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Applicants to the P.A.R.A.D.I.S.E. program.

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The Runaways

    "Tango"/Jenny “Jen” Waits 
Appears in: From Heaven's Door | The Touch of Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell and The Radiance of Heaven)
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tango.jpg

A mute, snarky teenager who wakes up in a run-down room in Paradise, and the main protagonist of the series. Their pre-amnesiac self is Jenny Waits, the daughter of Charles and Tara Waits.


  • Adorkable: Tango's an excitable dork with no shame in adorably awkward habits and hugs in public, much as they might try and deny it.
    Tango: I'm not fucking cute.
    Maxine: Kid, you give out hugs like candy on Halloween, you cry over cereal mascots, and you literally have no shame in wearing a sweater that's three sizes too big for you. I don't think there's another word for you.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Tango wakes up not even knowing their own gender, although they're revealed as a female come the big reveal of them being the Director's daughter.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Their right arm is completely non-functional at the beginning of the story and Harlow later cuts it off. This, alongside their lack of a voice, is Ash's fault.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: For as much that happens to them, Tango refuses to give into despair, saying it best in the final chapters: "Fuck cynicism."
  • Apocalypse Maiden: As an immune, Tango's the key to absorbing the knowledge from Heaven Chayne and Ash mean to use to become gods – in doing so, breaking open the Boundary and letting Heaven flood into Earth.
  • Badass Adorable: Tango can be a sweetheart, and a total dork on certain subjects. Hurt their friends? You will pay.
  • Battle Couple: With Mint. Both have taken enough badass levels to qualify.
  • Berserk Button: The song “That's the Way I Like It” ends up absolutely pissing them off at first. They eventually grow to like it, however.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Tango can be a real sweetheart, but doesn't always have compunction in delivering a nasty, deserved fate to someone who's earned it. Just ask Alice.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Delivers one to Mint at long last, but notes that with them being disembodied at the time, it wasn't exactly earth-shaking as they were expecting.
  • Broken Hero: Tango, from the moment of their conception, has been kicked around, stomped on, and their entire existence summed up as an accident. Even in spite of this, Tango still remains perpetually and utterly upbeat at their core.
  • Chastity Couple: With Mint, due to Tango being underage and Mint being uncomfortable with the concept of sex. The relationship is utterly genuine and loving regardless and Tango regards a sexual relationship as nothing more than a trivial "bonus."
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Tango's a bit eccentric, as evidenced by their tendency to space out, their random fixation on a rusty key and a cutout of the face of Toucan Sam, and their tendency to cry over trivial things.
  • Companion Cube: A cutout of Toucan Sam of Froot Loops fame serves as this to them during From Heaven's Door, where they find him in the very first room they wake up in and keep him around for the rest of the ride.
  • Cuddle Bug: Tango is quite physically intimate with their friends, especially Mint.
  • Cute Mute: An excitable, dorky fifteen-year-old kid with a propensity for hugs who can't speak — at least, not vocally.
  • Damsel in Distress: Taken hostage by Chayne and Ash for the last act of From Heaven's Door to open the portal to Heaven.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Incredibly so, even with their inability to talk.
  • Declaration of Protection: They tend to give this, especially to Mint. And they mean it.
  • The Determinator: No matter what's thrown at them and no matter the circumstances, Tango always, always, always gets back up to finish the fight
  • Disabled Snarker: Tango is both completely mute (until they gain Telepathy thanks to Celia) and lacking the use of their right arm – which eventually ends up cut off – and remains playfully snarky throughout the entire series.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Their true name, pre-amnesia, was Jenny “Jen” Waits. Tango prefers to remain as “Tango” and lets go of their old life, and gives their father a Death Glare after he accidentally calls them “Jen.”
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: All the agony Tango goes through ends in a happy end. The nightmare is over and Tango ends up with Mint, happily ever after.
  • Existential Horror: Tango's constantly had people tell them their existence is an accident at best and they don't deserve to existence, or they have no purpose to their life. It's a continuous source of angst for them, although like all the rest of it, they refuse to let it get them down. In their words: "you know, of all the bullshit I've had lobbed at me to try and discourage me? I've still yet to hear one good reason as to why I should stop."
  • First-Person Smartass: As they're unable to speak normally for half of the series, most of their snark is delivered through the narrative.
  • Forced to Watch: Pluto kills Tango's father as they and Jenny watch helplessly.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Tango is a sweetheart under all the snark and attitude. On the other hand, they have no compunction taking out bad guys with no mercy.
  • Handicapped Badass: Only has one working arm, is possibly brain-damaged, and is mute for a good portion of the series, but Tango is still determined, resourceful, and turns out to have a whole slew of useful psychic powers that allows them to directly defeat many, significantly more able threats.
  • Heroic BSoD: Breaks down and goes into a five-day coma after it's revealed what Ash did to them in From Heaven's Door, and nearly hits the Despair Event Horizon after the attack on Haven commences in The Touch of Heaven. Both times, Tango manages to get back up.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of The Touch of Heaven, Tango plunges themselves into Hell to drag Jango down with them in a last ditch effort to save what's rest of Haven and their friends. They don't die, however, and their quest to get out of Hell sets up their part of the story in The Ambition of Hell.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Revealed to think as themselves as little more than a “stubborn idiot” when Mint talks to them in Heaven. Even afterwards when they start to give themselves a little more faith to do the right thing, Tango still has a tendency to beat themselves up whenever they fail.
  • Heroic Spirit: Tango has enough to fuel an armada. Their defining trait is their spirit and how much they simply refuse to give up, pressing on even against impossible odds.
  • Heroic Willpower: Tango has unbelievable amounts of willpower and it allows them to get back up long after most people would have quit.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Mint – until the end of The Touch of Heaven, where they graduate to an Official Couple.
  • Hidden Depths: For as loopy, eccentric, and easily torn down as they are, Tango is surprisingly mature and wise when it comes to it beyond simply being determined. It's telling that while Tango is usually the one who has to be picked up and motivated themselves, the climax of From Heaven's Door involves Tango subtly picking up on the various insecurities Mint holds and gently reassuring them with some sage advice.
  • The Immune: Tango is immune to the Phantom virus and, consequentially, the energies of Heaven. This revelation is what prompted Paradise Association into using them in the simulation, and Chayne wants to use them into storing the knowledge they gain from Heaven. The reason why is revealed in The Touch of Heaven; Tango has a mind naturally more evolved than most other humans, and is one of a few who represent humans who are more in harmony with their own mind than everyone else – an early sign towards mankind's next evolutionary step.
  • Kid Hero: Only fifteen years old. Because of time shenanigans while they're marooned in Hell after The Touch of Heaven, Tango remains the same age even after the Time Skip and returns to Earth after Mint (who was a year younger than them to start) has grown up into a young adult.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: In the war? Tango gets ready to fight back and take down both sides, along with Chayne.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Part of the big reveal in From Heaven's Door is that Director Charles is their father, and the Vice President Tara is their mother.
  • Morality Chain: Tango is really the one, along with Mint, holding everyone together.
  • Nice Guy: Although they can be playfully snarky and crude, Tango never means it in a way that's offensive and they're otherwise probably one of the nicest, most selfless people one could ever hope to meet otherwise.
  • Official Couple: With Mint, after The Touch of Heaven.
  • Rape as Backstory: Ash raped and tortured them before they were sent out into Paradise, resulting in their arm being paralyzed and them losing their voice. In a nice touch, Tango refuses to let this define them.
  • Plucky Girl: At the end of the day, this is Tango's strongest attribute. Tango goes through a Trauma Conga Line capable of reducing most people to broken shambles, experiencing rape and torture in their past, being thrown in the way of potentially world-ending cataclysms numerous times, and seeing their friends suffer and die around them almost constantly – but Tango refuses to ever give up, and even when the Preceptor reveals Tango isn't The Chosen One meant to save the world at the beginning of The Ambition of Hell, Tango vows to find a way anyways.
  • Prematurely Bald: The effects of Mint's Ascension scorch off Tango's hair — and most of their skin, but that ends up regenerating. Their hair, on the other hand? Doesn't, leaving Tango essentially bald.
  • Psychic Powers: Tango's got a wealth of potentially extremely useful powers as part of being able to harness the energies of Hell (the ability of which being called “Mylotheia”).
  • Silent Protagonist: Completely mute as a result of Ash's rape and torture. They get over this by learning telepathy with help from Celia in The Touch of Heaven.
  • Silent Snarker: Unable to talk (for a good chunk of the series) and yet still incredibly sarcastic.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Quite foul-mouthed in the narration, especially in comparison to Mint.
  • The Speechless: They're restricted to vague grunts for most of the story. They can talk normally through their Shade, and eventually manage to overcome not being able to actually speak through telepathy.
  • Telepathy: Manages to gain a telepathic voice courtesy of Celia as part of their Mylotheian dossier of powers.
  • Tender Tears: Tango has a tendency to cry quite a lot, sometimes over comically trivial things but just as often because of the fact they're incredibly sensitive — especially where their friends are concerned.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tango is the Tomboy to Mint's Girly Girl.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tango loves Froot Loops and is even more obsessed with Toucan Sam, who serves as their Companion Cube in From Heaven's Door. Months after breaking out of Paradise, Tango eats virtually nothing but Froot Loops.
  • Undying Loyalty: Towards their friends. Tango will never, ever give up trying to protect their friends and always puts them before themselves.

