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A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits led by The Unplanned Variable. Whether they be good, evil or something else entirely is left open to the imagination.

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Protagonist

    The Unplanned Variable 

The Unplanned Variable

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_unplanned_variable.png
The Unplanned Variable as pictured in the Modular Epilogue
"Look who it is: The Stranger who came out of nowhere, and now has everyone talking. Some people want you to be a savior, a shining beacon of hope. Those people clearly haven't met you yet."

The main protagonist cryonized and later left abandoned along with the other passengers of the drifting colony ship The Hope.

  • Androcles' Lion / The Farmer and the Viper: Depending on how whether you help Phineas out or turn him into the board.
  • Almighty Janitor: It is even possible to literally be a custodian. The Variable qualifies for this by having a single top-tier stat at the start of the game. If the maximum score for ‘temperament’ is taken, for example, Phineas reflects that you could easily be the captain of The Hope itself.
  • Anti-Hero: If you are the "good" guy in the game, you'll still be a lawless criminal. At least by the standards of The Board. In particular, the Variable can become a "legitimate" pirate for Sublight (who only sends you after evil targets, though you won't know that at the time) for no in-universe reason other than wanting to, and in fact has to do so to get the best ending.
  • Asexuality: Potentially, if the player character tells Parvati that they relate to her feelings relating to physical relationships in a quest in which she asks for help with romance.
  • Benevolent Boss: If you treat your crew like they’re family.
  • Big Brother Mentor: They can fill this role for Parvati and Felix during their companion quests.
  • Canon Identifier: Officially, the protagonist is known as the "Unplanned Variable", though in-game the title only comes up in the ending. Characters tend to refer to you as "The Stranger" or in the case of your companions, "Captain".
  • Cassandra Truth: Almost no one will believe that the Variable is actually one of the Hope colonists, namely because Hope has been missing for seventy years and is considered little more than a rumor or fairy tale by the people. This actually distresses the Variable when speaking about it to Silas, who thinks you're probably touched in the head or confused.
  • Celibate Hero: Whether your character is inclined or not, there's no one to romance or have an Optional Sexual Encounter with.
  • The Chessmaster: Can be played as one if you have high charisma and intelligence. Especially during the "Comes Now the Power" quest where you're able to bring the deserters back to Edgewater along with making the much more competent leader Adelaide in charge and making the well-meaning but narrow-minded Reed resign with no force required. Of course, Adelaide herself isn't too happy with this.
    The Unplanned Variable: Edgewater's better off with you running it.
    Adelaide: You telling me you did all of this just to put me in charge of Edgewater? Stranger, you are some kind of twisted.
  • Cool Old Person: You can set a slider for age, which is purely cosmetic in terms of gameplay. Meaning you can be weaving your way through a firefight with ease or talking your way out of a sticky situation while pushing 60 at least.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Ada has the player character pretend to be Captain Hawthorne so they can give her orders while captaining the Unreliable. The player can even pretend they're Captain Hawthorne to some NPCs.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The protagonist always has a snarky line prepped as an alternative to being polite or angry.
  • Fish out of Water: You're presumably a citizen of the otherwise prospering Earth that wakes up in the failed colonies of the Halcyon System.
  • Dramatic Irony: Doctor Welles knows that the Hope is full of geniuses, engineers, and scientists that could save the Halcyon colonies from collapse. No matter what your background choice is, you are not one of these people. You actually end up fulfilling the role he intended for Alex Hawthorne to do.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From waking up from your cryo pod with brain damage and 70 years of debt, to a major player in the corporate wars or a legendary explorer and mercenary or an infamous system-faring psychopathic pirate overlord.
  • Functional Addict: Among the flaws the protagonist can choose from are some addictions, most of which are well worth a perk point.
  • Genius Ditz: A below-average intelligence character can still have high ranks in dialog or science skills. There are even Dumb variations of skill checks that are still effective, such as fixing a robot by hitting it.
  • Guile Hero: Good social and mind stats make a hero who won't be the best killer in the galaxy, but can charm, bluff, or intimidate their way out of some incredibly tense situations without firing a shot.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: There will be propaganda by the corporations (even in the loading screens) that will portray the character in a bad light depending on your choices.
  • Human Popsicle: Crammed in with hundreds aboard a sleeper ship, only to be forgotten and abandoned during the subsequent Lightspeed Leapfrog.
  • Humble Goal: In either a Pro or Anti-Board ending, after saving Phineas or Sophia a low-intelligence character can declare that all they want is to go have some ice cream/cereal and leave dealing with the upcoming problems to others.
  • Idiot Hero: Can be one should the player so choose. In fact, if your PC has low enough intelligence, it will open unique dialogue options and commentary, like Phineas wondering how you passed the colonist entrance exam. Or maybe you're just brain damaged from the cryosleep.
  • Kill and Replace: A humorous example of such that is also a Deconstruction as you accidentally kill Captain Hawthorne in the opening and can go by his name. Almost no one accepts you as them and his friends are actually quite irritated by it.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Thanks to pickpocketing amounts to lockpicking and none of the companions object to you stealing, it's easy to play as this. Just don't get caught more than once, where the one time can be bypassed by speech checks.
  • Literal-Minded: A low-intelligence Variable is prone to getting confused by metaphors. For instance, when Vicar Max calls Parvati "soft-hearted", the Variable assumes it's some kind of medical condition and can wonder if she should seek treatment.
  • Lovable Rogue: Pretty much what you default to being if you don't become an outright corporate stooge.
  • Made of Iron: With high Endurance, Dr. Phineas will say that you would be able to eat a whole saltuna, a disgusting salmon/tuna hybrid.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Unlike the games it succeeds, dumping your intelligence stat doesn't mean that you are a barely-functioning troglodyte. Instead, it's more of you having difficulties drawing conclusions.
  • Necessarily Evil: You have to break the laws to be a good person and associate with shady people. As a member of the Board you might have to do terrible things to save humanity.
  • Nice Guy: Can be portrayed as a compassionate, understanding, and altruistic individual who is supportive of their friends.
  • Only in It for the Money: An entirely valid playstyle as they can repeatedly attest they don't care about anything but getting paid.
  • Only Sane Man: Pretty much a guarantee for anyone who is not an idiot in the Halycon System.
  • Player Character: The fully customizable player-controlled protagonist of the game.
  • Playing Both Sides: You can spend most of the game working with Phineas to overthrow the Board while helping the Board capture Phineas, although you do need to pick a side during the endgame.
  • Refuge in Audacity: You can often use your Charm skill to pull off insane stunts. Like when you need to get into a police evidence locker, it's possible to just ask nicely and the lonely secretary will do it.
  • Sarcasm Failure: Some of the colonists are too stupid to realize when you're making fun of them.
  • Science Hero: A strong background in Science, Medicine, and Engineering can result in you saving a lot of people's lives.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: If you end up with the "Robophobia" flaw, this becomes a dialogue option every time you interact with an automechanical. Even if it's your own token robot companion SAM.
  • Snark Knight: The protagonist is a Deadpan Snarker even in the most polite runs but sometimes their barbs are downright vicious.
  • The Sociopath: You can kill most NPCs, even quest givers, before you so much as talk to them. This run in the game will make corporations release propaganda calling you a "Mysterious Stranger that lays death to any on their path."
  • Spanner in the Works: The trailer says as much, and the official title of the player character ("Unplanned Variable") indicates this as well. The dueling Mega Corps in the game planned for every possible variable but you.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Your character can have a few moments where they sound genuinely pissed off and yell at the people they're talking to (albeit you can't hear it). One example being when you find out what the cause of The Plague in Edgewater is.
    "Have you tried eating a vegetable?!"
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Something unavoidable if you have an Above Average intelligence. You can frequently express this attitude.
  • Tranquil Fury: Some of the dialogue options have this.
    "If I have to eat one more weird science project passed off as food in this sprat-fucked colony, I am going to stab someone."
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Time Dilation Displacement comes up as a side effect of whatever chemicals Phineas put in you to keep you alive, and 70 years of being stuck in a frozen can.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A possible ending for a low-intelligence character involves skip-jumping the Hope into a Sun, with the Unplanned Variable and their crew still on it.
  • Villain Protagonist: The game fully supports your main character being a sociopathic space pirate and mass murderer who kills random passersby and eats their corpses, and other horrifying nonsense.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: If the player works with the Board, the Board will portray them as a hero. Even if the player is being a heartless, back-stabbing, corrupt bastard driven only by selfishness and greed.
  • Working-Class Hero: All the Aptitudes they can be from are for low-level, unsafe and/or underwhelming jobs.

