A little kid who’s scared and cold doesn’t care if his clothes fit. He just wants to be warm.
– The Voice of Survival
The overall idea I’m pushing is that Cole, the superhuman protagonist of the video game Infamous whose body acts as a conduit for electricity, is a Christ-like figure acting out a part of the story of Christ. Here are some points of interest:
Cole heals the sick and, in some sense, raises the dead. He also casts out demons: The Reapers, Dust Men, and First Sons are all demonic in appearance. They wear masks, they are mindlessly savage, and they’re completely dehumanized. According to the story of Christ, he also healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out demons with other-worldy powers.
Cole descends into the underworld (the sewers) over and over again in order bring the city back to life, and he does so by placing his hands on giant electrodes on either side of his body. This looks exactly like a pose of crucifixion, and also seems to be quite painful. When Cole first descends, the city is blacked-out, without light or power; when he rises again, light and power are restored. According to the story of Christ, the crucifixion was followed by utter darkness and a three day period of death (and an implied descent into the underworld) followed by resurrection and ascent into a world of light. It is also worthy to note that Cole does this over and over again. It is quite repetitive, not unlike the way we need our myths told to us again and again, only dressed up differently each time; for instance, Odin hanging from the tree Yggdrasil in order to gain wisdom, or the death and resurrection of Osiris, or Bacchus’ Christ-like ability to turn water into wine, and so on.
Kessler, the game’s antagonist (and whose name sounds like Tesla, history’s forgotten “master of electromagnetism”), plays the role of God the Father. (SPOILER ALERT.) Kessler is Cole from an alternate future; he is the same as Cole, but distinct. Kessler masterminded Cole’s suffering for the greater good. In the same way, God the Father masterminded Christ the Son’s suffering and resurrection. God the Father and Christ the Son are two distinct entities, but are also considered the same being. That is, Christ is God, just as Cole is Kessler.
(SPOILER ALERT.) Kessler masterminded the events of the game in order to strengthen Cole for an eventual confrontation with an enemy known only as the Beast. The Beast is never encountered during actual gameplay, but is expected to arrive in the future. In the Book of Revelations, there is a monstrous entity known as the Beast (whose number of identification is known by heavy metal enthusiasts everywhere) who, according to Christian mythology, will arrive in the future and work all manner of evil. Both versions of the Beast are forces of evil not yet present, but which are destined to be confronted by the forces of good in the future.
(SPOILER.) Just as the problem of the existence of evil has plagued all religions which showcase a “good” God (that is, “If God is good, how can there be evil?”), Kessler seems to exist beyond human conceptions of good and evil just as the God of the Old Testament does. Whether the problem is a starving child or the sacrifice of dropping people from a building in order to test Cole, Kessler believes that the end justifies the means. Theoretically, God the Father also holds the same view. In the scene in which Kessler tests Cole by forcing him to sacrifice one person over many, we have a “Garden of Gethsemane” scene in which Cole violently argues with Kessler’s means, just as Christ argued with his own God’s harsh, inhumanly cruel means. It’s amazing, the schizoid break that can occur when one person occupies two different perspectives within the same event!
(SPOILER.) Cole is eventually betrayed by his disciple Zeke, just as Christ was betrayed by practically every one of his disciples. John (the secret agent who studied Kessler and helped Cole near the end of the game), who appears after Zeke the disciple and thus could be considered an apostle, is killed while fulfilling his personal spiritual duty just as many of the apostles were martyred. If it turns out that John will become the Beast, as some have speculated, then this could be equivalent to the early, humble, almost hippie-like practitioners of Christianity turning into the force that gave us the Inquisition, witch hunts, and stereotypically crooked televangelists.
There is also an interesting Kessler and Alden / Cain and Abel dynamic, in which Alden had precedence within the First Sons until Kessler overcame him, just as Abel had precedence in God’s eyes and was slain by Cain. Even the name of the group, the First Sons, directly correlates to Cain and Abel as the “first sons” of Adam and Eve.
Hey readers! If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.