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"The revelation. It freed me. It killed me."
This article contains spoilers and plot details from Prototype 2.
Read the article at your own risk.
" One Virus. Three weeks. Millions dead. And I was there. My name was Alex Mercer, and my work is almost done."
―Alex Mercer[src]
Alex Mercer
Alexander Mercer.png
In-Game Information
Also known as Zeus
The Prototype
Affiliations Gentek (Former)
Profession Head of Gentek Research Project: Blacklight (Former)
Misc. Information
Gender Male
DOB July 16, 1979[1]
Current status Deceased (Killed at Penn Station as human)

Deceased (Consumed by James Heller as infected)

Weapons Can shapeshift his body into deadly weapons.
Military firearms and artillery.
Can utilize military combat vehicles.
Nearby throw-able objects and debris.
Real World Information
Appears in Prototype comics
Prototype 2 comics
Prototype 2
Voice actor Barry Pepper (Prototype)

Darryl Kurylo (Prototype 2)

Dr. Alexander "Alex" J. Mercer, also known as The Prototype or by his codename Zeus, is the playable protagonist of Prototype and the main antagonist of Prototype 2. He was the former head researcher of the Blacklight project at Gentek. After learning that those affiliated with the project were being systematically murdered, Mercer attempted to flee the city with a sample of his research contained in a vial. Cornered at Penn Station, Mercer smashed the vial and unleashed the deadly virus into the surroundings. This triggered a viral outbreak that eventually covered all of Manhattan Island.

After awaking at a Gentek facility with no recollection of his past, Alex Mercer escaped the building, and soon discovered his new powers and abilities, granted by the virus he unleashed. He began to utilize his powers to learn more of his fragmented past, as he scoured all of New York for those responsible.

Early life

A vial of Blacklight Virus that gave birth to Alex Mercer

The Prototype Alex Mercer came to being as the result of exposure to a vial of Blacklight virus assimilating into its creator Dr. Alexander J. Mercer, its human host from whom he attained his identity. Dr. Mercer himself was the head of the Blacklight project at Gentek in charge of engineering weaponized viruses from samples given to them by the government. In the subsequent experimentations, the samples were provided exhibited curious behavior, including mimicry and retention of genetic information from infected hosts. In time, Dr. Mercer and his team found themselves developing a particularly virulent and potent virus codenamed "Blacklight".[2]

As Gentek became scrutinized by Congress leading to investigations that provoked Blackwatch to kill every single Gentek scientist who was involved in the Blacklight project, Dr. Mercer attempted to escape. Thanks to his own paranoia, Dr. Mercer had foreseen the upcoming general purge thanks to Dana's assistance who had mailed a laptop with classified documents to her as part of the plan to go AWOL. Dr. Mercer had also smuggled a vial of the Blacklight virus out of quarantine and taken it with him as insurance should he got captured. Despite his efforts, the Blackwatch agents moved quickly to intercept him and ultimately cornered him in Penn Station. In a fit of frustration and rage, Dr. Mercer threw the vial to the floor, smashing it and unleashing a biological apocalypse. Where the virus rapidly infected the area. He was promptly shot by Blackwatch operatives before having his corpse taken back to Gentek in a body bag.[2]

Unknown to everyone involved, Dr. Mercer's decision to smuggle the vial of Blacklight Virus led to an unforeseen consequences. As his body collapsed onto the viral sample, the virus was reconstructing Mercer's body, cell by cell; his biomass feeding the virus as it replicated the still-living matter it had infected, leading to the birth of first and original Prototype. The Prototype would name itself Alex Mercer after its very creator as he originally believed himself and Dr. Mercer are the same person before learning that was not the case.


The Awakening

"What is happening to me!!!"
―Mercer while regenerating from bullet wounds caused by Blackwatch Soldiers.[src]

The scientists examine Mercer's body

Mercer woke up in a morgue on a slab just as two scientists were about to cut open his torso with a scalpel for an autopsy. The two men panicked and fled, terrified of Mercer. Mercer didn't understand why they were so frightened and had no recollection of his previous life. He ran after the scientists in an attempt to escape also.

Though Mercer was now an amnesiac, he was sufficiently aware to realize that the Blackwatch soldiers were certainly not friends when he saw them kill the two scientists as they tried to escape the facility. The soldiers noticed him, but his body regenerated the damage caused by their fire instantly. Surprising both the soldiers and himself, Mercer cleared the several feet high fence around the facility in a single leap.

