|“||Humanity is dead. Help me save what I can.||„|
|~ John, when asking Cole for help.|
|“||I had to pull myself back together. Do you have any idea how hard that is?||„|
|~ John to Cole on how he returned.|
|“||I have control now, consciousness. Sometimes it's too much.||„|
|~ John to Cole.|
The Beast (real name John White) is the central antagonist of the inFamous video game franchise.
John is a conduit, a subspecies of human capable of exhibiting powers after their gene is activated but the process kills any humans so their neuroelectric energy can fuel the conduit's powers, although John's powers are initially dormant.
In an alternate future John became the "Beast", a conduit with immense power capable of transforming into a giant humanoid magma-monster seemingly intent on exterminating humanity and killed his only rival, Kessler. After John successfully killing Kessler's family and destroyed most of the world, a vengeful and traumatized Kessler travelled back in time to rewrite history and prevent John's genocide.
In inFamous, John is an NSA agent who'd been tracking Kessler's schemes (unaware of his future role in causing them) but fails to prevent him activating the Ray Sphere, a device capable of activating conduits, leading to the quarantine. After securing the Ray Sphere, John goes into hiding and is hunted by Kessler and the game's other antagonists, Alden Tate and Moya Jones, who seek the Ray Sphere for their own agendas. John aligns with Cole MacGrath to successfully destroy the Ray Sphere, but is seemingly killed in the proccess.
In inFamous 2, John's subconscious was reborn as "The Beast" years ahead of schedule, but his true agenda was revealed: saving the conduits from the inccurable plague the his rebirth released, as awakened conduits are immune, using the Ray Sphere powers he'd inherited to activate their powers, requiring him to sacrifice humanity itself. This was hinted to have also been John's plan in Kessler's timeline, and Kessler, through commission of the Ray Field Inhibitor (designed to cure the plague by killing all conduits on Earth to empower it), allowed John to become the Beast to motivate Cole into killing all conduits on Earth to prevent humanity's extinction.
John is one of the main protagonists of inFamous and the main antagonist of inFamous 2. His actions (along with Kessler's) also shaped the events of inFamous: Second Son and inFamous: First Light.
He was voiced by Phil LaMarr, who also voiced Count Veger in Jak 3, Vamp in the Metal Gear Solid series, Hector Con Carne in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Mad Jack in Samurai Jack, Bull Sharkowski and Larry Raccoon in My Gym Partner's a Monkey, Ricochet in The Spectacular Spider-Man, Dormammu and Doctor Spectrum in the Marvel Animated Universe, Baxter Stockman in the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Aquaman in the Injustice series, Rag Doll in The Flash, Goigoi in The Lion Guard, and many others.
Not much is known about background or history of the man that would became The Beast, John White, other than he's never been married and he has an extreme dislike for FBI agents before the event of inFamous. At some point in his life, he got a job as an undercover agent in the NSA, and was given the assignment of infiltrating the secret organization known as the First Sons along with agent Lucy Kuo, chosen due to their unique genetic code, possessing the Conduit gene. Kuo was stationed in New Marais while John was sent to Empire City. He also assigned to collect information on Kessler as well. He does his best, leaving dead drops for his handlers to find in the city.
John first met up with a woman named Jane, and was told that he was a low-level mentalist. He was instructed to meet at a secluded place, but upon arrival was ambushed. He infiltrated the First Sons after passing their initiation. Stationed at Empire City's chapter of the organization, John's primary task was to know what the First Sons have been doing that can be considered as a national threat. Able to get himself close enough to the leader of the group, Kessler, John was able to learn of the device called the Ray Sphere, and its capabilities of giving out powers to those who possessed the Conduit gene. John would later get promoted, able to know Kessler close enough, and was also given higher-tier missions, high enough for him to grasp the Ray Sphere. He would also be given simpler missions like escorting one of their scientists, Sasha, to an undisclosed location somewhere in the Warren. During his time, he'd relay the information to his associates at New Marais, informing them of his latest findings.
