CURRENT CHARACTERS: None.
NAME: Miles Upshur ( "the Walrider" )
CANON: Outlast & Outlast: Whistleblower DLC
AGE: Appx. mid-to-late thirties.
APPEARANCE: In game model, which is headless. I use Jake Gyllenhaal (from Prisoners) as his face claim.
CANON POINT: Post!game, right after
BACKGROUND: [ cw: psychological horror, blood and gore, violence and sexual content ]
Outlast information, the Whistleblower DLC information* & Miles's information.
Largely a silent protagonist, Miles communicates his surroundings to the player via pained grunts, panicked breaths and general screams of fear. He doesn't speak aloud during the game, so all information about his personality is found in the notes that he keeps regarding his experiences and observations within Mount Massive Asylum. Miles is an investigative journalist - and journalists are largely characterized by a sense of audaciousness and sheer willpower. Miles is no different; he is contacted by an anonymous whistleblower from within Mount Massive, and he makes the decision to take nothing but his wits and a handheld camera into an unknown situation, where it becomes rapidly apparent that he is very much out of his league.
Miles can be "heard" scribbling notes to himself about things he witnesses, and upon review, the notes reveal the majority of his personality. Despite being terrified out of his wit, his notes reveal that he is possessed of a very dark, morbid sense of humor - at one point cracking an ill-humored joke about Richard Trager's corpse after it is crushed by an elevator. Also within his notes, is evidence that he is more aggressive and willful than the other playable character - Waylon Park - as Miles cusses, makes demands of his environment, and generally travels through the asylum as the living equivalent of "I WILL FACE GOD AND WALK BACKWARDS INTO HELL" with both of his middle fingers raised. Again, in comparison to actions performed while playing as Waylon - Miles seems to interact with the asylum environment in a decidedly more aggressive manner. Where Waylon gently shuts doors, Miles prefers to slam them. Not only does this make him the sort of man who foregoes stealthy maneuvers, it also reveals that - in dangerous and frightening situations, he has a tendency to become obstinate and defiant.
You can't be a chickenshit and a journalist.
Beyond just his general sense of "defiance", Miles proves himself to be exceptionally intelligent and observant. Though consistently stalked throughout the game by one manner of man-made monster or another, he's able to focus not only on his survival, but on fulfilling the reason why he entered the asylum in the first place. He gathers information, roots through the chaos and gore for hard facts, records his findings and queries the entire situation with due diligence. He's even able to make several assumptions about the "variants" (the inhabitants of the asylum) that turn out to be correct, if not very close to correct. For instance, though pursued in several places by Chris Walker, who is quite capable of ripping his head off, he takes the time to observe and listen to what Walker is muttering to himself, and rightly questions the situation: is Walker just a madman? Or, is he trying to contain the infectious madness so that it is not unleashed onto the world? Miles is right, considering that Walker is a former security guard at the asylum, who's insanity manifests in the overbearing need to contain the asylum's inhabitants within its walls.
When Walker is finally killed by the Walrider, Miles reveals a sense of compassion for the man. Despite that Walker had stalked and terrorized him, he's able to empathize with him - hoping that Walker does not find himself in a worse hell than the one he had been last living in. However, his empathy does not extend to everyone. When Father Martin finally deems him a worthy "witness" and lights himself on fire, it could be said that Miles laughs, quite darkly and derisively, at the manner of the man's death. Though Miles understands that the asylum's inhabitants, who were human beings in need of mental or psychosocial help when they were admitted into the asylum, it seems he does not rank them all equally. While Walker stalked him, it was Father Martin who thwarted his every attempt at escape, in the name of making him into a "witness" - subjecting him to countless, immeasurable horrors in the pursuit of handcrafting him into the perfect host for a fledgling god-weapon.
Being within the asylum meant irrevocable exposure to the Morphogenic Engine - a process which enabled individuals who were on the very verge of madness, to control swarms of nano-machines and to bond with "the Walrider" - the sentient accumulation of these nano-machines. Though naturally Miles is a willful man, he does experience untold horrors - violence, sexual deviancy, general unpleasantness and abuse, and it abrades at his own sanity. Again, at times he can be heard breathing shallowly while hiding, whimpering in pain or fear, and making other horrified noises, but it's through his writing and the "official" information within the game itself that we can further assume what happens to his sanity - and personality, through the course of the game. Culminating, in the end, with his becoming the perfect, walking host-body for the Walrider itself*.
* Opposed to Billy Hope, who controlled the Walrider through states of lucid dreaming, Miles is a physical host. Which assumes, by terminology alone, that he's not FULLY steering anymore.