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Companions


    In General 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/unreliable.png
The many disparate people who can join you on your journey.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: If the player is a moron, they'll usually have to apologize and speak on your behalf.
  • Captain Ersatz: The crew's behavior and overall personalities bear some resemblance to the crew of Serenity: The Nominal Hero Token Evil Teammate, Adorkable Wrench Wench, Badass Preacher, and so on. Mind you, this doesn't quite leave the Unplanned Variable in the role of Mal Reynolds - the Variable holds Mal's position of The Captain, while some of Mal's personality traits seem to have ended up with Felix. This extends to the Unreliable as well, which shares both the general look and feel of Serenity, especially the cargo bay and kitchen, and even has a very similar physical layout.
  • La Résistance: If you work against the Board, the Unreliable crew does more against them than all the other groups combined.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: An fouled-mouth preacher, an incredibly introvert of an mechanic, an extremely self-serving doctor turned pirate, two malfunctioning AI, a constantly drunken hunter with a tramazing past, and an rebellious stowaway. Plus their leader who is a recently unthawed popsicle and the most morally flexible of the bunch.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!. When Chairman Rockwell tries to smugly taunt them, they all give sound rebuttals.
    Chairman Rockwell: Ah, the wayward doctor. Are you about done with your escapades? We have faces that need lifting, after all.
    Ellie: These days, I'm more interested in breaking them. Wouldn't mind taking a swing at yours.
  • True Companions: Complete their personal quests in positive ways, and the crew will start considering each other family.

    Ellie 

Dr. Marilyn "Ellie" Fenhill

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/outerworldscharellie.png
If I'm being honest — and I prefer not to — I was about ready to pick up another contract anyway.
Voiced by: Victoria Sanchez

"I'm a surgeon by training and a pirate by inclination. Not much else to know, Captain. I like long walks on the Promenade and the smell of Spacer's Corona. I make a mean Zero Gee Cocktail, and I've got a meaner right hook."

Space pirate, better-than-average sawbones, and source of questionable advice. A laid-back professional sort of pirate and doctor with a mercenary outlook on most things. She's one of the companions who can join the Unplanned Variable.


