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Otto Octavius, also known by his media nickname Doctor Octopus, is the main antagonist of Marvel's Spider-Man, the PlayStation 4 video game. A highly intelligent scientist, Otto was once the co-founder of the mega-corporation Oscorp; however, he decided to leave when the other founder, his best friend Norman Osborn, became obsessed with unethical experiments. Otto would go on to start his own company, Octavius Industries, ending his friendship with Norman in the process.

Otto is a friend and mentor of Peter Parker, who serves as his lab assistant at Octavius Industries—which relies on grants due to financial difficulties. There, he and Peter are on the verge of developing highly advanced prosthetic limbs.

Otto's hatred of Norman, who is now the New York mayor as well as Oscorp's CEO, is reignited when the latter forcibly withdraws government funding for Octavius Industries in an attempt to force Otto to work for Oscorp. Motivated to get his revenge on Norman, Otto eventually transforms into the villainous Doctor Octopus. As Doctor Octopus, he then forms the Sinister Six as part of his violent master plan to destroy Norman and his empire.

HistoryEdit

Early historyEdit

Born approximately in the year 1955 in Schenectady, New York, Otto Octavius met his future business partner Norman Osborn while in college. The two went to found the company Oscorp, and hoped to change the world together. According to Otto, the name "Oscorp" was a reference to the two "O's" in his and Norman's last names (Osborn and Octavius).

In 1986, a boy named Martin Li came to Oscorp to have a consultation for an unknown, chronic medical condition. Unknown to Otto, Norman had the boy injected with an early version of the experimental GR-27 ("Devil's Breath") serum. The treatment triggered a reaction that resulted in the death of Li's parents and Li receiving superhuman powers. Disgusted with Norman's recklessness, Otto filed a lawsuit, and ended up leaving Oscorp in exchange for a settlement, ending his friendship with Norman in the process.

Otto would go on to found his own company, Octavius Industries. However, he was unable to reach the same level of success that he had at Oscorp, and was forced to rely on grants for employment.

Marvel's Spider-ManEdit

Otto serves as Peter Parker's employer and mentor figure as a scientist. At the beginning of the game, he and Peter are working on highly advanced prostheses/prosthetics, in the hopes of providing replacement limbs that could interface with a human being's nervous system just like any natural limb does.

While Peter is regularly late for work, Otto doesn't seem to resent him for it, instead being in silent awe of Peter's knack for what he terms "guerrilla science". It is revealed that Octavius Industries relies exclusively on grants for income, and when, later in the game, their current grant(s) is revoked by Mayor Osborn, Otto advises Peter to start looking for a new job.

As the game progresses, Otto is revealed to have accepted support from the A.I.M. organization, which, according to Peter, has a shady reputation, in order to continue his work on prostheses. Even later in the game, Otto reveals that he is suffering from a degenerative neurological disorder, probably caused by exposure to toxic chemicals during his youth; without a breakthrough in his research on prostheses and on how to directly have them interface with the brain, he will eventually lose nearly all motor functions.

Eventually, thanks to both his and Peter's efforts in their research, Otto manages to build highly advanced mechanical, retractable arms that work in conjunction with a neural interface directly implanted at the base of the skull, that interfaces with the basal ganglia. Peter figures that the interface presents risks of altering the user's mood and personality drastically if left unchecked, and manages to convince Otto to keep working on the prototype.

However, as Peter departs, Otto stumbles upon a TV news report mentioning Osborn's responsibility in the Devil's Breath debacle. Otto finally snaps, and reactivates the faulty neural interface, along with the arms, and shifts from the gentle Otto Octavius to the vengeful Doctor Octopus.

All these years.. All these lies. It's over Norman. Time to give them the truth.
 
— Doctor Octopus before infecting New York with Devil's Breath, "Out of the Frying Pan..."

As Doctor Octopus, one of his first actions is to research the backgrounds of all the major supervillains locked inside the Raft so that he can offer them deals in order to work for him. After breaking them out, he forms the Sinister Six and puts his plan into motion: attack all of Osborn's holdings within the city, unleash the Devil's Breath on the populace, and make Osborn admit to his secrets.

Spider-Man foils most of this, though is powerless to stop the release of the Devil's Breath. Doctor Octopus fights him atop Oscorp Tower after Osborn is saved. During this final confrontation, Otto reveals to Peter that he knew Peter was Spider-Man all along, and Peter soon realizes the Otto he knew does not exist any longer. A heartbroken Spider-Man ultimately defeats Doctor Octopus and acquires the antiserum, leaving Otto to be taken by the authorities. His artificial limbs are removed and he is sent to the Raft.

