|“||Liar, liar, pants on fire. You can't kill what you can't see. Try to kill me? The night's got a thousand eyes, Boss, and all of them are mine. You wouldn't like it, being watched every second of the rest of your short life.||„|
|~ Gary, laughing off the player's attempt at threatening him|
Gary Golden is the Primogen of the Nosferatu Clan in Los Angeles and a minor antagonist in the 2004 video game Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Once renowned as a legend of the silver screen prior to his mysterious disappearance from public life, Gary has since emerged as a prominent leader of the LA Nosferatu and powerful figure in the Kindred community. Unfortunately, Prince LaCroix soon discovers that the ex-actor's loyalty to his clan does not equal loyalty to the Camarilla - or to him.
Having been tasked with securing the Ankaran Sarcophagus on behalf of the Prince during the game's second act, when the artifact inexplicably vanishes before it can be retrieved, Gary is naturally accused of its theft. As such, the third act of the game requires the player to find the elusive Nosferatu Primogen and discover where the Sarcophagus has been taken - even if it means playing along with Gary's demands.
He is voiced by Neil Ross, who also voices the female player character's sire.
No records exist of Gary's appearance prior to his Embrace into Clan Nosferatu, possibly a result of his Sire destroying all publically available copies of his movies. However, most descriptions commonly claim that he was extremely handsome, and with this in mind, he probably would have been inducted into the Toreador Clan during their conquest of Hollywood - had he not gotten the attention of their biggest rivals.
As with all Nosferatu, Gary has been severely disfigured as a result of his Embrace, and though he's nowhere near as revolting as Bertram Tung and Imalia, few could ever confuse him for his mortal self. Now bald, sharp-featured, ears distended, teeth replaced with jagged fangs, his fingers tipped with claws, eyes a sickly yellow, his voice a harsh, rasping snarl, Gary's only concession to the glamour he once surrounded himself with is his choice of attire: dressing in fine eveningwear complete with crisp white shirts, finely-tailored waistcoats and black bow ties, his clothes only accentuate his emaciated build.
Though he has long since adjusted to his transformation, Gary rarely appears in person, preferring instead to conduct his business by phone or email; though he has no problem with showing his true self around fellow members of the Nosferatu, he prefers to keep other vampires on edge by remaining invisible throughout their conversations, only emerging from hiding once he's determined that there's no more fun to be had by toying with his guests.
From Star To Sewer Rat
Before his Embrace, "Gorgeous" Gary Golden was one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood: handsome, charming and genuinely talented, his career peaked during the 1930s and 40s with films such as Pirate Town and Tap Hotel, and his place in film history was assured throughout the decades that followed. Unfortunately, Gary's achievements also made him proud, eager to flaunt his good looks and success wherever possible. Eventually, his narcissism grew too great for Hollywood's Nosferatu populace to stomach, and in 1960, one of them branded him a Cleopatra - a mortal so arrogant in their beauty that they had to be "taught a lesson."
Thus, Gary was abducted from his home and forcibly Embraced, the transformation into a Nosferatu vampire destroying his handsome features and condemning the once-glamorous star to an eternity wallowing in the sewers of Los Angeles. For good measure, once the search for the vanished actor had turned up nothing, Hollywood easily replaced him with fresher personalities, and by 1965, Gary was declared legally dead - by which time, most of the city's mortal populace had forgotten about him. However, instead of committing suicide or spending the rest of his days brooding over his lost beauty, Gary slowly adapted to his new self; though he missed the limelight, he grew to accept his new place in society, and even enjoy it - to a certain extent, at any rate.
Eventually, he rose to a surprisingly high station within the clan despite his relative youth: at the time, Los Angeles was controlled by the Anarchs, who valued talent over seniority in contrast to the Elder-dominated society of the Camarilla, and the Nosferatu Ancilla soon found himself with duties more common to vampires twice his age. As such, just as the Toreador Isaac Abrams declared the streets of Hollywood his barony, so too did Gary Golden secretly claim its sewers and waterways as his kingdom.
