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Portrayed By: Jesse Plemons
- The Ace: Captain Daly's character, very deliberately. He's handsome, witty, powerful, cunning, and always right. All the women in his crew melt in his arms, and the men constantly praise his worth and intelligence while chastising themselves for doubting him. His buffoon of an antagonist exists only to be humiliatingly foiled and outsmarted by the captain's ingenuity and resourcefulness. Sounds familiar, no?
- The Alleged Boss: Daly is so disrespected in his company, it's easy to forget he's one of the bosses.
- Ambiguous Disorder: It is quite possible to view Robert Daly as autistic or at least socially anxious. Despite being highly intelligent, he is introverted to the point of having trouble exerting authority over even his own real life subordinates, and seems to otherwise lack a social life, spending most of his off-the-clock time in Infinity.
- Asshole Victim: His horrible treatment on fully sentient AI eventually leads them to rebel against him, leaving his mind trapped in his Game Mod that will eventually be deleted and his real body comatose.
- Bad Boss: In his version of Infinity. He forces digital clones of people (who are as self-aware as real people) to play along with his Space Fleet adventures, inflicting horrible punishments (like turning them into monsters) if they don't.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first, it seems that he is just using his mod of Infinity for escapism because he's treated like shit at work despite his genius being the backbone of the company. However, it's revealed he is an utter despot to the self-aware digital clones of people in his program.
- Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: He is a very dark parody of a spaceship captain.
- Contemplative Boss: He assumes this pose when crushing the crew's Hope Spot midway through the episode.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Averted; while being very morally bankrupt privately, it doesn't seem to seep into his business practices or everyday behavior at the office.
- Cruel Player-Character God: A deconstruction; he's an example of what kind of person would behave like this to sapient characters. Walton at one point outright calls him "an asshole god".
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Zig-zagged. On one hand, the real Robert Daly is the co-founder of a massively successful video game development company and clearly lives a very comfortable life. On the other hand, based on the reactions of the Digital Nanette, creating a device which can scan someone's DNA (from any source, without any brain needed) and in about a day creating a virtual copy of them with their memories intact is not a normal thing in this universe, and so still would be the sort of thing that could make him far, far richer.
- Decoy Protagonist: The episode begins with a TOS-like series, and the crew's adventures before transitioning to the real-life Daly at work. It turns out the whole thing is an early build MMO with Daly as the admin, and the characters are sapient copies of his coworkers, whom he tortures and abuses into submission. Later on, digital Nanette starts rebelling against him, and the position of protagonist shifts to her.
- Dirty Coward: Rather than stand up to the people whom he feels have slighted him — like his fellow founder and coworkers — Daly creates digital copies of the people he knows and tortures them, always staying in control.
- Drink-Based Characterization: Daly is fond of vanilla lattes, which mirrors his real-life personality (vanilla — timid). He also orders them with skim milk since he wants to make the appearance that he's losing weight (though he freely eats pizza and drinks chocolate milk in private). This causes Nate, the intern, to mock him for his weight.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Part of Daly's Freudian Excuse, though it doesn't make him any more sympathetic — he's completely ignored and disliked within the company he created. Lampshaded within the simulation.
- Entitled Bastard: Up to Eleven in Infinity, but in real life, he shows shades of this.
- Evil Is Petty: His co-workers do not take him seriously, but they are not actively malicious towards him. They're all friendly to Nanette (who herself is very sweet and friendly to him), and Daly doesn't seem like the easiest person to get along with due to his sullen silences and tendency to get "starey". Yet, he traps digital versions of them in his own playroom to abuse and torture at will. One was imprisoned for not smiling enough — when she doesn't smile at anyone.
- Evil Nerd: In real life, Robert Daly is a nerdy, asocial programmer. He disproportionately takes out his frustrations with his co-workers by creating virtual copies of their minds, placing them in a video game mod, and abusively forcing them to reenact his power fantasies. He finds it easier to use his technical skills to force clones of his coworkers to act out his sci-fi fantasies than to actually learn how to get along with them in real life.
- Extreme Doormat: He is so passive in his everyday life, it's easy to forget he's supposed to be running the company. He shows no reaction whenever his partner bosses him around or his employees act like they're just humoring him, if they happen to follow his requests at all. In his Star Fleet game, on the other hand, he becomes quite the tyrant.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: In his regular, very nerdy life, Daly wears glasses, but takes them off to join Infinity and never wears them in-game, when he's playing a cool, alpha male starship captain. His cruel, tyrannical side is hidden from people he interacts with in his work life, and then unleashed when he goes into the privacy of his home and the Infinity game.
- Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Walton says this to him more or less word-by-word. He apologizes to Daly and admits that he may have exploited his "genius", and mistreated him... then drops the Wham Line that it ultimately doesn't matter, because Daly still threw his son out of an airlock without any remorse. He then declares "fuck you to death" to him instead.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He gets jealous when he sees Walton casually flirting with Nanette. At first it may seem somewhat protective given Walton's reputation, but given that we later learn that Walton is popular among the employees even considering his player status while Daly seems to make female employees uncomfortable by staring at them, this could also be his envy of Walton's natural charisma, which he himself lacks.
- Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Robert Daly's character "Captain Daly" is perfect in every way and is adored by everyone in the setting — which really gets on the nerves of the unwilling audience.
- Idiot Savant: Evil example. His technical skills are incredible, but he is struggling with carrying out normal social interactions and takes out his frustrations in a truly sadistic fashion.
- Jerkass God: Walton calls him Asshole God in the simulation.
- Lack of Empathy: Because he's so sociopathic, he's cruel, spiteful and sadistic when he's playing captain.
- Loners Are Freaks: He is a loner and a vindictive and sinister sociopath in the virtual world.
- Laughably Evil: Some of Robert Daly's dialogue and actions are actually humorous to watch.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-universe — During the escape attempt, Walton seemingly starts to give a heartfelt apology for his attitude toward Daly in the real world that led to all this, which seems to get through to Daly somewhat, but angrily takes it back as it doesn't make up for his actions in the game and yells Fuck you to death! before performing his Heroic Sacrifice to save the crew.
- Nerd in Evil's Helmet: An evil spaceship captain who turns out to be a dweeb in real life; Robert Daly is no less terrifying though.
- Nice to the Waiter: Averted, Daly is dismissive and needlessly rude to the pizza delivery guy who gets on his case.
- Parody Sue: Played for horror; Captain Daly is an archetypal overpowered Self-Insert venting his frustrations at his co-workers, which would be morbidly funny — except that his stand-ins are sapient clones of his same co-workers.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Robert Daly is clearly stunted both emotionally and socially. He is entitled to the point of viewing even harmless slights as disrespectful. He vents his frustrations on sapient clones of his co-workers by torturing them into playing along with his fantasies. While reliving his favorite TV show with himself as the hero, Daly does a lot of immature things such as resolving a showdown with an "enemy" by yelling that there was a naked lady behind him. Daly appears to be uncomfortable with anything even remotely sexual, despite an implied desire for a romance with the real life Nanette Cole. When kissing the female crew members after "saving the day", Daly insists on keeping the kiss close-mouthed. He also removes all the clones' genitals, and feels very awkward when Cole's clone tries to distract him by flirting. Walton's clone refers to the Space Fleet mod as a "playground", and Robert Daly is shown enjoying other child-like things such as pizza and chocolate milk. Daly's actor, Jesse Plemons, has even compared the character to a 12-year-old boy who is confused about his own feelings and actively wishes for control.
- Sadist: It's heavily implied that Daly is this. For all his genius programming skills, he apparently felt the need to break the spirit of Walton's digital clone rather than, say, just scrapping him and making a compliant AI with Walton's likeness. It's not enough for him to take out his frustration on digital clones, he has to make them sapient so they truly suffer. This all at the very least strongly indicates that he actually rather enjoys the act of breaking his victims' spirits.
- The Sociopath: It doesn't leak through in his interactions in the real world, but once Robert Daly gets home and logs into his personal game mod, the full depth of his cruelty and lack of empathy for the sapient clones easily marks him as one of these.
- Straw Fan: He's a biting satire of entitled fans who have god complexes over their favorite properties and see them only as power fantasies.
- Tranquil Fury: When Nanette tells him that she refuses to play along with his "Space Force Bullshit", Daly corrects her with "Space Fleet". Although he does so quietly, the underlying nerd rage in his voice is palpable. The other bridge crew members even have a subtle Oh, Crap! reaction to this.
