- “You... you! You turned me into a monster! Why would God do this to me?”
- — Bertrand after gaining his powers.
Joseph Bertrand III was a citizen of New Marais and was the leader of the New Marais section of the First Sons before it disbanded, and the leader and creator of the Militia, Corrupted, and Vermaak 88 (indirect). After the Empire Event he became the de facto leader of New Marais.
Joseph Bertrand is the secondary antagonist in Infamous 2.
Very little is known about Bertrand's early life, beyond his deeply-held religious beliefs and the equally intense belief he had in his own destiny. He is established as one of New Marais' native citizens, and one of Wolfe's dead drops mentions that, as a child, he played in the caverns beneath the city before they were taken over by the First Sons. His family line apparently had considerable standing in New Marais during its history, with one of his ancestors, Robert Bertrand, a Confederate General who died in the defense of an earlier incarnation of Fort St. Phillipe.
The First Sons
Bertrand later found out of the organization known as the First Sons, which he later joined after learning more of the nature of Conduits. He was part of New Marais' division and had Sebastian Wolfe alongside him to develop several projects, such as the containment facility below the old coach house of one of Bertrand's properties, and also the Transfer Device.
Wish for Power
As a deeply religious man, Bertrand believing God had sent him to Earth as a savior. When he discovered he was a potential Conduit, he saw this as a sign that he had a higher purpose. Seeking to activate the Conduit gene within him, Bertrand began experimenting. Bertrand was aware of Dr. Sebastian Wolfe's work with the First Sons, and immediately gained interest in the Ray Sphere.
Bertrand eventually gained admission into the First Sons, and later, became their head of operations in New Marais. As the local leader, Bertrand had access various technology advancements and resources, using Wolfe's expertise for a wide range of experiments. Bertrand also had limited contact with Kessler, who told him of the Beast and warned him to prepare. As a potential Conduit, Bertrand began to believe his higher purpose was to stop the Beast.Bertrand had Wolfe forcefully work for him, developing a Ray Sphere for himself. When it was finished, he went to the slums, gathered a number of people whose deaths he believed would go unnoticed, and took them to the rural areas of New Marais, believing it would be obscured from the public. Bertrand soon activated the Ray Sphere. The activation mistakenly gave the potential Conduit Nix her powers, and also gave Bertrand his. As Bertrand's powers developed, he began realizing his mistakes.
Bertrand was given the power to transform into an immense abomination, but could not control it. Bertrand later became furious with Dr. Wolfe, as Wolfe said he was unable to reverse it. Bertrand forced Wolfe to attempt to create a device that could reverse the Ray Sphere's effects or he would be executed. Using the newly discovered power of Blast Cores, Bertrand increased his power to allow him to mutate humans into abominations like himself, known as the Corrupted. It was with this he began to see a new future for himself. He believed God wished for him to wipe out all Conduits.
Using his power, Bertrand amassed an army of Corrupted, which eventually attacked the New Marais civilians, convincing them that Conduits were dangerous and harmful. Using the Corrupted to overwhelm the local police, Bertrand's private army, the Militia, filled that void, driving the Corrupted out of the city. Still under threat from attack, the people of New Marais accepted Bertrand and his Militia as their new leaders with little resistance.
Subsequently, after Kessler's demise, Bertand seized the First Sons' resources and technology for himself, using his growing Militia. No sooner had he placed himself in control he stated using less moral methods of experimentation, including the use of unwilling human subjects.
Dictator of New MaraisDiscovering that Cole MacGrath had entered the city, Bertrand subsequently gave a speech at the center of New Marais town. Bertrand claimed the "Demon" was among them, referring to Cole. Bertrand then exclaimed that all "deviants", referring to Conduits, and Cole would be defeated by the Militia. Bertrand continued this propaganda by promoting the Militia and their services. However, during this speech, a group of Corrupted appeared and began to attack the Militia.