At some point during the early 2000s, the security protecting the Nosferatu's online information-sharing network was temporarily breached by a brilliant young hacker known only as Mitnick: a prodigy of unparalleled skill, Mitnick had once emailed the latest nuclear missile launch codes to the President of the United States as a joke, but getting through SchreckNet's firewalls had been a challenge even for him - and even then, he'd only managed to access one of their minor sites. Impressed by the young hacker's abilities, Gary arrived on Mitnick's doorstep less than an hour later, and Embraced him in the hopes that the Nosferatu Clan could benefit from his gifts - which they did.
In 2003, Gary Embraced his second Childe - but this time, not out of pragmatism. That year, one of the biggest sensations in Hollywood was the young model known only as Imalia: beautiful and charismatic, her performances were rewarded with appearances in print and television, even winning Guy Magazine's Most Ridiculously Hot Chick In The Known Universe award. Unfortunately, Imalia was well known as a Prima Donna, dismissive of lesser appearances and eager to crush rivals to her position at any cost, and it wasn't long before the Nosferatu of Hollywood took notice. On the night Imalia won her famous award, she arrived home to find Gary waiting for her: violently Embracing her, he forcibly recruited her into the clan as the Hollywood Nosferatus' newest Cleopatra. However, rather than simply allowing his Childe to mysteriously vanish from public life, he went the extra mile by faking her death in a horrific car accident and spitefully removing all existing footage of her from the market.
Ultimately, the Los Angeles' Anarch status didn't last: in 2004, Los Angeles was invaded by the Kuei-Jin, and though Barons like Isaac and Nines Rodriguez did their best to hold back the tide, the Kindred of the East proved too formidable to defeat. With the Anarchs routed, the Camarilla reclaimed LA and forced the city into a state of Cold War - each faction kept at peace through a series of hastily-declared truces. Despite the need to maintain order, the newly-crowned Prince Sebastian LaCroix immediately went about recruiting Primogen to represent the Camarilla clans of the city, either drawing them from out of town or seeking fresh talent among the neutrals. Despite having allied with the Anarch during their stewardship of Los Angeles, the Nosferatu never formally declared their allegiance to any side in Kindred politics, nor did they ever take any alliance outside the clan seriously - a common practice with Nosferatu worldwide. As such, Gary was able to secure the position of Nosferatu Primogen without ever considering loyalty to Prince LaCroix.
Patron Of The Ancient Arts
Some months after the Camarilla takeover, the game officially begins; following the opening tutorial, the Kindred community of Los Angeles is disturbed by the sudden appearance of the Elizabeth Dane, an abandoned cargo ship drifting just off the coast of California. A sustained police investigation reveals numerous signs of violence throughout the cargo ship, but no bodies and no indication of what had happened to the crew: however, they are able to confirm that the Dane is carrying the Ankaran Sarcophagus, an ancient Mesopotamian funerary treasure unearthed at a dig in Turkey earlier that year; however, though nobody in the archaeological team ever successfully opened the casket, according to the forensic report from the crime scene, a number of bloody handprints on the lid indicate that the Sarcophagus had been opened - from the inside.
Rumors immediately begin circulating throughout the factions of LA, many of them claiming that the Sarcophagus is actually the resting place of an Antediluvian, one of the legendary Third Generation of vampires. Among the oldest and most powerful of all Kindred, the Antediluvians founded the Clans, shaped their private societies, played earth-shattering roles in history, and even made names for themselves as gods within mortal legend before retreating to millennia-long slumber. Legends claim that they will rise again one day, too old and too potent to satisfy their hunger with anything other than the blood of other vampires, ultimately leading to an apocalypse popularly known as Gehenna. This belief is most commonly upheld by the Sabbat, who claim that the Camarilla are secretly being controlled by the slumbering ancients, and believe that the only way to prevent Gehenna is by killing the Antediluvians and stealing their power through the forbidden act of diablerie. By contrast, the Camarilla believe that both Gehenna and the Antediluvians are nothing more than legends.
