Effect on the characters
In this state, Cole MacGrath and Delsin Rowe are ruthless and egotistic, caring only about themselves and how their powers will benefit themselves instead of the civilians of Empire City, New Marais, and Seattle. Cole and Delsin also appear to be more sexually charged, with Cole openly flirting with Nix and Delsin hooking up with Abigail Walker. If Cole or Delsin follow their negative impulses, their appearance changes. Cole's lightning turns a dark red, becoming jet black with a red hue if the "correct" decision is made. In inFamous 2, Cole's lightning appears a reddish orange color. in inFamous: Second Son, Delsin's powers will also look more "splashed" and reddish (with the exception of Concrete).
Ranks (inFamous, inFamous 2)
- Thug - The first rank, Cole will often hear negative side comments from civilians.
- Outlaw - The second rank, Cole will be approached and be pointed at by civilians, stating very negative side comments about his actions, stating that he should leave the city. In Infamous, Cole's posters are also crossed out with red X's, implying the civilian's hatred towards him.
- Infamous - The third and final rank, Cole is a public enemy, and most civilians will attempt to throw stones at him, paired with insults and negative comments.
Gaining Negative Karma
During combat, Cole and Delsin must perform evil acts, such as purposely involving the civilians during one of his fights, using attacks with a wide area of effect (such as the Shock Grenade, the Thunder Drop and Electromagnetic Shockwave). Also, as much as possible, Cole and Delsin should kill subdued and downed enemies, which will also net Cole extra experience points. Also, Cole should use the Bio Leech ability as much as possible, for it nets Cole negative Karma, as well as healing his wounds nearly instantly.
inFamousIn some of the game's Karmic Moments, Cole must perform the morally evil acts in order to gain negative Karma.
- Food Drop: Cole must blast one of the civilians or discharge his electricity in order to get them to back off, allowing Cole, Zeke, and Trish to keep the food for themselves.
- Escaping Empire City: Cole must blast the police force from within the crowd, thereby sparking a riot and keeping the heat off of Cole and Zeke.
- Opening the Sewer Door: Cole must blast through the door, killing Brandon Carey, but opening the way to the substation.
- Tar Valve: Cole must force the civilian to turn the valve, keeping himself clean of the tar.
- Train Rescue: Cole must maintain his Evil Karma during the mission in order to gain the negative outcome in the mission.
- Tar Kegs: Cole must repeatedly blast the tar keg in order to overwork the pumping mechanism, effectively removing the keg and preventing himself from getting some of the tar on him, but at the cost of pumping too much of the tar inside the water tower.
- Choosing a Poster: Cole must choose the red poster of him overlooking a destroyed Empire City.
- The Golem Conduit: Cole must blast the keg while it's still floating, harming the golem at the cost of the civilians.
- Saving the Doctors: Cole must attempt to save Trish in order to gain the negative outcome.
- The Ray Sphere: Cole must choose to activate the Ray Sphere, increasing his powers to their ultimate strength.
- Hanging: Cole must leave the civilian to die by the hands of the crowd.
- Blast Shards: In some missions, Cole is offered a single blast shard while the civilian/police force is seen keeping several more. Cole must kill the civilian/police force and steal the shards in order to gain a negative outcome.
- Police Fight: In some missions, Cole will see the police locked in combat with an enemy faction. Cole must wait for all the police members to be killed, before defeating the survivors from the enemy forces.
- Police Officers: Several police officers are on patrol after being informed of Cole's activities around the city. Cole can subdue them, though they will not react until they are provoked, or until Cole is at the Infamous rank, where they will react as soon as they spot him.
- Silencing Street Performers: Several street acts, performers, and musicians can be seen around New Marais. To gain negative Karma, Cole must take them down.
- Stealing Blast Shards: Several pedestrians and civilians can be seen running off with a Blast Shard at their hands. Cole can take the Blast Shard after dealing with the said pedestrian.
- Dealing with Protesters: Several pro-Bertrand civilians have banded together in protest against Cole MacGrath's presence. They can be seen holding picket signs and chanting anti-Cole statements. Cole can opt to silence them.
Main Story Missions
Several Main Story Missions in inFamous 2 present players with a choice as to either follow the morally correct way of clearing it, or the incorrect one. After playing one of these choices, the other option will no longer be available for play, and will remain locked for the rest of the game.
- Generator-When entering New Marais through swamp Cole must choose to overcharge the bridge power, causing an explosion which will reduce the amount of Militia he will face, but also kill innocent victims.
- BOOM!-When rescuing Lucy Kuo, Cole must choose to burn the place down with the explosives-rigged train car with Nix.
- Fool The Rebels-When getting the Rebels to follow you, Cole must choose to fool them into thinking that he's saving them from a freak Militia attack (which would be led by Nix on a turret).
- Hots For Nix-When choosing between Lucy Kuo and Nix on who to transfer powers with at the Power Transfer Device, Cole must choose Nix.
- Nix's Pets-When discussing on how to take down Joseph Bertrand III, Cole must choose to build an army of the Corrupted with Nix.