Through his findings, he was able to learn that the First Sons do possess materials that can label them as a national threat, with several experiments that involved Ray Field energy, which resulted in the deaths and abnormalities of subjects, both human and animal alike. He would also become enraged due to the lack of proper communications with their head branch at the NSA, making him lose confidence and trust for his employer. After some point, specifically on the day of the blast, John has learned that Kessler has scheduled a delivery for the Ray Sphere as a package, with Cole MacGrath as the specific courier. Learning his John was immediately chases and trying to stop Cole from activating the Ray Sphere, but unfortunately missed him because of a red light.
John White appears assisting Cole in the last few missions of the game, after the Ray Sphere is destroyed/activated John is sucked into it and disappears. The alternate future version of The Beast is shown in Kessler's future vision of how he wrecked the world, reveal The Beast's identity is none other than John himself, who is thought to be dead and revived through an unknown reasons, possible the same fate as the present John now. This is the very reason Kesser travels back in time to fix this.
The Beast is the main antagonist of inFamous 2. Revealing his identity is in fact John White himself, whom Cole helped out in the first game trying to destroy the Ray Sphere. Similar what Kessler told his present-self (Cole) about The Beast's identity as John, the source of the energy in the Ray Sphere took over John's body after he is sucked into a vortex of it. He literally pulls himself back together as Cole's boat is leaving for New Marais, and destroys Empire City. He then travels down the coast towards New Marais and reveals to Cole that he isn't commiting mass murder. He's activating Conduits in the cities he destroys, but killing all non-Conduits in the process.
In the canon (good) ending, The Beast is defeated when Cole uses the Ray Field Inhibitor, killing the Beast, himself and every other Conduit, saving the lives of those who affected by the Ray Field Plague caused by Ray Sphere. Even so, the process led to the birth of new Conduits who can awaken their powers naturally which led to the conflict between Delsin Rowe and Department of Unified Protection.
Cole joins The Beast and Kuo and works to awaken the conduits thus curing them of the plague. The Beast gets tired after Cole kills Nix and Zeke so The Beast gives Cole his powers and lets him complete the mission to awaken the conduits and cure them of the plague, while destroying all the life that does not have the conduit gene.
Possible discrepancy - A Second Beast?
|“|| John: I was carrying the Ray Sphere out of the lab when Kessler stopped me. It was...strange. He said that I had an important destiny, that I'd accomplish great things.|
Wolfe :I used to be a skeptic, but many of his predictions actually do come true.John: I don't know...the way he looked at me...Made me want him to be wrong.
|~ A Dead Drops between Sebastian Wolfe and John, regarding Kessler's statement that implied that The Beast is John's future self.|
Kessler's use of time-travel raises the question of whether John White was also the Beast of his original timeline. John in the first game was transformed by events whose frame was shaped by Kessler's meddling in the new timeline while the Beast of the old timeline appeared without Kessler's intervention many years later. While it is possible the John of the original timeline (if there was one, since Kessler had a century to alter known history) was the man who became the Beast through existing Ray Sphere experiments, the possibilities exist that John of the original timeline was never transformed and the Beast was somebody else.
Additionally many motives and characteristics of the Beast seem to conflict each other between timelines. In Kessler's timeline the Beast's motives appeared to be the extinction of all life on Earth with no mention of the plague. In Cole's timeline the Beast's motives are to save the conduits from the plague he believes humanity cannot stop but was highly remorseful of the deaths he caused.
However, the possibility that John White and the Beast in Kessler's timeline was one in the same was likely with the latter's tampering on the past changed both his motives and when he appears, as hinted by dead drops that Cole later found in infamous 2. As with many time travel narratives, there is simply no way to be certain.
- He has some similarities to Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen:
- Both have god-like powers
- Both slowly lost their humanity.
- Both had to pull themselves back together, molecule by molecule.