- “Humanity is dead. Help me save what I can.”
- — John, when asking Cole for help.
John White was an undercover agent working for the National Security Agency, and was given the assignment to investigate the First Sons, along with Lucy Kuo and their inside associate, Sebastian Wolfe.Though, he was nearly successful in his time undercover, he was ripped apart and pulled into a vortex during a freak accident with one of the First Sons' inventions, namely the Ray Sphere.
After some time, his sub-consciousness awoke, and was reborn as "The Beast", a Conduit with immense power.
Not much is known about John's background or history, other than he's never been married and he has an extreme dislike for FBI agents. At some point in his life, he got a job as an undercover agent in the NSA, and was given the assignment of infiltrating the secret organization known as the First Sons along with agent Lucy Kuo, chosen due to their unique genetic code, possessing the Conduit gene. Kuo was stationed in New Marais while John was sent to Empire City.
The First Sons
- John: "I was carrying the Ray Sphere out of the lab when Kessler stopped me. It was...strange. He said that I had an important destiny, that I'd accomplish great things."
- Wolfe: "I used to be a skeptic, but many of his predictions actually do come true."
- John: "I don't know...the way he looked at me...I maybe want him to be wrong."
- —An audio-surveillance tape between Sebastian Wolfe and John, regarding Kessler's statement.
He first met up with a woman named Jane, whom John told that he was a low-level mentalist. He was instructed to a secluded meet up place, though he was only ambushed. He infiltrated the First Sons after passing the initiation. Stationed at Empire City's chapter of the organization, John's primary task was to know what the First Sons have been doing that can be considered as a national threat. Able to get himself close enough to the leader of the group, Kessler, John was able to learn of the device called the Ray Sphere, and its capabilities of giving out powers to those who possessed the Conduit gene. John would later get promoted, able to know Kessler close enough, and was also given higher-tier missions, high enough for him to grasp the Ray Sphere. He would also be given simpler missions like escorting one of their scientists, Sasha, to an undisclosed location somewhere in the Warren. During his time, he'd relay the information to his associates at New Marais, informing them of his latest findings.
Through his findings, he was able to learn that the First Sons do possess materials that can label them as a national threat, with several experiments that involved Ray Field energy, which resulted in the deaths and abnormalities of subjects, both human and animal alike. He would also become enraged due to the lack of proper communications with their head branch at the NSA, making him lose confidence and trust for his employer. After some point, John has learned that Kessler has scheduled a delivery for the Ray Sphere as a package, with Cole MacGrath as the specific courier. Learning this, John quickly got off the facility in order to follow the package, and managed to catch up to Cole.
Following Cole, John was able to get behind him, though was too late to capitalize, as Cole made a reckless turn at a red light. John got off his bike and decided to follow Cole on foot, though he was too late, as the activation of the Ray Sphere was already done, which resulted to thousands dead, and the destruction of 5 city blocks. John made his way to Ground Zero and saw the Ray Sphere at the dead center. He retrieved it, and made his way to safety to the harbor in an attempt to get out of the city with the Sphere. There, he and several other civilians were attacked by those infected of the plague. After dealing with them, John left for the Warren, to hide and sleep in seclusion.
That night, as he slept, John was ambushed by several of the Dust Men, who came after the Ray Sphere. Outnumbered, the Ray Sphere was taken away from John, much to his disappointment. As he was wandering the streets after the Sphere was stolen, John passed by a group of civilians who were viewing the picture of a man who could "shoot lightning out of his hands". John abruptly made his way through the crowd and viewed the photo: it was Cole MacGrath along with Zeke Dunbar, with the former having electric currents coming out of his hand. John was extremely relieved to find Cole alive, as he scoured the city for his whereabouts.
As John observed Cole develop his powers from afar, John saw him as a very potential ally and a perfect counter-measure to the Conduit mentioned in Kessler's vision. After relaying some of his findings to Agent Lucy Kuo and Sebastian Wolfe, John established contact with Cole, and instructs him to meet by the old Adamson Building by the Warren. There, Cole's initial meeting with John was interrupted by a chopper sent by the NSA to extract John, though John believed it to be a hostile. Fleeing, John escaped the area and made his way to the northern section of the Warren. Cole followed him and the chopper, and was able to subdue the Golem Conduit that shot it down. After the conflict though, John escaped the area. Soon, John called Cole again, and told him that the Dust Men have in their possession, the Ray Sphere, and told Cole to retrieve it along with an extra trustworthy associate.
- “I'm working with Cole to track down the Ray Sphere. That supersedes everything else. For all we know, the Ray Sphere could be the catalyst that creates the Beast.”
- — John White's reply to Kuo's request to bring Cole to New Marais. This was his last transmission with the team.
