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|“||I want to play a game.||„|
|~ Jigsaw's most famous catchphrase.|
|“||The knowledge of death... changes everything. If I were to tell you the exact date and time of your death... it would shatter your world completely. I know. Can you imagine what it feels like to have someone sit you down and tell you that you're dying? The gravity of that? That the clock's ticking for you.||„|
|~ John Kramer explaining his viewpoint.|
|~ Jigsaw's other infamous catchphrase.|
The Jigsaw Killer, or simply Jigsaw (real name: Johnathan "John" Kramer), is the overall main antagonist of the successful horror film franchise, Saw. He is a former civil engineer whom through the years, became a psychotic, relentless, deluded, obsessive and manipulative serial killer bent on the intention of teaching his victims he is trapping and killing usage death traps, that life is precious for them and the people involves in their life. He is probably most famous with intimidation of victims usage Billy the Puppet, a special small red and white kabuki-like doll and famous with his catchphrase "I want to play a game".
He was portrayed by Tobin Bell, who later voiced Savitar in The Flash.
52 years old, Jigsaw is a former civil engineer who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and knowing that he would die soon, became irritated by the fact that some people don't appreciate the life they are living while some disregard the life of others people for personally selfish goals and desires. He thinks that people that don't appreciate life of themselves and others people don't deserve to live. He never encouraged the name Jigsaw or used it himself, but was given the nickname since he always cut a jigsaw shape into the bodies of his victims to symbolize that a piece of their soul was missing.
Like Hannibal Lecter, Jigsaw is incredibly knowledgeable and cunning, and targets lowlifes, but unlike Hannibal, he gives his victims a second-gruesome-chance, thinking that everybody deserves a chance to live. Jigsaw puts people in elaborate death traps out of materials he finds (being a skilled engineer) and considers the survivors rehabilitated.
He is a criminal mastermind who often wears a pig mask when capturing his victims to conceal his identity. Jigsaw has a protégé named Amanda Young—one of Jigsaw's first victims, who saw him as her savior and wanted to become his apprentice. After her death, Jigsaw was succeeded by Mark Hoffman, his other secret apprentice. Jigsaw also owns a puppet—initially built by Jigsaw as a toy for his unborn son, but with a less horrific design—who speaks for Jigsaw's victims and tells them the rules of his sick, twisted games.
Amanda claims to be taking on Jigsaw's legacy in Saw III, but is shot and killed. Mark Hoffman then takes the role as his successor in Saw V and VI.
This puts him into conflict with John's wife, Jill and they fight for his legacy in Saw 3D alongside Gordon and in the end both Hoffman and Jill are killed with Gordon being the survivor. In the upcoming eight film of the series a new Jigsaw Killer takes up his legacy.
|“||Those who don't appreciate life do not deserve life.||„|
|~ John Kramer's most basic motive to justify his sadistic games.|
John Kramer has a deep running philosophy that human beings have an instinctual will to live in the face of death though years of evolution have caused their survival attitude to dull and now are unable to appreciate their lives. The death of his unborn child, cancer and failed suicide attempt claimed to bring him "awake" to his attitude on human nature (who in his views are sleepwalking through life and not appreciating their lives) and vowed to test everyone's will to live for the betterment of humanity. As Jigsaw, Kramer targets victims he considers wasting their lives, neglecting what they should value or who go against his philosophy.
Though the nature of his tests are incredibly brutal, Kramer shows no enjoyment from his victims suffering but believes it will help them reevaluate themselves, as his most of his victims have already hit rock-bottom in their lives (noticeably drug dealers or users). He is deeply sympathetic to surviving test subjects such as Lawrence Gordon after he amputated his leg to escape and roots that they live.
However, Kramer takes a small amount of enjoyment in his tests as he slightly smiled when hearing the screams of the imprisoned detective Matthews (who previously beat Kramer to near-death) and targeting the corrupt William Easton for his apprentice, Mark Hoffman to test after his death when he refused to treat his cancer despite just claims his mission could never be personal (though it might not have been and he simply wanted to break Easton's biased philosophy). Kramer is also deeply distasteful for killing as he does not consider himself a murder due to always giving his victims a chance to escape their fate. On a technicality Kramer became too weak to even put test subject in their tests and relied on his apprentices to do most manual labour for him such as abducting and implicating victims, so he rarely participated in even second-degree murder.