Tropes specific to Jenny

Appears in: Before Heaven | The Touch of Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Radiance of Heaven)
  • Amnesiac Resonance: Although there are several marked differences between Jenny and their amnesiac personality, Tango (Tango, for starters, seems to lack Jenny's anxiety and is significantly nicer and more outgoing from the start), the strongest of Jenny's traits — her selflessness — lives on just as powerfully in Tango.
  • Annoying Laugh: To Tango, anyways, who notes Jenny's laugh is "sort of smug" and doesn't like it as a result.
  • Beneath the Mask: Jenny is anti-social, aggressive, and almost impossible to talk to or reason with at first glance, but underneath that, Jenny's just a scared kid acting out the way she is due to immense pressure placed on her as a result of the Association's actions. At her core, Jenny is incredibly selfless and kindhearted, traits that live on in Tango long after.
  • Break the Cutie: Coarse as she is, Jenny's just an innocent kid put into harm's way who's incredibly spirited and friendly when her mask is broken by Jackson – which makes it all the more tragic when Ash rapes and tortures her into catatonia for nothing more than giggles.
  • Daddy's Girl: Tango remarks that Jenny self-admitted she preferred Charles over Tara — presumably, until the former sold her out to the experiment, causing the entire family to fall apart.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not quite as sarcastic as Tango (or even Jackson), but she has her moments.
  • The Immune: The first of such in the series; Jenny has a genetic immunity to the Phantom, reasons being that she's actually slightly more evolved than most other humans and can withstand the energies of Heaven and Hell as a result, although that doesn't come to realization until Tango is born.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rude, aggressive, and anti-social as could be... and, underneath that, incredibly loyal and grateful to her friends for sticking with her childish escape plan and determined to find a cure to the Phantom through much less revolting means as the Association.
  • Minor Major Character: Downplayed. While Jenny isn't exactly a "minor" character, she's a supporting one at best; she has an important role in Before Heaven where Tango doesn't exist yet, but even then, she isn't the POV character, and her appearances afterwards in Tango's mind are sporadic. Jenny's screentime is awfully disproportionate for someone who's the previous identity of the main protagonist, especially in comparison to Alice.
  • Posthumous Sibling: Jason Waits. Although Jason died when Jenny was three instead of before she was born, Jenny admits she barely remembers Jason anyways — but feels a connection to him regardless and understands it's his death and the resultant grief this caused Charles and Tara that fuels their decision to try and use Jennny as a means to procuring a cure to the Phantom.
  • Rape as Drama: Jenny's attempted escape from the Nest ended up with her rape and torture at the hands of Ash, which is played for maximum horror and the effects of which lingering throughout the entire series.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Incredibly foul-mouthed, just as much so as her amnesiac personality.
  • Sharing a Body: After being regressed to Tango's mind due to the neurochip's effects, Jenny's revealed to very much still be alive within Tango's mind – and, in direct contrast to Alice, has been cheering Tango every step of the way through their journey and gives them the motivation they need to get back up and confront Jango and Alice at the end of The Touch of Heaven.
  • Shrinking Violet: Jenny is implied to have crippling social anxiety and is unwilling to talk to anyone else save Jackson and Alice, whom she relates to.
  • Talking to Themself: Toward the climax of The Touch of Heaven, Jenny herself talks to Tango when the latter is on the verge of the Despair Event Horizon and gives them the motivation to pick themself back up and finish the fight. After Tango returns to Earth in The Radiance of Heaven, Tango and Jenny start talking more frequently.
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: Outside of the occasional tee, Jenny seems to only prefer tank-tops and she's quite tomboyish on top of that.
  • Tomboy: Coarse, foul-mouthed, rebellious, and no regard to her own physical appearance, with a voice even regarded as quite boyish by Jackson.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Of Alice, who seamlessly manipulates her into a botched escape attempt even after Jackson wises up.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gives a scathing one to her own father as a result of his decision to use her in the P.A.R.A.D.I.S.E. program calling him out on using her against her will without having ever asked for an alternative solution.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Jenny tells Tango this toward the end of The Touch of Heaven, stating Tango has a drive and a determination not even she has and Tango is more capable of stopping Alice and Jango than she would ever be.
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    "Mint"/Alison “Alice” Witzenberg 
Appears in: From Heaven's Door | The Touch of Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell and The Radiance of Heaven)
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mint_2.jpg

An optimistic, albinistic teenager Tango finds shortly after waking up. They join Tango in their quest to escape Paradise. Their pre-amnesiac identity is Alison Witzenberg, a teenager who was living on their own in Quebec when they signed up.