- The Transmogrifier: Because he prefers to roleplay being a starship captain rather than play god, Daly mainly uses his influence over the simulation to painfully transform any of his clone NPCs that dare rebel. Among other things, Nannette has her face erased, Shania is transformed into an alien monster, and several others rebellious characters have been transformed during the backstory and abandoned throughout the simulation until Daly feels like getting them involved with the game's narrative again; Daly has even gone so far as to erase the genitals of all his NPCs for the sake of a wholesome setting! Generally speaking, he doesn't use other powers or techniques unless he's really pissed off and wants to torture someone until they break.
- Unsexy Sadist: As "Captain Daly", Robert engages in abusive behavior that only adds to his great charisma and gives this wholesome captain a much-needed "bad boy" streak. However, he is considered creepy by the sapient clones, and the narrative discourages the real life audience from buying his attempts at being an appealing hero.
- Villainous Aromantic Asexual: While Daly enjoys tormenting his coworkers without end, he shows no interest in sex or romance of any kind, and even seems reluctant and a bit scared when confronted with the concepts; while his space adventures always end with a required kiss from one of the female ensigns, he insists on it being closed-mouth. He even goes so far as to remove the genitals of the crew's avatars to keep the simulation as chaste as possible. When Nanette tries to flirt with him in an attempt to distract him, he appears curious, but also somewhat uncomfortable with the situation.
- Virtual Reality Warper: As the creator of Infinity he has access to an developer build of the game, but he's modded it to resemble his favourite TV show and granted himself special abilities within the game, from superhuman strength to the power to alter character models at will. Unfortunately, he mainly uses this for twisted power fantasies: having copied the minds of real people into the game, he forces them to participate in his attempts to play space hero, erasing Nanette's face when she refuses to willingly participate and transforming repeat offenders into monsters as punishment. His only weakness is that he needs to be in close proximity to a target for his powers to work.
- Would Hurt a Child: Walton's clone, at first, doesn't play along with Daly. Daly breaks him by getting his son Tommy's DNA from a lollipop, scanning the child into the game, and throwing him out of an airlock as Walton watches. Tommy and Walton are only digital copies, but their sapience makes the act monstrous.
- And I Must Scream: In the modded Infinity, they can't die, but they can certainly feel pain. They're trapped on a ship with nothing to do but drink; At one point Walton tries to make a hobby out of bashing his head against a control panel; and the ultimate goal of their escape plan is death, not freedom. Furthermore, Daly once removes Nanette's mouth and nose by waving his hand, turning her into a suffocating marionette in what must be a deliberate reference to the Trope Namer, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.
- Also a very pointed reference to Star Trek S1 E2 "Charlie X".
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: To fit in with the 'wholesome' universe Daly has created, all the digital copies lack any genitals. They don't even have an anus. This is thankfully reversed when they escape his mod.
- Body Horror: Nanette, Shania, Walton and Gillian are all subject to various forms of it, and it's almost certain that everybody else has had to endure vile 'punishments' at Daly's Reality Warper hands.
- Clones Are People, Too: The simulated versions on the Callister are fully self-aware replicas of the real people with all their memories and personalities.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After all the horrors they've been put through by Daly, they really did deserve an entire universe to explore for their own amusement. Then again, their first encounter with a player character other then Daly implies they might have to endure many more similarly petulant gamer men. Also Walton isn't shown to be back with the others.
- Going Native: Once they escape into the internet.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: The only thing they can do to pass the time is drink; their Barbie Doll Anatomy prevents them from other fun alternatives.
- No Sex Allowed: Daly has enforced this by removing their genitals. It's implied he also invokes this trope because of his stunted sexuality.
- Trapped in Another World
Portrayed By: Cristin Milioti
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Looks like it might be played straight, before being sharply subverted. There's a Hope Spot when Nanette seems genuinely interested in him and his hobby (Space Fleet), and it appears like it might develop into a flirtation. Instead, she's warned off by Shania, and though she continues to be nice to him, Daly vows revenge and puts her inside Infinity.
- Berserk Button: "Okay... stealing my pussy is a red fucking line!"
- Brainy Brunette: Works at a video game company, geeks out over code, and the digital version of her is a science officer.
- Deadpan Snarker: Once she gets her bearings in Infinity, she quickly shows herself to have a bit of a sharp tongue.(to Daly, mockingly) "You gonna throw a fireball?"