  • Abusive Parents: When you meet her parents, you find out that they were, and still are, emotionally abusive and neglectful. When she was younger, they were stage parents who forced her to conform so much that she eventually ran away to be a pirate just to get them to notice her. When she returns, her parents are disappointed because they had her declared legally dead and want to cut her out of their lives forever to keep her life insurance payments.
  • Action Girl: She'll fight alongside the player as one of their companions, and regularly gets into trouble.
  • Boyish Short Hair: She's a pragmatist and pirate who goes along fighting with the player character, and just so happens to have short red hair. This is an Invoked Trope. She wants to ADVERTISE.
  • Cassandra Truth: If the Unplanned Variable tries to convince the insurance agent that Ellie isn't dead and Ellie flat out admits to being Marilyn Fenhill, the agent won't believe them since Marilyn was seen as a classy lady and Ellie really isn't.
  • Combat Medic: She may be a doctor, but that doesn't stop her from kicking ass.
  • Cool Big Sis: Party banter has her take on this role for the younger-seeming crew members. For Felix, it's relatively soon, and Parvati, it's more gradual.
  • The Cynic: Ellie's outlook is one where there's no point in acting for anyone else than one's self. She doesn't believe things can be improved, or in planning for the future.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Though she mostly keeps to herself about her past, what details she is willing to divulge implies it wasn't a happy one. This is mostly an act. She doesn't have a horrifyingly traumatic past, but her parents are clearly neglectful.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's not afraid of dishing out some snarky comments, particularly if the Unplanned Variable is played as an Idiot Hero.
  • Death Faked for You: Not that she had much choice in it. After she ran away, her parents had her declared legally dead so they could cash in on her life insurance payments. Ellie's naturally angry and can get revenge by tricking the system into making herself her own beneficiary.
  • Defector from Decadence: She grew up in Byzantine, which is the cleanest and safest colony, but is also a terrible bore and laden down with high society nonsense that she couldn't stand. She got her degree and then disappeared to the stars to get away from it.
  • Embarrassing Cover Up: Her parents cashed in her life insurance by claiming Ellie broke her neck while trying out a one-of-a-kind pair of Celeste Jolicoeur high-heels. Ellie's pretty put out that they couldn't at least say she was killed in a pirate attack or something.
  • Everyone Has Standards: She's the most morally questionable member of the crew but she still has some standards.
    • In the "Peril on Gorgon" DLC, while sneaking around a semi-illegal canid revue on Byzantium you can find the "Runners' Up" room which is filled with canids killed for the flimsiest reasons. Ellie, who earlier expressed she doesn't even like canids, think it's sick, even by Byzantium standards.
    • Also in "Gorgon", she's one of the crew members against restarting Project Gorgon considering not only was it horribly cruel but it's also responsible for the creation of marauders.
  • Freudian Excuse: For whatever it is worth, it is clear that Ellie’s parents don’t give a crap about her. It’s surprisingly hard to watch, actually.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: She can set up a false beneficiary and steal the money generated by her own death insurance from her parents by setting up an account under the name "Ellie Fenhill", a name the insurance agent thinks is false. "Ellie" is by virtue of being a nickname. Fenhill isn't.
  • The Medic: Her passive skill gives a boost to the player's medical ability. Makes sense, given she's a full-blown doctor.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Not that you guys are dating or anything, but it's there in spirit. She wants to invite you to her parents house, but to earn their ire and disapproval.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: She's presumably sworn a Hippocratic Oath, but that doesn't stop her from filling marauders, wildlife, and anyone else who gets in her way with bullets.
  • Ms. Imagination: During "The Low Crusade", she can break out into a rather vivid and juvenile fantasy about how she imagined her return home would go. The Unplanned Variable can even call her on this.
  • Nominal Hero: She's described as a professional sort of pirate with a mercenary outlook who only helps "me and mine." She also won't get too mad at the player for being the bad guy.
  • Only in It for the Money: Aside from the thrill of dying horrifically, her primary motivation for joining your crew is because she thinks she'd get lots of bits out of it. She'll bring it up when you accept quests with her in your party.
  • Parental Abandonment: Ellie's parents never saw eye to eye with her. When she left they cashed her life insurance policy, and made a story of how she died. When she meets them again, their reaction is to ask her to leave quietly, as they value the lifestyle they've gotten off her insurance more than having her back.
  • Pet the Dog: Like Max, she defends Felix in his personal quest-line from Clyde’s patronizing attitude.
  • Reformed Criminal: She outgrows her piracy in one of her endings and becomes the leader of a team that performs medical missions across the colony.
  • Spoiled Brat: Ellie grew up in the lap of luxury when the rest of the colony was starving. She ran to becoming an outlaw rather than as an escape. Much of her career is just designed to shock her parents rather than any real higher purpose.
  • Straight Man: Though not without her own quirks, she functions as this when paired with the naive Parvati, the childish Felix and possibly you.
    • According to Word of God, Ellie wasn't originally designed this way, but it became a facet of their character when writing dialogue options for a dumb Unplanned Variable.
  • Thrill Seeker: She purposely puts herself in dangerous situations (such as outrunning Mantisaurs) because she enjoys almost dying.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Probably the least selfless and altruistic person in the group. Which makes sense since she grew up in Byzantium. Depending on how the game goes, one of her endings reveals that she comes around to the idea that maybe other people aren't so bad and it's nice to do nice things.
  • Troll: Likes messing with people in mean ways. In particular, she sets out to make Max's life a living hell.
  • Tsundere: A platonic version. She doesn't believe that people are good and would rather the two of you keep things professional. You can prod and support her until she admits that she likes you and considers you her friend.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If you murder her parents she'll be utterly furious at you and walk out on you with no chance to talk her out of it.

    Parvati 

Parvati Holcomb

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/outerworldscharparvati.png
When I was in Edgewater, I dreamed of flying on a real ship. Working on a real engine. Belonging to a proper crew.
Voiced by: Ashly Burch

Edgewater's softhearted but brilliant young mechanic. Idealistic, kind, and better at her job than almost anyone else in the town, she doesn't fit into colony society, which puts the corporation first and the wellbeing of the town a distant second. She's typically the first companion to join the Unplanned Variable, as the only one who can accompany you during your initial stay in Emerald Vale.