Tropes specific to Mint

  • A God I Am Not: After they gain god-like powers in Heaven alongside Chayne, Mint fervently denies Chayne's claim of becoming a god and instead opts to simply use their powers to kill Chayne and return to the real world.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Similarly to Tango, Mint's completely androgynous the first time they're seen in the story.
  • Amnesiacs Are Innocent: With the neurochip inducing amnesia in them, the innocent, childish Nice Guy Mint is is a stunning contrast to how they originally were as Alice.
  • Anti-Hero: Eventually evolves into one of these after a pronounced Trauma Conga Line through The Touch of Heaven, becoming cold, more pragmatic, much more willing to tap into Alice's means of self-defense, and climaxing with the first part of Heaven & Hell, which ends with them nearly resorting to cold-blooded murder to avenge the death of Jilton. Tango coming back after that incident knocks some sense back into them and they mellow back into their old, non-murderous self, to the point where they become hesitant to shoot a very clearly murderous Tex.
  • The Atoner: After they regain their memory back, Mint decides to spend the rest of their life atoning for everything they did as Alice.
  • Badass Adorable: A young, bespectacled, optimistic sweetheart who singlehandedly destroys an omnicidal misanthrope after gaining the powers of Heaven and almost destroys the world thanks to their Ascension-capable powers.
  • Battle Couple: As this point, Mint qualifies for this with Tango.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mint, at their core, is an unhesitatingly selfless person who would risk their own life for their friends. It is not a wise idea to push them or hurt those they care for; they singlehandedly manage to kill both Chayne and Ash in the first story when they try and use Tango to destroy the world. As the series progresses, this ends up deconstructed; the further Mint goes to get back at those who have hurt their friends, the less nice they become as a result. They are especially dangerous without their neurochip as well.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Utterly helpless without their glasses, to the point where they can't even see Jilton's indication she's playing a Reverse Mole in the climax of From Heaven's Door.
  • Break the Cutie: Breaks after the events of The Touch of Heaven and spends most of Heaven & Hell as a depressed, quiet wreck.
  • Broken Bird: In the first part of Heaven and Hell, Mint is a world-weary young adult losing their hope and slowly slipping into pessimism as a result of both external circumstances and Alice's lingering influence.
  • Chastity Couple: With Tango, due to Tango being underage and Mint being uncomfortable with the concept of sex. The relationship is utterly genuine and loving regardless. They do discuss a potential upgrade after Tango is physically legal.
  • Children Are Innocent: Although they're a teenager (fourteen) they're still naive, idealistic, and decidedly innocent. This is a trait of theirs Chayne singles out as an imperfection, and it's ultimately Mint's optimistic mindset that allows Mint to defeat her. The decay of this trait come Heaven & Hell after Tango's sacrifice signals just how bleak things have become.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally as a kid (mostly in response to Jilton's antics) but they become much snarkier post Time Skip.
  • Deuteragonist: To Tango. They end up switching to the role of The Hero for the last act of From Heaven's Door after Tango is captured, complete with a POV switch, and end up being the one to take down Ash and Chayne themselves, and The Ambition of Hell similarly is more their story than Tango's.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": In a similar vein to Tango/Jenny, Mint's true name – Alice – agitates them after they learn of their true identity, especially after the events of The Touch of Heaven.
  • Dropped Glasses: Mint has a tendency to lose their glasses or otherwise have them knocked off their face. This does, however, end up useful when Mint deliberately exploits this to get Ash's guard down.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Goes from a harmless, innocent kid into a sociopathic monster who manipulates Jango into attacking Haven after their neurochip is removed. Ditto when the original Chayne destroys their conscience, which results in them using their innate powers to nearly destroy the entire planet.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Mint is one of the kindest, sweetest people ever. Mint still delivers some of the most brutal finishers to the villains of the series, particularly Pluto.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Became the person they are through the effects of the neurochip blocking out their original personality. As soon as the neurochip is removed, Mint immediately reverts back to their old self and it takes physically destroying the Alice half of them to make them stay as Mint.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Mint starts out as a monstrous sociopath when they're still Alice, doing a one-eighty once they have a neurochip implanted through their head which gives birth to the Mint personality. After their neurochip is removed in The Touch of Heaven, Mint goes right back to their old self and becomes the Big Bad of the story, spends most of Heaven & Hell flirting with the slippery slope and becomes the final antagonist of the first part when Chayne destroys their conscience, and finally reverts back to their good self permanently once Tango fuses their own mind with them.
  • Heroic Albino: Albinistic, but one of the most heroic and selfless characters in the series — a major contrast to how they originally were as Alice.
  • Heroic BSoD: Nearly goes insane and almost completely gives up on stopping Heaven's approach after their head passes through a weak spot in reality in a Mad Room. Jilton's there to talk some sense into them.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Tango – until the end of The Touch of Heaven, where they graduate to an Official Couple.
  • Hidden Depths: Mint can seem cowardly and weak at times, but under that? Mint is kind, compassionate, selfless and much stronger than they initially appear.
  • I Hate Past Me : Mint absolutely reviles their identity as Alice and devotes themself to making up for Alice's crimes when they're flown out of Haven.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Admits to Sarie that beyond anything else, the reason why they continue to fight against impossible odds is the prospect of simply settling down with their friends and living a normal life after everything is said and done.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Utterly incorruptible, even with the powers of gods at their disposal? Mint remains gentle and sweet.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Like most of the kids in the heaven Project, Mint had their mind wiped and builds a brand new identity.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When Mint brings out that godly power? Watch out.
  • Meganekko: Gains glasses after being captured by Red Clover in place of contacts, and is a complete sweetheart to compliment them.
  • Nice Guy: Mint's selfless, kind, thoughtful, supportive, and thinks nothing of risking their own life to save their friends, and while it takes a hit post-Time Skip, Tango's return seems to mostly instill this trait back into them. This is a major contrast from their original identity as Alice.
  • Official Couple: With Tango, after The Touch of Heaven.
  • Superior Successor: To Alice, and they both know it. The crux of Alice's Thanatos Gambit is to take away Mint's conscience to make them better and more efficient than Alice ever was.
  • Sweet Tooth: Stockpiles on junk food in the grocery store section of Paradise and guzzles down four bottles of root beer in a few minutes.
  • Teens Are Short: Fourteen years old pre-Time Skip, and stands a paltry 4'10.
  • The Teetotaler: Is averse to alcoholic drinks. Pressure from Darby and Tango ends with them reluctantly drinking a few things of alcopop, and... they end up feeling it.
  • Tender Tears: Mint breaks into tears rather easily, almost as much as Tango. Constant pounding on them as they grow up during their Trauma Conga Line means this trope hasn't gone away even when they become an adult.
  • That Man Is Dead: Mint is not Alice. Absolutely, 100 percent not.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Gender neutrality aside, Mint is the Girly Girl to Tango's Tomboy.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Tango after they save their life twice, going as far as to risk their own life fending off Suits in Paradise after Tango goes comatose for five whole days.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Despite all the horrible reveals about Red Clover and even some of the other applicants – themselves included – and all the horrors of Heaven, Mint is still adamant that they and the other runaways will be able to break out. Tango's Heroic Sacrifice and subsequently spending years as The Chew Toy breaks this trait of theirs, however.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Literally at the end of The Ambition of Hell, where years of being The Chew Toy – coupled with an extra shove from Chayne and Naberius by means of literally stealing their conscience then forcefully trying to Ascend them – results in Mint nearly being driven insane by their new power and nearly destroying the world itself as a result of finally letting all their pent-up anger go. Tango, thankfully, manages to put some sense back into them.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Doesn't know what “subtlety” means, much to Jilton's amusement (even gaining a name drop to the film in question) and uses it in a way similar to “cool.”