Bertrand immediately fled with some Militia soldiers. Cole, who watched the scene unfold, pursued. Fleeing to his limousine, Bertrand was subsequently confronted with Cole, who jumped onto the roof of the car. While Cole demanded, answers, Bertrand ignored this, stating he had nothing to say to him. When threatened, Bertrand told Cole to be worried for his head, as the car drove into a chopper, knocking Cole off. Bertrand successfully escaped and continued his plans.
The Militia soon kidnapped Dr. Wolfe, who has been aiding Cole, on Bertrand's orders. However, after Cole and Lucy Kuo freed Wolfe and attempted to escape Bertrand had his men pursue Cole and Kuo and dismantle their getaway car, through radio transmission. Successfully killing Wolfe, Bertrand later had Lucy Kuo, an ally of Cole and potential Conduit, taken prisoner. By experimenting on her, he managed to unleash her powers. Using Kuo as a template, he then used the Power Transfer Device to turn the mercenary organization Vermaak 88 into what they refer to themselves as "Forced Conduits."Dividing her powers among such a massive number put a strain on their bodies. To compensate for their incomplete power, Vermaak 88 Ice Conduits eventually became insane, mutating - some faster than others - until becoming what's referred to as Titans. Over time, Cole destroyed much of Bertrand's Militia troops and his propaganda. Eventually, Cole conspired with the Rebels to storm Fort Philippe, where Bertrand was located.
After seeing the Rebels, Kuo, Nix and Cole attack Fort Philippe, Bertrand summoned a Helicopter to take him away from the danger. However, as Bertrand entered, Cole, from afar, fired an Alpha rocket at the helicopter, damaging it and forcing it to inevitably crash.
Bertrand's True Form
- “Bertrand. I alone saw his true face.”
- — Cole MacGrath on discovering Bertrand's secret.
Finally, thanks to Cole, Bertrand was defeated before he could harm the City or it's inhabitants any further. As he collapsed, a thick smoke surrounded the area. However, as it cleared, Bertrand was revealed, still partway between his human and Behemoth forms. As Cole attempted to pursue him, the thick smoke covered the area again, allowing Bertrand to escape to Flood Town via boat.
Secrets exposedLater on, Bertrand began visiting the train yard weekly for unknown reasons. Though Bertrand was unaware of this, Cole and his allies arranged to follow Bertrand there, and bring evidence of any crimes. Having various forms of the Corrupted locked away at the train yard, Bertrand, subsequently arrived at a warehouse there. There, with a civilian named Nate, Bertrand assured him it was acceptable to have fear. Though he comforted him and claiming he had nothing to be afraid of.
Having Nate sit down, Bertrand suddenly emitted a green radiation and gas from his hands, and slowly and painfully, mutated Nate into a Corrupted, whilst exclaiming he would exorcise the demon from him. Though unaware of this, Cole who spied on him, recorded the events, via camera, had them broadcasted on television. Subsequently, seeing this on television, Bertrand gazed at his roof to see Cole, mocking with the camera. Enraged by this, Bertrand fled the train yard, slowly mutating in the process while Cole, Kuo, and the Rebels freed the rest of the civilians he had caged up.Bertrand eventually went into hiding after the events were broadcasted and the civilians lost all respect for him. Later, as Cole, attempted to restore power to the gas works, Bertrand and his men ambushed and trapped him in a cage. Bertrand then attempted to get Cole to understand his offer: conspire together to defeat the Beast.
Cole, however refused, believing Bertrand would eventually betray him the first chance he had. Bertrand then ordered his men to execute Cole. As Cole called for aid on his phone, Zeke Dunbar arrived and fought off the Militia, forcing Bertrand to flee.
Conduit Arms Race
- “I mean could this really be just about money? When the guy just gives it all away? What's he trying to do? Is he trying to buy respect? Pay his way into Heaven?”
- — Cole, curious on Bertrand's true intentions.
- “Happy, Bertrand? Not a Conduit any more.”
- — Cole on Bertrand's demise.
