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Characters / Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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     Main Amnesia characters 

Voiced by: Richard Topping

"Redeem us both, Daniel. Descend into the darkness where Alexander waits and murder him."

The Player Character. At the start of the game, he only remembers his name and where he is from (London, Mayfair).

  • Abusive Parents: The loading screens indicate he was raised by a particularly abusive father who would often kick him in the stomach.
  • Amnesiac Hero: The title of the game gives it away.
  • And I Must Scream: His worst fear comes true in two of four possible endings: trapped in the darkness he fears most forever.
  • The Atoner: See the quotation above.
  • Audience Surrogate: As he has amnesia at the start of the game, and it's his purpose to both find out who he is and what is going on.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: As a result of Alexander's training into the art of torture and ongoing psychological manipulation, Daniel ends up easily washing his hands — and what's more, preemptively — as he and Alexander abduct the Zimmermans, a family of farmers near Alstadt, allegedly to complete the banishing ritual for the Shadow. Also qualifies as a Kick the Dog moment for Daniel: he has reached the point where he does not care anymore whether his victims are criminals or innocent. Highlighted in Daniel's last sentence during the hallucinatory flashback: "We should have more than enough prisoners to finish the ritual now."
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Playing with. He's quite a naive and reckless young man, as stated by Alexander via his Memory Capsules, but is capable enough to last against Alexander and his minions.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After being kicked around by Alexander he decides to atone for his crimes by "giving" the people he had murdered "that horrible man".
  • Doom Magnet: Literally. While in London, the Shadow of the Orb chases him and gruesomely kills all those he comes into contact with.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: After Daniel accidentally breaks an orb in Algeria due to his inexperience, the Shadow gives him nightmares that enable him to repair it regardless.
  • Dreaming the Truth: After taking the broken orb back to England in tow, Daniel gets endless nightmares of a terrible voice beckoning him from beyond the void. These dreams had enabled him to effortlessly repair the mystical relic, a feat — according to Agrippa — which no one else known has ever accomplished.
  • Evil Brit: See the Villain Protagonist entry.
  • Famous Last Words: For Alexander's and Self-Sacrifice endings. Aaah! NO! Arrrghh...AAH!
  • Heel Realization: He finally acknowledged he was a monster after butchering a young girl (in his words, killing an innocent to save a murderer — himself — when once he would have killed a murderer to save an innocent), and it tore him up from inside. Realizing that Alexander led him down this dark path filled him with murderous rage. Yet just knowing what he had done made him wish he had died or allowed the Shadow to take him, leaving him mentally incapable of carrying out his vengeance. Wanting to stop Alexander regardless, he drinks the amnesia mixture.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Daniel is quite gifted with repairing Alexander's machines and mechanisms, or when the situation calls for it, sabotaging them.
  • Ghost Memory: After touching the mystical orb, Daniel keeps unlocking memories that are completely alien to him, even from those who have lived and died long before he was born.
  • Heroic Mime: Subverted. Daniel's diary entries are all narrated and the player can occasionally hear him mumble and ramble to himself during gameplay. The subversion comes when the player first encounters Agrippa, who seems to reply to speech from Daniel, but the player hears not a peep.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Agrippa's ending, Daniel sends Agrippa's head through the gate back to his and Alexander's world, leaving both himself and Alexander at the Shadow's mercy — and the Shadow has none. Nonetheless, Agrippa is grateful and draws Daniel through to the other world after him, begging Weyer to help, and the last words of the game are his, reassuring Daniel that it will be all right.
  • Hiding Behind Religion: In one of his diary entries, Daniel says he is "thankful for God sending these monsters our way as they will serve as the instruments of my salvation," referring to the prisoners whom Alexander assures Daniel are all criminals and therefore may be freely tortured in order to harvest vitae.
  • Human Pet: It is implied by Alexander that Daniel belongs to the Shadow.
  • Hypno Trinket: Daniel's orb keeps enchanting him to hold it.
  • Identity Amnesia: Induced deliberately, see above.
  • Large Ham: Can cross into this during his diary narrations.
  • Madness Mantra: Several. One within a semi-playable cutscene — "Paint the man, cut the lines!" — and the rest whenever his sanity drops too low, which are usually denials, confusion, echoes from the past or very Lovecraftian ramblings about the progress of the Shadow.
