Dr. Q. L. Killjoy was a psychiatrist and medical practitioner who's known career existed primarily on Carnate Island, at the facility known as Carnate Asylum. His specific study was in the treatment and curing of conditions such as schizophrenia, paranoia, severe and chronic melancholia, disassociative personality disorder, and other severe psychoses. However, his treatments were considered dangerous, abusive, and often deadly. Despite his well known disregard for individual human life and controversial methods, it is believed that his underlying intentions stemmed from a good will. He is voiced by John Armstrong.
By far the most human of all the ghosts in the series, Dr. Killjoy demonstrates none of the deformities exhibited by other apparitions, perhaps due to his possibly deliberate means of obtaining immortality. A tall, thin, dignified-looking gentleman, he is easily recognized both in person and in paintings by his slicked-back hair, widow's peak, and impeccably-waxed mustache. Perpetually dressed in the stereotypical garb of a surgeon, Killjoy is further distinguished by the bloodstained apron, smock and head mirror he wears; in keeping with his air of sophistication, however, he clearly wears a waistcoat and bow tie under his smock, the latter of which can clearly be seen in most of his appearances.
Also differentiating Killjoy from the other ghosts of Carnate and Baltimore is his form of manifestation: rather than simply materializing out of nowhere like Copperfield or the Creeper, or coalescing from gas or electricity like Hermes and Horace, he is instead most commonly emerges as a colorless three-dimensional image produced by specially-designed film projectors. Though seemingly incapable of interacting with the physical world, his ability to control technology other than his projectors allows him to appear virtually anywhere provided that the environment is dark enough to sustain his image and that his projectors remain intact. During the sequel, Killjoy also demonstrates the power to communicate with Torque via television sets and movie theaters across Baltimore, during which he also manifests a laboratory in the background, though it's not known if this is a real place or simply an illusion devised for the sake of his supernatural broadcast.
In both games, Killjoy speaks with a deep "Mid-Atlantic" accent - a combination of American English and British Received Pronunciation, further adding to the air of sophistication he cultivates.
Grandiose and profoundly narcissistic, yet urbane and possessing a twisted charisma, Dr. Killjoy is clearly in love with the sound of his own voice, and will gladly take any given opportunity to wax messianic on his talents as a surgeon, psychiatrist, and actor. Throughout the asylum, he boasts of being "a star of unprecedented proportions," bragging of the hitherto unseen regions of the human psyche he has unearthed and how this makes him worthy of global attention. Every single scene he appears in features Killjoy making a spectacle of himself, commonly utilizing wild theatrical gestures, deliriously purple language, and lurid promises of the show that his patients will enjoy; for good measure, he often punctuates these monologues with vulgar demonstrations of the power he can still exert over physical reality.
In keeping with his pretensions of being an actor, he enjoys monologuing on the glories of theater, the Golden Age of Radio, and even of Hollywood blockbusters; in both games, he regales Torque with classic Shakespearean soliloquies, not even caring that his audience is either not listening or too busy trying to stay alive to pay much attention. Though little harm can come to him in his intangible state, attacks on his projectors in the asylum laboratory result in an immediate temper-tantrum, in which Killjoy sneeringly dismisses Torque as a "neanderthallic barbarian" and explodes with disgust at the mere thought of anyone being able to smother "one of the brightest stars in the sky"; appropriately enough, the destruction of the last projector in the room merely results in him burying his ego for the only point in either game and swiftly effecting a cure for Torque.
Second only to Killjoy's ego is his desire to experiment, analyze and create - often through nightmarishly violent methods. It is in this desire that the Doctor's utopian ambitions and sociopathic callousness most commonly find expression: having already given Torque a means of controlling his "rage form" in his introductory cutscene as part of the first step towards properly curing him, Killjoy follows this up by conducting a lecture on the proper procedure for lethal injection - using a live inmate as a test subject; during this scene, Killjoy abandons his usual procedure in favour of simply lacerating the inmate to death with a scalpel, claiming that "we're not really trying to be humane anyway." The sight of the dead, mutilated inmate horrified even Dallas, an upbeat but hardened felon (in part due to the fact that he and the inmate were lovers).
Exploring the asylum reveals further horrors inflicted on the C.O.s relaxing there: one was left unresponsive after extreme, ETC. treatments intended to "tame" his brain; another fatally gouged his eyes out after witnessing something horrific in a roomful of Rorschach inkblots; a third lost all four limbs and was left to writhe helplessly in a padded cell - apparently because his body threatened the safety of his mind.