Bertrand eventually attempted to escape the city, via helicopter, but the helicopter was sabotaged by Zeke Dunbar, causing him to be tracked down and confronted by Cole. Cole questioned his actions, where as Bertrand admitted he intended to induce fear into ordinary humans to turn them hostile against Conduits, even claiming that he believed himself to be a demon too, his pride transforming him into a monster. Cole briefly mocked Bertrand on his former desire to gain powers, only to instead be transformed into a "fifty-foot maggot." Bertrand stated he believed all Conduits were abominations.
Cole then challenged this statement, that people kill others, not abilities. Bertrand agreed, before running off the building, falling, and turning into the Behemoth once again. Through the aid of the Rebels and Zeke, Bertrand was eventually lured into a trap. Weakened by multiple gas tank explosions, Bertrand continued to attack, though, eventually he began to stagger thanks to the combined might of Cole, Kuo, Nix and fell to the ground, dying as the Behemoth. Nix spat on Bertrand's corpse, which was subsequently cleared away by the Rebels.
Despite failing to trigger the Conduit genocide himself, Cole used the RFI to kill the Beast and cure the Plague. The end result is that the majority of Conduits on Earth, active or dormant, died. Seven years later, the Department of Unified Protection relabeled Conduits as Bioterrorists and began to round up or recruit all Bioterrorists, effectively accomplishing Bertrand's ultimate goal until Delsin chooses to defeat the DUP, therefore preventing an all-out war between Conduits and humans, in so preventing his dream from coming true.
Powers and Abilities
Bertrand was an immensely powerful Conduit, using powers similar to what the larger Corrupted monsters utilized in battle. Bertrand could transform himself into the fearsome Behemoth.
In his human form, Bertrand possessed many powers, some natural; others were a sign of his true conduit abilities:
High Intelligence: Bertrand was an extremely intelligent man. Through this, he developed many methods on how get his own way. Such as his methods to gain powers.
Mutation: Through blast cores, Bertrand received the unique ability to mutate normal civilians into Corrupted. The way in which he did this was by creating a form of light-green gas and liquid from his hands that painfully mutated people into Corrupted monsters. He then "trained" them to eventually obey him.
Shapeshifting: Bertrand was able to shapeshift into a gigantic creature he referred to as the Behemoth: it is not clear if he had any control over this, his conversation with Cole before their final battle implying that it was involuntary and occurred if he was hurt or angry. As the Behemoth, Bertrand was an immense arthropoid monster walking on four crab-like legs, with a huge upper body with a pillbug-like plated back, and his ribcage opening up almost like a clam. Bertrand's head as the Behemoth was white with several purple eyes and two mandibles with teeth. After Cole's first battle with him he is seen naked and half-transformed, with his face still retaining some of the Behemoth's features.
Natural Leadership: Bertrand was also a natural leader, commanding the Militia, Corrupted, and the New Marais section of the First Sons before it was disbanded. Also with two factions of Conduits to terrorize New Marais with the Milita to combat them, Bertrand used this as a means of convincing the people Conduits were abominations and must be destroyed.
As the BehemothIn the Behemoth form Bertrand could:
Devourer Tentacles: The Behemoth's rib cage opened to reveal three mouth-like orifices which contained multiple tentacles like the tongue of a Devourer. These would draw in victims which the Behemoth would presumably turn into Corrupted.
Roar / Noxious Gas: The Behemoth's roar was a force of nature, hurling cars and other objects nearby a substantial distance. The Behemoth's appalling metabolic processes also laced this roar with toxic gas, meaning it could deal damage to Cole if he was nearby.
Immense Size: In Behemoth form Bertrand was immense in size, towering at least fifty feet high, though he was still less than half the size of The Beast.
Superhuman Durability: In Behemoth form, Bertrand had incredible durability, being able to survive rockets and machine gun fire without flinching.
Weaknesses: The Behemoth had a large weakness, several pressure points that glowed purple on its body whenever it wished to attack, that when hit, would effectively weaken the monster. Like all Corrupted, due to his mutation, Bertrand was highly sensitive to UV-lights. Transforming also caused his mind to become primitive and animalistic, thus temporarily losing his considerable intelligence.