After escaping, he found himself trapped in Manhattan, being pursued by the military. He soon discovered that he had the ability to consume others and take on their appearance and memories, along with their special skills.

With no recollection of his own past, Mercer decided to track down those responsible for his situation and consume them in order to uncover the truth behind what has been done to him, caught between the Blackwatch Special Forces and an ever-growing population of civilians infected by the virus he released.

On consuming Lt. Charles Perri he learned the whereabouts of his sister. Mercer hoped that his sister, Dana, would have some information regarding what happened to him, so he attempted to make contact with her. However, when he arrived at her apartment, he saw soldiers stationed around the building. He consumed a Blackwatch commander and, taking on his appearance, easily infiltrated their perimeter. When Alex entered he saw Dana being held by a Blackwatch soldier. Dana headbutted the Blackwatch soldier just as Mercer impaled him with his fist. Dana was terrified having witnessed this, but Mercer convinced her to help him.[3]

Mercer kills the soldier threatening Dana.

Dana told Mercer that she knew there was something wrong going on at Gentek. She did not know what had happened to Alex either, but was able to tell him what he had told her prior to his memory loss. She told Mercer that he had her researching the Gentek organization for weeks. When she went looking for him to relay her findings, he had already disappeared. The conversation incited a flashback, in which Mercer remembered seeing the ID card of Dr. McMullen. Dana then lead Mercer to a new safe house, the home of Dana's friends, who were out of town for the year. Dana already had all of the files she could get on Gentek stored in the apartment.

Dana points out Mercer's apartment on a map

Dana wasn't able to tell Mercer what it all meant, but insisted that the two of them work together to uncover whatever conspiracies were at work. Dana told Mercer that since Blackwatch was waiting for her at her apartment, they must also be waiting at his. Mercer arrived at his apartment and uncovered further hints of his past life. He saw a photo of himself and Dana with a graduate certificate from the University of New York. He also saw a photo of himself with a blonde woman. When he touched the photo he experienced a flashback in which he saw himself with the woman, his ex-girlfriend Karen Parker. When the flashback was over, it was apparent that the onset of these flashbacks was painful to him. As he was recovering, Blackwatch detonated a bomb that had been planted in the apartment, meant to kill him. He astonishingly survived without a scratch, despite having been thrown out of a window and down to the streets several stories below. Mercer hunted down and consumed the man who gave the order to detonate the bomb.[3]

The Truth

"Mercer isn't a 'HE', it's an 'IT.'"
General Randall regarding Mercer.[src]

Mercer returns to the safe house where Dana shows him his laptop, stored on which are photographs of a girl.

Greene escapes from Gentek

Mercer recognizes the girl. Dana tells him that the file has only two names in it: Alex Mercer and Elizabeth Greene, the girl in the photo. The file also says that she is being isolated in the Gentek building. When Mercer went to free Greene, she cryptically told him that "The time for waiting is over" and threw him across the room. Greene then disintegrated a wall by touch and sent Hunters after him as he escaped. She then took charge of the infected. He also located his ex-girlfriend, Karen Parker.

Dana continued to assist Mercer in locating his targets, while Karen promised him a cure for his disease. She first claimed that he needed to find her different samples of the virus destroying Manhattan, but once he arrived inside a nearby Hive, Mercer was ambushed by Blackwatch specialist Captain Robert Cross who used both the infected and his own soldiers as cannon fodder while he tried to take Alex down. Mercer ended up defeating him, but Cross turned the tables by distracting Mercer by mentioning 'Penn Station' and triggering a painful flashback. He injected Mercer with a biological weapon while he was distracted.

Due to the parasite Cross had injected him with, Mercer couldn't use his special powers aside from his superhuman strength and speed. He still managed to escape from Blackwatch.[3]

Mercer returned to Dana who showed him that Blackwatch was keeping an eye on a doctor for McMullen, Dr. Bradley Ragland. Dana then told Mercer that if he finds him, Ragland can help them get to McMullen. Before Mercer left, she showed him what she found about Hope, Idaho and Greene but Mercer said Hope was an experiment. She asked how he could know that, forcing Mercer to admit that he had killed a great number of people and their minds and memories were now within him. Dana was shocked by what her brother has become.

