alexander j mercer

There’s a distinct difference between the human known as Dr. Alexander J. Mercer and the virus known as Alex Mercer. They may look the same, hold the same voice and watch their surroundings with the same detached, cold, analytical gaze, but they’re two different people.

Dr. Alexander Mercer was born on July 16, 1979 to an alcoholic, abusive mother and a father who left either at his birth (and is presumably dead). Alexander grew up in foster care and spent the first ten years of his life in the system, all the while his mother was incarcerated for nine. Not much is known about his life between getting released into the hands of his mother (who had recently given birth to Dana Mercer, Alexander’s younger sister) and his graduation from the University of Columbia, but it is known that he spent most of his time watching after his sister, being a straight-a student and potentially learning to kickbox.

Fast forward to his employment at Gentek, where he knowingly created bioweapons which could potentially end all life on earth, spent time studying and extracting numerous tissue and nerve samples from an immortal and unhinged patient (after clearly abandoning whatever morals the average human is expected to develop) and simply stopped talking to everyone whom he couldn’t exploit for an edge against his peers. He stopped talking to his own sister for years, causing her to move to Manhattan and relentlessly search, in vain, for a man in bed with the shadiest pharmaceutical company in pharmaceutical history, only for him to show up at her doorstep when he was sure his life was potentially in danger.

Dr. Alexander Mercer is the same man who, once he was absolutely certain that Gentek was going to have him killed for his involvement in their research, stole the very virus he had created and released it in the most densely populated city on the planet, knowing full well his only family would most likely contract and die from it. Why? Because if he was going down, the entirety of the human population might as well go with him.

He was, undoubtably, the biggest piece of shit.

Alex Mercer was simply the virus he created, which got into Alexander’s body as he was shot down in Penn Station. Alex replicated his host’s corpse’s cecaying nervous system, liquefied his organs and bones, and hours after the kill was confirmed, reanimated the body. Alex heard his morticians call him ‘Alex, Mercer J’ and assumed that must be him, and he would only find out the truth three weeks from his ‘birth’.

And even with all the carnage, blood spilled and atrocities Alex would commit in the next few weeks, his creator was much, much worse. At least the man-eating viral abomination would eventually grow a conscious (through eating people).

And now it has come to this... (contains spoiler for Prototype2)

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Just saw the ending of Prototype 2. I really thought that this game will be my “saftey net” of some sort after the 10min fallout of Mass Effect 3. After all, Prototype 2 is my second most anticipated game of 2012 (ME3 being the first).

I know it, even before I played the game, that the devs are already planning to dissolve Alex by the end of the game. The heck, if anyone can remember the tagline of Prototype 2, it’s MURDER YOUR MAKER. What kind of explanation do we really need to have?

But still, it’s so hard to swallow.

After playing the first [PROTOTYPE] game, it’s kinda hard for me to get Alex Mercer out of my head. Fangirl syndrome, maybe. But for me, Alex kind of a different main character. He’s not the goody-two-shoes hero who knows he has to save the day starting from day one. He has his struggles, doubts, and problems. Yes, I know that the plotline is kind of “predictable,” still Radical has succeeded in making Alex Mercer one of the most badass character in gaming history. If there’s anything I really like about the Alex Mercer character, it’s the fact that it’s all about finding himself. And it even delights me that even up to the end of the game, that he’s somewhat eager to find his place in humanity.

Then came [PROTOTYPE2]…

I almost broke the screen upon reading the announcement that there will be a new protagonist for the game–and Alex Mercer is the villain. The devs explained that the [PROTOTYPE] series will be about the virus’ effect on people. As said in here:

…And we kind of analysed the game for a bit and the most interesting thing is how the virus affects people, and how it affected Alex Mercer and what if it infected somebody new? I think the most interesting story is how somebody grows over time to be someone like Alex Mercer and that was what was really intriguing about the first game and I think we wanted to capture that again in the second game. And really the only way we could do that was with a new character….

~ Interview with Radical Entertainment producer, Jonathon Lim by Rocket Chainsaw on February 24, 2012.

Well sure, sure, they want to do things ala-Dragon Age, where the game isn’t about the protagonists, but rather on the setting or catalyst of the situation, something. So I said to myself, “Maybe I should give James Heller a chance.” And quit whining.

Playing the game isn’t that bad. In fact, I enjoyed it; though I kinda feel the generic aura on Heller (getting revenge because his family got killed…blah, blah, blah). And Alex looks more badass now, especially in the CG’s where it’s all grey, black, and red. And yet, I still feel nostalgic on Alex.

But by the time the epic moment has arrived… it felt like: WTF JUST HAPPENED?! Alex Mercer (Zeus) has gone psychopathically mad and now wants to spread the virus. And of course, we have no choice but to kill him–through James Heller. And what’s worse, Heller consumed Alex and Mercer’s final words are, “Welcome to the top of the food chain." 

I suspect that consuming Elizabeth Greene has something to do with the sharp character change. But when I found out about the Prototype comic that covers the events between Prototypes 1&2, it kinda says otherwise. For me, it’s suggesting that all that Alex saw in his travels are only just the evil and phony nature of humanity–and because of that, he wants to destroy them and renew the human race through the virus. And I was just like, "Wow Alex, you’re just the luckiest man on earth. You traveled around the world and all you saw was this?”

I don’ know what others feel about this, all I know is that the one who makes me remind of the badass looking guy with the red, white, and black colored leather jacket wielding a huge blade-arm whenever I hear the word “prototype” has just been erased from his own fanbase. And I don’t know how to cope with that, actually. Because for me, Alex Mercer is a one-of-a-kind protagonist… :(