  • Morality Pet: Though she never makes any actual appearance, Daniel's chronically-ill younger sister Hazel is a hint he's actually a good man. He read books to her during her worst downturns in the hope of helping her maintain the will to live, took the brunt of his father's rage to keep her safe, wished her goodbye before he left for Algeria, and her off-screen fate changes depending on whether the player ticks some invisible markers during the game. If Daniel is compassionate, she lived; if he's selfish, she died. His Heel Realization also hinged upon her — the little girl he murdered just before the game made him break down in regret because she reminded him of Hazel.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Breaks down sobbing after he murders Elise Zimmerman in cold blood.
  • Non-Action Guy: He used to be an archaeologist — and not the adventurer sort, but the sort that researches things in books and has to carry a parasol in the desert to ward off heatstroke. With no memory and no weapons against a collection of hideously powerful monsters and a formless abomination whose presence tears apart reality, he may as well be a bug against a windshield. All he can do is run, hide and sometimes trick threats away, but never directly attack them.
  • Obliviously Evil: While under Alexander's tutelage, he did terrible things to people for his own benefit, unaware that some of his sacrifices were innocent. When he found himself murdering a young girl who couldn't have possibly deserved to die, he experienced a Heel Realization and chose to atone.
  • Primal Fear: His fear of the dark; if you stand in darkness, his Sanity Meter will slowly drain. The Shadow engulfs him in absolute darkness in Alexander's ending.
  • Pursued Protagonist: The Shadow ushers him forward all the time.
  • Revenge: Toward Alexander after the latter abandons him to the Shadow.
  • Redemption Quest: Everything that happens to him in-game is considered this, and apparently the Shadow agrees with him in the Revenge ending.
  • Resurrected for a Job: Implied Trope. It's been widely theorized that the Shadow keeps on bringing him back to life so he'd stop Alexander.
  • Redemption Equals Death: In Agrippa's, Alexander's and Self-Sacrifice endings. However Agrippa implies that he and Weyer are going to save Daniel by bringing him into their world.
  • Redemption Earns Life: In the Revenge ending, Daniel despite his former-self's transgressions is forgiven by the Shadow as it grants him safe passage out of the castle. There are no monsters or obstacles to contend with, and Brennenburg collapses only once he's reached minimum safe distance.
  • Sanity Slippage: It's an actual gameplay mechanic — Daniel's amnesiac mind is hanging by a thread that frays more and more with every horror he witnesses, and low enough levels see him begin hallucinating both visually and aurally, losing control over his movements, and even outright collapsing in hysteria for several moments. But it was also the reason he drank the amnesia potion. He was physically abused as a child, and touching the Orb gave him visions which left him with exhausting nightmares that plagued him every time he slept. Everyone he went to for help was murdered by the Shadow as he was guilt-stricken to learn, and knowledge of the Shadow itself focusing upon him didn't make his sleep easier. Under Alexander's tutelage, he was at first reluctant to harm a criminal even at Alexander's urging, but little by little gained more enjoyment out of the pain and death he inflicted. He devolved into a brutal sadist, but eventually hit a breaking point that brought some measure of clarity back to his mind and drank the amnesia potion to keep his crimes from tormenting him long enough to revenge himself on Alexander.
  • Unwitting Pawn: For Alexander.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Was a pretty decent and curious man, until he met Alexander.
  • Villain Protagonist: Temporarily and only in the flashbacks. He sacrificed many people, many probably innocent, to save his own skin — although he was never told they were. It's clear once you get to the end of the story that he regrets what he has done.
  • Taking You with Me: After realizing that Alexander had him murdering innocents this entire time, Daniel swears to end the treacherous baron before the Shadow claims him. He achieves this in Agrippa's ending.
  • The Jinx: In London, he's being constantly harassed the Shadow, and while it had initially left him unscathed, it's still killing everyone he comes into contact with.
  • The Watson: In flashbacks, he's the one asking questions to which Alexander provides answers, for benefit of both his current amnesiac self and the player.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: After an unexplained childhood incident, Daniel developed a crippling phobia of darkness that he retains even after his memory loss. A flashback has past Daniel being very agitated about a dark tunnel even after being allowed to light his lantern, and as player character he will breathe hard, tremble and eventually begin to whimper if made to stand in darkness for too long.

