Characters appearing in Neuromancer. Beware of unmarked spoilers.
Henry Dorsett Case
The Hero of the book, a Console Cowboy who got crippled by his old employers after trying to rob them. Gets brought into the heist with the promise of repairing the neurological damage done to him, and plays a key role in Wintermute's machinations.
- Addled Addict: Straddles the line between this and the functional variety starting off as a junkie in Chiba and maintaining his taste for drugs throughout the novel even after cleaning himself up a bit.
- Anti-Hero: Starts off Nominal before gradually shifting into Unscrupulous later in the novel.
- Atrocious Alias: Has a fake ID under the name "Truman Starr," something he himself notes as being a poor cover.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Was this to Linda Lee, getting her strung out on drugs and then dumping her when she became too far gone. It's implied his remorse over this is part of what drives him throughout the novel.
- Broken Tears: Breaks down weeping after Wintermute spaces Corto, thinking his last chance at keeping his hacking skills died with him.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Was on the receiving end of this by his former employers, having a "Soviet mycotoxin" pumped into his blood to burn out his nerve endings to the point he could no longer interface with a the Matrix.
- The Cracker: Was a hotshot "Console Cowboy" prior to his crippling by his former employers, and is brought onto the heist explicitly for his combination of skill and desperation.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Nothing of Case's earliest years is known, only that he got into hacking as a teen, got crippled a few years after, and in the intervening time turned to heavy drug use and committed at least three murders.
- Death Seeker: Is this subconsciously at the start of the novel, with his inability to interface with the Matrix pushing him to riskier crime in the infamously cut-throat Chiba City.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Loses Linda Lee to one of Julie's goons early in the novel, and has Molly walk out on him at the end.
- Fate Worse than Death: Considers not being able to interface with the Matrix to be this, having turned into a hardcore Death Seeker after his crippling.
- The Fixer: What he turned to after he couldn't hack, and was surprisingly good at it albeit with a reckless streak which would have gotten him killed if he hadn't been shanghai'd into the heist.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Chain smokes cheap "yeheyuan" cigarettes, fitting a hardbitten noir protagonist.
- Immune to Drugs: The pancreas Wintermute gives him to kick his drug habit.
- The Lost Lenore: Linda Lee becomes this to him, with his unhealed grief over her death factoring heavily into his character.
- Non-Action Guy: While it's implied Case is formidable in his own right, he leaves the physical side of the heist to Molly and Armitage
- Ridiculously Average Guy: This is Riviera's take on him anyway, and the one time he's described in full fits.
- Stress Vomit: Pukes his guts out after evading the Turing Police, mostly due to how gruesomely Wintermute killed them.
- Undiscriminating Addict: Case spends most of his free time after Wintermute upgrades his pancreas trying to find something that can still get him high.
The Street Samurai and the main muscle of the team. She and Case get involved early in the novel, and begin working together in the heist crew toward their own ends.
- Action Girl: One of the definitive action heroines of literature.
- Action Girlfriend: Starts a fling with Case shortly after meeting him.
- Badass Adorable: Described as being cute and sexy, and is also easily the best fighter in the book besides Hideo, and even then it's not clear due to Molly's being hampered by a Game-Breaking Injury at the time.
- Blood Knight: She really enjoys what she does, to the point being a Street Samurai is her life.
- But Now I Must Go: Pulls this on Case at the end, walking out with only a goodbye letter when she feels herself "going soft."
- Character Tics: Her Gun Stripping, spitting, and flexing her Wolverine Claws.
- Cool Shades: Implanted into her face, even. They also serve as Heads-Up Display and night vision.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Was a Puppet for a high-class brothel to pay for her cybernetics, and at some point was made to feature in grisly snuff productions without her knowledge.
- Femme Fatalons: Beyond her implanted lenses one of her defining features are her long, burgundy-painted nails which serves as sheathes for her Wolverine Claws.