However, Prince LaCroix believes differently: petulant at the lack of respect he receives from both his allies and his rivals, he is determined to expand his dominion by any means available to him, and in his lust for power, he has set his sights upon the Ankaran Sarcophagus. Convinced that the casket really does contain a sleeping Antediluvian, he is willing to break Camarilla law by committing diablerie - draining the ancient's blood and stealing its power for himself - believing that the strength he'd gain as a result would be enough to protect him from the legal consequences. However, in order to fulfill his ambitions, he needs to obtain Antediluvian's resting place first; to that end, he orders Gary to locate and secure the Ankaran Sarcophagus.
By this time, the artifact has been delivered to the Museum of Los Angeles for detailed analysis and exhibition, and though it remains under heavy guard, the surveillance systems of the museum are no match for the legendary stealth of the Nosferatu. Eventually, LaCroix is provided with keys to the building and directions to the exact whereabouts of the Sarcophagus, and he charges the player with retrieving it from the Museum. However, the Nosferatu Clan are only loyal to themselves, and their services remain open to the highest bidder: no sooner has Gary provided LaCroix with the necessary information, he also trades the same commodities to the LA branch of the Giovanni Family; an incestuous brood of necromancers run by an inner circle of vampires, the Family pay handsomely for the information with "juicy gossip" - the only consistently valuable currency to members of the Nosferatu Clan. Both the player and the Giovanni have the motive and the opportunity to claim the Sarcophagus, but the Giovanni end up getting there first.
Needless to say, LaCroix is enraged to discover that his prize has been stolen, and naturally suspects Gary. Throwing a colossal temper-tantrum, he demands that the player find the Nosferatu Primogen and get him to talk. As such, the third act of the game begins with the Fledgling being sent to Hollywood to begin the search.
The Voice In The Darkness, Boss
However, by the time the player arrives in Hollywood, the Nosferatu have inexplicably vanished from the streets. After consulting at length with Isaac Abrams, it eventually becomes clear that the Sewer Rats have been singled out as targets by the Sabbat: Andrei, Tzimisce Archbishop to Los Angeles, is attempting to destroy the Nosferatu in the hopes of blinding the Camarilla to his future strategy. Having established a modest haven at 609 King's Way, he has been able to tunnel into sealed-off regions of Hollywood's sewer network, allowing him access to areas only frequented by the Nosferatu: with an army of fleshcrafted ghouls at his disposal, he is able to besiege the Nosferatu Warrens, effectively trapping them beneath the city as he whittles away at their numbers - or so he believes.
In reality, the situation isn't as dire as Andrei believes: he has only succeeded in killing a handful of Nosferatu caught outside the Warrens, and his army is effectively incapable of breaching the Warren's fortifications. Likewise, none of them are trapped; indeed, Gary actually has a backdoor in his haven leading directly into the Hollywood Eternal Cemetery, effectively bypassing all the tunnels Andrei has besieged. The only reason why the Nosferatu have "vanished" is because Gary has commanded them to cease all aboveground operations until LaCroix has abandoned his feud with the Clan - a virtual certainty considering that LaCroix can't afford to do without the Nosferatu's services.
Nonetheless, upon discovering proof of the Tzimisce's activities in the snuff tapes circulating throughout Hollywood's black market, the player is led to believe that the Nosferatu are in danger, and travels to 609 King's Way in order to confront Andrei in person. After the Archbishop flees the ensuing boss battle, the Fledgling eventually uncovers the tunnel leading into the sewers and begins a slow and ponderous descent towards the Warrens: every single level of the underground is swarming with Andrei's monsters, from the screaming two-legged heads to the gargantuan War Ghouls, but no less exhausting are the security measures arranged by Gary and his fellows. At first a simple thoroughfare through well-lit sewerage canals, the path leads the player into the bowels of the sewers' internal machinery, often coming dangerously close to threshing turbines and electrocution hazards; after risking crushing pressures in the depths of the pipelines, the player enters first the deepest region of the sewers to remain active, and then - after a two-hundred-foot drop through a shaft - into areas so old they have been officially shut down.