In the second game, this habit for brutal and often arbitrary research continues when, annoyed by the heroin-addicted "rabble" cluttering up his makeshift laboratory, he decides to test the effects of purified narcotics on the brains of the addicts - resulting in all but one of the unfortunate group dying from cranial explosions. Most startling of all, Killjoy went so far as to modify the Slayers, using his machines to grant them the power of reanimation; his reasons for doing this are not entirely clear, but monologues from throughout the asylum indicate that he wanted to use them as co-stars in his continued attempts to play at being an actor. Perhaps because of his obsessive scientific bent, he has little love for the devoutly religious, regarding Hejira as "a self-important zealot" - though this is also born of his great appreciation for drama, as he is heard to regard the theater as a "temple of the arts."
However, despite his narcissism, his lack of empathy, his disregard for morals and ethics, and his eccentric disconnection from human attitudes, Killjoy is sincere in his desire to help others. Ranse Truman firmly believes that the Doctor's intentions were pure, but merely corrupted by the supernatural environment on Carnate Island; in turn, the ghosts of the asylum patients seem to believe that the treatments they were subjected to made them better people, often reflecting how happier they feel for what the psychiatrist-surgeon did to them. Killjoy himself can be heard to reflect sadly on how few of his patients lived to see the bright new world he offered them, though he never blames himself for the low survival rate, of course. In the present, the methods he uses to cure Torque of his afflictions are undoubtedly extreme, but if the player has taken the good or neutral path through the game, Killjoy's efforts pay off: in the climax of the game, Torque will use Killjoy's Rebirth Machine to destroy his Hatred and end the rogue personality trait's reign of terror over his mind (for the time being, at any rate).
Likewise, his affable mannerisms, though theatrical and deliberately exaggerated, are not entirely artificial in nature: Killjoy truly is an amiable gentleman; he always happy to see Torque and he reacts with sardonic approval for Torque's more benevolent acts throughout the game, and even expressing regret when Torque is forced to reclaim his rage mode during Ties That Bind. As stated before, he genuinely wants to help Torque, even going so far as to accept his temporary defeat in his boss battle as a sign that he needs to be more prompt in treating him. For good measure, his efforts to cure Torque are not limited to experimentation, for in the second game, he goes so far as to serve as a guide of sorts for the players, directing them through the maze of ruined streets and onto Blackmore's trail.
In The SufferingEditHe once worked out of the Asylum in the early 1900s. He used many deplorable methods on his patients, more often than not resulting in their death. No one knows what happened to him, but his spirit now lives on through old film projectors. Killjoy gains an interest in Torque during their first meeting and tries to cure his mental instability, though the reasons for this are ambiguous at best. Torque meets him at several points of the game and confronts him in the old ruined Asylum, wherein he destroys Killjoy's projectors. Following this, Killjoy delivers Torque a diagnosis and makes a final apparition right before the final battle to deliver him his "cure". This "cure", which is a device patented by Killjoy which allows energy to be fired, is crucial toward the end of the game in defeating Torque's Hatred at the docks, thus curing Torque's instability and allowing him to be rescued from Carnate by the skiff. He represents the past.
In The Suffering: Ties That BindEditThe former operator of the Carnate Institute for the Alienated who has followed Torque to Baltimore. As a doctor he wants to help Torque understand his mind and ultimately cure him of his dementia. To this end he serves as something of a guide for Torque although his methods of guidance are questionable at best.
In his journal entry for the character Jordan, he mentions that malefactors have been appearing in different parts of the world in small numbers for many years, and the incidents from Carnate Island and Baltimore are the first time they have appeared in large numbers. This would indicate that perhaps Torque, with his horrible past, has something to do with these apparitions. Or perhaps even Blackmore himself, who might not be just an alter-ego born from Torque's supposed mental illness, but perhaps a demon or spirit of supernatural origin, similar to the malefactors.
Not long before the final showdown between Torque and Blackmore, the Doctor claims that he met Torque's mother once, hinting that he and Torque share a deeper relationship that has yet to be explained.
