|“||It's rather comforting...isn't it though, this world and all of it's cozy evil?||„|
|~ Professor Gilbert; Shadow Hearts: From the New World|
Professor Gilbert is the third main antagonist in the videogame Shadow Hearts: From the New World and a central manipulator of most of the troubles that transpire in the game.
Marlow Brown and Johnny Garland
The story of Gilbert first starts with the tale of a young occultist named Marlow Brown, who was attempting to become a black magician. Marlow manipulated a man named Graham Garland into attempting a resurrection ritual with the book known as the Émigré Manuscript on his children. The Emigre' Manuscript has appeared in all the Shadow Hearts games and in the original game the series was built off of Koudelka, the book has been used many times in attempts to bring back the dead, but it has never ended well. Marlow and Graham accidentally created Lady in their attempts to bring his children back to life. Lady killed Graham in cold blood and Marlow ran away terrified of the eldritch horror he had unwittingly released. Little is known about Marlow's activities in the mean-time except that he seems to have continued his research into how the Emigre's Manuscript exploited the malevolent demonic like energy known as Malice, his sanity seems to have suffered somewhat for his experiments. The game starts off with Gilbert asking junior private detective Johnny Garland to help him find his colleague Marlow Brown. Gilbert says that he was a former research partner and an old friend who had gotten into trouble with the law and he had payed his bail to get out of prison, but Marlow had escaped and run off so as bond guarantor Gilbert would owe quite a lot of money if his friend was not found. Johnny took the case and agreed to find Marlow. Once Marlow was tracked down and cornered a portal opened up in front of Johnny and Marlow was killed by an unholy abomination that came out of it.
Johnny was saved by Shania, a native-American, shamness with the power to call on guardian spirits of the planet, who told him she had actually just happened upon Johnny while tracking down a Lady that killed her tribesmen. Shania suspected Marlow had some ties to the Lady. Johnny agreed to help her and her body-guard Natan by leading them to meet Gilbert to report the death of his friend so they could make any inquiries about Marlow to him. Gilbert had told Johnny he could find him in the Arkham University as a professor there. When Johnny, Shania and Natan got to the Arkham University though they would find a peculiar man named Frank, Frank too was looking for Gilbert and said he hadn't seen him on the University grounds yet then ran off. Exploring the University Johnny would find that Gilbert was unpopular both as an instructor and a colleague and he had moved his research to an underground lab off of the main campus.
Johnny, Shania and Natan managed to break into the small complex but found the halls were inhabited by monsters similar to what had killed Marlow. Johnny pushed forward worried about Gilbert. In the complex they found Frank again and saved him, in an effort to repay
the act of kindness Frank joined them and told them he would open the door to Gilbert's office for them with his "special skills", which turned out to just be unlocking it with a key he found in the lab. When they got to Gilbert's office Johnny reported with a heavy heart that he had found Marlow but unfortunately he had died. Gilbert seemed much less upset about the news than Johnny expected. Gilbert cared neither about being out a few thousand dollars nor about the death of his friend. When they asked about the monsters running through the complex Gilbert casually says that he seemed to have gotten a little carried away and created too many of them, but that he had started to keep them in cages and Johnny becomes quite aware of the mad-man he had been working for. Gilbert states that while he had nothing to do with Marlow's death he had a theory it would turn out as it did and was preforming a final experiment with him. Gilbert then opens portals similar to what had opened in front of Johnny and Marlow and calmly walks out leaving the party to deal with the monsters.
Lady, Killer and Gilbert
Gilbert was looking for Lady as the final piece to the research he wanted to conduct with Malice. He did eventually find her as she was wondering through Chichen Itza with her new-bodyguard, Killer. Lady had saved Killer's life and he had become quite infatuated with her, but Lady did not speak and Killer had many questions about her. Though Killer opted to kill Gilbert as soon as he tried to make contact with Lady, Gilbert managed to convince Killer to spare him as he was the only one who could elaborate on Lady's past and estimate her goals. Gilbert bartered his safety with Killer and Lady by feeding Killer a steady trickle of information as it came-up and showing Lady where the beacons were that she was looking for to open a gate to the Malice home-plane. While at first Gilbert played on Killer's desire to be with Lady by telling him she would become human when the Gate opened eventually he revealed that Lady had no desire to be human again and was just being drawn back to her home-world and back to a state of pure Malice. Killer did not seem to care by the time Gilbert told him of Lady's true goals though and just wanted to help her.