CharacteristicsEdit

AppearanceEdit

Artist illustration
Doctor Octopus from MSM concept art.jpg
Doctor Octopus from MSM concept art 2.jpg
Otto is a dark-haired, balding, bespectacled individual with green eyes. While not sporting a beard, he does seem to sport a five o'clock shadow. While heavier than most people his size, Otto hardly appears fat – he is at best chubby, which would be expected of an older man not engaging in regular exercise. He is generally seen wearing a green turtleneck sweater, often under a white lab-coat. In his youth, Otto had a full beard and long hair.

As Doctor Octopus, Otto wears a dark green body suit lined with a black polymer, along with round welding goggles. From the center of his lower back are four long mechanical arms, comprised of a black polymer. At the end of each claw are two sets of four sharp claws, the larger of which are tipped yellow.

PersonalityEdit

That's because men like us have a duty. A responsibility. To use our talents in the service of others. Even if they don't appreciate it... we have to do what's best for those beneath us. Whether they understand it or not.
 
— Dr Octopus

At the beginning of the game, Otto is as an optimistic, forgiving man focused on making the world a better place. While his work doesn't progress as well or as quickly as he had hoped, he stays his course and seems to take everything in stride. Otto displays a gentle personality overall, not scolding Peter for his tardiness anymore than he feels he has to.

Otto possesses an extremely high intellect, enough so that Peter admires him for it, yet does not display any of the arrogance his comic-book counterpart is famous for, instead admiring Peter's knack for impromptu science and describing the boy as a genius in his own right.

However, as the game progresses, Otto begins acting frantically. He doesn't seem to have much patience when he feels close to reaching his goals, and as the mini-games reveal, Otto's designs have some overlooked flaws that Peter regularly has to address and correct. Additionally, Otto's frustrations with his fragile human body and oppression by Norman increasingly rise to the surface, culminating in his transformation into Doctor Octopus.

As Doctor Octopus, Otto's personality shifts towards a vengeful, calculating individual with sociopathic tendencies. He displays little care towards the lives he endangers, justifying it as necessary. Ock acts on years of frustration and repressed anger towards Norman Osborn. Part of this shift is due to his implementation of the imperfect neural network, triggering limbic degradation that causes him to act out on his suppressed hatred.

As his mental state continues to deteriorate, Otto becomes more aggressive, prone to mood swings, paranoid and increasingly self-righteous in his crusade against Norman.

AbilitiesEdit

  • Genius-Level Intellect: Otto Octavius is a genius polymath, possessing an outstanding, idiosyncratic intellect. He was also able to design and manufacture advanced technological gadgets for Spider-Man, as well as easily deduce the latter's secret identity and masterfully deceive him into believing that he, Otto, still remained oblivious to that fact, revealing his knowledge upon their ultimate confrontation (specifically designating their final showdown as the optimal time in order to stupefy the momentarily unnerved hero, which displays the intricacy of his superlatively strategic mental faculties). His genius, magnificently eclectic intellect extends itself to his practically incomparable strategic, tactical, mathematical, scientific, engineering, leadership, deceptive, manipulating, neuroscience, computer science, material science, computer programming, bionics, cybernetics, robotics, virology, prosthetics, toxicology, technological, nano-technological, and exploitative networking mastery. Despite all his this, he is often haphazard with his creations, overlooking critical flaws, which are usually rectified by his assistant, Peter Parker.
  • Master Tactician: As the megalomaniac Doctor Octopus, Otto is a phenomenally brilliant genius tactician and strategist, far superseding the exceptionally experienced crime fighter Spider-Man. As noted by Vulture, Otto's planning involves numerous fail-safes, with Otto often having numerous back-up plans to his back-up plans, accounting for numerous possible scenarios with efficient contingencies, making him extraordinarily versatile and unpredictable and often keeps one step ahead of Spider-Man during his crusade against the city. Indeed, Otto's unparalleled ability to plan, strategize, and break down his opponents grants him power that surpasses even that of Spider-Man and multiple intelligence agencies (such as Sable International and the NYPD), since Otto's ability to predict and gather information on his many opponents allows him to easily strategize any of them one-on-one, thereby making it almost impossible for them to succeed against Otto. And Otto is almost always tremendously successful in the long-term as he was able to keep his developing plot, as well as the weaponization of his mechanical arms, completely covert from his genius and perceptive assistant Peter Parker. Ultimately, while he failed to escape punishment for his crimes, Otto was able to expose Norman and cause him political ruin.
  • Master Engineer and Inventor: Otto Octavius is a genius engineer and inventor, having an obvious penchant for robotics and biomechanics, surpassing even the extremely prolific and talented Peter Parker, by craftily designing and integrating numerous improvements into the latter's Advanced suit by conducting meticulously methodical research that derived from his expertise in molecular engineering, which eventually led to Peter adopting this as his primary suit for crime fighting and additionally, devising futuristic and state-of-the-art spider-like gadgets, which introduced a whole new approach to Spider-Man's crime-fighting. Otto is also one of the world's leading authorities on prosthetics and neurotechnology, creating and engineering his own mechanical appendages (which by themselves rival even Spider-Man's superhuman powers) and concocting advanced upgrades for the Sinister Six, that easily enabled them to mercilessly beat Spider-Man into submission. Furthermore, it is the concept originating from his artificial appendages which later heavily inspired the design behind Spider-Man's Anti-Ock suit.
  • Master Scientist: Otto Octavius is an evidently genius scientist, surpassing even the wunderkind science prodigy Peter Parker, with his magnificent knowledge in the most foremost and abstract of the sciences, such as neurotechnology, biomechanics, computer science, theoretical science (during his time at Oscorp) and prosthetics virtually unparalleled and unrivaled, with Otto easily standing out as one of the most intelligent men on Earth and being one of the renowned, leading experts in those fields especially (despite falling into obscurity after severing ties with Norman Osborn), with Otto devising groundbreaking artificial appendages, that were considerably superior to the prosthetic arms that he had earlier designed. He has also been described as being able to think around even the most complex problems to devise elegant, effective solutions, with Norman even attempting to coerce him into working for Oscorp again, a true testimony to his scientific prowess.
  • Master Leader: Otto Octavius is a charismatic leader, notably spearheading Octavius Industries with brilliant efficiency and easily gaining the fierce loyalty of another genius, Peter Parker, who had revered him for the majority of his youth. As Otto further descends into villainy, he still retains his supreme leadership skills, demonstrated by how he cements and later commands the Sinister Six roster, all comprised of Spider-Man's most malevolent and dangerous foes, by orchestrating their breakout from the super-maximally, secure prison, The Raft, and thereafter gaining their respect and loyalty, by engineering highly-advanced upgrades for them and discreetly manipulating each and every one of them as his unwilling pawns, to execute his meticulously crafted plans, with them notably heeding his explicit instructions to not kill Spider-Man, despite their immense hostility and antagonism against the hero, for locking them up in The Raft for several years.

