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The Batter is the protagonist and arguable player-character from Mortis Ghost's 2007 indie RPG OFF. His true nature, his species, and his relationship to the world he lives in is largely unknown, other than the fact that he exists to purify. 

Biography

History

Not much is known about the Batter's history prior to the events of OFF, and the details that are known remain vague. The Batter was created by Hugo to be his parent, along with The Queen. While the Queen was distant and somewhat uncaring of Hugo, the Batter had made multiple attempts to bond with his creator-son, through playing games and giving him comic books. This artificial family soon split, however, for unknown reasons. This seems to be where the Batter's quest begins.

OFF

The Batter's quest begins as soon as the game does, opening up with our protagonist entering the empty Zone 0. Here, he is properly introduced with his mentor, the Judge. The Judge, a verboise and intelligent housecat, explains to the Batter the nature of this world, offering to help him on his quest to purify the Spectres that have recently infected the world. It's also established here that the Batter is being remotely guided by the Player, although the Batter's will is apparently still his own.

After finding his way out of Zone 0, the Batter quickly makes his way to Zone 1. Meeting with the Elsen who inhabit Zone 1, he finds himself in their interconnected mineshafts, where he is tasked with cleansing the Spectres that haunt it. Through these mineshafts, he meets Alpha, the first of three Add-Ons, seemingly unconscious, floating rings that aid him in battle. The Batter continues on his quest, helping an Elsen purify their barn of Spectres, before catching a glimpse of Dedan, the guardian of Zone 1. Dedan belittles and threatens the Elsen who owned the barn, before returning to his office. The Batter, convincing himself that Dedan is unholy and unfit to exist, soon confronts him and demands he ceases his wickedness. Dedan retorts, claiming that he gives this entire Zone form with his own energy, and that because of him, every Elsen has food to eat and a place to live. The Batter does not care, and murders Dedan, purifying him and casting all of Zone 1 into emptiness.

Moving on to Zone 2, a world full of commercial goods where the Elsen inhabiting it are too afraid to do anything, fearing to compromise the safety they were given. The Batter hears tales of the mythical firebird Japhet, guardian of Zone 2, who turned hateful towards his land as the Elsen began to forget who he was. Exploring malls, libraries and amusement parks, the Batter is occasionally stalked by a second housecat, who the Judge recognizes as his brother Valerie. The Judge believes Valerie has, out of some delusion, convinced himself that he is Japhet incarnate. This delusion, however, proves to be entirely true as the Batter confronts Valerie for the last time on the roof of the library. Valerie explains that he is not Valerie at all, and that his true identity, Japhet, rests inside of the cat's body. As he explains this, the cat seems to vomit up a small bird, which begins to grow until Valerie's body is nothing but an accessory hanging on the back of the Millenial Firebird's neck. Japhet explains that he had sent out the Spectres as his revenge on this world for forgetting his kind deeds, to which the Batter promptly responds with battling him and purifying him. The Judge mourns his fallen brother as Zone 2 is cast into emptiness, now purified.

The Batter readies himself as he enters the third and final Zone, Zone 3. Zone 3 is comprised of large factories and living spaces, where Elsen live and work happily. The Elsen explain that they are rewarded in sugar for their hard work, and that the sugar motivates them to work harder. The Batter clears out the infested living spaces, and heads off to begin purifying the factories. Upon entering the factory, the Batter sees the true nature of this Zone- the sugar that these Elsen are rewarded in and have become addicted to are the remains of dead Elsen, burned to ash. The Batter reaffirms his decision to purify this Zone's guardian and continues to press on, moving to the underground offices of Zone 3. He battles his way through corrupted Elsen, until he finds his way to Enoch's personal office. Enoch reveals himself to be the guardian of Zone 3, The Batter attacks, but realizes he cannot beat Enoch normally. Instead, the Batter runs as Enoch gives chase. This chase leads the two to the rain system, where Enoch seems to get stuck, giving the Batter the perfect chance to properly fight and purify him. The third and final Zone is now purified.

At any point between Zones 1 and 3, the Batter can return to Zone 0 to fight a mysterious boss named Sugar. Her importance is entirely unknown, besides an apparently close relationship to Zacharie. Zacharie seems saddened by the news of her death at the Batter's hands, but seems to hold no ill will.

After clearing the 3 primary Zones, the Batter may now enter 'The Room', which appears to be a series of flashbacks from Hugo's perspective, and aren't actually a part of the Batter's journey. These flashbacks stop as the Batter finally approaches the Queen, who is revealed to have been the true leader of the Spectres, unbeknownst even to Japhet. The Queen holds her ground, refusing to let the Batter enter the next room to see their son. The Batter and the Queen go back and forth, the Queen arguing that she loves her son too much to let him pass, while the Batter claims that neither of them were ever truly able to take care of him. This arguing leads into a fight, where the Batter murders and purifies the Queen, moving on to the next room. Hugo, the Batter's small son, the Batter's creator, and the creator of this entire world, sits helpless, only able to say that he's scared of the dark. The Batter tries, tenderly, to reassure his son that there will be no darkness from this point on. After this exchange, the Batter murders and purifies his son, casting The Room and the entire world into purifcation.

