"The revelation. It freed me. It killed me."
This article contains spoilers and plot details from Prototype 2.
Read the article at your own risk.
- "My name is Sergeant James Heller and I will destroy Alex Mercer."
- ―James Heller[src]
James Heller was a former US Marine Sergeant and the second Blacklight being. Following his attempted suicide, Alex Mercer infected Heller with his variant of the virus. Driven by a powerful need for vengeance, he set out into the city to uncover the truth behind Alex Mercer, Blackwatch, and the second outbreak of the Blacklight virus.
- "Your furloughs don't last long enough, daddy! When do you get to come home for good?"
- ―Amaya to her father.[src]
James Heller was a Sergeant in the Marines Corps before his infection. He lived in Manhattan, New York with his wife Collette and daughter Amaya. After the end of his military tour, Heller wanted to return home and live with his family while maintaining a small business in the city. However, there was a viral outbreak in the city while he was serving abroad, resulting in the deaths of thousands.
- "If they got the situation contained, then there is no reason to doubt them?"
- ―Heller trying to comfort his wife[src]
Heller received a call from his wife, who informed him of the outbreak and told him that Blackwatch had quarantined the area. Heller assured them that he would return the next day and not to worry, but when he returned to the city he discovered that the Blacklight infection had ravaged all of Manhattan and his family had been killed.
When Blackwatch claimed that a former scientist named Alex Mercer was responsible for the outbreak and had been spotted in the Red Zone, Heller volunteered for patrols in the infected Red Zone, hoping for a chance to find Mercer and kill him for the deaths of his family.
Encounter with Mercer
- "Red Crown be advised. I'm not in fucking Blackwatch."
- ―Heller disregarding Blackwatch's orders.[src]
Patrols into the Red Zone were more suicide missions than legitimate military operations. As such, Blackwatch tended to delegate such missions to the United States Marine Corp and volunteers. On one such mission, Heller and his unit were on patrol through the Red Zone when their Armored Personnel Carrier was hit by a car hurtling through the air. Heller emerged from the wreckage as the only survivor of the event. Mercer dropped into the area without noticing Heller and started to inspect the corpses. While he had his back turned, Heller charged him and slit his throat, but Mercer regenerated and shrugged him off without so much as flinching. Heller recovered and managed to stab him again only to be thrown back easily. Impressed by his tenacity, Mercer slowly retreated deeper into the Red Zone, seemingly amused by Heller's frenzied pursuit. During the chase, Heller had to dodge one of Blackwatch's patrol helicopters as it crashed after Mercer kicked it out of the sky.
Eventually Heller was confronted by a rampaging Goliath, which he managed to evade only to be cornered by a Brawler Hunter. Heller managed to defeat the Brawler using his knife. Alex Mercer, who had been watching the whole time, confronted Heller again who blindly charged him only to be pinned to a wall by Mercer. Mercer then infected Heller with his strain of the Blacklight virus and departed just as another helicopter arrived on the scene to extract the now infected Heller.
Contact with Gentek
- "I don't need another Mercer running around."
- ―Colonel Rooks[src]
After his encounter with Mercer, Heller was taken into custody by Blackwatch, where Dr. Koenig attempted to learn how Heller had survived despite his body being flooded with the virus. As Heller struggled to gain consciousness, Col. Rooks and Lt. Riley ordered Heller's destruction through immolation. Koenig tried to delay the order by insisting on a few tests to collect data. Heller awoke surrounded by infected Walkers. When he displayed signs of abilities similar to Mercer, Col.Rooks once again ordered him burned. However, Heller survived fire and escaped the facility.
After Heller freed himself from the lab, Mercer confronted him once again. Mercer explained the reason he had chosen to infect him, he wanted his help fighting Blackwatch. He forced Heller to consume one of the Blackwatch soldiers that knew about the viral outbreak from Hope, Idaho and Blackwatch's part in the virus' development. Mercer claimed that he was not responsible for the outbreak, that it was Gentek and Blackwatch conducting bio-weapons test. Reluctantly, Heller agreed to foil Blackwatch's operations throughout New York.
