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    Ethan Mars
"Everything I did, I did for love."

Voiced by: Pascal Langdale (English); Bernard Gabay (French); Pino Insegno (Italian); Mitsuru Miyamoto (Japanese); Ilya Isaev (Russian)

Ethan is an architect with a wife and two sons. Two years prior to the main story, his elder son, Jason, dies in a car accident that leaves Ethan in a six-month coma. Now awake, Ethan remains depressed and stricken with grief. He suffers from agoraphobia and lives alone, estranged from his wife Grace Mars and distant from his other son, Shaun. Ethan soon discovers that Shaun may become the next victim of the Origami Killer, and is forced to go through five trials (danger, suffering, brutal suffering, murder and sacrifice).

  • Acquitted Too Late: If Ethan is imprisoned and Madison and/or Norman survive without going to the warehouse, Scott Shelby will be identified as the Origami Killer - but Ethan will still hang himself in his cell before he can be released.
  • Action Dad: Overlaps with Action Survivor and Papa Wolf.
  • Action Survivor: He's a former architect with no combat experience, and doesn't even know how to use a gun. He can still manage to save his son from the Origami Killer, and even confront and kill him himself.
  • Adult Fear: Nothing does it quite like a serial killer who kidnaps children. And who can forget JASOOOOOON!
  • Almost Kiss: With Madison in "On the Loose." It's up to the player if they go through with it.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Ethan suspects himself of being a schizophrenic, but the symptoms he describes are more typical of dissociative identity disorder (often wrongly associated with schizophrenia) or extreme cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. He is never given a definitive diagnosis at any point in the game, and deleted content reveals the blackouts he experiences were originally caused by a Psychic Link between himself and the killer, not by a mental disorder. It's unknown if this can still be considered canon, however, as it was removed during development and the blackouts became an Aborted Arc.
  • Badass Baritone: In the Japanese dub.
  • Badass Boast:
    • He can give one to Scott if he is alone at the warehouse and chooses not to kill him.
      Ethan: You manipulated me, but now it’s over. I have my son. You have no power over me anymore.
    • If Madison calls him after she finds the address to the warehouse, she warns him to be careful because the killer is still out there. Ethan says this in response:
      Ethan: No one’s going to stop me from saving my son.
  • Badass Bookworm: The badass part comes later, but Ethan is a former architect who doesn't know how to fight or use a gun. He’s still no slouch when it comes to finding his son.
  • Badass Normal: Compared to the other Quantic Dream protagonists. He's a human with no supernatural powers, unlike Lucas Kane and Jodie Holmes, who are supernaturally gifted humans, and Kara, Markus and Connor, who are androids.
  • Bandage Babe: A male example. How bandaged he gets is up to the player, but he will always end up with bandages on both wrists and one of his hands.
  • Beard of Sorrow: After Jason's death, he puts down the shaving cream. He goes clean-shaven again in his good endings.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's a family man with very little ill will towards anyone, but depending on how you play him, he can be surprisingly vindictive if pushed.
  • Big Damn Heroes: It's possible for him to save Madison in "The Old Warehouse" by shooting Scott in the back just as he corners her.
  • Big "NO!": Yells out one of these in "The Mall" while running into the street to push Jason out of the way of a car.
  • Bumbling Dad: Downplayed. In the first two chapters of the game, Ethan is fairly goofy around his sons (even acting like a campy bad guy while playing in the backyard with them), and also loses track of Jason more than once in the mall. However, he's neither an idiot (he had a job as an architect, and must have been a pretty good one if the large and likely expensive house he lived in is anything to go by) nor an incompetent father. Averted from the third chapter onwards, as he's a lot less goofy after Jason's death.
  • But Thou Must!: Ethan is usually given the option to walk away from a trial as soon as he learns what it entails. The only exceptions are the first and fourth trials. In the latter, there's no option for him to choose not to go to the drug dealer's apartment; he can only choose whether or not to go through with killing him at the end.
