Horace was first sent to Carnate Island after an alleged assault charge, and became one of the many Abbott inmates. Whilst he did his time Horace was driven mad by the influence of the island, and became paranoid about what would happen to his wife while he was not able to protect her whilst in jail. He managed to persuade the COs to allow a conjugal visit, and during that time had sexual intercourse with her. Afterwards, he gave in to madness and murdered her, as he felt that the only way to ensure she was protected from the world was to kill her, calling it a "crime of passion". He was then condemned to the electric chair and his spirit is forced to relive his execution time and time again. Horace represents the present.
Horace appears as an emaciated man wearing a tan button-up prisoner's shirt with the sleeves rolled up halfway and a white tank top on underneath, along with brown pants with a black belt. He is often witnessed near sources of electricity. His distinguishing features are a burnt scalp, face and hands due to the burning effect of the chair's electricity. His speeches are often ended by his torture at the hands of the electricity, as he roars in pain before disappearing.
He shares many things in common with Torque, and wants him to escape Carnate in the hopes that he will not suffer the same fate. In particular he wants Torque to pursue a Good morality path, as he warns Torque not to be driven mad by the island as he was. Horace is eventually freed from his torture in a "battle" with Torque in the electric chair room, and returns him the favor by opening the way for him on the final escape.
Unlike many of the formerly human entities residing on the Island, Horace hasn't merely been changed by his time on Carnate, but broken by it. Already driven to dangerous extremes of obsession in life, his death and the decades of torment that followed left him a shell of a human being, barely able to muster any strong emotion other than anguish - and then only while being electrocuted in the chair; at all other times, Horace maintains a wearily passive outlook on the world, bereft of hope and numb to the futility of resisting the island's supernatural power.
Upon meeting Torque, Horace is immediately struck by the similarity between them and goes to the trouble of trying to advise him throughout the game, encouraging him to resist the island's influence and not end up like him. During negative karma playthroughs, he becomes despondent upon realizing how Torque is beginning to deteriorate, sadly musing that "a crime of passion ain't no crime at all". Conversely, if Torque retains good karma, he responds approvingly, but nonetheless remains constant in his warnings that "this place can eat your soul.". Towards the end of the game, he has begun to regard Torque as his last hope, ultimately betting on the convicted killer as his only chance of being freed from his torment; in turn, when Torque manages to shut down the chair and free Horace's soul, the ghost feels the need to reward this kindness by breaking down one of the final barriers between him and the exit.
Horace is the least villainous of the ghosts on Carnate, and he shares many things in common with Torque. who Horace wants to escape Carnate in the hopes that he will not suffer the same fate. In particular, he wants Torque to pursue a Good morality path, as he warns Torque not to be driven mad by the island as he was.
However, he becomes extremely dangerous during the moments when he has been drawn back to the electric chair: here, driven mad with pain and desperation, he will often lash out wildly at anything in range - killing anyone unlucky enough to wander into his line of fire, as the C.O. in Chapter 1 finds out the hard way. More disturbingly, years of unmitigated suffering and immersion in Carnate Island's dark history have left him too emotionally deadened to care or even notice those who die as a result of these eruptions of pain. Even after recognizing the fact that Torque might be able to save him from the chair, Horace still can't stop himself from unleashing his powers at random while under torture, spending most of the boss battle either trying to explain himself or simply venting his insanity on the surrounding area.
Perhaps most tragically of all, nobody can be quite sure exactly what Horace's personality was like before he arrived on Carnate: other than the fact that he loved his wife and feared for her safety (Perhaps a little too much), none of the concrete facts remain - another disturbing indication that the man Horace Gauge was has been lost forever.
- "Help me! It won't stop! It never stops!" (when Torque and the Captain first hear him in chapter 1)
- "I want it to end!"
- "It still burns!"
- "I been here a long time, and I don't understand much about this place. But I know your bein' here ain't no coincidence." (when he appears to Torque in Chapter 2)
- "You had a wife, right? Didja love her? How far would you go to make sure she stayed yours? When you get mad, you feel you could kill a man, rip him apart with your bare hands. You ever feel that way? Maybe you're not like me, it's hard ta say. Ya gotta fight it. Don't let this place do to you what it did to me."
- "You ever see red? You ever just wanna let go? It's so easy."
- "Certain things, a man's gotta do. It can't be helped."
- "You can't put it off forever, this place is stronger than you."