Tropes specific to Alice

Appears in: Before Heaven | The Touch of Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell and The Radiance of Heaven)
  • Ambiguous Gender: It's remarked Alice puts quite some effort into looking as androgynous as possible.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: The most notable case in the series. It's remarkable how much the sociopathic Alice contrasts with Mint.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Tango and Mint; not only their most personal adversary, but easily the most persistent and affecting within the plot.
  • Big Bad: For the first half of the series. Alice's manipulations are what leads to Jenny's rape in the first place, and they become the villain for both Before Heaven, The Touch of Heaven, and (most of) The Ambition of Hell. As soon as Alice carks it, the Big Bad of the overall series, the original Chayne Summers, reveals herself.
  • Blind Without 'Em: In a similar vein to their amnesiac counterpart, Alice's glasses are knocked off by Andrew and they spend the next bit helplessly feeling around on the ground before Ash steps on them.
  • Breaking Speech: Their favorite tactic, often combined with Mind Rape whenever they're able to; they started in the habit by driving a homeless man to suicide through one of these, and proceeded to give another scathing one to Tango once they reawaken in The Touch of Heaven. They lambast Mint with the same in their final appearances in Heaven & Hell, but Mint manages to turn them back on Alice instead.
  • Came Back Wrong: Upon their resurrection as a thought-form in Heaven and Hell, Alice is a decaying, twisted revenant driven purely by vengeful hatred, barely holding onto the thin vestiges of sanity they've retained.
  • Cessation of Existence: During their Battle in the Center of the Mind with Tango, Tango manages to overpower them and erase them completely, restoring their body to Mint's control. This happens yet again once they allow the Never-becoming keeping them alive in the next story to seep out of their body – meaning they completely cease to exist as a result.
  • The Chessmaster: While not quite on the level of Chayne, Alice's plan in The Touch of Heaven is still a remarkably proficient example of Alice taking this role; Alice manages to pin the blame on their torching of a hospital on the raiders, before manipulating Jango and his entire tribe into decimating the entire town of Haven for them, ultimately planning to leave the Association to clean up the mess while they walk away free.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: As a user and abuser of pawns as well as a person who utterly loathes to be controlled in any way, Alice unfortunately happens to fall into this rut a lot, murdering Niles after he goes a little too far in his advances on Alice, trying to strangle Jackson while he's still under the impression he and Alice are “friends,” and trying to have Jango and his entire tribe wiped out by the Association after using them to decimate Haven.
  • Control Freak: Due to a severe complex they developed after years of brutal abuse at the hands of their father, Alice snapped and decided they always wanted to be in control of their own life from that point onward (and to never be controlled by anyone again). As a result of having never come to peace with their own weaknesses and instead devoting every part of their life to distance themself from them, Alice has something of a tendency to exact extremely nasty retaliation to anything that puts them “out” of absolute control of their own life, repeatedly murdering and torturing anyone that threatens their individuality and eventually resolving to obliterate an entire town to permanently erase any trace of their good counterpart, Mint.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: As much of a monster as they are, it's not hard to see how they became such a twisted monster. Heaven and Hell, as told by Mint and Mint Prime, reveals the depth of Alice's own psychological issues and the awful abuse Sheldon inflicted on them, something that still visibly affects them in the present day.
  • Deader Than Dead: Forcefully sealed within their own mind before From Heaven's Door, almost completely erased from existence by Tango in The Touch of Heaven, revived and then dies a second time once the Never-becoming keeping them alive are transferred to Mint, and their final posthumous attempt to take over Mint's body is stopped once and for all. At the end, Alice is not only dead, but has completely ceased to exist.
  • Evil Albino: In a stark contrast to their entirely heroic amnesiac counterpart, Alice is a cruel, vindictive sociopath willing to murder thousands of people to assure they aren't seen as weak.
  • Evil Is Petty: Alice's ridiculous definition of retribution means the death (and subsequent eternal torture) of all of Haven is perfectly acceptable in response to the "weakness" of their amnesiac counterpart.
  • Enemy Within: To Mint, playing this role most directly in Heaven & Hell where they attempt to psychologically torture Mint out of their body from within.
  • Face Death with Dignity: How they approach their final death; instead of breaking down and crying like in The Touch of Heaven, Alice dies laughing and grinning as they attempt to destroy Mint's conscience in their own death, fading away with no regrets.
  • False Friend: Serves as this to Jackson and Jenny during pre-simulation, manipulating them into an ill-fated escape attempt which ends with Jenny being raped and tortured by Ash and Jackson poisoned and nearly killed by Alice themselves. When they return in The Touch of Heaven, they only briefly pretend to be this to Tango before giving them a nasty Breaking Speech and leaving them to die, instead implicitly posing as this to Jango during his attack on Haven.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Puts up an excellent appearance of being a supportive, helpful friend. Even after they reveal themselves as a manipulative scumbag, they still act chummy and cheerful with people. They completely lose this trait after they're resurrected, though, this time making no bones about how much of a vindictive monster they are.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: When they were Niles' assistant. Ironically, they've switched to contacts by the time they hit their worst moments.
  • Freudian Excuse: Alice's father Sheldon was horrible to both them and his wife, physically abusing the both of them and being implied to have gone as far as threatening to kill Alice to terrorize Mary into having sex with him. This, alongside Alice's non-stop paranoia and anxiety, finally led them to snap at the age of twelve and poison their own father, fleeing from home after.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: At the very least, Mint tells them this; as big a part Sheldon's monstrous abuse had in shaping them, it still excuses absolutely none of the thousands of lives Alice has ruined in their short, cruel life.