Appearance and PersonalityBertrand was an extremely conservative and deeply religious man, seeing the hand of God in all things. When he found out he was a Conduit, he believed that God had made him one so that he could save humanity. Bertrand, expecting to become a "pure hero", was outraged when he got his powers, even more so when he learned there was no way to change himself back.
His initial anger gave way to hope as he discovered Wolfe's invention of the Blast Core, believing that through the use of them, he might unlock abilities that would give him some clue as to God's intended purpose for him. He fully funded Wolfe's work and provided him with human test subjects, but grew distrustful of the doctor, repeatedly accusing Wolfe of holding out on him and gradually placing him under stricter and stricter supervision.
During this period he appears to have reached his final rationalization of his powers: Conduits, himself included, were products of human hubris and the Devil's influence, and not part of God's "divine plan." In spite of continuing to perform charitable work such as making large donations and helping the needy, Bertrand saw himself as irredeemable in God's eyes, but retained his faith and sought to carry out what he saw as God's will by making humanity rise up and destroy Conduits.
In his human form, Bertrand wore a black coat with leather boots, a white shirt underneath, with a red vest. He also appeared to be in his late 50s, early 60s.
- Bertrand is behind the creation of all three factions in inFamous 2 - he created the Militia to combat Conduits, and he created the Forced Conduits and Corrupted to start a Conduit arms race and in turn, start a Conduit Genocide.
- Bertrand does broadcasts in New Marais in similar fashion to the Voice of Survival in inFamous, spreading lies about Cole and attempting to persuade the citizens of New Marais to go against him. Unlike the Voice of Survival, he had some success, evident by the protesters around town who constantly shout negative things about Cole. His negative broadcasts also weren't forced to be played in that fashion by a particular faction.
- Bertrand's transformation into the Behemoth appears to be involuntary, rather like that of Bruce Banner into The Hulk. When speaking to Cole in "Demons," Bertrand warns Cole not to provoke him or he'll "turn into that thing again."
- Bertrand dubbing his monstrous form "Behemoth" references the Biblical Book of Job, Job 40:15-24, where the Behemoth is one of two mighty creatures (the other the sea monster Leviathan) that God describes His power over. Thematically, the role of Behemoth in the Book of Job matches Bertrand's perception of himself as a Conduit, a powerful and chaotic creature that is not itself good but is used to achieve God's ends.
- According to Laroche, it took "7 chainsaws, 30 men, 12 pickup trucks and 7 hours" to clear his Behemoth body from the streets.
- Bertrand's character model is createable in UGC, but simply acts like a normal civilian.
- In the retail release of inFamous 2, Bertrand, in his human form, seemed older, while in pre-released game footage, he seemed a little younger.
- As well as being younger, Bertrand had a different voice with a stronger southern accent.
- Bertrand sometimes carries an old cavalry sword with him, and can be heard swinging it when he is shouting at Wolfe about his Conduit powers in Dead Drop #20.
- Bertrand is similar to William Stryker, both the comic version and the film version.
- He is similar to the film version due to his militaristic views on Conduits and their potential uses in combat, and his wanting to create armies of similarly powered Mutants/Conduits.
- Also both Stryker and Bertrand, despite stating their intentions on using Conduits/Mutants as weapons, citing their talents, both state their displeasure of their respective species.
- He is also similar to the comic version as both are very religious, Stryker being a Reverend. Interestingly, at one point William was revealed to be a Mutant, and like Bertrand he despised it as he had spent years attacking Mutants, claiming they were not a part of "his plan."
- Also, both Stryker and Bertrand had tried to call a truce with their rivals, Bertrand trying to coax Cole into helping him fight the Beast, Stryker tried to convince Wolverine to come with him, so Stryker could reveal Wolverine's past. Both protagonists denied the offer.
- Another, more noticeable similarity, is that both are more commonly referred to by their last names rather than their first.
- He is an icon in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
- When he formed the Militia isn't clear, as members could be seen accompanying him when testing the prototype Ray Sphere years before the Empire City Blast, however it's suggested the Militia wasn't formed until he started unleashing Corrupted onto the city in 2010. And Rebels will state they'd been fighting the Militia for nearly a year by the time Cole arrives in New Marais.