Eventually, after killing the last of Andrei's creations and reaching the very bottom of the abandoned sewer network, a mechanically-sealed gateway deposits the Fledgling into the Nosferatu Warrens. However, even though this area is classified as Elysium and theoretically a truce zone, it's clear that the player is not at all welcome; at Gary's command, most of the local Nosferatu have made themselves invisible through Obfuscate, and spend much of the visit following the player, constantly whispering ominously - just waiting for the Fledgling to make the wrong move. Indeed, out of all the inhabitants of the Warrens, the only Nosferatu willing to remain visible and talk to the player are Mitnick and Imalia - and even then only because they're too preoccupied with work or plotting revenge. Nonetheless, they are able to point the player in Gary's general direction.
Upon arriving at Gary's private haven, the player finds a banquet table arranged, with three corpses in eveningwear seated in attendance - apparently as part of a wrap party for The Misfits, forty years later. Having made himself invisible through Obfuscate, Gary gleefully interrogates the player for a time, taking great delight in teasing and insulting the Fledgling over their inadequacies - particularly if the player is a Toreador. Eventually, once it becomes clear that there is nothing the player can do to harm the Primogen and the Prince doesn't have the manpower to put pressure on the Nosferatu, Gary makes himself visible again to strike a deal: he agrees to provide the player with the current whereabouts of the Ankaran Sarcophagus in exchange for locating a missing Nosferatu agent by the name of Barabbas, last seen somewhere in the vicinity of Chinatown. At present, Chinatown is extremely dangerous thanks to the occupying Kuei-Jin, but the player has no choice but to comply with the Primogen's orders; for good measure, Gary ends the conversation by vanishing once again, promising not to reappear until Barabbas has been located.
I Spy Barabbas
Though the majority of the fourth act of the game is spent dealing with the Kuei-Jin while searching for Barabbas, Gary still intrudes on the mission from time to time, offering rare collectibles to the player in exchange for doing errands on behalf of the Clan - most notably, retrieving a rare copy of Tap Hotel for Gary. Said rare collectibles are actually porn posters of Jeanette Voerman, Damsel, Velvet Velour, and even Ming Xiao (though Gary freely admits that this last one's actually just photoshopped security camera footage); one way or another, all of these posters end up decorating the Fledgling's haven.
Eventually, the search for Barabbas leads the player into an in-depth investigation of the Tong currently dominating organized crime in Chinatown, and later their current sponsor, the Fu Syndicate. The Syndicate's master, an individual known only as the Mandarin, has been capturing vampires and conducting experiments to determine their strengths and weakness - on behalf of Ming Xiao, the leader of the LA Kuei-Jin. After participating in some of these experiments under duress, the player is able to break out, kill the Mandarin, rescue Barabbas from captivity, destroy all information the Syndicate had gathered, and escape from the building - killing everyone between them and the exit.
Shortly after Barabbas returns to the sewers, the player receives a phone call from Gary: after thanking the Fledgling for their help, the Primogen explains what happened to the Ankaran Sarcophagus and provides directions to the Giovanni Mansion to that end. In a further display of goodwill, he also rewards Nosferatu players with a new haven in the sewers of Downtown LA and an informal welcome into the Clan. As the player leaves to infiltrate the Giovanni Reunion, Gary bids the Fledgling good luck, inviting them to come back to the Nosferatu Warrens anytime if they ever need information.
Though his days as an actor are long past, Gary Golden is still as theatrical as he was in his glory days, gleefully toying with visitors, clients, employers, and even fellow Nosferatu. When the player first meets him down in the Warrens, Gary has not only arranged a sumptuous banquet of decomposing rats for a gathering of skeletons in eveningwear, but he also goes so far as to pretend to be a voice in the Fledgling's head - and when Malkavian players protest this on the grounds that he doesn't sound like the usual voice in their head, Gary claims to have killed it and taken its place (!). For good measure, he regularly teases the player by calling them "boss," a mocking snipe at how little power the Fledgling has.
Even when visible, the Primogen's theatricality refuses to lapse: peppering his speech with references to classic films and actors, his choice of words remains as dramatic or as sardonic as possible, gleefully emphasizing the Nosferatu Clan's ability to be everywhere at once. Even over the course of a simple phone conversation, Gary can't resist hamming it up, greeting the player with a plummy-voiced "Are you interested in saving money on lllllong distance calls?" before reverting to his usual rasping cackle. With this in mind, he can be considered the Nosferatu equivalent of Isaac Abrams, as both have shared a long and fruitful career in the film industry and both employ somewhat ostentatious speech patterns, though where Isaac is the ultimate producer, Gary is the ultimate actor.