However, with the help of Dr. Ragland, Mercer was cured, restoring his abilities and gaining him the armor and blade powers as a result. During all of this, Mercer was placed as the number one terrorist threat in the entire United States due to treasonous activities against the United States and her allies.

Ragland examines Dana

During one of Mercer and Dana's meetings, Dana was kidnapped by a Leader Hunter, a larger and stronger version of the normal hunters. Alex pursued this Leader Hunter across the city, but was ultimately unable to rescue Dana. With the help of Dr. Ragland, Mercer located and consumed the same Leader Hunter that kidnapped Dana, learning of her location in the core hive in the center of the city. Mercer was eventually able to penetrate the hive, where he confronted Elizabeth Greene.

Elizabeth Greene told Mercer that Dana was "with us now". During a struggle, Greene seemingly bests Mercer, but he was able to inject Greene with a syringe containing the parasite as it had been extracted from him. Greene's body rejected the parasite immediately and she vomited up a large amount of biomass, from which the Supreme Hunter was born. Mercer defeated the Supreme Hunter and saved Dana. As he left, a sinister clawed hand began to regenerate and rise from the remains of the hunter, showing the Supreme Hunter was far from done.

A New Beginning

"I AM the Virus. And I, in turn, released Elizabeth Greene - to infect the city a second time."
―Alex Mercer[src]

The unknown contact later revealed as Captain Cross

As the conspiracy unfolds, with the assistance of an unidentified contact, the origins of Mercer, the virus, and Elizabeth Greene were uncovered.

In 1969, the government had tested a virus codenamed Redlight in Hope, Idaho. This virus was designed as a biological warfare agent, targeting those of a predetermined race. The virus unexpectedly mutated into something far deadlier, infecting the whole population of Hope. Elizabeth Greene was the sole survivor of the incident; her body welcomed the virus rather than dying from it and it had rewritten her genetic code, along with that of her son, who was taken from her by Blackwatch and codenamed Pariah. This inspired the government to continue research into the virus, cooperating with the Gentek corporation. Scientists at Gentek locked Greene in a cell which had been used to research Blacklight, the new virus present in Greene. They continued to study the different strains of the virus that formed throughout her system as a means of accelerating the biological weapons program.

Before long, the military began to deploy a new biological agent, Bloodtox, engineered to kill the virus and its hosts.[2]

Mercer disguised as a commander deploying Bloodtox

When the chemical was deployed across the city, the infection went underground to escape it, and subsequently amassed beneath the surface. The anonymous contact told Mercer to aid the military in pumping the Bloodtox directly into the ground. They hoped that it would drive the virus to the surface, allowing Blackwatch to fight it directly. Elizabeth Greene, now embedded in a new viral organism called Mother, came to the surface and engaged Mercer in combat. Mercer killed Mother and consumed Greene.

He then attempted to confront McMullen, the Head of Research and founder of Gentek. After a grueling battle with Marines and Blackwatch between him and his target, Mercer confronted McMullen and moved in to consume him to find out what he knew. McMullen committed suicide before Mercer had the chance. It became apparent that General Randall planned to nuke Manhattan to destroy the virus. The mysterious contact, revealed to be Captain Cross, then guided Mercer to consume Colonel Taggart, who was attempting to flee the city. Cross had been ordered to capture Taggart and had Mercer impersonate him in order to get onto the USS Ronald Reagan where the bomb was being held.

Cross betrayed Mercer once on the ship, and was revealed to be the Supreme Hunter having consumed Cross at some point and taken his form. It battled Mercer on the deck of the Reagan and was subsequently decapitated by Mercer. Mercer boarded a helicopter and dropped the nuclear bomb into the Atlantic Ocean, allowing it to detonate at sea but leaving himself well within the blast radius. His remains washed up on the city shore as lumps of red tissue, but he was able to take human form after consuming a crow that attempted to devour him.

Mercer walked off thinking to himself, "What have I become? Something less than human, but also something more..." Later, Manhattan is seen in a recovering state, with the virus almost completely destroyed.

" 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. Cause 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[src]

Prototype 2

Global Travels

Main article: Prototype 2: The Anchor

"If I'm still human...where do I fit in now? How do I rejoin the human race?"
―Alex ponders over his place in the world.[src]

After stopping the nuclear threat, Mercer, having lost faith in humanity as a result of his own actions, went on a soul-searching trip around the world, hoping to find something to believe in. Unfortunately, throughout his travels, Mercer only found more and more reasons to hate humanity rather than protect it.