- Father Guerra: "You don't fuck with Blackwatch."
- Heller: "I'll be happy to prove you wrong."
- ―Heller trying to convince Father Guerra to help him.[src]
Sometime after escaping from Gentek's facility Heller was confronted by Blackwatch soldiers in the Yellow Zone. During this skirmish, Heller discovered his ability to use other humans as a disguise to escape. Due to his familiarity with the zone, Heller was able to track down Luis Guerra, a church Father who was familiar with the Heller family. James explained what he had been through the previous night and requested Guerra's assistance in fighting Blackwatch. Unfortunately, Father Guerra had lost all hope of resisting Blackwatch's hold in the zone.
To restore the priest's faith, Heller foiled one of Blacktwatch's operations to study a Brawler's behavior and considerably reduced Blackwatch's hold in the Yellow Zone. Guerra's will to resist was rejuvenated by Heller's actions and he agreed to help him.
Guerra then aided Heller in his hunt for Colonel Rooks by helping him hack into Blacknet, which allowed Heller to eventually track down Rooks. However, Heller decided not to kill the Blackwatch Colonel because he realized that he could get information from Rooks without him knowing and use it to disrupt Blackwatch operations.
After consuming many Gentek scientists, Heller eventually located Dr Koenig, who convinced him that he wanted to help and directed Heller to Project Orion, a Blackwatch super soldier program. Heller successfully stopped Project Orion but, after consuming the lead scientist, he discovered Koenig was trying to get him killed.
Koenig contacted Blackwatch to evacuate him, but Heller killed the soldiers guarding the base where he was hiding. During the evacuation, Koenig boarded one of the gunships and ordered the pilot to attack Heller instead of evacuating. However, Heller destroyed the gunship and tried to consume Koenig, only for the scientist to display superhuman abilities and announce himself as one of Mercer's Evolved.
Koenig told Heller that he served Alex Mercer as an inside source at Gentek to get information. He then began to mock Heller, claiming that he wanted to prove to Mercer that he should be his second in command, and to do that, he had to kill Heller. Koenig then attacked Heller but the latter was able to overpower and consumed Koenig, gaining the knowledge that Mercer had spies in both Gentek and Blackwatch.
An irritated Alex Mercer then confronted Heller and confirmed that he had people within Blackwatch and Gentek. He explained that he and Heller were to lead the attack on Blackwatch and Gentek in order to wipe them out. Heller noted that Mercer made no mention of the virus' destruction, to which Mercer dismissively replied that it would be destroyed as well. Despite his assurances, Heller realized that Mercer had lied to him and went to find Father Guerra in the Green Zone.
- "He killed them Father, Maya and Collete."
- ―James Heller[src]
In the Green Zone, Heller met with Father Guerra who showed him a devastating piece of evidence, footage of Alex Mercer entering Pennsylvannia Station, the site of the first outbreak, and releasing the virus a second time. Heller was enraged as he realized that Mercer was responsible for the entire infection, including the deaths of his wife and daughter. However, he realized that he had a lead on Mercer's plans. Using Koenig's memories, he discovered that Sabrina Galloway, the CFO of Gentek, was one of Mercer's Evolved and set off to find her.
When Heller first confronted Galloway, she bartered for her life with the locations of Mercer's other Evolved subordinates. Sabrina told Heller that, despite her ability to detect other Evolved, an Evolved named RolandandHeller himself could evade her senses. She assisted Heller on a mission to find Roland, informing him that Roland was disguised a Gentek VIP in need of extraction and tracking him to a lair after his initial escape, where Heller successfully consumed him.
Guerra discovered that Gentek was planning to release an apparent cure to the Virus and sent Heller to investigate as it seemed too good to be true. Heller discovered that the leaders of the project were all Evolved and hunted them down one by one. After consuming Dr. Archer, he realized that the Whitelight cure had been contaminated with Mercer's Blood culture in order to spread the Blacklight virus once it had been released, a reversal of its supposed purpose. After seeing the effects of Whitelight on several Blackwatch soldiers, turning into Evolved, Heller was determined to foil the plot. Blackwatch, seeing the effects of Whitelight themselves, called off its release.
