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James "Jimmy" Grayson was a British lieutenant in the Royal Marines and the main protagonist in Resistance: Retribution. After being forced to kill his own brother inside a Chimeran conversion center in Manchester, he had deserted and became a mercenary, gaining infamy for single-handedly destroying dozens of conversion centers. Later, he was saved from capital punishment by Raine Bouchard and played a pivotal role in Operation Overstrike.
James was born in England. Initially shirking off his wartime duties following the traumatic loss of his father, an RAF officer, which led to him giving up his own RAF career and briefly turn to petty crime. James was inspired to return to service, this time as a Marine on Southend-On-Sea and other areas of Essex, when his older brother Johnny went missing-in-action (MIA) during a mission while fighting the Chimera in France. Eventually James was reunited with his brother which ended into a bitter argument in which Johnny had learned about his younger brother's unimpressive bootcamp record and believed that he is still self-centered and irresponsible.
On May 15th, 1951, Grayson and his unit raided a conversion center in Manchester and stumbled upon Johnny, who had been converted into a Chimera. Grayson was then reluctantly forced to kill his brother due to the protocol's regarding the infected. As a result, Grayson suffered an emotional meltdown that drove him to desertion and launched his own personal vendetta against the Chimera. In which his course of action led him to destroying over twenty-six Chimeran conversion centers throughout Britain in the process.
After the Battle of London, Grayson was eventually captured and brought into custody for desertion, a capital offense. He was put to trial to which Major Stephen Cartwright, his commanding officer at the time, testified against him. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad. However, Maquis Lieutenant Raine Bouchard visited Grayson in his cell, hoping to enlist his help in the Maquis due to his invaluable source of intelligence on conversion centers. Grayson was reluctant to join them at first until Bouchard reveals to him that the Chimera have recently evolved a new process of converting humans into Chimera and that she and her father, Claude Bouchard, have been developing a serum that would hopefully stop the new process. Grayson agrees with Bouchard's offer, and also demanded that he be given his brother's jacket back. James was released and officially designated as a SRPA-contracted Maquis mercenary. While he supports his "comrades'" mission to infiltrating every conversion center in order to gather enough information to create a permanent cure to the virus, in truth, James was only supporting them to gain retribution for his brother's death and continuing to destroy these centers.
Grayson participated in Operation Overstrike in which he accompanies the first squadron over to Rotterdam. His VTOL was shot down by Chimeran gun towers over Rotterdam and was forced to parachute. Grayson, along with Bouchard, rendezvous with Colonel Roland Mallery and the Maquis before he sets off to destroy one of the gun towers, in an effort in preventing the second squadron from suffering the same fate that the first squadron had. Along the way he was assisted in gathering enough explosives to destroy the tower by Major Cartwright. Grayson destroyed the fuel line connecting to the gun tower and then accompanies Mallery to the tower itself. Grayson took the L206 LAARK and fire several rockets at the dropshop, shooting it down single handily. After a brief battle with a Chimeran dropship, the two successfully destroyed the tower.
Grayson and the Maquis then gathered at Bonn, Germany to investigate a unique conversion center unlike any other seen so far for Bouchard's research. Grayson strongly intends to destroy the conversion center, even though he was under strict instructions not to. As the group entered Bonn, Grayson was then separated from Bouchard and Mallery, but eventually fights his way to a service elevator that takes him down into the conversion center. Upon entering he comes across a terrified Mallery who informs him that Bouchard was apparently dead: taken and drowned by the Chimera. Grayson refused to believe him and sets off to rescue her by himself. He eventually tracked down Bouchard through directions Bouchard had given him through his radio. Although he made sure he had already planted the explosives he was carrying with him along the way. He and Bouchard escaped the center through the use of a captured Hammer and the center explodes soon afterward. Grayson was angrily reprimanded by Bouchard for destroying the center, and forcing the Maquis to follow the Carriers' to their next destination as they flee from the area. However, Grayson received an urgent message from Cartwright requesting his help in Gerolstein in destroying the Earth Movers that threatened to destroy the Maquis fortress headquarters in Luxembourg. Grayson and Bouchard argue for a moment on whether helping Cartwright before Grayson is struck in the back by Mallery, rendering him unconscious and left there. After regaining conscious, Grayson used the Hammer he used to escape from the Bonn conversion center and travels to Gerolstein to assist Cartwright. He arrived on the scene and, along with Cartwright's help, destroyed the two remaining Earth Movers and then proceeds on to the Maquis headquarters with Cartwright.