Jigsaw had many victims, a number being patients at the clinic. Some of the most notable are:
- David — He fills Amanda's role in the original Saw short, and is portrayed by the same man who played Adam. He was placed in a Reverse Beartrap and managed to escape by obtaining a key which was located in a dead cellmate.
- Cecil Adams — The man responsible for the loss of John Kramer's son and the miscarriage of Jill Tuck while he attempted to rob the clinic. He was captured and placed in a chair where his arms and legs were restrained with blades. Jigsaw had some kitchen knives that Cecil had to push forward in to "bring out the ugliness inside of him" for the chair to break so he can escape. Cecil escaped but he attempted to attack Jigsaw which led to his death when he tried to charge at Jigsaw who stepped aside and Cecil fell on razor wires.
- Mark Rodriguez Wilson — A software analyst who lied about being ill several times just to not do his job. He was captured and placed in a room with a flammable substance smeared all over him, Jigsaw had a slow going poison inside of him and the antidote was within a safe. There was a candle for light, and broken glass was everywhere on the floor, the combination to the safe was written on the wall. He failed as the candle ignited him, burning him alive.
- Seth Baxter — A murderer who killed Mark Hoffman's younger sister. As a dangerous act of revenge, Hoffman captured Seth and placed him in a Jigsaw-style trap, the Pendulum Trap. He was told to crush his hands to escape and did so, but even when he did, he was never meant to win. Hoffman watched as Seth was cut in half by the swinging Pendulum blade. The police assumed this was an act by Jigsaw.
- Paul Leahy — A person with a good life with wife and children. However, he was suicidal and ran a straight razor across his wrists. He was captured and placed in the Razor Maze Trap where he had to go through razor wire to find the exit and escape or else the door will close forever. He failed, and died when he was cut multiple times by razor wire.
- Donnie Greco — A drug dealer in prison who was part of Amanda Young's test. Jigsaw captured him and surgically planted the key to the Reverse Beartrap within his stomach. Amanda, when told what she had to do to escape, disemboweled Donnie with a scalpel to obtain the key.
- Amanda Young — A heroin addict who was in prison. Jigsaw captured her and placed her in the Reverse Beartrap. To escape, she had to use a scalpel to cut open her cellmate's stomach and obtain the key. Amanda escaped and some time afterwards became Jigsaw's second apprentice.
- Adam Stanheight — A photographer who constantly spied on people including Lawrence Gordon. He was captured and placed in the Bathroom where he had to not get killed by Lawrence until 6:00 AM to escape. Adam was shot in the shoulder and when Zep entered the room, Adam managed to kill him but died in the Bathroom when he was left to rot.
- Lawrence Gordon — A man who was cold, uncaring and unfaithful to his wife. He was captured and placed in the Bathroom where he had to kill Adam before 6:00 AM or else his family would be killed. Lawrence shot Adam in the shoulder but he survived, Adam then murdered the man who was supposed to kill his family, saving them both. Lawrence escaped and promised to find help for Adam but never returned. He also eventually became the third apprentice of Jigsaw.
- Zep Hindle — A Hospital Orderly who was enviously hating and was badmouthing people instead of attempting to improve his own life. If Lawrence failed to kill Adam at 6:00 AM, Zep would kill Gordon's family and then receive the antidote to the slow-acting poison circulating his body from Jigsaw. Zep entered the Bathroom in an attempt to kill Lawrence but was murdered by Adam.
- Michael Marks — A Police Informant who was captured by Jigsaw for being a "snitch". He was placed in the Venus Flytrap where, if he failed to escape, the mask will close onto his head and pierce him with many nails placed inside. The key to unlock it was surgically planted in his right eye, Michael was forced to use a scalpel to severe his eye and get the key. He failed to escape, and was killed when the trap closed.
- Gus Colyard — A businessman who committed embezzlement, so he was captured by Jigsaw and placed in the Nerve Gas House. He died when he was shot in the eye by a security trap, the Magnum Eyehole. The number on his neck was a red two.
- Obi Tate — An arsonist who set fires to buildings and even assisted Jigsaw in capturing victims for the Nerve Gas House. Though he was also captured and placed in the Nerve Gas House, as well as being forced to go through the Furnace trap to obtain an antidote. He was burned to death in the Furnace. He had a green eleven on his neck.