  • Clawing at Own Throat: Does this in "Lexington Station" after the crowded station causes his agoraphobia to flare up.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: He has a few moments of this, but a particularly notable one happens if you don't do all the trials, which leaves Ethan without the complete address to where Shaun's being held.
    Ethan: Damn fucking shitty letters from this fucking, fucking address!
  • Convenient Coma: He goes into a six-month coma after Jason dies.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: If he is killed at the warehouse.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Certain dialogue options (and even a few of the mandatory lines) can make him look like one.
  • Death Seeker: One dialogue option in "The Shrink" has him admit that he doesn't want to live anymore.
  • Determinator: He just won't stay down, even when he's supposed to be recovering from a trial.
    Madison: You can't keep going like this. You're destroying yourself, Ethan.
    Ethan: Finding Shaun is the only thing that matters.
  • Dies Wide Open: Two of his possible deaths have him die this way.
  • Dirty Coward: If he chooses not to complete the trials. The game occasionally calls the player out on it: for example, the door leading to freedom in the Butterfly trial is labeled "Coward", and the player is also awarded an identically-named trophy should they choose not to do the trial.
  • Dramatic Irony: If Ethan is the only one to make it to the warehouse, he is shot and killed by the police after Blake mistakenly thinks he’s reaching for a gun. The player knows that Ethan tossed his gun away after confronting Scott.
  • Driven to Suicide: Any ending where Shaun dies. He either hangs himself in his jail cell after being convicted, shoots himself in a run-down motel room, or similarly offs himself in front of Shaun's grave.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The Bear trial requires Ethan to drive at 60 MPH on a rain-slicked freeway on the wrong side of the road.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: He isn't seen drinking at any point in the game, but he starts keeping beer in the house after Jason’s death, and several bottles are seen in the motel room he kills himself in in the "Origami Blues" ending. Some fanfictions portray him as a recovering alcoholic.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In the first two chapters, his hair is neatly slicked back. During the main game, his hair is more unkempt, showing that he isn't putting as much effort into caring for himself because of his depression and guilt.
  • Expy: He is similar to Harry Mason in both appearance and personality. He is also similar to Lucas Kane.
  • Fingore: Loses his pinky finger during the Lizard trial, if the player decides to go through with it.
  • Fugitive Arc: After Ethan is accused of being the Origami Killer, the rest of the game becomes this for him.
  • Gangsta Style: Ethan uses this on the drug dealer briefly in the Shark trial.
  • Happily Married: To Grace at the beginning of the game. It doesn’t last.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Becomes this after he is accused of being the Origami Killer.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Uses this to justify his actions while completing the trials, especially the final one. Justified, as he is trying to rescue his son.
  • Improbably Quick Coma Recovery: Implied. No one seems to mention the coma or physical therapy he would have needed afterwards as an alibi when he is suspected of being the Origami Killer, as both would have rendered him incapable of doing so.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: He has blue eyes and is generally a good-natured guy.
  • The Killer in Me: Subverted when his blackouts turn out to be a Red Herring.
  • Love Makes You Evil: He thinks this is the cause of his Split Personality. Subverted when it's revealed that the Origami Killer is a separate individual, not his alter ego.
  • Made of Iron: He can handle everything the trials throw at him surprisingly well. Even the second trial, which can result in some pretty bad electrical burns if the player does poorly, only stops him for a few hours. Depending on how events play out at the warehouse, he can potentially be shot by Scott and still have enough stamina to make it to Madison mere moments before she can be killed. Alternatively, if she dies, Ethan is seen leaving the warehouse seemingly none the worse for wear.
