Monkey is one of the three central protagonists in Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
, and the character the player takes control of. Monkey is a brutish, athletic, vagrant man who has survived in a decaying world 150 years in the future, sparsely populated by man and overrun by mechs that have long since become like wild animals.
As the game begins, Monkey finds himself captured by Slavers, held in a cell on an airship. A girl named Trip
manages to escape her confines and sets off a chain reaction that allows Monkey himself to break free. Monkey finally manages to make it to the last remaining escape pod only to find it occupied by that same girl. With Monkey still clinging to the outside, Trip launches the pod and the pair crash into the decaying ruins of New York City
below. Monkey awakens to find himself fitted with a slave headband by Trip that will kill him if she expires. Enslaved by the headband, Monkey must ensure Trip survives as he guides her home.
Little insight into Monkey's past is gained throughout Enslaved. During a discussion with Trip about his name, Monkey claims not to have one and reveals that his parents were killed by Mechs when he was a child - leaving him to fend for himself alone. The communities he trades with came to refer to him as Monkey; it is not revealed if this is a derogatory nickname or one of affection, but the former is unlikely, given that he tells Trip "If
you want to give me a name, you can use (Monkey)"
Through what little information is gathered it is surmised that Monkey has spent much of his life alone, traveling between scattered communities on his motorcycle to aid in his survival. Given Monkey's skill with his high-tech bo staff
it could also be assumed that he was at some point trained in combat - by who and to what purpose (beyond survival) is unknown.
Monkey exhibits much physical strength, and is quite adept at using his weapon of choice - an collapsible bo staff
that attaches to gloves when not in use. Using his staff Monkey can attack with blows both quick and heavy, stun his enemies with a charge of energy, fire blasts of plasma, fend off enemies with a wide area of attack and block enemy attacks (both melee and long range thanks to a shield emitted from the staff). It is also readily apparent that, thanks to his time spent traversing the remains of civilization his whole life, he is quite skilled in the realm of parkour
Monkey is also in possession of a holographic disk of sorts that functions like a hoverboard, which he refers to as a "cloud." The cloud can only function in certain areas, but allows for easy traversal across wide areas and can take advantage of mysterious pockets of energy to speed up significantly for a brief period of time.
Monkey also finds some benefits to his predicament. The slaver headband provides Monkey with a HUD and allows him to see his health along with the status of his shield. It also allows him to find Trip's location and communicate with her at all times. In conjunction with a mechanical 'dragonfly' belonging to Trip, the headband will also display the locations of hibernating Mechs and identify any faults in his enemies that he may take advantage of. Important targets and objectives can also be marked to appear on the HUD.
As the game continues Monkey is also able to get Trip to upgrade his equipment using Tech Orbs. Upgrades that can be made include those that improve his health, shields, the projectiles fired from his staff and a handful of combat abilities.
- Monkey's character is loosely based on the character of the same name from the English translation of 'Journey to the West,' a Chinese story that is hundreds of years old.
- Monkey is portrayed by Andy Serkis, who rose to prominence with his performance as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy of films. Andy Serkis also directed all cut-scenes, and had similarly heavy involvement in Ninja Theory's previous title Heavenly Sword.
- Designed by Italian-born artist, Alessandro Taini, the Visual Art Director for game developer Ninja Theory. He is also credited for the visual style of Heavenly Sword's leading protagonist, Nariko.
- The initial design process for Monkey was featured in detail as part of an issue of the popular fantasy art magazine ImagineFX (December 2010 edition).