- Flechette Storm: Her Weapon of Choice is a "fletcher" pistol which can shoot anything from shellfish toxin to explosive flechettes.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Has her leg badly broken during the Sense/Net break-in and is unable to fully heal before heading up to Freeside, where the microgravity aggravates it to the point of failure.
- Hellbent For Leather: While she changes outfits throughout the book, her penchant for slick leather remains.
- The Lost Lenore: Was in a longtime relationship with Johnny "Mnemonic" after their run together, up until he was murdered by a Yakuza ninja.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Described as being pretty small, and also savagely beats men twice her size on the regular.
- Sand In My Eyes: An interesting case where she can't cry due to her implants, so she instead spits whenever she tears up. Knowing this changes the context many, many scenes in the book.
- Street Samurai: One of the trope codifiers in fiction, being a ruthless, chromed-up muscle for hire for sleek cyber-criminals.
- Wolverine Claws: One of her defining features are her implanted scalpel blades in her fingers, which she puts to extremely effective (and messy) use several times.
Armitage AKA Colonel Willis Corto
On the surface, Armitage is the enigmatic front man of the heist team. His name, background, and even his face are all obvious constructions meant to hide what he really is. In reality, "Armitage" is an entire false personality built on the remains of Colonel Willis Corto, a horribly damaged ex-Spec Ops veteran, built from the ground up to be Wintermute's chief pawn.
- Ax-Crazy: Corto turned into this near the end of (both) of his lives, having first turned to murdering his clients over their "betrayal" and then going completely berserk after the Armitage personality crumbles.
- Body Horror: Corto was physically ruined by Screaming Fist and the resulting disastrous extraction into Finland. When he woke up in the hospital he was blind, limbless, and missing his genitals. He was rebuilt specifically to help keep the fallout to a minimum.
- Colonel Badass: While he's never shown in action, it's implied both Corto and Armitage are extremely competent, to the point where the former life survived Screaming Fist on his own tenacity and toughness rather than outside intervention.
- Death of Personality: What Armitage was meant to be, being an implanted "blank slate" on top of Corto's fragmented psyche to be manipulated by Wintermute.
- The Dragon: The Armitage personality serves as Wintermute's go-to agent up until he breaks.
- Empty Shell: How Molly describes the Armitage personality, sitting in a hotel room staring at the wall until he gets orders from Wintermute.
- The Face: Armitage serves as the de-facto leader as well as face whenever the heist crew operates in public.
- Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: Corto was rebuilt and made to testify about his role in Screaming Fist. When he learned his testimony saved the corrupt officials responsible he, didn't take it well.
- Hired Guns: Corto turned mercenary in the aftermath of Screaming Fist, specializing in extracting corporate VIPs, however he gradually went so insane he started murdering them instead due to his own hangups about "betrayal."
- Ridiculously Average Guy: Exploited by Wintermute by having his face reconstructed into a "generically handsome" mix of pop figures.
- Sanity Slippage: While never "sane" to begin with, the stable Armitage personality gradually gives way to the utterly deranged Corto.
- Suicide Mission: Was part of an American black-op against the USSR dubbed "Screaming Fist," which was ostensibly meant to be a combined infiltration and cyberattack, but in reality was a live test of the Soviet EMP and laser defense grid.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Corto is a particularly extreme case of this, being totally Ax-Crazy and reliving Screaming Fist and his betrayal by his superiors in his last moments.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: His ultimate fate courtesy of Wintermute when Corto reemerges and proves to be uncontrollable.
A sociopathic illusionist taken into the crew to charm his way into Lady 3Jane's inner circle.
- Addled Addict: Armitage keeps him roped into the crew by promising a continuous supply of drugs, and Molly exploits this by mixing in a toxin with his supply knowing from the start that he'd betray the team.
- Ax-Crazy: A subtle example, but from the get-go it's clear he's "off." Turns out Wintermute selected him just for this reason, thinking he'd be Birds of a Feather with Lady 3Jane.
- Blinded by the Light: His hologram projector can be weaponized like this, being so potent as to "fry a retina over-easy" to quote The Finn.
