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"The revelation. It freed me. It killed me."
This article contains spoilers and plot details from Prototype 2.
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"My name is Sergeant James Heller and I will destroy Alex Mercer."
―James Heller[src]
James Heller
Heller Rev.png
In-Game Information
Also known as The Test Subject
Affiliations US Marines (formerly),
Profession US Marine Sergeant (formerly)
Misc. Information
Gender Male
DOB 1974
Current status Alive (Infected)
Weapons Can shapeshift his body into deadly weapons.
Military firearms and heavy artillery.
Can utilize military combat vehicles.
Nearby throw-able objects and debris.
Real World Information
Appears in Prototype 2
Prototype 2: The Labyrinth
Voice actor Cornell Womack[1]

James Heller is the playable protagonist of Prototype 2. He is a former US Marine Sergeant and the second Blacklight being. Following his attempted suicide mission against Alex Mercer, Mercer infected Heller with his variant of the virus. Driven by a powerful need for vengeance, he set out into the city to uncover the truth behind Alex Mercer, Blackwatch, and the second outbreak of the Blacklight virus.


Early life

"Your furloughs don't last long enough, daddy! When do you get to come home for good?"
―Amaya to her father.[src]

James Heller was a Sergeant in the Marines Corps before his infection. He lived in Manhattan, New York with his wife Collette[2] and daughter Amaya.[3] After the end of his military tour, Heller wanted to return home and live with his family while maintaining a small business in the city. However, there was a devastating viral outbreak in the city while he was serving abroad.

Second Outbreak

"If they got the situation contained, then there is no reason to doubt them."
―Heller trying to comfort his wife[src]

Heller's deep sorrow at his wife's death.

Shortly before his scheduled return to the states, Heller received a call from his wife, who informed him of the outbreak and told him that Blackwatch had quarantined the area. Heller reassured her that he would return the next day and told her not to worry, but when he arrived in the city he discovered that the Blacklight infection had ravaged all of Manhattan and his family had been killed.

When Blackwatch claimed that a former scientist named Alex Mercer was responsible for the outbreak and had been spotted in the Red Zone, Heller volunteered for patrols in the infected Red Zone, hoping for a chance to find Mercer and kill him for the deaths of his family.[4]

The Prototype

Encounter with Mercer

"Red Crown be advised. I'm not in fucking Blackwatch."
―Heller disregarding Blackwatch's orders.[src]

Heller along with other Marines assigned for a Red Zone patrol.

Patrols into the Red Zone were more suicide missions than legitimate military operations. As such, Blackwatch tended to delegate such missions to the United States Marine Corps and volunteers. On one such mission, Heller and his unit were on patrol through the Red Zone when their Armored Personnel Carrier was hit by a car hurtling through the air.

Heller emerged from the wreckage as the sole survivor of the event only to see Alex Mercer drop into the area. Mercer did not initially notice Heller and started to inspect the corpses. While he had his back turned, Heller charged him and slit his throat, but Mercer regenerated and shrugged him off without so much as flinching. The marine recovered and managed to stab him multiple times only to be thrown back effortlessly. Impressed by his tenacity, Mercer slowly retreated deeper into the Red Zone, seemingly amused by Heller's frenzied pursuit. During the chase, Heller was forced to dodge one of Blackwatch's patrol helicopters as Mercer kicked it out of the sky.

Eventually Heller barely evaded a rampaging Goliath, only to be cornered by a Brawler Hunter. James managed to kill the Brawler using his combat knife. Mercer, who had been watching the entire time, confronted Heller again. The Marine blindly charged him only to be pinned to a wall by Mercer despite his efforts to cut himself free. Alex Mercer then infected Heller with his strain of the Blacklight virus and departed just as another helicopter arrived on the scene to extract the now infected marine.