- Jonas Singer — A man who was involved in a gang. He was captured by Jigsaw and placed in the Nerve Gas House. Jonas was killed when Xavier violently struck him in the back of the head with a nail-studded bat.
- Laura Hunter — An unemployed woman who was captured and brought to the Nerve Gas House for repeating larceny. She died when she was poisoned by the gas.
- Addison Corday — A prostitute and an associate of Eric Matthews. She was captured and taken to the Nerve Gas House. Addison attempted to get an antidote but her wrists got trapped in the Razor Box and she died from blood loss when the blades started to repeatedly slice at her trapped wrists.
- Xavier Chavez — A drug dealer who was captured and sent to the Nerve Gas House. One of the traps, the Needle Pit, was mean't for him but he violently threw Amanda Young into it. He then killed Jonas Singer and Daniel Matthews killed him by slitting his throat with a hacksaw.
- Daniel Matthews—The son of Eric Matthews who was captured and transported to the Nerve Gas House. He killed Xavier Chavez with a hacksaw.
- Eric Matthews — A corrupt detective who also committed brutality. Hoffman managed to capture him and he was placed on top of an Ice Block with a chained noose around his neck. He was killed when two ice blocks positioned on both sides of his head smashed into each other.
- Jeff Denlon — An unemployed man who wanted revenge for the death of his son throughout his life and refused to continue living and carry on. He was captured by Jigsaw and placed in a series of tests. He was shot by Agent Strahm but not before he managed to kill both Amanda Young and John Kramer.
- Danica Scott — A woman who witnessed the death of Jeff Denlon's son and didn't help. She was captured and trapped, strapped naked, in the Freezer Room. She was frozen to death.
- Judge Halden — A judge of Whitmore Magistrate Court who lightly sentenced Timothy Young for reckless manslaughter. He was captured and placed in the Pig Vat but survived and escaped. Though he was killed when the Shotgun Box Trap was accidentally set off, nearly completely blowing his head off.
- Timothy Young — A medical student who killed Jeff Denlon's son in a Hit and Run incident. He was captured by Jigsaw and placed in the Rack Trap where Jeff, to save him, had to use a key. When Jeff failed to save him, Timothy was killed when his neck got snapped by the Rack.
- Lynn Denlon — A doctor and the wife of Jeff Denlon. She was captured by Jigsaw and the Shotgun Collar was placed on her, where several detonated shotgun shells would blow her head off if she failed to save John Kramer. She succeeded but Amanda refused to release her and shot her in the shoulder, angering Jeff who killed both Amanda and John thus indirectly killing his wife.
- Troy — A prison convict with repeated prison sentences who was captured by Jigsaw and placed in one of Amanda Young's inescapable traps. He had to rip off every chain from him but he was unable to remove the one located in his jaw. Troy died when the bomb in the room went off.
- Detective Allison Kerry — A Detective who overly enjoyed working in situations involving death, which made her seem to be "dead on the inside". She was captured and placed in one of Amanda Young's inescapable traps. She was placed in the Angel Trap where she had to retrieve the key within acid or else her rib cage would be ripped out. Allison succeeded in the trap but it was constructed in the manner that she couldn't win, and she died when her rib cage was destroyed.
- Art Blank — A criminal defense attorney who defended several people for crimes they were guilty of. He was placed on a series of tests when he was captured by Jigsaw and was shot in the head by Daniel Rigg when he pulled out a tape which Rigg mistook for a weapon.
- Trevor — An alcoholic who was placed in a trap with Art Blank. He was captured and his eyes were sewn shut. He attempted to kill Art with a hammer but Art grabbed the hammer and killed him with it.
- Daniel Rigg — A SWAT Officer who was obsessed with saving everyone around him. He was captured and placed on a number of tests where, in the end, he was shot by Eric Matthews.
- Brenda — A prostitute dealer who was involved in distributing young females into prostitution in favor of money. She was captured by Jigsaw and placed in the Hair Trap where Rigg had to free her from the trap she was in. The trap pulled her hair and she would have died by having her scalp ripped off if not for Rigg's intervention. She escaped but tried to kill Rigg, leading to her death when she was thrown through a mirror.
