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For a moment there was nothing, and then he started to show me things...
This article contains spoilers concerning inFamous. Read at your own risk.
Ray Sphere

The Ray Sphere

John: "You know, I had that thing in my hands once. Kessler asked me to hold it while he adjusted some cables during a test. I could feel it pulsing like something inside it trying to get out. It's not right."
Cole: "And everyone wants it."
―Cole and John, regarding the Ray Sphere.

The Ray Sphere is a mysterious device referenced throughout the InFamous series. It is responsible for many of the events that take place in the series and is regarded by Moya as "a weapon of ultimate destruction".

Developement

While most of the information on the Ray Sphere is unknown in the course of both games a fair amount of information is given on it.

The Ray Sphere was originally developed in New Marais with the assistance of a scientist named Sebastian Wolfe and a fair amount was based on a conduit the First Sons captured and experimented on named Kuo.

Ray-Sphere-Blueprints

Blueprints of the Ray Sphere.

According to John White he was able to find a fair bit of information about it Mentioned some of it in his Dead Drops, and forward the rest to the NSA via a PO Box: the idea of the Ray Sphere was based off of the work of Luigi Galvani and the idea that the human body is full of electrical impulses (possibly an explanation of Coles powers). The Sphere also uses a new kind of Ion in some way (John was unable to give specifics because he didn't understand it himself). In one instance where John held the Ray Sphere in his hands he could feel the device pulsing, saying later that it was "Like something was inside it, trying to get out". This sensation was probably brought on either by the massive amouts of energy contained within the Ray Sphere itself, or by the new kind of ion mentioned above. Shortly before the first game the First Sons were using animals to calibrate the Sphere so that it would work effectively: in one instance with a Chimpanze the strain the Ray Sphere put on it killed it, in another with a Rat it gained super strength and the abillity to fly but it was killed immediately by a guard on Kessler's orders. See Dead Drop messages.

After animal trials were over Kessler began experimenting on human Conduits, one particularily unlucky soul named David was hired, and never paid, to be used as a guineapig exposed to the Ray Sphere thirty times and gained new powers each time during the human phase of calibration. This phase of calibration revealed a fatal flaw in the effects of the Sphere which was removed with Cole, the test subjects including David needs neuroelectricity to survive. It's also been revealed that the Ray Sphere was partially funded and developed in a joint effort between the First Sons and DARPA though it's unlikely they were fully aware of Kesslers plans for the Sphere. See InFAMOUS: DC Comics.

Effects

Ray Sphere Development

The First Sons Development of the Ray Sphere with Kessler standing in the background

The Ray Sphere is a small, round device that was researched and constructed by the First Sons as a way to grant powers to living creatures. The effect, however, only seems to work on conduits. The device was first tested on animals such as rats and chimpanzees, which initially killed the animals off. But, in later experiments, granted them powers. The specimens were killed afterwards due to them being dangerous. The Ray Sphere was given to Cole MacGrath to deliver to a specified location but was set to detonate at a precise time. Cole was holding the Ray Sphere when it activated, creating a large electrical explosion that vaporized people in the immediate vicinity of Cole and killed off thousands more as well as granting Cole his unique electrical abilities.

As a side-effect, the blast also appears to have awakened the powers of several other conduits in Empire City, many of whom are seen working for the various gangs. In animal tests Kessler stated it also induced small muscle regeneration as well as reducing of blood flow to the legs or feet.

Appearance

The Ray Sphere was picked up by John White after the explosion, who lost it to Alden and the the Dustmen. Alden retained ownership of the Ray Sphere until Zeke and Cole stole it despite assistance from the Dust Men and Golems. As Cole engaged the Dust Men, Zeke pried the Sphere from Alden's Cradle, but ended up between Alden and Kessler. Cole shouted to Zeke to run, but Zeke realized he could gain superpowers like those around him by using the Ray Sphere. In a moment of selfishness, he then activated it before Cole could stop him, sacrificing thousands of lives so he could gain superpowers. A bright light emanated from the Ray Sphere for a few seconds, before disappearing. Nothing happened, most likely because Zeke was not a Conduit. Kessler, realizing what the situation was, used it to his advantage and claimed to have the solution to Zeke's problem and how to give him superpowers. Zeke looked at Cole, "and then [made] his second mistake", giving the Ray Sphere to, and escaping the tower with, Kessler.