- "You're doin' well Torque. But watch yourself. This place can eat your soul." (When Torque encounters at the end of chapter 2; only if Torque is of "Good" morality)
- "Seems you are like me. You know just as good as I do, a crime of passion ain't no crime at all." (When Torque encounters at the end of chapter 2; only if Torque is of "Evil" morality)
- "To survive this place, you gotta become it. I tried to fight it... but it's no use..." (when Torque encounters him on the recreation yard walkways)
- "Yeah baby, I got it! They agreed to the conjugal visit. I called in some markers with some of the COs, they put in the good word. Yeah, they ain't all bad. Oh baby, it just drives me nuts thinking about ya out there in the world without me to keep ya safe. I love you so fucking much. I'll show you that, when you come. I can't fuckin' wait." (a phone call between him and his wife that Torque can listen to chapter 6)
- "This place wants you Torque. It needs people like you. Once it gets a hold of you, it won't let you go, like it hasn't let me go. I've been here a damn long time, and it's sucked me dry. I pray it's almost done with me... It's sending something after you. It let you out for a bit, now it wants you back, deep inside. Deep inside where I've been, all these fucking years. Don't say I never did anything for you... Come join me... in the dance hall..." (At the beginning of Chapter 14)
- "Been waiting so long just to fuckin' sleep. I think you're my last chance, Torque. Don't let me down." (Near in the sub-basement entrance in Chapter 14)
(At the start of his boss fight) Edit
- "Oh no... It's back... It's starting again. It never stops, it just keeps burning... It won't let me go..."
(During his boss fight) Edit
- "I think we got somethin' in common. We know what love is, we know what it is to love a woman. You'd do anything for her, am I right? And somethin' else we got. We know what it is to lose it, lose it all. To not be in control..."
- "I can't even remember what I was in here for, beatin' up some guy, whatever. I got screwed by the system. Fuck 'em, they fucked my life, they're as responsible for my old lady's dyin' as I am. Nobody wants the whole story, just lock 'em up, throw away the key, see ya next life."
- "I just wanted to keep her safe. I couldn't protect her while I was on the inside. It ate me up, I lay awake at night thinkin' of what would happen to her. Any guy like me, any guy really loved his old lady woulda done the same thing."
- "It got so I couldn't take it any more. So on that day, she came over for a conjugal, and we fucked. I screwed her like I never had before. It was smooth, and warm, and rough, and sweet, the best lay of our lives."
- "And then, as she was layin' there after, she looked so beautiful with that sheen of sweat on her, then I did it. I cut her. Every last inch of her. All over. I cut her."
- "When I was done, no one would see her again, no one would see her beauty, she was mine forever. 'Cause there are sick people out there, people with no sense of human dignity, people who will have sex with a dead person. I had to keep her safe from that."
(When he is charging in the electric chair during his boss fight) Edit
- "It's coming again!"
- "Hot! Hot! Hot!"
- "I can't fucking take it!"
- "I just wanna die!"
- "Ahhhh! It burns!"
- "Stop it! Stop me!"
- "Why won't it stop?!"
- "Thank... you..." (After Torque shuts off the electricity and "defeats" him)
- "It's not just Abbott. It's this whole island. It's a cess pool of human atrocity. People come here, they do things maybe they wouldn't normally do, evil fucking shit. But you, you're different, you're the wild card in the deck. But you set me free. I never forget a debt. I owed ya. Now go on, find out what kinda man you are." (when speaking to Torque after he opens the gate to let him and Ernesto continue on as a way of thanking Torque for releasing him from his torture; the last time he speaks to Torque)
Archive Entry Edit
Many inmates break once inside Abbott, but none of them snapped more extremely than Horace Gauge, who, as the tale goes, became convinced his wife wasn't safe without his protection, and sliced her to ribbons during a conjugal visit. He ended up in the mercy chair, electrocuted by Abbott's then-executioner, Hermes Haight. For years, inmates have said he haunts Abbott, and I believe I saw him ten minutes ago. I surely wish I had not.
|Main characters:||Torque | Carmen | Cory | Malcolm | The Creature|
|Bosses:||Dr. Killjoy | Horace | Hermes | Torque's Hatred|
|Malefactors:||Slayer | Marksman | Mainliner | Nooseman | Burrower | Fester | Festering Rats | Inferna|
|Other Characters:||Ernesto | Dallas | Luther | Sergei | Clem | Hawks | Consuela Alvarez | Hargrave | C.O.'s | Inmates|
|Locations:||Carnate Island | Abbott State Penitentiary | Fort Maleson | Slave Shipwreck | The Asylum | The Quarry|
|Weapons:||Shiv | Revolver | Tommy Gun | Shotgun | Fire Axe | Flamethrower | Gonzo Gun | Browning M2 Turret|
|Explosives:||Molotov Cocktails | Flash-Bang Grenades | TNT | Shrapnel Grenades|
|See also:||List of Good/Evil actions possible in The Suffering|