Guerra then located the Whitelight facility and Heller headed there in order to prevent if from being released. Mercer confronted him and attempted to kill him. Surprisingly, his attempt to consume Heller only resulted in Mercer's hand melting due to Heller's resilient DNA. Mercer fled the scene, distracting Heller by sending a Goliath to destroy the Whitelight containers and release it. After Heller stopped the Goliath, he received a call from Guerra who told him that the infected were attacking him. Heller rushed to Guerra but was too late to save him.
Something to Live for
A grieving Heller then heard Guerra's contact Athena attempting to contact Guerra on his phone, but when she saw Heller she realized that Guerra was dead and told Heller to come to the Red Zone, giving her name as Dana Mercer. She told him she had information about his daughter. Heller was shocked by the idea that his daughter might still be alive and went to the Red Zone as soon as he could.
When he met Dana, Heller immediately wanted to find Amaya, but Dana managed to convince him to save the city from her brother and Blackwatch while she handled the search for his daughter.
After disrupting the plans of both sides, Heller went to track down his daughter but he eventually lost his lead and reached a dead end. Rooks, having realized that Heller had been impersonating Riley and only wanted his daughter back, then contacted Heller and showed him that he had Heller's daughter held captive. Ignoring Dana's warnings, Heller attacked the Gentek building head on. Once inside, he confronted Rooks and two Blackwatch soldiers. Surprising Heller, Rooks shot both Blackwatch soldiers and told Heller to take his daughter and leave the city as a "favor". However, Sabrina Galloway reached Amaya before Heller could get into the room and kidnapped her, delivering a challenge from Mercer in the process.
Murdering his Maker
- "Enough of your fucking weird, fucking rambling shit! Give me my daughter!"
- ―James Heller[src]
Alex Mercer and James Heller faced off on top of a destroyed building in the Red Zone. Alex's Evolved, including Galloway, accompanied him. Heller demanded that Alex return his daughter, but Alex refused and spoke of his plans replace humanity with "one mind and one body" and to turn Amaya into the "Mother of the New World". Heller finally faced Alex after the latter consumed his Evolved, including Sabrina Galloway, to become more powerful. After a brutal fight, Heller began to get the upper hand. Mercer used all of his offensive powers against Heller, only for Heller to sever or rip off his arms each time. At first Mercer regenerated from the wounds and taunted Heller, but he began to weaken after several repeated amputations.
Eventually Mercer was too weak to continue fighting. He showed no anger or concern for his imminent demise, smirking and welcoming Heller to the top of the food chain just before Heller consumed him. Having become dramatically more powerful as a result of consuming Mercer, Heller unleashed a massive barrage of tendrils that allowed him to consume many if not all of the infected in the Red Zone, effectively ending the second outbreak of the Blacklight virus.
Using Mercer's memory, Heller was able to locate and rescue Amaya and Dana from the bank vault Mercer had locked them in. Her father's infection made Amaya frightened of him, much to James' dismay. The three then looked over New York from a rooftop. James began to walk away from Dana and Amaya, feeling that he no longer had a place in Amaya's life. However, Amaya stopped him, apparently having gotten over her fear of his infection, and they embraced.
Powers & Abilities
Prior to his infection by Alex Mercer, Heller was competent and skilled in battle as a result of his military training, demonstrated in his slaying of a Brawler using only a combat knife.. He is proficient with the majority of military weapons, ranging from standard machine guns, rapid-fire Gatling guns, and rocket launchers. The abilities granted by his viral infection are divided into 5 categories - Offensive, Defensive, Locomotion, Sensory/Hunting, and Disguise.
As he was infected with the same DX-1118 strain as Alex, he has much the of same superhuman and shapeshifting powers, as well as many more that he has evolved and/or developed himself.