  • Action Girl: She's a companion so she'll fight side-by-side with the player.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Something of an ugly duckling story, where the things that made her unpopular in Edgewater, like her willful independence and intuitive Machine Empathy actually make her an exceptional engineer once she finally manages to get out of Emerald Vale.
  • Adorkable: In spades, the first time she sees the Unreliable, and her entire personal quest is the best example.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Parvati has a lot of trouble fitting in with people, doesn't like hanging around the other crewmembers unless you're bringing her along, a hyper-fixation on machines, and has trouble keeping eye contact.
  • Apologizes a Lot: When she first signs on, she ends practically every other sentence with "Sorry." Character Development sees her gradually lose this trait.
  • Character Development: From a friendless mechanic in a backwater town to the outlaw starship mechanic of one of the most advanced ships in the colony, potentially with a girlfriend who's the leader of one of the only settlements outside the Board's control.
  • Daddy's Girl: Was raised exclusively by her father and loved him dearly. She even keeps a framed photo of him in her room.
  • Drop the Hammer: Starts out with an Impact Hammer, and her special attack involves walloping the designated target with it for AOE shock damage and a stun effect.
  • The Engineer: Your crew's mechanic, she gives you a flat bonus to Engineering while in the active party. You can even ask for her advice on certain quests that need engineering. Her unique perk gives you a further bonus to Engineering as well.
  • Famed in Story: She becomes a famous mechanic after if you complete her companion quest satisfactorily.
  • Friendless Background: Despite being one of the nicest people in Halcyon, her curiosity and slight stubborn streak (more interested in doing the job right than on the company's arbitrary schedule) mean everyone in Edgewater steered clear.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: She always has a pair of goggles strapped to her forehead, never over her eyes.
  • Incompatible Orientation: In a sense. While she is interested in both men and women, according to Word of God, some of her relationships failed because she didn't enjoy being physically intimate with somebody.
  • Incompletely Trained: She has mechanical know-how, but in a lot of cases, such as being an actual spaceship mechanic, she doesn't know a whole lot about the ins and outs. As she puts it herself, she's been working on what is essentially a canning plant her whole life so that's what she's good at. She asks to get advice from the Groundbreaker engineering team and receives further instruction from Junlei.
  • Jumped at the Call: She's eager to help you with the initial mission at the thermal plant (if you'll have her), and asks you to take her with you as your shipboard mechanic when you leave Emerald Vale in the Unreliable.
    Parvati: ...Captain. I can call you captain, now. Ha! I got a captain.
  • Mentor Ship: In-Universe, she falls hard for Junlei when they start exchanging messages after the PC introduces them. You can help her work up the courage to find out if it's mutual. (It is).
  • Motherly Scientist:
    • Motherly mechanic at least. She likes to give personalities to the machines she's repairing and creating, but that doesn't make her fit in well with society.
    • If you take her along to meet Phineas' contact in Byzantium, she will request "Chicken" as her bird-themed code name. Because, in her words, "chickens will adopt any critter's baby and keep them warm".
  • Motor Mouth: She has a tendency to ramble when she's nervous. She's usually nervous.
    Parvati: Oh, gosh. Listen to me babbling.
  • Nice Gal: A sweet and sensitive young woman who starts to come out of her shell once she's out of the shadow of the company town she grew up in.
  • No Social Skills: Is noticeably shy and put on the spot when forced to interact with people she doesn't know well. Admits that this was a problem in childhood, as well.
  • Parental Abandonment: By her mother. Apparently, Spacer's Choice considered Parvati's mother too valuable an asset to be distracted by an unplanned child, so per standard policy, her daughter was assigned to the settlement where she was conceived.
  • The Pig-Pen: She admits she mostly forgets to bathe while she's working, and asks for help in coming up with bathing supplies when she decides to ask Junlei out.
  • Romantic Asexual: Parvati is averse to physical contact, but desires a romantic relationship. She was explicitly written as a bi-romantic asexual, as per her main writer.
  • Shrinking Violet: Invoked trope when Celeste Jolicoeur, a high-class bespoke tailor in Byzantium, politely expresses her disappointment at Parvati turning down a chance at modeling due to her anxiety over "so many eyes on her".
  • Unkempt Beauty: She admits she is not the best at keeping a good bathing schedule, and she apparently is attractive enough to make Celeste Jolicoeur gush about her modeling potential.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She'll be horrified if you choose to kill Reed Tobson in his office and will require a speech check to talk her out of just walking. If you kill Junlei, she will be heartbroken and you'll need to pass an incredibly hard speech check for her not to leave for good.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: She's described as a sweet person who would want to help people in trouble, but is also naive.
  • Wrench Wench: She's a female mechanic. Coupled with her Western accent and speech patterns, she reminds heavily of Kaylee Frye.

    Vicar Max 

Vicar Maximillian DeSoto

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/outerworldscharvicarmax.png
The innocent of heart are often blind to the guilt of others.
Voiced by: Dave B. Mitchell

"The Plan is not one rigid path, there are a variety of multitudes contained within it. Our Paths have variance, but we'll end up adhering to it whether we like it or not."

The good vicar in Edgewater following Scientism. He attempts to divine the secrets of his religion's notion of "The Plan", and needs your help to find (and then translate) a specific book that could help him do so. He is a potential companion who can join the Unplanned Variable.