During his travels, Mercer killed a villainous African warlord and traveled to Moscow, where he came to realize that, even though humans treated one another with decency, it was all a façade and they only cared about themselves and their individual freedoms. On his way back to the U.S., Mercer freed a small town from a drug cartel, though the citizens' celebrations only further convinced Alex that humans were selfish and not worth saving. He also found whole families weren't just abandoning their own kin, but abusing them as well.

Mercer in disguise as "Jack", eating dinner with Flint and Autumn.

Making his way to a lumber mill in the north, Mercer took on the alias of a writer named Jack and rented out a cabin from the mill owner Flint and his daughter Autumn, the latter of whom became attracted to him. However, Flint's former business partner, Zurich, wanted the lands around Flint's lumber mill, and when it became clear that Flint would not sell, Zurich sent two thugs to kill him and Autumn. However, Mercer killed the thugs and decided to deal with Zurich himself.

Realizing that he had developed feelings for Autumn, Mercer infiltrated Zurich's base and consumed him, discovering through his memories that Flint was once a criminal involved in many murders and extortions. Enraged and disappointed, Mercer returned to Flint's cabin and, despite Flint's insistence that he had left his past behind, killed him.

Still in disguise as Jack, Mercer returned to his cabin to find Autumn there and attempted to convince her to come with him, only to discover that Autumn had stolen his money. Autumn promptly shot Mercer in the face and revealed that her father had taught her better and that she cared about herself above anything else. To her surprise, however, Mercer regenerated and consumed her, finally deciding once and for all that humanity was worthless and that it was his duty to destroy them and usher in a new and better world.

Return to NYZ

"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."
―Mercer explaining his goals to Heller at their final confrontation[src]

A year after the original outbreak, Mercer returned to New York City, now renamed New York Zero, and started a second Blacklight outbreak within Penn Station. Taking up residence within the city's Red Zone, Mercer proceeded to create several Evolved to infiltrate both Blackwatch and Gentek in order to destroy both, having one of them contaminate a newfound cure for the virus with his blood so as to transform even more people into infected.

Mercer examining one of the soldiers.

There he met the man who would be his undoing, James Heller. Heller and his squad were inside an APC on patrol in the Red Zone when a car was hurled at the APC. The car struck it, flipped it violently out of control leaving Heller as the only survivor. Mercer then lured Heller further into the Red Zone until a helicopter arrived to pick up Heller. Mercer, hiding in a ruin, jumped out and destroyed the helicopter. Shortly after; Mercer sent a Goliath on Heller and oversaw him escape the creature. (Presumably to study Heller's athletic talent.) After Heller managed to find cover behind a destroyed ruin, a Brawler pounced on on him, only to be killed by the Sergeant as Mercer watched. Seeing Heller's potential, Alex infected Heller with his own virus. After this, Mercer vanished and Heller was taken by Blackwatch.

After he broke out of the lab, Mercer confronted Heller and tried to convince him to fight Blackwatch and Gentek while claiming that he wasn't responsible for Heller's family's death. Eventually, Heller discovered Mercer's plans and found the evidence that it was indeed Mercer who released the virus once more.

Over time due to Heller ruining all of his plans, Mercer confronted Heller and attempted to kill him, though ultimately failing, and fled the scene, distracting Heller by sending a Goliath to release the Whitelight while he went to kill Heller's friend Luis Guerra. Dana Mercer joined James Heller on his quest and the two of them managed to discover that Maya, Heller's daughter, was alive but locked up. But when Heller arrived at her captive site, Sabrina Galloway took his daughter to Alex Mercer. Mercer then took Dana and Maya and locked them both in a bank vault.

Before leaving, Dana told Mercer, that her real brother was dead. Mercer claimed he was now beyond Life and Death, as was Heller. Finally, Alex Mercer and James Heller faced off on top of a destroyed building with Mercer's Evolved present. Heller demanded that Mercer give him his daughter back, but Alex scoffed and spoke of his plans to make more Evolved and replace mankind as he sought to do.

Death of a Prototype

"Huh. Welcome to the top of the food chain."
―Mercer's last words to Heller before being consumed.