- Determinator: She will not give up attempting to escape despite repeated failures, Daly possessing godlike powers, and everyone and everything telling her it's hopeless.
- Good Is Not Nice: Justified; Nanette asking her real-life counterpart nicely didn't work. She blackmails the real Nanette into stealing from Daly, so that he can't recreate them.
- Guile Hero: A coder determined to trick her way out of the simulation.
- I Die Free: Proposes destroying the ship in the wormhole because at least being dead means they won't be Daly's slaves anymore. Luckily things go slightly better than that.
- It's All My Fault: Blames herself for Lowry getting turned into a horrible bug-monster.
- Manipulative Bitch: Manipulates Daly in the virtual world.
- Naïve Newcomer: Being new to Daly's private Space Fleet simulation, lots of exposition is needed to get her up to speed with the situation. Shes this in the real world as well as she is new to this job.
- Nice Girl: When she joins Callister, Daly is wary and put-off by how genuinely nice she is to him.
- Silk Hiding Steel: In both the real world and the virtual one.
- Spanner in the Works: Daly probably would have been able to continue playing the game if he hadn't copied Nanette in. Her refusal to accept her situation ultimately helps her lead the crew to safety.
- Sweater Girl: In the real world, if her photo gallery is anything to go by.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the virtual world, she steels Dalys Ship, traps him in his own brain and becomes the new captain of the USS Callister.
Portrayed By: Jimmi Simpson
- Despair Event Horizon: When Daly brings his son into Callister and forces him to watch him be thrown out into space and suffer for all eternity. He's completely defeated by Daly from then, but thankfully, Nanette helps him get out of it.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: "Fuck you to death!"
- Foil: To Daly, being an openly flirty alpha-male type who once in the game shows moral character and empathy for other digital clones, realizing how much of a monster Daly's god complex has made him and even realizes he may have been partially responsible for it-though by that point he feels Daly is so far past the Moral Event Horizon he refuses to endanger the other digital clones to save him.
- Fate Worse than Death: Jimmi Simpson says he believes Walton's digital clone wasn't deleted with the rest of the mod.
- Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Says this to Daly, more or less exactly. While the rest of the crew is escaping, Walton starts to apologise for mistreating Daly, before ending by telling him that he no longer feels remorse for it due to Daly crossing the line with the murder of his son.
- Good Parents: Walton may be a bit of a cad and can be a bit of a jerk but no one can say that he's a bad father as clearly loves his son, Tommy, more than anything.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Volunteers to fix the ship's engine knowing that he will burn to death so the rest of the crew can escape Daly's torture.
- Ignored Epiphany: Played with. Walton finally tells Daly outright that he ought to have appreciated his hard work and creativity more, and that he regrets having not done so. Daly even seems moved by this...but Walton then says that it doesn't matter, because Daly created a digital clone of Walton's son and pushed him out an airlock.
- Lovable Coward: His character constantly panics and has to look to Daly for assistance when danger strikes. Just as an act, though, as Daly enjoys humiliating him, as he himself feels humiliated by Walton's belittling attitude and easy charisma.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's short-tempered and belittling toward Daly, is something of a sleaze, and ''plays guitar in his office like a douchebag'' but he loves his son more than life itself, is well-liked by his employees and is a noble person deep down.
- Jerk Has a Point: Him calling out Daly's Extreme Doormat personality seems abrasive at first, but Daly is in a crucial leadership role, and his refusal to take charge over his subordinates means he's really not doing his job and is potentially harming the company. This kind of behavior leads to a critical update being pushed back (though it at least helped the heroes out in the end).
- Mean Boss: An interesting case; both he and Daly feel that he exploited Daly's hard work without giving him his due. However, Daly is still second-in-command at the company and clearly doesn't have the skills necessary to keep the company afloat, so they really need each other. Everyone else who works at Callister seems to like him, even if they do consider him to be a player.
- Mr. Vice Guy: His real life version is generally well-liked by his workers at Callister, even though they all see him as "a bit of a player".
- Papa Wolf: He doesn't regret screwing over Daly at all because of what Daly did to Tommy, his son who had never wronged Daly.
- Really Gets Around: Around the office, he's considered a notorious playboy.
Portrayed By: Michaela Coel
- Baleful Polymorph: Is turned into a spider alien after she annoys Daly too much.