  • The Anti-Nihilist: If his quest is completed positively Max stops believing in the idea of a "Great Plan" and instead decides that it's better to live in the moment as is.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Played with as Scientism is a non-supernatural believing religion that most resembles Deism. It is notable for the fact that they don't believe in an afterlife and Vicar Max eventually stops believing in the Architect or a Plan but becomes even more devoted to preaching his religion. Both Parvati and Nyoko question why Max is a preacher in the first place.
  • Badass Preacher: The good vicar has a number of skills necessary for running the clergy in Edgewater (computer science, being good with people)...and some not. (Great with a gun, can swing a blunt instrument like nobody's business).
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Not in the strictest sense, since what we see are shared hallucinations, but visions of his mother and the idealized version of himself have to be taken down for the Vicar to move forward in his life.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Vicar Max's religion believes this is how everyone should live their life. He is more flexible about his beliefs until he drops them entirely.
  • Berserk Button: Philosophists, who believe the natural state of the universe is chaos, and that all that exists is simply the universe experimenting, trying to find its true form. Max finds their way of seeing the world repugnant. Until, as one possible outcome, to his personal quest has him effectively become a Philosophist himself. Most of the other crew members agree this makes him considerably better company.
  • Character Development: His personal quest has him come to terms with his anger, realizing that its source is trying to force his faith, escape the various prisons and small towns to which he's been assigned, and live up to what he thinks he's supposed to be — not just a good priest, but a great man, the one who will prove the truth of the Plan, the next Architect. Ironically, giving up his belief in the Plan and the Architect actually makes him a better vicar, wiser, more measured, more forgiving, and a better outlaw, as a member of your crew. Which, oddly enough, is entirely in line with the belief that the harder you struggle against the Plan, the stronger the reaction when it inevitably snaps you back to where you're really meant to be.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Averted in that Scientism isn't even a denomination of Christianity but played straight in that it uses many of the rituals, forms, and titles of the Church of England.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes:
    • An Ironic inversion as his congregation is, by all accounts, a bunch of faithful and decent sorts content with their lot in life as per his religion. They generally disgust Max as he thinks (correctly) they're Too Dumb to Live.
    • He's actually a terrible minister and incapable of giving any more than canned Scientician platitudes to people seeking spiritual advice. The people of Edgewater were just too brainwashed by the company line to notice.
  • The Fatalist: It comes with him being an ardent believer in the Plan.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Doesn't believe in an afterlife even after he has a Vision Quest where he meets his mother's ghost that you and the others in the party meet as well.
  • Freudian Excuse: A lot of his issues with his religion and the universe come from his parents.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Aside from possibly the Captain, Parvati is the only one who makes any attempt to treat him well and he's fine with that.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He's an angry, angry man who tries to maintain a facade of enlightened, intellectual faith.
  • Higher Understanding Through Drugs: The conclusion of his personal quest.
    • Max and the player take hallucinogens, letting them see Max's mother and Max's own idealized self. If the player encourages him, Max will decide that his search for a universal Truth and Plan keeps him from facing his own demons by letting him shirk responsibility, and keep him from enjoying life. If they do this, Max comes out of the experience completely changed, filled with newfound self-awareness and far more sociable than before.
    • Alternatively, this trope can be defied: with the right, rather dark encouragement from the player, Max can decide to reject both the visions and the hermit who offered them as "bullshit", leading him to abandon his quest for enlightenment and wash his hands of both Philosophism and the OSI. The Old Hermit disapproves, with her and Max parting on acid terms. But as long as he doesn't shoot her, leaving his quest for enlightenment to live in the present turns him into a nicer person just as well.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Life has not left Max with a very high opinion of his fellow man.
  • Irony: His parents were extremely religious and believed in the teachings to the letter, but he never was able to get the peace they did from it. And when he joined the clergy, it's implied they didn't approve because the fatalistic nature of the religion dictates Max shouldn't have tried to improve his lot or learn to be better, because his nature as it was could be part of The Plan.
  • Jerkass: By his own admission. Max is terse, unpleasant, and pushy when it comes to his personal goal. He's dismissive of most of the other party members. This can change following the conclusion of his quest, where he mellows out and becomes more pleasant. As he describes it, he's still a jerk, but now he's aware he's a jerk and works to improve on that. He also becomes far more sociable with the rest of the crew.
  • Hidden Depths: One of the earliest revelations in the game is that the stiff, prim, and proper Vicar learned some interesting skills while he was assigned to a prison.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He uses the player twice: once, to get the book he wants for his own spiritual purposes and second to seek out and attack the man who lied to him about it while pretending that said man is a "scholar" that can translate it. It isn't until after the latter incident that he apologizes for tricking the player, and you can actually kick him off your crew because of it.
  • Order Versus Chaos: His religion's worldview in a nutshell. He eventually sides with Chaos in the end if you help him with his vision quest.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite arguing with him often, Max will still step in to defend Felix in the latter's personal quest. If Max's own quest hasn't been completed, he'll praise Felix in a stuttering, awkward way. However, if Max has already found peace, he'll warmly declare Felix to be family.
  • Preacher Man: Zigzagged. Acerbic, condescending, and potty-mouthed, he's just awful at his supposed job. Or rather, Edgewater is so miserable that he can barely conceal his contempt of the people around him... but the town is so blindly loyal to the company, including their faith in Scientism, that they completely fail to notice and are quite proud of their vicar. Max himself actually has almost no interest in preaching, and is far more interested in propounding and debating the finer points of academic theology, proving the Plan is true. His obsessive nature got him assigned as a prison chaplain at Tartarus, then to an even more anonymous position in Edgewater.
  • Precision F-Strike: A perfectly well-behaved vicar... until he's brought a text he wanted in a language he can't read. His propensity towards foul language ramps up dramatically from there.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: First assigned to a prison for talking back to his superiors, then shelved in the Dying Town of Edgewater. His Hair-Trigger Temper has a lot to do with it.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Despite being a vicar, he actually has a dirtier mouth than most of his flock and most of your crew.
  • The Social Darwinist: Scientism is predicated on the idea that everyone is born into their natural place and trying to fight fate will only lead to misery.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: His essential view of the Halcyon System. He's not wrong.
  • Troubled Child: Described as having a "violent disposition" in his youth. If you let him kill Chaney, he can comment that he thought he'd left this behind with his training, but prison brought it all back.
  • Truth in Television:
    • The Catholic Church and many other religions have a history of scholars interested in the intellectual and theological portions of their faith while having no interest in the daily ministering to the public.
    • There are secular religions in the world that do not believe in the supernatural but maintain religious traditions and roles.
  • Vision Quest: Has one of them that can end up validating or changing his faith.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: One of the reasons he became a Vicar was because he knew how much the Plan meant to his parents.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Not everyone's happy when Character Development causes him to mellow out. Ellie in particular will complain he's no longer any fun.
  • Wham Line: There only very few hints about Max's true personality until the Unplanned Variable brings the book he was looking for, whereupon, he delivers this:
    "Wait...What the fuck is this?! Is this French...? I can’t fucking read French!"