Heller defeats Mercer

Heller finally faced Mercer after the latter consumed his Evolved, including Sabrina Galloway, to become stronger and faster. Mercer used his upgraded Blade, Claws, Whipfist, and Hammerfists against Heller. Alex was able to regenerate from the wounds caused by Heller, even mocking him. But after several repeated major injuries, Mercer was beginning to weaken.

Defeated, but unconcerned by his impending death, Mercer welcomed Heller "to the top of the food chain" with a bemused tone immediately before Heller consumed him and gained a memory from him. Heller, having become extremely powerful as a result, used an expansive mass of tendrils to destroy all the infected citizens in the surrounding area, saving Manhattan from the "Mercer" virus in the process.

However, Heller appears to consume Mercer after a series of dismembering Mercer's limbs. As seen in the first installment, Mercer has the ability to regenerate his entire person from a small sample of genetic material, depending on if the tissue sample comes in contact with a living organism. Therefore, Mercer has the potential to still be active but was seen defeated (as a final event) in Prototype 2.

Powers & 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 absorb the organic matter of other living creatures, converting it into more biomass. This process sustains and regenerates Mercer's health and is referred to as 'consuming'. In addition, Mercer can consume individuals, absorbing their knowledge, skills, and even their physical form, which he can call upon 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 to disguise himself. During his battle against James Heller, he displayed the ability to consume multiple of his Evolved soldiers at the same time in order to power up his abilities.

Physical Prowess

Concept art of Mercer's Claws

Alex's shapeshifting powers grant him superhuman physical abilities well beyond that of a normal Human.

Sentient Biomass Physiology: After being infected by the Blacklight Virus, Mercer's body was converted into living biomass that carried the same Virus' very consciousness where it believed itself to be the amnesiac real Mercer until discovering the truth, an inversion to James Heller's case where he still alive and even in control of his converted body thanks to his resilient DNA.