Baron Alexander
Voiced by: Sam A. Mowry

"Daniel. You have gone too far. I have to stop you. I can't let you proceed any further. I'm sorry, my friend."

The main antagonist. Daniel gave himself the mission of murdering him, for good reason. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as he believes.

  • Never My Fault: Yes, Alexander, only Daniel deserves to be consumed by the Shadow. You didn't do a thing except make him willing to torture and kill people, telling him it was to protect himself, to get your hands on a magic orb so you can return home and receive the alchemical fuel to perform the ritual. Daniel needs to be punished, but you're innocent as the sunrise.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • He researches every possible way to obtain vitae besides torturing and killing human beings, not because of any moral qualms, but because the tried-and-true method is such a time-consuming chore.
    • He doesn't abandon Daniel out of malice and he wasn't planning it from the start. He was even willing to take him to the other side with him. It was only after Daniel's corruption and subsequent breakdown that he locked Daniel out, fearing that he would disrupt the ritual or do something else stupid. Not that that stopped Daniel. However, while he regrets this turn of events, he doesn't go out of his way to incapacitate Daniel to drag him through the portal. He just leaves him behind.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's existed in this world for centuries and says outright that it isn't time that ages him.
  • Softspoken Sadist: He's not a sadist, but he inflicts pain with meticulous care and a soothing voice.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: One who complains at length about being forced to make do with clunky 19th Century technology using steam and water instead of the "harnessed lightning" and graceful mechanisms that exist in his own world.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: Despite all the ethically and morally abhorrent things Alexander has done over the years, he still feels geniune sadness and remorse in corrupting Daniel, and abandoning him to the approaching Shadow.
  • Torture Technician: His approach to torture is methodical and calculated, done with deliberate intent to cause maximum pain over time so he can extract more energy, and without a trace of sadistic pleasure.
  • The Unfettered: How come Daniel cannot go through the gate because of how "tainted" he has become, yet the no-less bloody-handed Alexander can? It would seem Alexander is right when he ponders this issue in his memory jars: it's about how you view your own actions. And Alexander makes a case at the end of the game that he stands on a whole other plane of morality than Daniel or, in fact, humanity at large...
  • Villains Want Mercy: Begs Daniel to stop disrupting the ritual that will send him home.
  • You Have Failed Me: Wilhelm and his men's incompetence in transporting the human prisoners had attracted the attention of the Sheriff of Königsberg who was killing Alexander's creations/gatherers and following the trail back. Furious, the baron poisons and locks them all in the wine cellar.

The Gatherers
Brute on the Left, Servant on the right

"This story reaches all the way back to the time of the Thirty Years' War. It is said that soldiers who abandoned their duty got lost in the cold, dark woods and were forever damned to roam the grounds. Their bodies wrought by their tainted souls have left them disfigured and empty of essence. Many have sighted them over the years and describe them as horrid revenants. They move silently through the woods, shying away from any beholder. They are called Gatherers as they seem to follow some ambition to steal living creatures. It is their prey which can be heard struggling inside damp burlap sacks dragged behind them which reveal their presence. What dark scheme do they follow?"

Alexander's servants. They are deformed monstrosities that are after Daniel. They come in two varieties, Grunts and Brutes.