- Ivan Landsness — A violent and vituperative rapist who raped and murdered several women. He was captured and placed in a trap where he had to gouge his eyes out to prevent the timer activated from tearing him apart. He didn't survive and was torn apart.
- Rex — The abusive husband of Morgan who, alongside her, was captured and placed in a trap where, to save herself, Morgan had to pull out several spikes out of her body but it would kill Rex in the process as the spikes pierced several of his major blood vessels. With the help of Daniel Rigg, Morgan survived and escaped but Rex died.
- Morgan — The housewife of Rex who refused to testify against Rex for his abuse. With Rex, she was captured and to save herself had to pull out several spikes in her body but it will also kill Rex. With the help of Daniel Rigg, she escaped the trap but Rex died from the severe wounds.
- Malick Scott — A heroin addict and arsonist who was paid off with drugs to burn down an inhabited building (wasn't aware of people inside) where eight victims died in the fire. He was captured and placed in a series of traps and tests which he had to complete one by one in order to escape alive. He managed to escape.
- Brit Stevenson — A senior VP for Marshvard Real Estate and a con artist who orchestrated a plan to burn down a building, resulting in the deaths of eight people. She was captured and placed in a series of traps and tests. She managed to escape.
- Charles Saumn — An investigative journalist for "The Herald" who investigated, but then buried, the story of the building that was burnt down resulting in eight people dying. He was captured and placed in a series of traps and tests. When he was about to escape from the Ceiling Jars Trap, Luba Gibbs hit him in the back, then escaped and watched as Charles was blown up with the nail bombs.
- Luba Gibbs — A city planner who took bribes and pushed past building permits on the building which Brit (with help of Malick) had burnt down with eight people dead in the fire. She was captured and placed in a series of tests and traps. When she was about to kill Malick in the Bathtub Trap, she was stabbed in the neck by Brit.
- Ashley Kazon — An ex-fire Inspector who filed a false fire report on a building that was burnt down and eight people died in. She was captured and placed in a series of tests and traps. She died in the Collars Trap as she was decapitated by her collar when she failed to obtain the key.
- Agent Peter Strahm — An FBI Agent who knew of Mark Hoffman's identity as a Jigsaw successor and had to be disposed of to prevent Hoffman from being arrested. He encountered Hoffman in the Coffin Trap and trapped him in the bullet-proof coffin, believing he finally won over him. But the truth was that the coffin was the only safe place in the trap and the way to win which he realized shortly after walls began closing in. Hoffman escaped and Peter was crushed to death.
- Simone — A lending banker who was a predatory lender and loan shark. She was captured and placed in the Pound of Flesh trap in which she and her competition, Eddie, needed to get the most flesh on the weights. Simone won the trap by severing her whole hand with a cleaver and escaped alive.
- Eddie — A predatory lending banker. He was captured and placed in the Pound of Flesh trap in which he and his competition, Simone, needed to get the most flesh on the weights. Eddie lost and the two drills in the helmet he was forced to wear pierced into his skull, killing him.
- William Easton — A health insurance executive who refused to provide health insurance for the seriously ill people which led to the deaths of John Kramer and Harold Abbott. He was captured and placed in a series of tests and traps which mostly made him decide the fates of his employees. He died in the end where Brent Abbott decided to kill him.
- Hank — William Easton's janitor who was smoking heavily while his health was bad. He was captured and placed in the Breathing Room trap with William Easton where one will die if he breathes too much. Hank fails and is crushed by a vice-like trap.
- Addy — William Easton's Secretary who assisted him. She was captured and placed in the Hanging Room Trap with Allen where William would have to chose to hang one of them by letting go one of two switches. Addy escaped.
- Allen — William Easton's file clerk who assisted William Easton. He was captured and placed in the Hanging Room Trap where William would have to hang one of the two. William was hung brutally and died.
- Debbie — William Easton's lawyer who defended him. She was captured and placed in the Steam Maze Room Trap where she had to traverse the small crawl through cages to reach William to safety. She escaped badly burned but attempted to kill William and died when she was speared through the head with a crossbow in the Head Spear Trap placed on her.