(The Suffering) Edit
- "Well well well, look what we have here. How long I have been waiting to encounter such a fascinating specimen. My understanding is you've had periodic blackouts since... when was it... ah, yes, early adolescence. Ever wonder what happens during those blackouts? Would you say you have visions of bloodshed? Yes, surely there is bloodshed." (when he first appears to Torque)
- "I want to see the real you, Torque."
- "I can help you, Torque. I can make you well, I can give you control, if you really want it. But first you've got to show me. Come on now, give it a try for me, won't you?"
- "Embrace your inner self Torque, let it all out."
- "I'm waiting."
- "I can only help you if you'll help me."
- "I'm sensing resistance, why is that?"
- "I want to see the real you, Torque."
- "That's it Torque, that's the breakthrough we've been waiting for! The child within!" (after Torque first transforms)
- "Very good, we've made a lot of progress today. But be careful... a good thing only lasts so long." (after Torque transforms back)
- "We'll need to discuss this further, in our next session."
- "When performing a lethal injection, it is essential that the needles be placed with absolute precision. And unlike standard medical procedures, with a lethal injection you have a patient who probably does not want the procedure to occur. Therefore, it is of vital importance that the restraints be tight and strong. Even with that, trouble may arise, and it may be incumbent for the practitioner to take matters into his own hands, using whatever sharp, bladed objects he may have on his person." (when he is in the lethal injection room, experimenting on a patient)
- "Lacerations to the body at strategic locations may put the patient into a state of shock, making him far more pliable, or at the very least, causing him to bleed to death, thus achieving the desired end. And who are we kidding? We're not really trying to be humane anyway. Class dismissed." (when he slashes the inmate to death)
- "This is your doctor, Torque. It's bad news I'm afraid. It looks like your problem is altogether more serious than I had originally suspected. You'll need to come in. In the meantime, don't do anything rash, don't become too upset, don't get in any altercations, because there's no telling what horrible thing you might do. You must come to see me soon, if you ever hope to gain control." (in a phone call that Torque can answer in the prison infirmary)
- "I would hesitate to call you a gentle soul, Torque, but I do believe there is hope for you yet. Nevertheless, if I am to treat you, I must observe you further, see if you can think outside the box." (when he speaks to Torque in the break room in chapter 6; only if Torque is of "Good" morality)
- "You have shown me just how brutal you are, and it is most troubling. I'm not sure you're curable. Nevertheless, if I am to treat you, I must see how you handle something a tad more delicate. Violence is not the only answer, you know. (when he speaks to Torque in the break room in chapter 6; only if Torque is of "Evil" morality)
- "Welcome my fine gentleman, I'm so glad you've come to see the show. My performance, my performance on you as it were, will be something I shall thoroughly enjoy, and, I trust, so shall you. I am not certain we have been formally introduced. Torque, isn't it? My name is Killjoy. Dr. Killjoy, and I will be your alienist this fine evening. (when welcoming Torque to the Asylum in Chapter 11)
- "Welcome to the Carnate Institution for the Tragically Troubled, the Impossibly Insane, the and the Diabolically Disturbed. Are you seeking asylum, Torque? Are you looking for the answers? Well rest assured, you have come to the right place. (when Torque is fighting the Slayers in the asylum)
- "And so my favorite subject arrives. It is in this room that all the secrets will be revealed, I will employ an experimental device that helps me chart the undiscovered country. But you can't come to the show yet. First you must prove to me that you truly want to be cured, and that you are truly worthy of my time. See you soon, I hope. (when he speaks to Torque in the asylum lobby)
(As Torque explores the asylum) Edit
- "Monsters walk amongst us, Torque, don't you grasp the implications? It's a brave new world! Of course, such creatures are nothing new to you, are they?"
- "You'll have to forgive the mess, it's so hard to keep this place tidy when there is so much work to be done. And it is impossible to find decent help out here. But truly, this clutter doesn't even compare to the disorder inside your head, does it? That's where I do hope to do some spring cleaning."
- "Ever wonder why you're so furious, Torque? What happens, then, when the world goes black? Do you ever see a creature? A beastly form the likes of which would cause any sane man to flee in terror? Tell me about him. How does he make you feel?"
- "It is the work that I do that makes me worthy of their attention, of their gazing eyes, that makes me a star of unprecedented proportions. My labors show sides of the human mind hitherto unseen, revealing that which makes us do right and wrong. Don't you wonder about that, what makes you do right and wrong?"