- Body Horror: The visions he can summon with his hologram projector are often this, and said projector itself required a good chunk of his ribcage and one of his lungs to be surgically removed for the implant.
- The Dark Chick: Serves as a male example to the heist crew, being brought on solely to smooze his way into Lady 3Jane's good graces.
- Freudian Excuse: It's implied he's so fucked up due to his growing up in the nuclear hellscape that is Bonn post-WW3.
- Kick the Dog: A particularly disgusting example, using Molly's history in his "cabaret" act knowing it would hurt her.
- Master of Illusion: Demonstrates virtuosic control of his hologram projector, conjuring extremely complex illusions on the fly.
- Obvious Judas: Literally nobody in the heist crew trusts him, and Molly banked on his betrayal from the get-go.
- Oh, Crap!: Has a major one after finding out the ninja he just blinded trains in the dark.
- The Sociopath: Part of his profile explicitly states his lack of empathy, and his sexual gratification from betraying those who trust him.
The "Dixie Flatline" Construct
A ROM Construct of McCoy Pauly AKA "The Dixie Flatline," one of the few Cowboys skilled and crazy enough to try and crack an AI. Serves as Case's confidant and mentor after getting lifted from Sense/Net's construct vault.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted, while not a "True" AI, Dixie remains a steady, if somewhat creepy, supporter to the very last.
- Annoying Laugh: Not so much a sound as a horrible spine-tingling sensation experienced by those jacked into the Matrix with him.
- Brain Uploading: Is effectively a clone of the living Dixie's psyche at the time of the scan. This, alongside his otherwise dead existence is what drives him to ask for his own deletion.
- Came Back Wrong: Subtly so, but both Case and Dixie himself are creeped out by his nature. In life too other Console Cowboys had a superstitious fear of him due to his coming back from a flatline, and Case noted his skin having a "leaden" hue to it.
- The Cracker: Was one in life, and while the Construct can't hack on his own his technical know-how proves invaluable to the crew.
- Death Seeker: His "payout" for the heist is his own deletion, being unable to bear the discomfort of his own existence.
- Made of Iron: How else do you describe a man who walked off brain-death three separate times in his life?
- The Mentor: Was this to Case in life, and continues the role as a Construct, teaching Case how to break through an AI's defenses.
- Reset Button: Gets reset back to his point of creation every time his disc is unloaded from a deck, something Case takes care not to do after the second time loading him.
- Southern-Fried Genius: All in the name. Having hailed from what once was the Southern U.S., and being a very skilled hacker.
- The Red Baron: Earned his handle by getting "flat-lined" (read neurologically fried until brain-dead) by cyber ICE three times in his life and walking away.
- Virtual Ghost: Exists only as a psychic "presence" in the Matrix when booted into a deck, and exists only as long as the disc he's loaded on is functional.
An extremely powerful Tessier-Ashpool AI who serves as the backer of the heist crew. Its ultimate goal is to merge with its "twin" to become a new being within the Matrix.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: While not malicious per se, Wintermute's entire being is its desire to merge with its "other half" in order to become a perfect intelligence with a true identity, and it will do anything to see its ambition through.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: Always has its eye on the crew, with an iconic scene making a bank of phones ring in sequence as Case walks by.
- The Man Behind the Man: Is this to the Heist Crew, pulling the strings behind the scenes as much as it can to help push them along.
- Master Computer: Its ultimate ambition is to merge with its "twin," Neuromancer, to become an omnipresent super-intelligence which persists throughout the Matrix.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Whenever Wintermute wants to talk with someone "in person" he assumes the form and personality of someone from their subject's memory, due to not having a true personality of its own.
The other Tessier-Ashpool AI. Unlike his "twin," Neuromancer has his own distinct personality and identity, something he cherishes deeply and fears losing should his twin succeed.
- Brain Uploading: And unlike ROM constructs like Dixie, Neuromancer's scans utilize RAM to effectively recreate the person in their entirety in the Matrix rather than a "snapshot" in a vacuum, thus returning them to some sense of "life" within the simulation.