WeaknessesEdit

  • Degenerative Neurological Disorder: Otto suffers from an undisclosed neurological disorder, resulting in the progressive degeneration of his muscular functions. In Otto's current condition, he has experienced a decrease fine motor skills, and has developed a noticeable limp.  At the current rate, Peter projects that Otto will lose control of his motor functions within a year. Otto suspects his condition was caused by overexposure to toxic chemicals during his youth.
  • Limbic Degradation: To utilize his mechanical prosthesis, Otto implants an intracranial neural network at the back of his neck to connect the prosthesis directly to his nervous system. While functionally operational, imperfections in the implant's design causes limbic deterioration, damaging Otto's sanity while exacerbating his impulses, especially his anger and paranoïa.
  • Attachment Issues: To Otto, the mechanical appendages are more than just the culmination of his life's work; they are also his last chance of treating himself. Even before the influence of the neural interface, Otto was greatly attached to the progress and results of his work, as he sought to help others with limb loss to gain some measure of control back in their lives, not only as a "doctor" but also as a patient too. After using the mechanical appendages, he experiences the pure joy of movement better than the human body and becomes extremely depressed when not connected to them; after a while he even stops referring to them simply as prosthesis' but lovingly denotes them as his "arms". The prospect of losing his "arms" or implications that they are somehow defective affects Otto greatly as in his view they are saving his life and are the product of his entire life's work.

Equipment Edit

Doctor Octopus claws from MSM concept art

Concept art

  • Mechanical Appendages: With Peter's aid, Otto creates four mechanical arms, which he attaches to his lower back via a harness. At the end of each arm are two sets of claws: a larger set of four claws used for general purposes, and a smaller set used for more precision-intensive actions. These arms, which are connected to his nervous system via an intracranial neural network, are capable of neural transmission speeds faster than 1 nanosecond (equal to a billionth of a second), far faster than any signals that can travel inside the human brain. As a result, these arms function as if they were part of Otto himself, granting him reflexes that are at least on par, if not, superior to Spider-Man's. These arms possess superhuman strength and durability, rapid movement, omnidirectional motion, and allow Otto to scale almost any surface.