As Johnny and friends pursued Lady several questions came-up involving her past for both Johnny and Killer. Johnny found out the truth about Lady from Roger Bacon, a character who has been present for the adventures of each game in the series, who had written the Emigre', Killer on the other-hand questioned Gilbert who had an involvement with the experiments with the Emigre' Manuscript that created Lady. Gilbert knew of the Emigre' Manuscript and the past attempts with it and became very intrigued when Marlow came to him with information on it, so Gilbert payed Marlow a lot of money to conduct his research. Gilbert told Killer about Marlow and Graham, how they attempted to resurrect his children Johnny and Grace, while Johnny seemed to have been revived Grace was swallowed up by the Malice used in the experiment and her body was hollowed out as a vessel for the Malice, the resulting avatar of Malice was Lady. Though Lady's past was revealed Gilbert kept his safety intact by offering continued assistance in speeding up Lady's attempts to open the Gate to the Malice-home plane.
Killer eventually died defending Lady against the party. In a rage over Killer's death Lady threw open the Gate and carried him in. Gilbert noted that she intended to raise him from the dead by filling his body with Malice in her home-world but it seemed that Killer was already infected with Lady's Malice and was apparently so filled to the brim with it that there was simply no more that could fill his body to resurrect him. While Lady went off to mourn Killer in her own way Gilbert stayed to bask in the power of the Malice home-world.
When Johnny and company followed Lady through the Gate they found Gilbert blocking their path. Gilbert told them he had been seeking the power of the Malice home-world all along and looked forward to having it wash over the planet. Gilbert saw the Malice as an indiscriminate source of power that would make everyone weak and strong alike into god-like Lovercraftain horrors. Johnny and his friend realized how far gone Gilbert had been for some time and told him to get out of their way and they would not hurt him, Gilbert declined the offer. Far from surrendering Gilbert decided to demonstrate the power he now had and focused the Malice on his body, transforming himself into a eldritch horror. Unlike many others though after his transformation into a being of pure Malice, Gilbert seemed to remain in control of his senses, whether this was due to his knowledge, insanity or both is never stated.
Powers & Abilities
Studying Marlow's notes on the Émigré Manuscript lead Gilbert to begin his own experiments with Malice years ago. Though he is no sorcerer, he possesses enough base understanding of the space between the real-world and the Malice World, to manipulate the inter-dimensional barriers on a fundamental level. Gilbert can open minor Gates, just enough for a monster or two of Malice to escape out. Gilbert can also hide himself from non-sentient monsters, not outright controlling them, but giving them targets other than himself as he casually goes about his business. Gilbert's true power is his knowledge; He knows what created Lady, and thus how to predict her otherwise vague inhuman behavior, and plan around it. As Killer is emotionally invested in Lady, Gilbert barters his knowledge just enough to keep Kill too curious to kill him as long as he drips a steady stream of insights into interpreting Lady's will.
Gilbert's first appearance has him acting distressed for vouching for an apparent murderer. As seen when Johnny returns, Gilbert cares nothing for his financial responsibilities, much less his colleagues' life. As soon as Johnny returns to report in Gilbert shows his true, barely obfuscated colors. Gilbert has a complete disconnect from social obligations or base humanity. Gilbert is prone to grovelling to pacify Killer, but based on similar behavior before Johnny, and how quickly his supposed fear changes to glee as he sees Lady progressing, this cowering nature is too, yet another facade he puts on. Gilbert has no shame of any kind, he will demean himself to any level to see Lady reach her ultimate fate - Malice contamination of the world. Of the three, Gilbert is the only one with a plan, as Killer is left largely in the dark and Lady is acting blindly out on instinct. Gilbert is implied to have been bullied, harassed and demeaned all his life, as a result he began searching for power, a great equalizer to make it so he never had to be pushed around again, however, Gilbert possess a ring of demented altruism, in that he doesn't want power simply for himself, but everyone. Upon arriving in the Malice home-world Gilbert's delight is not merely in how the Malice is empowering him, but how it will soon pulse out across the world and empower everyone, making everyone equally powerful so no one needs to be pushed around ever again. Malice warps the psyche's of everyone it touches... except Gilbert, this is due to the fact that Gilbert gave up a fundamental connection with humanity a long time ago, and as such the Malice does not drive him crazy, only empower him as he was already mad.
- After Gilbert leaves Arkham Univercity his lab is sold out to the newest researcher there, Professor H.P. Lovecraft, the real world writer of among many other things the Cthulhu Mythos. In the game professor Lovecraft continues Gilbert's research into eldrich monsters but for purely academic research purposes and summons past monsters for Johnny and friends to fight so they can train and he can study them.
- Gilbert's English voice-actor is Scottie Ray, who also voiced Albert Simon and Keith Valentine in Shadow Hearts.
|Shadow Hearts Villains|