During John's call to Cole, the latter asked John what he wanted to tell his alleged wife Moya, much to his surprise. John didn't know anyone named Moya, and was still single in terms of marital status. John told Cole that he was being duped, and pushed on his order to retrieve the Sphere. After this, Cole and his best friend Zeke tried to take the Ray Sphere, but failed after the latter betrayed Cole. From then on, John acted prominently as Cole's radio backup and main accomplice during missions. He had assisted Cole in the efforts of retrieving the Ray Sphere, through sabotage of the First Sons' equipment, and also reducing their overall morale. After several missions, they were able to deduce the Ray Sphere's location, and both converged to the location.
Cole arrived at the pier at the Historic District, with John right behind him. The former cleared the way to the Sphere, dealing with every soldier that has been posted, while the latter took cover from the ongoing battle. Arriving at the metal casing of the Ray Sphere, John talked about the aura he got from it the moment he held it in his hands. Not taking any chances, Cole destroyed the Ray Sphere with a Lightning Storm.
Thus the device cracked open, revealing a strong energy vortex. John was pulled into the vortex, every bit of his being torn apart, and faded into nothing. Cole escaped the area before he himself was affected. John was reduced to ashes, though his mind remained dormant, and unknowingly, was able to grasp the power found within the Ray Sphere's vortex.
- “Kessler told me about you! I'm not gonna let it happen!”
- — Cole MacGrath, seeing "the Beast" for the first time.
After a month, John's subconsciousness was reawakened, and the build-up of power within him that roots from the Ray Sphere has caused a destructive vortex to appear nearby Empire City's Archer Square. Cole, who witnessed what has transpired by the docks of the city, rushed back to see what it was. After the initial rebirth, John was transformed into a giant pyrokinetic Conduit rendered in a molten lava-like skin or husk. During his initial rebirth, John's mentality was still fragmented, attacking all those whom he saw as a threat. The initial and most powerful threat at the time was Cole MacGrath, who saw John as the The Beast, a destructive entity seen in a prophetic vision by Kessler. John, while berserk, fought his former friend by a nearly destroyed harbor with his new powers.
Though he fought hard, John was subdued by Cole after the latter called forth a bolt from the sky. As he fell to the murky floor of the harbor, John was able to regenerate himself and managed to stop Cole before he got on the boat. As he held Cole with a killing grip, Cole called forth another bolt as a desperate attempt to be free of the Beast's grasp. With the upper part of his giant new body torn to pieces, both John and Cole fell into the harbor.
As Cole was able to recover from his injuries onboard the escaping ship, John, now "the Beast", was able to rebuild himself again with his new powers. Returning to town, he used the strongest of his abilities and destroyed Empire City in a single blast. This resulted in the killing of every living thing without the Conduit gene, while activating the powers of those with the gene.
The destruction of Empire City had an ulterior motive, as John knew about the Ray Field Plague and how it's been ravaging the state, killing nearly everyone. Learning that the Conduits are immune to the plague, a new idea has begun brewing on his head; turn every living being into Conduits before all of them die from the plague. He thought he could ask his old friend, Cole MacGrath, for help, and went southwards to New Marais, all the while destroying one state after another, creating new Conduits and killing normal humans. All the while, the news and media were trying to deduce the nature of these deaths and destruction, attributing it to an unnatural phenomena.John was able to reach New Marais, though he was stalled a few miles away by several hostiles that tried to defeat him. As he fought them off, Cole and his friend Zeke Dunbar were preparing to attack the Beast with a nuclear missile while it was still far off from New Marais. After a slight dilemma, the missile launched, and hit John directly, causing him to disintegrate to the ground. As Cole and Zeke reveled in their success however, John was still alive, as another vortex appeared between the two cranes where Cole and Zeke were nearby. The instability of the vortex proved too much, as it caused an explosion as the two tried to leave. Zeke managed to stay up and followed the Beast into Gas Works, though disappeared along the way.
It was not until later that John appeared in his humanoid form, right before Cole, who was dealing with a shipment of the Vermaak 88 Conduit units. John tried to explain everything to Cole by improving his senses so he can see the infected plague victims, and directed him to the plague ward where all of the most critical victims are holed up. He made Cole see the victims that he deemed "dead" and directed him to the bearer of the Conduit gene, who was near death. It was there that John demonstrated his powers before Cole, revealing his true nature to be the Beast. Witnessing first hand what John can do, Cole is left with the option to help John, who remarked that "humanity is dead" and that the Conduits are the only ones that can be saved.
After a while, John contacted Cole through telepathy, trying to convince him further about his plan. John also explained why he attacked Cole during Empire City, stating that his first time of rebirth was too overwhelming, rendering himself uncontrollable, attacking any nearby forms he saw as a threat. Just then, Zeke contacts Cole, telling him about the Beast, killing all the lifeforms present at the rural areas of the city, which consisted mainly of the Corrupted. After this, John leaves it to Cole to make a choice: save humanity, or save the Conduits with John by his side.