  • Meaningful Name: Ethan's name can mean "strong" or "enduring", and he can be played as a Determinator willing to do or endure anything to save his son.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He has a Shower Scene in the first chapter of the game, and there are a few scenes where he's in nothing but his boxers.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Between himself and Madison.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His eldest son Jason died two years before the main story. Ethan can potentially outlive both of his sons if Shaun drowns, though not for long.
  • Papa Wolf: Invoked and exploited. His thread of the story is his fight to save his living son, Shaun, from a serial killer. Get into it, and you'll see he'll go To Hell and Back to save his kid, to the point that he could easily be a reincarnation of Harry Mason. This is all part of the Origami Killer's plan, as the entire point of the tests are to prove he's a father capable of giving his life to save his son. However, depending on your actions, this can end up working too well for the Origami Killer.
  • Please Wake Up: During his attempts to revive Shaun via CPR.
  • Plot Armor: Despite the ridiculously high number of situations he faces that would be fatal to almost anyone, Ethan can't die until near the end of the game.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: If he saves Madison from Scott during their fight, he collapses in front of her afterwards.
  • Psychic Powers: An earlier version of the story implied he had these, particularly in the form of a psychic connection to the Origami Killer that allowed Ethan to see the killer’s memories and experience visions of his victims whenever he blacked out, which often coincided with their disappearances. It’s unclear whether Ethan canonically possesses any supernatural abilities in the final game, as no alternative cause was given for the blackouts but traces of the original storyline can still be seen.
  • Rasputinian Death: Considering the amount of potentially fatal situations he gets put into over the course of the game, any of his possible deaths could qualify as this.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Can potentially have one with Madison, if he sleeps with her and forgives her after discovering that she's a journalist.
  • Right Through His Pants: If he sleeps with Madison, he'll have his underwear on before waking up.
  • Room Full of Crazy: In two of his bad endings, he commits suicide in a room full of origami figures.
  • Sadistic Choice: All of Ethan's trials involve these.
  • Say My Name: Via the Holler Button, which used to be called "Press X to Jason".
  • Split Personality: Suggested, but it's ultimately a trick of his own mind. It's resolved when Ethan finds out who the Origami Killer actually is. Towards the end of the game, he believes his "other self" is and is testing himself to see if he truly cares for his son. This is not true, but makes sense. The game certainly likes to play it up this way.
  • Stress Vomit: If he kills the drug dealer in the fourth trial.
  • Survivor Guilt: He is wracked with guilt from the accident, and it's implied he believes he should have died instead of Jason. When his therapist tells him he is lucky to have survived, his only response is "I don't exactly feel lucky, doctor."
  • These Hands Have Killed: Expresses guilt over killing the drug dealer, if he goes through with it.
    Ethan: I’ve got blood on my hands. Whatever happens now, nothing can change what I’ve done.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Subverted if you allow him to kill Brad Silver and Scott.
  • Took a Level in Badass: And how. Every one of the trials is practically a level.
  • Trauma Conga Line: One of his sons gets run over by a car, he ends up in a coma for six months, when he wakes up his wife wants to divorce him, and his surviving son hates him. Then his son gets kidnapped and he is forced to complete a series of increasingly dangerous trials in order to save him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Madison when he finds out she's a journalist.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Throws Madison’s notebook at her in anger after discovering she is a journalist.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Depending on the player's actions, Ethan can evade arrest (twice), assault police officers, damage property, and drive recklessly. Should he make it to the warehouse and survive, he is given a pardon by Captain Perry and is let off scot-free. If he killed Brad Silver and/or Scott there’s no indication he served jail time for that either.