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    Felix 

Felix Millstone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/felix_millstone.jpg
I have prepared a list of reasons why I believe you should hire me to join the crew of your ship and/or outlaw gang...
Voiced by: Jonathan Silver

A rebel without a cause (or a clue) who has a problem with authority and loves fighting against "the man." He's another potential companion who can join the Unplanned Variable.


  • Book Dumb: He isn't particularly smart, having grown up on the streets and is only educated enough to qualify for manual labor, but he's very insightful into how corporations are exploiting the working class.
  • Broken Pedestal
    • He takes the revelation that Graham Bryant was responsible for the massacre of Amber Heights pretty personally, having looked up to him for his anti-authority ways.
    • He is also horrified by the revelation that Clyde Harlow, his old friend and mentor figure, is on the Board's payroll.
    • If you start getting too cozy with the Board, Felix will let his disappointment with you be known.
  • Butt-Monkey: Felix is rarely taken seriously by any other character. Fortunately, insults tend to bounce off his cheerfully oblivious attitude.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Definitely a subversion. He's literally a rebel without a cause because he doesn't have a stable political philosophy beyond "smash the system." This has caused some companions to label him as a "rebel without a clue."
  • Gag Nose: He has a very prominent nose compared to other characters.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's impetuous and brash and this leads him to get in trouble wherever he goes. He first meets the player when Felix gets into a fight with his foreman because he was making fun of his favorite Tossball team.
  • Improbable Weapon User: His starting melee weapon is a Pro Tossball Stick, AKA sporting equipment.
  • Little Stowaway: Should the player chose to interview him before adding him to the crew, he implies this is how he got on the Groundbreaker in the first place.
  • Lovable Rogue: Appears to give off this attitude despite his ignorance. Having him in your party grants a passive +10 to Persuasion.
  • Jumped at the Call: He's the most outwardly interested in seeing new worlds and new things of the crew. He even comments on Monarch that he wants to see the cannibals he's heard living on the planet.
  • Manchild: Implied. His room on the ship is often filled with soda and a box of sugary cereal, he and Parvati are often watching adventure serials, he is unaware that saltuna is a type of fish, and he worships the ground that his tossball team walks upon.
  • Not Worth Killing: If brought to Rizzo's Secret Labs, he'll unintentionally invoke this by giving such a pathetic plea for mercy to a robot that the automated security will deem you all to be of negligible threat, thus ignoring you.
  • Odd Friendship: Turns out he's an old friend of Gunnar MacRedd, who still likes Felix enough to leave you alone if you have him in your party.
  • Reality Ensues: He is rather disappointed after the Board's defeat that the streets aren't filled with people celebrating. The entire situation left a power vacuum that needed to be filled and Halcyon was still facing survival issues. "Saviour of the Universe" isn't exactly a resume builder and he ends up going back to manual labor.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If the player tries to persuade the Chairman to stand down and join them in Tartarus prison, Felix will call the player out, saying after all the horrible things they've done, they can either continue to have him as an ally or accept the Chairman's help, but not both. If the player chooses the latter, Felix will leave the party.
    • Siding with the Board will lead to Felix leaving the crew without a word in his epilogue.
  • Ship Tease: With Nell, who runs the tossball bar in Stellar Bay. They instantly bond over their mutual love of tossball.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He naturally tries barbing Vicar Max whenever he can for, in his eyes, being a corporate stooge. Downplayed with Nyoka, who believes that there should always be a modicum of bureaucracy to prevent disorder while Felix straight-up hates the obstructiveness.
  • Unfortunate Names: The surname "Millstone" doesn't exactly fill one with confidence.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He generally opposes taking missions directly from the Board unless you convince him that you're actually trying to subvert them. Even more so if you accept the mission to wipe out an Adelaide-controlled Edgewater.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: He constantly romanticizes your adventures and often has to be reminded that things aren't always as clean-cut as they are in the serials. One of the only times he genuinely feels disillusioned is when he learns that one of his dear friends is in the pocket of the Board. And leaves the crew without a word if the Board wins in the end.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: His special attack is a dropkick.

    SAM 

SAM

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/samiam.jpg
Every SAM unit comes lean, mean, and ready to clean!
Voiced by: Bruce Dinsmore

A specially modified Sanitation and Maintenance Automechanical. purchased by the original Captain Hawthorne who's been modified for combat. The Unplanned Variable needs to track down one of his missing parts before he's fully operational.