Kessler dropped Zeke off and had possession of the Ray Sphere until the end of the game, when Cole and John recover the Ray Sphere and Cole either destroys or activates it. Either way John is killed and the Ray Sphere is destroyed.

The person using the device also has to be a Conduit to be granted abilities. The Ray Sphere can also enhance abilities to superhuman proportion such as Alden Tate's mental abilities into powerful telekinetic abilities Cole McGrath's eletrical manipulation and Sasha's power of persuasion into a mind control tar.

The Ray Sphere is said to contain something inside that grants users abilities. At this time, the exact contents are unknown but Kessler accelerated research of the sphere so it can be ready by time The Beast shows up in Kessler timeline. The result of this extraneous research granted numerous individuals abilities such as the Dust Men's enhanced intelligence and Golem-making abilities, the First Son's cloaking/invisibility and electrical auras and the Reapers' ability to teleport and use electrical ground shocks. Cole MacGrath, Alden Tate, and Sasha, are, similarly, more powerful Conduits that benefited from the Ray Sphere's triggering.

Activating or Destroying It

Infamousendoftheroad 07

Cole MacGrath and John White face the Ray Sphere in its protective casing on the end of the pier

After the cutscene, Cole is prompted with two options. Take the Heroic action and destroy the Ray Sphere and thus potentially save a lot of lives, or take the Infamous action and activate it, killing yet more innocents in another blast to further strengthen his powers.

Destroying It

If Cole chooses the good path and destroys it, he summons a Lightning Storm to break the casing. The resulting release of an energy vortex consumes the pier, and John along with it.

100 XP and Good Karma is gained. If Cole is evil and chooses to destroy it, he will just gain a little Good Karma and nothing else.

Activating It

If Cole chooses the evil path and activates it, John screams and attempts to rip it away from him, telling Cole that he's crazy. John's actions are too late, however, and he, along with the pier, is consumed by an energy vortex released by the activation of the Ray Sphere.

Cole gains four more Battery Cores, his attacks deal more damage, and his electricity becomes black and red. 1,500 XP (1,050 XP in Hard Mode) is gained. Regardless of Cole's previous karma alignment, he will now be permanently stuck at the Infamous rank.

Trivia

  • If Cole decided to use the Ray Sphere a second time, only a pier was destroyed but his powers doubled. It could be explained that his powers doubled via the deaths of John and the First Sons guarding the Ray Sphere. It could also be that more life energy was required to trigger his initial powers, and less was needed in order to accelerate them.
  • As John rips the Ray Sphere away from Cole (If Cole decides to use it to increase his powers) and the pier is destroyed, the Ray Sphere gives Cole a third of what he had from the first activation (four Battery Cores compared to the twelve Battery Cores Cole starts with).
  • It is stated in the final cutscene that Kessler "accelerated" the Ray Sphere's development upon travelling back in time, implying that the original Ray Sphere is from Kessler's timeline and that Kessler had taken the designs.
  • Moya, via cellphone, states, in a panic, that the Ray Sphere isn't just a weapon of "mass destruction," but a weapon of "ultimate destruction."
  • It was revealed during the comics series by DC Comics that the Ray Sphere was developed in a joint effort between DARPA and the First Sons.
  • The Ray Sphere could be considered a two part weapon of Ultimate destruction like Moya said: Part 1 it detonates and kills hundreds of people, Part 2 the energy from the blast is concentrated into the nearest Conduit who becomes a living weapon of mass destruction.
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