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Villain Overview

Huh. Scary. You just don't get it do you? I gave you everything. And this is how you come to me. Can't you understand what I'm doing? Humanity is stagnant. Dying! I would give it one body. One mind. Think about it--no more conflict. No more disease. No more suffering. Don't you see? I'm giving it a second chance!
~ Alex Mercer.

Alex Mercer is the main protagonist villain of the 2009 video game Prototype and later the main antagonist of the 2012 sequel Prototype 2.

Initially being an anti-heroic main protagonist who gained his powers from an experimental bioweapon after he died as a human. However, due to being consumed by the Blacklight Virus, Mercer eventually lost his faith in humanity and intended on infecting all of mankind, ultimately becoming the archenemy of James Heller, the main protagonist of the second game, who seeks to kill him for causing the death of his wife and daughter.

He was voiced by Barry Pepper in the first game, and later by Darryl Kurylo in the second game.


While the virus itself can take anybody's form through consumption, in its typical form it looks identical to the deceased Gentek scientist Alex Mercer due to the Blacklight Virus recreating Mercer's body down to the genetic level.

Mercer has very pale skin, probably a result of being the Blacklight Virus since his skin appeared tanner in his picture with Karen Parker. His eyes constantly have a sickly gray tinting around them and he has light blue eyes.

While rarely seen without his hood, he has curly brown hair that he supposedly kept slicked back, although it's not known exactly what his hair looked like post-reanimation since he never dropped his hood.


The original Alex was a cold and unsympathetic monster who ultimately unleashed the virus out of pure spite. His actions and demeanor are stemmed from his troubled past which turned him cold, paranoid, and sociopathic at worst, rarely takes human cost into account during his actions, being able to murder scores of humans without remorse or hesitation.

However, Alex is not without positive traits: According to his beloved sister Dana, he was originally positive and full of life, often played games with her, showing a close bond between the two. Even after his clinical death from exposure to Blacklight Virus which culminated to his fateful transformation into the eponymous virus monster, part of Alex's human self endures at genetic level. This in turn, led Blacklight Virus to believe that Alex's possessed corpse and its deceased host are one and the same. For the same reason, the virus trusted and cared for Dana and even inherited his host's feelings for Karen Parker. After discovering the truth about the outbreak in New York and real Alex's death, the virus, now adopting his host's identity and life as his own, can't help but feel disgusted by original Alex's actions and decided to leave New York in search for his place among humanity.

Unfortunately, after repeated betrayals and mishaps during his time away from NYZ after the initial outbreak, Alex decided to shed away humanity he inherited from the original, stating that stopping the outbreak was a mistake and started a new one himself to usher in a new race; he claimed he was making a better world by doing so. Despite his megalomaniacal ambitions, he appeared to retain some form of affection for Dana; when he discovered that she was plotting against him alongside James Heller, he chose to seal her in a bank vault rather than simply killing her. He also felt sympathetic towards Heller as he comforted him about his wife and daughter as well as taking it upon himself to let Maya live to become "the mother of the new world" (catalyst for spreading the outbreak).

Powers and Abilities

Once reanimated by the Blacklight virus, every particle of Mercer's form, including his clothing and equipment, becomes comprised entirely of viral biomass. This substance can be manipulated at will. He can manipulate his physical form to create weapons to attack his enemies, generate armor to defend himself, and take on the appearance of another person.

  • Shape-shifting: Mercer's Blacklight infection has granted him the ability to shapeshift and transform his body into weapons. An example this would be when he shapeshifted his arm into a sharp blade. He possesses consumption/assimilation abilities inherent in all infected creatures that allow him to take on the form and memories of any creature he consumes.
  • Superhuman Strength: His incredible strength allows him to lift cars, trucks, the destroyed remains of tanks, APCs, and helicopters and throw them great distances. He is far stronger than any normal human.
  • Superhuman Speed: Mercer's speed is likewise enhanced. He can achieve running speeds surpassing vehicles.
  • Superhuman Agility: He can perform amazing parkour feats such as flips and rolls and maneuvers over and around vehicles and debris with little trouble. His leg strength allows him to leap nearly ten stories into the air.
  • Superhuman Endurance: Mercer's body no longer possesses weak bones or vital organs, rendering him immune to otherwise debilitating injury. This biological change allows him to survive falls from any height completely unharmed. Bullets of any caliber will pass through his body, causing very little damage that heals instantly.
  • Healing Factor: Mercer's body has vast powers of self-regeneration. So long as he is properly nourished, Mercer can restore his health and heal any wounds within moments. As long as a part of him exists and hes nearby a source of biomass he can regenerate even from scrapes of flesh
  • Superhuman Senses: Mercer's vision and hearing is enhanced, allowing him to see beyond the visible spectrum and hear across great distances even with physical insulation.
  • Evolution: As the black light virus, Mercer is always constantly evolving and can adapt to any situation, in the comics he was put under 10g gravity and quickly adapted to the point where he walked out as if nothing happened and can continually adapt to any stimulus.


I looked for the truth. Found it. Didn't like it. Wish to hell I could forget it. Alex Mercer... This city suffered for his mistakes, for what he did at Penn Station. And whoever he was -- that's a part of me. When I close my eyes, I see the memories of a thousand dead men, screaming as I take their lives. Moments I'll relive forever. What have I become? Something less than human. But also something more.
~ Alex Mercer

Humans...are worthless. Every last one of them. Worse than worthless...humans are vermin.
How could I have associated with them? How could I have tried to be
one of them?
It only angers me further that the realization
took this long.
The age of humans has
passed. And the task of ushering in a new world...a better world...falls to me.
~ Alex Mercer



  • The reason why Alex had amnesia after the First Outbreak was because Alex himself, was in fact already dead due to the rapid changes within his body by the virus. When he awakened, the virus had already possessed his mind and body, as well his identity.
    • This fact made him different from James Heller, who was more heroic than Alex. When Alex infected James, the virus was unable to take over James' body due to his resilient DNA. Thanks to this, James was able to remain himself and retain his humanity; the virus' only effect on him was that he was bestowed all the same powers that Alex possessed.
  • Alex's visage is slightly different in Prototype 2 compared with Prototype. While as an antihero in the first game his visage was quite handsome, in the second game as the main antagonist, his visage was quite intimidating, where the skin around his eyes blackened.
  • James, along with Alex Mercer, are referred by fans as Prototypes. This is due to lack of an official moniker to describe beings with their unique abilities as an effect of the DX-1118 C viral strain (Blacklight virus).
  • Mana Ouma: Mana Ouma from Guilty Crown anime shares many things in common with Alex Mercer.
    • Both are turned into virus monsters due to infected by deadly virus that bestowed them their powers but resulted in them losing their humanity (Blacklight Virus for Alex and Apocalypse Virus for Mana). Interestingly, they are also referred to as patient zero.
    • Both also sought to replace mankind with a more powerful lifeform from the very virus that infected them as well as change the world.
  • Alex is also similar to Magneto, due to his desire to destroy humanity and replacing it with beings that are beyond human out of belief that this race has become far more superior than humanity.
    • He can also be compared to Carnage, because of his very dark, nihilistic, and sadistic personality. His brutal methods of violence and destruction as well as his own minions helping at will are another thing to compare him to.