There is only one last step to the Batter's plan. There, ahead of him, lies a single switch with the capability to shut down the entire world he lives in. He approaches it, but is soon stopped by the Judge. The Judge explains that he had failed to properly see through the Batter's thinly veiled disguise, believing the Batter's quest for purification to be wholly good, now seeing it as evil and destructive. The Judge commands the Batter to stop, to which the Batter refuses, and a battle begins. From here, the Player can choose either to side with the Batter or the Judge. If the Player sides with the Batter, he will fight and kill the Judge, flipping the switch to OFF and destroying the world. If the player sides with the Judge, the Batter takes on a monstrous form as the Bad Batter. The Judge will fight and defeat him, saving this now empty world. In this ending, we see the Judge walking through the remains of every Zone, the only survivors seemingly being himself and Zacharie. Somewhere Over The Rainbow plays as credits roll.

Personality

The Batter is blunt, to the point, and easily annoyed. He refuses to acknowledge any distractions to his quest, and wishes only to complete his mission. Although he will occasionally make small talk, and he seems to have a particular tolerance for Zacharie, he emotionally disconnects himself from what he's doing.

Despite the Batter's stoic and uncaring nature, he seems to be genuinely upset as he kills both his former lover and his son. Although he deems it a part of his quest to end this corrupt world, he still clearly seems to hold some sort of love for them both.

It's implied through dialogue with the Queen that the Batter is deeply troubled and afraid with what the Player is making him do. When the Queen tells the Batter that Hugo has his eyes, the Batter remarks that they are full of fear, implying that the Batter is horrified at the actions he is taking.

Relationships

The Queen

The Queen and the Batter have, presumably, one of the most established relationships in the story. Although it has been confirmed that these two are not married, they are heavily implied to have been partners at one point in time. Created to raise and parent Hugo, they at one point had a husband-wife dynamic to one another. It appears that they were either never truly in love, or they had fallen out of love. Upon her defeat, before passing, she still asks the Batter if he'd like some coffee, referring to him as 'dear'. The Batter makes remarks about how she, and himself, never properly took care of their son, perhaps fueling his desire to purify her in the first place.

Hugo

Hugo is the Batter's father, and his son. Hugo had directly created the Batter to act as a father figure to him. Although the nature of this relationship is never fully developed, it appears the Batter had tried his best to take care of Hugo. He would give Hugo his own comic books, while also making sure he took his medicine daily. Hugo, being a small child, didn't understand why his father would keep him inside and make him take medicine, growing to dislike him. While the Batter truly tried to take care of Hugo, he had eventually left to begin his quest for purifcation. Even when the Batter fights and defeats Hugo, he still tenderly reassures him.

The Judge

The Judge is the first sentient creature the Batter meets on his quest, and the Judge quickly embraces the Batter's quest for purifaction, becoming a mentor to him. The Judge often follows the Batter through his quest, remaining playful and mysterious yet still offering advice and hints to help him along the way. At the end of the game, however, the Judge realizes the true nature of the Batter's quest, and the Player's decisions, and stands against him. The two become enemies, the last enemy either of them will ever fight.

Zacharie

Unlike most relationships, the Batter and Zacharie remain positive throughout the game. Zacharie always welcomes the Batter warmly, offering him his wares even when the world is on the brink of ending. When the Batter takes a picture on a roller coaster with a statue of Zacharie, the real Zacharie is willing to pay an absurd amount of money to own it. It's unknown if Zacharie's insistence to own the picture is out of embarrassment, or sentiment. Although this is not in the text of the game itself, the creator of the game has stated that these two would have had potential romantic interest in one another had the Batter not been devoted to his quest.

Trivia

  • The Batter's name in French, Le Batteur, actually means The Drummer. This is strange, as the game was originally made in French.
  • There is a great deal of foreshadowing leading up to the Batter's form being revealed as the Bad Batter.
    • Dedan refers to the Batter's smile, something which he is lacking from the Player's point of view.
    • Sugar calls the Batter a "big ducky", which is likely referring to the bill-shaped mouth of the Bad Batter.
      • Mortis Ghost mentions that the Bad Batter is actually how the Batter is perceived by his enemies, and thus his "true form" may not actually exist.
  • The Batter has appeared in Indie Game Battle, a controversial platform fighter featuring various indie characters.
  • The Batter apparently hates dancing, as he himself is unable to do it.
  • The Batter was jokingly referred to as a lesbian by the creator of the game during a stream.
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