Cole had come to a final decision, and decided to fight John with the RFI. Before their final confrontation, John's former partner Lucy Kuo joined him to fight Cole, due to fear of death from the RFI. Though because of a hardware problem, the device needed to be recharged on several substations across the city. When Cole and Nix arrived at the first substation with the rebels, John was nearby, and destroyed the substation before Nix could get to it. The two opted for the second substation at Smut Triangle with the Beast on their tail, as he was able to sense the RFI's presence. John destroyed all of the rebel boats, killing Laroche and his men in the process.
Pursuing Cole and Nix to the next substation, John made his way to their location. With this, John and Cole battled for the second time. Despite John's powers, Cole was able to subdue him for a short moment, despite interference from Kuo, who sided with John in the conflict. After enduring Ionic Storm, and it was not enough to defeat John, Nix lunged towards him out of revenge for her pets, destroying herself. Cole, enraged, took the RFI to the last substation at St. Ignatius, after warning John that he was next.
After being knocked out for a time, John regained his composure and proceeded to pursure Cole, who had recharged the RFI device completely. Finally confronting Cole for the last time, John was utterly defeated in the midst of their battle. Overwhelmed by Cole's power, John stumbles down to the ground before the church, unable to go on fighting. After Cole met with an apologetic Lucy Kuo, John could only watch as Cole activated the RFI, killing every living Conduit in the planet, including "the Beast" himself.
- “Cole I...can't. I can't do this anymore.”
- — John, after watching Cole kill Zeke.
Cole was convinced that John's plan is the only way anyone gets out alive, and takes Kuo with him to meet up with John. John, who was waiting by the docks at Gas Works, transforms into his giant molten form in order to better amplify Cole's powers. As the two discussed what has happened, John is attacked by Nix, who took the RFI before she left Zeke's roof. Cole leaves John's side and goes off to deal with her, decimating a good part of the city. After her first defeat, Cole and John continued their path, along with Kuo.
The threat John posed proved beneficial in a way, as the Militia and the Rebels are working side by side to take him down, though the Conduits knew that they didn't stand a chance, as they all died. Just then, when Cole arrives at Smut Triangle, John is attacked again by Nix, using the RFI. Cole deals with her while Kuo covers John, and Cole manages to have her at the rooftops of St. Ignatius. It is there, that they had their final fight. Cole managed to pin Nix down with his Amp, and electrocutes her to death with the device's electrical ability. Just then, the RFI rolled off of Nix's arms, and into Zeke's. Cole, who saw no other way, killed Zeke, took the RFI, and smashed it right before Kuo and John.
Seeing this, John states that he can no longer fathom the injustice done to those who were killed due to being born without the Conduit gene. John, who saw Cole's conviction, gives his powers to Cole through his own unknown means. As John released his powers, the powers that have kept him alive, Cole gains an overcharge in energy. After all of his powers integrated into Cole's, John's body can no longer keep itself together, as he disappeared into nothingness. Cole, now taking on John's role as "The Beast", walks the country, looking for lesser Conduits to "raise up".
Powers and abilities
As a human
John was an experienced agent for the NSA, professing in stealth and working undercover. He was also able to handle firearms, and very minor hand to hand combat. John was also an experienced helicopter pilot, as he was able to pilot one while looking for the Ray Sphere in Empire City with Cole. John was also able to rig several recording devices and other gadgets, being able to hide secret messages on audio transmitters all over Empire City, and also plant recording devices on some of the First Sons' facilities. He was also experienced in sabotage, as he was able to instruct Cole on how to take down several of the machines the two encountered in missions, such as the First Sons' air balloons.
As a Conduit
- “I had to pull myself back together. Do you have any idea how hard that is?”
- — John White, regarding his rebirth.
After being trapped into the Ray Sphere's core, John's powers have been activated, and due to his prolonged exposure to the core, the level of his powers are beyond that of any other Conduit. John's primary ability is a higher form of Pyrokinesis, which enables him to use very powerful attacks and abilities. His most notable ability is being able to transform into a gigantic lava-like incarnate of himself, where he is able to cause more destruction and tremors in this form. During this form, he is able to generate an energy field that manipulates gravity and enables objects to float in the air, as shown in his first fight with Cole MacGrath. Also, the Beast is able to conjure a sort of vacuum from his palm, which allows him to pull objects towards his hands. He is also able to create fireball-like energy projectiles, which he can use against nearby hostiles.Perhaps the most unique power he possess is the ability to revive himself, as no matter what injury he may experience, or damage his opponents may inflict, he is still able to regenerate himself, and does so by creating a destructive vortex where he will reappear. John's injuries appear more noticeable when in his giant form, as several of his body parts disintegrate or fall apart, most prominently seen on his head.