- "Severe dementia is it? Or perhaps chronic melancholia? Or is it an uncontrollable urge to regress back to a form unseen in modern society, one that will allow you to set matters right in the most direct way possible. Yes, I think that's it. When all else fails, go for the easy way out, the obvious answer, the brute force solution."
- "How does it go, oh yes: "Canst thou minister to a mind diseased? Pluck'd from the memory a rooted sorrow, rise out the written troubles of brain, and with some sweet oblivious antidote cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon the heart?" My my, if only it were that easy." (a quote from William Shakespeare's Macbeth)
(If the player is reverting to a checkpoint/reloading) Edit
- "One more time, Torque, could you show me how you do that, so savagely."
- "I'm beginning to think you're incurable."
- "We're not getting anywhere Torque, you've got to try harder."
- "The mind is kind, it often puts the best face on the most horrible truth."
- "Amazing how resilient these specimens are, if only they were as multi-faceted as you."
- "When you admit to yourself what you are, it will be much easier to treat you."
- "Yes, very interesting. But I'm afraid not quite enough."
- "It's so obvious, Torque, haven't you figured it out yet?"
- "It's a shame you must fight me every step of the way."
- "Nowhere do the stars shine as brightly as they do on Carnate Island, on this very stage, where it is my pleasure to introduce you to the world of your own mind. Given a dark enough environment, this projector, this wonder of modern science, allows me to appear here before you today." (when Torque meets him in the Asylum theater)
- "No more shall my talents be confined to the time at which I display them, but instead I am able to perform again and again, to live on through the ages. And with a case as challenging as yours, I need all the time I can get." (when Torque is fighting the Slayers in the Asylum theater)
- "This poor soul could not handle what he saw in the ink. Tell me what you see, Torque." (during Torque's hallucination/vision in the Asylum study when he finds a dead C.O.)
- "In this new art of projected light, one problem still remains: it is so very difficult to find good talent. Certainly, I am able to bring life to this piece of celluloid, but who to appear opposite me, who to play Iago to my Othello, Eliza Dolittle to my Henry Higgins?" (when he speaks to Torque in the Asylum Basement; references to William Shakespeare's Othello, and George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion" and its musical adaptation "My Fair Lady")
- "My choice? Artificial actors, synthetic, prosthetic people who are much less resistant to direction. They will not argue, they will not complain, they will not meddle, they will simply execute, for I have the vision here, I am the one who the camera adores." (when Torque is fighting the Mainliners in the Asylum basement)
- "Sometimes it is the body that threatens the safety of the mind. Sometimes it must be removed." (during Torque's hallucination/vision when he finds a horribly mutilated, dismembered yet still living C.O. in one of the padded cells)
- "Alas, the golden age of radio has passed us by. Who would care to broadcast only on the audio spectrum of human perception, when it is the visuals that can truly enrapture an audience. (when speaking to Torque in the Asylum attic)
- "It was a peculiar form, with its attempt to create a complete world based on sound alone. If you listen carefully, you can hear their voices still. Do you hear voices Torque? What do they tell you to do?" (when Torque is fighting enemies in the Asylum attic)
- "At last, you have made it to the climax of this fine performance. Let me introduce our newest player: this fascinating specimen is a creature of purest strength and rage, whose presence here must prove quite a conundrum to you. His resemblance to these other soulless beasts cannot be denied, but he is altogether harder to truly understand. But with the capabilities of my experimental device, I can bring about a rebirth of the spirit, a reawakening to the soul, and thus we can shed light on this most unique situation. Why not come inside, and I shall show you? (before his boss fight)
(if the player waits before entering the boss fight) Edit
- "Come now Torque, I assure you the time of your awakening has arrived."
- "There's nothing to be afraid of. Unless, that is, you're afraid of yourself."
- "Why don't you join me, and I'll help you?"
- "Right this way Torque, what ever are you waiting for?"