  • Hidden Depths: Behind the vindictive spite that seemingly fuels them on the outside, Alice harbors a mountain of paranoia and trauma stemming from their awful childhood, with their every action motivated by the desire to never experience that vulnerability again. Even in the present day, Sheldon's abuse still haunts them; they let a bit of their discomfort over it slip to Jackson in Before Heaven, and their final scene in Ambition has Mint take them to a mental image of their own room back from Quebec specifically because Mint knows Alice is still scared of the place.
  • It's All About Me: Their defining motivation. The only thing they care about is how they can benefit in the long run and how they can entertain themselves. They might act like they care about someone's well-being, but ultimately, everything falls to their interests alone.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Downplayed in that Alice was already a villain – but one with realistic insecurities and a reason for their villainy. When they destroy Haven and sentence almost its entire populace to horrific eternal torture out of spite, however? Absolutely nothing can save them after that.
  • Kick the Dog: Attempting to strangle Jackson after he's worn out his use to them and forcing Tango to relive their own rape for kicks rank pretty high, as does driving a homeless man to suicide after spending months acting as a False Friend to him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Killing Niles was probably the one good thing Alice ever did.
  • Killed Off for Real: After having been seemingly erased from existence by Tango and temporarily restored by Naberius, what remains of Alice's mental form finally dies for real at the mid-way point of The Ambition of Hell when they let the Never-becoming within them pass onto Mint in an effort to forcefully reshape them in their image – which never comes to fruition, meaning Alice is never coming back this time.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Unlike Ash and Chayne, Alice's introduction of Cerebus Syndrome into the setting sticks after they come back in The Touch of Heaven with their actions leaving a permanent change to the status quo and not a single thing about them being played for comedy at any point.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Their forte. They trick both Jenny and Jackson into believing they're their supportive friend and convinced them into undertaking a risky break-out mission from the Nest, and they convince Jango into attacking Haven to erase any part of their old life in the process.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: The mindset that fuels their Control Freak tendencies. As a result of having lived their entire childhood in constant fear, misery, and abuse at the hands of their father, Alice finally escaped their home and resolved to never lose control and know that pain again. They react badly when they experience those feelings again.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: As the result of being a tiny albino kid scrawny even for their young age, Alice tends to rely more on manipulation rather than physical combat. It's a different story in their mind, however.
  • Overarching Villain: Although they're not the Big Bad of the series as a whole, they're the closest thing to it for the entire first half of the series, serving as Tango and Mint's personal archenemy with the true Big Bad only revealed after their death — and Alice's influence continues to haunt the plot long after they finally die.
  • The Paranoiac: Alice is incredibly paranoid and has been all their life, and always has something of a tendency to immediately assume the worst possible scenario when facing adversity. Unfortunately, they tend to respond in kind as a result.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: After Mint's neurochip is removed, Alice takes central command again.
  • Smug Snake: A high-functioning example, but Alice, at their core, is nothing more than a vindictive, spiteful monster who, upon dropping their friendly facade, is contemptuous, fond of a Breaking Speech or two, and perpetually confident in their own invulnerability up until Tango finds a way to bypass harming Mint by destroying Alice's mind which leaves them pleading for undeserved mercy.
  • The Sociopath: Alice is a hedonistic, paranoid, and somewhat impulsive psychopath who flatly admits that people are “funny little objects” to them, drawing no moral quandaries from murder, torture, metaphorical rape, and having an entire town devoured by eldritch monsters so long as they gather some sort of benefit from the end. This is even made into a plot point in Before Heaven; Alice is physically incapable of changing their nature, a trait that makes them unable to understand Jackson and Jenny and ultimately drives them to try and murder the former.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The youngest of the applicants, excluding Jackson, and bar none the most unrepentantly evil of them.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Their final plot once every other option of theirs has been exhausted in Heaven & Hell is to simply allow the Never-becoming keeping them alive to leave their form with one more order to destroy Mint's conscience — killing them in the process but turning Mint into an even better mirror of Alice in the process.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Downplayed. Alice has always been a sociopath, Sheldon's abuse and the horrible environment they grew in exacerbated that something fierce; before they ran away, Alice could at least take joy in things other than hurting other people, with the trip to Victoria being one of the very few spots of true happiness Alice ever received in a childhood filled with loneliness and abuse.
  • Villainous Breakdown: It's brief, but Alice breaks down into desperate pleading and crying once Tango finally manages to gain the upper hand on them and erase them from existence in The Touch of Heaven. This is subverted upon their final death in Heaven & Hell, however, where they calmly accept their own death comfortable in the knowledge their Thanatos Gambit is dooming Mint anyways.
  • Walking Spoiler: Their role as the true Big Bad in The Touch of Heaven is one of the biggest twists of the series.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Hair as white as a blizzard because of their albinism, and a heart just as cold.