- Shapeshifting: Heller's Blacklight infection has granted him the ability to shapeshift, allowing him to alter his appearance and fashion his body into weapons, much like Alex Mercer, but with some differences in appearance. An example would be the resemblance of his Blade to a giant combat knife and his viral flesh possessing a more redish hue.
His Whipfist has small razor-like blades across its spine-like form. Heller's evolved Hammerfists allow him to perform area attacks. He possesses the same consumption/assimilation abilities inherent in all infected creatures that allow him to take on the form and memories of any creature he consumes. Unlike Alex Mercer, James doesn't possess the Musclemass power, instead gaining the Tendril power. Also unlike Mercer, Heller's Shield power evolved so as to produce two shields simultaneously that protect him from multiple angles.
- Speed & Agility: He possesses the same inhuman agility, speed, dexterity, and gliding abilities as Alex, allowing him to jump to great heights, outrun vehicles, run up walls, and perform parkour maneuvers not possible to those with normal physiology.
- Endurance & Healing Factor: Heller is equal to Alex in stamina and regenerative abilities, allowing him to heal within moments from any wound and to withstand intense damage that kill normal humans many times over without fatality.
- Superhuman Sense: Heller has developed a mysterious yet potent viral sonar sense. This sixth sense allows him to find a target in a crowded populated area.
- Superhuman Strength: Due to his inhuman strength, Heller is capable of lifting vehicles, dismantling weapons from armored vehicles, overpowering virally-enhanced Marines and dismembering infected creatures.
- Main article: Biobomb
Heller can manipulated the Blacklight virus for his own advantage in the form of a Biobomb. He is able to implant his targets with a special strain of virus, which mutates the target's body rapidly, eventually ending with a barrage of tendrils erupting from the infected body which impale and pull objects within range to the victim at the epicenter. Heller can also hurl victims after implanting them with a Biobomb, activating the ability on impact and destroying everything within range.
- Main article: Offensive Powers
Heller can form his biomass into a variety of weapons, mostly slicing or crushing tools. In combat, he either uses biomass to augment his strength or create various blades and blunt weapons.
- Main article: Defensive Powers
Heller can use two defensive powers, guarding him against enemy attacks and weapons, much like Alex, though he is capable of producing two shields whereas Alex could only produce one.
- "Just 'cause you can kill something doesn't mean you should."
- ―Heller convincing his daughter.[src]
Before he lost his family, James Heller had a joyful life. His relationships with Colette and Amaya were close and loving. Upon their death, Heller became a changed man: he grew grim, rude, and impatient—a dark shadow of his earlier personality. Heller’s goals rarely or even convincingly exceed his own personal desires to destroy those responsible for his family's death and protect his daughter. However unlike Mercer he does occasionally take the civilian cost into account, for example when he releases Brawlers from Blackwatch captivity he will attempt to kill them before they do what he calls the "wrong kind of damage". He appeared to be quite willing to leave NYZ to Blackwatch as long as he was able to leave with his daughter. However, he developed sympathy for Colonel Rooks after he realized Rooks had a family and daughter. He also is a technophobe, and seems to really hate computers.
- James Heller was also called "It" instead of "He" by a pilot of a Helicopter (just like Mercer and Pariah) in the teaser trailer this is one thing the three have in common.
- The EGMi hotspot at page 14 says Heller was at war overseas in Afghanistan, while Prototype at Facebook says he was in Iraq.
- Heller's Whipfist appears similar to the dagger tail from Prince of Persia.
- James is affectionately called "Jimmy" by his wife.
- He seems to have a scar on his left eyebrow, probably from the war or a childhood accident.
- Radical sent out a "Mystery Package" to dreadcentral.com in early 2011, within its contents were posters and other documents, including a personal bio of James Heller. The bio indicates that James Heller is 35 years old, weighs 225 lbs, and stands at 6'2". However, this same document names his daughter Wendy instead of Amaya.
- Heller created his outfit completely from his own biomass. As seen in near the beginning of the game and in the bioluminescent red glow seen in the back.
Prototype Wiki has a collection of images related to James Heller on it's Gallery page.