Contact with Gentek

"I don't need another Mercer running around."
―Colonel Rooks[src]

After his encounter with Mercer, Heller was taken into custody by Blackwatch, where Dr. Koenig attempted to learn how Heller had survived despite his body being flooded with the virus. As Heller struggled to gain consciousness, Col. Rooks and Lt. Riley ordered Heller's destruction through immolation. Koenig tried to delay the order by insisting on a few tests to collect data. Heller awoke surrounded by infected Walkers. When he displayed signs of abilities similar to Mercer, Col. Rooks once again ordered him burned. However, Heller survived the fire and escaped the facility.[5]

After freeing himself from the lab, Heller was once again confronted by Mercer. He explained that he had chosen to infect Heller because he wanted James' help fighting Blackwatch. He forced Heller to consume one of the Blackwatch soldiers that knew about the viral outbreak in Hope, Idaho and Blackwatch's part in the virus' development, claiming that he was not responsible for the current outbreak, that it was Gentek and Blackwatch conducting bio-weapon tests. Reluctantly, Heller agreed to foil Blackwatch's operations throughout New York.

Restoring Faith

Father Guerra: "You don't fuck with Blackwatch."
Heller: "I'll be happy to prove you wrong."
―Heller trying to convince Father Guerra to help him.[src]

Sometime after escaping from Gentek's facility Heller was confronted by Blackwatch soldiers in the Yellow Zone. During this skirmish, Heller discovered his ability to use other humans as a disguise to escape. Due to his familiarity with the zone, Heller was able to track down Luis Guerra, a priest who was familiar with the Heller family. After finding him, James explained what he had been through the previous night and requested Guerra's assistance in fighting Blackwatch. Unfortunately, Father Guerra had lost all hope of resisting Blackwatch's hold in the zone.

To restore the priest's faith, Heller foiled one of Blacktwatch's operations to study a Brawler's behavior and considerably reduced Blackwatch's hold in the Yellow Zone. Guerra's will to fight was rejuvenated by Heller's actions and he agreed to help him.

Scientist Hunt

"There are over ten thousand Blackwatch troops in NYZ. And who knows what Gentek is doing in those laboratories. We need to put them down."
―Father Guerra to Heller after agreeing to help.[src]

Guerra then aided Heller in his hunt for Colonel Rooks by helping him hack into Blacknet, which allowed Heller to eventually track down Rooks. However, Heller decided not to kill the Blackwatch leader because he realized that he could get information from Rooks and use it to disrupt Blackwatch operations.

After consuming many Gentek scientists, Heller eventually located Dr Koenig, who convinced him that he wanted to help and directed Heller to Project Orion, a Blackwatch super soldier program. Heller successfully stopped Project Orion but, after consuming the lead scientist, discovered that Koenig was trying to get him killed.

Koenig contacted Blackwatch to evacuate him, but Heller killed the soldiers guarding the base where he was hiding. During the evacuation, Koenig boarded one of the gunships and ordered the pilot to attack Heller instead of evacuating. However, Heller destroyed the gunship and tried to consume Koenig, only for the scientist to display superhuman abilities and announce himself as one of Mercer's Evolved.

Heller fighting Koenig.

Koenig told Heller that he served Alex Mercer as an inside source at Gentek to get information. He then began to mock Heller, claiming that he wanted to prove to Mercer that he should be his second in command, and to do that, he had to kill Heller. Koenig then attacked Heller but the latter was able to overpower and consumed Koenig, gaining the knowledge that Mercer had spies in both Gentek and Blackwatch.

An irritated Alex Mercer then confronted Heller and confirmed that he had people within Blackwatch and Gentek. He explained that he and Heller were to lead the attack on Blackwatch and Gentek in order to wipe them out. Heller noted that Mercer made no mention of the virus' destruction, to which Mercer dismissively replied that it would be destroyed as well. Despite his assurances, Heller realized that Mercer had lied to him and went to find Father Guerra in the Green Zone.

The Truth

"He killed them Father, Maya and Collete."
―James Heller[src]

In the Green Zone, Heller met with Father Guerra who showed him a devastating piece of evidence, footage of Alex Mercer entering Pennsylvania Station, the site of the first outbreak, and releasing the virus a second time. Heller was enraged as he realized that Mercer was responsible for the entire infection, including the deaths of his wife and daughter. However, he realized that he had a lead on Mercer's plans. Using Koenig's memories, he discovered that Sabrina Galloway, the CFO of Gentek, was one of Mercer's Evolved and set off to find her.


