He wasn't the opposite. He was an anti-hero. Someone who is not a villain, but also not doing things for a heroic reason. He at least acknowledged what Blacklwatch was doing was wrong, had regrets for the things he was doing and tried to connect with humanity. He didn't become the opposite until the comics that were released as a sequel to P1 and a prequel to P2, where that attempt at connection only made him hateful and remorseless.
richardbigdickjohnson's forum posts
It's definitely worth a look if you want some insight into how Viral Mercer goes from a grey morality with signs of being on the road to doing good to hateful towards humanity and planning to commit genocide.
I'm also interested to see how Dana's relationship with Alex plays out in 2 now that he's gone full on hate machine and she was the one thing the virus itself actually cared about, since Heller will be meeting up with her and this could play out in a few ways. They've confirmed a few characters returning from the first, though there weren't that many left really. Ragland was among the confirmed I think.
OPM UK discussed a preview of the game on their podcast not too long ago. Alex Mercer is only really the antagonist until Heller meets him. They have a pleasant discussion about how Blackwatch are evil and then start working together (that's the gist of it anyway).
That's just weird as hell. Only way I can see this going is if Mercer just betrays Heller anyway. The recent comics set Mercer up to be a humanity hating monster that wants to rebuild the world under his image. I wonder if Radical actually know what they're doing with him.
Viral Mercer loved his sister, whereas the real Mercer only used her as a source of information. Viral Mercer began to regret killing escaping soldiers just to get to Taggart as you can here him say while taking down several Blackwatch helicopters before the mission where you chase Taggart down. He saved the city from a nuke. Even so, he questioned his own motivations for doing so. He was violent, monstrous in form and killed without hesitation. But was he truly heartless? No.
I've read the comic that explains his actions between games, The Anchor. To put it simply for you guys who haven't read it: He travels the world looking for good in humanity, to find his place, but only finds violence and hate. Some time later he ends up living in a lodge in the mountains neighboring an older man and his daughter, whom both treat him with love and as a friend. The first bit of compassion viral Alex had experienced from another human being that wasn't Dana. But then it turns out a group of men working for a shady man named Zurich are planning to kill the man and his daughter to make room for operations on their land. Alex of course stops the men for the sake of the people he had come to care for, but in consuming Zurich's memories he finds that the old man used to torture and kill people for Zurich. Though he has put that past behind him to have a simpler life, Mercer is enraged at the old man who simply wants to move on and in his fit slices his throat open while screaming "How could you do this to me?". Realizing what happened he plans to run away with the man's daughter, not even telling her what he did to her father. He reaches into a stash in his home to find money he had stored gone. The girl draws a gun on him and unloads into him, having stolen the money and claiming it's what her father taught her. An enraged Alex stands up and consumes the girl.
Consumed with rage and emotionally broken, he runs away and finds himself back in New York City, where he proclaims "The era of man has ended" and he has plans to create a new world under his own image. And that's Alex's reason for being a villain in Prototype 2. Though an achievement for the game raises something curious, as one is called "Murder Your Maker?". Note the question mark. Something tells me there's much more to James Heller's confrontation with Alex and Mercer's role in the game's plot.
Just thought I'd throw this out there for those who are still curious about Alex's sudden turn. He's simply become disillusioned by the world and concluded that he has no place in humanity and that humanity has no place on earth.
I'd also like to say that Grubich's post hit the nail right on the head as far as Alex's moral stance. Great post.