- Final Decision- When deciding on whether to use the Ray Field Inhibitor or follow John White's method of saving the world, Cole must opt for the latter, and side with Kuo and John in activating Conduits, at the expense of the lives of the normal population.
Effects on Cole
- “In a place with no law, the strong take what they want, and the weak are their slaves, their play things... And no one is stronger than me.”
- — Cole, once he has conquered Empire City.
During this mental state, Cole is shown as a destructive, selfish, ruthless and egotistical individual. He shows very little concern for anyone except himself, and mostly destroys everything around him. As he performs more evil deeds, the civilians get more and more fearful and irritated by Cole, often shouting insults and threats at him. Eventually, Cole will be thrown at with rocks or physically attacked by the civilians due to their immense hate over him, and several of Cole's posters will be crossed out and vandalized. The civilians will also blame Cole for their troubles. Zeke notices some of the changes that happen to Cole, like he sees a "crazy look in his eyes", implying that his mentality has been severely affected. He also develops a sadistic personality.
Cole's powers are also affected by his mentality. His powers will adapt to his destructive nature, with his electrical energy turning crimson and his powers becoming more scattered. An example is his Shock Grenade attack (the single grenade scatters into several other grenades after being thrown) and also the Electromagnetic Shockwave (a single shockwave can cause a static discharge on vehicles, causing them to explode). Cole also has a very deadly touch-related power that he can use to usurp the residing neuro-electric energy within an individual, causing them to die in exchange for Cole becoming fully-healed (Bio Leech). At the end of the game, the color of Cole's electricity changes from crimson into jet black surrounded by a red aura.
Cole's appearance changes drastically as he becomes more evil. His track suit turns into black and gray, and his skin turns paler and paler as his negative Karmic state goes higher. As he continues to do evil deeds, several black markings resembling a distorted electric current start to appear on his skin, as if he's being corrupted. Once he has reached the pinnacle of his Karmic state, Cole will appear as a sickly visage of his former self, with dull gray skin and gray clothes, along with the dark markings on his skin.
- “But I'm not human! Am I? Not anymore. Oh, you don't understand what it's like, but you're right; I do have powers, and I'll use 'em.”
- — Cole to Lucy Kuo after arriving in New Marais.
To reflect this playing down on Evil Karma's villainy, most of the Evil Karmic Choices in inFamous 2's main story missions are less directly reprehensible than in the first game; being more "morally gray" in comparison to those available to him in the first game. The final choice Cole must make is especially gray; as both choices have good and negative consequences. Similar to how civilians of Empire City reacted, the people of New Marais will despise Cole and his presence in the city if he continues to act evil. The majority of them will shout and scream at him, while those who are brave enough will attack him, either by punching and kicking him, or by throwing rocks at him, however once Cole attacks a civilian, most other civilians in the area would flee in fear. Also, several civilians that are part of the Evil Karma Opportunities will start to attack him the moment he is seen.
Similar to the first installment, Cole's appearance changes significantly as his Karmic rank rises. His skin pales and small veins begin to appear. His T-shirt's color changes from black and yellow to dark red and black, appearing tattered and ripped, and also seen wearing a red belt to go along with his pants. His tattoos transform into motifs that resemble several demonic symbols, like snakes, devil horns, and downward arrowheads. His sling bag appears a darker brown, and the Amp appears to be more rusty and dirtier, almost black. Also, his electrical energy appears a bright orange red.
Ranks (InFamous: Second Son)
Effects on Delsin (inFamous: Second Son)During this mental state, Delsin is shown as reckless, careless and close-minded. He aims to do good which is save his tribe, but resorts to more merciless tactics as opposed to Good karma, also never caring for any of the civilians he hurts and kills. As he performs more evil deeds, the civilians get more and more fearful and irritated by Delsin, even going so far as to attack him while he's headed to the Channel 6 News Tower, despite knowing their attacks are futile. Delsin's skin will look darker and his eyes will have dark shadows. His face will have reddish spots. His clothes and attire will get darker, with him dawning black jeans and his jacket getting redder with every karmic rank shift, until turning completely red on InFamous rank. Delsin's powers are heavily affected by his evil nature, becoming more "splashy" and wide-ranged, and in case of Video, demonic. Smoke will be far more splashed and red, Neon will be more reddish and faded, and Video will appear demonic with being completely red and allowing Delsin to grow demonic talon-like claws (Concrete remains the same regardless of Karma).
Unlike previous installments, instead of having characters influence Cole, Delsin will instead be the one who influences the Conduits he meets. As he corrupts Abigail Walker, she will become more ruthless and reckless and Delsin will enjoy hurting innocent civilians with the company of her. As Eugene gets more corrupted by Delsin, he will slumber into Delsin's evil ways and become uncaring about normal people who are not Conduits.
- “These powers are only good for one thing, letting me take what I want, when I want.”
- — Cole, after dealing with Kessler.
After dealing with Kessler, Cole has seen the product of the chaos he's created, with Empire City destroyed beyond all repair, and the populace living under fear. As he takes pride on his accomplishment of destroying the city, Cole remarks that Kessler was an idiot to think Cole would use his powers for the greater good, as he remarked that his powers were only good for his self benefit. As he stands over what is left of Empire City, he remarks that only strong can stand and survive, while the weak are their playthings, and that no one is stronger than him.