His most dangerous power is the ability to channel the energy of nearby individuals into a nearby bearer of the Conduit gene, which will activate the bearer's dormant Conduit powers. This ability is similar to the primary function of the Ray Sphere, being able to activate the powers of a Conduit once a sufficient amount of energy has been channeled. At the cost of normal humans, John is able to cause an extremely large and powerful explosion similar to the Ray Sphere Blasts that occurred in Empire City and New Marais, which enables John to convert all of the gene-bearers into Conduits in a short time. The frequency of the Blast can be controlled by John, as seen in his actions at the Plague Ward, where he was able to convert a single Conduit, only causing a small explosion.At the near end of his fight with Cole, John was able to weaken Cole considerably, perhaps showing that he is able to siphon or suppress the powers of a Conduit. Seen when Cole was working with him, John was able to amplify the abilities of nearby Conduits, as he was able to improve Cole's abilities ten-fold. John was also able to grant new abilities and powers to Conduits, seen when he gives Cole the ability to see those infected with the plague, and those who bear the gene (improving Cole's Radar Pulse power).
He is also seen performing several other abilities. He exhibited the ability of teleporation during his first confrontation with Cole, and also during the time he was talking to Cole. He was also able to commune with Cole telepathically, seen when Cole was retrieving the last Blast Core. John is also able to regenerate his health and injuries unusually fast.
Appearance and personality
- Cole: "You never told me you were the Beast."
- John: "That name is motivated by fear. Are you afraid, MacGrath?"
- ―A conversation between two old friends, through telepathy.
Before his transformation, John was very dedicated, and shows a great sense of conviction towards his work, despite his lack of support. Due to his workload, his mental state has been a bit unstable, making him extremely paranoid and cautious about every action he makes, which has costed him some opportunities that would have been beneficiary for him (like his extraction from Empire City). Before his supposed "death", John wanted to destroy the Ray Sphere to make sure no more lives will be harmed. After his rebirth however, John utilizes the same power that the Ray Sphere is able to inflict, activating the powers of the bearers of the Conduit gene. Believing it was the best plan to save any lives before the plague kills every living being, John walks the country to convert everyone into Conduits, despite the odds being very uneven.
Despite killing thousands, he did show remorse, even admitting to Cole he was tired and didn't want to kill anymore. He also showed great faith in Cole, believing in his conviction. He showed his trust when cooperating with him to destroy the Ray Sphere, and later in New Marais, when he gives his powers to Cole (Evil Karma) in order for him to continue the plan of creating new Conduits and save what was left of humanity.
Before his transformation, John wore an orange jacket under a dark grey coat, paired with jeans and shoes. John wore several headgear during his time undercover, namely a motorcycle helmet and an orange cap. After his transformation, John's iris appear a deep red, and several scars are now visible on his body. He now wears a dark red suit with no undershirt, and wears formal black shoes. When he transforms into his gigantic form, John appears as a gigantic humanoid made out of molten lava and rocks, with fire pulsing through his system, and his eyes appearing inflamed.
His tone changes between games. In the first game, he has medium-pitched voice and his talking speed is normal. He tries to talk calmly to Cole at times, but there are times where he talks angrily or impatiently, such as when he refused to get picked up by the helicopter in the mission Secrets Revealed. In the second game however, his voice becomes low-pitched and he talks very slowly as if he has a lot of secrets to tell. His voice doesn't change by mood as it seems he doesn't care about anything anymore rather than just awaking dormant conduits.
- John was voiced by Phil LaMarr, who also voiced Virgil Hawkins, the star of the TV show Static Shock; who (coincidentally) had electric superpowers. He also voiced Dr. Ragland in the video game Prototype, a similar open-world superhero video game that drew comparisons with inFamous from video game journalists.
- Hinted by the Dead Drops Dr. Wolfe left behind, it is heavily implied that Kessler knew that John was going to be The Beast.
- It is also alluded in John's own Dead Drops in the original Infamous.
- John's appearance in Infamous 2 draws parallels with popular depictions of Satan; namely red eyes and red formal clothing.
- The Beast shares many similar traits to Dr. Manhattan of the Watchmen series:
- Both of them have god-like powers.
- Both of them progressively lost their humanity when gaining their powers.
- Both were torn apart and reformed molecule by molecule.
- Both look similar in physical appearance.
- John can be made in the inFamous 2 UGC but he only functions like a pedestrian with increased health.
- John is one of the two characters in inFamous 2 that dies in both endings. The other is Nix.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 inFamous 2
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 inFamous
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 inFamous Post-Blast
- ↑ Wright, p. 272