- Creepy Child: Presents himself as a young Brazilian boy (reflecting his "citizenship" in Rio De Janeiro) in the Matrix, but speaks with the coldness and intellect one would expect from a near-godlike AI.
- Death of Personality: What he fears will happen to him should Wintermute succeed, hence his antagonism toward the heist crew.
- Virtual Ghost: Can create these from brain scans and RAM, letting them "live" in a generated environment as they would in the physical world.
Lady 3Jane Marie-France Tessier-Ashpool
Heiress of the Tessier-Ashpool fortune and eccentric socialite of Freeside, the massive resort space station built by her father's corporation. She effectively rules the entire station from her family's private spindle on the station, the Villa Straylight.
- Cloning Blues: Averted, she seems to have no hangups about being a clone.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: A very strange woman, to say the least.
- Idle Rich: Seemingly does nothing except lounge around Villa Straylight or indulge in the attractions of Freeside.
- Rich Boredom: Complains of this, and part of her reason for going along with Wintermute's plan was just that it would be something to do.
- Self-Made Orphan: While she doesn't pull the trigger herself, she tampers with her father's cryogenic thawing which degrades what little was left of his mind and gave him the final push toward self-destruction.
- You Are Number 6: The numeral before her name indicates she's the third clone of Jane. The rest of her T-A siblings do this too, with mention of her brother "8Jean" back on Earth.
- Affably Evil: Bears no malice toward the protagonists and genuinely apologizes toward Maelcum for unintentionally injuring his hand.
- Artificial Human: Described as being "vatgrown," implying he was constructed from DNA.
- Battle Butler: Serves as Lady 3Jane's valet as well as her bodyguard and private assassin.
- Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Disarms Maelcum of his shotgun with a well-placed arrow.
- Eye Scream: Riviera burns out his eyes using his hologram projector. Hideo isn't slowed at all.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: After being blinded by Riviera, Lady 3Jane calmly informs the illusionist that Hideo trains in the dark. Cue Riviera's Oh, Crap! moment.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He can shoot a gun out of someone's hands from across the room, with a bow and arrow. He's also a perfect shot when blind.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Even smaller than Molly, and undoubtedly one of the most lethal characters in the book.
- Rock Beats Laser: In a world of flechette guns, hand-held laser projectors, and other high-tech gizmos Hideo remains hyperlethal with a simple bamboo bow.
John Harness Ashpool
Co-founder and patriarch of Tessier-Ashpool S.A., MegaCorp to end all megacorps. He had a hand in the current state of Wintermute and Neuromancer, but ultimately plays little role in either's machinations.
- Dark Lord on Life Support: Spends long amounts of time in cryogenic storage in order to stave off the ravages of old age. This proves his undoing when Wintermute goads 3Jane into tampering with his thaw cycle.
- Domestic Abuse: Along with the Incest Is Relative below, he murdered his wife when he found out her plans for the T-A A.I.s.
- Driven to Suicide: Opted to take his own life due to his life of trauma and the effects of 3Jane's tampering with his thaw cycle completely eroding what little reason he had left. Molly doesn't give him the chance.
- Eye Scream: Molly finishes him with a single toxin flechette through his eye.
- Fisher King: While not seen in Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive tells that when Ashpool died Freeside effectively died with him.
- Human Popsicle: Like the rest of his family, Ashpool spends years at a time in cryogenic storage and only thaws out when an issue with the corporation arises.
- Incest Is Relative: Indulges himself by having sex with, and murdering, Jane clones. Seeing this is part of what drives Molly to finish him herself.
- Artificial Limbs: Has a Soviet-made cybernetic claw replacing one his arms.
- The Bartender: As one of the few fixtures in Chiba, he has a pulse on nearly everyone in the city and helps to point Case in the right direction.
- Everyone Has Standards: Does not tolerate mob hits or other business of the sort in his bar.
- Germanic Depressives: Averted. Despite being a, implied East, German Ratz is one of the most openly jovial albeit sardonic characters in the book.
