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The humans living and stranded within New York City, other than Blackwatch, Gentek employees, and Marines are classified as civilians, being unimportant to the main story in both the Prototype and Prototype 2 series, but still available as a resource for health or simple murdering at the will of the prototype's Alex Mercer or James Heller.
Civilians of New York simply walk along the sidewalks of New York, heading to their various destinations. They pose absolutely no threat to Alex or Heller, and are sources of biomass during warfare or murder.
When civilians see any Infected, aside from a disguised Prototype or Evolved, or a fight, they will scream and run away in horrific panic. The only "threat" civilians pose to player is when they become a Hunter or Brawler's food to replenish health, or become Walkers after being infected by Whitelight. Note that grabbing a civilian near Military units will still trigger alert.
In Prototype, as the infection spreads thought out manhattan the civilians will gradually be substituted by the Infected on the street level among hunters and hives.
In Prototype 2, civilians are abundant in the Yellow Zone and Green Zone, while some only appear on some rooftops, in the streets, trying to escape from the Infected and near the Blackwatch Bases in the Red Zone.
- Whilst in use, Infected vision may show some civilians as infected with the Blacklight virus. They are known as "Carriers" and will eventually become part of the infection scouring New York City.
- To get the Trophy "Nice Guy", one must not consume 10 or more civilians throughout a gameplay, excluding web targets.
- In Prototype, civilians can be seen driving Marine Trucks, despite them being Military Vehicles.
- In Prototype 2, you get a lot less health and mass from consuming a civilian (to which ten people can be the equivalent to one swipe of a Brawler in harder difficulty) than you do from a Blackwatch soldier or Gentek scientists. This is most likely to force the player to go along with Heller supposedly being kinder to people.
- Ironically, infecting civilians with Whitelight canisters or Viral Infector Grenade Launchers will increase the health and mass Heller can gain from consuming them. This may be due to the civilians being infected.
- Also, when consuming a civilian or a Marine, Heller's consume animation will be much faster and less brutal than to the Blackwatch soldiers and the Gentek scientists, merely grabbing and absorbing them, persumably that he knows that they are not his real enemies.