RelationshipsEdit

Peter ParkerEdit

Otto hired Peter Parker as an intern, both out of recognition of the boy's talent and due to the recommendation of Peter's Aunt May. During the two years Peter worked for Octavius Industries, Otto came to see Peter as a son and close friend. He admires his innate ability and altruism, but is often irritated with his chronic lateness. Together, they are working on advanced prosthetic limbs for his government financiers, who are left concerned after a demonstration failure. Deducing Peter's identity as Spider-Man when he stumbles upon Peter repairing his suit, Otto pretends to misinterpret it as Peter being Spider-Man's assistant, promising to keep it a secret and even helping him by providing additional designs.

When Mayor Osborn moves to shut down Octavius Industries, Peter remains with Otto, helping him perfect the neural network. During this time, Otto confides with Peter his history with Norman, and his impeding loss of motor control. Otto keeps his impending plans against Norman a secret, including the weaponization of their artificial limb technology.

Drunk on success upon the completion of the neural network, Otto is initially dismissive, then resentful of Peter's concerns of the network's obvious flaws. However, as the limbic degradation had not yet taken hold, Otto pretends to listen to Peter's warning and agree to fix the bugs. While his emotional reasoning continues to deteriorate, Otto still values his friendship with Peter, and orders the Sinister Six not to kill Spider-Man during the breakout. In a recording found in his lab, Otto leaves a message for Peter, admitting his pain in potentially losing Peter's friendship but affirming that he believes his actions are just.

The gradual change in Otto's personality due to the influence of the neural interface skews all of his previous world views, essentially embracing the exact opposite of what he originally stood for. This change extends to Peter, where on a recording he sees Peter as "always watching" and stealing his ideas.

When the inevitable battle between the two comes, Otto is deaf to Peter's pleas to stop his madness, and casts aside their friendship for the sake of his crusade, even impaling Peter with his mechanical appendages. After he is defeated by Peter, Otto initially curses Peter for turning on him before begging one last time for Peter's help, claiming that his actions were the result of the neural interface affecting his mind. Otto makes his final mistake by telling Peter that with his help he can fix the neural interface and the arms while keeping his secret identity, implying blackmail. Realizing that the Otto Octavius he knew is gone, Peter reluctantly leaves him to the authorities, ending their partnership for good with broken heart.

Norman OsbornEdit

Norman Osborn and Otto Octavius from MSM screen

Norman and Otto

Otto and Norman Osborn were close friends in college, and went on to found Oscorp together. However, Norman became increasingly obsessed with genetics, and resorted to unethical business practices. It is implied that Otto left Oscorp due to the incident with Martin Li, which Norman was directly responsible for. Otto came to view Norman with contempt, as Norman not only continued to steal credit for Otto's work and talent, but squirm his way out of any consequences for his behavior.

Due to his financial difficulties, Otto was forced to take a grant from the Mayor's Office to fund his research. During the events of the game, Norman uses a malfunction as an excuse to revoke the grant, and has Octavius Industries shut down for safety violations. Otto recognizes it as Norman's thinly veiled attempt to force Otto to return to Oscorp. This incident reignites Otto's hatred for Norman, leading him to see his former partner as a cancer on the world, and triggering his transformation into Doctor Octopus.

His hatred towards Norman is so great that he was willing to undertake tasks that previously would have horrified him as he designs plans to damage city infrastructure and cripple essential services which alone would have resulted in the deaths of many people, however he goes further by unleashing the Devil's Breath and sending known super criminals to terrorize the city, which if successful could have lead to the deaths of millions of people all to prove a point. In his eyes the deaths of the people of Manhattan would have been acceptable losses in his plans against Norman.

Ironically, Otto's plan does work somewhat, as Norman is eventually forced to resign as Mayor after his role in the Devil's Breath catastrophe – while retaining his title of CEO of Oscorp, Norman is publicly disgraced.

Martin LiEdit

Otto met Martin Li when the latter was a child. Based on the recording retrieved from Norman Osborn's secret room, Otto was unaware of Li's injection with GR-27 until it was too late.

When Li began attacking Oscorp properties, Otto was shocked and saddened at the turn he had taken. However, as his hatred for Osborn increases during the course of the game, Otto comes to see Li's actions as inspiration. It is revealed over the course of the game that Otto has supplied Li with medication to help him control his powers for years, indicating that the two are on amicable terms at the very least. That would explain why Li seems keen on following his orders to not kill Spider-Man at the Raft breakout.

Original appearanceEdit

Doctor Octopus was one of the original members of the Sinister Six. The character's first appearance came in Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963).

Behind the scenesEdit

Doctor Octopus is voiced by William Salyers, who also provided motion capture for the character.

Doctor Octopus' inclusion in the game was leaked during a live stream of a game by Chris Jai Alex, the motion-capture actor for Rhino, commenting on the size difference while doing motion capture between Rhino and Doctor Octopus; he was quick to stop talking, however, and speculation about this leak lingered until the game released.[1]

ReferencesEdit