    Madison Paige
"There has to be another way."

Voiced by: Judi Beecher (English, main game), Barbara-Ann Weber-Scaff (English, DLC); Yūko Kaida (Japanese); Olga Zubkov (Russian)

Motion capture by: Jacqui Ainsley

Madison is a young photojournalist living alone in the city. Suffering from chronic insomnia and nightmares, she occasionally checks into motels, as they are the only place she can properly sleep. She eventually finds herself involved in the latest Origami Killer case, conducting her own investigations.

  • Action Girl: And how. For your ordinary journalist, she does a pretty damn good job fending off serial killers.
  • Action Survivor: Shared with Ethan.
  • All Just a Dream: Madison fighting the burglars in her apartment.
  • Almost Kiss: With Ethan in "On the Loose." It's up to the player if they go through with it.
  • Alone with the Psycho: In chronological order; she sneaks into Leland White's house only to end up trapped in the same building as a serial killer when White arrives home early; she pays a visit to Dr Baker, running the risk of being drugged and vivisected; finally, she decides to investigate the Origami Killer's lair, only to be held at gunpoint by the man himself.
  • Badass Adorable: She may be a beautiful, young, and kind photojournalist, but throughout the game, depending on the player, she can quite defend herself very well in tough situations.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Madison is the most bright-eyed, well-dressed insomniac you'll ever meet.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kind, compassionate, and more than willing to crush Paco's balls if he doesn't start talking.
  • Biker Babe: She owns a motorcycle and she's a hottie, 'nuff said.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Her hair is as short as the male playable characters'.
  • Captain Obvious: "It's a painkiller, it'll help ease the pain."
  • Cassandra Truth: This is the reason why she can't tell Ethan that she's a journalist. If she's found out, she confesses that the reason she didn't tell him earlier was because she was afraid he wouldn't take it well, which is exactly what happened.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Most notably in her brawl with Dr Baker, in which she ends up fighting him with his own power tools.
  • Damsel out of Distress: She gets into several situations where she faces a high probability of being raped, killed, or both, but she can escape from them on her own if the player performs the correct actions.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: According to cut content, she was a reporter embedded with U.S. soldiers during the Iraq War. The horrors she witnessed in combat left her with some serious psychological scars. And then there's the stuff she went through in The Taxidermist.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • More prominent in The Taxidermist. If she rummages through a trash can while exploring Leland's house, she says this to herself in response:
      Madison: Way to go, Madison. Lots of imagination. "Madison Paige discovers a serial killer while rooting through a garbage can."
    • Still has shades of it in the main game, like this line she gives to Paco at the end of Sexy Girl:
      Madison: I really appreciated this romantic moment, but I gotta dash. See you next time, lover boy.
  • Dies Wide Open: Most of her possible deaths involve this.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: An early model of Madison had long blonde hair tied back into a ponytail, making her look even more like her mocap actress Jacqui Ainsley. This was changed before the game's release.
  • Easily Forgiven: If Ethan forgives her for lying to him in "On the Loose."
  • Expy:
    • Of Carla Valenti. Both are investigating a criminal case and end up falling in love with the prime suspect. However, Ethan and Madison’s romance is optional, whereas Lucas will always end up with Carla.
    • Madison's jeans, printed biker jacket, affinity for motorcycles and general look is very reminiscent of Claire Redfield.
    • She also heavily resembles Monica Bellucci's character in obscure French film The Stone Council.
  • Fan Disservice: She is far from unattractive, but the striptease in Sexy Girl may be this more than Fanservice because Madison is being forced to remove her clothes by Paco.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: On just about every occasion she meets Ethan, he's been seriously injured and she has to bandage his wounds; this escalates into a desire to help him through the Origami Killer's trials and get the police off his back, to the point that she's willing to endanger her life if it means uncovering the clues, and finally ends in full-fledged romance. Whether Ethan reciprocates her feelings or not is up to the player.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: When not taking big risks for Ethan, Madison can be found taking big risks for her career; Taxidermist, anyone?
  • Hero Insurance: She can potentially kill multiple unrelated serial killers during the course of her investigation into the Origami Killer, without ever being detained by the police for doing so. Journalists are not cops, and in real life she'd almost certainly be detained and questioned by the cops for an indefinite period of time, especially after the second killing, no matter how clear-cut the circumstances of self-defense would appear (unlike with Ethan, you can't assume she simply keeps her mouth shut about any possibly illegal acts because it's shown she explicitly publicizes her actions).
  • I Have Brothers: Can offer this explanation to Ethan when he asks why she insists on tending to his injuries.
    Madison: When I was a child, I was always the one who used to fix my brothers up when they'd been fighting with the other kids on the block. I suppose I like to play the guardian angel.
  • The Insomniac: The twist is that her insomnia fails if she's sleeping in a motel.
  • The Lost Lenore: To Ethan, if she dies post-Relationship Upgrade.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Just damn.
    • Her Motion Capture actress is a supermodel, and Madison is introduced in a scene which basically consists of her roaming around in her apartment while wearing only a tank top and panties.
    • Within minutes of her initial appearance in the game, Madison has an exceptionally long quick-time event in which she fights home invaders in her underwear. This scene has absolutely no effect on the plot.
    • Also, having her take a shower before the home invaders hit, with Madison flaunting her well-endowed upper body completely naked for quite some time.
    • Especially in the Sexy Girl chapter, where she unbuttons her shirt, rips off part of her skirt so the bottom comes to just below her ass, and does sexy dancing in high heels. It would be especially heavy Fanservice if you weren't concentrating on the QTE to make her dance well.
    • When she fakes having sex by moaning, etc. in Paco's office to trick his guard from coming in, leaving Paco's mouth dropped open in shock.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Between herself and Ethan.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Can potentially have one with Ethan, if he sleeps with her and forgives her after discovering she’s a journalist.
  • Sanity Slippage: In the ending "Square One", in which her insomnia reaches critical levels and her nightmares turn into full-fledged halucinations.
  • Second Love: Depending on player choices she can become this to Ethan himself.
  • Shaking the Rump: Did this when Paco forces her to strip at gunpoint, but she does it to distract him so that she can club him with a lamp.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Although she wasn't a soldier, cut content reveals that she covered the Iraq War as a reporter embedded with U.S. troops. She witnessed quite a few horrific things in combat and these experiences were intended to explain her hallucinations/nightmares.
  • Show Some Leg: As she admits herself, she'll do anything to get the information she needs...
  • Took a Level in Badass: See Action Girl.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If Shaun dies and Ethan lives, she will callously tell Ethan that life must go on and that she'd like to have a child with him. Thing is, she tells him all this as he is standing over his son's grave a few hours after his funeral had taken place.