An invisible monster that lurks in water. Several appear in the flooded areas of the castle.
  • Delicious Distraction: Tossing things into the water will distract the Kaernk, as it moves to anything that makes a splash. Throwing corpse parts will distract it from you longer, as the Kaernk will spend a few seconds eating them.
  • Elite Mooks: There are two types of Kaernk: a smaller one that can be avoided by staying out of the water, and a larger variant that can grab you from the tables or crates you jump on.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Inverted, as the smaller Kaernk can be killed by smashing a large crate or barrel on top of it, leaving only its yellowish blood in the water.
  • Invisibility: The splashes it makes are the only way to see where it is.

Professor Herbert
Voiced by: Eric Newsome

"That thing is after me. It has been hunting me for days. But I keep out of its trail, so I will persevere."

Herbert was the leader of the ill-fated expedition in Algeria. Daniel was his research assistant.

  • Fate Worse than Death: Its heavily implied he was devoured by the cosmic guardian for refusing to relinquish one of its orbs.
  • I've Come Too Far: The Shadow chases him across the entire desert as Herbert refuses to surrender the orb he plundered.
  • Kick the Dog: He mistreats Daniel, his lackey, and subjected him to humiliation by forcing him to use a ridiculous pink parasol, arguing it would protect him from the desert's harsh sun.
  • Make an Example of Them: The Arabs under his employ rightfully blamed the recovered orb for all of their troubles. Knowing they might try to dispose of the relic, the Professor shot one of the men to restore order.

Wilhelm of Gerich

Voiced by: Dan Zullo

A member of the Order of the Black Eagle. Became Alexander's servant in exchange for political power.

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Agreed to kidnap countless men, women, and children for political advancement.
  • Came Back Wrong: It's implied after being poisoned by the baron, his remains and his men's, were the basis for new gatherers, to replace the ones he and his men's bumbling had cost Alexander.
  • Heel Realization: He realized as he died that he was a monster and deserved his fate.
  • Karmic Transformation: It is heavily implied that Wilhelm and his men became the Gatherers.
  • Noodle Incident: Wilhelm wrote that Alexander hired him because of the "follies of his past" instead of his competence as a soldier.
  • Posthumous Character: His character is only heard through notes and flashbacks
  • Talking to Himself: Dan Zullo, who voiced Wilhelm, also voices his men in the flashbacks.
  • Villainous BSoD: As he and his men are succumbing to the poisoned wine, he simply states (in an empty, emotionless voice) that they're doomed.
    Wilhelm: Accept it. We're not getting out of here alive.

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
Voiced by: Bill Corkery

"Daniel? Like the prophet thrown into the lion's den. Tell me – are you among the lions?"

The famed alchemist himself, friend of Daniel. Found in the castle as some sort of corpse-like body.

  • Ambiguously Evil: Agrippa's moral stance is unclear at best, highly dubious at worst. While he readily helps Daniel, he also used to be a friend of Alexander for some time. Whether he was aware of all of Alexander's felonies is unclear, yet he once casually remarks that the shards of a broken orb make great tools for torture: "They practically leak madness! Which is quite useful, I understand."
  • Agrippa Was an Alien Alchemist
  • And I Must Scream: His body can't move at all, and he has been there for a long time.
  • Big Good: The only one Daniel can really count on.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Played with. Agrippa begs Daniel to create a tonic that would allow him to survive decapitation and then to effectively behead him (he even exclaims: "Quickly! Off with the head!"). That being said, trapped as he is and utterly forsaken by Alexander, who intends to cross the interdimensional portal and leave this world for another one, Agrippa has very little to lose. Still he entrusts Daniel with his own head, and the player may very well feed Agrippa the tonic, cut off his head and then either let Alexander cross the portal or topple the pillars and prevent the portal from ever opening. Either way, Agrippa presumably does not survive.
  • Motor Mouth: Ironically. He seems very glad to have somebody to talk to at all, so he overdoes it a bit.
  • Psychic Powers: It's implied that whatever the gas-emitting device is that the player can choose to activate upon first encountering him allows him to read the minds of others and psychically project his voice.