    ”Darby”/Billy Mackel 
Appears in: From Heaven's Door | The Touch of Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell and The Radiance of Heaven)

A sarcastic, but nevertheless determined runaway Tango and Mint meet soon after their initial breakout. His real name is Billy Mackel, a vagrant from America who signed onto the program to dodge responsibility for his previous murders.


  • Ambiguous Gender: Like Tango and Mint, he's completely androgynous when they first meet and it takes until his file is read (alongside a complete makeover from the scruffy, childlike appearance he had before) for his gender to become clear.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: While Darby's rough and easily excitable, he's nowhere near as much of a bastard as his past self and the revelation of what he did before he had his memory wife horrifies him.
  • Beta Couple: With Lavender, to Tango and Mint.
  • Blood Knight: Very eager to throw himself into harm's way in From Heaven's Door and takes bids on exacting revenge on Jilton personally after she seems to betray him and the applicants.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Just as dry and sarcastic as Tango, and generally even more acerbic with his quips.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: A tragic casualty at Yonkers, dying in Lavender's arms after comforting her.
  • Disney Death: Thought dead alongside Lavender before Tango and Mint first meet Director Charles – turns out he was just chucked back into Paradise and rejoins his friends alongside Jilton in time to stop Chayne and Ash's master plan from unfolding.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: It may not be as much as others, but he dies inspiring the others and having them go on, even to the last.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Darby takes :Jilton's apparent betrayal very harshly.
  • Handicapped Badass: Darby's missing an eye from when the Suits cut it out, but he's no less effective a survivor as his friends – something he lightly jostles the comparatively-untouched Lavender about in Paradise.
  • I Hate Past Me: Darby loathes his past self and the deeds he committed, adamantly swearing he isn't a sociopath when the topic is brought up.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: One of the more loathsome applicants to the program initially; there's almost no similarity between the brash but kind-hearted Darby and the thuggish psychopath Billy.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dies at Pluto's hand in the Battle of Yonkers, and the second of the original heroes from From Heaven's Door to do so.
  • Official Couple: With Lavender in Radiance, after having spent some time as an Implied Love Interest.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Rivals Tango in this department, although even he falls flat compared to Ash.
  • The One Guy: To the main five applicants, Darby is the only major male of the group.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Subverted. Darby initially has purple hair in Paradise, but this turns out to be dye with his natural hair being blonde.