(During his boss fight) Edit
- "Not to fear Torque, I shut the door not to trap you, but rather to keep the rest of the world out. You see, we can't have intrusion. This session is about you, and you alone, or, shall I say, you and your various manifestations. And with my experimental device, I can facilitate exploration and reveal the connections we must study here today." (at the beginning of the fight)
- "Wait, no, what are you doing? Do you think I can treat you if you destroy the construct that gives me life?" (when Torque destroys the first projector)
- "Stop that, are you mad? Well, yes you are, we all know that. Don't you see you're killing me, your last best hope and all you can do is destroy it." (when Torque destroys the second projector)
- "Who do you think you are, you neanderthalic barbarian! You cannot defeat me, I am one of the greats, one of the brightest stars in the sky!" (after Torque destroys the third projector)
- "I'm not finished yet, you're more insane than I thought if you think so simple a trick will get you anywhere!" (after Torque destroys the last projector)
- "No... my immortality... no!!" (after Torque destroys the fuse box)
- "If that's the way you feel about your treatment, I cannot avoid the subject anymore, the time has come for a confrontation, a meeting of the minds, or perhaps I should say a meeting of the mind and the mind-less. Go ahead, see if you can't reach out to your deepest fear." (After Torque destroys all the projectors and the fuse box)
- "Astonishing, the progress you have made today is considerable. But remember, Torque, no matter what you do to accept yourself, there's no telling if some day the bell jar will not descend again." (after Torque frees the Creature)
(The Suffering: Ties that Bind) Edit
- "My favorite patient, I regret to inform you that your psychosis is profoundly severe. Blackmore is a uniquely dire problem, and to handle him, you will need a uniquely dire solution - and where better to present it than on the majesty of the stage! Come to the Grand Theater, and I'll show you a thing or two about acting the part!" (when he invites Torque to the theater)
- "Ladies and gentlemen, we'll be starting our feature in just a moment. Until then, however, I shall grace you with a touch of my unique thespian talents! With the tempest raging about us once again, what better way to sooth the savage beast? "...O, I have pass'd a miserable night, so full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams, that, as I am a Christian faithful man, I would not spend another such a night, though 'twere to buy a world of happy days!" (When Torque enters the theater; a reference to Richard III)
- "Newsflash! Dateline: Baltimore. Mayhem in the city as history's worst atrocities walk the streets, and law enforcement is powerless to contain the threat - and it would appear that our dashing hero Torque is right back where he started! Sad, isn't it? The creatures, the carnage, your family, the doubts about your past - they're all back. Seems like a most pathetic retread of a recent box office favorite, doesn't it?" (When speaking to Torque in the main theater room)
- "Oh, I can feel my heartstrings being plucked... but I've always found the dead more fascinating than the living." (Commenting on Carmen in a Good morality playthrough)
- "Children may be box office poison, but who can dispute how effectively they bring a tear to the eye? Witness your son, Cory! [...] Dear, dear, dear. Cory could be looking at a lifetime of alienist treatment were it not for the fact that he's so very dead. " (Commenting on Cory in a Neutral morality playthrough)
- "We have so much ground to cover, and I simply cannot do it with all this rabble in the way! Now, let me see here... Ever see the effects of purified narcotics on the human brain? Best to have a look while they're still alive... [Addict's head explodes] Ah yes, most fascinating. Good medical help is so hard to find. [Another addict drops dead] They just keep dying on me! Such a fragile thing, the human mind. Hardly takes any effort at all to make it snap. [A third addict's head explodes] You see? Quite sad." (when experimenting on random drug addicts)
- "The mind can be so very resilient. When it finds itself threatened, there's no limit to what it will do to maintain its precious grip on reality. It's such a tragedy when one can't trust one's own mind..." (When commenting on Torque mental problems; also foreshadowing his connection to Blackmore)
- "Only the greatest stars can withstand the harsh words of the critics. It's time to listen to your reviews, Torque..." (in "The Greatest Story Never Told")
- "Like the reflections in a shattered mirror, your psyche is delicate to the point of brittle. I've done what I can for you - for all the versions of you. Now your childhood home awaits: your burden is to discover which shard of the mirror goes the deepest."
- Dr. Killjoy's appearance and personality are modeled primarily on legendary horror actor Vincent Price, who played both monsters and mad scientists throughout his career and was easily recognized by his mellifluous Mid-Atlantic accent and a pencil mustache.
Archive Entry Edit
One of Abbott's most persistent legends tells of Doctor Killjoy, the quite insane psychiatrist/surgeon who ran an asylum on Carnate. Doing research of my own, I found that he did indeed exist, though which stories are true and which are fabrication is anyone's guess. Since the cataclysm I have three times seen a surgeon formed of pure light, reminiscent of sixteen millimeter film projection come to life. Could this be the fine doctor?