shows remorse for the people he has to consume. I mean, he's definitely not a full hero either, but he's not the conscience-less monster a lot of the fandom paint him to be. Are people just confusing their mindless in-game rampages with canon?
    • Y'gotta admit the game's a little schizophrenic on this point. Why have all these indications that Alex has some semblance of empathy if it's literally impossible to play for ten goddamn minutes without accidentally killing an innocent? (And I do actually try to avoid harming civilians. Can't be done. Especially in a tank. Sigh.) But I'd say a combination of Flanderization with Evil Is Cool. Radical sold Prototype very hard as a game where you play as a monster tearing his way through armies in increasingly violent ways, and the interpretation sticks in people's heads, I guess. Especially given that the ones saying this are often framing it as funny and the truth is complicated enough to kill the joke if explained. (Personally, I think it's a little smarter than it's given credit for. I liked the Web of Intrigue a lot, for instance; hardly anybody comments on it, but it's fascinating if you like Jigsaw Plots. Kinda wish it was less rushed and better written, though. Oh well.)
      • Frankly, if people are too stupid to stay indoors in the middle of the goddamned Zombie Apocalypse, then I think Alex is totally justified in killing whoever is left on the streets by day 9. And since they make a piss-poor effort trying not to be run over by a tank, that's just further reason not to care. Alex isn't a sociopath; these New Yorkers are retards.
  • Would it be possible for the body to fight off the virus?
    • It's designed to be the most virulent disease on the planet. That seems unlikely. Unless I've misunderstood the question.
  • At the end of the game, Alex gets blown into a black smudge by a nuke, and then fully regenerates by consuming a crow that flew too low. How? How did he gain the biomass of an entire person (Give or take the additional mass Alex's powers give him) from a bird? He wouldn't even be able to regrow his head with that stingy amount.
    • He wasn't just a black smudge - he was in pieces. They weren't very large ones, but they wouldn't have to be. Maybe the crow's mass gave that piece the energy boost it needed to reach out to the other bits and reconstruct him. He was probably very weak afterwards, but Gameplay and Story Segregation is in full effect.
      • There is a bigger issue - how the hell did his pieces end up in New York? No i get it, he was nearby. But to get to the trash wouldn't they have had to... float? And as i recall he is forbidden to swim... What.
      • Just because his body as a whole doesn't float, doesn't mean his gibbed remains wouldn't.
      • It's not that Mercer can't swim. He's just naturally too dense to swim. He can float just fine if his body has been reduced to squishy remains that increase his surface area.
    • This Headscratcher applies to all uses of From a Single Cell, at least cases where other sources of Biomass aren't available.
  • Is it really that hard to keep your kill count low? I got less than 300 civilian kills in the entire game. (Granted, I had thousands of infected kills . . .)
    • It is if you're not going out of your way to not kill them. I can't drive from point A to point B without running over a dozen civilians, and I don't even drive on the sidewalks.
    • The civilians seriously in fear either stand in your way or RUN straight into your line of fire or your path (if you're in a vehicle or running really fast) at some point I said f it and I'm on my way to 1000 civilian kills. Not because I want to...
  • How does the Supreme Hunter believe that absorbing Alex Mercer would give him the durability to weather the incoming nuclear explosion? Mercer was a fairly considerable distance (as far as he could get away given the last minute circumstance of him removing that nuke from Manhattan) when that nuke went off and it turned him into mush. In the event that the Supreme Hunter wins you get the bad ending where the nuclear device goes off and glasses Manhattan. There is no way that the Supreme Hunter would survive being in the middle of that explosion.
    • Yes, but Mercer survived because of distance not because he absorbed the Supreme Hunter. Therefore it's possible that with the combined biomass or viruses the Supreme Hunter could have survived the explosion similarly from a much smaller distance from the explosion.
    • What the Supreme Hunter lacked was Mercer's regeneration. He could shapeshift to a degree, but Mercer's From a Single Cell ability is something he obviously did not have, since a missing head does him in. Mercer survived thanks to that. The Supreme Hunter, with that ability, would only need to preserve a fraction of himself to regenerate totally.
      • Except we literally see the SH start to regrow from a puddle earlier in game. If you can survive being liquified, there's little to now reason you couldn't survive decapitation.
      • That could mean the Supreme Hunter is waiting for a chance to start a new outbreak and grow stronger.
      • Presumably, Alex ate the Supreme Hunter after beheading it.
      • We didn't see that happen, though. And there wasn't anything confirming that he ate it, not even Wordof God.
  • When Alex eats a living person he gets their memories. What happens when he eats zombies? Does he get memories from when they were alive or nothing since they're mindless?
    • Probably he gets nothing, since we know that damaging someone's brains too badly keeps him from getting their memories — and a zombie's brains likely decay.

  • How did Cross know Alex was gaining immunity to Bloodtox when the rest of Black Watch didn't? Even if he'd already been consumed by the Supreme Hunter by then, that doesn't explain how he knew. For that matter, why was Randall surprised when Alex revealed how he absorbed the thoughts and memories of the people he killed? That seems like the kind of thing the man at the very top the organization should have known that late in the game.
Promethean: The CreatedHeadscratchers/GamesPrototype 2

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