Most of these dramatics are usually delivered with at least a modicum of humor - some more malicious than others; however, any comedy in Gary's performance goes out the window when members of the Toreador clan and other "beautiful people" are concerned. Toreador vampires and Cleopatras can expect to receive nothing but bilious contempt from the Nosferatu Primogen: part of this is due to self-loathing targeted at the man he was in life, though it's equally motivated by envy of those who still possess the kind of beauty and glamour he possessed as a mortal, along with the same ingrained hatred for the "beautiful people" exhibited by most Nosferatu. Humans demonstrating Cleopatra tendencies are fully expected to be Embraced, all records of their previous selves erased from existence just to spite them. Toreador and Ventrue vampires, on the other hand, are forced to slog through the sewage-clogged tunnels of the Warrens and endure a barrage of insults from Gary - all while being unable to retaliate without being immediately attacked by the rest of the Nosferatu.
However, despite his theatricality and occasional sadism, Gary is actually a lot more reasonable than he lets on: though he holds no loyalty towards either the Camarilla or the Anarchs, this is actually the traditional approach to those outside the Clan; traditional Nosferatu values emphasize loyalty and solidarity to fellow members of the Clan, be they Camarilla, Anarch or Sabbat, in large part because no other Kindred can understand the trials of the Nosferatu existence (and also because the Clan as a whole have been targeted for extermination by their own Antediluvian founder, Absimiliard). As such, Mitnick regards Gary as a hard-but-fair leader who treats subordinates well if they toe the line, and Gary later confirms this by happily providing Nosferatu players with access to one of his "clubhouses" downtown as a reward for rescuing Barabbas. Likewise, though he doesn't care much for those outside the Clan, he upholds his bargain with non-Nosferatu players, and happily does business with them over the rare haven posters, even wishing them the best of fortune in their clash with the Giovanni.
|“||By the clack-smack cracking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. I don't remember seeing you on the guest list for the dinner party; we're having a wrap party for the Misfits about forty years late. Cast and crew only, boss.||„|
|~ Gary's introduction|
|“||You're used to getting what you want, aren't you, handsome?People just love your charisma, your face. They eat your words up like the rats eat the cheese in the trap. Oh, boss, where do you think you are?||„|
|~ Gary, immediately annoyed at the presence of a Toreador|
|“||I'm over here, boss! Wait, maybe I'm over here! Or maybe I'm behind you with a hatchet in my hand! Or did you never stop to think that your fear, if given a voice, would sound... like... this?||„|
|~ Gary, trolling the player|
|“||I want to stick your lovely face in a piranha tank! I want to apply an acid glaze to your sculpted body! I want to throw your pocket mirror under a thresher and watch you fetch it! But I'm no butcher, boss. Are you?'||„|
|~ Gary, once again insulting Toreador players|
|“||En garde, Toreador, you vainglorious, narcissistic poseur! How I loathe that determination of your kind to belie your true nature with Paris fashions and pomp! You are a dead thing - a creature of the shadows. Start acting like one.'||„|
|~ Gary, upon revealing himself to Toreador PCs|
|“||If you're going to play Jyhad, then you need to do your homework. Knowledge is power, and power has a price... but since I've already got what I wanted from them, I'll give you a freebie.||„|
|~ Gary rewarding the player with info on the Giovanni|
|“||You get 'em, boss! You give 'em one for Gary! If you should survive and need any information, come back and see me. I'm always here... and everywhere...'||„|
|~ Gary, bidding farewell to the player|
- Despite his description as a "Walking Hemorrhoid," Gary is actually one of the most handsome Nosferatu in the game next to Mitnick. With this in mind, he likely possesses something akin to "Rugged Bad Looks," a Nosferatu-exclusive merit in the original Vampire: The Masquerade LARP.