Tropes specific to Billy

Appears in: Before Heaven

  • The Bully: Serves as this to many of the applicants during pre-simulation alongside Leliah.
  • Jerkass: A murderer and a callous asshole who treats almost everyone around him with contempt except for fellow thugs like Leliah and Ash.
  • Metalhead: Seems to evoke this general image, with the long hair, thuggish attitude, and love for metal bands, among them Mötley Crüe.
  • Serial Killer: Murdered at least three homeless vagrants when he still lived in America, the reasons why he seems to cycle through.
  • The Sociopath: A diagnosed psychopath who doesn't seem to have any true empathy. He's one of the few people Ash gets alongside during pre-simulation for this reason.

     “Lavender”/Gladys Steele 
Appears in: From Heaven's Door | The Touch of Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell and The Radiance of Heaven)

Another applicant to the P.A.R.A.D.I.S.E. program, a determined woman who's been alive the entire eight weeks of the simulation. Her true name is Gladys Steele.


  • Beta Couple: With Darby, to Tango and Mint.
  • The Determinator: Surviving for eight weeks in a horrifying Eldritch Location takes a significant level of determination, especially since every indication was Lavender did it herself for the vast majority of her time there.
  • Disney Death: Thought dead alongside Darby before Tango and Mint first meet Director Charles – turns out she was just chucked back into Paradise and rejoins her friends alongside Jilton in time to stop Chayne and Ash's master plan from unfolding.
  • Humans Are Special: Wholeheartedly believes this, as she reveals to Mint.
  • Mysterious Past: Unlike the others, who Lavender was before her amnesia and why she registered is a complete mystery.
  • Nice Girl: Easily one of the nicest of the applicants. Lavender is endlessly supportive and encouraging to her friends and polite to everyone else she meets.
  • Official Couple: With Darby in Radiance, after having spent some time as an Implied Love Interest.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Survived for eight weeks in Paradise, apparently on her own until she met Darby, without so much as a scratch.
  • Only Sane Woman: Compared to the other applicants, who are varying shades of bizarre and eccentric, Lavender is comparatively normal and levelheaded.
  • Team Mom: Functions as this to the applicants, especially the significantly-younger Tango and Mint whom Lavender is always there to support and give advice to. She's even described as motherly on various occasions.
  • Younger than She Looks: Lavender's demeanor and appearance suggests she's potentially much older than any of the other applicants, but she's actually in her early-to-mid-twenties, around the same age as Jilton and Darby.

    ”Jilton”/Maxine Thompson 
Appears in: From Heaven's Door | The Touch of Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell)

A theatrical young woman obsessed with acting and comedy and another runaway who ends up in Red Clover's service after she sees too much. Her true name is Maxine Thompson, a student from an acting school from Wales.


  • Amnesiac Resonance: Almost completely identical to her pre-amnesiac self, Maxine.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Jilton doesn't exactly seem to be on the same plane her friends are, with the random tangents about pop culture derailing many conversations she has with people.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: To the Maxine on the Earth Tango ends up on after The Touch of Heaven.
  • Fake Defector: Appears to betray Mint and the others at the end of From Heaven's Door – to get close to Chayne and turn the tides to the applicants' favor.
  • Genre Savvy: Jilton has an extremely innate familiarity with stories and pop culture and works this to her advantage in From Heaven's Door, even taking the role of a “villain” to exploit the actual Big Bad of the story.
  • Guile Hero: A Manipulative Bastard and master actor par excellent — especially in the original From Heaven's Door, where she's willing to play everyone, even her own friends, for chumps to assure she and her allies manage to break out and thwart Chayne's plan to take over the world.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: From the side of Red Clover, to the side of the runaways, then back to Red Clover, and finally back to the runaways in From Heaven's Door.
  • He Knows Too Much: Ash intended to kill her after she accidentally found out about the surveillance systems in Paradise, but she sweet-talked him into letting her stay aboard as a monitor – although Ash still intends on killing her regardless.
  • Killed Off for Real: In The Ambition of Hell, suffering a fatal stab wound from the original Chayne Summers in her attempt to protect Mint. Although the alternate version of Maxine is still alive, the Jilton that was first part of the runaways isn't coming back.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Maxine's completely willing to play both her friends and her enemies for fools if it means an advantage for the “right side,” even falsely betraying the runaways in the last act of From Heaven's Door – although she remarks that she genuinely had no idea that Mint and the others thought the betrayal was legit.
  • Nice Girl: Incredibly pleasant to be around if one can get past the constant metaphors and pop culture references and endlessly supportive and helpful to her friends. Tellingly, Jilton's almost immediate to accept Celia as an ally even though she knows Celia is a wanted fugitive who'd kidnapped Tango days earlier.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Whenever Jilton drops the hammy theatrics and pop culture references, such as when Mint has their mind pulled into Heaven, things are dire.
  • Reverse Mole: Pretends to join the side of Chayne in the end of From Heaven's Door – only to screw Chayne's entire scheme once she promptly turns right back, having played for the “right side” the entire time.
  • Sacrificial Lion: In The Ambition of Hell, Jilton is the first major casualty of the story to demonstrate the new Big Bad is not screwing around.
  • Spanner in the Works: To Chayne's plan in From Heaven's Door, pretending to join her scheme and undoing it with her further unprecedented betrayal.
  • The Stoner: Becomes something of a pot addict from The Touch of Heaven onward, a trait of Maxine that shows up in her.
  • Talks Like a Simile: Almost everything Jilton says is peppered with metaphors and similes, almost all of them in reference to movies and theater.
  • Troll: Has something of a tendency to screw with her own friends for giggles, although she's far from malicious about it.
  • Wild Card: Jilton spends so much time with dubious allegiances and motives in From Heaven's Door that it's almost impossible to ascertain who's side she's really on until the very end, where she does confess that everything she's done has been for the safety of the applicants.

