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The Rookie is the main protagonist in the Ghostbusters: The Video Game, hired as the team's new "Experimental Equipment Technician" to test out Egon Spengler's new gadgets and do grunt work.
The Rookie arrives at the Firehouse for his first day of work in late November 1991 when a Psi Energy Pulse suddenly passes through. With the modified Proton Pack prototype strapped on, the Rookie faces his first entity, Slimer. However, during the attempted bust, the Sloth Ghost is released from the Containment Unit after the Rookie shoots it by mistake. When the Sloth Ghost is recaptured and returned to the grid, the mission to recapture Slimer begins. The Rookie soon became embroiled in an Apocalypse event with the other Ghostbusters and proved his mettle as they unraveled the machinations of the Cult of Gozer.
After Ivo Shandor was destroyed by the Ghostbusters, the Rookie was offered the opportunity to lead a potentially lucrative Ghostbusters franchise in Chicago, Los Angeles, or Cincinnati, but whether or not he takes the offer is unknown.
In Thanksgiving 1991, the three Rookies Bryan Welsh, Maddie Collins, and Chad Fuller made newspaper headlines for their part in the battle with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Times Square. After the Shandor incident, the Rookie's experimental pack shorted out in Las Vegas, Nevada. By the time of the Gozerian Terror Bear incident, Bryan Welsh, the Rookie, was no longer working with the Ghostbusters. It appears Chad Fuller and Maddie Collins were no longer working for them either. Bryan, the Rookie, settled in Chicago to start up a new franchise. However, a local bureaucrat wouldn't allow Rookie to start a training program and hire locally. Thus, he couldn't even get a union certification. He endured by exploiting whatever loopholes he could find such as hiring temps from Minnesota for when something big came up and hired unwitting people to serve as bait. He kept the experimental Proton Pack and his "Rookie" name tag as a good luck charm and it deflected angry clients. Despite the bad, Rookie came to love Chicago.
Years later, Rookie was reunited with the Ghostbusters when they stopped in Chicago at the tail end of a summer cross country trip. Together, they trapped a Ghost Shark on North Lake Shore Drive near the John Hancock Center. Afterwards, Rookie treated everyone to some pies at Dick's Pizza. After Rookie told the guys about his ongoing issues, Peter advised him to take a full Trap to the antagonistic bureaucrat's place and have an "equipment failure" in order to continue forward with his franchise's development. The guys bid Rookie goodbye and returned home to New York. The next year, in February, Janine called the Rookie for help after the Ghostbusters were kidnapped by The Collectors. However, he was too busy dealing with the ghost of a Prohibitionist who turned the Chicago River into non-alcoholic beer.
The Chicago Ghostbusters grew by one and Rookie was joined by Ron Alexander following the Ghostbusters' return from the Collectors' Limbo. Rookie soon became very irritated with Ron for bossing him around in front of clients, taking all the credit for a bust, and for leaving him to do all the hard work when a woman caught Ron's eye. While they were split up searching a building, Rookie confronted Ron about his qualms. Rookie refused to be ignored and kept on talking over the radio. However, Ron was a little preoccupied with the Red Blob on the 13th floor.
The Video Game
Despite Ray Stantz asking for his name, Peter Venkman notes they should not get to know the Rookie's name for fear of getting too attached; especially after "what happened to the last guy." However, this doesn't stop the team from calling him by several nicknames such as Sport, Hoss, Ace, Cadet, Rook, and Newbie. The name patch on his uniform simply reads "Rookie."
When the team returns from Times Square after facing the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a message is left on the Firehouse's call waiting service, with an older male voice stating: "You're doing adequate work out there, Rook, keep it up!" and sometimes you can hear Winston Zeddemore saying "Slam it, Rook!" in the Times Square level. The phonetic similarity led many to incorrectly believe the Rookie's name is Luke.
In the IDW Comics Canon, Tristan Jones created the name Bryan Welsh for the Rookie from the Realistic Versions. The name "Bryan Welsh" is a play on Ryan French, the person the Rookie from the Realistic Versions was modeled from.
The Rookie is notably quiet, most likely to give players the ability to enjoy the interactions of the primary Ghostbusters and is sometimes portrayed as being quite clumsy (e.g. slipping off ledges, falling through a trap door, accidentally zapping a tree with his Proton Pack and being hit by moving book-cases). Very little is known about the Rookie, due to his quietness. He seems to be in his 20s.
If the player starts to slam lots of ghosts really hard, members of the team will say things like; "You're playing hardball, Rook!", or "NOBODY messes with the kid!". The Rookie is still shown to be a bit skittish at times as displayed when running away from a Golem or as seen in the Graveyard level, where he seems to be visibly scared at times. This is also true back in the Firehouse, as when he enters the bathroom and activates the showers he flinches with a yell from the intense heat from the water. He does manage to save the Ghostbusters a couple of times including on the Shandor Island level.
In the DS Version, the Rookie does not appear in the game at all.
In the Stylized Versions, there is also the choice to play as a Male Rookie or Female Rookie, however the Ghostbusters still refer to her as a him. Only in the Stylized Versions can the Rookie's gender be changed from default male to a female Rookie.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game associate producer Ryan French was the basis for the look of the rookie, because the developers needed a "cheap and easy actor."
In 2006, the original Player character was modeled after Eric Schatz, a Terminal Reality level designer, but was replaced to due to a striking similarity to Half-Life's Gordon Freeman character. In reality, the model was always a temporary character made only for the green light build.
"Me too" is a line falsely believed to be spoken by the Rookie as the Ghostbusters are about to cross the streams to defeat Ivo Shandor. It is in fact Peter Venkman's line, which can be verified if one plays the game with subtitles on. The Rookie has no lines of dialogue in the game. He does, however, scream, grunt, and gasp a lot. Occasionally, he looks like he is going to speak only to be interrupted by one of the other Ghostbusters.
- At one point, Terminal Reality Character Artist Jesse Sosa pushed hard for John Candy to be the Rookie.
- At one point, Sarah Silverman was considered for a female Rookie and Andy Samberg for a male Rookie.
- On the Subscription Cover of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #1, Rookie's photo is to the right of Janine.
- In Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #4, Peter likens Rookie to a Junior Birdman of America, a club for boys interested in building model airplanes.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
- Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Realistic Versions)
- Ongoing Series
- Volume One
- Ghostbusters Issue #3
- On page 12, Egon refers to the Rookie.
- Ghostbusters Issue #4
- On page five, Peter refers to the Rookie and his easy victory over the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the Panic in Times Square Level (realistic version).
- On page 22, a newspaper article in the PCOC file reveals the Rookie's name is Bryan Welsh. The Stylized Version's Male Rookie was named Chad Fuller.
- Ghostbusters Issue #9
- Mentioned by Peter on page 28
- On the Graham Crackers Comics Chicago Loop Cover RI-B variant, the Rookie from the Realistic Versions makes an appearance.
- Ghostbusters Issue #13
- Ghostbusters Issue #3
- Volume Two
- Ghostbusters Issue #4
- On page 8, Janine and Peter talk about the Rookie.
- Ghostbusters Issue #5
- The New Ghostbusters Stripped - The Rookie & Ron in "Blah Blab Blob"
- Ghostbusters Issue #4
- Volume One