    Norman Jayden
"I'm not sure that's entirely legal."

Voiced by: Leon Ockenden (English); Damien Boisseau (French); Hiroaki Hirata (Japanese); Fran Jiménez (Spanish); Alexander Dzyuba (Russian)

Jayden is an FBI profiler sent from Washington to support the police force with their investigation into the Origami Killer. Jayden possesses an apparatus which consists of experimental augmented reality glasses and a single right hand glove called ARI, or "Added Reality Interface". This allows him to rapidly investigate crime scenes and analyze evidence. He is also struggling with an addiction to the drug triptocaine, which helps him cope with the mental side effects of using ARI.

  • Ambiguous Situation: It’s not clear what happened to him in the “Uploaded” ending. Some players think the Norman that Blake encounters is the real Norman, who became part of ARI after his death because he used it so often, while others think it’s just a virtual copy of Norman created by ARI.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: If he dies during the investigation, this apparently happens to him in the "Uploaded" ending.
  • Badass Bookworm: He is the most technologically savvy of the cast and an FBI agent.
  • Big Damn Heroes: It's possible for him to save Ethan in "The Old Warehouse" by tackling Scott before he can shoot Ethan. Alternatively, if Ethan is not present but Madison is, Norman can save her by shooting Scott just as she is cornered.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The endings "Case Closed" and "Resignation".
  • Blue Oni: To Blake's red.
  • Brain Uploading: Implied during the "Uploaded" ending, which occurs if Jayden dies at any point in the game.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor guy is already a drug addict and gets more bullying and disrespect from the police force than he deserves, and he always ends up in some seriously aggravating to painful situations. He even lampshades it himself at one point; reading his thoughts after he goes to interrogate Paco has him observe that he spent most of the investigation getting the shit kicked out of him. To cap it all, the only ending where his situation makes a definite improvement is the one where he fails to solve the case and resigns.
  • By-the-Book Cop: And he's a better man for it: he genuinely does good police work by sticking to the rules, while his unhinged partner Blake apparently makes a hobby of wiping his ass with a suspect's Miranda Rights.
  • Clawing at Own Throat: In "Solving the Puzzle," if he spends too much time in ARI, he will frantically clutch his throat with one hand while making choking sounds (presumably choking on his own blood). He eventually suffocates and dies.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As Jayden isn't exactly the most imposing member of the cast, he has to resort to a lot of dirty tricks to survive in hand-to-hand combat, especially in his second fight with Mad Jack.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Implied.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments. For example, at one point he and Blake investigate Nathaniel Williams, a religious nut suspected of being the Origami Killer. The walls of his apartment are covered in crucifixes and Bible quotes. Norman's response? "Looks like Nathaniel Williams is a pretty religious guy."
  • The Dog Bites Back: Has his moments with Blake and Perry. He can get the both of them suspended if Ethan dies.
  • Driven to Suicide: He will die of an overdose of Triptocaine if Shaun dies.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Zig-zagged. Norman uses Triptocaine to prevent overexposure to ARI, but his relapses often interfere with his investigation, and how often he uses it isn't exactly doing wonders for his health. See also Driven to Suicide.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: His East Coast accent frequently tilts over into a childish rhotacism. "I wanna find da owigahmi kiwwuh JUST as much as you do!"
  • Expy: He's similar to Fox Mulder and Dale Cooper.
  • Eye Scream: If you take too long investigating with the ARI in one scene, he starts to bleed from his eyes. If you keep using it, he will start bleeding from his nose and mouth, and eventually die.
  • Fair Cop: He is youthful and a cop.
  • FBI Agent: He is a profiler, but he must also be a special agent, since he is allowed to perform arrests.
  • Fight Magnet: He has to throw down with almost everyone he encounters. Almost always without backup.
  • Functional Addict: To a point. Even with his addiction to Triptocaine which can interfere with his work and personal safety, he is the most competent officer of the police station (player involvement aside).