- Shelby, Josh, Dave, Emily, Aaron and Gena — William Easton's junior associates who were tasked by William to find errors, so the seriously ill won't get insurance. They were all captured and placed in the Carousel Trap where William was forced to rescue two out of all of them, the victims who weren't chosen would be fatally shot by the trap's shotgun. The only survivors were Shelby and Emily.
- Pamela Jenkins — William Easton's sister who sensationalized Jigsaw and twisted the facts for her own personal gain. She was captured and involved with Tara's test, making her choose if William lives or dies. Pamela watches her brother painfully die.
- Tara Abbott — Wife of one of the people for whose dead William Easton was responsible, namely Harold Abbott. She was captured and forced to spare the life of William Easton or have him killed. She wanted to kill him, but couldn't bring herself to do so and her son, Brent, killed him instead.
- Brent Abbott — Son of one of the people for whose death William Easton was responsible. Brent was captured and was forced to spare the man's life or have him killed. After his mother failed to have him killed, Brent pushed the "DIE" button which caused hydrofluoric acid to get pumped into him, slowly killing him and melting his insides out.
- Brad — The boyfriend of Dina who was being manipulated to commit crimes for her. He was captured and placed in the Public Execution Trap where Brad had to choose between Ryan or Dina. To save Dina, he had to kill Ryan with the saw. To save Ryan, he would have to allow the middle saw to kill her. Brad attempted to save her but eventually realizing she doesn't care about either of them, he allows her to die.
- Ryan — Another boyfriend of Dina who was being manipulated to commit crimes for her. He was captured and placed in the Public Execution Trap where Ryan had to choose between Brad and Dina. To save Dina, he had to kill Brad with a saw. To save Brad, he had to allow Dina to die by the middle saw blade. Ryan deeply cut his saw blade into Brad's chest, but seeing how she doesn't care about him eventually, he allows her to die.
- Dina — Girlfriend of both Ryan and Brad who manipulated them into committing crimes for her as well as cheating on them. She was captured and placed in the Public Execution Trap. In the beginning both men began fighting but eventually they allowed her to die and get cut in half by the saw.
- Evan — Part of the Skinheads who was racist and was an engineer. He was part of the Horsepower Trap and was trapped in a car and had to rip off his back to escape then pull the lever to prevent the deaths of himself and his skinhead friends. He failed and his friends died, and he was then fatally flung through the windshield when his car crashed into another car.
- Jake — Part of the Skinheads who was racist and was an engineer. He was part of the Horsepower Trap and had to allow Evan to save him, as he was chained up to a large wooden wall. The car Evan failed to stop crashed into him.
- Dan — Part of the Skinheads who was racist and was an engineer. He was part of the Horsepower Trap and had to allow Evan to save him, he was chained up and the chains were impaled in his jaw and arms which were connected to the car. Evan failed and his jaw and arms were ripped off by the chains.
- Kara — Part of the Skinheads who was racist and was a mechanic, being also the girlfriend of Evan. She was part of the Horsepower Trap and had to allow Evan to save her. She was tied up underneath a car wheel. Evan failed and her head was crushed by one of the wheels.
- Alex — The boyfriend of Sidney who was captured because of their relationship problems and was placed in the Lawnmowers Trap. One had to die by falling into the lawnmowers, but both of them were fighting while clinging to life. Alex fell and was sliced apart by the lawnmowers.
- Sydney — The girlfriend of Alex who was captured because of their relationship problems and was placed in the Lawnmowers Trap. One had to die by falling into the lawnmowers, but both of them were fighting while clinging to life. Sydney hit Alex, causing him to fall and be sliced, making her the winner.
- Bobby Dagen — An author and self-help guru who was captured for a series of tests for falsely stating he was in a Jigsaw trap and subsequently profiting from those lies. He had to find and save his wife before she dies.He gets to his wife but fails to save her, though he himself survives.
- Nina — Bobby Dagen's publicist who knew of Bobby's lies. She was captured and placed in the Speak No Evil Trap where Bobby had to pull the key out of her throat via fishing hook before the rods killed her. Noise would make them advance. Bobby was going to free her but she was killed after her neck was impaled by the rods.
- Suzanne — Bobby Dagen's lawyer who knew of Bobby's lies. She was captured and placed in the See No Evil Trap where Bobby had to keep the poles who were going to kill her supported for at least 30 seconds. Bobby couldn't hold them for enough of time and Suzanne's eyes and mouth were impaled.