"...We'll rocket through their power structure. Why Sabrina Galloway is already in line for CFO..."
―Dr. Koenig discussing the plan to infiltrate Gentek with Alex Mercer[src]

When Heller first confronted Galloway, she bartered for her life with the locations of Mercer's other Evolved subordinates. Sabrina told Heller that, despite her ability to detect other Evolved, an Evolved named Roland and Heller himself could evade her ability. She assisted Heller on a mission to find Roland, informing him that the Evolved was disguised as a Gentek VIP in need of extraction, and tracking him to a lair after his initial escape, where Heller successfully consumed him.

Heller with Sabrina Galloway.

Guerra discovered that Gentek was planning to release an apparent cure to the Virus and sent Heller to investigate as it seemed too good to be true. Heller discovered that the leaders of the project were all Evolved and hunted them down one by one. After consuming Dr. Archer, he realized that the Whitelight cure had been contaminated with Mercer's Blood culture in order to spread the Blacklight virus once it had been released, a reversal of its supposed purpose. After seeing the effects of Whitelight on several Blackwatch soldiers, turning into Evolved, Heller was determined to foil the plot. Blackwatch, seeing the effects of Whitelight themselves, called off its release.

Guerra then located the Whitelight facility and Heller headed there in order to prevent if from being released. Mercer confronted him and attempted to kill him. Surprisingly, his attempt to consume Heller only resulted in the destruction of Mercer's hand due to Heller's uniquely resilient DNA. Mercer fled the scene, distracting Heller by sending a Goliath to destroy the Whitelight containers and release it. After Heller stopped the Goliath, he received a call from Guerra, who told him that the infected were attacking him. Heller rushed to Guerra but was too late to save him.

Something to Live for

"My name is Dana Mercer. I'm Alex Mercer's sister. And I have information about your daughter."
―Dana upon speaking to Heller for the first time.[src]

A grieving Heller then heard Guerra's contact Athena attempting to contact Guerra on his phone, but when she saw Heller she realized that Guerra was dead and told him to come to the Red Zone, revealing herself to be Dana Mercer. She told him she had information about his daughter. Heller was shocked that his daughter might still be alive and went to the Red Zone as soon as he could.

When he met Dana, Heller immediately wanted to find Amaya, but Dana managed to convince him to save the city from her brother and Blackwatch while she handled the search for his daughter.

After disrupting the plans of both sides, Heller went to track down his daughter but he eventually lost his lead and reached a dead end. Rooks, having realized that Heller had been impersonating Riley and only wanted his daughter back, then contacted Heller and showed him that he had Heller's daughter held captive. Ignoring Dana's warnings, Heller attacked the Gentek building head on. Once inside, he confronted Rooks and two Blackwatch soldiers. Surprising Heller, Rooks shot both Blackwatch soldiers and told Heller to take his daughter and leave the city as a "favor". However, Sabrina Galloway reached Amaya before Heller could get into the room and kidnapped her, delivering a challenge from Mercer as she departed.

Murdering His Maker

"Enough of your fucking weird, fucking rambling shit! Give me my daughter!"
―James Heller[src]

Alex Mercer and James Heller faced off on top of a destroyed building in the Red Zone. Alex's Evolved, including Galloway, accompanied him. Heller demanded that Alex return his daughter, but Alex refused and spoke of his plans to replace humanity with "one mind and one body" and to turn Amaya into the "Mother of the New World". Heller finally faced Alex after the latter consumed his Evolved, including Sabrina Galloway, to become more powerful. After a brutal fight, Heller began to get the upper hand. Mercer used all of his offensive powers against Heller, only for Heller to sever or rip off his arms each time. At first Mercer regenerated from the wounds and taunted Heller, but he began to weaken after several repeated amputations.

Heller defeats Mercer.