Moments after they arrive, the fortress was under attacked by an all-out assault from the Chimera and all personnel within the base were forced to evacuate. Grayson assists Rachel Parker in escaping from the fortress before he tracks down Bouchard and her father. He stumbles upon Bouchard's father extracting blood from her for the purpose of the serum he is developing that would be use to kill the Carrier strain in order to halt the Chimeran conversion centers throughout Europe. Grayson demands that they both come with him but Claude refuses before he is killed by a Burrower. A heart-broken Raine then proceeds to complete the serum herself while she and Grayson fended off Chimera forces before Mallery shortly arrives as well to extract Bouchard. Grayson and his allies successfully evacuated the fortress before it was destroyed.
Grayson and his comrades regrouped at the Maquis' last remaining safe zone in Reims, where plans for the assault on the Paris tower were being finalized. During this time Grayson and Bouchard argued on who will take Claude Bouchard's serum over to the Chrysalis Lair, the heart of the new Chimera conversion process, and use it to infect and kill the Carriers. Grayson reveals that Bouchard was infected back in Bonn and cannot be trusted, but he is subdued and taken away by Maquis soldiers under Mallery's orders. While imprisoned in a makeshift brig, Grayson was visited by Bouchard for unknown reasons. He threatens to kill her due to her infection but he finds that he is unable to do so and instead he questions her as to why she even came to visit him. Bouchard, under the influence of the Chimeran virus, sexually seduced Grayson. It can be assumed that the two of them did engage in sexual intercourse but it is unknown at this point.
One hour after Bouchard and Mallery left for the Chrysalis Lair, Grayson was freed from his cell by Parker and Cartwright and is given a second sample of Bouchard's serum to use at the Lair should Raine Bouchard failed. Grayson fought his way through the Paris Catacombs, encountering several Cloven along the way, and confronting delays from Mallery. During his journey he discovers a holding center that houses thousands of female human bodies for use in the Chimera's new conversion process, which forces him to realize just how selfish he had been in his vendetta against the Chimera. As he reaches the outskirts of the Chrysalis Lair, Grayson left his brother's jacket behind, finally letting go of his vendetta. As he enters the facility he encounters Mallery, who has been infected with the Chimeran virus. The two engage in combat to which Grayson ultimately kills Mallery by snapping his neck.
Grayson proceeded on to the very heart of the Chrysalis Lair and used the serum to infect the new conversion process. After injecting the serum, he is then confronted by a mutated Bouchard, after being completely consumed by the Chimeran virus, in the form of a large Hag calling herself as "The Chrysalis". Grayson engages Bouchard and manages to defeat the monster she has become. He approached the dying Bouchard to remind her of the serum's infection against the Chimera and hopefully put her to ease, but not before Bouchard reveals that the Chimera are just too advanced, and that they just proceed and evolved yet another process of converting humans (this new process reveals to be the Spinners). Bouchard is then completely succumbed to the virus and Grayson, after sharing his sympathies to Bouchard, killed her with a gunshot to the head.
Following the destruction of the Paris tower by Cartwright's task force, Grayson reunited with Parker and Cartwright outside of a small memorial for fallen Maquis and British soldiers. Grayson laid down Bouchard's dog tags upon the memorial and Parker reminds him that he should not allow her death to destroy him as he had allowed his brother's death to do so. Shortly after Parker offers him the position of major within the British Army, but Grayson simply turned down the offer. Cartwright returned with Johnny's jacket and hands it to him, to which Grayson then attempts to lay it down upon the memorial but is stopped by Parker, who insists that he keep the jacket. Grayson then leaves Parker and Cartwright, but not before mentioning a possible application for a Colonel position in the Maquis.
Grayson is heard of again in Resistance 2 where a report for Specter Team on December 12th, 1951 mentions that he had came under SRPA contract. Grayson was eventually promoted to Colonel and was last heard of leading a dangerous mission into the heart of Russia, to discover the source of the Chimeran invasion. On June 12th, 1953 Grayson disappeared after the Battle of Warsaw in which the Maquis listed him as missing in action. However, rumors had begun to spread of a British soldier in Russia known as the "Cloven Killer", indicating that Grayson was still alive and well.
James Grayson's ultimate fate
The last scene of Retribution depicts Grayson in Moscow wearing his brother's jacket, staring up in awe at Saint Basil's Cathedral. But as Grayson turns around, his eyes were revealed to be bright gold, similar to the Sentinels. It is possible that Grayson was infected with a similar strain as most Sentinels and has now entered a state of infection similar to that of Nathan Hale. How Grayson came to become or as speculated to be infected is currently unknown.