  • Near Limitless Potential: Mercer is pretty interesting, even among other fictional characters, and even those within the video game media. Being one of the few characters showcased to have near limitless potential due to how his powers work. When the blacklight virus first infected Mercer, and later reforming it. Mercer was shown to be many times stronger than normal. This isn’t where his limits are however. Upon consuming other biological entities. Mercer is capable of converting them into biomass which is then added to his own. Increasing his stats, such as strength and durability, with each body that he consumes. So long as there is enough biological materials for him to consume. Mercer’s physical potential is almost limitless. Similarly, due to his ability to assimilate the memories of those he consumes. There is no real limit to Mercer’s own intelligence, so long as there are living beings for him to consume. Lastly due to the blacklight virus within Mercer’s body constantly evolving. There is a chance for Mercer to develop various new abilities simply due to a random mutation at some point down the line.
  • Shapeshifting: Mercer's Blacklight infection has granted him the ability to both shapeshift and fashion his body into weapons. An example this would be his Blade resembling a giant sharp blade and his viral flesh possessing a yellow/reddish hue. His Whipfist has small razor-like blades across its spine-like form. Alex's evolved Hammerfists allow him to perform area attacks. He can also use this ability to perfectly mimic the form of last entity he just consume up to smallest details, including their vocal cord, to either blending in among civilians, infiltrating areas with heavier security, and even turning Military forces against each other (see Disguise and Patsy for more information).
    • Consume: Alex Mercer can absorb the biomass and DNA or essence of other entities, copying and assimilating it into his own in order to gain the entity's genetic memories, powers, skills and physical presence.
      • Critical Mass: Upon consuming enough biomass, Mercer attains a state in which his durability increases since the excess biomass resulted his body to become more robust than usual. The benefits of this state are the access for Devastator techniques and adrenaline surge which temporarily render him invulnerable to further injuries while severely injured which allows him to either flee or consume more organic matter to properly heal in addition of enough strength for executing a single devastator attack.
      • Memory Assimilation: Upon consuming an individual Mercer gains the access to all the memories and skills that that individual may have had as well as learning skills they had such as weaponry, vehicle usage, and even military tactics and plans. This ability comes with Web of Intrigue, which allows him to review vital memories of his victims.
  • Superhuman Speed & Agility: Mercer's speed is likewise enhanced beyond that of normal human being thanks to his unique physiology, able to achieve running speeds surpassing that of most vehicles on the planet and even sufficient enough to run up walls and buildings thus putting him around 200 to 500mph. He can also keep up and outpace similarly empowered infected such as the Leader Hunters who are faster than cars, the Supreme Hunter and even moving so fast he becomes a blur to James Heller . His agilityis also enhanced to the point of not only he can twist his body in midair in order to quickly recover from being knocked back and landing on his feet in a battle ready stance, more so he demonstrates daily that his parkour skills are beyond that of a athletic gymnastic.
  • Superhuman Endurance & Healing Factor: Alex Mercer is very hard to kill, the more danger he is exposed to, the more he adapts to survive the reoccuring encounters. not only he can survive falls from skyscrapper heights and come out completely unharmed and even using the momentum to create a devastating shockwave as he lands in conjunction of his superhuman strength as much as exerting himself with full power virtually most of the time, but also any injuries he sustained will quickly heal. Not even artillery weapons can inflict significant damage to his body. The best feat of his regeneration was from the aftermaths of a nuclear explosion, He was rendered to a puddle of seemingly blood but showed signs of moving and even creating biomass to rebuild his body,and after consuming a crow that landed on him he somehow gained enough biomass to configure a human form from his previous blood puddle form.
    • Elemental Resistance: Even without his Armor power on or not assuming Critical Mass state, Alex's body displayed greater resistance to fire and electricity. As electricity only locks his body up and fire no longer does as much damage as it first did due to Blacklights ability to evolve rapidly to resist repeating nuisances.
  • Superhuman Senses: Mercer's senses are enhanced to far higher levels than those of the normal human and potentially more such as access to following vision abilities:
    • Thermal vision: One of two known vision powers that Mercer is shown to have. By using infrared vision, Mercer is capable of seeing the heat signatures radiating from various living beings. By using this vision power. Mercer is capable of seeing in environments and conditions that would normally limit or blind a normal person’s eyesight such as total darkness or thick smoke and fog by tracking the heat signatures of living beings within the surrounding areas. It should be noted that Mercer is capable of using infrared vision despite the fact that those infected tend to generate enough body heat to blind other infrared vision devices. Showing that there are some differences between Mercer’s infrared vision and other devices capable of allowing users to see in infrared.
    • Infected vision: Mercer can also detect large concentrations of the virus and tap into the hive mind created by the Blacklight Virus itself.
  • Superhuman Strength: His physiology grants Alex immense strength more than enough to lift and destroy cars, trucks, tank turrets, APCs, and helicopters and even throw them great distances, as well as leave craters in the ground with punches. He is far stronger than any normal human or most basic Infected, able to pulverize both with a single, glancing blow. Mercer is capable of punching holes through almost anything if necessary, including reinforced steel doors.[3]
  • Evolutionary Adaptability: Due to the Blacklight Virus' ability to constantly evolve based on the situation and the information presented in consumed biomass, Mercer can adapt to almost any situations. This is how he further hone his shapeshifting powers to better combat foes, unlocking his Blade and Armor powers after curing himself from the Parasite, and developing immunity to Bloodtox. During the second outbreak, he gained new abilities such as Pack Leader to command lesser infected and even learned how to bestow a fraction of his powers into his personal spy and army.
  • Indomitable Will: Mercer is shown to have some incredible will power, able to resist Elizabeth Greene's hive mind ability over Blacklight Virus-infected beings including himself and importantly, not to let stored memories of those he consumed mentally affect him. The same willpower also allows him to properly utilize the same ability he gained from consuming her.

Offensive Powers

Alex's different offensive powers

Main article: Offensive Powers

Mercer can form his biomass into a variety of weapons, mostly slicing or crushing tools. In combat, he either uses biomass to create various blades and clubs.[3]

Defensive Powers

Main article: Defensive Powers

Mercer can use two defensive powers, guarding him against enemy attacks and weapons. Mercer has two forms of defense, the Armor, and the Shield.[3]

Disguise Power

Main article: Disguise

Mercer has the ability to assume the physical form of any human he's consumed, though, for gameplay purposes, the player is limited to the last human they consumed. In this manner, Mercer can infiltrate the military as one of them, duck out of sight and emerge as someone else to evade pursuit, and in general, avoid drawing attention by disguising himself as someone else.[3]

Infection Power

Alex can manipulate the Blacklight virus inside him for his own advantage such as instantly killing anyone in his immediate vicinity through viral gas or controlling the blacklight virus to create infected entities like that of the Redlight virus, a feat that is explored in Prototype 2. In stark contrast of James Heller who utilizes this quirk offensively, Alex utilizes his Infection Power to spread the virus' various strains from either infecting others to affect the environment around him. Since he also consumed Elizabeth green and became the center of the hivemind it is safe to preume he can utilize the Redlight virus. It is to be noted that Blacklight virus is an engineered and genetically modified version of the Redlight virus that was created to be vastly more powerful than that of its predecessor and has more potential and adaptability compared to its parent.