Outlast is elusive enough regarding the Walrider's agenda or goals - beyond what seems to be massive rounds of violence and its use by shady corporate-military organizations for warfare. The Walrider is referred to as "sentient", which I am taking to mean that it can feel and perceive things. Like any life-form that considers itself "alive", it wants to continue to live. Despite being "sentient", it does not seem to have high consciousness or self-awareness, emotions or the ability to reason. The Walrider has base actions and reactions and all of them revolve around violence. It could be considered an "id", and in terms of personality: it has none. Miles, caught in between the state of life and death, is the face and voice of everything. He possesses the independent will, personality and any agenda without or within the game will come from him. Miles speaks. Miles walks. Miles thinks. The Walrider goes along for the ride.
In terms of gameplay, the Walrider does NOT have the capacity to independently interact, influence or communicate. Miles and the Walrider do not cooperate or communicate, and it's largely around for combat purposes and to ensure that Miles remains alive and defended from perceived threats (again, the Walrider can perceive, not judge for itself). Miles cannot currently sic it on anyone, but he also cannot fully control it when it lashes out.
The further effects on his personality, as the result of merging with the Walrider are largely unknown. It could be assumed that Miles - a human being, and the Walrider - an artificial, sentient being, could be cohabiting his body. The scientist in charge of the Walrider project says as much, by calling Miles "the host" shortly after Miles is shot to shit by arriving military personnel, and gets right back to his feet. In that regard, it is also unknown if Miles is even technically still "alive", as the last time he is seen is during Waylon's escape from the asylum, limping away from the asylum's front door while encompassed by the dark swarm of nano-machines. For Futurology, I will be writing it with Miles "driving". While he is clinically dead - his consciousness and sense of self/personality are alive and, uh, colorful. He has Hijacked Cthulhu, to say the last. Miles is "alive" in the sense that while the Walrider keeps his physical body going and going, and he is still very much in control of things. He struggles under the weight of it.
tl;dr Miles is a brilliant, stubborn journalist who is technically dead and shares consciousness with a sentient nanogod. Where is brain isn't made up of sentient nanogod, and his body isn't kept on the cusp of Actual Death, he's a sarcastic little shit with a good eye for detail, a sailor's mouth and a habit of bull-in-china-shopping his way through most situations.
( A. ) Heightened Physical Strength - as the result of being the host of a cloud of nanites, Miles shares the Walrider's immense physical strength. Able to easily overpower Chris Walker (who is capable of tearing someone's head off their neck with his bare hands), it also demonstrates its physical strength and durability by, quite literally, ripping Jeremy Blaire to shreds at the end of the Whistleblower DLC. Miles would probably need to have the nanites either actually infesting his muscles for him to do this or for the Walrider to be manifested separately (see the next ability for details).
( B. ) Nanite Cloud Manifestation - a really fancy way of saying that the Walrider seems to manifest as a separate entity, basically moving nanites away from Miles and doing awful, murderous nanocloud things before it has to return to Miles's body. As a "swarm" of nanites, not a truly physical being, it has demonstrated the ability to pass through narrow spaces, reshape its structure and generally be a freaky nuisance. Miles, notably more human and squishy, is not currently able to do this. So, there may be a physical limit on the distance that the nanites can travel from his squishy, host body.
( C. ) Freaky Static Shit - the Walrider's presence is, as dictated by the game mechanics, capable of causing seriously sanity-reducing hallucinations. Like weird, lucid dream states, madness, night terrors, psychosis, sleep apnea and paralysis and other detrimental mental assaults. Prolonged exposure might be detrimental to the sanity of others, so please stick a warning label on him. The Walrider itself (probably not squishy, human Miles), is also capable of flight and invisibility that is not effective when you look through nightvision.
( D. ) Educated & Intrepid Investigative Journalist - Miles, as Miles Upshur, normal average human before he became the host of a nanogod, is an investigative journalist. He has at least a bachelor's degree, enough of a presence as a journalist to warrant being contacted by someone within Murkoff Asylum and entrusted with the task of exposing the asylum's inner workings, and is a highly observant individual who records, questions and studies everything about his environment. He's also a really witty writer.
( E. ) Parkour! And Other Physical Traits - oh yeah, you knew it was coming. The game mechanics are largely based on the tagline "RUN, HIDE OR DIE". Miles is fit, agile and strong enough to navigate around the asylum. Outrunning the patients, leaping and careening over obstacles, climbing, jumping, dodging and getting up when he's been knocked down. Or had his fingers literally cut off by giant shears. He's a #tuffbastard who's kind of sort of a zombie?
( 1 ) - the clothes on his back, bloodied and full of bullet holes.
( 1 ) - a handheld, battery-powered camcorder with HDD and night vision; it's canonically modeled after a Sony.
( 1 ) - his reporter's bag, which contains three flip notebooks, a voice recorder, spare batteries, collected and assorted files from the asylum, attachments for his camera (ie. wideangle lens & external stereo microphone), a crap ton of pens he's chewed on, his press pass and his wallet, a really old NOKIA cellphone that's probably dead by now and a pair of earbuds. I don't know how he carried all his shit otherwise, so here's a #logicbomb.