Eventually Mercer was too weak to continue fighting. He showed no anger or concern for his imminent demise, smirking and welcoming Heller to the top of the food chain just before Heller consumed him. Having become dramatically more powerful as a result of consuming Mercer, Heller unleashed a massive barrage of tendrils that allowed him to consume many (if not all) of the infected beings in the Red Zone, effectively ending the second outbreak of the Blacklight virus.

Using Mercer's memory, Heller was able to locate and rescue Maya and Dana from the bank vault Mercer had locked them in. Her father's infection made Maya frightened of him, much to James' dismay. The three then looked over New York from a rooftop. James began to walk away from Dana and Maya, feeling that he no longer had a place in Maya's life. However, Amaya stopped him, apparently having gotten over her fear of his infection, and they embraced.

Powers & Abilities

Prior to his infection by Alex Mercer, Heller was competent and skilled in battle as a result of his military training, demonstrated in his slaying of a Brawler using only a combat knife. He is proficient with the majority of military weapons, ranging from standard assault rifles and light machine guns to miniguns rocket launchers. The abilities granted by his viral infection are divided into 5 categories - Offensive, Defensive, Locomotion, Predator and Power-Specialist.[4]

Physical Powers

As he was infected with the same DX-1118 strain as Alex, he has much the of same superhuman and shapeshifting powers, as well as others that he has evolved himself.

Heller's Blade

  • Shapeshifting: Heller's Blacklight infection has granted him the ability to shapeshift, allowing him to alter his appearance and fashion his body into weapons, much like Alex Mercer, but with some differences in appearance. An example would be the resemblance of his Blade to a giant combat knife and his viral flesh possessing a more reddish hue. His Whipfist has small razor-like blades across its spine-like form. Heller's evolved Hammerfists allow him to perform area attacks. Unlike Alex Mercer, James doesn't possess the Musclemass power, instead gaining the Tendril power. Also unlike Mercer, Heller's Shield power evolved so as to produce two shields simultaneously that protect him from multiple angles. 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: As with Alex Mercer, Hames 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 and physical presence.
      • Critical Mass: Upon consuming enough biomass, Heller attains a state in which his durability increases since the excess biomass resulted his body to become more robust than usual like Mercer. 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: As with Mercer, Heller gains the access to all the memories and skill individuals he assimilated as well as learns skills they had in addition of improving his own 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: He possesses the same inhuman agility, speed, dexterity, and gliding (via biomass ejection and manipulation) abilities as Alex, allowing him to jump to great heights, outrun vehicles, run up walls, and perform parkour maneuvers not possible to those with normal physiology.
  • Endurance & Healing Factor: Heller is equal to Alex in stamina and regenerative abilities, allowing him to heal within moments from any wound and to withstand intense damage that kill normal humans many times over without fatality.
    • Elemental Resistance: Heller's altered physiology endowed him superior resistance to fire and electricity than prior to his infection in the same vein with Mercer.
  • Superhuman Senses: Heller's senses are enhanced to far higher levels than those of the normal human. Instead of vision powers, however, he developed a viral sonar sense.
    • Hunting: A mysterious yet potent viral sonar sense, this sixth sense allows him to find a target in a crowded populated area.
  • Superhuman Strength: Due to his inhuman strength, Heller is capable of lifting vehicles, dismantling weapons from armored vehicles, overpowering virally-enhanced Marines and dismembering infected creatures.
  • Evolutionary Adaptability: Due to the Blacklight Virus' ability to constantly evolve based on the situation and the information presented in consumed biomass, James can adapt to almost any situations just like Mercer does. In fact, he developed some powers unique to him as he gain strength to match Mercer such as Biobomb and Koenig visibly disturbed by Heller's transformation into a Prototype instead of evolved.
  • Indomitable Will: James Heller has incredible willpower which, coupled with his resilient DNA, allows him to retain his sense of self upon becoming a Prototype like Mercer and gain the same powers and abilities as the latter. He displayed great determination to avenge his family's deaths and later, saving his surviving daughter; using his pack ability to control a group of Juggernauts at one point, and willing his Blacklight Virus-enhanced body resisting Mercer's influence over it.