  • Viral Gas Generation: Caught on a CCTV camera, Alex could release his Blacklight Virus in form of gas that can rapidly infect and mutate those around him, mostly into lesser infected.
  • Viral Power Bestowal: In addition of creating lesser infected, Alex can bestow a fraction of his Blacklight Virus-based powers to others via. infecting them with a strain he specifically developed within him for the very purpose of creating a personal army for his new world.The end result varies between each recipient due to their evolution ability. This is how he created Evolved out of his followers and unwittingly converted James Heller into a second Prototype.
  • Adaptability: Considered its most dangerous ability, the Blacklight virus is in a perpetual state of evolution and is said to be constantly changing and evolving. Its showed many times to become resistent to harmful elements and blunt force trauma like fire and nuclear radiation, seemingly unaffected by the residual radiation left behind by the nuke it got hit by and even shrugging off missils and gunfire. It even showed extreme resistence to the cold in the comics where Alex Mercer was chopping woods in the winter and didn't even show any discomfort to his negative 0 environment. A common misconception is that both Blacklight and Redlight don't like water, however this can be easily debunked if you pay to the water tanks that Redlight uses as breeding nests for Hunters. Or even in Prototype 2 where Luis Guerra tells heller that Blacklight was using every meduim to spread its vectors, even water. Its just that the virus itself cannot travel large bodies of water like oceans without the help of a carrier or infected entity like a Flyer.
  • Blacklight Entity Creation: Using the virus Alex Mercer can create drones to do his bidding,

Personality and characteristics

The Prototype Alex Mercer inherited much of his human self's personality, most notably his sociopathic and paranoid side. As with Dr. Mercer, he rarely takes human cost into account as shown throughout his journey to learn about his true identity, being able to murder scores of humans without remorse or hesitation. The Prototype also inherited Dr. Mercer's deep emotional attachment towards Dana and Karen, leading him to seek their assistance in order to figure out what truly happened. Since Mercer believed himself and his creator Dr. Mercer are one in the same and even unknowingly behaved like the latter, neither of them suspected something off in him.

However, Mercer changed after discovering that he is in fact, an entity born from Blacklight virus-infected corpse of the real Dr. Mercer and he had unknowingly masquerading his creator since the day he awakened at the morgue, leading him developing an identity crisis. Putting that aside at first for the sake of stopping the first outbreak, it became apparent after the deed was done, since he didn't return to his human self's sister and opted to set out for soul-searching instead. At that point, he was uncertain whether he could fit in with humanity since he had stolen the identity of his creator.

Unfortunately, after repeated betrayals and mishaps during his time away from NYZ after the initial outbreak, Mercer's worldview became increasingly cynical and nihilistic. He decided 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. In his new role as the leader of the Infected, Alex pursued his goal of spreading the virus in a far more active and aggressive manner than Elizabeth Greene ever did, even inserting spies within both Blackwatch and Gentek and using their resources and scientists to do so. Because he still retained his feelings for Dana, however, he opted to lock her instead when she turned against him. He was visibly hurt when Dana stated that "the Alex I knew died a long time ago", before eventually responded by said "I'm beyond life and death", leading her to realize her brother indeed gone on the day Blackwatch operatives executed him back then yet a surviving sliver of him became one with the virus who possessed his body and initially believed it to be its creator until discovering the truth.


Concept art of Mercer

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.

Appearance-wise, he is greatly identical to his human self Dr. Mercer albeit with paler skin tone due to Blacklight virus infection as well as having a sickly gray tinting around the eyes. The same goes to the latter's attire that he wore in his last moments along with plain blue jeans and black shoes; a button-up white shirt with a protruding collar kept partially buttoned, a plain gray hoodie, and a black leather jacket with a red interior, two horizontal white lines on each sleeve, and a red tribal design on the back. It must be noted however that said attire was Biomass-based construct and cannot be removed unless he shapeshifts since it was part of his very anatomy. [4][3] Interesting though, that only the biomass mimics the clothing, which is organic matter, but Mercer will also consume the non-organic matter (for example metal and plastics) and he can use electronic equipment such as a walkie-talkie while disguised.