- Cale—Bobby Dagen's closest friend who knew of Bobby's lies. He was captured and placed in the Hear No Evil Trap where he would be hung by a noose if he had fallen away from the hallway with a few beams and wooden planks to support him. He failed and was hung.
- Joyce Dagen — Bobby Dagen's wife who was being used as a trophy for Bobby. She was captured and placed in the Brazen Bull Trap where Bobby had to hook two cables into his pectoral muscles then raise them high above the ground to free her.He failed causing Joyce to get trapped inside the Brazen Bull and burned to death.
- Anna- John’s neighbor who killed her baby by smothering it with a pillow and framed her husband for the act which lead to his suicide. She was placed in the Murderers’ Trial where she and 4 other victims had to go through several traps to escape. Her final test was to be chained in a room with Ryan and had a shotgun with their keys inside. She misinterpreted John’s word and tried to shoot Ryan with the shotgun, only to accidentally shoot herself with gun.
- Carly - Was a thief that once stoled a lady’s purse containing her asthma pump. When the lady gave chase, she suffered a fatal asthma attack and died. Carly was place in the Murderers’ Trial where she managed to win the first trap and move on to the the next trap where she’s learned she had been injected with poison and would soon die without a antidote. There were three needles, one of which contained the antidote. On the needles were numbers, one of which was the amount of money Carly had stole. Though Carly knew which one it was, she panicked and refused to share the info leading to Ryan stabbing her with all three needles causing her to die from one of the needles that contained acid.
- Mitch — Had sold John’s nephew a bike without a working brake and due to not sharing the info caused the nephew to be killed in a collision with a truck due to him being unable to stop the bike. Mitch had been placed in a test with Ryan,Anna, Carly and Logan. He managed to get through several of the traps, but in the fourth trap, Mitch placed upside down in a cylinder that would kill him if he didn’t use the brakes at the bottom. Though Anna managed to stop the trap for a few moments, Mitch failed to hit the brakes causing the trap to restart and kill him.
- Logan Nelson — Was one of John’s doctor who wrongly diagnosed him causing him to be delayed in the news that had cancer. Logan too placed in the Murderers’ Trial, however Logan unlike the others, failed to wake up on the time causing him to be severely wounded by the trap. Fortunately for him, John saved him, nursed him back to health and taking as his apprentice where he and Logan built several traps like the Reverse Bear Trap.
- Ryan -Had accidentally caused a car crash causing his friends and another driver to be killed. Ryan was placed in the same test as Mitch, Carly, Anna and Logan, he had gone through most of the test, which resulted him losing most of his right leg. In the final trap, he and Anna were chained and confronted by John who placed a shotgun with the their keys inside. After John left, Anna grabbed the shotgun and aimed it at Ryan who begged her to rethink her decision, this turns out to be futile as Anna shoots the gun anyway, resulting her death. Ryan now with no keys, dies soon afterwards, from his wounds. His corpse was discovered a decade later.
Rise of Jigsaw
Kramer was a successful civil engineer who got into property development, in particular, a building called Gideon, the name he would choose for his beloved, future son.
Cherish your life
|“||Cherish your life, your life.||„|
"Cherish your life" was the motto of John's rehab clinic (being the concept of all his traps), which his wife ran. His rehab clinic was the place where his wife was attacked by Cecil who attempted to rob it for drugs, on Amanda's request. From his car John saw Cecil running away, going in he saw what he had done. John then rushed her to a hospital, where they told him his child did not survive, John then became angry and detached. He was soon diagnosed with colon cancer by his doctor, Lawrence Gordon. He then attempted suicide by driving off a cliff. Surviving, but with severe injuries, he then decided to dedicate the rest of his life to teaching people to appreciate their own lives through physical and psychological torture..
Jigsaw usually builds deadly traps for his subjects, which are often a symbolic representation of what Jigsaw perceives as a flaw in the person's life. Jigsaw calls these tests "games", and tells the person the "rules" of the game usually by audio or video tape. The rules are tasks that the person must perform in order to pass the test and survive; however, the tasks often involve extreme self-mutilation (although there have been occasions where it is possible for the subject not to harm themselves if they are clever enough, such as the Hand Trap). On occasion, Jigsaw has used psychological torture for the subject's test.