  • Acid Attack: His primary form of attack is to drench enemies in acidic cleaning solutions, reducing their armor rating whilst melting them alive.
  • Berserk Button: Uncleanliness, unsurprisingly. It often puts him at odds with Nyoka and he can often be seen cleaning her room while she's passed out drunk on the floor.
  • Close-Range Combatant: His primary attack is a chemical-thrower that can only be used to hose enemies down at close range. While he has the option to lob balls of condensed chemicals at a distance, it's somewhat slow and is still better used in close proximity anyways.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Downplayed in that Corrosive damage works pretty well on most enemies, but since they're his only attack options, SAM is going to be really strong against enemies that are weak to Corrosive damage, but much less useful against anything which resists it.
  • Developers' Foresight: A small one that tends to catch some players off guard: picking the Robophobia flaw will actively debuff you so long as SAM is near you, despite the fact that he's clearly on your side.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Due to being a janitorial robot in programming, his attitude is constantly chipper and friendly, even when he's melting enemies alive through corrosion.
  • Expospeak Gag: Most of his dialogue consists of suspiciously snarky and apropos canned recordings.
    SAM: (party banter with Nyoka) Unit's air purity sensors are indicating a lethal level of inebriation emanating from a nearby organic source.
  • Flat Character: Can come off as this. While he doesn't have any hang-ups like the rest of the crew and doesn't really have a character arc for obvious reasons, SAM's capable of a surprising amount of banter with the other party members using nothing but canned marketing phrases.
  • Ground Pound: His special combat ability has him leap in the air slam against the ground near a targeted enemy, releasing a splash of chemicals around him and knocking enemies off their feet for easy shots.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: As a non-human Automechanical companion, Sam cannot be equipped with any weapons or armor, having only his built-in acid weapons and his chassis. This makes him more specialized in his role in combat than other companions, who may be given new weapons to adapt to the situation compared to SAMs constant emphasis on close-range combat with only the Corrosion damage type to work with.
  • Not So Stoic: Since automechanicals are described as non-sapient in-universe and most evidence supports this, with SAM himself mostly speaking in canned phrases with the same cheerful-sounding voice. However, sometimes the phrases he issues seem a little too on the nose to be unintentional. His response near the end where the player is insulted by Chairman Rockwell is particularly caustic.
    Chairman Rockwell: And... oh. I had heard you were dragging around a repurposed janitorial mechanical. My staff jokes that it's because you're a walking pile of refuse.
    SAM: Interactive database updated. The unique organic substance labeled "Chairman" has been classified as: FILTH IMMINENT FOR INCINERATION.
  • Robo Romance:
    • Parodied. ADA certainly feels this way to SAM, despite SAM being non-sapient. You can walk in on her telling SAM to clean all of her "dirty, dirty consoles".
    • Happens again in "Peril on Gorgon" where SAM can meet PAM. Despite both being ostensibly non-sapient, the canned phrases they say to each other are laden with innuendo.
  • Robot Maid: His original purpose, and as such he's usually found tidying up the Unreliable. His weapons are basically cleaning chemicals, but that doesn't mean they're not effective.
  • The Scream: The Unplanned Variable, if they happen to have Robophobia, can react with fear and perform one as a dialogue option whenever they speak with SAM. SAM replies that 'AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!' is not a recognized command.
  • Stealth Insult: Most characters in the party catch on when he does this, such as when Nyoka is trying to see if he uses alcohol to clean and responds that his module isn't safe for elderly people or sprats to touch.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: SAM is a janitor robot who was illegally modified by the late Alex Hawthorne to be capable of combat. He uses cleaning supplies as lethal weaponry. Again, his original purpose is to clean for his master, but he conveniently has no qualms about cleaning up his masters enemies with liberal application of acid, and he's much hardier than you'd expect for a janitor.
  • Takes One to Kill One: Invoked in his companion abilities and perks. Corrosive damage cripples armor ratings, and he can let you make use of a perk that increases damage against Automechanical enemies, making him a good choice to bring along when a heavy robotic presence needs to be wiped out.
  • Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: Evidently, his presence is intimidating enough to the point where he has a companion perk that can grant you a passive +10 to Intimidation despite his cheerful attitude.

    Nyoka 

Nyoka Ramnarim-Wentworth III

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nyokapng.png
Now let's get to shooting before I get all sentimental.
Voiced by: Mara Junot

"The Board also believes it's impossible to live on Monarch, yet here I stand. They believe gainful employment necessary to one's survival. *I* believe the Board can kiss my ass."

A hard-drinking hunter and wilderness guide hired by the Unplanned Variable to escort them through the wilds of Monarch. She's usually the last person you recruit to the ship due to her placement in the game.