In Prototype 2, when Mercer uses any of his Offensive Powers, his veins glow bright orange unlike the full black coloring in the first game. During his final battle with Heller, after he absorbed Sabrina Galloway and the other Evolved, Mercer's slender appearance changed into a muscular-sized build and he grew somewhat taller, his claws are always out throughout his fight with Heller, and both of his irises glow crimson red, as a result of his enhanced power.


  • In the beta version of Prototype, Mercer was depicted with a black bubble jacket and white hoodie. He was later changed so as to differ from Altaïr from Assassin's Creed.
  • It is mentioned in a bio for Mercer, located on the official Prototype website, that he has blue eyes and brown hair, although in-game his eyes appear bluish-silver, and his hair is in fact black. His bio also states that he is 5' 10" (1.79 m) tall, weighs 190 lbs (86 kg) in his human form, and is twenty-nine years old.[5]
    • During the final battle of Prototype 2, Mercer is shown to be much taller compared to Heller (about 8'-9'), possibly because of Mercer consuming his Evolved.

      Heller and Mercer size comparison in Prototype 2.

  • His official bio also states his "personality traits" which are: distant, predatory, super-intelligent, terrifying, vengeful, blank, and searching.[5]
  • In one Web of Intrigue node, it is speculated by Blackwatch operatives that Mercer is the first and only male Runner in the history of the evolution of Blacklight virus.
  • When you activate a power and stand idle for a few seconds, Mercer will perform an action that resembles his current power. (Ex. When Musclemass is active, he will beat his fists together.)
  • "Well. We intended Alex to be...well one of the most powerful characters in video game if you believe it. We made him powerful enough to lift cars, tanks, destroy buildings and even kicking helicopters off the air. Fast enough to outrun even the fastest vehicles. I think it's safe to say that we did a pretty good job in doing so (chuckles)"-Tim Bennison, the executive producer of Prototype, describing Mercer as one of the most powerful video game characters ever created.
  • Dennis Detwiller, the senior designer and writer of Prototype, said there is "no cute fuzzy bunny in Alex Mercer's future". This quote could be read as a hint at Mercer's eventual death at the hands of James Heller, although Detwiller himself left Radical Entertainment in 2009 and was not involved in the making of Prototype 2.
  • Many fans of the series have speculated that Mercer could possibly be still alive or that the Mercer that Heller consumed was actually a perfect clone of himself. Whether or not any of these rumors are true, it is still unclear if Mercer survived his fight with James Heller.
    • When the player views one of his memories in Prototype 2 after Heller's battle with him, in the memory, Mercer states that he is, "no longer bound by life and death," which further implies that it might be possible for him to have survived the fight with James Heller (though this has been neither confirmed nor denied).
    • Considering that Mercer regenerated from a literal puddle of radioactive biomass, his severed limbs possibly could regenerate if touched by organics.
  • NECA released an action figurine of Mercer with his Blade power active.
  • Mercer utilizes all of his offensive powers at some point in Prototype 2 except for the Musclemass power, defensive powers, and his Devastators.
  • As a reward for completing all 5 weeks of Radnet content, players will receive an Alex Mercer skin so you can appear to look like Mercer while playing Prototype 2.
  • An upcoming movie, The Prototype, which is not related to the game, has the main character wear an attire similar to Mercer's.
  • It is possible that Mercer's ultimate goal was to consume all biomass. Pre-final battle with Heller, he states that he wants humanity to be joined in "one body." If this is the case, he wouldn't have seen consuming the Evolved as a bad thing. To him, it was just redistributing biomass in a more efficient way.
  • Mercer's Blade drastically changed in both appearance and size at his final battle with Heller, being about the same size as Heller's.
    • It could be due to the Evolved agents being absorbed by Alex, giving him some upgrades.
  • Mercer and Heller are called "It" for they have the ability to shapeshift into male or female.

Prototype Wiki has a collection of images related to Alex Mercer on its Gallery page.


Notes and Reference

  1. More PROTOTYPE Secrets Revealed!
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Web of Intrigue
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Prototype
  4. Harris Widgeir
  5. 5.0 5.1 Prototype Official Website