Johann Weyer

Agrippa's greatest pupil, who eventually went on to become an even greater alchemist. He was able to master the power of the Orb, and used it to travel to the other world.

  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Accomplished this long before the game even began. He seems to be very powerful now; making use of many Orbs without incurring the wrath of their guardians, and capable of freely transporting objects, messages, and creatures to (and possibly from) our world.
  • The Ghost: We never see or even hear him, but he plays a pretty big part in the Backstory. And he's present, though still unseen and unheard, in the ending where Daniel tosses Agrippa's head into the portal.
  • Undying Loyalty: To his mentor, Agrippa. He refused to have any dealings with Alexander until the latter freed Agrippa, and the same seems to apply to Daniel — for helping Agrippa (and at his stern insistence), Weyer is willing to help Daniel.
  • Weyer Was an Alien Alchemist

The Zimmerman Family

A farming family that consists of six people. Gustaf, the father. Agathe, the mother. Friedrich, the son who died of typhoid fever. Margarethe, the eldest daughter. Elise, the younger daughter. And an infant.

  • Abusive Parents: Gustaf is an abusive father who struggles with the grief of his son whom he liked better than his daughters. He is very aggressive towards his family, inflicting both physical and mental abuse.
  • Arranged Marriage: Margarethe was betrothed to a man named Immanuel, whom she was reluctant to marry. But Margarethe wanted to make her parents happy, so she married him.
  • Great Escape: When Elise and Agathe were put into a cell, they managed to create a hole in the ground. Unfortunately, Elise was the only one who escaped, while the mother chose to stay.
  • Offing the Offspring: Gustaf attempted to kill Elise when she tried to run away from home.
  • Parental Favoritism: Gustaf liked his son far more than his daughters, while the mother Agathe shows more affection to Elise's sister Margarethe
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Elise's death by the hands of Daniel has led him to begin his revenge towards Alexander and set the main story in motion.
  • Uncertain Doom: It is unknown what happened to the rest of the family after Elise's death.

The Shadow of the Orb

"One last thing, a shadow is following you. It's a living nightmare, breaking down reality. I have tried everything and there is no way to fight back. You need to escape it as long as you can."

A mysterious, eldritch entity that chases Daniel throughout the game, seeking to punish him for defiling an ancient artifact.

     Justine characters 

The protagonist

Voiced by: Emily Corkery

The Player Character of Justine. A girl given an amnesia potion like Daniel and forced to escape Justine's trap-ridden dungeon for Justine's entertainment.

Voiced by: Emily Corkery

"I bid you welcome to my Cabinet of Perturbation. It is my study of the human psyche — specifically yours."

The main antagonist of the DLC of the same name. Trying to escape from her dungeon slowly reveals the details of Justine's life and how she set up her torture dungeon. She is revealed to be the Player Character at the end of the game.