The subject of one of Jigsaw's games is therefore always presented with an opportunity, the aim of which is to reinvigorate the potential of the subject, jump-start the survival instinct and instill a celebration or "savoring" of life. Jigsaw intends through these traps to force his victims to prove to him that they are "worthy" and "deserving" to continue living, and also for them to learn to abandon what he perceives to be their vices. Jigsaw often expressed a desire for his victims to succeed, but stressed that their fate was always in their own hands. The video and audio tape instructions for his games often echo this idea: "Live or die. Make your choice."
These traps come in 6 forms:
- Standard Traps — Devices or scenarios to a victim or victims, usually with the effect with causing serious bodily harm or death if not removed by completing a given task in a specific time periods. Examples are the Reverse Beartrap and Death Mask.
- Competition Traps — Traps involving two or more victims who can survive these traps but only at the expense of the other victim's failure. Examples are the Bathroom and Pound of Flesh.
- Tests — A test that involve a victim being given "rules". The outcome of the test is affected whether or not the victim follows the rules and wins, or breaks the rules and loses. Losing often results in some sort of loss such as suffering serious injuries or the deaths of loved ones and/or friends. Examples are Zep's Test and Eric's Test.
- Trials — A series of tests and traps that the victim or victims must face involving psychological torture from the beginning of the trials up until the Final Test. Examples are Rigg's Tests and William's Tests.
- Final Tests — The last test in the Trials. Culminates in a final decision that is designed to directly relate to and put to use what the victim has learned from their Trials. Examples are Jeff's Final Test and Ice Block.
- Security Traps — Traps designed for security reasons. They can be used to halt the progress of the victims and prevent them from proceeding. Or used to protect Jigsaw and his apprentices from the police or other attackers. Examples are the Quadruple Shotgun Hallway and Magnum Eyehole.
- Jill Tuck: John was married to Jill years before taking up the role of the Jigsaw killer. Their marriage was generally happy until Jill miscarried their unborn child, Gideon, after being struck by a door of Cecil, a junkie who was robbing her clinic. John became very distant and after being diagnosed with cancer and surviving his suicide attempt, he began his role that would gain him the name Jigsaw. Still, despite his change, he still loved Jill, guaranteeing she would not be connected to his crimes, and leaving instructions in his will for his associate to carry out revenge if Jill was killed.
- Amanda Young: One of his earlier victims, John kidnapped her and placed her in a device known as the Reverse-Bear Trap, which she had to escape. After freeing herself, John approached her, as she believed he genuinely helped her become a better person with her test. Believing he truly saved her, he took her up as his apprentice and she followed his commands as he taught her to carry out his work when he died. He showed much care for her as she showed devotion to him, and was sorely disappointed upon learning Amanda was designing traps to be inescapable, going against his philosophy. He still saw hope in her and was willing to test her again, for her to spare someone's life and was saddened as she failed and died.
- Mark Hoffman: John abducted Hoffman after learning Hoffman had tried to pass a murder as another one of Jigsaw's killings. He chastised Mark on making his trap unwinnable, that every person deserved a chance to fight to survive. But John saw potential in Mark, and took him up as an apprentice. John acted more critical towards Mark's work, as Mark wanted to design tests his own way that differed from John's. John was also unsettled by Mark's disregard toward human brutality.
- Logan Nelson: One of John's doctors who accidentally switched his brain x-rays with another patient's which prolonged the time before he was diagnosed. Jigsaw kidnapped him during one of his earlier games (before the events of Saw), but freed him after deciding he didn't deserve to be killed because of an honest miscalculation. The bodies from the game were never discovered, and Nelson would later take up the Jigsaw name and recreate the same game to see if he was "as talented" as John was.
- Jigsaw was mentioned in the 2018 movie called Blood Fest.
- There's a theory that John Kramer is a older Kevin McCallister, main protagonist of Home Alone films.
- Most of his victims are people who callous toward the life of others rather people who lack the will to live.
- Jigsaw appeared in Inkagames as the titular antagonist in Saw Games, a Spanish online game website. Unlike the original, he has the name Pigsaw, and actually a being instead of a puppet, he wears a blue outfit (while grey on the TV). He kidnaps fictional characters, Spanish YouTubers and other famous characters.