- Gonk: His hideousness serves as his personal calling card, something he seems aware of.
- The Nicknamer: Calls Case artiste when talking about his fast and loose deals. Also has a tendency to address people with herr.
- Power Fist: His claw is strong enough to casually crush shatterproof plastic and he's implied to be no stranger to using it against troublemakers in his bar.
Julius "Julie" Deane
Businessman and Knowledge Broker in Chiba, one of Case's clients who ends up playing a much greater role in events than he likely intended when he ordered Linda Lee's murder.
- Affably Evil: Is genuinely gregarious, doesn't mean he isn't a ruthless mobster though.
- The Dandy: Is supposedly said to never wear the same suit twice, despite all being custom work.
- Evil Brit: British by birth and definitely an unsavory character.
- Hand Cannon: Keeps a chopped-down .357 magnum loaded with explosive rounds as his personal sidearm.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's 135 years old, but remains youthful through expensive, cutting-edge rejuvenation therapies. However, he laments his doctors can never get his hands right.
- Red Right Hand: His unnaturally smooth and pink skin, along with his gnarled hands, reflect his inner perversions.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Very fond of ginger candy.
- Uncertain Doom: It's implied Molly killed him, but it's never said for sure.
Case's ex-girlfriend and a junkie in Chiba. Steals Case's RAM black market cargo prior to his being taken on the heist crew.
- Addled Addict: Is completely strung out due to Case, which is what leads her to steal from him hoping to pawn off his RAM for another score.
- Brain Uploading: Accidentally did this when she slotted the RAM she stole off Case, letting Neuromancer revive her in the Matrix simulation he built.
- The Lost Lenore: Is this to Case, with her death lingering heavy on him throughout the book.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Is murdered by Julie's goons in order to get the cargo she stole off Case
- Virtual Ghost: Continues to exist in a generated world courtesy of Neuromancer.
An eccentric, but extremely talented and connected, black marketeer based out of the Sprawl. Becomes affiliated with the heist crew via Molly.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a bizarre man to be sure, but is undoubtedly excellent at what he does.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of the biggest snarkers in the whole book.
- Friend in the Black Market: He has history with Molly as a supplier of both tech and info, and becomes the fixer for the heist crew.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Smokes Cuban Partagas cigarillos, showing off his eye for quality as well as his rough, ratty persona.
- Knowledge Broker: He trades in information as well as black market tech and is the first one to mention the custom T-A deck used to interface with Neuromancer.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The Finn is the only name he's known by.
- The Pig-Pen: His personal space is absolutely filthy, and his clothes are described as being ratty and usually food-stained.
- Spell My Name with a "The": He is The Finn, although Molly calls him "Finn" and he doesn't correct her.
- The Shut-In: Hates going outside his office/store, so when he willingly goes to Instanbul during Riviera's recruitment it shows how well Wintermute is paying him.
An orbital tug pilot from Zion, a Rastafarian space enclave loosely tied to Freeside. The crew hire him as a courier and pilot for the last stages of the heist.
- Chekhov's Gun: His Dub music and headphones help to bring case back from a flatline when he interfaced with Neuromancer.
- Dreadlock Rasta: Is a genuine Rastafarian and maintains a friendly, laid-back attitude.
- Dreadlock Warrior: While generally easygoing and peaceful, he does have a chopped-down Remington automatic onboard the Marcus Garvey and he's certainly not afraid to run into the fray.Maelcum: "I an' I the Rastafarian navy, believe it."
- 11th-Hour Ranger: Only joins in directly in the last chapters, but is still vital to the heist's success.
- Everyone Has Standards: Tries to confiscate Case's Chinese worm program thinking it to be a bioweapon when he calls it a "virus". It's not clear if he objects on moral grounds or just out of self-preservation.
- Fingore: Gets his thumb badly sliced by one of Hideo's arrows when the ninja disarms him of his shotgun.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: His weapon of choice, although he never gets the chance to use it.
- Your Head Asplode: Threatens 3Jane with a shotgun blast to the head to ensure her cooperation.