  • Freudian Excuse: One of her diaries implies that she was molested by her father.
  • Heel Realization: The events behind this game is the result of one, in a very dark way. She put herself through all of those traps and torment to try and at least preserve what little humanity she had left.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite the fact that she's a sociopathic scumbag, the fact that she actually goes out of her way to prove to herself that there is a vestige of a soul within herself that isn't as black as pitch shows some semblance that she isn't at peace with being a monster as she seems.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Alois. Romantically, she wasn't interested at all with him, but given her interests, Alois probably should have quit right there and ran for the hills.
  • Jerkass: Oh, that is perhaps the kindest way to describe her. She's an elitist, sociopathic narcissist that treats people like her playthings to break and maim for little more than fun.
  • Karma Houdini: Unless you decide to throw yourself to the suitors anyway.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Was one long before becoming what she is now.
    • The memory of being one is still with her. One of the blood messages in her cabinet is "Lonely".
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Justine explains upcoming traps, puzzles, and monsters to the protagonist through left-behind phonographs, but she's clearly not trying to help the girl as much as she is rubbing her evil in the girl's face. Considering that she is the player, this takes on a very interesting light after you find this out.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: She has the chief of police in Calais turn a blind eye to her activities, forcing nobleman Lucien Racine to take matters into his own hands and go privately to incarcerate the madwoman.
  • Self-Made Orphan: That's just the tip of the iceberg and her Start of Darkness.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: "Cabinet of perturbation" is an odd way to describe a torture dungeon/lab maze.
  • Sadist: A particular trait of hers that the Suitors bore the brunt of.
  • Slipping a Mickey: She has Aloïs drug Basile's beverage.
  • Smug Snake: "Are you enjoying my quips? I think they are quite clever."
  • The Sociopath: It is worth noting that unlike many other examples, it is heavily implied that Justine is, in fact, a bona fide sociopath, or at least someone suffering from a severe case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. She displays virtually every single symptom of the condition at one point or another, and her father, a psychiatrist, has been quite aware that she is suffering from some sort of mental illness (although the exact term for hers hasn't been coined yet back in the day) and experimented upon her for it.
  • The Voice: Until it's revealed that she's the player character.

The Suitors

The main enemies of the Justine DLC. They were former lovers of Justine before being tortured and mutilated to the point of insanity.

Aloïs Racine
Voiced by: Scotty Campbell

"Is that you, my love?"

The first of the three suitors encountered in Justine. He was one of three men Justine was romantically involved with. Over time, she tortured them all and blinded one of them, and warped them into insane shells of their former selves. He was (if the sounds in his cell are to be believed) a racquet-ball player. Once a very soft-spoken person, he now attacks in the same way. He is the first man you must escape from/avoid in the trial, found in the first area of the cells.

Basile Giroux
Voiced by: Jon St. John

"I will find you, you cunt."

The second of the three suitors. Basile is very different from Alois and Malo. He is angry, violent, and swears like a sailor. He is, bizarrely, the Only Sane Man of the three men, having kept one thing in mind after this ordeal — revenge — and thereby kept his mind. Possibly was a carpenter before being mutilated by Justine. He is found in the underground storage area beneath the library.

  • Would Hit a Girl: Was abusive towards Justine while they were still lovers - and it's what got him in such deep trouble.

Malo De Vigny
Voiced by: Jeff Buchanan

"I grow tired of my own flesh."

The third and final of the suitors. Malo is unique among the suitors; he is totally insane. He was a violinist before the cabinet was created. He is also much stronger than he looks; capable of tearing down doors with ease and One Hit Killing you in a flash. He is located in the flooded basement, which makes evading him difficult. He can find you even if he can't see you...though he claims he can.

  • Have a Nice Death: He doesn't actually say anything. He just eats your flesh...and makes loud gnawing/chewing/giggling sounds.
  • Tragic Villain: At least Basile and Alois have their heads together (mostly Basile, but Alois is still in there, too). Malo? We will never know what he was like before.

Monsieur Florbelle

The late-father of the main antagonist of the DLC of the same name.

  • For Science!: One of the driving motives behind his 'curious' experiments.
  • Mad Scientist: Well, a psychologist who devotes himself to the study of the psyche and developing human mind. Monsieur Florbelle's methods however, are questionable at best.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He realized his tests had achieved nothing but a huge rift to grow between his increasingly-unstable daughter and himself. Florbelle could no longer justify his research and now needed to mend his relationship with his daughter. But Florbelle never had the chance and Justine murdered him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Of French aristocracy, Monsieur Florbelle was the one who pulled strings to allow his old acquaintance Herbert, passage into Algeria, for the expedition predating the events of the Dark Descent.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He genuinely wants to find out why some people are born with mental illnesses or sociopathic tendencies and find ways to treat them.

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