Tropes specific to Maxine

Appears in: Before Heaven
  • Amnesiac Resonance: As far as the contrast goes between the applicants and their original selves, Maxine and Jilton are almost completely identical.
  • Nice Girl: From the little with see of her, Maxine's one of the only candidates completely and openly polite to Jackson.
  • The Stoner: Has something of a liking for pot edibles – much to Harlow's annoyance.

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Jackson and Friends

    Jackson Winters 
Appears in: Before Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell and The Radiance of Heaven)

The son of the famous magnate couple the Ice Couple and one of the surviving applicants to the Paradise program.


  • Abusive Parents: Betty and Hilson are neglectful to him at the absolute best, but if his nightmares are anything to go by, they may even by physically abusive as well.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: As opposed to Mint or Tango, Before Heaven is told entirely through his point-of-view.
  • Kid Hero: One of the youngest characters in the story and the youngest applicant alongside Mint/Alice.
  • Loss of Identity: Come Heaven & Hell.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jackson only ever lets out one use of the F-word in the series when he's telling off Alice for manipulating him and Jenny.
    “Get the fuck out of my room and stay out.”
  • True Companions: After escaping Paradise with the lot of them, Ken and Arno become these to him.

    Arno Conde 
Appears in: Before Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell and The Radiance of Heaven)

One of the surviving applicants, and one of Jackson's companions. A lifelong companion of Ken.


  • The Atoner: Seemingly repentant about various atrocities that may or may not have happened in his past.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The "Big" to Ken's "Little."
  • Boom, Headshot!: Killed this way in the Battle of Yonkers, dying instantly.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: A little eccentric after he gets the neurochip in, with a tendency for non-sequiturs and fairly bizarre mannerisms.
  • Fat and Skinny: The "Fat" to Ken's "Skinny."
  • Gentle Giant: An enormous man who's also a complete and utter softie who, despite a professed history of violence, doesn't seem willing to so much as a harm a fly.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Alongside Ken, Arno survives the entire duration of the Paradise experiments even after the entire place starts collapsing into Heaven.
  • Put on a Bus: Entirely absent alongside Jackson for The Touch of Heaven, but returns for Heaven & Hell.
  • The Quiet One: Rarely says anything, usually stammering it out anyways. He still says more than Ken.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Has almost no time to react before he's gunned down in the Battle of Yonkers.
  • True Companions: After escaping Paradise with the lot of them, Ken and Jackson become these to him.

    Ken Rokuru 
Appears in: Before Heaven | Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell and The Radiance of Heaven)

One of the surviving applicants, and one of Jackson's companions. A lifelong companion of Arno.


  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The "Little" to Arno's "Big."
  • Fat and Skinny: The "Skinny" to Arno's "Fat."
  • Hidden Depths: Apparently made some good money through smart investments.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Alongside Arno, Ken survives the entire duration of the Paradise experiments even after the entire place starts collapsing into Heaven.
  • Silent Snarker: As quiet as he is, Ken does seem to react often with silent, deadpan irritation to Jackson's repeated awkward moments in Heaven & Hell onward.
  • The Stoic: Doesn't seem to emote much beyond the occasional irritated glance or smile.
  • True Companions: After escaping Paradise with the lot of them, Arno and Jackson become these to him.
  • The Voiceless: Throughout every single one of his appearances, Ken has never had a single spoken word of dialogue; he's remarked, even in Heaven & Hell, to immensely struggle with the English language. He has approximately one entire line of dialogue just before the Battle of Yonkers: "Let's kick ass."

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Alternate Counterparts

    Maxine Thompson (alternate) 
Appears in: Heaven and Hell (The Ambition of Hell and The Radiance of Heaven)

A version of Jilton from an Earth devastated by an alternate version of Tango.


  • And I Must Scream: Maxine was kept alive, completely alone, on a desolate Earth for two years, completely unable to die.
  • Alternate Self: To Jilton from the main Earth – made all the more complicated when that Jilton ends up dying.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: Jilton on the main Earth is dead by the time Maxine arrives on Earth, and it causes her no shortage of existential stress.
  • Nice Girl: About as pleasant as her counterpart, if not quite as carefree (for good reason).
  • Replacement Goldfish: Maxine tries her utter best to avert this, repeatedly affirming that she isn't the Jilton that Tango and the others knew and existing in a world where she died causes her no end of stress.
  • Stepford Smiler: In contrast to the main Jilton, years of having spent her life on a desolate Earth that Naberius destroyed means Maxine has a lengthy amount of trauma she hides behind her usual witticisms.
  • Survivor Guilt: Seems to have something of a case of this, bluntly telling Tango that she should have died on the Earth she came from alongside everyone else no matter what Tango says.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gives Tango one of these after they end up on the wrong side of a nasty Curb-Stomp Battle from Naberius that they willingly threw themself into to protect Maxine.

    Jenny Waits (Prime) 

See here for details regarding Jenny Prime.


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