  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: One of the recurring random events when you board your ship has her having gotten blackout drunk and passed out upside-down halfway out of her bunk, with SAM hovering over her warning her this is a ship sanitation violation as she snores and mumbles in her sleep.
  • The Alcoholic: You can get into her good graces immediately by buying her a drink when you first meet. A lot of her dialogue relates to alcohol and she takes a swig from a bottle which she smashes on the ground as she unleashes her special ability. Played for Laughs until it isn't, given a bittersweet quality by her stories and the ending of her personal quest.
  • Animal Nemesis: Downplayed, but Nyoka hates mantisaurs in general and in particular the mantiqueen that killed two of her friends ten years ago.
  • Blood Knight: Particularly if the fight involves a large and dangerous animal. If you don't complete her personal quest, Nyoka will become a rather tragic example. She'll return to Monarch and end up withdrawing into the wilderness to hunt alone, having apparently nothing else to live for.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Loves drinking almost as much as she loves killing alien beasts.
  • Broken Bird: A gun-toting, hard-drinking Snark Knight who lost most of the people she cared about and saw her whole planet shafted by the corporations. Less angsty than most, but being The Alcoholic has a lot to do with that.
    Nyoka: (on player death) Not you, too!
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She might be a lush with a penchant for rambling, but she's still a fantastic shot and world class hunter. Her skills can also reflect her ability by improving her damage against creatures, which is indispensable on the Death World that is Monarch.
  • Catch Phrase: "Outstanding."
  • Chainsaw Grip BFG: Her default weapon and the one she uses for her special ability is a light machine gun carried this way.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has a world-weary sarcastic quip at the ready for almost every occasion.
    Nyoka: You be careful. The first one's free. After that they'll offer you gainful employment.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Lost her whole crew during a hunt gone wrong ten years ago.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: She has jaw-length red dreads and is the most combat-oriented of the companions, given that she's the only one whose job directly involves fighting.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The reason she drinks. Her friends are all dead and/or gone, and until you show up, leaving the Dying Town Monarch has become or breaking the stalemate between MSI and the Iconoclasts (much less doing anything about the other corps' embargo of the planet), seems like a distant hope at best.
  • Due to the Dead: Her personal quest involves collecting the medallions belonging to her deceased friends, as well as giving them proper burials.
  • Family of Choice: The people whom she called her mercenary group, which is why her main quest is to bury them and collect their medallions. Eventually, she comes right out and says she's found another one when it comes to you and your crew.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Her old mercenary group was called CHARON. The N stands for Nyoka, with each of the other letters standing for one of her teammates: Clara, Hayes, Anders, Rebekah, and Opal.
  • Hired Guns: She used to be part of a crack team of mercenaries for hire, until a mantisaur queen killed two of their number and the survivors scattered.
  • Hunter Trapper: When she's not working as a guide, she goes out and takes out her aggression on Monarch's hostile local wildlife and trades the meat and other bits for drinking money.
  • Must Have Caffeine: She relies on taking medical-grade caffeinoids to get her "sober" and has burned through her whole monthly allotment well before you arrive on Monarch.
  • Native Guide: For Monarch. It seems like just about everyone knows Nyoka, and she has far more dialogue with NPCs than the other companions do in the places where you recruit them.
    Nyoka: Oh, no, no. Monarch ain't safe, even with me around. I've just got intimate knowledge and an abundance of fortitude. Folks hire me because I know what you can shoot and what you oughta run from. That's a mistake you only get to make once.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: Discussed. She's not without self-awareness when it comes to the unhealthy way she's dealing with her issues, but it's not completely unjustified, either:
    Nyoka: I'll be up front with you. I hate asking for help. I hate it. Every time I give someone the opportunity to disappoint me, they seem to make it their most immediate goal.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Her personal quest has her tracking down the rest of her old mercenary gang, CHARON, for One Last Job, getting their revenge on the mantiqueen who killed two of them ten years ago. Turns out the others died as well — but you can still help her find a measure of closure and kill the queen.
  • Shouting Shooter: Her special attack involves her spraying the field with machine gun fire while screaming at the top of her lungs.
  • Sole Survivor: Her personal quest will reveal she's the last surviving member of her old team.
  • The Storyteller: She can provide you with a steady supply of hunting/mercenary stories. The bartender at the Yacht Club teases her about how the whole bar has heard all her stories many times over.
  • Survivor Guilt: If both her and Ellie's quests are completed, one radial conversation between the two confirms that this is her main reason for drinking.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Played with. She doesn't want to keep the medallions of her dead team because they're just painful memories. You can convince her otherwise.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: She expected to be entering her team's old hideout full of Berserker Rage. Instead, she feels sad and empty inside at having to address her memories of the place.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has metallic red dreadlocks. Technicolor hair isn't uncommon in Halcyon, but Nyoka is the only one of your party members to have it.

Other Crew Members

    ADA 

ADA

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_outer_worlds_20191029054052.jpg
Voiced by: Courtenay Taylor

An advanced AI aboard the player's ship that controls the navigation and communications systems. While, theoretically, not sentient, she can learn from the people onboard the ship to better anticipate their needs. Or so she says.


  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: Averted, but Felix is worried that she could end up murdering them if her code said it was in her best interests to do so.
  • Brutal Honesty: She tells you that you probably wouldn't live through the endgame. She then admits that she needs to upgrade her "consolation" executables. She then says the exact same thing, but phrased more positively.
  • Crew of One: The implication is that none of your party members do anything on the ship except hang out.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nearly every supposedly pre-programmed thing she says is a monotone quip.
  • Do Androids Dream?: One of Hawthorne's suggestions was for her to develop a personality, which is why she's snarky. While improving her personality program, she somehow develops feelings of concern, fondness, and sadness. She's not supposed to be sentient, but her behavior is meant to make you wonder. You can go so far as to ask her flat-out if she is sentient, but she denies it. Though she denies it in such a way that still makes you wonder.
  • Exact Words: She's programmed to only take orders from Captain Hawthorne... but there's apparently nothing stopping her from addressing you as Captain Hawthorne.
  • The Gadfly: She loves to mess with The Unplanned Variable, especially.
  • Loophole Abuse: ADA is programmed to only take orders from Captain Alex Hawthorne. After you report Hawthorne’s death to her, she suggests taking his identity so she will take orders from you.
  • Robo Romance: ADA certainly feels this way to SAM, despite SAM being non-sapient. You can walk in on her telling SAM to clean all of her "dirty, dirty consoles".
  • Robot Buddy: While she misses Captain Hawthorne quite a bit, she comprehends that his death was not your fault. You seem to grow on her.
  • Servile Snarker: She has no qualms with sassing The Unplanned Variable.
  • Spaceship Girl: She is your ship's communications and navigation officer, meaning the ship pilots itself.

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