  • Ghost in the Machine: Seemingly his fate in the "Uploaded" ending, which would happen if Jayden dies at any point in the game before the finale.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has some unexplained faded scars on his face.
    • Leon Ockenden had gotten these scars from an ex-girlfriend that liked to scratch him.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: The "Resignation" ending.
  • Limited Wardrobe: He wears identical-looking gray suits (sometimes with a brown jacket over them) for most of the game. The only time he’s seen wearing anything else is in the "Resignation" ending, where his shirt is black instead of white and he isn’t wearing a tie.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Accusing Blake of being the Origami Killer will result in Norman getting kicked off the case.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: If Norman chooses to save Scott Shelby from falling into the waste grinder, he gets attacked again immediately after.
  • Oh, Crap!: His reaction to seeing tiny virtual desk tanks in the "Case Closed" ending.
  • Only Sane Employee: As mentioned below, Norman is the only cop who isn't a useless Jerkass.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted, Jayden is the only law enforcement official worth a damn in the whole story.
    • Also Played Straight. Carter Blake and his superior officers commit numerous felony offenses right in front of him and other than a few weak protests, he does nothing about their dangerous, illegal actions, even then he could have arrested them and put their entire precinct under federal investigation for Police Brutality.
  • The Profiler: He's even referred to as such in the game. And he's actually spot-on.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Gets one of these in his “Uploaded” ending just after Blake finds his digital ghost in ARI.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's the only cop shown to be trying to bring in the Origami Killer by the book.
  • Sanity Slippage: As he starts overdoing ARI, he starts experiencing visions of the ARI office world even without his glasses on. It gets worse in two of his endings. If he succeeds in solving the puzzle and saving Shaun's life, he starts hallucinating miniature tanks crawling over his desk. If Shaun dies instead, it worsens to the point that he overdoses on Triptocaine after talking to a hallucination of himself.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: If Ethan is arrested once, Norman helps him escape custody, despite knowing that aiding a suspect could land him in serious trouble if he’s caught.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Always in a suit.
  • Shout-Out: Leon Ockenden based his accent on the Boston accents prevalent in The Departed.
    • He has also mentioned that the interrogation scene with Mad Jack was inspired by Heath Ledger.
  • Shower of Angst: In his suit. Justified by the fact that he was having some seriously disorienting and painful withdrawal symptoms at the time. The guy could barely stand upright, so taking off his clothes would have probably been extremely difficult.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Justified, since ARI is high-tech crime scene analysis technology. Has a song now!
  • Tears of Blood: If you take too long during Jayden's final use of ARI, his eyes start bleeding under the glasses.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Subverted if you allow him to kill Nathaniel and Scott.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: In the "Smoking Mirror" ending, the man he is talking to is revealed to be himself, before he dies from an overdose after passing through the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Took a Level in Badass: And HOW! Norman gets his ass handed to him by Mad Jack and The Origami Killer in Fish Tank. Jump a few chapters later to round 2 with the killer in The Old Warehouse, and Jayden's fist-fighting him on even ground, bashing his head around like a pinata with a metal pipe, and can possibly survive a sledgehammer to the face.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Good looking but addicted to at least two substances.
  • Turn in Your Badge: The ending "Resignation".
  • Weak, but Skilled: Not necessarily weak, but most of his QTE fight scenes have him up against larger, stronger, and often armed opponents.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Gets the non-killing type of the trope from Blake in "Solving the Puzzle".