- “I had been given powers to save the world from this change. But now, I stand at its center. I have become the Beast.”
- — Cole, after becoming the very thing he was supposed to destroy.
Gathering all the Conduits he has made, Cole, Kuo, and the others would follow him all over the world, clearing town after town as he activates new Conduits, though in the process, curing what can be left of humanity by the Ray Field Plague. The governments of the world didn't share the same idea, so they send military units, attempting to stop them, but Cole's new powers were too much for them and he easily decimated their forces.
As Cole and his Conduit followers travel the world, he realizes that he is bringing humanity to the next stage of evolution. Destroying humans, while activating potential conduits, while coming to accept the fact that he has become the very thing he was destined to destroy. He has become "The Beast".
inFamous: Second Son
- “Augustine had come to Seattle with a plan...To spread fear, panic, chaos...To make herself out to be a Hero. But her plan was soon shattered...By "monsters" she had made...Abigail, Eugene...and me. For two weeks, Augustine had controlled Seattle...Now it was our turn...Who the hell was going to stop us?”
- — Delsin Rowe, on his victory over Augustine, and his plans to take over Seattle alongside Abigail and Eugene.
- “Oh, and the hundreds of Conduits Augustine had locked away at Curdun Cay Station? I'm gonna shake each and every one of their hands on their way out the door. So many different powers, all in one place. And I'll be the kid in the candy store.”
- — Delsin planning to absorb all of the captured Conduits' powers and abilities in Curdun Cay.
- Even though the final Evil Karma level shares the same name as the game, the evil side and missions are non-canon. However, Nate Fox stated that his initial intentions were for the Evil story to be canon. But due to the majority of players choosing the good side, his plans were changed. In an interview with Nate Fox, he stated that he was hoping that more players would have chose the evil side over the good side. However, more people went on the good side. He also stated that, should his expectations been met, an inFAMOUS 3 would have been made where Cole is still alive and Conduits are freely running around, with the Karma system still active. This caused the creation of Delsin.
- At the EB games Expo 2013, when Sucker Punch Brand Development Director Ken Schramm was asked what would have happened if more people chose to be evil, he simply answered, "Well, we'd have Cole!". When asked to explain, he stated that instead of having an entirely different game, he would be a part of Second Son.
- Perhaps the best trait of Evil Karma is the recklessness of Cole's bolts. Cole's electricity, while in his Evil state, travels through anything that can be electrocuted. So, by simply shooting a trash can next to an enemy, they will get electrocuted, rendering them defenseless from shooting/attacking, and also receiving damage. Or by simply focusing fire on one enemy, other enemies will get electrocuted too, making Evil Karma the more-powerful state.
- Cole's electrical energy can be turned into jet-black with a deep red hue if Cole activates the Ray Sphere in inFamous. The Karmic meter is then locked on Infamous for the rest of the game.
- Cole will become Infamous if he activates the Ray Sphere, regardless of his Karmic state. This refers to the fact that using the Ray Sphere again is an unforgivable act.
- Cole is able to use the Arc Restraint to gain negative Karma if he uses it on injured civilians. He can also gain 1 Evil Karma by killing an enemy he has already restrained, though since restraining an enemy gives 1 good Karma the net result is 0: the "Execution" is only likely to be performed either accidentally on a Good run, or if the player pressed the wrong button and wants to undo getting good Karma.
- In inFamous, destroying occupied cars gives Evil Karma. In inFamous 2 it does not.
- Several Good Karma Opportunities can be turned around, and can yield Cole more negative Karma. These opportunities are:
- Defuse a Blast Shard Bomb: In this opportunity, Cole can blast at the bomb and cause the explosion, tearing its surroundings apart and killing all nearby civilians. By killing the cop trying to defuse the bomb before draining it, Cole gains no positive or negative Karma, and may still collect the Shard.
- Stop a mugging: Cole can subdue the civilian and kill him/her to gain negative Karma. The civilian must be completely dead (not just lying injured) before the enemies are defeated to avoid gaining positive Karma for saving them.
- Rescue Hostages: Killing the hostages before their captors prevents the positive Karma award for rescuing them. They can also be killed afterwards, but it is not clear how much negative Karma this gives (nothing is displayed) or whether it is more than the +5 positive Karma each for rescuing them.
- Heal Bystanders: Kick, shoot or Bio Leech the bystanders instead of healing them.
- In inFamous 2, Cole will stand in a different position when in the Infamous rank, standing in a more hunched or crooked posture.
- In inFamous 2, gameplay Cole's lighting is light reddish-orange, yet in the evil ending cut scene Cole uses pure red electricity to destroy some military jets that assault him.
- Evil Cole is a playable character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
- In inFamous 2, Evil Cole will seem to be impatient in cutscenes compared to Good Cole.
- In inFamous, he is portrayed as a villain. In inFAMOUS 2, due to his intentions being good, he is portrayed as an anti-hero.
- Both Delsin and Cole end up having a dark attire when they're at full negative karma.