James is characterized as being rude and vocal. His attitude is attributed from his past background: the burden of losing his father in the Chimeran War, unemployment, taking care of his widowed mother, and the shaky relationship with his brother Johnny, whom James believe that he doesn't care for his family. Grayson is sarcastic and most often uses nicknames for both his allies and enemies: referring the Chimera as "gorillas", the French Maquis as "frogs", and Drones as "tin cans". Despite being generally rude as well as reckless at times, it is shown that he cares very much about the lives of others, soldiers and citizens alike. Examples of this are sympathizing with an injured Maquis soldier and trying to hand him a health canister in Bonn, and later showing concern for the refugees in Luxembourg being threatened by the Chimera.
The single trait of Grayson that motivates most of his actions through the story is his immense hate of the Chimera, which was developed upon discovering his brother's tragic fate at the start of Retribution. This hatred is easily noticeable especially in the beginning; as seen in Grayson's entries before each chapter, and in the comments he makes in many encounters, which are mostly ridiculing or even somewhat sadistic. However, this all comes to an end, during the final chapters of the game, when he acknowledges that the Chimera are nothing but former humans. Accepting this fact changes him considerably, which is noticed by Parker. He no longer finds any joy in killing Chimera, but considers it a job to do nonetheless. It is possible that Grayson may even feel as if the Chimera are still people, at least if Grayson himself knew those people. This may be supported due to Grayson's disgust of killing Mallery, even after being infected, as well as his subtle but noticeable sadness when executing Bouchard, in the Chrysallis form.
He is known to be tactfully skillful in utilizing Chimeran technologies such as piloting a Hammer. This is due to his experience of infiltrating and destroying conversion centers which allows him to learn certain Chimeran technology.
Grayson's "do or die" attitude kept him alive throughout the Retribution storyline. His military experience and adept ability to make it through the harshest situations, characterizes him as by far, Retribution's most influential and important protagonist.
James Grayson is of roughly average height. Possessing a combat jacket on it's back a Chimeran Skull and two rifles resembling a M14 EBR in a skull and crossbones formation. In Infected Mode, Grayson wears a SRPA uniform and has glowing yellow eyes.
- "I've killed hundreds of Chimera, Molly. Thousands, including my own brother. But I never enjoyed it. Until now."
- ―After having killed Roland Mallery.[src]
- "I'm James Grayson, bitches!"
- ―While using a "Hammer" in the Trenches.[src]
- James' surname may be a nod towards Nathan Hale, who during Resistance: Fall of Man the Black Ops referred to him under the codename: Grayskin.
- James was mentioned several times in co-op intel in Resistance 2 before his debut in Retribution.
- Since Grayson's jacket has a picture of two M14 rifles in a Skull and Crossbones fashion, it can be assumed that real world weapons such as the M14 are present in the alternate universe timeline of the Resistance series and are still being used by humanity.
- Grayson is often called by Roland Mallery as "Tommy", in which Grayson in turns disrespectfully calls Mallery "Molly".
- Grayson could be ambidextrous because if the player controlling him takes cover on the right side of something (like on a doorway, wall, etc.), he will hold his gun left handed.
- When he's infected, Grayson appears to be very strong as the scenes where you have to mash the X button to pull a lever or something he does is much faster even if you push the X button slow.
- As a young child, Grayson was afraid of Gargoyles.
- Grayson and Tom Riley are the only two pure human protagonists that are not Sentinels, althought James Grayson is a soldier and Tom Riley is just a regular civilian.
- It is speculated that Grayson's weapon of choice is possibly the .303 Storm Rifle, as he is always seen holding it in every cutscene that features him in it.
- Throughout Resistance: Retribution, corpses of dead Black Ops and hidden intel suggest that not only is SRPA present during the events of Operation Overstrike but are closely monitoring James Grayson as part of a potential recruitment program into the SRPA Sentinel teams as well as other potential candidates one including Private Jensen (although this plan was scrapped after the former's grisly death while accompanying Grayson through the water intake facility) as well as even Roland Mallery ( scrapped after the events of Rotterdam due to "cowardice and inability to cooperate with undesirable characters in the face of catastrophic circumstances").
- It is interesting to note that despite SRPA's intentions to extract James Grayson at the conclusion of Operation Overstrike for recruitment into the Sentinel Program this ultimately does not happen at the end of Resistance Retribution. Although judging by the dead Black Ops troops scattered throughout the game the most likely explanation is that all the those sent by SRPA to observe Grayson simply perished at the hands of the Chimera.
- James is voiced by Robin Atkin Downes who also voiced General Hadley in Resistance: Fall of Man, Daedalus and Infected Hale in Resistance 2, and Joseph Capelli in Resistance 3.
- Interestingly enough, in an early build trailer for the game, Grayson almost looks like Roland Mallery.