    Scott Shelby
"Goddamn asthma, can't breathe when it rains."

Voiced by: Sam Douglas (English); Banjō Ginga (Japanese); Grzegorz Pawlak (Polish); Alexander Novikov (Russian)

Shelby is a former police officer and Marine who suffers from asthma. He is currently working as a private investigator conducting an investigation into the Origami Killer.

  • Acrofatic: Despite being on the more unhealthy side of slightly overweight, Scott is still surprisingly able to hold his ground in fast-paced fights.
  • The Alcoholic: He keeps booze in his desk drawer and has the opportunity to drink at a few points in the game. Guess he picked it up from his father.
  • Alliterative Name: Scott Shelby. And his birth name, Scott Sheppard.
  • Badass Longcoat: A typical fashion of a hard-boiled private investigator.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's an easygoing, overweight private investigator who looks after babies, persuades liquor store robbers to put down the gun and leave without resorting to violence, and he makes a mean omelet. He will still kick your ass if you challenge him. He is also none other than the Origami Killer.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Scott isn't very choosey on how he takes his opponents down; assuming he doesn't actually have a gun on him, he'll often resort to using anything that can be vaguely classified as a weapon: lamps, panes of glass, bottles, furniture, Samurai swords, bits of scrap metal... and that's when he's not just pummeling them into submission with his bare hands. This becomes even more obvious in the fight between him and Jayden on the conveyor belt, in which they end up attacking each other with just about anything in reach.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Some of the dialogue options make him this. For example:
    Scott: [choosing the Sarcastic option when questioning Gordi Kramer] Okay, so you're a Good Samaritan taking kids home who happen to get lost, right next to your limousine. Now be a nice guy and tell me something I can believe.
  • Deuteragonist: Comes with the territory of being the main antagonist responsible for putting the plot in motion. As such, he's also the only character besides Ethan who can't die midway through the game.
  • Dirty Cop: Implied. According to Paco Mendez, Scott kept him out of prison several times. Considering that Paco had a huge criminal record and clearly wasn't a nice guy, it gives the impression that Scott wasn't much of a By-the-Book Cop.
  • Expy: He looks like Douglas.
  • Fat Bastard: He can be downright cruel if it means getting what he wants. Then comes the revelation that he's actually the Origami Killer.
  • Hardboiled Detective: His entire character is a throwback to this archetype. And a subversion of it.
  • Leitmotif: Scott Shelby's Main Theme.
  • Lightning Bruiser: His QTE fights (if done well) show that for a big man, he's a lot quicker than he looks. In particular this includes the ones where another player character has to fight him.
  • Limited Wardrobe: He wears the same outfit for most of the game with the exception of his disguise at the Blue Lagoon. Besides that, the only other time he’s seen wearing something else is in a flashback played if Ethan makes it to the warehouse, where it’s revealed he witnessed the accident at the mall.
  • Made of Iron: He can survive getting shot a total of four times (once by Andrew and three times by Kramer's bodyguards) and stabbed in the stomach (by Madison, if she fights him).
  • Nice Guy: He is by far one of the nicest characters of the game, namely his Pet the Dog moments below. Though he is revealed to be Affably Evil in the end.
  • Pet the Dog: Many, many moments. A big one where he treats the wounds of a woman who has failed a suicide attempt and takes care of her baby, or the scene after the incident at the watch repair place where he comforts Lauren as she's crying in the rain over her son's death. Finding out the truth about him, though, leaves all these moments open to interpretation.
  • Plot Armor: Like Ethan, he cannot die until the end of the game.
  • Private Detective: He spends most of his time investigating the Origami Killer. Subverted. He's using it as a cover to investigate his killings and destroy any evidence.
  • Stout Strength: Strong enough to lift Charles Kramer at least three inches off the ground, and can easily pick up Norman during their second fight.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: As a child he had an accent that sounded like it was somewhere between British, Irish and French.

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