Infection Powers

Main article: Biobomb

Heller can manipulate the Blacklight virus for his own advantage in the form of a Biobomb. He is able to implant his targets with a special strain of virus, which mutates the target's body rapidly, eventually ending with a barrage of tendrils erupting from the infected body which impale and pull objects within range to the victim at the epicenter. Heller can also hurl victims after implanting them with a Biobomb, activating the ability on impact and destroying everything within range.

Offensive Powers

Main article: Offensive Powers

Heller can form his biomass into a variety of weapons, mostly slicing or crushing tools. In combat, he either uses biomass to augment his strength or create various blades and blunt weapons.[6]

Defensive Powers

Main article: Defensive Powers

Heller can use two defensive powers, guarding him against enemy attacks and weapons, much like Alex, though he is capable of producing two shields whereas Alex could only produce one.[6]

Personality and Characteristics

"Just 'cause you can kill something doesn't mean you should."
―Heller convincing his daughter.[src]

Before he lost his family, James Heller had a joyful life. His relationships with Colette and Amaya were close and loving. Upon their death, Heller became a changed man: he grew grim, rude, cynical and impatient—a dark shadow of his earlier personality. Heller’s goals rarely or even convincingly exceed his own personal desires to destroy those responsible for his family's death and protect his daughter. However unlike Mercer he does occasionally take the civilian cost into account, for example when he releases Brawlers from Blackwatch captivity he will attempt to kill them before they do what he calls the "wrong kind of damage". Another example is when Heller observed in disgust as Blackwatch troops forced captured Civilians into a base, where they would be killed and consumed by Juggernauts minutes later. Despite all this, he appeared to be quite willing to leave NYZ to Blackwatch as long as he was able to leave with his daughter. However, he developed sympathy for Colonel Rooks after he realized Rooks also had a family and daughter. He is also a technophobe, and seems to really hate computers, an example being in one of the early missions when he tried to access a Blackwatch Computer and began to grow more frustrated with each attempt to access it. Heller dislikes killing Marines or Civilians, if he consumes either he'd try to do it quickly and painlessly whereas by contrast he makes no effort to avoid making consuming Blackwatch or Gentek personnel painful due to his contempt for them.


Heller has a tall, muscular build from his time in the Military and a shaved head. He has a small scar over his left eyebrow of unknown origin.

Similar to Alex Mercer, his "clothing" is actually Biomass capable of mimicking normal clothes. Upon escaping from Koenig's lab, his usual attire consists of a light grey undershirt, a simple black hoodie with a red interior, a dark olive jacket with a protruding collar, black fingerless gloves, a brown leather belt, dark blue jeans and combat boots. Since becoming infected by Mercer, the large tattoo on his back and arms glows bright red-orange and can be seen even under his clothing.


  • James Heller was also called "It" instead of "He" by a pilot of a Helicopter (just like Mercer and Pariah) in the teaser trailer. This is one thing the three have in common.
    • Probably because they can shapeshift into male and female instead of having a specific sex.
  • The EGMi hotspot at page 14 says Heller was at war overseas in Afghanistan, while Prototype at Facebook says he was in Iraq.[4]
  • Heller's Whipfist appears similar to the dagger tail from Prince of Persia.
  • James is affectionately called "Jimmy" by his wife.
  • Radical sent out a "Mystery Package" to in early 2011. Within its contents were posters and other documents, including a personal bio of James Heller. The bio indicates that James Heller is 35 years old, weighs 225 lbs (102 kg), and stands at 6' 2" (1.88 m). However, this same document names his daughter Wendy instead of Amaya.
  • Dr. Harry Gutierrez was another individual who has said Jimmy to James as when he said he has heard so much about James and in which lead to the death battle between James and the bodyguards and Dr. Gutierrez.


Prototype Wiki has a collection of images related to James Heller on its Gallery page.

Promotional Images

Notes and reference

  1. Internet Movie Database - Prototype 2
  2. Blackwatch report
  3. Official Facebook page
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 March 2011 issue
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named G4
  6. 6.0 6.1 Prototype 2