- Expy: For Lieutenant Nyota Uhura; of all the expies, she bears the most physical resemblance to her counterpart.
- Nice Girl: The real-world version of her makes friends with Nanette and helps show her the ropes, and the digital version is the most compassionate about acclimating digital Nanette (the others are so checked-out and cynical they mostly don't help).
- Sassy Black Woman: Although she can't show it to Daly, Shania is very quick-witted and feisty, as demonstrated in her conversations both in and out of Infinity with Nanette.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Many of the characters in this episode swear a lot, but not as much as she does.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Her default greeting to friends and close coworkers seems to be calling them assholes, but the recipients tend to just laugh it off and return the banter.
Portrayed By: Billy Magnussen
- BFG: Wields a quite massive rocket launcher in his final confrontation with Daly. As soon as Daly is out of the picture for a moment, he puts it down and complains about its weight.
- Death Seeker: When he gets "defeated" by Daly, he practically begs him to put him out of his misery.
- Evil Is Hammy: His over-the-top hammy acting down on the planet makes Nanette roll her eyes.
- Evil Laugh: Laughs like this. Nanette rolls her eyes at this antic programmed in by Daly.
- Evil Makeover: Valdack in the real world is handsome and well-groomed, while in Infinity he's grungy with a scarred face and missing eye.
- Expy: He is clearly supposed to be a Khan-like figure to Daly's Kirk.
- No Name Given: His name is never spoken in the real world and its unclear if Valdack is his surname or the name of an actual antagonist in the Space Fleet TV show.
- Noodle Incident: Justified. We never learn what he did to justify Daly's hatred, but the crew admits it could've been literally anything. Early on in the episode, Daly trips and falls over his gym bag and while hes apologetic over it and even helps Daly back up, he and Lowry later share a laugh about it at Dalys expense. Additionally, given that hes good-looking and seems to be well-liked around the office, its possible that Daly put him in the game out of a generalized resentment rather than any particular slight.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Within Daly's narrative, he's the good captain's archnemesis, frequently appearing to cause trouble and threaten violence. In reality, he's as scared and trapped as everyone else, and on good terms with the rest of Daly's prisoners.
- Red Right Hand: His missing right eye makes him look more villainous.
- Unknown Rival: The real world Valdack seems like a cheery and friendly guy and seems to like Daly, or at the very least, shows no animosity towards him. But apparently, Daly hates him enough to not only clone him into the game but also make him the deformed Arch-Enemy. Probably demonstrates the extent to which Daly is spiteful and petty.
Portrayed By: Milanka Brooks
- Ambiguously Gay: One of the few things she actually shows interest in is Nanette's sexy photo collection.Elena: She has...gymnastic physique.
- Break the Haughty: What Daly thinks he's doing to her, as she is pretty rude and dismissive to him despite him being her boss.
- Emotionless Girl: Both versions are very deadpan and quiet, and don't react very expressively to most things. The real-world version of her is almost always looking at her phone and never says more than a few words to anyone.
- Expy: Of Seven of Nine, being a sexy alien girl.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: With the Space Fleet mod being an homage to the original Star Trek series, including a character like this is pretty much mandatory. Daly picked his company's self-absorbed female receptionist for the role, who of course doesn't miss the opportunity to lampshade how freaky her blue skin tone is to her.
- Sexy Secretary: She's the receptionist at Infinity, and she's gorgeous. Implied to be one of the reasons she's in Infinity, as Daly seems attracted to her.
Portrayed By: Osy Ikhile
- Afro Ass Kicker: In Infinity. Outside of Infinity, he's just a nice, peaceful guy.
- Expy: Of Chekhov, with Dudani, being that he's an intern.
- Nice Guy: Will make coffee for anyone, especially when he's not being forced.
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: When Walton mentions how Daly got hold of people's DNA, he mentions that he somehow got Parker's "juices" from the bathroom. An exasperated Parker tells him to let that story go already.
Portrayed By: Paul G. Raymond
- Asian and Nerdy: Invoked within the world of Infinity, befitting their outdated racial stereotypes. Although he is nerdy in real life, so is Nanette and (of course) Daly, as they're all computer programmers.
- Bollywood Nerd: He is very good with numbers.
- Expy: Of Pavel Chekhov from the original Star Trek, with some hint of Geordi from Star Trek: The Next Generation.